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In 970 they gave also strong support to the Otto I's expedition, defeating a Byzantine fleet in front of Calabrese coasts. Pisa was in continuous conflict with the Saracens, who had their bases in Corsica, for control of the Mediterranean.
In 1017 Sardinian Giudicati were militarily supported by Pisa, in alliance with Genoa, to defeat the Saracen King Mugahid who had settled a logistic base in the north of Sardinia the year before.
The presence of an Etruscan necropolis, discovered during excavations in the in 1991, confirmed its Etruscan origins.
Ancient Roman authors referred to Pisa as an old city.
While the origin of the city had remained unknown for centuries, the Pelasgi, the Greeks, the Etruscans, and the Ligurians had variously been proposed as founders of the city (for example, a colony of the ancient city of Pisa, Greece).
Archaeological remains from the 5th century BC confirmed the existence of a city at the sea, trading with Greeks and Gauls.
Pope Gregory VII recognised in 1077 the new "Laws and customs of the sea" instituted by the Pisans, and emperor Henry IV granted them the right to name their own consuls, advised by a Council of Elders.
This was simply a confirmation of the present situation, because in those years the marquis had already been excluded from power.
Strabo states that the city was 4.0 kilometres (2.5 mi) away from the coast.Currently, it is located 9.7 kilometres (6 mi) from the coast.However it was a maritime city, with ships sailing up the Arno.In 930 Pisa became the county centre (status it maintained until the arrival of Otto I) within the mark of Tuscia.Lucca was the capital but Pisa was the most important city, as in the middle of 10th century Liutprand of Cremona, bishop of Cremona, called Pisa ("capital of the province of Tuscia"), and one century later the marquis of Tuscia was commonly referred to as "marquis of Pisa".