In 1420, Byzantines trade Thessaloniki and Chalcidice in exchange for Venetian Peloponnese

Im been working on a TL lately and came with a thought - say before Murad II decided to declare war on Byz, for instance in 1420 when the byz friendly Mehmed was still alive, if Byzantines were to trade Thessaloniki and Chalcidice in exchange for all Venetian possessions on Peloponesse like Nafplio, would Venice have agreed?

From strategic point of view, this exchange would allow byz to concentrate their resource and leaving the indefensible Thessaloniki to the Venetians.

Would Thessaloniki be tempting enough to the Venetians?
 
No, because the Venetians would lose a good port which was easier to defend than Thesalonic with a hostile greek population and with the hinterland threatened by ottoman troops. They realised this when they took the city OTL from Andronikos Palaiologos and then left it to its own devices.
 
Good points there, during research I read after the naval battle of Gallipoli in 1416 where the Venetians wiped the floor of Ottoman navy, they were kind of cocky and over confident in their naval supremacy, which partly led to their accept of Thessaloniki when Andronikus offered after prolonged ottoman siege.

now, if Venice would accept Thessaloniki even if ottoman already attacked and Murat proclaimed strong desire to get the city back, would it be plausible then if before ottoman hostility, the byz could trade the city and surroundings off for some other territories and cash?
 
The Byzzies aren't going to surrender Mt Athos willingly.
I’m not too familiar with holy sites for orthodoxy, thinking byz did offer Thessaloniki to venetians otl, albeit after a long ottoman siege, if the threat of ottomans grow significantly albeit without a direct war, wouldn’t byz consider their exposed position in Thessaloniki? Regarding Mt. Athos would it be possible if some deal could be reached where byz gets to keep a small exclave or monasteries to placate ppl. I mean otl siege of Thessaloniki the orthodox clergy preferred venetians over ottomans
 
I thought about a POD after 1400, circa 1416 - 1419, centered around a more successful Bedreddin and an earlier Mehmed I death. This would create another great Ottoman Interregnum that could seriously alter the power situation in Balkans
 
(my hopefully helpful two cents)

Well, the Byzantines actually handed over Thessaloniki to the Venetians in 1423 IOTL because of the local difficulties and the Venetians accepted due to the expected gains (although, they should have probably used the precedent of Athens as a warning).

Also, I think it's rather impossible. For one, Methoni and Koroni were important for securing communications between Venice and Crete, so the Venetians wouldn't want to hand over such a strategic point to the Byzantines, not when Ottoman raids deep into the Peloponnese showed the relative ineffectiveness of the Despotate's forces in repelling them. Furthermore, due to their position but also the relative peace in the Peloponnese at the time (and the fact that they were located in the end of most prospective routes for an attacker in the peninsula) which favoured agriculture and trade (again, relatively), the two cities and their hinderland were somewhat of a net contributor to the Venetian state (especially thanks to the olive oil produced there); whereas Thessaloniki was more of a drain of resources (and if the Venetians were asked to hand over territories in exchange for the city they would examine the conditions more than OTL I think), with the city having been intermittently cut of from the rest of Macedonia due to the civil wars, the Serbian invasions and then the Turkish raids and the Ottoman operations that brought the area under the latter's control after 1371 and thus experienced significant economic decline (which would make the occupation even more costly). The city would offer no significant strategic advantage and would instead place the Venetians in the line of fire from the Ottomans.

(I think Chalcidece had already been placed under Ottoman rule, although the situation at the time is a bit unclear to say the least)
 
(my hopefully helpful two cents)

Well, the Byzantines actually handed over Thessaloniki to the Venetians in 1423 IOTL because of the local difficulties and the Venetians accepted due to the expected gains (although, they should have probably used the precedent of Athens as a warning).

Also, I think it's rather impossible. For one, Methoni and Koroni were important for securing communications between Venice and Crete, so the Venetians wouldn't want to hand over such a strategic point to the Byzantines, not when Ottoman raids deep into the Peloponnese showed the relative ineffectiveness of the Despotate's forces in repelling them. Furthermore, due to their position but also the relative peace in the Peloponnese at the time (and the fact that they were located in the end of most prospective routes for an attacker in the peninsula) which favoured agriculture and trade (again, relatively), the two cities and their hinderland were somewhat of a net contributor to the Venetian state (especially thanks to the olive oil produced there); whereas Thessaloniki was more of a drain of resources (and if the Venetians were asked to hand over territories in exchange for the city they would examine the conditions more than OTL I think), with the city having been intermittently cut of from the rest of Macedonia due to the civil wars, the Serbian invasions and then the Turkish raids and the Ottoman operations that brought the area under the latter's control after 1371 and thus experienced significant economic decline (which would make the occupation even more costly). The city would offer no significant strategic advantage and would instead place the Venetians in the line of fire from the Ottomans.

(I think Chalcidece had already been placed under Ottoman rule, although the situation at the time is a bit unclear to say the least)
Appreciate your insights. Yeah I think its kinda difficult to persuade the Venetians to place themselves in the line of fire from Ottomans. I read somewhere the Venetians paid between 200.000 akces to 1.000.000 akces to despot Andronikos for the city OTL, but that is peanuts compared to the cities in Pelopennese I guess.

