(Bernstein, 1998, p. 11)
The rise of Venice started with the advent of using land route to Northern Europe, when Venetians started to make money by selling salt, which they used to get by dried seawater and fish for their livelihood. This livelihood gradually took the form of profession when by using trading savvy they began trading up the rivers. "With the rise of Byzantium, east-west trade expanded. With this expansion Venetians promoted as middlemen, selling goods from the East to consumers in the West and ultimately appeared as Merchants. Merchants then ran a profitable triangle by exporting timber from Venice to Egypt, then from Egypt they used to export gold to Byzantium and finally bring luxury goods to Venice. As this went round and round, Venice amassed capital and its mercantile fleet grew to be the biggest in the Mediterranean". (Steves Rick)
Most of the Venetians who later engaged in trading or shipping were the citizens of those little cities, which were located on the coast of northwestern Europe. The mediaeval shipmen were not permitted to eat any kind of meat except fish. "For those shipmen who lived away from the coast and from the rivers, this meant a diet of eggs or nothing at all. A new discovery was made when early in the thirteenth century a Dutch fisherman explored a way of catching 'herring', a fish that could be transported to distant points. This created another difficulty for those who tried to earn their livelihood this way as that fish could only be caught during a few months each year so, the ships would have been idle during the rest of the time unless they had found another occupation. They were then used to carry the wheat of northern and central Russia to southern and western Europe. On the return voyage they used to bring spices from India, silks, carpets and Oriental rugs from Venice and Genoa to Bruges and Hamburg and Bremen". (2006c)
Venetians started their careers as salt-boilers and fishermen, and were dependent on the mainland for the materials of life. There was no seaport in the neighbourhood to send its vessels for the salt which they prepared: they were forced to fetch everything that they required for themselves. They became seamen by necessity: they almost lived upon the water. As their means improved, and as their wants expanded, they bought fields and pastures on the mainland; they extended their commerce, and made long voyages. They learnt in the dock-yards of Constantinople the art of building tall ships; they conquered the pirates of the Adriatic Sea along with the merchants of Syria, Egypt, Barbary, and Spain.
It was in 1320 that the Arsenal became Venice's premier shipbuilding facility at a time when most of Europe had no manufacturing more efficient than the guild system, the slow and tradition-bound way craftsmen had of passing on skills to their sons or apprentices while monopolizing production and sale of craft pieces in a given region. Arsenal at that time served as the shipbuilding centre as a munitions-making industrial powerhouse that allowed the state of Venice to be a world power