The Crusader Conquest of Constantinople | toritto


It is the Year of Our Lord 1075 and a great disaster has befallen Christendom.

The Islāmic armies of the Seljuk Turks have taken Jerusalem.

In Western Europe, the Roman Empire is gone some 600 years.  In the East the empire still lives at Constantinople, its Emperor ruling portions of the eastern shore of the Adriatic through the Balkans and Greece into Asia Minor and Syria.  It is in constant conflict with the…

via The Crusader Conquest of Constantinople | toritto

Venetian Midwives–Who Knew? | seductivevenice

Anatomical theater at University of Padua

At the presentation I recently made about Sarra Copia Sulam at the Jewish Community Library in San Francisco, one audience member showed a remarkable knowledge of Venetian history. He approached me…

Source: Venetian Midwives–Who Knew? | seductivevenice

Celebrating Women’s Equality | seductivevenice

One of the journals edited by Caminer Turra

Happy Women’s Equality Day! In the US, August 26, 1920, was the day women were granted the right to vote when the 19th Amendment was ratified.To celebrate this, I’d like to share with you the story of an early pioneer in women’s equality: Elisabetta Caminer Turra. Here’s a video where I outline her life story and contribution to women’s rights. She lived…

Source: Celebrating Women’s Equality | seductivevenice

Two Women, Two Tributes | seductivevenice

On this day in 1703, Luisa Bergalli was born. Noteworthy, considering she was not born into the noble class, Luisa entered the world of letters and was warmly welcomed into the literary academies, befriending such luminaries as…

Source: Two Women, Two Tributes | seductivevenice

Guilty of a Pretense | seductivevenice

Church of San Lio

We hear about the Venetian women cloistered in convents against their will, sequestered by families who couldn’t afford their dowries, who thought they were unmarriagable, or who wanted to protect their chastity.

But here’s the story of one woman who was trying to enter the convent and wasn’t allowed in.

That’s Cecilia Ferrazzi, who died on [17th January] in 1684.

“I turned in anguish from the pain to implore that…

Source: Guilty of a Pretense | seductivevenice

Passport | seductivevenice

“A passport that belonged to Casanova?! How did you get such a wonderful thing?? That must be worth a fortune! I’m in complete shock. Are many of C’s papers and belongings in private collections? I don’t know much about these things, but I expected them to be in museums.”

This was my reaction when my wonderful friend Marco, who likes to surprise me with gifts from across the sea, recently sent me a copy of Giacomo Casanova’s passport. I overreacted, not surprisingly, so excited at the idea that I somehow thought Marco might be…

Source: Passport | seductivevenice

Rights to the Muffola | seductivevenice

Originally posted on seductivevenice.

What is a muffola, you might ask? And why does one need rights to it?

On July 26, 1497, Marietta Barovier, master glassmaker,  applied to Doge Agostino Barbarigo for permission to build a special small furnace or muffola exclusively for her own work, particularly for firing enamel painting. She and her brother Giovanni operated their family glass furnace after their father’s death, but it was Marietta who displayed the more creative bent. She is credited with painting the famous Barovier wedding cup (pictured here), on display at Venice’s Museo del Vetro on Murano, and she also invented the rosetta bead.

This bead, which used the Venetian technique first called murrine and later millefiore, or “a thousand flowers,” employed six layers with white at its center in a star shape, adding layers of blue, white, and brick-red. Luckily, Marietta obtained a patent for her precious design. Besides being worn as jewelry, Marietta’s rosetta bead became…

via Rights to the Muffola | seductivevenice.

Coffee houses, taverns, tea and chocolate | The History of London

Originally posted on The History of London

Garroway's Coffee House

Garroway’s Coffee House

In the latter 17th century and throughout the 18th century a major impact on London life was made by the introduction of coffee houses, which became numerous throughout the city. The forerunner of the modern café, they were used in a similar way to pubs of the 20th century, with many having a particular type of male customer who could socialise or do business with similar-minded men. The best-remembered example is that owned by Edward Lloyd in the 1680s where he successfully built up a clientele consisting of shipping merchants from which developed the Lloyd’s of London insurance market. Writers, artists, politicians and businessmen all frequented their own special hostelries.

Coffee originated in Ethiopia in northern Africa and later spread throughout the Muslim world. It reached Europe via Italy from where Venetian merchants traded with North African ports. Arriving in England in the latter 16th century the name was anglicised from the Italian caffé. From the 17th century coffee was being grown in the North American colonies, allowing it to be more easily available in England. Sometimes referred to as ‘politician’s porridge’ it was taken sweetened with sugar but never with milk.

The first coffee house in England was established by a Turkish Jew at Oxford in 1650. Two years later another opened at St.Michael’s Alley off Cornhill, with the coffee probably imported by Daniel Edwards, who traded in Turkish goods, and the establishment managed by…

via Coffee houses, taverns, tea and chocolate | The History of London.