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The Greek Correspondence of Bartolomeo Minio – Volume I: Dispacci from Nauplion (1479-1483)

The Greek Correspondence of Bartolomeo Minio Dianna Gilliland Wright

John R. Melville – Jones



Italy 2008

[…] Bartolomeo Minio q. Marco was elected provveditor and capitaneo of Napoli di Romania in February 1478-79 to replace the previous rettor of Nauplion, Christoforo de Priuli, who died before the end of his term. Leonardo Diedo, capitaneo of Coron, was transferred to Nauplion until Minio arrived. As Minio’s first letter reports, he got as far as Modon in September, but did not arrive in Nauplion until 8 November, as Venetian shipping was either suspended or on war alert because of the Ottoman attack on the Ionian Islands.

Bartolomeo was about 40 when he began the Nauplion assignment, the usual age for a provveditor in the stato da mar. The dispacci suggest that he had a tendency to migraines and an aching neck. Perhaps marked by the early loss of his mother, he appears in his letters as a lonely man, writing of himself as “essendo solo rector,” rarely mentioning officials other than those who came by galley for rare, brief stays, never mentioning the name of the assistant on whom he relied the most, the cancellier for whom he fought a long and tiring battle with Venetian bureaucracy. In the final dispaccio of 25 March 1483, he mentions “nui suo rectori” and “nui suo provveditori” but these refer to rettori of other citta`. Five years later, there were at least thirteen officials appointed to Nauplion in addition to the provveditor, and Minio may have had several of these with him: this cannot be deduced from the dispacci and cannot be assumed, given the many variations from the standard noted at Nauplion. His wife’s brother, “mio cognado Piero Trevisan,” commanded a light galley and came to Nauplion several times on assignment. Minio looked forward to Trevisan’s visits, and in the dispacci emphasized their relationship— “mio cognado”— insisting on it in what he perceived as the blank face of Venetian bureaucracy. As official papers, the dispacci give no suggestion as to what non-official correspondence he might have had […]

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