Stato da Màr

The Stato da Màr or Domini da Mar ("State/Domains of the Sea") was the name given to the Republic of Venice's maritime and overseas possessions, including Istria, Dalmatia, Albania, Negroponte, the Morea (the "Kingdom of the Morea"), the Aegean islands of the Duchy of the Archipelago, and the islands of Crete (the "Kingdom of Candia") and Cyprus.[1] It was one of the three subdivisions of the Republic of Venice's possessions, the other two being the Dogado, i.e. Venice proper, and the Domini di Terraferma in northern Italy.

State of the Sea
Stato da Màr (vec)
Overseas colonies of the Republic of Venice



Location of Stato da Mar
Map of the Venetian colonial empire
Historical era Middle Ages
 •  Pietro II Orseolo treaty
    with Basil II
 •  Fourth Crusade 1202–04
 •  First Ottoman–Venetian War 1463–79
 •  Cretan War 1645–69
 •  Morean War 1684–99
 •  Last Ottoman–Venetian War 1714–18
 •  Fall of the Republic of Venice 12 May 1797
The Republic of Venice in the mid-18th century
Old map of the Republic of Venice and its possessions in Istria and Dalmatia (18th century)


The creation of Venice's overseas empire began around 1000 AD with the conquest of Dalmatia and reached its greatest nominal extent at the conclusion of the Fourth Crusade in 1204, with declaration of the acquisition of three octaves of the Byzantine Empire. However, most of this territory was never controlled by Venice, being held by the Greek Byzantine successor states (the Despot of Epirus, the Empire of Nicaea, and the Empire of Trebizond) and much of the rest was soon lost as the Byzantine Empire of Nicaea reconquered Constantinople in 1261.

However, for many centuries the "Stato da Màr" survived in the Balkans, mainly in the Adriatic sea that was even nicknamed "Mare di Venezia" (sea of Venice) on maps of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Later on, under increasing pressure from the Ottoman Empire, further residual territories were lost and re-organised until only Istria, Dalmatia, and the Venetian Ionian Islands were left when the Republic fell to Napoleon in 1797.



  1. ^ Map of venetian forts & presence in the Stato da Mar of southern Balkans


  • Crowley, Roger (2011). City of Fortune - How Venice Won and lost a Naval Empire. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-24594-9.
  • Da Mosto, Andrea (1937). L'Archivio di Stato di Venezia. Rome: Biblioteca d'Arte editrice.
  • Mutinelli, Fabio (1851). Lessico Veneto. Venice: tipografia Giambattista Andreola.

The Dogado or Duchy of Venice was the homeland of the Republic of Venice, headed by the Doge. It comprised the city of Venice and the narrow coastal strip from Loreo to Grado, though these borders later extended from Goro to the south, Polesine and Padovano to the west, Trevisano and Friuli to the north and the mouth of the Isonzo to the east.

Apart from Venice, the capital and in practice a city-state of its own, the administration of the Dogado was subdivided in nine districts starting at the north: Grado, Caorle, Torcello, Murano, Malamocco, Chioggia, Loreo, Cavarzere and Gambarare. In lieu of the earlier tribunes (elected by the people) and gastalds (corresponding with the Doge), during the Republic each district was led by a patrician with the title of podestà, with the exception of Grado, headed by a Count.

It was one of the three subdivisions of the Republic's possessions, the other two being the Stato da Màr ("Sea State") and the Domini di Terraferma ("mainland domains").

Dogado was the equivalent of Ducato (duchy), the Italian city states that (unlike Venice) had a duke as hereditary head of state.

Domini di Terraferma

The Domini di Terraferma (Venetian: domini de teraferma or stato da tera, literally "mainland domains" or "mainland state") was the name given to the hinterland territories of the Republic of Venice beyond the Adriatic coast in Northeast Italy. They were one of the three subdivisions of the Republic's possessions, the other two being the original Dogado ("Duchy") and the Stato da Màr ("Sea State") overseas territories.

Kingdom of the Morea

The Kingdom of the Morea or Realm of the Morea (Italian: Regno di Morea) was the official name the Republic of Venice gave to the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece (which was more widely known as the Morea until the 19th century) when it was conquered from the Ottoman Empire during the Morean War in 1684–99. The Venetians tried, with considerable success, to repopulate the country and reinvigorate its agriculture and economy, but were unable to gain the allegiance of the bulk of the population, nor to secure their new possession militarily. As a result, it was lost again to the Ottomans in a brief campaign in June–September 1715.


