The Hegemony of the Gattelusi
In 1354 Lesvos was ceded as a dowry to the Genoese noble, Francesco Gattelusi, son-in-law of the Emperor John Palaeologos and he ruled until 1376. From the beginning he showed an interest in the well-being of its inhabitants and supported commerce, literature and the arts. In 1373 he renovated the castle of Mitilini as is shown by the inscription over the main gate. In 1401 Mitilini was destroyed by an earthquake and Francesco Gattelousi was killed when his palace collapsed on him. In 1445 the island was attacked by the Bulgarian apostate Baldaoglou and the town of Kalloni, which had been flourishing economically, was destroyed. In 1459 Domenicos Gattelusi was assassinated by his brother Nicolo who became the ruler of the island. In 1462 Lesvos succumbed to the Sultan Mohamed II, the Conqueror, after stiff resistance. The destruction that followed was terrible. All the young men and women were sent to Constantinople and the largest part of the population was exterminated. After four days of siege, Nicola Gattelusi saw that further resistance was hopeless and proposed to Mahmout Pasha a surrender of the castle, but on condition that he would be granted other land to live on. The proposal was communicated to the Sultan, who accepted it. He himself disembarked from his ship at Mitilini and took up residence at Epano Scala, near the castle. To this place he summoned Nicola Gattelusi and the treaty was signed the Sultan making it one of his terms that the whole island was to be surrendered to him. On October 14, Lesvos became subject to Mohamet II.