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Thread: The Winged Lions of the Mediterranean

  1. #1

    The Winged Lions of the Mediterranean

    The Venetian History Rewrited

    I) Prologue

    1. The Ancient Times

    Vèneto takes his name from the population that occupied this territory roughly 1000 b.C., and that came, it appears, from Central Asia together with other indoeuropean populations. The etimology of the word means "noble" or also "shining," being an honorary name rather than an etnic description. In fact there are quite a few places in Europe were this root-name is found, in particular France, Austria, Brittany, Wales, the Baltics and some Slavic areas.

    The first time the etnic name "venet" is found is on a stone in Isola Vicentina, on which it can be read "Venetkens (venet kin, race)" and dates around the 4th century b.C. There is also a myth which traces the origin of Rome to the town Venetulan, of which however, nothing else is known. It's however probable that the root of the Venet name does not indicates a unique population, but a honorary title used in several populations of indoeuropean language.

    Without doubt, any name they used to be called, they were not the first population to live in what is currently Veneto, and they shared the territory in patches as it is often the case in ancient times. Without doubt theer were pre-indoeuropean populations already present, as teh Euganei, in honor of whom the hills by Padua are now called. Also, teh name of the town Abano appears to be of pre-indoeuropean etimology.

    There is also a mythical story on the origins of the Venets, which according to ancient accounts, they came from Paflagonia, a region located in today's northern Turkey on the Black Sea. Homer talks about the Venets, and so do the Greeks using the name "Henetoi". Roman historians claim that their leader was Antenore, originary of Troy. It is possible, however, that this tradition was made up to celebrate the friendship between Venets and Romans.

    There were close relations between the Venets and teh Greek world: in fact, for sure the Greeks traded abundantly with populations of the Adriatic coast, and in particular the main commercial hub was the port of Adria. There is also a tradition of an incursion lead by king Cleonimo which was fought back by the Venets, and the myth of the Argonauts mentions the Venet area as well. The Venets were since then a maritime population and they were reknown for their navigational skills, a characteristic that perhaps draws a link between the Venets of the Adriatic to the Celtic population in Brittany (who defeated by Caesar had to disclose the routes to the British Isles). If there was a relationship between the Venets of the Adriatic and those of Brittany, it is possible that some roots of the ancient venetic language are present in the Breton spoken in the area of Vannetais (the ancient stronghold of the celtic venets) where the Breton there has some differences with the rest of the region.

    Regarding religion of the Venets in the Adriatic it is documented that they worshiped the goddess Reitia, who is represented with an egg and with a a key on her hand. Her name, according to Prosdocimi, has the same roots as the Spartan Goddess Ortia, which is similar also for the type of worship (donations of bronze tools). It is possible that the worship of Reitia has then been transformed in that of Juno. There is an account by Tito Livio (ancient historian of Veneto) that there was a temple dediacted to Juno in Padua of the 4th century b.C. (from which the apparent link betwwen Juno and Reitia). The worship of Reitia was also found in Cadore under the name Ludera (meaning free), and it was also linked to otehr two feminine divinities (Pora and Veica). The greek hero Diomede was also worshiped as the mythical founder of teh city of Adria, from which the Adriatic sea took its name. In honor of Diomede white horses were sacrificed at the mouth of the river Timavo.

    Horses were another identifying sign of ancient Venets, since they were reknown throughout the ancient world for their horse-breeding. Horses were also considered among some indoeuropean populations as a link with life afterdeath.

    Findings in sacred grounds include also letters divided in sixteen squares (sacred number also for the Etrurians, being the product of four by four). It is also posible that these tables were used to teach or for ritual purposes. The alphabet used was of etrurian origins with bustrofic scripts (meaning that the letters went from right to left and then from left to right on the next line). In fact the archeological findings are quite numerous. They are tables, coins, and inscriptions (usually very short that do not consent to learn more about the venetic language.

    It is possible instead to say that ancient Venets traded metals and in particular gold. Many archeological findings areare still happening nowadays, especially in the cities of paleo-venet origins like Este, Pàdua, Odèrzo, Adria, Vicénza, Verona, Altìno, but also Carìnzia, on the "amber road", a mineral coming from the baltic area. Since the Romans and the Venets were in good relations (except perhaps few marginal episodes) Venet integration in Roman society was gradual and easy. THe historian Tito Livio and the architect Vitruvio were Venets, and the latter in particular had a influencial impact on architecture. According to some recent thesis, the centurization (the method of dividing arable land) was invented by the Venets, and perhaps it was the outcome of ancient methods based on the measurement of places and land based on celestial reference points. According to a recent book "Italian Archeoastronomy" by Romano a great number of geographical places in Veneto support this thesis, and advances the theory that centurization was actually invented by the venets and then adopted by the Romans

    Finally, a bit of religious tradition of the ancient venets has remained today in the local folklore of the Pallidi Mounts in the Dolomites, as recounted by the German F. Wolff.

    (Bibliography from site www.veneto.org)

  2. #2
    2. Origins

    The inhabitants of the lagoon in the 6th century seem to have been boatmen, fishermen and salt workers, according to a letter by Cassiodorus (537-38), in which he urged them to supply Ravenna.

    "Like waterfowl," he wrote, their houses were "now on land, now on sea," and main source of income was salt, for "the man yet to be born who does not want salt ..." The Longobard invasion of Italy in 568 and their occupation of the Roman (i.e. Byzantine) of Venetia, eventually reduced to no more than lagoon from Cavarzere to Grado, forced fresh groups of people to take refuge there. When the capital, Oderzo, fell in 639, the Byzantine transferred his seat to Cittanova on the lagoon, naming it Heracliana or Heraclea (after the emperor Heraclius). The foundation inscription of church of Santa Maria in Torcello dates from years, citing as it does the emperor Heraclius, Isaac, exarch of the Italian diocese, whose seat was at Ravenna, and the local governor, Maurizio. Venetia was on the fringe of the Byzantine Roman empire.

    697 The first doge:

    According to Venetian historical traditions, Venice was independent of Byzantium from the first, and the first doge or duke, Paoluccio Anafesto (or more commonly, Paulicius) was elected in 697. Roberto Cessi's rather more critical assessment identifies this figure with Paul, exarch of Ravenna.

    727-740 Rebellion and reconciliation:

    Pope Gregory II opposed the extension to Italy of the edict of the iconoclast emperor Leo III "the Isaurian" by ordering the destruction of the holy images in 727. The armies of Byzantine Italy proclaimed their own dukes; in Venice this may have been Orso, third in the traditional list of doges. The crisis was successfully overcome, however, and when the Lombard king Liutprand conquered Ravenna in 740, the exarch took refuge on the lagoon, from where he reconquered his capital with the help of the venetici.

    742 From Cittanova to Malamocco:

    At a time when Byzantine rule in Italy was we can make out, was troubled, the doge's seat was transferred from Cittanova to Malamocco. The inhabitants of Venetia, landowners, merchants, seamen and farmers continued their lives uninterrupted by the difficult circumstances of the time.

    810 The attack of king Pippin and the Realtine islands:

    By the end of the eighth century Italy's political situation had substantially altered, what with the Franks conquest of the Lombard kingdom and the coronation of Charlemagne as emperor at Rome in 800, an event which the Roman emperor in Byzantium was unwilling to recognize. Charlemagne's son, Pippin, king of Italy, attacked Dalmatia and the lagoon, which belonged at least in name to Byzantium and the Byzantine Roman cultural tradition. Pippin was severely beaten by the venetici on the lagoon in 8 1 0. In the meanwhile a large number of refugees had left the settlements on the lagoon for the Realtine islands where they were defended by the castle of Olivolo. When Agnello Parteciaco or Partezipacio was elected doge, the duchy was also transferred there. In this way, the city of Venice was born. The territorial integrity of the duchy situated on the lagoon between Grado and Chioggia was guaranteed in the pax Nicephori concluded between the two emperors in 814.

    828 The body of St. Mark the evangelist:

    Two Venetian merchants, Rustico da Torcello and Buono Tribuno da Malamocco, purloined the body of St. Mark the evangelist from Alexandria and brought it back to their home town in 828. The relic was placed in the chapel of the doge's palatium and the first basilica begun in 829 and consecrated in 832, during the reign of Giovanni Parteciaco. The legend arose that St. Mark had landed on the lagoon and been forewarned of his final testing place by an angel in a dream (Pax tibi, Marce,evangelista meus). At the synod of Mantua the previous year, Maxentius, patriarch of Aquileia, who belonged to the party of the Western Empire, had obtained the decision to suppress the patriarchate of Grado, a decision which was later reversed. The transfer of the body of St. Mark and its interment in the doge's chapel, with the legend of the foretelling of the event, was of political significance. It symbolized the independence of the church and community of Venice from both the Western Empire, to which Aquileia belonged and the Eastern Empire, not to mention Rome itself, by linking the city with one of the founding saints of Christianity who was neither Byzantine nor Roman.

    840 Pactum Lotarii:

    At the request of doge Pietro of Venice, the Frank-Byzantine treaty of mutual respect of territory (814) was renewed by a decree of the emperor Lothar It is significant that it was Venice, by now autonomous, and not Byzantium which was the signatory, and equally significant that the terms of the treaty entrusted the Venetian fleet with the defense of the sea (since there was no imperial fleet, and the Byzantine fleet was elsewhere), thus implicitly recognizing Venice's right of control over the Adriatic.

    866 The sack of Comacchio:

    As a Byzantine city on the edge of the Western Empire, Venice became the crossroads for trade with Constantinople, and its influence spread inland up river. Comacchio enjoyed the same potential from its controlling position over the Po after the fall of the Roman Adriatic ports of Aquileia and Ravenna. The Venetians eliminated this threat by attacking and sacking the city. In 932 they repeated the operation under doge Pietro 11 Candiano, this time deporting the inhabitants.

    946 or 948 The rape of the brides:

    Venice traded with Constantinople in precious goods from the East destined for the inland markets, as well as in basic commodities such as salt, fish, timber and slaves. As her maritime activity in the Adriatic expanded she soon came up against the Slavic pirates. The chief pirates' nest was at the mouth of the Narenta (Neretva), which gave its name to the Narentine pirates. As with the Byzantines and Turks, Venice entertained both commercial and warlike relations with these people, doge Pietro I Candiano perishing in an encounter with them in 887. The Narentines traded in slaves whom the Venetians bought and resold. Venetian tradition records the Narentine threat in the almost certainly mythical episode of the rape of the brides, on the occasion of a mass wedding in Santa Maria Formosa in 946 or 948.

    976 Fire and revolt:

    Doge Pietro IV Candiano was assassinated by the rebellious populace, and the palatium, the basilica of St. Mark, the church of San Teodoro and more than 300 houses, mostly built of wood, were destroyed by fire. The people then elected Pietro I Orseolo as doge in the church of San Pietro di Castello. This episode may have been caused by the political aspirations of the Candiano who employed foreign soldiers in their mainland conquests; this was seen as both oppressive and as the betrayal of Venice's vocation to trade and the sea.

    1000 Dux Dalmatinorum:

    A document from the end of the 10th century says of the Venetians, "This people does not plough, sow, or harvest grapes but buys its grain and wine in every port of the kingdom and in the market of Pavia." This somewhat surprised observation of a prosperity not founded on the land and agriculture fits in well with the guiding principles of Venetian policy. This is well illustrated by the reign of doge Pietro 11 Orseolo. On the one hand Venice lived in peace with the Ottonian empire, so that the movement of goods along the rivers PO, Adige, Piave and Livenza was guaranteed, routes whereby salt from the estuary, which was about to become a Venetian monopoly, was transported to the mainland. On the other hand, Venice made military efforts to control the Adriatic routes which formed the communication with the Levant. On Ascension Day 1000 a seaborne expedition left for Dalmatia. Pietro 11 Orseolo received homage from the Dalmatians at Ossero, Veglia, Arbe and Zara. From Zara he fought the Croats, while at Spalato (Split) he forced the Narentines to negotiate, and took from them Curzola and Lagosta. He thus removed the Slavs from the sea, and placed the Byzantine Dalmatian coast under Venice's protection, assuming the title Dux Dalmatinorum.

    1032 The first Dogal Councillors:

    The Orseolo were overthrown in a revolutionary movement which carried Domenico Flabianico to power. At the same time two Dogal Councillors were elected for the first time, one from each side of the Grand Canal. This restricted the development of a monarchical type of government, which had been the tendency under the Candiano and the Orseolo, and laid the foundation for the ever-increasing limitations of the doge's power.

    The new St. Mark's basilica Helping Byzantium:

    The church built by the Parteciaci had been seriously damaged in the revolt of 976, and had been restored by Pietro I Orseolo, though it is hard to say to what extent. The present church was built in the second half of the II th century and was founded by doge Domenico Contarini (1042-71) on the plan of the Church of the Apostles in Constantinople. A contemporary record says,"consimili constructions artificiosa illi ecclesie, que in honorem duodecim apostolorum Constantinopolis,est constructs" (resembling the marvelous construction of the church in honour of the twelve apostles in Constantinople).

