On January 27, 1511, the island of Murano was the scene of an exceptional event: the podestà of Venice, charged with exercising power over the island in the name of the Serenissima, was driven out by the inhabitants under a barrage of snowballs and forced to make a daring escape into the lagoon. How to interpret this bizarre popular rebellion, carnivalesque bravado or genuine political revolt against Venetian rule? To understand its meaning, we must first discover Murano and its inhabitants, glassmakers, artisans and fishermen. This surprising immersion in the popular life of the lagoon, the daily activity of the glass furnaces, and the political workings of the Venetian Republic invites us to reflect on the political capabilities of ordinary people in 16th-century Europe. Why and how do people rebel? What is the popular classes' sense of justice? What are the political forms through which they can express themselves?
The book has been awarded the Augustin Thierry prix de l'Académie française in 2015 and in the same year has been shortlisted for the Grand prix des Rendez-vous de l'histoire de Blois.
Claire Judde de Larivière teaches medieval history at the University of Toulouse (France). She is a specialist in the social and political history of Venice between the 15th and 16th centuries. Her research focuses particularly on the social practices and political role of the common people. Co-founder of the history festival L'histoire à venir, she is the author of Naviguer, commercer, gouverner: économie maritime et pouvoirs à Venise (XVe-XVIe siècles) (Brill 2008). She edited Naufragés (Anacharsis 2005), which appeared in Italian under the title Il naufragio della Querina (Nutrimenti, 2007).