La Serenissima: Venice, Dawn of a New Power 2.0

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Franciscus Caesar, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    Part 22, African Army, African Drink

    February: Maranazzo’s first battalion of African warriors is selected. These men are mostly Ethiopian, and each is in fine physical form. Most joined voluntarily, with anticipation of fighting aside their white Christian brothers against the Adals, convinced that the Venetians are a beacon of Ethiopian power in the region and reinforcements sent from God. This belief can be attributed to the words of Maranazzo himself, as he has been touting this rhetoric since his arrival. Some of the unwilling were coaxed out of their village by the Venetians with the threat of Muslim invasion and the wrath of God unleashed on their lands and families.

    Maranazzo terms the group “La Guardia Nubiano” after the legendary Nubians who fought against the great classical Pharaohs of Egypt. The force, currently totaling 250 men and growing, will be given some Venetian military training, and will spend a considerable amount of time helping to build San Tommaso.

    March: The peace in Europe achieved at Marignano begins to falter. Though the signatories of the Treaty of London are outwardly friendly, swearing to combine in attacking the nation who would first break the peace they concluded, matters in the continent have them divided. The chief issue is that of Imperial succession in the Holy Roman Empire. The current Emperor, Maximilian I, wills it that a Habsburg succeeds him, and begins campaigning for Charles of Spain. Meanwhile, Francis of France nominates himself as another candidate.

    Adding to the tension is the rising influence of Martin Luther taking hold of German nobles, garnering much of the Papacy and Empire’s focus.

    The perilous subjects at hand help put talk of a great crusade against the Turks, and the checking of Venetian growth into the back of the minds of these nation’s leaders.

    April:
    Ottoman, and to a lesser extent Venetian diplomats begin a secret campaign to gather allies against the Portuguese. The expedition begins their work mid-southern India, attempting to gather the fractured Deccan sultanates to their cause. They hope that the Muslim rulers will still recall the nasty sting of their defeat by the Portuguese at Goa just 8 years earlier, and support the Ottomans and their Venetian friends against them.

    For the Venetians in tow, the months leading up to this voyage were filled with excitement brought on by the quickly growing admiration for the idea of the Orient in the republic. Once in India, however, the men quickly grow distaste for the region upon seeing its cultural relics such as an eight arm deity (i).

    May: Much of the Ottoman and Venetian reinforcing, building, and re-building of forts in the Red Sea is nearly completed. The final completion of most of the forts should coincide nicely with the estimated completion of the Ptolmeic Channel, estimated to open sometime next year. The first ships to pass through the Channel will be 35 Venetian carracks destined for the republic’s forts in the region.

    June: Venetians stationed at San Tomasso have become enthralled with a local drink popular with the Ethiopians from the Kaffa region in the Ethiopian highlands. Referred to as qahwah by Arab traders, the Venetians term it 'cafè'. The beverage is black as ink, and as demonstrated by the locals, is usually consumed in the morning. Soldiers and merchants alike confirm that the drink is useful against numerous illnesses, particularly those of the stomach, and some merchants begin to ponder on its possible usefulness in Europe.

    July: The wealthy Contarini family opts to build a Catholic Church in Alexandria. The church will be modest in size, but more than spacious enough to cater to the Catholics of the city. The family quickly designates this as a church for the merchants and tradespeople that are soon to inhabit Alexandria, turning down Venice’s request and offer of financial assistance to have the church cater to the garrison there. The site selected for the church is purposely located much too far to feasibly serve the Venetian garrison there. The city will have to build its own for the men, which will surely be less grand. The Contarini enlist the skills of celebrated Venetian craftsmen for the work on the church, including Tullio Lombardo, son of the recently deceased Pietro Lombardo, regarded as one of the greatest sculptors and architects of the time.

    Feeling slighted by the family’s refusal to build the church with the garrison in mind, the Council of Ten accuse the Contarini of breaking the sumptuary laws of Venice with the building of such a decorated church, aimed solely for the grandeur of the their family name. The Contarinis counter that the church is to be only of modest size, and nowhere will there be any tributes to the family or its ancestors, or any such pomp. They argue instead that the church will be a beacon of Venetian architecture and culture on a foreign land, easing the minds of the merchants here by helping them feel as if they were in the lagoon city itself.

