Marco I Sanudo
Marco Sanudo († 1227 ) was a Venetian nobleman who rose to become Duke of Archipelagos.
He was a nephew of the Venetian Doge Enrico Dandolo and participants of the Fourth Crusade, during which 1204 Opel Constantinople was conquered and in which he led a Venetian fleet in the Byzantine capital.
In 1207, he conquered with the help of borrowed eight galleys of Venice, the island of Naxos, where he founded the Duchy of Archipelagos and made himself duke.
The campaign was a company that was not coordinated with Henry of Flanders, the ruler of the Latin Empire. Sanudo was accompanied by Marino Dandolo and Andrea and Geremia Ghisi, but also of Ravano dalle Carceri, the Lord of Euboea, and Philocalo Navigaioso, lord of Lemnos. He began the conquest of the island by imports into the port of Potamidides in the southwest of Naxos. The Orthodox Naxioten were not without opposition: in the interior they held the fort Apalyros that arose only after five or six weeks of siege Sanudo, despite support from Genoa, who were excluded by the pirates actions of the Venetians from the Aegean trade.
With Naxos in his hand Sanudo conquered Melos in 1210 and the rest of the Cyclades. He built a strong fortress and divided the islands into 56 provinces, which he distributed as a feudal fief among the leaders of his men, who had mostly joined him in expectation of such rewards and so far carried their own costs.
He reigned for 20 years ( 1207-1227 ) as Duke Marcos I., surrounded by Latin Seigneurs to more than two dozen islands, some of which rendered him the oath of allegiance, others directly to the emperor in Constantinople Opel. Sanudo's personal possessions were the islands of Paros, Antiparos, Melos, Sifnos, Kythnos, Ios, Amorgos, Kimolos, Sikinos, Syros and Pholegandros.
When he died in 1227, followed in his son Angelo as Duke of Archipelagos. His family ruled the duchy until 1383, when they were overthrown by an uprising of the Crispo, who sat down at her place on the throne.