VENICE

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VENICE (in Italian, Venezia). When the Visigoths (q. v.), the Huns (under Attila, 452) and the Lombards (568) poured into the Roman empire, and particularly into Upper Italy, which, even in the times of ancient Rome, was called Venetia, many of the poorer inhabitants took refuge, on the islands in the lagoons of the Adriatic sea, particularly in the island of Rialto, which had already been somewhat built upon by the Paduans for commercial purposes. These emigrants established here a small democratic republic, under magistrates called tribunes. In 697 A. D., the islands elected their first dux, or doge (q. v.), in the person of Paoiucci Anafesto. The doge had the executive, the people the legislative, the tribunes, or nobility, the judiciary power. The seat of government was afterwards in Malamacco, and, in 737, in Rialto, where, in a short period, a populous city arose out of the sea. This was the modern VENICE, which soon became powerful by commerce and navigation, and ruled over the Adriatic sea. Commercial privileges in Rome and Constantinople promoted its prosperity, and the city was not long satisfied with the possession of the lagoon islands and the neighboring coasts, but made conquests in Istria and Balmatia. As early as the wars with the Saracens, in the ninth century, the Venetians had become skilled in maritime warfare, by their struggles with pirates ; and for this reason the cities of Dalmatia put themselves under their protection, about the year 997. Venice gained exceedingly by the crusades, and became not only the richest, but also the most powerful city of Lombardy, in which the treasures of all the East were collected. But the aristocracy already strove to oppress the peo45* pie, and the doge endeavored to increase his power; hence repeated insurrections of the people. At length, after the assassination of the thirtyeighth doge, Vitali Michieli, in 1172, the constitution was so changed that the arbitrary power of the doge was limited, and the supreme authority was given to a numerous assembly of nobili, and strict laws were made to keep them within bounds. Under this limited aristocracy, the laws and government were improved. Manners became milder, and the arts began to flourish. The commercial power of the republic received its greatest extension under the doge Enrico Dandolo. This distinguished statesman and general, in the crusade undertaken by the Venetians. French and others, took Constantinople in 1202, at the head of a Venetian fleet, and acquired for the republic the possession of Candia (q. v.) and several Ionian islands, and others in the Archipelago. Rut after the restoration of the Byzantine empire (q. v.), in 1261, the East India trade passed from Constantinople to Alexandria; and the Genoese, who had greatly assisted in the destruction of the Latin empire, possessed themselves of the commerce in the Byzantine empire, which had been in the hands of the Venetians. In 1297, the doge Gradenigo introduced hereditary aristocracy, since the ancient great college of nobles, who shared the government with the doge, and were elected annually, declared themselves a permanent body of hereditary aristocrats (consisting of the noble families, whose names were entered in the "golden book"). At the same time, the establishment of the fearful council of the Ten must be considered as one of the causes which finally brought on the ruin of Venice. In the mean time, the republic extended her possessions more and more widely on the continent, particularly after her rival, the republic of Genoa, had been obliged to yield, in 1381, after a struggle of 130 years for supremacy in Lombardy. Vicenza, Verona, Bassano, Feltre, Belluno and Padua, with their territories, came under the power of Venice in 1402, Friuli in 1421, Brescia Bergamo and Crerria in 1428, and the islands of Zante and CefaIonia, in 1483. At last, the wife of James, the last king of Cyprus, Catharine Cornaro, a Venetian lady, ceded that beautiful country to her native republic in 1486. The senate of VENICE, at that time, reminds the student of the ancient Roman senate. Other states made it their model: they even solicited for Venetian counsellors and lead ers. Towards the end of the fifteenth century, Venice was rich, powerful, honored, comprising the most civilized people on earth, and devoted to the arts and sciences. But her political wisdom degenerated into a petty prudence and cunning. A grand inquisitor was necessary for the preservation of the republic. Circumstances also happened, which no prudence could avert. The Portuguese discovered the way by sea to the East