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The Greek neighbourhoods of sixteenth century Venice, 1948-1600 : daily life of an immigrant community
thesisposted on 2017-02-08, 04:54 authored by Burke, Ersie C.
This thesis examines community and identity within the context of immigration. The sixteenth century saw a great deal of movement within the Venetian Empire as people left their homes in search of work and other opportunities. In most cases, their destination was Venice, the imperial capital and a city which was very much in need of skilled tradesmen and mariners. At the same time, the western advance of Ottoman power meant the conquest of lands previously under Venetian control and the dispossession of a large number of people who became refugees. As a result, Venice experienced a high rate of immigration of refugees as well as those voluntary migrants from her remaining Greek colonies who came looking for work. Invariably, when people leave their homelands to go elsewhere, they have to make adjustments, to create new networks and, eventually, to become a part of the host society. This work traces changes in identity through the experience of immigration. Its focus is on the Greek community of early modern Venice. It analyses the ways which Greeks from a variety of homelands with a variety of customs, history and traditions, were able to create a community which included all Greek speakers, and forged a new identity which reflected the characteristics of their homelands while at the same time incorporating the customs and attitudes of their new home. Through an analysis of public and private sources, this thesis examines the various meanings of identity and community. It establishes how Greeks settled and integrated into their new environment and the contributions they made to it.