    1081 Helping Byzantium:

    The Norman Robert Guiscard made himself master of the Apulian ports of Bari, Brindisi and Otranto, and launched an attack on the Byzantine empire on the eastern coast of the Adriatic. The emperor Alexius I Comnenus requested Venice'said, which was granted because of the threat to its interests in the Adriatic routes and to trade with Constantinople. In 1081 a Venetian fleet appeared off Durazzo (Durres) which Robert was besieging, and defeated the Norman fleet commanded by his son Bohemund. However the Normans took Durazzo, and further Venetian intervention in the waters of Corfu, in 1083, 1084 and 1085, did no more to resolve the situation. The Norman offensive was slowed down by Venetian action in spite of this, and in 1085 Robert died. In 1082 the Venetians had obtained a chrysobull from Alexis I Comnenus which increased the customs exemptions already granted to the Venetians in Constantinople in 992, extending to them many of the empire's trading posts and recognizing the Venetian quarter in the Byzantine capital.

    1099-1100 The relics of St. Nicholas:

    Only in 1099 did a Venetian fleet set out on the crusades, wintering in Rhodes. There it overtook Pisan ships which had the same plan, and the vessels of the two maritime republics did battle. The Pisans were defeated, taken prisoner and released after giving undertakings not to venture again into the waters of Romania (the Byzantine empire). The Venetian fleet left Rhodes at the end of May I 100. At Myra in Asia Minor it purloined the relics of St. Nicholas, patron saint of sailors, and at Jaffa the Venetians made an agreement with Godfrey of Bouillon to help him to extend the control of the crusaders over the coast, at the cost of granting them a colony (with a church, square, market, freedom to trade and tax exemptions) in every city conquered. Only Haifa was taken, and the fleet returned to Venice before the year ended.

    1104 The Arsenal:

    The Arsenal described by Dante, where "sticky pitch boils through the winter" was founded in II 04 in the reign of doge Ordelaf Falier. It housed an arms magazine, naval equipment and provisions, repair shops and a protected base, but even so occupied only a fraction of its present extent. It was enlarged for the first time in Dante's day, in the first quarter of the 14th century, when the fortified area was quadrupled. It was at this time that the Arsenal became a construction yard as well, although there were still dockyards scattered over the city and on the islands of the lagoon. The Arsenal was further enlarged during the Renaissance and later.

  3. #3
    3. Medieval Times

    1122-24 The voyage of Domenico Michiel:

    In late spring 1123 a strong Venetian fleet commanded by doge Domenico Michiel which had set out from Venice the preceding year appeared off Jaffa. During the 20 years which had passed since Venice's last expedition to the Levant, things had gone badly.

    The king of Hungary was establishing his rule over the cities of Dalmatia, which had been lost and reconquered; the last doge Ordelaf Falier had been assassinated near Zara (Zadar). The Byzantine emperor John Comnenus had refused in 1118 to recognize the privileges granted by his predecessors to the Venetians. A besieging Egyptian fleet had only just withdrawn from Jaffa. The Venetians gave chase, drew it into battle, and defeated it off Ascalon on 30 May 1123. Turning south, they captured some merchant ships laden with spices and precious cargo. Finally they took part in the crusaders' siege of Tyre, which fell on 7 July 1 124, and obtained their usual privileges. On its way home the Venetian fleet sacked the Byzantine ports of the Aegean and the Adriatic. In response to this pressure the concessions granted by Alexius I

    1143 Consilium Sapientium:

    From this date we have records of a new body which had recently been instituted "for the honour and benefit and salvation of our country," the Council of Wise Men or Consilium Sapientium. This may have had 35 members as we know it did later, at the beginning of the 13th century. It was a deliberatory body, with the doge as president, and was the first nucleus of the later Maggior Consiglio.

    1145-53 Totius Istriae Dominator:

    Venice's relations with Istria were ones of protection, involving an obligation to provide defense by sea. These relations had been strengthened during the reign of Pietro II Orseolo, but dated from earlier than this. In 932 Capodistria had surrendered at the end of the economic war which the Venetians had begun in retaliation for various acts of provocation. This protectorate was transformed into submission in a series of accords, with Pola and Capodistria in 1145, and with Pola, Rovigno, Parenzo and Umago between 1148 and 1153. The cities had to swear fidelitas and recognize Venetian dominion over the mainland. The doge was given the title Totius Istriae Dominator.

    1171 The crisis with the Eastern Empire:

    The power of the Venetian traders in Constantinople was shared by the Genoese and Pisans, who were present in equal numbers. As diplomatic relations fluctuated, plunder and sacking were employed as means of exerting pressure and ensuring that privileges were renewed or extended. Greek resentment at this turned into open crisis in 1171 when Manuel Comnenus destroyed the Genoese quarter and dispersed the Venetian colony, arresting residents and confiscating their goods.

    1172 Doge Vitale II Michiel killed: Sebastiano Ziani elected:

    Faced with the hostility of the emperor Manuel Comnenus Venice reacted with force, and doge Vitale II Michiel sailed with a fleet to the Aegean. He returned with his crew decimated by plague and without having achieved anything. There were rumours of treachery, and rebels broke up the Council of Wise Men and pursued the doge, killing him near San Zaccaria. Sebastiano Ziani, the richest man in Venice was chosen to succeed him, An indirect method of election was used for the first time, I I electors being nominated, and their choice made subject to the assembly's ratification. This was the beginning of the complex and famous method of election and lottery which was used in the later centuries.

    1177 Pope, emperor, and doge: The Congress of Venice:

    "Secure on all sides, fertile, abounding in all things, pleasant, and with a quiet and peace-loving people," such was Venice in 1177, when it witnessed the meeting between pope Alexander III and the emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, who were received by doge Sebastiano Ziani in St. Mark's. Here the war between the cities of northern Italy and the Church on one side, and the Hohenstaufen empire on the other, was brought to an end as a preliminary to the terms of the peace of Constance. Tradition has it that it was on this occasion that pope Alexander III presented the ring used in the ceremony later known as the "marriage with the sea," which had already been long in existence.

    1178 The six Dogal Councillors:

    The electoral procedure instituted in 1172 was completed in 1178 with the election of doge Orio Mastropiero, II men being designated to elect electors of the doge. Six Dogal Councillors were now appointed from the six sestieri of the city.

    1201-04 A quarter and a half of the Eastern Empire:

    A treaty had been made with the Byzantine emperor in 1 198, but when the tension in the East was eventually resolved as a result of the fourth crusade, the outcome was to prove surprisingly favourable to Venice. This crusade was undertaken by the count of Champagne and other great feudal lords of France. The crusader's envoys led by Geoffroy de Villehardouin settled the terms of transport with Venice in April 1201. More than 33,000 men were to be transported for a vast sum equivalent to 20,000 kilograms (44,000 lbs) of silver. The ships were ready by the spring of 1202,but the crusaders were not as many as they should have been, neither had the agreed financial terms been completely honoured. Doge Enrico Dandolo agreed that the balance of the debt should be paid out of future booty, and while they were on their way, he requested the crusaders to help Venice recapture Zara (Zadar), which had rebelled with the support of the Hungarian crown. In the winter they decided to attack Constantinople at the request of the pretender Alexius, son of Isaac II, who had been overthrown by his brother Alexius III and who wanted to regain the throne usurped by his uncle. It is now thought that Venice did not exert any particular pressure in this decision. By this time the count of Champagne was dead, and the leader of the crusaders was the Marquis Boniface of Montferrat, a friend of Philip of Swabia, who was also his feudal overlord, and related to Alexius by marriage. Venice, by contrast, had begun diplomatic overtures to Atexius III. Nevertheless, in July 1203 the crusaders attacked Constantinople by land but were thrown back. The Venetians, fired by the 90-year-old blind Enrico Dandolo, sailed up the Golden Horn to attack the walls of the city, and took it. The new emperor Alexius IV was not welcome to the Greeks, and so proved extremely weak. Nor was the pressure of the crusaders and Venetians welcome. Finally Alexius (V) Ducas Mourtzuphlos proclaimed himself emperor with the aim of liberating the empire from the tyrant and from the foreign powers. Afraid of being crushed in the city by the uprising, the Venetians and the crusaders assaulted Constantinople for the second time in April 1204, took it, and sacked it for three days. The Venetians and the crusader barons drew up a new contract, forming the Eastern Latin Empire. The emperor was chosen by a council of six Venetians and six barons. Since Boniface of Montferrat was a former ally of the Genoese, the Venetians cast all their votes in favour of Baldwin, count of Flanders, who was elected. The emperor was given a quarter of the empire, and the remaining three-quarters were divided up between Venice and the barons, half going to each party. In this way the Doge became "Lord of a quarter and a half of the empire." The division was confused. With the fall of the empire, everyone who was able attempted to take what he could, whilst the Venetians were more interested in trade and naval bases than in territory. Apart from three-eighths of the city of Constantinople, their main gains were Negropont in Euboea, the two bases of Modon and Corone (Methoni and Koroni) on the southern tip of Morea (the Peloponnese), and lastly Candia (Crete). The latter had to be captured between 1207 and 1212 from the Genoese pirate Enrico il Pescatore, count of Malta, who had already made himself master of it in 1207. Marco Sanudo, a grandson of doge Enrico Dandolo, set up the duchy of Naxos as a fief of the empire on the Aegean islands.

    c. 1220 The Quarantia:

    A new council appears in Venetian government in the first decades of the 13th century, under the general heading "pro proficuo et utilitatis Comunis Venecie." This was the Quarantia, the Council of Forty, which was elected in the same way as the Council of Wise Men, later to become the Maggior Consiglio, and consisting at that time of 35 members. Later the members of the Quarantia and the holders of individual magistracies and offices were made ex officio members of the Maggior Consiglio, and the elected portion of this body, the Council of Wise Men, was increased in size. In this way the stage was set for the laws of 1297, the so-called serrata ("locking") of the Maggior Consiglio.

    1240 Control of the Po:

    In 1240 the lord of Ferrara joined forces with the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick II. At the pope's request the Venetians sent a naval squadron to besiege the city. The declaration of the citizens of Ferrara in favour of the Este family contributed to the city's fall. The Venetians concluded a treaty with the new lords of Ferrara, giving them control of all trade between the city and the sea, all merchandise coming from the Adriatic to Ferrara having to pass through the port of Venice. In order to exercise this right unobstructed they built the castle of Macramò at the mouth of the PO di Primaro in 1258. Thus the PO, the great commercial route into the plain of Padua, fell under their control.

    1255 The Pregadi:

    From 1255 we have secure records of the Consiglio dei Rogati or dei Pregadi, those "invited" to give their advice and work. They were known in Veneti an political life simply as the Pregadi, or classically as the Senate. The council was founded with a brief over naval material and certain international questions. It could meet either alone, or in conjunction with the Maggior Consiglio, in which it participated ex officio. Later, when the Maggior Consiglio had increased in size, the Senate was elected by the Maggior Consiglio and assumed the highest functions of state.

    1255 The maritime code:

    In 1255 doge Ranieri Zeno promulgated a code of maritime practice. The first statutes date back to 1242 in the reign of Jacopo Tiepolo. This regulated maritime affairs, the responsibilities of ship owners, one of whom was designated as the ship's captain or "patrono" de facto, the rights of the crew, sailors and merchant-seamen, who were allowed to trade on their own account, and fixed the dates for contracts and the dates of departure of the mude (convoys).

    1257-70 The columns of St. John of Acre: the first war with Genoa:

    The Genoese position in Acre, as in Tyre, was as strong as the Venetian position, and a series of bloody incidents occurred between the citizens of these two maritime republics. In 1257 the Venetian Levantine merchant fleet was accompanied by a war fleet under the command of Lorenzo Tiepolo, son of the doge. The Venetians broke the chain which barred the port of Acre, and fired on the Genoese ships. Next year a large Genoese fleet appeared, but Tiepolo too had received reinforcements and the great naval battle which ensued at Acre in 1258 resulted in a heavy defeat for the Genoese. Half their ships were lost, and the survivors by land and sea retreated to Tyre. The Venetians returned home from Acre taking the columns which now adorn the southern side of St. Mark's. This was the beginning of the fight with Genoa which was to end only after four wars more than a century later. A few years after Acre, the Venetians suffered a reversal in the greatest center of their colonial power. The Byzantine emperor Michael Paleologus allied himself with the Genoese in the treaty of Nymphaion in 1261, took Constantinople in July 1261 and so put an end to the Eastern Latin Empire. The war at sea consisted of the harassment of Venetian shipping, which was forced to adopt the expensive procedure of sailing in convoy. This weighed heavily on the trading activities of the Venetians, who had been expelled from Constantinople where Michael Paleologus had conceded the suburb of Pera to the Genoese. In spite of this, the Venetians won the two main naval encounters, at Settepozzi in 1263, and at Trapani in 1266. Michael Paleologus again permitted the Venetians into Constantinople in 1268 although they were still at war with his Genoese allies, and peace was concluded in 1270. The Genoese took part in these negotiations more at the order of Louis IX of France, who needed their fleet for his ill-fated crusade, than out of conviction.

