Stato da Màr

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State of the Sea
Stato da Màr (vec)
Overseas colonies of the Republic of Venice
Venezianische Kolonien.png
Map of the Venetian colonial empire
Historical eraMiddle Ages
• Pietro II Orseolo treaty
    with Basil II
• Fourth Crusade
12 May 1797
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Byzantine Empire
Eyalet of the Archipelago
Habsburg Monarchy
First French Republic
Old map of the Republic of Venice and its possessions in Istria and Dalmatia (18th century)

The Stato da Màr or Domini da Mar ("State/Domains of the Sea") was the name given to the Republic of Venice's maritime and overseas possessions, including Istria, Dalmatia, Albania, Negroponte, the Morea (the "Kingdom of the Morea"), the Aegean islands of the Duchy of the Archipelago, and the islands of Crete (the "Kingdom of Candia") and Cyprus.[1] It was one of the three subdivisions of the Republic of Venice's possessions, the other two being the Dogado, i.e. Venice proper, and the Domini di Terraferma in northern Italy.


The creation of Venice's overseas empire began around 1000 AD with the conquest of Dalmatia and reached its greatest nominal extent at the conclusion of the Fourth Crusade in 1204, with declaration of the acquisition of three octaves of the Byzantine Empire. However, most of this territory was never controlled by Venice, being held by the Greek Byzantine successor states (the Despot of Epirus, the Empire of Nicaea, and the Empire of Trebizond) and much of the rest was soon lost as the Byzantine Empire of Nicaea reconquered Constantinople in 1261.

However, for many centuries the "Stato da Màr" survived in the Balkans, mainly in the Adriatic sea that was even nicknamed "Mare di Venezia" (sea of Venice) on maps of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Later on, under increasing pressure from the Ottoman Empire, further residual territories were lost and re-organised until only Istria, Dalmatia, and the Venetian Ionian Islands were left when the Republic fell to Napoleon in 1797.




  • Crowley, Roger (2011). City of Fortune - How Venice Won and lost a Naval Empire. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-24594-9.
  • Da Mosto, Andrea (1937). L'Archivio di Stato di Venezia. Rome: Biblioteca d'Arte editrice.
  • Mutinelli, Fabio (1851). Lessico Veneto. Venice: tipografia Giambattista Andreola.