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Venice: A New Historyby Thomas F Madden
Synopses & Reviews
An extraordinary chronicle of Venice, its people, and its grandeur
Thomas Maddenandrsquo;s majestic, sprawling history of Venice is the first full portrait of the city in English in almost thirty years. Using long-buried archival material and a wealth of newly translated documents, Madden weaves a spellbinding story of a place and its people, tracing an arc from the cityandrsquo;s humble origins as a lagoon refuge to its apex as a vast maritime empire and Renaissance epicenter to its rebirth as a modern tourist hub.
Madden explores all aspects of Veniceandrsquo;s breathtaking achievements: the construction of its unparalleled navy, its role as an economic powerhouse and birthplace of capitalism, its popularization of opera, the stunning architecture of its watery environs, and more. He sets these in the context of the rise and fall of the Byzantine Empire, the endless waves of Crusades to the Holy Land, and the awesome power of Turkish sultans. And perhaps most critically, Madden corrects the stereotype of Shakespeareandrsquo;s money-lending Shylock that has distorted the Venetian character, uncovering instead a much more complex and fascinating story, peopled by men and women whose ingenuity and deep faith profoundly altered the course of civilization.
"This is a savory, tantalizing, but not-so-serene history of La Serenessima — a tale of invasion, plunder, and ultimate elevation to one of the leading merchant cities in Europe. As Madden relates, the earliest Venetians were former citizens of the crumbling Roman empire and desperate survivors of Attila the Hun's 452 devastation of such cities as wealthy Aquileia and Patavium. In 697, the scattered lagoon dwellers elected their first 'doge' to unify the region. By 810, fledgling Venice was able to repel an invasion by the most powerful force in Europe — the Frankish king Charlemagne's son Pepin. and in the 11th century, the Norman invasion of Byzantium disrupted Venetian shipping in the Adriatic. But a Venetian war fleet reestablished dominance in the area, and Venice was the second-largest city in western Europe. Its economy damaged by the Fourth Crusade, its population decimated by the bubonic plague, by 1490 Venice had nevertheless reached the pinnacle of its power and with wealth, symbolized by the stunning family palazzi towering over the Grand Canal (although Madden also contends that medieval and Renaissance Venetians are often portrayed unfairly in modern histories as conniving and greedy). St. Louis Univ. history professor Madden's (Empires of Trust) makes use of thousands of Venetians' personal documents from the Middle Ages to present an authoritative history. Agent: J Thornton, The Spieler Agency (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A spellbinding new portrait of one of the worlds most beloved cities
La Serenissima. Its breathtaking architecture, art, and opera ensure that Venice remains a perennially popular destination for tourists and armchair travelers alike. Yet most of the available books about this magical city are either facile travel guides or fusty academic tomes. In Venice, renowned historian Thomas F. Madden draws on new research to explore the citys many astonishing achievements and to set 1,500 years of Venetian history and the endless Venetian-led Crusades in the context of the ever-shifting Eurasian world. Filled with compelling insights and famous figures, Venice is a monumental work of popular history thats as opulent and entertaining as the great city itself.
A unique and enlightening look at Europe's so-called Dark Ages
Defying the conventional Dark Ages view of European history between A.D. 400 and 1000, award-winning historian Chris Wickham presents The Inheritance of Rome, a work of remarkable scope and rigorous yet accessible scholarship. Drawing on a wealth of new material and featuring a thoughtful synthesis of historical and archaeological approaches, Wickham agues that these centuries were critical in the formulation of European identity. From Ireland to Constantinople, the Baltic to the Mediterranean, the narrative constructs a vivid portrait of the vast and varied world of Goths, Franks, Vandals, Arabs, Saxons, and Vikings. Groundbreaking and full of fascinating revelations, The Inheritance of Rome offers a fresh understanding of the crucible in which Europe would ultimately be created.
About the Author
Thomas F. Madden is a professor of history and the director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Saint Louis University in Missouri. He is the author of Empires of Trust: How Rome Built–and How America Is Building–a New World, and his work has been discussed in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
Table of Contents
The Pursuit of Glory
List of Illustrations
1. Europe in the era of Louis XIV
2. Europe in the eighteenth century
3. Europe in 1809
4. Europe in 1815
5. The Holy Roman Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy in the eighteenth century
Part One: Life and Death
3. Trade and Manufacturing
4. Agriculture and the Rural World
Part Two: Power
5. Rulers and Their Elites
6. Reform and Revolution
Part Three: Religion and Culture
7. Religion and the Churches
8. Court and Country
9. Palaces and Gardens
10. The Culture of Feeling and the Culture of Reason
Part Four: War and Peace
11. From the Peace of Westphalia to the Peace of Nystad
12. From the Peace of Nystad to the French Revolutionary Wars
13. The Wars of the French Revolution and Napoleon
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