Venice was considered the mistress of the Adriatic Sea, and each of its banks, which is the reason of her increased dominance in the Adriatic Sea, and since that time Venice fought desperately for every inch of the coast with all those who threatened its supremacy. Venetian policy towards the southern Adriatic Sea in the late Middle Ages and during the early new century is not completely lighted although significant sections were processed by the Venetian authorities in this area. Our work represents prepared text of thesis defended at the Department of History of the Faculty of Philosophy in Priština, 27th December 2001. Commission for the defense of the thesis was consisted of: Prof. Dr Dragi Maliković – mentor, prof. Dr Momir Jović and Doc. Dr Milenko Pekić. The paper discusses the politics of Venice in the southern Adriatic Sea in the aftermath of the Zadar Peace, from the second half of the fourteenth century to the Cyprus war in the second half of the sixteenth century when Venice was pushed out from a significant part of the southern Adriatic. It was a period in which Venetian government established the Zeta and Skadar coastal areas, and later weakens the Venetian influence in the territory under the pressure from the Turks in the second half of the sixteenth century. The area, covered by this paper, is the territory of the southern Adriatic coast, Boka Kotorska, Budva, Paštrovići, Bar i Ulcinj. It was also discussed about the policy of Venice towards the hinterland of the southern Adriatic, estates of Balšić and Skadar region. For most of this area, in that time was used the name “Venetian Albania.” It was actually an administrative term jurisdiction of a Venetian providur, whose headquarters were initially in Drač, Skadar, Ulcinj and when these towns fell under the Turkish authority, finally, in Kotor. As the Venetian authority moved in the region of south Adriatic, so did this term, conquering this area [23, 239-241].
One of the most significant works, which investigates this area from the end of the fifteenth till the end of the sixteenth century, is written by Oliver Schmitt .
In south slavic historiography, several historians devoted their researches to this question, which resulted with lightening specific issues from the history of Venetian government in the southern Adriatic, in the mentioned period [1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23]. After the completion of our work, from the press came out significant monographies and collection of documents which highlight important chapters of the Venetian era of region above [20, 21, 32]. Venice was trying to impose its domination in the Adriatic since the XII century. Mr. Novak explains that policy as follows:
In the thirteenth and fourtheenth century, in the atmosphere of its development, Venice started observing the Adriatic in a diffrent manner. Previously, the Adriatic was its sphere of influence, from the thirteenth century develops ideology on which it represents the main mistress of the Adriatic [26, 97].
Her struggle for supremacy, in the Adriatic, lasted until fifteenth century when Venetians took power over the eastern coast of the Adriatic. With a peace treaty in Zadar in 1358, the republic had to give up Dalmatia, it continued to lead policy towards the eastern Adriatic coast. This policy is particularly manifested in the second half of the fourteenth century, when Venice reinforces its presence in the southern Adriatic. Weakening of Serbian state was in favor of Venetians. It means that one of their competitor of the east coast has gone. Although it has successfully completed a war with Genoa, by making the peace treaty of Turin 1381st years, Venice, again, had to give up the Adriatic coast from Kvarner to Drač. However, it will not prevent the Venetians to achieve their goals of Zeta and Skadar coastal areas. In 1392 the republic takes over in Drač and next year in 1393 in Lješ. The agreement between Đurđe II Stracimirović and Venetians, in 1396, let them take over Skadar, Saint Srđ, Drivast and Danj. Venice took advantage of such situation in Dalmatia and in 1409 from Ladislav of Naples bought his rights over Dalmatia, and soon in 1420 Venice established its authority in Kotor. Venice occupied Ulcinj in 1423, Budva in 1442, and Bar in 1443, which means it ruled along the coast from Kotor to Bojana. In te second half of the fifteenth century the Turks treatened the Venetian possessions on the coast of Zeta and Skadar area. In the wars, led with the Turks, Venice lost Ulcinj and Bar in 1471, and also Skadar and Albania in 1479.
The consequences of geographic discoveries have begun to feel in the mid-sixteenth century in Venetian economy. At the same time, the Venetian possessions were exposed to constant pressure from the Turks. Venice stoped with its politics of conquest, and attempted to preserve previously acquired territories. In the war with Turkey in 1537-1540, which ended with failure, Venice was even more eroded in the southern Adriatic. The second war against Turkey, in 1570-1573, have had a worse outcome for the Republic, the Montenegrin coast was devastated, and cities of Ulcinj and Bar were lost. Since Turkey has achieved dominance in Levant, Venice has been keeping its strategic position on the Adriatic. It was trying to keep its last stronghold of the sea and dominate within this area in political and economical way.
1. Atitude of Venice towards the south Adriatic after Peace Treaty in Zadar
In fourteen century, Venice was considered the mistress of the Adriatic Sea, and pretend to contrive a monopoly in trade and eliminates all the competitors in this region. There was a belief that the power over the Adriatic Sea is necessary for the life of Venice. So the Adriatic Sea was also called the Venetian Bay. The east coast of the Adriatic was of great importance to the Venetians, so they were looking for a way to consolidate in the territory. The events in the second half of the sixteenth century were not in their favor. The war between Venice and Hungarian king Louis I (1342-1382) was ended by the Treaty of Zadar 18th February 1358. Venice has lost all towns and islands, from half of the Kvarner to the city of Durrës [12, 315-320, 31, 12].
It was a huge failure of Venetian politics. According to the chronicler Pacific from the seventeenth century, the loss of Dalmatia was the main political failure of the Doge Giovanni Delfino (1356-1361). He was fifty-sixth Doge of Venice and it is recorded that he was buried in the Basilica of St. John and Paul in Venice [27, 75-76].
These adverse circumstances did not daunt Venice. It didn’t want to give up the east coast of the Adriatic. In the war, that ended badly for Venice, it didn’t have major losses and caravan links with the Serbian mining centers were unbroken. Trade links with the interior of Serbian state had great significance for Venice, because it wanted to strengthen the Zeta coast. Although the international situation did not alow, Venice continued to interfere in the events on the east coast of the Adriatic, and to work on affirmation [6, 45].
Venetians have interfered in the conflict that broke out in 1361 between Vojislav Vojinović and Dubrovnik. Vojislav Vojinović, at the time of the Serbian emperor Uroš V (1355-1371), was a prince of Hum and one of the most influential regional warlords in the Serbian kingdom. His area encompassed the area from the hinterland of Dubrovnik to Kosovo, inside the Serbian state [24, 36-38]. On the side of Vojislav Vojinović was Kotor, whose position became difficult when the citizens made blockade on the city. Venice inervened, considering that it is her right to protect the free and unobstructed navigation of the Adriatic Sea. Venetians were called to their huge costs, submitted by keeping armed galleys for the protection of traders. Retention of the Venetian ship represented insult to Venice, which, after displacement from the eastern Adriatic was sensitive to its own prestige. Soon after this incident, the Venetians revenged and seized a boat from Dubrovnik [9, 13].
It was in the interes of the Republic to ease the blockade of Kotor, and trade was the reason. This was succeeded, and it was allowed the passage of foreign ships that did not transport salt, ingredients or weapons for obsessed Kotorans. As a mediator in this conflict, was sent Venetian representative Paolo Quirinus. In the negotiations was included the Serbian emperor Uroš (1355-1371), and so he published the memorandum, 22th August 1362 in Onogost, by which peace was established [9, 15].
From this peace the Venetians and Vojislav went out as allies, and in the same year Vojislav received Venetian citizenship. It can be seen from the peace agreement that the Serbian state was in decay, and Serbian emperor barely managed to hold as a mediator between warring parties. In 1362, Venice also gave its citizenship to Balšić, who were as important as Vojislav Vojinović, because the caravan routes to the interior of Serbia went through their territories [6, 47-49].
