Frankokratia

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The beginning of Frankokratia: the division of the Byzantine Empire after the Fourth Crusade.
The Greek and Latin states in southern Greece, ca. 1214.
The Eastern Mediterranean in ca. 1450 AD. The Ottoman Empire and the surviving Latin possessions in Greece are depicted.
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Part of a map of the Mediterranean Sea and adjacent regions by William Faden, March 1785
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Culverin with the arms of Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam, Rhodes.

The Frankokratia (Greek: Φραγκοκρατία, lit. "Francocracy", "rule of the Franks"), also known as Latinokratia (Greek: Λατινοκρατία, "rule of the Latins") and for the Venetian domains Venetocracy (Greek: Βενετοκρατία, Venetokratia or Ενετοκρατία, Enetokratia), is the period in Greek history after the Fourth Crusade (1204), when a number of primarily French and Italian Crusader states were established in Greece, on the territory of the dissolved Byzantine Empire (see Partitio Romaniae).

The term derives from the fact that Orthodox Greeks called the Catholics "Latins" or "Franks". The span of the Frankokratia period is different for every region: the political situation was highly volatile, as the Frankish states were fragmented and changed hands, and in many cases were re-conquered by the Greek successor states.

With the exception of the Ionian Islands and some isolated forts which remained in Venetian hands, the final end of the Frankokratia in the Greek lands came with the Ottoman conquest in the 14th–16th centuries, which ushered in the period known as "Tourkokratia" (see Ottoman Greece).

Frankish states in Greece

  • The Latin Empire (1204–1261), centered in Constantinople and encompassing Thrace and Bithynia, while also exercising nominal suzerainty over the other Crusader states. Its territories were gradually reduced to little more than the capital, which was eventually captured by the Empire of Nicaea in 1261.
  • The Kingdom of Thessalonica (1205–1224), encompassing Macedonia and Thessaly. It was conquered by the Greek Despotate of Epirus.
  • The Principality of Achaea (1205–1432), encompassing the Morea or Peloponnese peninsula. It quickly emerged as the strongest Crusader state, and prospered even after the demise of the Latin Empire. Its main rival was the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea, which eventually succeeded in conquering the Principality. It also exercised suzerainty over the Lordship of Argos and Nauplia (1205–1388).
  • The Duchy of Athens (1205–1458), with its two capitals Thebes and Athens, and encompassing Attica, Boeotia, and parts of southern Thessaly. In 1311, the Duchy was conquered by the Catalan Company, and in 1388, it passed into the hands of the Florentine Acciaiuoli family, which kept it until the Ottoman conquest in 1456.
  • The Duchy of Naxos or of the Archipelago (1207–1579), founded by the Sanudo family, it encompassed most of the Aegean Islands, especially the Cyclades. In 1383, it passed under the control of the Crispo family. The Duchy became an Ottoman vassal in 1537, and was finally annexed to the Ottoman Empire in 1579.
  • The Margraviate of Bodonitsa (1204–1414), like Salona, was originally created as a vassal state of the Kingdom of Thessalonica, but later came under the influence of Achaia. In 1335, the Venetian Giorgi family took control, and ruled until the Ottoman conquest in 1414.
  • The County of Salona (1205–1410), centered at Salona (Amfissa), like Bodonitsa, was formed as a vassal state of the Kingdom of Thessalonica, and later came under the influence of Achaia. It came under Catalan and later Navarrese rule in the 14th century, before being sold to the Knights Hospitaller in 1403. It was finally conquered by the Ottomans in 1410.
  • The Lordship of Negroponte (1205–1470), encompassing the island of Negroponte (Euboea). It was fragmented into three baronies (terzi) run each by two barons (the sestieri). This fragmentation enabled Venice to gain influence acting as mediators. By 1390 Venice had established direct control of the entire island, which remained in Venetian hands until 1470, when it was captured by the Ottomans.
  • The County palatine of Cephalonia and Zakynthos (1185–1479). It encompassed the Ionian Islands of Cephalonia, Zakynthos, Ithaca, and, from ca. 1300, also Lefkas (Santa Maura). Created as a vassal to the Kingdom of Sicily, it was ruled by the Orsini family from 1195 to 1335, and after a short interlude of Anjou rule the county passed to the Tocco family in 1357. The county was split between Venice and the Ottomans in 1479.
  • Lemnos formed a fief of the Latin Empire under the Venetian Navigajoso family from 1207 until conquered by the Byzantines in 1278. Its rulers bore the title of megadux ("grand duke") of the Latin Empire.
  • Rhodes became the headquarters of the military monastic order of the Knights Hospitaller of Saint John in 1310, and the Knights retained control of the island (and neighbouring islands of the Dodecanese island group) until ousted by the Ottomans in 1522.
  • Various Genoese domains in the northeastern Aegean:
    • The fiefs of the Gattilusi family, which had established itself as lords (archons) under nominal Byzantine suzerainty over the island of Lesbos (1355–1462). Their domains expanded to include the islands of Lemnos, Thasos (1414–1462) and Samothrace (1355–1457), as well as the Thracian town of Ainos (1376–1456).
    • The Lordship of Chios (including Samos) with the port of Phocaea. In 1304–1330 under the Zaccaria family, and, after a Byzantine interlude, from 1346 and until the Ottoman conquest in 1566 under the Maona di Chio e di Focea company.
  • The Republic of Venice accumulated several possessions in Greece, which formed part of its Stato da Màr. Some of them survived until the end of the Republic itself in 1797:
    • Crete, also known as Candia, (1211–1669),1 one of the Republic's most important overseas possessions, despite frequent revolts by the Greek population, it was retained until captured by the Ottomans in the Cretan War (1645–1669).2
    • Corfu (1207–1214 and 1386–1797), was captured by Venice from its Genoese ruler shortly after the Fourth Crusade. The island was soon retaken by the Despotate of Epirus, but captured in 1258 by the Kingdom of Sicily. The island remained under Angevin rule until 1386, when Venice reimposed its control, which would last until the end of the Republic itself.
    • Lefkas (1684–1797), originally part of the Palatine county and the Orsini-ruled Despotate of Epirus, it came under Ottoman rule in 1479, and was conquered by the Venetians in 1684, during the Morean War.
    • Zakynthos (1479–1797), originally part of the Palatine county and the Orsini-ruled Despotate of Epirus, it fell to Venice in 1479
    • Cephalonia and Ithaca (1500–1797), originally part of the Palatine county and the Orsini-ruled Despotate of Epirus, they came under Ottoman rule in 1479, and were conquered by the Venetians in 1500.
    • various fortresses along the Peloponnese coast: Modon (Methoni) and Koroni, occupied in 1206 and held until taken by the Ottomans in 1500; Napoli di Romagna (Nafplion), held from 1388 to 1540; Patras held from 1408 until conquered by the Despot Constantine Palaiologos in 1430. The whole of the Peloponnese or Morea peninsula was conquered during the Morean War in the 1680s and became a colony as the "Kingdom of the Morea", but it was lost again to the Ottomans in 1715.

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ Maltezou, Crete during the Period of Venetian Rule, p. 105
  2. ^ Maltezou, Crete during the Period of Venetian Rule, p. 157

Sources

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