venice republic doge power century venetians peace time council senate
HISTORY. The coast of Venezuela was the first part of the American mainland sighted by Columbus, who, during his third voyage in 1498, entered the Gulf of Paria and sailed along the coast of the delta of the Orinoco. In the following year a much greater extent of coast was traced out by Alonzo de Ojeda, who was accompanied by the more celebrated Amerigo Vespucci. In 1550 the territory was erected into the captain-generalcy of Caracas, and it remained under Spanish rule till the early part of the 19th century. During this period Negro slaves were introduced ; but less attention was given by the Spaniards to this region than to other parts of Spanish America, which were known to be rich hi the precious metals.
In 1810 Venezuela rose against the Spanish yoke, and on 14th July in the following year the independence of the territory was proclaimed. A war ensued which lasted for upwards of ten years, and the principal events of which are described under BOLIVAR (q. v.), a native of Caracas and the leading spirit of the revolt. It was not till 30th March 1845 that the independence of the republic was recognized by Spain in the treaty of Madrid. At the date of the battle of Carabobo (1821), by which the power of Spain in this part of the world was broken, Venezuela formed part of the federal state of Colombia, which embraced also the present Colombia and Ecuador ; but a meeting of Venezuelan notables on 26th November 1829 declared for the separation of their country from the con fedcracy. Venezuela passed through the first years of its independent existence with more quietness than the other members of the confederacy. In 1846 there began a series of civil wars and revolutions, which continued, with but short periods of rest, down to the close of 1870. The chief rival parties in these internal dissensions were the Unionists and the Federalists ; the former aimed at securing a strong central Government, while the latter, who were ultimately victorious, desired to obtain a large measure of independence for separate states. It was during these troubles that the emancipation of the slaves took place, under a law of 24th March 1854. On 28th March 1864 a federal constitution was drawn up for the republic. Three years later, however, the civil war broke out again, and matters continued in an unsettled state, till in December 1870 Don Guzman Blanco, who had taken the leading part on the side of the Federalists, was declared provisional president. From that date Blanco acted as dictator till 20th February 1873, when he was elected constitutional president for four years, and it has been chiefly owing to his energy and ability that the confederacy has since proceeded on a course of orderly development. The two flourishing agricultural colonies already mentioned were founded during his first tenure of office, in 1874. The chief event in recent years has been the re-division of the territory in 1881 into the states and territories whose names are given in the table above.
A LTHOUGH the numerous marshy islands of the lagoons extending along the north-western shores of the Adriatic between Altinum and Adria are known to have been largely used from the beginning of the 5th century by the inhabitants of Venetia (compare vol. xiii. p. 447) - one of the twenty-nine provinces into which Italy was divided by Constantine - as temporary retreats from successive barbarian invasions, the first permanent settlement on the site of the present city of Venice - the Rivo Alto (Rialto) and its numerous adjacent islets - cannot with certainty lie traced further back than to the beginning of the 9th century. The physical conditions with which the earliest inhabitants had to deal were such as might seem singularly unpropitious to the growth of a large and prosperous city. Their untillable and salt-encrusted soil possessed no kind of mineral wealth ; the thickets which here and there diversified the surface of the barren marshes produced no serviceable timber ; and even drinkable water was hardly obtainable ; yet it was here that the Venetians by their inventiveness, their energy, their industry, and their genius for commerce succeeded in establishing themselves on a firm soil and maintaining their independence, in making their neighbours their tributaries, in sending their fleets to distant shores, in controlling the destiny of empires, and consolidating a naval power that is unique in the history of the world.
The Venetian form of government - that of an aristocratic republic - had its first beginnings at a very early period. Originally all power had been delegated to magistrates known as tribuni maritimi or maritime tribunes ; but in 697, in order to give greater strength to the supreme power and more unity to the popular representation, a doge or duke was chosen, who had his residence in the little town of Heraclea. The first to bear this title was Paulucio Anafesto ; the assembly by which he was elected consisted of the entire body of the inhabitants, not only of the towns on the mainland, which were constantly under fear of renewed barbarian devastations, but also those of the islets of the lagoons. Although all had equal electoral privileges, there were gradations of social rank, the citizens being divided into three classes - the maggiori, the nzediocri, and the minori. The new arrangement lasted only forty years, when a general assembly resolved by acclamation on the abolition of the ducal power, for which was substituted that of the maestri delta whose term of office was to last only for a year. The inconveniences of the new system, however, soon became apparent, and five years later (742) the assembly demanded the restoration of a single popular representative with life tenure, who again bore the title of doge. On this occasion the newly elected doge transferred his residence from Heraclea to Malamocco. The practical risks involved in the new experiment are obvious. In the succession of doges some were almost sure to show themselves unfit for the supreme power, others to disregard the authority of the auxiliary magistrates associated with them for purposes of control, and some even to aim at the establishment of an hereditary tyranny. Consequently the next sixty years witnessed a succession of bloody revolts, in the course of which three doges were put to death, one deposed and exiled, and several others condemned to lose their eyes. Nor was the incapacity or the ambition of individuals the sole cause of such revolutions : new circumstances as they arose sometimes compelled the doges by the very law of their existence to seek support outside the limits of the state, at one time froth the Greek empire, whose frontier extended to their very doors, at another time from the Lombards, the latest invaders of Italy, who had permanently established themselves there and were daily acquiring new influence. Foreigners who, in connexion with the interests of commerce, had entered into close relations with the Venetians took advantage of these to stir up troubles, and sought to conciliate the doges with a view to the enlargement of their trading privileges or the concession of monopolies. Between 712 and 810 various struggles arose which called for the intervention in the lagoons of the generals of Pippin and his son Charlemagne. Doge Obelerio, a declared partisan of the Franks, allowed a war to break out between the Venetians and the Lombards, in the course of which Pippin seized Grado, the see of the patriarch, burnt Caorle, Jesolo, and Heraclea, encamped in Albiola, and, forcing his way into the lagoon, threatened Malamocco itself (see map, p. 157 below). Peace was afterwards concluded, and the danger to which the last refuge of the fugitives from the mainland had been exposed led to their increased security. For, whether from the instinct of self-preservation or from a growing consciousness of the idea of fatherland, these fishermen became drawn together more closely than ever for purposes of common defence, and found themselves possessed of a power hitherto unsuspected, so that they were able to compel their enemies to respect their independence and enter into commercial relations with them. The year 810 was one of the most important in the annals of Venice : it was then that the people finally abandoned the mainland in order to make the Rivo Alto with its surrounding islets the permanent seat of their government. The same year witnessed the beginnings of the basilica of St Mark. Angelo Partecipazio, who had proposed the migration to the Rialto, was chosen doge, and the town of Venice may be said to have been then founded.