Koroni or Corone (Greek: Κορώνη) is a town and a former municipality in Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pylos-Nestoras, of which it is a municipal unit. Known as Corone by the Venetians and Ottomans, the town of Koroni (pop. 1,397 in 2011) sits on the southwest peninsula of the Peloponnese on the Gulf of Messinia in southern Greece, 56 km (35 mi) by road southwest of Kalamata. The town is nestled on a hill below a Venetian castle and reaches to the edge of the gulf. The town was the seat of the former municipality of Koróni, which has a land area of 105 km2 (41 sq mi) and a population of 4,366 (2011 census). The municipal unit consists of the communities Akritochori, Charakopio, Chrysokellaria, Falanthi, Kaplani, Kompoi, Koroni, Vasilitsi, Vounaria and Yameia. It also includes the uninhabited island of Venétiko.

Methoni, Messenia

Methoni (Greek: Μεθώνη, Italian: Modone, Venetian: Modon) is a village and a former municipality in Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality of Pylos-Nestoras, of which it is a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 97.202 km2. Its name may be derived from Mothona, a mythical rock. It is located 11 km south of Pylos and 11 km west of Foinikounta. The municipal unit of Methoni includes the nearby villages of Grizokampos, Finikouda, Foiniki, Lachanada, Varakes, Kainourgio Chorio, Kamaria, Evangelismos and the Oinnoussai Islands. The islands are Sapientza, Schiza and Santa Marina; they form a natural protection for Methoni harbour. The town is also known by the Italian name Modone, which it was called by the Venetians.

Its economy is dominated by tourism, attracted by its beaches (including Tapia, Kokkinia and Kritika) and its historical castle.


Monemvasia (Greek: Μονεμβασία) is a town and a municipality in Laconia, Greece. The town is located on a small island off the east coast of the Peloponnese. The island is linked to the mainland by a short causeway 200m in length. Its area consists mostly of a large plateau some 100 metres above sea level, up to 300 m wide and 1 km long, the site of a powerful medieval fortress. The town walls and many Byzantine churches remain from the medieval period. The seat of the municipality is the town Molaoi.The town's name derives from two Greek words, mone and emvasia, meaning "single entrance". Its Italian form, Malvasia, gave its name to Malmsey wine. Monemvasia's nickname is the Gibraltar of the East or The Rock.


Nafplio (Greek: Ναύπλιο, Nauplio or Nauplion in Italian and other Western European languages) is a seaport town in the Peloponnese in Greece that has expanded up the hillsides near the north end of the Argolic Gulf. The town was an important seaport held under a succession of royal houses in the Middle Ages as part of the lordship of Argos and Nauplia, held initially by the de la Roche following the Fourth Crusade before coming under the Republic of Venice and, lastly, the Ottoman Empire. The town was the capital of the First Hellenic Republic and of the Kingdom of Greece, from the start of the Greek Revolution in 1821 until 1834. Nafplio is now the capital of the regional unit of Argolis.


Perast (Montenegrin Cyrillic: Пераст) is an old town on the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro. It is situated a few kilometres northwest of Kotor and is noted for its proximity to the islets of St. George and Our Lady of the Rocks.

Provveditore Generale da Mar

The Provveditore Generale da Mar ("Superintendent General of the Sea") was a senior office in the Venetian navy and in the Venetian overseas empire.

The Provveditore Generale da Mar was the supreme commander of the Venetian fleet in peacetime. In wartime, he was replaced by the Capitano Generale da Mar, with more ample powers. The office usually had a tenure of three years, but in wartime, the nomination of a new Capitano Generale da Mar was usually accompanied also by the election of a new Provveditore Generale. From the first half of the 16th century, he also appears as the governor of the Venetian Ionian Islands. Eventually this appointment became regularized, as the Provveditore Generale del Levante; with his seat at Corfu, the Provveditore Generale da Mar was the senior civil and military governor of the Ionian Islands in peacetime.Typically he hoisted his ensign on a bastard galley, although in later times he was allowed to use a sailing ship of the line instead. As a sign of his command, the poop deck of his vessel bore three lanterns.In wartime, due to his absence at the head of the fleet, he was sometimes replaced by a Provveditore Generale delle Tre Isole ("Superintendent general of the Three Islands"), referring to Corfu, Cephalonia, and Zakynthos, renamed to Provveditore Generale delle Quattro Isole after the addition of Lefkada to the Venetian domains in 1684.The office was abolished after the Fall of the Republic of Venice and the start of French rule in the Ionian Islands in June 1797.


Pteleos (Greek: Πτελεός) is a village and a former municipality in the southern part of Magnesia, Thessaly, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality of Almyros, of which it is a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 118.230 km2, and a population of 2,485 in 2011.The area has been populated already since the prehistoric times; the ancient city of Pteleon is mentioned in Homer's Iliad, and several tombs from the Mycenean period survive between Pteleos and Agioi Theodoroi.

