Stato da Màr

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State of the Sea
Stato da Mar (vec)
Domain of the Republic of Venice



Location of Stato da Mar
Map of the Venetian colonial empire
Historical era Middle Ages
 •  Pietro II Orseolo treaty
    with Basil II
992 the 10th century
 •  Fourth Crusade 1202–04
 •  First Ottoman–Venetian War 1463–79
 •  Cretan War 1645–69
 •  Morean War 1684–99
 •  Last Ottoman–Venetian War 1714–18 1797
 •  Treaty of Campo Formio 17 October 1797

The Stato da Mar or Domini da Mar ("State/Domains of the Sea") was the name given to the Republic of Venice's maritime and overseas possessions, including Istria, Dalmatia, Albania, Negroponte, the Morea (the "Kingdom of the Morea"), the Aegean islands of the Duchy of the Archipelago, and the islands of Crete (the "Kingdom of Candia") and Cyprus.[1] It was one of the three subdivisions of the Republic of Venice's possessions, the other two being the Dogado, i.e. Venice proper, and the Domini di Terraferma in northern Italy.


The creation of the Venice's overseas empire began around 1000 AD with the conquest of Dalmatia and reached its greatest nominal extent at the conclusion of the Fourth Crusade in 1204, with declaration of the acquisition of three octaves of the Byzantine Empire. However, most of this territory was never actually controlled by Venice, being held by the Greek Byzantine successor states (the Despot of Epirus, the Empire of Nicaea, and the Empire of Trebizond) and much of the rest was soon lost as the Byzantine Empire of Nicaea reconquered Constantinople (1260).

However for many centuries the "Stato da Mar" survived in the Balkans, mainly in the Adriatic sea that was even nicknamed "Mare di Venezia" (sea of Venice) on maps of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Later on, under increasing pressure from the Ottoman Empire, further residual territories were lost and re-organised until only Istria, Dalmatia, Corfu and the Ionian Islands (Venetian Ionian Islands) were left when the Republic fell to Napoleon in 1797.



  1. Map of venetian forts & presence in the Stato da Mar of southern Balkans


  • Da Mosto, Andrea: L'Archivio di Stato di Venezia, Biblioteca d'Arte editrice, Roma, 1937.
  • Mutinelli, Fabio: Lessico Veneto, tipografia Giambattista Andreola, Venezia, 1852.