Fifty years of failed plans: Venice, humanism, and the Turks (1453–1503)
When Constantinople fell to the Turks in 1453, a group of Venetian humanists, who were both classical scholars and professional politicians, advocated a strong response. Most Venetian politicians, however, preferred to attempt to construct a Christian alliance that could collectively challenge the Ottomans. Over the next fifty years, as the Turkish threat worsened, and Venice's potential allies evaporated making the risks of confrontation more fearsome, Venice opted for appeasement—a decision that had grave and lasting consequences for Europe. My dissertation analyzes, from the vantage-points of intellectual, military, and diplomatic history, the problems faced by Venice over these fifty years.