Towards the end of the 13th century, certain Venetian families were designated as noble, and henceforth maintained a monopoly on all political offices in the Venetian republic and on many of the important posts throughout the city. On Venetian ships, the offices of captain of each fleet and of every vessel (called patron on merchant vessels and sopracomito on military ones) were reserved to nobles, while most of the other offices were held by non-noble, both native-born Venetian and foreign.

One of eight young apprentices on board a ship, learning everything they could about ship operations; particularly responsible for steering and managing the sails. Pl., nochieri.

Ottoman Turks
A Turkic group with origins in Asia that entered Asia Minor in the 13th century. After 1300, under Osman I, the Ottomans began to expand, generally at the expense of the Byzantine Empire. The Ottomans established themselves in Europe in the 1360s, taking control of large parts of Serbia, Bosnia, and Bulgaria, establishing their capital at Adrianople, then at Constantinople following the capture of the city in 1453.

Structure projecting from the side of a galley, used to create a point of leverage for the oars.

A fence of stakes erected for defense.

Non-noble officer serving under the comito. The usual term in Venetian sources is paron zurado (sworn patron) to distinguish him from the noble captain of a merchant ship who went by the simple name of paron.

The noble captain of a commercial galley. The term in Venetian is paron, which was also given to a non-noble officer.

Small coin used in medieval Venice, of an alloy mainly of copper with a small amount of silver. In the ducat system of accounting, 32 piccoli were counted as a grosso and 24 grossi as a ducat. In the lira di moneta accounting system, 12 piccoli were equal to a soldo, and 20 soldi were equal to the lira. Pl. piccoli.

The aftermost and highest deck of a galley.

A written text of sailing instructions typically listing the distance and direction between ports along a coast, as well as local landmarks and hazards.

portolan charts
Sea charts, or maps, showing sea coasts in graphic form, and usually cities and ports along those coasts.

Senior oarsman.