submitted by George Poulos on 31.10.2004
George N. Leontsinis
The Island Of Kythera. A Social History. (1700-1863).
National and Capodistrian University of Athens. Faculty of Arts.
"After a temporary occupation of the Greeks of the Morea (1275-1309), Kythera was once more in the hands of the Venier, who retained control until the Cretan rising against the Venetians in 1363. A strict feudal organisation was imposed on the island. It was divided into 24 lots (carati), six of which were taken by each of the four Venier brothers; but the fertile land around Palaiopolis and the Ayii Akindyni area, including the fortress of Kapsali-Chora, were held jointly by all four. The inhabitants and their homes were also divided among the four brothers along with the land on which they lived. Each family had to acknowledge as its feudal lord and master whichever one of the Venier had been allotted the land that the family lived on.
During these years the Venier themselves lived in Crete, leaving agents to act on their on Kythera. Among these agents were various members of the Kassimatis family, which emigrated from Crete to Kythera early in the fourteenth century and developed into one of the largest and most important families on the island. According to extant sources, the Kassimatis family is said to have orginated in Constantinople and to have emigrated their to Crete, where it was numbered among the island's Seventy Families. Having obtained certain privileges from the Duke of Crete, the family bought a considerable number of the carati on Kythera from the Venier. The first of the family to settle on Kythera was Leon Kassimatis, who arrived there in 1316. Available sources on the island indicate that there are still families with the name of Kassimatis in every one of the villages. In fact, to distinguish between the various families, they are all known by nick-names - paratsouklia - as is a common practise elsewhere in Greece".
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