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.
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