Christian History Project. This site contains the text of 12 volumes on the history of mankind over the last 2,000 years written from a 'collectively-denominational' Christian perspective.

History of Venice |
Swampland sanctuary

History of Venice is drawn from Chapter Four, beginning on page 136, of Volume Four, Darkness Descends of the twelve-volume historical series The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years. If you would like to order this book please visit

Fleeing Hun fury, refugees wade into a trackless marsh and establish one of the great wonders of the world

History of Venice - Swampland sanctuary

History of Venice - Swampland sanctuary
The swamps that gave refuge to fugitives fleeing Attila and his Hunnish horde would eventually be transformed into the islands, lagoons and canals of cultured Venice, here depicted in a sixteenth-century panorama.

As the Huns raged along the north coast of the Adriatic, butchering nearly everyone in prosperous Aquileia, burning its magnificent buildings, and threatening towns like Concordia, Altino and Padua, the remaining citizenry fled in terror to the marshy bay at the sea’s northwest corner. They waded out among the soggy islands, the inlets and lagoons, settling on what little dry land they could find, and establishing themselves as impoverished fisher folk.

The year was 452, and the Huns saw no point in following them. What loot could so many thousand acres of swamp possibly offer them? Succeeding waves of invaders reasoned the same way. Besides, whenever the barbarians did encounter them, the swamp dwellers proved particularly pugnacious.

As a result, the pauperized settlers of the Adriatic marshlands were left to themselves to drain the marshes, raising the ground level of some islands with earth dredged out of the lagoons between them.

The new settlers set up a government run by twelve tribunes representing each of the twelve occupied islands. Though nominally part of the eastern empire, it was in fact independent, and in the seventh century would become a republic under an elected doge.

In time, the place would acquire a name: Venice. It would become one of the commercial capitals of the world.

This is the end of the History of Venice category article drawn from Chapter Four, beginning on page 136, of Volume Four, Darkness Descends. To continue reading more about History of Venice from The Christians, Their First Two Thousand Years we suggest experiencing the rest of the book, complete with hundreds of magnificent illustrations, by ordering it at