Cyprus was important to Venice due to its strategic location for trade and commerce routes in the Eastern Mediterranean.
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Venice, one of the most powerful naval states in the Mediterranean during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, was seeking to expand its empire through trade, pirates, and conquests of foreign territories. Thus, Cyprus, strategically located on the intersection of Europe, Asia, and Africa and suitable for the trade and commerce routes in the Eastern Mediterranean, was an attractive target for the Venetians. In 1489, Venice succeeded in securing the island of Cyprus under its rule after a long-standing tension with the island’s previous ruler, who was unable to pay a substantial debt.
According to Jonathan Harris in his book, “The Venetian Empire: A Sea Voyage,” “Cyprus had been a crossroads of maritime trade, a cork in the bottleneck of shipping mounting between the Black Sea and the larger Mediterranean basin, and within reach of Egypt, Syria, and Palestine.” Venice aimed to monopolize the trade and commerce of various goods—such as silk, spices, sugar, and textiles—that were produced in the East and transported through the Mediterranean to Europe.
Cyprus also served as a significant naval base for Venice and a fortress guarding the eastern flank of the Venetian Empire. Its ports provided safe havens for Venetian ships in times of storm or conflict and enabled the Venetian fleet to extend its sphere of naval dominance. The island’s natural resources, such as copper mines, aided the economy of Venice as well.
Some interesting facts about the Venetian rule in Cyprus are:
- The Venetians fortified the city walls of Nicosia, which still remain intact today!
- During the Venetian period, the Cypriots introduced a type of pasta called “trachanas” to the Venetians, who brought it back to Italy and renamed it “triangolini.”
- A Venetian column can still be seen in Larnaca today, which was constructed in honor of the city’s Venetian governor.
- The Venetians were criticized by the Cypriots for their oppressive and corrupt rule, leading to uprisings against their authority.
Table: Venetian Rule in Cyprus
|1489||Venice gained control of Cyprus|
|1570-1571||The Ottoman Empire conquered Cyprus from Venice|
|1573||Venetian attempt to recapture Cyprus fails during the Battle of Lepanto|
|1670||Another Venetian attempt to retake the island from the Ottomans also fails|
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The Venetians saw Cyprus primarily as a military base. Anticipating conflict, they undertook an ambitious plan of fortification. Famagusta and Nicosia were ringed with massive earthworks, cased with stone. An outer wall was erected around Kyrenia castle, the gap being filled with earth to form an artillery rampart.
Why was Cyprus important to Venice? The Republic of Venice had controlled Cyprus since 1489. The Venetians profited from the island’s production of exports like sugar, cotton, and wine, and they had a longstanding arrangement with Egyptian rulers who protected Venetian interests on the island from Ottoman invaders.
Video related “Why was Cyprus important to Venice?”
The video explores the significance of the settings, Venice and Cyprus, in Shakespeare’s play, Othello. Venice, a powerful and threatened city, is explored through its symbolic fairness. Meanwhile, Cyprus is described as a meeting point between the east and west, society and liberation, order, and chaos. The video delves into various scenes in the play, including the opening in a dark street and the personal scene between Emilia and Desdemona. The change in setting from Venice to Cyprus is also discussed, with the evil and darkness in Cyprus symbolizing blindness to reality. Finally, the video prompts viewers to engage in independent learning and compare the similarities and differences between Venice and Cyprus before exploring the sources Shakespeare drew from in the next video.
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In respect to this, How did Venice lose Cyprus? Response to this: Two months later, at the Battle of Lepanto, the united Christian fleet destroyed the Ottoman fleet, but was unable to take advantage of this victory. The Ottomans quickly rebuilt their naval forces and Venice was forced to negotiate a separate peace, ceding Cyprus to the Ottomans and paying a tribute of 300,000 ducats.
When did Venice annex Cyprus?
Caterina reigned as a figurehead until 1489, when Venice formally annexed Cyprus and ended the 300-year Lusignan epoch.
Also question is, Who ruled Cyprus before the Venetians? He later sold the island to the Knights Templar, who themselves sold it on to the Franks or Lusignans, a dynasty which went on to rule Cyprus for almost 300 years. The last of the Lusignans ceded the island to Venice in 1489.
Likewise, When did Italy invade Cyprus?
The response is: The Italian Empire, having colonised the Dodecanese islands of the Aegean Sea, was gradually making its presence felt in Cyprus in the 1920s and went on to do so more vigorously in the 1930s.
Then, Why is Cyprus a warlike Island? The reply will be: Cyprus is the ‘warlike island’ (II.1.43) under occupation. The conflict and danger of the setting are mirrored in the tragic events that unfold there. Away from the ‘civilisation’ of Venice, Iago’s evil schemes prosper. Cyprus is threatened by the Turks; Othello’s peace of mind and marriage are threatened by Iago.
Herein, Why is Venice important?
It remains a major Italian port in the northern Adriatic Sea and is one of the world’s oldest tourist and cultural centres. Since the fall of the Venetian republic in 1797, the city has held an unrivaled place in the Western imagination and has been endlessly described in prose and verse.
Moreover, What does Cyprus symbolize in Othello?
Response to this: In Othello, Venice represents civilization, while Cyprus symbolizes the wilderness. The idea is that what happened in the Cyprus never would happen in the civilized city of Venice. IT IS INTERESTING: Quick Answer: Can you sunbathe in Cyprus in March? What are the 4 main plots in The Merchant of Venice?
Similarly, Why did Shakespeare put the setting in Venice?
Venice was at war with the Ottoman empire between 1570 and 1573, so the play’s reference to the threat of an attack on Cyprus could reflect a setting sometime during this period. Why did Shakespeare place the setting in Venice? Venice is an exciting, cosmopolitan setting for the play because it’s a hotspot for trade.