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The Republic of Venice ( it, Repubblica di Venezia; vec, Repùblega de Venèsia) or Venetian Republic ( it, Repubblica Veneta; vec, Repùblega Vèneta), traditionally known as La Serenissima ( en,
Most Serene Republic Most Serene Republic ( la, Serenissima Respublica) is a title attached to a number of European states through history. By custom, the appellation "Most Serene" is an indicator of sovereignty (see also Serene Highness or Most Serene Highness for a ...
of Venice, italics=yes; it, Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia; vec, Serenìsima Repùblega de Venèsia), was a
sovereign state A sovereign state is a polity, political entity represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory, one government ...
and
maritime republic The maritime republics ( it, repubbliche marinare), also called merchant republics ( it, repubbliche mercantili), of the Mediterranean Basin were Thalassocracy, thalassocratic city-states in Italy in the Middle Ages, Italy and Dalmatia during the ...
in parts of present-day
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding it, whose territory largely coincides with the . Italy is located in the centre of th ...

Italy
(mainly northeastern Italy) which existed for 1100 years from 697
AD
AD
until 1797 AD. Centered on the
lagoon File:Kara-Bogaz Gol from space, September 1995.jpg, Garabogazköl, Garabogaz-Göl lagoon in Turkmenistan A lagoon is a shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by a narrow landform, such as reefs, barrier islands, barrier pen ...
communities of the prosperous city of
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern Italy, continental part, d ...

Venice
, it incorporated numerous overseas possessions in modern
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
,
Slovenia Slovenia ( ; sl, Slovenija ), officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: , abbr.: ''RS''), is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, lin ...

Slovenia
,
Montenegro Montenegro (; cnr, Црна Гора, Crna Gora, lit. "Black Mountain", ) is a country in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is o ...

Montenegro
,
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in . Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2021; is its largest and capital city, followed by . Situated on the southern tip of the , ...

Greece
,
Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or Shqipëria), officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It is located on the Adriatic Sea, Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Medite ...

Albania
and
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or politi ...

Cyprus
. The republic grew into a trading power during the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of w ...
and strengthened this position in the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in m ...

Renaissance
. Citizens spoke the still-surviving
Venetian language Venetian or Venetan ( or ), is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin is ...
, although publishing in (Florentine) Italian became the norm during the Renaissance. In its early years, it prospered on the salt trade. In subsequent centuries, the city state established a
thalassocracy A thalassocracy or thalattocracy (from grc-x-classical, θάλασσα, translit=thalassa, , , and grc, κρατεῖν, translit=kratein, lit=power; giving grc-x-koine, θαλασσοκρατία, translit=thalassokratia, lit=sea power), somet ...
. It dominated trade on the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by and and , on the south by , and on the east by the . The Sea has played a central role in the . Although the Mediterrane ...
, including commerce between Europe and North Africa, as well as Asia. The
Venetian navy The Venetian navy ( vec, Armada) was the navy of the Venetian Republic, and played an important role in the history of Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officiall ...
was used in the
Crusades The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The term refers especially to the Eastern Mediterranean campaigns in the period between 1095 and 1271 that h ...

Crusades
, most notably in the
Fourth Crusade The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) was a Latin Christian , native_name_lang = la , image = San Giovanni in Laterano - Rome.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , alt = Façade of the Archbasilica of St. John in La ...
. However, Venice perceived Rome as an enemy and maintained high levels of religious and ideological independence personified by the
Patriarch of Venice The Patriarch of Venice ( la, Patriarcha Venetiarum; it, Patriarca di Venezia) is the ordinary Ordinary or The Ordinary often refer to: Music * Ordinary (EP), ''Ordinary'' (EP) (2015), by South Korean group Beast * Ordinary (Every Little Thing ...
Translatio patriarchalis Ecclesiae Graden. ad civitatem Venetiarum, cum suppressione tituli eiusdem Ecclesiae Gradensis
, in: ''Bullarum, diplomatum et privilegiorum sanctorum Romanorum pontificum Taurinensis editio'', vol. 5 (Turin: Franco et Dalmazzo, 1860), pp. 107–109.
and a highly developed independent publishing industry that served as a haven from Catholic censorship for many centuries. Venice achieved territorial conquests along the
Adriatic Sea The Adriatic Sea () is a body of water separating the from the . The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the , extending from the (where it connects to the ) to the northwest and the . The countries with coasts on the Adriatic are , , , , and ...

Adriatic Sea
. Venice became home to an extremely wealthy merchant class, who patronized renowned art and architecture along the city's lagoons. Venetian merchants were influential financiers in Europe. The city was also the birthplace of great European explorers, such as
Marco Polo Marco Polo (, , ; September 15, 1254January 8, 1324) was a Venetian merchant, explorer, and writer who travelled through Asia along the Silk Road The Silk Road was and is a network of trade routes connecting the Eastern world, East and W ...

Marco Polo
, as well as
Baroque The Baroque (, ; ) is a of , , , , and other arts that flourished in Europe from the early 17th century until the 1740s. In the territories of the Spanish and Portuguese empires including the Iberian Peninsula it continued, together with new s ...

Baroque
composers such as
Vivaldi Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (, ; ; 4 March 1678 – 28 July 1741) was an ItalianMichael Talbot and the Editors of the Encyclopædia Britannica, Baroque The Baroque (, ; ) is a Style (visual arts), style of Baroque architecture, architecture, ...

Vivaldi
and
Benedetto Marcello Benedetto Giacomo Marcello (; 31 July or 1 August 1686 – 24 July 1739) was an Italian composer, writer, advocate, magistrate, and teacher. Life Born in Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy ...

Benedetto Marcello
and famous painters such as the Renaissance master,
Titian Tiziano Vecelli or Vecellio (; 27 August 1576), known in English as Titian ( ), was an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Ital ...
. The republic was ruled by the
Doge A doge (; ; plural dogi or doges) was an elected lord and Chief of State in several Italian city-states, notably Venice and Genoa, during the medieval and renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. was a peri ...
, who was elected by members of the
Great Council of Venice The Great Council of Venice or Major Council ( it, Maggior Consiglio; vec, Mazor Consegio), originally the ''Consilium Sapientium'' (Latin for "Council of Wise Men"), was a political organ of the Republic of Venice The Republic of Venice ( it, ...
, the city-state's
parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (politics), representing the Election#Suffrage, electorate, making laws and overseeing the ...

parliament
, and ruled for life. The ruling class was an
oligarchy Oligarchy (; ) is a form of power structure A power structure is an overall system of influence between any individual and every other individual within any selected group of people. A description of a power structure would capture the way in w ...
of merchants and aristocrats. Venice and other Italian maritime republics played a key role in fostering capitalism. Venetian citizens generally supported the system of governance. The city-state enforced strict laws and employed ruthless tactics in its prisons. The opening of new trade routes to the Americas and the East Indies via the Atlantic Ocean marked the beginning of Venice's decline as a powerful maritime republic. The city state suffered defeats from the navy of the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th a ...
. In 1797, the republic was plundered by retreating Austrian and then French forces, following an invasion by
Napoleon Bonaparte Napoleon Bonaparte ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone di Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) r ...

