Venetian colonies

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As Venetian colonies (in the proper name Stato da Mar , the state of the sea) are in the strict sense of the Venetian Republic dominated areas in the Adriatic Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean referred to, particularly in Romania , which as a unit imaginary territory of the Byzantine Empire - even at a time when these areas were no longer part of Byzantium. The Venetian territories in Italy, however, were considered part of the republic or as briefly occupied territories. In a broader sense, the settlements of the Venetian traders (for example in Bari , Tunis , Alexandria , Bruges or Antwerp ) are sometimes referred to as Venetian colonies ; However, they should not be part of the presentation, as they were not or only very briefly subject to Venetian rule.

The Venetian colonial empire - the Venetian colonies in the narrower sense - arose primarily due to the political and cultural, but especially the trade relations with the Byzantine Empire. Venice also benefited from the Crusades in several ways. On the one hand, trade contacts with the eastern and southern Mediterranean intensified and, on the other hand, numerous pilgrims traveled by ship from Venice to the Holy Land . But it was not until the fourth crusade that Constantinople was conquered . The Serenissima , as the Republic of Venice was called, was awarded three eighths of the Byzantine Empire. Nevertheless, Venice almost exclusively occupied bases along the Greek coasts and numerous islands. Overall, Venice tended to dominate the Adriatic colonies through allied or installed nobles and officials, while the Aegean colonies were feudalized and colonized by endowing thousands of Venetians with fiefs . The focus was on Crete .

In addition, Venice formed trading monopolies and so dominated the eastern Mediterranean from the High Middle Ages until well into the 16th century. Italy was largely dependent on its imports for supplies of salt and grain. Venice was able to oust other trading metropolises, but conflicts arose with its rival Genoa , which escalated into four wars. At the same time Venice decisively weakened the Byzantine Empire. With the expansion of the Ottoman Empire , Venice lost its most important colonies in the 16th and 17th centuries and shifted its focus to northern Italy, especially the Veneto .

Political control and administration

Venetian colonies and bases

Venice not only provided the impetus to conquer or buy the colonies, but also to colonize and administer. A small group of families, which was increasingly stabilizing, determined colonial policy through numerous committees. Numerous nobles, who were elected in the Grand Council, which represented the entirety of the nobility, took on military and civil duties in the colonies. There, subsystems emerged that reproduced the Venetian system on a smaller scale.

Power shifts in Venice, committees and offices

The development of the Venetian colonial empire is closely related to the development of the constitution . By the 12th century, the Venetian nobility succeeded in breaking the hegemony of the Doge, who until then was also responsible for colonial policy, and the tendency to form dynasties. The Minor Council became the most important of all political bodies in the 13th century. The Grand Council, the assembly of the entire male and adult nobility, was only asked when fundamental questions had to be resolved or when Doge and Little Council could not come to an agreement. Later came the election of political officials who were appointed for a limited period. Among them were the numerous men who ran the colonial administration and the navies.

In the Small Council, two thirds of the members came from the two dozen most distinguished of the 110 to 120 families of the nobility. At the same time, they were the only ones allowed to conduct long-distance trade, and so trade and colonial policy are closely linked. At the same time, in the 13th century, when the nobility made it increasingly difficult to ascend to their class, thousands of ambitious people from the non-aristocratic classes were given the opportunity to acquire manors as colonists. This happened mainly in Crete.

The Quarantia , an assembly of forty men, as the name suggests, is the first body that was able to assert itself alongside the Great and Small Councils and the Doge as the control center of colonial policy, as was the case for Venetian policy in general . During this time she had extensive powers under the chairmanship of the Doge and the Small Council, but soon sank to the Court of Appeal. This was due to the fact that the Senate, long known under the name of Rogadia , was first responsible for shipping issues, but then gradually took over all related issues.

The Senate soon succeeded in absorbing all the major bodies. Doge and councilors presided over his meetings, the quarantia and all important magistrates were present during the deliberations - from 1321 also the council of ten , a kind of supreme police force and secret service. Finally, a supplementary commission ( Zonta ) was formed, which grew to sixty members by 1450, so that the Senate had a total of around two hundred members.

The "wise" or "knowing" ( Savi or Sapientes ) played an extremely important role . They became a permanent institution in the 1370s. They included the six Sapientes consilii , a permanent delegation from the Senate to the Signoria (Doge, Small Council, Council of Forty, plus important magistrates), who dealt with questions of general politics, and the five Sapientes ordinum , who deal with shipping and trade and colonial questions, and finally the five Sapientes terre , who were raised to a permanent establishment in 1420 and dealt with politics in Northern Italy. These three colleges from a total of 16 Sapientes , elected for six months to one year each, worked closely together and their entirety was soon simply called Collegio . Under the direction of the Sapientes ordinum , highly qualified specialists, the Senate conducted colonial policy. All Sapientes also belonged to the Pien Collegio (complete college), which also included the Signoria .

In addition, the Grand Council faded into an electoral machine whose decision in the elections of the colonial magistrates was based on proposals from the Senate. At the latest with the authorization to declare war, the Senate finally replaced the Grand Council as the center of power.

Administrative penetration of the colonies

The Grand Council elected the highest magistrates, almost all of whom were aristocrats, whose competencies were vaguely regulated and whose terms of office were usually only one year. There was no training for these offices, the owners of which were constantly changing. For a family to see themselves, however, it was crucial whether they were entitled to hold political offices. This right even became a sign of belonging to the nobility that was visible to all.

Conversely, most magistrates had a seat and vote in the Grand Council. From 1276 onwards, every Baiulus , Duca , Comes residing outside Venice, i.e. the leading figures of Constantinople, Candia (Crete) and various municipalities in the Adriatic, but also all Castellani , Rectores and Consiliarii , nobles, the fortresses and cities , had such a seat chaired, but also their advisors. There were also the Podestà from Northern Italy and the consul in charge of the traders in Apulia , as well as the Vicedomini , who represented Venice to foreign potentates.

The control of the sea route into the eastern Mediterranean served the establishment of two strongly fortified forts called Koron and Modon on the southwestern tip of the Peloponnese . Negroponte, with a Bailò at its head, secured the sea route to Constantinople, where the most important magistrate in the colonial empire has stayed since the conquest of 1204, the Podestà of Constantinople. This claimed a kind of supervision over the colonies of Romania, the former territory of the Byzantine Empire, and occasionally even competed with the governing bodies in Venice. However, after the Byzantines had succeeded in recapturing their capital in 1261, it was replaced by a bailò with the re-admission , which was now equipped with considerably fewer means of power. His leadership role was partially taken over by the Duca di Candia , the highest magistrate of Crete.

In contrast to the leading magistrates, the middle and lower levels were mostly appointed in the Small Council or by the leading magistrates themselves. This created their own sub-systems in all colonies, which, as far as possible and necessary, were based on the systems of Venice and worked towards them. Around 1500 well over a thousand people formed a relatively dense apparatus of power that stretched across the entire colonial empire, supported by naval bases and garrisons. Marino Sanudo the Younger lists 303 magistrates in the "old" colonies alone, plus the Terraferma in Northern Italy, for which he gave approximately the same number.

