Siege of Negroponte (1470)

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Siege of Negroponte
Date10 July – 5 August 1470
Location Chalcis, Euboea
Result Ottoman victory, Negroponte captured
Belligerents
Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg  Ottoman Empire Flag of Most Serene Republic of Venice.svg  Republic of Venice
Commanders and leaders
Mehmed II Paolo Erizzo   Skull and crossbones.svg
Nicolò Canal
Casualties and losses
Unknown Heavy

The Siege of Negroponte was fought between the forces of the Ottoman Empire, led by Sultan Mehmed II in person, and the garrison of the Venetian colony of Negroponte (Chalcis), the capital of the Venetian possession of Euboea in Central Greece. It lasted for almost a month, and despite great Ottoman casualties ended in the capture of the city and the island of Euboea by the Ottomans.

Ottoman Empire Former empire in Asia, Europe and Africa

The Ottoman Empire, also historically known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.

Republic of Venice former state in in Northeastern Italy (697–1797)

The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic, traditionally known as La Serenissima was a sovereign state and maritime republic in northeastern Italy, which existed for over a millennium between the 7th century and the 18th century from 697 AD until 1797 AD. It was based in the lagoon communities of the historically prosperous city of Venice, and was a leading European economic and trading power during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Chalcis Place in Greece

Chalcis or Chalkida is the chief town of the island of Euboea in Greece, situated on the Euripus Strait at its narrowest point. The name is preserved from antiquity and is derived from the Greek χαλκός, though there is no trace of any mines in the area. In the late Middle Ages, it was known as Negropont(e), an Italian name that has also been applied to the entire island of Euboea.

Contents

Defeat of the relief fleet

The leader of the Venetian relief force was Nicolò Canal, known as "a man of letters rather than a fighter, a learned man readier to read books than direct the affairs of the sea." [1] His fleet had 53 galleys and 18 smaller ships, a fifth of the Ottoman fleet's size. He arrived three weeks into the siege, lost his nerve and withdrew to Samothrace, asking for more help, but only Papal indulgences arrived. Canal could have broken the siege if he had attacked the pontoon bridge the Turks depended on. Wind and tide were in his favour and the Venetians were sailing at a speed 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) towards it, but he lost his nerve and withdrew. He took his now mutinous fleet back to Venice and Negropont surrendered the next day.

Pontoon bridge Type of bridge

A pontoon bridge, also known as a floating bridge, uses floats or shallow-draft boats to support a continuous deck for pedestrian and vehicle travel. The buoyancy of the supports limits the maximum load they can carry.

Knot (unit) unit of speed

The knot is a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour, exactly 1.852 km/h. The ISO standard symbol for the knot is kn. The same symbol is preferred by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE); kt is also common, especially in aviation where it is the form recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The knot is a non-SI unit. Worldwide, the knot is used in meteorology, and in maritime and air navigation—for example, a vessel travelling at 1 knot along a meridian travels approximately one minute of geographic latitude in one hour.

Aftermath

Upon entering the city, the Turks committed massacres against the inhabitants. The men were slaughtered, Christian boys were kidnapped and raised as Islamic janissaries, women were taken as harems, Greek citizens were enslaved and Italian soldiers were flayed alive and impaled on wooden stakes. More than 6,000 Italians and Greeks died in defense of Negroponte. Only 30 known survivors made it back to Venice, consisting of 15 women, 12 children, and 3 men. There are various legends that the garrison commander, bailo Paolo Erizzo, was sawn in half. In fact, the prisoner of the siege Giovanni Maria Angiolello states that Paolo died in the first attack: "Pollo Erizzo, Bailo of the city, who was killed in the first onslaught, that is, at the defense of the Bourkos." [2] Canal was tried, fined, stripped of his rank and exiled to Portogruaro.

The bailo of Negroponte was the representative of the Republic of Venice stationed at Chalcis (Negroponte) on the island of Euboea. The bailo played an important role as the mediator between, and de facto overlord of, the triarchs of Euboea, who had their common residence in Negroponte. The triarchies were created by the division of the island between three rulers (triarchs) after its conquest following the Fourth Crusade (1204).

Giovanni Maria Angiolello was a Venetian traveller, author of an important historical report on the Aq Qoyunlu and early Safavid Persia.

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References

  1. The Guinness Book of Naval Blunders, page 137
  2. Giovan-Maria Angiolello Memoir. Pierre A. MacKay

Coordinates: 38°28′N23°16′E / 38.467°N 23.267°E / 38.467; 23.267

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.