It can be seen from the event in 1364 that Venice wanted to control the southern Adriatic. Đurađ Balšić has bought a galley in Dalmatia and southern Italy. Površko, the lord of Budva had had on disposal one boat and other cities were easily able to arm their merchant ships. There was an incident between Kotor and Budva, and in autumn in 1364 boats of Kotor were found under the walls of Budva. This chaotic situation worried Venice. Galleys in the Adriatic Sea were ordered to warn armed ships to retreat, and if they don’t accept that, they will catch them as pirates and enemies [9, 19].
Serbian emperor Uroš raised Vukašin Mrnjavčević (1365-1371), in 1365 to the royal rank and took him to his co-ruler. In general, the reform of the Serbian Empire in 1365 represents a further loss of power and inflence of emperor Uroš. Normally, it reflected the political situation in the coastal area. Next year, Balšić beseiged Kotor. The attack on the city disturbed a normal economic life. Looking at the conflict, the Venetians took into consideration the trade of Kotor. They felt that the Kotor should be protected, otherwise, all commertial traffic will be transferred to Dubrovnik. Đurađ Balšić, 31st July 1368, asked the Venetian government to be allowed to keep four armed ships as a defend against the enemies. Venice replied that he must obtain authorization from the Serbian emperor, his supreme master. When the Venetian Paolo Kvirin addressed Serbian court, he received a negative answer because Đurađ Balšić has departed from its overlord. Đurađ armed his ships of without a permission, and after that 17th March 1369 Venice ordered to treat these ships in a way they treated pirates. Venice represented the madiator between Balšić and Kotor, so the conflict ended in 1369. Venetian positions in the southern Adriatic weakened when Kotor subservient to the protection of the Hungarian king, in 1371. Final decline of Serbian Empire is considered as a loss of the supreme master by the people of Kotor so they decided to make this move. This procedure represented a political defeat for Venice. The Venetians, however, did not stop to escort their politics on eastern Adriatic. Deterioration of the Serbian state and the death of emperor Uroš turned to be a good thing for Venice, because it meant that one rival disappeared in the southern Adriatic. Also, the Republic enhanced its influence in this region when the Bosnian king Tvrtko (1353-1377) pushed Serbia back to the Adriatic coast. Venetians maintained a good relationship with Tvrtko. In the spring 1378 after death of Đurađ Balšić, Tvrtko took all the areas between Kotor and Dubrovnik. This was on Venice’s favor because all transport links with the interior of that time were under Bosnian control [6, 49-53].
In 1378, the great war broke out between Venice and Genoa, the reason was island Tenedos and was soon transferred to the Adriatic. In the war, Hungary and Genoa became allies, so that the cities on the east coast of the Adriatic came under the fire of Venice [15, 266-269]. On 13th August 1378 during this conflict, the Venetian fleet occupied Kotor which was of great strategic importance to Venice [9, 37]. However, the Venetians were left in Kotor just for three years. The peace treaty expressly pointed out that Hungary should restore fortress and the city of Kotor. With a treaty in Turin in 1381[15, 274], and in favor of Hungary, Venice had to give up the Adriatic coast again, from Kvarner to Drač, and agree to pay annual tribute, which is seven thousand of ducats. Although financially exhausted, the Republic found the strength to free itself from imposed obligations and to make new conquests [34, 30].
2. The Pressure of Venice on Balšić
The deputy of Balšić, who sought help from the Republic when the Turks threaten their lands, arrived in Venice in the summer 1385. Đurađ the second (1385-1403), lord of Zeta, asked four galleys from the Republic, which he would used four months for the defense of his southern territory. Before knowing the answer from Venetian Senate, Balša was killed in battle with the Turks, and after his death Karlo Topija took power in Durrës and enabled the Venetians to fortify the city. Đurađ II Stracimirović Balšić had his center in Ulcinj where had lived many Venetians merchants, and Venice had its consul there. At the request of Đurađ’s deputies, Venetian Senate approved Đurađ in 1389 to keep two armed brigantines [28, 219-222].
The incident between Venice and Đurađ the second broke out in 1390 when his main supervisor Philip Bareli went to the prison. He was accused of committing crimes against the master’s authority. The Venetians sent messengers and tried to rescue their citizen but Đurađ did not acquire their requirements [28, 84].
In October 1392, Venetians took all the power in Drač, trying to maintain good relations with Radič Crnojević, lord of Upper Zeta, who in the absence of Đurađ Stracimirović took Budva, territories around the Kotor, and Lješ. In 30th November 1392, the Republic gave its citizenship to Radič Crnojević when his authorized sworn allegiance. The Venetians didn’t take Lješ which was offered then by Radič Crnojević, but they took it last year in 1393 from Dukađin. The Venetians refused the offer from Đurađ Stracimirović, early in 1394, when he offered them all of his territories which were now under the Turkish authority. Next year Đurađ the second gets Venetian citizenship and in October 1395 he managed to regain his territories from the Turks and offer them back to Venice [28, 230-236].
The Venetian senate has long been debated on taking possession of Đurađ, until 1396 when the agreement was signed. Venice took over Skadar, St. Srđ, Skadar Lake and the islands in it, the territory of which the left side of the river Bojana is provided down to the sea, Drivast and Danj. Đurađ II kept for himself Ulcinj and Bar with the surroundings. How important this agreement was for Venice, it can be seen from the decision to award Đurađ and his descendants with the Venetian nobility, as well as licenses to serve with the flag of St. Marko [28, 236-238].
In January 1396, immediately after a serious siege which was conducted by Radič Crnojević, Venice was offered the city by Kotor. The reason for this policy was that the citizens of Kotor thought it would be difficult to maintain their own independence. However, Venice couldn’t do a thing because of the peace treaty in Turin, where it gave up the eastern coast, and Kotor was mentioned with a special attention [22, 9].
The entire trading operations in the area of Bojana and Drač, were taken under the monopolistic policy of its metropolis by Venetian officials. It was very hard for local people to accept this policy, harder than obligations they had before the Venetian determination in these areas. The Venetians demanded that grain is exported only to Venice or to the cities under the Venetian authority. There was a square of salt in the St. Srđ, supplied for the residents of Zeta’s coast, but it was controlled by the Venetians. Nevertheless, soon the whole Zeta area will be freed from the Venetian authority. Under the order of Durađ II Stracimirović, people robbed Venetian salt depots at St. Srđ, and he sold it later at the surrounding areas. Đurađ did not respond to the protest of Venetians. They considered him responsible for the robbery of their stocks of salt, but didn’t want open conflict with him. In February 1401, the Senat ordered suspension of his annual payments from Skadar provision. They wanted him to indemnify the damage and then to close this dispute. The agreement came in the spring in 1402 when Đurađ’s representative agreed to keep the provision from Đurađ which was 1500 dukats for 3.000 sacks of salt, because the Venetians calculated exactly how much they had been robbed by his people [28, 248-251].
After the agreement, Venice renewed the Skadar area, and the Turks in that time did not bother. Venice policy was to maintain good relations with the local nobility, and thus arround its territory to create some safety belt. On the other side, Kotor was subjected to new pressures. There was a powerful coalition of the Hungarian king Sigismund (1387-1437), Despot Stefan Lazarević (1389-1402), Balšić and Dubrovnik. Dubrovnikans offered Kotor municipality under the condition that the union undertake to pay annual tribute of 1000 ducats to Balšić not to Sandalj Hranić (1392-1435), great Duke of Hum. This offer did not work and the deputy of Kotor 19th December in 1404 offered the city to Venetians. The Senate refused to accept the authority of Kotor although it was noticable benevolent attitude of Venice towards the request of Kotor, wishing that the offerings keep coming because the changes of international situation were expected in a short time [22, 9].