In Crete, for example, the Duca was at the head of the magistrate . He was supported by the Capitano , who was responsible for the fleet and the arsenal, the state shipyard and port, and two councilors. In each of the six districts into which the island was divided, there were two Rectores , who in turn were each assisted by two councilors who also supervised them. Below this level we find the castellans. As in Venice, there was a camera comunis for the control of legal and economic processes under the direction of an official . He was subordinate to scales, quality experts, scribes, etc. So, depending on the size of the colony, these committees were a more or less faithful representation of the organizational forms in Venice. In Crete this extended to the so-called domini de nocte (gentlemen of the night) who were responsible for police tasks.

But while on Crete the administrative penetration was likely to have been strongest and in the Adriatic mostly a pro-Venetian noble group led the regiment, often under the leadership of a Venetian, in other places in the colonial empire indirect methods of rule dominated. Venetian families, for example, dominated numerous Greek islands. In order to counteract the conquest by the Ottomans, Venice was often forced to replace these feudal lords with a more military-oriented, direct rule. This military orientation can still be recognized today in hundreds of buildings.

The colonies in the Adriatic

The colonies in the Adriatic fell to Venice around two centuries before those in Romania. They formed a chain of trading posts rather than a target for colonists. In addition, they were less of direct economic use, but served long-distance trade and the safeguarding of the trade monopoly in the Adriatic, which to a certain extent represented a broad freight route. At the same time, they kept rival powers away from the Adriatic, as well as traders of rival powers.

Especially in the Gulf of Venice , known as “Culfus noster” (our Gulf ) , which extended roughly as far as the Ancona - Pula line , Venice claimed intense rule early on. The customs borders were almost entirely eliminated, the transit was duty-free and could not be hindered under any circumstances, any sale to non-Venetians was strictly forbidden. The most important means was the compulsory stacking , which means that every trader, as soon as he exceeded the limits of the stacking area, was first forced to offer his goods for sale in Venice on the marketplace there. In order to enforce these regulations, small ship associations were available around the Gulf, which were subordinate to the Comes of Grado .

In Parenzo, between September 1st and March 31st, the merchant ships took pilots on board, recruited exclusively from Venetians. These "great pilots", of which there were only thirteen in 1458, led them through the lagoon .

While on Istria and the offshore islands a political and culturally strongly oriented towards Venice developed, which also shaped the hinterland, this influence was limited, the further south the more, to the cities. For a long time, a class of nobility dominated here, who also oriented themselves towards Venice and gave their cities a corresponding character. Up to the Otranto - Ragusa line, Venice promoted its own trade with a complex system of regulations and hindered foreign trade when it did not serve the interests of the city. Trade between the coastal cities of the Adriatic was often affected by this; Venice monopolized certain goods, such as salt, and even went as far as to destroy the competing salt pans .


The Praetor's Palace on the main square in Koper is characterized by the Venetian Gothic (Markus Bernet, 2005) .

As early as the 9th century, the Venetians had built up their own fleet, which replaced the Byzantines as the power of order in the northern part of the Adriatic. At the same time, the cities of Istria, which nominally still belonged to the Byzantine Empire, were under pressure to expand from the Franks and soon suffered from the Hungarian invasions . In this situation they began to conclude treaties of alliance and protection with Venice from the 10th century.

These protection treaties, among others with Capodistria and Pola , opened the door for Venice's subsequent rule over the coastal edge of Istria. As early as 977, for example, Venice's merchants in Iustinopolis, later Capodistria, enjoyed complete tax exemption. In the interior of the country far from the coast , however, the Patriarchate of Aquileia and various fiefdoms of the Holy Roman Empire were able to prevail.

Although some cities were occupied by the Venetians in the 13th century, e.g. B. Parenzo 1267, the Istrian cities were able to maintain a high degree of autonomy for a long time. Power in the cities was transferred to the Venetian-friendly part of the local nobility - a group that existed in practically every Istrian commune. The military, including the supply of men, weapons, horses and provisions, and foreign trade, however, were under the rule of the lagoon city. Later, Venetian nobles were placed at the head of the municipal administration. However, there was no real colonization in the sense of settlement. Nevertheless, the Istrian and also the coastal towns further south received a distinctly Venetian character, which can still be seen today in the church, in the administrative buildings, but also in the urban structure. At the same time, the adaptation to Venetian customs and regulations went very far, as can be seen in Piran, where a hexagonal container is located under the portico of the town hall, which served as the official grain size. The volume is exactly the same as in Venice.

The entire coast remained part of the Venetian colonial empire until 1797 and then became Austrian until 1918 . Only Trieste successfully repulsed the Venetians with the help of the Habsburgs and submitted to the Holy Roman Empire.


The northern islands and cities of Dalmatia had trade contacts with Venice, especially since the coast offered numerous ports that facilitated trade in the eastern Mediterranean. This led to conflicts with the Narentans , who, according to the Venetians, were too active as pirates. Venice prevailed around 1000 with a naval expedition, but its leeway in relation to the Byzantine Empire, whose preponderance was particularly strong in southern Dalmatia, was very limited.

Venice only intervened militarily when the Normans were summoned to Dalmatia in 1074. They fought against Petar Krešimir IV , King of Croatia . The most important coastal cities had to swear never to ask the Normans for help again. Venice feared for the freedom of its trade routes in the Adriatic. In 1076, Split, Trogir , Zadar and Biograd declared any connection with the Normans to be considered high treason.

Porta Terraferma with the Lion of St. Mark in Zadar ( Croatia )

In 1105 the Croatian-Hungarian king Kolomann succeeded in including the cities of Zadar, Trogir and Split, soon Krk and Osor in his sphere of influence. Venice, having the same fears as the Normans, waged several campaigns against the cities. Ordelafo Faliero conquered Zadar and a few other places, but was killed in the process in 1117. In 1125 the fleet of Doge Domenico Michiel, who had returned from the Holy Land, conquered large parts of Dalmatia, but before 1138 Split fell back to Croatia, before 1151 Trogir again. With Byzantium, which seized Split in 1165, a third political force emerged. Only after decades did Venice gain sovereignty over Zadar and the islands of Kvarner .

Venice documented this by successfully elevating Zadar to archbishopric in 1154 , subordinating it to the Patriarch of Grado in 1155 - who was also the ecclesiastical overlord of Venice. But Zadar was reluctant to encroach on its autonomy and once again allied itself with the Croatian-Hungarian king. After the death of Emperor Manuel I (1180), the short-lived province of Dalmatia was lost to Byzantium and the king occupied these areas - which led to acts of war almost continuously until 1204.

The fourth crusade, under Venetian influence, found its first destination in Zara. In 1202, finally in 1205, the city was subjugated. Comes and Bishop were now determined and approved by Venice. When Zara rose again in 1242, Venice first settled Venetians in the city, built a fortress in front of the city and cut the resources of the local Grand Council, the general assembly of the city nobles. Venice forbade them to marry Croats, so it pursued a policy of separation similar to that in the colonies of the Aegean Sea towards the Greeks.

Kamerlengo fortress in Trogir, 15th century. It was the seat of the Venetian Camerarius or Camerlengo

The local master families further south of Dalmatia also pursued the goal of urban autonomy and changed their alliances accordingly. In 1321 Šibenik and Trogir submitted to Venice, in 1327 Split and Nin followed . Besides Kotor and the Narentaner area, Venice ruled by far the largest part of Dalmatia, and also conquered Korčula , Hvar and Brač .

