"First mentioned in the 6th century, Amalfi soon afterwards acquired
importance as a maritime power, trading grain from its neighbors, salt from Sardinia and slaves from the interior, and even timber, in exchange for the golddinars minted in Egypt and Syria, in order to buy the Byzantine silks that it resold in the West. Grain-bearing Amalfi traders enjoyed privileged positions in the Islamic ports, Fernand Braudel notes. The Amalfi tables (Tavole Amalfitane)
provided a maritime code that was widely used by the Christian port
cities. 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."