In 1209 AD Maios Orsini accepted the rule and the dependence of Zakynthos (Zante) and Cephalonia from Venice.
Later, the leadership of these islands fell to the hands of Geoffrey the 2nd Villarduin, ruler of Achaea. Ever after, Zakynthos with Cephalonia together were embodied and remained subordinate to the Principality of Achaea.
The last of the Orsinis who set the limits of the power of the Palatinate Counts, was John-Angelos Comnenos, who had become Orthodox, and had made his name Greek, recognised as successor Philip the 1st of Anjou, King of Naples, as successor to the rule of Zakynthos.
From 1357 AD the era of the Counts of Toki began to hold the power of these islands, which was maintained for one century and more. During the time of the Toki the County extended to mainland Greece, the population of Zakynthos augments to a great extent and reaches 25,000 people, while a climate of stability and upheaval was created in parallel.
The first who started the effort for development was Leonardo the 1st, who historically is characterised as capable and prudent. He was succeeded by his son Charles the 1st, who liked war and was very ambitious.
In 1429 AD, he died and left the leadership to his nephew Charles the 2nd, who governed in peace for many years. In 1448 AD, Charles the 2nd died and was succeeded by his son Leonardo the 3rd. In 1454 he reestablished the Orthodox Episcopal throne of Cephalonia
Zakynthos, with Gerasimos Loberdos as a Bishop (Episcopos), whom he appointed as a spiritual leader of the islands, a privilege which was kept for whoever was the Bishop, up until 1824. Some years later some 10,000 inhabitants from the Peloponnese pursued by the Turks, found refuge in Zakynthos - Zante. The care of these refugees, and the nonpayment of the tax which Leonardo should have paid to the Turks, became the cause of an expedition of the Turkish fleet against Cephalonia, which they pillaged first, and then turned against Zakynthos.
In 1482 Antonios Tokkos, Leonardo\'s brother, easily captured Cephalonia and sent the Turks away.
The Venetians though with an opportunist and arriviste movement, aiming at excluding the influence of Naples, sent their fleet, which in the name of St. Mark captured Zakynthos in 1483 AD. In parallel, they asked for the surrender of Cephalonia from Antonius Tokkos. He refused and then the Venetians disembarked their troops on to the island, who captured the castle and killed Antonius. Thus they stabilised their power, finding excuses to Turkish claims to the island that they proceeded to this act fearing the expansion of the pirates. Dealing with the matter of the leadership over the islands of Zakynthos and Cephalonia, the Venetians and the Turks concluded the Treaty of the 22nd April 1484, which defined Cephalonia as a Turkish possession and Zakynthos as Venetian.