Historical Context Edit
During the last years of the empire, Pisa did not suffer the decline of civilization quite as much as other Roman cities. Indeed, by the mid-700s the town was on its way to being a thriving port and a major trading center. Then came the Vikings Bjorn Ironside and Hastein, who had been raiding the Mediterranean Muslim towns and now set their sights on a few Christian ones. After pillaging the south of France and wintering there, they descended on unprotected Pisa, capturing and sacking it in 861 AD. Proceeding inland, the horde took the walled town of Luni, which according to legend the ignorant savages believed to be Rome, by ruse. With the surviving Norse warriors fretful, and since the leaders had always declared Rome the final target, they sailed back to the straits at Gibraltar … where they suffered heavy losses (some 40 ships and crews) in a naval battle with the Saracen navy from al-Andalus. Pisa was rebuilt, and never again troubled by Vikings.