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PROFESSOR KRUMBACHER says in his History of Byzantine 
Literature, that, when he announced his intention of devoting 
himself to that subject, one of his classical friends solemnly 
remonstrated with him, on the ground that there could be 
nothing of interest in a period when the Greek preposition 
airo governed the accusative instead of the genitive case. 
I am afraid that many people are of the opinion of that 
orthodox grammarian. There has long prevailed in some 
quarters an idea that, from the time of the Roman Conquest 
in 146 B.C. to the day when Archbishop German6s raised 
the standard of Independence at Kalavryta in 1821, the 
annals of Greece were practically a blank, and that that 
country thus enjoyed for nearly twenty centuries that form 
of happiness which consists in having no history. Forty 
years ago there was, perhaps, some excuse for this theory : 
but the case is very different now. The great cemeteries of 
mediaeval Greece — I mean the Archives of Venice, Naples, 
Palermo, and Barcelona — have given up their dead. We 
know now, year by year — yes, almost month by month — the 
vicissitudes of Hellas under her Frankish masters, and all 
that is required now is to breathe life into the dry bones, and 
bring upon the stage in flesh and blood that picturesque and 
motley crowd of Burgundian, Flemish, and Lombard nobles, 
German knights, rough soldiers of fortune from Catalufta 
and Navarre, Florentine financiers, Neapolitan courtiers, 
shrewd Venetian and Genoese merchant princes, and last 
but not least, the bevy of high-born dames, sprung from the 
oldest families of France, who make up, together with the 
Greek archons and the Greek serfs, the persons of the 
romantic drama of which Greece was the theatre for 250 



years. The present volume is an attempt to accomplish 
that delightful but difficult task. 

Throughout I have based the narrative upon first-hand 
authorities. I can conscientiously say that I have consulted 
all the printed books known to me in Greek, Italian, Spanish, 
French, German, English, and Latin, which deal in any way 
with the subject; and I have endeavoured to focus all the 
scattered notices concerning the Frankish period which have 
appeared in periodical literature, and in the documents of 
the epoch which have been published. These I have 
supplemented by further research in the archives of Rome 
and Venice. My aim has been to present as complete an 
account as is possible in the existing state of our knowledge 
of this most fascinating stage in the life of Greece. I have 
also visited all the chief castles and sites connected with 
the Frankish period, believing that before a writer can hope 
to make the Franks live on paper, he must see where they 
lived in the flesh. Enormous as is the debt which every 
student of mediaeval Greek history owes to the late Karl 
Hopf, it was here that he failed, and it was hence that his 
Frankish barons are labelled skeletons in a vast, cold museum, 
instead of human beings of like passions with ourselves. 

One word as to the arrangement of the book. The 
historian of Frankish Greece is confronted at the outset 
with the problem of telling his tale in the clearest possible 
manner. He may describe, like Finlay, the history of each 
small state separately — a course which not only involves 
repetition, but prevents the reader from obtaining a view of 
the country as a whole ; or he may, like Hopf, combine the 
separate narratives in one — a policy which inevitably leads 
to confusion. I have adopted an intermediate course. 
The three states of the Morea and continental Greece — the 
principality of Achaia, the duchy of Athens, and the Despotat 
of Epiros — were so closely connected as to form a fairly 
homogeneous whole ; and with them naturally go the island 
county of Cephalonia and the island of Euboea. The duchy 
of the Archipelago and the Venetian colony of Corfu, on the 
other hand, form separate sections, for their evolution differed 
widely from the other states. I have therefore treated them 
apart Crete I have omitted for two reasons : it is not yet 


a part of the Greek kingdom, and it so happens that Frankish 
Greece almost exactly coincided with the area of modern 
Greece ; moreover, the history of Venetian Crete cannot be 
written till the eighty-seven volumes of the " Duca di Candia " 
documents at Venice are published. 

I owe thanks to many friends for help and advice, 
especially to K. A. M. Idrom&ios of Corfii. 

W. M. 
Rome, December 1907. 

a 2 




Administrative divisions. The Ionian islands. Thessaly. Sla- 
vonic elements. Tzalcones. Jews. Italians. Byzantine 
oppression. Piracy. Local tyrants. The Church. Material 
condition of Athens. The Ancient Monuments : the Par- 
thenon, the Erechtheion, the Theseion. Byzantine Churches. 
Monasteries. Culture. English at Athens. Thebes. Chalkis. 
The Peloponnese. Corfu. The Cyclades 



The deed of partition. Sale of Crete to Venice. Boniface of 
Montferrat marches into Greece. Leon Sgour6s besieges 
Athens. Bestowal of baronies in Thessaly. Marquisate of 
Boudonitza. Barony of Salona. Capture of Athens by the 
Franks. Akomin&os in Exile. Attica and Boeotia bestowed 
on Othon de la Roche. D'Avesnes takes Eubcea. Siege of 
Corinth. Geoflroy de Villehardouin lands in Messenia. 
Meeting with Champlitte. Conquest of the Morea. Battle 
of Koundoura. Doxapatres. Champlitte "Prince of all 
Achaia." Venice takes Modon and Coron. Death of 
Boniface. Michael I. Angelos founds the Despotat of Epiros. 
Marco I. Sanudo founds the duchy of the Archipelago. 
The triarchs of Eubcea. The Venetians colonise Corfu. 
Crete ........ 37 






Departure of Champlitte. Villehardouin bailie of Achaia. The 
baronies of Achaia. Feudal Society : the prince, the great 
barons, the Greeks, the serfs. Continuation of the conquest 
m of Achaia. Treaty with Venice. Geoffrey I. becomes 
" Prince of Achaia." Capture of Corinth, Nauplia, and Argos 
Organisation of the Church in Achaia. Society in Attica. 
Othon de la Roche : his family and dominions. The Athenian 
Church. Death of Akomin&os. The Lombard rebellion. 
The Parliaments of Ravenika. Venice obtains a footing in 
Eubcea. Michael I. of Epiros captures Corfu : his death . 49 



Fall of the Kingdom of Salonika. Theodore of Epiros becomes 
its Emperor. Marriage and reign of Geoffrey II. of Achaia : 
he builds Chloumoutsi : his quarrel with the Church : the 
Concordat of 1223 : his services to the Latin Empire. 
Reign and retirement of Othon de la Roche of Athens : Guy 
I. succeeds him. Union of the Greek Empires of Nice and 
Salonika. Michael II. "Despot of Hellas/ Prince William 
of Achaia. Siege and surrender of Monemvasia. Building of 
Mistra, Old Maina, and Beaufort. Splendour and commercial 
prosperity of Achaia. The mint at Chloumoutsi. The 
Eubcean war. Frankish Athens fights Frankish Sparta: 
battle of Karydi. The Parliament of Nikli. Guy I. becomes 
Duke of Athens : history of the title. William of Achaia 
becomes involved in Epiros. Battle of Pelagosta. Imprison- 
ment of the prince. The Emperor Baldwin II. at Athens. 
The " Ladies' Parliament" Cession of the three fortresses. 
Treaty of Thebes. General situation in 1263 ... 82 


THE GREEK REVIVAL (i 262- 1 278) 
Franco-Greek war in the Morea. Battle of Prinitsa. The Turks 



desert to the Franks. Battle of Makryplagi. First Settlement 
of Turks in the Morea. Treaty of Viterbo. The Angevin 
connection. Prince William at Tagliacozzo. Marriage of 
Princess Isabelle with Philip of Anjou. Resumption of the 
war in the Morea. Death of Michael II. of Epiros. 
Division of the Despotat : the duchy of Neopatras. War 
between Byzantium and Neopatras. John of Athens aids 
the duke. Naval battle off Demetrias. Rise and career of 
Licario in Eubcea. Capture of John of Athens : his release 
and death. Feudal difficulties in Achaia : the cases of Skortd 
and Akova. Death of Prince William. Condition of the great 
baronies. The Gasmules. General situation of Frankish 
Greece in 1278. Commerce and agriculture. Culture: 
Leonardo of Veroli's library. Piracy. General insecurity. 
Frankish nomenclature . . . .120 



Charles I. of Anjou Prince of Achaia. Rule of his bailies : Galeran 
d'lvry, Filippo de Lagonessa, and Guy de la Tr&nouille. 
William, Duke of Athens and bailie of Achaia. Nicholas de 
St Omer bailie : he builds the castles of St Omer and Avarino. 
Origin of the name Navarino. Geoffroy de Bruyeres captures 
Bucelet. Florent of Hainault marries Isabelle de Villehar- 
douin and becomes Prince of Achaia. The Angevins in 
Epiros. Capture of Sully. Latin coalition against the Greek 
Empire : treaty of Orvieto. Effect of the Sicilian Vespers on 
Greece. Collapse of the coalition. War between the Greeks 
in Thessaly. Seven years' peace in Achaia. Condition of 
Epiros : Florent intervenes there. History and origin of Sta. 
Mavra. Philip of Taranto marries Thamar of Epiros and 
becomes suzerain of all the Frankish states. The Angevins 
at Lepanto. Roger de Lluria ravages the Morea. Surprise 
of Kalamata. Unpopularity of the Flemings : story of Photios. 
The market at Vervaina : capture of St George. Death of 
Florent Coming of age of Guy II. of Athens : the scene at 
Thebes. Boniface of Verona. Guy II. marries Matilda of 
Hainault Isabelle of Achaia at the Jubilee of 1300: her 
marriage with Philip of Savoy. Philip as Prince of Achaia : 
his quarrel with St Omer: his extortionate government 
Guy II. of Athens guardian of Thessaly: spread of French 
influence there : his campaign against Epiros. The tourna- 



ment on the Isthmus. Charles II. of Anjou makes Philip of 
Taranto Prince of Achaia. Exile and death of Princess 
Isabelle. The Savoyard "Princes of Achaia." Great pros- 
perity of Athens. Review of the Frankish states in 1307 161 



Origin of the Catalan Grand Company. Roger de Flor. The 
Company enters the Byzantine service. Quarrels with the 
Emperor. Ravages Thrace and Macedonia. The Infant 
Ferdinand of Majorca. His arrest with Muntaner at Negro- 
ponte. His imprisonment at Thebes. The Catalans negotiate 
with Duke Guy II. They murder their captains. Death of 
Guy II. The disputed succession: decision of the High 
Court of Achaia. Duke Walter of Brienne. The Catalans 
in Thessaly. Walter employs them against the Greeks. His 
quarrel with them. Battle of the Kephiss6s ( 1 5 th March 1 3 1 1 ). 
The Catalans occupy the duchy of Athens. Memorials of 
the French dukes . . .211 



The Company places the duchy under Sicilian protection. Man- 
fred of Sicily Duke of Athens. Estanol sent as governor. 
Organisation of the Catalan duchy. The vicar-general. The 
marshal The veguers, captains, and castellanos. Represen- 
tative and municipal institutions. Code of law and language. 
Ecclesiastical organisation. Treatment of the Greeks. Fin- 
ances. EstanoPs administration. Alfonso Fadrique head of 
the Company. His Euboean marriage and campaign. Truce 
with Venice in 13 19. Importance of the Piraeus. Turkish 
danger. Death of the last Greek Duke of Neopatras : break- 
up of his dominions. Venice takes Pteleon. The Catalan 
duchy of Neopatras. First appearance of the Albanians in 
Thessaly. The Venetian marquisate of Boudonitza. End of 
the Angeli in Epiros. The Orsini in Epiros. Their crimes 
and Greek culture. The principality of Achaia : Louis of 



Burgundy marries Matilda of Hainault and becomes prince. 
Tragic end of the Lady of Akova. Civil war in Elis : expe- 
dition of Ferdinand of Majorca. Death of both claimants. 
John of Gravina Prince of Achaia. The last of the Villehar- 
douins. Expansion of the Byzantine province: loss of 
Arkadia. First mention of the Acciajuoli. Achaia exchanged 
for Durazzo. Walter of Brienne attempts to recover Athens. 
Destruction of the castle of St Omer. Subsequent career of 
Walter. Condition of Greece in 1333 .... 235 



Catherine of Valois in Achaia. Niccolo Acciajuoli. Byzantine 
annexation of Epiros. The Achaian barons treat with James 
II. of Majorca: report on the principality in 1344. The 
papacy recognises the Catalans at Athens. Frederick III. of 
Sicily becomes Duke of Athens. Condition of the duchies. 
Moncada vicar-general. The Serbs in Thessaly. Greek 
revival in the Morea : the Cantacuzenes at Mistri. Character 
of the Moreot archons: revolt of Lampoudios. Manuel's 
national policy. Franco-Greek alliance against the Turks. 
Roger de Lluria invites the Turks to Thebes. Their defeat 
at Megara. The Emperor Robert Prince of Achaia. Niccolo 
Acciajuoli receives Corinth. Death of Prince Robert: a 
disputed succession. Exploits of Carlo Zeno, canon of 
Patras. Nerio Acciajuoli's origin and establishment at 
Corinth. Rise of the Tocchi. Leonardo Tocco becomes 
Count of Cephalonia and Duke of Leucadia. Epiros divided 
between Serbs and Albanians. Foundation of Meteora. 
Condition of Athens : dissensions between Lluria and Pedro 
de Pou. Lluria vicar-general. Schemes of the house of 
Enghien for the recovery of Athens. State of the Venetian 
colonies. General position of the Frankish states in 1373 269 



Congress at Thebes. Nerio Acciajuoli seizes Megara. Death of 
King Frederick III. of Sicily : disputed succession at Athens. 
The majority proclaims Pedro IV. of Aragon as duke. Inter- 
vention of the Navarrese Company. Its origin. Jacques de 
Baux claims Achaia. Queen Joanna I. of Naples Princess of 



Achaia. The principality pawned to the Knights of St John. 
Heredia in Greece. The Albanians capture Lepanto. The 
Navarrese in Attica. Capture of Thebes. The Akropolis 
defended by Bellarbe. The capitulations of Athens and 
Salona. Pedro IV. and the Akropolis. Rocaberti vicar- 
general. The head of St George. Albanian immigration into 
Attica. The Navarrese Company established in the Morea. 
Various claimants to the principality. Growth of Venetian 
influence in Argolis and Euboea. Rocaberti recalled. Nerio 
Acciajuoli seizes Attica. Pedro de Pau defends the Akropolis : 
its surrender. Fate of the survivors : Catalan families still 
left in Greece. Memorials of Catalan rule : the Catalan 
Madonna. State of Athens in the Catalan period. " Catalan " 
as a term of reproach. The Florentines in Epiros : Esau 
Buondelmonti becomes Despot. Review of Greece in 1388 . 505 


Restoration of the Greek see of Athens. Nerio's philhellenic 
policy. Greek becomes the official language. Venice pur- 
chases Argos and Nauplia. Theodore Palaiol6gos seizes 
Argos. Nerio the prisoner of the Navarrese : his release : 
he strips the Parthenon to pay his ransom. His alliance 
with Amadeo of Savoy. List of the Achaian baronies in 1391. 
The Turks in Greece: Evrenosbeg ravages Attica. Tragic 
end of the last Countess of Salona. Nerio created " Duke of 
Athens " : his death and will : feud between his heirs. 
Venice accepts the city of Athens. The Venetian administra- 
tion. Description of Athens in 1395. Fresh Turkish 
inroads. Antonio Acciajuoli master of Athens. Venice 
acquires Lepanto. Further Venetian gains : condition of 
Negroponte. State of the Morea : Albanian colonisation : 
Theodore Palaiol6gos sells Corinth to the Knights of St John. 
Centurione Zaccaria last Prince of Achaia. The Duchess 
Francesca Tocco's court at Cephalonia : Froissarfs descrip- 
tion. Carlo I. Tocco conquers Epiros. End of the mar- 
quisate of Boudonitza ...... 334 

The Emperor Manuel II. restores the Hexamilion. Platonic 



proposals of Gemist&s Python. The satire of Mazaris. 
Civilisation of Maina. Extension of the Venetian colonies in 
Messenia : purchase of Navarino. Venice meditates buying 
the Morea : report on its condition in 1422 : Turakhan invades 
it. Constantine PalaiohSgos in the Morea. He captures Patras. 
End of the Frankish principality of Achaia. The Turks take 
Salonika and Joannina: Carlo II. Tocco a tributary of the 
sultan. Antonio Acciajuoli's successful rule at Athens. 
Florentine society there. The Akropolis under the Acciajuoli : 
their palace in the Propylaea : the Frankish Tower. Other 
Florentine buildings at Athens. Literary culture. Depopu- 
lation : slavery at Athens. Death of Antonio : conspiracy of 
Chalkokondyles. Nerio II. proclaimed. Antonio II. sup- 
plants him. Nerio II.'s restoration. .... 377 



Quarrels of the Palaiol6goi brothers. State of the Morea. Con- 
stantino's triumphs in Northern Greece: Athens tributary 
to him. Battle of Varna. Murad II. storms the Hexamilion. 
Constantine crowned emperor at Mistra. End of Italian rule 
in Akarnania. Cyriacus of Ancona visits Greece : the anti- 
quary at Athens. Death of Pl&hon. Turakhan invades the 
Morea : battle of Dervenaki. Effect of the taking of Constan- 
tinople on Greece. Albanian insurrection in the Peloponnese. 
Centurione's son claims the principality. The rising subdued 
by Turkish aid. The Palaiol6goi omit to pay their tribute. 
Mohammed II.'s campaign in the Morea. Surrender of 
Corinth. Turkish province constituted. Death of Nerio II. 
Usurpation of Chiara Zorzi at Athens : her tragic end. Franco 
Acciajuoli. Omar takes Athens : end of Frankish rule there. 
Mohammed visits Athens. The anonymous account of the 
antiquities. The sultan in Bceotia and Negroponte. Fratri- 
cidal war in the Morea. Mohammed's second Peloponnesian 
campaign : surrender of Dem&rios. Monemvasia holds out 
and becomes papal territory. Flight of Thomas. Heroic 
defence of Salmenikon. Fate of the Palaiol6goi. End of 
Phrantzes. Murder of Franco Acciajuoli. End of the duchy 
of Athens. Subsequent history of the Acciajuoli. Condition 
of the Venetian colonies : acquisition of ^Egina and of the 
Northern Sporades ...... 407 





Removal of St George's head from ALg'ma. to Venice. Turco- 
Venetian war of 1463. Greeks and Albanians rise against the 
Turks. The Venetians rebuild the Isthmian wall Death of 
Bertoldo d'Este at Corinth. Monemvasia becomes Venetian. 
Sigismondo Malatesta in the Morea. Siege of Mistra. 
Python's remains removed to Rimini. Vettore Cappello 
captures Athens. Second anonymous description of the city. 
Venetian defeats at Patras and Kalamata. Death of Cappello in 
Euboea. Siege of Negroponte : Canale's fatal inaction. Fall 
of Negroponte : indignation in Venice. Fate of the survivors. 
The Turks repulsed at Lepanto. Peace of 1479. Origin of 
the stradioti. Venice abandons the Tocchi. Prosperity of 
Cephalonia and Zante under Leonardo III. The Turks con- 
quer the palatine county. Antonio Tocco recovers Zante and 
Cephalonia. Venice dislodges him, and keeps Zante. Later 
history of the Tocchi. The twenty years' peace : insurrection 
of Kork6deilos Kladas : schemes of Andrew Palaiol6gos. 
Turco- Venetian war of 1499. Loss of Lepanto. Condition 
of Modon, and its capture by the Turks. Loss of Navarino and 
Coron. Venice takes Cephalonia and Sta. Mavra. Cession 
of Sta. Mavra. Peace of 1502-3. State of the remaining 
Venetian colonies : Nauplia, jEgina, Monemvasia. The 
Knights of St John seize Modon. Andrea Doria captures 
Coron. Its abandonment by the Spaniards. Fate of its 
inhabitants. Turco- Venetian war of 1537. Sack of j£gina 
by Barbarossa. Heroic defence of Nauplia. Peace of 1540. 
Cession of Nauplia and Monemvasia : disappearance of 
Venice from the Greek mainland .... 464 

corfO (1214-1485) 

Corfu under the Despots of Epiros : zenith of the Greek Church. 
Civil administration. Filippo Chinardo. Charles I. of Anjou 
master of Corfu. Disestablishment of the Greek Church : 
Catholic predominance. Jewish immigration. Angevin ad- 
ministration : the Captain, the Magister Mas sarins ^ the Curia 
Regis, the "annual judges." The four bailiwicks. The feudal 
system. Economic' value of the island. Philip of Taranto 
" Lord of Corfu." Robert and Philip 1 1 . Origin of the Corfiote 



gypsies. Joanna I. of Naples Lady of Corfu. The Navarrese 
Company conquers the island for Jacques de Baux. Charles 
III. of Naples its ruler. Venice occupies Corfu. The 
Venetian charter. Formal purchase of the island. Effects 
and traces of Angevin sway. Venetian administration : the 
bailie, councillors, zn&proweditore. The prowedi tore gentrale 
del Levante. Local government : the General Assembly and 
the Council of 15a The "Golden Book." The dependencies 
of Corfu: Butrinto, Parga, the islands of the Harpies. 
Ecclesiastical organisation. The Jews. The feudal system. 
The gypsies 1 fief. The serfs. Neglect of education. The 
Greek language. Trade. Taxes. Present memorials of 
Venetian rule. Aspect of the town in Venetian times. 
Genoese attacks. The Turkish peril. Greek exiles in Corfu 
after 1453. St Spiridion. Services of the Corfiotes to Venice 512 



Acquisition of Zante. Its colonisation and administration. The 
Catholic Church. The Greek Church. Cephalonia a Vene- 
tian colony : its administration. Character of the Cephalonians. 
Ithaka. Prosperity of Zante and Cephalonia. First Turkish 
siege of Corfu. History of Cerigo : the Venieri : the Mono- 
yannai. Cerigo a Venetian colony. Its partial restoration to 
the Venieri. Its organisation. Barbarossa's raid. The 
Ionian islands in 1540 ...... 550 


Marco I. Sanudo does homage to the Emperor Henry. Creation 
of the duchy. Marco's treachery in Crete. His capture by 
the Greeks of Nice. His religious tolerance. Foundation of 
the Catholic Church in the Cyclades. Angelo Sanudo a vassal 
of the Prince of Achaia. He imitates his father in Crete. The 
castles of the Cyclades. Marco II. Loss of the Northern 
Sporades and many other islands. Venice claims suzerainty 
over the duchy. Piracy. War of the Ass. The worship of 
St Pachys. Recovery of the lost Cyclades. New Latin 
families established there. The Knights of St John at Delos. 
Exploits of Niccol6 1. Sanudo. State of the Archipelago about 



1330. John I. taken by the Genoese. Prosperity of Seriphos. 
The Duchess Fiorenza : struggle for her hand. Evil reign of 
her son, Niccol6 dalle Carceri. Francesco Crispo assassinates 
him and seizes the duchy. He pacifies Venice. First appear- 
ance, and origin of the Sommaripa. Venice inherits Tenos 
and Mykonos. Popularity of Venetian rule : the case of 
Seriphos. State of the Archipelago about 1420. Giacomo I. 
institutes the Salic law. His visit to England. John II. 
succeeds as a Venetian nominee. Genoese invasion. The 
Sommaripa in Andros. Culture in the Archipelago : visit of 
Cyriacus of Ancona. The Knights of St John at Naxos. 
Eruption of Santorin. William II. pays tribute to the sultan 570 



Sufferings of the Archipelago during the Turco- Venetian war. 
The Idyll of Santorin. The Pisani case. Tyranny of John 
III. Venice administers the duchy. State of the Archipelago. 
Venice restores the duchy to the Crispi. The Mad Duke of 
Naxos. Second Venetian administration. Life in the islands. 
John IV. His capture by Corsairs. The question of Paros. 
Barbarossa's fatal cruise. Capture of Paros. Naxos tributary 
to the Turks. The duke's letter to the Powers. Loss of 
Mykonos. Barbarossa's second cruise. Capture of the 
Northern Sporades. Venetian report on the Cyclades in 1 563. 
Giacomo IV. the last Christian duke. End of the duchy. 
Selim II. bestows it upon Joseph Nasi. The Jewish duke 
and his deputy Coronello. Temporary restoration and death 
of Giacomo IV. Condition of the Archipelago under Nasi. 
The duchy annexed to Turkey. The Gozzadini retain seven 
islands. Feudalism under the dukes. Culture 611 

Table of Frankish Rulers .651 

Bibliography . 655 
Index ......... 665 

Maps :— 

Greece in 1214 ...... Face p. 81 

Greece in 1278 . . 151 

Greece in 1388 . . 532 

Greece in 1462 . 464 




The history of Frankish Greece begins with the Fourth 
Irusade — that memorable expedition which influenced for 
enturies the annals of Eastern Europe, and which forms 
he historical basis of the Eastern question. We all know 
low the Crusaders set out with the laudable object of freeing 
the Holy Sepulchre from the Infidel, how they turned aside 
to the easier and more lucrative task of overturning the 
eldest empire in the world, and how they placed on the 
hrone of all the Caesars Count Baldwin of Flanders as first 
latin emperor of Constantinople. The Greeks fled to Asia 
Amor, and there, at Nice, the city of the famous council, and 
t Trebizond, on th$ shores of the Black Sea, founded two 
mpires, of which the former served as a basis for the re- 
onquest of Byzantium, while the latter survived for a few 
ears the Turkish Conquest of the new Rome. 

At the time of the Latin Conquest, most of Greece was still 
ominally under the authority of the Byzantine emperor. The 
ystem of provincial administration, which had been completed 
»y Leo the I saurian early in the eighth century, was, with some 
Iterations, still in force, and the empire was parcelled out 
ito divisions called Themes — a name originally applied to a 
egiment, and then to the district where it was quartered 
Continental Greece, from the Isthmus to the river Peneios 
i the north and to iEtolia in the west, composed the Theme 
f Hellas, which thus included Attica, Bceotia, Phokis, Lokris, 
art of Thessaly, and the islands of Euboea and iEgina ; 
'eloponnese gave its name to a second Theme, but at 



this ^^m 



time these two Themes were administered together by the 
same official 1 Nikopolis, the Roman colony which Octavian 
had founded to commemorate the battle of Actium, formed a 
third Theme, which included Akarnania, jEtolia, and Epiros. 
Of the islands, the Cyclades, or Dodekanesos, as they were 
then called, were included in the iEgean Theme, the Northern 
Sporades in that of Salonika, while Crete, since its restoration 
to the Byzantine Empire from the Saracens two-and-a-half 
centuries earlier, was governed by an imperial viceroy. 
But most of the Ionian islands no longer formed part of 
the emperor's dominions. Five years before the Latins 
conquered Constantinople, a bold Genoese pirate named 
Vetrano had made himself master of the then rich and 
fertile island of Corfii, which he may have still held ; while 
Cephalonia, Zante, and Ithaka had been permanently severed 
from the empire by the invasion of the Normans from Sicily 
twenty years before, and had been occupied by their admiral, 
Margaritone of Brindisi. 2 At the time of the Fourth Crusade, 
they were in the possession of a Count Maio, or Matthew, a 
member of the great Roman family of Orsini, who seems to 
have been a native of Monopoli in Apulia and to have married 
the daughter of the admiral, acknowledging the suzerainty 
of the king of Sicily. A considerable Italian colony from 
Brindisi had settled in Cephalonia under the auspices of 
these Apulian adventurers. 8 

In Thessaly, too, the imperial writ no longer ran. 
Benjamin of Tudela, 4 who travelled through Greece about 
forty years before the Latin Conquest, found a part of that 
province in the possession of the Wallachs, whose confines 
extended as far south as Lamia. Whatever may have been 
the origin of this mysterious and interesting race, which still 
dwells in summer on the slopes of Pindos and on the banks 
of the Aspropotamos, migrating in winter to the plains of 

1 Ldmpros, M*x«^X 'Ako/uv&tov, i. f 157, 160; Ai 'ABijvat re pi rA r A17 roC 
8u>&€K&tov aluvos, 25-6. 

* Benedict of Peterborough, Gesta Regis Ricardi, ii., 199, in Rolls 

3 Ubro de los fechos y 53-4 ; Epistola lnnocentii I//., vol. ii., 
PP- 16, 73 ; A Dandolo apud Muratori, Rerum ltalicarum Scriptores^ 
*&> 336; Archivh Veneto, xx., 93. 

* Asher, The Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela^ i., 459. 


Boeotia, they had firmly established themselves in Northern 
Greece by the middle of the twelfth century, and the district 
where they lived already bore the name of Great Wallachia. 1 
That the Wallachs are of Roman descent scarcely admits of 
doubt At the present day the Roumanians claim them as 
belonging to the same family as themselves; but the 
worthy Rabbi of Tudela argued, from their Jewish names 
and the fact that they called the Jews " brethren," that they 
were connected with his own race. They showed, however, 
their brotherly love by contenting themselves with merely 
robbing the Israelites, while they both robbed and murdered 
the Greeks, when they descended from their mountains to 
pillage the plains. A terror to all, the Vlachi would submit 
to no king ; and, twenty years before the fall of the Byzantine 
Empire, the foolish attempt of Isaac II. Angelos to place a 
tax upon their flocks and herds caused a general rising, 
which led to the formation of the second Bulgarian, or 
Bulgaro-Wallachian Empire, in the Balkans. Their dis- 
affection and readiness for revolt was further proved, only 
three years before the Conquest of Constantinople, when an 
ambitious Byzantine commander, Manuel Kam^tzes, made 
himself master of Thessaly with the aid of a Wallachian 
officer, and disturbed the peace of both continental Greece 
and the Peloponnese, till the revolt was suppressed. 2 

The population of Greece at this time was not exclusively 
Hellenic Besides the Wallachians in Thessaly, another 
alien element was represented by the Slavs of the Arkadian 
and Lakonian mountains, descendants of those Slavonian 
colonists who had entered the Peloponnese several centuries 
before. No one now accepts the once famous theory of 
Fallmerayer, that the inhabitants of modern Greece have 
" not a single drop of genuine Greek blood in their veins." 
No unbiassed historian can, however, deny the immigration 
of a large body of Slavs into the Peloponnese, where such 
names as Charvati (the village near Mycenae) and Slavochorio 
still preserve the memory of their presence. But the wise 
measures of the Emperor Nikeph6ros I. in the ninth 
century and the marvellous power of the Hellenic race for 

1 So Nik&as Choniites (p. 841) calls it. 
8 Nik&as ChonUtes, 708-9. 


absorbing and Hellenising foreign races — a power like that of 
the Americans in our day — had prevented the Peloponnese 
from becoming a Slav state — a Southern Servia or Bulgaria. 
At this time, accordingly, they were confined to the mountain 
fastnesses of Arkadia and Taygetos (called in the Chronicles 
" the mountain of the Slavs "),* where one of their tribes, the 
Melings, is often mentioned as residing. In the Peloponnese, 
too, were to be found the mysterious Tzikones — a race 
which is now only existing at Leonidi, in the south-east of 
the peninsula, and in the adjacent villages, but was then 
apparently occupying a wider area. Opinions differ as to 
the origin of this tribe, which has, to this day, a dialect quite 
distinct from that spoken anywhere else in Greek lands, 
and which was noticed as a "barbarian" tongue by the 
Byzantine satirist, Mdzaris, in the fifteenth century. But the 
first living authority on their language, who has lived among 
them, regards them as descendants of the Lakonians and 
calls their speech " New Doric," 2 and both Mdzaris and the 
Byzantine historians, Pachym6res and Nikeph6ros Gregorys, 
expressly say that their name was a vulgar corruption of the 
word " Ldkones." Scattered about, wherever money was to 
be made by trade, were colonies of Jews. We read of Jews 
at Sparta in the tenth century, and I have myself seen 
numbers of later Jewish inscriptions at MistriL Benjamin of 
Tudela found the largest Hebrew settlement at Thebes> 
where the Jews were, in his day, "the most eminent 
manufacturers of silk and purple cloth in all Greece." Among 
the 2000 Jewish inhabitants of that ancient city there 
were also "many eminent Talmudic scholars," indeed, the 

1 Ubro de las fechos y 48-9 ; Td Xpovucbv rod Moplws, 1L 3040, 4605 ; 
Le Livre de la Conqueste % 95, 100. 

2 Dr DefTner of Athens, who has written a Tzakonic grammar. See 
his Zakomsches in Monatsbericht der k. Akademie der Wissenschaften zu 
Berlin. Features of their language are the Doric a for the ordinary 
Greek y, and the digamma in some words. Dr DefTner regards TftUowas 
as a corruption of roin Adtcwas, and Mazaris says the Lakonians " are 
now called Tzdkones." Constantine Porphyrogenitus (i., 696) mentions 
Ttf/cctfi'ff in the tenth century, Pachym&es. (i., 309) and Nikephoros (i., 98) 
Tfdjrwtf in the thirteenth. It is difficult, in the face of this evidence, to 
understand how Hopf could have believed them to be Slavs. The name 
is still common as a proper name, e.g. the leading surgeon at Athens is 
so called. 


enthusiastic Rabbi says that " no scholars like them are to 
be met with in the whole Grecian Empire, except at 
Constantinople." Next came Halmyros with " about 400 
Jews," Corinth with " about 300," Negroponte with 200, and 
Crissa, now the squalid village of Chryso, on the way up to 
Delphi, with the same number, who " live there by themselves 
on Mount Parnassos and carry on agriculture upon their own 
land and property" — an example of rural Judaism to be 
paralleled to-day near Salonika. Naupaktos and Ravenika 
had 100 Jews apiece, Patras and Lamia, or Zetounion, as it 
was then called, about half that number, and there were a 
few in iEtolia and Akarnania. The present large Jewish 
colony at Corfu was then represented by only one man. 

The Italian element had become prominent commercially 
long before the Latin Conquest made the Franks territorial 
masters of Greece. A century earlier, Atexios I. had con- 
ceded immense, and, as it proved, fatal privileges to the 
Venetians, in return for their aid against the Norman 
invaders ; and Manuel I., in order to counteract the embar- * 
rassing Venetian influence, gave encouragement to the 
trading communities of Pisa, Genoa, and Amalfi. The 
Genoese asked in particular for the same privileges as their 
Venetian rivals in the Theban silk market. Benjamin of 
Tudela had found Venetian, Pisan, Genoese, and many 
other merchants frequenting "the large commercial city" 
of Halmyros in Thessaly, 1 and the commercial treaty of 
1 199 between Venice and Atexios III. granted to the 
subjects of the republic free-trade not only at Halmyros, 
but at numerous other places in Greece. Among them we 
notice the Ionian islands of Corfu, Cephalonia, Zante, and 
Ithaka (called in the document by its classical name); the 
towns of Patras, Methone, Corinth, Argos, and Nauplia in 
the Peloponnese; Thebes and "the district of Athens" in 
continental Greece; the towns of Domok6, Larissa, and 
Trikkala in the north ; and the islands of Euboea, Crete, and 
the Archipelago. 2 But there cannot have been much love 
lost between the Greeks and these foreigners from the west. 
Old men would still remember the sack of Thebes and Corinth 

1 Asber, loc. cit. 

2 Forties Rerum Austriacarum % Abt. II., B. xil, 264-7. 



by the Normans of Sicily; middle-aged men would have 
heard of the horrors of the sack of Salonika by a later Sicilian 
force ; and the children of the islands or coasts must have 
shuddered when they were told that the dreaded Genoese 
pirates, Vetrano or Caffaro, were coming. Moreover, ever 
since the final separation of the Greek and Latin churches 
in the middle of the eleventh century, a fanatical hatred had 
been kindled between west and east, which is not wholly 
extinguished to-day. 

But even the rule of the Franks must have seemed to 
many Greeks a welcome relief from the financial oppression 
of the Byzantine Government. Greece was, at the date of 
the Conquest, afflicted by three terrible plagues : the tax- 
collectors, the pirates, and the native tyrants. The Imperial 
Government did nothing for the provinces, but wasted the 
money, which should have been spent on the defences of 
Greece, in extravagant ostentation at the capital One 
emperor after another had exhausted the resources of his 
dominions by lavish expenditure, and Byzantine officials 
sent to Greece regarded that classic land, in the phrase of 
Nik&as, 1 as an " utter hole," an uncomfortable place of exile. 
The Themes of Hellas and the Peloponnese were at this 
time governed by one of these authorities, styled prcetor, 
protoprator, or "general," 2 whose headquarters were at 
Thebes. We have from the pen of Michael Akominatos, the 
last metropolitan of Athens before the Conquest, and brother 
of the historian Nik£tas, a vivid, if somewhat rhetorical, 
account of the exactions of these personages. Theoreti- 
cally, the city of Athens was a privileged community. A 
golden bull of the emperor forbade the prator to enter it 
with an armed force, so that the Athenians might be spared 
the annoyance and expense of having soldiers quartered 
upon them. 8 Its regular contribution to the imperial 
exchequer was limited to a land-tax, and it was expected to 

1 P. 78. 

3 npcdrwp, TpurowpalTwp, <rr/xiriry6s, all occur on two leaden seals of 
governors of Hellas and the Peloponnese at this period. Lampros, 
Al A0i)vai f 25. 

1 Professor Lampros (ofi. cit.) points out that the idea that the prcttor 
might not visit Athens at all is erroneous ; his infraction of the city's 
privilege consisted in coming with an armed following. 


send a golden wreath as a coronation offering to a new 
emperor. When the Byzantine Government, too, following 
a policy similar to that which cost our King Charles I. his 
throne, levied ship-money on the Greek provinces, really for 
the purpose of its own coffers, nominally for the suppression 
of piracy, Athens expected to be assessed on a lighter scale 
than the far richer communities of Thebes and Chalkis, and 
the number of sailors whom it had to furnish was fixed by 
a special decree. But, in practice, these privileges were apt 
to be ignored. The Athenians were compelled to contribute 
more ship-money than either of those cities, not only to 
the prator t but to L6on Sgour6s, the powerful magnate of 
Nauplia; 1 while the Thebans, who were less exposed to 
piracy, managed, no doubt by judicious bribery at Con- 
stantinople, to obtain a golden bull releasing them from 
naval service, and the reduction of their pecuniary con- 
tributions below those of Athens. The indignant metro- 
politan complains that the prtBtor y under the pretext of 
worshipping in the church of "Our Lady of Athens," 2 as 
the Parthenon was then called, visited the city with a large 
retinue. He laments that one of these imperial governors 
had treated the city "more barbarously than Xerxes," and 
that the leaves of the trees, nay almost every hair on the 
heads of the unfortunate Athenians, had been numbered. 
The authority of the pr<Btor y he says, is like Medea in 
the legend : just as she scattered her poisons over Thessaly, 
so it scatters injustice over Greece — a classical simile which 
had its justification in the hard fact that it had long been 
the custom of the Byzantine Empire to pay the governors 
of the European provinces no salaries, but to make their 
office self-supporting — a practice still followed by the Turkish 
Government Thus, as we learn from the addresses of the 
worthy metropolitan, the sufferings of the Greeks depended 

1 Lampros, Mix<rt)X * Akohut&tov, i., 308. 

1 Lampros (Ai'A^reu, 35-9) deduces this title from two leaden seals, 
one of which was probably that of Michael. Moreover, a bull of Isaac 
Angelos in 11 86 mentions Tijs dcffroirrp Bcot6kov t^s i* 'A&itvau rf/uiyifr^f, 
Miklosich und M tiller, Acta et Diplomata Graca Medii j£-uj\ vL> 121 
Mommsen (Athena Christiana y p. 33) has shown that there is no aui 
for the theory that the Parthenon was dedicated by the Christians 
Divine Wisdom, 


very much upon the personality of the prator. Worse, how- 
ever, than the presence of this high official was that of his 
underlings; so that the Athenians came to regard his 
coming in person as much the minor of two evils. Yet, we 
must make some deduction for the rhetorical and professional 
exaggeration of the ecclesiastical author. At that time the 
bishops were, as they still are in Turkey, the representatives 
of their flocks, and Akomindtos was naturally anxious to 
make out as good a case as possible for his clients. He 
admits to his brother's connections that the annual ship- 
money extracted from Athens amounted to no more than 
£320 of our money — which may be taken as a proof of 
either the poverty of the place or of the exaggeration of his 
complaints ; and he boasts that he had " lightened, or rather 
eradicated, the taxes." 1 But, at the same time, taxation 
had become so oppressive in the Theme of Nikopolis, that the 
people arose and killed their tyrannical governor, and we are 
expressly told that the Corfiotes had welcomed the Normans 
half a century earlier because of the heavy taxation of their 
island. 2 

Piracy was then, as so often, the curse of the islands and 
the deeply indented coast of Greece. We learn from the 
English chronicle ascribed to Benedict of Peterborough, 3 
which gives a graphic account of Greece as it was in 1191, 
that many of the islands were uninhabited from fear of 
pirates, and that others were their chosen lairs. Cephalonia 
and Ithaka, which now appears under its mediaeval name of 
Val di Compare — first used, so far as I know, by the Genoese 
historian Caffaro, 4 in the first half of the twelfth century — 
had a specially evil reputation, and bold was the sailor who 
dared venture through the channel between them. Near 
Athens, the islands of jEgina, Salamis, and Makronesi, 
opposite Lavrion, were strongholds of Corsairs, before whom 
most of the iEginetan population had fled, while those who 

1 Ldmpros, Mixai)A 'Akoiuv&tov, ii., 107 ; 'Iffropla ttji tt6\cu)s 'Adyvuv, 

"., 729. 

1 Nik&as Chonidtes, 97. 

3 Gesta Regis Ricardt^ ii., 197-200 ; 203-5. 

4 Uberatio Orienlis^ apud Pertz, Monumenta Germanic? historica^ 
xviii., 46. 



remained had fraternised with the pirates. Attica was full 
of persons mutilated by these robbers, who feared neither. 
God nor man. They injured the property of the Athenian 
church, and dangerously wounded the nephew of the 
metropolitan, who found it almost impossible to collect the 
ecclesiastical revenues of jEgina. 1 The dangers run by the 
venerable Akomindtos himself on an ecclesiastical visitation 
to Naupaktos long remained celebrated, and we find allusions 
to that venturesome journey years after his death. The 
remedy for piracy was, as we have seen, almost worse than 
the disease. The Lord High Admiral, Michael Stryphn6s, 
protected by his close relationship with the Empress 
Euphrosyne, sold the naval stores for his own profit ; and a 
visit, which he paid to Athens for the ostensible purpose of 
laying an offering in the church of Our Lady, was regarded 
by Akomin£tos with ill-concealed alarm. Well might the 
anxious metropolitan tell his unwelcome guest that the 
Athenians regarded their proximity to the sea as the 
greatest of their misfortunes. 2 

Besides the Byzantine officials and the pirates, the Greeks 
had a third set of tormentors, in the shape of a brood of 
native tyrants, whose feuds divided city against city, and 
divided communities into rival parties. Even in those parts 
of Greece where the emperor was still nominally sovereign, 
the real power was often in the hands of local magnates, who 
had revived, on the eve of the Latin Conquest, the petty 
tyrannies of ancient Greece. Under the dynasty of the 
Comneni, who imitated and introduced the usages of western 
chivalry, feudalism had made considerable inroads into the 
east At the time of the Fourth Crusade, local families were 
in possession of large tracts of territory, which they governed 
almost like independent princes. We find a great part of 
fertile Messenia belonging to the clans of Brands and 
Cantacuzene ; L£on Chamdretos, whom a modern Greek 
writer 8 has made the hero of an historical novel, owned much 
of Lakonia ; the impregnable rock of Monemvasia, the 

1 Miklosich und Miiller, op. cit y iii., 61. 

2 Ldmpros, Mixa^X 'AtfOfuvdrot/, ii., 42, 43, 68, 75, 170, 238 ; 'loropia Ttjt 
w6\£tas 'Aerjwv, ii., 702-8 ; At 'Afloat, 56, 57, 86, 97. 

8 A. Rhangab&S, *0 aMirrrfs rod Moptas. 


Gibraltar of Greece, which had enjoyed special liberties 
since the time of the Emperor Maurice, belonged to the 
three great local families of Mamonis, Eudaimonoyinnes, 
and Sophian6s, the first of which is not yet extinct in 
Greece, 1 and L6on Sgour6s, hereditary lord of Nauplia, had 
extended his sway over Argos of the goodly steeds, and had 
seized the city and fortress of Corinth, proudly styling 
himself by a high-sounding Byzantine title, and placing his 
fortunes under the protection of St Theodore the Warrior. 2 
North of the Isthmus, the family of Petraleiphas, of Frankish 
origin, hailing, as its name Petrus de Alpibus implies, from 
the Alps, held its own in the mountains of Agrapha ; while 
in Crete, the scions of those Byzantine families which had 
gone there after its reconquest, had developed into hereditary 
lords, whose fiefs were confirmed to them by the emperor's 
representative. 8 In addition to these local magnates, members 
of the imperial family owned vast tracts of land in Greece. 
The extravagant Empress Euphrosyne, wife of Atexios III., 
had huge estates in Thessaly, and Princess Irene, daughter 
of Aldxios III., owned property near Patras. 4 The manners 
of these local magnates were no less savage than those of 
the western barons of the same period. Sgour6s, the most 
prominent of them, on one occasion invited the metropolitan 
of Corinth to dinner, and then put out the eyes of his guest, 
and hurled him over the rocks of the citadel of Nauplia. 
The contemporary historian Nik6tas, 6 who was no friend of 
the Franks, has painted in the darkest colours the character 
of the Greek archons, upon whom he lays the chief responsi- 
bility for the evils which befell their country. He speaks of 
them as " inflamed by ambition against their own fatherland, 
slavish men, spoiled by luxury, who made themselves tyrants, 
instead of fighting the Latins." Thus, on the eve of the 

1 PhrantzSs, 398. 

2 A leaden seal of Sgourds has been preserved, showing St Theodore 
on one side and invoking his protection for vcpaarovirtpraTQv fit Atorra 
2yovp6* on the other. Lampros, Ai kdrjvai, 99, and plate. 

3 Document of 1182, quoted by Hopf apud Ersch und Gruber, Allge- 
meine Encyklopddie, lxxxv., 179 ; Miklosich und Miiller, op. ciL y iii., 235-7. 

4 The deed of partition specially mentions the villa Kyreherinis y filie 
Imperatoris Kyrialexii. Fontes Rerum Ausiriacarum, Abt. ii., B. xii., 470. 

6 Pp. 840-2 ; Lampros, Mi^o^X 'AKojuvdrov, ii., 170. 


Frankish Conquest, Greece presented the spectacle of a land 
oppressed by the Central Government, and torn asunder by 
the jealousies of its local aristocracy. 

The Church still occupied an important place in Greek 
society. Greece at this time was ecclesiastically under the 
jurisdiction of the oecumenical patriarch, and contained twelve 
metropolitan sees, of which Corinth and Athens were the two 
most important, while Patras, Larissa, Naupaktos, Neopatras, 
Thebes, Corfu, Naxos, Lacedaemonia, Argos, and the Cretan 
see of Gortyna completed the dozen. 1 Besides these, the 
islands of Leukas and iEgina, and the town of Arta were 
archbishoprics, and each metropolitan see had numerous 
bishops under it Such was the arrangement which, with 
a few alterations, had been in force since the days of 
Leo the philosopher, three centuries earlier. There were 
still among the higher clergy distinguished men of learning, 
who bore aloft the torch of literature, which the Greek 
Church had received from the last writers of antiquity. Of 
these the most eminent then living was Michael Akominitos, 
the metropolitan of Athens, to whom allusion has 
already been made. Brother of the statesman and his- 
torian, Nik£tas of Chonae, or Colossae, he had sat at the feet 
of the great Homeric scholar, Eustithios, afterwards arch- 
bishop of Salonika, from whom he imbibed that classical 
culture which inspires all his numerous productions. In 
the year 1175, or, according to others, in 1180 or 1 182, he 
was appointed to the see of Athens, and from that time to 
the Frankish Conquest he never ceased to plead the cause 
of the city, to write to influential personages in Con- 
stantinople, and to address memorials to the emperor on 

1 To these should be added Monemvasia, if wc may trust the story of 
the fifteenth century historian Phrantz£s (pp. 398-9), himself a Monem- 
vasiote, accepted by Finlay, that it became a metropolitan see under 
the Emperor Maurice. But an ecclesiastical document of 1397 (Miklosich 
und Miiller, op. cit. y ii., 287) states that it was a suffragan bishopric of 
Corinth down to the Latin Conquest. We know from Phrantzgs (loc. cit.\ 
and from the Golden Bull of Andr6nikos II. in the National Library and 
the Christian Archaeological Museum at Athens, that he raised it to be 
the tenth metropolitan see of the empire in 1293, and gave it other 
privileges. Cf. Dor6theos of Monemvasia, BipXlov Urropuc6v t p. 397 ; Le 
Quien, Oriens Christianus, ii., 216. 


its behalf. But he was not the only literary light of the 
Church in Greece. Among his contemporaries were 
Euth^mios, the metropolitan of Neopatras, the modern 
Hypate, near Lamia, who wrote on theology ; Ap6kaukos 
of Naupaktos, who composed tolerable iambics and better 
letters; 1 George KoupharAs of Corfu, whose letters to the 
Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and other eminent personages 
of his day have been preserved in translation, and the 
latter^ successors, the controversialist, Pediadites, and the 
theologian and poet, George Barddnes. 2 Somewhat earlier, 
Nicholas, bishop of Methone in Messenia, had issued a refuta- 
tion of neo-Platonism, two polemics against Catholic doctrines, 
and a life of Mel6tios, the reviver of monasticism in Greece ; 
a Lacedaemonian abbot had written a biography of St Nikon, 
the evangelist of Crete and the patron of Sparta, where his 
memory is still held in honour ; and Gregory, metropolitan of 
Corinth, had published a grammatical work, which still survives. 
But Akominatos has left us a sordid picture of the Athenian 
clergy of his time, and it is to be feared that the priests of 
the great church on the Akropolis were but little inspired 
by the majesty of their surroundings. The metropolitan 
found the keeper of the sacred vessels both blind and 
illiterate, while another of these divines had cheated his 
brother out of his property, and allowed him to starve. If 
such was the state of the clergy, "the wicked Athenian 
priests," as he calls them, it was not to be supposed that the 
monks were much better. 3 The number of monastic houses 
in Greece had greatly increased under the dynasty of the 
Comneni. It was then, according to tradition, that the still 
existing Chozobi6tissa monastery was founded on the island 

1 Lampros, op. cit.^ ii., 25-30 ; 35-8 ; *l<rropla rrjs r6Xe«s 'Alipwir, ii., 
730-7 ; Bufavrtvd Xpovucd, Hi., 240 sqq. 

8 Mustoxidi, Delle Cose Corciresi y 417-22, xl.-xlix. ; lllustrazioni 
Corciresi, ii., 181 -4. The theory of Dr Kurtz {Byzantinische Zeitschrift, 
xv., 603-13) that all these letters were written by the later metropolitan of 
Corfu, George Bardanes, and that Frederick is therefore not Barbarossa 
but Frederick II., and Manuel not the emperor but the Despot of Epiros, 
seems to me disproved by the phrase in which the writer speaks of 
Manuel as cognato Imperii luu The emperors Manuel I. and Conrad 
III. married sisters. 

3 Lampros, MixerijA 'Ako/uixLtov, ii., 30, 240, 417. 


of Amorgos ; l it was then, too, that the Boeotian monastery 
of Sagmat&s received a piece of the true cross and the lake 
of Paralimni, into which the waters of the Copais now drain. 2 
A Cappadocian monk, Mel6tios, whose monastery may still 
be seen from the road between Athens and Thebes, had 
revived monasticism by his miracles in Greece towards the 
end of the eleventh century, and had enjoyed the patronage 
of the Emperor Al£xios I., who assigned him an annuity out 
of the taxes of Attica To him was largely due the plague 
of monks, often robbers in disguise, of whose ignorance 
Eust£thios, the learned archbishop of Salonika, drew up 
such a tremendous indictment 8 Then, as now, the thoughts 
of the Greek monks centred mainly on mere externals ; 
obeisances in church, the care of their gardens, and such 
political questions as arose, occupied their ample leisure; 
while scandals were no less frequent then than at the present 
day. Akomindtos rebukes the abbot of the famous monastery 
of Kaisarian6, at the foot of Hymettos, for misappropriating 
other people's bees. 4 Yet the same Akominitos has left a 
funeral oration over an Athenian archimandrite of that 
period, which shows that, even on the eve of the Frankish 
Conquest, there were men of conspicuous piety and self- 
sacrificing life in the Athenian monasteries. 6 The Athenians 
of that day, however, seem to have taken their religion lightly, 
comparing unfavourably with the pious folk of Euboea, 
though nowhere else in Greece was the service so elaborate. 
Their spiritual pastor found them irregular in their 
attendance at church, even though that church was that 
" heavenly house," the Parthenon — a cathedral of which any 
bishop and any congregation might have been proud. Even 
when they did attend, they spent their time in unseasonable 
conversation, or in thinking about the cares of their daily 
lives. Moreover, the metropolitan himself had mundane 
cares in plenty. Besides his task of defending his flock 
against rapacious governors, whom he addressed on behalf of 

1 Meliar£kes in AcXrlow rijt 'lor. koX 'E0V. 'Eraytoj, L, 598-9 ; Byzqn* 
timsche Zeitschrift, ii., 294-6. 

2 Miklosich und Miiller, op. a/., v., 253. 

3 *E*J<r*c^« ptov fiwax^oO in Eustathii Opuscula (cd. Tafcl). 

4 L&npros, op. cit, ii., 311. 6 Ibid., i., 259. 


the city at their arrival, besides missions and memorials to 
Constantinople, he had to guard the revenues of the see from 
the clutches of the imperial treasury officials, whom its 
agent at the capital, the so-called mystik6s y could not always 
keep at a distance. 1 

There was some excuse for the preoccupation of the 
Athenians with their worldly affairs, when we consider the 
material condition of their city at this period. From the 
silence of almost every authority, it would seem that the 
Norman Invasion of 1146, which fell with such force upon 
Thebes and Corinth, had spared Athens. 2 The Athenians, 
perhaps, owed their immunity on that occasion to their 
insignificance. Their only manufactures at the time of the 
Frankish Conquest were soap and the weaving of monkish 
habits. They were no longer engaged in the dyeing trade, 
of which traces have been found in the Odeion of Herodes 
Atticus, but the ships of the Piraeus still took part, with those 
of Chalkis and Karystos, in the purple-fishing off the lonely 
island of Gyaros — the Botany Bay of the Roman Empire. 
There was still some trade at the Piraeus, for when the 
Byzantine admiral, Stryphn6s, visited Athens, he found 
vessels there, and Akomindtos tells us of ships from 
Monemvasia in the port; while we may infer from the 
mention of Athens in the commercial treaties between 
Venice and the Byzantine Empire, that the astute republicans 
saw some prospect of making money there. But the " thin 
soil" of Attica was as unproductive as in the days of 
Thucydides, and yielded nothing but oil, honey, and wine, 
the last strongly flavoured with resin, as it still is, so that 
the metropolitan, wishing to give a friend some idea of its 
flavour, wrote to him that it " seems to be pressed from the 
juice of the pine rather than from that of the grape." The 
harvest was always meagre, and famines were common. On 
one occasion, only two or three of the well-to-do inhabitants 
could afford to eat bread ; on another, the Emperor Andr6- 
nikos I. ordered a grant of corn to be distributed among the 
starving people, and we find A16xios II. remitting arrears of 

1 Ldmpros, op. cit^ i., 310 ; Pitra, Analecta Sacra, vi., 619. 
* Otto von Freising (De Gestis Friderici, apud Muratori, Rerum It 
Script^ vi., 668) alone mentions Athens. 


taxation to Athens, Thebes, and Corinth, so great was their 
distress. Even ordinary necessaries were not always obtain- 
able in the Athens of the last years of the twelfth century. 
Akominatos could not find a good carriage-builder in the 
place ; and, just as most Athenian coaches are now built at 
Thebes, so he had to beg the bishop of Gardiki, which 
Benjamin of Tudela had described as a " ruined place," to send 
him some coach-builders. In his despair at the absence of 
blacksmiths and workers in iron, he was constrained to apply 
to Athens the words of Jeremiah : " The bellows are burnt." 
The general poverty of the city was made more striking by 
the selfishness of the few who were comfortably off, who 
composed a " rich oligarchy," and who ground down the face 
of the poor. Under these circumstances, it is not remarkable 
that emigration was draining off the able-bodied poor, so 
that the population had greatly diminished, and the city 
threatened to become what Aristophanes had called "a 
Scythian wilderness." x 

Externally, the visitor to the Athens of that day must 
have been struck by the marked contrast between the 
splendid monuments of the classic age and the squalid 
surroundings of the new town. The walls were lying in 
ruins; the houses of the emigrants had beep pulled down, 
and their sites had become ploughed land ; the streets, where 
once the sages of antiquity had walked, were now desolate. 
Even though Akomin£tos had built new houses, and restored 
some of those that had fallen, Athens was no longer the 
" populous city, surrounded by gardens and fields " which the 
Arabian geographer Edrisi had described to King Roger II. 
of Sicily half a century before the coming of the Franks. 2 
But the hand of the invader and the tooth of time had, on 
the whole, dealt gently with the Athenian monuments. 
Although the Odeion of Periklfis had perished in the siege of 
the city by Sulla, it had been restored by the Cappadocian 
king, Ariobarzanes IL, and his son ; but Sulla had carried 
off a few columns of the temple of Olympian Zeus, while the 
pictures of Polygnotos, which the traveller Pausanias had 

1 Lampros, op. at., i., 174, 178, 307 ; "., 12, 25, 26, 29, 42, 54, 65, 137, 

* Jaubert, Geographic (fEdrist, ii., 295. 



seen in the Painted Porch, had excited the covetousness of 
an imperial governor under Theodosius II. The temple of 
Asklepios had fallen a victim to Christian fanaticism; the 
gold and ivory statue of Athena, the work of Phidias, had 
long ago vanished from the Parthenon, and Justinian had 
adorned the new church of the Divine Wisdom at Con- 
stantinople with pillars from Athens. 1 Akomindtos laments 
that the closest investigation could not discover a trace of 
the Heliaea, the Peripatos, or the Lyceum, and found sheep 
grazing among the few remains of the Painted Porch. " I 
live in Athens," he wrote in a poem on the decay of the city, 
" yet it is not Athens that I see." But still Athens possessed 
many memorials of her former greatness at the close of the 
twelfth century. The Parthenon, converted long before into 
the cathedral of Our Lady of Athens, was then almost as 
entire, and as little damaged by the injuries of time, as if it 
had only just been built The metopes, the pediments, and 
the frieze were still intact On the walls were the frescoes, 
traces of which are still visible, executed by order of the 
Emperor Basil II., "the slayer of the Bulgarians," when he 
had offered up thanks at that shrine of the Virgin for his 
victories over the great enemies of Hellenism, nearly two 
centuries earlier. Within, in the treasury, were the rich gifts 
which he had presented to the church. Over the altar was 
a golden dove representing the Holy Ghost, and ever flying 
with perpetual motioa In the cathedral, too, was an ever- 
burning lamp, fed by oil that never failed, which was the 
marvel of the pilgrims. Every year people flocked thither 
from the highlands and islands to the feast of the Virgin, and 
so widely spread was the fame of the Athenian minster, that 
the great folk of Constantinople, in spite of their supercilious 
contempt for the provinces and dislike of travel, came to do 
obeisance there — personages of the rank of Stryphn6s, the 
Lord High Admiral, with his wife,* the sister of the empress, 
and Kamaterds, brother-in-law of the emperor ; while, as we 
saw, the prator made a pilgrimage to St Mary's on the 
Akropolis an excuse for raising money out of the city. 
Akominitos was intensely proud, as well he might be, of his 

1 L£mpros, op. cit. % i., 160 ; ii., 398. 

2 Ibid., i., 319, 325, 332 ; no^Ratrtr^, vii., 23. 


cathedral He tells us that he " further beautified it, provided 
new vessels and furniture, increased its property in land 
and in flocks and herds, and augmented the number of the 
clergy." 1 

Of the other ancient buildings on the sacred rock, the 
graceful temple of Nike Apteros had been turned into a 
chapel; the Erechtheion had become a church of the 
Saviour, or a chapel of the Virgin ; while the episcopal 
residence, which is known to have then been on the Akro- 
polis, was probably in the Propylaea, where the discovery 
of a fresco of St Gabriel and St Michael seventy years ago 
indicates the existence in Byzantine times of a chapel of 
the archangels. 2 The whole Akropolis had for centuries 
been made into a fortress, the only defence which Athens 
then possessed, strong enough to have resisted the attack of 
a Greek magnate like Sgour6s, but incapable of repulsing a 
Latin army. 

