The History of Venice

            The city of Venice has a long history, with many traditions and cultural statements that resonate even today, that is to say, to many people throughout time, it has meant one thing, in many ways.
 It is recognized worldwide as the city of romance- this is true to the older generation, who know Venice as what the God of Honeymoons and Perfect Marriage Spots sharted into the sea one day, and it is also true to the younger generation, who know Venice as that one cool city in Assassins Creed 2 where Ezio almost got his nut off with that one hot thief chick. But when read between the lines, and taken a closer look at, it is very clear that Venice might as well be Italian for Transformer, ‘cus it’s waaaaay more than meets the eye- I’m sorry but Venice is a dick. It’s good looking, breath-taking, charming, and if it were a guy in a bar, ladies, within an hour of meeting him, you’d doink him. Plain and simple.
Awww yea, The City of Canals has got GAME!
 But enjoy it while it lasts, because next morning you’d wake up and find out not only did Venice leave, but he actually left you the still wrapped condom he said he used last night right next to your pillow in bed. Because Venice just does shit like that. Venice the city (not the imaginary bar-hopping Bradley Cooper-looking playa we were just imagining) has a history of stealing important artifacts (and then displaying them in huge public places for everyone to see), starting huge international wars (for money and profit), and basically telling the whole world that it could suck a fat one, with a grin on it’s imaginary face, and a hand on it’s imaginary crotch. It wasn’t always like this, mind you- in fact its origins are actually rather tragic and admirable. Back in the year 568, a bunch of barbarian dickheads called the Lombards had decided that they were bored of sitting around in the forests smacking gofers with clubs and hucking spears at wild boars, so, like any other group of rational dickheads, they decided to just start invading Italy. The first little city on their path to… well nothing really, there was no real goal to it all; they kinda just wanted to invade Italy, but anyway the first city they wanted to take over was a nice purty little Christian town called Aquileia, loved by many on account of the fact that it was founded by St. Mark, and it’s name sounded like a refreshing commercial water bottling company. The residents however were no match for the Germanic barbarians, and since nobody in the history of the world besides maybe the Nazis has ever wanted to be ruled by Germans, the townsfolk grabbed their stuff and hauled ass the fuck up outta there. They roamed the world for a bit, until they found a nice little fishing island called Torcello and decided they were officially home sweet home. These people were the founders of Venice, and were essentially like Anne Frank, if Anne Frank had escaped the Nazis, and later on in life, turned into kiiind of a bitch.
OW! Now I really don't feel bad about reading your diary!
Not that many years later though, in about 584, the eastern part of the coast where Torcello was located were still in the greasy, dirty hands of the Byzantine- and that’s not racist, their empire is dead, it’s like making fun disco. And the Byzantines decided they needed defense against the Lombards too, so the islands of Torcello were grouped into a defensive arrangement known as the exarchate of Ravenna. Still, as our plucky refugees slowly begin to realize, with the northern mainland separating them from the Byzantine, there was very little way they could be controlled, let alone policed, so they were kinda forced to fend for themselves, and in that way started thinking of themselves as independent. So, as always, time progressed, and Venice grew, starting out on its little island, and then spreading out by building bridges connecting to other small islands. These islands were usually inhabited with other refugees who’d been kicked to the curb by the Lombards, so they were easily integrated into the growing island community. Plus, the big-ass Cathedral the guys set up on Torcello in 639 didn’t exactly hurt either. Their reputation grew more and more in the surrounding area, until eventually they started trying to get into the trading game. That’s where the canals come up- through a lot of hard work, the people began the process of de-silting the waterways so that trade and communication vessels could pass through. Now that they were all together, the new multi-island community discovered that, as fate would have it, they were all kind of pissed at the Byzantine for trying to use them as effing shields to ward off the Lombards. Deciding to give the Byzantine the ultimate political middle finger, the people elected their own leader called the doge, in 726, to rule over their new nation of Venezia, or Venice for you uncultured fools out there.
And they made the wise choice of electing Spider-man's Aunt May.
