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Coins of the Republic of Venice
"You own many and many a ship; your vessels fear not the stormy winds. They come home safely to port, nor do they ever founder, they who time after time set sail from shore. The famous Venetia, already rich in nobility." -- Letter from Cassiodorus, minister to Theodoric the Ostrogoth, to the Venetians. It is the first recorded mention of the people of the lagoon.