Venetians and Greeks - The Defense of Corfù previous 3/5 next

Cephalonia: cartography, description of the site,
and security

The already fraught relationship between the local elite and Venetian representatives deteriorated further in the early 1760s, and often broke out into bloody uprisings. In 1760-61 the island of Cephalonia  was the setting for brutal clashes between feudal barons and peasants, manifestation of strong anti-Venetian sentiment which turned into violence. The war between Russia and Turkey in 1770-71 accentuated the local inhabitants' open hostility towards Venice, legitimising it in the guise of a union of all Greek peoples under one religion. The Venetian response (often ineffective) of strengthening the control system through State Inquisitor  emissaries and inflicting harsher punishments, sometimes led to greater knowledge of the territory. The enterprising Provveditore Generale  Francesco Grimani ordered a drawing of Cephalonia in 1761 in which 15 separate administrative districts can be made out. It is likely that the commissioning of such a descriptive work was also due to the need for greater surveillance of the clandestine seasonal emigration of peasants from the island to the more fertile Peloponnese, because of the attendant risks of spreading epidemics.

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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