Like the Parthenon, the Theseion had become a Christian 
church, dedicated to St George. Akomindtos calls it "St 
George in the Kerameik6s," and at the time of the Frankish 
Conquest it was entrusted to the care of a monk named 
Luke. In the eleventh and twelfth centuries a monastery 
and a nunnery seem to have stood there, for the names of 
various abbots and nuns with dates of that period have 
been scratched on some of the pillars, just as we learn 
the names of AkominAtos's three immediate predecessors, 
Nicholas Hagiotheodorites, George Xer6s, and George 
Boiirtzes, from similar scrawls on the pillars of the Par- 
thenon. 3 Under the splendid ruins of the temple of Zeus 
Olympios had grown up a chapel of St John, surnamed " at 
the columns," and Byzantine inscriptions on some of the 
huge pillars still preserve the prayers of the priests. On 
one of them in the Middle Ages an imitator of St Simeon 

1 Lampros, 'leropia -rip ir6\cwf *A0rjvQp % ii., 729. 

* Ibid. Mtxo^X 'A/co/aydrou, ii., 12. The inscription, invoking the 
Virgin, found in the Erechtheion (Neroutsos in AeXrlov r^'Ior. 'Eraipiat, 
iii., 25), may, however, only prove that "the humble chorister of the 
cathedral of Athens," who invokes her aid, resided with other members 
of the clergy in the Erechtheion. Cf. A. Mommsen, op. tit, 40-1. 

3 J bid., Mtxo^X 'Ako/kwLtoi/, ii., 238, and Ai 'A$ijvat % 21. Kampoii- 
roglos, 'liTTopia t&v 'ABrivatwv, ii., 308-9, 293. Bys. Zeitschrift, ii., 589. 



Stylites had taken up his aerial abode. Already strange 
legends and new names had begun to grow round some of 
the classical monuments. The choragic monument of 
Lysikrates was already popularly known as " the lantern of 
Demosthenes," 1 its usual designation during the Turkish 
domination, when it became the Capuchin convent, serving 
in 1811 as a study to Lord Byron, who from within its walls 
launched his bitter poem against the filcher of the Elgin 
marbles — and the credulous West was told that Jason had 
founded the Propylaea. But even at the beginning of the 
thirteenth century, many of the ancient names of places, 
sometimes names and nothing more, lingered in the mouths 
of the people. The classically cultured metropolitan was 
gratified, as a good Philhellene, to hear that the Piraeus 
and Hymettos, Eleusis and Marathon, the Areopagos and 
Kallirrhoe, Psyttaleia, Salamis, and ;Egina were still called 
by names which the contemporaries of Periklfis had used, 
even though Eleusis and ;Egina were devastated by pirates, 
the Areopagos was nothing but a bare rock, the plain of 
Marathon yielded no corn, and the "beautifully-flowing" 
fountain had ceased to flow. But new, uncouth names were 
beginning to creep in; thus, the partition treaty of 1204 
describes Salamis as "Culuris" (or, "the lizard"), a vulgar 
name, derived from the shape of the island, which I have 
heard used in Attica at the present day. 2 

Besides the remains of classical antiquity, Athens was 
then rich in Byzantine churches, of which not a few have 
still survived the storms of the War of Independence and the 
Vandalism of those who laid out the modern town. Tradition 
has ascribed to the two Athenian Empresses of the East, 
Eudokia and Irene, the foundation of many churches in their 
native city, and the modern inscription inside the curious 
little Kapnikaraea church embodies the popular belief that 
the former had been its founder. The charming little 
Gorgoep^koos church, wrongly called the Old Metropolis, 
may have been the work of the latter, and was probably 
standing at this period. We know for certain, however, 

1 Ldmpros, M«x«^X 'Akoiuv&tov, i., 98. 

2 Ibid*) ii., 13, 14, 26^ 44 ; Fontes Rerum Austriacarum^ Abt. ii., B. 
xii., 469. 


from the inscription over the door of St Theodore's, that 
that church had been erected a century and a half before 
the Frankish Conquest, and there then lay just outside 
the city the church of the Athenian martyr Leonidas, 
who had died upon the cross. 1 Attica possessed, too, many 
monasteries, built in pleasant spots, as Greek monasteries 
always are. There was the beautiful abbey of Kaisarian£, 
with its plenteous springs of water, in a leafy glen at the 
foot of Hymettos ; there was the monastery of St John the 
Hunter, still a white landmark on the spur of the mountain 
visible from all parts of Athens, and founded or restored by 
the above-mentioned monk Luke at this very time. 2 Finer 
than all, there was that gem of Byzantine art, the monastery 
of Daphni in the pass between Athens and Eleusis, of which 
we find mention about the end of the eleventh century, 3 and 
which a later popular tradition connected with the romantic 
story of the fair Maguelonne and her lover, Pierre de 

Of the intellectual condition of Athens we should form 
but a low estimate, if we judged entirely from the lamenta- 
tions of the elegant Byzantine scholar whom fate had made 
its metropolitan. Akominatos found that his tropes and 
fine periods and classical allusions were far over the heads of 
the Athenians who came to hear him, and who talked in his 
cathedral, even though that cathedral was the Parthenon. 
He wrote, like Apollonios of Tyana before him, that his 
long residence in Greece had made him a barbarian. Yet he 
was able to add to his store of manuscripts in this small 
provincial town, where a copyist of theological treatises was 
probably then working. Moreover, that Athens still produced 
persons of some culture, is evident from the fact that one of 
Akomindtos's own correspondents, John, metropolitan of 
Salonika, was an Athenian ; while the future metropolitan of 
Corfii, Barddnes, if not an Athenian by birth, may have 
owed his surname of Atticus to the Attic eloquence which 
he had learned from Akominatos — a surname already applied 

1 L&npros, op. cit^ i., 151. 

8 Ibid. y iL, 247 ; Kainpouroglos, op. cit % ii., 204-15. 
3 Millet, Le Monastlrt de Daphni, 18 ; Kampouroglos, M^/ieta, ii. 
230; Spon, Voyage y ii., 211. 


to the scholarly Kosm&s of iEgina, who half a century earlier 
had mounted the patriarchal throne at Constantinople. 1 
There is, too, some evidence to prove that, even at this late 
period, Athens was a place of study, whither English came 
from the West to obtain a liberal education. Matthew Paris 2 
tells us of Master John of Basingstoke, archdeacon of 
Leicester in the reign of Henry III., who used often to say 
that whatever scientific knowledge he possessed had been 
acquired from the youthful daughter of the Archbishop of 
Athens. This young lady could forecast the advent of 
pestilences, thunderstorms, eclipses, and earthquakes. From 
learned Greeks at Athens Master John professed to have 
heard some things of which the Latins had no knowledge ; 
he found there the testaments of the twelve patriarchs, now 
in the Cambridge University library, and he brought back 
to England the Greek numerals and many books, including a 
Greek grammar which had been compiled for him at Athens. 
The same author 8 tells us, too, of "certain Greek philo- 
sophers " — that is, in mediaeval Greek parlance, monks — who 
came from Athens at this very time to the court of King 
John, and disputed about nice sharp quillets of theology with 
English divines. The only difficulty about these statements 
is that Akominatos expressly says that he had no children, 
while he might have been expected to mention any adopted 
daughter of such talent. An eminent Paris doctor of this 
period, John ^Egidius, is also reported to have studied at 
Athens 4 ; but it is possible that this is merely a repetition 
of the story that a much earlier yEgidius, or Gislenus, had 
imbibed philosophy in its ancient home during the seventh 
century. 6 One is tempted to believe the romantic story that 
the Georgian poet, Chota Roustav£li, together with others of 
his countrymen spent several years there at the end of the 
twelfth century ; and that, two or three generations earlier, 
the enlightened Georgian monarch, David II., prompted by 

1 Lampros, M*x«^X 'Ajco/urdroi/, ii., 118, 289; Uap¥a<r<r6u vi., 159; 
Niketas, 105, 106. 

3 Chronica Majorca v., 285-7, in Rolls Series, 

3 Historia Minor, ii., 194 ; Hi., 64. 

4 Lcyscr, Historia Poetarum Medii JEvi, 499. 
6 Acta Sanctorum, October ; iv., 1030. 


his Greek wife, Irene, founded a monastery " on a mountain 
near Athens," and sent twenty young people every year to 
study in the schools there. 1 But neither the thirteenth 
century Armenian historian, Wardan, nor Tschamtschian 
makes any mention of Georgians at Athens, and the story 
seems to have arisen through a confusion between Athens 
and Mount Athos, where there were many Iberian monks 
two hundred years earlier, and where the " Monastery of the 
Iberians " still preserves their name. 2 

While such was the material and the intellectual condition 
of Athens, there were other places in Greece far more 
prosperous. Thebes, the residence of the Byzantine governor, 
had recovered from the ravages of the Normans from Sicily 
half a century before, when they had ransacked the houses 
and churches, and had dragged off the most skilful weavers 
and dyers to Palermo. Benjamin of Tudela, as we saw, had 
found the Theban silk manufacture still flourishing even 
after the Norman invasion ; Akomindtos specially says that 
the luxurious inhabitants of Constantinople obtained their 
silken garments from Theban and Corinthian looms ; and 
the forty pieces of silk, with which Atexios III. purchased 
the friendship of the Sultan of Angora, were made by his 
Theban subjects. Even to-day though there are no silks 
manufactured there, I have seen mulberry-trees growing in 
the little Boeotian town, and the memory of the silk-worms, 
which fed upon their leaves, lingers on in the name of 
mordkampos ("the mulberry plain"), still applied by the 
peasants to the flat land near Thebes. The population of 
the city was numerous, and the castle, the ancient Kadmeia, 
was strong, if resolutely defended. Nor was Thebes the 
only important commercial town in Northern Greece. Both 
Benjamin of Tudela and Edrisi describe Halmyros as a big 
emporium ; Larissa produced figs and wine ; the fertile plain 
of Thessaly to which Horace had alluded in his day, and 
which now yields splendid harvests, provided the capital of 
the empire with bread ; and the even richer Lelantian plain 
of Euboea, and the vineyards of Pteleon at the entrance of 

1 Freygang, Lettres sur le Caucase, 109. 

2 Kindly communicated by Mr F. C. Conybeare of Oxford, our lead- 
ing authority on that subject. Cf. Neroutsos in AeXWov, Hi., 52-3. 


the Pagasaean gulf sent it cargoes of wine. 1 Negroponte, as 
the Italians called first the town of Chalkis and then the island 
of Euboea, from a corruption of the word Euripos, the fitful 
channel which separates the island from the mainland, was 
"a large city to which merchants resorted from all parts," 
and whose seamen were engaged in the purple-fishery of the 
i£gean. Thirty-five years before the Conquest, the island 
was rich enough to equip six galleys for the imperial fleet, 
and the fortifications of Chalkis strong enough to resist the 
attack of the Venetians. Akominatos pays a tribute, which 
every modern visitor must endorse, to the beauty of its 
situation, and he contrasts the strength of the island capital, 
united to the continent by a narrow bridge, which could 
easily be defended, with the defenceless condition of the city 
of Athens. " I admired," he told the islanders, " your numbers 
and your devotion to your spiritual pastor," who was one of 
his suffragans. 2 

The Peloponnese, half a century before the Conquest, had 
contained thirteen cities and many fortresses, but we are 
told that the Franks found only twelve castles in the whole 
peninsula. At the time of the Norman raid, the strength of 
Akrocorinth had excited the wonder of the Sicilian admiral, 
and the lower town, "the emporium" as it was then called, 
had yielded him an even richer booty than Thebes, for its 
two harbours made it doubly prosperous, while the ancient 
tramway was still used for dragging small ships across the 
isthmus. Its silk manufactories still existed, and, at the date 
of the Frankish invasion, it was defended by walls and towers. 
The noble citadel was held by the dread archon of Nauplia, 
L£on Sgour6s, whose enormities Akominatos, his deadly enemy, 
has depicted with all the resources of Byzantine eloquence. Of 

1 Nik&as, 608; Lampros, op. cit., i., 315 ; ii., 83. 

1 Ibid., i., 1 8 1, 182, 315 ; ii., 106. Euripos appears as a name for 
Chalkis in Akomina'tos and Niketes. This was corrupted into Egripos 
( u >Egripons " in Innocent III.'s Letters, voL ii., 267), then from the 
accusative efc Td»*EypiTo» was formed Negripon, which popular etymology, 
from a supposed connection with the bridge at Chalkis over the Euripos, 
converted into Negroponte. Similarly, eh tAt 'A$fyat became Setines, efc 
r*\v *t>\w Stamboul, efc r^v A^fivov Stalimene. Villehardouin, La Conquite 
de Constantinople (I., 80, ch. lxii.) calls Euboea "Nigre" and Chalkis 
" Nigrepont" Cf. Bury, The Lombards and Venetians in Euboia y i., 5. 


the other two cities which owned the tyrant's sway, Argos lay 
spread out " like a tent " in the rich plain at the foot of the 
imposing castle, the mighty Larissa on the hill above ; while 
Nauplia, across the beautiful bay, was strongly protected 
against attack, though the lofty eminence of Palamidi, where 
the convict-prison now stands, was then unfortified ; the modern 
town was then covered by the shallow water, and the city con- 
sisted of the rocky peninsula of Itsh Kaleh alone. Farther 
to the south, and stronger still, lay the "sacred city" of 
Monemvasia, the Malmsey of our ancestors, accessible by 
the narrow causeway alone (jiovtj e/ijSao-i?) to which it owed 
its name. Thanks to its natural position, to the wisdom of 
its three archons, and to the liberties which its inhabitants 
enjoyed, it had repelled the Norman attack ; its trading vessels 
were seen in the Piraeus, and its chief artistic treasure, the 
famous picture of Christ being "dragged," which gave its 
name to the 'EX/to/ieww Church, 1 had attracted the covetous- 
ness of the Emperor Isaac II. On the west of the Pelopon- 
nese, Patras, whose wealth had been almost fabulous three 
centuries before, must still have had considerable commerce 
to attract a Jewish colony and to make it worth while for 
the Venetians to secure trading facilities there in their last 
treaty with the Byzantine Empire. In the fertile plain of 
Elis the finest place at the time of the Conquest was the 
unwalled town of Andravida, now only a squalid village 
which the traveller passes on the railway to Olympia. On 
the west coast, farther to the south, Kyparissia, then called 
Arkadia, was in Edrisi's time a large place with a much- 
frequented harbour — a position which it is now recovering 
since the new railway has connected it with Kalamata and 
Patras. The Franks considered the anchorage bad ; but on 
the hill, which commands the whole rich plain of Triphylia, 
and enjoys a prospect of the sea as far as Zante, Cephalonia, 
and the islands of the Harpies, " the giants," so the country- 
folk said, had built the strong Hellenic tower, which forms 
the nucleus of the present castle. 

1 T& Xpotuctor roG Mopfot, 11. 1406, 1462, 1525-6; Nik&as, 97-100, 
581-2 ; Lampros, op. cit^ ii., 83, 137, 171 ; Phrantz^s, 397-8 ; of course, 
the remarkable pictures in the present 'EXx^vof church, which was 
restored in 1697, are of Venetian origin and workmanship. 



The Messenian port of Methone, or Modon, destined to 
play so important a part in Frankish times as a half-way 
house between Venice and the East, then lay deserted, for in 
1 125 the Venetians had destroyed this nest of corsairs who 
had preyed on their merchantmen homeward-bound from the 
Levant, and the Sicilian admiral had again made it a heap 
of ruins. The other Messenian station of Korone, or Coron, 
which we shall find always associated with it under the rule 
of Venice, produced such a quantity of olive oil that no other 
place in the world, so it was said, could compare with it. In 
the far south of the peninsula, the people of Maina had a bad 
reputation among the Crusaders, whom the waves cast on 
their iron-bound coast ; while the fertility of the rich Messenian 
plain, in which Kalamata lies, was no less extraordinary than 
now, though the fortress which should have defended the 
place was weak. At the other end of the picturesque 
Langada gorge, on the low hills near the right bank of the 
Eurotas, stood the large city of Lacedaemonia, the Byzantine 
town which had succeeded the classic Sparta ; in the tenth 
century Venetian merchants had frequented this prosperous 
mart, and the efforts of St Nikon to expel the Jews from the 
community afford a further proof of its commercial importance 
at that period. The excavations of the British school have 
brought to light curious pieces of Byzantine pottery and 
Byzantine coins, and the traveller may still see the remains 
of the fine walls and towers, which, as the Chronicle of the 
Morea tells us, surrounded Lacedaemonia at the time of the 
Frankish Conquest. Towards the centre of the peninsula, 
" the middle land," or Mesarea, as Arkadia was then called, 
there had arisen near the site of the classic Tegea the 
important and well-fortified Byzantine town of Nikli, a trace 
of which may still be found in a Christian font in the little 
museum of the squalid village of Piali ; while, due south of 
Megalopolis, the city of Veligosti, now a mere name, was 
then sufficiently flourishing to be coupled by the chronicler 
with Nikli as one of the " chief places in all the Morea." l 

1 T6 Upovucbv roG Mop*w? t 11. 1 426-9, 1680, 1 690-4, 1712, 1 740- 1, 1 75 3, 
2052-3 ; Le Livre de la Conqueste, 44 ; Benedict of Peterborough, loc. 
cit I accept the derivation of Mesarea, given by the Italian version of 
the Chronicle (p. 428) and by Hatzidalcis, as more probable than that of 
Meliar£kes (AfArfe?, iv., 262) from the Italian tnassa 


Of the islands, Corfii is described as " rich and fertile " by 
everyone who visited it at that period. We are told in 1 191 
that it paid " 15 quintals" (or 1500 lbs.) "of the purest gold" 
into the imperial treasury every year, the equivalent of about 
9,000,000 drachmai, or more than the total amount raised by 
the present Greek exchequer from all the Ionian islands. 
Dotted about the beautiful hillsides were various towns and 
many strong castles. But what most interested returning 
Crusaders was the local legend that the deserted castle of 
Butentrost, or Butrinto, on the opposite coast of Epiros, 
which scholars associate with the voyage of iEneas, was the 
birthplace of Judas Iscariot — a legend which we find at Corfu 
centuries later, and which may have arisen out of a popular 
etymology, connecting the surname of the traitor with 
Scheria, the Homeric name of Corfu, still enshrined in the 
Corfiote village of Skaria. 1 The Cyclades, or Dodekanesos, had 
suffered so much from pirates, that many of them had been 
abandoned, while in some fortified positions, like the Byzantine 
castle of Apaliri at Naxos, corsairs had established themselves. 
The "Queen of the Cyclades," however, even then raised 
cattle, as she still does ; Andros, the second island of the 
group, was very populous, though it had been recently 
overrun by the Crusaders on their way to Constantinople, 
and the ancient Panachrdntou monastery, ascribed by 
tradition to Nikeph6ros Phok&s, the conqueror of Crete, 
together with the beautiful little Byzantine church of the 
Archangel Michael at Messaria, the Byzantine capital of the 
island, which dates from the time of Manuel I., are evidence of 
its importance in the last two centuries before the Conquest 
Its geographical position on the direct course of ships on 
their way from Italy to Constantinople made it also a good 
place for hearing news. But the school of philosophy for 
which Andros had been celebrated much earlier, and which 
was revived within the memory of many now living in the 
person of KaTres, had long ceased to exist 2 Another island, 
then populous, was Amorgos, the ancient home of Simonides ; 
while Keos, the birthplace of his namesake, was, as we shall 

1 Villehardouin, op. cit^ i., 74, ch. lviii. ; Benedict of Peterborough, 
op. ctf. y ii., 204 ; Roman6s, Tpariavb* Z4rf>p, 120-!, 
* L&npros, op. r/'A, ii., 145. 


presently see, by no means a luxurious exile for an educated 
man accustomed to live even in the Athens of the twelfth 

Such was the condition of Greece when the Latin 
conquerors of Constantinople entered the land which the 
strangest of accidents had placed at their mercy. Such was 
the El Dorado which was to provide principalities and 
duchies, marquisates and baronies, for the adventurous 
younger sons of the Western nobility. 




When, in October 1204, the Crusaders and their Venetian 
allies sat down at Constantinople to partition the Byzantine 
Empire, they paid as little heed as any modern congress of 
diplomatists to the doctrine of nationalities, or to the wishes 
of the peoples whose fate hung upon their decisions. It had 
been agreed by a preliminary compact, that a fourth part of 
the Byzantine dominions should be first set aside to form 
the new Latin Empire of Romania, of which Baldwin, Count 
of Flanders, was elected Emperor. The remaining three- 
fourths were then to be divided in equal shares between 
the Venetian Republic and the Crusaders, whose leader was 
Boniface, Marquis of Montferrat, the rival of Baldwin for the 
throne of the East. The Greek provinces in Asia and " the 
isle of Greece," as the French chronicler calls the Pelopon- 
nese, had originally been intended as the portion of the 
unsuccessful competitor, who was to do homage to the 
emperor for his dominions. 1 But this arrangement did not 
suit the plans of the crusading chief, who wished to exchange 
the promised land of Asia Minor for a compact extent of 
territory nearer home. His marriage with the Dowager 
Empress Margaret, widow of Isaac II., and daughter of the 
King of Hungary, made him the more desirous to be 
established somewhere in the Balkan peninsula, within 
easier reach of her native land. 2 His brother, Rainer, had 

1 Villehardouin, op. ciL % i., 178, ch. cxxxiii. A various reading is 
Piste de CrlU; but that already belonged to Boniface. (Del Carretto and 
Sangeorgio in Histories patrict Monument^ v., 1141 ; 1322.) 

2 lbid, y i., 182, ch. exxxvii. ; Robert de Clary apud Hopf, Chromques 
grico-romanes, 76. 



received from Manuel I., twenty-five years before, the title of 
King of Salonika, after his marriage with that emperor's 
daughter Maria, and the marquis now sought to convert his 
dead brother's empty title into a living reality. 1 Baldwin I. 
was, however, in no mood to accept an arrangement which 
effectually severed the connection between the Empire of 
Romania and Greece proper at the very outset He had 
actually occupied Salonika, and civil war menaced the Latin 
dominion in the Levant before its foundations had been 
securely laid. But the intervention of the old doge Dandolo, 
assisted by influential nobles of the crusading army, men 
like Ravano dalle Carceri of Verona, the Burgundian 
Othon de la Roche, the Fleming Jacques d'Avesnes, and 
Guillaume de Champlitte, styled rt of Champagne," who are 
described as being " most highly esteemed in the councils of 
the marquis," succeeded in preventing this catastrophe. 
Boniface took an oath of allegiance to the Latin emperor for 
his kingdom of Salonika, which was to include a large part of 
Greece, as yet unconquered. " I am your man in respect of 
it," he said, "and I hold it from you." 2 

The deed of partition, which was obviously based on the 
last commercial treaty between Venice and the Emperor 
Al&rios III., assigned to Boniface and his army of Crusaders 
in Greece " the district of Larissa, the province of Wallachia 
(*>. Thessaly), with the private and monastic property which 
they contained, the estates of the ex-Empress Euphrosyne, 
viz., Vessena (near Pelion), Pharsala, Domok6, Ravenika, 
Upper and Lower Halmyros, and Demetrias." It also 
awarded them "the territory of Neopatras" (the modern 
Hypate), Velestino, the village near the modern battlefield, 
and "the district of Athens with the territory of Megara." 
But the Venetians, with their shrewd commercial instincts 
and their much more intimate knowledge of the country, 

1 Robertas dc Monte in Rerum German. Scriptores % iii., 924 ; Mem- 
oriole Potestatum Regiensium; and B. de S. Georgio, Historia Montis - 
ferratt, apud Muratori, Rerum Ital. Scriptores, viii., 1 165 ; xxiii., 373 ; 

which prove that this grant was not a subsequent invention to justify 
Boniface's title, as Finlay (iii., 149) imagined. 

2 Villehardouin, op. cit^ I., 183, 192, 198, 358, chs, cxxxvii., cxlv., cl., 



had secured in the partition treaty all the best harbours, 
islands, and markets in the Levant Their share included 
in the Peloponnese " the province of Lacedaemonia, Kalavryta, 
the districts of Patras and Methone with all their appurten- 
ances, viz., the territory of the Brands family, the territory 
of the Cantacuzene family, and the towns belonging to 
Princess Irene, daughter of Al£xios III." In Epiros the 
republic had obtained "Nikopolis, with the territory of 
Arta;" in iEtolia "Acheloos and Anatoliko." The Ionian 
islands of Corfu, Cephalonia, Zante, and Leukas had also 
fallen to her share. Oreos in the north, and Karystos in 
the south, of Euboea were to belong to Venice; in the 
Saronic Gulf, iEgina and " Culuris," as Salamis was 
described in the partition treaty, were marked as hers ; and 
finally, * the province of Sunium with the Cyclades," among 
which Andros, and perhaps Naxos, are specially mentioned, 
rounded off the Venetian possessions. In addition, the 
Marquis of Montferrat, by a solemn "deed of Refutation," 
signed August 12, 1204, had sold Crete, which had been 
"given or promised" to him by Atexios IV. during his stay 
at Corfu fifteen months earlier, to the Venetians for 1000 
marks of silver down and the promise of possessions in the 
western part of the empire sufficient to bring him in an 
income of 10,000 gold hyperpers (^4480). The only items 
of the emperor's share which concern our subject are the 
islands of Lemnos, Tenos, and Skyros ; the rest of his 
portion was outside the limits of Greece proper. 1 

Besides these territorial acquisitions, the careful republic 
had stipulated that all the commercial privileges which she 
had enjoyed in the time of the Byzantine Empire should be 

1 FonUs Rerutn Austriacarutn, Abt. ii., B. xii., 468-73, 476-7, 486-8, 
513-15; Da Canal, La Chronique des Veniciens in Archivio Storico 
lialianoy viii., 340-4. Colonie would seem to be Sunium (Cape Colonna). 
The chief difficulty is whether the Cyclades fell to the Venetians or to 
the Crusaders. The text of the deed assigns the Dodecanisos to the latter, 
and Spruner-Menke {Handatlas fur die Geschichte des Mittelalters^ p. 40) 
and Mr Fotheringham accept this statement. But the Dodecanisos occurs 
in the midst of places in Macedonia, next to Prespa. Can it be a corrup- 
tion for the island on Ochrida, the former Bulgarian capital ? I follow 
Tafel and Thomas, who conjectured cum Cycladibus for Conchilari in the 
Venetian portion, to which the Cyclades would naturally belong. 


continued to her. Thus, the Venetian lion had secured the 
lion's share. Well might the doge describe himself, as he 
did for the next century and a half, " ruler of one quarter 
and half a quarter of the whole Empire of Romania." 1 Long 
after that ephemeral empire had fallen, the Venetians kept 
their hold on the Levant, and to-day many a fortress, from 
Candia to Chalkis, from Nauplia to Corfu, preserves on its 
walls the winged lion of the evangelist But, for the moment, 
the lion had obtained more than he could digest. Imposing 
as the Venetian share looked on paper, much of it required 
to be conquered. Besides the places which were still occupied 
by the Byzantine garrisons or by local Greek magnates, 
Corfu was in the hands of the Genoese pirate Vetrano, 
while Zante and Cephalonia belonged to Count Maio, or 
Matteo, Orsini. In short, it soon became evident, that the 
allies had partitioned the empire much as mediaeval popes 
drew lines of demarcation on the map of Africa. 

Having settled his differences with the Emperor Baldwin, 
Boniface set out in the autumn of 1204 to conquer his Greek 
dominions. The new King of Salonika belonged to a family 
which was no stranger to the ways of the Orient One of 
his brothers, as we saw, had married the daughter of the 
Emperor Manuel I. Another brother and a nephew of 
Boniface were kings of Jerusalem — a vain dignity which has 
descended from them, together with the marquisate of 
Montferrat, to the present Italian dynasty. Married to the 
affable widow of the Emperor Isaac II., Boniface was a 
sympathetic figure to the Greeks, who had speedily flocked 
in numbers to his side, 2 and several of them accompanied 
him on his march through Greece, among them his stepson, 
Manuel Angelos, and a much more dangerous member of 
the same family, the bastard Michael, first cousin of Isaac II. 3 
With the King of Salonika there went, too, a motley crowd of 
Crusaders in quest of fiefs, men of many nationalities, 
Lombards, Flemings, Frenchmen, and Germans. There 
were Guillaume de Champlitte, Viscount of Dijon, who 
derived his name from the village of Champlitte in Franche- 

1 Akropolita, 15 ; X. t. M., 11. 1025, sqq., L. d. C, 21. 

2 Villehardouin, op. cii. y i., 194, 196, chs. cxlviii., cxlix. 

3 Ibid. % i., 210, ch. clix. 


Comt6, but who was surnamed le Champenois after his 
grandfather, the Count of Champagne ; Othon de la Roche, 
son of a Burgundian noble, Ponce de la Roche-sur-Ognon, 1 
a castle which still commands the rolling plains of the 
Haute-Sadne ; Jacques d'Avesnes, son of a Flemish Crusader 
who had been at the siege of Acre, and his two nephews, 
Jacques and Nicholas de St Omer ; Berthold von Katzenel- 
lenbogen, a Rhenish warrior who had given the signal for 
setting fire to Constantinople ; the Marquis Guido Pallavicini, 
youngest son of a nobleman from near Parma who had gone 
to Greece because at home every common man could hale him 
before the courts ; Thomas de Stromoncourt, and Ravano dalle 
Carceri of Verona. 2 To record his deeds, the king of Salonika 
took with him Rambaud de Vaqueiras, a troubadour from 
Provence, who afterwards boasted in one of the letters in 
verse, which he addressed to his patron, that he " had helped 
to conquer the empire of the East and the kingdom of 
Salonika, the island of Pelops, and the duchy of Athens." 8 
There was one man still left in Greece who might have 
been expected to offer a determined resistance to the 
invaders. L£on Sgour6s, the proud lord of Nauplia, Argos, 
and Corinth, was the strongest of the native archons, but he 
showed more desire to profit by his country's misfortunes 
than to fight against its enemies. He had long cast covetous 
glances at Athens, whence he had once already levied 
blackmail, and he availed himself of the general confusion, 
consequent on the invasion of the capital by the Franks, to 
attack the Athenians by land and sea. The noble metro- 
politan proved himself at this crisis a worthy representative 
of those classic heroes whose lives he had so carefully studied ; 
and his brother, the historian Nik&as, might well interrupt 
his stilted narrative to express his pride at being the near 
kinsman of such a man. From the sacred rock of the 
Akropolis he solemnly warned the selfish magnate of the 

1 Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches % L, lxxxiv.-lxxxix. 

2 Litta, Lefamiglie celebri Ilaliane> vol. v., plate xiv. 

3 Schultz-Gora, Le Epistole del Trovatore Rambaldo di Vaqueiras, 

p. 6. 

" Ai vo8 aiudat 
" A conquerre cm'pcri c regnat 
" d'aquetta terra e Vis la *7 augat." 


double iniquity of a Greek fighting against Greeks, a Christian 
against Christians. He made a personal appeal to an assailant, 
whom he had counted among his spiritual children, who had 
never refused him the titles of father and pastor. But the 
archon of Nauplia was unmoved by these spiritual arguments ; 
he cynically replied that, at the time when the capital of the 
empire was in the hands of the foe, it behoved everyone to 
look after his own interests ; and, as an excuse for his attack, 
demanded the surrender of an Athenian youth of notoriously 
bad character. The metropolitan refused to give up even 
the least worthy of his flock, and defended the walls of the 
Akropolis with engines of war. His material proved better 
than his spiritual weapons, and SgounSs had to content 
himself with setting fire to the houses of the town, and 
carrying off a nephew of the metropolitan as a page, whom 
he afterwards murdered in a fit of passion for his clumsiness 
in breaking a glass cup. From Athens he marched upon 
Thebes, which, though a stronger position, afforded an 
instance of the truth of Thucydides* saying, that it is not 
walls, but the men who man them that make a city. The 
chief town in Greece yielded to the first attack, and the victor 
continued his march unchecked to Larissa. There he met 
the fugitive Emperor Atexios III., who bestowed upon him 
the hand of his daughter Eudokia, a lady who had already 
been thrice married to one monarch after another. 1 

It was at this moment that Boniface and his army 
traversed the classic vale of Tempe and entered the fertile 
plain of Thessaly. At the news of his approach Sgour6s — 
"Lasgur," as the Franks called him — retreated to 
Thermopylae, 2 allowing the invaders to occupy Larissa. The 
king of Salonika bestowed that ancient city upon a Lombard 
noble, who henceforth styled himself Guglielmo de Larsa 
from his Thessalian fief, and who also received the important 
town of Halmyros where the Venetian and Pisan colonies 
continued to flourish. Velestino, the ancient Pherae, the 
scene of the legend of Admetos and Alkestis, fell to the 
share of Count Berthold von Katzenellenbogen, whose name 

1 Niketas, 799-807 ; Ldmpros, Mixa^X 'Ako/up&tov, ii., 162-87 ; Libro de 
losfcchos, 15. 

2 Villchardouin, op. cit % i., 210, ch. clix. 


must have proved a stumbling-block to his Thessalian vassals. 1 
The army then took the usual route by way of Pharsala and 
Domok<5 — names familiar in the ancient and modern history 
of Greek warfare, down to Lamia, and thence across the 
Trachinian plain to Thermopylae, where Sgour6s was await- 
ing it But the memories of Leonidas failed to inspire the 
archon of Nauplia to follow his example. Nik^tas 2 tells us 
that the mere sight of the Latin knights in their coats of 
mail sufficed to make him flee straight to his own fastness 
of Akrocorinth, leaving the pass undefended. Conscious of 
its strength — for Thermopylae must have been far more of a 
defile then than now — Boniface resolved to secure it 
permanently against attack. He therefore invested the 
Marquis Guido Pallavicini, nicknamed by the Greeks 
" Marchesopoulo," with the fief of Boudonitza, which 
commanded the other end of the pass. Thus arose the 
famous marquisate of Boudonitza, which was destined to 
play an important part in the Frankish history of Greece, 
and which, after a continuous existence of over two centuries, 
as guardian of the northern marches, has left a memory of 
its fallen greatness in the ruins of the castle and chapel of its 
former lords, of whose descendants, the Zorzi of Venice, 
there are still living some thirty representatives in that city. 
Following the present carriage-road from Lamia to the 
Corinthian Gulf, Boniface established another defensive post 
at the pass of Gravia, so famous centuries afterwards in the 
War of Independence, conferring it as a fief on the two 
brothers, Jacques and Nicholas de St Omer. 8 At the foot of 
Parnassos, on the site of the ancient Amphissa, he next 
founded the celebrated barony of Salona, which lasted 
almost as long as the marquisate of Boudonitza. Upon the 
almost Cyclopean stones of the classic Akropolis, which 
Philip of Macedon had destroyed fifteen centuries before, 
Thomas de Stromoncourt built himself the fortress, of which 
the majestic ruins — perhaps the finest Frankish remains in 
Greece — still stand among the corn-fields on the hill above 
the modern town. According to the local tradition, the 

1 Epistola InnocenHi UI n vol. iL, pp. 214, 464-51 549 \ DocununH 
sulU relation* toscam toll *Oriente y pp. 88-90. 

1 P. 799. 8 L - <*- c -> 4*3- 



name of Salona, which the place still bears in common 
parlance, despite the usual official efforts to revive the 
classical terminology, is derived from the King of 
Salonika, its second founder. The lord of Salona soon 
extended his sway down to the harbour of Galaxidi, and the 
barony became so important that two at least of the house 
of Stromoncourt struck coins of their own, which are still 
preserved 1 

Boniface next marched into Boeotia, where the people, 
glad to be relieved from the oppression of Sgour6s, at once 
submitted. Thebes joyfully opened her gates, and then the 
invaders pursued their way to Athens. The metropolitan 
thought it useless to defend the city, and a Frankish guard 
was soon stationed on the Akropolis. The Crusaders had 
no respect for the great cathedral. To these soldiers of 
fortune the classic glories of the Parthenon appealed as 
little as the sanctity of the Orthodox Church. The rich 
treasury of the cathedral was plundered, the holy vessels 
were melted down, the library which the metropolitan had 
collected was dispersed. Unable to bear the sight, 
Akominatos, like his colleague of Thebes, quitted the scene 
of his long labours, and after wandering about for a time in 
Salonika and Euboea, perhaps in the hope of coming to terms 
with the Papal Legate, finally settled down in the island of 
Keos, one of the eleven suffragan bishoprics, which had, in 
happier times, owned his benevolent sway. From there he 
could at least see the coast of Attica — that Attica which he 
had once described as "a Scythian wilderness," but which 
he now lamented as " a garden of Eden." 2 

Thebes with Boeotia, and Athens with Attica and the 
Megarid were bestowed by the King of Salonika upon his 
trusty comrade in arms, Othon de la Roche, who had 
rendered him a valuable service by assisting to settle the 
dispute between him and the Emperor Baldwin, and who 

1 S&has, T6 XpcviKto toO ra\a£€i8lov t 201. This chronicle, compiled in 
1703 from old documents, ascribes to Thomas I. the title of Count, 
whereas the Chronicle of the More a (11. 3294, 3633), describes Thomas II. 
of Salona as simply " lord," &<pivTip. Sa*thas (op. cit.\ gives a coin of 
Thomas II., and another of Thomas III. 

1 NiWtas, 805 ; Lampros, Mexa^X 'Atcotuvdrov, i., 357, H., 146, 178, 259, 
295> 312. 


afterwards negotiated the marriage between Boniface's 
daughter and Baldwin's brother and successor on the throne. 
Thus, in the words of a monkish chronicler, " Othon de la 
Roche, son of a certain Burgundian noble, became, as by a 
miracle, Duke of the Athenians and Thebans." l The 
chronicler was only wrong in the title which he attributed to 
the lucky Frenchman, who had thus succeeded to the glories 
of the heroes and sages of Athens. Othon modestly styled 
himself Sire dAthhus, or Dominus Athenarum, in official 
documents, which his Greek subjects magnified into "the 
great Lord" (Meya? icvp, or Meya? icvpw), and Dante, who 
had probably heard that such had been the title of the 
first Frankish ruler of Athens, transferred it by a poetic 
anachronism to Pisistratos. 2 Contemporary accounts make 
no mention of any resistance to the Lord of Athens on the 
part of the Greeks. Later Venetian writers, however, 
actuated perhaps by patriotic bias, propagated a story, that 
the Athenians sent an embassy to offer their city to Venice, 
but that their scheme was frustrated, " not without bloodshed, 
by the men of Champagne under the Lord de la Roche." 8 

Meanwhile, the soldierly Fleming, Jacques d'Avesnes, 
leaving the main body of the Franks, had received the 
submission of Eubcea — an island where they had already 
stopped on their way to Constantinople. After building a 
fortress in the middle of the Euripos and garrisoning the 
place, 4 d'Avesnes hastened to join the King of Salonika and 
the Lord of Athens in their attack upon the strongholds of 
Sgourds in the Peloponnese. The Franks routed the 

1 Albericns Trium Fontium, Chromcon, ii., 439; Henri de Valen- 
ciennes! ch. xxxv. 

* X. r. M., 1L 1555, 2595, 3194 sqq. % 4365. Epistola Innocentii ///., 
bk. xL, No. 244 ; bk. xiii., No. 16. Buchon, Recherches, ii., 385 sqq. 
Dante, Purgatorio y xv., 97. Ducange, Histoire de P Empire de Con- 
stanUnople, i., 436-7. 

3 Andrea Dandolo, Chronkon Venetum, apud Muratori, Rerum I tali - 
carum Scriptores, xii., 335. Laurentius de Monacis (Chronicon, 143), and 
Stefano Magno, apud HopfJ Chromques grtco-romanes, 179, repeat 
him. Out of this, and a misunderstanding of Othon's title the historian 
Fanelli, who wrote his Atene Attica soon after Morosini's victories, states 
(p. 278) that the embassy was imprisoned by a certain "Magaduce 

4 Nike'tas, 806. 


Greek army at the Isthmus, and, while Boniface marched on 
to besiege Nauplia, Jacques d'Avesnes and Othon de la Roche 
attacked Corinth. The lower town, though strongly fortified, 
was taken by escalade, but Akrocorinth proved, in the hands 
of Sgourds, an impregnable fortress. In vain the Franks 
built two castles to coerce it into submission, one on the hill 
to the south of Akrocorinth, which they called Montesquiou, 
a name now corrupted into the modern Penteskouphia 
(" Five Caps "), the other to the north. Sgour6s succeeded in 
making a night sortie and in surprising the Franks in the 
lower town ; many of the besiegers were slain, and their 
leader, d'Avesnes, was wounded. 1 

But the Greek archoris resolute defence of Akrocorinth 
could not prevent the conquest of the Peloponnese, for the 
attack upon that peninsula came from a wholly unexpected 
quarter. It chanced that, a little before the capture of 
Constantinople, Geoffroy de Villehardouin, nephew of the 
Marshal of Champagne and quaint chronicler of the Fourth 
Crusade, had set out on a pilgrimage to Palestine. On his 
arrival in Syria, he heard of the great achievements of the 
Crusaders, and resolved without loss of time to join them at 
Constantinople. But his ship was driven out of her course 
by a violent tempest, and Geoffroy was forced to take shelter 
in the harbour of Methone on the coast of Messenia. During 
the winter of 1204, which he spent at that spot, he received an 
invitation from a local magnate to join him in an attack on the 
lands of the neighbouring Greeks. Villehardouin, nothing 
loth, placed his sword at the disposal of the Greek traitor, 
and success crowned the arms of these unnatural allies. 
But the Greek archon died, and his son, more patriotic, or 
more prudent than the father, repudiated the dangerous 
alliance with the Frankish stranger. But it was too late. 
Villehardouin had discovered the fatal secret that the Greeks 
of the Peloponnese were an unwarlike race, and that their 
land would fall an easy conquest to a resolute band of Latins. 
At this moment tidings reached him that Boniface was 

1 Nik&as, 807 ; Villehardouin, op. cit y L, 2 10, 226, 232, chs. clue, 
cbariv., clxxix. ; X. r. M. f 11. 1528-38, 2805-8. The last passage gives the 
name of the fort, but places its construction at a later period erroneously, 
as Hopf has shown. Cf. L. d. C, 37, 87. 


besieging Nauplia, and he at once set out on a six days' 
journey across a hostile country to seek his aid. Boniface 
endeavoured to detain him in his own service by the offer of 
lands and possessions, but in the camp Villehardouin found 
an old friend and fellow-countryman, Guillaume de Champ- 
litte, who was willing to assist him, for Villehardouin came 
from a village of Champagne, in the domain of Champlitte's 
ancestors, a place between Bar and Arcis-sur-Aube. He 
described to Champlitte the richness of the land which men 
called " the Morea " — a term which now occurs for almost the 
first time in history, and which seems to have been originally 
applied to the coast of Elis and thence extended to the whole 
peninsula, just as the name Italy, originally confined to a 
part of Calabria, has similarly spread over the whole country. 1 
He professed his willingness to recognise Champlitte as his 
liege lord in return for his aid, and Boniface finally consented 
to their undertaking. With a hundred knights and some 
men-at-arms, the two friends rode out from the camp before 
Nauplia to conquer the ancient land which had once given 
birth to Spartan men. 2 

The fate of the Morea, like that of Saxon England, 
was decided by a single pitched battle. The city of Patras 
was captured at the first assault, whereupon the castle at 
once surrendered on terms ; from the defenceless town of 
Andravida, the capital of Elis, the magnates and the com- 
munity issued forth, with the priests bearing the cross and 
the sacred eikons, and did homage to Champlitte on con- 

1 The derivation of the word " Morea," which is first found in a MS. 
of mi, is much disputed. The traditional explanation, now returning 
to favour, was that it came from Awp6x (" mulberry-tree "), either because 
of the trees grown there, or because of the shape of the peninsula. The 
Slavonic more (" sea ") ; a former town on the coast of Elis nearKatakolo ; 
and a transformation of the word Romaia have all been suggested. Both 
the Greek (e.g. 1L 1427, 16x0, 1642, 5708) and the French (p. 359) versions 
of the Chronicle of the Morea at times use it in the restricted sense of 
44 Elis." Sdthas, MvripeTa 'EXX^ur?* 'Itfrop/as, i., pp. xxx.-xxxviii. ; Papar- 
regopoulos, 'luropla rod 'EXX^^ou T&Ovovs, v., 88-92 ; Hopf apud Ersch u. 
Gruber, Allgemeine Encyktopadie, lxxxv., 264-7 ; Finlay, iv. 24 ; 
Hatzidikis in Byz. Zeit., ii., 284. 

1 I have here followed Villehardouin (i., 226-32), who is naturally a 
better authority for what concerns his nephew than is the much later 
Chronicle of the Morea, which narrates these events differently. 


dition that he respected their property; the archons of 
the rest of Elis and of Mesarea, " the middle land," as Arkadia 
was then called, followed the example of Andravida; the 
low-walled fortress of Pontikokastro, or " Mouse Castle," the 
ruins of which still stand on the hill above the harbour of 
Katakolo, was easily taken and garrisoned. The tower of 
"the giants" at Arkadia (or Kyparissia) and the castle of 
Kalamata did indeed hold out for a time; but of the two 
forts on either side of the Messenian promontory, Modon 
was after all these years still lying deserted, while the garrison 
of Coron soon surrendered when their houses and property 
were guaranteed to them. The more patriotic and energetic 
of the natives did, indeed, succeed in collecting an army some 
four to six thousand strong, consisting of the Greeks of 
Nikli, Veligosti, and Lacedaemonia, the warlike Slavonic 
tribe of Melings, who had been so troublesome to the old 
Imperial Government, and a detachment under Michael 
Angelos, who had quitted Boniface and had established 
himself as Lord, or Despot, of Epiros, and who crossed 
over the Gulf of Corinth to attack the common enemy. 
The Hastings of the Morea was fought in the olive-grove of 
Koundoura, in the north-east of Messenia. The little 
Frankish force, numbering between five and seven hundred 
men, completely routed the over-confident Greeks ; the 
Despot retired to his mountains, and one place after 
another fell into the hands of the Franks. One heroic 
warrior, Doxapatres, seems to have held manfully the small 
but strongly situated castle of Araklovon, which commanded 
a defile of the Arkadian mountains, and his rare heroism, 
dismissed in a few lines of the Greek Chronicle, made a 
lasting impression on romantic minds. The compilers of 
the Aragonese version say that no man could lift his mace, 
and that his cuirass weighed more than 1 50 pounds ; a local 
legend has kept alive the splendid courage of his daughter, 
who allowed herself to be hurled to death from the castle 
tower rather than become the conqueror's mistress; and a 
modern Greek dramatist has made Maria DoxapatrS the 
heroine of one of his tragedies. 1 Though the three strong- 

1 X. t. M., 11. 1410-41, 1641-3, 1661-1790; L. d. C, 34-5> 3 8 "44 ; 
Villehardouin, loc. cit\ Muntaner, Cronaca, ch. cclxi.; Libro de losfechos y 
27 ; Bernarddkes, Mopte Ao^awarpij. 


holds of Sgour6s, Corinth, Nauplia, and the Larissa of Argos, 
still held out; though Veligosti, Nikli, and Lacedaemonia 
were unconquered ; though the isolated rock of Monemvasia, 
whose sailors had often manned the imperial navies, whose 
soldiers had repelled a Latin host before, still preserved its 
traditional liberties; though the Tzdkones of Leonidi and 
the Slav tribe of Melings in the fortresses of Taygetos as 
yet acknowledged no master, Innocent 1 1 1., not without reason, 
already styled Champlitte " Prince of all Achaia." x 

The new prince rewarded Villehardouin, the real author 
of this daring scheme of conquest, with the town of Coron.* 
But, at this point, a new competitor appeared on the scene. 
It will be remembered, that, by the deed of partition, large 
portions of the Peloponnese, including the haven of 
Modon, had fallen to the share of Venice. So vast were 
the dominions which had been assigned, to the republic, 
that she had been slower than the other parties to the deed 
in occupying her portion of the former Byzantine Empire. 
Many places, indeed, she never effectively occupied at all. 
But the twin stations of Modon and Coron were valuable 
stepping-stones on the way to Crete and Egypt, while there 
was always danger that the former, in foreign hands, might 
once more become a refuge of corsairs. Accordingly, in 
1206, a fleet was despatched under Premarini and the son 
of Dandolo, which, after a struggle captured both places from 
the weak garrisons left there by the Franks. Opinions were 
divided as to the policy of maintaining the two places ; but 
Dandolo's son offered to keep them up at his own cost, and 
thus saved them for the republic The walls of Modon 
were again destroyed, as a measure of precaution; but 
Coron seems to have been made a provisioning station, 
where all passing ships could receive a month's rations — a 
custom maintained, we are told, when the place became a 
regular Venetian colony. 8 Thus began the long Venetian 
occupation of these two spots, the first territorial acquisition 

1 Epistola y bk. viii., Lett. 153 (Nov. 19, 1205). 

* Villehardouin, loc. cit. 

9 Martin da Canal in Archivio Storico Italiano, viii., 348-50; A. 
Dandolo apud Muratori, xil, 335 ; E. Dandolo, "Cronaca Veneta" (MS.), 
fbL 43 ; S&has, Mwwirid, i., 318. 


of the republic in the Greek peninsula, which came to be 
" the receptacle and special nest of all our galleys, ships, and 
vessels on their way to the Levant," as a Venetian document 
quaintly says, and about which there is a whole literature in 
the Venetian archives. 

Thus, almost without effort, a small body of Lombards, 
Burgundians, and Germans had over-run continental Greece 
and the Morea. The local leaders had, with one or two 
exceptions, preferred to cringe to the conquerors rather than 
to fight ; there was no hope of succour from other nations ; 
the people were disused to warfare, oppressed by burdens, 
and indifferent, or even agreeable, to a change of masters. 
It was remarked by a Byzantine historian 1 that the 
European Greeks were weak defenders of fortresses, and 
ready to fall at the feet of every tyrant, and in the Morea 
fortresses were few. Moreover, the conquerors seem to have 
shown a great amount of tact towards the conquered, when 
once they had convinced the latter that they had come to 
stay. Thus, Champlitte promised the magnates of Elis and 
Arkadia to respect the privileges which they had received 
from the Byzantine Emperors and to recognise their titles to 
their estates, while the residue, consisting of the old imperial 
domains and other vacant lands, should be divided among the 
Franks. 2 Six Greek archons were accordingly invited to join 
the same number of Franks in a preliminary commission for 
the purpose of defining these lands and liberties of the native 
and the Frankish aristocracy. Still, the poet of the Conquest, 
Rambaud de Vaqueiras, was scarcely exaggerating, when he 
wrote that neither Alexander nor Charlemagne had achieved 
such feats as the men of the Fourth Crusade. 

But fortune, so favourable to the Franks in Greece, had 
already deserted them in Macedonia. The first Latin 
emperor, within a year of his coronation, had fallen into the 
hands of the Bulgarian Tsar, whose aid the Macedonian 
Greeks had invoked, and vanished in the dungeons of the 
Bulgarian capital. Boniface, on hearing the news, had 
abandoned the siege of Nauplia to defend his Macedonian 
dominions from this new enemy, and had endeavoured to 

1 Akropoiita, 178 ; L. <L C, 58. 
8 X. r. M., II. 1649-50 ; L. d. C, 39. 


strengthen the Frankish cause by doing homage for his 
kingdom to the new Emperor Henry and by bestowing upon 
him the hand of his daughter — a union arranged by his 
trusty friend, Othon de la Roche, Lord of Athens. 1 But the 
chivalrous King of Salonika shortly afterwards met his fate 
in an obscure skirmish with the Bulgarians, and his kingdom 
passed, at this critical moment, to his infant son Demetrios, 
under guardianship of Oberto, the ambitious Count of 
Biandrate, a town between Vercelli and Novara. 

Meanwhile, in three other directions, the Byzantine 
monarchy had shown signs of revival. At Nice, the scene of 
the famous council, Theodore Liskaris, son-in-law of the 
Emperor Atexios III., founded an empire which, fifty-five 
years later, absorbed the ephemeral Latin realm of Romania ; 
at Trebizond, on the shores of the Black Sea, another 
Al£xios, the grandson of the Emperor Andr6nikos I., 
established another empire, which survived the Turkish 
capture of Constantinople ; while in Europe, the bastard 
Michael Angelos, first cousin of the Emperor Isaac II., 
created a Greek principality, the Despotat of Epiros, Hellas, 
or Arta, as it was variously called, which played a great part 
in the history of Frankish Greece. The founder of this new 
Greek dynasty in Epiros was no ordinary man ; son of a 
former governor of that province, he had been given as a 
hostage in earlier life to the Emperor Barbarossa, when 
that monarch was on his way to the Holy Land, and he had 
received the post of governor of the Themes of Hellas and the 
Peloponnese shortly before Constantinople fell. After that 
catastrophe, he had attached himself, as we saw, to Boniface 
in the hope of obtaining some advantage from him. The 
discontent of the Greeks of the province of Nikopolis, which 
included Akarnania, iEtolia and Epiros, with the tyranny of 
their Byzantine governor, Senacherim, at this moment 
reached his ears ; he slipped away from the Frankish camp, 
went to Arta, and, finding the governor dead, married his 
widow, a daughter of the great family of Melissen6s, and 
established himself as an independent Greek sovereign, 
whose sway extended from his capital of Arta to Joannina in 
the north, to Naupaktos on the Gulf of Corinth in the south, 
1 Villehardouin, op. ctl, i., 274, 358, chs. ccx., cclxxiii. 


and apparently included the island of Leukas in the Ionian 
sea. 1 Ere long, Durazzo became his northern, and part of 
Thessaly his eastern, boundary, and he succeeded in 
enlisting the sympathies of the three different races — Greeks, 
Albanians, and Wallachians, who formed the population 
of his dominions. The Greeks naturally welcomed a man 
whose wife was a native of the country and whose father had 
been its governor. The Albanians were ready to serve a 
ruler who paid them well and regarded their predatory 
habits as a positive benefit when they were exercised at the 
cost of his foes. The Wallachians of Thessaly sought 
protection against the Franks, and all three races recognised 
his ability and experience. Moreover, the machinery of the 
Byzantine administration lay ready to his hand. There was 
merely a change of name but not of system, except in so far 
as the taxes were now expended in the country instead of 
being sent to the distant capital. The configuration of 
Epiros has always made it a difficult land to conquer ; and 
in the first years of his reign, Michael's enemies were busy 
elsewhere. He felt so secure, that he crossed into the 
Peloponnese to assist the Greeks in their stand against the 
Franks at Koundoura, as we saw above; even though he 
was defeated with considerable loss, he accepted the damnosa 
hereditas of Nauplia, Argos, and Corinth, when, in 1208, 
Sgour6s at last in despair leapt on horseback from 
Akrocorinth and perished a formless mass of broken bones 
on the rocks below. Henceforth, Michael was the sole 
champion of Hellenism in Europe ; he was styled " the lord 
of Corinth," and his brother Theodore governed the heritage 
of Sgour6s in his name. * 

The Greek islands had been, for the most part, allotted to 
Venice by the partition treaty, the Cyclades among them. 

1 Villehardouin, op, cit y I., 210, ch. clix. ; Akropolita, 15-16 ; Nik&as, 
841 ; Nikeph6ros Gregorys, I., 13 ; Buchon, Nouvelles Recherckes, II., 
i., 401-2. There is no direct evidence as to Leukas, except that it 
was ecclesiastically under the Despots' influence ; but its inclusion in 
the Despotat at this period is probable. Cf. Roman6s, Tpanavbs Zrfpfr*, 
297 ; Blant6s, 'H Aev/rdt inrb rote Qpdytcovs, 4 ; Bi/famyA XpoviKd, iii., 270, 276. 