    1261-95 The Polos in the Far East:

    In the same year in which Michael Paleologus retook the city of Constantinople, 1261, two Venetian merchants, the brothers Nicolò and Matteo Polo, who had commercial interests in Sondaia (Crimea), set out to investigate the commercial possibilities of the hinterland in the new circumstances prevailing in Asia in the wake of the creation of the Mongol power. Failing to reach their goal of Tabriz in Persia by way of Sarai and Bukhara, they crossed central Asia to visit the Great Khan of the Mongols, Kubitai, who sent them back to the West with a message to the pope. The Mongols were interested in forming an anti Moslem entente with the Christians. When they set out to return to the Mongol emperor in 1271 they were accompanied by two friars sent by the pope, who soon gave up the journey out of fear, and by Nicolò's son, the famous Marco Polo. They journeyed on through Laiazzo, a port in lesser Armenia which was to become an important point on the Asian caravan routes after the Mameluke conquest of Syria, and through Tabriz in Persia, the Pamir, and the oases of central Asia, the historical Silk Road, finishing up at Peking. Marco journeyed extensively in the far eastern parts of the Mongol empire, sometimes on official missions, eventually reaching Burma in 1285. The three Venetians returned home in 1295, 25 years after setting out, by the sea route from the straits of Malacca and the Indian Ocean, taking with them to Persia a betrothed Mongol princess, and then through Persia via Trebizond on the Black Sea. Marco Polo was subsequently captured in a naval encounter with the Genoese, and as a prisoner dictated his famous book, II Milione (The Travelv of Marco Polo) to another prisoner, the Pisan litterateur Rustichello. Fabulous and controversial though it was, it was substantially truthful. Marco Polo is alleged to have said on his death-bed in 1324, "Non scripsi medietatem de hiis que vidi" I did not write half of what I saw.

    1268 The Quarantaun:

    The procedure for the election of the doge by the Maggior Consiglio was completed with the introduction of a series of stages of alternate voting and lottery, culminating in the selection of 41 electors (the Quarantaun) who nominated the doge. This method was used for the first time at the election of Lorenzo Tiepolo in 1268, and continued unchanged thereafter.

    1284 The Venetian gold ducat:

    The first cities in the West to mint gold coins were Genoa and Florence in 1252. This was because gold came mainly from the markets of North Africa. Venice used its own silver and gold coin minted in Byzantium. In 1284 she began to mint the gold ducat, later known as the zecchino, with the same weight and fineness as the Florentine florin. This was maintained until the fall of the Republic.

    1294-99 The second war with Genoa:

    The rivalry between the two maritime republics of Italy now became more intense than ever over the Black Sea trade. This was not calmed by the truce of 1270, and a new war broke out. This time it was the Genoese who started, and won, the great naval battles while the Venetians preferred to amass profits by plunder. The first Genoese victory was in 1294 off Laiazzo, which had become the most important Asian port after the fall of the crusaders' positions. The Venetians then made an incursion into Pera, and finally 80 ships under the command of Lamba Doria entered the Adriatic to ravage the Dalmatian coast. The Genoese won the ensuing great battle or Curzola (I 298), but with such losses that they were unable to pursue the Venetians and carry the war into the lagoon. The peace of 1299 recognized Genoese supremacy over the coast of Liguria, which the Venetians had besieged with the help of Francesco Grimaldi, head of the Genoese Guelphs who had taken Monaco in 1297, and Venetian supremacy over the coast of the Adriatic. In the East their rivalry remained unresolved.

    1297 The "locking" of the Maggior Consiglio:

    With this reform in the reign of Pietro Gradenigo, admission into the Maggior Consiglio was restricted to all those who were members or had been members within the last four years, subject to the approval of the Quarantia with at least 12 votes. New candidates required the same approval. This more than doubled the number of members of the Maggior Consiglio, bringing it to more than a thousand. The rules for admission were subsequently made even more restrictive, with the quorum of votes from the Quarantia required for approval being raised first to 25, and later to 30. In 1323 membership of the Maggior Con,viglio finally became permanent and hereditary. Bartolo DI Sassoferrato remarked, "They are few in number in comparison with the whole population, though many when compared to those who rule in other cities, and so the people accept their government with a good will."

    1308-13 The war with Ferrara and the interdict:

    The chief reason for Venice's dominance over the Gulf of the Adriatic was to make sure that all goods passed through the market of Venice. Vessels of all countries could sail to Venice and merchants from every country did business there, but every transaction had to take place in Venice's market. The cargoes of merchants from Dalmatia, Zara and Ragusa (Dubrovnik) for example, bound for the plain of Padua, had to be unloaded in Venice. The Venetian castle of Marcamò on the PO delta made sure that trade bound for Lombardy from theRomagna passed through Venice. In 1308 the Venetians saw an opportunity to consolidate their control over the Po waterway by making themselves masters of Ferrara. They joined in an internal dispute over succession and sent troops to one side, eliciting from them the Castel Tedaldo, the fortress commanding the bridge over the Po. From Avignon the pope, overlord of Ferrara, placed Venice under an interdict, while the victims of Venice's commercial supremacy combined to plunder the Venetian markets and conqueredCastel Tedaldo. Venice treated with Verona, and a waterway was planned to join the Adige and the Po, allowing access to the Po upstream of Ferrara. With this the interdict was eventually lifted in 1313.

    1310 The plot of Baiamonte Tiepolo and the Council of Ten:

    The architect of the expansionist policies in Ferrara which had led to the war with the pope was the doge, Pietro Gradenigo. Other families opposed this policy. This lay at the root of the conspiracy of 1310, the leaders of which were Marco Querini, Baiamonte Tiepolo, and Badoero Badoer. Three bands of armed men were supposed to attack the Doge's Palace, Querini's band by the Calle dei Fabbri, Tiepolo's from the Mercerie, and that of Badoer from the lagoon. The doge was informed about the plot, and by night summoned the families whom he could rely upon, gave the alarm to the Arsenal and ordered the podesta of Chioggia to stop Badoer. The rebels failed to synchronize their attack, and this together with the doge's preparations resulted in their defeat. Querini died, and the two other leaders were allowed to go into exile. The Querini and Tiepolo palaces were razed to the ground. The danger had been great, however, and it remained possible that the exiles might forge new alliances, a possibility which had occurred and was even then occurring in other cities. In order to prevent this and the formation of fresh conspiracies, the Council of Ten was established. Its members held office for a year, and one of three elected heads presided over them for a month at a time. The council was at first provisional, but because its small size allowed it to act with speed it was made permanent in 1335.

    1329 Galleys for auction:

    Between the end of the 13th and the beginning of the 14th century important innovations and considerable technical advances had been made in shipping. It now became possible, among other advantages, to sail during the winter months. The port of Venice "opened" in spring, but from the end of the 13th century it was open by February or even January. Towards the end of the 14th century the large galley came into use, which was capable of carrying more cargo. The same years saw the gradual introduction of the cog, a large, broad vessel with square sails. The state owned great galleys, and sailed on trading missions in regular convoy twice a year to four destinations, a system which reached full development at the end of the 14th century. These destinations were the Eastern Empire (the Aegean, Constantinople, and the Black Sea), Cyprus and Syria, Alexandria and Flanders. Alongside this system were the "free" merchant galleys and cogs, which were more numerous than the state-owned galleys. In 1329 the Pregadi (the Senate) decided to auction the state galleys and offer them on lease to the highest bidder voyage by voyage, on a given route and under binding conditions. The experiment began with the Eastern Empire galleys, and the success of the operation led to its being extended to the galleys bound for the other destinations. This system ensured work for the Arsenal, the largest state industry even in time of peace.

    1339 Treviso acquired:

    The first city of the Veneto mainland over which Venice asserted its rule was Treviso. At the rear of the lagoon the Della Scala family had risen to threatening proportions, ruling from Verona to Padua, Treviso and many other cities. The ambitions of these lords of Verona were cut down by a timely series of alliances and by a war. In Padua Venice lent its support to the rise of the Carraresi, while Treviso, which controlled the trade routes north, was directly taken over.

    1340 The Hall of the Maggior Consiglio:

    The number of those entitled to sit in the MaggiorConsiglio had grown, and it was decided to build a hall worthy of the council. This project took ten years to complete, and occupied the part of the Doge's Palace facing on to the Molo. The Paduan artist Guariento painted it with frescoes depicting the Coronation qf the Virgin or Paradise between 1365 and 1367.

    1347-48 The plague:

    The Bubonic plague which was raging in the Tartar army besieging the trading base of Kaffa in the Crimea, was brought to Italy by a returning Venetian vessel in the autumn of 1347. Within 18 months the city had lost three-fifths of its inhabitants.

    1350-55 The third war with Genoa:

    This began with a number of incidents connected with the Black Sea trade. Venice was cast as the protector of the Byzantine empire against growing pressure from Genoa. In 1530 the Venetian fleet under Marco Ruzzini attacked a number of Genoese galleys in the port of Castro near Negro Pont, a few of which managed to escape because the Venetian crews, largely Greek and Dalmatian mercenaries (the Venetians having been decimated in the plague of 1347-48) began to plunder too soon. The Venetians gained reinforcements by hiring the allied fleets of Catalonia and Byzantium, and set out against Pera, the Genoese base close to Constantinople. Here the Genoese had a large fleet under Paganino Doria. The allied fleets failed to meet up, causing a series of delays and diversions, but eventually there was a bitter and bloody encounter in the Bosphorus in the winter of 1352. So great was the number of dead on both sides that the tactical outcome of the battle was uncertain. however, the Catalans and Venetians retreated, and Pera remained in Genoese hands. The following year, 1353, the Venetians under Nicol6 Pisani together with the Catalans won a great victory over the Genoese off Alghero. Later, however, the Venetian fleet was surprised unarmed by Paganino Doria as it was wintering at Portolongo near Modon, and Pisani himself was captured. This victory proved of no advantage to Genoa. Racked with internal strife, the Genoese submitted to the lord of Milan, Giovanni Visconti, who engineered a compromise agreement in 1355.

    1355 The doge beheaded:

    Internal strife following the defeat at Alghero brought Genoa under Milanese subjection. TheVenetian defeat at Portolongo led to an attempted dictatorship by the newly-elected doge, the septuagenarian Marino Falier. In Venice, however, the outcome was quite different. The Dogal Councillors were warned by denunciations, and summoned the Council of Ten. Among the conspirators who were at once arrested and condemned was Filippo Calendario, a building contractor, who has wrongly been credited with the construction of the Doge's Palace. When the doge's involvement was discovered, he was sentenced and beheaded on 17 April 1355. In the series of portraits of the doges in the Hall of the Maggior Consiglio, there is a black curtain in Marino Falier's place.

    1358 Dalmatia ceded:

    The cities, ports and islands of Dalmatia had been in Venice's possession since the profitable crusade of doge Pietro II Orseolo three and a half centuries before. However the kings of Hungary had cast their eyes on these lands in the course of their expansion over the Slav hinterland towards the sea. The cities of Dalmatia were themselves turbulent and often rebelled against Venetian rule. At the end of 1355, after the peace with Genoa, Venice had to deal with the "whole of Slavonia in tumult." Arrayed against Venice in 1356 were the dukes of Austria, the patriarch of Aquileia, the Carrarese lord of Padua, and worst of all, the Hungarians, who were laying siege to Zara (Zadar). Zara fell, Tra6 (Trogir) and Spalato (Split) went over to the Hungarians, and in June 1358 Venice ceded her claim to the possessions in Dalmatia to the Hungarian crown.

    1363-66 The revolt of Candia:

    A local revolt led by John Kalergis was joined by a group of noble Venetians who had settled on the island, including members of the Venier, Gradenigo, Sagredo and Molin families. The rebels were thrown back but not eliminated by a Venetian fleet with the land army of Luchino dal Verme and the governor Pietro Morosini. The rebels reorganized in the mountains and made renewed attempts, until their leaders were captured and beheaded in April 1366.

