PrologueVenice, Metropolitan City of V
Following the Fourth Crusade (1203–1204), the lands of the Byzantine Empire were divided among several western Catholic ("Latin") Crusader states, ushering in the period known in Greek as Latinokratia. Despite the resurgence of the Byzantine Empire under the Palaiologos dynasty in the later 13th century, many of these "Latin" states survived until the rise of a new power, the Ottoman Empire. Chief among these was the Republic of Venice, which had founded an extensive maritime empire, controlling numerous coastal possessions and islands in the Adriatic, Ionian, and Aegean Seas. In its first conflict with the Ottomans, Venice had already lost the city of Thessalonica in 1430, following a long siege, but the resulting peace treaty left the other Venetian possessions intact. In 1453, the Ottomans captured the Byzantine capital, Constantinople, and continued to expand their territories in the Balkans, Asia Minor, and the Aegean. Serbia was conquered in 1459, and the last Byzantine remnants, the Despotate of Morea and the Empire of Trebizond were subdued in 1460–1461. The Venetian-controlled Duchy of Naxos and the Genoese colonies of Lesbos and Chios became tributary in 1458, only for the latter to be directly annexed four years later. The Ottoman advance thus inevitably posed a threat to Venice's holdings in southern Greece, and, following the Ottoman conquest of Bosnia in 1463, in the Adriatic coast as well.