Over thirty years after the Ottoman conquest of his homeland of Rethymno, and towards the end of his life, Marinos Tzane Bounialis composed the poem “Dispute between Chandax and Rethymno”, published with his long poem The Cretan War in Venice, in 1681. The “Dispute” is imagined to have taken place at a time when Rethymno had already fallen, though Candia was still holding out against the besieging Ottoman army. Through the names of persons and families mentioned by the personified Ottoman Rethymno, the poet paints an image of the city’s Venetian past and his eminent compatriots. Most had left their native land, some long before and others after the war, to settle down in other places – in Chandax or in other areas, mainly of the Venetian world.
This paper presents a brief overview of the movement of residents of Rethymno and their achievements in the new places of establishment or those of exile, and discusses the issue of the literary form of the poem, the poet’s intention and the potential readers he was addressing in this particular composition.