to Homer, the island was named for Zakinthos,
son of the King of Troy. Zakynthos
was first inhabited in the 16th century BC, by
the Achaeans. At various periods in history, it
has belonged to Athens, and Sparta, the Macedonians,
Romans, Byzantine and Venetians.
Venetians ruled the island for almost 300 years
(1484-1797), and largely influenced their society.
The Venetians imposed their own laws on the island,
and divided it into three categories; the nobili
(nobles), the civili (citizens) and the popolari
(common people). The nobles were registered in
the Libro d'Oro (golden book).
with any civilization in time, the common people
revolted against their oppression and from 1628
to 1632 there were many bloody battles. The Rebelio
ton Popolaron was the first revolt in Europe of
that time, but it was suppressed by the Venetians.
1797, the French Republicans took over the island,
removed the class structure, and gave local mayors
the authority to rule the island under the supervision
of the French government. The popolari burned
the famous Libro d'Oro in the Square of St. Mark,
and the Venetian class system was over.
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