But an alliance led by the Anjou under Ludwig I put an end to this rule . The Anjou ruled Hungary, Croatia and southern Italy equally. After the Venetian War 1356-1358 Venice had to cede the entire area between Kvarner and Durazzo to the Anjou according to the Peace of Zadar (February 18, 1358) and the Doge had to renounce his title Dux Dalmatiae et Croatiae . Ultimately, this continuous war culminated in the Chioggia War , in which the allies Anjou and Genoa almost conquered Venice. But in 1381 they were defeated and had to make peace (Peace of Turin).

In 1409, after long negotiations , Ladislaus von Anjou sold his rights to Dalmatia and the cities of Zadar, Vrana, Novigrad and the island of Pag under his control to Venice for 100,000 ducats . By 1423, most of the cities of Dalmatia submitted, so that a continuous connection with the Venetian areas in Albania was established. In 1480 Krk was added. In cities like Zadar, politics was dominated by a Podestà , which until 1797 consisted of the Venetian nobility. Italian was by far the predominant language there.

However, with the expansion of the Ottoman Empire, Venice again lost large parts of Dalmatia. Only a few coastal towns formally remained under his rule. It was not until the Peace of Karlowitz in 1699 that Venice was granted all of Dalmatia, with the exception of Dubrovnik , which remained under Ottoman suzerainty. Ragusa, as the Venetians called it, became a fierce commercial competitor in trade with the Ottomans. Despite the peace treaty of 1699, there were repeated minor conflicts with the Ottoman Empire, Austria and Hungary. In 1797 Dalmatia came to Austria.


Venetian Albania on the Montenegrin coast

When talking about the Venetian colonies in Albania, we have to distinguish between two regions that were owned by the republic at different times. From the Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) to the end of the 14th century, Venice was able to acquire various ports on the Albanian coast between Valona in the south and Alessio in the north. B. Durazzo 1205-1215 and 1392-1501. However, these were all lost to the Ottomans by 1501.

From the end of the 14th century, however, the Venetians brought a number of cities on the Bay of Kotor and in the vicinity under their rule, and they held these for the most part until the end of the republic. This area in what is now Montenegro has been called Albania Veneta since the 15th century .

The role of the early Albanian bases

Like the Dalmatian ports, the places on the Albanian coast were also stations of the oriental trade, which grew in importance in the 10th century. The Strait of Otranto , on which the Albanian and Italian coasts are only around 70 km apart, formed the bottleneck for all shipping traffic between the Aegean and Levant and the Adriatic. The Albanian side was of greater strategic importance because, due to the wind and current conditions, the best navigable route ran along this coast. As long as both shores of the sea were in Byzantine hands and the fleet controlled the southern Adriatic, the Venetians allied with Byzantium did not have to worry about safe passage. This changed around the middle of the 11th century with the decline of Byzantine sea power and the conquest of southern Italy by the Normans. Between 1081 and 1107, Emperor Alexios I was only able to repel the Normans' attempts to expand into the Balkans with the help of Venetian fleets. The republic's maritime power has since been a determining factor in the region. As part of the alliance with Alexios I, the city of Durazzo , the starting point of the old Via Egnatia to Constantinople, was opened for Venetian trade.

While Emperor Manuel I (1143–1180) and some of his successors tried to drive back the economic influence of the Venetians in the Byzantine Empire, Isaac II allied himself again with the republic against his enemies inside. Among other things, he gave the Venetians their own quarters in Durazzo in 1192, who thus gained the first permanent base on the Albanian coast.

Not least because at the turn of the 12th to the 13th century the insecure domestic political situation in Byzantium threatened the trade of the republic, the Doge Enrico Dandolo used the Fourth Crusade , through which the Byzantine Empire was smashed, to make numerous bases and islands for Venice win.

In 1205 the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople , Tommaso Morosini , founded the Ducat Durazzo on the way to his bishopric in Constantinople . Trade in Venice was intensified, the Italians there received tax exemption and Venice in 1210 the right to free grain export. This right was revoked in 1213/14 when the despot of Epirus conquered the city. It was not until 1217 that there were trade relations here again. At the end of 1228 Venice was again guaranteed freedom of trade. 1230–1242, however, Durazzo was in Bulgarian hands, which presumably meant that Venice was excluded from export, then again briefly fell into Venetian hands. In 1246 Epirus regained sovereignty over the city. After the interlude of the conquest by King Manfred's troops , Durazzo fell again to Byzantium.

Byzantium blocked exports when Venice allied itself with Charles of Anjou to recapture Constantinople, which had been the capital of the Byzantine Empire again since 1261. With this, Albania came again into the focus of Western plans of conquest. Albania fell to Charles of Anjou in 1270 , who drove both Ragusans and Venetians out through his fiscalism in the Regnum Albanie he had created . This rule of the Anjou lasted well into the 14th century.

The death of Charles and his Byzantine opponent, Emperor Michaels , opened the way to a resumption of trade in 1282. In 1290 Durazzo fell again to Byzantium. Apparently the Venetians returned with it, because a little later in the course of the conquest by the Serbs the local traders were damaged.

Dominance of the regional noble families and the Anjou

The despotate Epirus dissolved rapidly from 1318 and fell first into the hands of a Venetian family (1323-1335), who had been subordinate to the offshore island of Kephalenia for a long time, then for a few years to that of the Byzantines, to those before the middle of the century again the Serbs followed. But their rule was only short-lived - uprisings and, above all, the battles between the noble families and the advance of the Ottomans were likely to have severely affected trade in the period that followed.

During the second half of the 14th century, the Albanian clans and the Anjou fought for supremacy. Karl Thopia , an illegitimate descendant of King Robert of Anjou , drove the Anjou out of Albania in 1358 and finally conquered Durazzo in 1367 with the tacit consent of Venice. In 1386 a real alliance was concluded.

The Venetian city walls of Budva, postcard, 19th century
Tower of the Venetian city walls of Budva

Lasting conquests

After 1400 Venice attacked south again more intensively after it had to cede Dalmatia to Hungary. Durazzo and Scutari fell in 1392 and 1396 , then Alessio and Drivasto (Drisht) . In the next decades other cities like Budua and Antivari followed . In addition to wood, the local grain became the basis of the wealth of Ishmi and Suffada, the trading centers of the north.

Durazzo, on the other hand, became impoverished. As early as 1401, the once flourishing Jewish colony, which had always paid a special tribute consisting of 16 yards of velvet (quod semper fuit consuetum), was considered completely impoverished, until 1430 Durazzo's population had declined sharply. Significantly, the city was not included in the emerging colony of Venetian Albania and fell to the Ottomans in 1503.

From 1432 to 1436 and again from 1443 under Skanderbeg , the Albanians rose against Ottoman rule. But Skanderbeg threatened the Venetian possessions at the same time, so that from 1447 to 1448 a Venetian-Albanian war broke out. Venice did not hesitate to ally itself with the Ottomans against Skanderbeg. The commercial interests, above all the import of wood and grain, the suppression of an independent salt trade, the preference for a uniform trading area with access to Thessaloniki , had priority.

After the second Turkish war (1463-79), Venice only remained in possession of a few cities south of Ragusa. The cities of Kotor , Téodo , Budua , Antivari and Dulcigno formed the core of the province of Albania Veneta . The Bay of Kotor in particular was an important point of contact for the fleet and a protected stage of long-distance trade. Shipbuilding also flourished.

In the Turkish War from 1570 to 1573, Venice lost mainly Cyprus, but also had to cede Antivari and Dulcigno.

