Venetian-Genoese Wars (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: Control of trade routes and ports in the eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea. Result: Though neither side clearly defeated the other, Venice proved more resilient and powerful, while Genoa never recovered.
Both Venice and Genoa had long depended on sea trade for even basic necessities. After the First Crusade, many eastern Mediterranean ports with their valuable luxury wares were opened to ships from both cities. Constantinople and the Black Sea beyond were also prized destinations and, increasingly, the sites of Italian merchant communities. Rivalry was fierce, and when Venice gained enormous trading privileges in Constantinople and the Holy Roman Empire after the Fourth Crusade, the Genoese found themselves at a disadvantage. Although mutual piracy was common, open war did not break out until 1255. In the city of Acre, a Venetian killed a Genoese, and the Genoese community sacked the Venetian quarter.
A Venetian war fleet under Lorenzo Tiepolo entered Acre’s harbor on June 23-24, 1257, and seized or destroyed all Genoese ships. The following year, the Genoese returned with fifty-four vessels against a slightly smaller Venetian fleet and again were beaten, losing twenty-five galleys and some 1,700 men. The Genoese inhabitants were expelled.
In 1261, Genoa allied with Byzantine emperor Michael IX Palaeologus in the Treaty of...
(The entire section is 1006 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!