2 Lampros, 'leropla rrjs t6A* wt A^kwf, i., 42 1, «. 1 ; Henri de Valenciennes, 
apud Buchon, Recherckes et Materiaux, ii., 209. Only one MS. adds the 
title le signour de Chorynte, 


But the Venetian Government, with its usual commercial 
astuteness, soon came to the conclusion that the conquest of 
that large group of islands would too severely tax the 
resources of the state. It was therefore decided to leave the 
task of occupying them to private citizens, who would plant 
Venetian colonies in the iEgean, and live on friendly terms 
with the republic. There was no lack of enterprise among 
the Venetians of that generation, and it so happened that at 
that very moment the Venetian colony at Constantinople 
contained the very man for such an undertaking. The old 
doge Dandolo had taken with him on the crusade his 
nephew, Marco Sanudo, a bold warrior and a skilful 
diplomatist, who had signalised himself by negotiating the 
sale of Crete to the republic, and was then filling the post of 
judge in what we should now call the Consular Court at 
Constantinople. On hearing the decision of his government, 
Sanudo quitted the bench, gathered round him a band of 
adventurous spirits, to whom he promised fiefs in the El 
Dorado of the iEgean, equipped eight galleys at his own cost, 
and sailed with them to carve out a duchy for himself in the 
islands of the Archipelago. There was no one to dispute his 
claim, though L6on Gabal&s, the Greek archon of Rhodes 
and Karpathos, styled himself " Lord of the Cyclades," and 
even " Caesar." l Seventeen islands speedily submitted, and 
at one spot alone did Sanudo meet with any real resistance. 
Naxos has always been the pearl of the jEgean : poets 
placed there the beautiful myth of Ariadne and Dionysos ; 
Herodotos describes it as "excelling the other islands in 
prosperity " ; even to-day, when so many of the Cyclades are 
barren rocks, the orange and lemon groves of Naxos entitle 
it, even more than Zante, to the proud name of " flower of 
the Levant" This was the island which now opposed the 
Venetian filibuster, as centuries before it had opposed the 
Persians. A body of Genoese pirates had occupied the 
Byzantine castle before Sanudo's arrival; but that shrewd 
leader, who knew the value of rashness in an emergency, 
burnt his galleys, and then bade his companions conquer or 
die. The castle surrendered after a five weeks' siege, so that 
by 1207 Sanudo and his comrades had conquered a duchy, 
1 Akropolita, 49, 92 ; Nik&as, 842. 


which lasted between three and four centuries. His 
duchy included, besides Naxos, where he fixed his capital, 
the famous marble island of Faros; Antiparos, with its 
curious grotto ; Kimolos, celebrated for its fuller's earth ; 
Melos, whose sad fortunes had furnished Thucydides with 
one of the most curious passages in his history ; Amorgos, 
the home of Simonides, Ios or Nio, the supposed tomb of 
Homer : Kythnos, Sikinos, and Siphnos ; and Syra, destined 
at a much later date to be the most important of all the 
Cyclades. True to his promise, Sanudo divided some of the 
islands among his companions ; thus Marino Dandolo, 
another nephew of the great doge, who had captured 
Andros, held that fine island, the second largest of the group, 
as a sub-fief of his cousin's duchy; Leonardo Foscolo 
received on similar terms the distant island of Anaphe ; the 
volcanic island of Santorin, as the classic Thera was called 
in the Middle Ages, from the martyrdom on its rocks of one of 
the many St Irenes in the Greek calendar, fell to the share 
of Jacopo Barozzi, and Astypalaia, or Stampalia, to that of 
the Quirini with whose name it is still associated in that of a 
street, a bridge, and a palace at Venice. The brothers 
Andrea and Geremia Ghisi, both enterprising men, not only 
acquired Tenos and Mykonos, but extended their conquests 
to the northern Sporades, occupying Skyros, Skopelos, and 
Skiathos, regardless of the fact that two of these islands 
Tenos and Skyros, belonged to the Emperor of Romania, 
according to the deed of partition. With the aid of Domenico 
Michieli and Pietro Giustiniani, they added to their island 
domain little Seriphos, the Botany Bay of the early Roman 
Empire, and Keos, the refuge of Akomin£tos, which a few 
years earlier had repulsed the Italian tax-gatherers from 
Eubcea. 1 Patmos, doubtless by reason of its religious 
associations, was not only allowed to be independent, but the 
monks received many privileges from the Venetians. 
Lemnos, which had been included in the imperial share at 
the partition, became the fief of the Navigajosi, who 

1 A. Dandolo, M. Sanudo, and Navagero apud Muratori, op. cit. y xii., 
354 ; xxii., 545 ; xxiii., 986 ; Enrico Dandolo, Cronaca Veneta^ fol. 45 ; 
Laurentius dc Monacis, Chronieon, 143 ; Lampros, M«xed>X 'Ato/cu'drou, 
i., 389-90- 


received from the emperor the title of Grand Duke, borne in 
Byzantine days by the Imperial Lord High Admiral The 
remote island of Kythera, in later times strangely reckoned 
as one of the Ionian group, was claimed by Marco Venier, 
on the ground that the birthplace of Venus belonged of right 
to a family which boasted its descent from her, while the 
Viari became marquises of tiny Cerigotto. 1 

The long island of Euboea, which belongs rather to con- 
tinental Greece than to the Archipelago, had various vicissi- 
tudes. It had been taken in 1205, as we saw,' by Jacques 
d'Avesnes, who was too much occupied with the siege of 
Corinth to concern himself greatly with the island, and as 
he died without heirs a few years later, he founded no 
dynasty in Negroponte, merely bestowing lands there upon 
the Templars for the repose of his soul. 2 Boniface, however, 
divided Euboea into three large fiefs, which were granted to 
three gentlemen of Verona — Ravano dalle Carceri, his relative 
Giberto, and Pegoraro dei Pegorari. The Dalle Carceri 
family, long ago extinct, was at that time influential at 
Verona. One of the two town councillors in 1178 was a 
member of the clan; and, of Ravano's two brothers, 
Redondello was Podestd, in 12 10, and built the old wooden 
Casa dei Mercanti, as a modern inscription on the later 
building still reminds the traveller, while Henry was bishop 
of Mantua. 8 Ravano himself had rendered signal service to 
the King of Salonika by assisting Marco Sanudo in arranging 
the sale of Crete, while the names of the other two appear 
as witnesses to the deed of sale. Ignoring the assignment 
of Oreos and Karystos to Venice by the treaty of partition, 
Boniface invested Pegoraro with the north, Giberto with the 
centre, and Ravano with the south of the island, and the 
three lords assumed the name of terzieri, terriers, or triarchs, 
of Euboea. With the southern barony of Karystos seems to 
have been united the island of iEgina, likewise on paper a 
Venetian possession. 4 Ere long, by the return of Pegoraro 

1 RomamSs, op. tit., 228. 

* Ejristolce Innocentii III., bk. xiii., lett. 146. 

8 Antiche Cronache Veronesi, i., 388 ; Panvinius, Antiquitatum 
Veronensium, 153, 189; Turresanus, Elogium historicarum nobilium 
Verona Prapaginunty 76-7 ; Pontes Rerum Austriacarum, xiii., 90. 

4 A. Dandolo apud Muratori, xii., 334 ; £. Dandolo, Cronaca Veneta, 


to Italy and the death of Giberto, Ravano became sole lord 
of Euboea. 

The republic adopted in the case of Corfu much the 
same plan as that which she employed in the Cyclades. It 
was, however, first necessary to dislodge the Genoese pirate, 
Leone Vetrano, who had made the island his headquarters 
a few years before the Crusade. 1 It is not clear whether his 
men were actually occupying the castle, or whether the 
islanders had temporarily reverted * to the Byzantine Empire 
at the time when the Crusaders halted there on their way to 
Constantinople. But in either case the hardy Genoese 
captain, as his compatriots called him, had no intention of 
abandoning an island at once so rich and so splendidly 
situated for the purposes of his profession. To the Venetians, 
on the other hand, Corfu was naturally a position of import- 
ance, the first link in the chain of their newly-acquired Greek 
possessions; least of all did they desire it to fall into the 
hands of a pirate who was — what was worse — a Genoese. 
Accordingly, the fleet which bore the first Latin patriarch 
to Constantinople in 1 205 formally took possession of Corfti 
in the name of the republic, after considerable resistance on 
the part of the inhabitants. A Venetian bailie was left in 
the island, which was placed at first under the direct authority 
of the Commune of Venice. But scarcely had the fleet sailed 
than Vetrano reappeared upon the scene ; the Corfiotes 
gladly gave him provisions and admitted his men, thereby 
calling down upon themselves a second Venetian visitation. 
In 1206, a large fleet under the command of the old doge 
Dandolo's son arrived in the harbour ; the castle, in spite of 
a spirited defence, was taken by escalade, and the capture of 
Vetrano on the high seas and his execution at Corfu, together 
with some sixty of his partisans, was intended as a salutary 
lesson to the rest of the islanders. The castle, whose twin 
summits (Kopv<fx&) gave the island its mediaeval and modern 
name, was fortified and a governor appointed. But the 
republic realised, as in the case of the Cyclades, that she had 

foL 44 ; Magno apud Hop^ Chroniques, 179 ; Hopf; Karystos (tr. Sar- 
dagna), 33 ; Urkunden undZusatze zur Geschichte der Insel Andros, 225. 

1 Sena, Sioria delta antica Uguria, i., 465. 

2 As Roman6s and Idrom&ios maintain. 


not the requisite strength for the direct government of so 
troublesome a possession. Accordingly, in 1207, Corfii, 
together with the islets belonging to it, was transferred to 
ten Venetian nobles, for themselves and their heirs, on 
consideration that they maintained the defences and made 
an annual payment of " 500 good gold pieces of the Emperor 
Manuel." The republic reserved special trade privileges to 
her subjects in the colony, and great care was taken to 
protect the Greeks, who were to be made to swear fealty 
to her. The colonists were enjoined to exact from the 
natives no further dues than they had been accustomed to 
pay in Byzantine times, and pledged themselves to respect 
the existing rights of the Greek Church. This arrangement, 
it was fondly hoped, would secure the possession of the 
island. 1 At any rate, the fate of Vetrano was not without 
its effect in other parts of the Ionian group. Alarmed at 
his fellow-pirate's end on the gallows, Count Maio, or 
Matthew, Orsini, who ruled over Cephalonia and Zante, 
discovered that he had qualms about the state of his soul, 
and, in 1207, placed his territories under the authority of 
Pope Innocent III., whose interest in Greek affairs strikes 
every reader of his correspondence. Two years later, 
however, the count thought it wiser to acknowledge the 
over lordship of Venice, which accordingly left him in 
undisturbed possession of his islands, although they were 
hers by the letter of the partition treaty. 2 

Lastly, there remained to be occupied the largest of all 
the Greek islands, that of Crete, which Boniface had sold so 
cheaply to the Venetians. Even before that transaction, the 
great rivals of Venice, the Genoese, had established a colony 
there, so that it was clear from the outset that the island 
would be an apple of discord between the two commercial 
commonwealths. The Venetians began their occupation by 
landing a small garrison at Spinalonga in the east of the 

1 Martin da Canal, La Ckromque des Veniciens in Archivio Storico y 
ItalianOy viii., 346, 348, 720 ; A. Dandolo and Sanudo apud Muratori 
xiL, 335 ; xxiil, 535 ; E. Dandolo, Cronaca Veneta, fol. 43 ; Tafel und 
Thomas, Fontes Rerutn Austriacarum, xii., 569 ; xiii., 55-9 ; Mustoxidi, 
DelU Cose Corciresij vi.-viii. 

2 Epistola Innocentii ///., vol ii., pp. 16, 73 ; A. Dandolo apud 
Muratori, xii., 336 


island ; but, before the rest of it could be annexed, a Genoese 
citizen, Enrico Pescatore, Count of Malta, and one of the most 
daring seamen of that adventurous age, set foot in Crete, at 
the instigation of Genoa, and received the homage of the 
Cretans and the submission of the helpless and isolated 
Venetian garrison. 1 A larger force was then despatched 
from Venice, which drove out the Maltese corsair, and 
appointed Tiepolo as the first Venetian governor, or duke, 
as he was styled, of Crete. But Venice was not yet to have 
undisputed possession of her purchase. The Count of Malta 
appealed, as a faithful son of the Church, to Innocent III.; 
Genoa espoused his cause as her own, and five years elapsed 
before the count was finally defeated and an armistice with 
Genoa permitted the Venetians in 121 2 to make the first 
comprehensive attempt at colonising the island and organis- 
ing its administration. Thus early the merchants of San 
Marco began to learn the lesson that Crete, though it cost 
little to buy, was a most expensive possession to maintain. 2 

1 NikeUs, 843. 

2 Laurentius de Monacis, Chromcon y 153. This chronicler, who 
wrote in 14x3, and was Venetian Chancellor of Crete, is the best authority 
for the island's history down to 1354. Gerola {La Domination* Genovese 
in Creta) gives the best modern account of these first years. 



Having thus described the manner in which the Franks 
occupied the various portions of Greece, let us see how they 
proceeded to organise their conquests. The usual tendency 
of the desperately logical Latin intellect, when brought face 
to face with a new set of political conditions, is to frame a 
paper constitution, absolutely perfect in theory, and absolutely 
unworkable in practice. But the French noblemen, whom 
an extraordinary accident had converted into Spartan and 
Athenian law-givers, resisted this temptation, nor did they 
seek inspiration from the laws of Solon and Lycurgus. They 
simply transplanted the feudal system, to which, as we saw, the 
Greeks had not been altogether strangers under the dynasty 
of the Comneni ; and they applied the legal principles, em- 
bodied a century earlier in the famous " Assizes of Jerusalem," 
and much more recently borrowed by Amauri de Lusignan 
for his kingdom of Cyprus, to the new Frankish states in 
Greece. 1 We have, however, a detailed account of the political 
organisation of only one of these principalities — that of 
Achaia, the largest and the most important at this stage of 
Frankish history. 

It was not the lot of Champlitte to do more than lay the 
foundations of his principality. While he was engaged in 
this work of organisation, he received the news that his 
eldest surviving brother Louis had died without heirs — an 
event which necessitated his return to France to claim his 
Burgundian inheritance. But before he set out, he appointed 
a commission, consisting of two Latin bishops, two bannerets, 
1 X. r. M., 11. 2611-14, L. d. C, 79. 
49 D 


and four or five leading Greeks, under the presidency of 
Villehardouin, for the purpose of dividing the Morea into 
fiefs, and of assigning these to the members of the conquering 
force according to their wealth and the number of their 
followers. Champlitte approved the commission's report, 
and bestowed upon Villehardouin the baronies of Kalamata 
and Arkadia (or Kyparissia) as compensation for the loss of 
his original fief of Coron, now in the hands of the Venetians. 
He then appointed his nephew Hugh as his deputy or bailie 
in Achaia, and sailed in 1209 f° r the West. But on the 
journey through Apulia he died, and, as his nephew did 
not long survive him, Villehardouin carried on the govern- 
ment as bailie till the next-of-kin should arrive from France 
to claim it 1 

Villehardouin's first act was to summon a parliament at 
Andravida, then the seat of government, where the book, or 
" register " as the chronicler calls it, containing the report of 
the commission was produced. According to this Achaian 
Doomsday Book, twelve baronies, whose number recalls the 
twelve peers of Charlemagne, had been created, their holders, 
with the other lieges, forming a high court, which not only 
advised the prince in political matters, but acted as a judicial 
tribunal for the decision of feudal questions. In the creation 
of these twelve baronies, due regard was paid to the fact that 
the Franks were a military colony in the midst of an alien 
and possibly hostile population, spread over a country- 
possessing remarkable strategic positions. Later on, after 
the distribution of the baronies, strong castles were erected 
in each, upon some natural coign of vantage, from which the 
baron could overawe the surrounding country. The main 
object of this system may be seen from the name of the 
famous Arkadian fortress of Matagrifon 2 (" Kill-Greek," the 
Greeks being usually called Grifon by the French chroniclers), 
built near the modern Demetsana by the baron of Akova, 

1 The Chronicle of the Morea says that Champlitte appointed 
Villehardouin as his bailie. But Innocent III., a contemporary extremely 
well informed in Greek affairs, specially mentions " Hugo de Cham " as 
the bailie. {Epistola, bk. xiii., lett. 170). 

f Or "Stop-Greek" from mater. The name of Matagrifon existed 
also at Messenia. 


Gautier de Rozieres, to protect the rich valley of the Alpheios. 
The splendid remains of the castle of Karytaina, the Greek 
Toledo, which dominates the gorge of that classic river, 
which the Franks called Charbon, still mark the spot where 
Hugues de Bruyferes and his son Geoffrey built a stronghold 
out of the ruins of the Hellenic Brenthe to terrify the 
Slavs of Skorti, the ancient Gortys, and the special impor- 
tance of these two baronies was demonstrated by the bestowal 
of twenty-four knights' fees upon the former, and of twenty- 
two upon the latter. The castle-crowned hill of Passav&, 
near Gytheion, so called from the French war-cry "Passe 
Avant," still reminds us how Jean de Neuilly, hereditary 
marshal of Achaia and holder of four fees, once watched the 
restless men of Maina; and, if earthquakes have left no 
mediaeval buildings at Vostitza, the classic Aigion, where 
Hugues de Lille de Charpigny received eight knights' fees, 
his family name still survives in the village of Kerpine, 
now a station on the funicular railway between Diakopht6 
and Kalavryta. At Kalavryta itself, Othon de Tournay, and 
at Chalandritza, to the south of Patras, Audebert de la 
Tr£mouille, scion of a family famous in the history of France, 
were established, with twelve and four fiefs respectively. 
Veligosti, near Megalopolis, with four, fell to the share of the 
Belgian Matthieu de Valaincourt de Mons, and Nikli, near 
Tegea, with six, to that of Guillaume de Morlay. Guy de 
Nivelet kept the Tzikones of Leonidi in check and watched 
the plain of Lakonia from his barony of Geraki with its six 
fiefs ; and Gritzena, entrusted to a baron named Luke, 1 with 
four fiefs depending on it, guarded the ravines of the 
mountainous region round Kalamata. Patras became the 
barony of Guillaume Aleman, a member of a Provencal 
family, whose name still exists at Corfu, and the bold baron 
did not scruple to build his castle out of the house and 
church of the Latin archbishop. Finally, the dozen was 
completed by the fiefs of Kalamata and Arkadia, which the 
bailie had received from Champlitte. In addition to these 
twelve temporal peers, there were seven ecclesiastical barons, 

1 Dorotheos of Monemvasia (Bi/SXto* laropiKbv, 464) alone gives his 
surname as Tourrrr^Tpowre, an obvious corruption of " de Charpigny." 


whose sees were carved out on the lines of the existing Greek 
organisation, and of whom Antelme of Clugny, Latin 
archbishop of Patras and primate of Achaia, was the chief. 
Under him were his six suffragans of Olena (whose bishop 
took his title from a small village near the modern Pyrgos, 
but who resided at Andravida), Modon, Coron, Veligosti, 
Amyklai, and Lacedaemonia. The archbishop received 
eight knights' fees, the bishops four a-piece, and the same 
number was assigned to each of the three great military 
orders of the Teutonic Knights, the Knights of St John, and 
the Templars. The headquarters of the Teutonic Knights 
were at Mostenitsa, near Kalamata, while the Knights of St 
John were established in the neighbourhood of Modon. 
When, a century later, the Templars were dissolved, their 
possessions in Achaia and Elis went to the Knights of St 
John. In Elis, too, was the domain of the prince, and his 
usual residence, when he was not at Andravida (or 
Andreville), was at Lacedaemonia, or La Cr^monie, as the 
Franks called it. The knights and esquires who received 
one fief each, were too numerous for the patience of the 
chronicler. The serfs living on the baronies were assigned, 
like so many chattels, to their new lords. 

After the distribution of the baronies came the assign- 
ment of military service. All the vassals were liable to 
render four months' service in the field, and to spend four 
months in garrison (from which the prelates and the three 
military orders were alone exempted) ; and even during the 
remaining four months, which they could pass at home, they 
were expected to hold themselves ready to obey the 
summons of the prince, who could fix what months of the 
year he chose for the performance of their military duties. 
After the age of sixty (or, according to a less probable 
reading, forty), personal service was no longer required, but 
the vassal must send his son, or, if he had no son, someone 
else in his stead. Those vassals who held four fiefs, the 
bannerets as they were called, had each to appear with one 
knight and twelve esquires mustered beneath the folds of his 
banner, while the holder of more than four was bound to 
equip, for every additional fief that he held, two mounted 
esquires or one knight ; every knight or esquire, " sergeants 


of the conquest" as they were called, must render service 
with his own body for his single fief. Thus, the Franks were 
on a constant war footing; their whole organisation was 
military — a fact which explains the ease with which they held 
down the unwarlike Greeks, so many times their superiors in 
numbers. This military organisation had, however, as the 
eminent modern Greek historian Paparreg6poulos has 
pointed out, the effect of making the Greeks, too, imbibe in 
course of time something of the spirit of their conquerors. 

Besides the twelve barons and the other lieges, the 
ecclesiastical peers had the right of taking part in the 
proceedings of the High Court, except when it was sitting 
to try cases of murder ; and the bishop of Olena, in particular, 
as being nearest to the capital of Andravida, whither his 
residence was ere long transferred, is mentioned by the 
chronicler as being present at its deliberations. 1 According 
to the usual Frankish system, there was a second court of 
burgesses, presided over by the prince's nominee, who bore 
the title of viscount We hear on several occasions of an 
assembly of the burgesses in the Chronicle of the Morea* 
and towards the close of the Burgundian dynasty at Athens, 
the viscount is specially mentioned. 8 Before this lower court 
came the legal business of plain citizens ; and, at least in the 
fourteenth century, the prince had two tribunals, at the 
important towns of Glarentza and Androusa. Each of the 
great baronies seems also to have had a court of its own ; 
we are specially told, on one occasion, how " the elders " of 
the barony of Akova were summoned, and how they were 
bidden to bring " the minutes " (ra irpaxTiKa) of their pro- 
ceedings with them. 4 Round the prince there grew up a 
hierarchy of great officials, with high-sounding titles, to 
which the Greeks had no difficulty in fitting Byzantine 
equivalents. We hear of the hereditary marshal (irpwroaT- 

1 Canciani, Barbarorum Leges Antiques ^ Hi., 511, 513. X. r. M. v U. 
1903-2016, 3145-72 ; L. <L C, 50-6 ; L. d. F. f 28-32. The Aragonese 
version gives details, derived from a later date, of the distribution of 
lands to the knights, and mentions the serfs. 

1 LL 3209, 5848, 8632 ; Z. d. C, 297. 

* L.d.C^ 409. 

4 X. r. M. f 1L 7682-3. 


pdropa?) ; of the chancellor (XoyoOeTw), who presided over the 
High Court when the prince wished to argue a case before 
it, and who represented his master as a plenipotentiary 
abroad and signed treaties on his behalf; of the chamberlain 
(Trporrofito'Tiapw, or Trparroffitmapioi) ; of the great constable 
(Kovroa-TavXoi) ; of the treasurer (rpi^ovpUpw) ; and of the 
inspector of fortifications (irpofieoupw tS>v Kacrrpwv). The 
prince himself bore a sceptre as the insignia of his office, 
when he presided over the sessions of the High Court 

We learn from the Book of the Customs of the Empire of 
Romania — a codification of the Assizes made apparently in 
the first quarter of the fourteenth century under Angevin 
auspices and still extant in a Venetian version of a century 
later — something about the way in which the feudal system 
worked in the principality of Achaia. Society was there 
composed of six main elements — the prince, the holders of 
the twelve great baronies, or bers de ttrre in feudal parlance ; 
the greater and the lesser vassals (called respectively ligii 
and homines plani homagii), among whom were some 
members of the conquered race ; the freemen ; and the serfs. 
The prince, at his accession, had to swear on the gospels to 
observe all the franchises and usages of the Empire of 
Romania, to which the barons tenaciously held, and then 
he received the homage of the barons and the lieges, signified 
by a kiss, and the oath of his inferior subjects. The prince 
and his twelve peers (who, at the time when the Assizes 
were codified, consisted of the Dukes of Athens and of Naxos, 
the triarchs of Negroponte, the Marquis of Boudonitza, the 
Count of Cephalonia, and the Moreote barons of Karytaina, 
Patras, Matagrifon, and Kalavryta, together with the heredi- 
tary marshal of the principality) alone possessed the power 
of inflicting life and death ; but not even the prince himself 
could punish one of his feudatories without the consent of 
a majority of the lieges. If he were taken prisoner, as 
happened to the third Villehardouin, he could call upon his 
vassals to become hostages in his place until he had raised 
the amount of his ransom. No one, except the twelve peers, 
was permitted to build a castle in Achaia without his leave ; 
and any vassal who quitted the principality and stayed 
abroad without his consent, was liable to lose his fiet Leave 


of absence was, however, never refused, if the vassal wished 
to claim the succession to a fief abroad, to contract a marriage, 
or to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre, to the 
churches of St Peter and St Paul in Rome, or to that of 
St James at Compostella ; but in such cases the absentee 
must return within two years and two days. On the other 
hand, the prince could neither demolish nor surrender a 
frontier fortress without the consent of the lieges — a clause 
which we shall find invoked by Guillaume de Villehardouin 
in 1262. It was his bounden duty to provide for the support 
of a feudatory whose fief had been captured by the enemy ; 
and his powers were further restricted by the provision that 
he could arrest one of his lieges for homicide or high 
treason alone. Nor could he levy any taxes on the feudatories, 
the freemen, or their serfs, without the consent of the lieges, 
feudatories, and freemen. A liege could in theory, and did 
in practice, bring what we should call a petition of right 
against the crown. In such cases, of which we have a 
striking example, it was the duty of the prince to leave his 
seat as president of the High Court, and to hand his sceptre 
to a substitute, in order that he might argue the case for the 
crown in person — a remarkable proof of the equality of the 
sovereign before the feudal law. Again and again we shall 
see in the course of this history that a prince of Achaia was 
not an autocrat, but merely primus inter pares> whose will 
was limited by the feudal code and by the proud and powerful 
barons, its living personification. One further provision 
tended above all else to weaken the central authority. 
Except in the duchy of Naxos, under the Crispo dynasty, 
the Salic law did not obtain in the Latin states of the Levant, 
and, by an unfortunate freak of nature, many of the most 
important baronies, and the principality itself, passed into 
the hands of women. There are few other periods of history 
in which they have played so prominent a part, and this 
participation of the weaker sex in the government of a 
purely military community, while adding immensely to the 
romance of the subject, had disastrous effects upon the 
fortunes of the Latin orient and especially of Achaia. Nor 
was it the princely dignity alone which suffered by being 
entrusted to a weak woman, whose sex and position made 


her the object of dynastic and matrimonial intrigue, and 
whose husband was always a foreigner and therefore exposed 
to the contempt which a proud aristocracy usually feels foi 
a prince consort. It happened on one occasion that almost 
the entire baronage of Achaia was annihilated on the field ol 
battle or detained in the prisons of the enemy, and the fate 
of the principality was accordingly decided by the votes oi 
its ladies. Most of the misfortunes of that warlike state may 
be traced directly or indirectly to the remarkable lack ol 
male heirs in most of the great Frankish families, and to the 
absence of the Salic law — a law admirably suited to the 
government of a purely military community, surrounded by 

It was vital to the success of the feudal system that the 
feudatories should be persons well -affected to the prince, and 
great care was accordingly taken to prevent fiefs falling into 
the hands of strangers. The greater vassals could not sell 
their fiefs without the prince's consent ; but if the liege were 
a widow, she might marry whom she pleased, on payment of 
one-third of a year's income, provided that her intended 
husband were not an enemy of the prince. On the death of 
her husband, she was entitled to a moiety of his fiefs and 
castles, as well as one-half of all the property which he had 
acquired during their marriage. When a fief fell vacant, the 
successor must needs appear to advance his claim within a 
year and a day if he were in Achaia, within two years and 
two days if he were abroad. Failure to put in such an 
appearance cost him his prospective fief. All freemen 
enjoyed the right of testamentary disposition, and everyone 
was allowed to sell his produce in, or out of the principality. 
But no feudatory, however eminent, might give his land to 
the church, to a community, or to a villain, without the 
leave of the prince, who was alone entitled to make such a 
grant to the ecclesiastical establishment This salutary 
rule, intended to ensure the maintenance of feudal land in 
the possession of those able and liable to render the full 
feudal services, came, however, to be seriously infringed at 
an early period in the history of Achaia. 

The lower ranks of this feudal society were composed 
almost entirely of the Greeks, for on the one hand the 


number of French soldiers and camp-followers who had 
entered Achaia at the conquest was not numerous, and on 
the other, the "Greek feudatories," of whom the Book of 
the Customs speaks, must have formed a small class, as 
compared with the vast mass of their countrymen. The 
Greek archons of Elis and Arkadia, as we saw, had made 
special terms with Champlitte, that they should retain their 
ancient privileges, their lands, and their serfs; and similar 
concessions were obtained by the citizens of places which 
surrendered, such as Coron, Kalamata, Arkadia, Nikli, and 
Lacedaemonia ; but the bulk of the native population lived 
and died in a state of serfdom. 

The position of the serf was not to be envied. He could 
neither marry, nor give his daughter in marriage, without the 
consent of his lord ; if he died without heirs, his lord 
succeeded to all his possessions ; during his lifetime, he had 
no motive to be industrious, for his lord was entitled to take 
all his goods and give them to another serf, provided that 
he was left with just enough to keep body and soul together. 
Even his body was regarded as a mere chattel, for, if a liege 
killed his neighbour's serf by mistake, he must give the dead 
man's master another serf as compensation, and he could at 
all times give away his own serfs to whomsoever he pleased. 
If a female vassal married a serf, not only she, but her 
children also, descended into the rank of serfdom. There were 
only two ways in which the serf could become a freeman : by 
the act of the prince ; or, in the case of a female serf, by 
marrying a freeman. No serf might receive a gift of feudal 
land without the prince's leave ; and, if the serf were a Greek, 
his evidence could not be tendered in criminal cases against 
a liege. Still, even in feudal Achaia, the serf had some 
rights. He could sell his animals, if he chose ; he could 
pasture his pigs on the acorns that covered the ground of the 
oak-forests, where, like everyone else, he might cut firewood 
indiscriminately, to the great detriment of the country ; and 
his lord could not imprison him for more than a single 
night In practice, too, if we may believe the Aragonese 
version of the Chronicle of the Morea, the conquerors 
did not disturb the serfs in the possession of their goods. 
But, save for some few privileges, the serf was almost a slave! 



who worked for the prince, for the prince's vassals, or for the 
alien church of the Franks, in the pregnant words of Pope 
Innocent III., " without pay and without expenses." 1 

Having thus established the feudal constitution of the 
principality, Villehardouin proceeded, with the assistance of 
the Greeks, to attack Veligosti and Nikli, which, though 
already granted as fiefs, were still unconquered. The low 
hill of Veligosti was soon taken ; the high walls of Nikli 
proved a more serious obstacle ; but, when the besieger 
vowed that he would put the garrison to the sword, their 
Greek relatives in his camp urged them to surrender on 
terms. These two places were then handed over to their 
appointed feudal lords. The large walled town of Lacedae- 
monia now yielded after a five days' siege, and became one 
of Villehardouin's favourite residences. Thence a raid was 
effected into the country inhabited by the Tzdkones, and the 
French troops penetrated as far as the causeway which leads 
to the impregnable fortress of Monemvasia. At the request, 
however, of the Lacedaemonian archons who had lands in 
that district, Villehardouin recalled the raiders, and set about 
the conquest of those places which still refused him homage. 
With his usual tact, he called the leading Greeks to his 
councils, and consulted with them how he could reduce to 
his authority the strong Peloponnesian quadrilateral of 
Corinth, Argos, Nauplia, and Monemvasia. They pointed 
out what the Franks had already discovered, that those 
four strongholds were difficult to take by force; but they 
expressed their willingness to assist him, on condition that 
he swore in writing that neither they nor their children should 
be forced to change their faith and their ancient customs. 
The French conqueror willingly consented, for, like the 
other Frankish rulers of Greece, he was not a religious 
enthusiast 2 It was true that the invaders had seized the 
Greek bishoprics, that the metropolitan of Patras had dis- 
appeared in nameless exile, 8 that a Latin prelate occupied 

1 Epistolcty bk. xiii., lett 159 ; Canciani, Barbarorum Leges Antiqtia y 
>»., 493-534 ; X. r. M., 1L 7587-9, 7669-70, 7876-87, 7880-95 ; JL d. C, 
399i 436 ; L. d. P., 31-2. 2 X. r. M„ 11. 2017-97. 

3 Lampros, Mtxa^X 'A KOfUFdrov, ii., 356; Meliar£kes, 'laropla toQ BcwXefov 
ttjs Nucoiaj, 114. 


his see, and that more than a century elapses before we 
hear of another Greek metropolitan of that diocese, and then 
only in name. 1 But, fortunately for the success of the 
Frankish settlement, these extremely shrewd crusaders were 
neither bigots nor fanatics. The greatest of the popes 
might desire the union of the churches; but he received 
little assistance from the mundane barons who had founded 
" a new France " in the Levant On the contrary, they were 
usually more disposed to oppress the Latin Church than to 
help it in the hopeless task — hopeless then as now — of pro- 
selytising among a people, so wedded, at least to the forms 
of their own religion, as the Greeks, whose leaders cared far 
more for their religious freedom than for their political 
independence, and were willing to barter the latter for the 
former. Thus, aided by the Greek archons, and seconded 
by Othon de la Roche of Athens, Villehardouin proceeded 
to resume the siege of Akrocorinth, now held by Theodore, 
brother of the Despot of Epiros. But a summons to attend 
the parliament which the Emperor Henry had convened 
at Ravenika in the spring of 1209, temporarily interrupted 
the siege. The two friends, attended by sixty well-appointed 
knights, appeared at the gathering ; Villehardouin became 
" the man of the Emperor," and received as the reward of 
his allegiance the office of Seneschal of Romania. 2 

His next step was to come to terms with Venice, which 
he saw that he could not dislodge from the two Messenian 
stations of Modon and Coron. The republic had just sent 
out a new governor of her Peloponnesian colony, and 
Villehardouin, hastening back from Ravenika, met him in 
the summer on the island of Sapienza off Modon. The two 
high contracting parties there executed a deed, by which 
Villehardouin relinquished all claim to Modon and Coron, 
whose territory was to extend as far north as the little 
stream which falls into the bay of Navarino exactly opposite 
the classic islet of Sphakteria. The two bishoprics were, 
however, still to remain under the jurisdiction of the primate 
of Achaia. He further did homage to the republic for all 

1 Miklosich und M tiller, op. at., i., 5, 8. 

2 Henri de Valenciennes, ch. xxxiii.; Buchon, Recherche s et MatMaux^ 
i., 89, m 2. 


the land which had been assigned to her in the treaty of 
partition as far as Corinth, " without prejudice, however, to 
his fealty to his lord, the Emperor of Romania ; " and in 
token thereof, he undertook to send three silken garments to 
Venice every year, one for the doge, the others for the 
church of St Mark. He promised to conquer all that 
portion of Lakonia which was not already his, to hand over 
one-quarter thereof to the doge, and to do homage for the 
remaining three-fourths. Finally, he pledged himself to 
grant to all Venetian citizens free-trade throughout the 
land, and a church, a warehouse, and a law-court of their 
own in every town, while he himself and his successors were 
to become Venetians, and own a house at Venice. By these 
wise concessions, he secured the support of the republic for 
his scheme of making himself lord of " Maureson," as the 
deed quaintly styles the Morea. It was not long before he 
required it 1 

The news soon reached the Morea, that a cousin of 
Champlitte, Robert by name, was on his way to claim the 
succession. It had been stipulated on the departure of 
Champlitte for France, that any lawful claimant must appear 
to put forward his claim within the term of a year and a day, 
otherwise the claim would lapse. Villehardouin, accordingly, 
resolved to place every obstacle in the way of young Robert's 
arrival. He wrote to the doge, asking his assistance, and 
that crafty statesman managed to detain the passing guest 
on one excuse or another for more than two months at 
Venice. When at last Robert put to sea, the ship's captain 
received orders to leave him on shore at the Venetian colony 
of Corfu, and to apprise Villehardouin of what had occurred. 
With difficulty Robert obtained a passage on board an 
Apulian brig from Corfu to the port of St Zacharias, in the 
Morea, the usual landing-place from Europe, better known 
by its later name of Glarentza. In spite of the time thus 
wasted on the journey, he had not yet exceeded the term 
appointed, for he had twelve days still to spare. He at once 
enquired where the bailie was, and, on being informed that 
he was at Andravida, sent a messenger thither to request 

1 Fontes Rerum Austriacarum, Abt. ii., B. xiii., 97-100 ; Dandolo 
apud Muratori, xii., 336. 


that horses might be sent for his journey. The messenger 
found the crafty Villehardouin absent, but the captain of the 
town, with the leading citizens, came down to the coast in 
person to escort the claimant to his capital. There Robert 
was told that the bailie was at Vlisiri, or La Glistere, a castle 
near Katakolo. His suspicions were now aroused, and before 
proceeding thither, he obtained from the captain of Andravida 
a certificate showing the date of his arrival in the country. 
But Villehardouin, by moving from one place to another, 
managed to avoid meeting him until the full period had 
elapsed. Then at last he awaited Robert at Lacedaemonia, 
where a parliament was summoned to examine into the 
claimant's title. The parliament reported that the term had 
expired a fortnight before, and that Robert had accordingly 
forfeited his claim. The latter had no course open to him 
but to acquiesce in this decision; his wounded pride pre- 
vented him from accepting his rival's flattering offers, if he 
would remain in the country; and he returned to France, 
leaving Geoffrey, to the great joy of his subjects, lord 
(a^cvTJj?) of the Morea. Thus, according to the Chronicle 
of the Morea} did Villehardouin obtain the principality for 
himself by fraud and legal quibbles. But behind these 
quibbles lay the hard fact that the barons, who had borne 
the burden and heat of the conquest, were reluctant to 
receive as their prince an inexperienced youth accompanied 
by a horde of needy followers. In the beginnings of all 
dynasties a prince must be able; and Geoffrey possessed 
that combination of courage and craft, which both the bold 
barons and the wily Greeks admired. Moreover, his tact 
and his fairness towards them had particularly endeared him 
to the latter. 

No attempt was made to dispute the decision of the 
Achaian parliament, and the family of Champlitte hence- 
forth vanishes from the history of Greece. Innocent III., 2 
who usually recognised accomplished facts, hastened to style 
Villehardouin " Prince of Achaia " ; but the prince considered 

i X. r. M„ 11. 2096-437 ; L. d C, 59-69 ; Z. d. F. 9 34-43. The 
"Assizes of Jerusalem" confirm the account of the Chronicle. Beugnot, 
Recueil des kistoriens des Crotsades, Lois, ii., 401. 

2 Epistola, bk. xiii., lett. 23 ; X. r. M., 11. 2770-2. 


himself unworthy of the title, so long as he was not master 
of the Peleponnesian quadrilateral. Accordingly, with the 
assistance of the Greek archons, whom his tolerance had won 
to his side, he now resumed the long-drawn siege of Corinth. 
Othon de la Roche of Athens again supported him ; and, in 
1210, the citadel at last surrendered, though its defender, 
Theodore Angelos, succeeded in conveying the treasures of 
the Corinthian Church to Argos, while many of the inhabi- 
tants sought and found a home on the impregnable rock of 
Monemvasia, which now became a metropolitan see and a 
place of exceptional importance as the last refuge of Hellenism. 
For the other two Greek strongholds did not long survive 
the fall of Corinth. Thanks to the maritime assistance of 
his Venetian friends at Coron, Villehardouin was able to 
reduce Nauplia, on condition that the lower and westernmost 
of the two castles on Itsh Kaleh remained in the hands of the 
Greeks — an arrangement which gave rise to the local names 
of " Greeks' castle " and " Franks' castle," still current in the 
seventeenth century. Finally, in 12 12, the Larissa of Argos 
was taken, and the Athenian and Moreot rulers, with a dis- 
regard for ecclesiastical property which scandalised the pope, 1 
seized the treasures of the Corinthian Church, which they 
found there, and divided its goods among their followers. 
As a still more substantial reward for his aid, Othon de la 
Roche received Argos and Nauplia as fiefs of the principality 
of Achaia, and an annual charge of 400 hyperperi (£179, 5 s.) 
upon the tolls of Corinth. 

The capture of Corinth led to the completion of the 
ecclesiastical organisation of the principality. That city now 
became the see of a second Latin archbishop, whose cathedral 
bore the name of St Theodore the warrior, the patron of its 
late defender, and under whom Innocent III. placed the 
seven bishoprics of Argos, DamalcL (near the ancient Troezen) 
Monemvasia, "Gilas" (or Helos), "Gimenes" (or Zemeno) 
— both former Greek bishoprics, the one in Lakonia, the other 
near Sikyon — and the two Ionian dioceses of Cephalonia and 

1 Epistola, bk. xiii., lett 6, xv., 77 ; Miklosich und Miillcr, ii., 287 ; 
X. r. M., 2860-81 ; L. d C.j 89-91 ; C. d M., 436; Sanudo, lstoria del 
Regno di Romania, 100 ; Dor6theos of Monemvasia, 471. 


Zante. 1 But this arrangement was largely theoretical, and 
was soon modified. Monemvasia was still, and long remained, 
in the hands of the Greeks ; Helos was so poor that a bishop 
was never appointed, and in 1223 was fused with the diocese 
of Lacedaemonia ; Zemen6, a year earlier, was amalgamated 
with Corinth ; and at the same time, Damal&, which had 
never had a Latin bishop because it contained no Frankish 
settlers, was divided between Corinth and Argos ; while 
Cephalonia and Zante, which had been transferred in 1213 to 
the nearer archbishopric of Patras, were made into a single 
diocese. In 1222, also, Honorius III., 2 by the light of the 
experience which he had then gained, reorganised the 
suffragan bishoprics of Patras, dividing the diocese of 
Veligosti, or Christianopolis, as it was called in ecclesiastical 
parlance, by an adaptation of the classic name Megalopolis, 
between the Messenian sees of Modon and Coron, and 
amalgamating Amyklai with Lacedaemonia — an arrangement 
confirmed by Innocent IV. 8 Meanwhile, Lacedaemonia had 
been transferred to the jurisdiction of Corinth, and a new 
bishopric, that of Maina, arose in the place of Helos, so that 
in the middle of the century, when the Frank principality 
was at its zenith, the Roman Church in Achaia consisted of 
the archbishopric of Patras, with its suffragans of Olena, 
Cephalonia, Coron, and Modon (the last exempted, however, 
by Alexander IV. 4 from the jurisdiction of the primate), and 
of that of Corinth, with its suffragans of Argos, Monemvasia, 
Lacedaemonia, and Maina. 

The organisation of the Church was a fruitful source of 
quarrels. The Venetians had obtained the right to the 
newly-created Latin patriarchate of Constantinople, and the 
patriarch, as the representative of the pope in the Empire of 
Romania, had the right of conferring the pallium upon 
archbishops. But the primate of Achaia, a Frenchman, fretted 

1 Epistola, bk. xv., lctt 58, 61 ; Buchon, Recherehes htstoriques y i., 
pp. xxxix., lxi., Ixxxiii.; Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii ^£vt\ i., 188, 
218. Albericus Trium Fontium (ii., 558) says, however, that in 1236 
Argos was a suffragan bishopric of Athens, to which it belonged politi- 
cally. The golden bull of Andr6nikos II. in 1293, mentions both Helos 
and Zemend, which Neroutsos (AeXrfop, iv., 95 n. 2) places near Sikyon. 

2 Regesta, ii., 50, 163. 3 Regis/res, i., 212. 4 Registres, i., 188. 


at being placed under the jurisdiction of a Venetian patriarch, 
who had promised his government to appoint none but 
Venetians to archbishoprics. He was not satisfied till his 
assertion of independence, which Innocent III. refused to 
sanction, was at last ratified by that great pope's successor. 
His suffragans had inherited from their Greek predecessors 
time-honoured but tiresome quarrels as to the boundaries of 
their dioceses ; the clergy disputed with the bishops, the 
Templars with the primate. Most of the French canons, 
whom Champlitte had installed in the cathedral church of St 
Andrew at Patras, where the relics of the saint were then 
preserved, soon began to experience the usual French 
malady of home-sickness, and sailed for " Europe." Many of 
the Latin priests were absentees who drew the incomes, 
without doing the work, of their livings ; many more were 
mere adventurers who tried to obtain benefices under false 
pretences. The primate himself was suspended by Honorius 
III. for squandering the goods of the Church, and Archbishop 
Walter of Corinth sent back to his monastery for misconduct 
by Innocent III. The correspondence of Innocent, who took 
the keenest interest in the establishment of Catholicism in 
the realm of Romania, is full of complaints against the 
hostile attitude of the Franks towards the Latin clergy. 
Nowhere were his complaints better grounded than in 
Achaia, and nowhere was the Catholic Church in so pitiful 
a plight The primate was not safe even in his own palace. 
Aleman, who, as we saw, had received Patras as a fief, consider- 
ing the archiepiscopal plan of fortifying the town against 
pirates amateurish, carried the archbishop off to prison, cut 
off the nose of his bailie, and hastily converted his residence 
and the adjacent church of St Theodore into the present 
castle, using the drums of ancient columns and pieces of 
sculpture with all the Franks' scorn for archaeology. 
Fragments of ecclesiastical architecture, and what was 
apparently once the archiepiscopal throne, may still be seen 
built into the walls. Villehardouin himself was not much 
better. He neither paid tithes himself, nor compelled his 
Greek and Latin subjects to pay them, though he and his 
barons had sworn on the Holy Sacrament to do so, if they 
returned safe from battle against the Despot of Epiros; 


he forced the clergy to plead disputed cases before his 
secular tribunals, " making no difference between the priests 
and the laity," as the pope exclaimed in horror; he not 
only curtailed the ancient possessions of the metropolitan 
see of Patras, but forbade the pious to grant it more, and, in 
pursuance of his philhellenic policy, he relieved the Greek 
priests and monks from the jurisdiction of the archbishop, 
bidding them pay dues to him alone, while the Greek serfs 
were not allowed to show due obedience to the Latin Church. 
Moreover, most of the Greek bishops who had been placed 
under the archbishop's jurisdiction, had fled at the outset 
from fear of the conquerors, and declined to return. The 
archbishop's suffragans told much the same story, though 
things were better in the Venetian possessions in Messenia. 
Yet even there, the governor of Coron forbade the bishop to 
enter his cathedral or to reside in the castle. Innocent III. 
might well write that " the new plantation of Latins, which 
the hand of God has transported to the parts of Achaia, 
seems to have less firm roots in consequence of the recent 
change." l 

Meanwhile, the Burgundian Lord of Athens had been 
engaged in transplanting the feudal system to his classic 
state. But there was a considerable difference between 
feudal society in Attica and in the Morea. While in the 
latter principality the prince was merely primus inter pares 
among a number of proud and powerful barons, at Athens 
the " Great Lord " had, at the most, one exalted noble, the 
head of the great house of St Omer, near his throne. It is 
obvious from the silence of all the authorities, that the 
Burgundians, who settled with Othon de la Roche in his 
Greek dominions, were men of inferior social position to him- 
self — a fact farther demonstrated by the comparative lack in 
Attica and Boeotia of those baronial castles, so common in 
the Morea. He had, therefore, less necessity for providing 
important fiefs for personages of distinction than had the 
princes of Achaia. Indeed, it is probable that in one respect 
the court of Athens under the De la Roche resembled the 

1 Epistola Innocentii JJL, bk. viii., lctt 153 ; xii., 143 ; xiii., 26, 50, 
51, 56, 143* 161-5, 171-3 ; xv., 44, 46, 47, 55 5 Regesta Honorii UL, ii., 
85, 255 ; Les Registres <f Innocent /K, Hi., 61 ; Eubel, i., 218. 



present court of King George, namely, that there was no one, 
except the members of his own family, with whom the ruler 
could associate on equal terms. But, as in modern, so in 
Frankish Athens, the family of the sovereign was soon 
numerous enough to form a coterie of its own. Not only 
did Othon marry, soon after his arrival in Greece, Isabelle, 
heiress of Guy de Ray, in Franche-Comt6, by whom he had 
two sons, but the news of their adventurous relative's 
astounding good fortune attracted to Attica several members 
of his clan from their homes in Burgundy. They doubtless 
received their share of the good things which had fallen to 
Othon ; at any rate, we know that one of his nephews, Guy, 
who had undergone with him the risks of the Crusade, 
divided with his uncle the lordship of Thebes, and that a 
little later the other half was bestowed upon a niece named 
Bonne, who, after marrying young Demetrios, King of 
Salonika, brought her share of the Boeotian barony to her 
second husband, Bela de St Omer. Another nephew, 
William, settled in Greece, and ultimately became by marriage 
Baron of Veligosti ; a sister of Othon became the mother of 
the future Baron of Karystos, Othon de Cicon ; while a more 
distant relative, Peter, was appointed governor of the Castle 
of Athens. 1 Other Burgundians will have followed in their 
wake; for in the thirteenth century Greece was to the 
younger sons of French noble houses what the British 
Colonies were fifty years ago to impecunious but energetic 

There was yet another marked distinction between Attica 
and the Morea. Nik6tas mentions no great local magnates 
as settled at Athens or Thebes in the last days of the 
Byzantine Empire, and those were the most important places 
of the Frankish state. We hear, indeed, of Theban archons 
in 1209; but, with that exception, during the whole century 
for which the Frankish sway existed over Athens, not a single 
Greek of eminence is so much as named by any writer. 2 

1 Epistola Innocentii Iff., bk. xi., lett 244 ; Guillaume, Histoirt des 
Sires de Salins, i., 67, 83 ; L. d. F. t 44. 

1 The treaty between Ravaoo dalle Carceri and Venice and the deed 
of 1 2 16 (see below) specially mention "Graeci Magnates" in Negroponte. 
Lampros, M«xeri)X 'Airofuydrov, it., 277, 280. Michael Laskaris, the Athenian 


Thus, whereas Crete, Negroponte, and the Morea still 
retained old native families, which, in the case of Crete, 
furnished leaders for constant insurrections against the 
foreigner, and in that of Negroponte showed a tendency to 
emigrate to the court of Nice, nothing of the kind occurred 
in Burgundian Athens. It is only at a much later period 
that we hear of a Greek party there. That the sway of 
Othon was mild, may be inferred from the fact that friends 
of Michael Akominitos, and even his own nephew, returned 
from their exile to Athens, and were quite content to remain 
there under the Latin sway. 1 As for the peasants, their lot 
must have been the same as that of their fellows in Achaia. 

Othon's dominions were large, if measured by the small 
standard of classical Greece. Burgundian Athens embraced 
Attica, Boeotia, Megaris, the fortresses of Argos and Nauplia, 
and the ancient Opuntian Lokris. The Marquis of Boudonitza 
on the north, the Lord of Salona on the west, were the 
neighbours, and the latter, later on, the vassal, of the Sire of 
Athens, his bulwarks against the expanding power of the 
Greek Despot of Epiros. Thus situated, the Athenian state 
had a considerable coast-line and at least four ports — the 
Piraeus, Nauplia, the harbour of Atalante opposite Eubcea, 
and Livadostro, or Rive d'Ostre, as the Franks called it, on 
the Gulf of Corinth — the usual port of embarkation for the 
West Yet the Burgundian rulers of Athens made little 
attempt to create a navy, confining themselves to a little 
amateur piracy. The strictly professional pirate availed 
himself of this lack of sea-power to ply his trade in the early 
Frankish, as in the late Byzantine days; Latin corsairs, 
named Capelletti, regardless of the fact that Attica was now 
a Latin state, rendered its coast unsafe, a sail down the 
Corinthian Gulf was called " a voyage to Acheron," and the 
bishop of Thermopylae had to move his residence farther 
inland to escape these sea-robbers. 2 

We are not told where Othon resided ; but it is probable 
that, like his successor, he held his court at Thebes, the most 

patriot of the fourteenth century, in K. Rhangabes play, "The Duchess of 
Athens," is unhappily a poetic anachronism. 

1 Lampros, Mix«^X *Akohw4tov 9 ii., 267, 301. 

* Regesta Honorii IIF. % ii., 167 ; Miklosich und Muller, Hi., 61. 


important town of his estates. Both the Akropolis at Athens, 
the " Castle of Sathines," as it came to be called, and the 
Kadmeia at Thebes, were under the command of a military 
governor, and both places were the residences of Latin arch- 
bishops. In the room of Akominitos, in the magnificent 
church of Our Lady of Athens, a Frenchman, B£rard, perhaps 
Othon's chaplain, was installed as archbishop, with the 
sanction of Innocent III., who took the church and chapter 
of Athens under his protection. " The renewal of the divine 
grace," wrote the enthusiastic pope to B6rard, "suffers not 
the ancient glory of the city of Athens to grow old. The 
citadel of most famous Pallas has been humbled to become 
the seat of the most glorious Mother of God. Well may we 
call this city ' Kirjathsepher/ which, when Othniel had sub- 
dued to the rule of Caleb, ' he gave him Achsah, his daughter 
to wife.'" 1 Cardinal Benedict, the papal legate who was 
sent to arrange ecclesiastical affairs in -the East, fixed the 
number of the canons, and the pope granted the request of 
the archbishop and chapter, that the Athenian Church should 
be governed by the customs of the Church of Paris. He 
also confirmed the ancient jurisdiction of the archbishop, 
derived from the days of the Greek metropolitans, over the 
eleven sees of Negroponte, Thermopylae, Daulia, Avlonari,* 
Oreos, 3 Karystos, Koronea, Andros, Megara, Skyros, and 
Keos — an arrangement which was modified by his successor, 
who merged the three Eubcean sees of Avlonari, Oreos, and 
Karystos, with that of Negroponte, and placed Salona and 
iEgina under Archbishop Conrad of Athens. 4 

Innocent mentions among the possessions of the Church 
of Athens, and confirms to its use, Phyle, Menidi, and 

1 Ejristol<B y bk. xi., lctt. 111-13, 238, 240, 252, 256, quoting Judges, L, 

2 So Neroutsos (AcXWor, tv., 59) and Profc Bury {The Lombards and 
Venetians in Euboia, 11) interpret the papal adjective Abelonensem, 
putting this see at Avlonari, south of Kyme. A bishop of Avalona is 
mentioned in 1343. (Predelli, Commemoriait\ ii., 123, 126.) 

9 The most probable interpretation of the word Zorxonensem, as Oreos 
in North Eubcea is known to have been a Greek bishopric Neroutsos 
and Prof. Bury (11. cc.) identify the place with Zarka, near Karystos. 

4 M Manges de Picolefrancaise de Rome, 1895, p. 74 ; Regesta Honoris 
III., ii., 50, 163 ; Registries de Gr/goire IX '., ii., 40-1, 629. 


Marathon; the monasteries of Kaisarian£ (Sancti Siriani), 
St John (the Hunter), St Nicholas of the Columns (probably 
near Cape Colonna or Sunium), St Mary of Blachernai, St 
Nicholas of Katapersica, St Kosmis and St Damian (whom 
the Greeks call the "Xyioi 'kvapyvpoi), St George of the 
Island, 1 and St Luke. To the Athenian Church belonged, 
too, ° the markets of Negroponte and Athens, and the rivers," 
not very full of water, it is to be feared, " whence the gardens 
are watered." The Church was to enjoy its ancient exemption 
from all exactions of the secular authorities ; no man was " to 
lay rash hands upon it or its possessions," no one was " to 
harass it with vexations of any kind." Such was the 
privileged position of the Church of Athens, which Inno- 
cent 2 confirmed, obviously from the documents of the former 
Greek metropolitan see, in 1208. But the theory was very 
different from the reality. Othon de la Roche was, indeed, 
at times inclined to further the interests of the Church. Thus, 
we find him begging the pope to appoint a Catholic priest 
in every castle and town of his estates where twelve Latins 
had fixed their abodes, and he was willing to hold the import- 
ant Boeotian fortress of Livadia as a fief of the Holy See, 
and to pay two silver marks a year as rent for it. 8 But, when 
it suited his purpose, he did not hesitate to infringe the 
privileges of his Church. Soon after his marriage, possibly 
to provide a place for one of his wife's relatives, he compelled 
B£rard to give him the appointment to the post of ecclesi- 
astical treasurer — an appointment which the pope revoked. 
Both he and other feudal lords of continental Greece, like 
Villehardouin in the Morea, forbade their subjects to give or 
bequeath their possessions to the Church, levied dues from 
the clergy, and showed no desire either to pay tithes them- 
selves, or to make the Greek and Latin population pay them. 
At Thebes matters were worse than at Athens. Othon and 
his nephew Guy, the joint owners of that city, seized the 
greater part of the archbishop's revenue under the guise of 

1 Makronesi, opposite Lavrion — the monastery mentioned above as a 
lair of pirates in the time of Akominatos. Neroutsos, however (AfXWov, 
»▼-» 7o), identifies it with St George (Belbina), off Sunium, and Our Lady 
of Blachernai with Daphni. 

* Epistolce, bk. xi., lett. 256. 3 Muratori, Antiquitates Italiae y v., 234- 


land-tax, so that the Theban Church found its income thus 
arbitrarily reduced from 900 to 200 kyperperi (from £403 to 
£90) ; later on, however, the lords of Thebes relented, and 
contented themselves with an annual contribution of £72 from 
the Theban chapter. But out of his income the archbishop 
was requested by the pope to assist his two wretchedly poor 
suffragans of Zaratoria and Kastoria — places which have been 
identified with Zagora on Helicon and Kastalia. Instead of 
doing so, the dean and canons of Thebes, assisted by the 
captain of the Kadmeia and other laymen, broke into the 
house of the bishop of Zaratoria, and carried off a man from 
his very arms. In short, the domestic quarrels of the Latin 
Church, whose best representatives did not come to Greece, 
must have been edifying to the Greeks. Now we find the 
Theban archbishop harassing and excommunicating his 
canons ; now it is the canons of Athens, who are too proud 
to serve personally in the noblest of all cathedrals — the 
majestic Parthenon, where, later on, a descendant of Othon 
himself was glad to find a modest stall. 1 

As in the Morea, so in continental Greece, the military 
orders and the monks from the west obtained lands and 
monasteries. The splendid monastery of the Blessed Luke 
between Delphi and Livadia, the gem of all Byzantine 
foundations in Greece, was given to the prior and chapter of 
the Holy Sepulchre. The Knights of St John held property 
near Thebes, and seized the goods of the Thessalian bishopric 
of Gardiki, and even the episcopal residence, heedless of its 
inmate's thunders. The Templars held " the church of Sta. 
Lucia," outside Thebes, Ravenika, and the neighbouring 
town of Lamia, where they built a castle, probably that 
which still stands on the hill there. 2 Othon de la Roche gave 
the beautiful Athenian monastery of Daphni, which still bears 
the marks of his followers' lances on its splendid cupola, to 
the Cistercians of the Burgundian Abbey of Bellevaux, to 

1 Neroutsos in AeXWo*, iv., 59; Innocent III., Epistola i \k. xi., lett. 
116, 118, 121, 153, 244, 246 ; xiii., 15, 16, 110 ; xiv., 110; xv., 26, 30. 

* Ibid,, xiiL, 114, 115, 120, 136, 143, 144 ; xv., 69. I believe that the 
eccUsia Sancta Lucia qua Fotct nuncupatur is none other than the 
famous church of St Luke, outside Thebes, containing his spurious tomb. 
The papal orthography is very shaky. 


which he was devotedly attached, and at Dalphino, or Dal- 
phinet, as the Franks called it, the last Athenian duke of his 
house found his grave. The Cruciferi, or " Crutched Friars," 
of Bologna had a hospice at Negroponte. The Minorites 
followed Benedict of Arezzo to Greece in 1216, and established 
their monasteries in various parts of the country. A century 
later their abbey near Athens, probably "the Frankish 
monastery" at the foot of Pentelikon, figured in the will of 
Duke Walter of Brienne, and in 1260 their "province of 
Romania 1 ' embraced the three districts of Negroponte, 
Thebes, and Glarentza, where their church of St Francis is 
mentioned in the Chronicle of the Morea as a place where the 
High Court of the principality met At the end of the 
fourteenth century they had twelve monasteries in Greece, 
two of which still survive under another form — the church of 
Sta. Maria delle Grazie at Zante, and the orthodox monastery 
of Sisia in Cephalonia, which still bears the emblem of the 
Franciscans and preserves in its name the memory of Assisi, 
whence St Francis came. 1 

The Greek Church had been better treated than might 
have been expected from the way in which St Mary's minster 
on the Akropolis had been seized. It is true that from the 
time of Akominatos no Greek metropolitan of Athens fixed 
his residence in that city till the close of the fourteenth 
century, but the titular metropolitan resided at Con- 
stantinople, after its recapture by the Greeks, and is often 
mentioned in the fourteenth century as a member of the 
Holy Synod. But the Greek bishop of Negroponte, who 
had done obeisance to the Latin archbishop of Athens, was 
allowed by Innocent III. to retain his see. 2 Akomindtos 
himself even ventured over once from Keos to the scene of 
his former labours, but he hastened his return, " from fear of 
becoming a morsel for the teeth of the Italians," as he calls 
the Burgundians of Athens. 8 Yet, though he was too honest 

1 Wadding, Annates Minorum, i., 202 ; ii., 206 ; iv., 350 ; Regesta 
Honorii III., i., 59, 60, 61, 168; X. r. M., 11. 2659, 75 18 ; Romands, 
TpariarM Zdprijn 38, 39 ; D'Arbois de Jubainville, Voyage paldographique, 
336 ; Mcliardkes, Tcwypafla toXituc^ tov pofuw Kc <f>a\\7jvlas 9 pp. 36, 1 78. 

' Epistola, bk. »., lett 179 ; Miklosich und Muller, i., 453, 45 6 > 459, 

476, 477, 488, 498, 558, 564. 