Napoleon Bonaparte
, and the Republic of Venice was split into the Austrian Venetian Province, the
Cisalpine Republic The Cisalpine Republic ( it, Repubblica Cisalpina) was a sister republic of France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consisting of metrop ...
, a French client state, and the Ionian
French departments of Greece French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consistin ...
. Venice became part of a
unified Italy
unified Italy
in the 19th century.


Name

It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice ( it, Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia, vec, Serenìsima Repiovega Vèneta, or vec, Repiovega de Venesia) and is often referred to as ''La Serenissima'', in reference to its title as one of the "
Most Serene Republic Most Serene Republic ( la, Serenissima Respublica) is a title attached to a number of European states through history. By custom, the appellation "Most Serene" is an indicator of sovereignty (see also Serene Highness or Most Serene Highness for a ...
s".


History

During the 5th century,
northeast Italy Northeast Italy ( it, Italia nord-orientale or just ) is one of the five official statistical regions of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a North ...

northeast Italy
was devastated by the Germanic barbarian invasions. A large number of the inhabitants moved to the coastal
lagoon File:Kara-Bogaz Gol from space, September 1995.jpg, Garabogazköl, Garabogaz-Göl lagoon in Turkmenistan A lagoon is a shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by a narrow landform, such as reefs, barrier islands, barrier pen ...

lagoon
s, looking for a safer place to live. Here they established a collection of lagoon communities, stretching over about from
Chioggia Chioggia (; vec, Cióxa , locally ; la, Clodia) is a coastal town and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a basic Administrative division, constituent entity of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and funct ...

Chioggia
in the south to
Grado Grado may refer to: People * Cristina Grado (1939–2016), Italian film actress * Jonathan Grado (born 1991), American entrepreneur and photographer * Francesco De Grado (floruit, fl. 1694–1730), Italian engraver * Gaetano Grado, Italian mafios ...
in the north, who banded together for mutual defence from the
Lombards The Lombards () or Langobards ( la, Langobardi) were a Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mentioned by G ...
,
Huns The Huns were a nomadic people who lived in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Eastern Europe between the 4th and 6th century AD. According to European tradition, they were first reported living east of the Volga River, in an area that was part ...

Huns
, and other invading peoples as the power of the
Western Roman Empire The Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Roman Empire at any time during which they were administered by a separate independent Imperial court; in particular, this term is used in historiography to describe the period from ...

Western Roman Empire
dwindled in northern Italy. These communities were subjected to the authority of the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages ...

Byzantine Empire
. At some point in the first decades of the eighth century, the people of the
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It surviv ...
province of Venice elected their first leader
Ursus Ursus is Latin for bear. It may also refer to: Animals *Ursus (mammal), ''Ursus'' (mammal), a genus of bears People * Ursus of Aosta, 6th-century evangelist * Ursus of Auxerre, 6th-century bishop * Ursus of Solothurn, 3rd-century martyr * Ursus ( ...
(or Orso Ipato), who was confirmed by
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (), Tsargrad (), Qustantiniya (), Basileuousa ("Queen of Cities"), Megalopolis ("the Great City"), Πό ...

Constantinople
and given the titles of ''
hypatus ''Hypatos'' ( gr, ὕπατος; plural: , ''hypatoi'') and the variant ''apo hypatōn'' (, "former ''hypatos''", literally: "from among the consuls") was a Byzantine court dignity, originally the Greek translation of Latin Latin (, or , ) is ...
'' and ''
dux ''Dux'' (; plural: ''ducēs'') is Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the ...

dux
''. He was the first historical
Doge of Venice The Doge of Venice (; vec, Doxe de Venexia ; it, Doge di Venezia ; all derived from Latin ', "military leader"), sometimes translated as Duke (compare the Italian '), was the chief magistrate and leader of the Republic of Venice between 726 an ...
. Tradition, however, first attested in the early 11th century, states that the Venetians first proclaimed one
Anafestus Paulicius
Anafestus Paulicius
duke in 697, though this story dates to no earlier than the chronicle of John the Deacon. Whichever the case, the first doges had their power base in
HeracleaHeraclea, Heracleia, Herakleia, or Heraclia ( grc, Ἡράκλεια) may refer to: Places * Heraclea (island), in the Aegean Sea, today called Iraklia or Irakleia Ancient cities In Asia * Heraclea Cybistra, Konya Province, Turkey ** Ereğli, Kony ...

Heraclea
.


Rise

Ursus's successor, Deusdedit, moved his seat from Heraclea to
Malamocco Malamocco ( vec, Małamoco) was the first, and for a long time, the only settlement on the Lido of Venice barrier island Barrier islands are coastal landforms and a type of dune system that are exceptionally flat or lumpy areas of sand that ...
in the 740s. He was the son of Ursus and represented the attempt of his father to establish a dynasty. Such attempts were commonplace among the doges of the first few centuries of Venetian history, but all were ultimately unsuccessful. During the reign of Deusdedit, Venice became the only remaining Byzantine possession in the north, and the changing politics of the
Frankish Empire Francia, also called the Kingdom of the Franks ( la, Regnum Francorum), Frankish Kingdom, Frankland or Frankish Empire, was the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom A barbarian is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most popul ...

Frankish Empire
began to change the factional divisions within Venetia. One faction was decidedly pro-Byzantine. They desired to remain well connected to the Empire. Another faction, republican in nature, believed in continuing along a course towards practical independence. The other main faction was pro-Frankish. Supported mostly by clergy (in line with
papal The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Chr ...

papal
sympathies of the time), they looked towards the new
Carolingian The Carolingian dynasty (known variously as the Carlovingians, Carolingus, Carolings, Karolinger or Karlings) was a Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historica ...
king of the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within the ...

Franks
,
Pepin the Short Pepin the Short, also called the Younger (german: Pippin der Jüngere, french: Pépin le Bref, c. 714 – 24 September 768) was King of the Franks The Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples whose name was ...
, as the best provider of defence against the Lombards. A minor, pro-Lombard faction was opposed to close ties with any of these further-off powers and interested in maintaining peace with the neighbouring (and surrounding, but for the sea) Lombard kingdom. In that period, Venice had established for itself a thriving slave trade, buying in Italy, among other places, and selling to the Moors in Northern Africa (
Pope Zachary Pope Zachary ( la, Zacharias; 679 – March 752) was the bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversigh ...

Pope Zachary
himself reportedly forbade such traffic out of
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus Romulus was the legendary founder and first king of Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , fo ...

Rome
). When the sale of Christians to Muslims was banned following the ''
pactum Lotharii The ''Pactum Lotharii'' was an agreement signed on 23 February 840, between Republic of Venice The Republic of Venice ( it, Repubblica di Venezia; vec, Repùblega de Venèsia) or Venetian Republic ( it, Repubblica Veneta; vec, Repùblega Vène ...
'',Il ''pactum Lotharii'' del 840 Cessi, Roberto. (1939–1940) – In: Atti. Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, Classe di Scienze Morali e Lettere Ser. 2, vol. 99 (1939–40) p. 11–49 the Venetians began to sell Slavs and other Eastern European non-Christian slaves in greater numbers. Caravans of slaves traveled from Eastern Europe, through Alpine passes in Austria, to reach Venice. Surviving records valued female slaves at a '' tremissa'' (about 1.5 grams of gold or roughly of a
dinar The dinar () is the principal currency A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, literally meaning "running" or "traversing" in the most specific sense is money Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James Gillray c ...

dinar
) and male slaves, who were more numerous, at a ''saiga'' (which is much less).''Slavery, Slave Trade.'' ed. Strayer, Joseph R. Dictionary of the Middle Ages. Volume 11. New York: Scribner, 1982. MGH, Leges, Capitularia regum Francorum, II, ed. by A. Boretius, Hanovre, 1890, p. 250–25
(available on-line)
Eunuchs were especially valuable, and "castration houses" arose in Venice, as well as other prominent slave markets, to meet this demand.Jankowiak, Marek. Dirhams for slaves. Investigating the Slavic slave trade in the tenth centur

/ref>Mary A. Valante, "Castrating Monks: Vikings, the Slave Trade, and the Value of Eunuchs", in ''Castration and Culture in the Middle Ages'', ed. Larissa Trac

/ref> Indeed, Venice was far from the only Italian city engaged in the Slavery in medieval Europe, slave trade in Medieval Europe.