In 1699 Venice succeeded in conquering Castelnuovo, with the Bay of Kotor completely in its hands. In 1718 the border with the Ottoman Empire was recognized. It lasted until the end of the Venetian Republic.

Corfu and the Ionian Islands

St Mark's Lion in Corfu, 1728
Ruins of the Venetian shipyard in Gouvia, Corfu, 18th century
Map of Corfu, 1688

Corfu was one of the three eighths of the Byzantine Empire that Venice had been awarded by the participants of the fourth crusade. Although the island was occupied in 1207 after the Genoese Leone Vetrano was driven out, it fell to the despotate of Epirus as early as 1214 . Angevinen had been sitting here since 1339, and from 1318–40 the Orsini family ruled the island, which had controlled the despotate of Epirus from 1323–1335 . In 1330 Guglielmo Tocco became the governor of Corfu.

Venice was only able to buy the island in 1386 and then owned it until the end of the Republic in 1797. It was divided into four Balleien . In addition to the capital, Angelokastro on the northwest tip and Gardiki on the southwest coast of the island were the most important fortresses. For Venice, Corfu's main role was to ensure that safe havens protected maritime traffic and that ships could take provisions there. The island also exported olives , wheat, and sugar .

The approximately 750 km² large island of Kefalonia , the largest of the Ionian Islands, came to the Orsini from Venice in 1194, who ruled it until 1323 (see Palatinate Kefalonia and Zakynthos ) . The Latin diocese of Kefalonia was created . In 1339 Guglielmo Tocco married the heiress Margarete Orsini of Lefkas and Kephallenia, and in 1357 her son Leonardo I received the island of Kephallenia on loan. He occupied the neighboring islands of Ithaca , Lefkas and Zakynthos (Zante). With the advance of the Ottomans, the Tocchi lost their claim to the despotate Epirus, Venice only used them as negotiators.

Coin minted for the Ionian Islands from 1709

The Tocchi were replaced by the Ottomans in 1479, who conquered the island and considered the Tocchi to be Venetian allies. But Venice had occupied the island of Zante against the Tocchi. In 1483 Zante was again conquered and now also Kefalonia, and in 1500 the Palatinate was restored with Venetian help. In 1538 the Ottomans put 3,000 residents into slavery, but the island remained in Venetian ownership. After the loss of Crete (1669), Kefalonia became an important trading post until 1797 when the republic was dissolved and the Ionian Islands became French.

The colonies in Romania

The colonial empire in Romania, the former area of ​​the Byzantine Empire, had a different character than that in the Adriatic. While urban bases with suitable ports and an aristocratic rule dependent on Venice shaped the picture, the eastern colonies were fortress chains and colonization areas. The basis of the eastern colonies was the defeat of the Byzantine Empire during the Fourth Crusade (1202-1204). The Bailò, the former representative of the Venetian traders to the emperor, became the leading figure in Constantinople and in the former Byzantine part of the colonial empire during the Latin Empire. This leadership role went from 1261 to the Duca di Candia , the commander in chief on the island of Crete, the capital of which was Candia, today's Heraklion .

Constantinople and the Black Sea

Gravestone of Enrico Dandolos in Hagia Sophia

The Byzantine, later Ottoman capital and the Black Sea are inseparable, because without the passage through the Bosporus there would be no access for the Venetians to the settlements in Bulgaria, Wallachia , Crimea and Georgia, as well as to the southern neighboring areas of the inland sea. At the same time, the potential for income was so great that the two leading sea powers Venice and Genoa fought four wars lasting several years between the middle of the 13th and the end of the 14th century. With the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans (1453), the new capital of the Turkish Empire claimed the Black Sea area as a hinterland for its own supply.


A colony in the sense defined above can only be spoken of in Constantinople from 1204 to 1261. However, Venetian traders lived in the Byzantine capital much earlier and enjoyed privileges, especially since the privilege of Emperor Alexios I in 1082, which meant that Byzantine competition was ousted. Soon the Italians lived in an area on the Golden Horn that offered space for several thousand traders. On March 12, 1171, however , Emperor Manuel I had the property of the Venetians residing there confiscated and imprisoned. Up until the Fourth Crusade, the Venetians only made a partial return.

Although the Venetians dominated the Latin Empire between 1204 and 1261 and thus Constantinople and Thrace, which was occupied from 1212 to 1247, were given the characteristics of regular colonies, this did not extend to the Black Sea . It was only when Acre , the important trading relay for luxury goods, failed in 1291 that Venice pushed aggressively into the Black Sea. Nevertheless, until 1261 part of the colonial policy was with the Bailò of Constantinople.

Black Sea

In the area of ​​the Black Sea, real colonies, which were largely dominated by Venice, can only be spoken of in the last third of the 13th century. Grain, especially wheat, with which Venice and Genoa temporarily supplied all of Northern Italy, played a central role in getting there. It came from the area around the Sea of ​​Azov , in lesser quality also from Cherkessia and Georgia to the east , but also from Bulgaria. It could be transported in large quantities across the rivers. Colonies arose at their mouths, such as Mancastro at the mouth of the Dnepr or La Tana at that of the Don . For the period after the Fourth Crusade, however, only three journeys by Venetians can be proven, namely one to Crimea (1206), one to Amis (1212) and another, of which we do not know exactly where it led (1232). The Mongol campaigns of conquest evidently drove away most of the traders.

When the Byzantines succeeded in regaining their capital in 1261 , access to the Black Sea was blocked. It was not until 1268 that the Venetians returned hesitantly and after their final re-admission in 1278 they re-founded Soldaia, which had previously been destroyed by troops of the Golden Horde . As early as 1268, extensive grain imports, for example from Georgia , prevented a famine in Venice, which threatened as a result of a trade blockade by several Italian cities under the leadership of Bologna .

The Genoese fortress of Kaffa
Part of the Genoese fortress of Sudak

In 1283, after the final failure of Charles of Anjou's plans for conquest by the Sicilian Vespers , the popular uprising that drove the French from the island, ships of the Venetian ally were no longer allowed to call at the Black Sea. They did not return until 1285. In 1292 a contract was concluded with Nogai , the lord of the Golden Horde and brother-in-law of Emperor Andronikos . In 1293 the Great Council decided to set up a consul in the Crimea. Although the treaties strictly committed the seaside towns to peace, there were already clashes between Genoese and Venetians in Trebizond in 1285, and the Venetians of Soldaia besieged the Genoese kaffa from 1296–1299 . In 1299 Nogai's troops again attacked Soldaia. The second war between the naval powers lasted from 1293 to 1299.

Venetians were now excluded from trade, until in October 1324 they again fully exported grain from the Black Sea through Emperor Andronikos III. were admitted. In 1332 they were able to create a second colony in La Tana.

In 1333 a trade agreement was concluded with the Tatars . After heavy fighting between the Italian traders, Khan Dschani-beg banished the Venetians for five years in 1343. All of Italy suffered from the shortage of salt fish and grain. Venice pronounced a trade ban against the Tatars on February 21, 1344. In 1345 Genoese and Venetians even concluded an alliance against the Tatars, which the Venetians broke by once again joining forces with their common enemy. In 1347, the Rogadia allowed, although they had ordered a ban since 1344, on the express grounds that the rise in prices forced them to buy grain again in the Dschani-begs area. A three-person embassy was to go to his court in order to obtain readmission to trade. The Genoese banned Venetians from entering the Black Sea the next year. The battles that followed were only a prelude to the war from 1350 to 1355, which only ended with the Peace of Milan. From 1358 convoys sailed again on the Black Sea.

