City of Fortune: How Venice Won and Lost a Naval Empire

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The rise and fall of the Venetian empire stands unrivaled for drama, intrigue, and sheer opulent majesty. In City of Fortune, Roger Crowley, acclaimed historian and New York Times bestselling author of Empires of the Sea, applies his narrative skill to chronicling the astounding five-hundred-year voyage of Venice to the pinnacle of power.
 
Tracing the full arc of the Venetian imperial saga for the first time, City of Fortune is framed ...

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2011 Hardcover New Book New and in stock. 8/4/2011. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you ... will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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Overview

The rise and fall of the Venetian empire stands unrivaled for drama, intrigue, and sheer opulent majesty. In City of Fortune, Roger Crowley, acclaimed historian and New York Times bestselling author of Empires of the Sea, applies his narrative skill to chronicling the astounding five-hundred-year voyage of Venice to the pinnacle of power.
 
Tracing the full arc of the Venetian imperial saga for the first time, City of Fortune is framed around two of the great collisions of world history: the ill-fated Fourth Crusade, which culminated in the sacking of Constantinople and the carve-up of the Byzantine Empire in 1204, and the Ottoman-Venetian War of 1499–1503, which saw the Ottoman Turks supplant the Venetians as the preeminent naval power in the Mediterranean. In between were three centuries of Venetian maritime dominance—years of plunder and plague, conquest and piracy—during which a tiny city of “lagoon dwellers” grew into the richest place on earth.
 
Drawing on firsthand accounts of pitched sea battles, skillful negotiations, and diplomatic maneuvers, Crowley paints a vivid picture of this avaricious, enterprising people and the bountiful lands that came under their dominion. Defiant of emperors, indifferent to popes, the Venetians saw themselves as reluctant freebooters, compelled to take to the open seas “because we cannot live otherwise and know not how except by trade.” From the opening of the spice routes to the clash between Christianity and Islam, Venice played a leading role in the defining conflicts of its time—the reverberations of which are still being felt today. Only an author with Roger Crowley’s deep knowledge of post-Crusade history could put these iconic events into their proper context.
 
Epic in scope, magisterial in its understanding of the period, City of Fortune is narrative history at its most engrossing.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780571245949
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber
  • Publication date: 9/28/2011
  • Pages: 405

Meet the Author

Roger Crowley was born in 1951 and spent part of his childhood in Malta. He read English at Cambridge University and taught English in Istanbul, where he developed a strong interest in the history of Turkey. He has traveled extensively throughout the Mediterranean basin over many years and has a wide-ranging knowledge of its history and culture. He lives in Gloucestershire, England. He is also the author of 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and The Clash of Islam and the West and Empires of the Sea: The Siege of Malta, the Battle of Lepanto, and the Contest for the Center of the World.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 6, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Most people don't even know that the Republic of Venice existed. Let alone that it was one of the more prosperous countries in Europe or that it was organized around capitalism.

    City of Fortune is not only very readable but also has, in my opinion, many lessons for modern day Americans.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2012

    Good read.

    Does not give the whole history,does hit the high notes. Not in the least bit boring or slow.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2012

    Melaleuca station

    The wellness company

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2012

    City of Fortune?

    Not really. The subtitle is more accurate as it portrays Venice's roll as a naval force through many centurys. It has little to do with the city.
    I've read multiple books on the naval history of the "middle sea" and this does not come close to explaining the complexities of sea battels that rages in earlier times.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted May 31, 2012

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