Early Middle Ages

The successors of Obelerio inherited a united Venice. By the ''
Pax Nicephori ''Pax Nicephori'', Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roma ...
'' (803–814), the two emperors had recognised that Venice belonged to the Byzantine sphere of influence. Many centuries later, the Venetians claimed that the treaty had recognised Venetian ''de facto'' independence, but the truth of this claim is doubted by modern scholars. A Byzantine fleet sailed to Venice in 807 and deposed the Doge, replacing him with a Byzantine governor. Nevertheless, during the reign of the Participazio family, Venice grew into its modern form. Though Heraclean by birth, Agnello, the first Participazio doge, was an early immigrant to Rialto and his dogeship was marked by the expansion of Venice towards the sea via the construction of bridges, canals, bulwarks, fortifications, and stone buildings. The modern Venice, at one with the sea, was being born. Agnello was succeeded by his son Giustiniano, who stole the remains of Saint Mark the Evangelist from
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asia ...

Alexandria
, took them to Venice, and made him the republic's
patron saint A patron saint, patroness saint, patron hallow or heavenly protector is a saint who in Catholic Church, Catholicism, Anglicanism, or Eastern Orthodoxy is regarded as the heavenly advocacy, advocate of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, c ...
. According to tradition, Saint Mark was the founder of the
Patriarchate of Aquileia The Patriarchate of Aquileia was an episcopal see in northeastern Italy, centred on the ancient city of Aquileia situated at the head of the Adriatic, on what is now the Italian seacoast. For many centuries it played an important part in history ...
. With the patriarch's flight to
Grado Grado may refer to: People * Cristina Grado (1939–2016), Italian film actress * Jonathan Grado (born 1991), American entrepreneur and photographer * Francesco De Grado (floruit, fl. 1694–1730), Italian engraver * Gaetano Grado, Italian mafios ...
after the Lombard invasion, the patriarchate split into two: one on the mainland, under the control of the Lombards and later the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within the ...

Franks
, and the other in
Grado Grado may refer to: People * Cristina Grado (1939–2016), Italian film actress * Jonathan Grado (born 1991), American entrepreneur and photographer * Francesco De Grado (floruit, fl. 1694–1730), Italian engraver * Gaetano Grado, Italian mafios ...
on the lagoons and the areas under Byzantine control. This would later become the
Patriarchate of Venice The Patriarchate of Venice ( la, Patriarchatus Venetiarum), also sometimes called the Archdiocese of Venice, is a Latin Church ecclesiastical territory or patriarchate, patriarchal archdiocese of the Catholic Church in Venice, Italy, Venice, Italy. ...
. With the apostle's reliquiae in its hands, Venice could again claim to be the rightful heir of Aquileia. In the Late Middle Ages, this would be the basis for legitimizing the seizure of the patriarchy's vast territories in
Friuli Friuli ( fur, Friûl) is an area of Northeast Italy with its own particular cultural and historical identity containing 1,000,000 Friulians. It comprises the major part of the autonomous region Friuli Venezia Giulia, i.e. the administrative Provin ...
and eastwards. During the reign of the successor of the Participazio,
Pietro Tradonico Pietro Tradonico ( la, Petrus Tradonicus; c. 800 - 13 September 864) was Doge of Venice from 836 to 864. He was, according to tradition, the thirteenth doge, though historically he is only the eleventh. His election broke the power of the Participa ...
, Venice began to establish its military might, which would influence many a later crusade and dominate the Adriatic for centuries. Tradonico secured the sea by fighting Narentine and
Saracen file:Erhard Reuwich Sarazenen 1486.png, upright 1.5, Late 15th century German woodcut depicting Saracens Saracens () were primarily Arab Muslims, but also Turkish people, Turks, Persian people, Persians or other Muslims as referred to by Christian ...
pirates. Tradonico's reign was long and successful (837–64), but he was succeeded by the Participazio and a dynasty appeared to have been finally established. Around 841, the Republic of Venice sent a fleet of 60 galleys (each carrying 200 men) to assist the Byzantines in driving the
Arabs The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technica ...

Arabs
from
Crotone Crotone (, ; nap, label= Crotonese, Cutrone or ) is a city and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a of , roughly equivalent to a or . Importance and function The provides essential public services: of births and deaths, , and maintena ...

Crotone
, but it failed.J. J. Norwich, ''A History of Venice'', p. 32. In 1000,
Pietro II Orseolo Pietro II Orseolo (961 − 1009) was the Doge of Venice from 991 to 1009. He began the period of eastern expansion of Venice that lasted for the better part of 500 years. He secured his influence in the Dalmatian Romanized settlements from the Cro ...
sent a fleet of 6 ships to defeat the Narentine pirates from
Dalmatia Dalmatia (; hr, Dalmacija ; it, Dalmazia; see #Name, names in other languages) is a region on the east shore of the Adriatic Sea, a narrow belt stretching from the island of Rab in the north to the Bay of Kotor in the south. The Dalmatian Hin ...

Dalmatia
.J. J. Norwich, ''A History of Venice'', p. 53.


High Middle Ages

In the
High Middle Ages The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical c ...
, Venice became extremely wealthy through its control of trade between Europe and the
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Levant
, and it began to expand into the
Adriatic Sea The Adriatic Sea () is a body of water separating the from the . The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the , extending from the (where it connects to the ) to the northwest and the . The countries with coasts on the Adriatic are , , , , and ...

Adriatic Sea
and beyond. In 1084,
Domenico Selvo Domenico Selvo (died 1087) was the 31st Doge of Venice, serving from 1071 to 1084. During his reign as Doge, his domestic policies, the alliances that he forged, and the battles that the Venice, Venetian military won and lost laid the foundations ...
personally led a fleet against the
Normans The Normans (Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of N ...

Normans
, but he was defeated and lost nine great
galley A galley is a type of ship A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep Sea lane, waterways, carrying goods or passengers, or in support of specialized missions, such as defense, research, and fis ...

galley
s, the largest and most heavily armed ships in the Venetian war
fleet Fleet may refer to: Vehicles *Fishing fleet A fishing fleet is an aggregate of commercial fishing Ship, vessels. The term may be used of all vessels operating out of a particular port, all vessels engaged in a particular type of fishing (as in t ...
.J. J. Norwich, ''A History of Venice'', p. 72. Venice was involved in the
Crusades The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The term refers especially to the Eastern Mediterranean campaigns in the period between 1095 and 1271 that h ...

