It is recorded in the archives of Padua, says Milizia, that when Rhadagasius entered Italy, and the cruelties exercised by the Visigoths obliged the people to seek refuge in various places, an architect of Candia, named Eutinopus, was the first to retire to the fens of the Adriatic, where he built a house, which remained the only one there for several years. At length, when Alaric continued to desolate the country, others sought an asylum in the same marshes, and built twenty-four houses, which formed the germ of Venice. The security of the place now induced people to settle there rapidly, and Venice soon sprung up a city and gradually rose to be mistress of the seas. The Venetian historians inform us that the house of Eutinopus, during a dreadful conflagration, was miraculously saved by a shower of rain, at the prayer of the architect, who made a vow to convert it into a church; he did this, and dedicated it to St. James, the magistrates and inhabitants contributing to build and ornament the edifice. The church is still standing, in the quarter of the Rialto, which is universally considered the oldest part of Venice.