    1378-81 The war of Chioggia, and the fourth war with Genoa:

    The origins of the fourth war with Genoa lay in rivalry over the conquest of the island of Tenedos, which was a potential base commanding the straits coveted by both Venetians and Genoese. The Venetians occupied it in 1376; war was not far behind. Against Venice were Genoa, the Carraresi of Padua, and the king of Hungary, while Dalmatia, ceded in 1368, could not longer be counted upon; indeed the Dalmatian bases and strongholds were now the preserve of Venice's enemies. In 1378 the Venetian fleet under Vittor Pisani sailed on an offensive war to the West, achieved a brilliant victory, and returned to winter at Pola. Here they were attacked by the Genoese in the spring of 1379. Pisani was lured into a trap, and his victory was turned into defeat. Returning home, he was thrown into prison. The Genoese were reinforced, and attacked the coast of the lagoon, taking Chioggia with the help of the Paduans on 16 August 1379. Never had Venice stood in greater danger. All reserves were mobilized. The populace and sailors forced the release of Vittor Pisani, "the chief and father of all the seamen of Veniexia." During the night of 22 December 1379, the aged doge Andrea Contarini and Vittor Pisani blockaded Chioggia, cutting off the occupying forces from both the Paduans and the Genoese fleet. Meanwhile another Venetian squadron under Carlo Zeno which had left on a plundering expedition before the battle of Pola was inflicting heavy damage on Genoese trade in the Tyrrhenian and Aegean seas as far as Beirut and Rhodes. Zeno returned home on I January 1380, just in time to join the blockade of Chioggia. Failing in an attempt to subdue the mercenaries employed by the Venetians who were besieging them, the Genoese in Chioggia surrendered six months later in June 1380, allowing the Venetians to sally forth and regain control of the Adriatic. On land they tried to win over Gian Galeazzo Visconti as an ally, alarming the count of Savoy, who was in favour of a compromise. The peace of Turin of 1381 seemed to favour Genoa more than Venice, but Venice's greater political stability meant that she emerged victorious from the centuries of conflict. Thirty new families were admitted to the Maggior Consiglio after the peace, drawn from those who had most distinguished themselves in the war effort.

    1386 The occupation of Corfu:

    The island of Corfu was occupied with the consent of its rulers in 1386; legal rights of possession were later obtained from Charles, pretender to the throne of Naples. Corfu was strongly fortified and became a very important base, commanding the lower Adriatic. It remained in Venice's possession until the end of the Republic.

    1389-1420 Expansion over the mainland of the Veneto:

    Venice was a seafaring and mercantile power, whose main interests were trade and commerce. Just as in the Adriatic and in the Levant Venice's policy was to control ports, bases and tradingstations, so in the hinterland of the lagoon her policy was to keep the roads free so that her trade could flow unhindered. So long as there was only a sprinkling of communes to its rear, the Republic felt no great need to exert its rule over them, but with the flowering of the age of the great lords ruling over large stretches of land and ambitious to expand their territories, the situation was radically altered. The natural result of Venice's policy of playing off the ambitions of the different lords against each other was that Venice became involved herself in the struggle for territory, eventually becoming one of the five great states of the ]5th century. There were three main pawns in Venice's game, the Scaligeri of Verona, the Carraresi of Padua, and the Visconti of Milan. Farther to the East were the lands of the patriarch of Aquileia, and here it was necessary to keep an eye on the ambitions of powers north of the Alps. The first stage in Venice's expansion over the mainland was the recovery of Treviso, which had previously belonged to Venice but had been ceded to the dukes of Austria during the war of Chioggia,in order to keep the Carraresi at a distance. The alliance of Venice and the Visconti against the Carraresi in 1388 created the opportunity for the surrender of Treviso to Venice in 1389. On the other hand, although the Visconti were farther off than the Carraresi, they represented a far greater threat, especially when Gian Galeazzo ambitiously attempted to unite the whole of northern Italy under him. His death from the plague in 1402 left Venice facing Francesco Novello di Carrara. Vicenza, Belluno, and Bassano submitted to Venice in 1404. In 1405 Padua and Verona were conquered. Francesco Novello and two other members of his family were thrown into prison and strangled by order of the Council of Ten.Within the lands of the patriarchate, the house of Savorgnan at Udine held firm with Venetian support, but here too the Carraresi had made attempts to expand, and Trieste had been given over to the dukes of Austria in 1382. When the emperor Sigismund of Hungary, with whom Venice was also fighting over Dalmatia, intervened, the military campaign of 1418 20 broke out. On 16 June 1420, Tristano di Savorgnan entered Udine bearing the banner of St. Mark. Venice now possessed almost the whole of the modern Veneto and Friuli.

    1409-20 Dalmatia regained:

    At the beginning of the 15th century there were two kings of Hungary, Sigismund of Luxembourg, son of the emperor Charles IV and himself emperor from 1411 (who effectively held the state), and Ladislas of Anjou-Durazzo, king of Naples, who was in possession of Dalmatia which he had conquered in an expedition against Zara (Zadar) in 1403 as part of his struggle to acquire the throne of Hungary. In January 1409 Venice regained its rights over Dalmatia, ceded in 1358, from Ladislas who was in difficulties. Less than a third of the intitial asking price of 300,000 ducats was paid. The little which Ladislas retained, principally Zara, was handed over to Venice, and the rest, Trafi, Sebenico, Spalato, Cattaro, Curzola (Trogir, Sebenik, Split, Kotor, Korcula), and the other islands she won in the war with Sigismund in 1420.

  4. #4
    4. Renaissance and Modern Times (the history to be rewrited)

    1423 The election of Francesco Foscari:

    The formula, "If he is pleasing to you," with which the doge was presented to the populace.

    recalled the fact that the election of the doge had originally been subject to the approval of the popular assembly, although it had long been a pure formality. In 1423 the formula was abolished; henceforth the Maggior Consiglio alone, and the patriciate which constituted it, was the sovereign master. In 1423 Francesco Foscari was elected doge to succeed Tommaso Mocenigo, who had in vain warned the Maggior Consiglio not to choose him: "the said Francesco Foscari spreads rumours and many other matters without any basis, and stoops and climbs more than a falcon." The Foseari led Venice into costly wars with Milan to which Mocenigo had been opposed; meanwhile Turkey was growing into a great sea power. Thus while Mocenigo looked to the sea, Foscari looked to the mainland.

    1424-30 Thessalonica:

    The Turks had occupied nearly all the Byzantine Empire with the exception of Constantinople. The city of Thessalonica entrusted its defense to Venetian sea power, and the Republic dispatched a fleet there under Pietro Loredan. It was he who in 1416 had destroyed a Turkish fleet at Gallipoli in the first naval battle between the Turks and the Venetians. Thessalonica was soon lost, however (in 1430), while Venice was caught up in the wars in Italy against Milan.

    1425-54 The wars in Lombardy:

    "I counsel you to pray to the almighty power of God who has inspired us to make peace, as we have done, and to follow Him and render Him thanks. If you follow my advice, you will see that from now on we will be lords of all Christendom; the whole world will revere and fear you. Beware of the desire to take what belongs to others, and of making unjust war, for God will destroy you." These were the words of the aged doge Tommaso Mocenigo shortly before his death in 1423. Soon afterwards Venice was caught up in 30 years of war, precisely to "take what belongs to others," i.e. Lombardy. This carried Venice's frontiers to the Adda, convulsed the whole of Italy and ended in compromise with the Peace of Lodi in 1454 which brought 40 years of peace to Italy, but not to Venice. The prelude to the war against the rule of the Visconti house in the person of duke Filippo Maria (wars therefore of supremacy, or from the other point of view, to protect the balance of power in Italy which was threatened by the expansion of the Visconti), was the League between Venice and Florence of 4 May 1425. There were four wars. In the first, (1425 26),VenicetookBresciawithanarmyledby Carmagnola, and the fleet on the Po advanced as far as Padua. The second (1427-28) saw a Venetian victory at Maclodio on 4 October 1427, and ended with Venice being granted Bergamo as well as Brescia. In the third war of 1431-33, the Po fleet was defeated at Cremona but Venice won a naval victory over Genoa, which was at that time a dependency of the Visconti, at San Fruttuoso on 27 August 1431. Carmagnola failed to act, and was suspected of having come to terms with the enemy. He was recalled from the field by the Council of Ten for consultation, arrested in March 1432, and tried. A month later he was beheaded between the two columns of the Piazzetta. The peace of Ferrara in 1433 left things as they stood. In the fourth war Venice's sea-captains were first Gattamelata, and later Francesco Sforza, while the Visconti side was led by Niccol6 Piccinino. Sforza and Piccinino were in fact fighting a personal war in which the interests of the opposing powers were secondary. Piccinino laid siege to Brescia in 1438 and penetrated the Veronese defenses. Venice's response to this crisis was the famous transportation of six galleys and other lesser craft by land from the Adige to Lake Garda, more than 2,000 oxen being used in the operation (1439). On the field of Cavriana, Sforza acted as mediator between the two sides accomplishing the act for which Carmagnola had lost his head. No territorial changes were made in the ensuing Peace of Cremona of 20 November 1441. None of these treaties was more than a truce, and no general accord between the Italian states was reached, as Venice would have preferred. Instead, important political changes occurred. Francesco Sforza entered the service of Visconti and married his daughter, while Florence took a new turn under Cosimo de' Medici. Visconti died in 1447, and in May 1450 Francesco Sforza entered Milan in triumph, after the demise of the short-lived Ambrosian Republic (in 1449 Venice had acquired Crema). Two coalitions were now formed, Sforza Milan with Medici Florence on the one hand, against Venice and Aragonese Naples on the other. The main theater of war was still Lombardy, where Venice clashed with Francesco Sforza. Worn out, both sides joined in the Peace of Lodi in May 1454, a peace which formed the basis for a general accord between the four contenders, Venice, Milan, Florence and Naples, under the leadership of the pope.

    1463-79 The Turkish advance:

    On 3 April 1463, ten years after the capture of Constantinople, the Turks seized the Venetian fortress of Argos in a surprise attack. A long war ensued from which Venice emerged defeated. At first the Venetians launched a counter-attack by sea and land with the help of their Hungarian allies, and gained some positive results (1463-68). In spring 1470 the Turks attacked the base of Negropont in force with both land and sea troops. Poorly supported by the naval squadron commanded by the hesitant Nicol6 Canal, the base fell, along with the whole of Euboea. During the course of fruitless negotiations, Turkish squadrons sailed into Friuli in 147 1, repeating the attack in 1477 and 1478. Venice had meanwhile succeeded in drawing the Shah of Persia into the war, and attacked the coast of Asia from the sea. However the Persians were put to rout (1472-74). The Turksbegan to press on the lower Adriatic, where the Venetians put up a tenacious resistance in Scutari. The peace of 24 January 1479 was humiliating: Venice lost Argos, Euboea and Scutari, and had to payanannualtributeoflO,000ducats. TheTurks went on to attack peninsular Italy, landing at Otranto, but were unsuccessful in this attempt. The death of Mehmed 11 brought Turkey a period of crisis, which allowed Venice to take and hold Zante in the Ionian islands, and to improve the terms of the treaty. The tribute was abolished, duty was lowered from five to four per cent, and the privileges and immunities of the Venetian bailo in Constantinople were renewed.

    1473 Cyprus acquired:

    During the course of the disastrous war with the Turks, Venice managed to consolidate her hold on the island of Cyprus, where there were strong Venetian, and specifically Corner, interests. The king of Cyprus was Giacomo 11 Lusignano, who married Caterina Corner in 1472. A revolt against the queen broke out on the king's sudden death in 1473, with the aim of giving the throne to a natural son of Ferdinand of Naples. Venice reacted promptly and energetically, calling back Barbaro with his Venetian fleet from Asia to take charge of the island, and of the interests of Giacomo Lusignano's widow. The kingdom remained in the possession of Caterina Corner and of her baby son Giacomo III Lusignano, who died in 1474, under strict Venetian control until she was forced to abdicate on 24 February 1489. She ceded the island to the direct administration of Venice and was granted the signory of Asolo, were she continued to maintain a brilliant court.

    1484 The Polesine:

    The pope had sought Venice's help against the king of Naples, leaving her a free hand against Ferrara (1482). He subsequently became alarmed by Venice's success, however, and while Florence and Milan intervened in Ferrara's favour, Sixtus IV had recourse to an interdict in order to stop Venice. At the peace of 1484 Venice was allowed to retain the Polesine, which she had conquered. A year later The French ambassador, Philippe de Commines, wrote of Venice, "It is the most splendid city I have ever seen, and the one which governs itself the most wisely."

    1495-1503 Between land and sea:

    Charles VIII of France's descent into Italy in order to conquer the kingdom of Naples in 1494 is one of the turning points in Italian history. It marks the beginning of the crisis of Italian freedom. Venice was one of the architects of the anti-French league which, however, failed to destroy the French king's army at Fornovo in 1495 as it returned home. Nevertheless Venice occupied the Apulian ports, important strategic bases commanding the lower Adriatic and the Ionian islands. A few years later in 1499 Venice allied itself with Louis XII against Milan, and gained Cremona. In the same year the Ottoman sultan moved to attack 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. Preferring peace to total war both against the Turks and by sea, Venice surrendered the bases of Lepanto, Modon, and Corone in 1499. Her supremacy in Italy seemed to be in peril ' and her ambitions on the mainland won the day. Some believe that this decision, and this period were the critical point in Venice's fortunes.

