History 298-003: Venice and the Mediterranean
Term Paper Information
At the end of the term, you will be turning in a paper that examines some aspect of Venetian history.
You may choose to put Venice in the wider context of the Mediterranean (the relationship between
Venice and Byzantium or the history of Venetian communities in Cairo, for instance) or compare the
situation in Venice to another context. You need to clear your topic with me early in the term, but that
is mainly to make sure the scope of your topic is appropriate — i.e. that enough material exists for you
to take it on and that you will not be overwhelmed by too much material. You are welcome to focus on
political history, culture, religion, art, architecture, trade, technology, or some other aspect of history.
Your paper should be based on at least six scholarly sources and must include at least one primary
Your paper should not be merely descriptive, such as listing the various battles in the Venetian
campaigns against the Turks or the sequence of events leading to the establishment of the Venetian
empire on the mainland. You should present and defend a distinct claim, a thesis, about your topic. For
instance, to take the latter topic, you might present an argument for why the Venetians established
control of certain mainland areas when and how they did. Or you might explain how the establishment
of the mainland communities changed the character of the aristocracy in Venice.
Your paper should be around 10 pages (double-spaced, reasonable font, one-inch margins), or around
4000 words. You should cite your sources as you go and also provide a list of the works you have
consulted (a bibliography) at the end of the paper. I am not a stickler for citation style, but you should
be consistent and complete in your citations. Pick a style and keep to it. If you are not already used to
using a particular style, I recommend using Chicago-style footnotes. A guide to this style can be found
in book form as The Chicago Manual of Style, which Hagerty holds, or online at
www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html. Failure to document your prose (not just
quotations — paraphrased material too!) is a serious plagiarism offense, so be thorough. You are
allowed, encouraged even, to have others read over a draft to proofread or to point out spots that need
clarification. But all research and writing should be done by you, on your own.
As stated in the syllabus, the elements of the term paper will collectively make up 45% of your grade
in the course. The individual pieces count towards your final grade as follows:
5% topic, bibliography, and abstract (a zero will be given if any of the three pieces is missing)
10% peer critique and intermediate draft (a zero will be given if either piece is missing)
30% final draft
See the syllabus for the due-dates of the various parts of the project. Your final draft will be graded
based on the thoroughness of your research, your careful handling of sources, your clear statement and
careful defense of your thesis, and the quality and clarity of your prose.
I am going to focus on cultural the impact of bringing the “remains/relics” of Saint Mark to Venice. I want to understand how Venice was to benefit from this act. Did they gain political power or influence over the church? Could this have been a tactic to gain tourism or bring trade to Venice? What were the long term effects? Was there more loyalty to the church or government by the Venetians after this? Was there an influx in conversion to catholicism? I would also like to explore how Venice went about gaining the “remains/relics” and at what cost. It is important to understand all these questions to fully explain why it was a necessary action and what they believed they would gain in the end. There had to be a logical reason for a government to go to all the trouble of obtaining the remains or pretending to have them. Did the ends justify the means? Were they able to achieve whatever outcome they had anticipated?
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