The current settlement lies to the north and land-inward of the ancient and medieval settlements in the area. An ancient settlement, which survived until early Byzantine times, was located on the southern coast of the Bay of Pteleos near the modern village of Achilleion, where a mosaic floor and remains of two early Christian basilicas have been found. The medieval settlement was located on the northern part of the Bay, near the modern village of Pigadi, and is attested for the first time in 1192, when "wine from Pteleos" (οἶνος Πτελεατικός) is mentioned as being traded in Constantinople.After the Fourth Crusade (1204), the area passed under the control of the Frankish Kingdom of Thessalonica, but in 1218 it was recovered by the Despotate of Epirus. Epirote rule continued until it was occupied by the Empire of Nicaea (and after 1261 by the restored Byzantine Empire) following the Battle of Pelagonia, but it probably was more often under the control or influence of the autonomous Greek rulers of Neopatras. When the Catalans occupied Neopatras in 1319, in 1322 the castrum Phtelei was taken over by the Republic of Venice, with the agreement of the Byzantines and the inhabitants. The Republic installed a rector (governor) and a castellan, and administered the fortress as part of its colony of Negroponte. In 1350 it was plundered by the Catalans and their Albanian allies, but remained in Venetian hands as an isolated outpost on the mainland until 1470, when it was surrendered to the Ottoman Empire following the loss of Negroponte. Its inhabitants were deported to repopulate Constantinople. Parts of the ruined medieval fortress survive to this day, southwest of Pigadi: a square donjon, a cistern, foundations of houses and a town wall, and the so-called Alatopyrgos ("salt tower"), a watchtower on the coast.

Sati (castle)

Sati (Serbian Cyrillic: Шати, Latin: Satti, Albanian: Shati) was a medieval fortified town near Shkodër in contemporary Albania. Between 1395 and 1459, it passed through the control of the Venetian Republic, the Dukagjini family, the Ottoman Empire, and Skanderbeg, who razed it sometime after 1459.

Savi agli Ordini

The Savi[i] agli Ordini or Savi ai Ordini ("Sages on the Orders") were senior magistrates of the Republic of Venice, charged with supervision of maritime matters, including commerce, the Venetian navy and the Republic's oversees colonies (Stato da Màr).The five Savi agli Ordini were the earliest board of experts (savi, "sages") to be established to help the leadership of the Venetian Republic—the Signoria of Venice—prepare legislation for submission to the Venetian Senate, the Council of the Forty, or the Great Council. As such, along with the other boards of savi established in the 14th/15th centuries, they sat on the Full College (Pien Collegio), the Republic's effective cabinet.They were originally elected every November for a term of a month, simply to formulate commercial policy—on the size and destination of the trade convoys that sailed each spring—and naval policy—the outfitting of the "guard fleet", intended for operations in the Adriatic Sea, the Aegean Sea, and the Eastern Mediterranean. By c. 1330 the Savi agli Ordini had become a fixture of the government, and their terms of office were extended to cover an entire year. In the 15th century, as with other higher magistracies of Venice, restrictions were placed on the eligibility to the office: the members were elected from the Senate, served a term of six months, beginning on 1 April or 1 October, and could not be re-elected to the same office for six months thereafter. In the 15th century their influence was restricted to maritime affairs, and the office became a sort of training position, usually given to younger and less experienced patricians than those chosen for the other boards of savi; they sat in a lower place in the hall where the Full College's sessions took place, and when the heads of the Council of Ten entered the chamber, they had to depart it. Their significance declined even further after the end of the disastrous Second Ottoman–Venetian War in 1503. Like all savi, the office did not carry a salary, but could be held in tandem with other public offices.


Sudak (Ukrainian: Судак; Russian: Судак; Crimean Tatar: Sudaq; Greek: Σουγδαία; sometimes spelled Sudac or Sudagh) is a town, multiple former Eastern Orthodox bishopric and double Latin Catholic titular see. It is of regional significance in Crimea, a territory recognized by most countries as part of Ukraine but annexed by Russia as the Republic of Crimea. Sudak serves as the administrative center of Sudak Municipality, one of the regions Crimea is divided into. It is situated 57 km (35 mi) to the west of Feodosia (the nearest railway station) and 104 km (65 mi) to the east of Simferopol, the republic's capital. Population: 16,492 (2014 Census).A city of antiquity, today it is a popular resort, best known for its Genoese fortress, the best preserved on the northern shore of the Black Sea.