Strenghtening the Area of Skadar and Bojana had great significance for Venice. The main goal of the Venetians was the eastern coast, but the provisions of the peace in Turin and the international situation did not allow to achieve that goal. Soon things will change, and Venice will rule, in the first half of the fifteenth century, the entire southern Adriatic coast. The population in the area of Skadar was distressed by the Venetian government for various abuses. Venetians in the coastal areas also interfered vassals of Balšić in everyday commerce. The Orthodox Church has also been threatened, so it all poured into a general dissatisfaction with the Venetian authorities. Hostile attitude towards Venice and took a successor Durađ II Stracimirović, Balša III (1403-1421), and his mother Jelena. Venice was concerned about this situation and the hostile attitude of Balšić, fearing that Despot Stefan Lazarevic would also in a possible conflict gave support to his sister Jelena [28, 253-254].
Multi-year war between Venice and Balšić began in January 1405. Balša III has taken possessions of most of the Venetian cities, while the Venetians were busy warring against Padua, so they could not effectively respond. For these reasons, they rejected the new offer of Kotor for the seizure of power in the city, beginning with April in 1405 [22, 9].
The Captain of the Adriatic Sea, Marin Karavelo, was sent to help Venetian crews, especially in Skadar. He was supposed to lead the negotiations with Balšić, and in case of failure was tasked to destroy Ulcinj, Bar, and Budva in return. Karavelo was able to restore the Venetian government, in the middle of June, and then he entered into negotiations with the population of Ulcinj, Bar, and Budva. He promised to rid them of all obligations for the next three years, and will return lands to all those from whom it had been taken by the previous master. So he managed to win municipal councils in Ulcinj, Bar, and Budva, and convinced them to recognize the authority of the Republic, and Venetians had returned to Drivast soon .
At first thought, the Senate considered that entering these cities represents just temporary measure of pressure on Balšić. But they were intransigent. Their supporters succeeded in resisting the Venetians at every turn in Ulcinj, Bar, and Budva. The Venetians wanted the agreement, and when it did not happen they have elected the first Duke and Captain, in September 1405, and also one executive of Bar and Budva. After that, Venice had no intention to leave the occupied coastal cities. The Republic also didn’t care for Hungarian objection, considering that the time has come to leave all the obligations imposed by the agreement of Turin [22, 9].
Overpowered in the fight, Balša III addressed the Sultan Suleiman (1402-1411) for help, and Vuk Lazarević also helped him. In this war, there were no clear boundaries and decisive battles. When Balša III started with negotiations, his uncle Despot Stefan interfered. Serbian Despot was first brokered in May 1406, and then also in 1407. The Venetians were offering only Budva, and the conflict continued. To new negotiations, between Venice and Balšić, came in early June in 1408. Balšić agreed to cede Bar and Ulcinj to Venice, but they wanted back Budva with Luštica, saline and Paštrović. Mutual distrust is the cause of failure to agree. Open fights replaced the negotiations. Venice is sought to be closer with the Turks in that time, and ask them to look the way for the peaceful enjoyment in the possessions of Zeta and northern Albania. This changed the balance of power on the battlefield [28, 259-260].
At the beginning of the 1409, representatives of Kotor have renewed their proposal to put the city under the suzerainty of Venice. The occasion was an agreement between the Venetians and Balša in 1408. They feared from the pressure of Balša III, who was supposed to take the Lustica Kotor has at that time belonged to Bosnia, and Venice could count on the resistance on that side. Since the Republic was in conflict with Balša III new conflicts were not required, and the offer was not accepted [22, 10].
In June 1409, Venice made peace with the Sultan Suleiman. The Venetians agreed to pay tribute to sultan, and in turn were acknowledge to them all their possessions which they held in Zeta and northern Albania [28, 261-262].
Strengthening the reputation of Venice and its position in the negotiations has contributed one international event. Ladislav of Naples has sold after lengthy negotiations on July 7th 1409, about 100,000 ducats Zadar, Split, Vrana, Pag Island and all of its rights on Dalmatia to Venice. The old Venetian desire to rule the eastern shores of the Adriatic Sea has gained a legal basis [25, 143].
Venice has now manifested their intention to Kotor. This is evident from the responses to bids for submission of Kotor in 1410. By purchasing Dalmatia stopped to exist the peace clause in Torin. Therefore, this time it is said in response that there is a desire to take over the city. The takeover did not happen, and as the cause of the alleged takeover procedures Sibenik. The following talks from the 1411., comes up to first disagreement between Venice and Kotor. Disagreements were financial problems. Venetians had access to finance of Kotor, and it is stated that revenues were: 11,480, and expenses 2620 perpers. Net income was 2620 perpers, or slightly more than 1,000 ducats, not including penalties. Venice has asked that Kotor pays to rector 1000 ducats, except in time of war, and it would support Kotor in an effort to no longer pay Balsa III at 1,000 ducats a year for land and vineyards around the city. Because the parties could not agree on the terms of surrender of the city, negotiations collapsed [22, 10-11].
Venice’s attempt to strengthen the eastern Adriatic coast was met with fierce opposition of Hungary. At the end of the 1411, Sandalj Hranic married Jelena Balšic, mother of Balša III. This expanded the circle of Republic’s opponents. Balsa has received strong support from his stepfather. In the autumn 1411, The King Sigismund went to war against Venice, which encouraged them for war in Zeta. Balša has extensive Bar in April 1412. , and soon the city fell, and Balša drew Balsa Venetian merchants and fueled his subjects. Ulcinj was also in a difficult situation, there people were dying of hunger. In Venice in 1412, emerged as an intermediary in negotiations the people of Sandalj with Balša’s proxy. The text of the contract was drawn up on November 26th 1412. in the form of doge’s letter to Sandalj, who took responsibility for its execution. Venetians and Balsa kept possessions they had before the war. So Venice lost Ulcinj, Bar, and Budva. And for cities which had given from Djuradj II was required to pay a commission to Balsa of 1.000 ducats a year [28, 264-266].
3. Establishing the venetian authorities in Kotor and the War with the Serbian Lands
Even during the conflict between Venice and Balša III Sandalj Hranic has ravaged the environment of Kotor but without naval forces he could not occupy the town itself. Soon Balša joined the attack on Kotor. The Venetians showed towards the city a benevolent attitude, because they saw the people of Kotor as future subjects. Busy with Bosnian conflict Sandalj stopped with actions, so the conflict was continued by Balša.During these pressures, the citizens of Kotor again turned to Venice, in 1414, but the Republic on June 5th 1414, refused to take over the city [22, 13].
The conflicts with the Turks, didn’t allow the Venetians to confront decisively Balsa III. The Venetians were threatened by the Turks in the area of Skadar. So, the prince of Skadar in 1415, paid the Turks a provision of 300 ducats in order the truce last until 1416. With Balsa misunderstanding and intolerance did not stop. The question was over the issue of compensation of confiscated goods during the war, as well as the issue of payment of commission of Skadar which was paid to Balša irregularly. When at the mouth of Bojana a Venetian ship was robed in 1417. , and its commander was killed, the Venetians knew that was did by Balša’s people. In March of 1419, Balša went in the attack, took the part of Skadar District, and then he put under siege Drivast. Venetians were unable to send a higher power to Zeta because they fought in Italy and Dalmatia. It was only in May of 1419, they sent 300 pedestrians and 60 horsemen, who the captain of the Adriatic Sea in the galleys moved to Bojana. Balša in May of 1419, took Drivast, Venetians retreated to the fortress for the defense. The Senate, in June of 1419, discussed the possibility of Balša’s destroy, and blackmailed his head at 8.000 ducats. Turks offered to the Republic 5000 ducats if they can expel Balša and cede his possessions [28, 267-272].