Crusades
almost from the very beginning. Two hundred Venetian ships assisted in capturing the coastal cities of
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
after the
First Crusade The First Crusade (1096–1099) was the first of a series of religious wars, or Crusades, initiated, supported and at times directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The objective was the recovery of the Holy Land from Muslim conqu ...
. In 1110,
Ordelafo Faliero 200px, Coat-of-arms of Ordelafo Faliero. Ordelafo Faliero de Doni (or Dodoni) (died 1117 in Zadar ( it, Zara), Kingdom of Croatia (1102-1526), Kingdom of Croatia in personal union with Hungary) was the 34th Doge of Venice. Biography He was the s ...
personally commanded a Venetian fleet of 100 ships to assist
Baldwin I of Jerusalem Baldwin I also known as Baldwin of Boulogne (1060s – 2April 1118), was the first County of Edessa, count of Edessa from 1098 to 1100, and the first king of Jerusalem from 1100 to his death. Being the youngest son of Eustace II, Count of Boulogn ...

Baldwin I of Jerusalem
and Sigurd I Magnusson, king of
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...
in capturing the city of
Sidon Sidon ( ), known locally as Sayda or Saida ( ar, صيدا), is the third-largest city in Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western ...
(in present-day
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part ...

Lebanon
).J. J. Norwich, ''A History of Venice'', p. 83. In 1123, they were granted virtual autonomy in the
Kingdom of Jerusalem The Kingdom of Jerusalem ( la, Regnum Hierosolymitanum; fro, Roiaume de Jherusalem; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middl ...
through the ''
Pactum Warmundi The Pactum Warmundi was a treaty of alliance established in 1123 between the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem The Kingdom of Jerusalem ( la, Regnum Hierosolymitanum; fro, Roiaume de Jherusalem), also known as the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, was ...
''.J. J. Norwich, ''A History of Venice'', p. 77. The Venetians also gained extensive trading privileges in the Byzantine Empire during the 12th century, and their ships often provided the Empire with a navy. In 1182, a vicious anti-Western riot broke out in
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (), Tsargrad (), Qustantiniya (), Basileuousa ("Queen of Cities"), Megalopolis ("the Great City"), Πό ...

Constantinople
targeting Latins, and Venetians in particular. Many in the Empire had become jealous of Venetian power and influence, thus when the pretender
Andronikos I Komnenos Andronikos I Komnenos ( gr, Ἀνδρόνικος Κομνηνός;  – 12 September 1185), usually Latinized Latinisation or Latinization can refer to: * Latinisation of names, the practice of rendering a non-Latin name in a Latin style * ...

Andronikos I Komnenos
marched on the city, Venetian property was seized and the owners imprisoned or banished, an act which humiliated and angered the republic. In 1183, the city of ( hr, Zadar) successfully rebelled against Venetian rule. The city then put itself under the dual protection of the papacy and
Emeric, King of Hungary Emeric, also known as Henry or Imre ( hu, Imre, hr, Emerik, sk, Imrich; 117430 November 1204), was King of Hungary The King of Hungary ( hu, magyar király) was the Monarchy, ruling head of state of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1000 (or 1001) ...
. The Dalmatians separated from Hungary by a treaty in 1199, and they paid Hungary with a portion of
Macedonia Macedonia most commonly refers to: * North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia until February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe. It gained independence in ...
. In 1201, the city of Zara recognized Emeric as overlord. File:Tyre being blockaded by the Venetian fleet and besieged by Crusader knighthood.PNG, Siege of Tyre (1124) in the
Holy Land The Holy Land (: , la, Terra Sancta; : or ) is an area roughly located between the and the Eastern Bank of the . Traditionally, it is synonymous both with the biblical and with the . The term "Holy Land" usually refers to a territory ro ...

Holy Land
File:Crusaders attack Constantinople.jpg,
Siege of Constantinople (1203) The siege of Constantinople in 1203 was a Crusader Crusader or Crusaders may refer to: Military * Crusader, a participant in one of the Crusades * Convair NB-36H Crusader, an experimental nuclear-powered bomber * Crusader tank, a British ...
File:Marco Polo traveling.JPG, Voyage of
Marco Polo Marco Polo (, , ; September 15, 1254January 8, 1324) was a Venetian merchant, explorer, and writer who travelled through Asia along the Silk Road The Silk Road was and is a network of trade routes connecting the Eastern world, East and W ...

Marco Polo
into the Far East during the
Pax Mongolica The ''Pax Mongolica'' (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to b ...
File:Arsenale (Venice) - First Ancient Greek lion.jpg, The
Piraeus Lion The Piraeus Lion ( it, Leone del Pireo; sv, Pireuslejonet); is one of four lion The lion (''Panthera leo'') is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an org ...
in Venice, in front of the
Venetian Arsenal Entrance to the Arsenal ca. 1860–70. Photo by Venetian photographer Carlo Ponti The Venetian Arsenal ( it, Arsenale di Venezia) is a complex of former shipyard A shipyard (also called a dockyard) is a place where ships are built and re ...


13th century

The leaders of the
Fourth Crusade The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) was a Latin Christian , native_name_lang = la , image = San Giovanni in Laterano - Rome.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , alt = Façade of the Archbasilica of St. John in La ...
(1202–04) contracted with Venice to provide a fleet for transportation to the Levant. When the crusaders were unable to pay for the ships, Doge
Enrico Dandolo Enrico Dandolo (anglicised Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modifying foreign words, names, and phrases to make them easier to spell, pronounce, or understand ...

Enrico Dandolo
offered transport if the crusaders were to capture Zara, a city that had rebelled years ago and was a rival to Venice. Upon the capture of Zara, the crusade was again diverted, this time to Constantinople. The capture and sacking of Constantinople has been described as one of the most profitable and disgraceful sacks of a city in history.Phillips, ''The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople'', Introduction, xiii. The Venetians claimed much of the plunder, including the famous four bronze horses that were brought back to adorn
St Mark's Basilica The Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark ( it, Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco), commonly known as St Mark's Basilica ( it, Basilica di San Marco; vec, Baxéłega de San Marco), is the cathedral A cathedral is a churc ...

St Mark's Basilica
. Furthermore, in the subsequent partition of the Byzantine lands, Venice gained a great deal of territory in the
Aegean Sea The Aegean Sea ; tr, Ege Denizi is an elongated Bay, embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between Europe's Geography of Europe, Balkan peninsula and Asia's Anatolia peninsula. The sea has an area of some 215,000 square kilometres. In ...

Aegean Sea
, theoretically amounting to three-eighths of the Byzantine Empire. It also acquired the islands of
Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology ...

Crete
( Candia) and
Euboea Euboea (, ) or Evia (, ; el, Εύβοια Euboea (, ) or Evia (, ; el, Εύβοια ; grc, Εὔβοια ) is the second-largest List of islands of Greece, Greek island in area and population, after Crete. It is separated from Boeotia ...

Euboea
( Negroponte); the present core city of
Chania Chania ( el, Χανιά ; vec, La Canea) is a city in Greece and the capital of the Chania (regional unit), Chania regional unit. It lies along the north west coast of the island Crete, about west of Rethymno and west of Heraklion. The mun ...

