The Republic of Venice was the first great economic,
cultural, and naval power of the modern Western world. After winning the struggle
for ascendency in the late thirteenth century, the Republic enjoyed centuries
of unprecedented glory and built a trading empire which at its apogee reached
as far afield as China, Syria, and West Africa. This golden period only drew to
an end with the Republic’s eventual surrender to Napoleon.
The Venetians illuminates
the character of the Republic during these illustrious years by shining a light
on some of the most celebrated personalities of European history—Petrarch,
Marco Polo, Galileo, Titian, Vivaldi, Casanova. Frequently, though, these
emblems of the city found themselves at odds with the Venetian authorities who
prized stability above all else, and were notoriously suspicious of any “cult
of personality.” Was this very tension perhaps the engine for the
Republic’s unprecedented rise?
Rich with biographies of some of the most exalted characters
who have ever lived, The Venetians is
a refreshing and authoritative new look at the history of the most evocative of
city states. Download and start listening now!