Now this wasn’t the first time Venice had elected its own leader, this was just the first time they’d done it as an independent nation, their hubris and arrogance pissing off the emperor of the Byzantine so much he just about shit a brick. He quickly dispatches his forces to Venice, but due to the citizens bravery, courage, collected strength, and belief in what they were fighting for- independence- the fight was quickly decided. Yeah the Venetians lost. I mean what did you exactly expect, these guys were wimps! Literally every citizen there was, or was a descendant of a refugee, a person who ran away from a fight. And the refugees in question were running away from fucking barbarians, if they lost to a bunch of dumb barbarians how in the hell could they expect to win against an actual trained army? Nah, as always through history, and I almost hate to keep saying it, THE JOCKS BEAT THE NERDS. Obviously. The Byzantine ruled Venice with complete power until 751 when exarchate of Ravenna fell, and by then Byzantine just kind of decided either Venice had probably chilled out by now, or they really didn’t matter that much anymore, so they were given independent power, while still legally kept as subjects of the Byzantine. So the nerds got to go to class unharmed everyday as long as they remembered to cough up the lunch money every morning before school. That’s not to say that Venice was crippled, oh no, in fact, their duty as middlemen of the Byzantine Empire actually brought them much commerce and influence, making them much more wealthy, and much more powerful. And once again, when Venice gets a little sway, it starts thinking its hot shit, as always, and decides, hey, fuck the Byzantine. Only this time, they weren’t so interested in making a huge, sweeping, honorable statement, in as much as just completely effing the Byzantine right up the rear hole- you know how it goes. When the nerds can’t fight their own battles, what do they do? They just get another bully to fight their bully for them. That’s why when the son of Charlemagne (who, I’ll admit, I actually thought was a horse, but is apparently an actual person), Pepin, starts campaigning all up in northeast Italy in 809, the doge makes an alliance with him. Once the Byzantine hear about this, they understandably get pretty pissed not just at Venice, but for this guy, the ruler of the new nation Carolingian (the new kid in school), trying to mosey in on THEIR punching bag! Venice stays out of the whole confrontation, getting the two great empires to effectively beat the shit out of each other, until not only did Venice claim its independence during the writing of the treaty, but it made a killing off of the money exchanged during the war for the soldiers and weapons they provided to both sides. In the perfect spot for trade, and with more money than ever, Venice begins its career as a powerful, successful nation. Aaaand then turns into a humongous dick.
The original guidos actually came from Venice.
 In 828, Venice manages to smuggle the super religious bones of St. Mark out of Egypt (like stealing candy from baby Jesus), bringing them back to Venice and flaunting them all over, on account of the fact that this now gives Venice a very large foothold in the catholic world. They then build a huger cathedral to St. Mark, naming him the patron of Venice. That’s like a drug dealer who goes to the club flaunting his bling he bought after selling huge amounts of crack to inner city children. Dethpicable. And then, because apparently the universe doesn’t care who’s good or bad, it just f-ing loves irony, in 1071 the Normans arrive to the Italian coast, kicking all kinds of ass, and driving out many nations from their seaports, including the Byzantines. Now powerless, and in need of help, they turned to their old whipping boy, Venice, offering the city free trade between the two empires, including the huge added bonus that Venice wouldn’t even be liable for dues and customs. So, Venice, being the most greatest naval power in the whole wide world at the time, promptly demolished the Normans, and made Byzantine trade their bitch. I mean seriously, by this time, the city’s ego was bigger and uglier than Hulk Hogan, and it was really only a matter of time until they pissed somebody off too much- and that somebody was Genoa (and his best friend Pisa). See, Venice wasn’t the only Italian city state to get a piece of that sweet Jerusalem treasure, Genoa and Pisa actually came out way ahead of Venice due to the fact that they had formed a strong alliance, fighting the war together, and splitting the spoils evenly. By the end of the war, Genoa and Venice were neck and neck, and remained that way for a very longtime, all three nations competing for dominance of the naval trade world. Still, the world advanced, and Venice had other things to worry about. For example, around the 12th century, all of Italy started taking up the communal city idea, just like Venice had always done. Except Venice, in it’s most hipster-esque act ever, decided that since everybody else was doing it, it wasn’t cool no more, so Venice set up some complicated rules to it’s doge gov’t, making up things like the council of 10, an exclusive hierarchy of families to run the city along with the doge, basically just to make sure everybody saw that Venice’s gov’t setup was waaay better than the catholic papacy (which sucked).
