Thursday, May 31, 2012

City of Fortune

The rise and fall of the Venetian empire stands unrivaled for drama, intrigue, and sheer opulent majesty. City of Fortune is framed around two of the great collisions of world history: the ill-fated Fourth Crusade, which culminated in the sacking of Constantinople and the carve-up of the Byzantine Empire in 1204, and the Ottoman-Venetian War of 1499–1503.   Drawing on firsthand accounts of pitched sea battles, skillful negotiations, and diplomatic maneuvers, Crowley paints a vivid picture of this avaricious, enterprising people and the bountiful lands that came under their dominion.

Crowley's narrative is a quick page turner for history lovers. He does a great job explaining the how Venice controlled the spice trade between Europe and Asia.  A trade which put them at odds with the Mongols, Genoans, and Turks.


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