Indies in 1498, and Venice entirely lost the commerce of the Indies by the way of Alexandria: the Turks had become masters of Constantinople, and overpowered all which stood in their way; they conquered, by degrees, all the possessions of Venice in the Archipelago and in the Morea, and even Albania and Negropont. But the republic saved herself, by skilful negotiations, from the danger with which the league of Cambray (q. v.) threatened her in 1508. This war, however, had much i mpaired her power. The Turks tore Cyprus from Venice in 1571, and, after a struggle of twentyfour years, Candia also, in 1699; but some fortresses on this island held out till 1715. The possession of the Morea, which had been reconquered in 1699, was required to be given up by the peace of Passarowitz, in 1718; yet the republic succeeded in preserving Corfu and Dalmatia. From this time, Venice no longer took part in the great political events, and was satisfied with preserving her antiquated constitution and her territory, which yet contained three millions of inhabitants. Thus she succeeded, by treaties with the Barbary powers, in 1763, in securing the inviolability of her flag, and established her rights of sovereignty against Rome in 1767 and 1769. But in the French revolutionary war, she became, in 1797, a victim to the French power. She excited a general insurrection on the terraJirma, at the moment when Bonaparte entered Stiria, and the French were attacked in the rear; but Austria concluded the preliminaries of peace at Leoben, and the republic was annihilated It was now of no avail to change the aristocratic constitution into a democratic. Venice was destined to be sacrificed. The peace of CampoFormio (q. v.)gave the whole territory east of the Adige, with Dalmatia and Cattaro, to Austria; that west of the Aclige to the Cisalpine republic (at a later period, the kingdom of Italy), to which, in 1805, the Austrian part of Venice and Dalmatia was added, yet without the islands in the Levant. Since 1814, Venice, with its ter ritory, has formed a part of the Lombar doVenetian kingdom, belonging to Austria. (See Lombardy, and Lombardo Venetian Kingdom.) Istria, however, with some islands in the gulf of Quarnaro, was* added to the littorale (q. v.) of the; gov eminent of Trieste, and Dalmatia, with the islands belonging to it, to the government of Dalmatia. Into the most interesting part of the history of Venicethat of her domestic politicsour limits will not allow us to enter.The chief works relating to the history of this republic, which is famous also in the annals of the fine arts, are Tentori's Saggio sulla Storia d% Venezia (Venice, 1785-90, 12 vols.); La Beaume's Hist. abrege'e de la Rip. de Venise (Paris, 1810, 2 vols.); Tentori's Maccolta cronolog. ragionata di Documenti inediti, che formano la Storia diplomatica delta Caduta delta Rep. di Venezia (Augusta, 1799, 2 vols., 4to.); Dam's Hist, de la Republ. de Venise (7 vols., Paris, 1819; 4th ed., 1827). In this work, the statute** of the Venetian political inquisition are printed for the first time. For an account of the constitution of Venice, see, also, Lacroix's Review of the Constitutions, &c. For a review of the Venetian historians, see Banke's Zur Kritik neuerer Geschichischreiber (Leipsic and Berlin, 1824); see, also, his Fursten and Volker von SudEuropa (Hamb., 1827), and his Ueher die Verschworung gegen Venedig in 1618 (Berlin, 1831). Venice (Italian, Venezia)', capital of the government of Venice, in the LombardoVenetian kingdom, once the queen of the Adriatic, and yet one of the most remarkable cities of Europe. A city of this extent, built entirely on small islands, and having canals instead of streets, boats instead of cars, and black gondolas instead of coaches, is unique in its kind. It is situated in Ion. 12° 21' E., lat 45° W N., and is built, according to some, on ninety, according to others, on seventytwo islands, separated from the continent by the lagoons (a wide and shallow ami of the sea), and connected with each other by 450 bridges, among which is the magnificent Rialto, consisting of a single arch, 187 feet long and 43 wide. The houses, among which are numerous palaces, many of them decaying, and magnificent churches, adorned with precious monuments of Mosaic work, and splendid pictures of the Venetian school (e. g. the church of St. Maria della Salute and St. Giovianni Paolo), are mostly built upon piers, and almost all of them stand with their front towards the canals, which form wide and long passages, whilst the real streets are hardly passable for three persons on foot abreast. There are fortyone public places, indeed, but only the place of