From 811 to 1026 there was a succession of eighteen doges, of whom no fewer than fifteen were selected out of three leading families, political power thus plainly tending to become hereditary. It was no uncommon thing, however, for the people again to dismiss those whom they had thus placed in power. Murder, exile, cruel punishments, closed the career of more than one of the doges who had been called to the supreme authority by a unanimous vote ; whole families connected with rulers who had been deposed or put to death were compelled to quit the islands, and sought the help of the emperor Otho II. That emperor was preparing an expedition against Venice at the very moment of his death ; and now once more the Venetians found safety in the very greatness of the danger which had threatened them, for the peril itself indicated to them the future at which they ought to aim if they would live and rule.
From the necessities of its geographical position the new state was bound to become a maritime power and to look to the East. Towards the end of the 10th century the doge Pietro Orscolo by a vigorous effort cleared the sea of pirates, who dwelt on the eastern coast of the Adriatic and seriously harassed the Venetian commerce, and pursued them into the recesses of Quarne•o and the islands of Istria. On 20th May 998, having advanced as far as Dalmatia, he came upon them in their apparently inaccessible retreats, and inflicted upon them a great slaughter. Having thus given full security to trade, he constituted himself protector of the sea from Trieste to Albania, receiving in consequence the title of duke of Dalmatia. It was to symbolize this dominion that Venice instituted the superb ceremonial of the espousals of the doge with the Adriatic, which was annually observed on Ascension Day. r The republic began henceforward to undertake the busi• ness of transporting to the East the successive armies of crusaders, to whom she lent on hire the fleets which were built in her arsenals ; and these bold enterprises, at once religious, commercial, and military, procured for her in exchange important stations on the east of the Adriatic and in the islands, as well as colonies and factories advantageous for her commerce. The whole littoral from Trieste to Albania became in this way a sort of prolongation of the Venetian coast. The Byzantine emperors could hardly fail to become jealous of this great though pacific influence, and of the wealth thus created under their eyes and at their expense ; and in the spring of 1171 Manuel 1. ordered the sequestration of all Venetian goods and of all Venetians who had settled within the empire. Such a high-handed act at once called forth an outburst of enthusiasm, and the doge, Vitale Michieli II., sent out against Constantinople an imposing fleet to avenge the cause of the Venetian colonists. An outbreak of plague, however, on board the fleet compelled him to return to port ; in so doing he brought the scourge to the town itself, a disaster which led to his death at the hands of the infuriated populace. Even this catastrophe was not without its uses, for it led to the introduction of reforms fitted to give greater internal stability to the state.
Under Sebastiano Ziani, Michieli's successor, the constitution underwent a further modification. Tlie citizens, already divided into quarters (sestieri), nominated twelve electors, who in their turn made choice of forty picked citizens in each of the divisions of the city. The 480 thus chosen constituted the great council, a body possessing at once deliberative and executive functions. Before this period certain intimate councillors, two of them permanent, had been summoned to act as advisers of the doge in matters of importance ; but now their number was increased and they were requested (hence the name pregato) to assist the head of the state in all circumstances. The two permanent councillors of the doge, increased to six and conjoined with the supreme magistrates on whom the administration of justice had always devolved, formed the lesser council, which afterwards came to be known as La Signoria. If we add, finally, to the powers already enumerated the council of ten, which was instituted later, and also take into account the increasing body of secretaries and the magistracies which were gradually created as need arose, we shall have an adequate conception of the perfected instrument of government by which the republic was controlled from the 13th century until its fall. While the political organization was thus rapidly developing, the change which was also passing over its democratic spirit must not be overlooked : the simple citizen gradually lost his privileges, and the increasing restrictions laid upon freedom ultimately made the government essentially aristocratic. Towards the end of the 13th century (1297) the important measure known as the "Shutting of the Great Council" (compare vol. xvii. p. 527), and subsequently the inscription in the Golden Book of the names of all branches of the noble houses, for ever shut against plebeians every avenue to power. For a long time before this the right of electing the doge had been restricted to certain carefully-selected citizens, - a constitutional change of capital importance, which had caused much discontent and raised such a ferment in the mind of the masses that the first doge who was thus chosen, realizing the danger of the situation, refused to accept the dignity. The number of the electors was consequently increased and the election made subject to a number of ballots intended to safeguard the integrity of the vote ; but it remained none the less true that to the people had been left nothing more than the illusory right of approving by acclamation in the basilica of St Mark each new doge after his election. The aristocracy, as it felt its growing force, proceeded to enlarge its powers, and did not fail to guard them down to the fall of Venice by constantly increased restrictions. It was not long, it is true, before the danger attaching to so great a power separated from the living forces of the nation was perceived, and there came to be instituted special kinds of magistrates, such as the "correctors of the ducal engage- ment," whose function was to revise the charter to which he was to swear, and who steadily exercised it in the way of restricting his freedom in such a manner that about the 16th century his lot was little better than that of a prisoner of state. Then there were the "examiners of the deceased doge," instituted in 1501, - posthumous judges whose verdicts on each departed doge on behalf of posterity still further conspired to neutralize the dangers arising from personal power.
