Although the island was never often known as a den of pirates like Mani, Peloponnese or Sfakia, Crete. After Venice occupied Zakynthos in 1484, it endeavored to re-populate the island with Stradioti and refugees from areas in mainland Greece which it lost to the Ottoman Empire.

As early because the 1540s, the rise in the cultivation of currants in Zakynthos and Cephalonia attracted th