When was the Real Birthday of Venice?
How much truth can there be in the Venetian founding legend? And what has it got to do with garden culture?
Legend has it that Venice (or rather, Venetia) was founded on 25 March 421 AD, so the 365 days beginning on 25 March 2021 are all dedicated to celebrating the 1600th “birthday year” of our city.
I think it’s time to pause and travel back to this little known world of Venetia so we know who we’re talking about.
You may have heard that in the 5th century, the inhabitants of Altino, following the onslaught of the “barbarian invasions”, took refuge in the Lagoon.
This is one part of the story, but if we look at the original text of the best-known founder legend, it contains a few interesting hints.
The birthday legend of Venetia was passed on by Marin Sanudo (1466-1536), an official historian of the Republic of Venice. His book on “De Origine, situ e magistratibus Urbis Venetiae” was re-published in 2017 by a Venetian research center on medieval history, Centro Cicogna.
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