    While the Contarini and the Council have it out, other wealthy families of Venice are once again made to feel bettered by a rival. With the charred Rialto quickly getting bought up, it seems that the next show of power is to own prestigious developments on the Mediterranean’s forgotten pearl. This however, is a gamble many of the Venetian rich are not willing to take.

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    (i): Inspired by Edward Said’s “Orientalism” (1978)
     
  2. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    Judging by the absence of any comments I can only believe that the last part was so well written you're all still floored. Awesome!;)

    Either that or you heard about our Mayor... I'm banking on the former.

    Anyways, I'd like to get some opinions from the readers as to whether of conversion of Ethiopia to Catholicism is likely or even possible within the next 10 years ITTL. While this is not necessarily where I'm planning to go, it seems like this may be a natural step with the greatly increased trade between Venice and the Ethiopians. There's quite a few butterflies that will grip Ethiopia so you can't comment with full knowledge, but given what is presently known from the TL, is this is possible or ASB?

    Just FYI: The Portuguese tried this sort of thing here and failed... miserably. That was attempted in 1622 though, so this is around a century earlier. Thoughts?
     
  3. Komnenos002 asdf

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    Still reading, and lurking.

    Still a great timeline. :cool:
     
  4. Winstanley The World A Common Treasury For All

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    My initial thoughts are no way. I admit I know next to nothing about Ethiopia at this time, nor what butterflies you have in store, but people just don't like changing religions - and the Ethiopians are particularly pious. My guess would be that they're as keen to go Catholic as the Venetians are to go Protestant.

    However. Venetian tolerance of other Christian denominations would be an interesting thing to look at. If they are happy to make friends with the Orthodox, why not the Protestants? I know earlier in Venice's history Rome was very worried that St. Mark's might pull the weight of Christendom away from St. Peter's. Perhaps a tolerance of sects could achieve that ITTL. A very different kind of Marksist threat.
     
  5. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    Actually, some of us – or at least one of us – are a smidge too busy to skim for updates this week that would involve writing down long comments and thinking of what to elaborate on. That, and family matters. Our apologies. :(

    In other news, I’m finally free!! (for a week, but still…)

    So the Venetians have finally discovered coffee! I expect it will be a boon to all the artisans working at 3 a.m. finishing all their commissions before their deadline or risk invoking their patrons lack of patience! Well… use it well, La Serenissima, because once the Portuguese and Spanish get the idea of plantation colonies in the Americas, you’re toast… or maybe not. If history in the Atlantic Ocean goes just like it is between the Great Powers, then Venice’s supply would be much more protected against wanton piracy and slave revolts. Plus, the shorter distance would mean cheaper prices for consumers!

    However, I am reminded of a scene in Orhan Pamuk’s My Name is Red wherein a Muslim imam in Istanbul railed against the consumption of coffee during the Friday sermons because of its strange properties of “…dull[ing] the intellect, causing ulcers, hernia, and sterility…” and argued that coffeehouses should be banned as they were “…places where pleasure-seekers and wealthy gadabouts sit knee to knee, invoking themselves in all sorts of vulgar behavior…”. With an increasingly religiously fractured Europe, I am sure that some priests on the Continent would feel the same way.

    Well, every new thing has its detractors, I guess. :rolleyes:

    As for the ‘Turkish Crusade’… Suleiman Al-Kanuni would like to have a word with you. ;)

    And they’ve also discovered India! (well, accompanied to the Ottomans but still…). And the culture shock must have been mutual. I would think some of the peasants would say to one another, “Who are these white men?” when they first saw then getting out from the ships. But damnit! Shah Akbar isn’t even born yet! Stop trying to influence history without him conquering all of India! I want a badass Mughal emperor uniting the country, and you’re ruining it! (you can see where I am biased towards…)

    And speaking of India, about the Ethiopians converting to Catholicism… well trade does bring faith along for the ride to new places, but I don’t think that the Ethiopians would change that much no matter how hard the Venetians would try. I have absolutely no knowledge of East African history, but considering that the place has stayed more or less Orthodox for the past thousand years or so, I think that a few new trading cities won’t change that. What I can see is the surrounding tribes and kingdoms converting and becoming Catholic, but it would be a dangerous game to play, nonetheless; The Horn of Africa has been Islamized for the almost a millennia and I won’t think it out of the ordinary for a Sultan to declare a religious war over it. That will definitely put a strain in Venetian-Ottoman relations!

