City of Fortune by Roger Crowley

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Crowley's vivid history provides a gripping account of how the Republic came to dominate the eastern Mediterranean and indeed medieval global trade for some 500 years.
-Guardian

Synopsis

A magisterial work of gripping history, "City of Fortune" tells the story of the Venetian ascent from lagoon dwellers to the greatest power in the Mediterranean - an epic five hundred year voyage that encompassed crusade and trade, plague, sea battles and colonial adventure. In Venice, the path to empire unfolded in a series of extraordinary contests - the sacking of Constantinople in 1204, the fight to the finish with Genoa and a desperate defence against the Turks. Under the lion banner of St Mark, she created an empire of ports and naval bases which funnelled the goods of the world through its wharfs. In the process the city became the richest place on earth - a brilliant mosaic fashioned from what it bought, traded, borrowed and stole. Based on first hand accounts of trade and warfare, seafaring and piracy and the places where Venetians sailed and died, "City of Fortune" is narrative history at its finest. Beginning on Ascension Day in the year 1000 and ending with an explosion off the coast of Greece - and the calamitous news that the Portuguese had pioneered a sea route to India - it will fascinate anyone who loves Venice and the Mediterranean world.
 

About Roger Crowley

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Roger Crowley read English at Cambridge before going to live in Istanbul. His first book, Constantinople was published in 2005 and was followed by Empires of the Sea, which was chosen as the Sunday Times History Book of the Year in 2008.
 
Published January 24, 2012 by Random House. 464 pages
Genres: History, Travel, War. Non-fiction
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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by PD Smith on Jul 24 2012

Crowley's vivid history provides a gripping account of how the Republic came to dominate the eastern Mediterranean and indeed medieval global trade for some 500 years.

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