Venetians also had a passion for ironic beards.
But no matter how good their gov’t was (it was pretty good apparently, it lasted longer than any other gov’t of the time), as the old saying goes, you can’t polish a turd. And the turd known as Venice was rarin’ up to just about shit all over errrverybody AND I MEAN ERRRVERYBODY. The fourth crusades were beginning, and all Europe was getting ready to ship off, planning to use Venice as the dock point where the naval ships could leave from. The arrangement is that approximately 4500 European knights and their horses, 9000 squires to serve them, and 20,000 foot soldiers, as well as whole ass-load of food to feed them all, would depart from Venice with ships provided by the city, that would be escorted by about fifty galleys to Egypt. In return, Venice would get paid a big ‘ol mess of cash, as well half the lands the crusaders conquer by the end of the war. Venice had gotten a pretty fucking sweet deal. And that’s why they secretly went to the Egyptians, who were supposed to be invaded by the crusaders, and worked out a deal with them that not a single one of the crusader ships would reach the shores of Egypt. Why, you may be asking yourself? Because Venice needed Egypt, it was a main trade point for Venice, and besides that, they had some other shit they needed settled. And luckily enough for them, the crusaders worked into their plans perfectly, because when the day of departure arrived, it turned out that the crusaders hadn’t been able to raise the cash to pay Venice, so Venice, being a dick, basically told them that they would still honor their side of the agreement, but the crusaders would have to pay off the city by doing a few favors for them. For starters, the crusaders would have to forget about Egypt for the time being, their first mission was instead to go to the recently stolen and Hungarian seized import city of Zadar, and tell those Hungarian bitches to take a hike. The crusaders agreed and over the course of five days, promptly tore the Hungarians a new asshole. Sadly, they had reached the city too late in the year, so they had to make winter camp their, and delay their departure to Egypt even longer. But Venice had no plans to let them go yet. After the three months, when the crusaders were totally rarin’ to get to their destination, and enforce Christian beliefs on those heathen sand monkeys, Venice showed up and totally cock-blocked ‘em, telling them that instead they had to go to the city of Constantinople, overrun it, and install their emperor friend Alexius to the crown, so he could work the city for Venice.
Yea, this is pretty much what they thought the Jerusalites looked like.
The crusaders were pissed, but realized a deals a deal, and being the European Middle Ages version of Seal Team Six, had Constantinople conquered in ONE MONTH. They were then ordered to stay there until Alexius raised the funds to pay off Venice which… didn’t exactly happen. After nine months of waiting to get their money, the enormous pimp city that is Venice decided it had had enough, and told the crusaders to once again overtake the city, and install some nice, trustworthy Latin ruler instead of the useless ho’ Alexius. Which, AMAZINGLY, they totally did. Also, Venice stole countless works of art during the crusades, including their most famous pillage, the four bronze horse of St. Marks. Why are they called St. Marks? Because when they got to Venice, the first thing they did with them was decorate St. Marks cathedral with them, putting them in not just a place people could see them, but a popular spot, so EVERYONE could see them.
Venice wasn’t just blatant about its ass-holery, it was f-ing proud of it! After that, Venice goeas through many interesting years, where they mostly get what was coming to them for a while, that is to say, God decides he doesn’t give a shit how many people love Venice, ‘cus Venice sucks! Venice goes through not one but TWO (count ‘em DUEX!) huge plagues that kill thousands in the streets, naval trade side-lining, political subterfuge, and defeat at the hands of not only the freaking pope, but (and COME ON!) the wimpy-ass FRENCH. Venice is then tossed around a bit between the French and the Austrians, until Italy finally claims it, making it part of the united kingdom of Italy in 1866. Still, for all its irredeemable, scum-baggy, low-down, no-good, dirty-rotten actions, Venice is still one of the most respected and cultured cities in the world today. Which kind of just goes to show that, when it comes right down to it, there really isn’t any way that a human female could turn down sex from Bradley Cooper.
That's one sexy city.

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