    And that brings me to a question of my own; will Venice be more accepting of… all of this, over time? I seem to recall a documentary on Elizabethan England and how racist the population was towards Sub-Saharan Africans, and with an ever expanding Venice across the known seas, I would say that they will hit upon this question sooner than the English. You can’t convert everyone you meet, and you will need to work alongside them in the long-run if you want to be a powerful player in the long-term. I would like to have a more open Venice where, at the very least, differences in who you are and what you worship won’t lead to persecution like on the Continent, or at least recognize that there are other peoples out there who can be as daring and brilliant as the Venetians themselves.

    P.S: I think you forgot the date ‘1519’ for the update.

    P.S: will the Americas be called like that in this timeline?
     
  6. Unknown Member

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    Actually, it's 1518, sketchdoodle.

    Good update.
     
  7. Irene Professional Cactus

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    I'm sure that there was a perfectly good explanation, he probably just got lost and asked a drug dealer for directions with whom he had met by accident several times before. During the resulting altercation he was mislead to believe that he was just offered a new flavor of cigarette and while he loves kids and does not indulge in addictive substances he felt it was only polite after receiving directions from the drug dealer.

    Well in OTL the problem was just that it was such a minor concern to both parties. The Ethiopians did not care for a Papacy which in their eyes are entirely a fabrication by Europeans, especially when they had their own organized clergy since the schism in 451 ACE with key theological differences. Furthermore the military and political elites in Ethiopia also did not like the idea of giving power away to Rome, a place of insignificance to their home region.

    The Portuguese much like the Venetians did not care much for converting the ones they met, especially as the Ethiopian Orthodox church was unified enough unlike the regional paganism in some colonies that short of prolonged military subjugation there was little they could have done. At the end of the day only the Spanish made a consistent , expensive, and somewhat successful policy of conversion.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
  8. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    Thanks for the responses everyone. I agree with the overall consensus that Ethiopian conversion to Catholicism is highly unlikely. As I've said, I just wanted to float the idea and get some opinions. I'd rather have ideas weighed in their early stages instead of putting them into the TL unchecked and making the official thread seem outlandish if they turn out to be too ASB.

    Good to here. Thanks!

    I know what you're saying, I've had to deal with much of the same for the last 2 weeks. Glad you managed to find the time to comment.

    Of course some will take this view, but then again many will try the product and feel the same way as the masses, throwing their support behind the drink (the Pope included).

    He won't have to, Europe is Europe's own biggest enemy in this plan.

    I knew you'd be happy about this ;) The Ottomans are crucial in Venetian contact in India, so as not to be seen as equal to the Portuguese who have been wrestling control of the area from them. Also the same religion as the Deccan sultanates is a far more means of convincing them to support the cause.

    Inland this may be the case, but surely not on the coast. These people have seen the Portuguese before. The butterflies in India (at the moment) shouldn't be too great. You needn't worry about Shah Akbar for now.

    Major butterfly here (with a spin). Stay tuned!

    Yes, it is still 1518. Thanks!

    I'd like to think so, unless something would happen to change Mercator's map or the use of America to refer to the New World everywhere (save Spain) as is already the case in Europe.

    LOL, that must be it. Fun read, thanks.
     
  9. Alex Richards A mapper I, from near Dar-bai. Donor

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    I can see some sort of Catholic influence in Ethiopia- some small communities perhaps, but not a whole sale conversion of the kingdom.

    The possibility of two 'rival' Catholicisms based around unbending orthodoxy and humanist acceptance of variations could be interesting though.
     
  10. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    Part 23, Foundations

    August: 12 Venetian carracks leave the Venetian Arsenal for Alexandria. The Ottomans have continued to face what is at times staunch Portuguese aggression in the Gulf of Aden, and while success is mostly moderate at best, the Ottoman galleys are having a terrible time subduing the Portuguese nau. Despite estimates of the Ptolmeic’s completion for some time next year, the Venetian carracks will be reassembled at Suez and head straight for Tagiura, tucked away at the back of the Gulf. These will serve as a viable tool in a worst case scenario where Portuguese forces breach the Gulf of Aden and head to the Ptolmeic itself. The decision to use them in a dire situation only is made in an attempt to maintain the utmost possible level of secrecy with regards to true Veneto-Ottoman naval power, allowing for some element of surprise.

