This chapter analyzes Jacopo de Varagine's chronicle of Genoese history. He concluded the saints' lives in the Golden Legend with an entry on Pope Pelagius I (556–61). This entry has almost nothing to say about Pelagius but is instead an essay in which Jacopo briefly summarizes western European history. Scholars reckon that Jacopo added this entry while thinking about how he would begin writing the history of Genoa. Perhaps an indication of his later writing, this entry serves as a window on how his mind worked, especially his reading habits and style of subject selection. The chronicle of Genoese history is hardly a work of secularism; Jacopo did not perceive the world as divided into categories of sacred and secular history. The chapter also highlights Jacopo's well-informed summary of early Islam.
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