Dorit Raines on Venetian families

Sources for 1740?
Dorit Raines cames to the Fall School with several documents extremely relevant for the subject “Venice 1740” among them a book published in 1741, called the La Storia Dell’Anno MDCCXL. She also showed the Caneletto’s painting “the reception of French Ambassador” and the “Forestiere Illuminato,” a guide by Giovanni Battisti Albrizzi and the journal of Joan Caspar Goethe (30 in 1740), ad example of a “Grand Tour” diary.

The longer term historical dynamics
Dorit Raines stressed the importance of replacing 1740 in the longer venetian historical dynamics. Dorit Raines gave a large temporal panorama of the story of Venice. She presented the early settlements at the Rialto (S.Silvestro and Sant’Aponal) and gave the students an idea about the demographics of the Veneto and the Venetian empire.

Patricians / Cittadini / Popolani
She explained the difference between the Patricians/Nobili (2% of the population), the Cittadini and the Popolani. For more than 80 % of the population we have some structured sources that can help define their identify but they are not consistent in time (Stato d’anime (parish family registrer), Redecima or Decime (1514,1537,1566,1581,1661,1771,1740). Otherwise sources are random : Only if a popolano left some sign of existence through birth, marriage, baptising children, lawsuits, claim, will, inventory, death, but only if he was actually living in Venice. Other difficulty lie in the frequent absence of family names and the habit of referring to the popolano by name and profession / parish. For the Citadinni we have the Libro d’Argente.

Founders of Venice
Dorit Raines  explained the structure of the political offices and traced it back to the founders of Venice.
She explained the importance of the different “ethnic groups” of family.
  • Mixed Group : Dandolo, Corner, Michiel, Gustinian, Polani, Basegio
  • Eraclea group : Morosini, Dolfin, Gradenigo, Badoer, Sanudo, Bembo, Belegni
  • Equilo (Jesolo) group : Contarini, Falier, Zane, Gauli,
  • Altino-Torcello group: Sorango, Zen, Zorzi, Querini, Tiepolo, etc ..
The emergence of the ruling elite is initially linked the local administration during the Byzantine period. With the institution of the central government on the lagoon isles, the title become hereditary and honorific (nobles by birth).  Officers in the Doge’s palace are nobles by offices. To trace genealogy, the control of legitimate birth is progressively organised. In the venetian balance of power, Raines explained the importance of two conspiracies, in particular in the 1310, the conspiracy of Bajamonte Tiepolo. War efforts played also an important role in shaping the ruling elite.  In 1750, 50y before the end the Republic, Giacomo Nani made a classification of families into 5 classes based on their richness.

The case of the “Tron” family
Raines the example of the “Tron” family in 1740, an ideal investigation case. The Tron of San Stae is the only branche (out of 229) that has not been exposed to ramification. In the 11-13th century they are in San Boldo (San Polo) and San Giacomo dello’Orio (Santa Croce). Then they expanded to other parishes. The family yields part of its power to its smaller segments.

Raines concludes on different kinds of the networks, explaining the power of each family : retraceable networks (based on sources), deduced networks (based on inference), invisible (hypothetical, based only on outcome of actions).

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