Venice Besieged: Politics and Diplomacy in the Italian Wars, 1494–1534, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Venice Besieged

Politics and Diplomacy in the Italian Wars, 1494–1534, 1st Edition

By Robert Finlay


316 pages

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Hardback: 9780754659686
pub: 2008-08-01
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The Republic of Venice experienced relentless crisis in the early sixteenth century-political, military, ideological, and commercial. Focusing on Venice's involvement in the Italian Wars, these essays examine various episodes and dimensions of that time of troubles. These include the impact of apocalyptic speculation on political action, the driving force behind the creation of the Ghetto, the Venetian contribution to the infamous Sack of Rome, links between the spice trade and military disaster, the significance of old age in the ruling class, the role of the family in patrician politics, and the Republic's attempt to preserve itself in the great struggle between the Ottoman Turks and the Spanish-Habsburg Empire. A unifying theme of the essays is the contrast between the exalted reputation of the Republic (as seen in the famed "myth of Venice") and the tangled reality of Venetian politics and diplomacy.


’… [a] commendable series of well-researched pieces…’ English Historical Review ’… the essays provide a rich source of information for scholars of sixteenth-century Venice and the diplomatic world in which it operated.’ Sixteenth Century Journal 'The articles in this collection are all characterized by a meticulous attention to detail, clear and cogent arguments, and a lively prose style peppered with the voices of diarists and politicians, making it of interest to undergraduate students engaged in research projects as well as to scholars specializing in the era of the Italian wars.' The Historian

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; The immortal republic: the myth of Venice during the Italian Wars (1494-1530); The myth of Venice in Guicciardini's History of Italy: senate orations on princes and the republic; Politics and history in the diary of Marino Sanuto; The Venetian republic as a gerontocracy: age and politics in the Renaissance; Crisis and crusade in the Mediterranean: Venice, Portugal, and the Cape route to India (1498-1509); Venice, the Po expedition and the end of the League of Cambrai, 1509-1510; The foundation of the ghetto: Venice, the Jews, and the war of the League of Cambrai; Politics and the family in Renaissance Venice: the election of Doge Andrea Gritti; Fabius Maximus in Venice: Doge Andrea Gritti , the war of Cambrai, and the rise of Habsburg hegemony, 1509-1530; 'I am the servant of the Turkish sultan': Venice, the Ottoman empire, and Christendom, 1523-1534; Index.

About the Author

Robert Finlay is Professor in the Department of History, University of Arkansas, USA.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General