Family Zénahat, 1718


I recently had entered into a business arrangement with one of my Venetian friends. My family has, for many years, remained friends with Venetians, even though they are supposed to be our enemy during this war. I had gone against my great-grandfather’s advice by joining this venture. My great-grandfather had entered into a similar business arrangement, but he then lost all the products he had acquired to the dreadful Knights of Malta. However, in the end I should have listened to him because the same thing happened to me. Neither my business partner nor I actually went on the trip, but instead sent someone in our stead. The saica had been traveling back to Constantinople from Alexandria when they made a stop at the Peloponnesus.[1] Then after leaving the Peloponnesus, while still in sight of the land, the ship was attacked by the Knights of Malta. These pirates took all of our merchandise and tortured some of the people aboard.[2] Once the pirates were able to ascertain that one of the owners, me, was a Muslim they then took everything. The sailors were all able to get to the Peloponnesus safely, but I still wanted justice. My partner and I had both decided to take this case to court. Specifically, we decided to take this case to the Tribunale degli Armamenti. Luckily, as soon as the sailors got to back to land, they gave witness statements. So now we need to figure out who we want to represent us in court. They will be biased against both my business partner, because he is Venetian, and they will be biased against me, because I am Muslim.[3] Another problem that we are encountering is the problem with whether or not the Peloponnesus was a Venetian holding. The case happened during the war and so they might claim that the lands and therefore the waters which we were sailing in were no longer Venetian.  However, we are trying to claim that our saica was within Venetian waters since the war was not yet over. With our witness documents and papers from various authorities, such as religious authorities, to help authenticate our claim. We need to do everything we can to try and prove we deserve to be compensated.

[1] Molly Greene, Catholic Pirates and Greek Merchants: A Maritime History of the Mediterranean (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010), 131.

[2] Ibid., 1.

[3] Ibid., 11.


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