The Genoese. Pirates of the Black Sea. Part of 2
Arming the fusto (a simplified version of a shallow draft and displacement galleys), Tarigo headed for the Sea of Azov. Even with artillery on board, a distant expedition on such a small ship is already a daring adventure. On Azov, he temporarily stopped in Tanya (the Genoese colony on the site of modern Azov), and then began to climb the Don to the so-called Volgodonsk perevoloki. There fusta was transferred to the Volga waves literally on themselves. The descent along the Volga to the Caspian began. Across the entire length of the river, the Genoese plundered everyone indiscriminately and many robbed themselves in the Caspian Sea.
Estimated fusta image
By the way, some archaeological excavations in the Saray-Dzhuka area (Saraychik is one of the shopping centers of the Golden Horde, now in the Atyrau region of Kazakhstan) indicate that pirate flotilla repeatedly raided cities off the coast of the Caspian. So thick-walled clay balls were found - the remnants of an incendiary bomb of the 13-14th centuries, with which the Genoese bombarded their opponents. And the influence of Genoa in this remote region was great. For example, in Derbent, born, unprincipled Genoese traders organized a full-fledged slave market, which even competed with Tana, in Azov.
Lucino Tarigo. quite pleased with himself, taking the loot, he set off on the return journey. However, on his way to Cafu, misfortune happened to him, which clearly characterizes the general tendencies of that time. Daring pirate ... robbed! Luchino had to get out of the house without having been fed up with the remnants of profit and the surviving booths.
However, Genoa, or rather, Gasaria, continued an extremely tough confrontation with all the forces stationed on the Black Sea. After the brilliant victories over Venice, Genoa somewhat lost another force from its focus, which continued to gain power - the Turks. The arrogant Genoese of Europe were vainly disposed towards some Turkic tribes that had seized Sinop. Moreover, regular pirate raids on Sinop and the Turkish coast convinced them of their omnipotence. For example, in the 1299 year, during the next raid, the Genoese not only robbed the coast of Sinop, but captured Masoud Bey, the father of a talented warrior and naval commander Gazi Chelebi.
Celebi, being a cunning and vindictive leader, moreover, according to some sources, a desperate fan of hashish, Genoese ships and fortresses all over the Black Sea began to “nightmare”. In the 1313 and 1314 years, Gazi attacked Cafa, and the encounter of the Genoese ships with him on the high seas did not carry anything good. In 1323, this fellow with narcotic greetings in his head and heavy temper seized several large Genoese galleys at once and cut out a crew man at the root of 1500.
For the residents of Sinop, suffering from constant Genoese raids, Chelebi was a hero. About him in the people began to walk legends. Allegedly, he knew how to walk under water, probably, he learned from the ancient ukrov, and he was stealing the bottoms of enemy ships. The dominion and power of Sinop began to grow uncontrollably.
Remains of the fortress wall of Sinop
Only in 1340-th year, the Genoese came out of a coma, having organized a corsair squadron to fight the Turks under the leadership of the experienced naval commander Simone di Quarto. By this time, the pirate fleet Sinop had at its disposal about a dozen major battle galleys and many other types of ships.
7 large trading galleries were hired by Kafa merchants, re-equipped and reinforced by the local militia. For some time, the traders of Genoa and Venice even made up to besiege the Turks. The squadron of Simone di Quarto was supplemented by the 13 of the Genoese and Venetian ships. Soon the squadron went to sea. One of the famous Sinope rulers came out to meet the squadron, trying to bribe the Genoese. But after the 23 massacre, Simone did not want to hear anything. He destroyed the fleet of Sinop, and also captured up to ten ships and brought them to Cafu. In 1346, the raid on Sinop was repeated. The coast was ravaged, having restrained Turkish expansion on the Black Sea for some time.
Venetian galleys model
But only. Soon the Europeans were again absorbed by the Corsair wars with each other, giving the Turks a break and gain strength. Already in 1350, Venice again declared war on Genoa. The 35 gallery under the command of the “main sea captain” was the name of this post, Marco Rudzini entered the Black Sea, where they immediately seized the Genoa merchant ships, marching from Azov and Kafa, and soon plundered all the “merchants” who were standing in Trapezond roadstead.
13 February 1350 in the waters of the Bosphorus, the Genoese were able to break the fleet of Venice Vittoro Pisani. As a result, the war, which lasted until 1355, ended in favor of Genoa, which completely blocked for Venice and its ally, Byzantium, the passageways to the Dniester, Don and Azov.
