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Venice


            As a great commercial and industrial city Venice attracted people from all over the world, which contributed to the cosmopolitan nature of the city. German merchants were housed in the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, located in the Rialto, the commercial heart of Venice. They provided Venice with necessities such as silver, copper, iron and gold. Germans also worked as bakers, tailors and silk spinners. The Turks, residing in a similar Fondaco were tolerated because of their trading skills, however they remained under suspicion often being at war with Venice and so the Venetians restricted their freedom. The Jews, as moneylenders were vital to Venetian trade and territorial expansion. They lived in the Ghetto and were tolerated for their ability to finance the Venetian Empire. As part of the Venetian empire, Greeks and Dalmatians were allowed more freedom than other foreigners. Seamen from Greece and Dalmatia moved to Venice permanently and were recruited for the Venetian galleys as free men. The Greek community was composed of mariners, scholars and merchants. The Greek language was widely studied in Venice and Greek Scholars were regarded highly. The Dalmatians were a source of labour to the Venetians but they were assimilated into Venetian society and became the only non-Venetians to have their own Scuole, the Scuole degli Schiavoni. Foreign artisans were encouraged to settle in Venice through tax incentives and foreign craftsmen taught new manufacturing techniques. Slaves from the Russian north and Africa added diversity to this cosmopolitan mix. Venetian society, prior to its expansion, was primarily an homogenous society. With the advent of the Empire, society became cosmopolitan and diverse, more culturally enriched and the economy prospered.
             ECONOMY -.
             The acquisition of Dalmatia marked the beginning of Venice's expansion and rise to empire. Dalmatia served as a base for operations in the Adriatic and beyond.


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