)f The history of Venice was officially written by contemporary chroniclers. The records they have left are of course exceedingly valuable ; but, as they were subjected to a rigorous censorship, the element of criticism is quite absent. Modern investigators, viewing the events from the outside, have been much more successful in forming a true judgment upon them and in tracing effects to their actual causes. Those Venetians who, since the fall of their republic, have endeavoured to investigate its annals in an independent spirit have come to the conclusion that it was between the 12th and the 15th century that the state reached its highest prosperity and power. In point of fact, the republic had at the beginning of the 13th century become so powerful that the Byzantine empire fell into its hands through the conquest of Constantinople by the doge Enrico Dandolo (1204). The Venetians even sought to raise a Latin empire upon its ruins, but the attempt was frustrated by the jealousy of the rival republic of Genoa, which re-established the Greeks in 1261. The period between 1172, the date of the election of Sebastiano Ziani, and 1300, that of the election of Pietro Gradenigo, is one of the most brilliant in the history of Venice. The union that prevailed among all the citizens, the common effort of all classes, the military energy of the Government, the supple flexibility of its policy, had given them Constantinople ; and the peace which they made with Palieologus on his restoration to the Byzantine throne brought them many splendid advantages. It was in virtue of these successes and in the midst of the internal peace which they had secured that Pietro Gradenigo proposed the " Shutting of the Great Council," a measure the importance of which can be traced throughout the subsequent history of the state. Its effect was to exclude from political power all who had not been members of that assembly during the previous four years ; in a word, it constituted an hereditary legislature. Grave as the measure was, alternately accepted, rejected, modified, and never unopposed, it was finally carried. The new body enacted new laws and provided administrative heads for the ten departments of government, - justice, legislation, worship, finance, commerce, education, war, marine, public health, and city administration. The powerful and wealthy republic now found the honour of its alliance sought by emperors and lopes ; the standard of St Mark was a familiar sight all over the Mediterranean and ultimately Venice entered the "European concert." Now, too, she began to show that devotion to architecture and the fine arts generally of which the basilica of St Mark's and the ducal palace are the most striking monuments.
Is Grown wealthy by commerce, and having acquired by ' the force of arms considerable territory on the east of the Adriatic, the Venetians now cast their eyes towards Asia. Their adventurous travellers had penetrated to the central regions of that continent, and Marco Polo on his return dazzled the populace by his wondrous tales and excited the cupidity of the merchants with visions of the riches of the East. New commercial enterprises were entered on ; samples of Oriental industry with all their splendour of colour and delicacy of pattern were brought home : glass, enamels, tapestries, silks, served as models to the deft artisans, who drew from them new inspiration and, re-discovering the secrets of the smith's and potter's and glassblower's art, reproduced the artistic triumphs of their Oriental masters. Nor were letters neglected : rich and ancient manuscripts were brought from Greece ; a friendly asylum was offered to exiled men of genius and learning ; and freedom of thought and intellectual independence began to be exercised.
If Venice in the course of its history was able at one period or another to show its superiority in every field of activity, if at the same time it was able to show enduring stability in its institutions and a wealth and political power quite out of proportion to the smallness of its territory and the number of its subjects, it owed these in the first instance to its genius for commerce and to its maritime ascendency. This commercial genius led in the first place to the development of Venetian shipping, the growth of the arsenals, and large advances in the art of naval construction, and ultimately resulted in indisputable naval supremacy. The beginning of its fortune wm in the salt trade, of which it had the monopoly throughout central Europe. Besides working the sources of salt which they had within their own territory, the Venetians rented those of their neighbours the Bolognese, and found access to the rock-salt deposits of Austria and Hungary ; and in every instance where a treaty was made with a foreign power a clause was introduced reserving to Venice, whether as victor or as vanquished, the exclusive privilege of supplying this commodity. The arsenal of Venice, which still exists, was its palladium ; the high organization of this establishment, the technical skill of its workmen, the specially selected body of the " arsenalotti," to whom the republic entrusted the duty of guarding the senate and great council, and its admirable discipline were for centuries the envy of other European powers. The enemies of the republic frequently made special efforts to destroy it by espionage and treachery. At the most critical period in its history, when it was engaged in its great struggle with the Turks towards the end of the 16th century, the arsenal regularly sent forth a fully equipped galley each morning for a hundred successive days. The power or decadence of the republic at each period may be measured by the extent of its building-yards and by the number of its workmen and seamen. Where an ambassador had once seen an imposing force of 200 galleys all fully equipped for sea, another two centuries later saw only 20 ships of war, 16 galleys, and 2 galeasses. At the acme of its prosperity the arsenal employed 16,000 workmen ; but a little more than a century afterwards, even at a time of war, that number had fallen to 2000, still further diminished in peace to 500.