In late August of 1419, Balsa took the fortress Drivast, and closed Bojana. Minister of Kotor, in great secrecy in July of 1419, renewed bid for the submission of the city to the Venetians. He promised that citizens of Kotor will contribute the destruction of Balša III. The Senate did not accept the offer but said Kotorans to persevere in their faith [11, 163].
At the end of 1419, Balša was seriously ill; Sandalj Hranic was occupied with conflicts in Bosnia, while the Hungarian king lost on the battlefield. For Venice the foreign-political conditions for the takeover of Kotor were favorable. Kotor in this offer was very determined, and in the case of a negative response openly threatened the Republic with other political solutions. That is why Anthony Pukci chancellor of the city, was authorized to negotiate a statement that Kotor in this position will not be staying. At the meeting on March 8th Pukci presented to Seignitory the requirements of Kotor addressed to Venice. On March 15th, 1420, it was composed a written agreement of the transfer of Kotor to Venice. The next day, March 16th Senate decides to send in Kotor a notary in order to ratify the contract, receive the oath of fidelity and raising the flag of St. Mark. The same day it was elected notary Ivan Luksia. Luksia immediately went on the road; on March 31th he was received by Prince of Kotor and judges. They said that the next day will be convened the Grand Chamber [22, 15].
For a discussion of the Venetian document brought from Venice by Pukci an expanded Secret Chamber was formed. It rejected the document in its original form, but after the removal of the disputed spotes document was adopted on May 13th 1420. From that moment on, it started the legal Venetian rule of Kotor. Ceremony public takeover of Kotor performed on July 25th 1420. before the commander of the Adriatic Peter Loredan. Establishing the Venetian authorities in Kotor was made during the administration of sixty second second Doge Thomas Mocenigo (1413-1423) [27, 79].
Venice, on 19 October 1420, informed people of Kotor that prince of Kotor will be chosen the Venetian Council in two years, with an annual salary of 600 ducats. Duke was the most important factor of Venetian rule in Kotor. In the meantime, it lasted second war of Skadar. With takeover of the rule in Kotor Venetian expansion in the Coast was not completed. Adriatic Sea Captain Peter Loredan took the same year 1420. Budva, and handed over to the administration of Kotor. Therefore, Budva also had to join the Venetians in the fight against Balsa III. In the autumn of 1420, Venice took Svetomiholjska Metohija in Lustic [22, 16].
At the beginning of the 1421, it felt the last twitches of Balša’s forces on Zeta coast. Aware that he is approaching the end Balsa III went to Serbia to his uncle Stefan Lazarevic. Before his death, he left his territory and all of its rights conveyed to him. Soon after that, Balša died on April 28th 1421. The Venetians were soon to find out Balša’s death. In the general confusion that emerged they took all his possessions. Appointees of Drivast surrendered city on May 10th 1421. Representatives of the city of Ulcinj surrendered on May 15th 1421, the Venetians have confirmed to them all the provisions of the delivery of the city in 1405. In 1421, to the Venetians had surrendered Bar, so that in the hands of Venice found the entire coast of Zeta and the Republic thought the war was over. Occupied cities had great significance for Venice, and she decided to defend them by all means. Sandalj Hranic demanded from Venice that Bar and Budva and deliver to him, but he was rebuffed. On Zeta coast there were these two masters, Venetians and Stefan Lazarevic. Venice was convenient situation created by the occupation of Ulcinj, Bar and Drivast. Therefore, Venetians have easily achieved this, because the first few months after the Balsa’s death despot has not undertaken actions. He arrived at Coast in August 1421. First he tried to resolve the dispute through negotiations that have failed. After that he took Drivast and set a camp in the vicinity of Bar. Venetians panicked and have started negotiations, but have not indulged in the key issues of the conflict. Stefan boredom this and in November 1421, he took Bar [28, 273-274].
Venice signed a peace with despot for six months after this. In the negotiations, that in early April 1422 were conducted in Venice, the Venetians demanded the return of all properties that despot took in 1421. On the other side despot demanded that all properties return to him including Skadar. Although these negotiations started going well, they finally failed. During the truce Venetians were preparing for defense. They transported troops, weapons and food to Skadar, because they thought he would be the target of attacks of the despot however, despot’s people blocked Bojana and prevent further supply of Skadar [5, 22].
Then despot Stefan besieged Scadar, which was in a very difficult position. However, the war luck has served the Venetians who had taken the important fortress of St. Srđ, which was the cause of the failure of the siege of Scadar. The Venetians knew that despot has not suffered heavy losses and were not in the mood for further military conflicts. With the help of money and promises, Venice began to disruptive the despot’s supporters. Venetians were confiscating and property from Ulcinj citizens who approached the despot, and this prevented them to trade normal. Being afraid of the Turks Pastrovici accepted the authority of Venice on the galley of the Venetian sea captain Francesco Bemba on April 4th 1423 [32, 45].
To Paštrovići was guaranteed the government and the borders, and they were given a promise to remain under Venetian authority even in the case if peace with the despot is concluded [3, 156-157].
Then Despot Stefan left all the care of Zeta to Djuradj Brankovic (1427-1456), probably because his countries were bordering with former possesions of Balsic. In the summer of 1423, Djuradj came with 8.000 horsemen under Skadar. His army had success along the Bojana also. She closed firth with the chains and blocked the Venetian ships, and Skadar cut off from the sea. The Venetians tried to break these chains, but have failed and suffered great losses [11, 345-346].
In that situation, Venice had to give up. The negotiations started on August 12th 1423, at St. Srđ. On the side of Venice were Francesco Bembo and six Venetian merchants, and with Djuradj were five of his dukes. With this agreement, the Venetians retained Kotor, Ulcinj and Skadar, and despot retained Drivast and Bar. Venice was supposed to hand over Budva with the salterns in Grbaljsko field which was previously owned by Balsa. It remained Venetians and despot to subsequently agree over the Pastrovic. It was agreed that both sides demolish fortifications along the Bojana River, which was recognized to the Venetians as a free waterway. Some contentious issues remained unresolved, but hostilities between the Venetians and despot stoped [17, 323].
Although there was no war, the situation in Zeta was tense because the contract from 1423, did not resolve all outstanding issues. Venice has maintained the Pastrovici and despot aslo wanted them. Disputed area was also around Skadar, Lustic, salterns in Grbaljsko field and Ratacka abbey. In the summer of 1425, the mission of despot Stefan arrived in Venice. The Venetians refused the surrender of Pastrovic, and they could not agree to pay tribute to Kotor, which they previously paid to Balšić. The agreement was not signed but Venice wanted to continue negotiations. The capetan of Scadar, Francesco Kvirin was sent to Serbia [28, 275-280].
The agreement between Venice and the despot was signed on April 22th 1426. Venice got Pastrovic and Djuradj Brankovic renounced the request that Kotor pays him a tribute. Determined exceeds on Bojana river went to Venice [17, 323]. With this agreement Venice gave Budva to despot. This was because of surrender of Grbalj and Andrew Humoja’s houses near Skadar. And so the Venetians after six years lost Budva again [14, 20].
The demarcation between the Venetians and despot’s country was performed on the basis of Commission reports from the field. The statements were compiled by Francesco Kvirin and Djuradj Brankovic in Drivast on November 26th 1426. The borders of Kotor, Budva, Ratačka Abbey, Skadar and Drivast were determined. Agreement from the 1426, represented a compromise, neither side achieved their aspirations. Venice has not retained all that she took, but it was confirmed that she have the right to Kotor, Ulcinj, Grbalj and Pastrovic [28, 291].