3 Lampros, Mix<d>X 'Aico/ui/drov, ii., 327. 


or too proud to recognise the authority of the Frenchman 
who sat on his metropolitan throne, he recommended the 
abbot of Kaisarian6, who had come to terms with the 
Franks, to render obedience to the powers that be. Even 
in his island he was not long free from Latin rule, for the 
brothers Ghisi and their allies occupied Keos soon after 
his arrival, and suspected him of secret intrigues with the 
Greek Despot of Epiros. Age crept on, one after another his 
old friends died ; worst blow of all, his brother, Nik6tas, 
the historian, died also, commemorated by the exile in a 
touching monody, still preserved, which is, however, a less 
enduring monument than his own valuable history. A few 
books, saved by friends from the wreck of his library, 
occasional presents from his old admirers at Athens, now 
and then a letter from one of his former flock, may have 
cheered a little the long days of his solitude. Above all, he 
found distraction in the theorems of Euclid. More than 
once a message came from the imperial court of Nice, 
bidding him join the Greek patriarch there, and offering 
him the vacant post of metropolitan of Naxos. At another 
time the Despot Theodore of Epiros invited him to his 
court at Arta ; but he was practically a political prisoner in 
his cell; his strength was failing; he could not, in that 
uncivilised spot, carry out the treatment prescribed by his 
doctor ; he could scarcely cross his own threshold. He had 
but one pleasure left — to gaze across the sea at the coast of 
Attica. 1 At last the end came, and about 1220 the grand 
old ecclesiastic died, alone in his humble cell of the monastery 
of St John the Baptist, founded by one of the Comneni. One 
of his nephews pronounced a monody over him, which has 
survived. The monastery, however, has disappeared, but a 
modern Greek geographer found that its church had become 
a public school. 2 It is to be hoped that the pupils learn 
something of the life of the last metropolitan of Byzantine 
Athens, a man worthy to take his place beside the patriots 
of classical days. 

Meanwhile, the Franks of Northern Greece were by 

1 Ldmpros, op, cit, L, 345 sqq. ; ii., 154, 219, 236, 242-43. 295, 301, 
311, 326, 328 ; *Apfu>vla 9 III., 273-284. 

2 Meliardkes, K4m 9 225. 


no means unitedly striving to develop their newly-won 
dominions. After the death of Boniface, the relations 
between the kingdom of Salonika and the empire of 
Romania, which had been strained in his lifetime, had 
become hostile in the extreme. The Count of Biandrate 
and the Lombard nobles of Salonika were resolved to shake 
off the feudal tie which bound them to the empire, and most 
of the great lords of northern Greece, the baron of Larissa, 
the Marquis of Boudonitza, Ravano dalle Carceri of Eubcea, 
and two brothers from Canossa, who seem to have owned 
lands near the skdla of Oropos, 1 joined their party. Their 
attempt to secure the aid of Othon de la Roche failed, but 
his espousal of the emperor's cause cost him the temporary 
loss of Thebes, which Albertino of Canossa attacked, and 
of which that Italian rebel styled himself "Lord." The 
Count of Biandrate now openly claimed in the name of the 
infant king of Salonika, or of his half-brother, William, 
Marquis of Montferrat, all the land from Durazzo to 
Megara, the Peloponnese, and the suzerainty over Epiros. 
The emperor replied by marching into Salonika to suppress 
the revolt Biandrate was imprisoned in the castle of Serres, 
which was bestowed upon his gaoler, the loyal Count 
Berthold von Katzenellenbogen of Velestino ; but the other 
Lombard leaders withdrew to the castle of Larissa, whither 
Henry followed them. Like the Greeks in the war of 1897, 
they had neglected to destroy the bridge over the Peneios, 
the pont de FArse, as the chronicler calls it; the imperial 
force crossed it, and forced the adjoining castle on the old 
Akropolis to surrender. The kindly, tactful emperor showed 
a wise clemency to the rebels, and allowed the baron of 
Larissa to retain his fiefs. The Greeks, whom Henry had 
" treated as his own people," 2 everywhere received him with 
enthusiasm ; at Halmyros, his next stopping-place, they met 
him with the eikons, and wished him " many years " of life 
(iroWa xpovia). But the rebellion was not yet quelled. The 
Marquis of Boudonitza, Albertino of Canossa, and Ravano 
dalle Carceri were still up in arms, and the triarch of Eubcea, 

1 Epistola lnnoccntii HL y ii., 480, 482, 636 ; Cairels apud Buchon, 
Histoire des Conquttes, 449. 

2 Akropolita, 31. 


who as an island-baron could dispose of a flotilla, tried to 
capture a vessel from before the emperor's eyes in the 
harbour of Halmyros. Henry's advisers prudently suggested 
negotiations, with the object of stopping the fratricidal war. 
Summonses were issued to a parliament, to be held in May 
1209, in the valley of Ravenika, near Lamia, which, as we 
saw, Othon de la Roche and Villehardouin attended, and at 
which the latter became the emperor's vassal, and received 
as the reward of his allegiance the office of Seneschal of 
Romania. But if the ambitious bailie of Achaia had good 
reasons for supporting the emperor, who might be expected 
in turn to sanction his projected usurpation of the princi- 
pality, the Lombard barons, instead of attending the 
parliament, remained defiantly behind the walls of the 
Kadmeia at Thebes. Thither Henry now set out by way 
of Thermopylae, sleeping a night at the rebel castle of 
Boudonitza on the way. The native population bowed 
before him ; at Thebes, Greek priests and archons came out 
to greet him with such a glad sound of drums and trumpets 
that the ground shook, while the Latin archbishop and 
clergy escorted him to the minster of Our Lady, where he 
fell on his knees and returned thanks to God for his past 
successes. The castle was, however, strong, and its defenders 
stubborn, so that it was not till he had ordered long scaling 
ladders to be applied to the walls, that Ravano and Albertino 
asked for an armistice. Once again the emperor was 
merciful ; Thebes, indeed, he restored to his trusty Othon de 
la Roche, its legal owner ; but he ordered Biandrate to be 
released, and allowed the rebels to retain their fiefs. Then 
Henry was able to proceed to Athens, the first emperor who 
had visited the city since Basil, " the Bulgar-slayer," nearly 
two centuries earlier, had come there in triumph. Like 
Basil II., Henry ascended to the Akropolis, and " offered up 
prayers in the minster of Athens, 1 which men call Our 
Lady, and Othon de la Roche, who was lord thereof— for to 
him the Marquis (of Montferrat) had given it, paid him 
every honour in his power." After two days' stay, he set 
out for Negroponte, accompanied by the "Great Lord" ; on 

1 Henri de Valenciennes (ed. P. Paris), ch. xxxv. Buchon in bis 
two editions reads Thebes for Athaines. 



the way he was warned that his arch-enemy, Biandrate, 
had preceded him thither, and was plotting to have him 
assassinated in his bed. The plot, however, failed, owing to 
the chivalry of the emperor's late foe, Ravano. u The city of 
Negroponte," quoth the triarch, u is mine ; my head shall 
answer for your safety there." The gentleman of Verona 
was as good as his word ; he bitterly reproached Biandrate 
with his treachery ; the emperor spent three days in 
Negroponte as his guest, enthusiastically welcomed by the 
Greeks, who even escorted him to the Latin church of Notre 
Dame, and then returned safe and sound to Thebes. The 
Lombard rebellion was at an end. So great was his prestige 
at this moment, that the crafty Despot of Epiros did him 
homage. The silvery eloquence of the emperor's envoy, 
Conon de B6thune, one of the most distinguished poets of 
the day, as well as one of the best fighters in the crusading 
army, had such an effect on the Greek ruler, that he presented 
his daughter's hand and a third of his lands to the emperor's 
brother. 1 

We have seen how constant were the conflicts between 
the Frankish barons and the Latin clergy. During his 
progress through Thessaly and his visit to Eubcea, the 
emperor must have heard much about the question, for the 
two Thessalian archbishops of Larissa and Neopatras had 
both caused public scandals — the one by unjust exactions 
from his suffragans and the monasteries in his diocese, the 
other by helping Sgour6s to defend Corinth and by slaying 
his fellow-Latins. Moreover, in both Thessaly and Eubcea, 
the barons maltreated the Church, occupying monasteries and 
churches and molesting the religious orders. 2 Henry 
accordingly thought it a favourable moment to come to an 
agreement with the Roman hierarchy, and therefore sum- 
moned a second parliament at Ravenika in May 1210, for 
the purpose of arranging ecclesiastical affairs. All the chief 
feudal lords of Northern Greece were present — Othon de la 

1 Henri de Valenciennes, chs. xviii., xxix.-xxxviii. The author, 
obviously an eye-witness, was, according to some, the emperor himself. 
Epistola Itmocentii 111., bk. xiii., lett 184. 

* Ibid., bk. xi., lett. 117, 154; xiii., 104, 109, 136, 137, 192, 299; xiv., 


Roche and Ravano dalle Carceri ; the Marquis of Boudonitza 
and Thomas de Stromoncourt of Salona; Nicholas de St 
Omer and Albertino of Canossa ; the two great Thessalian 
barons, William of Larissa and Count Berthold of Velestino ; 
and Rainer of Travaglia, owner of the spot where the 
parliament met, to whom the emperor had also transferred 
the Templars' castle of Lamia. There came, too, three out 
of the four archbishops of the north — their graces of Athens, 
Neopatras, and Larissa, with eight of their suffragans — a 
thoroughly representative assembly of Church and State. 
A concordat, subsequently approved by Innocent III., was 
then drawn up, by the terms of which all churches, 
monasteries, and other ecclesiastical possessions, "from the 
boundary of the kingdom of Salonika to Corinth," were 
entrusted, free of all feudal services, to the Latin patriarch 
of Constantinople, as representing the pope. On the other 
hand, it was stipulated that the clergy, whether Greek or 
Latin, should pay the old Byzantine akr6stichon y or land-tax, 
to the temporal authorities ; and that, in default of payment, 
their goods might be siezed ; but the family of a Greek 
priest could not be imprisoned, if he failed to pay. His sons, 
if unordained, were, however, liable to render feudal services ; 
but after ordination they were to enjoy the same privilege 
as the Roman clergy. 1 The concordat of Raven ika was not, 
however, signed by the ruler of the Morea, who continued to 
pursue his anti-clerical policy, seizing the goods of the 
Archbishop of Patras, and annulling all gifts to his see. 
Even in continental Greece, to which it specially applied, the 
concordat often remained a dead letter. Thus, both Othon de 
la Roche and Villehardouin were subsequently excommuni- 
cated by their respective archbishops for appropriating 
church property, and also placed under an interdict by the 
Latin patriarch of Constantinople, who laid claim to the 
monasteries and ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the diocese of 
Thebes. 2 

The Lombard rebellion had a more lasting result than 
the summoning of the parliaments at Ravenika — the intro- 

1 Text in Honorii 11L % Opera^ iv., 414-16, 2lh<\ Epistolct Innocentii III., 

n., 835-7. 

2 Ibid.) bk. xvi., 98. 


duction of Venetian influence into the island of Euboea. 
Ravano dalle Carceri, before he had made his peace with 
Henry, had been so much alarmed at his isolated position, 
that he had offered, through his brother, the bishop of 
Mantua, to become the vassal of Venice. His offer gave the 
Venetians the opportunity of making good their claims to 
the island, which the partition treaty had given them, but 
which they had not yet advanced. Ravano accordingly, in 
1209, recognised the republic as his suzerain, promising to 
send every year 2100 gold hyperperi G6940, 16s.) and a silken 
garment woven with gold to the doge, as well as an altar- 
cloth for St Mark's. The Venetians were to have the right 
of trading wherever they wished, and a church and a warehouse 
in all the towns of the island. With their usual care for the 
interests of the natives, of which we have already seen an 
instance at Corfii, they made Ravano promise to keep the 
Greeks in the same state as they had been in the time of the 
Emperor Manuel. The republic of St Mark thus obtained, 
without trouble, most of the practical advantages which 
would have accrued from a conquest of the island. A 
Venetian bailie was soon appointed to govern the Venetian 
settlements in the island of Negroponte, 1 and the history of 
Euboea from that date till the Turkish Conquest shows the 
gradual spread of his authority over the whole of it The 
first step in this direction was taken after the death of 
Ravano in 12 16. The Venetian bailie, acting on the system 
of divide et impera y then intervened between the six claimants 
to the island — Ravano's widow and daughter, two nephews 
whom he had adopted, and the two sons of Giberto, the 
former triarch. The bailie divided the island into sixths, 
giving two-sixths to each pair of claimants, with the proviso 
that if one hexarch, or sestiere, died, his fellow, and not his 
heir, should succeed to his share. This system left the 
bailie the real arbiter of the island. Though its capital 
remained common to all the hexarchs, who usually 
resided there and had their own judge, " the Podestd, of the 

1 Fanies Rerum Austriacarum, Abt. ii., B. xiii., 89-96 ; Laurentius de 
Monads, 143-4 ; A. Dandolo apud Muratori, xii., 336. The first bailie is 
mentioned in 1216, but one may have been appointed as early as 121 1; 
he is styled a in tota insula bajulus." 


Lombards/ 1 and only the part near the sea was subject to 
Venetian jurisdiction, the bailie's authority became pre- 
dominant, and Ravano's former palace was soon converted 
into his official residence. The hexarchs and the Greek 
magnates swore fealty to him as the representative of the 
republic, and the value of his services may be estimated from 
the amount of his salary — at first 450 gold hyperperi 
O620 1, 12s.), and then, after the capture of Constantinople by 
the Greeks, increased, as his position became more important, 
to 1000 hyperperi (£448) — as compared with the 250 hyperperi 
06 1 12), paid to each of the castellani, or captains, of Coron and 
Modon. Venetian weights and measures were introduced 
into all the towns of the island, 1 two Venetian judges and 
three councillors (afterwards reduced to two, and entrusted 
with levying the dues) had already been appointed, and the 
church of St Mark at Chalkis, which belonged to the church 
of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, was endowed by the 
hexarchs, and was subsequently supported by death-duties 
of 2\ per cent on all the property of deceased members of 
the Venetian colony. A considerable number of Venetian 
settlers now arrived, and there also flocked to the island 
impecunious " gentlemen of Verona," relatives of the feudal 
lords, so that it soon contained quite a large and fairly 
harmonious western society, for the Lombard character 
harmonised better than that of the warlike French with the 
mercantile Venetians. Castles rose all over the long island, 
the imposing ruins of which still remain to tell of the days of 
Lombard rule. On the way to Eretria the traveller passes 
at the village of Basilik6 a large, square tower, whose only 
entrance is a hole 25 feet from the ground ; on a hill behind 
the village stands the large castle of Filla, while two tall 
towers, close together on another eminence, dominate the 
Lelantian plain, no less fertile now than in the days of 
Theognis, and still called Lilanto in the Lombard times. 2 
A large mediaeval castle still rises to the right of Aliveri, 
and the author has seen another between Achmetaga and 
Limne. We often hear of La Cuppa, near Avlonari, of 

1 Magno apud Hopf, Ckroniques % 179-80 ; Predelli, Liber Commmns, 
pp. 34, 97 ; Bifrons, fol. 71 ; Fontes Rerum Austriacarunty xiii., 175-84. 

2 Ibid., xiv., 132 ; Sanudo apud Hopf, Chroniqtus, 127. 


Larmena, near Styra, and of La Clisura, which commanded 
the gorge or clisura, between Chalkis and Achmetaga, 
while, if little remains of the once famous fortress of Oreos 
in the north, Karystos in the south still boasts its Castel 
Rosso. From these strongholds the Lombard barons would 
issue forth to scour the seas in quest of rich booty ; and, in 
the intervals of piracy, met in each others' palaces in the 
common capital, where brilliant balls were often held. There, 
too, besides Lombards and Venetians, was the Jewish colony, 
which Benjamin of Tudela had found there, and which 
naturally continued to exist under the auspices of Venice. 
A large proportion of the taxation was placed upon it ; in 
1355 it was confined in a ghetto on the southern side of the 
town, and the public executioner was selected from its ranks. 
It was, however, attracted to the island, as to Thebes, by the 
manufacture of silk, from which the Venetian bailie was ex- 
pressly not debarred. Otherwise Venice, unlike Great Britain, 
did not wish her Levantine consuls to be men engaged in 
business. Hence she was well served and well informed. 

In yet another part of the Greek world the Venetians 
succeeded in gaining substantial advantages without the 
expense of annexation. We have seen how the crafty 
Despot of Epiros had done homage to the Emperor Henry, 
then at the summit of his good fortune. But that "most 
potent traitor," as the emperor called him, aided by Franks 
whom he had taken into his pay, again and again broke his 
solemn vows to his suzerain, and in 12 10 recognised the over- 
lordship of Venice over all his dominions, from Durazzo to 
" Nepantum " or Naupaktos, promising to give the Venetians 
a quarter in every town and the right of exporting corn, to 
protect their young colony in Corfu against Albanians or 
Corfiotes, and to pay to the republic a tribute of 42 lbs. 
of hyperperi (£2063, 12s.) every year. Thus the republic 
became the suzerain of those territories in Epiros and 
i£tolia which had been assigned to her in the partition 
treaty, 1 while the Despot felt at liberty to carry out his 

1 Innocent III., Epistolct^ bk. xiii., lett. 184. Pontes Rerum Austria- 
carum, xiii., 119-23. This is, so far as I know, the earliest use of 
u Nepantum "—the transition form between " Naupaktos w and " Lepanto." 
In the accounts of this treaty by A. Dandolo (Muratori, xii., 336), and 


ambitious designs in other directions. The fall of the Argive 
fortresses, which his brother held for him in the Peloponnese, 
ended, however, any plans which he might have had for the 
extension of his rule to the south of the Gulf of Corinth ; but 
he penetrated eastward into the territory of the French Lord 
of Salona. With the aid of the men of Galaxidi, the little 
town which the traveller passes as he steams into the bay of 
Itea, and which rendered such noble services to the Greek 
cause in the War of Independence, the Despot routed the 
Franks in a pitched battle at Salona, in which Thomas de 
Stromoncourt was slain. Faithless to all his engagements, 
the victor next turned westward, and, in spite of his solemn 
pledges, conquered the fine island of Corfu, where the 
Venetian colony had scarcely taken root, and where the 
natives gladly welcomed a ruler of their own race and religion. 
The local tradition ascribes to him the castle of Sant' Angelo, 
built to repel the attacks of Genoese pirates, which still 
stands, an imposing ruin, high above the western shore of the 
island, near the monastery of Palaiokastrizza. The Greek 
clergy long afterwards cited his golden bull confirming their 
privileges. Possessed of such wide dominions, he might well 
coin his own money. A bronze coin, attributed to him, 
bearing his effigy and that of St Demetrios on one side, and 
the figure of the Archangel Michael on the other, has been 
found in Epiros ; one of his leaden seals, also showing the 
Archangel Michael, was discovered in Corfii. 1 But his triumph 
was not for long. He was murdered in bed by a slave in 
1214, 2 and it was reserved for his brother Theodore, an abler 
general, and an even more unscrupulous statesman, to 
prosecute his policy of expansion. Partisan hatred still 
obscures the history of these two reigns. The latest Greek 
historian of Epiros regards the first two Despots as patriots 

Laurentius de Monacis (p. 144) we find " Neopantum" and " Neopatum." 
The Livre de la Conquest* (p. 323) calls it " Nepant," and it so figures 
on the coins of Philip of Taranto. 

1 S&thas, Xpwucbp toO TakafrtSlov, 201 ; Roman6s, II epiroC Aftnrcrdrov rift 
Rwdpw, 23 ; Barone, Notizie Storiche di Re Carlo UL di Durasso, 61 ; 
Marmora, Historia di Corf&> 210 ; Buchon, Recherches et AfaUriaux, iL, 
211, and Nouvelles Recherches, II., i., 403; Mustoxidi, Delle Cose 
Corciresiy 400-1 ; Schlumberger, Numismatique, 373. 

2 Akropolita, 27. 



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and heroes; the Latin authorities, and the Byzantine 
historians, who drew their inspiration from the rival Greek 
court at Nice, describe them as monsters and barbarians. 
The truth probably lies between the two extremes. 

We have thus described the conquest and organisation of 
Greece by the Franks. We have seen a Lombard kingdom 
established at Salonika, a Burgundian nobleman invested 
with Athens, a French principality carved out of the 
Peloponnese. The Venetians have founded and lost a colony 
at Corfu, occupied Crete, sent forth a swarm of adventurers 
to seize the Cyclades, made themselves the real masters of 
Euboea, and gained a footing at two valuable stations in 
Messenia. Over the Morea and Epiros they have acquired a 
shadowy suzerainty, with the practical advantages of free 
trade. But the Greek flag still waves over Monemvasia, and 
the tribes of Leonidi and Taygetos still own no lord. In the 
mountains of Epiros and the plains of Bithynia two inde- 
pendent Greek states have arisen out of the ashes of 
Byzantium, to keep alive the torch of Hellenic freedom. We 
shall see in the next chapter how the ephemeral Lombard 
kingdom fell before the vigorous attack of the Epirote 
Greeks, how Thessaly felt the force of the same strong arm, 
how the Latin Empire of Constantinople began to shake, as 
the generation of the bold crusaders passed away and the 
power of its rivals revived, and how, after reaching its zenith, 
the principality of Achaia received its first shock. 



The new Despot of Epiros had not been long on the throne, 
when the Latin Empire of Romania received a blow, which 
was severely felt throughout continental Greece. The 
Emperor Henry suddenly died in 1216, perhaps poisoned by 
the relentless Count of Biandrate, still in the prime of life, " a 
second Ares" in war, a friend to the Greeks, the ablest 
among the Latins of Constantinople. As he left no heirs, 
Peter of Courtenay, the husband of his sister Jolanda, 
succeeded him as emperor, and from that moment the 
fortunes of the empire began to decline. Peter never lived to 
reach his capital. After receiving his crown from the hands 
of Pope Honorius III. in the church of S. Lorenzo, outside 
the walls of Rome, he crossed over to Durazzo with the 
intention of marching along the classic Via Egnatia, which so 
many a Latin commander had trod, to Salonika and the East 
Albania was even then a dangerous country, and the crafty 
ruler of Epiros saw a splendid opportunity of destroying the 
emperor of his natural enemies, the Franks. The Epirote 
troops fell upon the unfortunate Peter in the defiles near 
Elbassan; the emperor and the papal legate who accom- 
panied him were captured ; and, while the latter was 
ultimately released, the former died in prison, perhaps by the 
sword. 1 His death, as the historian Akropolita says, was " no 

1 There is great difference of opinion among the authorities as to 
the death of Peter. The continuation of William of Tyre (Recueil des 
Historiens des Croisades, ii., 291-3), which gives the most detailed account, 
says that he was treacherously captured at a banquet, and died in prison ; 
so, too, Dandolo (apud Muratori, xii., 340) ; the Chronicle of Fossa Nova 
(ifod., vii., 895-6) says that he was imprisoned; Mousk6s {Chromgtte 



slight aid to the Greek cause/' for both the Latin Empire and 
the kingdom of Salonika were now in the hands of women, 
as regents — the Empress Jolanda and Margaret, the widow of 
Boniface, whose chief adviser was the Marquis of Boudonitza. 1 
The victorious Despot of Epiros, energetic and ambitious, 
followed up his success by extending his dominions at the 
expense of his Frankish and Bulgarian neighbours in Thessaly 
and Macedonia ; soon Larissa alone survived of the Thes- 
salian baronies, for the doughty Katzenellenbogen, who 
might have resisted him, had returned to his home on the 
Rhine, and, in 1222, Theodore's career of conquest culminated 
with the acquisition of Salonika and the extinction of that 
ephemeral Lombard kingdom. Thus, after only eighteen 
years of existence, it fell ingloriously — the first of the 
creations of the Fourth Crusade to succumb. For the 
conqueror of a kingdom the title of Despot seemed too 
humble. So, with a fine disregard for the oath which he had 
once sworn to recognise no other emperor than him of Nice, 
Theodore had himself crowned at Salonika, assumed the 
imperial title, the purple mantle, and the red sandals of 
Byzantine royalty, and appointed all the great officials of an 
imperial court. The metropolitan of Salonika, faithful to the 
oecumenical patriarch whose seat was at Nice, refused to 
perform the coronation ceremony ; but his place was taken 
by the Archbishop of Ochrida and all Bulgaria. 2 The result 
was a deadly feud between the rival Greek Empires of Nice 
and Salonika, which had the effect of giving the Latin Empire 
of Constantinople a brief respite. The ecclesiastics of the two 
Greek capitals espoused with all the zeal of their profession 
the quarrel of the respective sovereigns — for the political 
schism at once affected so essentially political an institution as 
the Greek Church. An emppror whose sway extended from 
the Adriatic to the iEgean, and from Macedonia to the Gulf 

rim/e> 1L 23,019-31) that he died there ; Akropolita (p. 28) that he 
"perished by the sword M ; the Aragonese version of the Chronicle of 
the Morea, that he was poisoned in prison. Cf. Meliardkes, 'I<rropla rw 
BviXcfov rift Nurofas, 125 ; RomanOS, llcpi rod Aea-xordrov rip 'Hirclpot/, 27. 

1 Raynaldus, Annates Ecclesiastic^ i., 492. 

* Akropolita, 27-8, 36 ; Nikeph6ros Gregoras, i., 25-6 ; Pachymeres, 
L, 82. 


of Corinth, might consider himself the heir of Constantinople 
with as much reason as " the true Emperor of the Romans " at 
Nice ; his clergy, who looked to him for the advancement of 
themselves and of the Greek idea, could easily meet the 
Nicene theologians with plausible arguments for ecclesiastical 
autonomy. One of these apologies for Salonika and its ruler 
has been preserved in the shape of a verbose and long epistle 
from George Barddnes, metropolitan of Corfu, to German6s, 
the oecumenical patriarch. The Corfiote divine, who also 
composed theological treatises against the Minorites, on the 
use of leavened bread in the Sacrament, and on the 
procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father alone, had 
received the epithet of Atticus from his literary skill, and 
some tolerable iambics, the sole relic of the old cathedral at 
Corfu, have been ascribed to him. 1 We learn from his letter 
that his beloved emperor " imitated the mildness of David," 
and that at his court " learning lacked not arms, nor yet the 
armed man learning." The metropolitan had his reward 
Theodore, who signed himself " King and Emperor of the 
Romans," confirmed by a golden bull of 1228, all the privileges 
of the church of Corfu, granted by Al£xios I. and Manuel I. 2 
Among the gifts of the latter emperor were 220 serfs, the 
living chattels of the church, such as we saw in the possession 
of the Latin archbishopric of Patras, and a number of 
" sacred slaves " (ayioSovXoi), whose task it was to till the glebe 
and do other work, and whose name still survives in that of a 
Corfiote village. 

The capture of Salonika made a great impression in the 
west Pope Honorius III. ordered the two bulwarks of 
Northern Greece, the castles of Salona and Boudonitza, to 
be put in a thorough state of defence; bade the rulers of 
Athens and Achaia to be of good cheer and to attack the 
conquered city, and endeavoured to organise a new crusade 
for its recovery. 8 The prelates and clergy generously sub- 

1 Marmora, Delia Historic* di Corfi\ 198-200; Mustoxidi, Delle Cose 
Corciresi, 423 sqq^ l.-lvi. 

8 Miklosich und Miiller, v., 14-15 ; Mustoxidi, 439, 689, lvi.-lvii. The 
pillar containing the inscription is now in the Magazzino Archcologico % on_ 
the Caelian at Rome. 

3 Regesta, ii., 164, 207, 286, 304, 333. 


scribed money for the defence of Boudonitza, and Demetrios, 

the ex-king of Salonika, and his half-brother, the Marquis 

William of Montferrat, did, indeed, head an expedition 

against the usurper Theodore, which penetrated as far as 

Thessaly. There the marquis died, poisoned it was said, 

and the feeble Demetrios * then returned to Italy, where he 

too died, soon afterwards, in 1227. No further attempt was 

made to recapture his kingdom ; but for another century one 

person after another was pleased to style himself titular king 

of Salonika. The Emperor * Frederick II., the marquises 

of Montferrat, and one of the triarchs of Euboea bore the 

empty title, which passed by marriage with a princess of 

Montferrat to the Greek Emperor Andr6nikos II., who thus 

combined in his own person the real and the nominal 

sovereignty. Even then there continued to be titular kings 

of Salonika among the members of the ducal House of 

Burgundy, which had received the barren honour from the 

last Latin emperor of the East. Their shadowy claim was 

finally sold to Philip of Taranto in 1320, after which this 

phantom royalty vexed court heralds no more. 2 

The fall of the kingdom of Salonika separated the Frank 
states in the south from the Latin Empire at Constantinople, 
and the fate of the latter had therefore comparatively little 
influence upon the much stronger dynasties of Athens and 
Achaia. There GeofTroy de Villehardouin had crowned his 
successful career by marrying his elder son and heir to 
Agnes, daughter of the Emperor Peter of Courtenay. Before 
that ill-fated monarch had started for Constantinople by 
land, he had sent his wife and daughter on by sea. On the 
way, the imperial ladies put into the port of Katakolo, at 
which the traveller now lands for Olympia, and which owes 
its name to the great Byzantine family of KatakaWn. 3 
Geoffrey chanced to be in the neighbourhood, and, hearing 
of their arrival, hastened down to greet them, and invited 
them up to the adjoining " Mouse Castle," Pontikokastro, 

1 S. Georgio, Historia Montisferratis, apud Muratori, xxiii., 374, 381, 

8 Ducange, HisUnre de (Empire de Constantinople^ i., 454.5 ; Buchon, 
Recherches et McUeriaux, i., 69. 

3 S&has, Mrq/jxta ' EWtjv acrjs 'Ioropfaf, i., p. xxxiii. 


which the Franks had appropriately christened Beauvoir 
from the splendid view of the sea and the islands which it 
commands. During their visit, at the suggestion of Geoffrey's 
advisers, and by the mediation of the Bishop of Olena, a 
marriage was arranged between young Geoffrey and the 
daughter of the Empress Jolanda, to the advantage of both 
parties, for the empress saw that her child would be well 
married, while in all Achaia there was no daughter worthy 
of the ruler's son. One result of this alliance was that, later 
on, the Emperor Robert, son and successor of Peter, officially 
recognised his brother-in-law as " Prince of Achaia " — a title 
which, though applied by Innocent III., as we saw, to both 
Champlitte and Geoffrey I., and used by the latter in docu- 
ments, had not previously received the imperial sanction. 1 

A year later, in 1218, Geoffrey I. died, and great was the 
grief throughout the Morea. "All mourned," we are told, 
"rich and poor alike, as if each were lamenting his own 
father's death, so great was his goodness." 2 An able, if 
unscrupulous, statesman, he had shown great skill in con- 
ciliating the Greeks, and we may endorse the judgment of a 
modern Greek historian, that he was " perhaps the ablest of 
all the Frank princes of the East" 

The prosperous reign of his son and successor, Geoffrey 

1 Recueil des Historiens des Croisades 9 ii., 291 ; Albericus Trium 
Fontium, ii., 497. The Chronicle of the Morea twice tells the story of 
Geoffrey II. and the daughter of the Emperor Robert, who was on her 
way to marry the King of Aragon. X. t. M. f 11. 1185-98, 2472, sqq . ; 
L. d. C. 23, 74-7 ; L. d. F., 44-6 (which correctly makes the bride 
Robert's sister). Hopf has shown that this is an anachronism, for (1) 
Robert had no daughter ; (2) the King of Aragon was then aged nine. 
The prologue of the Liber Consuehidinum Imperii Romanice (Canciani, 
op, cit., Hi., 499) copies and quotes the Chronicle — lo libro della Con- 
quista. Cf. also Magno apud Hopf, Chroniques, 180. Both the 
Chronicle and the Book of Customs wrongly ascribe to this occasion 
the appointment of the prince as Seneschal of Romania (really made at 
Raven ika in 1209), the permission to coin money (really granted to 
Guillaume de Villehardouin much later), and the suzerainty over the 
duchy of the Archipelago (really conferred upon Geoffrey II. by Baldwin 
II. in 1236). Geoffrey I. styles himself "Prince of Achaia* 1 in a docu- 
ment of 12 10. Ducange, op. ci£. f i, 425; so, too, does Geoffrey II. in 
one of 12 19 (ibid., i., 426), *>., before the date of Robert's accession. 

* X, r. M., 11. 2461-4 ; L d. G, 73. 


U., whom the Venetian historian, Sanudo the elder, calls, 
-with technical accuracy, u the first Prince of Achaia," was of 
££reat benefit to the principality. " He possessed a broad 
domain and great riches; he was wont to send his most 
^confidential advisers from time to time to the courts of his 
vassals, to see how they lived and how they treated their 
subjects. At his own court he constantly maintained eighty 
Imights with golden spurs, to whom he gave all that they 
required besides their pay; so knights came from France, 
-from Burgundy, and, above all, from Champagne, to follow 
Turn. Some came to amuse themselves, others to pay their 
debts, others because of crimes which they had committed 
at home. " x The only difficulty which the prince had to face 
was the unpatriotic conduct of the Latin clergy, who, in the 
snug enjoyment of nearly one-third of the land, declined to 
assist him in driving the Greeks out of the still unconquered 
stronghold of Monemvasia. As we saw, by the constitution 
of the principality, the fiefs of the clergy depended upon the 
performance of certain military services ; so that when they 
refused to serve, on the ground that they owed obedience to 
the pope alone, Geoffrey was strictly within his rights in 
confiscating their fiefs. But, in order to show his own dis- 
interested patriotism, he spent the funds which thus accrued 
to his exchequer in building a great fortress at Glarentza, 
in the west of Elis, then the chief port of the Morea, and 
now recovering some of its mediaeval importance. This 
castle, the ruins of which still stand out like the boss of a 
shield from a round hill — a landmark for miles around — took 
three years to construct, and was then called Clermont, or 
Chloumodtsi, to which the later name of Castel Tornese was 
added, when it became the mint for the coins known as 
toumots, so called because they had been originally minted 
at Tours. 2 The prince proceeded calmly with his building, 
regardless of interdicts and excommunications; but when 
the castle was finished, he laid the whole matter before 
the pope, who had hitherto taken the side of the clergy, and 
had described Geoffrey as "more inhuman than Pharaoh" 

1 Apud Hppf, Chroniques, ioo-i ; Z. a\ C, 23, 791 
* X. r. M. t 1L 2631-57 ; Cronaca di Morea. (version* itaiiana) apud 
Hopf., op. cit y 435. • 


in his treatment of them. He pointed out that, if the Latin 
priests would not help him to fight the Greeks, they would 
only have themselves to blame if the principality, and with 
it their Church, fell under the sway of those schismatics. 
Honorius III. saw the force of this argument ; the ecclesiastical 
thunders ceased, and a concordat was drawn up in 1223 
between Church and State, on the lines laid down for Northern 
Greece at the second parliament of Ravenika. It was 
arranged that all Achaian sees should have, free from all 
secular dues and jurisdiction, all the estates which were or 
had been theirs from the coronation of the Emperor Atexios 
Moiirtzouphlos, 1 that is to say, all the estates of the Greek 
Church in the Peloponnese on the eve of the Latin Conquest 
The prince was to keep the treasures and moveable property 
of the Church, on condition that he, his barons, and other 
Greek and Latin subjects, paid a tithe estimated at 1000 
hyperperi G6448) a year — a sum which was apportioned 
between the two archbishoprics of Patras and Corinth, and 
the six bishoprics of Lacedaemonia, Amyklai, Coron, Modon, 
Olena, and Argos. The concordat farther regulated the 
position of the Greek priests, whom the prince had been 
accused of treating as his own peasants. The number of the 
country popes who were allowed exemption from all secular 
jurisdiction was fixed in proportion to the size of the village — 
two in a hamlet of from 25 to 70 households, four in a 
village of from 70 to 125 families, six in places of a still 
larger population. Where the number of households was 
less than 25, that number was made up out of the scattered 
dwellings of the neighbourhood. The exemption was 
extended to the wives and families of the priests, provided 
that their children lived at home. All the other country 
popes were bound to perform the usual services to the 
secular authorities, but their temporal lord might not lay 
hands upon their sacred persons, and the clergy of the towns 
were to be accorded similar treatment 2 This system was 

1 So Prof L&mpros interprets the A /exit Bambacoratii of the text. 
'Icropla r$f r6\eun Adtjr&v, i., 439, n. 

* X. r. M., 1. 2658 sgq. ; Epistola InnocenUi IIL, ii., 835-7 ; HonarU 
III., Opera, iv., 409-16; Regesta, ii., 158, 159, 161, 163; Raynaldus, 
Annates Ecciesiastict\ i., 501-2. 


based upon a just principle. It limited the number of idle 
priests; while it exempted the poor and fully-occupied 
country clergy from all services and dues. Henceforth peace 
usually reigned between the ecclesiastical and civil authorities 
of the Morea. Ten years later, however, we find Geoffrey 
complaining to Gregory IX. 1 that the Archbishop of Patras, 
to whom the prince had entrusted that important castle, 
apparently on the death of Walter Aleman, had made a 
truce with the Greeks, the prince's enemies, and had allowed 
them to enter the principality — an incident which would 
seem to indicate a Greek invasion from Epiros, to which 
Patras would be naturally exposed 

But, when the Latin Empire was menaced by the attacks 
of the Greek Emperor of Nice and the Bulgarian Tsar in 1236, 
both prince and clergy alike responded to the papal appeal, 
urging them to contribute money towards its maintenance. 
The tithe of all ecclesiastical revenues was to be devoted to 
the cause, while Geoffrey, in whose land the Emperor Robert, 2 
his brother-in-law, had ended his wretched existence in 1228, 
offered a yearly subsidy of 22,000 hyperperi (£9856) to his 
successor, Baldwin II., for the defence of Constantinople — a 
striking proof of the excellent state of his finances. He also 
proceeded to Constantinople with a considerable force, 
including six vessels, although Venice was so jealous of 
another Latin sea-power arising in the near East, that she had 
taken proceedings against one of her subjects who had sold 
Mm a galley. With this fleet he broke the Greeks' line, and 
entered the harbour, after destroying fifteen of their ships. 8 

1 Regisires, i., 902 ; ii., 538. 

% Recueil des Historiens y ii., 295 ; Dandolo apud Muratori, Rerum It 
Script^ xii., 343. Akropolita (p. 47) makes him die in Euboea ; the 
Angonese Chronicle places the death of a Latin emperor at Patras. 
Bochon {La dice Continentale, 244) thought that the two tombs in the 
crypt of Hosios Loukas were those of Robert and his father Peter of 
Courtenay. The tradition ascribes them to the Emperor Roman6s II. and 
lus wife. The Hegodmenos expressed to me, when I visited the monastery, 
a disbelief in the latter theory ; the former is a mere conjecture. Sir 
Rennell Rodd {The Princes of Achaia, i., 142) surmises that Robert's tomb 
is to be found in the monastery of Blachernai, near Chloumoutsi. 

* Albericus Trium Fontium, ii., 558, who says that he had 120 ships ; 
Jfooskds, Chromque rim/t, 11. 29,238-41, 29,602-9, 31,191-8 ; Registres de 
Grlgoire IX '., ii., 506, 521, 860 ; Predelli, Liber Communis^ p. 128, 


As a reward for this service, Baldwin conferred upon him 
the suzerainty over the duchy of the Archipelago, which had 
been a fief of the Latin Empire since the time of the Emperor 
Henry, and over the island of Euboea, which was in reality 
under the overlordship of Venice, but which the Latin 
Emperor might consider as his to bestow in virtue of its 
former dependence on the extinct kingdom of Salonika. 
The three lords of Euboea were bound by this investiture to 
supply a galley, or eight knights, to their new suzerain, who 
also received a grant of land in their island Nor did the 
imperial marks of favour stop here. The prince, who, like 
his sire, was Seneschal of Romania, also became suzerain of 
Boudonitza, 1 and received, as the price of further aid, the 
emperor's family fief of Courtenay, which, however, Louis IX, 
of France declined to permit. A second papal appeal found 
him willing to equip ten galleys for Baldwin's service, and on 
a false rumour of the emperor's death, he proceeded to 
Constantinople with ships and a large retinue to act as 
regent. Once again, in 1244, Innocent IV. urged him to 
defend the capital of the Latin Empire, and allowed him to 
deduct from the annual revenues of the Peloponnesian Church 
sufficient for the maintenance of 100 archers. He was justly 
regarded as the strongest Frank prince of his time, the 
leading man in " New France," where the Empire of Romania 
grew yearly weaker. Such was his prestige, that the Despot 
Manuel of Epiros and the Count of Cephalonia and Zante 
voluntarily became his vassals, and the latter was henceforth 
reckoned, like the three barons of Eubcea and the Duke of 
the Archipelago, among the peers of the principality of 
Achaia. 2 Now that the Venetians had lost Corfu, the crafty 
count had no longer the same motive for acknowledging their 

1 Sanudo apud Hopf^ op. cit % 99-100 ; Hopf, Andros (tr. Sardagna), 
167. The Chronicle of the Morea y by an anachronism, says that 
Boniface of Montferrat conferred upon Champlitte the suzerainty over 
Eubcea and Boudonitza, and that Robert gave to Geoffrey II. that over 
the Archipelago (11. 1553-67, 2603-4). The last statement is repeated by 
the Liber Consuetudinum (Canciani, op. cit y iii., 499). 

2 Albericus Trium Fontium, ii., 558 ; JL d, F., 53-4. Romanos, 
TpaTiavfa Zcfyfip, 1 32-4. 


Although he had resolved to be master in his own house, 
Geoffrey II. was no enemy of the Church, when it did not 
neglect its duties to the State. He invited the Cistercians, 
already established, as we saw, at Athens, to send some of 
their order to the Morea, where both they and the 
Dominicans founded monasteries; the Chronicle tells us 
that when he felt himself dying he bade his brother, William 
of Kalamata, carry out a vow which he had himself omitted 
to fulfil, that of building a church in which his body and that 
of his father could repose. 1 But we learn from the corre- 
spondence of Pope Gregory IX. that it was his father who 
founded the church and hospital of St James at Andravida, 
where in due course the bones of the three first Villehardouin 
rulers of Achaia were laid. The two accounts are not, how- 
ever, inconsistent, if we suppose that Geoffrey I. built no 
more than a modest chapel, leaving it to his sons to 
erect a more ambitious memorial church, "the glorious 
minster of Monseigneur St James," as the French Chronicle 
calls it Little now remains of this famous mausoleum of the 
Villehardouin family; like its founder, it has passed into 
history. But a Norman arch near the little railway station 
still testifies to the past glories of Sta. Sophia, the cathedral 
of the Frankish capital. 

Meanwhile, the next most important French state in 
Greece, that of Athens, had passed into the hands of a new 
ruler, Othon de la Roche, like Berthold von Katzenellen- 
bogen and several other doughty barons of the Conquest, 
felt, as age crept on, that he would like to spend the evening 
of his days in his native land, which he had never forgotten 
in his splendid exile. Almost to the end of his reign, we 
find him under the ban of the Church ; in 1225, soon after he 
had made his peace with the pope, he departed for Burgundy 
with his wife and his two sons, leaving his Greek dominions 
to his nephew Guy, who had already enjoyed the ownership 
of half Thebes. 2 If the Burgundian noble, whom chance had 

1 X. t. M., 1L 2735-47, 7790-4 ; Registrei de Grdgoire IX '., iL, 770. I 
owe the suggestion in the text to Sir Rennell Rodd. 

* Regesta Honorii J//., ii., 304 (Feb. 12, 1225)— the last allnsion to 
Othon in Greece. 


made the successor of Kodros at Athens, of Agamemnon at 
Argos, had the least imagination, or had enjoyed the classical 
culture of the Greek divine whom he had driven from the 
Akropolis, he must have been stirred by the thought that it 
was his lot to rule over the most famous land of the ancient 
world. But classical allusions did not appeal to the Frank 
conquerors of the thirteenth century, who looked upon 
Greece much as we look upon Africa. Cultured men there 
were among them; Conon de B6thune was a poet and an 
orator ; even the first Geoffroy de Villehardouin wrote verses 
which have been preserved ; Elias Cairels is a poetic 
authority for the Lombard rebellion ; but the most inspired 
of them all, the troubadour Rambaud de Vaqueiras, though 
rewarded for his songs by honours and lands in Greece, 
sighed for the days when he made love to a fair dame in the 
Far West, when cantb pur Beatrice in Monferrato} Home- 
sickness, the special malady which prevents the French from 
being colonists, seems to have afflicted many of the founders 
of " New France." 

Othon passed the rest of his life in his beloved Franche- 
Comt6, where he lived at the most some nine years more, 
and where his descendants became extinct only in the seven- 
teenth century. His sepulchre is doubtful ; but the archives 
of the Haute-Sadne contain his seal bearing the arms of his 
family— azur equipolU d quatre points d'ichiquier (for. The 
counter-seal, consisting of an ancient gem of Hellenic 
workmanship, which Othon may have picked up at the sack 
of Constantinople or in some shop at Thebes, represents 
three naked children teasing a large dog. This is the sole 
relic of the Megaskyr? Guy I., his successor, resided at 
Thebes, the most flourishing town in his dominions. Half 
of that city now passed, by the second marriage of Othon's 
niece, to Bela de St Omer, a member of that famous Flemish 
family whose name still survives, after the lapse of centuries, 
in the Santameri tower at Thebes and in the Santameri 
mountains of the Peloponnese. Thus, as the residence of 

1 Buchon, Recherches et Afat/naux, i., 419-26 ; Recherches historiquts, 
ii., 376; Histoire des ConqutUs, 29, 206, 449; Giornale Lxgustico, v., 


2 Acad&nie de Besan^on (1880), pp. 140-4 ; plate iii. 


two such important and allied clans, the old Boeotian capital 
attained to great celebrity. The silk manufacture still 
continued there, and the Jewish colony was tolerated, for 
we hear of Hebrew poets at Thebes under Othon — bards 
whose verses, so a rival singer tells us, were a mass of 
barbarisms. Besides the Jews, there was also a Genoese 
settlement there, which already had its own consul. In 
1240 he negotiated a commercial treaty with Guy, by which 
"the Lord of Athens" granted Genoese merchants freedom 
from all taxes, "except the usual duty paid on all silk stuffs 
woven in his land" He also permitted them to have not 
only their own consul, but also their own court of justice for 
all except criminal cases and appeals, which were reserved 
for the tribunals of the country. Both at Athens and Thebes, 
an open space and consular buildings were assigned to them. 1 
In return for these favours, the Genoese were to protect " the 
Lord of Athens," his land, and his subjects. The Greeks, too, 
as well as the Jews and the Genoese, enjoyed the protection 
of this enlightened ruler. When the Archdeacon of Athens 
insisted on levying marriage-fees in money, instead of the 
hen and the loaf, which the Athenian bridegrooms had paid 
from time immemorial, he was made to disgorge. Every 
traveller to Marathon has seen by the side of the road, nearly 
seven miles out of the city, a Byzantine column with an 
inscription in iambics. The inscription tells us how "the 
servant of the Lord, Neophytos by name," made a road to 
the monastery of St John the Hunter, of which he was 
probably the abbot Those who have visited the famous 
fort of Phyle may have turned aside to rest at the quaint 
little monastery of the Virgin of the Defile (Jiavayla rS>v 
fXcKTTow). I was there informed by the abbot that the 
more modern of the two churches was founded in 1242, that 
is to say, under the rule of Guy. These two examples show 
that the Greek monks were usually unmolested by the 
Franks of Athens in his time. Once, indeed, we find him 
begging the pope to turn out the inmates of a monastery 
near the frontier, suspected of betraying state secrets to his 
enemies. For his capital, we are told, was exposed to 
"frequent devastations" by the Greeks. But Guy was no 
1 Liber Jurium Reipublica Genutnsis, i., 992-3. 


lover of adventures, and turned a deaf ear to the papal 
appeal, urging him to join the Prince of Achaia and Count 
Matthew of Cephalonia, in defending Constantinople. 1 

While Athens thus enjoyed comparative peace, the new 
Greek Empire of Salonika had been shaken to its founda- 
tions. Theodore Angelos was not the man to be content 
with the vast dominions which he had conquered. He was 
now at the zenith of his power ; his Italian neighbour, Count 
Matthew of Cephalonia, was glad to purchase his friendship 
and secure immunity from attack by marrying his sister — the 
first of the matrimonial unions between the Greeks of Epiros 
and the Franks. Even the Emperor Frederick II., the most 
remarkable ruler of the Middle Ages, did not scorn an 
alliance with his brother of Salonika, brought about by the 
good offices of the count, the brother-in-law of one party, 
the vassal of the other. Copper coins are still extant, showing 
Theodore and St Demetrios, the patron saint of Salonika, 1 
supporting the imperial city, which might claim to have 
taken the place of Byzantium as the seat of the Greek 
Empire. But ambition urged Theodore to attack the power- 
ful Bulgarian Tsar, John As£n 1 1., in spite of the treaty of 
peace which existed between them. The tsar advanced to 
meet him, bearing aloft on his standard the written oath of 
the perjurer, and at Klokotinitza, on the Maritza, he routed 
the Epirote army, and took his adversary prisoner. The 
Bulgarian, less savage than his kind, treated his captive well, 
till he detected him plotting fresh schemes of conquest To 
unfit him for further political adventures, the tsar ordered 
his eyes to be put out — the traditional punishment of the 
Byzantine Empire. Profiting by Theodore's misfortunes, 
his younger brother, Manuel, seized the remains of his 
empire, styling himself Despot and Emperor, striking gold 
and silver coins with the effigy of St Demetrios, and counting 
upon the toleration of the Bulgarian Tsar, whose illegitimate 

1 Registres de Grtgoire IX. y i., 636; ii., 108, 421, 607; Registres 
d Innocent 7K, i., 112; Kampouroglos ; '\cr9pLa rGtv 'AflijHo/wp, ii., 213-15 ; 
238-9. He gives the date of the church as 1204. The older church, I 
was told, was built in 742. 

2 Albericus, ii., 558 ; Ricardus de S. Germano, apud Muratori, vii., 
1015 ; Mionnet, Description de MJdaillcs, Supp. III., 172. 


daughter he had married Determined to reign at any cost, 
the new emperor first endeavoured to pacify the court and 
Church of Nice by ecclesiastical re-union. He wrote to the 
oecumenical patriarch, apologising for the consecration of 
his bishops by the Metropolitan of Naupaktos, and suggesting 
that, as pirates made the journey to Nice too dangerous for 
the ecclesiastics of Epiros, the patriarch should either allow 
the present system to continue, or should permit some Nicene 
divine to run the risks of the voyage. Naturally, the 
patriarch did not see the force of this argument ; u when," he 
said, "had piracy not existed? All this talk is a mere 
excuse." Having thus failed to conciliate the patriarch, 
Manuel promised submission to the pope, sending the ever- 
useful metropolitan Bardines on a mission to Rome, and 
even took an oath of homage to the powerful Prince of 
Achaia. 1 But meanwhile, the heart of the Bulgarian monarch 
had been touched by the beauty of blind Theodore's daughter. 
She accepted his offer of marriage on condition that he 
released her father, and the latter was no sooner free than he 
resumed his schemes. Entering Salonika in disguise, he 
quickly won over a considerable party by his skilful intrigues ; 
his friends aided him in driving out his usurping brother ; 
and, though his physical infirmity prevented him from re- 
occupying the throne himself, he was able to exercise the 
real power in the name of his son John, who received the 
nominal dignity of emperor. The independent Greek Empire 
of Salonika was, however, not destined to survive the attacks 
of its stronger rival at Nice, where the powerful emperor, 
John Vatdtzes, was bent on restoring the unity of the free 
Greeks under his sceptre. Thus, the exiled Manuel not only 
found a welcome at his court, but by his assistance was 
enabled to invade Thessaly, where he rapidly made himself 
master of the principal towns, and became the ally of the 
triarchs of Euboea as well as of the Prince of Achaia. In 
vain Theodore tried to keep the empire in the family by 
making terms with his brother. Vatdtzes crossed over into 
Macedonia, and compelled the feeble Emperor John, whom 

1 Akropolita, 44-7 ; Nikeph6ros Gregorys, i., 28 ; Albericus, p. 558. 
Sabatier, Description g/n/ra/e des monnaies byzantines, ii., 303-4 ; Mik- 
losich und Miiller, iii., 59-66 ; Registres de Grdgoire IX '., i., 491. 


nature had meant for a monk and his father had placed on 
the throne, to abandon the coveted title of emperor, the red 
sandals, and the ruby-topped "pyramid" of pearls, and 
resume the less dignified style of Despot. On these terms, 
he was allowed to keep his possessions ; but, on his death, 
his brother and successor, Demetrios, so greatly irritated his 
subjects by his debaucheries that they were glad to welcome 
the troops of Vatitzes. No opposition was to be feared from 
the Bulgarians, for their great tsar was dead, so, in 1 246, the 
Emperor of Nice annexed the short-lived Greek Empire of 
Salonika to his dominions. These rival and scattered Greek 
forces were thus combined, and their fraternal divisions, 
which had given the tottering Latin Empire of Constantinople 
a respite, ceased for the present. 

Even yet, however, Hellenism was not united against 
the foreign foe. The Despotat of Epiros, thanks to the 
energy of another member of the house of Angelos, had 
survived the untimely fall of the less stable, but more 
pretentious, Empire of Salonika. Ten years before that 
event, a bastard son of the first Despot, styling himself 
" Michael 1 1., Despot of Hellas," had made himself master 
of Epiros, iEtolia, and Corfu. Circumstances favoured his 
usurpation, for the Empire of Salonika had not recovered 
from the blow which the Bulgarians had dealt it, Theodore 
was still a prisoner, and the Epirotes saw that they must 
have a strong man to rule over them. Michael II. won over 
the Corfiotes by following the traditional policy of his family 
towards them. Just as Michael I. and Manuel had 
guaranteed the privileges of the metropolitan church and 
people of the island, so Michael II., by four successive bulls, 
exempted them from practically all taxes and duties, relieved 
the clergy from all forced labour, and granted the Ragusan . 
traders equal rights with the islanders. On the death of his - 
uncle, Manuel, in 1241, he succeeded to the latter's Thessalian - 
dominions, while old blind Theodore, with whom the love ofr: 
power was still the ruling passion, managed to retain, eve 
after the fall of Salonika, a small piece of territory round 
Vodena in Macedonia. 1 

1 Akropolita, 65-73, 75-6, 85-91 ; Nikephdros Gregorys, i., p. 47 
X. r. M., 11. 3061, 3561, 3815; Mustoxidi, Delle Cose Contresi, 401 


Michael 1 1. was at first anxious to remain on good terms 
with the powerful Emperor of Nice. He had married a 
saintly woman, whose life, 1 written by a monk in the 
seventeenth century, is one long record of ill-treatment 
patiently borne, of Christian forgiveness, and of a devotion to 
her husband, ill-requited by that passionate man. The 
Blessed Theodora was the daughter of John Petraleiphas, a 
member of a distinguished Frankish family from Provence, 
Pierre d'Aulps (or de Alpibus), established even before the 
Conquest in the mountainous region of Agrapha. The 
legend tells us that her husband, tempted by the devil and 
enchanted by the charms and spells of a fair Greek, called 
Gangrene, drove his lawful wife into the wilderness and 
received his paramour into the palace. Remorse, or the 
remonstrances of his councillors, at last prevailed upon him 
to recall Theodora, and, as a sign of his repentance, he 
founded, at her request, the monastery of the Saviour at 
Galaxidi, on the Gulf of Corinth, which, though now ruined by 
earthquakes, was still inhabited in the eighteenth century, 
when it produced the short, but interesting Chronicle of 
Galaxidi? which is one of our authorities for the history of 
Frankish and Turkish Greece. But Theodora united the 
usually incompatible qualities of a saint and a diplomatist ; 
she readily went on a mission to arrange a match between 
her son Nikeph6ros and the grand-daughter of the Greek 
Emperor Vatdtzes. The emperor consented, and it seemed as 
if peace were firmly cemented between Nice and Epiros. 
Indeed, the Emperor Frederick II. actually wrote to the 
Despot in 1250, begging him to grant a free passage across 
Epiros to the troops, which his own son-in-law, Vatitzes, was 
sending him to assist in his struggle against Pope 
Innocent IV. 3 

Such was the condition of Northern Greece when, in 1246, 
Geoffroy de Villehardouin died, 4 and his brother William 
Barone, No tune Stork he di Re Carlo 111. di Duraxzo y 61-6 ; AeXrio* r$t 
*l<rrofuxi}i 'Eratplas, ii., 594-6 ; Byz. Zeitsch^ i., 336. 

1 Job apud Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches, I., L, 401-6. 

f PP- x 36> 198-200 ; AeXWor rfc Xpurr. 9 Ap%. 'Brcupcfaf, iii., 69. 

3 Miklosich und M tiller, iii., 68-9. 

4 He is last mentioned as alive in a letter of May 6, 1246. Heglstns 
<f Innocent IV., i., 275. 



became Prince of Achaia in his stead. During his long reign 
of over thirty years, he is the central figure in Greek 
history, for he intervened in the affairs of nearly every state 
in Greece, in Euboea, in Attica, and in Epiros. The new 
prince was the first of his race born in the country — for his 
birthplace had been the family castle of Kalamata, which had 
been his father's fief, and he spoke Greek as his native 
tongue. 1 In cleverness and energy he surpassed all his 
subjects ; he was the most adventurous and knightly figure of 
Frankish Greece, combining at times the chivalrous spirit of 
France with the wiles of the Homeric Odysseus. He, too, has 
been made the hero of a poem, The Chronicle of the Morea y 
which in jog-tot "political" verse that is almost prose 
extols the deeds of this prince "who toiled more than all 
who were born in the parts of Romania." But his reign was, 
thanks to his love of fighting, an almost unbroken series of 
wars ; and if he was able for a brief space to effect the 
complete conquest of the peninsula, it was in his days that 
its reconquest by the Greeks began. 

His first enterprise was the subjugation of Monemvasia, 
the last Greek stronghold, which had defied his three pre- 
decessors, and which was in uninterrupted communication 
with the Emperor of Nice. 2 No one who has seen that 
picturesque spot can wonder at its continued independence 
in the face of such arms as the Franks could bring against 
it The great rock of Monemvasia, the Gibraltar of Greece, 
stands out defiantly in the sea, and is only accessible from 
the land by a narrow causeway, the "single entrance," to 
which it owes its name. It had long enjoyed special 
privileges from the Byzantine emperors, and was governed 
by three local magnates, who styled themselves archons — 
Mamonfts, Daimonoydnnes, and Sophian6s. William made 
elaborate preparations for the siege. He summoned to his 

1 x. r. M. t L 4130. 