The 14th century is remarkable for a series of conspiracies, which the official historians have attributed to mere turbulence and malignity, but which no doubt had their main cause much deeper, in the position to which the masses had been brought by the political changes of preceding centuries. The conspiracy of Marino Bocconio in 1300, that of Bajamonte Tiepolo ten years later, a third in 1328, and finally that associated with the name of Marino Faliero (1355), without actually imperilling the existence of the state, compelled the great council to take measures against the recurrence of such movements, and resulted in the creation of the "council of the ten," that powerful and mysterious body the significance of which still continues to exercise the ingenuity of the modern historian. Of these four conspiracies the first three were certainly aimed at the restoration of popular rights ; the fourth, on the other hand, arose out of an ambitious attempt to seize personal power. The legend of Marino Faliero is well known (see FALIER0). It would be difficult to describe exactly the functions of the council of the ten. Appointed merely provisionally in 1300 at the time of the conspiracy, to act as an inquisition, it was made a permanent body in 1335. Twenty years later the importance of the process against Marino Faliero led to an increase in the number of its members (la zonta), and thenceforward the ten, under the presidency of the doge (il eonsiulio), took cognizance of all matters, and their action extended over every department of government. It is a mistake to suppose that the council was merely an extension of the power of the aristocracy. It acted, on the contrary, as a check on the encroachments of the latter ; and, if it occasionally fell into culpable excesses, if sometimes it employed what might be called " stage " machinery, allying itself with informers, rewarding traitors, surrounding its deliberations with an air of mystery only too favourable to private revenge and too threatening to public security, and in fact becoming at one time plainly the instrument of tyranny, nevertheless its constant watchfulness over the interests of the state was not without advantages and compensations.
As invariably happens, the tbreatenings of danger from without gave pause to internal sedition and served to unite more closely together the aristocracy, the people, and the middle classes. The Genoese could but iII endure the supremacy of their rivals in the Adriatic. Leaving out of account a few years of truce, from 1298, the year of the defeat of the Venetians by their rivals at Curzola, to 1379, when after various changes of fortune the complete destruction of their fleet by the Genoese at Pola allowed the latter to force a passage to the very heart of the lagoons, the struggle between the two maritime republics had gone on uninterruptedly. Never had Venice been nearer total destruction than after the disaster at Pola, but never also had the patriotism of her citizens expressed itself more clearly and unmistakably. The community of interest between all classes was fully realized : old men, women, and children flew to arms ; all classes liberally contributed to the replenishment of the empty treasury ; the precious things that had been brought from the East found their way into the melting pot, and even the altars were stripped. Doge Andrea Contarini, an old man of eighty, claimed the honour of leading an improvised fleet against the enemy, and Victor Pisani, a distinguished captain who had fallen under the suspicions of the ten, was brought up from his dungeon amid the acclamations of the whole people, who sacrificed every resentment to the ardour of their patriotism. Along with Carlo Zeno, just returned from the wars in the East, he gave spirit to the combatants, and drove the Genoese from Chioggia (on which they had seized). Venice was saved, and, grateful for the services rendered by certain families of the middle class who had ably assisted Pisani and Zeno, the great council added to its numbers thirty new members selected from those who had most distinguished themselves in the struggle.
The large extension of its territory on the mainland in the 14th century marks an important stage in the history of Venice. From being essentially a naval power, the republic now began to be an important continental one ; and henceforward down to the 17th century it threw its sword into the balance on every occasion on which Italy was made the battle-ground of Europe. The fall of the Lombard kingdom, the struggles of the Ghibellines and Guelphs, and the personal exploits of the condottieri all urged Venice to take her part in the great movement, to widen her sphere of action, while fortifying, herself against the dangers of her immediate neighbourhood, and to issue from her lagoons and establish herself as a state on terra firma. Venice made herself mistress of Vicenza, nitre, and Bassano in 1388 ; and with the help of Carmagnola, Gattamelata, and afterwards Alviano and Colleoni, Padua and Verona were added in 1405, Udine and Friuli in 1420, Brescia in 1426, Bergamo in 1427, Crema in 1449, Rovigo in 1484, and Cremona in 1499, and podestas were set over each of these provinces.
Meanwhile a new danger was arising to Venice out of the Turkish advance in Europe. The republic was compelled to live continually, so to speak, on the qui vice, perpetually on the defensive. Mohammed II. became master of Constantinople in 1453 ; in the following year the Venetians attempted to exorcise the plague by means of a commercial treaty ; but not many years passed before hostilities broke out. The Turks were destined to become the hereditary and implacable enemies of the republic, and their attitude of hostility to cease only with the fall of the latter. And, except for one united effort towards the end of the 16th century by Spain, Venice, and the pope, which resulted in the victory of Lepanto (1571), the banner of St Mark was almost invariably unsupported in its contest with the crescent. At Negropont (1470), Smyrna, and Scutari (1474) Erizzo, Mocenigo, and Loredano valiantly maintained the honour of their flag ; but after a struggle of several years the Venetian possessions in the archipelago were lost and the proud city was compelled to cede Scutari (1479), Negropont, and Modone. Nor was this all ; the geographical discoveries of the Portuguese and the Spaniards were about to inflict an irreparable blow on the maritime supremacy of Venice. Although the bold feats of Columbus and Vasco da Gama deeply stirred her enthusiasm, yet times had changed. New cares and new duties called her attention elsewhere ; Venice could no longer concentrate all her energies upon her navy ; having now become a territorial power, she had to watch her frontiers on every side, threatened by troublesome neighbours, now by the Malatestas, now by the Estes, the Bentivoglios, and the Borgias.
