Associazione Piazza San Marco

The Enrolment of Sailors in the Square

The Republic produced galleys for the most important types of merchant shipping, it armed them, provided sailors and soldiers and then put them up for auction to the highest bidder. When they returned, ‘ the wood’ was given back. The galley crews were picked from the Doge’s territories and were men of between 16 to 50 years old. The oars were manned by men doing forced labour. We can see the hiring ceremony for militias in the engraving by Giacomo Franco (1550-1620).