When Constantinople fell in 1453, the old ties between Venice and the Eastern empire were broken, and she now entered on a wholly new phase of her history.
The emperor Justinian (483-565), in whose reign the greatness of the Eastern empire culminated, sent two Nestorian monks to China, who returned with eggs of the silkworm concealed in a hollow cane, and thus silk manufactures were established in the Peloponnesus and the Greek islands.
Venice, a city not exactly belonging to any of these classes, essentially a city of the Eastern empire and not of the Western, gives us an example than which none is more instructive.
He was successful; and the lagoons became, theoretically at least, a part of the Eastern empire.
In opposition to the Frankish claim, Venice resolved to affirm her dependence on the Eastern empire.