Having entered into treaty relations with Florence, Milan, and the Vatican, she found herself continually involved in ceaseless struggles, which demanded the presence of her mercenaries now in the plains of Lombardy, now in the Romagna, sometimes even in the kingdom of Naples. At the close of the 15th century, after a forty years' dispute over the fragments of the Lombard kingdom, which had fallen into the hands of the condottieri, the Italians saw the Alps twice crossed by the French and their country turned into a European battlefield. The efforts of the Venetians to extend their possessions on terra firma along the Italian shore of the Adriatic and inwards towards Bergamo provoked the Italian captains who had founded hereditary dynasties to unite with the pope and the king of France in opposing their further progress. Thus arose the League of Cambrai, which brought the republic to the verge of extinction. Defeated at Gera D'Adda (Agnadello) in 1509, she was compelled to withdraw her armies, not only from the recently conquered territories, but also from those in which she had been established for more than a century, and she had even to release her own subjects from their oath of allegiance. She had passed through no such peril since the day of Chioggia in the struggle with Genoa, for she was now face to face with three formidable enemies, - the king of France, the emperor Maximilian, and the pope, - not to speak of numerous petty powers, her Mantuan and Ferrarese neighbours, who hoped for a share in the spoil. At this juncture the senate displayed all its adroit suppleness and all its energy ; it recognized how necessary it was on such an occasion to show pliancy, to temporize, and be humble. A new league, formed against the very power which had initiated the first, proved the salvation of Venice : the king of France fell under the suspicion of his allies, who accordingly turned against him. The battle of Ravenna in 1512 and that of Marignano in 1515 changed the whole aspect of affairs ; new combinations were formed; and the treaty of Noyon restored to the republic all the continental territory she had lost.
Nevertheless the commonwealth was not allowed to rest, but was compelled henceforth to live constantly on the defensive, on the one hand against the Turks, who were a standing menace, and on the other, watching every movement and enterprise of the Italian princes, who would not suffer her to remain neutral in their incessant conflicts. Neither under Pius V. nor under Philip II. was the combined assistance of the pope and the Catholic king of much assistance to Venice against Islam. From the peace of Noyon (1516) to the year 1571, the date of the battle of Lepanto, the republic was never able for a single moment to lay down her arms, but was constantly driven to renewed efforts, which could not fail to exhaust her more and more. One by one she lost all her colonies : at one time it was Corfu, at another the islands of the /Egean, at another Nauplia and Malvasia. Her podestas, proveditori, and ambassadors in their several departments displayed an energy and a patriotism to which there are few parallels in history : the names of Bragadin and of Marc Antonio Barbaro remain as abiding examples of disinterestedness and patriotic self-sacrifice. Born for the service of the state, her nobles were held bound to devote their energies to the republic from early manhood, and to give her the benefit of their strength and experience to their latest breath. About 1570 the Turks threatened the fleets of the Christian powers which ventured into the Adriatic ; and the pirates of the Barbary coasts boarded the Christian galleys and carried their crews into captivity, where they were held at heavy ransom. The Spaniards, whose sway then extended to the African coast of the Mediterranean, were determined to put an end to these incursions ; the popes for their part were always ready to do battle with the infidel and to league themselves against the enemies of Christendom ; and Venice, who saw her colonial possessions falling from her one by one, could not refuse an alliance which seemed to promise the possibility of striking a grand blow by which her supremacy might be restored. On 13th May 1571 the treaty of alliance between the three powers was signed ; the league against the Ottomans was to be perpetual, and its avowed object was to destroy their influence. Philip II. agreed to pay half the expenses of the expedition ; the republic supplied galleys to the pope ; Spain contributed her fleets and demanded in return the chief command of the expedition. The total naval force numbered no less than 300 vessels, while the troops embarked were reckoned at 50,000 foot soldiers and 5000 horse. Don John of Austria represented Spain in the command ; the papal forces were entrusted to Marc Antonio Colonna ; while the Venetian senate nominated Sebastian Venieri to be its admiral. The result of the battle of Lepanto, 7th October 1571 (see vol. xiii. p. 717), was apparently the complete destruction of Turkey's naval forces. But the mutual jealousies of the allied powers served to counteract the effects of the victory, and the peace which followed, instead of being advantageous to the victors, turned out much to their prejudice. The action at Lepanto had taken place in the beginning of winter ; it was impossible, therefore, to undertake anything further before the spring of the following year (1572), and each of the powers believed its fleets secure in the ports where they had taken refuge, when, on the following May, the tidings reached Venice that the Turkish fleet which had been supposed annihilated was once more afloat. Don John had wintered at Messina; Colonna had returned to Civita Vecchia; while the Venetian fleet had cast anchor off Corfu. Before the scattered allies could reunite sixty Turkish galleys ad vanced through the archipelago and devastated the Venetian colonies. The Spaniards at Messina awaited the decision of Philip II. before they could set sail ; the knights of Malta and the duke of Savoy, less hesitating, consented to join the Venetian galleys, and to go to meet the Moslems, whom they encountered at Cerigo. A battle of doubtful issue was about to be engaged in, when a message front Don John announced the co-operation of the Spanish fleet, but at Corfu, whither the Venetian admiral was requested to repair in order to concert a new plan of attack. The Venetians did not feel certain enough of success to warrant them in commencing hostilities without their ally, and, sailing for Corfu, they once more entrusted the supreme direction of affairs to Don John. But it is easy to understand how disastrous in their results such vacillation and hesitancy must necessarily be. It was not till the end of August that the allied forces, once more brought together to the number of more than 250 vessels, set sail in search of the Turkish fleet. The latter, being lighter, gave way before the enemy, and, avoiding a pitched battle, did not give opportunity even for a skirmish or the capture of a stray prize. Meanwhile the winter was approaching ; navigation was becoming dangerous ; the Spaniards were indisposed for action ; and Don John, alleging the gravity of his responsibilities, returned to his anchorage at Messina. Thus a whole year had been lost, giving to the enemy daily opportunities of recuperation. Every day new differences and mutual recriminations arose among the allies, and at length the idea of a peace with the Turks began to be broached in the councils of the republic. Such a proposal, however unlooked for, was suggested by considerations of the most practical kind, and by a just appreciation of the resources of the Ottoman empire ; and the resulting negotiations, which were secretly conducted, led to a treaty being signed on 15th March 1573. By that treaty twenty years of peace were guaranteed to the republic ; but it reversed the position of parties, and the vanquished of Lepanto now figured as victors. The Turks in fact were audaciously exacting, but their negotiations were ably conducted and were completely successful. The one place which they had lost, Sopoto, was restored to them, and Venice also consented to the definitive cession of Cyprus, which had temporarily fallen into her hands before Lepanto. Nor was this all : it was not forgotten that Venice was tributary to the sultan ; her clues were doubled and a war indemnity of 300,000 ducats was stipulated for. On the other hand, the commercial privileges hitherto enjoyed by the republic were confirmed, and the freedom of the seas was guaranteed.