    1508-17 The League of Cambrai:

    The area which had tempted Venice to divert her attention from her maritime position, with its promises of expansion, was the Romagna. This Venice hoped to remove from the control of the pope, now that the Malatesta lords of Rimini were passing through a period of crisis, and the meteoric career of the duke of Valentinois, Cesare Borgia, son of pope Alexander VI was over. Venice's power was at its height, but this brought her enemies. Eager to take some of Venice's lands, these all joined in the League of Cambrai in 1508. The pope wanted Romagna, the emperor Friuli and the Veneto, Spain the Apulian ports, the king of France Cremona, the king of Hungary Dalmatia, and each of the others some part. The offensive against the huge army e-ilisted by Venice was launched from France. On 14 May 1509 Venice was defeated at Agnadello in the Ghiara d'Adda; the city was in the gravest danger. French and imperial troops were occupying the Veneto, but Venice extricated herself by her efforts and her political skill. The Apulian ports were ceded in order to come to terms with Spain, and pope Julius 11 was placated when he perceived how much more dangerous Venice would be destroyed than powerful. The citizens of the mainland rose to the cry of "Marco, Marco." Andrea Gritti recaptured Padua in July 1509, and successfully defended 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, Venice regained her domains on the mainland up to the Adda, which she held until the end of the Republic.

    1520-30 "Thanks to the virtue and wisdom of our ancestors":

    In 1544 Gasparo Contarini, politician and Venetian diplomat, and later a cardinal, wrote his De Magistratibus et Republica Venetorum. In this work he expressed the approval and interest which surrounded Venice's constitutional arrangements, not only among the patricians of Venice but throughout Italy and in foreign lands, where men were astonished at Venice's greatness, her long independence, her resistance to Italy's tragic loss of freedom and, not least, her emerging unscathed from the war against the League of Cambrai. In this work Contarini suggested that the secret of Venice's greatness lay in the co-existence of Aristotle's three types of government, monarchy, oligarchy, and democracy. In his opinion, the Maggior Consiglio was the "democratic" part, the Senate and the Ten were the oligarchy, while the doge represented monarchy. The combination of these three principles in the Venetian government came as close as was possible to perfection in the mechanism of government. At the same time the patrician Marino Sanudo, a politician who had a remarkable career, and a celebrated diarist, was bewailing the corruption which resulted from the great number of poor or impoverished patricians. "Votes are sold for money . . . . May God help this poor Republic...." (1530).

    1538 Preveza:

    When the struggle for supremacy in Italy between France and Spain was resolved in favour of Spain, ruled by the emperor Charles V Hapsburg, Venice found herself caught between the Turks and Spain (and later between Hapsburg Austria and the Turks). To this her only possible response was to put up a long, tough, and often skilful defense. The interests of Spain and Venice were united against the Turks, though only in part. Venice's maritime aid was potentially useful to Spain, but not to the point of allowing her to reinforce her position in the Levant, which would increase her strength in Italy as well, where she was practically the only Italian state not subject to Spain. In the Turkish war of 1537-40, Venice was allied to Charles V. Andrea Doria was the emperor's admiral and commander of the allied fleets. He was unable to fulfil his instructions successfully, and was defeated at Preveza in 1538. In 1540 Venice made peace, and the Turks took the Aegean duchy of Naxos from the Sanudo family. After Preveza the supremacy of the sea passed to Turkey.

    1539 The three Inquisitors:

    The State Inquisitors, later known as the Supreme Tribunal, were instituted, and their duties laid down, in a law of 1539. There were three Inquisitors, one known popularly as il rosso, "the red one," who was chosen from the Dogal Councillors, who wore scarlet robes, and two from the Council of Ten, known as i negri, "the black ones." They began as a security body at the difficult time when Venice felt herself encircled by the Hapsburgs, and gradually assumed some of the powers of the Council of Ten. By means of espionage, counterespionage and internal surveillance, they made use of a network of informers and "confidants."

    1545 Enforced galley service:

    Until 1545 the oarsmen in the galleys were free sailors enrolled on a wage. They were originally Venetians, but later Dalmatians, Cretans and Greeks joined in large numbers. Because of the difficulty in hiring sufficient crews, Venice had recourse to conscription, chaining the oarsmen to the benches as other navies had already done. Cristoforo da Canal was the first Venetian to command such a galley.

    1556 The provveditori ai beni inculti:

    This office was founded in 1556, and was established for the improvement of agriculture by increasing the acreage 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.

    1571 The loss of Cyprus and the battle of Lepanto:

    Venice's political situation now resembled that at the time of the battle of Preveza. Allied with Spain and the pope, she was able to assemble a grand fleet of 208 galleys, 110 of which were Venetian, equal in numbers to the Turkish fleet, under the command of John of Austria, half-brother of Philip 11. The Venetians were commanded by Sebastiano Venier. The Turkish fleet had sailed up the Adriatic as far as Lesina, and then returned to Lepanto in the Gulf of Patras for provisions. The Christian fleet had assembled at Messina and encountered the Turkish fleet off Lepanto on 7 October 1571. Lepanto was a great Venetian and Christian victory, and the victors divided up 117 galleys captured from the Turks. But the Venetians gained no strategic advantage. Philip 11 was concerned with the balance of power in the eastern Mediterranean and Africa, and was unwilling for the fleet to become involved in the Levant. Famagusta, the last stronghold on the island of Cyprus, had been attacked by the Turks in 1570 and had surrendered before Lepanto. The Turkish commander had had the Venetian provveditore Marcantonio Bragadin flayed alive. The loss of Cyprus was ratified in the peace of 1572.

    1577 The fire in the Doge's Palace:

    On 20 December a fire broke out in the Doge's Palace and destroyed the ffalls of the Maggior Con.viglio and the Scrutinio. The Signori summoned the 15 greatest architects of the time. Palladio's proposed new building in the classical style was rejected, and the contract given to Antonio Da Ponte, who completed the reconstruction in under a year. Guariento's great fresco of The Coronation (@f' the Virgin was beyond repair, and Jacopo Tintoretto's huge canvas of Paradive was placed over it (I 588-90).

    1587 The public bank:

    The first public bank was set up by the Venetian government in 1587 after the collapse of a private bank, ai-nid public outcry. It was known as the Banco delta Piazza. A second public bank, the Banco del Giro, was started in 1619, and in 1638 the Banco delta Piazza was abolished. These banks played a very important role in financing the Republic's wars, by issuing representative money.

    1593 The stronghold of Paimanova:

    After the war against the League of Cambrai, Venice had to cede Gradisca and retreat to the west of the Isonzo. Then came the Turkish incursions into Friuli. In order to reinforce the eastern border against the Turks and the Hapsburgs, Venice decided to build a fortress. In this way Paimanova was built to the design of Giulio Savorgnan, in a nine-pointed star. The first stone was ceremonially laid on 7 October 1593, on the twenty-second anniversary of the battle of Lepanto.

    1605-7 Paolo Sarpi and the interdict:

    The famous conflict between Venice and the Holy See began with the arrest of two members of the clergy who were guilty of petty crimes, and with a law restricting the Church's right to enjoy and acquire landed property. Paul V held that these provisions were contrary to canon law, and demanded that they should be repealed. When this was refused, he placed Venice under an interdict, which forbade priests from carrying out their religious duties and excommunicated the rulers. 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 the French 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. In 1607 Sarpi was wounded in an assault by three ruffians, and said that in the dagger which wounded him he recognized "lo stile (=the style, or the dagger) of the Roman curia." To him Venice also owed two essays on The Rule of the Adriatic in which he defended Venice's jurisdiction over this "enclosed and restricted sea, which has since time immemorial been owned and guarded at [great] expense and labour."

    1613-17 The pirates and the war of Gradisca:

    "The whole house of Austria is displeased and disgusted at the just rule of the Most Serene Republic over the Gulf, and it appears to [us] that they are disturbing Venice's peaceful jurisdiction and possession with the frequent raids of the Uzkoks," so Venice wrote.The Uzkoks were Christian refugees from Bosnia and Turkish Dalmatia who had been enlisted by the Hapsburgs to defend their borders after the peace between Venice and the Ottomans following the battle of Lepanto. They settled in Segna and lived as pirates in the Adriatic, causing Venice to worry that they would complicate relations with the Sublime Porte. When Venice acted against these Uscocchi in 1613, she found herself at odds on land with their protector, the archduke of Austria. An army was sent against Gradisca, which belonged to the archduke, and financial support was given to the duke of Savoy who was pinning down the Spanish army in Lombardy. The military operations on the eastern frontier were not decisive, but among the terms of the peace of 1617 the Hapsburgs undertook to solve the problem of the Uzkoks, whom they moved inland.

    1617-18 The war of Ossuna and the Marquis of Bedmar's conspiracy:

    Whether on his own initiative, or supported by his king, the Spanish viceroy of Naples attempted to break Venetian dominance in the Gulf by sending a naval squadron to the Adriatic. His expedition met with mixed success in 1617, and he retired from the Adriatic. Rumours of sedition and conspiracy were meanwhile circulating in Venice, and there were disturbances between mercenaries of differentnationalities enrolled for the war of Gradisca. The Spanish ambassador, the Marquis of Bedmar, was wise to the plot, if not the author of it. Informed of this by a Huguenot captain, the Ten acted promptly. Three "bravos" were hanged, and the Senate demanded the immediate recall of the Spanish ambassador.

    1622 The Foscarini affair:

    Antonio Foscarini, a senator and ambassador to England, was accused of acting for foreign powers during his time as ambassador and of spying for Spain after his return. He was tried, acquitted of the first charge, found guilty of the second and hanged from a gallows between the columns of the Piazzetta in 1622. A few months later the Ten discovered that he had been the innocent victim of a plot. He was rehabilitated, and the news circulated around all the chancelleries of Europe.

    1628-30 The Mantuan succession and the plague:

    On the death of Ferdinando Gonzaga, duke of Mantua and Monferrato, the succession developed upon a French prince, Charles of Gonzaga-Nevers. This changed the balance of power in northern Italy, which had until now been controlled by the Spanish through Milan. In the ensuing war, Venice was allied with France against the Hapsburgs and Savoy. The Venetian army was defeated in an attempt to come to the aid of Mantua which was under siege by German troops, and Mantua itself was savagely sacked. The peace which recognized Charles of Gonzaga-Nevers as duke of Mantua and Monferrato was made practically without Venice's participation. War brought plague in 1630. In 16 months 50,000 people died in Venice, one third of the population. The first stone of the church of Santa Maria della Salute was laid as a thanksoffering for the end of the plague.

    1638 Valona bombarded:

    While the Venetian fleet was cruising off Crete, a corsair fleet from Barbary consisting of 16 galleys from Algiers and Tunis entered the Adriatic. When the fleet returned, the corsairs repaired to the Turkish stronghold of Valona. In spite of this Marino Cappello attacked the corsairs, bombarded the forts and captured their galleys, freeing 3,600 prisoners. The sultan reacted to the bombardment of his fortress by arresting the bailo Alvise Contarini. War was averted and the matter settled by diplomacy.

    1644 The sultan's harem:

    The Knights of Malta raided a Turkish convoy en route from Alexandria to Constantinople and captured part of the sultan's harem returning from Mecca. On their way home the Maltese landed on Crete. Christian pirates were no less active in the Mediterranean than Moslem ones, and Crete was an irritant to Turkish shipping. The sultan prepared a fleet to punish Malta, but it attacked Crete instead. So began the 25-year-long war of Candia.

    1645-69 The war of Candia:

    In the middle of 1645 the Turks attacked the frontiers of Dalmatia and landed on Crete. On 22 August, Khania was forced to capitulate. Dalmatia too was heavily attacked but the Venetians were able to save their coastal positions because of their command of the sea. The greatest Turkish effort was directed against Sebenico (Sebenik), to which they laid siege in August-September 1647, but the siege failed, and in the succeeding year the Venetians recovered several fortresses inland, such as Clissa. In Crete, however, the situation was more serious. The Turks attacked the capital of Candia, which held out for 20 years. Throughout the long war the Venetian strategy was to blockade the Dardanelles in order to surprise the Turkish fleet on its way to supply the troops on Crete. There were some signal successes, but they failed to alter the strategic situation. There were two victories in the Dardanelles, in 1655 and 1656. In the second of these battles on 26 August 1656, the Turks suffered their most crushing defeat since Lepanto, and the commander Lorenzo Marcello fell. The next year there was a three-day-long sea-battle (17-19 July 1657), in which the captain Lazzaro Mocenigo was killed by a failing mast. The battle was on the whole a defeat. With the end of the war between France and Spain in 1659, Venice received more aid from the Christian states than the small contingents which she had received in the first years. In 1666 an expedition to retake Khania failed, and in 1669 another attempt to lift the siege of Candia with joint action on land with the French contingent and by sea under Mocenigo, was also a failure. The French returned home, and only 3,600 fit men were left in the fortress of Candia. Francesco Morosini negotiated its surrender on 6 September 1669. The island of Crete was ceded, except for some small Venetian bases, while Venice retained the islands of Tinos and Cerigo, and its conquests in Dalmatia.