Think I have to rework my TL then :(
 
Appreciate your insights. Yeah I think its kinda difficult to persuade the Venetians to place themselves in the line of fire from Ottomans. I read somewhere the Venetians paid between 200.000 akces to 1.000.000 akces to despot Andronikos for the city OTL, but that is peanuts compared to the cities in Pelopennese I guess.

Think I have to rework my TL then :(
Well, I don't have any tangible figures for the revenues from Methoni and Koroni, but even if they were modest, it would still be better than plunging tens of thousands of ducats trying to prop up the city's defences when the revenues from the city perhaps don't even cover the whole cost of running its administration and defence
 
Well, I don't have any tangible figures for the revenues from Methoni and Koroni, but even if they were modest, it would still be better than plunging tens of thousands of ducats trying to prop up the city's defences when the revenues from the city perhaps don't even cover the whole cost of running its administration and defence
I see, do you have any ideas which cities were most important to Venice and which were of meager importance? I remember Konstantinos XI invaded Patras twice in 1430s and despite the city belonged/paid tribute to the venetians they ultimately did not intervene and acknowledged Byzantine conquest
 
I see, do you have any ideas which cities were most important to Venice and which were of meager importance? I remember Konstantinos XI invaded Patras twice in 1430s and despite the city belonged/paid tribute to the venetians they ultimately did not intervene and acknowledged Byzantine conquest
Well, I don't have my books nearby. Perhaps you could do something with the Venetians managing to hold Athens against the Acciauoli after Nerio's death and after some years looking to get rid of it but not wanting to give it to the Acciauoli in Lebadeia/Thebes. Therefore they decide to sell it to the Byzantines in exchange for Thessaloniki.
 
Well, I don't have my books nearby. Perhaps you could do something with the Venetians managing to hold Athens against the Acciauoli after Nerio's death and after some years looking to get rid of it but not wanting to give it to the Acciauoli in Lebadeia/Thebes. Therefore they decide to sell it to the Byzantines in exchange for Thessaloniki.
That do sound more plausible, if the byz controlled Athens through diplomacy without Ottoman interference, then I guess the old frank castle close to Thermopylae would come into play. From the perspective of building a solid power base, I think a concentrated byz presence in Peloponnesus and central Greece is much more viable, ie what Konstantinos XI did IOTL
 
I’m not too familiar with holy sites for orthodoxy, thinking byz did offer Thessaloniki to venetians otl, albeit after a long ottoman siege, if the threat of ottomans grow significantly albeit without a direct war, wouldn’t byz consider their exposed position in Thessaloniki? Regarding Mt. Athos would it be possible if some deal could be reached where byz gets to keep a small exclave or monasteries to placate ppl. I mean otl siege of Thessaloniki the orthodox clergy preferred venetians over ottomans
I'm trying to picture just what the frontiers of the Empire were in 1420.
 
I’m thinking in the line of 1403 border after the treaty of Gallipoli, where byz still has Black Sea coast, Thessaloniki and chaldiki
Your other challenge then is that Thessalonica has long been the second most important city in the Empire while the Moorea was a backwater. In 2022, the trade may have obvious benefits, but are these apparent six hundred years earlier?
 
I’m more thinking
Your other challenge then is that Thessalonica has long been the second most important city in the Empire while the Moorea was a backwater. In 2022, the trade may have obvious benefits, but are these apparent six hundred years earlier?
I was thinking more military strategically. Given that byz would inevitably clash with ottomans, Thessaloniki was simply indefensible and it’s hinterland lays bare in front of ottoman army. Morea and Central Greece in the other land has many choke points if we’ll organized could protect its hinterland from ottoman pillaging, creating a more stable powe base
 
I’m more thinking

I was thinking more military strategically. Given that byz would inevitably clash with ottomans, Thessaloniki was simply indefensible and it’s hinterland lays bare in front of ottoman army. Morea and Central Greece in the other land has many choke points if we’ll organized could protect its hinterland from ottoman pillaging, creating a more stable powe base
So you're suggesting that Venice get the Empire's second city with the full expectation that they lose it in short order to the Turks?
 
Obviously they would not do that if they knew they couldn’t keep, but in 1416-1420s before Murad, ottomans were in relative good terms with byz and Venice, so it wouldn’t be entirely impossible for them to take the city, especially since they took the city in exchange for 100000 aksper annually after ottomans sieges the city
So you're suggesting that Venice get the Empire's second city with the full expectation that they lose it in short order to the Turks?
 
Obviously they would not do that if they knew they couldn’t keep, but in 1416-1420s before Murad, ottomans were in relative good terms with byz and Venice, so it wouldn’t be entirely impossible for them to take the city, especially since they took the city in exchange for 100000 aksper annually after ottomans sieges the city
But that's the opposite of what you just argued.
 
I’m however unsure what price the Venetians would pay. I thought initially the whole of Peloponnesus but that obviously is greater value than the city
 
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