Venice History

First invasions

Venice History. According to some studies, people who settled down in the venetian lagoon probably came from Asiago and from the hills od Padua and Vicenza. The first buildings were built with straw and mud with a sloping roof (the famous casoni). The fishermen and peasants’ life was very simple and monotonous – and it seemed that these lands were isolated from the rest of the world.

In the third century b.C., Veneto became a province of Rome, important cities such as Padua, Aquileia, Altino and Ravenna came into life – and connection roads with the rest of the empire were built. Trade developed and the rural economy was transformed into a trade one. The peace and bonanza period lasted until 180 A.D. – when the first incursions coming from northern Europe (Marcomanni and Quadi) began. The richest cities in the north east suffered the first lootings and began to live with the fear of a possible and continuous invasion. In this period, the powerful Roman army, temporarily managed to keep off the advance.

The first invasion that caused serious damages to the Region economy and political stability was from Visigoths’ Alaric King who, in 410 AD, undertook a military campaign that brought him to invade and plunder Rome. After only thirty years (452), there was the most terrible history invasion by Attila King of the Huns. This fact remained imprinted in the population’s minds until to take up the characteristics of a legend. Remained historical the sentence:”where Attila passes the grass does not grow any more”.

In 568, the Lombards led by Alboino, took possession of Forum Iulii and inner areas, leaving to the Byzantines the centres towards the coast which included Oderzo, Po area (Padova, Monselice, Mantova and Cremona). The invasion was perhaps the result of an agreement, through which the maritime Venetia, subjected to Ravenna exarchate, was separated from the inner Venetia (the future Austria Longobard). As a result of invasions, civil and religious authorities were moved to the islands of the lagoon. The first settlements are Chioggia, Torcello and Malamocco. In the seventh century, these centres are part of the Byzantine Empire led by the “maritime forum” who depends on Ravenna exarch Byzantine. In the ninth century, under the Doge Partecipazio, the government was transferred from a Malamocco to Rialto. From ‘800 onwards, Venice began a period of economic development that led it to become the leading military and political power of the Adriatic. In the ninth century, the building of the Basilica of St. Mark and Doge’s Palace began.

In ‘818 the remains of St. Mark stolen from Alexandria in Egypt arrived in Venice. The economic expansion had its problems – the naval fleet had to struggle with the other cities for the Adriatic maritime dominance. Trades towards East continued with Byzantium approval and, despite Papacy’s excommunication threats, which prohibited trade with the unfaithful Saracens, Venetian ships were able to access to the main ports of Syria, Egypt and the Black Sea, where the precious spices were loaded and sold throughout Europe. In 1177, thanks to the peace negotiation between Frederick Barbarossa and Pope Alexander III°, the Venetian Republic obtained a further acknowledgment that strengthened its political power. In 1204, Venice, with an incredible ability, managed to organize the IV° Crusade and exploit the military action to conquer what remained of Constantinople territories. With the looting and the conquest of Constantinople born the Eastern empire and Venice reinforced even more its influence in this region.

The fourteenth century was marked by a series of wars against Genoa for the Eastern traffic control. The war, at a certain point, seemed to get worse for Venice so that the Genoese fleet took possess of Chioggia. The battle ended in 1381 with the Peace of Turin. In the fifteenth century, the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks and the discovery of new routes to reach the indie, inflicted a heavy blow to the Venetian Republic which tried to react by driving its interest towards the mainland terittories. This new policy led it to clash with the major European states which came into life. Despite some success obatained such as the victory of Marignano against the antivenetian league of Cambrai and the victory of Lepanto battle against the Turks, Venice went into a period of inexorable decline that ended up with the loss of its independence on 16 May 1797, when Napoleon’s troops invaded it.

Venice history: the Treaty of Campoformio

On 17 October 1797, with the Treaty of Campoformio, Venice was surrender to Austria to be occupied again by the French in 1807. In 1815, with the Congress of Vienna, all territories of the Venetian Republic were assigned to the Habsburg Empire. Austrian domination (apart from the period of 1848 in which the Venetians were able to chase away the Austrians temporarily) ended on October 3, 1866 – when, after reconciliation with Vienna, Veneto joined the Kingdom of Italy.

Source: Wikipedia