In his review of the book by Giorgio Fedalto et Renato D’Antiga (éd.), Venezia quasi un’altra Bisanzio, Marcianum Press, Venise, 2018, 277 p. (Venice, almost another Byzantium), Jean-Claude Larchet starts by stating that Venice has a bad reputation in the Orthodox world, due to some historical events, such as for instance, the participation of Venetians in the sacking of Constantinople by the 4th Crusade on April 13, 1204.
“However, relations with Constantinople left a positive impact on Venice and its region. The city benefited from the influence of a number of intellectuals and artists coming from Constantinople, to whom they offered hospitality after the fall of the city. It is also in Venice that many religious works were printed until the 19th century, including the Philokalia or the Great Euchologion, when it was no longer possible to do so in Orthodox countries under Ottoman occupation”.
Larchet summarizes the objective of this collection of studies by Italian scholars, mostly Venetian, some Orthodox: to show what Venice received from Byzantine Christianity (in liturgy, iconography, sacred music, hagiography and piety), beyond the magnificent and well-known example of St. Mark’s Basilica and of its wonderful 13th-century mosaics.
The reviewer highlights a few of the studies:
– the first one, by Giorgio Fedalto, former professor of Byzantine history at the University of Padua, is a historical overview of Venice’s relations with the Greeks.
– Letizia Casellli “Marcus filius meus”. St. Mark and St. Peter, with some remarks on St. Menas.
– Pietro Chiaranz on “The Greek-Alexandrian Eucharistic Liturgy of St. Mark“.
– Leo Citelli on Byzantine music in relation to a troparion by the Monk Longin
– Renato d’Antiga, “The cult of the saints in ancient Venice. The 11th century Kalendarium Venetum“, an excellent article, according to Larchet.
– Giorgio Fedalto’s study on “Official Religion” and “popular devotion”, in which the author sees possible Byzantine influences in the Aquileia-Veneto region.