The Majorcan Document

Il Documento Maiorchino

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Technique and Dimensions:

Parchment document, mm 855 x 615


Secret Archive 2737 D, II


Fund of Treaties and negotiations, 1188

Object Type:

Manuscript document

The expedition against Almeria and Tortosa of 1147-1148 turns out to be extremely expensive for the Genoese, enough to cause a serious financial crisis. As early as 1149, a reconciliation with the Islamic kingdoms of the western Mediterranean was sought, in particular with the Emir Abu-Abd-Allah Muhammad ibn Said ben Mardanish, called King Wolf in Latin sources. In 1188, Ambassador Nicola Leccanozze signed a twenty-year agreement with a strong commercial content with Abd-Allah, son and successor of King Wolf. Faced with the commitment not to damage the sovereign's lands, not to lend assistance to his enemies and to defend his subjects by land and sea, the Genoese obtain the promise of protection of the territories under their jurisdiction, exemption from customs duties, the protection of ships even in the case of a shipwreck, the concession wherever they wanted of a warehouse, an oven, access to a bathroom once a week and a church for the celebration of their rituals. The privileges of 1181 and 1188 preserved in the Genoa State Archives are the only ones left among those issued from the Banū Gāniya dynasty. The Arabic text is interlined by the Latin translation and thus testifies the meeting of the two diplomacies in the varied cultural panorama of the medieval Mediterranean.