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A History of Venice Hardcover – 4 Nov 1982

4.2 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 673 pages
  • Publisher: Viking; First Thus edition (4 Nov. 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713915625
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713915624
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,030,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

'Lord Norwich has loved and understood Venice as well as any other Englishman has ever done. He has put readers of his generation more in his debt than any other English writer' Peter Levi, The Sunday Times. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Paperback.

About the Author

John Julius Norwich was born in 1929.

He has written many books, including a three-volume history of the Byzantium Empire.

John Julius Norwich lives in London, W9.

-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Paperback.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It's a real testament to the skill of the author that this emerges as a fascinating and exciting read as well as a comprehensive and authoritative account of such a wide swathe of history. It chronicles the Republic's changing fortunes from beginning to end through eleven centuries, conveying a real sense of its spirit and character, with major players and battles leaping from the pages. The inevitable fall, when it comes, is all the more poignant for all that has come before, and casts the modern depopulation and disintegration of Venice in a new light. It's a great story whatever your interest in the subject, and this version must be pretty close to definitive.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This long and overly detailed book should be more correctly entitled 'A Political History of Venice'.
For this reader, at least, the author paid much too much attention to political and military events at the expense of social, economic and cultural developments.

The Kindle version of this book, riddled as it is with 'typos', is shamefully bad. Given how easy it is, nowadays, to correct such errors, I cannot understand how the book is sold in such poor condition.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having recently been to this beautiful city and, like countless thousands of others before me, fallen in love with it, I wanted to keep that dream alive and at the same time learn more about the city's history. So I scoured the internet for a nice big glossy coffee table book. This is not it. It is not big, it is not glossy, and it has very few photographs. And I am glad it isn't any of those things because the author's account of this fascinating slice of time and place has me looking forward to my stolen hours on the sofa learning not only about Venetian history, but how it fitted in within the ever changing boundaries of historical Europe. The sort of book I would have probably run a mile from in younger days, and even now had me doubting my ability to actually read it, has really surprised me by entertaining as much as it is educating. In short I love it!
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Format: Paperback
The city- state of Venice existed as a separate and mostly sovereign entity for the best past of 1300 years. Founded in the wreckage of the western Roman Empire from refugees looking to escape the many barbarian invasions of Italy in the 400s A.D, the collection of villages on the various islands of the lagoon slowly grew into towns and eventually a city. Taking advantage of the natural defences of the lagoon, the people of Venice were able to survive in relative peace, secure from the upheavels that affected the mainland during these early times.

Over the centuries, Venice grew ever more prosperous as her people began to trade more and more, and became excellent saliors, plying their craft upon the seas. As venice grew, so to did her peoples confidence as they started to see themselves a bread apart and also played the various European powers off against each other to maiuntain her independence. Venice also began to acquire overseas territories for means of resources and to safeguard her commerce. Tons and cities were gained on the Dalmatian coastline to secure timber for her ships and building materials for the city. Privileges were gained in the Levant and the Middle east during the time of the crusaders though in the Levant, venice was the primary insticator of the blackest treachery in Christendom, when the armies of the crusaders of the Fourth Crusade, sacked Constantinople, greatest Christian city on earth at that point, a blow from which Byzantium never recovered from, though Venice gained lands and treasure from it. From the late 1300s, Venice began to acquire a mainland empire as it was slowly dragged into the numerous Italian wars.
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Format: Paperback
Id previously read his book on byzantium and was hoping this would be in a similar vein. Thankfully i wasnt dissapointed this is a superbly written, erudite and very readable history of the Venetian Republic. It covers a huge period of time and a great many different areas yet never gets bogged down by minutiae (as a number of other books on the subject do- you can only read about so many doges with the same name before you lose track). Easily the best book ive read this year (so far)
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Format: Paperback
This is a dazzling history of a unique political entity - an oligarchic republic surrounded by feudal autocracies, religiously moderate hundreds of years before toleration developed anywhere else, and a highly profitable form of public-private capitalism. In this splendid book, the reader is treated to the entire arc of rise, reign, and fall, in luminously beautiful prose and plenty of fascinating stories.

In the beginning, Venice was a stronghold for Roman citizens seeking refuge from waves of barbarian invasions, 2.5 miles off the coast, a backwater as the Western Roman empire crumbled. Then, as a client under the protection of Byzantium, Venice slowly rose to become the premier commercial power of the Mediterranean. As a small island, everyone knew each other, so had to act in a relatively trustworthy manner in a time that piracy was indistinguishable from trade. It helped that Venetian merchants stole the body of St. Mark, using it as the basis for cosmic legitimacy and lending a kind of ideological coherence to their community - they acted in concert in unique ways for over 1,000 years.

The Venetians developed effective laws, the greatest seamanship in existence, and amassed capital that it could use for further investment, mercenaries, and bribes. Its trading partners appreciated these attributes, i.e. that Venice was relatively more trustworthy than its competitors. Together, these attributes enabled Venice to establish a number of exceedingly profitable monopolies over centuries, in particular that on spice for Europe (transport via the silk road over Asia). Though it fought many brutal wars with competitors Genoa and Pisa, Venice emerged triumphant for a time.

About 1200 a.d.
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