The Greeks of Venice, 1498-1600 : Immigration, Settlement, and Integration

People have always immigrated in search of better working and living conditions, to escape persecution, reconnect with family, or simply for the experience. This volume traces the history of Venice’s Greek population during the formative years between 1498 and 1600 when thousands left their homelands for Venice. It describes how Greeks established new communal and social networks, and follows their transition from outsiders to insiders (though not quite Venetians) through an approach that offers a comparative perspective between the ‘native’ and the immigrant. It places Greeks within the context of multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-lingual Venice. Personal stories are interwoven throughout for a more intimate account of how people lived, worked, prayed, and formed new social networks. These accounts have been drawn from a variety of sources collected from the Venetian state archives, the archives of the Venetian church, and documentation held by the Hellenic Institute of Venice. Notarial documents, petitions, government and church records, registries of marriages and deaths, and census data form part of the collected material discussed here. Above all, this study aims to reconstruct the lives of the largest ethnic and Christian minority in early modern Venice, and to trace the journey of all immigrants, from foreigner to local.