Chania
on Crete is largely of Venetian construction, built atop the
ruins Ruins () are the remains of a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additiona ...

ruins
of the ancient city of
Cydonia Cydonia may refer to: Places and jurisdictions * Kydonia Kydonia or Cydonia (; grc, Κυδωνία; lat, Cydonia) was an ancient city-state on the northwest coast of the island of Crete. It is at the site of the modern-day Greek city of Chan ...
. The Aegean islands came to form the Venetian
Duchy of the Archipelago The Duchy of the Archipelago ( el, Δουκάτο του Αρχιπελάγους, it, Ducato dell'arcipelago), also known as Duchy of Naxos or Duchy of the Aegean, was a maritime state created by Republic of Venice, Venetian interests in the Cycl ...
. In ca. 1223/24, the then-, Gerard of Estreux declared himself prepared to acknowledge the suzerainty of the Republic of Venice over a part of his possessions. The Byzantine Empire was re-established in 1261 by Michael VIII Palaiologos, but never again recovered its previous power, and was eventually conquered by the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman Turks. The Republic of Venice fought the War of the Castle of Love against Padua and Treviso in 1215. It signed a trade treaty with the Mongol Empire in 1221. In 1295, Pietro Gradenigo sent a fleet of 68 ships to attack a Republic of Genoa, Genoese fleet at Alexandretta, then another fleet of 100 ships was sent to attack the Genoese in 1299.J. J. Norwich, ''A History of Venice'', p. 176–180. From 1350 to 1381, Venice fought an intermittent Venetian–Genoese Wars, war with the Genoese. Initially defeated, they devastated the Genoese fleet at the Battle of Chioggia in 1380 and retained their prominent position in eastern Mediterranean affairs at the expense of Genoa's declining empire. The Serrata del Maggior Consiglio ''(Great Council Lockout'') refers to the constitutional process, started with the 1297 Ordinance, by means of which membership of the
Great Council of Venice The Great Council of Venice or Major Council ( it, Maggior Consiglio; vec, Mazor Consegio), originally the ''Consilium Sapientium'' (Latin for "Council of Wise Men"), was a political organ of the Republic of Venice The Republic of Venice ( it, ...
became an hereditary title. Since it was the Great Council that had the right to elect the Doge, the 1297 Ordinance marked a relevant change in the constitution of the Republic. This resulted in the exclusion of minor aristocrats and plebeian from participating in the government of the Republic.


14th century

In 1363, the revolt of Saint Titus against Venetian rule broke out in the overseas colony of Candia (Crete). It was a joint effort of Venetian colonists and Cretan nobles who attempted to create an independent state. Venice sent a multinational mercenary army which soon regained control of the major cities. However, Venice was not able to fully reconquer Crete until 1368. By the end of the 14th century, Venice had acquired mainland possessions in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding it, whose territory largely coincides with the . Italy is located in the centre of th ...

Italy
, annexing Mestre and Vittorio Veneto, Serravalle in 1337, Treviso and Bassano del Grappa in 1339, Oderzo in 1380, and Vittorio Veneto, Ceneda in 1389.


15th century: The expansion in the mainland

In the early 15th century, the republic began to expand onto the ''Domini di Terraferma, Terraferma.'' Thus, Vicenza, Belluno, and Feltre were acquired in 1404, and Padua, Verona, and Este, Veneto, Este in 1405. Venice expanded as well along the
Dalmatia Dalmatia (; hr, Dalmacija ; it, Dalmazia; see #Name, names in other languages) is a region on the east shore of the Adriatic Sea, a narrow belt stretching from the island of Rab in the north to the Bay of Kotor in the south. The Dalmatian Hin ...

Dalmatia
n coast from Istria to
Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or Shqipëria), officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It is located on the Adriatic Sea, Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Medite ...

Albania
, which was acquired from King Ladislaus of Naples during the civil war in Hungary. Ladislaus was about to lose the conflict and had decided to escape to Naples, but before doing so, he agreed to sell his now practically forfeit rights on the Dalmatian cities for the reduced sum of 100,000 ducats. Venice exploited the situation and quickly installed nobility to govern the area, for example, Count Filippo Stipanov in Zara. This move by the Venetians was a response to the threatening expansion of Giangaleazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan. Control over the northeast main land routes was also a necessity for the safety of the trades. By 1410, Venice had a navy of 3,300 ships (manned by 36,000 men) and taken over most of what is now the Veneto, including the cities of Verona (which swore its loyalty in the Devotion of Verona to Venice in 1405) and Padua.J. J. Norwich, ''A History of Venice'', p. 269. The situation in Dalmatia had been settled in 1408 by a truce with King Sigismund of Hungary, but the difficulties of Hungary finally granted to the republic the consolidation of its Adriatic dominions. At the expiration of the truce in 1420, Venice immediately invaded the Patriarchate of Aquileia (State), Patriarchate of Aquileia, and subjected Trogir, Traù, Split (city), Spalato, Durrës, Durazzo, and other Dalmatian cities. In Lombardy, Venice acquired Brescia in 1426, Bergamo in 1428, and Cremona in 1499. Slaves were plentiful in the Italian city-states as late as the 15th century. Between 1414 and 1423, some 10,000 slavery, slaves, imported from Caffa, were sold in Venice. In 1454, a Conspiracy of Sifis Vlastos, conspiracy for a planned rebellion against Venice was dismantled in Candia. The conspiracy was led by Sifis Vlastos as an opposition to the religious reforms for the unification of Churches agreed at the Council of Florence. In 1481, Venice retook nearby Rovigo, which it had held previously from 1395 to 1438; in February 1489, the island of
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or politi ...

Cyprus
, previously a crusader state (the Kingdom of Cyprus), was added to Venice's holdings.


