Two brothers were raised on a remote farm, their identity hidden and their nobility claim unknown to them. The day they discovered who their true parents were, a barbarian horde abruptly pillaged their farmhouse. The brothers miraculously escaped, but in opposite directions and unaware of each others survival. The younger brother reached the capital Byzantium hoping for the Emperors support, only to find out that in seventh century Europe his titles could only be defended with the sword. The older brother was rescued by Cimbrians, a mountain community that sheltered him from the Longobards, a Germanic tribe that at the time ruthlessly ruled most of Italy.As the Longobards and the Byzantines clashed, the two brothers managed to overcome life-threatening challenges, and thrived as merchants in an age of perpetual war. The younger brother succeeded in reopening sea routes from the northern shores of the Adriatic to the Middle East. The older brother expanded the river trade that connected the Alps to the sea.It was only natural that where rivers meet the sea, the two brothers would reunite. In that swampy marshland, too deep for Longobard horses and two shallow for Byzantine ships, they found the ideal cove to lay the foundations for a future commercial empire. Those few huts on stilts were the beginning of a trading community that would become the city of Venice. One of the two brothers became the first Doge, one of several historical figures depicted in this epic.
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