With the peace in Vucitrn and with final statements in Drivast 1426, many things in the Venetian-Serbian relations have remained unsettled. Both sides have accused each other of outstanding liabilities. So the negotiations over these things run in January 1432 in Venice, November 1433 in Kotor and, finally, in August 1435 in Smederevo. Venetian delegation was led by Nikola Memo. This agreement resolved the major issues between Venice and the Serbian despot. For Venice, this agreement was very favorable, among the other things, Pastrovici went to Venice [20, 23].
4. Conflict between Venice and Stefan Vukčić and final Battles Against Djuradj Branković
After the agreement in Smederevo, Venice maintained good relations with Djuradj Brankovic. After the fall of Serbia in 1439, despot went to Zeta which has been spared of conflicts. In May of 1440, Djuradj Branković went to Venice and demanded that Ulcinj is surrended to him. The Venetians refused to do so, promising him that they will reconcile him with the Sultan. Venice has carefully listened to their representatives in the field, who have claimed that the Serbian despot can not defend his land in Zeta and that Republic need to take over [28, 291].
The despot’s possessions in Zeta began to claim and Sandalj Hranic’s successor, Stefan Vukčić (1435-1466), whose wife was Jelena the daughter of Balša III. The Venetians went into a conflict with Stefan Vukčić over despot’s possession when Djuradj left Zeta, and went to Hungary. The Venetians were firmly resolved to take advantage of the circumstances to expand their territory. On September 1441, Stefan Vukčić moved into Upper Zeta, and the prince of Kotor received a letter from the despot, in which he expresses a desire that the Republic takes his country under their wing. So the Lustica, Budva and some other despot’s properties opened the flag of St. Mark in late November 1441. After the sedespot’s messages, Venice firmly resolved to suppress Stefan, and to take all the despot’s possessions. Meanwhile Stefan Vukčić was preparing for war. In March of 1442, he took the attack on Bar with Stefanica Crnojević, and conquered it without much much difficulty. Soon, the Paštrovići surrendered to him [2, 121].
After lengthy negotiations, the Venetian Senate decided for the war. Without having funds for the long war, Bosnian duke left the Coast in June 1422. The Venetians did not miss the opportunity to realize their plans, so Budva surrendered to the Venetians on August 1st 1441. The privileges granted to her during Despot Djuradj were confirmed [20, 20-21].
Soon after the surrender of Budva the Venetians were approached by three brothers Crnojevića, and their example took also the residents of Lastva in Pastrovici. When Venice was handed over Drivast in August 1442, the prince of Skadar, Francecsko Kvirin, began preparing for an attack on Bar. So the Bar soon found himself under the glare of the Venetian siege. Stefan Vukčić thought he would gain time, so he offered the negotiations to Venice through prince of Kotor. When negotiations did not come, he attacked the enironment of Skadar where he suffered losses. Venetian government was in no mood for further conflict, and in January 1443, advised to prince of Skadar to make peace [3, 167-168].
Venice did not take military action until May 1443, and then decided that Antonio Diego, captain of the Adriatic Sea led five galleys and Francesco Kvirin to move land forces to the Bar. Bar found itself under heavy siege, which forced it to negotiate. Citizens of Bar realized that the positions of Stefan Vukčić were weak, so they decided to accept the Venetian authority under the terms of certain privileges. The duke of Skadar, Francesco Kvirin confirmed the privileges to Bar on May 19th 1443. In the first place he said that Venice will not make its people to manage Bar, and that noone can give up or exchange it for another town. Venice remained to occupy the fort, which was defended by eighty soldiers from Bosnia. The attack was carried out when the fleet arrived, led by the captain of the Adriatic Sea. The fortress was occupied on June 4th 1443, and Venice mastered the territory from Kotor to Bojana after this [29, 208].
After the defeat of Stefan Vukcic, Stefanica Crnojević also accepted Venetian authority. In April 1444, Djuradj Branković made peace with the Turks, after which Stefan Vukcic went to despot himself in October that year, reconciled with him and entered into an alliance. Djurad accepted some estates in Zeta from Stefan Vukčić, but with the Venetians he could not agree. Venice refused that despot returns the occupied places, although she did not want a conflict with the Djuraj and his allie. The Venetians did not want to return Budva, Bar and Drivast, stating they have spent big money to won them. Venice has sought to share opponents in this situation. In August 1445, Venice made a deal with Stefan Vukčić. He denied the claim that Omis and Bar are recognized to him, and Venice promised him an annual cash fee of Kotor. With this peace it is also determined that the offender compensate for all damages and to pay a very high fine of 25,000 ducats. Venetians expected that with turning off Stefan Vukčić from the conflict, they will deal easier with Serbian despot [28, 295-300].
Venetian possessions were severely affected by the mid-1447th with the attacks of Skenderbeg (1443-1468). He extended Drac and Dranj and his forces devastated the area around Ulcinj and Bar. Venice unsuccessfully offered negotiations to Skanderbeg, because of the destabilization of the entire coast of the southern Adriatic Sea, from Kotor to albanian towns. In Venice, they knew that their holdings are in great danger, so in Maý 1448, the Senat took the offers of individuals that for annual commission of one hundred ducats kill Skenderbeg [2, 366-367].
This situation suited despot Djuradj Brankovic who was preparing for an offensive on the Venetian possessions. Republic has learned of his intentions, and sent a negotiator to convince him of it. But the negotiations did not happen, because the despot’s Duke Altoman Vojinović (1347-1359), soon came close to Kotor. He was joined by Crnojević and peasants of Grbalj who were outraged at their masters. The prince of Kotor, Giacomo Mozorini was informed from Altoman that the Serbian army will take the places that had once belonged to despot. On July 4th 1448, Altoman arrived in front of Bar. Then the most of the Paštrović approached him and a part of them and the inhabitants of Lastva remained faithful to Venice, and moved to Kotor. The Senat was worried because of the events on Zeta coast. Venice intended to negotiate with the despot. But suddenly events began to develop in favor of the Republic, contrary to their expectations. Despot’s army was broken under the Bar in the middle of July 1448. The Venetians also managed to drive a wedge between Altoman and Stefanica Crnojević (1451-1465) [28, 301-304].
Venice was no longer worried of Skanderbeg, who was threatened by the Turks. On September 19th 1448, the fire broke out in Skadar, so much of the city burned down. That and the news of the new movement of the Serbian despot began to worry the Senat again. So it was decided to seek the peace from the despot again. Meanwhile Andrea Venier and the prince of Skadar, Paolo Loredan signed an agreement with Skanderbeg on October 4th 1448. The Venetians had pledged that they would pay him 1400 ducats per year [2, 367].
Another despot’s attack on the Venetian properties has not been fully clarified. The attack had particularly negative consequences for Kotor. Venice has entered into new negotiations with Serbian Despot in April 1450. This negotiation did not resolve anything. The Venetian authorities in this period were the most affected in the area of Pastrovic to the entrance to the Boka. There was developed smuggling, which was contrary to the Venetian monopoly regime. The citizens of Kotor especially spoke out against this condition. They asked from the Senate to suppress the revolt and demolish Grbalj salterns, which were considered as the cause of all conflicts in this area. Also, the citizens of Kotor wanted Budva to subjugate to the prince of Kotor. However, the Senate had a reserved attitude towards the demands of Kotor [5, 40].
