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INTRIGUES OF GREEKS. 343
of six thousand sequins. This happened in the year 1537.1 From this period the Latin power in the island of Naxos was virtually extinguished. The Greek inhabitants, who preferred the domination of the Turks to that of the Catholics, no longer respected the orders of their duke. The heads of the communities, who were charged with the collection of the taxes levied to pay the tribute, placed themselves in direct communication with the Turkish ministers, and served as spies on the conduct of their sovereign, under the pretext of attending to fiscal business. Both the Greek primates and the Turkish ministers contrived to render this connection a source of pecuniary profit. The primates obtained pretexts for extorting money from their countrymen at Naxos, and the ministers at Constantinople shared the fruits of their extortions. The Greek clergy, too, by their dependence on the Patriarch, who served the Porte as a kind of under-secretary of state for the affairs of the orthodox, were active agents in preparing the Greek people for the Turkish domination. John VI., after writing a letter addressed to Pope Paul III. and the princes of Christendom, in which he announced the degradation into which he had fallen, died in peace unmolested by the Turks, against whom his lamentations had vainly incited the Christians. He was succeeded by his son, James IV., in the year 1546. The impoverished treasury and enfeebled authority of the ducal government required the greatest prudence on the part of the new sovereign to preserve his position. James CHAP. X. IV. seemed to consider that he was destined to be the $ 3. last duke of Naxos ; and, to console himself for his political
* The plunder the Turks carried off from Naxos was estimated at twenty thousand sequins.—Paruta, lib. viii. p. 617; Sagredo, lib. v. p. 245. The curious letter of Duke John W., giving a circumstantial account of the taking of Naxos, is dated 1st Dec. 1537. It is printed in the Chronicorum Turcicorum in quibus Turcorum origo, principes, imperatores, bella, praelia, cardes, victoriae, reique militaris ratio exponuntur ; omnia collecta à Philippo Lonicero, Francofurti, 1584, 2 vols. 8vo, tom. ii. p. 153-161; and in Buchon's Recherches et Matériaux, p. 360.
A. D. 1558-1566.
weakness, he resolved to enjoy all the pleasures within his reach. Circumstances favoured his schemes, and he was allowed for twenty years to live a life of the most shameless licentiousness. His court was a scene of debauchery and vice : the Latin nobles, who were his principal associates, were poor, proud, and dissolute : the catholic clergy, in whose hands the chief feudal estates in the island had accumulated, were rich, luxurious, and debauched, and lived openly with their avowed concubines.1 The Greeks laboured for a long time in vain to put an end to the scandal of such a court and government, which was both oppressive and disgraceful ; but the Turks remained indifferent, as the annual tribute was regularly remitted to the Porte. At last the whole Greek inbabitants of Naxos united to send deputies to the sultan, to complain of some extraordinary exactions of the duke, to demand the extinction of his authority, and to petition the sultan to name a new governor. The Patriarch and the Greek clergy had aided the intrigues of the primates, and the Porte was prepared to give the petition a favourable reception. The duke was made sensible of his danger. Collecting a sum of twelve thousand crowns, he hastened to Constantinople to countermine the intrigues of his enemies ; but he arrived too late-his destiny was already decided. He was thrown into prison, and his property was confiscated; but, after a detention of six months, he was released and allowed to depart to Venice. Such was the final fate of the duchy of the Archipelago, the last of the great fiefs of the Latin empire of Romania, which was extinguished in the year 1566, after it had been governed by catholic princes for about three hundred and sixty years. The last duke, James IV., was the twenty-first of the series. After the loss of his dominions END OF THE DUCHY OF NAXOS.
i Histoire Nouvelle des Anciens Ducs, p. 300.
A. D. 1566.
he resided at Venice with his children, living on a pension which the republic continued to his descendants until the male line became extinct.
The Greeks gained little by their complaints, for the sultan, Selim II., conferred the government of Naxos on a Jew named John Michez, who never visited the island in person, using it merely as a place from which to extract as much money as possible. The island was governed by Francis Coronello, a Spaniard, who acted as his deputy, and who was charged to collect the tribute and overlook the public administration.
The fortunes of the Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem, and other Frank, Venetian, and Genoese princes, signors, and adventurers, who at various times ruled different islands in the Grecian seas as independent sovereigns, though their history offers much that is curious, really exercised so little peculiar influence on the general progress of society among the Greeks, that they do not fall within the scope of the present work.
SECT. IV. -CAUSES WHICH PROLONGED THE EXISTENCE OF THE
FRANK POWER IN THE ARCHIPELAGO.
The long duration of the Latin power in the Archipelago is a fact worthy of observation. When the Greeks found the means of expelling the Franks and Venetians from Constantinople and the greater part of the Morea, and even to attack the Venetians in Crete, it seems strange that they should have failed to recover possession of the Greek islands of the Archipelago ; or if they failed to achieve the conquest, it seems even more surprising that the duchy should not have fallen into the hands of the Venetians. The peculiar circumstances which enabled a long line of foreign princes to maintain themselves in a state of independence as sovereigns of the Archipelago
chap. x. require some explanation. The popes, who were power$4. ful temporal princes on account of their great wealth, T were the natural protectors of all the Latins in the East against the power of the Greek emperors—and they protected the dukes of the Archipelago; but it was unquestionably the alliance of the republic of Venice, and the power of the Venetian fleets, rather than the zealous activity of the Holy See, that saved the duchy from being reconquered by Michael VIII., though the papal protection may have acted as a defence against the Genoese. In forming our idea of the true basis of the Latin power in the Byzantine empire, we must never lose sight of the fact that the Venetians, who suggested the conquest, were drawn in to support the undertaking by their eagerness to obtain a monopoly of the Eastern trade ; and the conquests of the republic were subordinate to the scheme of excluding every rival from the markets of the East. Monopoly was the end which all commercial policy sought to attain in the thirteenth century. After the loss of Constantinople, and the close alliance of the Genoese with the Greek empire, which enabled those rival republicans to aim at a monopoly of the trade of the Black Sea, the islands of the Archipelago acquired an increased importance both in a military and commercial point of view. Venice at this period found it an object of great consequence to exclude her rivals from the ports of the duchy; and, to obtain this end, she granted such effectual protection to the dukes, and formed such treaties of alliance with them, as persuaded them to include their dominions within the system of commercial privileges and monopolies which was applied to all the foreign settlements of Venice, and to hold no commercial communications with the western nations of Europe except through the port of Venice. The distinguished military character of several of the dukes of the family of Sanudo con
tributed to give the duchy more importance in the e the