Venetians and Greeks - The War for Candia previous 4/9 next

Salt provisioning



The loss of Cyprus in 1573 meant that Candia  became the principal supplier of salt in the Serenissima . The construction of new salt-works , the restoration of old works fallen into decay, and especially the increase in the power of provisioning were some of the principal tasks concerning Venetian Provveditori : this was continually confirmed by the deliberations of the Senate  up to the eve of the war for Candia. The control of salt-works therefore followed strategic, commercial and military principles, but which also created a further reason to involve subjects in Venetian administration and thus create bonds of loyalty. In this regard Giacomo Foscarini was particularly distinguished in interpreting the orders issued by the Serenissima . Maps and drawings in compendia of scholarly anecdotes, historical accounts, and official despatches from Venetian representatives describe this complex network of relationships. An example is the drawing of the small fortress of Suda , which dominated the bay of the city of Chania , by Zuan Mormori, son of Giacomo, captain of the 'stratia'  ('militia') of Candia. This dates back to 1595, the year the Senate awarded the salt-work construction concession to Todarin Lombardo and his sons, in exchange for providing the capital with a certain quantity of this essential product.

A detailed map of the bay of Suda, dated c. 1660-1670, depicting the coast, the city of Chania, and the surrounding villages of Santo Spirito, San Lazzaro and Sant'Antonio, shows us the spread and distribution of salt-works, which by that time had been the island's principal activity for a century. Similar development was also taking place on the fortified island of Spinalonga .

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Viaggio virtuale tra le fonti storiche veneziane
Rotta: Venezia e il Levante (sec XV - sec XVIII)
© 1996 by the VENIVA consortium