Venice did not send a help to Kotor to fight the rebel of citizens of Grbalj and smugglers, with the exception of a fitted galley, which was sent in August 1451. Citizens of Kotor felt that there would be a change of political situation, should Stefanica Crnojević be separated from the despot. So, there have been negotiations with Stefanica Crnojević, and Signoria has agreed to most of his requirements. He pledged to fight two months per year for the Republic. Doge issued on July 17th 1451, the solemn declaration on the agreement. In February 1452, Stefanica devastated Grbalj and suppressed the rebellion. With the help of Kotor he suppressed new attack on the despot. And another army which was sent to Zeta by despot and headed by his brother-in-law Tom Cantacuzenus, broke Stefanica Crnojević. After that, the Venetian government was admitted by Bjelopavlići, Malonšići, Pjesivci and Lužani. The Senate rewarded Stefanica Crnojevića with 200 ducats. Venice intervened for his son Ivan to be released from Herceg’s captivity in October 1452 [18, 376].
After these failures, despot sent a strong army to Zeta, and ordered the castellan Meduna Miloš to regain lost seats. This campaign also failed and Venetian flag flaunted in Podgorica. The last despot’ stronghold in the Zeta Medun was surrendered to the Turks in 1456. The war between Venetians and despot Djuradj was interupted with the overrun oft he Turks. Despot died in 1456, and soon afterwards the Turks captured Smederevo in 1459. The fall of Constantinople in 1453, meant for Venice loss of large markets. Turkey has just started to threaten the Venetian properties. Venice has sought to make peace with the Turks in order to maintain at least some of the earlier trade. Besides that, the Venetian possessions in the Levant and the Balkans were surrounded by Turks. Turks also needed products of western manufacture, which they obtained from Venice. Therefore, peace between Venice and Mehmed II was concluded on April 18th 1454 [28, 309].
Venetian possessions in the southern Adriatic were threatened by Stefan Vukcic, who after the Turkish invasion could count to expand his holdings only at the expense of the Republic. Venetians supported Stefanica Crnojević and he forestalled the herceg by occupying the power in the Upper Zeta with an agreement on September 6th 1455. The Venetian authorities in Upper Zeta were only nominal, and could be achieved only with the consent of Stefanica Crnojević. With the diplomacy, Venice resolved a dispute with herceg Stefan, having received him in their nobility on November 11th 1455. With this, herceg tacitly renounced its claims to the West, and the whole southern Adriatic coast and the hinterland were in the hands of Venice. However, the Venetian possessions in the territory were threatened from the Turks who were on the offensive over a wider area [28, 309-310].
5. Venetian – Turkish Wars in the second half of the Fifteenth Century and relations with the last Crnojević
The positions of the Venice on the southern Adriatic were threatened when Turkey won Serbia and Bosnia. The Turks wanted to eliminate the Venetian prestige in the eastern Mediterranean. They intended to occupy lands of Venice on the coast and in the area of Skadar. There were constant border conflicts, and the Turkish attacks on the Venetian territory. So the Turks, crossed the border in 1457, and drove into exile many Venetian vassals. Even the suroundungs of Kotor was affected. The situation was further aggravated with the fall of Bosnia, as the Ottoman troops after that threatened the entire east coast of the Adriatic. Kotor and Dubrovnik expected to be possessed by the Turks. On July 1st 1463, Senate ordered to provide both cities even more in order to defend. To Kotor was shipped reinforcement of 100 soldiers to defend the fortress of Kotor. On September 12th 1463, in Petrovaradin, Venice entered into an alliance with the Hungarian king Matthias (1458-1490). Since then, started the war between the Republic and Turkey which lasted sixteen years (1463-1479) [15, 321-325, 10, 394].
The Venetians also embittered relations with the lord of Zeta Ivan Crnojević (1465-1490). Citizens of Kotor had accused him of working on the separation of Grbalj from the Republic, which is why the Venice blackmails the head of Ivan on 10,000 ducats. In August 1464, in Venice, Senat was informed that Novi will be conquered by King Ferdinand of Aragon, which would seriously affect Kotor. In order to prevent this, Senate has sent several ships in Kotor, and on 20 October 1465 confirmed the old privileges to Budva, for fear that these did not join the enemy. In the spring 1466, Venice offered to Duke Stefan who was threatened by the Turks, for two of his towns, Novi and Risan, the island of Brac and the tower in Split. This offer of the Republic failed, because soon, in May 1466. Herceg Stefan died and the last remnants of his government inherited his son Vlatko (1466-1490). In the spring of 1466, the fortress of Skadar was further provided, and in the coastal towns, the army has been in continuous mode, because area of Skadar and Coast were most threatened by the Turks. Conflict between Venetians and Ivan Crnojević was solved in 1467, as well as the situation in Grbalj. The focus of the war was transferred to Minor Asia, where Turkey was threatened by Turkmen Khan. Venetian offensive in 1468 had not brought the desired results. At that time, cities on the eastern Adriatic coast were converted into real workshop where weapons and ships for the defense were made [5, 46].
At the beginning of 1470, the Turks threatened the Venetians with a vast fleet of more than 300 ships. The main Venetian commander of the Aegean Sea Canal Nikola did not dare to oppose them, and therefore corresponded to the Chamber of Ten. Venice’s hopes that the Turkmen Khan will defeat Sultan collapsed after the victory of the Turks in Tordzana. The Republic then attempted with diplomatic measures to drawn into a war against Turkey Prince of Moscow Ivan. Venice gave nobility to Ivan Crnojevic and his children in 1474. The aim was to engage him on the defense of the Venetian possessions. On May 17th 1474, Skadar was besieged. The Republic turned to Ivan Crnojevic for help and promised him to increase commissions from 1,200 to 2,000 ducats, if he defense Skadar. Through the efforts of the Venetian fleet and Ivan Crnojevic a victory at Scadar was won [5, 48].
During the second siege of Skadar, in 1478, the Turks attacked the city with a hitherto unseen artillery. However, even that was not enough to take a well-defended Scadar. Then begler-bey Anatolia have won Drivast and destroyed its population, which ended the history of this medieval city. On that occasion the Turks invaded in Lezha, and burned it. The Turks much faster progressed on the coast, where Pastrovici surrendered to them, and then the Turkish troops devastated the Venetian territory all the way to Kotor, where Grbalj subordinated to them. Kotor was in a difficult situation, so they expected the final failure. Venice, due to this situation decided for peace, which was signed on January 25th 1479, in Constantinople. The Venetians ceded Skadar with the environment to the Turks, and promised to pay them 100.000 ducats in two years. Sultan pledged to restore Venice all parts of Zeta coast [15, 324, 5, 50].
There have been difficulties over the realization of this agreement, particularly over the Paštrovići and Grbalj. The thing was smoothed by the decision of Mehmed II from July 10th 1480, which said that Ivan Crnojević’s country belongs to the Sultan, but to return Pastrovici and Zeta to the Republic. Next year things again complicated, but Venice managed to ensure the recognition of their right to Pastrovic and Zeta in April 1481. That same year there was a meeting of the Venetian authorities and Ivan Crnojević, who returned from exile after the death of Mehmed II. Then they set the boundaries between them, and Pastrovici and Zeta were turned over to the Venetians. Ivan Crnojević intensified relations with the Republic making difficulties for Kotor and Budva to trade. His men raided the villages surrounding Kotor and robbed them. Particularly targeted were the salt pans in Grbaljsko polje. Therefore, the Republic sent a complaint to the Sultan on October 23th 1489. Having examined the case, the sultan ordered Ivan Crnojević to compensate all the damages [10, 403].
The Venetians soon fixed relations with Ivan Crnojević, who with the permission of Sultan married his son Djuradj with the daughter of Venetian nobleman Antonio Erica in 1490. Soon after that Ivan died, and Venice later had problems with his son Djuradj. Most disagreement was over the Kotor region, and Budva and Paštrovići have complained on Djuradj. On September 18th 1493, Signoria ordered to the rector of Kotor to demolish all the buildings that were illegally erected by Djuradj on the territory of Kotor [5, 54].