The epoch of Lepanto is, however, the most brilliant in Venetian history as regards the efflorescence of the arts and of literature ; it was at this time that the artistic glory of the city was seemingly most brilliant acid most developed, and exercised the greatest attraction for strangers. More closely viewed, the 15th century had attained in Venice and the subject cities of the mainland a higher degree of culture ; architecture, painting, sculpture, and the minor arts were inspired by a sentiment deeper, more sincere, more elevated both in form and in idea ; but the artists who arose between the middle of the 15th and the close of the 16th century had a natural disposition, with a touch of the sensual, better corresponding with the tastes of the people and with its artistic ideal, which aroused a greater enthusiasm and made their names more famous.
To literature and art Venice was the link between Ttaly and Greece. Its Eastern colonists learned the Greek tongue ; and the fall of the Greek empire brought to them its banished men of science and letters, who taught in their university and introduced to the Venetians the works of the ancients. Guarino of Verona opened to them Xenophon, Strabo, Lucian, Orpheus, Arrian, Dio, Procopius, Diodorus of Sicily, and Plato. At the same time they made Oriental architecture their own, impressing on it the stamp of their special needs and national genius. The Arabs gave them the manufacture of gunpowder and glass, and taught them decorative art ; and from Persia they learned to weave costly tissues ; while their plastic arts retained a reflexion of the sunny lands which, for geographical reasons, were the source of their riches and the chief object of their preoccupation. The architecture, the painting, and the sculpture of Venice are separately treated (see below). Nor must it be forgotten that the city welcomed from the first the art of printing, and stamped it with its own individuality. Venice, more than any other town, has the credit of having rescued from oblivion, by editions and translations, the masterpieces of Greek litera ture. The work of the elder Aldus in this direction from 1495 to 1515 has been spoken of in the article MANIITIUS (q.v.). The literary talent of Venice did not shine in works of imagination ; but on the utilitarian side it was really great and original. In Venice history was written to order, and so is open to suspicion. In poetry, if we may cite Pietro Bembo, Molza, Berni, Lodovico Dolce, Doni, Niccolo Franco, Rucellai, Sperone Speroni, and L. Aretino, whom his contemporaries called Ii Divino, as all Venetians or refugees claiming the greater freedom of thought which Venice then afforded, we must yet admit the lack of a name of world-wide significance, a Dante or a Moliere. But the library of St Mark's shows the respect of the republic for letters; the building that housed the MS. collections bequeathed by Petrarch and Cardinal Bessarion is, perhaps, the most perfect model of 16th-century architecture ; and the librarian of the Marciana was, in virtue of his office, so high a personage that he had a title to be voted on by the senate and the great council for the ducal crown.
Such was Venice at the close of the 16th century, when some clearness of vision was still needed to foretell the approaching decay. She still had colonies, but their preservation became more difficult with the declining resources of the state. The customs were less productive, and the senate vainly sought to improve them by instituting at this period the "consuls of the merchants," the " provisors of commerce," the five " experts in exchanges." Manners, too, were degenerating into indolence and luxury, and the courtesans of Venice were more famous than those of Rome. The proveditori ulle pompe were designed to check the dilapidations of young patricians on the wealth their ancestors had gained by trade, and the like wastefulness of plain citizens, who consoled themselves for their exclusion from public charges and honours by squandering in idle profusion the money gained by trading commissions and illicit pursuits.
If the old senators who had known austerer times were privately exercised by the perils approaching the state, they were careful in public to conceal its weakness and dazzle strangers by the splendour of their pomps and receptions, and the Oriental gorgeousness of their palaces, churches, and processions, as was seen in the magnificent fetes given in 1574 to Henry III. on his way to assume the throne of France.' They desired to make the king an ally as well as a guest, and some time later favourably entertained his proposal for a loan of 100,000 crowns of gold. In 1575 the city was visited by the plague, the almost inevitable consequence of such constant communication with the East. Forty thousand Venetians fell, and the scourge passed on to the mainland, which it ravaged for four months. Next year the doge Mocenigo died, and the election fell to the old sea-lion Sebastian Venieri, the hero of Lepanto, who already reckoned three " most serene princes" in his family. He ruled but two years, and his last days were marred by the conflagration of the ducal palace. His successor was Nicolo da Polite, a greybeard of eighty-eight years, whose age showed that in the doge the Venetians sought rather the symbol than the reality of authority. Yet he reigned for seven years, full of peace and useful public works : the ducal palace rose from its ruins ; the procurazie or offices for the guardians of noble orphans were completed ; Palladio fulfilled the vow of the senate on the occasion of the late plague by erecting the marble bridge of the Rialto to replace the old wooden structure, and began the church of the Redeemer ; and Corfu and the Friulian frontier were fortified.
