City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas by Roger Crowley

By Roger Crowley

The increase and fall of the Venetian empire stands unmatched for drama, intrigue, and sheer opulent majesty. In City of Fortune, Roger Crowley, acclaimed historian and long island instances bestselling writer of Empires of the Sea, applies his narrative ability to chronicling the excellent five-hundred-year voyage of Venice to the top of power.

Tracing the whole arc of the Venetian imperial saga for the 1st time, City of Fortune is framed round of the nice collisions of global historical past: the ill-fated Fourth campaign, which culminated within the sacking of Constantinople and the carve-up of the Byzantine Empire in 1204, and the Ottoman-Venetian struggle of 1499--1503, which observed the Ottoman Turks supplant the Venetians because the preeminent naval energy within the Mediterranean. In among have been 3 centuries of Venetian maritime dominance--years of plunder and plague, conquest and piracy--during which a tiny urban of "lagoon dwellers" grew into the richest position on earth.

Drawing on firsthand debts of pitched sea battles, skillful negotiations, and diplomatic maneuvers, Crowley paints a bright photograph of this avaricious, enterprising humans and the bountiful lands that got here lower than their dominion. Defiant of emperors, detached to popes, the Venetians observed themselves as reluctant freebooters, pressured to take to the open seas "because we can't reside differently and comprehend no longer how other than via trade." From the outlet of the spice routes to the conflict among Christianity and Islam, Venice performed a number one function within the defining conflicts of its time--the reverberations of that are nonetheless being felt this present day. in basic terms an writer with Roger Crowley's deep wisdom of post-Crusade background may possibly positioned those iconic occasions into their right context.

Epic in scope, magisterial in its realizing of the interval, City of Fortune is narrative heritage at its so much engrossing.

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Extra resources for City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas

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Despotism, as Cuoco puts it, always depends upon the support of the “dregs of the people, who, with no care whatsoever for good or evil, sell themselves to whomsoever is best able to satisfy the needs of their bellies” (chap. XVI: 94). The mistake of the “patriots” had been to treat the creation of a republic as a moral crusade. Close readers of Machiavelli will recognize a familiar dilemma. The problems facing the founders of a “new” republic are similar in kind to those facing a “new” prince.

9 On the use of this term in the first English-language translations of Manzoni’s I promessi sposi, for example, see Gibbons (forthcoming). 10 Cuoco’s popolaccio, however, is not merely an ad hoc phenomenon, assembling on occasion in order to demonstrate discontent. For this reason the term “mob” is inadequate to translate it, and “rabble,” while suitably disparaging, lacks the specific connotations that accompany Cuoco’s usage. One option would be to leave the term untranslated, as John A. 11 But in an attempt to limit the number of Italianisms in the translation so far as is possible, I have chosen to use “populace” instead, albeit not without some misgivings.

It is instructive, furthermore, to note that the term popolazzo is to be found in at least one of the early-nineteenth-century 8 In Les Misérables (1862, vol. 5, bk. 1, chap. ” See Prendergast (2003: 5–6). 9 On the use of this term in the first English-language translations of Manzoni’s I promessi sposi, for example, see Gibbons (forthcoming). 10 Cuoco’s popolaccio, however, is not merely an ad hoc phenomenon, assembling on occasion in order to demonstrate discontent. For this reason the term “mob” is inadequate to translate it, and “rabble,” while suitably disparaging, lacks the specific connotations that accompany Cuoco’s usage.

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