E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
In the thirteenth century the Venetians were masters of the sea, and some of their wealthy merchantsas the Sanudos, the Justiniani, the Grimaldi, and otherserected principalities in divers places of the Archipelago, which their descendants enjoyed for many centuries. These self-created princes were called royal merchants. (Warburton.)