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

By Roger Crowley

A magisterial paintings of gripping background, "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 exchange, plague, sea battles and colonial event. In Venice, the trail to empire spread out in a chain of amazing contests - the sacking of Constantinople in 1204, the struggle to the end with Genoa and a determined defence opposed to the Turks. less than the lion banner of St Mark, she created an empire of ports and naval bases which funnelled the products of the realm via its wharfs. within the approach town turned the richest position on the earth - an excellent mosaic shaped from what it got, traded, borrowed and stole. in line with first hand money owed of exchange and struggle, seafaring and piracy and the areas the place Venetians sailed and died, "City of Fortune" is narrative heritage at its most interesting. starting on Ascension Day within the 12 months one 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 somebody who loves Venice and the Mediterranean international.

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The Venetians had participated in the First Crusade and again in 1123. From both they had profited in material terms; they had acquired a third of the city of Tyre in 1122, ruled directly from the lagoon on terms of tax-free trade, which marked the start of Venice’s overseas empire, as well as a foothold in a string of other harbours. Beneath the pattern of intermittent holy wars, these Palestinian ports provided the Italian republics with new opportunities to acquire goods of the furthest Orient.

Significant enterprises would be prefaced by services, and ships were routinely blessed. Crowds gathered on the waterfront, then the ropes were cast off. For Felix Fabri, a pilgrim on his way to the Holy Land in the fifteenth century, it happened ‘just before dinner time; all the pilgrims aboard, and the wind fair, the three sails were spread to the sound of trumpets and horns and we sailed out to the open sea’. Once through the barrier of the sheltering sand bars of the lagoon islands, the lidi, ships passed into the open sea and another world.

They are compelled to import everything they need by sea. ’ LAONICUS CHALCONDYLES, fifteenth-century Byzantine historian Contents Title Page Dedication Epigraph List of Illustrations Maps Place Names in this Book PROLOGUE: Departure PART I Opportunity: Merchant Crusaders 1 Lords of Dalmatia 2 T he Blind Doge 3 T hirty-four Thousand Marks 4 ‘A Dog Returning to its Vomit’ 5 At the Walls 6 Four Emperors 7 ‘The Works of Hell’ PART II Ascent: Princes of the Sea 8 A Quarter and Half a Quarter 9 Demand and Supply 10 ‘In the Jaws of our Enemies’ 11 The Flag of St Titus 12 Bridling St Mark 13 Fight to the Finish 14 Stato da Mar 15 ‘Like Water in a Fountain’ 16 City of Neptune PART III Eclipse: The Rising Moon 17 The Glass Ball 18 The Shield of Christendom 19 ‘If Negroponte Is Lost’ 20 Pyramid of Fire 21 Hands on the Throat of Venice Epilogue: Return Sources and Bibliography Acknowledgements Index Plates About the Author By the Same Author Copyright List of Illustrations 1 The Basin of St Mark 2 The capture of Constantinople in 1204, by Jacopo Tintoretto 3 Detail from ‘The Meeting of Etherius and Ursula and the Departure of the Pilgrims’, St.

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