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Arsenal Of Venice

The Arsenal was the hub of Venice's seapower. In its heyday ships were built and launched in a matter of hours - around the clock. Dante, the envoy of the Lord of Ravenna, visited the Arsenal in 1321. The poet was so impressed he mentioned it in the Divine Comedy (Inferno).

Dante, "The Divine Comedy", Inferno XXI, 7

The arsenal of Venice

"The Venetians' arsenal is a busy sight

in Wintertime when the waterproof tar

is melted to put the weatherbeaten ships

right, made unseaworthy by breach of

hull and spar... "

"Quale ne l'arzana de' Viniziani

bolle l'inverno la tenace pece

a rimpalmare i legni lor non sani,

ché navicar non ponno... "

(verse translation by Lamberto Bozzi)

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