Apologies for the delayed posting of this podcast.
Some of us might not like our siblings, but this is ridiculous:
“Your excellences must know that my ill-born brother, whose name will shortly be revealed to you…is a traitor to our motherland; he reveals the most important secrets of the negotiations of our councils to Zuane Pecchi, who lives in calle Sporca, inthe neighborhood of San Luca…and then Pecchi reveals them to his compatriot; who is the servant of the Holy Roman Emperor’s ambassador…”
This was not a secret denuciation to a block captain in a 20th century dictatorship, but one written in Renaissance Venice, to the the Heads of the Council of Ten, the masters of Venetian counterintelligence. (It was probably deposited in a special box reserved for such denunciations, like the one above.) And when you realized that the Republic of Venice’s foreign intelligence and cryptographic services were no less developed than its internal secret police, it becomes clear that, as my guest Ioanna Iordanou writes, Venice had created “one of the world’s centrally organized state intelligence services.” Morever it shows how “organizational entities and managerial practices existed long before contemporary terminology was coined to describe them.”
Interest in organizational entities and managerial practices is to be expected from Dr. Ioanna Iordanou, Reader in Human Resource Management at Oxford Brookes Business School in Oxford, England. She has investigated the pedagogic role of coaching and mentoring; and in the emergence of proto-modern organizations in the pre-industrial world. Related to this last is her research in early modern intelligence; and from this research has come the book Venice’s Secret Service: Organizing Intelligence in the Renaissance.