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A list of key readings about Venice.
Please sort and annotate in a user-friendly manner. For formatting, consider using automated reference wikification.
  • Bouwsma, William James. Venice and the Defense of Republican Liberty: Renaissance Values in the Age of the Counter Reformation (1968) online edition
  • Carboni, Stefano, ed. Venice and the Islamic World, 828-1797. (2007). 375 pp.
  • Chambers, D.S. (1970). The Imperial Age of Venice, 1380-1580. The best brief introduction in English.
  • Chojnacki, Stanley. Women and Men in Renaissance Venice: Twelve Essays on Patrician Society. (2000). 370 pp.
  • Crouzet-Pavan, Elisabeth. Venice Triumphant: The Horizons of a Myth. (2002). 386 pp.
  • Davis, Robert C. and Ravid, Benjamin C. I., eds. The Jews of Early Modern Venice. (2001). 314 pp.
  • Grubb, James S. "When Myths Lose Power: Four Decades of Venetian Historiography." Journal of Modern History (1986). 58#1, pp. 43-94. The classic "muckraking" essay on the myths of Venice. in JSTOR
  • Hale, John Rigby. Renaissance Venice (1974)(ISBN: 0571104290)
  • Kittell, Ellen E. and Madden, Thomas F., eds. Medieval and Renaissance Venice. (1999). 345 pp.
  • Lane, Frederic Chapin. Venice: Maritime Republic (1973) (ISBN: 0801814456) standard scholarly history; emphasis on economic, political and diplomatic history
  • Laven, Mary, "Virgins of Venice: Enclosed Lives and Broken Vows in the Renaissance Convent (2002). The most important study of the life of Renaissance nuns, with much on aristocratic family networks and the life of women more generally.
  • Mallett, M. E. and Hale, J. R. The Military Organisation of a Renaissance State, Venice c. 1400 to 1617 (1984) (ISBN: 0521032474)
  • Martin, John Jeffries and Dennis Romano (eds). Venice Reconsidered. The History and Civilization of an Italian City-State, 1297-1797. (2002) essays by prominent scholars.
    • Drechsler, Wolfgang (2002). "Venice Misappropriated." Trames 6(2), pp. 192-201. A scathing review of Martin & Romano 2000; also a good summary on the most recent economic and political thought on Venice.
  • Muir, Edward (1981). Civic Ritual in Renaissance Venice. The classic of Venetian cultural studies, highly sophisticated.
  • Plant, Margaret. Venice: Fragile City 1797-1997. (2003). 550 pp.
  • Zorzi, Alvise. Venice 697-1797: A City, a Republic, and an Empire. (2002). 303 pp.

Art and Architecture

  • Brown, David Alan et al. Bellini, Giorgione, Titian and the Renaissance of Venetian Painting. (2006). 352 pp.
  • Brown, Patricia Fortini. Private Lives in Renaissance Venice: art, architecture, and the family (2004)
  • Concina, Ennio. A History of Venetian Architecture. (1998). 356 pp.
  • Davis, Robert C. and Marvin, Garry R. Venice, the Tourist Maze: A Cultural Critique and the World's Most Touristed City. (2004). 360 pp. online edition
  • Garrett, Martin, Venice: a Cultural History (2nd ed 2006). Revised edition of Venice: a Cultural and Literary Companion
  • Glixon, Beth L. and Glixon, Jonathan E. Inventing the Business of Opera: The Impresario and His World in Seventeenth-Century Venice. (2006). 398 pp.
  • Goy, Richard J. Building Renaissance Venice: Patrons, Architects, and Builders, ca. 1430-1500. (2006). 316 pp.
  • Hills, Paul. Venetian Colour: Marble, Mosaic, Painting and Glass, 1250-1550. (1999). 240 pp.
  • Howard, Deborah, and Sarah Quill. The Architectural History of Venice (2nd ed. 2004) online 1981 edition
  • Howard, Deborah. Venice and the East: The Impact of the Islamic World on Venetian Architecture, 1100-1500. (2000). 282 pp.
  • McCray, W. Patrick. Glassmaking in Renaissance Venice: The Fragile Craft. (1999). 240 pp.
  • McGregor, James H. S. Venice from the Ground Up. (2006). 384 pp.
  • Rosand, David. Myths of Venice: The Figuration of a State (2001) how writers (especially English) have understood Venice and its art
  • Tafuri, Manfredo. Venice and the Renaissance (1995) architecture
  • Vio, Ettore, ed. St. Mark's: The Art and Architecture of Church and State in Venice. (2003). 319 pp.
  • Wills, Garry. Venice: Lion City. The Religion of Empire. (2001). 420 pp.
  • Zuffi, Stefano, ed. Art in Venice. (1999). 400 pp.

Primary sources

  • Contarini, Gasparo (1599). The Commonwealth and Gouernment of Venice. Lewes Lewkenor, trsl. London: "Imprinted by I. Windet for E. Mattes." The most important contemporary account of Venice's governance during the time of its blossoming. numerous reprint editions.

Free Online Full-Text Books on the History of Venice

  • Brown HF. 1907. Studies in the history of Venice, London: John Murray. Free Full-Text Online
  • Brown HF. 1893. Venice: an historical sketch of the republic, London: Percival. Free Full-Text Online
  • Francis Cotterell Hodgson. 1901. Early History of Venice: From the Foundation to the Conquest of Constantinople A.D. 1204. London: George Allen Free Full-Text Online