Enrico Dandolo and the Rise of Venice

Enrico Dandolo and the Rise of Venice

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by Thomas F. Madden
     
 

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Between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries, Venice transformed itself from a struggling merchant commune to a powerful maritime empire that would shape events in the Mediterranean for the next four hundred years. In this magisterial new book on medieval Venice, Thomas F. Madden traces the city-state's extraordinary rise through the life of Enrico Dandolo (c.

Overview

Between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries, Venice transformed itself from a struggling merchant commune to a powerful maritime empire that would shape events in the Mediterranean for the next four hundred years. In this magisterial new book on medieval Venice, Thomas F. Madden traces the city-state's extraordinary rise through the life of Enrico Dandolo (c. 1107–1205), who ruled Venice as doge from 1192 until his death. The scion of a prosperous merchant family deeply involved in politics, religion, and diplomacy, Dandolo led Venice's forces during the disastrous Fourth Crusade (1201–1204), which set out to conquer Islamic Egypt but instead destroyed Christian Byzantium. Yet despite his influence on the course of Venetian history,we know little about Dandolo, and much of what is known has been distorted by myth.

The first full-length study devoted to Dandolo's life and times, Enrico Dandolo and the Rise of Venice corrects the many misconceptions about him that have accumulated over the centuries, offering an accurate and incisive assessment of Dandolo's motives, abilities, and achievements as doge, as well as his role—and Venice's—in the Fourth Crusade. Madden also examines the means and methods by which the Dandolo family rose to prominence during the preceding century, thus illuminating medieval Venice's singular political, social, and religious environment. Culminating with the crisis precipitated by the failure of the Fourth Crusade, Madden's groundbreaking work reveals the extent to which Dandolo and his successors became torn between the anxieties and apprehensions of Venice's citizens and its escalating obligations as a Mediterranean power.

Editorial Reviews

Journal of Interdisciplinary History - James S. Grubb
Madden provides an unusually lucid and thorough account.

Mediterranean Historical Review - David Jacoby
Provides an important contribution both to our understanding of Venice's political and constitutional evolution until the early thirteenth century and to the background of the Fourth Crusade.

Crusades - James M. Powell
Well-written and interesting study.

Catholic Historical Review - Nikolas Jaspert
Thanks to its resolutely urban perspective, its careful reading of the sources, and its well-founded and independent standpoint, this study is a benefit to the history of the Crusades and the history of Venice alike.

Choice
In addition to a lively narrative, Madden offers a new interpretation of Venice's role in the Fourth Crusade.

Medieval Review
This is a very readable book... No one working in the fields of Venetian, Byzantine, or Crusading history (in all three of which Madden is equally comfortable), much less medieval history in general, can ignore this book. With it, Madden more than ever stakes out his place as one of the most important medievalists in America at present.

— John W. Barker

American Historical Review
A refreshing contribution not only to study of the Fourth Crusade but also to that of medieval Venice.

— David Malkiel

International Journal of Maritime History
This book deserves to be considered authoritative because of Madden's use of sources contemporary to the Fourth Crusade and not written afterwards with the advantage of hindsight.

— Eleanor A. Congdon

International History Review
An elegantly constructed book that gives a new twist to the fourth crusade and a new perspective on the government and constitution of Venice at a critical moment in its development.

— Michael Angold

Speculum
Helps shed a great deal of new light on the origins of Venice's political system.

— Karl Appuhn

Journal of Interdisciplinary History
Madden provides an unusually lucid and thorough account.

— James S. Grubb

Mediterranean Historical Review
Provides an important contribution both to our understanding of Venice's political and constitutional evolution until the early thirteenth century and to the background of the Fourth Crusade.

— David Jacoby

Crusades
Well-written and interesting study.

— James M. Powell

Catholic Historical Review
Thanks to its resolutely urban perspective, its careful reading of the sources, and its well-founded and independent standpoint, this study is a benefit to the history of the Crusades and the history of Venice alike.

— Nikolas Jaspert

History: Reviews of New Books
An example of the kind of history that should be read and written by all students of history.

— Donald B. Epstein

Sixteenth-Century Journal
Offers a useful account of a turning point in Venice's development.

— Jonathan Seitz

History: Reviews of New Books - Donald B. Epstein
An example of the kind of history that should be read and written by all students of history.

Medieval Review - John W. Barker
This is a very readable book... No one working in the fields of Venetian, Byzantine, or Crusading history (in all three of which Madden is equally comfortable), much less medieval history in general, can ignore this book. With it, Madden more than ever stakes out his place as one of the most important medievalists in America at present.

American Historical Review - David Malkiel
A refreshing contribution not only to study of the Fourth Crusade but also to that of medieval Venice.

International Journal of Maritime History - Eleanor A. Congdon
This book deserves to be considered authoritative because of Madden's use of sources contemporary to the Fourth Crusade and not written afterwards with the advantage of hindsight.

International History Review - Michael Angold
An elegantly constructed book that gives a new twist to the fourth crusade and a new perspective on the government and constitution of Venice at a critical moment in its development.

Sixteenth Century Journal - Jonathan Seitz
Offers a useful account of a turning point in Venice's development.

Speculum - Karl Appuhn
Helps shed a great deal of new light on the origins of Venice's political system.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801891847
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
04/01/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
File size:
18 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Stanley Chojnacki

This book provides the best study in English of a twelfth-century Italian city: authoritative, accessible, and cogently argued. Written in a fluid, assured style that will appeal to general readers, it also learnedly and forthrightly takes on many controversial scholarly issues. Thomas Madden gives a full account of church and state developments that shaped Venetian history, and at the same time he presents a full treatment of the diplomatic and ecclesiastical aspects of the city's role in the Fourth Crusade. He brings medieval Venice to life, both in its lagoon and as a participant in great European movements.

Stanley Chojnacki, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Meet the Author

Thomas F. Madden is an associate professor of history and chair of the history department at Saint Louis University. He is the author of A Concise History of the Crusades, coauthor (with Donald E. Queller) of The Fourth Crusade: The Conquest of Constantinople, editor of The Crusades: Essential Readings, and co-editor (with Ellen E. Kittell) of Medieval and Renaissance Venice.

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