* Ibid.) 11. 2765-9, 2946-7. All the three families were still living there 
when the Chronicle was composed ; throughout the Frankish period 
we hear of them, and the Mamonacles are even now extant. Their history 
from 1248 to the present day was written by Meliardkes. OUoyfrtt*. 
Mafxwva. 'Ioropi/rfj fieXirrj rijs oUoyevelat Ma/uwa drb rift tfupavlaeun aMjt br~ 
rj) 'loroplq.'fjJxpi ajpepov, J-ike many archontic families, they bore th« 
imperial! eagle. 


aid the great vassals of the principality — Guy I. of Athens, 
who owed him allegiance for Argos and Nauplia ; the three 
barons of Euboea ; Angelo Sanudo, Duke of Naxos, with the 
other lords of the Cyclades ; and the veteran Count Matteo 
Orsini of Cephalonia. 1 But he saw that without the naval 
assistance of Venice, which had taken care that his principality 
should not become a sea-power, he could never capture the 
place. He accordingly obtained the aid of four Venetian 
galleys, and then proceeded to invest the great rock-fortress 
by land and water. For three long years or more the garrison 
held out, "like a nightingale in its cage," as the chronicler 
quaintly says — and the simile is most appropriate, for the 
rock abounds with those songsters — till all supplies were 
exhausted, and they had eaten the very cats and mice. 
Even then, however, they only surrendered on condition that 
they should be excused from all feudal services, except at 
sea, and should even in that case be paid. True to the 
conciliatory policy of his family, William wisely granted their 
terms, and then the three arc/tons of Monemvasia advanced 
along the narrow causeway to his camp, and offered him the 
keys of their town. The conqueror received them with the 
respect of one brave man for another, loaded them with 
costly gifts, and gave them fiefs in the district of Vatika, near 
Cape Malea. A Frankish garrison was installed in the 
coveted fortress, a Latin bishop at last occupied the episcopal 
palace there ; but the traveller searches in vain among the 
picturesque Byzantine and Venetian remains of the rock for 
the least trace of the French prince's brief rule of thirteen 
years over the Gibraltar of the Morea. Local tradition, 
however, still indicates the spot on the mainland where his 
cavalry was left The surrender of Monemvasia was 
followed by the submission not only of Vatika, but of the 
Tzdkones also, whose lands had been ravaged by Geoffrey I., 
but who, even if they had promised to obey him, had never 
really acknowledged the Frankish sway till now. 2 To com- 

1 X. r. M., U. 2891-6; Romanes, Tpartapk Z4/>ftp, 136. The French 
rersion of the Chronicle omits the Naxian and Cephalonian con- 
tingents. The Chronicle by an anachronism, makes the surrender of 
Coron and Modon to Venice, really surrendered in 1209, the price of 
the Venetians galleys, 11. 2783-5, 2854-9. 

* lbuLt 1L 2064-72, 2960-5. 


plete the subjugation of the Morea, William built three 
strong castles, specially intended to overawe the Slavs of 
Taygetos and the mountaineers of Maina. Three miles from 
Sparta, on a steep hill which is one of the spurs of Taygetos, 
and was perhaps the site of the " dove-haunted Messe " of 
Homer, he erected the fortress of Mizithr&, or Mistri, the 
ruins of which are still one of the mediaeval glories of the 
Morea, and which played a great part in the history of the 
next two centuries. One wonders, on visiting Villehardouin's 
castle to-day, how the ancient Spartans can have neglected 
a strategic position so incomparably superior to their open 
village down in the plain by the Eurotas, and even now, 
when it is abandoned to the tortoises and the sheep, the hill 
of Mistrd. looks down, as it were, with feudal pride upon the 
brand-new streets and hideous cathedral of the modern 
Sparta Scholars differ as to the origin of its name, but 
whether it be of Slavonic derivation, 1 or whether it be 
Greek, Mizithr& stands, more than any other spot, except 
Constantinople, for the preservation of mediaeval Hellenism 
against the Franks. But the French prince was not content 
with MistrA alone. Down in the direction of Cape Matapan, 
he built the castle of Old Maina, and on the western side of 
the promontory, near Kisternes, he constructed yet a third 
fortress, which the Greeks called Levtro and the French 
Beaufort 2 The immediate result of this policy was the 
submission of the Slavonic tribe of Melings, who had given 
so much trouble to the Byzantine authorities in earlier days, 
but who now saw that the new forts confined them to the 
barren mountains, where they could not find subsistence. 
Accordingly, they promised to be the prince's vassals, and to 

1 Mv&epa in modern Greek means a sort of cheese, but Hopf thinks 
the name Slavonic. Cf. Hatzidakis in Bvfarr. Xpwucd, ii., 58. 

2 X. t. M. t 11. 2985-3042 ; L d. C, 91-5 ; L. d. F, 48-9. The site of 
Old Maina is placed by Finlay (iv., 198-9) and Sir Rennell Rodd (il, 
277) near Cape Matapan, which tallies with the description in the X. r. M., 
which speaks (1. 3005) of a " Cape," and with the description of Nikephoros 
Gregorys (L, 80). Leake (Peloponnesiaca, 142) thinks it is the castle still 
so called above Porto Quaglio. Mr Traquair informs me that there is 
no Frankish work now visible there. A Venetian document of r278 
(Fontes Rer. AusL, xiv., 232, 234) mentions Castrum de Belforte in 
partibus ScUxvorde. 


serve in his army on the same terms as in the time of the 
Byzantine emperors, on condition that they were held exempt 
from dues and other feudal service. The last two castles 
also shut in the M ainates, so that William's sway was now 
acknowledged all over the Morea, save where the lion banner 
of St Mark floated over the two Messenian stations of Modon 
and Coron. In their own barren land, however, the Mainates 
continued to indulge in warfare, for, a few years later, the 
Catholic bishop of Maina was allowed by Pope Alexander IV. 
to reside in Italy, because the prevailing strife prevented 
him from living in his own see. 1 

The principality had now reached its zenith. The barons 
had built themselves castles all over the country, whence they 
took their titles, and where they lived " the fairest life that a 
man can." The prince's court at Lacedaemonia, which the 
Franks called La Cr6monie, and of which an Englishman, 
William of Faversham, was then bishop, was considered as 
the best school of chivalry in the East, and " more brilliant 
than that of a great king." The sons of his great vassals and 
of the other Frank rulers of the Levant came there to learn 
war and manners; and personages like Marco II. Sanudo, 
afterwards Duke of Naxos, from whom our chief authority, 
Marino Sanudo the elder, derived his information, and Hugh, 
Duke of Burgundy, were his honoured guests. Never since 
the days of the ancient Spartans had such splendid warriors 
been seen on the banks of the Eurotas, and Louis IX. of 
France, the mightiest Latin sovereign of the age, might well 
wish that he had the giant knights of Achaia to assist him in 
his crusade against the infidel From 700 to 1000 of these 
horsemen always attended the prince, and William was able 
to fit out a fleet of about 24 vessels and sail with 400 knights 
to meet the King of France in Cyprus, and to leave behind in 
Rhodes " more than a hundred noble men and good cavaliers," 
to assist the Genoese in defending that fine island, which they 
had recently captured, against the Empire of Nice. We are 
told that the Morea was at this time the favourite resort of 
the chivalry of France, and the French soldiers, who had been 
collected for the defence of Constantinople in 1238, had been 
content to stop short in Achaia and remain there. But all 
1 Registres, i., 184. 


this brilliance was not merely on the surface. Trade 
flourished, and "merchants" says Sanudo, "went up and 
down without money, and lodged in the houses of the 
bailies, and on their simple note of hand people gave them 
money." 1 Commercial travellers from Florence and Siena 
visited Andravida, and Urban IV. could write to the bishops 
of Achaia to send him some of those silken garments for 
which Greece was still famed. For a prince so martial and a 
state so important, where commercial transactions were 
constant, a local coinage had become a necessity. William 
therefore availed himself of his meeting with the King of 
France in Cyprus to obtain the right of coining money from 
that sovereign. " Sire," said the soldierly prince, " you are a 
mightier lord than I, and can lead as many men as you like 
where you please without money; I cannot do so." The 
king thereupon permitted him to coin tournois, such as 
circulated in France. The Achaian mint was established in 
the castle of ChloumoOtsi, which thus obtained its Italian 
name of Castel Tornese, and ere long coins bearing the 
princely title, the church of St Martin of Tours, and the : 
inscription De Clarencid, were issued from it 2 For more - 
than a century it continued working, and many thousands ofl 
its tournois have been found in Greece. 

Unfortunately, William's ambition, not content with rulings 
over a realm compared with which that of ancient Sparta-* 
was small, soon plunged the country into another, and this^ 
time a fratricidal, war. Geoffrey II. on his deathbed hadC 
urged his brother to marry again, and secure the succession in*~ 
the family; and William had hastened to follow his advice- - 
His second wife, Carintana, was one of the Dalle Carceri oft" « 
Eubcea, and baroness in her own right in the northern thircfc 

1 Sanudo apud Hopf, Chroniques grtio-romanes, 102. The historian* 
visited his ducal relative several times, and probably wrote in 1328^ 
making additions in 1333, while living in Constantinople. Joinville^ 
Vie de St Louis (ed. de Wailly) 53, 151 ; Akropolita, 94 ; L. d. C, 101 
Registres dUrbainlV^ i., 15-16 ; Mouskes, Chronique rimie % 1L 29,602-c^ 
Eubel, i., 302. 

8 Sanudo, loc. tit; Schlumberger (Numismatique y 312) thinks, howeveff^" 
that some coins with G. Princeps Achate on them had been struck befbc^ 
this date at Corinth — a name which appears on most of them — probab^E- 
by William. One coin, not a tournois, was struck at "Clarencis»— 
(Supplement, 15). 


of that island When she died in 1255, her husband claimed 
her barony as her heir, and actually had coins minted with 
the superscription " Triarch of Negroponte." Although the 
Prince of Achaia was suzerain of the island, neither the other 
triarchs nor the Venetian bailie were desirous that so restless 
a man should become their neighbour. One of the triarchs, 
Guglielmo da Verona, was, indeed, the prince's kinsman, for 
he was married to Villehardouin's niece; but he could not 
forget that, by a former marriage, he was titular king of 
Salonika, and therefore a great personage in heraldic lists, and 
he was rich enough to keep 400 knights at his court Accord- 
ingly, he and his fellow-triarch, Narzotto dalle Carceri, placed 
his nephew Grapella in possession of the disputed barony. 
They then concluded treaties with the Venetian bailie, 
promising to wage " lively war " against the Prince of Achaia, 1 
and to make no peace with him without the consent of the 
republic, which, in return, was to consult them before ceasing 
hostilities. The castle on the bridge of Negroponte was to 
be entrusted to the Venetians, who were also to receive a 
strip of land from St Mary of the Crutched Friars down 
towards the castle and two other strips in the vicinity. The 
former pacts of 1209 and 12 16 were renewed, with the 
exception that, instead of the payment of 700 hyperperi 
from each of the triarchs, Venice should take all the tolls, 
the triarchs being, however, exempt from paying them. 
A further treaty localised the war to the Empire of 

The Prince of Achaia was not the man to be deterred by 
coalitions. Using his late wife's Euboean barony as a base 
of operations, he summoned the two triarchs, Narzotto and 
Guglielmo, to appear before him, their suzerain, at Oropos ; 
and, so strong was the feudal tie which bound a vassal to 
his lord, that they obeyed his summons, and were at once 
arrested, remaining in captivity till after the capture of their 
own captor. Their wives, accompanied by many knights of 
the Dalle Carceri clan, now numerous in the island, went 
weeping to the Venetian bailie, with dishevelled hair and 
clothes rent, and implored his aid. The bailie, moved alike 

1 Ibid, 356 ; Bury, The Lombards and Venetians in Euboia, i., 13-21 ; 
Pontes Rer. Austr. y xiv., 1-16. 


by policy and sympathy, at the spectacle of the two noble 
dames, consented ; but the energy of the Achaian prince had 
already secured the town of Negroponte. Thrice the capital 
changed hands, till finally, after a siege of thirteen months, 
the Venetians succeeded in re-occupying it, and then inflicted 
a crushing defeat on the famous cavalry of Achaia. Mean- 
while, in spite of the wise warnings of Pope Alexander IV., 
who urged the prince to release his prisoners and make 
peace " lest the Greeks should become more powerful in the 
Empire of Romania," the war had spread to the Morea and 
continental Greece. Guillaume de la Roche, brother of the 
" Great Lord " of Athens, though by marriage he had become 
baron of Veligosti and Damald. (the ancient Troezen), and 
therefore a vassal of the Prince of Achaia, had actively 
assisted the Venetians at the siege of Negroponte, and they 
had granted him lands in their territory, and had promised him 
an annuity in case his Peloponnesian barony was confiscated 
He had set his name as a witness to the arrangements 
between Venice and the triarchs, and one of those treaties 
had actually been " done at Thebes," in the capital of his 
brother, Guy I. On the other hand, the Prince of Achaia 
had summoned the " Great Lord " of Athens, his vassal for 
Argos and Nauplia, to assist him in the conflict against the 
Euboean barons and their Venetian allies. It was even 
pretended that Attica and Boeotia, the marquisate of Bou- 
donitza, and the three Euboean baronies, had been placed by 
Boniface of Salonika under the suzerainty of the first Frank 
ruler of Achaia at the time of the Conquest The result of 
such a claim, recorded by the author of the Chronicle of the 
Morea, perhaps for the glorification of his favourite hero 
William, perhaps by an anachronism pardonable in one who 
wrote in the following century, would have been to establish 
the supreme authority of that ambitious prince over all the 
Frankish states of Greece. But, as we have seen, the 
suzerainty over the three Euboean baronies and Boudonitza 
had been given much more recently to William's brother by 
the Emperor Baldwin II., while the Sire of Athens owed 
him allegiance for Nauplia and Argos alone. Although 
Guy I. had married one of William's nieces, he not only 
refused to assist him, but aided his enemies, despatching 


troops to Negroponte and Corinth, and sending out his 
galleys from Nauplia to prey upon any passing ships, with- 
out regard for the rights of neutrals. Another Frank 
potentate, also married to a niece of William, Thomas II. 
de Stromoncourt, Lord of Salona, joined the Sire of Athens 
and Ubertino Pallavicini, Marquis of Boudonitza, against 
the Prince of Achaia, while Geoffroy de Bruyferes, baron of 
Karytaina, "the best soldier in all the realm of Romania/ 9 
who had fought for his prince in Negroponte, after a struggle 
between conflicting ties of kinship, deserted his liege lord 
and uncle, William, for the side of his father-in-law, Guy. 
Thus a baron's league was formed against the prince, whose 
pretensions were doubtless resented and feared by all the 
Frank states of Northern Greece. 1 William was not, how- 
ever, without allies. The Genoese, ever ready to injure 
their great commercial rivals the Venetians, and grateful 
for the assistance which the knights of Achaia had rendered 
them in Rhodes, manned his galleys, which darted out from 
behind the rock of Monemvasia when the lion-banner was 
'seen out at sea; while Othon de Cicon, though a relative 
of the Sire of Athens, held the fine castle of Karystos and 
made the difficult passage of the Doro Channel even still 
more difficult for Venetian vessels. William displayed his 
restless activity in all directions. At one moment he was 
besieging the Venetians in Coron ; at another, he was nearly 
captured on a rash raid into Attica. Then he resolved on a 
regular invasion of the Athenian state. Accordingly, in 
1258, he mustered all the forces of the principality at Nikli, 
near the classic Tegea, crossed the isthmus, and, forcing the 
narrow and ill-famed road which leads along the rocky coast 
of the Saronic Gulf towards Megara, the Kcucri o-icaXa, as it is 
still called, met Guy's army at the pass of Mount Karydi, 
* the walnut mountain," which lies three hours from Megara 
on the way to Thebes. There took place the first battle 
between Frankish Athens and Frankish Sparta ; the Sire of 
Athens was routed ; and, leaving many of his warriors dead 

1 Sanudo, 103-4 ; Dandolo and Navagero afiud Muratori, xii., 363 ; 
xxiih, 997-8 ; Fontes Rer.Austr., xiv., 29-31 ; X. r. M., 11. 1553-67, 3185-7 ; 
L d. C, 102, 1 10 ; Muntaner (ch. cclxt.) expressly says that Athens was 
originally free of all suzerainty. 


on the field, took refuge with his allies behind the ramparts 
of Thebes. Thither William followed him, but the prayers 
of the archbishop and the arguments of his own nobles, 
who pleaded for peace between relatives and old comrades- 
in-arms, prevailed upon him to desist from an assault upon 
his enemy's capital Guy thereupon promised to appear 
before the High Court of the barons of Achaia and to per- 
form any penalty which it should inflict upon him for having 
borne arms against the prince. 

The High Court met at Nikli, and the Sire of Athens 
appeared before it, escorted by all his chivalry — a brave 
sight to all beholders. If William had expected that his 
barons would humiliate his rival, he was disappointed 
They decided that they were not Guy's peers, and therefore 
were incompetent to be his judges. They accordingly 
proposed to refer the matter to Louis IX. of France, the 
most chivalrous and saintly monarch of that age, and the 
natural protector of the French barons of the East, many of 
whom had seen him in Cyprus a few years before. William, 
a powerful prince, but still only primus inter pares by feudal ■ 
law, felt bound to accept their decision, and, summoning 
Guy to his presence and that of his great lords, bade him go 
in person for judgment to the King of France. Then came 
the turn of the traitor Geoffroy de Bruyferes. With a halter 
round his neck, the proud baron of Karytaina came before 
his prince. Moved by the sad spectacle of so famous a 
warrior in the guise of a criminal, his fellow-barons flung 
themselves on their knees, and implored William's mercy for 
his erring vassal and kinsman. The prince was long 
obdurate, for Geoffroy was his undoubted subject, and had 
been guilty of the gravest of all feudal offences, that of aiding 
the enemies of his liege lord. At last he yielded, and 
restored to the culprit his forfeited fief, but only for life, 
unless he left direct heirs of his body. Then the parliament 
broke up with jousts, tourneys, and tilting at the ring on the 
fair plain of Nikli. 1 

When the spring came, Guy started for Paris, leaving hist 
brother Othon as his deputy at Thebes, and stopping som^ 

1 Sanudo, 105-6 ; X. r. M., 11. 3207-370 ; L. d. C, 101-12 ; L. d. F. -a 


time on the way in his native Burgundy to see his relatives 

and borrow money " for the needs of his land." l Louis IX. 

received him graciously, and also the messenger of Prince 

William, who bore the written statement of the case. The 

king referred the matter to a parliament at Paris, which 

decided that Guy, being a vassal of William, had been guilty 

of a technical offence in taking up arms against his lord, but 

that as he, in fact, had never paid homage to the Prince, he 

was not liable to the forfeiture of his fief. Moreover, it was 

considered that his long and costly journey to France was 

a quite sufficient punishment for any offence he might have 

committed. The king then told him that he must not 

return empty-handed, and asked what mark of royal favour 

he desired. Guy replied that he would prize above all else 

the title of " Duke of Athens," for which, he told the king, 

there was an ancient precedent. Neither Guy nor his 

predecessor had ever borne it, but the Byzantine historian, 

Nikeph6ros Gregorys, writing in the next century, tells a 

fabulous story, that in the time of Constantine the Great the 

governor of the Peloponnese had received the rank of 

u Prince," the commander of Attica and Athens, the title of 

u Grand-Duke," and his fellow of Boeotia and Thebes that of 

" First Lord " (Trptfifiucqpioi) ; this last name, he adds, " has 

now been corrupted by an alteration of the first syllable 

into ' Great Lord ' (jicyas Kupios), while the ruler of Athens 

has dropped his adjective and become 'Duke/ instead of 

'Grand-Duke.'" 2 There is, however, no trace of such an 

official at Athens in Byzantine times; though the Latin 

word " Duke " was sometimes used, even by Greek writers, 

as the equivalent of their own word " General " {a-rparriyoi). 

But it is quite natural that the Sire of Athens, in asking for 

a title which would put him on a level with the Duke of 

Naxos, should, after the manner of the newly-ennobled in 

all ages, seek for some venerable precedent for it Louis IX. 

willingly conferred it upon him, and the title, borne by his 

successors for two centuries, has become famous in literature, 

1 Two documents of his, dated 1260 (new style), printed by 
Docange, Histoire de F Empire de Constantinople^ i., 436-7. 

* X. t. M. t 1L 3458-61 ; L, d. C, 1 12-17, Nikephoros Gregorys, i., p. 


as well as in history, from its bestowal, by a pardonable 
anacronism, upon Theseus by Dante, Boccaccio, Chaucer, and 
Shakespeare, and upon Menelaos by the Catalan chronicler, 
Ram6n Muntaner. 1 All of these authors, except Shakespeare, 
were the contemporaries, one of them — Muntaner — the 
friend, of Athenian dukes. Accordingly, they transferred to 
the legendary founder of Athens the style of its mediaeval 
rulers, whose names were well known in Italy, and thence 
passed to England. 

During Guy's absence in France, great events had 
happened in Greece. The success of William at Karydi, 
coupled with another victory of his forces over the Venetians— 
at Oreos, in North Eubcea, had induced the doge to** 
authorise the bailie of Negroponte to make terms witfe: 
the victor. 2 But suddenly, by a turn of fortune and his owi — 
rashness, the victorious prince had himself become ^s 
prisoner of war. Since the death of his wife, CarintanaE 
William had been looking out for a third consort, who woul^M 
give him an heir, and in 1259, his choice fell upon Ann?= 
daughter of Michael II., the ambitious Despot of Epiro=i-: 
The alliance involved him in the politics of that trouble^ 

The peace between the two Greek states of Nice aim c 
Epiros had been of short duration. Abetted by that restle^ss 
intriguer, blind old Theodore, Michael had, in 125 1, onf=e 
more resumed hostilities. But the rapid successes ^>( 
Vatdtzes in Macedonia, and the defection of his owrn 
supporters, convinced him that he had better temporise 
His enemy accepted the suggestion that they should come *t:o 
terms, and sent the historian George Akropolita as one <A 
his envoys to Larissa to arrange conditions of peace. Tf"*e 
historian returned to his master with old Theodore in chains, 
and the varied career of that versatile and ambitious mail 
closed in the dungeons of Nice. But Michael II. was only 
waiting for a favourable opportunity to renew the attack, and 

1 Dante, Inferno, xii., 16-18 ; Boccaccio, Decamerone, Novel 7, Day * ; 
and La Teseide, i., 13-14 ; Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, 11., 862-3 ; Shake- 
speare, Midsummer Nights Dream ; Muntaner, ch. ccxiv. (ed. Lslxv^^ 
Buchon's translation is here quite misleading. 

2 Fontes Rer. Austr., xiv., 25-8. 


it was not long in coming. After the death of Vatdtzes, in 
1254, his son and successor, Theodore II. Ldskaris, had 
invested the worthy Akropolita with the chief civil command 
in his European provinces. The historian soon found that 
his post was no sinecure. The Despot of Epiros had been 
further incensed by being compelled to cede the valuable 
fortress of Durazzo, on the Adriatic, which his predecessors 
had taken and strengthened, as the price of his son's tardy 
and long-delayed marriage with the daughter of the new 
emperor. He accordingly excited the Albanians to rise, 
and blockaded the historian in the strong castle of Prilap. 
The treachery of the garrison opened the gates to the 
besiegers, and the historian, in his turn, was led off in chains 
to the prison of Arta, where he had ample leisure for medita- 
ting that literary revenge, which colours his history of his 
own times. Michael was now master of all the country to 
the west of the river Vardar, and the death of the Emperor 
Theodore II., in 1258, and the succession of a child to the 
throne of Nice, might well encourage his aspirations to 
displace the tottering Latin Empire of Romania and reign at 
Byzantium. An alliance between so important a ruler and 
the powerful Prince of Achaia seemed to both parties to have 
much to commend it William doubtless thought that a 
Greek marriage would please his own Greek subjects, whom 
it was the traditional policy of his dynasty to conciliate ; 
Michael II. was anxious to have the assistance of the famous 
chivalry of Achaia in his coming struggle with the Nicene 
Empire for the hegemony of the Greek world. Determined 
to make himself doubly sure, the Despot, whose daughters, 
like Montenegrin princesses in our own day, were a 
valuable political asset, had given Anna's lovely sister, 
Helene, to Manfred the ill-fated king of the two Sicilies, 
who received as her dowry several valuable places in Epiros, 
which had once belonged to his Norman predecessors, and the 
splendid island of Corfu, which he entrusted to his 
admiral, Filippo Chinardo, a Cypriot Frank of distinguished 
bravery. Indeed, it is probable, as a Byzantine historian 
suggests, that Michael's two sons-in-law were both scheming 
to carve out for themselves a vast domain in Northern 
Greece at his expense. William may well have aspired to 


revive the Lombard kingdom of Salonika, and rule from 
Macedonia to Matapan. 

It was not long before the wily Despot had to invoke the 
aid of his new allies. The real power of the Nicene Empire 
was now wielded by a strong man, Michael PalaiolcSgos, scion 
of a family which is first mentioned about the middle of the 
eleventh century, and which was connected by marriage with 
the imperial house of Comnenos. The great-grandson of 
Atexios III. on his mother's side, Michael Palaiol6gos had 
been more than once accused of aiming at the purple, and 
his strong character and great experience of affairs quite 
overshadowed the child in whose name he ruled. He had 
already held command in Europe, like his father before him, m 
and was therefore well acquainted with the character and J 
designs of his namesake of Epiros. One of his first acts as s 
regent was to despatch his brother John with a force against^ 
the Despot, while, by the agency of a special envoy, he gave^ 
the latter the option of peace on very favourable terms._« 
But Michael of Epiros, relying on the two great alliancess 
which he had contracted, replied with insolence to thes 
proposals of Palaiol6gos, who had now mounted, as Michael 
VIII., the imperial throne of Nice. The envoy returnecE: 
to his master after a sinister threat that ere long the DespotV 
should feel the force of the imperial arm. Embassies sen*" 
from Nice to the Sicilian and Achaian courts proved equally^ 
futile. Accordingly the emperor ordered his brother tczz 
march without delay against the rival who dared to rejedT- 
his offers. Meanwhile, Manfred had responded to his- 
father-in-law's appeal by sending him 400 German knightss- 
in full armour, and William came in person at the head of ^0 
force, mainly consisting of Franks, but also containing ^5 
contingent of Moreot Greeks. So great was the prince'^ 
prestige after his recent successes, that the troops of Euboe^S 
and of the Archipelago, Count Richard of Cephalonia^- 
Thomas II. of Salona and Ubertino of Boudonitza, and ^^ 
body of soldiers from Thebes and Athens under th^^ 
command of Guy's brother and deputy Othon, did not faS-3 
this time to rally round the flag of Achaia. Never had th.^ 
prince commanded so fine an army, gathered from ever^/ 
quarter of Frankish Greece. 


After spending some time in plundering, the allied army 

met the imperial forces on the plain of Pelagonia, in Western 

Macedonia, in 1259 — a spot where, centuries before, the 

Spartan Brasidas had encountered the Illyrian hosts. The 

imperial general had wisely hired foreign troops to contend 

against the dreaded Frankish chivalry — 300 German horsemen 

under the Duke of Carinthia, 1500 mounted archers from 

Hungary, and 600 more from Servia, a detachment of 

Bulgarians, a large number of Anatolian warriors accustomed 

to fight against the Turks, 500 Turkish mercenaries, and 2000 

light Cuman bowmen on horseback. Various devices were 

adopted to exaggerate the size of his army, and a scout was 

sent privily to spread discord between the Franks and 

Greeks. The lack of harmony between the unnatural allies 

was increased by a private quarrel between the Prince of 

Achaia and John, the Despot's bastard, who complained that 

some of the Frank knights had paid unwarrantable attentions 

to his beautiful wife, and received for reply from the prince, 

instead of justice, an insulting allusion to his birth. The 

bastard, in revenge, deserted to the enemy at a critical 

moment ; the Despot, warned of his son's intended treachery, 

fled in the night, and the Franks were left alone to face the 

foe. For an instant even William's courage seems to have 

failed him; but the reproaches of that stalwart baron, 

Geoffroy de Bruyferes, prevailed on him to lead his diminished 

but now homogeneous army against the heterogeneous host 

of Greeks, Hungarians, Germans, Slavs, and Turks. The 

Franks fought with all the courage of their race ; picking out 

the Germans as their most dangerous enemies, they fell upon 

them with lance and sword ; Geoffroy de Bruyferes slew the 

Duke of Carinthia in single combat, and the German knights 

dropped before the sweep of his blade "like grass upon a 

meadow." The Greek commander then ordered his Hungarian 

and Cuman bowmen to shoot at the horses of the Frankish 

knights now inextricably mingled with his German 

mercenaries, whose lives he cheerfully sacrificed. The 

archers did their work well; horseman after horseman fell; 

Geoffroy de Bruyferes, " the flower of the Achaian chivalry," 

was taken prisoner, and the prince, while charging to the 

rescue of his nephew, was unhorsed. The prince tried to 


conceal himself under a heap of straw, but was discovered 
and identified by his prominent front teeth. Only the rank 
and file escaped, and of those, only some evaded the clutches 
of the predatory Wallachs of Thessaly, who were devoted to 
the person of the treacherous bastard, and made their way 
back to the Morea. William and the other principal prisoners 
were led to the tent of the Greek commander, where the 
prince's knowledge of the Greek tongue, which he spoke with 
native fluency, enabled him to hold his own against the 
reproaches of his conqueror. Sending his prisoners to his 
brother's court at Lampsakos, the Greek general followed up 
his victory in Epiros and Thessaly. While one detachment 
of his army besieged Joannina and occupied Arta, the two 
chief towns of the Despotat, releasing the unhappy Akropolita 
from prison, he marched with the Despot's bastard through 
Thessaly to Neopatras, and thence to Thebes. He was 
engaged in plundering that city, when the bastard again 
turned traitor and fled to his father, who had taken refuge 
with his family in the islands of Leukas and Cephalonia. 
The house of Angelos was popular in Epiros, where the 
natives regarded the Greeks of Nice as interlopers, and the 
tactless conduct of the victors soon aroused the discontent of 
the vanquished ; Arta declared for its old Despot, the siege 
of Joannina was raised, and the imperial commander thought 
it prudent to abandon Boeotia and return home. 1 

The versatile Despot of Epiros speedily recovered from 
the results of this campaign. A year after the battle of 
Pelagonia he received a fresh contingent of troops from his 
son-in-law Manfred, with which his eldest son, Nikeph6ros, 
severely defeated the imperial general, Atexios Strateg6poulos, 
and took him prisoner. A brief truce followed, Strateg6poulos 
was released, and was thus enabled to cover himself with 
glory by capturing Constantinople from the Latins in the 

1 Akropolita, 95-9, 141-2, 148-53, 156-61, 167-8, 171, 174-84; Nike- 
ph6ros Gregorys, i., 47-9, 71-5 ; Pachymeres, i., 81-6 ; Sanudo, 106-7 ; 
Miklosich und Miiller, iii., 240 ; X. r. M., 1L 3060-137, 3469-419 1 ; Z. <L C, 
96-100, 117-42 ; L. d. F. 9 53-63 ; M. PalaioWgos, De vitd sud, 6-7. The 
Chronicle, though it contains historical matter, traces the war to a family 
quarrel between the sons of Michael II., Nikeph6ros and John, whom 
it calls Theodore. 


following year. But the captor of Constantinople, by a 
sodden change of fortune which astounded the Byzantine 
historians and led them to compare him with Cyrus, 
Hannibal, and Pompey, again became the captive of the 
crafty Despot, whom he had a second time attacked, and 
was sent to the custody of Manfred, where he remained till 
he was exchanged for the King of Sicily's sister, Anna. 
Three years later, the emperor's brother John, the victor of 
Pelagonia, once more attacked his old enemy with such 
success that Michael II. had to invoke the diplomatic aid of 
his saintly wife, who went to Constantinople with her second 
son John, and left him there as a hostage for her husband's 
good behaviour. The expostulations of the patriarch, who re- 
buked the emperor for making war against a fellow-Christian 
■-that is to say, a member of the Orthodox Church — 
combined, with the expense and difficulty of these Epirote 
campaigns, to bring about peace ; and the Despot's eldest son, 
Nikeph6ros, now a widower, received the emperor's niece 
as a wife and a pledge of union between the two Greek states. 1 
But, while the battle of Pelagonia had thus only a passing 
effect upon the fortunes of Epiros, it was a fatal blow to the 
Frankish principality of Achaia. It was the primary cause 
of all the subsequent disasters, for the capture of the prince 
gave the astute Emperor Michael the means of gaining a 
foothold in the Morea, from which, little by little, Byzantine 
nile was extended once more over the whole peninsula. Such 
*as the result of Villehardouin's rashness. Well, indeed, 
might the troubadours of France lament the captivity of 
their hero, and mournfully prophesy the loss of Achaia after 
that of Constantinople. 

When the prisoners had arrived, the emperor summoned 
them before him, and offered them money for the purchase 
of broad lands in France, on condition that William should 
cede to him the Morea. The prince replied that it was not 
in his power to cede that, in which he had only a qualified 
share. He explained that the land had been conquered by 
Ins father and his father's comrades, that the Prince of Achaia 
was no absolute monarch, but was bound in all matters to 

1 Pachym&es, i., 89, 106-7, I37» 185, 205-7, 214, 242. Nikephoros 
Gregorys, i., 83, 90-2, 98. 



consult the opinion of his peers, and to observe the agree- 
ments made at the time of the Conquest The emperor, 
irritated at this plain statement of the principles of feudalism, 
ordered his Varangian guards, among whom there may have 
been some of our Anglo-Saxon forefathers, to take the prince 
and his companions back to their prison. For three long 
years they remained prisoners, while their captor dealt the 
Latin Empire of Romania its death-blow, and restored the 
Greek throne from Nice to Constantinople. 1 

The capture of the prince and so many of his barons had 
deprived the principality of all its leading men. Accordingly, 
the princess and those Franks who remained, in order to 
prevent a threatening rising of the Greeks, wrote to the Duke 
of Athens, 2 who was still in France, offering him the post of 
Bailie of Achaia. Rarely had the wheel of fortune turned 
with such rapidity ; the victor of Karydi was now a prisoner, 
the vanquished whom he had haled before the High Court 
at Nikli as a rebellious vassal was now a Duke of Athens 
and administrator of his conqueror's estates. He had been 
detained in France owing to the troublesome complaints of 
some French merchants and pilgrims to King Louis, that 
they had been injured by the Athenian privateers which 
issued from the port of Nauplia, and had not received com- 
pensation from the duke. 3 Guy now settled this matter, 
and started for the Morea. His first act on landing was to 
order the liberation of the two imprisoned triarchs of 
Euboea ; and he commemorated his governorship of Achaia 
and his acquisition of the ducal title by striking a coin at the 
mint of Glarentza — the earliest coin of an Athenian duke 
which we possess. 4 He was engaged in administering the 
country to the general satisfaction, when the startling news 
of the recapture of Constantinople by the Greeks and of the 
flight of the last Latin emperor, Baldwin II., reached him. 
The fugitive first stopped at Negroponte, where his wife had 
stayed to raise money from the wealthy citizens thirteen 

1 X. t. M., 11. 4217-323 ; L. d. C, 141-6. 

* L.<L F., 65, 66 ; Sanudo, 107. 3 lbuL> 106. 

4 Schlumberger, Numismatique, 337, 340, who thinks that this coin is 
a forgery. Buchon, Atlas y plate xxv. One of his coins is in the Archaeo- 
logical Museum at Venice; his previous currency bears the title Daminus. 


years before, and where the three barons received him with 
the magnificent honours due to his exalted rank. Thence he 
proceeded to Thebes and Athens, where he found the duke 
waiting to greet him. In the Castle of the Kadmeia and on 
the ancient Akropolis, which, fifty years earlier, had welcomed 
another Latin emperor in his hour of triumph, there gathered 
round their feudal chief, now a landless exile, the barons who 
had survived the fatal day of Pelagonia and the prisons of 
PalaiokSgos. The Duchess of Naxos came with her ladies 
to offer presents to him, and Othon de Cicon, lord of Karystos 
and ^Egina, who had played so active a part in the Euboean 
war, and had lent him 5000 hyperperi (£2240) in his sore 
need. Baldwin had nothing but barren titles and a few 
relics, the remnant of the Byzantine sacristies, to bestow. 
But he was generous of knighthoods, and he liquidated his 
debt to the baron of Karystos with an arm of St John the 
Baptist, which the pious Othon subsequently presented to the 
Burgundian Abbey of Citeaux. Thus, on the venerable 
rock of Athens was played the last pitiful scene in the brief 
drama of the Latin Empire of Constantinople. Then 
Baldwin sailed from the Piraeus for Monemvasia; and, 
leaving behind him not a few of his noble retinue in the 
Morea, set out for Europe, to solicit aid for his lost cause and 
to play the sorry part of an emperor in exile. 1 

The "new Constantine," as Michael Palaiol6gos styled 
himself after the recovery of Constantinople, was now doubly 
anxious to restore Greek rule in the Morea also. Three 
years of confinement had somewhat broken William's 
Frankish pride; some of his fellow-captives had died in 
prison; and, as Michael VIII. was now more moderate in his 
demands, a compromise was possible. The emperor desired 
Argos and Nauplia to be included among the places to be 
ceded to him ; but his prisoner could plead that they were 
the fief of the Duke of Athens. William might, however, 
conscientiously agree to the surrender of the three castles of 
Monemvasia, Maina, and Mistr&, which he had either captured 
or built himself, and which were therefore his to bestow. The 

1 Sanudo, 115, 172 ; X. r. M„ 11. 1301-32 ; L. d. C, 27-31 ; Ducange, 
Histoire de P Empire de Constantinople, i., 432 ; Dandolo apud Muratori, 
xii., 369 ; Exuvia Sacra Constantinopolitana % ii., 144-8. 


contemporary Greek historian, Pachym^res, anxious to 
magnify the emperor, adds that the prince was to become 
Michael's vassal for the rest of the principality and received 
from his suzerain the title of Grand Seneschal — an obvious 
attempt at explaining, in a way flattering to Greek vanity, 
the origin of an office which the Latin emperors had con- 
ferred upon the rulers of Achaia. In return for the three 
castles, William and his comrades were to be set at liberty, 
and the prince swore a most solemn oath over the baptismal 
font of the emperor's infant son that he would never levy war 
against Michael again. Geoffroy de Bruyeres, who was a 
special favourite of the emperor, was released from prison and 
sent to arrange for the transference of the castles to the 
imperial authorities. 1 

Guy of Athens received the message with grave mis- 
givings. He saw that the three castles would be a lever with 
which the emperor could shake the Frankish power in the 
peninsula, and that Monemvasia in particular would provide 
him with an admirable landing-place for his troops. As was 
his duty, he convened the High Court of the principality at 
Nikli, the same spot where he had himself stood to await his 
sentence. But this time it was a ladies' parliament which 
met on the plain to decide the future of the state — for all the 
men of mark had been slain at Pelagonia or were in prison at 
Constantinople, and their wives or widows had to take their 
places at the council Only two of the stronger sex were 
present, the Chancellor of Achaia, Leonardo of Veroli in 
Latium, and Pierre de Vaux, "the wisest head in all the 
principality." It was only natural that with an assembly so 
constituted sentiment should have had more weight than 
reasons of state. In vain the Duke of Athens argued in 
scriptural language, that " it were better that one man should 
die for the people rather than that the other Franks of the 
Morea should lose the fruit of their fathers' labours " ; in vain, 
to show his disinterestedness, he offered to take the prince's 
place in prison or pledge his own duchy to provide a ransom. 
The men were, we are told, unwilling to cede the castles, 

1 Sanudo, 108 ; X. r. M. t 11. 4324-48 ; L. d. C, 146-7 ; Pachyme'res, i., 
88 ; Nikephoros Gregoras I., 79-80. Pachymeres adds Geraki, and the 
Aragonese version of the Chronicle (p. 67) Corinth, to the list of castles. 


justly surmising that this might be the ruin of the country. 
But the conjugal feelings of the ladies who formed the 
majority found a convenient legal excuse for the surrender of 
the three castles in the technical argument that they were the 
prince's to give or to keep, and Guy, anxious not to lay 
himself open in Greece and at the French court to the charge 
of cherishing malice against his late enemy, finally yielded. 
The castles were forthwith surrendered, and two noble dames, 
Marguerite, daughter of Jean de Neuilly, Marshal of Achaia, 
and the sister of Jean de Chauderon, the Grand Constable of 
the principality and nephew of the prince, were sent as 
hostages to Constantinople. 1 

As scon as he was released, William set out for 
Negroponte, where he was received with great honour, and 
where the Duke of Athens met him and escorted him to 
Thebes. There, in the house of the Archbishop Henry, a 
treaty of peace between the Prince of Achaia of the one part, 
and Venice and the triarchs of the other part, was concluded. 
The treaty of Thebes practically restored the status quo before 
the death of Carintana, which had been the occasion for the 
war. William recognised Guglielmo da Verona, Narzotto 
dalle Carceri, and Grapella as triarchs, and they, in turn, 
recognised him as their suzerain, and promised to destroy the 
castle of Negroponte at their own expense, retaining its site 
for themselves. Venice kept the strips of land conceded 
to her by the triarchs in 1256, as well as the right of levying 
the tolls ; but the prince, as well as the triarchs with their 
Greek and Latin retainers, and all clerics were exempted from 
paying them, and the house of his agent at Negroponte was 
restored to him. Finally, the republic engaged to cancel all 
fiefs granted by her bailie since the death of Carintana, and 
received from the prince the right of free trade and personal 
security for all her subjects throughout his estates. Thus, of 
all the parties, Venice had gained least by the Euboean war. 
She had incurred great expense for no special result, and the 
island had suffered from the ravages of the soldiers. The 
Venetian Government felt the failure of its Eubcean policy so 
strongly, that it prohibited its bailies in Eubcea from interfer- 

* X, t, M., H.4360-512 ; Sanudo, 108 ; L. d. C, 148-53; L. d ^.,67-8, 


ing in questions of feudal rights — a salutary provision, which 
long remained in force. 1 

The combatants had good reason for making up their 
differences. They were all alarmed at the restoration of the 
Greek Empire in Constantinople, and Venice feared even 
more than the Greeks her ancient rival Genoa, which had 
just become their ally. A year earlier, shortly before the 
Latin Empire fell, the Genoese had concluded a treaty with 
the Emperor Michael VIII. at Nymphaion in Lydia, which by 
a stroke of the pen transferred from Venice to themselves the 
monopoly of the Levantine trade. The Ligurian republic, 
which had taken no part in the labours of the Fourth 
Crusade, was now granted, in return for its pledge to make 
war against Venice, free trade throughout the Greek empire 
and in the Venetian islands of Crete and Negroponte, which 
the emperor hoped to conquer. The Genoese received per- 
mission to found colonies at Anaea, Lesbos, and in the rich 
mastic-island of Chios, which had been captured from the Latin 
Empire by Vatdtzes fourteen years earlier ; they obtained the 
city of Smyrna, and were assigned after the conquest of 
Constantinople, the suburb of Galata as their special quarterJ^ 
Finally, the Black Sea was closed to their enemies. From 
the treaty of Nymphaion in 1261 dates the growth of Geno-s 
as a Levantine power ; from that moment she became a_ -m 
important factor in the Eastern question. 

The Prince of Achaia might reasonably imagine that Irme 
had nothing to fear from the Genoese, for they had been 1*. is 
allies against Venice, and they had expressly stipulated ^t 
Nymphaion that they should not be called upon to ma£c^ 
war upon him. But he knew full well that he would e*~ e 
long have to grapple with the Byzantine Empire in his oi*rfl 
land. The Emperor Michael VIII. attached much import- 
ance to the new Byzantine province in the Morea, which not 
only furnished him with excellent light troops, whom t* e 
settled at Constantinople and employed as marines on Yii* 

1 Fontes Rer. Austr., xiv., 46-55 ; Sanudo, 108, in. 

2 Liber Jurium Reipublicce Genuensis y i., 1345 sqq. : a better text >* 
that given In AtH della Society Ltgure, xxviii., 791-809 ; X. r. M., 1*- 
1277-84 ; Nik. Gregoras, i., 97 ; Hopf, Les Giu$timam % 5 ; Ducange, *"» 


ships/ but was also a stepping-stone towards the reconquest 
of the whole peninsula. An imperial viceroy, called " Captain 
(jre^oX??) of the Territory in the Peloponnese and its Castles," 
was appointed, at first for an annual term ; a marshal 
(irpt&TO<rTpaTap f TrpwroaKkayaTup) was instituted, as in the 
Frankish principality; and a Byzantine hierarchy grew up 
around the viceregal residence at Mistr&. 2 It was there- 
fore obvious that ere long war must ensue between the 
prince and the imperial viceroy. From 1262, the date of 
the cession of the fortresses, began the decline of Frankish 
power in the Peloponnese. Henceforth the rivalry between 
the Franks of the principality and the Greeks of the adjoin- 
ing Byzantine province led to almost constant conflicts, 
which devastated the country, especially as mercenaries were 
usually employed on both sides, who, in default of their pay, 
pillaged the hapless inhabitants without mercy. Moreover, 
in the neighbouring Byzantine districts the discontented 
Greek subjects of the Franks found support and encourage- 
ment ; the unity of the Morea was destroyed almost as soon 
as it had been established, and by the same wilful ruler, and 
the way was thus ultimately prepared for the Turkish 

In 1263, a year after the peace had been signed in his 
capital of Thebes, Guy I. of Athens died. During his long 
reign he had experienced various extremes of fortune, and 
had enjoyed the privilege of heaping coals of fire upon the 
head of the foe who had defeated him. He had emerged 
from his defeat with honour, and he was able to leave to his 
dder son John, not only a ducal title, but a state which was 
more prosperous than any other in Greece. 

Thus the seventh decade of the thirteenth century marks 
the close of an era in the history of the Latins in the Levant 
The Latin Empire has fallen ; a Greek emperor rules once 
more on the Bosporos, and has gained a foothold in the 
Morea ; a rival of his own race faces him in Epiros, but he 
has learned the art of dividing the Latins against each other, 
and has found in Genoa a makeweight against Venice. 

1 Pachymlres, i., 188, 309. 

* These titles occur in the Mistrd inscriptions. Bulletin d$ Corresf, 
hellMque y xxiii., 115, 123. 


THE GREEK REVIVAL (i 262- 1 278) 

It was not to be expected that either Villehardouin or the 
emperor would long desist — the one from the reconquest of 
his three lost castles, the other from an extension of his 
power. On his return to the Morea, the prince set out on a 
tour of inspection, accompanied by a brilliant retinue. From 
the rock of Mistr& the imperial garrison could see the tall 
Frankish knights and their gallant lord pricking across the 
fertile plain of the Eurotas to the prince's favourite residence 
of Lacedaemonia. Not unnaturally, their suspicions were 
aroused, and they regarded this brave display as a hostile 
demonstration against themselves. Without delay they 
called upon the warlike Melings to quit the gorges of 
Taygetos and rally round the double eagle of Byzantium, 
and messengers were sent post-haste to apprise the imperial 
governor of Monemvasia of what seemed to be a breach of 
the peace. Pope Urban IV., who, as a Frenchman, felt 
special interest in the prosperity of the "New France" 
which his countrymen had created oversea, and furnished 
William with money for its defence, 1 salved any qualms of 
conscience that the Prince of Achaia might have felt, by 
telling him that his solemn oath to the emperor had been 
wrung from him when he was a prisoner, and was therefore 
not binding ; and the Franks might pretend that the Greek 
garrisons had committed acts of pillage and received the 
prince's discontented Greek subjects. The news was speedily 
communicated from Monemvasia to the emperor, who sent 
thither an army under his brother Constantine, assisted by 
PhilSs and Makren6s, two high officials. He had engaged 
for the campaign a body of 1500 Turks and a number of 
1 Les Registres dUrbain IV. y ii., 47 ; Fontes Rer. Austr„ xiv., 57. 



warlike Greeks from Asia Minor, and he strongly enjoined 
upon his commander to win as many allies as possible in the 
Morea by the gift of privileges under the imperial seal. 
Meanwhile, a fleet was despatched under Philanthropen6s, 
mostly manned with Tzakonians from the Peloponnese and 
with the so-called Gasmoiiloi, or " bastards," the offspring of 
mixed marriages between Franks and Greek women, who 
were particularly valuable soldiers, because they combined 
Greek caution with Latin courage. 1 This fleet operated 
against the islands of the >Egean, of which the Prince of 
Achaia was suzerain, and the south coast of the Morea. The 
Genoese, unmindful of his services, assisted his enemies by 
landing a great number of the imperial troops at Monem- 
vasia, and by joining in the attack upon the islands. 

The arrival of the imperial force, and the prompt seces- 
sion of the Melings, the Tzakonians, and the restless 
inhabitants of the two promontories of Malea and Matapan, 
whose chiefs were easily won by the promise of privileges 
and the gift of high-sounding titles, had caused William to 
summon his great vassals to his aid. They seem to have 
been somewhat slow in responding to his appeal, but one of 
them, his old enemy, Guglielmo da Verona, the richest and 
most powerful of the Eubcean barons, rendered him such 
great services, that the prince was inclined to reward him 
*ith the overlordship over his fellow-triarchs and over the 
Duke of Athens. An Athenian contingent came to aid in 
defending the Morea, 2 but the fine flower of all the Achaian 
chivalry, the doughty Geoffroy de Bruy&res, had been 
ensnared by the charms of a beautiful woman, and had 
gone with his mistress to Apulia, under the pretext of a 
visit to the famous shrines of St Nicholas at Bari and of St 
Michael, on one of the spurs of Monte Gargano. No longer 
kept in check by the great castle of Karytaina, in the absence 
of its master, the Slavs of Skortd soon joined those of 
Taygetos against the Franks. 

1 Lis RegUtresdUrbainIV.,\\., ioo, 341. The latter part of the word, 
pm*M y is Moreot Greek for a " bastard " ; the first part may be the French 
gars. See Prof. Karolides' note to Paparreg6poulos, 'Lrrop/aroO "EKkrpwcov 
TMrovt t v n iyo. 

* Sanudo, 116. The Chroniclt says that it did not come. 


Meanwhile, William was waiting for his great vassals at 
Corinth, and the imperial commander, who had so far met 
with no opposition, and had taken Lacedaemonia and other 
towns, boasted to the emperor that a third of the Morea was 
already his, and that if he had more men, he could conquer 
the whole. Michael VIII. sent him reinforcements, and a 
distinguished soldier, Michael Cantacuzene, grandfather of 
the subsequent emperor and historian, and member of an 
old family which we saw settled in Messenia at the time of 
the Frankish Conquest, also arrived in the Morea. The 
imperial commanders had now 6000 cavalry and a large 
force of infantry at their disposal ; they accordingly divided 
the cavalry into eighteen squadrons, and ordered a march on 
Andravida, the Frankish capitaL Leaving the mart of 
Veligosti a smoking ruin, they marched past Karytaina, and, 
guided by some of the Slavs of Skortd, reached Prinitsa, not 
far from Olympia, having burnt on the way the Latin 
monastery of Our Lady of Isova, whose Gothic windows 
still survey the valley of the Alpheios, the Charbon, as the 
Franks called it. 1 At Prinitsa they were met by a small body 
of 312 Franks, under the command of Jean de Catavas, 
husband of the lady with whom Geoffroy de Bruy&res had 
eloped, and a valiant but rheumatic warrior whom the prince 
had left in charge during his absence at Corinth. Despite 
the smallness of his forces and his own physical infirmity, 
which prevented him from holding sword or lance, he 
ordered the prince's standard — the anchored cross of the 
Villehardouins — to be tied fast to his hand, and, reminding 
his men that they were Franks and their enemies men of 
many nations, bade them win fame which would endure " so 
long as the ark remains on Ararat" The little band of 
Franks seemed lost among the Greeks, but they cut down 
their foes with their swords, " as a scythe mows the meadow 
grass," while their leader, as he made straight for the tent 
of Constantine Palaiol6gos, dressed all in white, seemed to 
the superstitious Greeks to be none other than St George, 
guiding the Franks to victory. Some cried that this was the 
vengeance of the Virgin for the sacrilege at Isova, others 
that it was retribution for the perjury of the emperor, and 
1 Buchon, La Grtee Continental* y 497. 


Constantine was glad to mount his swift Turkish horse and 
ride for his life by devious paths to MistrA, leaving his men 
to escape to the woods. 

The season of 1263 was now far advanced, and it was 

not till the following spring that Constantine re-assembled 

his Slav and Tzakonian allies, and marched again upon 

Andravida. Near the chapel of St Nicholas at Mesisklin, 

a spot not far from the Frankish capital, the two armies 

met A Frank had warned the Byzantine general, that one 

horseman of Achaia was worth twenty Greeks, and that he 

must use artifice rather than force if he wished to conquer. 

Despite this warning, Cantacuzene, who was possessed of 

that boastful spirit which the Greeks usually regarded as a 

peculiarly Frankish characteristic, insisted upon showing off 

his horsemanship in front of the enemy's line, and paid with 

his life for his rashness. At this disaster the Greeks retired 

without giving battle, and the Prince of Achaia was persuaded 

to act with prudence and refrain from pursuing them. 

Dissensions now broke out between Constantine and his 

Turkish mercenaries. Six months' pay was already owing 

to them, and as he refused to give it to them, they offered 

their services to William, whom they believed to be a man 

of his word. On the banks of the river of Elis the first 

unholy alliance was made between a Frank ruler of Greece 

and its future masters. Ancelin de Toucy, a great noble 

who had settled in the Morea after the fall of Constantinople, 1 

and who spoke Turkish, acted as go-between, and William 

gladly accepted the offer of the Turkish chiefs, Melik and 

Salik, who were eager to punish their late employers. The 

Franco-Turkish forces accordingly marched southwards in 

the direction of Kalamata, and then ascended the beautiful 

pass of Makryplagi, " the broad hillside," up which the present 

railway climbs. When Ancelin, who was in command of 

the van, reached the ridge, the Greeks sprang up from their 

ambuscade, and fell upon him. Twice the Franks were 

beaten back, but their commander bade them cease u playing 

hide-and-seek " with their enemies ; 2 they stormed the ridge ; 

the Turks, coming up behind, completed the discomfiture of 

the Greeks, and the Greek commanders, who had sought 

1 X. t. M., 11. 1321-4. 2 IHd. f 1. 5395. 




refuge in the grotto of Gardiki — a place celebrated two 
centuries later for two appalling massacres — were discovered 
by the Turks, and led prisoners before the prince. The 
emperor's brother had, fortunately for him, returned home 
before the battle, 1 but his two surviving colleagues, Makren6s 
and PhilSs, and many of their followers, were now at 
William's mercy. The two principal captives were sent to 
the strong castle of Chloumofitsi, where Phil£s died, and his 
fellow-prisoner, though subsequently exchanged, was accused 
on his return to Constantinople of collusion with William, 
who was said to have promised him, as the reward of his 
treachery, the hand of the widowed daughter of the late 
Emperor Theodore II., Liskaris, who was living on her 
Moreot barony of Veligostl 2 The suspicions of the usurper, 
Michael VIII., were easily aroused, and he put out the eyes 
of a general, who might have espoused the claims of the 
dethroned dynasty. 

The victory of Makryplagi had removed all fear of a 
further attack by the Greeks, and William was able to 
proceed to his beloved Lacedaemonia, the Greek population 
of which had fled to Mistrl He supplied their places with 
trusty Franks, whom he bade restore the deserted town, 
sent his forces to ravage Tzakonia and the country round 
Monemvasia, and ordered the Turks to plunder the Slavs of 
Skortd, who, though lately pardoned, had again risen in the 
absence of the baron of Karytaina. Soon after, Geoffroy de 
Bruy&res, stung by the reproaches of King Manfred, returned 
penitent to the Morea. He flung himself down before the 
prince, with his girdle round his neck, in the church of Santa 
Sofia at Andravida, and, thanks to the good offices of Manfred 
and the intercession of the nobles, he was a second time 
forgiven. From that time to his death he loyally served his 
uncle and prince. 

The fighting was now over, and the Turks asked per- 
mission to return to their homes in Asia. In vain William 
pressed their chief to stay ; but some of his followers con- 

1 Pachyme>es, i., 207 ; the Chronicle^ less likely to be well-informed, 
represents him as one of the captives. 

* Her first husband had been the baron. Pachymeres, i., 180 ; Nike- 
ph6ros Gregorys, i., 92. 


sented to settle in the Morea. All who remained there 
were baptised ; the prince knighted two of them, and gave 
them fiefs and wives; one of them seems to have married 
a noble damsel, the lady of Pavlitsa (near Bassae); and, 
when the Chronicle of the Morea was composed, their 
posterity was still living at two places in the peninsula. 
Thus a new element was added to the mixed population 
of the Morea. 1 The land, indeed, was in danger of becoming 
desolate, owing to the loss of life in the war; Urban IV. 
received from the prince and the barons a gloomy picture of 
its depopulation ; and one woman, so Sanudo informs us, 
lost seven husbands, one after the other, all of whom died 
in battle. 

Disappointed of winning the Morea by force, Michael 

VIII. now proposed to William that his son and heir, the 

future Emperor Andr6nikos II., should marry the prince's 

elder daughter, Isabelle, and that Andronikos should succeed 

as Prince of Achaia. This arrangement would have not only 

re-united the Morea with the Greek Empire, and thus spared 

it much bloodshed, but, by welding Moreot Greeks and 

Franks closely together, might have so strengthened the 

principality that it could have offered a better resistance to 

the Turks later on. But the Frank barons, proud of their 

nationality, were not willing to accept a Greek as their 

future sovereign. In spite of the prince's marriage with a 

Greek princess, the Frank nobles continued to select their 

wives from the best families in France, and the difference 

of religion combined with the pride of race to make them 

disdainful of the connection with Byzantium. As the 

historian Nikeph6ros Gregorys 2 remarked, they despised 

marriages with Greeks, even with those of imperial blood. 

Isabelle was destined to make a marriage which united the 

principality to the fortunes of the great house of Anjou. 

Charles of Anjou, the most ambitious prince of his time, 
had now appeared upon the stage of Italian politics. Sum- 
moned by Urban IV. to the throne of the Two Sicilies, he 
routed Manfred at the historic battle of Benevento ; and, 

1 X. r. M., 11. 45 13-5921 ; L. d. C, 153-99 ; L. d. F. y 69-84 ; Sanudo, 
1 16-18, 135 ; Les Registres (PUrbain IV. y ii., 292-4 ; Pachymdres, i., 88, 
205-9 ; Nikcph6ros Gregorys, i., 80. 2 Ibid. % i., 237. 



not content with having seized the Italian possessions of the 
Hohenstaufen, he considered himself the heir of those places 
beyond the sea which Manfred had received as his wife's 
dowry from the Despot of Epiros. Though the fair Helene 
of Epiros was now languishing with her children in an 
Italian dungeon, Filippo Chinardo continued to hold Corfu 
and the Epirote fortresses, either for her or for himself, a 
few months longer. But the treacherous Despot, who had 
first tried to conciliate the bold Frank by giving him his 
sister-in-law in marriage, together with Corfu, which he was 
pleased to regard as once more his own to bestow, had him 
assassinated in 1266, intending to seize Helene's former 
dowry and re-unite it with his dominions. But Chinardo, 
short as his rule in Corfu had been, had granted fiefs there 
to brave knights, such as the brothers Thomas and Gamier 
Aleman, members of a Provencal family, already settled at 
Patras, and whose name is still borne by one of the Corfiote 
deputies. Gamier Aleman undertook the defence of the 
island against the Despot, till he was able to invoke the aid 
of his countryman and co-religionist, Charles of Anjou, who, 
as a reward for his services, named him his vicar and 
captain-general. Thus, in 1267, the finest of the Ionian 
islands became a possession of the Angevins of Naples, 
under whom it remained for more than a century. 1 

Charles was anxious to make Corfu and Epiros a stepping- 
stone to the conquest of the rest of Greece, and desired, like 
most conquerors, to have some legal claim to his proposed 
conquests. There was at that time in Italy the deposed 
Latin Emperor of Romania, Baldwin II., who, after in vain 
besieging the reluctant ears of western potentates, thought 
that he had found in the victor of Benevento the man who 
would assist him. The exiled emperor and the king of the 
Two Sicilies met on May 27, 1267, in the presence of Pope 
Clement IV., in a room of the papal residence at Viterbo — 
a building recently restored — and there concluded a treaty, 
which gave the house of Anjou the legal right to intervene 
in the affairs of Greece. Baldwin II. ceded to Charles the 
suzerainty held by himself and his predecessors over " the 

1 Pachym^rcs, i., 508. Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches, I., i., 195-201 ; 
II., i., 309-11 ; Minieri Riccio, Alcuni fatti riguardanti Carlo /., 24. 


principality of Achaia and Morea, and all the land which 
William de Villehardouin holds by any title whatsoever 
from the Latin Empire." William, who was represented by 
his chancellor, Leonardo of Veroli, one of the witnesses to 
the treaty, was pledged to recognise Charles and his heirs 
as his lords, and the famous knights of Achaia were to form 
part of the 2000 horsemen whom Charles promised to provide 
for the recovery of the Latin Empire within the space of six, 
or, at the most, seven years. Baldwin also considered himself 
entitled to bestow upon Charles the lands which had formed 
the dowry of Helene of Epiros, and " which had been held 
by Manfred and Filippo Chinardo," and transferred to him, 
on paper, all the islands which had belonged to the Latin 
Empire, except the four most important. The alliance 
between them was to be cemented by the marriage of 
Charles's daughter Beatrice and Baldwin's son Philip, which 
was celebrated six years later. The other provisions of the 
treaty are of no importance, because the course of Italian 
politics frustrated the hopes of the high contracting parties 
that the Empire of Romania would be restored by the strong 
arm of the Angevin. 1 

The Angevin connection could not fail to please the Prince 
of Achaia. Charles of Anjou was a Frenchman, and Achaia 
was practically a French colony ; he was the brother of the 
saintly Louis IX., whom Villehardouin had met in Cyprus, 
and to whose decision the punishment of Guy of Athens had 
been deferred, and he was King of Naples, and therefore a 
powerful neighbour, whose troops could reach Glarentza from 
Brindisi in three days. Venice, too, ever an uncertain ally, 
had recently, for selfish reasons, concluded an armistice with 
the Greek emperor, who had thus a free hand against the 
Franks of Achaia and the Lombards of Eubcea. The wily 
Palaiol6gos swore to observe a " pure and guileless truce " 2 
with the Venetians, to confirm them in their existing 
possessions at Coron and Modon, in Crete and Eubcea, 
while they promised not to help the Lombards of the latter 

1 Ducange, Histoire de P Empire de Constantinople, i., 455-63 ; Buchon, 
RechercheS) i., 30-7 ; Nikeph6ros Gregoris, i., 98, 123. 