Venice and Turkey have waged a diplomatic war after the departure of Djuradj Crnojevica in 1496, from Montenegro. Both wanted to grab as much of Djuradj’s state. For Venice, the convergenceof Turkey to the Adriatic coast represented a major threat. The Venetian government sent their envoy Alviz Sagudin to Skadar’s Sandzak-beg in December 1496. The Republic has offered to the Turks to pay for Crnojevic’s properties all its obligations and 1.000 ducats a year more. The Turks did not fit with this, feeling that they belong to that territory by right of conquest [9, 34].
The Venetians had a problem with citizens of Grbalj who surrendered to the Turks, because they were badly threated by the citizens of Kotor. These differences could not be resolved by the Venetian and Turkish border authorities. Therefore, the Venice sent Alviz Sagudin to Constantinople again, whose task was to persuade the Porte to hand over Zeta and pans to Venice. This attempt of the Republic failed and the Turks began to exploit the salt pans following year [30, 34].
War between Venice and Turkey broke out in 1499. Republic has entered into this war unprepared. Its towns of Kotor, Budva, Bar and Ulcinj were poorly defined. The Venetians tried to attract on their side the local population under Ottoman rule. Such intentions had also the Turks. The subject of interest for both sides became Djuradj Crnojevic who was in Venice. He also hoped that this Venetian-Turkish war will help him to restore Montenegro. In August 1499, Venetian government has received under their protection Montenegrins and citizens of Grbalj. Venice was suspicious towards Djuradj Crnojevic. It was determined that he kept his relationships with the Turks, and was banished from Venice. Congregation of Paštrovići decided to submit to the Turks, and Venice sent those help in order to dissuaded them from this intention. The move has not produced the desired results. The Republic sent help to Kotor and Perast in July 1499, and in Ulcinj was sent fifty pedestrians. In Venice at the time was introduced an extraordinary tax for funding the war against Turkey [30, 35].
The first clashes between the Turkish and Venetian fleets happened in August 1499, at the Modona. Despite the open Turkish aggression Venice tried to obtain peace, through its envoy Alviz Momenti, in October 1499, but it was just a disgrace to the Republic. On July 11th 1.500, Turks with 1.600 horsemen and pedestrians took an attack on environment of Bar. Citizens of Bar welcomed them ready, and the Turks suffered heavy losses in the attack. The Turks were planning to attack and Kotor, but the Venetians followed all their movements. To Kotor was sent military and financial help, but the attack did not occur. Population in Ulcinj and Bar was in a difficult position, they were threatened famine, and the Senate decided in June 1501, to send to the Ulcinj 1.000 crops. Help was necessary to Budva also, and they were granted 1.200 ducats for the reinforcement of the walls [30, 36].
In the 1502, there were no major military operations in the southern Adriatic. In March 1502, Senate sent to Kotor military equipment and material for further establishment of the city, and then help arrived to Bar and Budva. In the second half of the 1502, the military operations in the southern Adriatic were completed. Venice was unable to improve its position, so she had to accept peace. Porta dictated terms of peace to Venice which the Sultan ratified on December 14th 1502. In the mid-December 1502, Sultan informed Venice that countries of Crnojević belong to him. As for the delimitation of Budva, Bar and Ulcinj, there were no major problems. In early 1503, there were Turkish raids on Venetian territory, and the provider of Kotor sent their representatives to Sandzak-beg of Scadar with a request to prevent it. He promised to make sure to stop these attacks. Salterns in Grbalj were of great importance to Kotor, so in October 1503. Venice again asked for the lease, to which the Turks had a negative answer [5, 68].
Venetian Mediterranean ties lose on the importance during the sixteenth century, commercial supremacy moves to Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands. The weakening of the economic power of Venice had an impact on its properties in the southern Adriatic. Venice was threatened by the Turkey which was constantly migrating westward. Due to these circumstances, Venice stopped to lead the conquering military policy and turned to the preservation of properties previously acquired. The war between Venice and Kambres league further weakened its power. Although they were at peace with the Venice, in the early sixteenth century Turks constantly attacked their lands. There was a danger that Turks will fully master the east coast of the Adriatic [30, 336-340].
Even though their possessions were under constant pressure from the Turks, the Venetians argued for peaceful settlement of the problem. The situation after the 1513, when for the Montenegrin Sandzak was appointed Skenderbeg Crnojević, son of Ivan Crnojević who converted to Islam, was relatively calm. The Venetians understood the set of Skenderbeg as a restoration of the dynasty Crnojević. Misunderstanding between the Republic and the Skenderbeg came over the saltpans in Grbalj. Venetians complained to the Porte that the salt pans were extending on their territory. To new sharpening in the relations between the Venetians and Skenderbeg came about 1523, because of the refugees from Montenegro. Due to theTurkish pressure the tribesmen fled the Venetian territory, and Skenderbeg demanded that these fugitives are handed over to him. In 1525, Venice solved with Skenderbeg the dispute over the borders of Kotor and Budva, since then the two sides have correct relations [10, 405].
6. Wars in The Sixteenth Century
After the discovery and transmission of geographical focus of operations from the Mediterranean to the west coast of Europe, Venice’s economy was declining. In the mid sixteenth century Venice did not play so important role in a trade like earlier in the Mediterranean Sea, and due to new geopolitical circumstances remained outside the trade that was conducted with the overseas territories [15, 399-405].
Because of that the Republic sought to preserve with all the forces their economic and political position in the Adriatic Sea. The east coast of the Adriatic was of great strategic importance for the Republic. Although leading a peaceful policy, Venice could not allow the Turkey to take over her possessions. With a variety of provocations, and finally the invasion of Corfu on August 27th 1537, Turkey forced Venice to war. Republic has succeeded to enter into alliance of the Holy League with Charles V and Pope in 1538, against Turkey. With the Agreement between the Allies, Venice was granted the right to Herceg Novi. Venetian towns on the southern Adriatic, Kotor, Budva, Bar and Ulcinj were poorly defined. Therefore, the Senate sent to these cities an emergency help in personnel and supplies. The combined Venetian-Spanish fleet took on October 27th 1538. Herceg Novi. Then the Risan was conquered, without a fight, and the Turks responded with the attack on the Bar and Ulcinj, which were saved the by Venetian fleet. Venice was satisfied with taking Herceg Novi, the war threatened her trade and on March 20th 1540, they signed quarterly truce with the Turks [7, 263-264].
The Turks were determined to regain Herceg Novi, a that task was entrusted to the famous Hayreddin Barbarossa. Venice has learned about this move of the Turkish fleet, and further intensified the provision of Kotor. In Venetian towns on the southern Adriatic panic reigned, because they feared that the Turks will break quarterly truce. Through diplomatic measures and negotiations with the Allies, Venice tried to prevent the arrival of the Turkish fleet in the Bay. The Venetians then decided to buy rights on Herceg Novi from the Pope for 10.000 ducats, and deliver it to the Turks. But the Spanish refused to surrender the city and they decided to defend it. Great Turkish fleet attacked Herceg Novi, and on August 27th 1539, the town was taken. Upon the occupation of Herceg Novi Hayreddin Barbarossa took Risan and with the part of a fleet Turks attacked Kotor, but soon withdrew[9, 50].
