The story of Venice is, to some extent, separate from that of the rest of Europe. The same could be said of the city's military history and organisation. Early in the 9th century the Venetians defeated Pepin the Frank's attempts to overawe them, and they remained, at least in theory, subject to Byzantium. Gradually, however, Venice drifted into independence; and subsequently carved out its own empire at the expense of its former Byzantine masters. The Venetians were soon famous for their roving and warlike spirit, keen business acumen and pride. This book explores the remarkable history of the city and its army from 1200 up until 1670.