Empires: Medieval Venice & Google
So why the reference to Google in this title of this post? Well, let us start by viewing the rise and fall of Venice. Venice was built on the wealth which came from the sea. In fact the bottom picture in this post, by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, shows Neptune surrendering the wealth of the seas to Venice. Trade and commerce was all they had. Venice itself, whilst beautiful, was just an Island in a lagoon. To quote Roger Crowley:
"The City's prosperity rested on nothing tangible - no land holdings, no natural resources, no agricultural production or large population. There was literally no solid ground underfoot.Physical survival depended on a fragile economic balance.Venice was perhaps the first virtual economy,whose vitality baffled outsiders. It harvested nothing...and lived in perpetual fear that if its trade routes were severed, the whole magnificent edifice might collapse".
From this point on Venice started to become a side show and when Napoleon Bonaparte dealt the final blow to end the republic in 1797 all that remained was for Venice to quietly settle to a future as a tourist destination.
However, just as Venice did nothing "wrong" other than to eventually be in the wrong place to take advantage of the New World, so there will possibly come a time when a change in technology or historical direction will sideline the empire built by Google. We can't know what that change will be but it will come and the world will move forward.
This is the flag of Venice