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This major study by Frederic Lane tracks the rise and decline of the great shipbuilding industry of Renaissance Venice. Drawing on a wealth of archival sources, Lane presents detailed descriptions of the Venetian arsenal, including the great galleys that doubled as cargo ships and warships the sixteenth-century round ships, which introduced dramatic innovations in rigging and the majestic galleons, whose straight lines and greater speed made them ideal for merchantmen, but whose narrowness made them liable to capsize if loaded with artillery. Additional chapters detail the actual process of ship construction, the organization and activity of the craft guilds, and the development and management of the Arsenal.