* The word used, dydTy, mediaeval Greek for a "truce," is still the 
technical expression in Maina for the cessation of a blood-feud. 


island, but to remain neutral while the Greeks invaded it, 
and to allow Michael to retain temporarily the Thessalian 
port of Halmyros, so that he might prevent the export of 
provisions for the use of the islanders. As a further reward 
for this absolutely selfish policy, eminently characteristic of 
Venetian statesmanship and worthy of modern German 
diplomacy in the near East, the republic was to receive that 
valuable Thessalian port and to keep her quarters in 
Negroponte after the war was over, while the Genoese were to 
be expelled the Greek Empire, which was to be thrown open 
to Venetian trade. Those iEgean islands which had 
acknowledged the suzerainty of the Prince of Achaia during 
the latter years of the Latin Empire, were now to be trans- 
ferred to Michael. The armistice, originally made in 1265, 
was in 1268 confirmed, with one or two modifications, for the 
term of five years. 1 Thus Venice, in order to checkmate her 
Genoese rivals and recover her Levantine trade, calmly 
sacrificed the French and the Lombards. 

Before the Prince of Achaia had received assistance from 
his new suzerain, the latter summoned him to his aid against 
the luckless Conradin, who had crossed the Alps to claim the 
heritage of the Hohenstaufen. In spite of the fact that 
Manfred's widow was his wife's sister, William hastened in 
response to the appeal of her gaoler. The feudal tie was 
stronger for him than that of sentiment, and a prince so fond 
of fighting for fighting's sake was probably not sorry to 
exhibit his prowess before the most successful sovereign of 
southern Europe. Together with his two nephews, the 
redoubtable Geoffroy de Bruy&res and Jean de Chauderon, 
grand constable of the principality, and other barons and 
knights, 400 in number, the fine flower of the renowned 
Achaian chivalry, William was present at the fatal battle of 

" Ove scnz* arme vinsc il vecchio Alardo." 

Indeed, the defeat of Conradin, which Dante ascribed to the 
craft of Erard de Valeri, is by the author of the Chronicle of 

1 Fontts Rer. Austr., xiv., 66-89, 92-100. Dandolo and Navagero 
apud Muratori, xii., 369 ; xxiii., 1000. 


the Morea, attributed to the Prince of Achaia. 1 According to 
him, the prince advised Charles of Anjou to use cunning, 
after the fashion of Greeks and Turks, against an enemy 
numerically his superior. The King of Naples allowed 
himself to be guided by William's unrivalled experience of 
Eastern warfare ; and the latter^ plan of alluring Conradin's 
predatory Germans into the king's richly furnished camp, and 
then closing in upon them while they were intent on plunder, 
proved to be completely successful. But an unprejudiced 
authority, the Florentine historian Villani, 2 records how 
" William de Villehardouin, a knight of great importance," 
was with Charles and £rard on that memorable day, while 
Clement IV. urged the appointment of so seasoned a soldier 
as commander against the rebellious Saracens of Lucera. 

After the battle, William accompanied his suzerain to 

Naples, whence he returned, laden with gifts, to the Morea. 

He had now been a quarter of a century on the throne ; and, 

as he had no son, he was anxious that his elder daughter, 

Isabelle, should marry Philip, the second son of Charles of 

Anjou, and thus strengthen the connection which had existed 

since the treaty of Viterbo between the Angevins of Naples 

and the French principality of Achaia. The proposed 

alliance met with the approval of both the Neopolitan court, 

which saw that it might favour its designs upon Greece, and 

the leading men of the Morea, who were glad that the 

husband of the young princess should be of their own race 

and speech. But the marriage-contract was extremely 

favourable to the Angevins, for it stipulated that whether the 

Prince of Achaia left heirs or not, the principality should 

belong to the house of Anjou. William also undertook to 

make all the barons and commanders swear to hand over 

their castles peaceably to his successor, and to obtain 

from the Princess Agnes a ratification of these conventions. 

Thus Charles had secured no mere phantom suzerainty, but 

the real possession of Achaia after the prince's death, and 

thereby a convenient basis for the prosecution of his schemes 

» X. r. M. f 6870-7072 ; L. d. C, 228-33 ; L. d. F.> 88-9. He also con- 
tecs Tagliacoao with Benevento. 

* Afiud Muratori, op. cit^ xiii., 249 ; Del Giudice, Codice Diplomatico, 

n„ 14°- 



against the Greek Empire. Isabelle was still a mere child, 
but she was torn from her home, a sacrifice to the raison 
cPttat. Four noble ladies and the son of her old nurse, who 
had probably been her playmate in the castle of Kalamata, 
went with her ; and amidst the greater glories of Naples, 
they must often have talked of her native land of Achaia. 
In 1 27 1 the wedding took place in the beautiful cathedral at 
Trani, and Isabelle and her husband went to live in the 
Castel delF Uovo at Naples, the selfsame spot where, sixty 
years later, her daughter was destined to die a prisoner. 1 

Michael VIII. had meanwhile renewed his attempt to 
conquer the Morea. A fresh expedition, largely composed 
of Turkish and Cuman mercenaries, under a commander 
closely connected with the emperor, landed at Monemvasia, 
and William was obliged to invoke the aid of his suzerain. 
Charles sent him corn, money, and men, and appointed his 
marshal, Dreux de Beaumont, 2 to take command of them. 
But the operations on both sides were unimportant. The 
Greeks had learnt wisdom from their defeats at Prinitsa and 
Makryplagi, and abstained from giving battle in the open, 
while the Franks had not sufficient supplies for a prolonged 
blockade of Mistrl Thus, after a punitive expedition 
against the rebellious Tzakonians, the campaign closed, and 
the emperor was in no hurry to renew it. The artful Michael, 
alarmed at the marriage of Baldwin II.'s son with Charles's 
daughter, was at this time endeavouring to gain the support 
of the papacy and so avert the danger of a fresh attack upon 
Constantinople by professing his willingness to accept the 
union of the Eastern and Western Churches. The Prince of 
Achaia was requested by Gregory X. to allow the imperial 
delegates to pass through his dominions on their way to 
attend the Council of Lyons; but the plenipotentiaries, of 
whom the historian Akropolita was one, were so rash as to 
make the journey round, instead of across, the Peloponnese 

1 Sanudo, 1 18-19; Minieri Riccio, Alcum Fatti, 122, 140, 141 ; Delia 
Dominazione Angioina, 3 ; // Regno di Carlo /., 19, 20 ; Z. d. F., 
91 ; Muntaner, ch cclxii. ; d'Esclot, Cronaca, ch. lxiv. ; C. d. M. t 438. 

* Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches % I., i., 221-6 ; 11., i., 326-7, 329. The 
Chronicle of the Morea confuses De Beaumont with Galeran d'lvry, who 
was sent after William's death. 


in the month of March. Off Cape Malea, one of the storms 
so common at that place and season, a.fortuna % as the sailors 
call it, got up ; one of the two ships foundered with all hands, 
and the other, which contained Akropolita, with difficulty 
managed to put into the Venetian port of Modon. The 
much-suffering historian thence continued his journey to 
Lyons, and the services which he there rendered to the 
cause of ecclesiastical union were rewarded, when fanaticism 
gained the ascendency after the death of Michael VIII., 
with a second term of imprisonment, which must have 
reminded him of his previous confinement in the dungeons of 
Epiros. 1 

Nowhere did the cause of orthodoxy find warmer defenders 
than in that rival Greek state. In 1271, the Despot of 
Epiros, 2 Michael II., had ended his long and stormy reign. 
Amidst all the vicissitudes of fortune, he had contrived to 
hold his heritage in the mountain fastnesses of his native 
land against the Greek Empire of Constantinople. Despite 
the vagaries of his married life, the builder of three 
monasteries and churches was invested by monkish 
chroniclers with the odour of sanctity, and the memory of his 
pious wife, the Blessed Theodora, still lingers in Epiros, 
where her religious foundations perhaps compensated for 
some of the misery which her husband's restless ambition 
had brought upon his country. After his death, she became 
a nun, and her tomb, with her effigy and that of her husband, 
is still shown in the monastery of St George, which she 
founded at Arta, and which now bears her name. Many 
were the miraculous cures ascribed to her relics, and it was 
not unnatural that one who had healed a case of cancer 
should be beatified by a grateful Church. 8 

The death of Michael led to a complete division of the 
Despotat His eldest son, Nikeph6ros I., succeeded to Old 
Epiros and the island of Leukas. Corfu, as we saw, had 
already passed into the hands of the house of Anjou, and its 

1 Pacbym&es, L, 396-7 ; Les Registries de Gr/goire X., 124. 

1 Hopf(afrud Ersch und Gruber, lxxxv., 298) fixes his death in 127 1, 
fmlay in 1267. 

9 Bachon, NouvelUs Recherche s^ I., i., 398; II., i., 405-6; AcXWovrip 
Iprr. 'Apx. 'Braipeiat, III., 8l. 


history is henceforth separate from that of the mainland. 
In Epiros itself, the same strong house had acquired, by the 
treaty of Viterbo, the former possessions of Manfred ; and, 
though Charles had not yet had leisure to occupy all of them, 
the Greeks had been unable to recover them from Chinardo's 
sons, while Joannina was held by an imperial garrison. 
Still, the sway of Nikeph6ros extended over the rest of 
Epiros and over Akarnania and jEtolia, while the bastard 
John I., who had played so treacherous a part at the battle of 
Pelagonia, was established at Neopatras, or La Patre as the 
Franks called it, beneath the rocky walls of Mount Oeta, and 
thence ruled over a mixed population of Wallachs and 
Greeks, the successors of those Myrmidons, whom Achilles 
had led to the siege of Troy. His boundaries were Olympos 
on the north, and Parnassos on the south ; while to the east 
of the latter mountain they ran down to the Gulf of Corinth, 
at Galaxidi, and included much of the ancient Lokris Ozolis ; 
from the emperor he received the title Sebastokrdtor ; the 
Franks, by a misunderstanding of his family name of Doukas, 
styled him " Duke " of Neopatras ; and, in that splendid and 
healthy spot where the moderns seek the baths in summer, he 
had built a strong castle, the ruins of which still attest his 
sovereignty. 1 Married to a daughter of Taron£s, a Wallach 
chief, he had enlisted the sympathies of that race ; and his 
opposition to the subjection of the Orthodox Church to the 
pope, if it drew upon him and his feebler but no less 
orthodox brother the anathemas of the time-serving 
patriarch of Constantinople, made him the leading 
representative of that fanatical Hellenism which arrogated 
to itself, as it still does to-day, the sole right to the Christian 
name. Beneath his standard, many rigidly orthodox 
families of the imperial capital found shelter, some of whose 
descendants are still living in his old dominions. Among 
the fugitives there were sufficient ecclesiastics to hold a 
council, which excommunicated the emperor, the pope, and 
the oecumenical patriarch, with all the combined bitterness 
of theologians and exiles. Two of the Thessalian bishops, 
their Graces of Trikkala and Neopatras, did indeed venture 

1 Nikeph6ros Gregorys, l r 109 sgg. ; Romands, TpaTiavk ZApfa, 153, 
297 ; Sdthas, T& Xpovixbv rw TaXa^eidiov, 140 ; X. r. M., 1. 3098. 


to protest against this new schism ; but the one was put in 
prison, and the other was stripped of all his garments except 
his shirt, and then turned out of doors on a freezing 
December night 1 After this there could be no doubt of the 
bastard's orthodox zeal. 

His restless character was well known at Constantinople ; 
but the emperor's past experience of the difficulties which his 
troops had met in their Epirote campaigns, and the state of 
his Asiatic provinces, made it desirable that he should 
pacify a rival whom he would find it hard to subdue. 
Accordingly, he endeavoured to flatter the bastard's vanity 
by arranging a marriage between his own nephew, Andr6nikos 
Tarchanei6tes, and John's beautiful daughter, and by 
conferring upon the Duke of Neopatras the high dignity of 
Sebastokrdtor. But Tarchanei6tes, who had received an 
important command in the Balkans, believing himself to have 
been passed over in the bestowal of honours, threw up his 
post and fled to the court of his father-in-law, who was not 
sorry to have an excuse for war with the emperor. The 
shelter given to his treacherous official, and the violation of 
his territory by the bastard, forced the emperor to despatch 
a large army, including both Turkish and Cuman auxiliaries, 
against him under the command of his own brother John, 
the victor of Pelagonia, a commander well acquainted with the 
enemy and the enemy's country. Many places in Thessaly 
submitted to the imperial commander, and the bastard 
sought refuge behind the strong walls of Neopatras, which he 
had recently fortified. The lofty position, and the artificial 
defences of his capital, enabled him to defy the efforts of the 
imperial engineers. But the size of the garrison led the 
bastard to fear that his supplies would fall short, and he was 
doubtless aware that the besiegers were using threats to 
induce his followers to betray him. Accordingly, choosing a 
dark night, he had himself lowered by a rope from the 
ramparts, and, disguised as a groom, traversed the enemy's 
camp, crying out in the Greek of the stables that he was 
looking for a horse which he had lost Once out of the 
camp, he proceeded by way of Thermopylae to Thebes, the 
1 Pachymercs, i., 83 ; Lcs Registres de Nicholas ///., 134-7 ; Sdthas, 
0fi. cit, 144. 


court of his namesake, John, Duke of Athens, " Sir Yanni," 
as the Byzantine historian calls him, and implored his aid 
against the emperor. As an inducement to the Duke, he 
offered him the hand of his daughter Helene. John of 
Athens declined the proposed match for himself, pleading 
his delicate health and his gouty disposition, but suggested 
his younger brother William as a husband for the lady. The 
bastard consented, but it was agreed that the allies should 
first attack the enemy. The Duke of Athens, at the head of 
from 300 to 500 picked Athenian horsemen, accompanied the 
fugitive back to some rising ground near Neopatras, from 
which it was possible to see the imperial army, estimated at 
30,000 cavalry. This huge disparity of numbers did not, 
however, daunt the chivalrous duke. In Greek, and in a 
phrase borrowed from Herodotos, 1 which seems to have 
become proverbial in Greece, he remarked to his companion 
that they were " many people, but few men." He then 
addressed his Athenian knights, and told them that if any 
feared to face such enormous numerical odds, they were 
free to go home. Two alone availed themselves of his 
permission, and then the rest fell upon the imperial camp. 
The besiegers were completely taken by surprise; their 
great host, composed of incoherent elements and various 
races, was thrown into confusion by the compact body of 
Franks ; one of those panics, so common with Balkan armies, 
seized them ; the cry was raised that the Duke of Athens, or 
even the terrible Prince of Achaia was upon them, and they 
fled in disorder, and the bastard re-entered his capital in 
triumph. Byzantine piety ascribed the defeat to the 
vengeance of Heaven upon the Cuman auxiliaries, who had 
plundered Thessalian monasteries, and eaten their rations off 
the holy eikons ; a modern historian may say that here, as in 
so many battles between Greeks and Franks, Providence was 
on the side of the small but homogeneous and well-horsed 
battalions. For once, the bastard kept faith with his 
Frankish ally. His daughter married William de la Roche, 
and the important town of Lamia, together with Gardiki, the 
ancient Larissa Kremaste, Gravia on the route from Lamia 
to Salona, and Siderokastro, or Sideroporta, the ancient 

1 viL 210. 


Herakleia, not far from Thermopylae, were her dowry. 1 
Thus, the influence of the Athenian duchy extended as far 
north as Thessaly. 

The news of the victory at Neopatras soon spread to 
Eubcea, where the Lombard barons recognised in the bastard 
a serviceable ally against the Greek emperor, who was his 
and their enemy alike. Simultaneously with the despatch 
of his army against the Duke of Neopatras, Michael VIII. 
had sent a large fleet under his admiral, Philanthropen6s, to 
prevent the Franks of the islands from co-operating with the 
bastard. This fleet was now stationed off Demetrias, in the 
Gulf of Volo, and the Euboean barons, excited by the success 
of the Franks on land, resolved to repeat it at sea. They 
manned a flotilla of Euboean and Cretan vessels, armed with 
wooden towers, which made them resemble floating towns, 
and placed it under the command of the son of the late 
Venetian bailie. The flower of the Lombard nobility took 
part in an enterprise which, shortly before, would have 
seemed as hopeless as "shooting arrows against the sky." 
But for an accident, however, it would have proved successful 
The rival fleets joined battle in the beautiful gulf, where the 
navies of the world could easily lie, and, despite the superior 
numbers of the Greek ships, the besiegers, from their wooden 
towers — for the conflict "resembled a siege rather than a 
naval battle " — severely .pressed their opponents. Philanthro- 
pen6s was seriously wounded, many of his vessels were driven 
ashore, and his flagship was being towed off by the victors, 
when John Palaiol6gos suddenly arrived with the remnant of 
his defeated army on the scene. Manning the empty ships 
with the best of his soldiers, he attacked the exhausted 
Lombards with such vigour that all but two of their ships 
fell into his hands, one of the triarchs, Guglielmo II. da 
Verona, who was also in virtue of his wife, the Lady of 
Passavi, Marshal of Morea, was slain, and many of the 
Euboean nobles and their Venetian commander were taken 
prisoners. Guglielmo's brother, Giberto, managed to escape 
on a light armed vessel to Chalkis, which, thanks to the 
energy of the Venetian bailie and colony, who abandoned 
their neutrality at the alarm of an attack, and to the prompt 
1 L. d. C. y 408, 413 ; Sanudo, 136. 


despatch of reinforcements by the Duke of Athens, was 
saved from the Greeks. 1 

The Emperor's brother did not, however, attempt to 

follow up his victory, returning instead with his captives to 

Constantinople, and then retiring from the public service in 

disgust But the Lombards of Eubcea had now to cope with 

a more serious enemy, who had arisen in their midst, and 

whom their overweening pride had converted into a valuable 

tool of Michael VIII. Some time before the battle of 

Demetrias, there was living in Eubcea a knight of Karystos, 

named Licario, whose ancestors had come from Vicenza, 

apparently soon after the Lombard settlement. 2 Licario, 

a penniless adventurer of great ambition, was, when we first 

hear of him, attached to the court of Giberto II. da Verona, 

who succeeded as triarch of central Eubcea after the death of 

Guglielmo II. in the naval engagement In Giberto's house 

was also residing Dame Felisa, widow of the triarch Narzotto, 

who acted as guardian for her infant son. Felisa was still 

charming, Licario was ambitious ; he dared to avow his love, 

was told that it was requited, and secretly married her. The 

fury of her relatives at this misalliance knew no bounds; 

Licario's endeavours to obtain the intervention of various 

persons of influence in the Franco-Greek world on his behalf 

failed ; so he returned to Karystos and established himself in 

a rocky fastness of the island, called, from its exposed 

position, Anemopylae, or, " the gates of the wind." Taking 

unto him other adventurous spirits, in which feudal Eubcea 

was not lacking, he created such a reign of terror by his 

frequent descents upon the surrounding fields and villages, 

that the peasants went to live within the walls of the nearest 

town, and durst not resume their agricultural pursuits by day 

without first stationing watchmen to tell them when Licario 

was coming. But he soon grew tired of plundering peasants, 

and still thirsted for revenge on the haughty barons who had 

spurned him. He therefore entered into negotiations with 

1 Pachyme'res, i., 307-9, 322-36 ; Nikeph6ros Gregoras, i., 109-20 ; 
Sanudo, 120-2 ; Les Registres de Nicholas II 7., loc. cit\ M. Palaiol6gos, 8. 

' Sanudo, 119 — a passage which effectually disproves the idea of 
Finlay (iv., 141) that Licario was a Genoese of the famous Zaccaria 
family. The Byzantine historians call him Ikarios. 


the emperor ; and, finding his overtures welcomed, proceeded 
to Constantinople, where he placed his services at Michael's 
disposal. He told the emperor that he would undertake to 
subdue the whole of the island, if he were given sufficient 
forces, and offered to hand over his own fortress, so that it 
might serve as a basis of attack. His plan was accepted, 
soldiers were put at his disposal, and he carried on a guerrilla 
warfare against the Lombards, which inflicted great harm 
on the island ; Orebs was taken, and he seized and fortified 
the castle of La Cuppa. The triarchs received, however, 
valuable assistance from their suzerain, the Prince of Achaia, 
who availed himself of a lull in the war against the Greeks 
in the Morea to come over to Negroponte with as many men 
as he could collect, and wrested La Cuppa from its Greek 
garrison. A more voluble but less useful ally was Dreux 
de Beaumont, the marshal of Charles of Anjou, who accom- 
panied the prince with 700 men. To judge from his boasts, 
he was going to drive the Greeks into the sea, but his 
obstinacy brought upon him a signal rout under the walls of 

After the defeat of the Lombards' fleet off Demetrias, 
Licario prosecuted his campaign in Eubcea with still greater 
success. Many of the islanders had now flocked to his 
standard, and he ventured to besiege the strong " red castle " 
of Karystos, his own birthplace. Othon de Cicon, the 
Burgundian baron of Castel Rosso, held out for long against 
a combined attack by land and sea, but he was at last com- 
pelled to surrender, and Licario was richly rewarded by his 
imperial master for his capture of this great prize. 
Michael VIII., like the Comneni before him, had adopted 
the principles of feudalism, and he, accordingly, invested his 
faithful henchman with the whole island as a fief, on condition 
that he kept 200 knights for the service of his liege lord. 
He also bestowed on him the hand of a noble and rich 
Greek lady, who took the place of the fair Felisa. These 
marks of favour spurred Licario to further efforts ; the 
important castles of La Cuppa, Larmena, and La Clisura 
were all taken and re-fortified. Even beyond the shores of 
Eubcea his hand was felt. The neighbouring island of 
Skopelos was regarded as impregnable by its inhabitants; 



even if all the realm of Romania were lost — so they boasted 
— they would escape in safety, and Filippo Ghisi, the proud 
island baron, was fond of applying to himself the line of Ovid, 
" I am too big a man to be harmed by fortune." But Licario, 
who knew that Skopelos lacked water, invested it during a 
hot summer, forced it to capitulate, and sent its haughty 
lord in chains to Constantinople. Far to the south we find 
Licario in the Bay of Navarino, " the port of rushes," * as it 
was called, and he drove the Venieri from their island of 
Cerigo, the Viari from theirs of Cerigotto. Venice became 
naturally alarmed at these successes ; she did not desire the 
system of triple government in Euboea to be superseded by 
the establishment of a strong, centralised administration in the 
hands of an able man, who might found a dynasty. So, when 
she renewed her truce with the emperor in 1277, she expressly 
stipulated that she should be allowed " to help and defend the 
island of the Evripos and those in it against your majesty." 2 
The emperor continued to make use of his corresponding 
right to levy war against the island, and Licario, supported 
by the Greek fleet at Oreos, and by a body of Catalan 
mercenaries, who now make their first appearance in Greek 
history, resolved upon nothing less than an attack upon its 
capital. Knowing from bitter experience " the supercilious- 
ness of the Latins," who were sure to make the mistake of 
despising, and rushing out to attack a foreign enemy, he laid 
an ambuscade for the impetuous garrison, and then appeared 
in sight of the town. Duke John of Athens, the hero of 
Neopatras, was then in Negroponte, and, gouty as he was, he 
mounted his horse and rode out of the gate with the triarch 
Giberto da Verona and their followers along the road in the 
direction of Oreos and the north. The rival forces came to 
close quarters at Varonda, the modern village of Vathondas ; 
the Catalan knife and the generalship of Licario were too 
much for the impetuous Franks ; the Duke of Athens was 
wounded, and, unable to. keep his gouty feet in the stirrups, 
fell to the ground and was taken prisoner with Giberto and 
many others. The town of Negroponte now seemed to lie 

1 Pontes Rer. Austr., xiv., 237. 

2 Ibid., xiv., 133-49 ; Miklosich und Muller, iii., 84-96 ; Dandolo apud 
Muratori, xii., 393. 


at the mercy of Licario, but a crushing defeat of the imperial 
forces on the mainland, and the energy of the Venetian 
bailie, combined to save it Simultaneously with the despatch 
of the Greek fleet to Oreos, another army had been sent, 
under the two imperial generals, Synaden6s and Kavalldrios, 
to attack the redoubtable bastard of Neopatras. The bastard 
met them on the historic plain of Pharsala, famous alike in 
the struggles of Roman against Roman and of Greek against 
Turk. His clever strategy, and the rush of his Italian 
auxiliaries, decided the day ; one of the Greek commanders 
was captured ; the other fled, only to die of his injuries. 
Meanwhile, at Negroponte, Morosini Rosso, known as "the 
good bailie " for his lavish expenditure on the improvement 
of the town, had taken prompt measures for its defence, and 
the news of its danger had at once been sent to Jacques de 
la Roche, who governed Argos and Nauplia for his cousin, 
the Duke of Athens. By forced marches, the governor reached 
Negroponte in the incredibly short space of twenty-four 
hours, and the city was saved. Licario contented himself 
with occupying the fine castle of Filla, and then set out with 
his prisoners in chains to Constantinople. His revenge was 
complete; his haughty brother-in-law, Giberto, in whose 
train he had once been a humble knight, was now his prisoner, 
while he stood high in the confidence of his sovereign, and 
received the dignity of Great Constable of the Empire as a 
further mark of imperial favour. A Byzantine historian has 
depicted the final scene of Licario's triumph in dramatic 
language, worthy of the best days of Hellenic literature. He 
shows us Giberto waiting as a prisoner at the door of the 
audience-chamber, while the emperor is seated on his throne, 
surrounded by his councillors. Then Licario enters, but 
yesterday Giberto's servant, now arrayed in all the splendour 
of his official robes, and showing by his haughty manner 
how great a man he had become. The prisoner's pulse beats 
faster and faster, the fellow is actually whispering into the 
imperial ear ! This was more than Lombard pride could 
bear; Giberto burst a blood-vessel, and fell dead upon the 

Michael VIII. might well be proud of his triumphs. He 
had not only recovered the capital of the empire, but had 



had the rulers of the two strongest Frankish states in Greece 
in his power. He did not, however, avail himself of Duke 
John's captivity to extort territory from the Franks of 
Athens as he had done in the similar case of Villehardouin. 
It might have been expected that he would have rounded 
off the Byzantine province in the Morea by insisting on the 
cession of the Athenian fief of Argos and Nauplia as the 
price of the duke's freedom. On the contrary, he did not 
ask for a single stone of the Athenian fortresses. He even 
thought of giving his prisoner his daughter in marriage and 
so converting him into an ally. John's state of health, 
however, was such that a marriage was inadvisable, and the 
emperor accordingly released him on payment of 30,000 gold 
solidi (^i344o). 1 We may be sure that it was policy and 
not generosity which prompted this act of forbearance. 
Michael VIII. knew that at that moment Charles of Anjou, 
a man whose ambitious designs he dreaded, was at last 
preparing his long-expected expedition against the Greek 
Empire. Nearer home he had a restless and victorious rival 
in the person of the Duke of Neopatras, who was bound by 
ties of marriage to the ducal house of Athens, by ties of 
friendship and commerce to the royal house of Naples. 2 
Finally, in the midst of his own capital, there was a body of 
discontented ecclesiastics, who regarded as a schismatic the 
man who had sent envoys to the pope and had endeavoured 
to prevent the dismemberment of his empire by uniting 
the churches. Michael was a cautious statesman, and he 
saw that the policy adopted in 1262 would not answer 
in 1279. Duke John of Athens did not long survive his 
release from captivity; in 1280 he died, and his brother 
William, baron of Livadia, reigned in his stead. 8 

Licario returned to his native island after his signal 
triumph over his own and the emperor's enemies at Con- 
stantinople, and took up his abode in the great castle of 
Filla, whose imposing ruins still look down upon the 

J Nikephtfros Gregorys, i., 95-7 ; PachymeVes, i., 205, 410-13 ; Sanudo, 
119-20, 122-7, 136; Magno, 1 81-2. 

2 Del Giudice, La Famiglia di Re Manfredi, 393-7 ; Arch, Stor. Ital., 
Ser. III., xxii., 16, 19 ; xxiii., 237. 

3 Arch, Star, Ital,, Ser. IV., in., 162. 


Lelantian plain. Outside the walls of Chalkis he was now 
master of the island, and he maintained such a reign of 
terror that no one could go in safety to attend to the vine- 
yards in the plain, nor could the priests " bless the waters " 
of the classic fountain of Arethusa at Epiphany. 1 Beyond 
Euboea, he continued to make the Franks rue the day when 
he had gone over to the enemy. Ere long, he succeeded 
Philanthropen6s as Byzantine admiral, with the usual style 
of " Grand Duke," attached to that high official, and in that 
capacity ravaged the islands of Seriphos and Siphnos, which 
he captured from their Latin lords, took many castles on the 
mainland, and made an annual raid with the fleet upon the 
dominions of Duke William of Athens. Then his name 
disappears from history ; we know not how he ended, nor 
what became of the children whom his rich Greek wife had 
borne him. His strange and romantic career strikes the 
imagination, and even in that age of adventurers he stands 
out above his fellows. No renegade Latin had inflicted so 
much injury on his fellow-countrymen. He had wrested 
almost all Eubcea from the Lombards ; he and his Byzantine 
allies had captured almost all the iEgean islands from their 
Italian lords, and some of them remained henceforth part of 
the imperial dominions. Even as far east as Paphlagonia, 
he had won laurels by defeating the Turks. 2 Another Latin 
succeeded him in the post of Lord High Admiral, the pirate 
captain John de lo Cavo of Anaphe, who continued, though 
in less dramatic fashion, the destruction wrought by the 
low-born knight of Karystos. 

Meanwhile, the long reign of William de Villehardouin in 
the Morea had drawn to a close. After 1272 the war 
between Franks and Greeks in the peninsula languished, 
owing to the negotiations between Michael VIII. and the 
papacy, and William and Dreux de Beaumont were able, as 
we saw, to go over to help the Lombards of Negroponte 
against Licario. Three years later, however, the Greeks 

1 I take this to be the meaning of Sanudo's phrase, batizar la Croce al 
Fonte — a ceremony I have myself seen in Greece. The Fonte is, of 
course, the famous Arethusa, which one passes in going from Chalkis to 
Filla and the Lelantian plain. 

2 Pachym^res, i., 413 ; Sanudo, 127, 144 ; Nikeph6ros Gregorys, i., 98. 




renewed hostilities, and the prince ordered his nephew, 
Geoffroy de Bruy&res, to take the Angevin auxiliaries, whom 
Charles had placed at his disposal as his captain-general, and 
garrison the southern frontier of Skortd. Geoffroy accordingly 
proceeded with his men to a place to which the Slavs of 
Skortd had given, from its numerous walnut-trees, the name 
of Great Ardchova, and which, still known under that 
Slavonic designation, may be found to the left of the road 
between Tripolitza and Sparta. 1 There the French soldiers 
contracted a fatal gastric fever from rash indulgence in the 
cold water, with which the place abounded, and, though 
their leader pluckily led the remnant of them against the 
Greeks, he succumbed himself to the disease, thus ingloriously 
closing his varied career. In the Greek Chronicle of the 
Morea he has found his funeral epitaph : " All, great and 
small, mourned his loss, even the very birds, which have no 
speech ; for he was the father of the orphan, the husband of 
the widow, the lord and defender of the poor." But his 
Greek foes could not refrain from rejoicing at the death of 
" the best knight of all Romania." 2 

The rest of Prince William's reign was mainly occupied 
by feudal disputes, which do not always reflect very highly on 
the character of that warrior, who is a finer figure leading his 
knights to battle than when relying on technicalities in the 
High Court The double desertion by Geoffroy of his liege 
lord had been punished, as we saw, by the restriction of his 
barony of Skortd to himself and the heirs of his body, so 
that, as he left no children, it escheated, on his death, to the 
prince, who allowed Geoffroy's widow, Isabelle de la Roche, 
to retain one-half of it as her portion, according to the usual 
custom of the country. Against this a certain knight, named 
Pestel, protested as next-of-kin, and appealed from the prince 
to Charles of Anjou, as suzerain of Achaia. Charles ordered 
his vassal to invest Pestel with the barony ; but William 

1 The " cold fountain " near this spot, and two other passages of the 
Chronicle (L. d. C, 379, 385) favour this identification, though this 
Arachova is rather far to the south to be included in Skortd. Buchon 
hence put it near Demetsana. {La Grice Contiruntalc, 492). The name 
is very common. 

2 X. r. M., 1L 7177-232 ; L. d. C, 236 ; L d. F. 9 92. 


disregarded his orders, and there for the present the matter 
rested. Isabelle, on her part, did not long remain a widow. 
Two years after her late husband's death, she married Hugh, 
Count of Brienne and Lecce, an old friend of her father, 
Duke Guy I. of Athens, and member of a family destined to 
be even more celebrated in the history of Greece, than it had 
been in that of France, Italy, and the Holy Land. The 
family came, like that of Champlitte, from Champagne, where 
it first appears in the reign of Hugh Capet In the early 
part of the thirteenth century two brothers of this adven- 
turous house had won fame, the one in Italy, the other in the 
East. Walter, the elder, was invested by Innocent III. with 
the dignity of Count of Lecce, near Brindisi, while John, the 
younger, became King of Jerusalem and Emperor of Con- 
stantinople. Walter's son, fourth of the name, was created 
Count of Jaffa by the King of Cyprus, and died, after 
excruciating tortures, in the prisons of the paynim. His son, 
Hugh, who now became connected with the affairs of Athens 
and Achaia, was already well known to the prince and the 
barons of the Morea. An hereditary enemy of the Hohen- 
staufen in Southern Italy, he had fought against Manfred at 
Benevento, and had stood by the side of Prince William and 
Charles of Anjou at Tagliacozzo. The reward of his services 
was the restoration to him of his forfeited possessions at 
Lecce. In 1277 his marriage with Isabelle was celebrated at 
Andravida, in the presence of the bride's brother, Duke John 
of Athens. Hugh received his wife's half of the great barony 
of Skortd, and, after arranging its affairs and appointing 
bailies to look after his interests, he sailed with her to 
Apulia. Not long afterwards, Isabelle died, leaving a son, 
who was destined to be the last French Duke of Athens. 1 

Another feudal case caused the prince considerably more 
trouble than that of the barony of Skortd. It will be 
remembered that, when he had been released from imprison- 
ment at Constantinople in 1262, one of the hostages sent 
there on his behalf was the Lady Marguerite, daughter of 
Jean II. de Neuilly, baron of Passav&, and hereditary 
Marshal of Achaia. While Marguerite was still a hostage at 

1 X. t. M. f 11. 7240-60, 237-9 ; Z. d. C, 237-9 ; Z. d. F. y 92 ; Sanudo, 
117 ; Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches^ I., i., 231-3. 


Constantinople, her uncle Gautier II. de Rozieres, baron of 
Akova or 31 atagrifon, as the Franks called it, died without 
heirs of his body. As the Salic law did not prevail in 
Prankish Greece. Marguerite was entitled to the barony as 
the next-of-kin ; but her compulsory absence from the Morea 
prevented her from making her claim within the term of two 
years and two days, provided by feudal law for claimants 
abroad The prince thereupon declared the barony forfeited 
to the crown, and, when Marguerite was at last released and 
claimed her inheritance, he ungenerously raised the technical 
plea that the time for making such a claim had expired — a 
piece of chicanery similar to that by which his father had 
won the principality. In vain the lady pleaded that she had 
been absent on his service, William ungallantly stuck to the 
letter of the law. Unprotected and helpless, for both her 
husbands had been killed in battle— Guibert de Cors at 
Karydit and Guglielmo II. da Verona in the sea-fight off 
Demetrias — she was advised by her friends to marry some 
influential man* who would espouse her cause. The idea met 
with her approval, and her choice lighted upon Jean de St 
Omer, brother of Nicholas II., who was hereditary lord of 
half Thebes* where he built the magnificent castle, of which 
the Santameri tower is the sole surviving fragment. By 
this marriage Jean became hereditary Marshal of Achaia, 
ami his family thus extended its authority south of the 
Gulf of Corinth. Jean de St Omer did not allow his wife's 
claim to be neglected, and demanded to be heard before the 
court of the principality. The prince convened the court in 
the church of the Divine Wisdom at Andravida, and Jean, his 
wifc\ ami his two brothers, Nicholas and Othon, appeared 
before it Then the lord of Thebes arose, proud of his 
Knea^— 4tor his grandmother had been widow of Boniface 
ol Salonika, and daughter of the King of Hungary, while the 
t>uk* of Athens was his first cousin — and stated his sister-in- 
law V ease, The prince, nettled at his arrogant demeanour, 
a*ktd him whether he demanded the barony of Akova for 
h*r a* a right or begged it as a favour, and when the Theban 
tarott replied that he asked no favour, but only what was 
jwtty dwc % William summoned all the barons, prelates, and 
Y*jwaW of the principality to consider the question thoroughly. 


This second parliament was held in the Minorite church of 
St Francis at Glarentza, and the prince, handing his sceptre 
to the chancellor, Leonardo of Veroli, descended himself into 
the arena to plead the cause of the crown in person. In 
lawyer-like fashion he called for the Book of Customs, and 
cited the chapter relating to the obligation of a vassal to 
become a hostage for his lord. The Court seemed at first 
decidedly in favour of the claimant, but when the prince 
again called its attention to the letter of the law, it gave its 
judgment against her. William thanked the Court for its 
decision, but Jean de St Omer was so much offended that he 
refused even to go through that usual form. 

Having thus obtained a confirmation of his legal position, 
William could afford to be generous. He called for the 
chancellor, told him that he had been irritated by the 
arrogance of the barons of St Omer, but that, now that he 
had gained the case, he wished to give one-third of the 
barony as a favour to the Lady Marguerite. Accordingly 
Colinet, the Lord Chamberlain of the principality, and the 
elders of the barony, who knew its boundaries and history, 
were ordered to come with the minutes of the baronial 
court, and eight of the twenty-four fiefs of Akova were 
selected for her. A deed was at once drawn up and sealed 
by the chancellor ; it was placed under the coverlet of the 
prince's bed, and Marguerite was summoned to the presence 
of her lord. Then the chancellor drew back the coverlet, 
and disclosed the document The prince handed it to her, 
and invested her with his glove, while the remaining two- 
thirds of the barony were bestowed upon her namesake, 
the prince's younger daughter, Marguerite. 1 

Not long after this William died. When he felt his end 
approaching, he retired to his beloved castle of Kalamata, 
the family fief of the Villehardouins, where he had been born. 
To his bedside he summoned the nobles of the principality, 
and asked their counsel in making his will. His wife, his 
two daughters, and his subjects, great and small, he com- 

1 X. r. M., 11. 7301-752 ; L. d. C, 240-54 ; JL d. F. t 85-7 ; Liber 
Consuetudinum, apud Canciani, op. ciL % III., 505; Les Regisires de 
Nicholas III., 26. Both he and Clement IV. {Regisires, i., 10 1) call her 





mended to the care of King Charles I. of Naples, and 
appointed Jean de Chauderon, the Great Constable, Arch- 
bishop Benedict of Patras, and the Bishop of Modon, as his 
executors. The first of them was to administer the affairs of 
the principality, until Charles had had time to appoint a 
bailie. He begged that all his gifts, whether to Latin and 
Greek monasteries, or to private individuals, should be 
respected, and directed that his body should be buried in the 
memorial church of St James at Andravida, which he had 
built and presented to the Templars, beside those of his 
father and brother. Then on 1st May 1278 he died. The 
last of the Villehardouin princes was laid to rest as he had 
ordered, and four chaplains were appointed, in accordance 
with his wishes, to pray for the souls of the three departed in 
the church of St James. The outline of the church can still 
be traced, but no archaeologist has disturbed the long repose 
of the French rulers of the Morea. Requiescant in pace ! x 

It was a great misfortune for the principality that 
William left no son to inherit it With him the male stock 
of the Villehardouins came to an end, for the " Prince of the 
Morea," mentioned by the Byzantine historian Pachym^res 2 
as having become patriarch of Antioch, and being at one time 
a likely candidate for the oecumenical throne, cannot be 
proved to have been a brother of Prince William. Nor was 
the latter's son-in-law, Philip of Anjou, alive at the time of 
his death. The young prince had overstrained himself in 
bending a crossbow, and never got over the effects of the 
injury. A year before his father-in-law he died, and in the 
beautiful cathedral at Trani, where, six years earlier, his 
marriage had been celebrated, he found a grave. 8 Thus the 
Villehardouin family was now reduced to William's two 
daughters, of whom Isabelle, according to the Catalan 

1 X. r. M„ 11. 7757-8io; L. d. C, 254-6; L. d F., 92 ; Buchon, La 
Grke ConHnentale^ 509-10; Arch. Stor. Ital., Sen IV., i., 436, which 
fixes the true date to 1278. 

8 i., pp. 402, 437. The story may have arisen from the fact that there 
was a Giufridusy clericus, consanguimus principis Achate, who had a 
cure of souls at Olena, and whom Gregory IX. ordered to be presented 
to a better living. (Registres, ii., 851.) 

* Sanudo, 119 ; Arch. Stor. Ital.^ Ser. III., xxvL, 11, 211. 


chronicler Muntaner, 1 was only fourteen years old, though 
already a widow, and Marguerite was two years younger. 
Their Greek mother, Anna of Epiros, or Agnes as the Franks 
called her, who received the castles of Kalamata and 
Chloumotitsi for her life, soon afterwards married Nicholas II. 
of St Omer, the proud baron who had treated her first 
husband with such arrogance. Henceforth, in the hands of 
women, the principality naturally declined. There was no 
strong man to keep the unruly barons in check ; the bailies 
whom the kings of Naples appointed were sometimes 
foreigners, ignorant of the country and its conditions, and 
after the time of Villehardouin only four princes of Achaia 
ever resided in the land, whence they took their title. More- 
over, by this time a change had come over the feudal society 
of the Morea. Of the twelve original baronies, two alone — 
Vostitza and Chalandritza — remained in the families of the 
old barons. Two — Kalavryta and probably Geraki — had 
been lost to the Greeks since the fatal re-establishment of the 
imperial power in the peninsula ; Patras had early passed 
from the Aleman family to the archbishop ; and, though it 
seems to have returned to its secular lords, William Aleman 
had more recently pledged it to the primate for 16,000 
kyperperi (£7168), and had left the country; 2 the baron of 
Gritzena has never been mentioned again, and had, therefore, 
probably died without heirs; the families of Karytaina, 
Akova, Veligosti, Passav&, and Nikli were all extinct in the 
male line, and those great baronies passed by marriage either 
altogether or in part to the houses of Brienne, St Omer, De 
la Roche, and De Villiers. Of the two Villehardouin family 
fiefs, Arkadia had been bestowed by the late prince upon 
Vilain d'Aunoy, Marshal of Romania, one of the French 
nobles who had emigrated from Constantinople to the Morea 
after the fall of the Latin Empire; 8 while Kalamata was 
temporarily in the hands of the Princess Agnes, not only a 
woman but a Greek, and was soon exchanged, together with 
Clermont, the rest of her widow's portion, for other lands in 
less important strategic position* 4 Nothing is more remark- 
able in the history of Frankish Greece than the rapidity with 

1 Ch. cclxii. * L. d. F., 88. 3 X. r. M., 11. 1325.7. 

4 Arch. Star. Ital., Ser. IV., iv., 176-7. 



which the race of the conquerors died out. Only two 
generations had passed since they first set foot in the 
Peloponnese, yet already many of their families were 
extinct The almost ceaseless wars of Prince William, and 
the racial suicide which the Franks committed by keeping 
themselves as far as possible a caste apart from the Greeks, 
had had the natural results, and where they intermarried 
with the natives, the children were almost always more Greek 
than French, serving on the emperor's ships and fighting the 
emperor's battles. One of the few exceptions to this 
tendency was where, for reasons of state, a French prince 
married a Greek princess, as in the case of William of 
Achaia and his namesake of Athens. But in mediaeval 
Greece, as in modern Europe, mixed marriages between 
sovereigns bear no resemblance to those between private 
individuals ; in almost every instance, the offspring of a royal 
union sympathises with the nationality with which his 
interests are identified ; whereas, the GasmoAlos, despised by 
the haughty Franks, found a welcome and a career in the 
service of the Greek Empire. 

No contemporary authority informs us what became of 
the Franks who had lands in that part of the Morea which 
was reconquered by the Greeks after 1262. We know, 
indeed, that one prominent man, Jean de Nivelet, baron of 
Geraki, settled down at a place near Vostitza, to which he 
gave his family name. 1 No doubt some others followed his 
example, and it is probable that several of the smaller 
persons found a new home within the Venetian colonies of 
Modon and Coron. But those twin trading settlements were 
circumscribed, the conditions of life there would scarcely 
appeal to the fighting chivalry of France, and, as the Frank 
principality grew less, it must have become harder for them 
to find even small estates, where they could live the life to 
which they had been accustomed down in the south. To 
return to France was difficult; for two whole generations 
spent in the East must have unfitted them for the West, just 
as to-day, the Levantine who is happy at Smyrna is miser- 
able in London or Berlin. The only course open to many of 
them was to remain in the Byzantine province, where fusion 
1 L. <L F., 137 ; Schmitt, The Chronicle of Morea^ liv. 


with the Greek race awaited them, and, as its natural 
corollary, the adoption of the orthodox religion by themselves 
or their children — a phenomenon which meets us in the case 
of the Franks of Arkadia sixty years later. Where the 
Italian element in Greece has been strong and compact, and 
where Latin rule has endured, as in the Ionian and iEgean 
islands, for many centuries, it has been possible for the 
descendants of the Venetians to keep their own religion, and 
even their own speech But that has not been the case in 
the Peloponnese, in continental Greece, or in Eubcea. On 
the other hand, the Moreot Franks were never fanatical 
Catholics; Prince William endowed Greek monasteries; his 
brother appropriated Catholic revenues; the rank-and-file 
may therefore have thought that the omission of the filioque 
clause from the creed was a small price to pay for their 
undisturbed residence among the Greeks of the Byzantine 
province, where, as time went on, they became merged in 
that extraordinary nationality which has assimilated one 
race after another upon the soil of Hellas. 

All over Frankish Greece an era seemed to have closed 
with the death of the foremost Frank ruler of his time. 
Across the Gulf of Corinth, Thomas II. of Salona, who had 
married one of William's nieces, and had stood by his side 
on the stricken field of Pelagonia, had lately died, and his 
son William held the noble castle in his stead. 1 His fellow- 
warden of the marches, Ubertino, Marquis of Boudonitza, 
another of the combatants of Pelagonia, had been succeeded 
by his sister Isabella. 2 In Thessaly, on the ruins of the 
baronies which Boniface had distributed among his German 
and Lombard followers, 3 and of which that of Larissa was 
now the sole, and perhaps merely nominal, survivor, there 
had arisen, under the vigorous Despots of Epiros, a Greek 

1 We know of the existence of this man from the notice in the Angevin 
archives of the marriage of his daughter Agnes to Dreux de Beaumont, 
Charles of Anjou's marshal, in 1275. (Hopf aftud Ersch und Gruber, lxxxv., 
292). The bride's father is there described as "Guglelmo domino de 
Salona*" Sdthas, T6 Xpovucbv tov TaXa^eidlov, 237). 

8 Riccio, Nuovi Studii, 11. 

3 A baroness, Beatrice de Larissa, is mentioned as late as 1280 {ibid., 
5) ; but she had probably lost her estates, while retaining her ancestors' 
title, and doing homage for her phantom barony to Princess Jsabelle. 


feudal system, which closely imitated that of the Franks. 
At this time the most important of these Greek feudal lords 
was the great family of Melissen6s, which we found connected 
by marriage with the Epirote dynasty at the time of the 
Frankish Conquest The Melissenof received from Michael II. 
monastic lands in the district of Halmyros, recovered from 
" the Greek-eating Latins." They were a family of conspicu- 
ous piety ; they founded the monastery of Our Lady at the 
picturesque village of Makrinitza, which peeps out of one of 
the folds of Pelion, " the mountain of the defile," x as it is 
called in the Greek of the period, and endowed that of St 
John Baptist at Nea Petra, near Demetrias — institutions which 
both received charters from the Emperor Michael VIII. ; 
while two of the Melissenof renounced the pomps of the 
world, left behind them their splendid coat-of-arms, the 
double-eagle, 2 the bees, and the bells, and retired into 
monastic cells. Another local magnate, Michael Gabriel- 
6poulos, styled himself in 1295 "lord of Thessaly," and made 
Phanari, near Trikkala, his headquarters, promising the 
citizens that he would never introduce Albanian colonists 
or a Frankish garrison there. Thus, Thessaly was already 
being prepared, under Greek auspices, for the introduction 
of the titnariot, ox Turkish feudal system, a little more than 
a century later — a system of which we may still see the 
traces in the large estates which characterise that latest 
addition to the modern Greek kingdom. There, under 
mediaeval Greek rule, the system of cultivation by serfs 
prevailed, as in Corfu and the Morea, and a golden bull of 
the Emperor Michael enumerates the villains of the monastery 
of Makrinitza in the same category as its mills, both equally 
its property. Thessaly, like Thebes, was at this time celebrated 
for its silk, and many thousand pounds of that commodity were 
exported thence to Apulia by the Duke of Neopatras. 

Of the internal condition of the Athenian Duchy at this 
period we can glean but little. From the fact, however, that 
Duke John was able to lend money for the pay of the 
Angevin troops in the Morea, we may assume that his 
finances were satisfactory, and a Venetian document of 1 278 

1 T6 6pot roG Apdyyov. Miklosich und Mtiller, iv., 331-6, 345-9 ; v., 260. 

2 Buchon, Atlas y pl?te xli., 20. 








mentions subjects of the republic who were settled as 
merchants at Satines, as Athens now began to be called in 
the vernacular from an amalgamation of the preposition with 
the accusative (e*9 to? 'AOjvai). 1 From a notice two years 
earlier we learn that at that time the beautiful abbey of 
Daphni was the sole surviving possession of the Cistercians 
on Greek soil. The ecclesiastical establishment of Athens 
had, indeed, become a comfortable home for those members 
of the ducal family who had entered the Church. We hear 
of two De la Roche who were canons of Athens at this 
period ; one of them, Nicholas, has left his name as " founder " 
of some mediaeval building on one of the pillars of the Stoa 
of Hadrian; the other, William, was made "procurator of 
the Athenian Church"; but, despite the prayers of the 
chapter, Clement IV. declined to appoint as Archbishop of 
Athens one who had " a grave defect in the matter of litera- 
ture." 2 Obviously the influential canon was not a reading 

Great changes had occurred in the Ionian islands during 
the period covered by this chapter. While Leukas still 
remained united to the Despotat of Epiros, whose ruler was 
now the feeble Nikeph6ros I., Corfu had become a possession 
of the house of Anjou, and Cerigo had passed into the hands 
of the great Monemvasiote family of Daimonoyannes, with 
whom it remained for forty years. Over the three central 
islands of Cephalonia, Zante, and Ithaka, there now ruled " the 
most high and mighty palatine count, Richard Orsini," like 
his father Matthew, a vassal of the Prince of Achaia, and 
consequently bound by the same feudal tie to King Charles 
of Naples. In the next chapter we shall have occasion to 
mention this remarkable man, who was destined to play a 
conspicuous part in the history of both Corfu and Achaia. 
During the present period we find him confirming, in 1264, 
the possessions of the Catholic bishopric of Cephalonia, which, 
as we saw, was united with that of Zante, in a voluminous 
document of much value for the contemporary geography of 

1 Archivio Storico Italiano, Ser. III., vol. xxii., 16, 19; IV., i., 9; 
Font Rer. Austr. y xiv., 178, 186. 

- Les Regis tres (VUrbain IV., iii., 426 ; AeXWw, ii., 28 ; Les Registres de 
CUment /K, i., 214, 245 ; Mart&ne et Durand, Thesaurus, iv., 1453. 


the diocese. The numerous Italian names which it contains 
point to the existence of a large Italian colony, the descend- 
ants of Margaritone's men. It specially mentions the island 
of Ithaka as part of his dominions, and calls the ancient 
home of Odysseus by its classic name, which also occurs in 
a Venetian document of some years later, where it is 
mentioned as the scene of piracies. Horses and mules seem 
to have been as scarce in his islands as in the time of Homer, 
for he had to ask permission of King Charles to import 
those animals from the rolling plains of Apulia to his rocky 
domain. 1 

The three Venetian colonies now left in Greece proper — 
at the town of Negroponte and the two Messenian stations of 
Coron and Modon — had naturally been affected by the 
disturbed state of the Levant during the hostilities between 
the Franks and the Emperor Michael VIII. Since the loss 
of Constantinople, Negroponte had become far more impor- 
tant to the republic, the salary of the Venetian bailie had 
been raised, and money had been spent freely on the town, so 
much so, indeed, that the Venetian Sanudo comments on the 
great expenses incurred by his fellow-countrymen in the Near 
East, " and especially for the preservation of Negroponte." 2 
An inscription of 1273 tells how the then bailie built a chapel 
of St Mark — a proof of piety, or more probably of the increase 
of the Venetian colony. 3 The occupation of the whole island 
outside the walls of the capital must have greatly damaged 
the traffic in corn, oil, and wine, wax and honey, raw and 
worked silk, which are mentioned as the products of Euboea 
in the thirteenth century, 4 and the same was the case with 
the wine and oil trade of the two Messenian stations, to 
which, however, on other grounds, Venice naturally attached 
great value. Scarcely a man-of-war, scarcely a trading ship 
on her way to the Archipelago, the Black Sea, or the Sea of 
Azov, failed to be sighted by the Venetian watchmen at 
Coron and Modon, so appropriately called "the chief eyes 
of the republic," and there was money, too, to be made by 

1 Miklosich und M tiller, v., 16-67; Font. Rer. Austr., Abt. II., xiv., 
215 ; Sanudo, 116 ; Arch. Stor. Jtai. y Ser. IV., i., 13. 
* P. 174. 3 Spon, Voyage, ii., 247. 

4 Fontes Rer. Auslr., xiii., 93, 95, 176, 177, 179, 181, 183 ; xiv., 15. 


the Jewish, and not less by the Christian, tradesmen of the 
two ports, out of the pilgrims, who put in there on their way 
to the Holy Sepulchre. Whenever, too, the Franks were 
besieging a castle, it was here that they went for the makers 
of siege-engines. Coron was the more important of the two : 
its cochineal was celebrated, and when, about this time, the 
number of the captains of these stations was increased from 
two to three, two of the trio resided there, while in critical 
times a bailie was sent as a consul. 