    1667 The tine-of-battle ship:

    The backbone of the Venetian fleet had always been its galleys and galleasses. Naval battles were decided by boarding, as had been the case at Lepanto. But naval tactics had been revolutionized by the galleon, with rows of cannon on its sides, and by the line-of-battle ship, which derived fromit. Venice chartered some Dutch and British ships, and adapted merchant ships to military purposes, After this the first line-of-battle ship was built in the Arsenal in 1667, to the design of a British battle00 ship. In the next half-century 68 line-of-battle ships came from the Arsenal stocks.

    1684-99 The Morea conquered:

    In September 1683 John Sobieski routed the Turks besieging Vienna. From this time the Ottoman power of expansion was broken, and the empire started the long course of its decline over the next few centuries. In 1684 Venice formed an alliance with Austria; Russia was later included in the league. Francesco Morosini occupied the island of Levkas and set out to recapture the Greek ports. Between June 1685 when he landed at Corone, and August when he occupied Patras, Lepanto and Corinth, he secured the Peloponnese for Venice. In September during the attack on Athens, a Venetian cannon blew up the Parthenon. Venetian possessions were greatly increased in Dalmatia too, although the attempt to regain Negropont in 1688 was a failure. Morosini's successors failed to obtain lasting results in the next years, although large fleets were sent out, and in spite of some brilliant victories - at Mitylene in 1695. Andros in 1697 and the Dardanelles in 1698. The peace of Carlowitz in 1699 favoured Austria and Russia more than Venice, which failed to regain its bases in the Mediterranean taken by the Turks in the last two centuries, in spite of its conquests.

    1700 Neutrality:

    New conflict was brewing over the question of the Spanish succession. Both France and the Hapsburg empire, the two European powers which had been fighting in Europe for 200 years, attempted to gain an active ally in Venice, despatching envoys with authority there in 1700. The Venetian government preferred to remain neutral rather than accept hypothetical advantages offered by interested parties. The Republic remained faithful to this policy of neutrality to the end, caught in un avoidable decline but living out its life in enviable luxury.

    1714-18 The Morea lost:

    In December 1714 the Turks declared war when the Peloponnese (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 fleet, thought it better to save the fleet than torisk 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 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 Austrians at Petervaradino on 3 August 1716. Venetian naval efforts in the Aegean and the Dardanelles in 1717 and 1718 met with little success. With the peace of Passarowitz, of 21 July 1718, Austria, the conquering power, made large territorial gains, but Venice lost the Morea, for which her small gains in Albania and Dalmatia were little compensation. This was her last war with Turkey.

    1733 Losses from rivals:

    In 1733 the five sari alla mer(-an ia wrote, "We have many ports in the Mediterranean which cause losses to our trade." Trade passed direct to Lombardy and Germany from Genoa, Venice's old rival, and Leghorn, created by the grand dukes of Tuscany and a staging-post for English trade in the Mediterranean. Still more injurious were the papal town of Ancona and Hapsburg Trieste, a free port since 1719, in the Adriatic, which no longer constituted a Venetian "Gulf." "Apart from the residue which is left to us, Ancona robs us of the trade from both the Levant and the West, from Albania and the other Turkish provinces. Trieste takes nearly all the rest of the trade which comes froi-n Germany." Even the cities or the eastern i-nainland up to Verona got their supplies from Genoa and Leghorn.

    1744-82 The sea walls:

    In 1744 the construction of sea walls was undertaken to protect the shore of the lagoon between Pellestriiia and Chioggia to a plan drawn up by father Vincenzo Maria Coronelli, cartographer to the Republic in 1716. The thick wall ol'Istria stone, 14 meters (46 feet) wide and four-and-a-half meters (15 reet) above i-nean tide level were in two parts. The sea walls of Pellestrina were four kilometers (two and a half miles) long, and were finished in 1751, while the walls of Sottomarina were 1200 meters (I mile) long and were finished in 1782. They were "a work which recalls the greatness of the Romans, outdoing men, sea, and time" (1777). They were the last great public work of the Venetian state, which had always devoted its skill, its persistence, and its money to the defense of the lagoon.

    1762 Tribunalisti and querinivti:

    Angelo Maria Querini, "intervened" in a sentence of the Supreme Tribunal (the three Inquisitors of State), and was arrested by order of the Inquisitors. In protest the MaggiorCon.yiglio refused to vote in the elections for the Council of Ten, nominating four "correctors" to revise the laws. The head of the party of reformers, known as the qiieri),ii.vti was Paolo Renier, while the tribu alisti, those who upheld the power of the Supreme Tribunal, were led by Marco Foscarini. The parliamentary battle concluded with the vote of 16 March 1762, in the Maggior Consiglio, in which the "conservative" proposals of' the correctors were accepted by a majority of only two votes. Marco Foscarini and Paolo Renier were both subsequently elected doge.

    1766 The Barbary pirates: Jacopo Nani at Tripoli:

    Venetian trade with the western Mediterranean was seriously affected by the wars of the Barbary pirates on the coast of the Maghreb, who were only nominally under the control of the Sublime Porte. In 1750 the sari lamented that "the pirates are multiplying their arms, losses are unceasing, and we are reduced to either remaining in port, or to sailing with excessive expenses in crew and safeguards, or else losing our ships and disgracingour nation". Diplomatic delegations between 1761 and 1765 to Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli and Morocco, led to agreements for which the Venetians had to pay large annual indemnities. The bey of Tripoli later caused further incidents, and Jacopo Nani's squadron was charged with undertaking military action. This turned out to be a simple demonstration of strength, since the bey hastily accepted the Venetian demands as soon as the fleet appeared. The goodwill purchased from the Barbary states bore fruit. From an original 40 Venetian vessels the number rose in 1774 to 303, and later to 405.

    1779-80 Attempts at reform:

    "All is in disorder, everything is out of control," exclaimed Carlo Contarini in the M(iggior Consiglio on 5 December 1779. He was talking of a "commotion" in demand of a plan of reform also supported by Giorgio Pisani. The idea was to remove the monopoly of power enjoyed by the small number of rich patricians to the advantage of the very large number of poor ones. This gave rise to fears of "overturning the system" and the doge, Paolo Renier, opposed the plan. "Prudence" suggested that the agitations in favour of reform were a conspiracy. The Inquisitors took the arbitrary step of confining Pisani in the castle of San Felice in Verona, and Contarini in the fortresss of Cattaro.

    1784 The lament of "el Paron":

    On 29 May 1784 Andrea Tron, known as el paron (the chief) because of his political influence, said that trade "is falling into final collapse. The ancient and long-held maxims and laws which created and could still create a state's greatness have been forgotten. [We are] supplanted by foreigners who penetrate right into the bowels of our city. We are despoiled of our substance, and not a shadow of our ancient merchants is to be found among our citizens or our subjects. Capital is lacking, not in the nation, but in commerce. It is used to support effeminacy, excessive extravagance, idle spectacles, pretentious amusements and vice, instead of supporting and increasing industry which is the mother of good morals, virtue, and of essential national trade."

    1784-86 The last naval venture:

    The bey of Tunis's Barbary pirates renewed their acts of piracy following claims of compensation for losses suffered by Tunisian subjects in Malta, due to no fault of the Venetians. When diplomatic efforts to reach an agreement failed, the government was forced to take military action. A fleet under Angelo Emo blockaded Tunis and bombarded Susa (November 1784 and May 1785), Sfax (August 1785) and La Coletta (September), and then Sfax and Susa again, and Biserta in 1786. These brilliant military successes brought no cornparable political results in their train, and the Senate recalled Emo and his fleet to Corfu. After Emo's death on I March 1792, peace was made with Tunis by increasing the bey's dues.

    1789 The last doge:

    In January 1789 Lodovico Manin, from a recently ennobled mainland family, was elected doge. The expenses of the election had grown throughout the 18th century, and now reached their highest ever. The patrician Pietro Gradenigo remarked, "I have made a Friulian doge; the Republic is dead." In Valence Napoleon Bonaparte was serving the king of France as an artillery lieutenant.

    1797 The end:

    In spring 1796 Piedmont fell and the Austrians were beaten from Montenotte to Lodi. The Italian army under Napoleon 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 peace of Leoben, the terms of which remained secret, the Austrians were to take the Venetian possessions as the price of peace (18 April 1797). Nevertheless the peace envisaged the continued survival of the Venetian state, although confined to the city and the lagoon, perhaps with compensation at the expense of the papal states. In the meanwhile Brescia and Bergamo revolted to Venice, and anti French movements were arising elsewhere. Napoleon threatened Venice with war on 9 April. On 25 April he announced to the Venetian delegates at Graz, "I want no more Inquisition, no more Senate; I shall be an Attila to the state of Venice." Domenico Pizzamano fired on a French ship trying to force an entry from the Lido forts. On I May, Napoleon declared war. The French were at the edge of the lagoon. Even the cities of the Veneto had been "revolutionized" by the French, who had established provisional municipalities. On 12 May, the Maggior Consiglio approved a motion to hand over power "to the system of the proposed provisional representative government," although there was not a quorum of votes: 512 voted for, ten against, and five abstained. On 16 May the provisional municipal government met in the Hall of the Maggior Co siglio. The preliminaries of the peace of Leoben were made even harsher in the FrancoAustrian treaty of Campoformido, and Venice and all her possessions became Austrian. The accord was signed at Passariano, in the last doge's villa, on 18 October 1797.

  5. #5
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    Well that was quite a fair bit to wade through. Difficult thing to summarise, Venice's history So, how long before we can expect the history to be re-written?
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  6. #6
    It won't take long. I'll just write some pre-game info and then begin the action!

    Quote Originally Posted by stnylan
    Well that was quite a fair bit to wade through. Difficult thing to summarise, Venice's history So, how long before we can expect the history to be re-written?

  7. #7
    II) Introduction and Pre-game Info

    There has been a great prologue, but I think it's important to be complete in the history. I don't expect that you read all that great history, althoug I may use some terms from there. But then, let's enter a new phase. Not action yet, please be a little more patient...

    About the history, I'll try to write it pleasing you readers. I may switch from 3rd person to 1st person style during the game. Suggestions will be very welcomed. And I'll try to put pictures as many as possibles (cause sometimes I forget to alt printscreen).

    Here are some info you may not like (I hope it doesn't disencourage you to read):

    Game version: 1.00 (In the computer where I play, it's difficult to get a new patch)
    Scenario: The Grand Campaign
    Level: Normal/Normal (I'm a newbie...)

    Other thing is that I don't promise to post very frequently. Maybe one or two times a week.

    I really believe that, despite these settings, I can make a cool history. I haven't seen any venetian AAR recently, and that country offer a lot of possibilities for a writAAR to explore. This is my first and I hope I'll begin well.

  8. #8
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    Venice is certainly an interesting country with plenty of interesting potential. I look forward to things beginning.
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  9. #9
    Things I forgot to say:

    There will be no save/reload, nor any cheats;

    So, time to begin it. (Finally... )

    III) And the Renaissance begins

    1. Administration of Tommaso Mocenigo

    Venice, January 1 1419
    The Maggior Consiglio's Headquarter

    Tommaso Mocenigo: Gentlemen, we're here to discuss about our actual situation and to make plans to our nation. So, let's begin.
    These information are ultra-secret; No one should know about what is said here, except ourselves.
    Our geographers made a map of our country and its neighbors. I added a black line that show my long term plan to Venice. All provinces inside it are our claims; that means UNIFICATION of italian, slavonic, greek and some oppressed cristian cultures under one great nation, whose capital will be Venice. And, also means we claim to be the NEW ROMAN REPUBLIC. This time, not under Rome or Constantinople rule, but venetian. Here's the map:

    However, the world only recognise our claims to Mantua, Ragusa, Morea and Cyprus.

    Marco (A famous merchant): It would be a great perspective for the traders, but I can't imagine how can we do it. It's hard to hold our actual positions... We have Hungary upset with us for the question of Dalmatia, the Turks may turn against us very soon if the Byzantine continue giving them more and more privileges, Austria are eager to have a seaport, and italian mercenaries would gladly plunder our beloved Venice if they have a chance.

    Tommaso Mocenigo: That's why we can't be passive. We must take the initiative and begin soon our expansion. I'm an old man, but I don't want to die without more glory and conquest to me and Venice.
    We will take care of the austrian snakes and hungarian bears with a single move. In the next days you will see how.