The peace of Italy had been mainly due to the religious wars of France ; but the senate had wisely sought and maintained the friendship of Henry III., and after his death in 1589 had been sagacious enough to be the first of European powers to recognize Henry of Navarre, thus securing a vigorous ally against Spain, which had turned against the republic since the battle of Lepanto. The French alliance proved durable ; Henry IV. mediated between Venice and the duke of Savoy, and on his marriage with Mary de' Medici his name was inscribed in the Book of Gold.
The doge Pasquale Cicogna, elected in 1585, was sueceeded in 1595 by Marino Grimani, whose rule was marked by grave dissensions between the senate and the Vatican. The house of Este came to an end in 1597, Pope Clement VIII. declaring Caesar d'Este, the nephew of Alphonso TI., duke of Ferrara, incapable of succeeding him. But Venice supported his claims and was ready to enforce them by war, when he ceded Ferrara to the pope, contenting himself with the dukedom of Modena and Reggio. This solution brought the Vatican into a permanent rivalry with Venice, - a grave matter, since at the beginning of the century Caesar Borgia had seized the Romagna in the name of Alexander VI., and Julius H. had occupied Bologna, so that the Estates of the Church bordered on those of the republic. There were other causes of dissension also : Venice had never been on cordial terms with the Papacy; the recognition of Henry of Navarre had given umbrage at Rome ; and, though peace was made for a time, the quarrel recommenced, and in 1606 Paul V. launched an interdict at the republic. Venice affected the greatest formal respect for the holy see ; the legate sat by the side of the doge and took precedence of princes as well as ambassadors ; but under all the forms of respect the extravagant pretensions of the popes were constantly repelled with inflexible firmness and energy. The ambassadors of Venice at Rome were always chosen from the most experienced and active men of affairs, and, though the pope had nearer relations with Venice than any other friendly sovereign, churchmen were constantly excluded from all political and civil posts in the republic. A man, it was held, could not serve two masters. Nay, in all discussions bearing on relations with Rome, whether in the senate or the great council, the usher's call " Fuori i Papalisti " excluded from the deliberations, not only patricians whose ties of family or interest bound them to the sacred see, but all who even held what would now be called ultramontane opinions. The Venetian clergy made no contribution to public burdens ; the tithes required in time of war could be raised only by a special papal brief, and this privilege the senate claimed the right to suppress. To this Sixtus V. had consented ; but his successor was less complaisant. In face of the new pretensions of the Vatican the Venetians multiplied restrictive measures against the clergy, and the conflict grew hotter on both sides, till Paul V. laid the republic under the interdict, - a step that still struck terror into nations. The hostile Spaniards were not without their share in this measure. But the supple Venetians made no appeal to temporal arms : they left the negotiation of the difficulty to theologians, and Paolo Sarpi made peace between Rome and the senate.
Scarcely was this trouble appeased when the Uskok pirates of the Adriatic coast and the Quarnero Islands recommenced their hostilities, and for ten years (1607-17) no merchant fleet could sail eastward without a convoy. The pirates were supported by Austria, which coveted Istria and Dalmatia, and the conflict was ended in 1617 by the treaty of Madrid between Venice and that power. Next year the Spanish conspiracy, originated by the Spanish ambassador, the marquis of Bedmar, broke out in the city itself, but was detected in time by the vigilance of the ten. The Spaniards meant to seize the arsenal by the help of sonic of the most influential senators. In 1622 Antonio Foscarini was disgraced because he was suspected of plotting with the Spanish ambassador ; the Catholic king carried on his intrigues everywhere. But the republic on its part was not inactive and had stirred op against Spain a formidable enemy, the duke of Savoy, to whom in one year (1617) it lent more than a million crowns of gold. From 1627 to 1631 the two enemies were again face to face in the war of the Mantuan succession ; but this time it was the duke of Savoy who made a peace to which Venice merely assented.
