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Byzantine period in Kythira

Byzantine and post Byzantine period.

The first official reference to Kythera during the Byzantine period is that of 530, where the island is mentioned among the areas covered at the throne of Constantinople, while mentioned in the same century as the seat Metropolis. He has expressed the view that the Bishop was likely to be Titular, ie bore the title had no flock, however, this view contrasts with recent archaeological findings and historical research by demonstrating the existence of living in the 6th century at least two areas of the island. The fragments of early Christian mosaic from the church of St. John in the River (Collection of Byzantine Art in the Meadow), dating to the early 6th century mosaic floor of the church of St. George Mountain, which also dates back to the 6th century. The lack of other factors and the limited references to sources of Kythera during the period 6th-10th century, perhaps suggesting that the occupation is not systematic and probably limited, but certainly can not speak of complete devastation. Certainly the presence of Norman and Arab pirates in the region over the years have resulted in devastation Kythira for long periods, as the island was vulnerable to raids and often used as a base for pirates. [pullquote align="left"]The turning point in the most organized occupation of Kythira seems to be the sport of St. Theodore on the island, where after his death (922), displayed a significant number of new residents in Kythera.[/pullquote] [spacer size="20"] [quote style="1"]According to the Life of the Saint, the island at the time of his arrival to Kythira are desert residents because of pirates. From these years, however, until the 11th century there are still historical information and assumptions about Kythira at this time based on the study of Byzantine churches on the island, some of whom believed that relate to construction and the 9th or 10th century (Agios Andreas at Livadi)[/quote] [column size="1-2" last="0" style="0"]New systematic occupation of Kythira seems to begin after the 10th century according to the study of many temples dating to the island and intensified during the 13th century. According to tradition, the Paliochora, Byzantines built by settlers in the late 13th century. When re-conquer the island from the Byzantines (in 1275) for a short time, after a brief Venetian occupation (1236-1275), he number of settlers from Constantinople during the reign of Michael VIII Palaeologus'. Kythera reoccupies by the Venetians in 1930 and has since left to rule until the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797 and are one of the few Greek regions which remained so long and continued the Venetian domination, when excluding a brief occupation of the island by the Turks between 1715-1718.[/column] [column size="1-2" last="2" style="0"]The Byzantine capital of Kythira, Saint Dimitrios (now Paliochora), which was built in natural bastion to protect themselves from pirates, finally destroyed by the attack in 1537, by the pirate Barbarossa Chaiderin who was in the service of the Turkish Sultan . Then the little town was burned and residents who were not killed were sold into slavery and the place is not never reoccupied. It is said that Barbarossa conquered and then in castles and Kapsali Mylopotamos, but this probably should not be considered valid, since there are no conclusive information on the sources of the time. While stating that it lived in Paliochora 7,000 people, the number is excessive for the size of the town and castle, and the reported desertion of the island then the raid should not be considered universal. Soon even the Venetian state launched a campaign to repopulated the island with new settlers, but by acquiring many of the aichmalotisthentes then residents from pirates.[/column] [spacer size="20"] [column size="1-2" last="0" style="0"]After the Venetians in 1530 assuming all rights and powers of the Venier family, ruled the island along the lines of feudalism, and the other Ionian Islands. This period was too oppressive for the residents. All the arable land belonged to the nobles (the Venetian Greek origin) and there was complete lack of administration of law, up and away from the island for any reason require the permission of the authorities. Providing little arable land, forcing the villagers to use small pieces of a few square meters, roughly walled that still divided the island. The successive partitions of land for farming contract and estate, had the effect of lead on such small holdings, who managed to give the most general description of any small property "Tsirigotis mertiko"! The presence of long Venetian Kythera was natural to leave visible traces of which still distinguished in the language and architecture. Of particular interest are the relations with Crete, with refugees from Crete and the Peloponnese throughout the duration of the Venetian, which formed the main body of the families on the island, many of them arrive today. [/column] [column size="1-2" last="2" style="0"]Throughout the period of Venetian domination characteristic wound on the island proved to piracy. Frequently pirates literally devastating the place, and not at all rare cases and cooperation of the local population with pirate groups, particularly Christians who were active pirates in the Strait of Peloponnese and Crete, and the representatives of Venice where a remote possessions, such as Kythira, it abstained from cooperating with pirates on the sale of pirate booty. The island was remote from the centers of Venetian power and there were rare cases and tolerance to the hijacking of the local authority, or cooperate with pirate interests, and said the important part of pirate booty was sold on the market of the island. In 1752 indicated a large Algerian pirate raid, which took many people slaves of Kythira. The insecurity, together with the indifference of the Venetian authorities and the oppression of local rulers, led a revolution in 1780 and attempted murder against the Intendant Peter Marcello, who however managed to escape. In the late 18th century, in the presence of competing fleets of major powers in the region, slowly reduced the pirate action, to disappear almost completely with the entrance of the 19th century and the Napoleonic wars.[/column]
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