In the other parts of the Morea, there was a trade done 
in raisins and figs, oil, honey, wax, and cochineal, sufficient 
to attract the merchants of Florence and Pisa, while silk and 
sugar, small in quantity and poor in quality, were also pro- 
duced ; but the famous vineyards of Monemvasia, whence our 
ancestors got their Malmsey, had passed into the hands of 
the Greeks. During the intermittent war with the latter, 
the principality constantly suffered from lack of corn, which 
had to be imported, like horses, from Apulia. In 1268 the 
prince asked his new suzerain for the loan of 2000 ounces of 
gold (£4800), in order " to repair the ravages made by war 
on his land," and at the same time his private affairs were so 
unsatisfactory that he was forced to pledge valuables to the 
amount of 127 ounces (or a little over £300) at the pawn- 
shops of Barletta, in order to pay his way. But at the time 
of his death, he was able to charge the annuity of £1054, 
which he left to one of his executors, upon the customs-dues 
of Glarentza, the chief port of Achaia, and the seat of a bank 
which used to lend money to the Angevin bailies, while, two 
years later, the revenues of the principality were required to 
furnish an annual salary of £1200 to one of those officials. 
A shrewd man and a court favourite, like Leonardo of Veroli, 
the Chancellor of Achaia, was able to amass a large fortune, 
and left behind him houses and lands scattered over the 
principality from Corinth to Kalamata. What is still more 
interesting is the fact that he had collected a small library. 1 
From the inventory of his books we gather that his taste 

1 X. t. M., 1. 8430 ; Z. d. C. % 378, 383 ; Heyd, Geschkhte des Levante- 
handels, i., 300 ; Les Regis tres de Nicholas III., 24 ; Arch. Stor. Ital., 
Scr. III., xxii., 238 ; IV., i v., 16, 178, 182. Minieri Riccio, Alcunifatti y 
35, 49, 82 ; Hopf afiud Ersch und Gruber, lxxxv., 307, 316, 317, 319. 


lay chiefly in the direction of novels and medicine, for the 
list contains fourteen romances and two medical works. 
But our curiosity is aroused when we hear that he also 
possessed "a Greek book and a * chronicle/ " and that he 
had a work in which he was interested copied for him by 
two copyists in the royal library at Naples, and carefully 
corrected by a French priest and two Italians. Obviously 
then, Franks of position sometimes spent the long winter 
evenings in the Achaian castles with books of history and 
romance, and some of them were able to read the language 
of their subjects. One Archbishop even translated Aristotle. 
There was, however, another industry more lucrative than 
law or agriculture, which was then thriving in most parts of 
the Levant Piracy has, in almost every age, been the curse 
of the Greek seas, and it flourished luxuriantly at this period. 1 
A document of the year 1278, which contains the detailed 
report of three Venetian judges, appointed to estimate the 
damages sustained by subjects of the republic in Greek 
waters during recent years, throws a lurid light on the state 
of public security in the realm of Romania. We read of 
corsairs of many nationalities — Genoese (whose depredations 
were so numerous as to merit a special list all to themselves), 
Venetians, Lombards, Pisans, Sicilians, Provengals, Catalans, 
Spaniards, Greeks, Slavs, and half-castes. But Genoa had 
the distinction of furnishing most of the captains, and Venice 
that of supplying most of the crews. Perhaps the most 
famous of these pirates was John de lo Cavo (or de Capite), a 
native, and subsequently lord, of the island of Anaphe, whose 
professional headquarters were at Anaea, on the coast of 
Asia Minor opposite Samos, whose favourite haunt was the 
sea round Euboea, and who succeeded Licario as imperial 
admiral. Among the many sufferers from his depredations 
was the father of the historian Sanudo, 2 who lost valuable 
merchandise on two Venetian vessels which fell into this 
corsair's clutches, and for which £10,752, or one-third of the 
value, was afterwards paid as compensation by the emperor. 
Another pirate, whose name became a household word in 
Greece, was Andrea Gaffore, a Genoese, whom Sanudo knew 

1 Fontes Rer. Austr., xiv., 159-281. 

2 lMd. % 337, 35 1 J Sanudo, 132, 134, 146. 


personally, and who, after a long career of plunder, settled 
down with his pile as a peaceful citizen at Athens, where we 
find him in the early part of the next century. Scarcely less 
successful a sea-robber was Roland, knight of Salonika, 
whose operations extended as far west as Zante. The pro- 
fession was so lucrative, and was considered so respectable, 
that it became hereditary. The son of John de lo Cavo 
assisted his father ; Gaffore had a brother in the business ; 
the knightly Roland took his son-in-law, Pardo, presumably 
a Spaniard, into partnership. Men of distinguished lineage, 
Greeks and Franks alike, became corsairs. The great 
archontic families of Monemvasia, the Daimonoydnnai 
and the Mamon£des, figure conspicuously in the report of 
the Venetian judges, and one of the former, Paul Mono- 
ydnnes (as his name was written for short) became the first 
Greek lord of Cerigo, after the expulsion of the Venier 
dynasty by Licario. Sanudo specially speaks of the piracies 
committed by the Lombard barons of Negroponte, who found 
the harvests of the sea far more fruitful than those of their 
great island. Every year they used to send a fleet of ioo 
sail to pillage the coast of Asia Minor, and on one occasion 
they took booty to the value of 50,000 hyperperi (^22,400) 
at Anaea. 1 It was therefore no wonder that old Guglielmo 
da Verona could afford to maintain 400 knights, that the 
island was famous for its fine cavalry, which greatly injured 
the Greeks on land, or that Negroponte could boast of a rich 
Venetian banking-house, that of Andrea Ferro, which was 
able to finance the Franks of the Morea in their war against 
Michael VIII. 2 The other island barons followed the 
example of the Dalle Carceri clan in Eubcea, plundering 
Greeks and anyone whom they met, not sparing even the 
pious pilgrim on his way to the Holy Sepulchre. Even the 
ducal family of De la Roche gave shelter to corsairs in the 
beautiful Gulf of Nauplia, and thus brought down upon 
themselves, according to the devout Sanudo (mindful of his 
father's stolen cargo) the special displeasure of Providence, 
which had similarly punished the Venieri of Cerigo and the 
Viari of Cerigotto. besides Anaea and Nauplia, Monemvasia 

1 Sanudo, 120, 127. 

- Hopf apud Ersch und Grubcr, lxxxv., 293. 



and the islands of Skopelos, Keos, and Samothrace, were 
favourite lairs of the pirates. On one occasion, the Monem- 
vasiotes looked calmly on, while a flagrant act of piracy was 
being committed in their harbour, which, as the port of 
shipment for Malmsey wine, attracted corsairs who were 
also connoisseurs. After the capture of Skopelos and 
Lemnos by Licario, the inhabitants of those islands emi- 
grated to Euboea, and turned pirates, so that it became the 
principal rendezvous of the fraternity and a nest of sea- 
robbers. During a war against the Emperor Andr6nikos II., 
300 privateers were sent out from Negroponte alone, and 
Sanudo had the honour of knowing a Cretan pirate, who used 
to boast that with his one ship he had done 400,000 hyperperi 
worth of damage (£179,200) to the Greek Empire. These 
privateers had, indeed, a regular fixed tariff, which was 
recognised as a custom of the trade. The captain was 
entitled to three denarii of spoil for every two which he had 
spent on fitting out his vessel ; but, if he attacked the lair of 
a fellow-pirate, his gains, in consideration of the extra risk, 
or perhaps by way of salve to his professional conscience, 
were assessed at twice the amount of his outlay. Within the 
realm of Romania the privateer captain had also one-fifth 
of the takings, and enjoyed besides certain perquisites as 
dragoman and pilot. 1 But great as were the gains of the 
pirates, they represented only a part of the damage done. 
The misery and desolation which they caused defy calcula- 
tion, and were by no means confined to one race, or creed. 
Neutrals, no less than open enemies, were considered as fair 
game by these gentry, and the losses of which the Venetians 
complained had all been sustained during the period when 
Michael VI 1 1., whose flag these privateers usually flaunted, 
was supposed to be cherishing a " pure and guileless truce " 
with the republic 

Private commerce was, under these circumstances, 
attended with enormous risks, especially among the Greek 
islands. Traffic between Andros and Euboea was specially 
dangerous, for to the normal perils of that mill-race, the 
Doro channel, was added the probability that John de lo 
Cavo or Daimonoyannes would be lurking behind the 

1 Sanudo, 146. 


Euboean headland of Cape Mantello, as it was then named. 
We hear of a Venetian merchant of Athens plundered as 
he was sailing past Marathon ; and often a well-filled 
merchantman got no farther than "the Columns" of 
Sunium ; a ship was seized even in the port of Chalkis 
under the eyes of the bailie. The passage from Eubcea 
across to Atalante was infested by pirate brigs, and cargoes 
of beans and other articles of food, intended for the consump- 
tion of the Marquis of Boudonitza and his men, were taken 
at the landing-place. A harmless trader might easily find 
himself stripped of all but his shirt, or even deprived of that 
garment, and carried off to work in the prisons of Rhodes. 
Wherever there was a good harbour — in the Pagasaean Gulf, 
in the island of Ios, in Suda bay, in the extinct crater of 
Santorin, in the noble bay of Navarino, "the port of 
rushes," as the Franks called it — there was also a good place 
for the pirate captain and his crew. Maina had a peculiarly 
bad name for piracy even then, and ships anchoring in Porto 
Quaglio or off CEtylos often did so at the risk of their 
cargoes. The Gulf of Corinth was another risky place, and far 
up the west coast of Greece, the narrow channel of Corfu was 
still a resort of corsairs, who carried off their prisoners to the 
classic Butrinto — the " tall city of Buthrotum " of the ^Eneid 
— which had been taken by the Greeks from its Angevin 
commander. The point of Ithaka was another dangerous 
spot, the bishop of Cephalonia was plundered by Dalmatian 
pirates, and "Ambracia's Gulf" with its narrow entrance 
seemed to have been specially constructed for the purpose of 
incercepting Corfiote vessels on their way to the skdla of 

But there were land-rats no less than water-rats which 
disturbed the path of the merchant and the priest. The 
more or less intermittent Franco-Greek war which had gone 
on in the Morea since the fatal cession of the three castles 
had completely changed the conditions of life there. The 
profound security which we found existing in the early days 
of Prince William's reign had disappeared. The Venetians 
of Coron and Modon, though those places were specially 
guaranteed against attack in the arrangements made by the 
republic with Michael VIII., found that their neutrality 



availed them nothing when they met a Greek captain — half 
officer, half bandit — outside the narrow boundaries of the 
two Messenian colonies. On one occasion, the archdeacon 
of Modon, while travelling in the company of his bishop to 
Glarentza, was stopped at Krestena, near Olympia, and 
dragged before the emperor's brother, Constantine, then 
commanding in the Byzantine province. In vain the 
archdeacon protested that he was " a Venetian citizen " ; his 
nationality was disregarded, and he was murdered by the 
soldiery. It is interesting to note that the Venetian judges 
assessed the value of a colonial archdeacon at 450 hyperperi 
G6201, 12s). Nor was Constantine Palaiol6gos's army less 
scornful when the local authorities of Coron sent him in 
a bill of damages for the loss of a cargo of Cretan 
cheese and wine. Venetian subjects languished in the 
dungeons of Kalavryta since the Greeks had dispossessed 
Geoffroy de Tournay of that fine castle, where an imperial 
commandant now flew the double-headed eagle from the 

Three-quarters of a century of Frankish rule had 
endowed Greece with a strange, yet often picturesque, 
geographical nomenclature. There can be no doubt that the 
Franks, not being Englishmen, had by this time learnt 
at least sufficient Greek for all ordinary colloquial purposes, 
though later than this, French, and excellent French too, 
was spoken at the court of Thebes. We are expressly told 
that Prince William of Achaia and Duke John of Athens 
spoke in Greek to the Greek commanders, the latter even 
using, perhaps unconsciously, an epigrammatic phrase of 
Herodotos, while Ancelin de Toucy, the Constable Chauderon, 
and Geoffroy d* Aunoy all spoke Greek, and Leonardo of Veroli 
read it 1 But, all the same, the Franks, assisted by ignorant 
natives, had corrupted Greek proper names in a way often 
unrecognisable to those who have not read the French and 
Italian documents of the period. We have already mentioned 
how "Athens" had become "Satines," "Lemnos" "Stal- 
imene," "Neopatras" "La Patre," " Lacedaemonia " "La 
Cr^monie," and " Euripos " " Negroponte." But all over the 
Franco-Greek world the same process had been going on. 

1 L. d. C, 338. 


The island of Samothrace meets us frequently as " Sanctus 
Mandrachi " l (a saint invented to account for the name) ; " Ios " 
and " Anaphe," by the usual process of adding the final letter 
of the accusative of the article to the following noun, now 
figure as " Nio" and " Nanfio" ; " Zetounion M (the Byzantine 
name for "Lamia") is, in Frankish parlance, "Giton" or 
"Gipton" ; and Thebes had become " Estives " or " Stivas " 2 
as early as the beginning of the twelfth century ; Salona is, 
in French, " La Sole," or in Italian, " La Sola," which is the 
official designation on the coins of its French lords. 
"Naupaktos," corrupted into " Nepantum " as early as 1210, 
has by 1 278 assumed the more modern form of " Lepanto," 
though the other corruption long survived in popular and 
official use, for example, on the coins of Philip of Taranto. 
The former obviously arose out of the Greek accusative 
(«V top "E7TOKTOI/), the latter from the favourite Frankish 
method of placing the French definite article before a Greek 
word 3 (" Le Pakto "). Of this practice " L' Arte " (" Arta "), and 
d La Prevasse " (" Preveza ") are other examples. Conversely, 
" Larissa " becomes " L* Arse." " Monemvasia " is gallicised 
into" Malevasie," and Italianised into " Malvasia," from which 
the transition is easy to the English form "Malmsey." 
" Livadostro," the port of Athens on the Corinthian Gulf, 
meets us as "Rive d' Ostre," and "Sunium" is already 
described as " the pillars " (" Colonne "), from its noble temple, 
and is yet further concealed under the guise of" Pellestello" 4 
(" many columns," TroXuarrvXov), while in the French version of 
the Chronicle of the Morea y " Kalavryta " is " La Grite." Several 
well-known classical names had now vanished : thus Ossa 
had already received its modern name of Kissavos, and 
Taygetos that of Pentedaktylon. 6 Ithaka, in common 
parlance, no less than in learned Byzantine writers, maintained 

1 E.g., Pontes Rer. Austr. y xiv., 205, 207, 212, 222. 

* Saewulf calls it " Stivas " in 1 102 (Recueil de Voyages^ iv., 384). 

3 S&has, Tb Xpovucdv tov TaXafciStov, 16. Both 6 "Eirairros and 6 IUktos 
occur in the Chronicle of the Morea y 11. 3489, 3627. The earliest instance 
of the form "Lepanto" seems to be that in a document of 1278 {Pontes 
Rer. Austr., xiv., 175). 4 Ibid. y 192. 

6 Documents of 1276 and 1293 apud Miklosich und Muller, iv., 427 ; 
v., I55-6I. 


the name which had descended from the days of Homer, 
though it was also called Val di Compare. 

Thus, if the Franks by the end of two generations had 
acquired the language, and made their mark upon the map 
of Greece, the Greeks had re-asserted themselves, alike in 
the south-east and in the north. Already the Frankish 
territories had greatly contracted, already the heroic age of 
Frankish Hellas was over. A new period was about to 
begin, when the fortunes of the country, hitherto directed by 
vigorous resident princes, were to depend on the Eastern 
policy of an Italian court and its ambitious monarch. 



With the death of Prince William of Achaia, the house 
of Anjou became the dominant factor in Greek politics. 
Charles I., King of Naples and Sicily, was now, by virtue of 
the marriage-contract made between his late son Philip and 
Isabelle de Villehardouin, Prince, as well as suzerain of 
Achaia, and soon the mint of Glarentza issued coins with his 
name, followed by the princely title which he now assumed, 
upon them. The treaty of Viterbo, which had given him the 
suzerainty over Achaia, had made no mention of Athens; 
but though there is no direct authority for assuming that 
Duke John of Athens acknowledged Charles as his overlord, 
the King of Naples addressed him as a feudatory of Achaia, 
and John's successor, Duke William, recognised the King of 
Naples as his suzerain, only begging to be excused from 
doing homage in person at Naples. Charles was suzerain, 
too, of " the most high and mighty Count Palatine," Richard 
of Cephalonia, and in Corfii his captain and vicar-general 
governed the islanders for the Neapolitan crown. Finally, in 
Epiros, he considered himself, in virtue of the treaty of 
Viterbo, the successor of Manfred and Chinardo, though he 
had as yet made small progress towards the realisation of 
his claims in that difficult country — the despair of regular 
armies. Thus, in almost every part of the Greek world the 
restless Angevin had a base for his long-projected attack 
upon Constantinople, which the armistice between Venice 
and the Greek Emperor, the cunning intrigues and diplomatic 
reconciliation of the latter with the papacy, and his own 
preoccupations in Italy, had hitherto prevented. 

Charles lost no time in assuming the government of the 

161 L 


principality of Achaia, and sent thither, as his bailie and 
vicar-general, Galeran d'lvry, Seneschal of Sicily, who 
remained in his new post for two years. His appointment 
was notified to all the great feudatories of Achaia — to John, 
Duke of Athens, and his brother, William of Livadia; to 
Count Richard of Cephalonia ; to the triarchs of Eubcea ; to 
Isabella, Marchioness of Boudonitza; to Chauderon, the 
Constable, and St Omer, the Marshal of Achaia ; and to the 
Achaian barons, Guy de la Tr&nouille of Chalandritza, 
Geoffroy de Tournay, Guy de Charpigny of Vostitza, and 
Jacques de la Roche of Veligosti. The captains of Corinth, 
Chloumofttsi, Beauvoir, and Kalamata were ordered to hand 
over those important castles to him, and he was authorised to 
receive the homage of all the barons, knights, and other 
feudatories, " both men and women, both Latin and Greek." * 
Accordingly, upon his arrival at Glarentza, he summoned 
the prelates, barons, and knights of the principality, to hear 
the commands of his master. The assembly listened to the 
royal message, which bade them do homage to the bailie as 
the king's representative, and then Archbishop Benedict of 
Patras, whom the other barons had put forward as their 
spokesman, rose to reply. The primate pointed out that 
such a demand was an infringement of the customs of the 
country, which had been drawn up in writing and sworn to 
by their forefathers, the conquerors of the Morea. The 
feudal constitution provided, he said, that a new prince should 
appear in person, and swear before God and the people with 
his hand upon the gospels, to rule them according to their 
customs, and to respect their franchises, and then all the 
lieges were bound to do him homage, sealing the compact 
of mutual loyalty with a kiss on the mouth. " We would 
rather die and lose our heritage/' added the bold ecclesiastic, 
" than be ousted from our customs." The primate's speech 
was not likely to please the bailie, but the assembly was 
unanimous in support of its leader, and it was obvious that 
the proud barons, jealous of their rights, were not going to 

1 Arch. Star. ltal y Ser. IV., L, 433 ; ii., 203 ; iv., 11 ; Riccio, Nuovi 
Sfudii, 11 ; Schlumberger, Numismatique, 315 ; Buchon, AUas % pL xxiv., 
5. There is one of the coins of Charles I. as " Prince of Achaia" in the 
Doge's Palace at Venice, and the title occurs in the treaty of Orvieto. 


do homage to a stranger who belonged to their own class. 
But, in the true spirit of constitutional monarchy, they were 
ready to make some compromise, so that his majesty's 
government might be carried on. The question of homage 
was put aside, and the bailie and the assembled vassals 
swore on the gospels — he to respect their customs, they to 
be loyal to Charles I. and his heirs. 

Galeran d'lvry does not seem to have kept his oath, and 
his administration was unpopular. He began by removing 
all the officials whom he had found in authority, just like a 
modern Greek prime minister, and thus created a host of 
enemies. 1 He was unsuccessful in a campaign which he 
undertook against the Greeks, who routed his troops in the 
defiles of Skortd and took many prisoners. The barons com- 
plained that the Angevin soldiers, instead of defeating their 
foes, plundered friendly villages, and that the lands which 
had been taken from them, and the late prince had bestowed 
upon his Turkish auxiliaries, should be restored. In 1280, 
two of their number, Jean de Chauderon and Narjaud de 
R6my, went as a deputation to Naples, to complain of the 
bailie's unconstitutional acts. Charles issued orders that the 
old usages of Achaia should be respected, recalled Galeran 
d'lvry, and appointed in his place Filippo de Lagonessa, 
Marshal of Sicily and ex-Seneschal of Lombardy. 2 But the 
experiment of sending bailies from Italy proved to be 
unsuccessful ; accordingly, two years later, the King of Naples 
adopted the plan of choosing his vicar-general from the ranks 
of the Achaian barons. His choice fell upon Guy de la 
Tr^mouille, lord of Chalandritza, and head of one of the two 
families which still remained in undisturbed possession of the 
original baronies. But the baron of Chalandritza, though his 
family had come over at the Conquest, was not a sufficiently 
important person to impose his will upon his peers. His 

1 X. t. M., 11. 7819-939; L. d. C, 256-60; Angevin documents at 
Naples, quoted by Buchon (Nouve/ies Recherches, I., i., 230-1) and Hopf 
(apud Ersch und Gruber, lxxxv., 316-17). The Greek, French, and Italian 
Chronicle of the Morea, make Hugues de Sully, who was never in Achaia, 
the first bailie after 1278, but mention Galeran d'lvry as bailie in 
William's later years. 

2 Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches, I., i., 223 ; II., i., 327-8 ; Arch. Stor. 
Ital, Ser. IV., iii., 12, 164. 



barony consisted of no more than four knights' fees, and the 
ruined castle of Tremoul&, near Kalavryta, which still pre- 
serves his name, is but small. Although the chivalry of 
Achaia was still so famous, that three of the Moreot barons — 
Jean de Chauderon, Geoffroy de Tournay, and Jacques de la 
Roche of Veligosti and Damal& — were included by King 
Charles among the hundred combatants whom he took with 
him to Bordeaux in 1283, when it was proposed to decide 
the fate of Sicily by a duel between the two sovereigns of 
Naples and Aragon, yet the bailie found it necessary to 
employ Turkish, and even Bulgarian, mercenaries against the 
Greeks. 1 Such was the disaffection in the principality, that 
he received orders not to allow a single inhabitant to serve 
on garrison duty. 

It is no wonder that after three years of office, Guy de la 
Tr^mouille shared the fate of his two predecessors. Charles 
I. of Naples had died in 1285 ; and, as his son and successor, 
Charles II. was at the time a prisoner of the house of 
Aragon, the affairs of Naples and of Achaia were conducted 
by the late king's nephew, Count Robert of Artois, as regent 
One of his first acts was to remove the bailie of Achaia, 
appointing in his place a much more important personage — 
William, Duke of Athens, at that time the leading man in 
Frankish Greece. Connected through his wife with the 
energetic Duke of Neopatras, lord of Lamia in the north, 
directly interested, as baron of Nauplia and Argos, in the 
welfare of the Morea, he was the best possible selection, for 
in him the barons recognised the first among their equals. 
The Duke of Athens, whose coins may still be seen in the 
Archaeological Museum at Venice, was also possessed of 
ample means, which he spent liberally for the defence of 
Greece. Thus, in 1282, in spite of the annual attacks of 
Licario on his coast, he had fitted out nine ships in Euboea 
to co-operate with the Angevin fleet against the imperial 
navy ; and, when bailie of the Morea, he built the castle of 
Demdtra, 2 in the ever-unruly Skortd, a fortress which had 

1 Arch. Star. ltal. % Ser. IV., iv., 354; v., 182-3; x - T - M -» 11. 
8100-4, putting him, however, in the wrong place, after Duke William of 
Athens ; Sanudo, 152 ; L. d. C. f 289, 367. 

8 Riccio, Delia Dominazione Angioina, 1 ; X. r. M., 11. 7990-8016 ; 


been destroyed by the Greeks, and the site of which was 
perhaps at Kastri, to the left of the road between Tripolitza 
and Sparta. With the Venetian republic, which had trade 
interests at Athens, he was on such good terms, that when, 
in 1284, it was negotiating an armistice with the Emperor 
Andr6nikos II., it expressly stipulated that the Duke of 
Athens should be included in it — a stipulation not, however, 
insisted upon in the actual treaty of the following year. 1 
William was, however, well able to defend his land, and great 
was the regret when his valiant career was cut short in 1287, 
after only two years' office in Achaia. 

In the Athenian duchy, he was succeeded by his only 
son, Guy II., who was still a minor, and for whom his Greek 
mother, Helene, daughter of the Duke of Neopatras, acted 
as regent — the first Greek ruler of Athens for over eighty 
years. In the administration of the Morea, he was followed 
by the great Theban magnate, Nicholas II. de St Omer, 
whom we have already seen defending the claim of his 
sister-in-law to the barony of Akova. The lord of half 
Thebes, like his father before him, he had built out of the 
vast wealth of his first wife, Princess Marie of Antioch, the 
noble castle of St Omer on the Kadmeia, of which only one 
tower now remains, but which was "the finest baronial 
mansion in all Romania." It contained sufficient rooms for 
an emperor and his court, and the walls were decorated with 
frescoes, illustrating the conquest of the Holy Land by the 
Franks, in which the ancestors of the Theban baron had 
played a prominent part As his second wife he had married 
the widowed Princess of Achaia, and had thus come into 
possession of the lands in the Morea which she received in 
lieu of her widow's portion of Clermont and Kalamata, while 
his brother Jean had already established himself and founded 
a family in the peninsula. Nicholas had won the esteem of 
Charles I., who had sent him on a mission to the Armenian 
court, and he was thus well known to the Angevins. Like 
his immediate predecessor, he spent money in fortifications, 

L. d. C, 385 ; C. d. M. y 461 ; Pachymeres, i., 413 ; Buchon, Atlas, pi. 
xxv., 5 ; Schlumberger, Numismatique^ 338 ; Paparregrfpoulos (v. 153), 
identifies it with Karytaina. 
1 Luna, fol. 100. 



building a small fortress to protect his wife's village of 
Maniatochorion against attack from the two neighbouring 
Venetian colonies of Messenia, and the strong castle of 
Avarino on the promontory at the north end of the famous 
bay of Navarino, upon the site where once had stood the 
palace of Nestor, where in classic days the Athenians had 
entrenched themselves at the beginning of the Peloponnesian 
war. But Nicholas de St Omer was not attracted to the 
spot by reminiscences of Homer or Thucydides. He was 
anxious to erect a mansion for his nephew Nicholas, and he 
chose the classic Pylos, with the noble bay at its foot, as a 
commanding position. We often find the place mentioned 
in the thirteenth century. The Franks called it "port de 
Junch"— the "harbour of rushes" — or "Zonklon," by a 
corruption of that word ; but the Greeks described it already 
as " Avarinos " — a name which occurs not only in the Greek 
Chronicle of the Morea} but in the earlier golden bull of 
Andr6nikos II., dated 1293. The theory, therefore, so con- 
fidently put forward by Hopf, 2 that the modern name of 
Navarino is derived from the Navarrese company which 
occupied Zonklon a century later, falls to the ground. In 
all probability, Avarinos is a reminiscence, as Fallmerayer 3 
long ago suggested, of the barbarous tribe of Avars, who, 
according to a Byzantine historian of that period, " conquered 
all Greece " in 589, and who, if we may believe a correspondent 
of the Emperor Atexios I., " held possession of the Pelopon- 
nesos for 218 years." Thus, the name "Navarino" would 
arise, in accordance with the usual Greek practice, of which 
we had several examples in the last chapter, out of the final 
letter of the accusative of the article, «V top 'Afiapivov, or 
else, the name of the new settlement there, " Neo- Avarino," 
so called to distinguish it from St Omer's castle of " Palaio- 

1 X. r. M., 11. 8056-99, 8105-9 ; L. d. C, 273-6 ; Buchon, Recherches 
historiques, ii., 498, 501 ; Nouvelles Recherches, I., i., 227; II., i. 331 ; 
La Grlce Continental, 460. 

2 Apud Ersch und Gruber, lxxxv., 212, 321 ; lxxxvi., p. 24. 

s Geschichte der Halbinsel Morea, i., 188 ; Evagrios, Hist. Eccles., vi., 
10 ; Leunclavius, Jus Graco-Rotnanum, i., 278 ; Leake, Travels in the 
Morea, I., 411 ; Andr6nikos writes tit r^v IIi/Xov, rto KaXot/uxvop 'Apaplvov. 
Cf. the author's article in the English Hist Review, xx., 307 ; xxi., 106 ; 
and Prof. Bury in Hermathena, xiii., 430. 


Avarino," would easily be contracted into the form which 
the great battle which secured the independence of modern 
Greece has made known to every lover of Hellas. 

The administration of the great Theban baron was 
disturbed by another of those feudal claims, which had now 
become common since the almost complete disappearance 
of the families of the original conquerors. It will be 
remembered that on the death of Geoffroy de Bruy&res, 
his barony of Skortd had been divided into two halves, one 
escheating to the crown, the other being left in the hands of 
the widow. We saw how a certain knight, named Pestel, had 
claimed the barony, and how Prince William had ignored 
his claim. A new claimant now appeared in the person of 
another Geoffroy de Bruy&res, a cousin of the late baron, 
who arrived from Champagne with elaborate proofs of his 
relationship and a recommendation from the Regent of 
Naples to the bailie that the High Court should decide the 
question. The Court met at Glarentza, and the bishop of 
Olena gave judgment in its name against young Geoffroy, 
on the ground that Skortd would only have descended to 
him, if he had been a direct heir of its late lord, according to 
the decision of Prince William. Ashamed to return to France 
empty-handed, the claimant resorted to craft to obtain the 
coveted barony. He pretended to be suffering from colic, 
which could be best cured by drinking rain water, such as 
was to be found in the cistern of the small but strong castle 
of Bucelet, or Araklovon, which commanded the defile of 
Skortd, and which had been held at the time of the Conquest 
by the heroic Doxapatr&s. He first sent a trusty esquire 
to beg water from the benevolent governor, and then obtained 
leave to occupy a room in the tower, so that he might be 
able to drink the astringent water at his convenience. Soon 
he seemed to grow worse, and the unsuspecting governor 
permitted him to call his esquires to his bedside, so that they 
might hear his last dying depositions. Geoffroy then con- 
fided to them his plan. They were to induce the bibulous 
governor and his men to drink deep with them at a favourite 
tavern outside the castle gate, and then, when their guests 
had well drunk, they should seize the keys from the porter 
and bar out the intoxicated governor and garrison. The plan 


succeeded, and Geoffroy, now master of Bucelet, released some 
Greeks who were in the castle dungeon and despatched two 
of them by night to the imperial commander, offering to sell 
him the castle, of whose strategic value Geoffroy was well 
aware. He knew that Bucelet was the key of Skorti, and 
he surmised that the bailie would give him Karytaina, rather 
than that Bucelet, and with it, the whole of Arkadia, should 
fall into the hands of the Greeks. This surmise proved to 
be not far wrong. The Greek commander, overjoyed at the 
offer, hastened towards Bucelet with all his troops. Before, 
however, he had time to reach the castle, it had been closely 
invested by the Frankish soldiers, hastily summoned by the 
governor from their garrison duty at Great Ardchova. Such 
was the alarm caused in the principality, that the bailie 
himself marched at the head of all his available forces to 
Bucelet. Ordering Simon de Vidoigne, the captain of 
Skortd, to prevent the Greek army from crossing the 
Alpheios by the ford at Isova, he sent envoys to Geoffroy, 
offering him a free pardon if he would surrender the castle 
to him as King Charles II.'s vicar-general, but, in the event 
of refusal, threatening to pull it down about his ears. 
" Indeed," the messengers added, " Venetian carpenters have 
already been summoned from Coron to construct the necessary 
engines of war." The prudent Geoffroy now saw that the time 
had come for a compromise ; he offered to give up the castle 
to the bailie, if the latter would promise him some fief upon 
which he could settle ; the bailie consented, and this audacious 
piece of feudal blackmail was rewarded by the hand of a 
wealthy widow, Marguerite de Cors, who brought him her 
father's fief of Lisarea near Chalandritza, and her husband's 
fief of Moraina in Skortd. 1 As for the castle of Bucelet, it 
was shortly afterwards bestowed upon Isabelle de Villehardouin 
by King Charles II. 

That monarch had been released from prison in 1 289, and 
one of his first acts was to appoint a fresh bailie of the Morea. 
His nominee was Guy de Charpigny, Lord of Vostitza, head 
of the sole surviving great baronial family of the Conquest — 
for Guy de la Tr^mouille had now died without male heirs — 

1 X. r. M. f 11. 8110-458 ; L. d. C. t 276-87 ; Z. d. F., 94-8 (with con- 
siderable variations in detail from the other versions) ; C. d. M %y 462-5. 


and a man known personally to the Neapolitan court. 1 But 
the Moreot barons were tired of this system of government 
by deputies. They had had in eleven years, six bailies 
— two foreigners, two of their own order, and two great 
magnates from the duchy of Athens. The foreigners had 
trampled on their privileges, their fellow-barons were not 
sufficiently far above them to secure their respect, and the 
duchy of Athens was now itself in the hands of a child and 
his mother. Meanwhile, the war against the imperial com- 
manders at MistrA had gone on more or less continually ever 
since the death of William, for the Morea had been involved 
in the general Angevin plan of campaign against the 
Byzantine Empire. These facts had convinced the barons 
that their country could only be saved by a prince who 
would reside among them. Two of their number, Jean de 
Chauderon, the late prince's nephew and grand constable of 
the principality, and Geoffroy de Tournay, formerly baron of 
Kalavryta, were frequent visitors at the Neapolitan court, 
where they enjoyed greater esteem than any other nobles of 
the Morea. They had both fought for Charles I. at Taglia- 
cozzo, they had both been chosen to fight for him at 
Bordeaux ; and Chauderon held the post of admiral of the 
kingdom of Naples. Their advice was, therefore, likely to 
be accepted by the king. During their visits to Naples they 
had made the acquaintance of a young noble from Flanders, 
Florent d'Avesnes, brother of the Count of Hainault, and 
scion of a family which had greatly distinguished itself in the 
stormy history of the near East His great-grandfather had 
stood by the side of Cceur-de-Lion at the siege of Acre ; his 
grandfather had married the daughter of the first Latin 
emperor of Constantinople ; his great-uncle had been the 
Jacques d'Avesnes, who had conquered Euboea and been 
wounded at the siege of Corinth. Florent's father had been 
noted for his reckless extravagance and his amorous 
adventures, and, as he left seven children, there was not 
much prospect for a younger son of the family in the old 
home. Energetic and ambitious, the young noble was not 
content to live on the small appanage of Braine-le-Comte and 
Hal, which his eldest brother had given him ; so, about two 
1 Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches, I., i., 223. 



years before this date, he had gone to seek his fortune at the 
Neapolitan court, where he had received the post of grand 
constable of the kingdom of Sicily, and the captaincy of 
Corfii. But he was not satisfied with these dignities ; he had, 
no doubt, heard of the discontent in the Morea with the 
existing method of government, and he saw therein a means 
of furthering his own ambition. Accordingly, he approached 
the two Achaian barons on the subject, and suggested that 
they should ask the king to give him in marriage the hand of 
the widowed Isabelle de Villehardouin, who was still living 
in the Castel dell* Uovo, at Naples, like a prisoner of state, 
and to appoint him Prince of Achaia. At the same time, he 
pointed out, that if he became prince, they would remain the 
masters. The scheme met with their approval ; they chose 
a favourable moment for addressing the lame monarch, and 
then frankly laid before him the dangers of the present 
situation. "Your bailie and your soldiers," they said, 
"tyrannise over the poor, wrong the rich, seek their own 
advantage and neglect the country. Unless you send a 
man," they added, " who will always stay there, and who, as 
heir of the Villehardouins, will make it his object to advance 
the country's interests, you will — mark our words — lose the 
principality altogether." They then reminded King Charles 
that his sister-in-law, the late Prince William's daughter, 
" the Lady of the Morea," as she was called, was living in 
widowhood, and prayed him to marry her to some great 
nobleman, who would govern Achaia to his Majesty's benefit. 
Charles II. listened to their advice, realising that hitherto 
Achaia had been a source of expense to the crown of Naples 
and was being rapidly ruined. He gave his consent to the 
marriage, but only on condition that, if Isabelle survived 
Florent, neither she nor her daughter nor any other female 
descendant of hers, should marry without the king's consent. 
If this condition were not observed, the possession of the 
principality was at once to revert to the crown of Naples. 
This stipulation, against which the author of The Chronicle 
of the Morea strongly protests, was, twelve years afterwards, 
enforced against Isabelle herself, and, a generation later, 
against her ill-fated daughter Matilda. 

Meanwhile, all parties were delighted at the marriage. 


The Lady of the Morea, still only twenty-five years old, must 
have rejoiced at the prospect of leaving her gilded cage and 
returning to her native land, which she had left as a child 
eighteen years before. The wedding ceremony was performed 
with much state by the Archbishop of Naples, in September 
1289, and the king invested Isabelle and her husband 
with the principality of Achaia. Then the young couple set 
out for their principality ; on their arrival at Glarentza, the 
bailie hastened to meet them, and summoned the prelates, 
barons, knights, esquires, and burgesses to hear the orders of 
the king. In the Minorite church there, the king's letters 
were read aloud, both in Latin and in the vulgar tongue, after 
which, the new prince took the customary oath to observe 
the customs of the country and the franchises of his vassals, 
and then he received their homage and the possession of the 
principality from the hands of the bailie. 1 In the following 
spring, Charles II. ordered the title of "Prince of Achaia," 
which he and his father had used from the death of Prince 
William down to 1289, 2 to be removed from the Great Seal 
of the kingdom of Naples ; henceforth it figures in the docu- 
ments of Isabelle and Florent, and on the coins which they 
struck at Glarentza to replace the Achaian currency of 
Charles II. and his father. 3 

While the war against the Greeks had been going on all 
these years in the Morea, the house of Anjou had also 
pressed its claims in Epiros. So long as the Despot 
Michael II. lived, Charles I. had, indeed, been unable to 
make progress in the Highland country beyond the Adriatic 
He had merely sent Jean de Cl£ry to take possession of the 
Epirote possessions, which the treaty of Viterbo had conferred 
upon him, and his envoy had occupied the excellent harbour 
of Valona, upon which modern Italy casts longing glances. 

» X. r. M., 11. 8476-8652 ; L. d. C, 288-97 ; Buchon, Recherches histo- 
riques, ii., 498-9; Nouvelles Recherches, II., i., pp. 338-42; C. d. Af. 9 
465-6 ; it is not necessary to assume, with Buchon, that " the vulgar 
tongue" was Greek; for Charles II. wrote, as usual, in Latin; hence 
" the vulgar tongue " would be French. 

8 He is so described in a letter of that year apud Muratori, op. cit^ 
xiv., 955. 

3 Coins of Charles II., Isabelle and Florent in Buchon, A tlas % xxi v., 
6, 7, 8 ; and in Schlumberger, Numismatique, 315. 



But, not many months after the death of Michael II., the 
Albanian chiefs, by reason of their " devotion to the holy 
Roman Church," recognised Charles of Anjou, the champion 
of the papacy, as their king, did homage to his repre- 
sentatives, and received from him a renewal of the privileges 
granted to their forefathers by the Byzantine emperors. 
Chinardo's brother was then made Viceroy of Albania, 
Chinardo's children were put safely under lock and key in 
the prison of Trani, the treaty of Viterbo was ratified by 
Charles's son-in-law, Philip I. of Courtenay, now titular 
emperor, at Foggia in 1274, and the feeble Despot of Epiros, 
Nikeph6ros I., unable to protect himself against the emperor 
Michael VIII., recognised Charles as his suzerain, sent his 
son as a hostage to Glarentza, and handed over to the 
Angevins the castle of Butrinto, the classic Buthrotum, and 
other places once held by Chinardo. A vigorous attempt 
was now at last made to attack the emperor by land and 
sea. A force of 3000 men was sent over to Epiros, and 
placed under the command of Hugues de Sully, nicknamed 
Le Rousseau from his red hair, a native of Burgundy, who 
had accompanied Charles to Naples, and had been appointed 
in 1278 Captain-General and Vicar of Albania and Corfu. 
Ros Solum&s or Rosonsoul€s, as the Byzantine historians 
call him, was a big, handsome man, but a most unfortunate 
commander, proud, headstrong, and passionate. His men, 
among whom were many Saracens, shared his over-con- 
fidence, and were already partitioning in their own minds 
the dominions of the emperor, as the Frank Crusaders had 
really done three-quarters of a century earlier. But the 
Angevin expedition, which was to have conquered the 
empire, got no farther than Berat, the picturesque Albanian 
stronghold defended by its river and its rocky fortress. 
The emperor despatched a force to relieve the place, the 
red-haired giant fell from his horse, and, lying helpless in his 
heavy armour, was captured by the Greeks, or their Turkish 
auxiliaries. 1 On the news of his capture, his men fled in 

1 Buchon, NouvelUs Recherche I., i., 206, 231-2 ; II., i., 314, 316-19 ; 
L. d. C, 257-8 ; Pachym6res, i., 508-19 ; Nikeph6ros Gregorys, i., 146-8 ; 
Sanudo, 129-30 ; Ducange, op. ctf. t ii., 324 ; Arch. Stor. /fa/. y Ser. IV., ii., 
199, 355 J iv., 17. 


panic, and the captives were led, like prisoners in a Roman 
triumph, through the streets of Constantinople, where Sully 
languished for years in the imperial dungeons. Such was 
the joy of the emperor, that he commissioned an artist to 
depict the victory of Berat upon the walls of his palace. 
The reacquisition of Durazzo completed the success of his 
arms, and the harbour of Valona and the castle of Butrinto 
alone remained to the Angevins in Epiros. At sea, the 
Angevin fleet, manned by Franks from the Morea and partly 
led by Marco II. Sanudo, Duke of Naxos, did more harm 
than good to the Latin cause in the Levant, as the duke's 
relative confesses, so that the double attack upon the empire 
had failed. Nor was the treaty for the recovery of the realm 
of Romania, which was concluded at Orvieto in 1281, thanks 
to the efforts of Leonardo of Veroli, the ever-useful chancellor 
of Achaia, between Charles, " Prince of Achaia," his son-in-law, 
Philip I. of Courtenay, titular emperor of Romania, and the 
Venetian republic, any more productive of results. The 
treaty seemed on paper to be a masterpiece of statecraft, for 
it brought Venice, so long neutral, into line against the 
Greeks. Charles and Philip were to provide some 8000 
horses and sufficient men to ride them ; Venice was to equip 
forty galleys or more, in order to secure the command of the 
sea; the year 1283 was fixed for the expedition, in which all 
the three high contracting parties were to take part in 
person ; finally, there was to be neither peace nor truce with 
Michael VIII. or his heirs. But nothing practical ever 
came of the treaty of Orvieto. History can only say of it, 
that it was one more of the many diplomatic failures to solve 
the Eastern question. Charles did, indeed, collect another 
small fleet, of which nine vessels were provided by Duke 
William of Athens, and six by the bailie of the Morea, 
Lagonessa, and the Venetians began to make preparations. 
But the French squadron fell foul of the Venetians, and the 
Greek admiral, John de lo Cavo, the terrible ex-pirate, 
captured two rich Venetian merchantmen. 1 Then, sud- 
denly the Angevin power in Sicily received a blow, which 
in a single night destroyed all the ambitious plans of 

1 Fontes Rcr. Austr.^ xiv., 287-308, 337, 351 ; Laurentius dc Monacis, 
151 ; Sanudo, 130, 132, 173. 


Charles against the East In 1282 took place the Sicilian 

Greek diplomacy had not been altogether unconnected 
with that ghastly tragedy. Excommunicated by the new 
pope, Martin IV., a Frenchman and a creature of Charles, 
Michael VIII. saw that the farce of uniting the Eastern and 
Western churches was played out. He accordingly entered 
into negotiations with the deadly enemy of the house of 
Anjou, Peter III. of Aragon, employing as his inter- 
mediaries his brother-in-law, Benedetto Zaccaria, member of 
a rich Genoese family which had been entrusted by the 
emperor with the administration of the rich alum mines of 
Phokaia in Asia Minor ; a Lombard, named Accardo, from 
Lodi ; and the celebrated Giovanni di Procida, who visited 
Constantinople in the guise of a Franciscan monk. The 
emperor was to pay the King of Aragon an annual subsidy 
of £26,880 so long as the war against the Angevins lasted, 
and some portion of this sum was provided by the clan of 
Zaccaria. 1 Michael VIII. received full value for his money; 
for the fall of the Angevin power in Sicily not only freed him 
from a dangerous enemy, but also deprived the Frank states 
in Greece of valuable support Not without reason has it 
been said that the Sicilian vespers sounded the knell of 
French rule in Hellas. 2 Their immediate result was to stop 
any attempt to carry out the programme laid down at 
Orvieto. In Epiros the Angevin commanders contented 
themselves with holding the pitiful remnant of the Neapolitan 
possessions — a task rendered less difficult owing to the 
feeble character of the Despot Nikeph6ros I., the attacks made 
upon him and upon the emperor by the ever-restless bastard of 
Neopatras, and by the death, in the very year of the Sicilian 
vespers, of the emperor himself. The last act of Michael 
VIII. was to let loose the Tartars against the crafty rival at 

1 Sanudo, 132, 147, 173 ; Ptolemaeus Lucensis apud Muratori, op. cit., 
xi., 1 186; Hopf, Les Giustiniani, 9 ; Conspiration de Jean ProcAyta(cd. 
Buchon), pp. 1-6, 17-18; Nikephdros Gregoras (loc.cit.) evidently alludes 
to this when he says that Michael sent money to " Frederick (sic), King 
of Sicily," to stop Charles's fleet, confusing King Peter of Aragon with his 
son Frederick, who became King of Sicily fourteen years later. 

2 Pouqueville, Voyage dans la Grhe y iv., 90. 


Neopatras, who had so often been a thorn in his side. The 
death of the titular emperor of Romania in the following 
year removed one of the signatories of the treaty of Orvieto ; 
another, the great Charles of Anjou, died in 1285, leaving his 
successor a prisoner of the Aragonese, and in the same year, 
Venice, the third member of that Triple Alliance, concluded 
an armistice for ten years with the new Emperor Andr6nikos 
II. Both parties were given a free hand in Negroponte ; but 
the emperor promised to respect the Venetian colonies of 
Crete, Coron, and Modon, and to include the Duke of Naxos 
and the lord of Tenos in the treaty, provided that they swore 
not to give refuge to corsairs. A year earlier Andr6nikos 
had gained recognition in the west, and practically 
extinguished the claims of the house of Montferrat to the 
phantom kingdom of Salonika by his second marriage with 
Irene, daughter of the Marquis William VII. and of 
Beatrice of Castile, who brought it to him as her dowry. 1 
Thus collapsed the coalition for the restoration of the 
Latin Empire. 

Freed from the danger of attack from the Franks, 
Andr6nikos II. resolved to secure himself against the 
intrigues of his hereditary rival, the Duke of Neopatras. 
The restless bastard had not been sobered by advancing 
years, and his eldest son, Michael, had begun to display all 
the ambitious activity which had characterised his father in 
his prime. The emperor thought it wise to take measures 
in time against a repetition of those movements in Thessaly 
which had given so much trouble to his father. In order to 
be quite sure of success, he tried both force and craft, sending 
an army and a fleet of about eighty ships under Tarchanei6tes 
and Atexios Raoul, an official of French descent, from whose 
family, according to some authorities, the great clan of 
Ralles derives its origin and name; at the same time, he 
entered into negotiations with his cousin Anna, the masculine 
wife of Nikeph6ros I., Despot of Epiros, for entrapping 
young Michael by some feminine stratagem. Anna's skill 
proved superior to that of the imperial commanders. While 

1 Pachym^res, i., 524-5, ii., 87 ; Nikeph6ros Gregorys, i., 149, 167, 
168 ; Fontes Rer. Austr., xiv., 322-53 ; Memorials Potestatum Regien- 
sium, apud Muratori, op, cit,, viii., 1 164-5. 



they wasted time in restoring the fortifications of Demetrias, 
near the modern Volo, until pestilence slew Tarchanei6tes 
and dispersed his followers, the cunning Princess of Epiros 
obtained possession of her nephew under the pretext of 
marrying him to one of her daughters, and then sent him in 
chains to Constantinople, where he languished in prison for 
the rest of his life. Once, indeed, he managed to escape, 
thanks to the aid of Henry, an Englishman, presumably a 
member of the Varangian guard, who had been appointed 
his chief gaoler. Hiring a fishing-smack, they set sail in the 
night for Eubcea, hoping to make their way thence to 
Athens, where Michael's sister, Helene, was then duchess 
and regent 1 But one of those sudden storms so common in 
the Levant arose in the Marmara; their vessel was driven 
ashore at Rodosto, and they were there recaptured by the 
imperial authorities. Many efforts were made to induce 
Andr6nikos to release his prisoner, but in vain. Years rolled 
on, and at last Michael, grown desperate, resolved to kill the 
emperor, even if he perished himself. His prison was near 
the imperial apartments, and he therefore determined to set 
fire to his cell, in hope that the flames would reach the 
emperor's bedchamber. Unluckily for the success of his 
plan, Andr6nikos was still awake when the fire broke out ; 
orders were at once given to extinguish the conflagration, 
and Michael, fighting like a tiger, was felled at the door 
of his cell by one of the axes of the bodyguard. 
His father had avenged him upon the treacherous Anna 
by ravaging the Despotat of Epiros; and it was to 
save himself from these attacks that the un warlike Nike- 
ph6ros consented to become tributary to the King of 
Naples. 2 

The founder of a dynasty is always able, and his son 
almost as invariably feeble. So it was with Andr6nikos II. 
Nature had intended him for a professor of theology, to 
which engrossing subject he devoted what time he could 
spare from the neglect of his civil and military duties. In 
order to obtain money for the Orthodox Church and the 
imperial court, he allowed the navy to rot in the Golden 

1 PachymeVes, by a confusion, makes her ruler of Euboea, 
a Pachymdres, ii., 67-77, 201. 


Horn, after the fashion of the present sultan ; his courtiers 
told him that there was nothing more to fear from the Latins 
after the death of Charles of Anjou, so that an efficient fleet 
was a sheer extravagance. He dismissed the half-breeds, 
who were his best sailors, allowing some of them to enter 
the service of the Franks, and thus permitted the pirates 
to scour the seas unchecked. 1 Meanwhile, the handwrit- 
ing was on the wall; the Turks were advancing in 
Asia Minor, yet the pedant on the throne of the Caesars 
seemed to regard their intrusion as of less moment to 
the empire than that of the filioque clause into the 

Under these circumstances, it was no wonder that 
Andr6nikos was glad to suspend, by agreement with the 
new Prince of Achaia, the attempts which his father had 
made for the reconquest of the Morea. The first act of 
Florent was to replace all the existing civil and military 
authorities by his own men, and to redress the grievances 
of the principality, which he found utterly exhausted by the 
exactions of the Angevin officials and mercenaries. He 
endeavoured to make the foreign blood-suckers atone for 
their maladministration by compelling them to disgorge 
their ill-gotten gains, and such was his severity towards 
them that he received a significant hint from King Charles 
to temper justice with mercy. As for the future, he wisely 
adopted the advice of such experienced men as old Nicholas 
de St Omer, Geoffroy de Tournay, and Jean de Chauderon, 
who urged him, in accordance with the general opinion, to 
make a durable truce with the Greek Emperor as the only 
way of preventing the further decline of the principality. 
He accordingly sent two envoys to the Byzantine governor 
(or K€<pa\?j) at MistrS, suggesting that an armistice should 
be concluded. The governors of the Byzantine province 
were, however, at that period, appointed for no longer than 
a year, and the then governor's term of office had almost 
expired. He, however, at the advice of the local Greek 
magnates, referred the proposal to the emperor, who joyfully 
accepted it, all the more so because he was at the moment 
harassed by the Turks in Asia, by the Despot of Epiros, 

1 Pachymdres, ii., 69-71 ; Nikephdros Gregorys, i., 174-6. 




and by the Bulgarian Tsar. 1 Andr6nikos sent to the Morea 
a great magnate, Philanthropen6s, who belonged to one of 
the twelve ancient Byzantine families, and was apparently 
the same person as the Al^xios Philanthropen6s who was 
grandson of the former Byzantine admiral, and a few years 
later rebelled and proclaimed himself emperor. 2 The new 
governor met Florent at Andravida, where the heads of a 
treaty were drawn up in writing between them. But the 
cautious Fleming was still not content with the signature of 
an annual official, of however high rank. He pointed out 
that, as he was a prince, the emperor's autograph should 
accompany his own. Philanthropen6s agreed; two Greek 
archons and two Greek-speaking French barons, Jean de 
Chauderon and Geoffroy d'Aunoy, baron of Kyparissia, 
accompanied him to Constantinople, and Andr6nikos, glad to 
be relieved of the expense caused by the warfare in the 
Morea, signed the treaty with the purple ink, and sealed it 
with the golden seal in their presence. For full seven years 
the principality enjoyed repose, which was welcome to both 
Greeks and Franks alike. The ravages of the Angevin 
officials and their mercenaries were repaired ; "all grew rich," 
says the chronicler, " Franks and Greeks, and the land waxed 
so fat and plenteous in all things, that the people knew not 
the half of what they possessed." 8 

Unfortunately, by a custom of international law which 
then prevailed, a truce between two rulers was considered no 
bar to the offer of assistance by one of them to the enemy of 
the other. One of the reasons which had induced Andronikos 
to make peace in the Morea was, as we saw, his difficult 
position in Epiros. The Despot Nikeph6ros, or rather his 
wife Anna, who really inspired his policy, was at this moment 
smarting under that spretce injuria fornix which had caused 
so many woes to the ancient Greek world. She had 
rendered a great service to the emperor by betraying 

1 " L'Empereur de Jaguora n (L. d. C, 300). " Jaguora " is Zagora, not 
Angora, as Buchon supposes. 

s PachymeVes, ii., 210-29 ; Krit6boulos, the historian of Mohammed 
II., seems to allude to his appointment (Miiller, Fragtnenta historicorum 
Gracorum % v., 104). 

* X. r. M. t 8653-8781 ; L. d. C, 297-300, 472. 


Michael of Neopatras into his hands, and she claimed her 
reward, which was to consist of a marriage between her very 
beautiful daughter, Thamar, and the emperor's eldest son. 
She added as an inducement, that after her husband's death 
she would transfer the Despotat to the emperor, regardless of 
the claims of her son Thomas, a child of feeble character, 
whom she judged incapable of governing in troublous times. 
The offer was a good one, for it would have ended the long 
rivalry between Epiros and Constantinople and have reunited 
a large part of the Byzantine Empire. But the patriarch 
opposed a marriage between second cousins ; as a theologian, 
Andr6nikos agreed with the patriarch, as a politician of 
short views, he fancied that he had found a better match for 
his son in the person of Catherine of Courtenay, grand- 
daughter of Baldwin II., whose claims as titular empress of 
Constantinople would be extinguished by her marriage with 
the real heir. 1 As a matter of fact, this alternative alliance 
came to nothing, while the rejection of the beauteous Thamar 
determined her father to wipe out this insult. The bastard 
of Neopatras also, if we may believe the much later Chronicle 
of Galaxidi? seized this opportunity of avenging the emperor's 
treatment of his eldest son, who was at that time a prisoner 
in Constantinople ; " with tears in his eyes," he appealed to 
the mountaineers of Loidoriki and the sailors of Galaxidi to 
come to his aid. Two hundred chosen men came from either 
place with the intention to do or die ; but in a battle near 
Lamia, they were basely deserted by their comrades; the 
Galaxidiotes perished to a man, boldly fighting sword in 
hand ; a quarter of the contingent from Loidoriki was left 
on the field ; and the bastard, who had witnessed so many 
fights, only escaped capture by flight. Nikeph6ros was now 
exposed to the full force of the imperial army, which, 44,000 
strong, crossed over from Thessaly by way of Metzovo to 
Joannina, the second most important city of the Despotat, 
which had been recovered from its former imperial garrison. 
Meanwhile, the emperor had chartered sixty Genoese galleys 
with orders to enter the Ambrakian Gulf. 

Thus menaced by land and sea, Nikephoros sought the 
advice of his chief men, who recommended him to seek the aid 
1 Pachym^res, ii., 153, 200-2. * Pp. 203-4. 




of Florent, who had married his niece and whose Frankish 
chivalry was famous in the whole Greek world. Envoys 
were accordingly sent in 1292 to the Achaian capital of 
Andravida, where the matter was discussed in the church 
of the Divine Wisdom; the older men, who remembered 
the mishaps which had . accrued to the Morea from the 
Epirote campaign of Prince William, thirty-three years 
before, were opposed to a repetition of that adventure ; but 
dynastic reasons and the national love of glory prevailed, 
and it was agreed, that Florent should join his wife's uncle 
with 500 picked warriors, on condition that the Despot gave 
them their pay and sent his only surviving son Thomas as a 
hostage to the Morea. At the same time, and on the same 
terms, Nikeph6ros secured the aid of Count Richard of 
Cephalonia and 100 of his islanders, sending him, as a pledge 
of his good faith, his daughter Maria. 

The three allies met at Arta, and resolved on a march 
upon Joannina ; but, before they had reached that place, the 
imperial army had fled in panic, nor could their chivalrous 
appeals to the honour of the Greek commander, whose 
Turkish and Cuman auxiliaries would only obey their own 
chiefs, prevail upon him to give them battle. After a brief 
raid into the emperor's territory, they were hastily recalled 
by the news that the Genoese galleys had arrived at the 
mouth of the Ambrakian Gulf, that the sailors had landed at 
Preveza, and that they were marching straight for Arta. 1 The 
Despot feared for his capital, for the Genoese were noted for 
their skill in sieges, and 1000 horsemen were despatched in 
hot haste to stop them. But the flight of the imperial army, 
which was to have co-operated with them by land, had dis- 
couraged the Genoese ; some of their comrades were cut off 
by the cavalry ; and, when Florent arrived and pitched his 
camp at Salagora, where the galleys were lying at anchor, 
so as to prevent them from landing, they sailed away to 
Vonitza on the south of the gulf, 2 whence they ravaged the 
Despotat unchecked as far as the island of Santa Mavra, 
which then formed part of it. Then they returned to 
Constantinople ; the allies of the Despot dispersed ; and his 

1 Here ends the Italian version of the Chronicle. 

2 Here ends the Greek version. 


son was released from his detention at ChloumoQtsi. Count 
Richard of Cephalonia did not, however, send back his 
hostage, but married her to his eldest son John, a fine, 
strapping man, for whom no lady of Romania was good 
enough. Great was the indignation of Nikeph6ros, who 
had looked higher than the heir of the county palatine; 
but Epiros had no navy, and the count, safe in his island 
domain, could smile at his late ally's impotent wrath, 1 which 
was increased by the count's refusal to carry out his promise 
of bestowing the famous "island of Ithaka, or the fort of 
Koron6s," in Cephalonia, upon his son. 2 Nikeph6ros had 
acted more generously, for he had grown fond of his hand- 
some son-in-law, to whom he seems to have given the island 
of Leukas, or Santa Mavra, as it now began to be called. 8 
The history of Santa Mavra, and the origin of its name, are 
somewhat obscure ; but it appears to have belonged to the 
despots of Epiros, in connection with whom we have more 
than once had occasion to allude to it, down to a little before 
the year 1300, when it is mentioned, under the names of 
"Luccate" and " Lettorna," in two Angevin documents, as 
belonging to John of Cephalonia. In one of these documents, 
Charles II. of Naples gives John permission to build a fort in 
" Lettorna," and from this fort, which is known to have been 
subsequently called " Santa Mavra," some scholars derive the 
common name of the island, while others think that it had 
the name even before the erection of the fort 4 Santa Mavra 
is a popular saint, alike in Greece and Italy, so that her name 

1 X. r. M., 11. 8782 to end ; L. d. C, 302-20; L. d. K, 100-3 J Con- 
tinuator Caflfari apud Pertz, Monumenta German* Hist y xviii., 338 ; 
Buchon, Recherches Ais tongues, ii., 482. 

2 Riccio, Saggio di Codice Diplomatico, Supp., part I., 87. The south- 
east corner of Cephalonia is still called Koronof. 

3 This is an inference from the two facts that Leukas is not mentioned 
among the dominions of Richard in the above-mentioned inventory of 
the bishopric of Cephalonia in 1264, and that it is mentioned as belong- 
ing to his son John in 1300 ; Roman6s, Tpartavbt ZApfa, 166, 297. 

4 The Livre de la Conqueste, probably composed between 1333 and 
1 34 1, mentions "Saincte Maure" (p. 317) in describing the events of 
1292 ; the fort is so described in an Angevin document of 1343, in Walter 
of Brienne's will in 1347, and in a Venetian document of 1355, where the 
island is still called "Lucate" — an indication that the fort was called 
Santa Mavra before the island. Roman6s, op. ci£, 301-2 ; Blame's, 




would appeal alike to the Italian Orsini and to the native 

The Despot was able to console himself for this misalliance 
by a splendid match for his other daughter, the beautiful 
Thamar, whose slighted charms had been the cause of the 
late war. In 1294 the Epirote damsel was married at Naples 
to Philip, second son of King Charles II. f who was thus able 
to recover by a dynastic alliance the ground which his house 
had lost by the sword beyond the Adriatic. The King of 
Naples laid his plans with much cunning. Before the 
marriage took place, he conferred upon his son the princi- 
pality of Taranto, as being nearest to the coveted land of 
Epiros ; his next step was to make his niece, Catherine of 
Courtenay, titular empress of Constantinople, ratify the 
treaty of Viterbo, and pledge herself never to marry without 
the consent of the crown of Naples — a piece of diplomacy 
which he attempted to justify by the most sickening and 
transparent excuses. He thus had in his own hands all the 
claims to the Latin Empire of Romania, which still counted 
for something in diplomatic circles. He then transferred all 
these claims, and the suzerainty over the principality of 
Achaia, the duchy of Athens, the kingdom of Albania, and 
the province of Wallachia (or Thessaly) to his son, on whom 
he also bestowed the island of Corfu with the castle of 
Butrinto on the opposite coast of Epiros and its dependencies 
— the remnant, in fact, of the Angevin possessions on the 
Greek mainland. Thus, in 1294, Philip of Taranto became 
suzerain of all the Frankish states in Greece, which the King 
of Aragon, the great rival of the house of Anjou, promised 
to respect, and actual owner of the Angevin dominion in 
Corfu and on the Epirote litoral, over which his father 
retained the overlordship. A prince so richly endowed with 
dignities and estates was a desirable son-in-law ; nor was the 
Despot moved to reject such a marriage for his daughter on 
the ground that the King of Naples was still keeping his 
nephews, the sons of Helene and Manfred, in the dungeons 
of Santa Maria del Monte, the fine castle which still stands 
near Andria. He promised to give Philip, in addition to 

f H Aev*As inrb rods Qp&yicovt, p. 25. Cf. the author's note in the English 
Historical Review, xviii., 513. 