League of Cambrai, the loss of Cyprus, and Battle of Lepanto

The
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th a ...
started sea campaigns as early as 1423, when it waged a seven-year war with the Venetian Republic over maritime control of the Aegean Sea, Aegean, the Ionian Sea, Ionian, and the Adriatic Seas. The wars with Venice resumed after the Ottomans captured the Siege of Jajce, Kingdom of Bosnia in 1463, and lasted until a favorable peace treaty was signed in 1479 just after the troublesome siege of Shkodra. In 1480 (now no longer hampered by the Venetian fleet), the Ottomans Siege of Rhodes (1480), besieged Rhodes and Battle of Otranto, briefly captured Otranto. By 1490, the population of Venice had risen to about 180,000 people.J. J. Norwich, ''A History of Venice'', p. 494. Turkish-Venetian War (1499-1503), War with the Ottomans resumed from 1499 to 1503. In 1499, Venice allied itself with Louis XII of France against Duchy of Milan, Milan, gaining Cremona. In the same year, the Ottoman sultan moved to attack Nafpaktos, Lepanto by land, and sent a large fleet to support his offensive by sea. Antonio Grimani, more a businessman and diplomat than a sailor, was defeated in the sea battle of Zonchio in 1499. The Turks once again sacked
Friuli Friuli ( fur, Friûl) is an area of Northeast Italy with its own particular cultural and historical identity containing 1,000,000 Friulians. It comprises the major part of the autonomous region Friuli Venezia Giulia, i.e. the administrative Provin ...
. Preferring peace to total war both against the Turks and by sea, Venice surrendered the bases of Lepanto, Durrës, Durazzo, Methoni, Messenia, Modon, and Koroni, Coron. Venice's attention was diverted from its usual maritime position by the delicate situation in Romagna, then one of the richest lands in Italy, which was nominally part of the Papal States, but effectively divided into a series of small lordships which were difficult for Rome's troops to control. Eager to take some of Venice's lands, all neighbouring powers joined in the League of Cambrai in 1508, under the leadership of Pope Julius II. The pope wanted Romagna; Emperor Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I:
Friuli Friuli ( fur, Friûl) is an area of Northeast Italy with its own particular cultural and historical identity containing 1,000,000 Friulians. It comprises the major part of the autonomous region Friuli Venezia Giulia, i.e. the administrative Provin ...
and Veneto; Spain: the Apulian ports; the king of France: Cremona; the king of Hungary: Dalmatia, and each one some of another's part. The offensive against the huge army enlisted by Venice was launched from France. On 14 May 1509, Venice was crushingly defeated at the battle of Agnadello, in the Ghiara d'Adda, marking one of the most delicate points in Venetian history. French and imperial troops were occupying Veneto, but Venice managed to extricate itself through diplomatic efforts. The Apulian ports were ceded in order to come to terms with Spain, and Pope Julius II soon recognized the danger brought by the eventual destruction of Venice (then the only Italian power able to face kingdoms like France or empires like the Ottomans). The citizens of the mainland rose to the cry of "Marco, Marco", and Andrea Gritti recaptured Padua in July 1509, successfully defending it against the besieging imperial troops. Spain and the pope broke off their alliance with France, and Venice regained Brescia and Verona from France, also. After seven years of ruinous war, the Serenissima regained its mainland dominions west to the Adda River. Although the defeat had turned into a victory, the events of 1509 marked the end of the Venetian expansion. In 1489, the first year of Venetian control of Cyprus, Turks attacked the Karpasia Peninsula, pillaging and taking captives to be sold into slavery. In 1539, the Turkish fleet attacked and destroyed Limassol. Fearing the ever-expanding Ottoman Empire, the Venetians had fortified Famagusta, Nicosia, and Kyrenia, but most other cities were easy prey. By 1563, the population of Venice had dropped to about 168,000 people. In the summer of 1570, the Turks struck again, but this time with a Ottoman–Venetian War (1570–1573), full-scale invasion rather than a raid. About 60,000 troops, including cavalry and artillery, under the command of Lala Kara Mustafa Pasha, Mustafa Pasha landed unopposed near Limassol on 2 July 1570, and laid siege to Nicosia. In an orgy of victory on the day that the city fell – 9 September 1570 – 20,000 Nicosians were put to death, and every church, public building, and palace was looted. Word of the massacre spread, and a few days later, Mustafa took Kyrenia without having to fire a shot. Famagusta, however, resisted and put up a defense that lasted from September 1570 until August 1571. The fall of Famagusta marked the beginning of the Ottoman period in Cyprus. Two months later, the naval forces of the Holy League (Mediterranean), Holy League, composed mainly of Venetian, Spanish Empire, Spanish, and Papal states, papal ships under the command of Don John of Austria, defeated the Turkish fleet at the Battle of Lepanto (1571), Battle of Lepanto. Despite victory at sea over the Turks, Cyprus remained under Ottoman rule for the next three centuries. By 1575, the population of Venice was about 175,000 people, but partly as a result of the plague of 1575–76 dropped to 124,000 people by 1581.


17th century

According to economic historian Jan De Vries, Venice's economic power in the Mediterranean had declined significantly by the start of the 17th century. De Vries attributes this decline to the loss of the spice trade, a declining uncompetitive textile industry, competition in book publishing due to a rejuvenated Catholic Church, the adverse impact of the Thirty Years' War on Venice's key trade partners, and the increasing cost of cotton and silk imports to Venice. In 1606, a conflict between Venice and the Holy See began with the arrest of two clerics accused of petty crimes, and with a law restricting the Church's right to enjoy and acquire landed property. Pope Paul V held that these provisions were contrary to canon law, and demanded that they be repealed. When this was refused, he placed Venice under an papal interdict, interdict. The Republic paid no attention to the interdict or the act of excommunication, and ordered its priests to carry out their ministry. It was supported in its decisions by the Servite monk Paolo Sarpi, a sharp polemical writer who was nominated to be the Signoria's adviser on theology and canon law in 1606. The interdict was lifted after a year, when France intervened and proposed a formula of compromise. Venice was satisfied with reaffirming the principle that no citizen was superior to the normal processes of law. The latter half of the 17th century also had prolonged wars with the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th a ...
; in the Cretan War (1645–1669), after a heroic siege that lasted 24 years, Venice lost its major overseas possession, the island of Crete, while it made some advances in Dalmatia. In 1684, however, taking advantage of the Ottoman involvement against Austria in the Great Turkish War, the republic initiated the Morean War, which lasted until 1699 and in which it was able to conquer the Morea peninsula in southern Greece.


18th century: decline

These gains did not last, however; in December 1714, the Turks began the last Turkish–Venetian War (1714–1718), Turkish–Venetian War, when the Morea was "without any of those supplies which are so desirable even in countries where aid is near at hand which are not liable to attack from the sea". The Turks took the islands of Tinos and Aegina, crossed the isthmus, and took Corinth. Daniele Dolfin, commander of the Venetian fleet, thought it better to save the fleet than risk it for the Morea. When he eventually arrived on the scene, Nauplia, Modon, Corone, and Malvasia had fallen. Levkas in the Ionian islands, and the bases of Spinalonga and Souda, Suda on Crete, which still remained in Venetian hands, were abandoned. The Turks finally landed on Corfu, but its defenders managed to throw them back. In the meantime, the Turks had suffered a grave defeat by the Habsburg Monarchy, Austrians in the Battle of Petrovaradin on 5 August 1716. Venetian naval efforts in the
Aegean Sea The Aegean Sea ; tr, Ege Denizi is an elongated Bay, embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between Europe's Geography of Europe, Balkan peninsula and Asia's Anatolia peninsula. The sea has an area of some 215,000 square kilometres. In ...

Aegean Sea
and the Dardanelles in 1717 and 1718, however, met with little success. With the Treaty of Passarowitz (21 July 1718), Austria made large territorial gains, but Venice lost the Morea, for which its small gains in Ottoman Albania, Albania and Dalmatia were little compensation. This was the last war with the Ottoman Empire. By the year 1792, the once-great Venetian merchant fleet had declined to a mere 309 cargo ship, merchantmen.J. J. Norwich, ''A History of Venice'', p. 591. Although Venice declined as a seaborne empire, it remained in possession of its continental domain north of the Po (river), Po Valley, extending west almost to Milan. Many of its cities benefited greatly from the ''Pax Venetiae'' (Venetian peace) throughout the 18th century.


