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By Thomas F. Madden

Between the 11th and 13th centuries, Venice reworked itself from a suffering service provider commune to a robust maritime empire that might form occasions within the Mediterranean for the subsequent 400 years. during this magisterial new e-book on medieval Venice, Thomas F. Madden strains the city-state's amazing upward thrust during the lifetime of Enrico Dandolo (c. 1107–1205), who governed Venice as doge from 1192 till his demise. The scion of a wealthy service provider kin deeply keen on politics, faith, and international relations, Dandolo led Venice's forces throughout the disastrous Fourth campaign (1201–1204), which got down to triumph over Islamic Egypt yet as a substitute destroyed Christian Byzantium. but regardless of his effect at the process Venetian history,we be aware of little approximately Dandolo, and lots more and plenty of what's recognized has been distorted via myth.

The first full-length examine dedicated to Dandolo's existence and instances, Enrico Dandolo and the increase of Venice corrects the numerous misconceptions approximately him that experience gathered over the centuries, delivering a correct and incisive overview of Dandolo's reasons, skills, and achievements as doge, in addition to his role―and Venice's―in the Fourth campaign. Madden additionally examines the capacity and strategies wherein the Dandolo relatives rose to prominence through the previous century, therefore illuminating medieval Venice's singular political, social, and spiritual atmosphere. Culminating with the drawback triggered by way of the failure of the Fourth campaign, Madden's groundbreaking paintings finds the level to which Dandolo and his successors grew to become torn among the anxieties and apprehensions of Venice's electorate and its escalating tasks as a Mediterranean power.

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Tarasius, served as an ambassador to Constantinople and accepted another reward for the doge, namely, titled jurisdiction over Dalmatia and Croatia. ”58 The chrysobull of Alexius I forever changed relations between Venice and Byzantium. Most important was the tax exemption, which gave Venetian merchants a sizeable advantage over their Genoese, Pisan, and even Greek competi- R ise of the New Families 9 tors. In effect, Venetian wharves in Byzantine ports became duty-free zones. Merchants from the lagoon flocked to the empire to take advantage of their privileged status and, in short order, many of them became rich.

The young man already came from a family of merchants and statesmen. After 1124, he was also the product of two generations of crusaders. Enrico’s uncle of the same name, Enrico Dandolo the elder, left the Levant sometime before the doge and the fleet. He may have felt, perhaps like others, that the destruction of the Egyptian fleet and subsequent winter in Jerusalem was sufficient to complete his vow. He may also have remained for the siege of Tyre, which began in February 1124, and perhaps was still there when the city fell, on July 7.

Europeans responded with a wave of pious enthusiasm that swept knights and commoners alike to the distant lands of the East. The Italian maritime cities were not immune to these sentiments. Indeed, they shared them, just as they shared their Catholic faith with their northern neighbors. Genoese merchants put together a small fleet of thirteen vessels, which set sail in 1097. Venice and Pisa, though, had much grander visions. 67 In France, Britain, and Germany, monarchs stood aloof from the seemingly impossible project while their vassals prepared for departure.

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