Venice and Hospitaller Malta.
The book discusses two major aspects of the relationship between the Venetian Republic and the Hospitaller Order of St John in early modern times. The first is the corso which was purely an economically rewarding activity. The Hospitallers’ organized violent excursions in the Levant after 1530 constituted a sad reflection of the Order’s endeavour to reconcile its past with the harsh reality of the unhistoric capitalism of the early modern ‘present’. By then the time-bound images of the warrior-monk and the crusade were no longer either convincing or relevant. Within this context, Venice’s stand, seriously questioning the Hospitallers’ right to wage a ‘just war’ against the infidel, demonstrated that the Order’s solemn profession of faith in the rectitude of its medieval principles had been all along a perfect example of ‘high theory in the service of low cunning’. Since the corso essentially determined the nature of the relationship between Venice, the Order, and Hospitaller Malta, it unavoidably takes the lion’s share of the book. In broad terms, therefore, this is in part a study in the process by which the Republic of Venice, through its seemingly cynical commitment to the Ottoman Porte, was able to ‘enforce its will’ upon the Hospitaller principality of Malta from the second quarter of the sixteenth to half way through the eighteenth century.Trade is the second major aspect. By the early years of the 1750s, clear signs of rapprochement emerged between Venice and Hospitaller Malta. This structural change in the relationship, led, in fairly quick succession, first to the establishment of a resident Venetian minister on the island and, secondly, to a fruitful bilateral commercial agreement. When in the 1780s, the Adriatic Republic was at formal war with Tunis, it found in Malta ‘another Venice in the Mediterranean’.
By: Victor Mallia Milanes
No of pages: 338
Condition: Very good condition.