St. Mark, surrounded by arcades, and ornamented with two high columns, deserves the name. Here stands the church of St. Mark, an ancient edifice in the Byzantine style, ornamented within with Oriental magnificence. Here, says the legend, rests the body of St. Mark the Evangelist, which, according to tradition, was brought from Alexandria, in Egypt, under the doge Giustiniano. In front of the same are the antique horses, once the ornament of Constantinople, lately of Paris, and now again of Venice. The former palace of the doge, at present the seat of the Austrian government, is in the Gothic style. It contains the political prisons, or'lead roofs (piombi), and the bridge of Sighs (the reader will remember Byron's verses, beginning, " I stood, in Venice, on the bridge of Sighs"); but the lion's mouth, with the inscription Denunzie Segrete (secret denunciations), has disappeared. Also the library, which has been described by its superintendent, the abbate Morelli, is in this palace. (See Libraries.) The place of St. Mark is the only walk of the Venetians, the place of meeting of foreigners and adventurers. The arsenal, one of the greatest curiosities of the city, is on an island, surrounded by high walls and towers. It contains every thing necessary for fitting out a fleetgood docks, well provided magazines, manufactories of cordage and sails, cannon founderies and forges. The stranger is yet shown here the richly gilt galley, called JBucentaur, in which the doge, from the year 1311, was accustomed to go out into the sea annually on Ascension day, to throw a ring into the water, and thus to marry, as it were, the Adriatic, as a sign of the power of Venice over that sea. Besides the patriarchal church, and twentynine other Catholic churches, there are here churches of the United Greeks (q. v.), Armenians and Protestants. In the ancient church De' Frati, a monument was erected, in 1827, in honor of the famous Canova. (q. v.) Contributions were furnished, for this purpose, from many parts of Europe, and even from America. The Jews have seven synagogues. Among the public institutions are the Conservatorio di Pieta, in which several hundred girls receive instruction in music, and in which, also, the celebrated artificial flowers of wax are made; the conservatory of music with funds for the education of twentyfour pupils, which formerly produced excellent performers; the imperial and royal library, the academy of fine arts, the school of navigation, the Armenian college, which prints, at an Armenian convent in this place, the Armenian newspaper, which is much read in the Levant, &c. The number of houses is stated to be 15,000, and that of the inhabitants 150,000. The principal manufactures are of cloth, linen, silk, gold and silver cloths, masks, artificial flowers, gold wire, and other works in gold, soap, wax, theriac, and chemical preparations; also copper and brass ware, leather, catgut and wire strings. Considerable shipbuilding is carried on. In the manufacture of glass, Venice was formerly the teacher of Europe, but at present is surpassed by other countries: the telescopes, spectacles and beads made here, however, are justly esteemed. On the whole, though the manufactures have much declined, and the commerce still more, Venice yet remains one of the most important commercial places of the Adriatic sea. In 1817, 1050 vessels, under the Austrian flag, left this port, and 2653 entered it, besides 315 foreign vessels. The value of the merchandise imported was 34,000,000 lire. The port is spacious, but the entrance is difficult, on account of the shallowness of the channels and the constantly fluctuating sand. To Venice belong the islands of Giudecca, St. Giorgio, St. Helena," St. Erasmo, II Lido di Malamocco, Michele and Murano. These are mostly inhabited by artists, manufacturers and mechanics, and might be called the suburbs of the city. Here, also, excellent vegetables are raised. Formerly, Venice had neither fortifications nor garrison, and was strong merely by its situation: at present, there are fortifications on the side towards the mainland, and a strong garrison defends the city. Social life is at present almost extinct, and Venice appears like the corpse of the former city. It is enlivened only by the gayety of the carnival. The theatres are beautiful, but the arts do not flourish. J. Ch. Maier has written the most complete work on Venice.See Moschini's Guidaperla Citta di Venezia, &c. (Venice, 1815, 2 vols., with engravings); Martens's Journey to Venice (2 vols., Ulm, 1824, with maps and engravings) ; also Venice and its Environs, by Jack (Weimar, 1823). The first and the two last works are in German.