    Early September: The famed Leonardo da Vinci completes the renovations of his own ‘palazo’ in the lagoon called ‘Ca’Vinci’, given to him by the Venetian Republic. It is far more modest in size than those of his magnificently wealthy friends and is not located off the main canal, but the home is nevertheless quite pretty, featuring many murals done by the great artist himself. In recent years, especially after his return from Portugal, da Vinci has become less inclined towards matters of the state and the military, and far more into living the good life with his Venetian clique. The boom in Venetian art which he helped spur has had great returns for the artist, who, between completing various works for the Venetian state and its wealthy upper class, has amassed a modest degree of wealth himself. Unfortunately for da Vinci, his love of luxury and grand parties is increasing his expenses faster than he can increase his revenues.

    Late September: Venice’s chief war representatives meet at the Palazo Dogal to formulate a plan for the offensive against the Portuguese. With a shaky, elderly, somewhat disinterested da Vinci leading the discussion, the council comes up with a five point plan:

    Firstly: Veneto-Ottoman forces will take an immediate offensive position against the Portuguese shipping traffic in the Gulf of Aden and western coast of India, as well as off the eastern coast of Africa if possible. The logistics will be on the side of the alliance, as the Ptolmeic will allow for greatly reduced travel time of reinforcements, whereas Portuguese reinforcements will have to contend with sailing around the continent of Africa. To maximize the logistic offensive, the alliance will strike in August, the crucial month for the Portuguese India armadas where any large delay could add a year onto the fleet’s journey home. This backup of traffic flow in itself will be a massive hit to the enemy.

    Secondly: As full scale Portuguese resistance begins, the war council is confident that the enemy commanders will expect the same weak and inexperienced Arab corsairs they’ve been fighting for years, including at the overwhelming battle had at Diu. This will be a hard to blow to the Portuguese when instead they encounter an experienced Venetian fighting force in ships the council believes are better designed than those of their enemy. Surely the artillery capability of the new Venetian ships, especially the high-tonnage ones, far exceeds those of the Portuguese.

    Thirdly: In terms of land battles, the Portuguese will find it incredibly difficult to field an army large enough to be considered a threat to Venetian bases. The entire campaign will be kept to engagements in the water.

    Fourthly: For any armies the Portuguese manage to field, the advantage will be with the Ottomans, who would surely be in the place to hold some numeric superiority in many areas in the region, especially in the Red Sea. The Deccan sultanates will serve a similar purpose in India.

    Fifthly: After the Portuguese have strained their military capabilities, with the process sped up thanks to Venetian attacks disrupting their general travel patterns, the Veneto-Ottoman alliance will take the fight to them. In a massive series of strikes against their bases in India and East Africa, the alliance will attempt to destroy the Portuguese trade network in the Indian Ocean.

    The plan will be taken to Constantinople where it will be reviewed by the council’s Ottoman counterparts.

    November: A collection of prominent local historians, artists, and general enthusiasts alike convene to announce the formation of “La Scóla Orientai”. For the most part the group will spend their time translating eastern literature, as well as those areas and persons of the Orient discussed in the Bible, with an emphasis on the revered three Magi of the Nativity. Another major emphasis of the school will be the study of past and present nations and cultures of that region (though the group intends to focus nearly exclusively on the classical history and nations of the region, save the Ottoman Empire). The announcement of the school is greeted with excitement from a city currently in the grips of an insatiable fascination with the Orient and all things from it.

    The school itself is not just a half-baked idea for a way in which well-studied and unstudied alike can waste their time under the guise of legitimacy. It has powerful benefactors. Initial patrons of the scóla are merchants from San Tomasso, who give it a mysterious black drink from Africa to examine and uncover its Christian roots. Further, it is announced that the scóla will be based in the new ‘Biblioteca Orientai’, which will be the first building completed by the Cornaro family on the land they purchased in the Rialto. The library will focus mostly on Oriental works, so as not to challenge the Biblioteca Marciana, slated for construction near the Palazo Dogal which will feature a massive collection of Greek, Latin, and Venetian works.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
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  11. The Undead Martyr Habsburg Delenda Est

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    Awesome.

