Venetian Renaissance Fortifications in the Mediterranean

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About the Book

The Renaissance was a revolution of ideas, arts and sciences alike, with Italy at its center. Venice was among the first states to embrace new concepts in fortification, which would dominate military architecture for centuries. In the age of large galley fleets and an expanding Ottoman Empire, the mighty defenses of the Republic of Venice protected faraway territories in the Mediterranean, and some of the largest and best preserved Renaissance fortifications are found on the former Venetian islands.
This book illustrates in detail the impressive defenses of Cyprus, Crete and Corfu, their design and their war record. Walled towns and fortresses were constructed to the latest standards of military technology, with walls capable of withstanding the largest armies and the longest sieges, including the longest in history—22 years.

About the Author(s)

Dragoş Cosmescu obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Bucharest and is the author of many books on history and political science.

Bibliographic Details

Dragoş Cosmescu
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 244
Bibliographic Info: 92 photos, 20 maps, chronology, glossary notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9750-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2018-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments  vii

List of Figures  ix

Foreword by Elisabetta Molteni  1

Introduction  5

Part I. The Republic of Venice  11

1—Venice and the Sea  11

2—The Venetian Strategy of Defense  20

3—The Art of Fortification in the Renaissance  25

Part II. The Island of Cyprus  39

4—Nicosia  43

5—Famagosta  53

6—Cerines  71

Part III. The Island of Crete  74

7—Candia  85

8—Canea  109

9—Retimo  128

Part IV. The Island of Corfu  139

10—Corfu  143

Part V. The Defenses Under Attack  170

11—The War of Cyprus, 1570–1574  173

12—The War of Candia, 1645–1669  180

13—The War of Morea, 1684–1699  189

14—The War of 1714–1718  192

Conclusion  199

Appendix I: Chronology  203

Appendix II: Glossary  206

Appendix III: Table of Architectural Features  208

Chapter Notes  209

Bibliography  217

Index  225