In this war the Venetian possessions in the southern Adriatic, had suffered, cities and their surroundings were in serious condition. In December 1539, Bar sent a delegate to Venice, with a request for urgently food aid and cash. Kotor has also pointed to the destruction and sought help. However, Venice has preserved all their possessions in the southern Adriatic in this war. During the war, none of the Venetian city fell into the hands of the Turks. Especially in the war highlighted the citizens of Perast and in 1540. Council of Ten has determined for Perast help of 200 ducats in the next ten years. During the war Crmnicans tried to overthrow Turkey and accept the Venetian government [11, 94].
This war complicated question of the borders between the two countries. Porte requested revision of the borders to Kotor, Budva, Bar and Ulcinj. The dispute over the boundary was settled, but the Turks continued to press the Venetian possessions. Surroundings of Bar and Ulcinj were exposed to constant Turkish incursions, and Venezia filed a protest to the Porte because of the looting. Ulcinj for the protection of the Turkish bands held 25 mercenaries for the defense. Kotor modeled on Ulcinj has organized additional defense of the city. In 1568, the Perast was robbed by pirates, and same year the Venetian government approved 300 ducats for the lifting of Forts in Perast. The Turks had pretensions to Paštrovići, so they sent them a letter as well as other Venetian subjects, to accept Turkish rule. Paštrovići rejected this, and there was an armed conflict between them and the Turks. Due to such Turkish actions Venice filed protest to the Porte to prevent such occurrences. Although these incidents did not seriously threatening the peace, they produced constantly strained situation on the Venetian-Turkish border [9, 52-54].
Turks were with deliberate provocations sought war with Venice, which 1570, refused the request of Turks to give them Cyprus. Thus began the Cyprus war, which lasted from 1570 to 1573 year. The Republic has gained powerful allies, the Venetians, Pius V (1559-1565) and Austria signed on May 21st 1571, alliance against Turkey, known as Lepantska league. The alliance joined other Christian countries Genoa, Malta and Spain [15, 393-396].
Condition at the southern Adriatic was extremely unfavorable for Venice. The Republic has entered into this war unprepared and limited to the defense of their possessions in the Adriatic. Immediately after the outbreak of the war representatives of Paštrovići, Bar and Ulcinj, came to Venice to seek help. These Venetian possessions became the scene of bloody fighting, and suffered a fatal change. The first Turkish attack was directed against Paštrovići. Part of Paštrovići locked himself in St. Stefan castle in defense, while others took refuge in Budva and Kotor. All Venetian towns on the southern Adriatic survived tough days. Kotor was threatened by sea and land. Due to the large influx of refugees in 1570, in Ulcinj famine occurred. Turkey was in the military supremacy, and the Venetians made great efforts to win over to their side Christian population under Ottoman rule. The Venetian government in the early 1571, sent to Kotor Vlatko Kosača, Crnojević Peter and Francesco Dukagjin. These were all descendants of the former independent dynasties, who were supposed to contribute to the uprising of Herzegovinians, Montenegrins and the Dukagjins against Turks. This initiative which financialy costed Venice had failed [9, 55-57].
At that time Kotor was in a difficult situation, in early 1571, plague in town killed around 3.500 people. Plague ravaged and Herceg Novi and the Venetians used it to carry out sabotage in the city, which was to blow up the ammunition into Herceg Novi citadel, which was not carried out. Venetian towns on the southern Adriatic were the most vulnerable in the summer of 1571, with a strong Turkish naval offensive. Turkish ground forces were sent from Constantinople to the central Balkans and the naval forces to the Adriatic Sea. At this news Venice became panic-stricken, urgent measures were taken for the protection of eastern cities, while Bar i Ulcinj were left to fate [7, 265].
In late July, the Turkish fleet in cooperation with ground forces attacked Ulcinj. The city was defended by French and Italian mercenaries, who resisted the Turks for eight days. Then the whole crew of of Ulcinj surrendered. When citizens of Bar found out for surrender of Ulcinj, and they have surrendered the Turks, although the Bar was well stocked and ready for defense. Venetians renounced Ulcinj and Bar, in the hope that it will save some of their other cities, but after Ulcinj and Bar Turks conquered and Spice. Fearing from Turkish attack the Venetians leave Budva, which was then destroyed by the Turks. Turkish fleet then went to the Bay, where the Turks requested from providur of Kotor to surrender the city. People from Kotor refused to surrender and Turkish fleet soon left the Bay of Kotor. The Turks devastated the Venetian possessions from Bojana to Kotor, Ulcinj and Bar have been irretrievably lost, and Budva destroyed [9, 58].
But Turks were not so successful on other fronts, at the same time a major naval battle took place at Lepanto, on October 7th 1571. In this battle Turkish fleet was destroyed, but the situation in the southern Adriatic had not improved in favor of Venice. Broadly speaking, the aftermath of the battle did not have any significant benefit for Venice and its politics in the Mediterranean [15, 490-492].
Since Kotor was constantly threatened by the Darwinian Turks, Venice attacked Herceg Novi. In May 1572, General Vanier landed with the army near Herceg Novi. During the attack the Venetians managed to push the Turks into fortress, but they ran out of ammunition. Thus failed this attempt of taking over Herceg Novi, which prompted the Turks to attack Kotor, the town has been exhausted with the plague and without a strong defense, so it could easily fall into the hands of the Turks. Turks were attempting to block the Kotor, and they built fortress on Verige. Venetians have taken extraordinary measures to liberate the city blocks, but only in January 1573, they succeeded, when the Venetian fleet destroyed the Turkish fortifications in the Bay. The struggle for Kotor was the last significant action in this war, after which Venice was exhausted, seeking a way out of this situation. The only way out for her was peace, which after several months of negotiations was concluded on March 7th 1573 [9, 59-60].
The consequences of this war for the Venetian possessions in the southern Adriatic were disastrous. The whole area was devastated, and Ulcinj and Bar lost. People from Kotor had lost all their income and they have remained bare lives. Budva and Paštrovići were in terrible state. Turkish borders shifted to Paštrovići, which further aggravated their situation. From the powerful Venetian strongholds in the southern Adriatic Sea at the end of the sixteenth century remained only Kotor and Budva and its surroundings in the Turkish environment. Although the Turks pushed it from the part of the Adriatic coast, Venice was firmly resolved to defend their remaining possessions and to not let be thrown out of them. Republic after the war entered the era of retreat from its position in the Mediterranean policy, less and less playing the role of one of the key forces in the region [15, 515-520].Venice in time between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries continuously conducted an active policy towards the southern Adriatic in this war. This policy in the fourteenth century began to realize through ideology that her naturally and historically belongs the whole area of the Adriatic Sea. But, political considerations dictated the sequence of events and after the peace in Zadar in 1358, it becomes completely suppressed from the eastern coast. However, such circumstances did not deter the Venice, which in the future seek to restore the area under its authority. In the southern Adriatic, Venice fought for domination of this territory with everyone who was her rival. It entered into conflict with local nobles, lords of Zeta Balsic and Crnojević, Dukes of Hum and despots of Serbia. It tried to expand its government besides coastal towns and to the area in the hinterland. In the fifteenth century, Venice managed to achieve its strategic objectives in the southern Adriatic and to establish its authority in the towns in this region. Her possessions in this territory become vulnerable with invasion of the Turks in the Balkan countries in the second half of the fifteenth century. Rivalry between Venice and Turkey on the Mediterranean felt in the southern Adriatic, and the consequences of the wars of the sixteenth century were directly reflected in this region. Thus the Republic by the end of the sixteenth century will lose most of the South coast, as well as Skadar region. In possession of Venice, remained only Kotor and Budva, into which she no longer invested, but watched them as the uncertain territory to be used economically. An active policy of Venice in this region continued during the next two centuries, through its conflict with Turkey and attempts to attract to their side the local population, both in the coast and in its hinterland.
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