War and Peace - The Defense of Corfù previous_inactive 1/4 next

Corfù in Venetian Mediterranean politics I

An idealised conception of Corfù  began to emerge in the reports made by Venetian Provveditori  from the early sixteenth century onwards. The island became 'the key to the state of our dominion regarding maritime matters'1 and 'the key of this most illustrious state and the shield of all Christianity'2 (1553). These declarations were later confirmed in 1686, when the loss of Candia  made the island's position even more crucially important. Nicknamed 'gateway to the Gulf', it served as an access route to the Adriatic, over which Venice claimed her own sovereign right of control. A production centre for the salt traded in Montenegro and the Veneto and Greek mainlands, Corfù actually served as a crossroads for the different currents of commercial traffic in the Mediterranean and the Adriatic, and offered goods from Mondavia and Wallachia, the Morea  and Albania.

1 'chiave di stado della Signoria nostra zercha le cosse marittime'
2 'La chiave de questo illustrissimo Stado et il schudo di tutta la Christianità'

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Venezia e il mare
Le isole, le fortezze, le difese contro i Turchi
© 1997 by the VENIVA consortium