The Stones of Venice (Volume 2)

9780217134040: The Stones of Venice (Volume 2)

Book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1880. Excerpt: ... after this enlargement, the palace seems to have remained untouched for a hundred years, until, in the commencement of the fourteenth century, the works of the Gothic Palace were begun. As, therefore, the old Byzantine building was, at the time when those works first interfered with it, in the form given to it by Ziani, I shall hereafter always speak of it as the Ziani Palace; and this the rather, because the only chronicler whose words are perfectly clear respecting the existence of part of tlus palace so late as the year 1422, speaks of it as built by Ziani. The old "palace, of which half remains to this day, was built, as we now see it, by Sebastian Ziani."* So far, then, of the Byzantine Palace. § xn. 2nd. The Gothic Palace. The reader, doubtless, recollects that the important change in the Venetian government which gave stability to the aristocratic power took place about the year 1297,f under the Doge Pietro Gradenigo, a man thus characterized by Sansovino:--" A prompt and prudent man, of unconquerable determination and great eloquence, who laid, so to speak, the foundations of the eternity of this republic, by the admirable regulations which he introduced into the government." We may now, with some reason, doubt of their admirableness; but their importance, and the vigorqus will and intellect of the Doge, are not to be disputed. Venice was in the zenith of her strength, and the heroism of her citizens was displaying itself in every quarter of the world4 The acquiescence in the secure establishment of the aristocratic power was an expression, by the people, of respect for the families which had been chiefly instrumental in raising the commonwealth to such a height of prosperity. * "El palazzo che anco di mezzo se vede veccbio, per M. Sebastian Ziani fu fatto compir, come ...

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