    ("January 1, 1419 : My Lord, our State Gift has enormously improved our relations with Austria. They should be regarded as very dear friends!" )

    Soon, Frederick will want us to be his ally. With HRE on our side, we have nothing to fear from land; and from sea, we have a strong navy, that can protect us from Turkey or even the Byzantine. And our mercenaries match the other italians. We really can begin soon our expansion. But slowly; We cannot deteriorate our relations with the rest of the world (this means, keeping a low badboy will be important in the beggining).

    Giovanni (governor of Crete): So, what shall we do?

    Tommaso Mocenigo: No war will be declared this year. We will make alliance with Austria, increase our trade in Liguria and promote tax collectors in all provinces. We'll move one step towards centralization, put all our investiments in land tech, and be equally tolerant to all christians, but no tolerance to muslims. We need to strength our economy, trade and international relations before begin the expansion. Do anyone have something to say?

    The domestic policies, after the first change.

    (All the traders liked the proposal. Religious liked the possible extra income from tax collectors. Only the landowners disliked the proposal. But they didn't dared to oppose the great doge.)

    Then, we'll finish today. Tomorrow I'll send our decision to dei Pregati.

    And these are important facts that happened in the year:

    March 7, 1419 : Our merchants successfully expanded our trade in Liguria.
    March 7, 1419 : Our merchants successfully expanded our trade in Liguria.
    March 7, 1419 : Our merchants successfully expanded our trade in Liguria.
    March 7, 1419 : Our merchants successfully expanded our trade in Liguria.
    March 7, 1419 : We have competed for trade in Liguria and Genoa lost a merchant.
    March 7, 1419 : We have competed for trade in Liguria and Bremen lost a merchant.

    September 1, 1419 : We entered a Royal Marriage with Bosnia.

    December 11, 1419 : Tuscany accepted peace with Siena on the following terms : Full Annexation of Tuscany by Siena.

    January 1, 1420 : A new Center of Trade has opened in Thrace.

    The last news left Tommaso worried. Austria was his ally, but Siena growed; Byzantium took more than half of the venetian trade influence. Venice could not stay passive to the happenings. Then, Tommaso Mocenigo sents a declaration of war to Ragusa's monarch.

    January 9, 1420 : Venice declared war upon Ragusa.
    January 9, 1420 : Albania joined the war on the same side as Ragusa in their war against Venice.

    After loosing initial battles to the joint armies of Ragusa and Albania, venetian diplomats managed to ensure the Albanian neutrality in exchange for 6 ducats. But the war wasn't still going well; Ragusa won again in Dalmatia and in Gulf of Venice.

    At the same time, more traders went to Thrace.

    But the army reorganizated, boarded to Ragusa, and in June 16 1422, while Ragusa Army was still sieging Dalmatia, we captured Ragusa. Immediately, the monarch accepted total anexation and the armies and ships of Ragusa now fight to Venice. Tommaso celebrated the victory with the generals in his villa.

    In March 1423, more merchants went to Thrace.

    And, in April 5, 1423, the old Tommaso Mocenigo died, having in mind he made all possible to Venice. His actuation marks the beggining of the venetian commercial, economic and territorial expansion.

    Here's the venetian territory in Mocenigo's dead time:

  10. #10
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    I would just say watch out for Byzantium. You don't want the Ottomans annexing Thrace and those three provinces turnin Turkish.
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  11. #11
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    The Court of the Crimson King
    You've got plans for a big Venice, sounds interesting

  12. #12
    stnylan: I'll watch out for Thrace. But it's not that urgent, since Byzantium still own Morea.

    Lord_D: Thanks, and I'll try to make Venice a great colonial power also.

  13. #13
    2. The administration of Francesco Foscarini (Part I)

    As the old man walked, going to the confortable, yet simple villa, he thought about the great task he was going to take. As Cardinal of the St. Mark's Church, never he got a challenge of this nature. Known simply as "The Cardinal", he was invited to be the new Doge's advisor. And only accepted because of the friendship with his family. He was there when Francesco borned, to bless him. And taught him the ways of the true faith, in his childhood. "I know he can have a long and glorious administration, and I'm proud to illuminate his task.", the Cardinal spoke for himself.

    Francesco was a young man, and his family a very christian one, rich and influent. Francesco himself was a different young. He liked more the church than the parties, wine and ladies that the city had to offer in both quantity and quality. He had a formation of Architect, and didn't like wars. His dream was to see a wonderful Cathedral build in the center of each greek cities. Then, the awaited visitor finally came.

    The Cardinal:
    My boy, how're you? Looks fine! How you feeling 'bout being named Doge of Veneto?

    Francesco: Ah, I feel like there's a lot of work to do here. I want to use my influence to spread the true faith in the greek territories. But, thank you for coming. You know, you're the person I trust, since my father died. And you're wise man. I think we can make some good things to this city.

    The Cardinal: Well, then as advisor, I must work for your success. And the first thing I suggest you, is to arrange marriages for you and for your brothers. This will make your house known in the world, and you'll also be introduced in some important houses of europe, thus being aware of some events from other countries. We'll worry about spread the faith later.

    April 5, 1423 : We entered a Royal Marriage with Bavaria.

    May 2, 1424 : We entered a Royal Marriage with France.

    And then, a wise leadership for Venice was formed, when an important new came.

    June 27, 1424 : Duchy of Athens accepted peace with Albania on the following terms : Full Annexation of Duchy of Athens by Albania.

    Francesco: In these two years, I learned much with you. But this is the first break of regional equilibrium I have seen. Do that mean great worries for us?

    The Cardinal: For now, not. It just means that Albania is now a hated country and that soon they will lose all the conquered and maybe, lose all they have to a stronger power. We don't have immediate interest in Albania, but the problem is that a Great Power can conquest it and this means potential troubles in the future, when we eventually focus to that lands. But let's be carefull; maybe if we increase our number of soldiers we can be protected against an eventual problem that event can cause. And would be good if there was a good general to lead our troops... the mercenaries are very expensive and not very trustable.

    And God listened to his claims.

    January 1, 1425 : Carmagnola awaits your command in Veneto.

    As the Cardinal calculated, some time after Byzantium conquered Hellas, Savoy annexed Albania.

    More months passed and the only thing made was to increase the market shares of Venice in all known markets. All looked as calm water, but then the storm came. A thing happened that took the peace of mind of the Cardinal and Francesco. How could the emperor be so fool?

    December 5, 1425 : Byzantium declared war upon Turkey.

    This made Francesco call the Maggior Consiglio. They decided that, there was nothing Venice could directly make to stabilize the situation; But they offered a loan with low interests to Byzantium, in the hope that this could help in their strugle for survival. And sent them also a noble and smart lady from Veneto to marry the unwise emperor, in part to ensure the proper payment of the loan after the war, but also to give the mad emperor some illuminated advices.

    In June 1427 more bad news: the famous admiral, P. Loredan has died.

    And the war ended; the outcome wasn't so disastrous.

    September 13, 1428 : Byzantium accepted peace with Turkey on the following terms : Morea to Turkey.

    When the time came for the Doge to make a change in domestic policies, he chosen to increase centralization. This animated the engineers, that soon anouced they invented new arms and techniques.

    July 1, 1429 : Our land technology increased to Late Medieval (2). We can now build level 2 Fortresses.

    And a thing happened that made Francesco cry. The missionaries in Ionia succesfully converted most of local people and a imponent cathedral was built in the center of the capital of the venetian aegean islands.

    August 14, 1430 : We converted the heretics and heathens in Ionia to the one true faith.

    And the Austrians declared war against Savoy and asked venetian support!

    The Cardinal: There's no future opposed to HRE. We have nothing to do but to stay on their side. Let's send our forces to Albania. They have no protection there, except for some drunk guards before the major house.

    And soon, Albania was sieged by Venice. The ships assured no reinforcements from Piemonte came; the siege haven't lasted long. But such efforts proved fruitless, when the austrians accepted a white peace with them.

    The following news left Francesco happy (but even the Cardinal worried). He liked the church.

    November 6, 1431 : Modena accepted peace with Papal States on the following terms : Full Annexation of Modena by Papal States.

    January 25, 1432 : Siena accepted peace with Papal States on the following terms : Firenze to Papal States.

    At these times, the Hungarian monarchy was much more pro-byzantium than pro-turkey. The iminent war beggined. The venetian traders liked this one; the price paid for arms never have been so good! Also Venice, seeing the oportunity to seize Morea, declared war on the turks.

    It's time to bring punishment to the infidels. I myself shall prepare the DoW.

    The Cardinal:
    Are you sure?

    Francesco: Yes. That's what I want to do.

    The merchant faction of Dei Pregati clapped loudly, since Napflion was the last supply port not controled by Venice in the way to Thrace.

    The war had no surprises; Siege Morea; load to Macedonia; Siege Macedonia; go to Rumelia; Siege Rumelia; Send peace offer; load to Smyrna; Siege Smyrna; Send peace offer again; Receive Morea and some indemnization.

    In the middle of the war,

    December 9, 1432 : We converted the heretics and heathens in Corfu to the one true faith.

    At the end of war, Turkey was a weakened nation. So that, the wise venetian lady did not oppose the mad emperor, when he again declared war on the turks.

    November 20, 1433 : Byzantium declared war upon Turkey.

    And more bad news:

    July 30, 1434 : We failed to convert the heretics and heathens in Crete
    July 30, 1434 : The peasants in Crete are revolting!

    Another weird new:

    January 5, 1435 : Siena accepted peace with The Knights on the following terms : Full Annexation of Siena by The Knights.

    And then, 6 peacefull years came to bless Venice. In the fourth, The Cardinal retired to a distant monastery, where he wished to die in peace, only praying.
    Francesco invited no substitute to the illuminated advisor.

    (Uff... this Doge don't die! I'm becoming tired to write!)

    January 8, 1441
    Burial of the loyal general Gattamelata

    Look at him. He has never been the same after the Cardinal went out.

    Merchant's Wife: Yes. I wonder why he doesn't want a new advisor.

    Merchant: Word is that, he named God his new advisor. But we can never trust the rumors that people spread.

    Baronet: Excuse, may I sit down beside you?

    Merchant and his wife: But, sure!

    Baronet: I've heard the Maggior Consiglio is planning an invasion of Mantua. It looks like it's being hard to convince the Doge to fight fellow christians.

    Merchant: Really??? But why such a war now? Trade has never been better! Science, Culture, Production... all is working well! The doge don't need more poor people to feed! We don't need to have a lot of land; we are a trade-based nation.

    Baronet: Dont worry! When they try to convince the Doge of something, 3 years are not enough. Anyway, I dont think like you. Specially when the word is that the lands are to be given to noble landowners like me, if the nobility alone is able to raise and fund the necessary forces to the conquest.

    Merchant: Well, if no wartaxes be charged from me, you will have my support.


    And Venice declared war against mantua only more than three years later. But, some important things happened before this.

    May 1, 1441 : Our land technology increased to Late Medieval (3). (no bonus effect)

    January 23, 1442 : Naples became Vassals of Aragon.

    May 8, 1442 : Genoa declared war upon Papal States.

    May 8, 1442 : Eire joined the war on the same side as Papal States, The Knights and Portugal in their war against Genoa, England, Burgundy, Aragon, Castile and Navarra.

    June 14, 1442 : Bosnia accepted peace with Wallachia on the following terms : Full Annexation of Bosnia by Wallachia

    October 1, 1444 : France is now the sole defender of the Catholic faith.

    February 1, 1445 : Venice declared war upon Mantua.

    February 1, 1445 : Austria joined the war on the same side as Venice in their war against Mantua, Milan and Luxembourgh.

    May 21, 1445 : Auvergne joined the war on the same side as Mantua, Milan and Luxembourgh in their war against Venice and Austria.

    Mantua was easily captured in June 19, 1445, while the milanese forces where occupied fighting the austrians. Soon, also Milan fell to the mighty Austria-Venice axis, and luxembourg offered white peace, accepted by the Doge. Austria took all the cash from Mantua; Venice annexed it. From Milan, Austria also took all the cash; Venice vassalizated it, but the occupation lasted longer, to take also some cash from them.

    Fearing that Venetian expansion could turn agaisnt them,

    February 3, 1446 : Serbia declared war upon us!
    February 3, 1446 : Austria joined the war on the same side as Venice in their war against Serbia and Wallachia.

    The italian mercenaries won a series of battles. One by one, the best serbian knights fell. The serbian king started recruitment of whoever could carry up weapons; even women and childs were among the last serbian resistence.

    May 13, 1447 : Serbia accepted peace with Austria on the following terms : Serbia pays 114$ in indemnities.

    July 5, 1447 : Serbia accepted our generous peace offer. (kosovo and vassalisation)
    July 5, 1447 : Serbia are now our vassals.


    (Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post. I promise there will be in the next)

  14. #14
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    Sounds like you are solidifying your position quite nicely.
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  15. #15
    Big fetid toad
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    I've not yet finished your second post, but wanted to notify you that you can count me onboard :nods: .

