These exiles must have belonged to the anti-Spartan party as the Zakynthian rulers applied for help to the Spartans who sent a fleet of 25 to the island. Tar Tar is a more effective protector of ship planking than pitch which is made from pine trees. The Athenian trireme fleet needed protection from rot, decay and the teredo, so this new source of tar was valuable to them. The tar was dredged up from the bottom of a lake now known as Lake Keri using leafy myrtle branches tied to the ends of poles. It was then collected in pots and could be carried to the beach and swabbed directly onto ship hulls.
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It was afterwards restored to Philip V of Macedon. In the Mithridatic War, it was attacked by Archelaus, the general of Mithridates, but he was repulsed. Later in AD, the island was used as a naval station for the troops of Byzantine general Belisarius Belisarius in his campaigns against the Vandals Vandals in Italy. During the beginning of the Middle Byzantine era, Zakynthos formed a base for the re-establishment of the imperial control and the re-Hellenization of the mainland coast.
Zakynthos Zakynthos became part of the Byzantine Theme of Cephallenia, a military-civilian province located in western Greece Greece comprising the Ionian Islands. It was extant from around the 8th century until partially conquered by the Normans of the Kingdom of Sicily in However, Zakynthos Zakynthos was not a central part of the Theme as its strategos was based mostly at Cephalonia. The Theme was also frequently used as a place of exile for political prisoners.
Following the collapse of Byzantine control in southern Italy Italy in the midth century, the Theme of Cephallenia's importance declined and was subsequently headed by civilian governors. Although Kerkyra was recovered by the Byzantines by , the other islands including Zakynthos Zakynthos remained lost to Byzantium. The County then passed on to a branch of the Orsini family until , when it passed briefly to Angevins and then from to the Tocco family.
The Tocco used the county as a springboard for their acquisition of lands in the Greek mainland.
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However, facing the advance of the Ottoman Turks they successively lost their mainland territories and were once again reduced to the County palatine of Cephalonia and Zakynthos County palatine of Cephalonia and Zakynthos which they held until when the Ottoman Turks raided the island and Leonardo III Tocco fled. First refugees —  By , and during the reign of Mehmed II, the Ottoman Turks eventually controlled most of the Peloponnese Peloponnese with the exception of the remaining Venetian-controlled towns of Argos, Napflion, Monemvassia, Methoni and Koroni.
After the collapse of the Hexamilion, which was supposed to act as a defense across the Isthmus of Corinth; and hence, protect the Peloponnese, Leonardo III Tocco made an agreement with Venice to accept 10, refugees from this region. These refugees consisted of Greeks, Arvanite-speaking Greeks and some Venetian officials. It is likely that a good number of the Stradiotes returned to the Peloponnese Peloponnese at a later stage and perhaps leaving behind their families in Zakynthos.
The Venetians and their allies attempted a further defence of the Peloponnese Peloponnese but by more of the peninsula was under Ottoman Turkish control. Consequently, more refugees from the Peloponnese Peloponnese made their way to Zakynthos Zakynthos under the initiative of Stradioti Stradioti leader, Michael Rallis. Again, another wave made its way to Zakynythos in when the Ottoman Turks made further headway in the Peloponnese. Another group of Stradiotes under the leadership of Nikolaos Bochalis and Petros Buas were stationed on the island during the last years of the First Venetian-Turkish War of — This implies that around 15, Zakynthians were autochnous to the island or were at least inhabitants going back generations.
The newcomers were given land grants to cultivate previously non-arable land and formed an almost independent community represented by a Venetian official called the Consul. The first consul was Martin di Trino. The presence of this community would play a critical role in the defence of Zakynthos Zakynthos in and its later occupation of the Venetian Republic. They were required to pay an annual tribute of ducats to the Sultan and to pay ducats every time that an Ottoman Turkish sancak beyi or provincial governor visited Arta.
It is uncertain which Leonardo Tocco he represented in this painting. Around this time, Zakynthos Zakynthos had some 25, inhabitants bringing Leonardo III Tocco's state more than 12, ducats a year, according to the Spanish historian G. He was also sufficiently Hellenised to use Greek in his documents. Even though he made these concessions, evidence suggests he was regarded as a tyrant by the islanders.
In response to this insult, instead of handing over ducats, Leonardo III Tocco presented a basket of cherries to him. Furious, the Bay reported the incident to the Porte in Constantinople. In early , Gedik Ahmed Pasha had concluded the siege of Scutari resulting in the cessation of that territory to the Ottoman Empire. He knew that the Venetians were unwilling, and the Neapolitans were incapable, to provide military assistance, and that his own subjects considered him tyrannical.
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Consequently, long before the Gedik Ahmed Pasha appeared, he collected all his portable valuables and fled from Lefkada Lefkada to the strongest of his castles, Fort of St George in Cephalonia. However, he did not trust the garrison stationed there. Also, the approaching Ottoman Turks noticed his ship was laden with treasure, so he hastily embarked along with his wife, his son Carlo, and his two brothers on board another Venetian vessel that lay in the harbour across the Ionian Sea to Taranto. Thereafter, he proceeded to Naples. But the Venetian admiral did not dare to disturb Gedik Ahmed Pasha in fear of stoking the continuation of the recently concluded First Venetian-Ottoman Turkish war.
