Family Sanudo, c. 1450-1475

Entries from the ricordanzo of Mario Sanudo…

….On July 31, 1453 the news of the fall of Constantinople on 29 May 1453 has just arrived.  It appears that the Ottomans have finally accomplished what many others could not. This is very troublesome to me in the sense that I alone am responsible for the protection of our port city Candie. The Ottoman navy has quickly grown in power and I fear that they will not stop at Constantinople but move on to our allies, the Venetians. Along with the news of the fall of Constantinople came a number of refugees to my shores, mainly a number of painters which I am not totally sure why they decided to arrive; that may be worth asking one.  A decade later my fears came true when the Ottoman-Venetian War erupted resulting in Venice losing the island of Negroponte, which had been under Venetian control for as long as my father and the father of his father can recall. I have begun to prepare my forces for the worst if the Ottomans ever sail south. I am also willing to lend my family members to aid the Venetian forces against the Ottoman threat.

Fortunately they did not reach my defenses but who is to say that they will not in the near future; I grow very weary of the Ottomans.

 ….By 1471 I am no less weary of the Ottomans but I am willing to overlook their activities for this reason: that  trade within my region has reached a peak, making tensions lessen for the time being. The trade of gems and guns coming from the west has also been allowed by the Ottomans who kept the majority of the Byzantine trade system alive. I am also beginning to admire the savvy nature of these Turkish traders and leaders. It actually may prove profitable for  my family if I were to initiate some sort of relations with them before they decided to expand into Crete.


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