While the Genoese corsairs were busy fighting with their seemingly major competitors, Sinop rebuilt its fleet. Soon a major foray into Cafu was committed, which caused considerable damage to the Genoese. The standoff continued.
One of the highlights, depicting the complexity of the relationship of the Black Sea powers, is story captivity of Mervaldo Spinola, a café merchant. So in 1437, in the port of Trapezond, a certain Girolamo di Negro, on an armed galea, attacked Spinola, on the orders of the emperor Trebizond, on the naval trade. The goods were expropriated, and Spinola himself was thrown into prison. The immediate master of the skills, Philip di Melode, complained of such outrage. The emperor of Trebizond was adamant, especially since by that time the Nava, used by the emperor for his own purposes, had fallen on a rock and sank.
Soon, the Kafa merchants decided to pay damages for the loss of the vessel and crew in a completely familiar way. They submitted to the Doge and the Council of Elders of Genoa a petition asking to provide them with a letter of marque or a corsair patent in order to conduct piracy activities against Trebizond, i.e. both against the emperor and against his subjects. So, unpretentiously, robbery settled long ago in geopolitics.
The decline of the era of Genoa on the Black Sea came from the Turks they despised. Despite the long standoff with Byzantium, the fall of Constantinople 30 in May 1453 of the year was a blow to Genoa. Difficult relations between the Genoese and the Byzantines were often partnering, because The Romans compared to the insatiable Turks were much more sane colleagues. For example, one of the defenders of Constantinople in that desperate defense was Genoese condotier Giustiniani Longo, who passed away from injuries on 1 on June 53 of the year.
The expansion of the Turkish Sultan Mehmed II after the fall of Byzantium did not keep me waiting long. Already in the 1454 year, the 56 Turkish warships approached the Cafe and began the assault. But that year the Turks were not lucky, and the landing party landed, after an unsuccessful attempt at assault, was forced to retreat. According to others, the Genoese still had to pay off the Turks, because Crimean Khans declared themselves as allies of the Turks, which hardened and complicated the situation.
But it became clear to the Genoese that the Sultan and the developing Ottoman Empire could not be convinced of mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of trade, including slaves. In January, 1455, two galleys with professional soldiers on board and artillery weapons left the metropolis for Gazaria. But already in the Bosphorus they were intercepted by the Turks. In April, an attempt to break into Cafu was repeated by two more armed ships. They have already been intercepted by Turkish artillery, which the Turks prudently installed along the shores of the Bosporus, so as not to rush after obstinate Genoese throughout the Black Sea. As a result, one ship went to the bottom, and the other still managed to break through the blockade.
Began an active phase of opposition to the Turks. Soon, the Genoese avenged the Ottomans, robbing first the ship with a load of copper, and soon the ship with a large load of silk. Fierce fighting broke out at sea. Finally, the traders of Genoa thought about a peace agreement with the Turks. Moreover, in Genoa itself, they were already beginning to speculate whether the metropolis could even hold Cafa and other fortresses in the face of such a fierce enemy. The story gave the answer - no.
The fortress of Kafa itself was not in its best condition by the second half of the 15 century. In the city grew internal discontent, because Kafa was filled with various ethnic groups and religions. The outbreak of crime sometimes affected the trade in paralysis. Genoa was not in a hurry to help his colony, although, perhaps, she was not capable, absorbed in her squabbles. The restlessness in the Crimean Khanate, which had previously favored Genoa, was also disturbing, which threatened Cafe at any moment.
Against this background, the complete and criminal indifference of both the colony and the metropolis, Mehmed II was preparing for the last throw in order to turn the Black Sea into a Turkish lake. An entire squadron was formed from 300 to 500 of various types of ships with troops on board under the command of the Grand Vizier, Gedik Ahmed-Pasha, and the military commander Diagarzh-Yakub. 1 June 1475 of the year the squadron stood off the coast of Kafa in the Crimea and began disembarking. Already June 2 in front of the fortress walls were installed before the 14 siege bombardment.
The shelling lasted several days. At the same time, the Crimean Tatars went over to the side of the Ottomans, significantly increasing the forces of the besiegers. In 5 days, Kafa fell. It was followed by the fall of other fortresses-colonies of Genoa. Everywhere, Ottoman expansion was accompanied by a mass slaughter and wild rampant barbarism. All, without exception, the surviving inhabitants of the colonies, regardless of nationality, were sold into slavery. Especially fiercely Turks in the fortress Soldayya (Sudak), where the surviving defenders were closed in the temple and burned alive.
So the Ottoman Empire began to rule alone on the Black Sea ... But not for long.
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