Family Sanudo, 1615

My name is Basilion Sanudo the year is 1615 and I am currently the head of the Sanudo family.  Times are becoming more complicated for my family in these times.  The jobs on Crete are not as plentiful as they once were.  I am having trouble finding work for my sons, and I do not wish for them to fall into debt.  All is not lost though; the powerful Ottoman Empire is just north of us and I believe that this may be the answer to our problems.   I suggested to my sons Arrigo and Adalfieri that it would be wise for them to make a move north and try and find work elsewhere.

My son Arrigo found his way into the Turkish arsenal in Constantinople working on the ship as a caulker which from what he has told me that he earns 20 akce a day.[1]  From what I understand there is already 3000 Candia people in Galata.[2]  Arrigo plans to stay there for some time so he went through the bailo to transfer his house to me.  I have also been in contact with the baili to see if he could grant him a document of fede; this would help him socially as well as open more opportunities for him economically.  I believe that my argument is sound enough for this to work.  After all I reminded the bailo that it was my family that helped defend some of his trading interested in Crete and that I may be willing to lend more of my family if need be.  Arrigo tells me that he has converted to Islam; though I personally believe he is doing this to gain favor with his Ottoman superiors.  He always was the one to anything to get ahead in any situation.

My other son Adalfieri took work on a Venetian merchant ship but unfortunately I have bad news in his case.  I learned that recently his ship was captured by privateers I’m guessing either the Knights Stefano or Hospitaller.[3]  If I know him he will do anything to get back home so I think he has become one of them but I cannot be certain.

[1] Eric R. Dursteler, Venetians in Contantinople: Nations, Identity, and coexistence in the Early Modern Mediterranean (Maryland: John Hopkins University Press,2006), 80.

[2] Idid., 84.

[3] Ibid., 236.


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