EVIDENCE OF MOVEMENTS WITHIN CRETE UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE VENETIAN AUTHORITIES: THE CASE OF THE VILLAGE OF "TRACHINIAKON" IN KANDANOS, SELINON.
The founding of the Trachinoi family village, known today as “Trachiniákos”, is placed, on the basis of the archaeological data (mainly provided by its surviving churches), around 1300 or at the beginning of the 14th century. The first church built after the establishment of the village is that of St. John the Divine (attributed to the workshop of the painter Pagoménos), the only one to be safely dated (to 1329) out of four, whose founding inscription mentions first among the donors the Trachinoi family (“γενεὰ τῶν Τραχινιανῶν”). The oeconym of the settlement clearly indicates that this specific family moved to the area, while raising questions about their change of residence: where did they move from, and why did they choose this specific place?
The surviving and published sources are not particularly informative on the Trachinoi family, so such questions cannot be answered directly. However, some random references to members of the same family in published documents illuminate the situation by offering new data: most of the cases agree on the fact that at least a large portion of the Trachinoi family lived in the Mylopotamos area. The question examined here is whether this relocation was due to the implementation of a specific provision in the Treaty of Alexios Kallergis (in 1299), which served the interests of both the native population and the conquerors. The Venetians were creating the preconditions for their enemies to become their allies, and then spread these “legitimate” populations by bestowing estates, especially in areas where the risings had not yet been sufficiently suppressed; moreover, it is well known that for the most effective counter to these uprisings they relocated populations, depopulating whole villages at that time, as in the case of the Lassithi Plateau. Thus, Trachiniákos, and probably other settlements in the Kandanos area and elsewhere, are the results of this policy of “dispersion of legitimate populations”. Moreover, this particular relationship that developed between the two sides is projected more or less discreetly in some local churches, indicating the inhabitants’ pro-Venetian attitude, at least in the first stage of the founding of the new settlements.