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Comment: PLEASE READ FULL DESCRIPTION -USED GOOD- This book has been read and may show wear to the cover and or pages. There may be some dog-eared pages. In some cases the internal pages may contain highlighting/margin notes/underlining or any combination of these markings. The binding will be secure in all cases. This is a good reading and studying copy and has been verified that all pages are legible and intact. If the book contained a CD it is not guaranteed to still be included. All items are packed and shipped from the Amazon warehouse.
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Venice, A Maritime Republic Paperback – November 1, 1973

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Students now have an analysis of Venice's fortunes over the whole course of its independent history that they can trust... A crisp and clearly visualized narrative.

(Times Literary Supplement)

The best one-volume history of Venice in any language.

(American Historical Review)

An up-to-date and comprehensive history of Venice has long been needed, and Professor Lane, as the doyen of historians of Venice, was the obvious man to supply it.

(J.H. Elliott New York Review of Books)

Frederic Lane has achieved what is the often unfulfilled dream of every historian who has devoted his entire work to the exploration of partial aspects of a single broad subject: he has given us a comprehensive, thoughtful, readable, beautifully illustrated general history of Venice from the origins to the beginning of decline.

(Speculum)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; (7th) edition (November 1, 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080181460X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801814600
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,011,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Frederic C. Lane's classic work is still the best general history on Venice. The frontpiece chronology alone is an invaluable reference for the scholar or the engaged tourist. The dean of Venice's historians, his work ties the maritime, merchantile, and industrial basis that spured trade and established the wealth of the Venetian republic to the city's cultural manifestations in art and politics.
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Format: Paperback
Lane's classic reference on Venice offers detailed coverage of the most important facet of the Venitian Empire--its maritime dominance. The prose is scholarly, yet still concise and readable. Compared to Lane, Norwich's weaker Venice book reads like a rambling travel log.

However, the figures in this paperback edition of Lane are very poorly reproduced. The maps look like they were copied on a xerox machine, rendering the place names illegible. The photographs and depictions of period artwork are virtually unintelligible. Interested readers might be better served to seek out the hardcover edition.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the two classic histories of Venice; the other that by Norwich. As reference it is the superior volume. I keep returning to it on a very wide variety of topics on Venice. Thus, for instance, it does an excellent job of explaining the ownership and command structures, including the important and active role of common sailors aboard Venetian merchant ships. If you want to understand why Venice is so important to the understanding of what makes some democracies much more successful than others, this is a must book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I came to this book with a general interest in history and in the wonders of Venezia, and found the book to be a very satisfying look at the subject. While many people would not consider this light reading, the book does not assume any special knowledge other than a general grade-school familiarity with history. What I especially liked about Venice, A Maritime Republic, was the balance between the usual recital of classic political history - wars, rulers, and shifting borders - and vivid snapshots of the economics, culture, and personalities of Venetian history. For instance, the book offers fascinating glimpses into the organization of a galleys for trade expeditions, encounters between Venezia and the Muslim world, the role of Venezia in medieval manufacturing, innovations in trade and book keeping, and Renaissance printing. My main disappointment was architecture, which is perhaps Venezia's most lasting achievement but whose development is not as well-described in the book as I had hoped.

Where the book does touch on wars and politics, it gives just enough details to bring the story alive, as in the gripping account of the War of Chioggia, an episode I had never heard of before but which would make a fantastic movie. The author makes very good choices for which topics to dwell on and which to summarize quickly. The prose is unremarkable but effective, and the B&W illustrations are interesting in themselves and well-integrated into the text (though as another review mentions some - but not all - of the illustrations are not very well reproduced in the paperback edition). Though the illustrations are in shades of gray, reading this book allows one to enter a colorful world where the myth and reality of Venezia grow through time.
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Format: Paperback
In a time of absolute monarchies almost everywhere in Europe and Asia, Lane describes the history of an early republic, that managed to prosper for centuries. Nor was this the only anomaly of Venice. It had barely any land area, compared to many of its rivals like Constantinople. Of course, as the book explains, its most striking feature was the its placement in what was essentially a swamp, for defensive purposes.

The book chronicles its rapid ascent and ingenuity in being flexible about trading with anyone. The many sea battles also attest to its continued vigilance. Readers might note the resemblences to Britain and its empire.

The writing style is quite readable to a non-historian. Enhanced perhaps by a decision not to have footnotes. The illustrations are also well chosen.
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