Venedigs Triumph über Byzanz 1204
Lea Maria-Rose Hinterer
Since the very beginning of it's formation and expansion, Venice struggled for independence of the Eastern Roman Empire.
With the Fourth Crusade, that ended in the conquest of Constantinople, time had come for Venice's triumph against the eternal rival Byzantium. After the conquest and during the sack of the city, the Venetians, under the command of Doge Enrico Dandolo, gathered the greatest and most prominent works of art and relics kept in the city and transported these spoila to Venice, who became, due to this immense tresaures, a gigantic shrine for the relics of their patron Saint Marc.
Until the downfall of the State of Romania under latin leadership 1261, spoils gathered in the conquested regions were constantly imported into the Serenissima Repubblica for her adornment. Following a clearly structured program, works were chosen with great care to legitimate the heritage Venice wanted to accept. The Serenissima Repubblica from now on represented itself as the new political and spiritual centre of Christendom.
The city wasn't a genuine roman foundation and the leaders wanted to eliminate this deficit by underlining that Venice wanted to fit into the continuity and stability of the Roman Empire.
The information concerning the works of art given by the sources is, as far as they can be trusted, generally accepted, but there is some difference in the interpretation of the works that lead to diverging conclusions.
Especially the origins of the works, their original context and position are still discussed, and even after all this time they are still a topic of interest.
Context and origins togehter with the interpretatio christiana, the reinterpretation of the works put in a christian context to legitimate them, are the keys to reveil their true meaning and lead to their full understanding. The works are to be considered as elements of a deliberate iconographic program and thus seem to be small parts of a gigantic mosaic, documentig the political strategies of the city.
The results of the latest research conc [...]
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