Fall

By 1796, the Republic of Venice could no longer defend itself since its war fleet numbered only four
galley A galley is a type of ship A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep Sea lane, waterways, carrying goods or passengers, or in support of specialized missions, such as defense, research, and fis ...

galley
s and seven galliots.J. J. Norwich, ''A History of Venice'', p. 615. In spring 1796, Piedmont fell, and the Austrians were beaten from Montenotte Department, Montenotte to Lodi, Lombardy, Lodi. The army under Napoleon, Bonaparte crossed the frontiers of neutral Venice in pursuit of the enemy. By the end of the year, the French troops were occupying the Venetian state up to the Adige. Vicenza, Cadore and Friuli were held by the Austrians. With the campaigns of the next year, Napoleon aimed for the Austrian possessions across the Alps. In the preliminaries to the Treaty of Leoben, Peace of Leoben, the terms of which remained secret, the Austrians were to take the Venetian possessions in the Balkans as the price of peace (18 April 1797) while France acquired the Lombardy, Lombard part of the State. After Napoleon's ultimatum, Ludovico Manin, Doge Ludovico Manin surrendered unconditionally on 12 May, and abdication, abdicated, while the Major Council declared the end of the republic. According to Bonaparte's orders, the public powers passed to a provisional municipality under the French military governor. On 17 October, France and Austria signed the Treaty of Campo Formio, agreeing to share all the territory of the ancient republic, with a new border just west of the Adige River. Italian democrats, especially young poet Ugo Foscolo, viewed the treaty as a betrayal. The metropolitan part of the disbanded republic became an Austrian territory, under the name of Venetian Province (''Provincia Veneta'' in Italian, ''Provinz Venedig'' in German).


Legacy

Though the economic vitality of the Venetian Republic had started to decline since the 16th century due to the movement of international trade towards the Atlantic, its political regime still appeared in the 18th century as a model for the philosophers of the Age of Enlightenment, enlightenment. File:Zadar PortaTerraferma.jpg, Relief of the Venetian Lion on the Landward Gate in Zara (Zadar), capital of the Venetian Dalmatia File:Poreč005.jpg, Relief of the Venetian Lion in Parenzo (Poreč) File:Piazza dei Signori (Vicenza) - Statue of the Lion of Saint Mark.jpg, Vicenza, Piazza dei Signori, Vicenza, Piazza dei Signori. File:Udine-colonna del Leone marciano di piazza Libertà.jpg, Udine, Piazza Libertà. File:Fotothek-df ge 0000212-Verona.jpg, Piazza delle Erbe, Verona File:PA130122.JPG, Relief of the Venetian Lion in Cattaro (Kotor) File:Venitian_Fortress_of_Koules_-_Lion.jpg, Relief of the Venetian Lion in Candia (Heraklion) File:Frangokastello Kastell - Eingangstor Löwe.jpg, Relief of the Venetian Lion in Frangokastello,
Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology ...

Crete
File:Venetian blazon in Corfu.jpg, Venetian blazon with the Lion of Saint Mark, as frequently found on the New Fortress walls, Corfu.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was hired in July 1743 as Secretary by comte de Montaigu, who had been named Ambassador of the French in Venice. This short experience, nevertheless, awakened the interest of Rousseau to the policy, which led him to design a large book of political philosophy. After the ''Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men'' (1755), he published ''The Social Contract'' (1762).


Government

In the early years of the republic, the
Doge of Venice The Doge of Venice (; vec, Doxe de Venexia ; it, Doge di Venezia ; all derived from Latin ', "military leader"), sometimes translated as Duke (compare the Italian '), was the chief magistrate and leader of the Republic of Venice between 726 an ...
ruled Venice in an autocracy, autocratic fashion, but later his powers were limited by the ''promissione ducale'', a pledge he had to take when elected. As a result, powers were shared with the ''Maggior Consiglio'' or Great Council of Venice, Great Council, composed of 480 members taken from patrician families, so that in the words of Marino Sanuto the Younger, Marin Sanudo, "[The Doge] could do nothing without the Great Council and the Great Council could do nothing without him". Venice followed a mixed government model, combining monarchy in the doge, aristocracy in the senate, republic of Rialto families in the major council, and a democracy in the concio (Venice), concio. Machiavelli considered it "excellent among modern republics" (unlike his native Republic of Florence, Florence). In the 12th century, the aristocratic families of Rialto further diminished the doge's powers by establishing the Minor Council (1175), composed of the six ducal councillors, and the Council of Forty or ''Quarantia'' (1179) as a supreme tribunal. In 1223, these institutions were combined into the ''Signoria of Venice, Signoria'', which consisted of the doge, the Minor Council, and the three leaders of the ''Quarantia''. The Signoria was the central body of government, representing the continuity of the republic as shown in the expression: "si è morto il Doge, no la Signoria" ("If the Doge is dead, the Signoria is not"). During the late 14th and early 15th centuries, the Signoria was supplemented by a number of boards of ''savii'' ("wise men"): the six ''savii del consiglio'', who formulated and executed government policy; the five ''savii di terraferma'', responsible for military affairs and the defence of the Terraferma; and the five ''savii ai ordini'', responsible for the navy, commerce, and the Stato da Mar, overseas territories. Together, the Signoria and the ''savii'' formed the Full College (''Pien Collegio''), the ''de facto'' executive body of the Republic. In 1229, the ''Consiglio dei Pregadi'' or Senate, was formed, being 60 members elected by the major council.''Catholic Encyclopedia'',
Venice
, p. 602.
These developments left the doge with little personal power and put actual authority in the hands of the Great Council. In 1310, a Council of Ten was established, becoming the central political body whose members operated in secret. Around 1600, its dominance over the major council was considered a threat and efforts were made in the council and elsewhere to reduce its powers, with limited success. In 1454, the Supreme Tribunal of the three state inquisitors was established to guard the security of the republic. By means of espionage, counterespionage, internal surveillance, and a network of informers, they ensured that Venice did not come under the rule of a single "signore", as many other Italian cities did at the time. One of the inquisitors – popularly known as ''Il Rosso'' ("the red one") because of his scarlet robe – was chosen from the Doge's councillors, two – popularly known as ''I negri'' ("the black ones") because of their black robes – were chosen from the Council of Ten. The Supreme Tribunal gradually assumed some of the powers of the Council of Ten. In 1556, the ''provveditori ai beni inculti'' were also created for the improvement of agriculture by increasing the area under cultivation and encouraging private investment in agricultural improvement. The consistent rise in the price of grain during the 16th century encouraged the transfer of capital from trade to the land.


