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How did a city-state managed to become the Queen of the Adriatic? What do the accounts and notes reveal? What was the buzzing city life like at the time? Who were the legendary warriors of the horrendous battles of the era?

All these questions were answered yesterday during the lecture delivered by best-selling writer Roger Crowley about his book City of Fortune as part of the series MCC Budapest Lectures. We learnt about the secrets behind the success and the reasons for the failure of the Republic of Venice, the peculiarities of naval battles and the mysteries of the infamous network of informers.

An offspring of a naval family, the writer spent a part of his childhood in Malta, lived in Istanbul and travelled around the shores of the Black Sea. In his books, he deals with the history of the Mediterranean region with a primary focus on Turkey, Greece, Venice, the Ottoman Empire and the Byzantine Empire and, in addition to these, his interests are centred on the relationship between the Islamic and the Christian world. Coming from a naval family, the British writer has travelled a lot, and explored the coastline of the Black Sea in the past years. Crowley is the author of historical best-sellers with the majority of his books being available also in Hungarian.