The Bay of Valona easily captured Vonitza, the last vestige of the old Despotate of Epiros and the islands of Lefkada, Cephalonia, and Ithaka from mid to late August The destruction was so severe that Ithaka remained uninhabited until the beginning of the next century. Andrea Loredan is seated on the right. Ominously, Gedik Ahmed Pasha then proceeded to attack Zakynthos. However, this time he was met by Antonion Loredan.
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The admiral protested that the island was inhabited by Venetian subjects from the Peloponese and the Ottoman Turkish forces should cease their advances on the island. They then astutely hoisted, undoubtedly with the support of the local autochnones population, the lion-banner of St Mark on the Castle. He and his company of Stradiotes were well-known given their exploits fighting valiantly against the Ottoman Turks in the Peloponese for many years.
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They were probably in Zakynthos Zakynthos following another agreement with the Venetian Republic. Petros Bouas was also supported by Nikolaos Bochalis and Petros Bozikis and their own companies of Stradiotes who arrived over last few years to the island from the Peloppnese and Napflion. Subsequently, the matter was referred to the Porte in Constantinople.
Given they would have been outnumbered, miracoulesly the Stradiotes and the local inhabitants defeated the marauding Ottoman Turks twice in battle around the Castle and Aigialo the town below the Castle. They also helped to capture and release hostages the Ottoman Turks had taken previously. Not satisfied with their exploits, the Stradiotes again attacked and even took the equipment that was to be used to break the walls of the Castle. Gedik Ahmed Pasha crudely retaliated by attacking any ship near the island and continued small scale raids in the countryside of Zakynthos Zakynthos which was less well defended than the Castle and Aigialo.
The Porte decided Zakynthos Zakynthos would become a possession of the Ottoman Empire Ottoman Empire but those Zakynthians who chose too could leave before the Ottoman Turks pillaged and occupied the island. Most of them were transported to Napfaktos, Kerkyra and the Peloponese. Howwever, a group of 20 Stradiotes noticed them around Bochali, adjacent to the Castle. Once notified the rest of the Stradiotes and almost certainly local inhabitants surrounded these Ottoman Turkish soldiers slaughtered them all. Thus, due to the bravery of the Stradiotes and local inhabitants the evacuation of most of the population was successfully completed and the Zakynthian people were spared the devastation wrought on Lefkada Lefkada and to a lesser extent Cephallonia.
Nonetheless, a meaningful number of islanders and their imovable property was left behind. Many of those are said to have hid in caves on Vrachionas the central mountain range ; however, vast amounts of their property, valuable icons, vines, olive trees were left to behind to be pillaged by the Ottoman Turks.
His forces destroyed most of its churches, monasteries and many of its dwellings. The destruction was said to be horrific. Fortunately, for the time being they only decided to leave a small garrison in the Castle and did not decide to administer the island as a possession. Thus, in late , after an existence of almost three centuries, the County palatine of Cephalonia Cephalonia and Zakynthos Zakynthos disappeared forever.
After a short stay in Rome, he returned to Naples and proceeded to plan the recapture of his dominions. But Antonio's success alarmed the Venetians, which were fearful of the islands falling again into the hands of the King of Naples or his vassals. Antonio Tocco hung on to Cephallonia for another year or so. However, he irritated the local inhabitants after giving his implicit support of corsairs using the island as a refuge. This also shocked the Venetians. And so, in after a futile attempt to bribe him, the Venetian Republic Venetian Republic aided by many of the local inhabitants prepared to attack him.
Thereupon, the garrison of the Fort of St George slew him and opened their gates to the Venetian commander. Lacking any opposition, he made himself master of the whole island and appointed its first Venetian governor. However, the Sultan demanded them for himself. In vain, Venice strove to retain Cephallonia but which in she accepted she had to cede to Bayezid II. It finally passed into her hands in But she succeeded in keeping Zakynthos on the condition of paying an annual tribute of ducats.
Petros Bouas and his Stradiotes would continue fight the Ottoman Turks in the service of Venice for many years until his death in Petros Bozikis continued to support the guerrilla war efforts of his brother in the Peloponese against the Ottoman Turks and later fought in Italy Italy with his band of Stradiotes. He later returned to Napflion after serving time in a Venetian goal. Then it was swapped with the Ottomans Turks by Venetian secretary Giovanni Dario, negotiator of the treaty of Constantinople , against neighboring Cephalonia Cephalonia and the provision of an annual tribute of ducats.
Administration of the island Venetian rule largely protected the island from Ottoman Turkish domination but in its place an oligarchy was gradually established and maintained. As in Venice itself, the Venetian Republic Venetian Republic divided Zakynthian society across three broad societal classes, the Cittadini some later became Nobles or Nobili and Popolari based in Zakynthos town and the rural Villani.