Tanais (Greek: Τάναϊς Tánaïs; Russian: Танаис) was an ancient Greek city in the Don river delta, called the Maeotian marshes in classical antiquity. It was a bishopric as Tana and remains a Latin Catholic titular see as Tanais.


Tinos (Greek: Τήνος [ˈtinos]) is a Greek island situated in the Aegean Sea. It is located in the Cyclades archipelago. In antiquity, Tinos was also known as Ophiussa (from ophis, Greek for snake) and Hydroessa (from hydor, Greek for water). The closest islands are Andros, Delos, and Mykonos. It has a land area of 194.464 square kilometres (75.083 sq mi) and a 2011 census population of 8,636 inhabitants.

Tinos is famous amongst Greeks for the Church of Panagia Evangelistria, its 80 or so windmills, about 1000 artistic dovecotes, 50 active villages and its Venetian fortifications at the mountain, Exomvourgo. On Tinos, both Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic populations co-exist, and the island is also well known for its famous sculptors and painters, such as Nikolaos Gysis, Yannoulis Chalepas and Nikiforos Lytras.

The island is located near the geographical center of the Cyclades island complex, and because of the Panagia Evangelistria church, with its reputedly miraculous icon of Virgin Mary that it holds, Tinos is also the center of a yearly pilgrimage that takes place on the date of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary (15 August, "Dekapentavgoustos" in Greek). This is perhaps the most notable and still active yearly pilgrimage in the region of the eastern Mediterranean. Many pilgrims make their way the 800 metres (2,600 feet) from the ferry wharf to the church on their hands and knees as sign of devotion.

Venetian Albania

Venetian Albania (Italian: Albania Veneta) was the official term for several possessions of the Republic of Venice in the southeastern Adriatic, encompassing coastal territories in modern northern Albania and southern Montenegro. Several major territorial changes occurred during the Venetian rule in those regions, starting from 1392, and lasting until 1797. By the end of the 15th century, the main possessions in northern Albania had been lost to the expansion of the Ottoman Empire. In spite of that, Venetians did not want to renounce their formal claims to the Albanian coast, and the term Venetian Albania was officially kept in use, designating the remaining Venetian possessions in the coastal regions of modern Montenegro, centered around the Bay of Kotor. Those regions remained under Venetian rule until the fall of the Republic in 1797. By the Treaty of Campo Formio, the region was transferred to the Habsburg Monarchy.

Venetian Cyprus

The island of Cyprus was an overseas possession of the Republic of Venice from 1489, when the independent Kingdom of Cyprus ended, until 1570–71, when the island was conquered by the Ottoman Empire.

Venetian rule in the Ionian Islands

The Ionian Islands were an overseas possession of the Republic of Venice from the mid-14th century until the late 18th century. The conquest of the islands took place gradually. The first to be acquired was Cythera and the neighboring islet of Anticythera, indirectly in 1238 and directly after 1363. In 1386, Corfu voluntarily became part of Venice's colonies. Following a century, Venice captured Zante in 1485, Cephalonia in 1500 and Ithaca in 1503. The conquest was completed in 1718 with the capture of Lefkada. Each of the islands remained part of the Venetian Stato da Màr until Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the Republic of Venice in 1797, annexing Corfu. The Ionian Islands are situated in the Ionian Sea, off the west coast of Greece. Cythera, the southernmost, is just off the southern tip of the Peloponnese and Corfu, the northernmost, is located at the entrance of the Adriatic Sea. In modern Greek, the period of Venetian rule over Greek territory is known as Venetokratia or Enetokratia (Greek: Βενετοκρατία or Ενετοκρατία) and literally means "rule of the Venetians". It is believed that the Venetian period on the Ionian Islands was agreeable, especially compared with the coinciding Tourkokratia — Turkish rule over the remainder of present-day Greece.The governor of the Ionian Islands during the Venetian period was the Provveditore generale da Mar, who resided on Corfu. Additionally, each island's authorities were divided into the Venetian and the domestic authorities. The economy of the islands was based on exporting local goods, primarily raisins, olive oil and wine, whereas Venetian lira, the currency of Venice, was also the currency of the islands. Some features of the culture of Venice were incorporated in the culture of the Ionian Islands, thus influencing to this day local music, cuisine and language. The Italian language, for instance, which was introduced on the islands as the official language and was adopted by the upper class, is still popular today throughout the islands.

Stato da Màr of the Republic of Venice
Adriatic Sea
Ionian Islands
and dependencies
Mainland Greece
Aegean Islands
Related articles
Frankokratia (1204–1797)
Major centres
States and territories
Cultural impact

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