In 1365 Genoa conquered Soldaia, which was dominated by Venice. In the Treaty of Turin (1381), Venice was banned from calling at La Tana for two years. Its destruction by Timur's troops in 1395 finally caused the Venetians to give up their main base. In 1410, 1418 and 1442 Tana was lost again and was able to recover less and less from these trade disruptions. In 1400/01 the Senate did not send any of the usual ship convoys, and in 1409, 1412 and 1413 as well as 1416 there were difficulties in finding enough interested parties to finance the ventures. In 1460, after a long period of stagnation, it was finally canceled. The increasing isolation of Central Asia played an important role in this. In addition, many traders preferred to head for Tunis . The long, six-month journey from Venice to La Tana and back was too dangerous for bulk cargo transport. This was all the more true after the Ottomans had succeeded in bringing Constantinople into their hands. How great the loss was is shown by the fact that in 1465 it was estimated in Genoa that 5,000 to 10,000 modii of grain could be imported from there if the Sultan gave his permission. This may have corresponded to up to 8,000 tons. From 1453 the Black Sea became the hinterland of the Ottoman capital.

Candia (Crete)

The winged lion as a symbol of Mark the evangelist over the island of Crete, Marco Boschini: Il regno tvtto di Candia , 1651

Crete was the only colony that was colonized on a large scale by Venetians. The area around Saloniki , which was granted to Venice during the Fourth Crusade , exchanged it in 1204 for the island of Crete, which Margrave Boniface had received from Montferrat . The capital and island were given the Italian name of Candia. The first governor was Jacopo Tiepolo , who later became a Doge.

But from 1204 to 1207 the island fell almost entirely to Genoese pirates before Venice could conquer the island - as it turned out, an unstable possession. Because soon began a chain of revolts of the Greek population, which ran through the entire first century of Venetian rule: 1217-19, 1222-24 and 1228-36, again from 1254, again 1262-68 and again 1273-82. Almost the whole island was finally covered by the uprising under Alexios Kalergis (1283-1299). In addition, the Byzantines tried 1230–1236 and 1262–65, then Genoese in 1265 to conquer the island.

Nevertheless, Venice held on to possession of the island. It offered safe havens and supplies for the ship's crews to his trade in the eastern Mediterranean. In addition, it offered the city, which is dependent on food imports, the opportunity to obtain the staple food wheat from its own territory. For this purpose Venice sent several thousand settlers to the island, who soon also had to provide ships and their crews.

Venetian settlers

The instability of the rule was due to the fact that the Cretans' land was - against their will - divided into fiefdoms from 1211 , which could only be sold on to Venetians. Within a few years, 3,500 settlers called Milites came and were settled on the island, which had been divided into districts of the same name , corresponding to the six districts of the mother city ( Sestieri ). The sixths were again divided into towers and these in turn into cavalry . Two thirds of the total of 200  cavalry were loaned out to colonists and a good third of the 1200 goods to ordinary milites . Per militia , i.e. the area to which every settler was entitled with the associated rights to land and people, there were seven to a maximum of 25  servants available - many of whom, however, fled. By 1330, when the average number of serfs per militia was twelve to fifteen, many were down to seven or eight. This created a growing group of settlers whose existence was threatened.

At the same time, Venice forced each serf to pay a hyperpyron , a silver coin, per year . This means of forcing gainful employment found a school in later colonies worldwide. In order to suppress the switch to acquisition through trade, this activity was strictly prohibited. Nevertheless, the shortage of labor, also due to the losses caused by the uprisings, became so great that at the beginning of the 14th century, numerous slaves began to be imported, many of whom fled. Nevertheless, the feudal takers were forced to cultivate at least half of their land.

Another force on the island was the capital Candia (now Iràklion ). It made the problem even worse. As the owner of 800 km² of land, which corresponded to almost a tenth of the island's area, she attracted escaped servants by giving them freedom. In addition, the serfs, mostly of the Greek Orthodox faith, were not pressured to convert to the Roman Catholic creed. To this end, Candia cornered the colonists by decreing in 1302 that anyone who did not know their liege should automatically be subject to Candia. Rural exodus and a great deal of brigands were closely connected with this colonial system, which practically only had to satisfy the needs of the mother city.

At the beginning of the 14th century, the island of Crete was divided into four areas

In the process, the interests of the landowners gradually converged. When the island was divided up, however, the leading Cretan families were initially hardly taken into account. It was only after 1300 that attempts were made to integrate these archons to a certain extent. In 1302, Alexios Kalergis, the most powerful rebel leader, was granted the right to hold 15  billion and two years later to sell grain on his own account. But it was not until 1407 that a member of the Kalergis received a seat and vote in the Grand Council of Candia, which was otherwise reserved for Venetian nobles , in breach of the principles of the Serrata , with which the Venetian nobility had sealed themselves down against climbers. Given the fact that there was a marriage ban between Venetians and Cretans and that Venetians were not allowed to give fiefs to Cretans under any circumstances, this was a significant step.

The milites , who at the same time assimilated themselves more and more to the Greek archon families in the course of the generations, fragmented their land in contrast to them by ever more extensive subleases. As a result, part of the country fell into the hands of the urban bourgeoisie.

Demands of the mother city and revolt of the settlers

Between 1211 and 1300, Crete had little more than 50,000 inhabitants. However, this number rose again, so that it is estimated at around 100,000 by 1400 - almost a fifth of whom lived in the larger cities - and around 200,000 by 1500. This increased the islanders' own needs in relation to the stagnating production, which suffered from the labor shortage described above. Nevertheless, Venice insisted on its quota of grain on its terms and prices. The colonists usually got less than they could have got through private sale on the island or even export. In addition, they had to deliver a compulsory portion of a third, which was calculated based on the amount of seed, not the amount harvested. In the eyes of the settlers, this meant an unbearable injustice in the calculation of poor harvests. Here, fiscalism, in connection with supply interests on the part of Venice and exploitation interests on the part of the settlers, were in sharpest conflict; he discharged himself in the great uprising from 1363 to 1366 .

Venice tried to reach three goals at the same time. On the one hand, the settlers should be provided with a sufficient income, on the other hand Venice should receive fixed quantities of wheat at prices and conditions determined by it, in order to be able to take the peaks out of price and quantity fluctuations on the Venetian market. The third goal, supplying the fleets with ship biscuits, was more dangerous because it was more arbitrary and volatile. Such “surprising” burdens were often passed on to the Jewish communities in the form of special taxes, for example to equip a Burgundian crusade fleet with provisions with 1000 ducats. Usually these expenses were shared by the Milites , the city of Candia, and the Jewish community on a 2: 1: 1 ratio.

Many settlers resisted this colonial system. On August 8, 1363, Candia opposed an extra annual tariff for cleaning the port and repairing the dams. The uprising soon spread to the entire island and there were fears of unrest in other colonies in Romania.

At the end of January 1364, three galleys broke up under the condottiere Luchino dal Verme . His army defeated the insurgents and captured Candia. The leaders of the rebellion were dealt with with the greatest severity. This was especially true for Micheletto Falier, a member of the family of Marin Falier , who ten years earlier as a doge had attempted to overthrow. After the winter of 1364/65, up to 5,000 Turkish mercenaries were recruited, along with slaves. The destruction went so far that it was felt for a long time. The Lasithi Plain was not built on until 1463 as a punishment for the uprising - it was not until 1497 that agriculture began again.

