Amalfi was the first born among the Four Maritime Republics and reached its maximum splendour during the 10th and 11th centuries, with merchant colonies in the main harbours of the Mediterranean Sea: Byzantium, Alexandria, Beirut, Cyprus. The Maritime Laws of the city, explained in the famous "Tabula Amalphitana" (Amalfi's Board), were for centuries the international mercantile code accepted and taken as model. In the 12th century, after the Norman conquest, Amalfi lost its importance in the Mediterranean commerce and had to be content with a modest local role. The new dynasties ruling over Naples and the Southern Italy have been supported in their conquests by other Maritime Republics (first Pisa and then Genoa) that will receive in exchange the monopoly of the international commerce.

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