Bartolomeo Minio

Bartolomeo Minio

Bartolomeo Minio was, among other things, a Venetian captain and commander ("provveditor e capitanio") of Nauplion in the Venetian Morea (modern Nafplion, Greece) from 1479 to 1483 AD. His reports to Venice, "dispacci", provide a unique historical source for southern Greece in the 15th century.


The Minio family records date back to 904 when a Paolo Minio moved to Rialto. In the 1300s, Bartolomeo's family held myriad office positions and were also counted in the "estimo" of 1379. Moreover, nine members of his family were listed in Hopf's catalogues of governors for Greece and the Aegean islands. [Wright (1999), p. 15.] Bartolomeo was born in Venice in around 1428 to Marco Minio and Cristina Storlado, the youngest of five sons. Cristina died when Bartolomeo was only two years old and Marco remarried in 1431. In 1455, Bartolomeo married Elena Trevisan. Three sons were known to have reached adulthood (Marco, the first son, who was born around 1460, Alvise, born in 1461, and Francesco). The family house can be identified in the San Tomà parish of the San Polo "sestiere" of Venice. [Wright (1999), p. 16.]

Military and political career

In 1462, Bartolomeo was a "consiliere" to the "rettor" of Corfu during his early career in the "terra mar". Minio spent over forty-two months in Nafplion beginning in November of 1479. His term is notable for the fortifications he built for Nauplion, for his settlement of the territorial boundaries with the Ottomans, [Wright (2004) passim. [ (Online text)] ] and for his judicious settlement of the Klada revolt. [Dario, #21a.] In 1499 and 1500, he was stationed in Cyprus where he made notable contributions to the fortifications of Famagusta. [Sanudo, "Diarii", Vol. 2.685, 3.1119.] Between 1500 and 1502, he was "vice-doge" (briefly) and captain in Crete. A collection of 60 reports which he made during that time has survived. [Sathas, Vol. 6.] These reports, combined with the 90 from Nauplion, form an incomparable collection of letters by a single person.

His career in Venice and the mainland followed the normal course for Venetian patricians: in 1497, he was a councillor for water issues in the "terrafirma"; in 1503, "consiliere" and "capo" of the Dieci; "podestà" at Cremona from 1504 to 1505; in 1506 and 1507, and again in 1510 and 1514, "podestà" in Padua. In 1509, at the age of 80, he was sent to Julius II in order to discuss the matter pertaining to the papal interdict placed on Venice for the capture of Ravenna and Faenza.

He was appointed "provveditore" of the stratioti for the Ferrara War in 1484. [ Sanudo, "Le Vite", Vol. 2, pp. 407, 420-21, 439-41.] In 1485, he was elected "captain" of the annual Venetian trading convoy from Venice to Flanders and England. In the Bay of Biscay, the convoy of four galleys was attacked by pirates, one of whom was Christopher Columbus, the merchandise was taken, and Minio and the survivors left on the coast of Portugal. [Brown, pp. 155-158.]

Bartolomeo had periods of illness prior to his death. Aside from having missed vespers on April 25, 1512, he sent a message a week later to the Collegio rejecting his position as "vice-doge" due to his illness. He was ill again and missed two major ceremonial events in May and June of 1513. Despite all this, he became "consiliere" of Padua in October of 1515 after a meeting of the Dieci that endured until the eleventh hour. In August or September of 1518, Bartolomeo Minio died at the age of ninety. [Wright (1999), pp. 17-18.]



*Brown, Rawdon. 1864. "Calendar of State Papers and Manuscripts, Relating to English Affairs," Volume 1. London.
*Colón, Ferdinand. 1992. "The Life of the Admiral Christopher Columbus," Trans. B. Keen. Rutgers, NJ.
*Dario, Giovanni. 1996. "22 Dispacci da Costantinopoli al Doge Giovanni Mocenigo. Giuseppe Calò, ed. & trans. Venice.
*Sanudo, Marino (1466-1535). 1969 reprint. "Diarii." R. Fuldini et al., eds. 58 vol. Bologna.______ 1989 reprint. "Le Vite dei Dogi (1474-1494)." Angela Caracciolo Aricò, ed. Padua.
*Sathas, Konstantinos N. 1880-1890. "Mnēmeia ellēnikēs istorias: Documents inédits rélatifs à l’histoire de la Grèce au moyen âge." 9 vols. Paris.
*Wright, Diana Gilliland. 2004. “After the Serenissima and the Grand Turco Made Love: the Boundary Commissions of 1480 & 1482,” "550th Anniversary of the Istanbul University International Byzantine and Ottoman Symposium." Sümer Atasoy, ed. Istanbul.
*Wright, Diana Gilliland. 1999. "Bartolomeo Minio: Venetian administration in 15th-Century Nauplion." Doctoral dissertation, The Catholic University of America, Washington DC ( [ Online Version] ).

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