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  • "Despite the two churches built by Narses, the islands of the Rialto which comprise the Venice we know today were, in the sixth and seventh centuries, still largely uninhabited. At this stage the future Republic was nothing more than a loose association of island communities, dotted about over a wide area and with little effective unity except that which was imposed by its Byzantine overlords. Even its Latin name, and the one invariably used by its inhabitants, was a plural – Venetiae – and it still had no real nucleus."

    – John Julius Norwich, A History of Venice (London: Penguin, 2003), 12.

    August 17, 2008