The Greeks in Venice, 1498‒1600

The Hellenic Museum and Co.As.It. Museo Italiano will launch The Greeks of Venice, 1498‒1600: Immigration, Settlement, and Integration by Ersie C. Burke with a presentation by Carolyn James (Monash University) on Thursday 10 August 2017 at 6.30pm, Co.As.It. Museo Italiano, 199 Faraday Street, Carlton (free event; RSVP here). Burke traces the history of Venice’s Greek population during the formative years between 1498 and 1600 when thousands left their homelands for Venice. She describes how Greeks established new communal and social networks, making the transition from outsiders to insiders (though not quite Venetians) in the context of multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-lingual Venice. This reconstruction of the history of the largest Christian ethnic minority in early modern Venice is interwoven with individual stories drawn from a great variety of sources – notarial documents, petitions, gov­ernment and church records, registries of marriages and deaths, and census data – held in Vene­tian church and state archives and in the Hellenic Institute of Venice.

Dr. Ersie Burke was born in Thessaloniki, Greece and at age five migrated with her parents to Seattle, Washington to join her father’s parents and ex­tended family. In 1975 she moved to Melbourne. She studied History at Seattle University and after graduation became a high school teacher. Later she tutored and lectured in the History Department at Monash University. She taught his­tory at all secondary levels including HSC/VCE Renaissance history, the sub­ject that awakened in her an interest in Venice and its immigrant communities. It was during her first research visit to Venice that she discovered the extensive wealth of archival material on Venetian Greeks. Her PhD advisor, the late Prof. Bill Kent, strongly encouraged and supported her research.

She has published widely on the immigration experience, including Greek economic and social life, the religious status of Venetian Greeks, the contribution of Greek women to the Venetian economy, and the relationship between the state and its Greek subjects.

The book will be available for purchase on the evening (cash only).

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