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|Siege of Negroponte|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Mehmed II|| Paolo Erizzo |
|Casualties and losses|
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.
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.
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 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.
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." 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.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
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.
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.
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."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).
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The War of the Euboeote Succession was fought in 1256–1258 between the Prince of Achaea, William II of Villehardouin, and a broad coalition of other rulers from throughout Frankish Greece who felt threatened by William's aspirations. The war was sparked by William's attempt to gain control of a third of the island of Euboea, which was resisted by the local Lombard barons with the aid of the Republic of Venice. The Lord of Athens and Thebes, Guy I de la Roche, also entered the war against William, along with other barons of Central Greece. Their defeat at the Battle of Karydi in May/June 1258 effectively brought the war to an end in an Achaean victory, although a definite peace treaty was not concluded until 1262.
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Licario, called Ikarios by the Greek chroniclers, was a Byzantine admiral of Italian origin in the 13th century. At odds with the Latin barons of his native Euboea, he entered the service of the Byzantine emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos, and reconquered many of the Aegean islands for him in the 1270s. For his exploits, he was rewarded with Euboea as a fief and rose to the rank of megas konostaulos and megas doux, the first foreigner to do so.
The Triarchy of Negroponte was a crusader state established on the island of Euboea after the partition of the Byzantine Empire following the Fourth Crusade. Partitioned into three baronies run by a few interrelated Lombard families, the island soon fell under the influence of the Republic of Venice. From circa 1390, the island became a regular Venetian colony as the Kingdom of Negroponte.
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