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Chapter Summary

During Venice's Golden Age, the main source of the patricians' wealth had been commerce: most patricians at one time during their career were merchants or captain of the state galleys, occupations that in Venice, unlike in many other societies, were considered fitting for a nobleman. In Venice some communities of foreigners were legally recognized, which meant that they received communal rights which were regulated by law, and which also entailed certain restrictions and a level of government control. Traders from regions under Ottoman rule had been present in Venice since at least the beginning of the sixteenth century and, as part of an understanding with the sultan, was the only foreigners allowed to conduct commerce between Venetian and Ottoman territories. The main formally recognized communities of foreign merchants in Venice were the Germans, Ottomans, and Ponentine and Levantine Jews.

Keywords: Germans; Jews; Ottoman empire; Ponentine; Venice



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