For many centuries Venice was the main point of contact and exchange between Europe and the Orient, between Christianity and the vast Muslim world bordering on the Mediterranean. From the eighth century until the fall of the Most Serene Republic in 1797, this book tells the story of how the relationship between the Venetian state and the Arab and Turkish world unfolded, with its commerce, its pilgrimages and crusades, its conflicts as well as its partnerships, the misadventures of slaves and converts. Among the major players the reader will find ambassadors with their pageantry, dragomans and consuls, merchants with their warehouses, sailors and slaves, pirates and spies. All these people and merchandise coming and going, over many centuries, fostered an environment featuring contiguity, familiarity, and relationships among different, and not necessarily hostile, worlds.
Maria Pia Pedani teaches History of the Ottoman Empire at the Ca' Foscari University in Venice.