The editor of these documents, Victor Mallia Milanes, remains faithful to the original text, setting the correct backdrop to these diplomatic letters, wherein he touches on various aspects of Mediterranean life in the 18 century without shying away from giving us his own interpretation of the history of the period.These documents are in Italian, which was the lingua franca of the Mediterranean at the time.The latter are now popularly known as the Knights of Malta.
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Venice was one of the first countries in Europe to adopt and become a secular realm, a century before this concept became fashionable during the period of Enlightenment.
La Serenissima and the Order of Saint John had one element in common; both were steeped in tradition and both were staunch believers in what Montesquieu termed an alliance between State and Religion The Order of the Knights of Malta was the epitome of a power for whom religion and statehood was one and the same thing.
These letters, therefore, are not only of great importance to the historian but are also of interest to those who study the history of the Italian language as Buzzaccarini Gonzaga wrote in his Venetian dialect and the diplomatic language of these letters follows the style of the time.
The language is balanced and one can sense Buzzaccarini Gonzaga’s efforts to diffuse, and to leave behind the drama of previous centuries between the two maritime powers, even if, on various occasions, he had to deal with extremely thorny issues and Malta’s legal system under the Knights of St. Buzzaccarini Gonzaga spent a great deal of energy safe-guarding the interests of Venetians traders, who felt maligned by the actions of the corsairs operating under the protection of the flag of the Knights of Malta. Prior to the suppression of the Venetian Republic by French Republican forces at the Treaty of in 1797, the Serenissima had enjoyed 900-years of uninterrupted statehood.
For this to happen, both sides realized peace had to prevail in the Mediterranean.