City of Fortune: How Venice Won and Lost a Naval Empire by Roger Crowley

By Roger Crowley

A magisterial paintings of gripping historical past, "City of Fortune" tells the tale of the Venetian ascent from lagoon dwellers to the best energy within the Mediterranean - an epic yr voyage that encompassed campaign and alternate, plague, sea battles and colonial experience. In Venice, the trail to empire opened up in a sequence of remarkable contests - the sacking of Constantinople in 1204, the struggle to the end with Genoa and a determined defence opposed to the Turks. below the lion banner of St Mark, she created an empire of ports and naval bases which funnelled the products of the area via its wharfs. within the technique town turned the richest position on the earth - an excellent mosaic formed from what it acquired, traded, borrowed and stole. in response to first hand debts of exchange and battle, seafaring and piracy and the locations the place Venetians sailed and died, "City of Fortune" is narrative historical past at its best. starting on Ascension Day within the yr a thousand and finishing with an explosion off the coast of Greece - and the calamitous information that the Portuguese had pioneered a sea path to India - it is going to fascinate a person who loves Venice and the Mediterranean international.

Show description

Read or Download City of Fortune: How Venice Won and Lost a Naval Empire PDF

Best italy books

Venetian Life (Barnes & Noble Digital Library)

On the outbreak of the Civil battle, Howells was once appointed usa consul in Venice, Italy. In Venetian lifestyles, an completely enticing travelogue, Howells revises a chain of shuttle letters he had written approximately his studies in Venice for the Boston Advertiser. sincere in its love for (yet pain in) Venice, it might be through Italian trips.

The Patron's Payoff: Conspicuous Commissions in Italian Renaissance Art

Within the Patron's Payoff, Jonathan Nelson and Richard Zeckhauser observe the leading edge equipment of data economics to the research of artwork. Their findings, written in hugely obtainable prose, are magnificent and significant. construction on 3 monetary concepts--signaling, signposting, and stretching--the e-book develops the 1st systematic technique for assessing the which means of paintings patronage and gives a large and helpful framework for figuring out how artistic endeavors functioned in Renaissance Italy.

Governance and Grievance: Habsburg Policy and Italian Tyrol in the Eighteenth Century

Governance and criticism touches on a variety of points of Habsburg household coverage, targeting how the rulers prompted and have been encouraged by way of advancements in either Italian and German Tyrol, and the way they used to virtue the competing local pursuits.

Galileo's Telescope: A European Story

Among 1608 and 1610 the cover of the evening sky replaced without end, ripped open through an item created nearly by chance: a cylinder with lenses at either ends. Galileo’s Telescope tells the tale of ways an inventive optical machine advanced from a toy-like interest right into a precision clinical tool, all in many years.

Additional resources for City of Fortune: How Venice Won and Lost a Naval Empire

Sample text

The astonishing basilica of St Mark, reconsecrated in 1094, was designed by Greek architects on the pattern of the mother church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople; its artisans recounted the story of St Mark, stone by stone, in imitation of the mosaic styles of St Sophia; its goldsmiths and enamellers created the Pala d’Oro, the golden altarpiece, a miraculous expression of Byzantine devotion and art. The whiff of spices on the quays of Venice had been carried a thousand miles from the go-downs of the Golden Horn.

With all the imperial pomp of Byzantine ritual, the emperor affixed his golden seal (the bulla) to a document that would change the sea for ever. He granted the city’s merchants the rights to trade freely, exempt from tax, throughout his realms. A large number of cities and ports were specified by name: Athens and Salonica, Thebes and Antioch and Ephesus, the islands of Chios and Euboea, key harbours along the coasts of southern Greece such as Modon and Coron – invaluable staging posts for Venetian galleys – but above all Constantinople itself.

The Venetians isolated them one by one and dropped anchor in their harbours. Curzola was stormed. Lagosta, ‘by whose violence the Venetians who sailed through the seas were very often robbed of their goods and sent naked away’, offered more stubborn resistance. The inhabitants believed their rocky citadel to be impregnable. The Venetians unleashed a furious assault on it from below; when that failed, a detachment made their way up by a steep path behind the citadel and captured the towers that contained the fort’s water supply.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.81 of 5 – based on 27 votes