Islands connected to the mainland with the bridge (built in 19th century)
History: brief history of Europe◦Thomas S. Madden: Venice. A new history. 2012◦Joanne M. Ferrao: Venice. A history of the floating city. 2012
Understanding the history: symbolical figures
The origins of Venice◦Roman empire◦Turbulent history of early common era in the Mediterranean◦Wars and conquers◦Romans and barbarians◦Refugees ◦Christianity
Constantine Cavafy (Konstantin Kavafis): Waiting for the Barbarians (1898; 1904)What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?The barbarians are due here today.Why isn’t anything happening in the senate?Why do the senators sit there without legislating?Because the barbarians are coming today.What laws can the senators make now?Once the barbarians are here, they’ll do the legislating.Why did our emperor get up so early,and why is he sitting at the city’s main gateon his throne, in state, wearing the crown?Because the barbarians are coming todayand the emperor is waiting to receive their leader.He has even prepared a scroll to give him,replete with titles, with imposing names.
Why have our two consuls and praetors come out todaywearing their embroidered, their scarlet togas?Why have they put on bracelets with so many amethysts,and rings sparkling with magnificent emeralds?Why are they carrying elegant canesbeautifully worked in silver and gold?Because the barbarians are coming todayand things like that dazzle the barbarians.Why don’t our distinguished orators come forward as usualto make their speeches, say what they have to say?Because the barbarians are coming todayand they’re bored by rhetoric and public speaking.