Economic recovery until the conquest of Constantinople

St. Mark's Lion at the Venetian Castle of Frangokastello

1367–1371 one tried in vain to auction off the confiscated fiefs. Overall, wheat growing was less and less profitable. By 1400 at the latest, the settlers preferred wine and cheese, sugar, mastic , honey and wax, and cotton to the cultivation of wheat.

Only the economic boom in Venice stabilized the situation for some time, and the city took a less restrictive course towards its colonies. In addition, Crete only played a sporadic role as a wheat reservoir, for example around 1423 to 1430, when Venice supplied Saloniki , which was besieged by the Ottomans , mainly with Cretan wheat. On the occasion of the Varna Crusade (1444), Crete was used to supply the troops.

In addition to the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans, which was apparently catastrophic for its economy , the island experienced a severe famine in 1455/56. When a crusade fleet had to be supplied in 1464, a serious grain shortage developed in Candia. In the following year, Rethymno even refused to sell biscuits to the galleys, but there were no further uprisings.

Ottoman conquest

La Canea ( Chania ), Jan Peeters, 1664
Plan by Candia, Marco Boschini: Il regno tvtto di Candia , Venice 1651

After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Candia became, as it were, an artistic and spiritual center as its successor. Economic activity had been concentrated here before. Although Venice and the Ottoman Empire fought several wars, Crete was almost untouched. Furthermore, the main ports of the island played a central role in Venice's long-distance trade. Venice made every effort to expand the fortresses, especially since new techniques emerged that required considerable expenditure. Nevertheless, they did not dare to transfer the defense of the island to the Greeks and to equip them with weapons. Around 4,000 men in the garrisons and around 14,000 volunteers had to defend the island.

In 1645 an Ottoman army with 50,000 men on 350 ships landed and enclosed Candia. Chania fell on June 23, the fortress of Rethymno fell in 1646. In May 1648 the Ottoman troops intensified the siege of Candia and attacked it for the first time on July 2. It should be remembered as the longest siege of all time. In 1667 the Grand Vizier Ahmed Köprülü urged tightening and forced the city to surrender on September 16, 1669. The fortresses of Gramvousa (until 1692), Souda and Spinalonga in the north remained in Venice for some time , but in 1718 they too had to be ceded.

Duchy of Archipelagos, islands in the Aegean Sea

Venetian residential tower on Naxos

The islands of the Aegean had a kind of special status within the colonial empire, because they were not subject to an administrator sent from Venice, but fell into the hands of feudal lords of Venetian origin in various ways . Naxos fell to the Sanudo , Tinos and Mykonos to the Ghizi, Cérigo to the Venier , Santorini to the Barozzi and Karpathos to the Corner . This island fell to Andrea Corner during the conquest of Rhodes by the Hospitaller Order. However, after 1306 the Order contested his possession. It required considerable diplomatic pressure from Venice before Andrea Corner regained possession of the island.

The most important conquest, however, was achieved by the Doge's nephew Enrico Dandolo , Marco Sanudo . Together with Marino Dandolo, Andrea and Geremia Ghisi, Ravano dalle Carceri, one of the lords of Negroponte, and Philocalo Navigaioso, lord of Lemnos , he succeeded in conquering Naxos and, by 1210, the rest of the Cycladic Islands . He preferred to submit to the Latin Empire as a vassal . So he founded the Duchy of Archipelagos and became Duke of Naxos himself (1207-27). He divided the duchy into 56  fiefs and thus introduced the feudal system.

Later, too, the duchy kept changing overlords, depending on the political circumstances. After the Sanudo, the Crispi gained the ducal dignity in 1383 , but in 1418 they submitted to Venice. It had already supported the Crispi in 1383, especially since Francesco Crispo renounced his fiefdom on Negroponte. The dukes saw this as the only means of counteracting the increasing pressure from the Ottomans and Genoese. The latter even conquered Naxos in 1431, while the former attacked it in 1477. The duchy remained under Venetian suzerainty until 1566.

Tensions within the island rule resulted in Duke Giovanni Crispo being besieged in his capital fortress. Only the Hospitallers of Rhodes saved his rule. His death in 1494 induced Venice to intervene and to subordinate the duchy to his direct rule until 1500. Francesco III, who appointed Venice as Duke in 1500, had to be deposed again in 1507 under pressure from the population, returned for a short time, but ended up in the prison of Candia.

Venice continued to rely on the Crispi, especially since the attacks by Turkish corsairs , above all Khair ad-Din Barbarossa , increased sharply from 1532. Only tribute payments to the Ottomans from 1536 saved the island rule until 1566. Tinos and Mykonos had been under direct Venetian rule since 1520. Sultan Selim II made the Portuguese Jew Joseph Nasi the last Duke of Naxos in 1566 .

Overall, the islands were economically insignificant for Venice, but provided a military reserve against the changing political rivals. The Greeks succeeded again and again in driving out the Venetian feudal lords, as last in 1566 on Andros .

Morea (Peloponnese)

Methoni Castle (Modon)
Koroni Fortress (Koron)

Venice was granted three eighths of the Byzantine Empire in 1204. This also included the Peloponnese . In 1206 a fleet occupied Modon and Koron on the southwestern tip of the Fast Island. These eyes of the Serenissima , as the double fortress was called, served the merchant fleets as safe havens, the crews covered their needs from the warehouse for ship's biscuits, and goods could be stored here.

The rest of the Peloponnese were initially under the Latin princes of Achaia . When the Turkish army failed at Constantinople in 1422 and then turned to the peninsula for the first time, the remaining Latin princes offered Venice submission to their suzerainty. Five wise men examined this offer on behalf of the Senate and came to the conclusion that the country's economic treasures were well worth exploiting - nevertheless the Grand Council rejected the offer. In 1432 almost the entire Morea fell to the Byzantines of Mistra . But this could not stop the Ottomans during their campaigns through the Peloponnese (1446, 1452, 1458, 1460). After the final conquest (1459/60) - only the remaining Monemvasia submitted to the protection of Venice in 1464 - Negroponte also fell to the Ottomans in 1470 and Koron and Modon in 1500.

Venice succeeded in conquering the Morea again only for a few decades from 1686, but as early as 1715 an Ottoman army took the peninsula again. The capital of the Venetian Morea was Nauplia , also called Napoli di Romania .


Thessaloniki was only in Venetian ownership for a few years and was therefore predominantly a colony in the sense of a merchant colony. A Venetian merchant colony had existed there since the 12th century, which increasingly controlled trade with the largest city in Greece. She was headed by a consul. In 1204 the city was to go to Venice, as the Crusaders had agreed before Constantinople, but the Serenissima exchanged the area for Crete.

In Saloniki, after trade relations with Byzantium were broken off (1261), there was again a consul in 1287 at the latest, certainly until the city was first conquered by the Ottomans (1387-1391, again 1394-1403).

After the failed siege of Constantinople (1422), Venice tried in vain to defend Thessaloniki from 1423 to 1430.


Paphos castle, rebuilt under the Ottomans in 1592

Cyprus had already made itself independent before the Fourth Crusade . Venetians were active there long before Venice took possession of the large island in the eastern Mediterranean. In 1366 the Corner di San Luca family succeeded in acquiring extensive land from the Lusignan dynasty who ruled Cyprus. The sugar cane there made them one of the richest families in Venice. But the ongoing dispute with Genoa weakened the Venetian position for a long time after the street battles between Venetians and Genoese had broken out in Famagusta in 1374.

