According to lawschoolsinusa, this mercantile activity, given the position of the peninsula between the European world and the Greek and Islamic world, soon greatly expanded its sphere. Beyond geography, history helped: that is a certain cosmopolitan tradition, nourished by Rome and the papacy, which later became almost nature. It was moved from the peninsula, in the century. XI, the counter-offensive against Islam and the reconquest of the central Mediterranean. In the century XII and at the beginning of the 13th century, Venetians, Pisans, Genoese, masters of the maritime routes, provided with money, trained in trade with the East, can not only turn the expeditions of Western Christians to their own post, but also decide the fate of the small feudal lordships arising from the fourth crusade, influence the politics of the Greek empire. A little ‘they were imposed, a little’ they were sought after. Commercial privileges multiplied, the concession of houses, squares, airports, churches, entire districts, within all the cities of the East. In a first phase, until after the mid-thirteenth century, the primacy of Venetians, closer and stronger, more experienced in the oriental environment, less delayed by Saracen devastation. That primacy received a seal after the fourth crusade, which was mainly Venice’s enterprise and was resolved especially to his advantage. The restoration of the Greek dynasty, wanted and prepared by Genoa, also marked the prevalence of the Superba in the East. The treaty of Nymphaeum, concluded between Genoa and Michael VII Palaeologus, emperor of Nicaea, was among the most prudent acts of colonial policy in the East. Since then, it has increasingly emerged as a division of the East into two spheres of influence: Genoa, stronger in Syria, in the coastal region of Little Armenia (Adana), in Constantinople, in the Black Sea, in the Azov Sea, up to Tana. The great colony of Caffa rises in the Black Sea, which later also becomes a bishopric. And the more the Christian colonies of Syria and Palestine become unsafe, the more the others around the Black Sea acquire importance: not only commercial but also religious importance. Venice, on the other hand, was consolidated in the Aegean. You had the great islands, mostly Crete and Euboea, the basis of the Venetian power in the East. And both because they were closer lands and more similar peoples, and because Venice had a wider spirit of Roman humanity, it built more durably, it truly created a Venetian and Italian civilization in the East, it linked its Levantine tradition to the new Italy of the century. XIX. Pisa also had an excellent position in the Levant: in certain moments and places, indeed, equal and superior to that of the Genoese, as in Constantinople in the century. XII. The area of action of this city was, however, especially North Africa, the destination of his youthful expeditions in the eleventh century: that is, the region west of the Syrians, from Tunis to Ceuta. The dominion of Sardinia favored.
Within these geographical limits, what can be called the colonial activity of the Italians from the eleventh to the fourteenth century took place and expanded. They are also Italians from the inside. Spirit of adventure, intolerance of the small city environment, calls of the fascinating East, pilgrimages that can also give occasion to trade and enterprises of war and purchase of prey, also solicit Veronesi and Piacentini, Lucchesi and Bolognesi and Fiorentini. But most of them are Italians from seafaring cities, especially in the north, and people devoted to trade: although maritime trade and war and racing and colonial purchases were not so different and disjointed things, that they often do not form a single story. Sometimes, from this activity between private and public, between military and pirate, the purchase of land and lordships were born, similar to those that were born in the mainland by feudal men, partisan men, imperial vicars and city officials. Corsairs and merchants together were several of those private citizens who in the East conquered an island or a mainland city with their own means, obtained recognition from the motherland, founded a dynasty there: the Sanudo in Naxos, the Dandolo in Andro near the Eubea, the Quirini in Stampalia, the Contarini in Ascalona, all Venetians; the Genoese Gattilusio in Eno, on the coast of Thrace, in Samothrace, in Imbro, in Lesbos, in Thasos, in Lemnos, Ghisolfi in Matrega between the Black and Azov seas, De Marini in Bachtar on the Azov sea, the Senarega in Castel d’Elci on the mouth of the Dniester, Cattaneo della Volta in Metelino, Da Castello in Focea and Scio.