Venedig und der „wilde Osten“ : Wissen, Rang und Interessenräume im ausgehenden Mittelalter
Venice is considered the best-informed community of the late Middle Ages. The study examines the availability of information for the second half of the 15th century, particularly with regard to the key year 1462/1463, and as a case study concentrates on areas of the supposed Venetian periphery of interest, above all Hungary and the two principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia. The result is a thoroughly differentiated system of information acquisition, verification and control. Means of communication, as well as different areas of interest of the Serenissima, can be identified. A distinction is made between information maps and communication maps. The latter also include the distribution of news from the lagoon city exchanged with foreign envoys. During the period concerned, news was exchanged in an astonishingly liberal way, in turn integrating the Serenissima into the information networks of the other Italian states. The study thus places the „information commodity“ within the research field of late medieval gift exchange and patronage structures. In short, a thoroughly pragmatic Venetian approach to news acquisition and evaluation can be observed. Verification of the quality of the information obtained was subject not least to quantitative and ranking criteria. Ultimately, the informational power of Venice was based above all on its outstanding reputation among its contemporaries.