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"It won't fail, trust me." - Venice to Savoy on the secession from the Holy Roman Empire, 1494
Venice, officially known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice, was a major character in Brazilian Mapping's Alternate History of Europe.
Venice was founded in 697, declaring independence from Eastern Rome, which was slowly losing control over Italy. It would remain out of the Frankish and later Holy Roman spheres of influence, eventually expanding and acquiring large territories in eastern Padania, as well as founding several colonies in the Adriatic and Aegean seas.
In 1452, the Kingdom of Bosnia formed a pact with the Despotate of Serbia, and together they would take down Herzegovina and Zeta. Venice, upon finding out about their alliance, worried that they would next target its Adriatic colonies. The fledging Kingdom of Naples took notice of that and proposed an alliance to Venice. The latter was skeptical of the Neapolitan power, but that was proven as it would successfully invade Albania and defeat Skanderberg. Venice accepted the proposal and aided them with the war, splitting Albania.
1459-1468: Italian League
In 1459, Venice received the info from his spies that "a certain Islamic country is planning something very large for later. His religion was shaken by the fall of the Timurids, after all. That's where we will jump in and profit a lot". With that, Venice asked Naples to invite the Kingdom of Sardinia into their pact. Sardinia obliged and the three nations formed the Italian League.
The first act of the League was to declare war on Venice's rival, Genoa. Austria considered defending the republic, which was part of the Holy Roman Empire, but the Duchy of Milan instead took the duty. However, after a major defeat at the Battle of Cremona, Venice enforced their terms: it would annex most of the Genoese colonies and borderlands of Milan.
As the Mamluk Caliphate slowly grew in power and influence in the southeastern Mediterranean, it also slowly began to rival Venice's merchant power. With the formation of the Maghrebi League between the Caliphate and several other Arabic nations, Venice became alarmed of their expansion, but as it plotted of a solution to the Mamaluk issue, Bosnia attacked Ragusa. The League quickly came in defense of Ragusa, beginning the First Balkan War. Venice and Naples retreated of their Balkan possessions, and after a failed invasion of Zeta by the latter, began to push Bosnia and Serbia back as the latter suffered an invasion from Bulgaria. The victory was swift, and the League expanded their colonies.
In 1487, the League and the rest of Europe was prohibited from the Indian spice trade by the Mamluks.
In the year 1500, Cosimo Borgatizi became the doge of the Republic. In the same year, Italy left the Holy Roman Empire, leading Austria to attempt to regain influence in the region and beginning the Third Lombard War. Venice and the Italian League acted to defend Italy. The war ended in an Italian victory due to French involvement.
Venice also defended Naples and Sardinia during the 1506 revolts, which led to Provence faling under a Neapolitan personal union.
1509-1516: Great Mediterranean War
On late 1509, tensions across the Mediterranean quickly escalated as the Mamluk Caliphate attacked Byzantium. Venice and the Italian League joined to aid the Byzantines, but only became active in the war on early 1512, as they attempted to engage the Mamluk navy in the Aegean. The battle ended in a defeat due to Neapolitan withdrawal.
The Venetians landed troops on Gallipolli to attempt to lift the Siege of Constantinople, but were defeated and forced to retreat to Anatolia, sparking conflict with the Second Ottoman Sultanate. The latter was absorbed by the Caliphate and the Venetian army was shattered.
Venice also campaigned in Sicily and Bosnia and participated on the Battle of Bologna. They became leaders of the League of Varna in 1516.
As 1517 dawned, Cosimo sent troops to recapture Crete from the Mamluks. However, the latter had left documents regarding the recently broken Malta Agreement with Naples on the island, which involved military information transfer and withdrawal from large battles by the Venetian ally.
Upon receiving the information, Cosimo immediately declared war on Naples, only to be betrayed by the rest of the League of Varna, who had ambitions over their lands. The Neapolitan army positioned on Romagna attacked, quickly entering the city of Venice, which had been overrun by peasants and the Doge's palace set on fire.
Part of Venice's colonies was ceded to other League of Varna members in the treaty that followed. Venice itself, the Terraferma, Dalmatia, Albania, Crete, Crimea, Rhodes and Naxos were subsequently annexed by Naples, forming the Italic Union, which would go on to end the Mamluk Caliphate.
Venice has been described by Brazilian Mapping as "very smart, but naive". His official description is:
"That old Italian guy whose life has been based in the wonders of trading and spying. Beyond that, nothing matters for him; and while that applied to his youth days, when he was a small city state in the fringes of the Frankish Empire, times are changing..."
Venice's apparent naiveté (hinted to be very large due to the inspiration taken on Brazilian's own personality) had a key role in their demise, as they did not spy on their own allies, leading to bribing of agents and merchants who would ignore the Malta Agreement.