Cyprus came to Venice through dynastic connections: in 1468 Katharina Cornaro , daughter of Doge Marco Corner , married King James II of Lusignan . When her husband and child died in 1474, she became Queen of Cyprus; In 1489 she handed the island over to the Republic of Venice.

The Venetian interests were taken care of by a "Rettore" based in Nicosia . This body consisted of a governor and two advisers (consiglieri) whose term of office was limited to two years. The Council of Ten , which oversaw them, also oversaw their judicial and especially tax collection operations. The participation of the Cypriots was limited to the offices of the "Vicecomites" of Famagusta and Nicosia, but around 1500 an increasing participation of the Greek magnates can be ascertained. This is probably due on the one hand to the growing Ottoman pressure, on the other hand to economic success and increasing integration into the power apparatus.

Salt was one of the island's most important export goods. It was won primarily around Larnaca . Sugar cane and wheat, on the other hand, were more and more replaced by cotton . The taxes were high and a feudal system dominated the countryside, similar to that in Crete. Although the Orthodox Church received all religious rights and the economic and political participation of the Orthodox population slowly increased, the Venetians saw themselves forced to further increase the tax burden to finance their wars and tribute payments. In 1519 Bartolomeo Contarini proposed that the men from the surrounding villages should reinforce the garrisons of the fortresses, especially Kantara , and that duties and services should be waived for them, but it was evidently preferred to withdraw the garrisons and demolish the fortresses . Venice initially paid tribute to Mamluk Egypt, and from 1520 it paid to the Ottoman Sultan, who had since conquered Egypt.

In 1562 the social tensions erupted in a peasant uprising led by Iakovos Diassorinos or Jakob "Didaskalos" (teacher) from Nicosia, who was executed in 1563. In 1566, a revolt broke out in Nicosia, which was suffering from hunger, when a ship loaded with wheat was supposed to leave the island for Venice. The Venetian colonial rule was so insecure that the authorities expelled all non-Cypriot Jews from the island only on the basis of a rumor.

In 1570 the island fell to the Ottomans, the following year, after a long siege, Famagusta was the last fortress to fall. The economic importance of the island should not be underestimated, but the damage to long-distance trade was probably much greater, because it became more and more difficult to protect and supply the long trade journeys into the Levant .

See also

Web links


  • Siriol Davies, Jack L. Davies: Between Venice and Istanbul: colonial landscapes in early modern Greece , Athens: American School of Classical Studies 2007. ISBN 978-0-8766-1540-9
  • Benjamin Arbel : Cyprus, the Franks and Venice. 13th – 16th centuries , Aldershot [u. a.] 2000. ISBN 0-86078-824-5
  • Benjamin Arbel: Slave Trade and Slave Labor in Frankish and Venetian Cyprus (1191-1571) , in: Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History, ns 14 (1993), pp. 151-190.
  • Antonello Biagini: Storia dell'Albania dalle origini ai nostri giorni , Milan 1999.
  • Svetlana Bliznjuk: The Venetians on Cyprus in the 13th and first half of the 14th century , in: Byzantinische Zeitschrift 84/85 (1991/92), pp. 441–451.
  • Alain Ducellier: La façade maritime de l'Albanie au Moyen Age. Durazzo et Valona du XIe au XVe siècle , Thessaloniki 1981.
  • Alain Ducellier: L'Albanie entre Bysance et Venise , Variorum Reprints, London 1987.
  • Marco Folin: Spunti per una ricerca su amministrazione veneziana e società ionia nella seconda metà del Settecento , in: Studi Veneti offerti a Gaetano Cozzi, Venice 1992, pp. 333-347.
  • Maria Georgopoulou: Venice's Mediterranean colonies. Architecture and urbanism , Cambridge 2001. ISBN 0-521-78235-X
  • Hans-Jürgen Hübner: Quia bonum sit anticipare tempus. The municipal supply of Venice with bread and grain from the late 12th to the 15th century , Peter Lang 1998, pp. 211–245. ISBN 3-631-32870-2
  • Thomas F. Madden : Enrico Dandolo & the rise of Venice , Baltimore 2003. ISBN 0-8018-7317-7
  • Chryssa A. Maltezou and Peter Schreiner (eds.): Bisanzio, Venezia e il mondo franco-greco (13th – 15th secolo) . Atti del Colloquio Internazionale Organizzato nel Centenario della Nascità di Raymond-Joseph Loenertz OP, Venice, 1. – 2. December 2000. Venice 2002. ISBN 960-7743-22-9
  • Renzo Paci: La 'scala' di Spalato e il commercio veneziano nei Balcani fra Cinque e Seicento , Venice 1971
  • Filippo Maria Paladini: Un caos che spaventa: poteri, territori e religioni di frontiera nella Dalmazia della tarda età veneta , Venice 2002. ISBN 88-317-8016-6
  • Gerhard Rösch : Cyprus and Venice's Levant Trade in the Middle Ages , in: Sabine Rogge (Hrsg.): Cyprus - island in the focus of cultures , Münster 2000, pp. 203-224. ISBN 3-89325-878-7
  • Hans Schmidt : Il salvatore di Corfù. Matthias Johann von der Schulenburg (1661–1747). Una carriera militare europea al tempo dell'Alto Assolutismo , Venice 1991.
  • Oliver Jens Schmitt : The Venetian Albania (1392-1479) , Oldenbourg, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-486-56569-9

Source editions

To Romania, the former territory of the Byzantine Empire:

  • Freddy Thiriet (ed.): Délibérations des assemblées vénitiennes concernant la Romanie , Vol. I: 1160–1363, Vol. II: 1364–1463, Paris 1966 and 1971
  • Freddy Thiriet (ed.): Régestes des déliberations du Sénat de Venise concernant la Romanie , Vol. 1 (1329-1399), Paris 1958

To Albania:

  • Acta Albaniae Veneta saeculorum 14 e 15 , 24 vols., Munich 1967

To Crete:

  • Hippolyte Noiret : Documents inédits pour servir à l'histoire de la domination vénitienne en Crète de 1380 à 1485 , Paris 1892
  • J. Jegerlehner: The revolt of the Kandiotischen knighthood against the motherland Venice (1363-1365) , in: Byzantinische Zeitschrift 12 (1903) 78-120, part II, from p. 101: documents, which concern the revolt
  • Lettere di Mercanti a Pignol Zucchello (1336-1350) , ed. Raimondo Morozzo della Rocca , Venice 1957
  • Freddy Thiriet (Ed.): Duca di Candia. Ducali e lettere ricevute (1358–60; 1401–1405) , Venice 1978


