Image of the other as a tool of political legitimation: image of Venice in Renaissance Ragusa
Kuncevic, Lovro (Central European University; Institute for Historical Sciences of Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences in Ragusa))
Conference: Topics, Theories, and Methods in the History of Politics beyond Great Events and Great Men, Central European University (2007)
My goal in this paper is to ilustrate a relatively simple point in a hopefully entertaining manner. I intend to show how, in the sixteenth century, image of the Other could have been used in order to gain very concrete political profit. Of course, I am far from denying that images of the Other frequently were more or less “spontaneously” created cultural facts without any obvious instrumental value. Yet there were also instances in which they were consciously modified and even fully fabricated in order to serve the interests of those in power.
I will try to illustrate this point by using examples from one very complex, centuries-long relationship between the two Early-modern republics: Venice and Ragusa. Now, I am not so local patriotic as to assume that all of you are familiar with the history of Ragusa, especially concerning its relationship with the Most Serene Republic. Therefore a short introduction should follow.