Byzantine–Venetian War (1296–1302)

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The Byzantine–Venetian War of 1296–1302 was an offshoot of the first Venetian–Genoese War of 1294–1299.

In July 1296, during the course of a Venetian campaign against various Genoese possessions in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, the Venetian Ruggiero Morosini Malabranca captured and burned down the Genoese colony of Galata, across the Golden Horn from the Byzantine capital, Constantinople, and then attempted to attack the latter as well, despite the Byzantine–Venetian truce of 1285. In retaliation, the Byzantine emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos arrested the Venetian residents of his capital, who were then massacred by the surviving Genoese.

Open war between Venice and the Byzantines did not begin, however, until after the Battle of Curzola and the end of the war with Genoa in the 1299 Treaty of Milan, which left Venice free to pursue her war against the Greeks. The Venetian fleet, reinforced by privateers, began to capture various Byzantine islands in the Aegean Sea, many of which had only been conquered by the Byzantines from Latin lords about twenty years before.

From April 1301, Byzantine ambassadors were sent to Venice to negotiate a peace, but without success. In July 1302, a Venetian fleet arrived before Constantinople itself, and staged a demonstration of force: before the eyes of the Byzantine capital's inhabitants, the admiral Belletto Giustinian tortured the population of the island of Prinkipos, including refugees from Asia Minor who had fled the Turkish advance there, which the Venetians had taken prisoner. This induced the Byzantine government to propose a peace treaty, signed on 4 October 1302. According to its terms, the Venetians returned most of their conquests, but kept the islands of Kea, Santorini, Serifos and Amorgos, which were retained by the privateers who had captured them.

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