What do we learn about the "world" of the venetian state?

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Othello begins in the city of Venice, at night; Roderigo is having a discussion with Iago, who is bitter about being passed up for a military post. Though Iago is seasoned in battle, Cassio, a man of strategy but little practical experience, was named Othello's lieutenant. Iago says that he only serves Othello to further himself, and makes shows of his allegiance only for his own gain; he is playing false, and admits that his nature is not at all what it seems. Iago is aware that Desdemona, the daughter of Brabantio, a Venetian nobleman of some stature, has run off with Othello, the black warrior of the Moors. Brabantio knows nothing of this coupling; Iago decides to enlist Roderigo, who lusts after Desdemona, to awaken Brabantio with screams that his daughter is gone.