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History of Corfu History of Corfu

Corfu was at the centre of history for thousands of years. Corfu is described as a cosmopolitan place from the mythological ages, maybe because its ports used to welcome Etruscan, Egyptian, Minoan, Cretan ship and ship from the Aegean Sea.

In the 8th century BC, its population was enriched with immigrants from mainland Greece (Eretria, Corinth) and its name was portrayed on monuments as «Korkyra».

In the 5th century BC, Corfu was on the battlefield between Democracy and Oligarchy – and it had been the cause for the first large-scale conflict in human history, the Peloponnesian War. After the split of the Roman Empire into Western and Eastern Roman Empire, Corfu was influenced by the Eastern part and followed the fate of the Eastern Roman Empire.

In the 13th century the crusaders stopped there, and Genova and Venice, the big naval forces of that time, created military bases.

In the late 14th century AD, Corfu had to deal with a bigger and bigger threat: the expanding tendency of the Ottoman Turks. At that point in history, Corfu chose to be protected by Venice, as it was a naval power which maintained some elements of the cosmopolitan and once democratic history of the island.

The dawn of the 19th century found Corfu being the capital of the Independent State of the Ionian Islands (1800 – 1810), thanks to the diplomacy of its leaders and the contribution of the Orthodox Russians.

 
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