    Couple questions: would Magellan's voyage be affected by this, e.g. might Portugal sponsor it rather than Spain? Also Japan's civil war- the Sengoku Jidai- is brewing right now, and Venice might pop up in the latter part to sell guns and stuff. The Tokugawa Shogun eventually booted the Portuguese out because they wouldn't stop preaching (Christianity in Shinto Buddhist nation is bad for stability:p) but allowed the Dutch (who, like the Venetians, were more concerned with the almighty Gold) to keep trade ties to a limited extent. Venetian artillery/naval practices could also have interesting effects on the Imjin War, where Korea held off Japan literally with 13 ships vs over a hundred Japanese vessels because of the massive skill difference.
     
  12. The Undead Martyr Habsburg Delenda Est

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    They did make it till Napoleon; so all of Crusader Kings 2 and almost all of Europa Universalis' timespan. :cool: Not bad, considering they got wedged between France, Austria, Spain, and the Ottomans. Doing better than OTl basically means remaining a major player into the 1600s and 1700s at least, rather than enduring a long decline from the mid-1500s onward.
     
  13. Irene Professional Cactus

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    A bit of a nitpick there, it was a luxurious relative decline. Venetian living standards were relatively high well into the 18th century, the main problem was that it's total power was being dwarfed by the more populous and larger neighbors. So yes it declined in terms of net power but it was still the playhouse of Europe, which is more the direction of the TL IMO.

    Massive leadership difference, the main advantages during the battle: chaos from tidal conditions, reckless Japanese admirals, narrow attack front, inconsistent waters; were secured by the difference in leadership. Skill plays a role, but the example was more to the praise of Yi Sun-sin's ability than Korean seamanship.

    While the Portuguese are smug like OTL they do have a lot more blue-navy experience than the Mediterranean Venetians. Plus there is the problem that while Venetians can copy or improve models they do need time to learn how to use everything properly-that while they have surprise the Indian Ocean is both new and a huge place. It'll be interesting to say the least.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  14. Herzen's love-child rootless cosmopolitan

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    Not to discount the tech edge the Ming/Koreans held, as well.

    I would give up to a generation before the Venetians got up to Portuguese bluewater levels of competence. It isn't something you learn overnight. Although compensation is possible through things such as relative numbers, luck and/or just the right stratagem at the right time. I think about the example of the non-seagoing Romans building a fleet from scratch to fight the vastly more sea-experienced Carthaginians in the 1st Punic War.
    And winning.
     
  15. The Undead Martyr Habsburg Delenda Est

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    Well, maintaining those living standards to some extent requires capitalist/imperialist satellite states,, now, doesn't it?

    Yes. I was thinking more that perhaps the Venetians (or Portuguese, or Dutch) might get involved ITTL, wrt Japan and maybe Korea/China (assuming the Imjin War still happens, I'm not expert enough on the subject).


    Oh yes, definitely going to be interesting adding a new player or two to the Indian Ocean trade circuit.

    By the way, the Kingdom of the Kongo is an example of African-European (specifically Portuguese) relations developed over this period. I don't think that the Venetian colonies would have the same demand for slave labor- the Americas were suffering constant labor shortages, and most of the slaves went to Brazil and the Caribbean plantations, where they'd be literally worked to death within a few yeas:mad: as fast as the shipments could come in...
    but anyway this plus Ethiopia being "Civilized Christians" of sorts beforehand (and good counterweights to the Ottomans/Arabs/East Africans in general) means that they'd probably have a far more amicable relationship. How would Portugal facing competition affect the decline of the Sahel states, e.g. Songhai? Will the nascent slave trade abate somewhat, will alliances etc. allow some of these states to stave off the massively destabilizing effects of the slave trade?
     
  16. Franciscus Caesar Caesar of Greater Toronto

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    Grazie

    IIRC by this time Magellan wasn't of very good standing in his native Portugal, and was forced to move to Spain if he had any hope of procuring a voyage. So to this I'd say no, it's Spain or bust.

    I admit I haven't looked at this yet. However it makes sense that if any contact does happen, as you've stated the Venetians would likely have a better go at it over their preachy Portuguese brethren. We'll see how it goes.

    Absolutely. Also, though they have reason to be (thanks to planning/heavy investment for this purpose), it can be said that the Venetians are nearly just as smug. Agreed, the eventual interaction between the two will definitely be interesting.

