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Mer-Égée ([mɛʁ.e.ʒe], French for Aegean Sea) was one of three short-lived French departments of Greece. It came into existence after Napoleon's conquest in 1797 of the Republic of Venice, when Venetian Greek possessions such as the Ionian islands fell to the French Directory.

The department included the islands of Zante (Zakynthos), Kythira and the Strofades, as well as Dragamesto (modern Astakos) on the Greek mainland. Despite its name, the department was mostly not in the Aegean, but the Ionian Sea, apart from Kythira and its dependencies.

Its prefecture was at the town of Zante (Zakynthos). The territories were lost to Russia in 1798 and the department was officially disbanded in 1802.

During the renewed French control of the area in 1807–1809, the department was not re-established, the constitutional form of the Septinsular Republic being kept.

See also[edit]


  • Bellaire, J.P. (1805). Précis des opérations générales de la Division française du Levant [Precis of the general operations of the French division in the Levant] (in French). Paris: Magimel & Humbert.
  • de Rulhière, Chriseuil (1800–1801). Essai sur les isles de Zante, de Cerigo, de Cérigotto et des Strophades, composant le département de la Mer-Égée [Essay on the islands of Zakynthos, of Kythira, of Antikythira and the Strofades, forming the department of Mer-Égée] (in French). Paris: Dessenne.CS1 maint: Date format (link)
  • Lacroix, Louis (1853). Les Îles de la Grèce [The Islands of Greece] (in French). Firmin Didot. p. 638.
  • Pauthier, G. (1863). Les Îles Ioniennes pendant l'occupation française et le protectorat anglais [The Ionian Islands during the French occupation and the British protectorate] (in French). Paris: Benjamin Duprat.

Coordinates: 37°47′N 20°53′E / 37.78°N 20.89°E / 37.78; 20.89