Venetians in Constantinople
Nation, Identity, and Coexistence in the Early Modern Mediterranean
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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The research and writing of this book have consumed more than half of my adult life. Over the years many individuals and institutions have contributed significantly to its completion. While my name alone appears on the title page, and any errors are of course mine, I would like to recognize those who have played especially significant roles in this project...
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In early June 1614, fleeing a failed love affair, one of the early modern era’s most intrepid travelers, Pietro della Valle, set out from the Venetian port of Malamocco. A poet, an orator, and a soldier, the twenty-eight-year-old scion of a noble Roman family sailed...
1. The Venetian Nation in Constantinople
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The foundations of the Venetian trading and diplomatic nation in Constantinople date to the earliest days of La Serenissima. Initially a minor outpost in Italy, Venice increasingly became a significant political and commercial partner of the Byzantines. In 1082, in recognition of its assistance against the Normans, the Emperor Alexius I Comenus granted...
2. The Merchants of Venice
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On the first day of the Venetian new year, March 1, 1594, Bailo Marco Venier convened the governing body of the merchant nation in Constantinople, the Council of Twelve, in the great room of the embassy. In attendance were the principal merchants of the nation, gathered to discuss a ship which had foundered carrying valuable merchandise and goods belonging to many of their number. As he did at every such meeting...
3. The Unoficial Nation: Banditi, Schiavi, Greci [Photo Insert included]
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The Venetian nation in Constantinople in the early modern era was, in narrow legal terms, limited to the bailo, his famiglia, and the merchants possessing legal status as full Venetian citizens. These groups arrayed themselves around the institutions and physical space of the bailate, and represented the official nation, sanctioned and recognized by the sponsoring...
4. Jews, Renegades, and Early Modern Identity
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With the burgeoning travel literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, accounts such as Pietro della Valle’s description of his voyage to Constantinople in 1614 became increasingly common.1 Julien Bordier, squire of the French ambassador to Constantinople Jean Gontaut, baron of Salignac, produced a similar narrative of his travels into the ‘‘Orient"...
5. Merchants, Patricians, Citizens, and Early Modern Identity
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The cases of Gazanfer Aga and Righetto are fascinating and suggest the malleable and composite nature of early modern identities. It would not be unreasonable to argue, however, that because Jews and renegades existed on the margins, their experiences cannot be seen as normative. To a degree it is true that these groups inhabited the interstices of society...
6. An Urban Middle Ground: Venetians and Ottomans in Constantinople
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Cultural confrontation, what Samuel Huntington has called the ‘‘clash of civilizations,’’1 has fascinated historians from the earliest days of Herodotus’s History of the Persian Wars. Tales of human conflicts have seemed more compelling, and perhaps more representative of the human condition...
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Page Count: 312
Illustrations: 6 halftones, 2 line drawings, 1 map
Publication Year: 2006