    Damn, I did not suspect such history for Veneto.

    Welcome on the forum (yeah, I know that was three weeks before...) BTW, your post count is still low, but if each one of these posts is so crowded, you might have posted more words than me already!
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  16. #16
    stnylan: Yes, position is solid. And bad boy is not high. The alliance with Austria gives Venice the possibility to expand in other directions. I'll try to keep it the whole game.

    nil-the-frogg: Another reader, always good. When I'm writing the history, the posts are certainly big, except if some doge has a quick rule. Anyway, I forgot some details you'll see better when I post the map.

    In some hours I'll post the part II of Francesco Foscarini. I've already played it. There's more expansion, and the orthodox-catholic dance continues.

  17. #17
    2. The Administration of Francesco Foscarini (Part II)

    Soon after the wars in the balkans, God blessed the Doge. 1448 was an exceptional year, 100 extra ducats to the treasury and -5% inflation (so zero inflation).

    Economy Advisor:
    Now that we have no inflation, I think we can put in some gold for the economy. I suggest the mints working at 100% capacity.

    Francesco Foscarini: Yes, do it. Mint until inflation reaches 5% again.

    Francesco wanted no more wars. He wanted more peaceful years, to make some needed domestical investiments.

    With the money, the second conversion attempt was made in Crete, and another one started in Morea. Both unsuccesfull. However, while the missionaries worked there, a new land was claimed in Morea, increasing the population, manpower and tax value.

    Other thing was the order to start the construction of a Fine Arts academy in Veneto, the first in the world, where the wonders of the renaissance filled the place.

    Although the conversion attempt failed in Morea, after some time, the people there spontaneously converted to Catholic. They funded the construction of a beautyfull church in Napflion, and Francesco himself was the architect.

    The money was enough to fortificate some cities. The first one to be fortified was Venice, (level 2).

    In 1452, the world watched excited the rebirth of an empire. Contrary to even the more optimistic opinion, Byzantium started a reconquista against the barbarian ottoman empire. Again, Constantinople was the lord of Asia Minor. Venice chosen not to interfere in the war, as peace was a priority to the Doge.

    "January 12, 1452 : Byzantium declared war upon Turkey."

    In the following years, two new admirals helped to Venice increase its naval power.

    "January 1, 1453 : G. Loredan awaits your command in Crete."
    "January 1, 1454 : Canal awaits your command in Crete."

    After inflation reached 5%, both Infra and Trade levels were reaching upper levels. A little more investiment to them, and in the same year,

    "February 1, 1454 : Our trade level increased to Early Baroque (4). We can now initiate Trade Embargo."
    "September 1, 1454 : Our infrastructure was improved to Late Renaissance (3). We can now build Refineries."

    The prosperity of Venice wasn't seen well by other nations.

    "September 17, 1454 : Denmark declared war upon us!"
    "September 17, 1454 : Sweden joined the war on the same side as Denmark in their war against Venice."

    Francesco Foscarini: How can the heart of men be so ambitious? What can make kings of such distant nations declare war on us?

    Half of the venetian ships concentrated in Sea of Crete, under command of G. Loredan, and the other half, in Straights of Otranto, undre command of Canal. No danish fleets were able to enter the blockade, then, in March 28 1456, they offered white peace. The Doge happily accepted (what he could want from such distant and cold lands?).

    The new was that the italian rival of Venice, Genoa, wasn't being able to hold his possessions. The Maggior Consiglio rejoiced with the new that Genoa no more controled his territories in the black sea:

    "May 1, 1456 : The people of Crimea declared independence from Genoa."

    But they haven't liked the outcome of the reconquista attempt of Byzantium.

    "July 3, 1457 : Turkey accepted peace with Byzantium on the following terms : Anatolia to Byzantium & Rumelia to Byzantium."

    And this was a poor outcome to Byzantium, given the high warscore they achieved. Never Turkey was so humiliated.

    The next year was marked by more technological advances.

    "March 1, 1458 : Our land technology increased to Late Medieval (4). (no bonus effect)"
    "August 1, 1458 : Our naval technology level increased to Late Medieval (3). (no bonus effect)"

    The religious dinamics in the orthodox provinces had been always dualistic. God given with a hand, but taken with the other.

    "March 7, 1459 : We failed to convert the heretics and heathens in Crete" (for the third time, even with 58% success chance)
    "March 7, 1459 : The peasants in Crete are revolting!"

    Some years after, in the middle of the next war, the people of kosovo converted to Catholic.

    Veneto, April 1459
    Villa of the Doge

    Francesco's servant: Mylord, a letter came. Don't know from who or where.

    Francesco: Let me see. By the way, have you seen the food of the dogs?

    Francesco didn't liked cats. The church taught that cats were evil. But the letter deeply changed his mind. That was the content of the letter:

    "My son, I know you shall know who am I as you read this letter. I'm very very old. I think I'll not be alive more than two or three days. Thats why I'm writing to you.
    Here I know all the news about the Papal States. And you may find not true what I'll say to you, but it is. I knew, a long ago, the Pope had secret papers that has the mission of the Papal States. The first line in these documents say: "To make all the lands the lands of the eclesiastical state". For a long time, I misunderstood the meaning of this. I suspected when they annexed Modena and conquered Firenze. But I only found out, when I was already in this monastery. In the last days, I heard that Papal States want to expand against the now weak Genoa.
    You are a fellow believer of the true faith, and this may turn you from what your eyes sees. I wish to make you warned before I die. As a man, you must believe the Pope. BUT NEVER DO IT, AS A RULER.
    I see you in the heaven my son. Stay in the God's light."

    Francesco: The Cardinal! What he is saying? I'm not understanding well...

    In principle, Francesco was opposed to the letter. But he decided to travel to Rome, to form his opinion. He had never traveled to Rome. In his immagination, Rome was a paradisiac city, but...

    The first thing he saw in Rome was poverty. But he also saw violence, prostitution and sodomy, even inside Vatican. The Pope received him in a Therma, nude, with other men and women in the bath.

    He immediately turned back, and in the day he arrived in Venice, he decided to do something to change this. The most unexpected of the news was annouced in the Maggior Consiglio. Even the local moralist church autorities stood in Francesco's side.

    "April 18, 1459 : Venice declared war upon Papal States."
    "April 18, 1459 : Eire joined the war on the same side as Papal States, The Knights and Portugal in their war against Venice."

    Other relevant news:

    "August 1, 1459 : France annexed Savoy."

    "September 23, 1459 : Venice accepted peace with Eire on the following terms : Return to Status Quo."

    "October 23, 1459 : Venice accepted peace with Portugal on the following terms : Return to Status Quo."

    "January 4, 1460 : Genoa declared war upon Papal States."
    "January 4, 1460 : Eire joined the war on the same side as Papal States, The Knights and Portugal in their war against Genoa, Denmark, Sweden and Castile."

    "February 13, 1460 : We entered a Royal Marriage with Genoa."

    "February 26, 1460 : We captured the province of Roma from Papal States"

    "February 28, 1460 : Venice accepted peace with The Knights on the following terms : Return to Status Quo."

    "August 7, 1461 : Papal States accepted our generous peace offer. (Emilia, Firenze, Romagna, Marche and a lot of money to Venice)".

    The last relevant new that happened in Francesco's rule was:

    "April 29, 1462 : Serbia accepted peace with Hungary on the following terms : Full Annexation of Serbia by Hungary"

    The map of Venice in the final days of Francesco Foscarini:

  18. #18
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    Quite a different turn amassing that large Italian domain.
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by stnylan
    Quite a different turn amassing that large Italian domain.
    The bad boy this generated will be enough to continue expanding without having to declare wars... And I'll also have to deal with rebels for some years.

    Today, more updates to come.

  20. #20
    3. The administration of Cristoforo Mofo (and the "Second First Punic War")

    During three years, all this doge done was to fight rebels. The world was recognising the concept of "Italian Unification" as a natural idea, not a different thing these days. The english in Britain; The danish in Scandinavia; The french in France; The bohemian in Germany; The castillian and byzantine in their reconquista. So was Venice in Italy.

    Nobody in the world, however, except Venice itself, liked the Idea. The french influence in northern, the spaniards in southern, the Knights of St. John in the central Italy. And the fiercest enemies of the idea were the italian now called minors: Genoa, Milan and Papal States. For this, the league of cambrai started his activities even before it was officially signed, 50 years later.

    The mediterranean, still the most important trade route of the world, was basically shared by two nations: Venice and Aragon. The first had supremacy in the eastern mediterranean; the Second, in the western. Then there was a tension that, earlier of later, would come to a war. The conditions that forged this war were like the ones in the Punic Wars beetween Carthage and Rome. For this, that war was called "Second First Punic War". A war for the control of Mediterranean trade.

    "August 9, 1466 : Aragon declared war upon us!"
    "August 9, 1466 : Austria joined the war on the same side as Venice in their war against Aragon, France, Crimea, Bourbonnais and Mecklenburg."
    "August 9, 1466 : We have closed our Centers of Trade to the merchants from Aragon."

    The most natural answer to foreign treaths, by the side of Venice, was the Trade Embargo. Never more the aragonese merchants were allowed to trade eastern goods, for the Venetian fleet controled the trade flow in the region.

    The natural shockpoint was the napoli-marche border. The forces of the two nations converged to that front. After some fierce battles, Venice, having better arms, tactics and knowledge of the terrain penetrated in Napoli and started a siege there.

    "October 29, 1466 : We won a battle against Aragon in Napoli."

    In the sea, the situation was not different, the greatest battles fought in Straights of Messina. The venetian fleet, commanded by admiral G. Loredan, that died in a Battle in March 20, 1467, proved superior in the end, although there were many loses to both sides.

    "March 1, 1467 : We captured the province of Napoli from Aragon"

    "March 20, 1467 : G. Loredan has died."

    With the venetian fleets blocking the way, the reinforcements not coming, the venetian soldiers continued marching in aragonese lands.

    "February 17, 1468 : We captured the province of Sicily from Aragon"

    The king of France, a great enemy of Venice, seeing that the war wasn't going well, offered White Peace to the Doge, that happily accepted.

    "February 19, 1468 : Venice accepted peace with France on the following terms : Return to Status Quo."

    "May 5, 1468 : We captured the province of Messina from Aragon"

    During the war, the venetian leaders achieved experience, so that they annouced the invention of a new wartactic:

    "November 1, 1468 : Our land technology increased to Late Medieval (5). We can now assault besieged Fortresses."

    And the war was going very well to Venice's side.

    "November 21, 1468 : We captured the province of Apulia from Aragon"

    All the aragonese strogholds in Italy were captured, except Sardinia and Malta. They still controled their colony in Tripolitania, and their positions in Iberia were intact. So, they refused every venetian offer of peace, for Naples and Apulia. But good news came to help:

    "December 25, 1469 : Castile declared war upon Aragon."

    "January 1, 1470 : Moceningo awaits your command in Mantua."

    The prince Mocenigo himself embarked with a large army, that all the ships of Venice were required to carry it. The war was now in the enemy lands. After some victories and loses, in November 22, 1470, Mocenigo's troops marched over the enemy capital. He had access to all aragonese maps and plans.

    "November 22, 1470 : We captured the province of Aragon from Aragon"

    Seeing that they couldn't fight both Venice and Castille, they finally accepted the Venice conditions for peace.

    "December 8, 1470 : Aragon accepted our generous peace offer. (Napoli and Apulia to Venice)"

    Being free from the effort of fighting Venice, the aragonese had a good result in the war against Castille:

    "May 2, 1473 : Aragon accepted peace with Castile on the following terms : Castile pays 100$ in indemnities. "

    But the opposition to Venice were still strong.

    "March 20, 1474 : The Knights declared war upon us!"
    "March 20, 1474 : Croatia joined the war on the same side as The Knights, Portugal, Eire, The Palatinat and Würzburg in their war against Venice."

    Soon after some battles, Würzburg and The Palatinat wisely offered white peace, that they were granted.

    The first efforts of Venice were to fight against Croatia, ignoring the advance of the Knights in Central Italy.

    "December 4, 1474 : We captured the province of Croatia from Croatia"
    "December 4, 1474 : Croatia accepted our generous peace offer. (Vassalization and Cash)"
    "December 4, 1474 : Croatia are now our vassals."

    Then, the focus was against the Knights, that had their troops reduced by the high attrition in the siege of Marche. In these battles, the famous mercenary Colleoni died in February 24, 1475. One year later, the warlord Mocenigo also died, leaving the venetian forces with weak leaders.

    After recapturing Marche and taking Siena, all the forces concentrated to attack Rhodes. However, in February 22, 1476, the Doge died without seeing his troops enter in Rhodes.

    This was the "World Map" when Cristoforo died. The gray russian province, in the north-east edge of the map, a very weird fact, is owned by Brandenburg.

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