Peace was unbroken from 1631 to 1645. But in the latter year the Turks suddenly fell on the island of Crete ; and for twenty-four years the whole forces of the republic, and every thought of the people and the nobles, were concentrated on the preservation of this colony, which had -been purchased from the marquis of Montferrat at the date of the fifth crusade, and in course of time had become a place of the first importance both as a trading station and a naval port. Surprised by the suddenness of the attack, the senate appealed to Europe for aid, and the Vatican, Florence, Naples, and the knights of Malta came to their succour ; but after an alliance of thirty-seven clays all the helpers regained their ships and left the Venetians to confront the enemy alone. The struggle was valiantly maintained and cost Venice, between 1645 and 1669, no less than 4,392,000 ducats. The siege of Candia alone lasted twenty-two years, and for three successive years the combats were continual. At length, on 6th September 1669, the Turks were masters of the island. Europe had looked on impassively at a struggle which, disastrous as was the issue, bore the highest testimony to the valour and patriotism of the generals of the republic. Biagio Giuliani, Tommaso Morosini, .Jacopo Riva, Alvisio and Lazaro Mocenigo, Giuseppe Dolfin, and Lorenzo Marcella surpassed one another in exploits worthy of the heroes of antiquity. Between May and September 1667 thirty-two assaults were delivered and repulsed before Candia, and seventeen sorties were made by the besieged. The glory of such a resistance did not compensate for the disaster, which reduced the public treasure of Venice from 6,000,000 sequins to 500,000. (See also OREEcE, vol. xi. p. 121.) The troubles excited all over Europe by the ambition of Louis XIV.. gave an interval of rest and recovery to the republic, which knew how to preserve its neutrality ; and the years from 1674 to 1684 were a period of profound peace. But the enmity of the Turk still counted on the visible weakness of his rival, and imposed on her humiliations which her isolation and the exhaustion of her finances compelled her to submit to. Venice was only saved by the diversion produced by the siege of Vienna and the intervention of John Sobieski ; but even then their repulse in central Europe sent back the Turks more determined than ever to be clone with Venice and strip her of her whole possessions. At this crisis the senate called Francesco Morosini to the command of the fleet, a post in which he covered himself with glory by his bold offensive operations in the Pelopoimesus. For fourteen years the contest was bravely maintained on both sides, but the fortune of war was against the Turks. The Venetians occupied the Korea and laid siege to Athens, Morosini bombarding the Parthenon, which had been made a powder magazine. The campaigns, renewed every spring, were marked by a series of victories : Prevesa, Navarino, Modone, Argos, Lepanto, Corinth, all added glory to the name of Morosini "il Peloponesiaco." He failed, however, in his attack on Negropont, after he had been raised (1688) to the dignity of doge. Coraro,, who followed him in the command of the fleet, died suddenly; and then Domenico Mocenigo, the new commander, formed the bold project of retaking Crete, and was already before the port of Canea when the news of a Turkish attack on the Morea - really no more than a feeble diversion - induced him to raise the siege and lose his opportunity. The error cost him dear : he was removed from his command, and the old doge Morosini again took the field in spite of his seventy-five years, but soon succumbed to fatigue (1694), when Sylvester Valieri succeeded to the ducal throne. The war continued under the leadership of Antonio Zeno. Scio was taken and lost again ; reverses followed on victories ; and the stern senate removed the captain and the proveditori. But the peace of Carlowitz (1699) between Austria and the Porte brought with it the end of the war between Venice and the sultan, and the Turks, whose humiliation dates from this epoch, were compelled, besides their concessions to Austria, Poland, and Russia, to recognize the authority of -Venice in the Morea and in Dalmatia as far as the Bosnian frontier.
The first thirteen years of the 18th century, when almost all Europe was involved in the War of the Spanish Succession, were a time of repose for Venice, which remained neutral; but hardly was the peace of Utrecht concluded when the Turks resumed the offensive against the republic, which now had no allies. One after the other the islands and colonies ceded by the peace of Carlowitz were retaken ; the Morea again became Turkish ; Dalmatia was saved only by the interposition of Austria, which had need of the friendship of Venice to checkmate the projects of Philip of Spain against the Italian duchies. But soon the emperor found it necessary, in view of the struggle with Spain, to come to terms with the sultan; and his allies, the Venetians, were included in the peace of Passarowitz signed between Austria and Turkey on 21st July 1718. From this moment Venice ceased to have any influence on European politics : she had no more wars, if she still had enemies, signed no more treaties, and, in a word, had abdicated her place in Europe. Not even the dispute of 1731 as to the succession to the duchy of Farina, which- brought Fiance, Austria, Spain, and Savoy into conflict at her very doors, stirred her to action ; she was indeed no longer a useful ally. Her navy had fallen behind the.times ; her commerce had been in decadence since the way to the East by the Cape of Good Hope was opened ; she could scarcely repulse the Barbary pirates from her shores ; and she had to treat with Algiers, Tunis, and Morocco to put an end to their inroads, daily repeated from 1760 to 1774. Yet, the Tunisians failing in their engagements, she decided on a war with them, which was closed by a fresh treaty.
The government meanwhile went on in the old form. ■ The successive doges were still tied by the restrictive laws which made them crowned prisoners ; but rivalries sprang' up between the great powers of the state : the senate attacked the institution of the sarii, the ministers delegated to each branch of the administration, and in turn the magistrates known as the viarantv'e proposed to reform the senate, while, lastly, the council of ten was threatened by the great council. In the midst of these reforms, which were calculated to make a great change in the institutions of Venice, the French Revolution broke out. Ludovico Manin had just become doge (1788), but was a mere cipher in the councils of the state. No heed was paid to the information supplied by the ambassadors of Venice at the court of France ; nothing was foreseen, nothing decided on, for neither senate nor council understood the vast sweep of the new movement in Europe. Soon the Venetians were called on to recognize the French republic; they refused, but did. not join the coalition against it. When Bonaparte was at the gates of Mantua, they at length decided to treat with him ; but it was too late. Mantua capitulated on 2d February 1797 ; the Venetian envoys presented themselves before Bonaparte on 25th March; and on 18th April the Austrians signed the peace of Leoben, which left Venice without an ally at the feet of the victorious invaders of Italy. On 8th May the great council decided to offer no resistance to the French ; the doge abdicated on the 12th; and Napoleon entered the city on the 16th, and proclaimed the end of the republic. On 17th October following Bonaparte, by the treaty of Campo Formio, abandoned the territory of Venice to Austria. Venice was buffeted to and fro between France and Austria from 1798 to 1814, when the new coalition assigned her to Austria. Till 1866 Venice remained Austrian, save for a few hours in the insurrections of 1848-49 ; but her people never acknowledged the rights of those who had bought and sold them like a flock of sheep. The war between Austria and the allied Prussians and Italians in 1866 gave Venice her freedom, and the unity of Italy was at length accomplished under the sceptre of the house of Savoy (see ITALY, VOL xiii. p. 490), (c. Y