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TITLE Ένα περιφερειακό οικονομικό κέντρο: μετανάστες και πρόσφυγες στη μεσαιωνική Κρήτη (13ος-14ος αι.)
AUTHOR Γάσπαρης Χαράλαμπος
LANGUAGE Ελληνικά / Greek
PUBLISH DATE 25.09.2018
KEYWORDS μεσαιωνική Κρήτη, βενετική Κρήτη, μεσαιωνική μετανάστευση, πρόσφυγες
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A regional economic center: migrants and refugees in medieval Crete (13th-14th c.)

After its conquest by the Venetians in the first decades of the 13th century, Crete was repositioned on the political and economic map of the Eastern Mediterranean. That new economic and political environment as well as the size of the island contributed to the emergence of Crete as a regional economic center for a wide area that covered much of Greece and other more remote areas. As an economic center, which could absorb labor in both agricultural and urban economic activities, mainly in the trade and shipping sector, it attracted a significant number of economic migrants from different regions for both permanent and temporary settlement. On the other hand, the small and organized refugee flows to Crete, due to the 14th-century conflicts, also strengthened the Cretan economy by settling in the countryside and the cities of the island. Venice was undoubtedly favourable to the flow of migrants and refugees to the island, as demographic problems were resolved and the labor force was reinforced for further economic growth. The migrants to Crete, either in groups or individually, came from different regions of the eastern Mediterranean, from various social and economic strata, and possessed a variety of ethnic characteristics, despite the dominance of the Greek and Venetian elements. Migration, albeit to a lesser extent, is also observed from Crete to other Venetian possessions or to the city of Venice, as well as to areas outside the Venetian territory.