History of the Republic of Venice in Greece
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Greece didn’t always look the way it does today, and in fact, has had a long road. In Ancient Greece, the Greek-speaking region was separated into a number of small city-states. After that, Greece was part of the Byzantine Empire, and sometime after that, parts of Greece were ruled by the Republic of Venice. Aside from the fact that there are Venetian fortresses located throughout Greece, it’s easy to forget that they had a part in Greece’s history. Here’s more information about the role the Republic of Venice played in the history of Greece:
All About the Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice, most commonly referred to as the Most Serene Republic of Venice, went on from 697 to 1797. It originated in the area where modern-day Venice is located today in the northeastern portion of Italy. The area around Venice is characterized by its many lagoons, and the city originally sprung up as these communities formed an alliance that would help strengthen them against foreign invaders, such as the Huns. Over time, they got stronger and expanded their borders considerably and owned territory all over the world, including Greece. They were also considered to be an economic powerhouse and were involved in trade.
Stato da Mar and Venice’s Presence in Greece
For the first few hundred years of its existence, the Republic of Venice really didn’t have any overseas holdings. In around 1000 A.D., however, they began to acquire different maritime and overseas holdings, which were referred to as Stato do Mar. These holdings included Istria, Dalmatia, Albania, Negroponte, the Kingdom of Morea, which is now called the Peloponnese in Greece, Duchy of the Archipelago, which is located in the Aegean Sea in Greece, and the Kingdom of Candia, which is the modern-day island of Crete, and of course, the area that is now the modern city of Venice. Many of these holdings came about during various stages of the Republic of Venice’s long history.
Evidence of the Republic of Venice Located Throughout Greece
Specifically in Greece, the Venetians at one time controlled various places in Greece including the Peloponnese, Crete, Corfu, Lefkas, Zakynthos, Cephalonia, Ithaca, Tinos, Mykonos, and several places in mainland Greece besides the Peloponnese, including Argos, Parga, and even Athens for a short time. When you visit any of these places, it is impossible not to find evidence of their existence. For instance, the Venetian Fortress at Spinalonga Island on Crete houses an immense castle. There is also a large Venetian castle looming over the seaside town of Parga, which is located in Northern Greece.
When thinking of Greek history, it’s important to remember that the Venetians had a presence here. The Republic of Venice enjoyed a long period of control from its inception in 697 A.D. up until it fell to Napolean Bonaparte in 1797. Venice itself in Italy is still a beautiful, thriving city and the many fortresses they built throughout the world, including in Greece, are still standing today.
Categorized in: Ancient Greek History
This post was written by Greek Boston