Military

During the Medieval period, the republic's military was composed of the following elements: #''Forza ordinaria'' (ordinary force), the oarsmen drafted from the citizens of the City of Venice; everyone from the age of 20–70 was obligated to serve in it. However, generally only a twelfth was active. #''Forza sussidiaria'' (subsidiary force), the military force drawn from Venice's overseas possessions. #''Forza straordinaria'' (extraordinary force), the mercenary part of the army; Venetian galleys tended to employ thirty mercenary crossbowmen. With the rise of scutage, it became the dominant element of the Venetian military. In the early modern period, the Republic's military strength was well out of proportion with its demographic weight. In the late 16th century, it ruled over a population of about 2 million people throughout its empire. In 1571, while preparing for war against the Ottomans, the Republic had 37,000 soldiers and 140 galleys (manned by tens of thousands of sailors and oarsmen), excluding urban militias. The Venetian peacetime army strength of 9,000 was able to quadruple in the course of a few months by drawing upon professional hired soldiers and territorial militias simultaneously. These troops generally showed marked technical superiority over their primarily Turkish opponents, as demonstrated in battles such as the 18-month Siege of Famagusta, in which the Venetians inflicted outsized casualties and only were defeated when they exhausted their gunpowder. Like other states of the period, the Republic's military strength peaked during wars, only to quickly go back to peacetime levels due to costs. The level of garrisons stabilized after 1577 at 9,000, with 7,000 infantry and the rest cavalry. In 1581 there were 146 galleys and 18 galleasses in the navy, requiring a third of the Republic's revenue.Gregory Hanlon. "The Twilight Of A Military Tradition: Italian Aristocrats And European Conflicts, 1560-1800." Routledge: 1997. Pages 19-20, 25, 87. During the Cretan War (1645-1669), the Republic fought mostly alone against the undivided attention of the Ottoman Empire, and though it lost, managed to keep fighting after losing 62,000 troops in the attrition, while inflicting about 240,000 losses on the Ottoman army and sinking hundreds of Ottoman ships. The cost of the war was ruinous, but the Republic was eventually able to cover it. The Morean War further confirmed the Republic's position as a military power well into the late 17th century. Venetian military strength underwent a terminal decline in the 18th century. The combined effect of prolonged peace and the abandonment of military careers by patricians meant that Venetian military culture ossified. Its army in that period was poorly maintained. The troops, serving under non-martial officers, were not regularly drilled and worked various odd jobs to supplement their salaries. Its navy did not decline to as drastic a degree, but still never came close to its relative power in the 16th and 17th centuries. In a normal 18th century year there were about 20 ships of the line (each of 64 or 70 cannons), 10 frigates, 20 galleys, and 100 small craft, which mostly participated in patrols and punitive expeditions against Barbary corsairs. When Napoleon invaded in 1796, the Republic surrendered without a fight.Hanlon, p. 176-177.


Economy

The republic of Venice was active in the production and trading of salt, salted products, and other products along trade routes established by the salt trade. Venice produced its own salt at
Chioggia Chioggia (; vec, Cióxa , locally ; la, Clodia) is a coastal town and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a basic Administrative division, constituent entity of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and funct ...

Chioggia
by the seventh century for trade, but eventually moved on to buying and establishing salt production throughout the Eastern Mediterranean. Venetian merchants bought salt and acquired salt production from Egypt, Algeria, the Crimean peninsula, Sardinia, Ibiza, Crete, and Cyprus. The establishment of these trade routes also allow Venetian merchants to pick up other valuable cargo, such as Indian spices, from these ports for trade. They then sold or supplied salt and other goods to cities in the Po Valley - Piacenza, Parma, Reggio Emilia, Reggio, Bologna, among others - in exchange for salami, prosciutto, cheese, soft wheat, and other goods. The Golden Bull of 1082, issued by Alexios I Komnenos in return for their defense of the
Adriatic Sea The Adriatic Sea () is a body of water separating the from the . The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the , extending from the (where it connects to the ) to the northwest and the . The countries with coasts on the Adriatic are , , , , and ...

Adriatic Sea
against the
Normans The Normans (Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of N ...

Normans
, granted Venetian merchants with duty-free trading rights, exempt from tax, throughout the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages ...

Byzantine Empire
in 23 of the most important Byzantine ports, guaranteed them property-right protections from Byzantine administrators, and given them buildings and wharfs within Constantinople. These concessions greatly expanded Venetian trading activity throughout the Eastern Mediterranean.


Heraldry

The winged Lion of St. Mark, which had appeared on the Republic's Flag of the Republic of Venice, flag and coat of arms, is still featured in the red-yellow flag of the city of Venice (which has six tails, one for each ''sestiere, sestier'' of the city), in the coat of arms of the city and in the yellow-red-blue flag of Veneto (which has seven tails representing the seven provinces of the region). The winged lion also appears in the naval ensign of the Italian Republic, alongside the coat of arms of three other medieval Italian maritime republics (Republic of Genoa, Genoa, Republic of Pisa, Pisa, and Republic of Amalfi, Amalfi).


See also


References


Citations


Sources


Primary sources

* Contarini, Gasparo (1599). ''The Commonwealth and Government of Venice''. Lewes Lewkenor, translator. London: "Imprinted by I. Windet for E. Mattes". The most important contemporary account of Venice's governance during the time of its blossoming; numerous reprint editions
online facsimile


Secondary sources

* * Brown, Patricia Fortini (2004). ''Private Lives in Renaissance Venice: art, architecture, and the family''. * Chambers, D. S. (1970). ''The Imperial Age of Venice, 1380–1580.'' London: Thames & Hudson. The best brief introduction in English, still completely reliable. * Drechsler, Wolfgang (2002). ''Venice Misappropriated''. ''Trames'' 6(2):192–201. A scathing review of Martin & Romano 2000; also a good summary on the most recent economic and political thought on Venice. * Garrett, Martin (2006). ''Venice: a Cultural History''. Revised edition of ''Venice: a Cultural and Literary Companion'' (2001). * Grubb, James S. (1986). ''When Myths Lose Power: Four Decades of Venetian Historiography''. ''Journal of Modern History'' 58, pp. 43–94. The classic "muckraking" essay on the myths of Venice. * Howard, Deborah, and Sarah Quill (2004). ''The Architectural History of Venice''. * Hale, John Rigby (1974). ''Renaissance Venice''. . * * Frederic C. Lane, Lane, Frederic Chapin (1973). ''Venice: Maritime Republic''. . A standard scholarly history with an emphasis on economic, political and diplomatic history. * Laven, Mary (2002). ''Virgins of Venice: Enclosed Lives and Broken Vows in the Renaissance Convent''. The most important study of the life of Renaissance nuns, with much on aristocratic family networks and the life of women more generally. * Mallett, M. E. and Hale, J. R. (1984). ''The Military Organisation of a Renaissance State, Venice c. 1400 to 1617''. . * Martin, John Jeffries and Dennis Romano (eds.) (2002). ''Venice Reconsidered: The History and Civilization of an Italian City-State, 1297–1797.'' Johns Hopkins UP. The most recent collection on essays, many by prominent scholars, on Venice. * Melisseides Ioannes A. (2010), ''E epibiose:odoiporiko se chronus meta ten Alose tes Basileusas (1453–1605 peripu)'', (in Greek), epim.Pulcheria Sabolea-Melisseide, Ekd.Vergina Athens, (Worldcat, Greek National Bibliography 9217/10, Regesta Imperii, etc.), p. 91–108, * Muir, Edward (1981). ''Civic Ritual in Renaissance Venice.'' Princeton UP. The classic of Venetian cultural studies, highly sophisticated. * * Prelli, Alberto. ''Sotto le bandiere di San Marco, le armate della Serenissima nel '600'', Itinera Progetti, Bassano del Grappa, 2012 * Rosand, David (2001). ''Myths of Venice: The Figuration of a State''. How foreign writers have understood Venice and its art. * Tafuri, Manfredo (1995). ''Venice and the Renaissance''. On Venetian architecture. * Tafel, Gottlieb Lukas Friedrich, and Georg Martin Thomas (1856).
Urkunden zur älteren Handels- und Staatsgeschichte der Republik Venedig
'. * Tomaz, Luigi (2007). ''Il confine d'Italia in Istria e Dalmazia''. Foreword by Arnaldo Mauri. Conselve: Think ADV. * Tomaz, Luigi. ''In Adriatico nel secondo millennio''. Foreword by Arnaldo Mauri. * Tomaz, Luigi (2001). ''In Adriatico nell'antichità e nell'alto medioevo''. Foreword by Arnaldo Mauri. Conselve: Think ADV.


External links







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