Amalfi is a town and commune in the province of Salerno, in the region of Campania, Italy, on the Gulf of Salerno, 24 miles southeast of Naples.
Amalfi is first mentioned in the 6th century, and soon acquired importance as a maritime power, trading its grain, salt and slaves from the interior, and even timber, for the gold dinars minted in Egypt and Syria, in order to buy the silks of the Byzantine empire that it resold in the West. Merchants of Amalfi were using gold coins to purchase land in the 9th century, while most of Italy worked in a barter economy. In the 8th and 9th century, when Mediterranean trade revived it shared with Gaeta the Italian trade with the East, while Venice was in its infancy, and in 848 its fleet went to the assistance of Pope Leo IV against the Saracens. An independent republic from the seventh century until 1075, it rivalled Pisa and Genoa in its domestic prosperity and maritime importance.
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