The Routine of Commerce between Genoa and North-West Africa during the Late Twelfth Century
From 1160-61, relations between the Almohades who controlled both Genoa and North-West Africa led to an increase in trade between the two areas. Taxes were lowered and rebates offered to Genoese merchants. This article describes the tasks and activities of these merchants. Commercial contracts were drawn up through public notaries and factors organised the goods to be traded. Using primary sources, examples of voyages, their routes, durations and their financing are given. The trading vessel, the ‘navis’ is described giving configurations, dimensions and cargo carrying properties. As trade prospered, the size of these vessels grew.