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Chryssa A Maltezou (2003)

Attività catalana in Creta veneziana (XIV sec.)

In: Els Catalans a la Mediterrània oriental a l’edat mitjana: Jornades Científiques de l’Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Secciò Històrico-arqueològica: Barcelona, 16 i 17 de novembre de 2000, ed. by Maria Teresa Ferrer i Mallol, pp. 113-127, Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona. Sèrie jornades científiques 11.

The numerous Catalans in Candia in the 14th century can be divided into three categories:
(1) those who used Crete only as a transit station on the route to other destinations (Cyprus, Alexandria, Tunisia, Venice, …)
(2) those who lived there for a longer period
(3) those who were fixed on other islands of the region (e.g. Naxos) but expanded their trading activities to the whole region, including Crete.

Along with grain, honey, and oil, the main Catalan merchandise were slaves.

Since the conflict with Byzantium in 1305, Catalans repeatedly raided Greek territory, selling the captives they made as slaves, mainly in Candia. In this way they took part in the development of the slave market on Crete, but also won themselves a double negative reputation: barbaric pirates for the Greek suffering from the raids, they were seen as slave traders selling Christians by the Latin population of Candia.

Nevertheless they were quite well integrated in the multiethnic society of Candia; and as they were not the only ones to trade in Christian slaves, the lasting negative reputation might be due rather to the menace the Catalans represented for the balance of powers between Franks and Venetians in the region than to their cruelty and their unscrupulousness.

Crete Candia Catalonia 14th century
by Annika Stello last modified 2007-03-20 14:38

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