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Title: Candia and the Venetian Oltremare : identity and visual culture in the early modern Eastern Mediterranean
Author: Stamoulou, Eva
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2011
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Following its acquisition in 1204, Crete became one of Venice’s prime colonial possessions in the Eastern Mediterranean. Venice’s maritime empire was known as the Stato da mar or the Oltremare. Candia, Crete’s capital, was the island’s largest urban centre, the heart of the colony’s administration, and a thriving port. Its inhabitants included patricians sent from Venice to govern the island, noble Cretans and noble Venetians, descendants of the early Venetian colonisers, cittadini, and a host of transient residents. The city’s Jewish community was confined to the Judaica, a section of the urban expanse inside the city’s Byzantine walls. By the sixteenth-century, three centuries of Creto-Venetian co-existence had given birth to an urban society which was polyglot and multi-denominational. Cretans travelled frequently to Venice, which hosted a large Greek community after the fall of Constantinople (1453). This thesis examines aspects of Cretan identity in the sixteenth century, such as class, religion and locality. The importance of appearances in the early modern colonial context is discussed and evidence is presented of Venice’s influence on Cretan attire and the language used to describe such artefacts. Stemming from this, sumptuary legislation is examined and instances when appearances deceived and threatened social order. Sources consulted and brought to bear on the discussion include extant material records, such as embroidery, and archival and published documents, such as state and private correspondence, notarial records, costume books, maps, atlases, contemporary literature, and historical accounts of Crete. The last chapter examines aspects pertaining to Crete’s insularity: the experience of sea travel, the cartographic genre of isolarii, island-books, where Crete featured prominently, the maps of Crete’s most famous cartographer and, finally, the unpublished wills of the Regno di Candia and the island of Scio.
Supervisor: Rasmussen, Tom Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Candia ; Crete ; Eastern Mediterranean ; Identity ; Appearance ; Embroidery ; Isolarii ; Island wills