As native influences, however, began to reassert themselves in the Nile valley, Alexandria gradually became an alien city, more and more detached from Egypt; and, losing much of its commerce as the peace of the empire broke up during the 3rd century A.D., it declined fast in population and splendour.
This move, however, was not popular, and it enabled the grandi, who, although excluded from the chief offices, still dominated the parte Guelfa, to reassert themselves.
During the war the Eight had been practically rulers of the city, but now the parte Guelfa, led by Lapo da Castiglionchio and Piero degli Albizzi, attempted to reassert itself by illicit interference in the elections and by a liberal use of "admonitions "(ammonizioni).
Under the Byzantine dominion Pisa, like many other of the maritime cities of Italy, profited by the weakness of the government at Constantinople to reassert its strength.
In view of these conditions, the prophet's message is to reassert the true relation of Israel to Yahweh, and to call for a corresponding holiness, especially in regard to questions of ritual and of marriage.