Phokaia

   City situated at the entrance to the Gulf of Smyrna in Asia Minor (qq.v.). From 1088-1092 Tzachas (q.v.) made it notorious as the home base for his marauding fleet. From 1275 when it was ceded by Michael VII Palaiologos (q.v.), the Zaccaria family of Genoa (qq.v.) made it their key to good fortune, exploiting its harbor to export alum (derived from the mineral kalunite, used in leather tanning and dyeing). Prosperity attracted envy in the form of the Catalan Grand Company (q.v.), which sacked Phokaia and the Zaccaria stronghold of "New Phokaia" (north of the city) in 1307 or 1308. In 1402 the Gattilusio (q.v.) family of Genoa (q.v.) seized old Phokaia. Genoese rule came to an end in 1455 when the Ottomans (q.v.) conquered the region.

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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