Separation of Venice from the Byzantine Empire and Formal Independence?

I’ve been doing some digging into the origins of the Venetian Republic. Unlike its eternal rival Genoa, which was invaded by the Lombards, incorporated into the Frankish Empire, then the Holy Roman Empire, sacked by the Egyptians, etc etc, Venice was part of the Exarchate of Ravenna, the Byzantines’ last remaining territory on mainland Europe west of the Balkan peninsula.

The Venetians were subjects of the Byzantine Emperor. In the 8th c. their elected leader Ursus was bestowed the titles of honorary consul (“hypatos”, hence the surname “Ipato”) and duke (“dux”, where we get “doge”) by Emperor Leo the Isaurian.

Charlemagne and his son both attempted to conquer it but failed. In the Pax Nicephori treaty of 803 CE, the Franks recognised it as Byzantine.

In practice, the Venetians were de facto autonomous since the 8th or 9th c. But at what point did Venice formally sever ties with the Byzantine Empire and become de jure independent (if ever)?

During the 13th c., Venice was heavily involved in the sacking of Constantinople, and seized a bunch of Byzantine territories in the Peloponnese and Aegean Sea for its empire, I imagine the split would’ve happened before then? Or was that the breaking point? Or did it happen with its fall in 1453?

After 1453, did the Venetians ever consider their Republic a successor-state or continuation of the Roman/Byzantine Empire (in a similar way that the Russian kings did)?

What about religious linkages? Justinian and the later Iconoclasts had no problem with trying to impose their various religious views on Venice. Was Venice ever part of the Byzantine Church or subject to the Greek Orthodox patriarch in Constantinople, or was it always part of the Latin Rite Church and subject to the Pope in Rome?

Any good books and primary texts, especially from the point of view of the Byzantines, Ottoman Turks and Ottoman Greeks, would be much appreciated.

#Separation #Venice #Byzantine #Empire #Formal #Independence

What do you think?

12 Points
Upvote Downvote

Leave a Reply