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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume II: The later Crusades, 1189-1311
(1969)

VI: The Latin Empire of Constantinople, 1204-1261,   pp. 186-233 PDF (13.5 MB)


Page 193

Ch. VI THE LATIN EMPIRE OF CONSTANTINOPLE 193 
peasants freely brought in their crops to Baldwin's brother Henry, and supplied
him and his men with food. It was Latin greed and mistreatment - the Latin
sources themselves assure us - that turned the Greek peasants against their
new lords, who in many instances proved worse than their old ones. Indeed,
the Greeks often found their former Byzantine master confirmed in his lands
by the conquerors. Despite the violent mutual antipathy between Latins and
Greeks in general, a certain sense of common interest in some instances drew
the nobles of both sides together. 
 The constitution of the curious new hybrid Latin state, developed in the
two treaties of March and October 1204, received its finishing touches within
the next two years. When the aged Enrico Dandolo died in May 1205, the Venetians
in Constantinople, without waiting for word from home, assembled and elected
as their chief a certain Marino Zeno, who took the new title of podestà
and dominator of one quarter and one half of a quarter of "Romania".
Zeno surrounded himself with an administration modeled on that at Venice:
judges of the commune, councilors, a chamberlain. He issued an edict forbidding
any Venetian in the empire to dispose of property except to another Venetian.
So independent was Zeno's behavior that the authorities at home grew concerned
lest their colonists might intend insubordination. Renier Dandolo, who had
been acting as vice-doge in Venice during his father's absence, demanded
and received reassurances. Zeno wrote him that he had never intended to challenge
the authority of Venice, and added that the Venetians at Constantinople would
accept as podestà any appointee whom the authorities at home might
send. 
 After the election of Peter Ziani as doge (August 1205), he required Zeno
to cede to Venice the area along the Epirote coast assigned in the partition
treaty to the doge. This strategic region, still to be conquered, was thus
to be placed directly under the control of the Venetian home authorities.
A further edict of Ziani empowered any citizen of Venice or an allied state
to conquer any of the Aegean islands or territory formerly Byzantine, and
to pass on his conquests to his heirs. The edict does not mention the Venetian
colony or podestà at Constantinople. Thus in two sharp actions Ziani
limited the power of the outpost and reasserted that of the mother city.
The grandiose title of dominator over a quarter and half of a quarter of
Romania shortly passed from the podestà at Constantinople to the doge
himself. 
 In 1207 Ziani replaced Zeno with a new podestà, and thereafter the
doges regularly sent the podestàs out from Venice, requiring 


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