Palazzo Ducale (photo: Courtney Rydel)
Luke Sunderland
Durham University


Venice was drawn both East and West intellectually: French, Occitan and Tuscan literature, especially lyric, was read and copied there, and it inspired Venetian literary production, but there was also an increasing flow of Greek knowledge and texts. The main sphere of Venetian literary activity was historiography: chronicles setting out Venice’s place in universal history and her civilizing role in the world were written by influential figures including the doge, Andrea Dandolo. Epic and romance texts transcribed at Venice went out to sea with merchants, thus gaining a wide dissemination and influencing, amongst other traditions, Greek, Yiddish and Slavic literature.