The Republic of Venice: 727-1797

On Friday, May 12, 1797, Napoleon's French Army stood poised in the Veneto, ready to march on Venice. The waters of her lagoon--which had protected the city against Dalmatians, Franks, Hungarians, Austrians, Genoese, Veronese, Paduans and Milanese--would not protect her against the barrels of French cannon. No other defense was available.

All these facts were clear to the 537 members of the Great Council of Venice who met that morning to consider Napoleon's demand for surrender without a battle. By a vote of 512 to 20, with five abstentions, the Council resolved to dissolve the Republic after 1,070 years and surrender the city. Rest in Peace.


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1998-9 C. I. Gable