09.07.

1409: Disgraceful Sale of Dalmatia to Venice

1409: Disgraceful Sale of Dalmatia to Venice
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 9 July 1409
  • King Ladislaus of Naples sold his rights to Dalmatia to the Republic of Venice for 100,000 ducats. Thus Venice gained legitimacy to conquer Dalmatia, over which it will rule for the next 400 years. Already 20 days after the sale, the Venetian flag with the Lion of St. Mark fluttered over Zadar.

On this day one of the most shameful episodes in the entire history of Croatia happened.

King Ladislaus of Naples sold his rights to Dalmatia to the Republic of Venice for 100,000 ducats. Thus Venice gained legitimacy to conquer Dalmatia, over which it will rule for the next 400 years.

Ladislaus sold Dalmatia because it was clear to him that he will not be able to hold on to it with a weapon, so he at least wanted some financial gains out of it. His right to Dalmatia was based on the fact that he was crowned King of Hungary, Croatia and Dalmatia at the Cathedral of St. Anastasia in Zadar in 1403.

However, this coronation was disputed by the ruling Hungarian King Sigismund of Luxembourg, who was crowned 16 years earlier. Sigismund was a more powerful ruler than Ladislaus, because he was the pretender for the throne of the Holy Roman Empire as well as the Bohemian throne, and he founded the famous Order of the Dragon (Societas Draconistrarum) a year before, whose members were numerous powerful Christian princes and knights.

It is funny how Ladislaus negotiated with the Venetians over the price for Dalmatia.  He first asked for 300,000 ducats, but the Venetians offered only 100,000 in four installments. Then Ladislaus lowered the price to 200,000 and then to 150,000. The Venetians, however, now offered only 60-70,000 in three installments.

Finally, on this day, an agreement was made. Ladislaus agreed to 100,000 ducats, and in return gave his right to the whole of Dalmatia. The agreement was signed in St. Sylvester church in Venice. Already 20 days after the sale, the Venetian flag with the Lion of St. Mark fluttered over Zadar.

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