    I'm not sure about an entire generation, but there will definitely be a learning curve. The Venetians are arguably the most skilled sailors in the Mediterranean. Through what I've read it was on them that the small republic kept any image of military power. While it will take time to acquire the heard earned skill, these men aren't being introduced to a wholly new concept. Also as you say, the compensating would be numerical advantage and a far more developed strategy.

    Ah, the Roman copy-cat fleet. The inspiration.

    Lots of butterflies all over this. You'll have to keep reading! ;)
     
  17. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    Hmm…

    I am really interested in the development of this ‘Biblioteca Orientai’ because if such an institute were to be opened and put to full use, it would mean that literature and texts from the Orient such as the Mahabharata or the Bhagavad Gita (which in itself is a part of the former text) as well as the Ramayana could be translated and studied by the Venetians themselves. Not only that, but Buddhist texts and, if I may stretch it a bit, Japanese and Chinese epics could also be translated, and who knows what else.

    These texts could very well influence how the Serenissima works in the far future, as well as exposing mainland Europe to these strange new faiths from the East. Whereas most empires only know of faith through business or war, the Venetians could be one of the very few nations who won’t find it unusual to converse with the ‘Eastern Heathens’. Besides, with religious schisms growing in the Continent, the Buddhist faith with its adherence to monasticism and rejection of earthly desires could prove a powerful force to the disillusioned populaces whom have bore the brunt of it all. Of course, I can’t see the faith actually gaining ground in Europe, but it’s basic ideas could be… well, kinda explosive to anyone who can see it (or better/worse, use it).

    Other than that, there is also the question of translating the Quran to anyone who’s wishing to see just what the heck does it say about God. If taken (and this is a VERY BIG if) this could be one of the MOST controversial things the library is doing, considering just who are they allied to at the moment. Arabic – not to mention Classical Arabic – is full of double meanings and hidden words, with the tone, message and in some cases, the letter, of it all could change with just how a person pronounces the text. And not only that, I can see a few canny Venetians trying to paint it with the biggest, blackest brush they could think of, deliberately misquoting or mistranslating it to paint a negative view of Islam in general. No matter the case, this could be a powerful factor that can affect nearby politics in the region, or even Continent-wide politics.

    Moving on to other things, since a lot of people have suggested various conflicts that Venice’s actions could influence, I’ll give you one of my own: the Triangular War. The Straits of Malacca is quite hectic around this time period, with the Aceh Sultanate, The Johor Sultanate and the Portuguese colony of Malacca all battling one another over supremacy of trade. If Venice could supply arms or team up with one of the powers (Johor and Aceh sought international help to tip the scales, even going so far as to seek Dutch and Ottoman help!), then it could have a friendly state to trade on, and count on, too.

    Of course, Venice could just ignore it all and establish a colony at the Sunda Straits, in which it could really influence the world’s largest matrilineal society up in Central Sumatra: the Minangkabau. With some help, the Pagaruyung Kingdom (which was what it was called at the time) could very well end up as the true winner of the Triangular War, holding both the Malacca and the Sunda Straits!

    Oh well, it’s all up to you. :D
     
  18. Alex Richards A mapper I, from near Dar-bai. Donor

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    Venice as the path for Eastern literature to reach the West. Sounds pretty cool. Perhaps a translation of the Arabian Nights a couple of centuries earlier?
     
  19. Irene Professional Cactus

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    Hmmm... How so? Could you spare an explanation for a curious girl?

    Well it depends on how determined the Venetians are, it seems as if they are more determined than OTL (where they just stuck their heads in the sand) simply due to the sunk costs they have already incurred in the near east.

    Well.... Sort of. The Venetians benefited from having an informal empire, that is a commercial empire spared the administrative costs and the manpower benefits. But empire wasn't the only thing they benefited from, something that is often understated is the sheer concentration of skilled labour in Venice. Some of their skills were so rare and therefore valuable that Venice made it illegal for some trades to emigrate.

    The Venetians would probably have better luck supplying the locals, considering the problems of power projection and actually finding ships pre-flight. Better to let the locals do the work in familiar territory.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  20. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    Ooh, and there's also the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám! And the Hikayat Hang Tuah as well! I can also see some Chinese poetry and calligraphy being translated and sold via Indian Ocean merchants. That is, if they can manage to travel that far later on.