Martino Zaccaria

Martino Zaccaria

Martino Zaccaria (died 15 January 1345) was the lord of Phocea and Chios from 1314 to 1330. He co-reigned with his brother Benedetto III after the death of their father Paleologo.

In 1319, he received investiture from Philip II, titular Latin emperor of Constantinople. His fief at that time comprised the islands of Chios, Tenedos, Samos, Marmora, Lesbos, and Phocea. From Philip I of Taranto he received the royal title and the hereditary right in both the male and female line. On 26 June 1325, Philip confirmed him as "King and Despot of Asia Minor."

Martino's first marriage was to a daughter of Bartolomeo Ghisi, grand constable of Morea, chancellor of Thebes, triarch of Euboea, and possessor of the lordships of Tinos, Mykonos, and the southern Sporades. His second marriage was to Jacqueline de la Roche, heir of the De la Roche dukes of Athens and baroness of Veligosti and Damala.

In 1317, Martino conquered Smyrna and in 1318 defeated a Turkish fleet at sea, imposing a tax on Turkish commerce vessels.

He offered his brother Benedetto the right to retire with a pension. Benedetto, unable to resist the demands of his brother on his own, requested aid from Andronikos III Palaiologos in 1324. In 1329, the Andronikos declared Martino deposed. With a fleet of 105 ships, he invaded Chios. Martino was taken prisoner to Constantinople. After Benedetto's death, Andronikos compelled the governor of Phocea, Andreolo Cattaneo, to swear fealty to him.

Martino was liberated in 1341 and 1343 commanded the crusade against Umur Bey, Emir of Aydin. In 1344, he occupied Smyrna again. Martino wished to use this as a base to reconquer Chios, but he was captured by Turks during a mass in the local cathedral and beheaded in the courtyard on 15 January 1345. Simone Vignoso succeeded his command and took Chios in 1346 for Genoa. His head was sent to Umur as a trophy. Martino's elder son Bartolomeo, who had assisted in raising his ransom, died young in 1334, but his younger son Centurione inherited his remaining fiefs in Morea, namely Chalandritsa.


  • Miller, William. "The Zaccaria of Phocaea and Chios (1275-1329)." The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. 31. (1911), pp. 42–55.
  • Setton, Kenneth M. (general editor) A History of the Crusades: Volume III — The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries. Harry W. Hazard, editor. University of Wisconsin Press: Madison, 1975.
  • Setton, Kenneth M. Catalan Domination of Athens 1311–1380. Revised edition. Variorum: London, 1975.
Preceded by
Benedetto II
Lord of Chios
(Jointly with Benedetto III Zaccaria)
Succeeded by
Benedetto III Zaccaria

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