The Republic of Venice experienced relentless crisis in the early sixteenth century-political, military, ideological, and commercial. Focusing on Venice's involvement in the Italian Wars, these essays examine various episodes and dimensions of that time of troubles. These include the impact of apocalyptic speculation on political action, the driving force behind the creation of the Ghetto, the Venetian contribution to the infamous Sack of Rome, links between the spice trade and military disaster, the significance of old age in the ruling class, the role of the family in patrician politics, and the Republic's attempt to preserve itself in the great struggle between the Ottoman Turks and the Spanish-Habsburg Empire. A unifying theme of the essays is the contrast between the exalted reputation of the Republic (as seen in the famed "myth of Venice") and the tangled reality of Venetian politics and diplomacy.
Robert Finlay is Professor in the Department of History, University of Arkansas, USA.
Contents: Preface; The immortal republic: the myth of Venice during the Italian Wars (1494-1530); The myth of Venice in Guicciardini's History of Italy: senate orations on princes and the republic; Politics and history in the diary of Marino Sanuto; The Venetian republic as a gerontocracy: age and politics in the Renaissance; Crisis and crusade in the Mediterranean: Venice, Portugal, and the Cape route to India (1498-1509); Venice, the Po expedition and the end of the League of Cambrai, 1509-1510; The foundation of the ghetto: Venice, the Jews, and the war of the League of Cambrai; Politics and the family in Renaissance Venice: the election of Doge Andrea Gritti; Fabius Maximus in Venice: Doge Andrea Gritti , the war of Cambrai, and the rise of Habsburg hegemony, 1509-1530; 'I am the servant of the Turkish sultan': Venice, the Ottoman empire, and Christendom, 1523-1534; Index.