  1. Roger Crowley: Venice is conquering the world. The Doge Republic between power and intrigue , Stuttgart 2011, p. 13.
  2. Bernard Doumerc, for example, dealt with the complicated question of delimitation: La Tana au XVe siècle: comptoir ou colonie? in: Michel Balard (ed.): Etat et colonization , La Manufacture, Lyon 1989, 251-265.
  3. I am following Enrico Besta : Il senato veneziano (origine, costituzione, attribuzioni e riti) , Venice 1899, G. Maranini: La costituzione di Venezia , 2 vols., Rome 1927/1931, reprint Florence 1974, vol. 2: La costituzione di Venezia dopo la Serrata del Maggior Consiglio and Gerhard Rösch : The Venetian nobility until the Grand Council closed. On the genesis of a leadership class , Sigmaringen 1989.
  4. ^ Gerhard Rösch: The Venetian nobility up to the closure of the Great Council. On the genesis of a leadership class , habilitation thesis, Kiel 1985, Sigmaringen 1989, 134f.
  5. From 1420 they kept their own registers for thousands of their resolutions, which are known as Senato Mar - in contrast to the archives of Senato Terra , which contain the minutes relating to the Italian mainland. Until then, the corresponding logs were filed together.
  6. Marin Sanudo the Younger ( De origine, situ et magistratibus urbis venetae, ovvero La città di Venezia (1493-1530) , Ed. Angela Caracciolo Aricò , Milan 1980, pp. 71-82) counted in the various councils, 68 officials , 33 Provedadori , 41 Savi and a few dozen other positions, so that together well over a thousand men come together, more than 550 in Venice and well over 700 in the colonial empire.
  7. The only exception here was Trieste, which fell to the Habsburgs in 1386.
  8. ^ Walter Lenel : The emergence of the supremacy of Venice on the Adriatic , Strasbourg 1897, pp. 15-17.
  9. Oliver Jens Schmitt : The Venetian Albania: (1392-1479) , Munich 2001, p. 425.
  10. Milan Šufflay: Cities and Castles of Albania, mainly during the Middle Ages , Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky, Vienna 1964, p. 24.
  11. There is no research on this, but wheat from Corfu appears again and again in the sources, such as Archivio di Stato di Venezia , Provveditori alle Biave, busta 1, Capitulare, p. 123, July 2, 1425.
  12. Raimondo Morozzo della Rocca, Antonino Lombardo (ed.): Documenti del commercio veneziano nei secoli XI - XIII , 2 vols., Turin 1940, n.478f., May 1206 and n.541, July 1212 (both times for a dealer named Stagnario) and 662, March 1232.
  13. ^ Alfred Doren : Italian Economic History , Jena 1934. 324f.
  14. Martino da Canale : Les Histoires de Venise. Cronaca veneziana in lingua francese dalle origini al 1275 , Ed. Alberto Limentani, Florence 1972, CCCIV, 654f.
  15. Michel Balard : Byzance et ces régions septentrionales de la mer Noire (XIII-XVe siècles) , in: Revue Historique 116 (1992) 19-38, pp. 32-34.
  16. Roberto Cessi (ed.): Deliberazioni del maggior consiglio di Venezia , vol. 3, Bologna 1934, n. 10 and 12, p. 315, April 10 and 17, 1292.
  17. Roberto Cessi (ed.): Deliberazioni del maggior consiglio di Venezia , Vol. 3, Bologna 1934, n.101, p. 332, February 21, 1293.
  18. ^ Wilhelm Heyd : Histoire du commerce du Levant au Moyen Age , 2 vol., Leipzig 1886, ND Amsterdam 1967, vol. 1, 491 and no. 170.
  19. ^ Subhi Y. Labib : Trade history of Egypt in the late Middle Ages (1171-1517) , Wiesbaden 1965, p. 108
  20. ^ Heinrich Kretschmayr : History of Venice , 3 vols., Gotha 1905 and 1920, Stuttgart 1934, ND Aalen 1964, vol. 2, p. 200. On La Tana cf. Bernard Doumerc : Les Vénitiens à la Tana au XVe siècle , in: Le Moyen Age 94 (1988) 363–379 and ders .: La Tana au XVe siècle: comptoir ou colonie? , in: Michel Balard (ed.), État et colonization, Lyon 1989, 251–265 and Elena C. Skzinskaja: Storia della Tana , in: Studi Veneziani 10 (1968) 3–45.
  21. ^ Paul Meinrad Strässle: The international Black Sea trade and Constantinople 1261-1484 in the mirror of Soviet research , Frankfurt / Bern / New York 1990, p. 194f.
  22. Angeliki Laiou: Un notaire venitien à Constantinople: Antonio Bresciano et le commerce international en 1350 , in: M. Balard, AE Laiou, C. Otten-Froux: Les Italiens à Byzance , Paris 1987, 79–151, p. 95.
  23. Freddy Thiriet (ed.): Régestes des Délibérations du Sénat de Venise concernant la Romanie , Vol. 1 (1329-1399), Paris 1958, n. 196, April 24, 1347 and n. 204, Aug. 23, 1347.
  24. Freddy Thiriet (ed.): Régestes des Délibérations du Sénat de Venise concernant la Romanie , Vol. 1 (1329-1399), Paris 1958, n. 201, June 19, 1347.
  25. Freddy Thiriet (ed.): Régestes des Délibérations du Sénat de Venise concernant la Romanie , Vol. 1 (1329-1399), Paris 1958, n. 211, May 19, 1348.
  26. ^ Bernard Doumerc: La Tana au XVe siècle: comptoir ou colonie? in: Michel Balard (ed.): État et colonization , Lyon 1989, 251-265.
  27. Marian Malowist: The Trade of Eastern Europe in the Later Middle Ages , in: The Cambridge Economic History of Europe, Vol. 2: Trade and Industry in the Middle Ages, 2nd ed, Cambridge and.. a. 1987, 525-612, here: p. 589. A Modius corresponded to 12 Star or Staia, a measure of capacity that corresponded to 83.3 liters.
  28. Miles originally referred to knights, but one should rather imagine military settlers here who only z. T. were mounted.
  29. ^ Freddy Thiriet: La Romanie vénitienne au Moyen Age. Le développement et l'exploitation du domaine colonial vénitien (XII-XV siècles) . 2nd Edition. Paris 1975.
  30. Kenneth Meyer Setton: The Papacy and the Levant, 1204-1571. The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries , American Philosophical Society, 1976, p. 19.
  31. The town was the capital of independent Greece from 1829 to 1834.
  32. See Sp. Lambros: The Venetian Consulate in Thessaloniki and the Venetian Trade with Macedonie , in: Makedonikon Imerologion 5 (1912) 227-241. On Saloniki in the 14th century: O. Tafrali: Thessalonique au quatorzième siècle , Paris 1912, and Apostolos E. Vacalopoulos: A History of Thessaloniki (Greek 1963).
  33. Roberto Cessi (ed.): Deliberazioni del maggior consiglio di Venezia , Vol. 2 and 3, Bologna 1931 - 1934, Vol. III, n.88, 179, 10 Aug. 1287, n.86, 249, 23. Aug 1289.
  34. See S. Vryonis: The Ottoman Conquest of Thessaloniki in 1430 , in: A. Bryer, H. Lowry (Ed.): Continuity and Change in Late Byzantine and Early Ottoman Society (Birmingham and Dumbarton Oaks), Washington 1986, p 281-321.
  35. Benjamin Arbel : Greek Magnates in Venetian Cyprus: The Case of the Synglitico Family , in: Dumbarton Oaks Papers, Vol. 49, Symposium on Byzantium and the Italians, 13th-15th Centuries, 1995, 325–337.
  36. ^ Paulos Tzermias: History of the Republic of Cyprus , Francke, 1991, p. 13.
  37. Benjamin Arbel: Cyprus on the Eve of the Ottoman Conquest , in: Michalis N. Michael, Matthias Kappler, Eftihios Gavrielhier (ed.): Ottoman Cyprus. A Collection of Studies on History and Culture , Otto Harrassowitz 2009, pp. 37–48, here: pp. 47f.
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