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"An example of the kind of history that should be read and written by all students of history."

"This is a very readable book... No one working in the fields of Venetian, Byzantine, or Crusading history (in all three of which Madden is equally comfortable), much less medieval history in general, can ignore this book. With it, Madden more than ever stakes out his place as one of the most important medievalists in America at present."

"In addition to a lively narrative, Madden offers a new interpretation of Venice's role in the Fourth Crusade."

"A refreshing contribution not only to study of the Fourth Crusade but also to that of medieval Venice."

"This book deserves to be considered authoritative because of Madden's use of sources contemporary to the Fourth Crusade and not written afterwards with the advantage of hindsight."

"An elegantly constructed book that gives a new twist to the fourth crusade and a new perspective on the government and constitution of Venice at a critical moment in its development."

"Offers a useful account of a turning point in Venice's development."

"Helps shed a great deal of new light on the origins of Venice's political system."

"This book provides the best study in English of a twelfth-century Italian city: authoritative, accessible, and cogently argued. Written in a fluid, assured style that will appeal to general readers, it also learnedly and forthrightly takes on many controversial scholarly issues. Thomas Madden gives a full account of church and state developments that shaped Venetian history, and at the same time he presents a full treatment of the diplomatic and ecclesiastical aspects of the city's role in the Fourth Crusade. He brings medieval Venice to life, both in its lagoon and as a participant in great European movements."

"Madden provides an unusually lucid and thorough account."

"Provides an important contribution both to our understanding of Venice's political and constitutional evolution until the early thirteenth century and to the background of the Fourth Crusade."

"Well-written and interesting study."

"Thanks to its resolutely urban perspective, its careful reading of the sources, and its well-founded and independent standpoint, this study is a benefit to the history of the Crusades and the history of Venice alike."