Thamar's dowry of ^"44,800 - a year, the four fortresses of 
Lepanto, Vonitza, Angelokastro and Vrachori (the modern 
Agrinion); if his son Thomas died, Philip was to become 
Despot of all Epiros ; if he lived to attain his majority, he was 
to hold the heritage of his ancestors as Philip's vassal, and 
cede the latter another castle or a maritime province. 1 On the 
other hand, Philip pledged himself to respect the religion of his 
wife and his future subjects ; the first of these pledges he vio- 
lated ; the confidence of the Greeks in the second must have 
been shaken by the creation of a Catholic archbishopric in " the 
royal castle" of Lepanto, whose Greek metropolitan, hitherto 
the chief ecclesiastic of the Despotat, transferred his see to 
Joannina, out of the reach of " the boastful, haughty, and 
rapacious Italians." 2 Philip of Taranto was now, by this 
extraordinary arrangement, master of the best positions in 
iEtolia, and had a prospect of obtaining the whole of Epiros. 
The other branch of the Angeli, which ruled in Thessaly, was, 
indeed, naturally alarmed at this extension of Angevin sway 
in Western Greece, and the two younger sons of the old 
Duke of Neopatras made an attack upon Art a and captured 
Lepanto. The King of Naples in alarm bade Florent of 
Achaia and Hugues de Brienne, who was now guardian of 
the young Duke of Athens, defend Epiros. But this was a 
merely temporary acquisition, almost immediately relin- 
quished ; in fact, the chief result of these feuds between the 
two branches of the Angeli was to weaken both and so 
benefit the Angevins. Moreover, the Serbs had now occupied 
the north of the Despotat, so that the Albanian Catholic 
population naturally preferred the rule of a prince of their 
own faith to that of a sovereign who was a member of the 
Orthodox Church. Philip himself was able to pay but little 
attention to his transmarine possessions, for, like his father 
before him, he was taken prisoner by the Aragonese, at the 

1 Ducange, op. cit. y ii., 326-32 ; Buchon, Recherches historigues, i., 320-4, 
455 ; Nouvelles Recherches^ II., i., 306-8, 315-16, 407-9; I., i., 198-9 ; Hopf 
apud Ersch und Gruber, lxxxv., 338; Buchon identifies "le Blecola" 
with Vrachori ; PachymeVes, ii., 202 ; Minieri Riccio, Delia Dominazione 
Angioina y 7, 8 ; Saggio, Supp., part i., 56. 

' Miklosich und M tiller, i., 94, 470, where the date is erroneously given 
as "about 1284." It should be 1307. Cf. Regestum dementis V., ii,, 89* 




battle of Falconaria in 1299, and was not released till the 
peace of Caltabellotta in 1 302. But during his captivity his 
interests were well looked after, and his father spared no 
pains to conciliate the Epirotes. Two years later, Charles II. 
renewed the settlement of 1 294, and his son was henceforth 
styled " Despot of Romania and Lord of the Kingdom of 
Albania" — the former of which titles may be read on the 
coins which he struck at his mint of " Nepant," or Lepanto. 1 

The seven years' peace which the Morea enjoyed during 
the reign of Florent was disturbed by several violent 
incidents. Soon after the return of the prince from Epiros 
he had to pay a visit to his suzerain, the King of Naples, and 
during his absence in 1292 a piratical squadron under the 
command of Roger de Lluria, the famous admiral of King 
James of Aragon, made its appearance in Greek waters. 
Lluria's brother-in-law, Berenguer d'Entenga, had already 
ravaged Corfu and the coast of the Despotat of Epiros, but 
this fresh expedition was much more destructive. Lluria 
himself afterwards told Sanudo, that he had plundered the 
emperor's dominions, because the latter had failed to pay the 
subsidy promised to King Peter of Aragon by Michael VIII., 
and, as the truce of Gaeta, between the houses of Anjou and 
Aragon, had barely expired, he did not attack the Franks of 
Achaia till he was attacked by them ; but he damaged both 
Latin and Greek islands with piratical impartiality. Chios, 
then a Byzantine possession, yielded him sufficient mastic to 
fill two galleys; the Latin duchy of Naxos afforded him 
further booty, and then he steered his course for Monemvasia. 
Since the re-establishment of Byzantine rule in the south of 
the Morea, thirty years before, Monemvasia had greatly 
increased in importance. Michael VIII. had granted its 
citizens valuable fiscal exemptions ; his pious son had con- 
firmed their privileges and possessions, and in 1293 gave the 
metropolitan the title of " Exarch of all the Peloponnesos," 
with jurisdiction over eight bishoprics, some, it is true, still 
in partibus infideliunt> and confirmed all the rights and 
property of his diocese, which was raised to be the tenth of 
the empire and extended, at any rate on paper, right across 

1 S&has, T6 XpwuAv toG Ta\a^etStou 9 16 ; Schlumberger, Numismatique^ 
388 ; Riccio, Saggio^ Supp., part i., 96. 


the peninsula to "Pylos, which is called Avarinos." The 
emperor lauds, in this interesting and beautifully illuminated 
document, still preserved in the National Library and (in a 
copy) in the Christian Archaeological Museum at Athens, the 
convenience and safe situation of the town, the number of its 
inhabitants, their affluence and their technical skill, their sea- 
faring qualities, and their devotion to his throne and person. 1 
Lluria doubtless found abundant booty in such a place ; and 
he was able to sack the lower town without slaughter, for the 
archons and the people took refuge in the impregnable citadel 
which has defied so many armies, leaving their property and 
their metropolitan in his power. By the device of hoisting 
the Venetian flag and pretending to be a Venetian merchant, 
he managed to decoy a number of Mainates down to his 
ships, whom he carried off as slaves. Hitherto, he had not 
molested the Frankish part of the Morea, knowing it to be 
under the suzerainty of Anjou ; but while he was watering 
and reposing at Navarino, a body of Greeks and Frankish 
knights under Giorgio Ghisi, the captain of Kalamata, and 
Jean de Tournay, "the finest and bravest gentleman in all 
Morea," fell upon his men. A hand-to-hand fight ensued ; 
Lluria and Jean de Tournay charged one another with such 
force that their lances were shivered to splinters, and the 
French knight fell with all his weight over the body of his 
adversary. Lluria's men would have slain him, had not their 
leader bade them spare so gallant a warrior, in whom he 
recognised the son of an old acquaintance and whom he 
would fain have had for his own son-in-law. Most of the 
Franks and Greeks were soon either dead or prisoners, and it 
only remained for Lluria to assess and collect the ransom. 
For this purpose it was necessary to sail to Glarentza, the 
chief commercial place in Achaia, where the Princess Isabelle 
was then residing. When the red galley of the Aragonese 
commander with Jean de Tournay on board hove in sight, 
the Achaian admiral saluted him in her name, and beneath 
the shade of a tower by the sea-shore, at a place called 
Kalopotami, " the fair river," Isabelle and her visitor met. The 
good burgesses of Glarentza were requested to advance the 

1 Miklosich und Miiller, v., 154-61 ; Phrantz6s, 399; Dorrttheos of 
Monemvasia, 400 ; AeXrlov ttjs Xpurr. 'Ap\* 'Etcu/d., vi., m-19. 




ransom of the captives — £3 5 84 for Ghisi, whose father, the 
lord of Tenos, was a wealthy man, as Lluria knew full well, 
for he had lately visited his island, and half that sum for 
Tournay. The Aragonese admiral was loud in his praise of 
the man who had unhorsed him ; he gave him a fine horse and 
a suit of mail, as a remembrance, and released all the other 
prisoners to please him. Then he set sail for Sicily, laden 
with treasure " enough to satisfy five armies," not forgetting 
to plunder Patras, Cephalonia, and Corfu on the way. From 
this expedition Muntaner dates the lack of good men able to 
defend the Morea. 1 

Not long after Lluria's expedition the Slavs of Gianitza, 
near Kalamata, surprised, in a period of profound peace, the 
ancestral castle of the Villehardouins, where Prince William 
had been born and died, and absolutely refused to give it up 
to Florent The latter appealed to the Byzantine governor 
at Mistr&, but his reply was that the Slavs had neither acted 
by his advice, nor recognised his authority ; " they are 
people," he said, " who do as they like, and only obey their 
own chiefs," a fairly accurate definition of the manner in 
which the Melings of Taygetos had always lived. Failing to 
obtain satisfaction from the emperor's representative, Florent 
sent two envoys to the emperor, Jean de Chauderon, the 
grand constable, and Geoffroy d'Aunoy, baron of Arkadia, 
who had both learnt the Greek language and Greek ways at 
Constantinople, where they had already been on an embassy, 
while the latter had married a relative of the emperor. 
At first Andr6nikos II. refused to see them, for he was by 
no means anxious to order the restoration of Kalamata. 
But they chanced to meet Pierre de Surie, whom Charles II. 
had sent as an emissary to Naples to discuss the proposed 
marriage of the titular empress Catherine of Courtenay with 
the son of Andr6nikos. To him they disclosed their business, 
and he contrived that the emperor should not only grant them 
an audience, but give them a favourable response. The 
delighted envoys were, however, informed by the marshal of 

1 Le Uvre de la Conquest*, pp. 359-77, which, however, confuses the 
dates ; Muntaner, chs. cxvL, cxvii., clix. ; Ldbro de los Fechos, pp. 107-10. 
Bartholomaeus de Neocastro and Nicolaus Specialis apud Muratori, op. 
at., xiii., 1 185 ; x., 959 ; Sanudo, p. 133. 


the Byzantine province of Mistr£, who was then in Con- 
stantinople, that the emperor had none the less given secret 
orders, of which he would probably be the bearer, that the 
castle should not be given up. This man, Sgouro-mailly by 
name, was a half-caste from Messenia, a descendant of the 
Greek family of Sgour6s and the French family of Mailly, 
and, unlike most of the Gasmoil/oi, had a marked predilection 
for the Franks, though well aware that the half-castes of the 
Morea had a factitious importance at Constantinople which 
led to valuable posts. He therefore suggested that the 
envoys should return with him on his swift galley, and 
should at once obtain in writing the imperial order for the 
surrender of Kalamata. They acted on his advice ; the half- 
caste was as good as his word ; the castle was occupied by 
his followers, and at once restored to the Franks, to the great 
joy of Florent. Sgouro-mailly, however, paid dearly for his 
Francophil feelings. When he returned to his post at 
MistrA, he found a secret order from the emperor, bidding 
him on no account surrender Kalamata. Regarded as a 
traitor by the Greeks, he had to flee to Tzakonia ; his office 
was taken from him, and he died in a humble straw-loft, a 
fugitive and an outlaw. A century and a half later we find 
his family still mentioned among the Moreot archons, and 
the name exists in the Peloponnese to-day. 1 

Another incident served to disturb the relations between 
Franks and Greeks, and illustrates the insolence of the 
Flemings, who had followed their countryman into the 
Morea, and had there received baronial lands, often at the 
cost of the old Frankish nobility. Among these newcomers 
were two near relatives of Florent, 2 Engelbert and Walter 
de Liedekerke, of whom the former succeeded old Jean de 
Chauderon, as grand constable, while the latter was appointed 
governor of the castle of Corinth. Walter was an extravagant 
man, who found his emoluments quite inadequate to his 
expenditure, and resorted to extortion in order to maintain 

1 L. d. C, 335-59 ; Miklosich und Miiller, iii., 290 ; Adamantiou (in 
htkrlov, vi., 596) considers the name simply means " curly locks." 

* They are described in the French and Spanish Chronicles as his 
nephews ; but we are not told in the genealogy of Florent (Buchon, 
Recherckes historiques, i., 499) that he had any sisters. 


his establishment So profound was the peace between Greeks 
and Franks at this time, that many of the emperors subjects 
from the Byzantine province had settled on the fertile lands 
near the Corinthian Gulf, which they shared in common 
with the Frankish vassals of the prince. Among these 
settlers was a certain Ph6tios, cousin of Jacques le Chasy, 
or Zisses, 1 " the most gallant soldier that the emperor had 
in all Morea," who at that time held the old domain of the 
Tournay family at Kalavryta, and whose clan, perhaps of 
Slavonic origin, ruled over a part of Tzakonia. The serfs, 
who cultivated these lands, disliked Ph6tios's presence there, 
and complained to Corinth that they could not support the 
burdens of two lords. Their complaint was carried to Walter, 
who at once ordered the arrest of Ph6tios, on the ground 
that neither Franks nor Greeks had the right of settling on 
the common lands. When he saw that his prisoner was a 
rich man, he resolved to make him pay a heavy blackmail. 
He thrust him into the castle keep, and told him that unless 
he paid the damages for his trespass, assessed at more than 
£4480, he would hang him. Ph6tios at first refused to pay, 
but the governor ordered two of his teeth to be extracted — 
a form of argument so convincing that he was glad to 
compound with his gaoler for a tenth of the original sum. 
As soon as he was free, he appealed to the commander of 
the Byzantine province for retribution, and the latter laid 
the matter before Florent, who, however, supported his 
relative, adding that Ph6tios had got less than his deserts. 
Finding justice thus denied to him, Ph6tios resolved to 
take the law into his own hands. Accordingly he lay in 
wait for Liedekerke at the little harbour of St Nicholas of 
the Fig-tree (the modern Xyl6kastro), on the southern 
shore of the Corinthian Gulf, thinking that the governor 
would probably land there to take his mid-day meal by the 
edge of an abundant spring. Presently, sure enough, a 
Frankish galley hove in sight, and from it there stepped 
ashore a noble baron with fair complexion and blond hair, 
the very image of Walter. Ph6tios, certain of his man, 
waited till the baron was seated at his repast, and then struck 

1 The name Chases was that of the Byzantine official who was stoned 
by the Athenians in 915. 


him again and again with his sword, crying aloud with 
revengeful joy, " There, my lord Walter, take your money ! " 
The wounded man's attendants shouted aloud, " Ha ! Ph6ti, 
Ph6ti, what are you doing? You are killing the baron of 
Vostitza, by mistake for the governor of Corinth ! " Horror- 
stricken at his mistake, for Guy de Charpigny, the late bailie 
of the Morea, was beloved by all, Ph6tios threw away his 
sword, lifted the wounded man tenderly in his arms, and 
begged his forgiveness. But it was too late ; his innocent 
victim died of his wounds, nor did Florent, who realised 
that the fault lay with his own relative, venture to seek 
reparation by force from the Byzantine governor. 1 

At last the seven years' peace, which had so greatly 
benefited the Morea, came to an end. At Vervaina, between 
Tripolitza and Sparta, there was a beautiful meadow, on 
which an annual fair was held in the middle of June ; it was 
a central position, so that Greeks and Franks alike flocked 
thither to buy and sell; such festivals were common in 
Frankish times as in classic days, and one of the privileges 
which Andronikos III. gave to the Monemvasiotes was his 
special protection at all the Peloponnesian fairs. 2 Now it 
chanced on this occasion, that a French knight, who lived 
hard by, came to words with a Greek silk-merchant, and from 
words the arrogant Frank proceeded to blows. The silk- 
merchant returned to his home muttering vengeance, and 
conceived the design of capturing the castle of St George, 
which, from its commanding situation in front of Skorti, 
would be a peculiarly acceptable prize to the emperor. 
Having gained two traitors within the castle walls, he 
confided his plan to a fellow-countryman from Skortd, who 
commanded a body of Turkish mercenaries in the imperial 
service ; a moonlight night was chosen for the venture, the 
traitors did their work, and next morning the Byzantine 
double-eagle flew from the castle keep, and the Turkish 
garrison mounted guard on the ramparts. When Florent 
heard the news at his favourite residence of Andravida, he 

1 L. d. C.y 325-35, which, however, inverts the chronological order of 
the last two incidents. The second has been made the subject of a 
modern tragedy, *wtioj Zdccnj*, iJTOt ret KaXd/fyvra iwl <PpayKOKparLas. 

- Bull of 1332, Phrantzes, 400. 



marched at once to besiege the stolen fortress. But, though 
he swore that he would stay there till he retook it, though 
he summoned an experienced Venetian engineer from Coron 
who did some harm to the tower, though he fortified one 
strong position after another and built another castle which 
he called Beaufort, perhaps identical with " the Fair Castle " 
(Oraiokastro) in the mountains behind Astros, to command 
the pass to SkortA, and though he sent for soldiers from 
Apulia and obtained archers and spearmen from a powerful 
Slav chieftain who ruled in Maina, the fine castle held out. 
At last, when winter came, Florent withdrew. Before the 
following spring of 1297, he was dead. The French chronicler 
mourns his loss, " for he was upright and wise, and knew well 
how to govern his land and his people." 1 If he had the 
faults of a foreigner, he was a brave man who was yet a 
lover of peace. Unfortunately, like Prince William before 
him, he left no son, only one daughter, Mahaut or Matilda, 
who was a child of three years of age at her father's death. 
It seemed as if the destinies of Achaia were ever to depend 
on women. Her mother, Isabelle, continued to reign as 
Princess of Achaia, whose coinage bore her name, but she 
soon retired to her favourite castle of Nesi or L'llle, as the 
Franks translated it, situated in the delightful climate of her 
own Kalamata. The administration of the principality she 
entrusted to a bailie, Count Richard of Cephalonia, who not 
long after married her widowed sister, Marguerite, and was 
connected with all the leaders of the Frankish world. 2 A 
new chancellor was appointed in the person of Benjamin 
of Kalamata, and a Greek named Basil6poulos became 

1 L. d. C, 377-86, 472 ; Buchon, X. r. M. (ed. 1825), p. xlvi. ; La 
Grcce Contintntale, 399 sqq. The Aragonese version of the Chronicle 
(pp. 103-6) narrates these last events quite differently. It says that 
the Byzantine governor ordered the purchase of as many horses as 
possible from the Franks at the most liberal rates, that he then sought 
an excuse for hostilities, took Nikli and the castle of Chalandritza, 
entirely destroyed the former town, and built the castles of Palaio- 
Mouchli (near the present railway between Argos and Tripolitza) and 
Cepiana (the ancient Nestdne, a little to the north of Mouchli) to 
command the plain. 

2 Les Registres de Boniface VII I ^ ii., 523. His first wife had been a 
sister of Thomas III. of Salona. 


chamberlain — a sign of the prominent position now occupied 
by the natives. 

Florent had left his people at war with the Byzantine 
province, and it was therefore the first care of his widow to 
protect her frontier. This she did by building a new castle, 
Chastel-neuf as it was called, in the vale of Kalamata, 
through which the present railway travels. By this means 
the people of western Messenia were freed from the necessity 
of paying dues to the governors of the two nearest Greek 
castles, Mistr& and Gardiki — the fortress which the emperor 
had built in the pass of Makryplagi, above the cave where the 
Greek commanders had taken refuge after that memorable 
battle. 1 But the barons thought that a politic marriage would 
be an even better protection for their country than strong 
walls. There was some talk of a union between the widowed 
princess and John, the son of the emperor. Andr6nikos had 
himself been suggested as a husband for Isabelle more than 
thirty years earlier, so that there would have been some 
disproportion between the mature charms of the Achaian 
princess and the extreme youth of his son. This alliance fell 
through ; but it was agreed, on the proposal of Nicholas III. 
de St Omer, the Grand Marshal of Achaia, that a marriage 
should be arranged between the little princess Matilda and 
his young cousin, Guy II., Duke of Athens, who had now 
come of age, and was regarded as "the best match in all 
Romania." 2 

The seven years' minority of the young Duke had been 
an uneventful period in the history of Athens. His Greek 
mother, Helene Angela, had provided him with a powerful 
guardian by her second marriage with her late husband's 
brother-in-law, Hugues de Brienne, who was now a widower, 
and who brought her half the great barony of Karytaipa, 
which figures on her coins — almost the sole instance of a 
baronial currency in the Morea. 8 A delicate feudal question, 

1 X. r. M., 1. 5429 ; L. d. C, 387. 

2 Ibid.) 388-90 ; PachymeVes, 1 1., p. 290. 

3 Schlumberger, op. cit. y 325. The only other instance is that of a 
baron of Damala. But Neroutsos (AeXWov, iv., 1 14, n. 2) takes the inscrip- 
tion on this coin to mean " Lady of Gravia," the place which was part 
of her dowry. 



the same which had led to war between Athens and Achaia 
a generation earlier, alone disturbed the repose of the ducal 
court, and threatened to renew that fratricidal strife. The 
Duchess of Athens had done homage to the Neapolitan court, 
but both she and her husband Hugues flatly refused to 
recognise themselves as the vassals of Prince Florent of 
Achaia, on the ground that there was no feudal nexus 
between the two Frankish states. Both parties appealed to 
their common suzerain, Charles II. of Naples, who, after a 
futile attempt to settle the matter by arbitration, finally 
wrote, in 1294, that when he had conferred Achaia upon 
Florent he had intended the gift to include the overlordship 
of Athens. Accordingly, he expressly renewed that grant, 
and peremptorily ordered Guy II., who had by that time 
come of age, and his vassals, among whom Thomas III. of 
Salona, Othon of St Omer, and Francesco da Verona are speci- 
ally mentioned, to do homage to the Prince of Achaia. At last, 
after two years' further delay, the Duke of Athens obeyed. 1 

The coming of age of the last De la Roche Duke of 
Athens has been described by the quaint Catalan chronicler, 
Ramon Muntaner. 2 The ceremony took place on St John 
Baptist's day, 1294, at Thebes, whither the young duke had 
invited all the great men of his duchy; he had let it be 
known, too, throughout the Greek Empire and the Despotat 
of Epiros and his mother's home of Thessaly, that whosoever 
came should receive gifts and favours from his hand — " for 
he was one of the noblest men in all Romania who was not 
a king, and eke one of the richest" When all the guests 
had assembled, mass was celebrated in the cathedral by 
Nicholas, Archbishop of Thebes, and then all eyes were fixed 
upon the duke, to see whom he would ask to confer upon 
him the order of knighthood — a duty which the King of 
France or the emperor himself would have thought it a 
pleasure and an honour to perform. What was the surprise 
of the brilliant throng when Guy, instead of calling upon one 
of his great nobles, Thomas III. of Salona or Othon of St 
Omer, fellow-owner with the duke himself of the barony of 

1 L. d. C, 269-71 ; X. r. M., 7979-81, 8018-46; Buchon, Nouvelles 
RechercheS) I., i., 233-5 ; II., i., 334-8 ; (Riccio, Saggio y Supp., pt. i., 90 ; 
Sdthas, T6 Xpoviicbv rod Ya\a^€tSiov 9 238. 2 Ch. ccxliv. 


Thebes, summoned to his side a young knight of Euboea, 
Bonifacio da Verona, grandson of that Guglielmo I. who had 
styled himself King of Salonika and had played so large a 
part in the events of his time. Bonifacio was, however, a 
poor man, the youngest of three brothers, whose sole posses- 
sion was a single castle, which he had sold the better to 
equip himself and his retinue. Yet no one made a braver 
show than he at the Athenian court, whither he had gone to 
seek his fortune ; he always wore the richest clothes, and on 
the day of the great ceremony none was more elegantly 
dressed than he and his company, though everyone equipped 
himself and the jongleurs in the fairest apparel. He had 
fully a hundred wax tapers ornamented with his arms, yet 
he had borrowed the money for all this outlay, trusting to 
the future to pay it back. This was the man whom the 
duke now bade approach. " Come here," quoth he, " Master 
Boniface, close to my lord archbishop, for our will is that 
thou shalt dub us a knight" " Ah, my lord," replied Boniface, 
" what sayest thou ! thou dost surely mock me." " No, by our 
troth," quoth the duke, " so do we wish it to be." Then 
Boniface, seeing that the duke spake from his heart, came 
and stood near the archbishop at the altar, whereon lay the 
arms of the duke, and dubbed him a knight Then the duke 
said aloud, before all the company, " Master Boniface, custom 
it is, that those who make men knights should make them 
presents too. Howsobeit, it is our will to do the contrary. 
Thou hast made us a knight, wherefore we give thee from 
this moment 50,000 sols of revenue for thee and thine for 
ever, in castles and in goodly places and in freehold, to do 
therewith as thou wilt. We give thee also to wife the 
daughter of a certain baron whose hand is ours to bestow, 
and who is lady of part of the island and city of Negroponte." 1 
The duke was true to his word; he gave him his own 
mother's dowry of Gardiki in Thessaly with the classic 
island of Salamis, 2 thirteen castles in all on the mainland of 

1 Muntaner says " a third part " ; but Agnes was not one of the Urzieri. 

2 So Hopf (apud Ersch und Gruber, Ixxxv., 377) interprets " Seliiirij," 
which occurs in the Venetian list of Greek rulers, drawn up in 1311-13, 
where Boniface figures as dominator Carts H et Gardichie> Selizirij et 
Egue (Hopf, Chroniques grico-romanes, 177) ; Muntaner (ch. ccxliil) 
mentions the thirteen castles ; L. d. C. 9 408, 415. 



the duchy, and the hand of his cousin, Agnes de Cicon, lady 
of iEgina and Karystos. It was true that the latter castle 
was still in the hands of the Greeks, but not long afterwards 
Boniface showed that he had deserved his good fortune by 
wresting it from them. The Catalan chronicler, who had 
stayed in Boniface's house at Negroponte and had there 
heard the story of his sudden rise, might well say that this 
was the noblest gift that any prince made in a single day for 
a long time. The episode gives us, indeed, some idea 
of the wealth and splendour of the Burgundian dukes of 

Such was the man whom Nicholas de St Omer pro- 
posed as a husband for Princess Isabelle's little daughter. 
Guy, on his part, gladly accepted the idea of an alliance, 
which, if he could obtain the sanction of the King of 
Naples, might one day, in due course of nature, make 
him Prince of Achaia, and thus end for ever the vexa- 
tious question of homage. So, when the Achaian envoys 
arrived, he at once agreed to their suggestion that he 
should pay a visit to their mistress and his suzerain. 
He sent for Thomas III. of Salona, his chief vassal and 
the most honourable man in all Romania, and for his 
other barons and knights, and set out in 1299 with his 
accustomed splendour for Vlisiri (or La Glisi&re, as the 
Franks called it) in Elis, a land of goodly mansions, where 
there was ample accommodation for the princess and all her 
retinue. There the marriage was arranged; Kalamata, the 
family fief of the Villehardouins, became the dowry of the 
bride ; the bishop of Olena performed the ceremony ; and, 
after some twenty days of feasting and rejoicings, the duke 
departed for Thebes with his five-year-old wife. The King 
of Naples, who at first protested against a marriage with this 
mere child, contracted without his previous consent, subse- 
quently gave his approval; the qualms of Pope Boniface 
VIII. at the union of rather distant cousins, were pacified by 
the gift of twenty silken garments from the manufactories 
of Thebes. Such dispensations were commonly granted 
to the Frankish lords of Greece at this period, for, as 
the pope said in a similar case, their numbers had been 
so reduced by war, that they could scarcely find wives 


of their own social rank who were not related to 
them. 1 

Isabelle herself did not long remain a widow after her 
daughter's marriage. In 1300, Boniface VIII. held the first 
jubilee, or anno santo, of the Roman Church, and among the 
thousands who flocked to Rome on that great occasion was 
the Princess of Achaia. Before she sailed from Glarentza, 
she appointed Nicholas de St Omer bailie during her absence, 
as it was considered that Count Richard of Cephalonia, who 
was now her brother-in-law — for he had recently married her 
sister Marguerite, the Lady of Akova — toad grown too old to 
govern the country in time of war. Isabelle met in Rome, 
not by accident — for negotiations had been going on for 
some time about the matter — Philip of Savoy, son of the late 
Count Thomas III. A child at the time of his father's death, 
he had been superseded in Savoy by his uncle, Amedeo V., 
but had received Piedmont as his share, and had fixed his 
sub-Alpine capital at Pinerolo, where his remains still lie. 
Philip was a valiant knight, not much over twenty, who 
could help her to defend her land against the Greeks and 
might even recover what her father had lost ; the pope was 
in favour of the union, and the protest of King Charles II. of 
Naples, who appealed to the conditions laid down at the 
time of Isabelle's second marriage, was induced, on the papal 
intervention, to give his consent. At the palace where he was 
then staying, near the Lateran, he invested Philip of Savoy 
with the principality of Achaia, in the name of his own 
imprisoned son, Philip of Taranto, to whom, as we saw, he 
had transferred the suzerainty seven years before, and one of 
the witnesses of the deed was that same Roger de Lluria, 
now in the Angevin service, who had met Isabelle at 
Glarentza under such very different circumstances. The 
marriage, which took place in Rome in 1301, was a grand 
affair ; the bill for the wedding breakfast — a very extensive 
one — has been preserved, and the frugal Greeks would have 
been surprised at the quantity of food provided for their new 
prince and his guests. A few days before the wedding, 

1 L. d. C, 390-3 ; Sanudo, 136 ; X. r. M., 11. 7982-4 ; Les Registres 
de Boniface VI 11., i., 485 ; ii., 465 ; Lamprc^'Er^*** 44 ; Grazie (1298- 
1304)1 foL ! 6. 


Isabelle bestowed the castle and town of Corinth upon her 
future husband, who, in his turn, promised to bring a certain 
number of soldiers with him to Greece for the defence of the 
land and the prosecution of the war. The honeymoon was 
spent in Piedmont, where the prince had to put his affairs in 
order. Indeed, it was not till the end of 1302 that the 
princess returned with him and a body of Savoyards and 
Piedmontese to her native land. 1 

Philip of Savoy swore, like his predecessor, to observe the 
usages of the land, and was greeted, in the name of the 
assembled vassals, by the Archbishop of Patras, who had 
played the most prominent part, alike when Charles I. had 
sent his first bailie and when Florent had been appointed 
prince. But the new prince soon tried to disregard the 
customs of the country. He knew that the King of Naples 
really disliked his marriage, and the knowledge that Charles 
II. might at any time depose him, and would probably do so 
in the event of his surviving Isabelle, increased his natural 
desire to make up for his heavy expenditure in coming, and 
to lay by for a rainy day. " He had learned money-making 
at home from the tyrants of Lombardy," it was whispered, 
when he began to practise a system of regular extortion. 
As soon as he had put his Piedmontese and Savoyard officers 
and soldiers into the castles of the Morea, he summoned his 
chief confidant, Guillaume de Monbel, whom he had brought 
with him from Italy, and took counsel how he could best fill 
his coffers. In this enterprise he received assistance from 
one of his predecessor's advisers, Vincent de Marays, a sly 
old knight from Picardy and a protigi of Count Richard of 
Cephalonia, who had a grudge against the chancellor, 
Benjamin of Kalamata, for having secured his patron's 
dismissal from the post of bailie. Benjamin was a rich man, 
who was a larger landowner than even Leonardo of Veroli 
had been, and therefore well able to pay blackmail. An 
excuse for extortion was found in the chancellor's omission 

1 JL d. C, 393-8, 404, 434> 472 ; x - r - M -» 11- 8588-90 ; Guichenon, 
Histoire gtntalogique de . . . Savoye, II., Preuves y pp. 102-4; Buchon, 
Recherches historiques^ ii., 379; Nouvelles Recherche s> II., i., 339-43; 
Datta, Start a dei Principi di Savoia, i., pp. xv., 33-5 ; Hopf, Chroniques 
grdco-romanes, 231-5. 


to send in his accounts of public monies received by him 
during several years ; and he was forthwith arrested on a 
charge of malversation. Benjamin appealed in his trouble to 
his powerful friend, Nicholas III. de St Omer, whose 
appointment as bailie he had obtained, and who was at once 
the most beloved and the most dreaded man in Achaia. 
The haughty marshal marched straight into the chamber 
where the prince was sitting with the princess and his 
Piedmontese friends, and asked him point-blank, why he had 
ordered the chancellor's arrest When Philip replied, that 
Benjamin owed him an account of the revenues which had 
passed through his hands, St Omer rejoined that the 
imprisonment of a liege for debt was against the customs of 
the country. " Hah ! cousin," quoth the prince, " where did 
you find these customs of yours?" At that the marshal 
drew a huge knife, and, holding it straight before him, 
cried : " Behold our customs ! by this sword our forefathers 
conquered this land, and by this sword we will defend our 
franchises and usages against those who would break or 
restrict them." The princess, fearing for her husband's life, 
exclaimed aloud ; but St Omer reassured her by saying that 
it was not the prince but his evil counsellors whom he 
accused. The irate marshal was finally appeased by a soft 
answer ; the chancellor procured his release from prison by 
a payment of 20,000 hyperperi of Glarentza (£8960) to the 
prince. From that moment the wily Benjamin ingratiated 
himself with his avaricious master, whose passion for money 
he well knew how to gratify at the same time as his own 
desire for revenge. At his suggestion, his enemy Count 
Richard of Cephalonia was compelled to lend Philip 20,000 
hyperperi, for which he received almost nothing in return. 
But this was not all that the prince managed to squeeze out 
of the wealthy family of the Cephalonian Orsini. When, a 
little later, old Count Richard was killed by one of his own 
knights, whom he had struck on the head with a stick while 
sitting on the Bench at Glarentza, his son John I. had to 
purchase his investiture with his islands from his suzerain, 
the Prince of Achaia, by a large present of money. Not 
long afterwards he gave Philip a heavy bribe to decide 
in his favour an action brought against him in the High 


Court of Achaia by his stepmother, the Lady of Akova, for 
restitution of her late husband's personal property, valued at 
^44,800. The proud Nicholas de St Omer, however, espoused 
the cause of the lady, more from contempt and dislike for 
the venal prince than from a desire to punish the violence of 
his brother-in-law, the new Count of Cephalonia. Again, 
Philip had to suppress his indignation at the insolence of the 
greatest baron in the land, who boasted that he had royal 
blood in his veins, who was cousin of the Duke of Athens, 
and connected by feudal ties with the leading Achaian 
nobles; a compromise was made, by which the Lady of 
Akova was to receive one-fifth of the amount claimed. From 
other quarters, too, the Piedmontese prince extorted various 
sums. Basil6poulos, the Greek who had been appointed 
chamberlain, made him a compulsory present of £1344; 
the people of Karytaina contributed £1792 ; the citizens of 
Andravida, his favourite residence, £224; the burgesses of 
Glarentza, £268, 16s. ; while the tolls of that port were 
charged with an annuity of £134, 8s. to one of his Piedmontese 
favourites. These transactions give us some idea of the 
wealth of Greece at this period. 

Yet, in spite of all these " benevolences," the prince had 
to raise a loan from the Glarentza branch of the Florentine 
banking-house of Peruzzi, which financed our own sovereigns. 
At last his exactions led to a serious rising. The people of 
Skorti had always been the most turbulent element of the 
population, and their mountainous country — the Switzerland 
of the Morea — the most jealously guarded by the Franks. 
Yet, in spite of the well-known characteristics of these 
Arkadian mountaineers, and of the natural fortress which 
they inhabited, Philip, instigated by his evil genius, the old 
knight from Picar-dy, must needs impose an extraordinary 
tax upon the Arkadian arc/ions. He was told that they 
were rich, and the large sum which he had already received 
from the Arkadian town of Karytaina doubtless made him 
think that they could well afford to pay more. But the 
natives of Gortys, from the Frankish times to those of M. 
DelyAnnes, have been sticklers for their constitutional rights, 
guaranteed to them at the time of the Conquest. Their 
chief men met in the house of the two brothers Mikron&s, at 


the foot of the mountain, on which stand the lonely ruins 
of the noble temple of Bassae, and swore, in a spirit worthy of 
the ancient Greeks, that they would rather die than pay a 
single farthing of the tax. The only man who might have 
prevented their rising was Nicholas de St Omer ; but they 
knew that he was going to Thessaly; and, the moment 
that he had gone, they sent two spokesmen to Mistr& to 
invite the Byzantine governor's aid and offer their land to 
the emperor. Their mission aroused no suspicion, for it 
was a common thing for pilgrims to visit the shrine of 
St Nikon at Lacedaemonia — the Armenian monk, who, after 
converting the Cretan apostates back to Christianity, had 
established himself in the latter part of the tenth century at 
Sparta, where his memory is still green. The governor 
received their offer with gladness ; he assembled his troops 
on the famous plain of Nikli, whence the traitors guided them 
by a sure road into Skortd. Soon two Frankish castles, 
St Helena and Cr&ve-Cceur, on either side of Andritsaina, 
were smoking ruins. But the Greeks, as the chronicler 
remarks, were better at a first assault than at a prolonged 
siege. Florent's newly-built castle of Beaufort resisted their 
attack, and when Philip approached, they speedily fled in 
disorder. The prince wisely abstained from carrying the 
war into the Byzantine province. He bade the terrified 
serfs, who had fled from Greeks and Franks alike, return to 
their homes ; enquired from them the cause of the rebellion ; 
and, when he was told that it was the work of a family party 
of archotiSy contented himself with confiscating the lands and 
goods of the latter. 1 

We saw that the rising would not have happened but for 
the absence of the marshal Nicholas de St Omer in Thessaly, 
and it is now necessary to describe the important events 
which had necessitated his presence there. In 1296, both 
Nikeph6ros, Despot of Epiros, and the bastard John I., Duke 
of Neopatras, had died ; and, seven years later, the latter's 
son and successor, Constantine, had followed his father to 
the grave, leaving an only son, John II., who was still a 

1 L. d. C, 398-4<>5> 306, 4i3> 422-54, 472 ; L. cL F. 9 111-13 J Ducangc, 
op. cit. y ii., 341-2 ; Gerland, JNeue Quellen, 245 ; Riccio, Studii Storici % 
30 ; Hopf apud Ersch und Gruber, Ixxxv., 352 ; Datta, op. cit^ ii., 30-1. 


minor at the time of his death. In his last will and testa- 
ment Constantine had appointed his nephew Guy II., Duke 
of Athens, guardian of the child and regent of his dominions, 
not only because Guy was his nearest surviving male relative, 
but because the Athenian duchy, then the strongest of all 
the Frankish states, could alone protect Thessaly against the 
designs of the Emperor Andr6nikos II. on the one side, and 
of the able and ambitious Lady Anna, of Epiros, who was 
regent in the name of the young Despot Thomas, on the 
other. Guy, who had already interests on the Thessalian 
frontier, joyfully accepted the honourable office, which 
flattered his ambition. He summoned Thomas of Salona, 
his chief vassal, Boniface of Verona, his favourite, and others 
from Euboea, and at Zetouni, the modern Lamia, which his 
mother had brought as part of her dowry to the duchy of 
Athens, received the homage of the Thessalian baronage. 
There he arranged for the future government of his ward's 
estates. The Greek nobles were to guard the Thessalian 
castles, while he was to have the revenues, and provide out 
of them for the administration, of the country ; as marshal of 
Thessaly, Guy appointed a nobleman who was viscount, or 
president of the Court of the Burgesses at Athens ; as his 
bailie and representative in the government of the land the 
duke chose Antoine le Flamenc, a Fleming who had become 
lord of Karditza, on the margin of the Copaic lake, where a 
Greek inscription on the church of St George still com- 
memorates him as its "most pious" founder, and who is 
described by the chronicler as "the wisest man in all the 
duchy." Feudalism, as we saw, had already permeated 
Thessaly under the rule of the Angeli ; it was further 
strengthened by the Frankish regency; the Greek nobles 
learnt the French language, and coins with Latin inscrip- 
tions were issued in the name of the young Despot from the 
mint of Neopatras. 1 

The fears of the late Despot were speedily fulfilled. 
Scarcely had Guy returned to his favourite residence of 

1 Buchon, Atlas, plate xxxix., 5, who ascribes this coin erroneously to 
Aimone of Savoy. The inscription "Angelus Sab.' C. ( = Sebastocrator, 
or Sebastocrator Comnenos) Delia Patra," refers to John II. of Neo- 
patras ; Schlumberger, op, ctt. 9 382. 


Thebes, when the ambitious Lady Anna of Epiros seized 
his ward's Thessalian Castle of Phanari — a place which still 
rises like a " watch-tower " above the great plain. The Duke 
of Athens, furious at this audacious act of a mere woman, 
summoned his vassals and friends, among them his cousin 
Nicholas de St Omer, to join him in the campaign against 
the Epirotes. Philip of Savoy, though on good terms with 
the Duke of Athens, who had done him personal homage 
for the duchy, the baronies of Argos and Nauplia and his 
wife's dowry of Kalamata, refused to give St Omer permis- 
sion to leave the Morea. But the marshal departed, without 
his prince's consent, at the head of 89 horsemen, of whom 
no less than 13 were belted knights, and joined the duke 
not far from the field of Domok6, so memorable in the 
history of modern Greece. When he saw the assembled 
host, of which the duke begged him to assume the command, 
he was bound to confess that never in all Romania had he 
seen a braver show. There were more than 900 Frankish 
horsemen, all picked men ; more than 6000 Thessalian and 
Bulgarian cavalry, commanded by 18 Greek barons, and 
fully 30,000 foot-soldiers. Against such a force the Lady 
Anna felt that she could do nothing; so, before it had 
advanced far beyond Kalabaka, on the way to Joannina, 
she offered to restore the stolen castle, and pay a war 
indemnity of £4480. Her offer was accepted ; but, as it 
seemed desirable to find work for so fine an army, an 
excuse was made for an attack upon the Greek Empire, 
with which Athens was then at peace. The troops were 
already well on the way to Salonika, when the Empress 
Irene, who was living there separated from her husband, 
appealed to the chivalry of the Franks not to make war against 
a weak woman. Guy and his barons were moved by this 
appeal ; they returned to Thessaly, and disbanded their forces. 1 
The crafty Lady of Epiros had succeeded in disarming 
one enemy ; but she soon found herself attacked by another. 
Philip of Taranto had now been liberated from prison, so 
that his father thought that the moment had come to 
demand the performance of those exorbitant conditions, to 
which the late Despot of Epiros had consented at the time 
1 L. d. C, 405-22 ; Nikeph6ros Gregorys, i., 233 sqq. 


of his daughter's marriage with the Angevin prince. Philip 
had not kept his part of the bond ; for he had made the 
beautiful Thamar change her religion and her name; but 
his father, none the less, expected the precise fulfilment of 
the marriage-contract by the other side. He now requested 
the Lady Anna to hand over Epiros to Philip, or else to 
make her son Thomas do homage to the Prince of Taranto, 
on which condition he might hold the Despotat as the 
latter's vassal. Anna was a woman of spirit and resource ; 
she never forgot that she belonged by birth to the imperial 
house, and, as a patriotic Greek, she preferred that her son's 
dominions, as it seemed difficult to maintain their indepen- 
dence, should belong to the Palaiol6goi rather than to the 
Angevins. She accordingly made overtures to Andronikos 
II. for the marriage of her son with his granddaughter, and 
replied to the King of Naples that Thomas was the vassal of 
the emperor alone. She added that the late Despot had no 
power to violate the laws of nature by disinheriting his son 
in favour of one of his daughters ; she must therefore decline, 
so long as her son lived, to surrender to Philip anything 
beyond what he already held. Charles II. thought that it 
would be easy to conquer a woman and a boy ; so, on receipt 
of this answer, he summoned his son's vassals, Philip of 
Savoy and Count John I. of Cephalonia, to his aid against 
the Despoina. But the strong walls of Arta, and the natural 
difficulties of the country, proved too much for the invaders, 
who soon abandoned their inglorious campaign. Anna 
prevented the co-operation of Philip of Savoy in a second 
attack upon her by a judicious bribe of £2688, while Philip, 
in order to have a plausible excuse for declining his suzerain's 
summons, issued invitations to all the vassals of Achaia to 
attend a general parliament on the isthmus of Corinth in the 
following spring of 1305. 

On that famous neck of land where in classic days the 
Isthmian games had been held, the mediaeval chivalry of 
Greece now assembled for a splendid tournament. All the 
noblest men in the land came in answer to the summons of 
the Prince of Achaia. There were Guy II. of Athens with a 
brave body of knights, the Marquis of Boudonitza, and the 
three barons of Eubcea, the Duke of the Archipelago and the 


Count Palatine John I. of Cephalonia — the last anxious for 
judgment of his peers betwixt his jealous sister and her 
irascible husband, the Marshal Nicholas de St Omer, who 
summoned his Theban vassals to his side. Messengers were 
sent throughout the highlands and islands of Frankish Greece 
to proclaim to all and sundry how seven champions had 
come from beyond the seas and did challenge the chivalry of 
Romania to joust with them. Never had the fair land of 
Hellas seen a braver sight than that presented by the lists 
at Corinth in the lovely month of May, when the sky and 
the twin seas are at their fairest. More than a thousand 
knights and barons took part in the tournament, which lasted 
for twenty days, while all the fair ladies of Achaia " rained 
influence" on the combatants. There were the seven 
champions, clad in their armour of green taffetas covered 
with scales of gold ; there was the Prince of Achaia, who 
acquitted himself right nobly in the lists, with all his household. 
Most impetuous of all was the young Duke of Athens, eager 
to match his skill in horsemanship and with the lance against 
Master William Bouchart, justly accounted one of the best 
jousters of the West. The chivalrous Bouchart would fain 
have spared his less experienced antagonist. But the duke, 
who had cunningly padded himself beneath his plate armour, 
was determined to meet him front to front; their horses 
collided with such force that the iron spike of Bouchart's 
charger pierced Guy's steed between the shoulders, so that 
horse and rider rolled in the dust St Omer would have 
given much to meet Count John in the lists ; but the latter, 
fearing the marshal's doughty arm, pretended that his horse 
could not bear him into the ring, nor could he be shamed 
into the combat even when Bouchart rode round and round 
the lists on the animal, crying aloud as he rode, " This is the 
horse which could not go to the jousts ! " l So they kept high 
revel on the isthmus ; alas ! it was the last great display of 
the chivalry of "New France"; six years later many a 
knight who had ridden proudly past the fair dames of the 
Morea lay a mangled corpse on the swampy plain of Bceotia. 
The tournament at Corinth was Philip's final appearance 
on the stage of Greek public life. Charles II. had consented 
1 L. d. C, 454-^2, 464-701 472 ; Pachymeres, II., 450. 


with reluctance to his marriage ; he was now resolved that 
the house of Anjou should have the real possession, as well 
as the shadowy suzerainty, of Achaia. Although Philip had 
responded to his previous summons to aid him in Epiros, 
towards the end of 1304 he had renewed his original declara- 
tion that Isabelle, by marrying without his consent, had 
forfeited the principality of Achaia, in accordance with the 
terms laid down at the time of her former marriage with 
Florent Philip's refusal to assist his suzerain in a second 
Epirote campaign gave the King of Naples a further excuse 
for deposing the princess and her husband ; such a refusal 
constituted a gross breach of the feudal code, which justified 
Charles in releasing the Achaian barons from their allegiance 
to their prince. The latter did not await that final blow; 
before it was delivered, he had quitted the Morea for his 
Italian dominions, against which the house of Anjou was 
also plotting, leaving his old enemy, Nicholas de St Omer, 
as bailie. If we may believe the Aragonese Chronicle of the 
Morea? Isabelle's elder daughter, Matilda of Athens, claimed 
Achaia as her heritage from the bailie, who refused to hand it 
to her without orders from Naples. Her husband retaliated 
by seizing St Omer's half of Thebes, including the castle 
which bore his name. Charles II., however, bestowed 
the forfeited principality of Achaia upon his favourite 
son, Philip of Taranto, who soon afterwards arrived there 
on his way to attack the Lady of Epiros, and received 
the homage of the Achaian barons. Thus, both the actual 
possession and the suzerainty of the principality were once 
more in the hands of the same person. Any claims that 
Philip of Savoy and Isabelle might still entertain were 
bought by the King of Naples and his son, who, in exchange 
for their Greek dominions, promised to give them, upon the 
death of the existing countess, the county of Alba, on the 
shores of the Fucine lake, worth 600 gold ounces (£1440) a 
year, and to pay them, during the remainder of her life, an 
annuity of that amount. To the one child of their marriage, 
little Marguerite of Savoy, Charles II. promised sufficient 
land near Alba to yield a dowry of 200 gold ounces, or 
^480 a year, on condition that she ceded the two castles of 
1 Pp. 113, 114, where the chronology is obviously confused. 


Karytaina and Bucelet, which her parents had bestowed 
upon her. By way of enhancing the importance of his gift, 
the king raised Alba to the rank of a principality ; but he 
neither put Philip of Savoy into actual possession of it, nor 
paid him the promised annuity. Isabelle did not long 
survive the loss of her inheritance. In 131 1, disregarding 
these arrangements with the King of Naples, she made a will, 
leaving her elder daughter, Matilda, heiress of all Achaia, 
with the exception of the three castles of Karytaina, 
Beauvoir (above Katakolo), and Beauregard (also in Elis), 
which were to form the dowry of her younger daughter, 
Marguerite. In the same year, Isabelle died in Holland — 
the country of her second husband. Philip of Savoy almost 
immediately remarried ; and though his and Isabelle's 
daughter, Marguerite, renounced all her claims to Greece on 
her marriage in 1324, his descendants by his second marriage 
continued to style themselves " Princes of Achaia " till the 
extinction of their line a century later, and, like their 
ancestor, issued coins with that title engraved upon them. 
One of these Piedmontese princes even endeavoured to make 
good his pretensions, and down to the last century illegitimate 
descendants of Philip of Savoy usurped the name of Achaia. 1 
Princess Isabelle of Achaia is one of the most striking 
figures in the portrait-gallery of the ladies of the Latin 
Orient Affianced when a mere child to a foreign prince 
whom she had never seen ; torn from her home and sent to 
live in an Italian castle, which was to be almost a prison; 
widowed at an age when most women are not yet wed; 
separated for long years from her fatherland, till at last she 
was allowed to return as the wife of a gallant Flemish 
adventurer ; widowed again, and then re-married, midst the 
pomp and ceremony of the papal court, to a third husband, 
only to die, after all these vicissitudes, still in middle age, an 
exile in a distant northern land — she was throughout her life 

1 X. t. M., 11. 8588-90; L. <L C, 473 (which gives the wrong date, 
however), 474 ; Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches, II., i., 339-43 ; I., L, 237 ; 
Atlas, xxiv., 9, 12-15; Guichenon, Histoire g£n£alogique y I., 318; II., 
Prtuves, pp. 104, no, in ; Datta, op. cit. y i., 49-50, 56, 67, 89 ; ii., 45-50, 
114 ; Ptolemaeus Lucensis apud Muratori, op. cit. t xi., 1227, 1232 ; Mun- 
taner, ch. cclxii ; St Genois, Droits primiHfs y i., 338. 


the victim of dynastic politics. A brave woman, every inch a 
Villehardouin, she did not flinch from meeting the boldest 
corsair of that age on the sea shore ; deeply imbued with 
piety, she founded the monastery of Sta. Chiara, near Olena. 
We can see her still, as she rode through the streets of Naples 
on her "sombre brown pillion of Douai cloth," which the 
careful Angevin provided for his prisoner of state — a cheap 
price to pay for keeping in his clutches the " Lady of the 
Morea." 1 

Philip of Taranto did not remain long in his Peloponnesian 
principality. As soon as he had received the homage of the 
barons, who were not sorry to be rid of his extortionate 
namesake, he set out for Epiros, to substantiate his claims 
there. But, woman as she was, the Lady Anna was too much 
for the Neapolitan prince ; an epidemic came to her aid, and 
he returned unsuccessful to Naples. As his bailie in Achaia 
he appointed Guy II., Duke of Athens, the most important 
of all the contemporary Frankish rulers of Greece, whose wife, 
Matilda, as the elder daughter of Isabelle, would naturally 
represent in the eyes of the Moreot barons the princely house 
of Villehardouin. 2 In this way, perhaps, he hoped to satisfy 
her claims. Two years earlier, when still only twelve, she 
had attained her majority, and the festival had been cele- 
brated at Thebes with all the customary splendour of the 
Athenian court, in the presence of her widowed aunt, the 
Lady of Akova, Nicholas de St Omer, the two archbishops 
of Athens and Thebes, and other high ecclesiastical and civic 

It was, indeed, a time of great prosperity for the Athenian 
duchy, whose ruler was at once Duke of Athens, regent of 
Thessaly, and bailie of Achaia. We have already seen how 
great were the riches and position of the duke, who delighted 
in splendid apparel, and whose frescoed Theban castle rang 
with the songs of minstrels. Nor was this prosperity merely 
superficial. Now, for the first time, we find Attica supplying 
Venice with corn, which usually had to be imported into the 
duchy from the south of Italy ; while the gift of silken 

1 Arch. Stor. ItaL, Ser. IV., iv., 176 ; Les Registres de Boniface VIII, 
ii., 845 ; Regestum dementis K, i., 283. 
- L. d. F., 117. 


garments to Boniface VIII. is a proof of the continued 
manufacture of silk at Thebes. No less than three series of 
coins were required for the commercial needs of the duchy in 
his reign. Athens, too, was a religious centre. We find 
Pope Nicholas IV. 1 granting indulgences to all who visited 
" Santa Maria di Atene " on the festivals of the Virgin, of St 
James the Apostle, and St Eligius, and on the anniversary of 
its dedication as a Christian church. It was now, too, that 
the canon Nicholas de la Roche founded an ecclesiastical 
building, perhaps the belfry of the ancient church of Great 
St Mary's, which stood till a few years ago, in the Stoa of 
Hadrian, while the great Byzantine monastery of H6sios 
Louk&s, near Delphi, received fresh lustre from the presence 
of the dowager duchess within its walls. Not far away, on 
an islet in the Gulf of Corinth, the persecuted Eremites from 
Italy begged Thomas of Salona to give them a refuge, only 
to find that even there the long arm of the mundane pope 
could reach them. Prosperous, indeed, must have been the 
region round Parnassos, for "the hero" Thomas had his 
private mint, which his jealous lord, the duke, tried to 
prohibit. 2 But the days of the ducal family were drawing to 
a close. The splendid magnificence of the duke could not 
conceal the incurable malady which was undermining his 
health ; he had no heirs of his body ; and, to the north, there 
lay that company of wandering Catalan warriors, which was 
already a menace to his dominions. 

A hundred years had passed away since the Conquest, 
and Greece, in this first decade of the fourteenth century, 
was practically divided between the Duke of Athens, the 
Angevins, the Orsini, the Greeks, and the Venetians. The 
house of Anjou had obtained possession of Achaia from the 
family of the conqueror, had established itself in the finest 
of the Ionian islands, and had gained a footing here and 
there on the coast of Epiros. The Orsini had tightened 
their hold over their county palatine in the Ionian Sea, but 
neither Angevins nor Orsini had absorbed the Greeks, who 

1 Regtstres y 610 ; Schlumberger, Numismatique, 339 ; Mttanges his- 
toriques, iii., 27 ; St Genois, i., 336 ; Capricornus, fol. 337. 

2 Wadding, Annates Minor urn t v., 324 ; vi., 1, U ; S£thas, T6 
Xpovinbv tqv Ya\<ii-€i8lov, 239. 


were their neighbours. If Frankish influence, personified 
by the Duke of Athens and his viceroy, was predominant in 
Thessaly, an able and unscrupulous woman still held Epiros 
for the national cause, while the pope plaintively wrote that 
" much of Achaia was in Greek hands," and in vain ordered 
a tithe to be levied and paid to its prince for the recovery of 
what had been lost 1 Venice, however, had maintained and 
strengthened her three colonies of Modon, Coron, and 
Negroponte. Lluria had spared the two Messenian stations 
on his cruise round the Morea, because their Venetian 
masters were at peace with the house of Aragon ; but the 
republic, none the less, constructed an arsenal at Coron, and 
restored the walls of Modon. Their trade naturally suffered 
when the dominions of the republic were laid under an 
interdict by the pope, and after the great earthquake of 
1304; but such was their prosperity in 1291, that it was 
ordered that 2000 ounces should be sent to Venice every 
year out of their surplus revenues, and a little later the 
salaries of their officials were raised. Finding that the wives 
of the governors interfered in the colonial administration, 
and that their sons engaged in commerce, the Home Govern- 
ment made a rule, that they must leave their female belong- 
ings and their grown-up sons behind them in Venice. 
Stringent regulations were also issued for the protection of 
the peasants' property, and it was the policy of the republican 
authorities to keep on good terms with both their Greek and 
Frankish neighbours; to the latter, however, they did not 
hesitate to lend the services of the famous engineers of 
Coron whenever there was a castle to besiege. 2 

We last saw the island of Eubcea almost entirely in the 
hands of the Greeks, thanks to the energy of Licario ; but 
before the close of the century, the imperial garrisons had 
all been driven out of the island. The first step was the 
recovery of the two castles of La Clisura and Argalia, by 
treachery ; as the island was specially excepted from the 
truce of 1285 between Venice and Andr6nikos II., the 
process of reconquest could go on more or less uninter- 

1 Regestum dementis V. % ii., 17, 19 ; iii., 84. 

2 L. d. C, 472 ; Sanudo, Vite de* Duchi y apud Muratori, xxii., 580 ,• 
Pachym^res, ii., 393 ; Pilosus, fol. 466. 


ruptedly; till, finally, the quarrels between the Venetians 
and their Genoese rivals at Constantinople led, in 1296, to 
the renewal of hostilities between the former and the Greek 
Empire, and so afforded an excellent opportunity for recaptur- 
ing the last remaining Byzantine fortresses of Karystos, 
Larmena, and Metropyle. The credit for this final blow 
belonged to Bonifacio da Verona, who thus obtained posses- 
sion of the noble castle of southern Euboea, which had been 
part of his wife's dowry ; henceforth, in fact, as well as in 
name, the prime favourite of Duke Guy of Athens was baron 
of Karystos, and the most important of all the Lombard 
lords in the island. But the real influence over Euboea was 
gradually passing into the hands of the Venetians. Not 
only did the latter buy more land round about Chalkis, but 
by the usual ill-luck which attended Frankish marriages in 
the Levant, the three great baronies of Negroponte were at 
this time almost entirely in the possession of women, so that 
the Venetian bailie acquired a predominant position, which 
was further enhanced by the popularity of several of those 
officials. The elder Sanudo, 1 however, a Venetian himself, 
noticed that the Greek peasants preferred the Genoese to the 
Venetians, hastening down to the shore with provisions as 
soon as a Genoese galley hove in sight, but by no means 
displaying the like alacrity when they descried the Venetian 
flag. And, as the same author shrewdly observed, "in 
Candia, Negroponte, and other islands, and in the princi- 
pality of the Morea, although those places are subject to the 
Frankish sway and obedient to the Roman Church, yet 
almost all the inhabitants are Greeks, and inclined to that 
sect, and their hearts are turned towards things Greek ; and, 
if they had a chance of displaying their preference freely, 
they would do so." A bigoted French bishop, like Gautier 
de Ray of Negroponte, cousin of the Duke of Athens, could 
still further estrange the "schismatic" Greeks from the 
Catholic fold. One other section of the community in that 
city — the Jews — had no special reason for loving the Venetian 
administration, for it was upon them that the burden of 
taxation was more especially laid. Thus, when the salaries 

1 Istoria del Regno, 125, 130, 131, 134, 143; and Secreta Fide Hum 
Cruris, 299-300. 



of the two Venetian councillors were increased, as compensa- 
tion for their exclusion from trade, the difference was ordered 
to be defrayed by the Jews, who had also, in 1 304, to pay the 
cost of fortifying with strong walls and gates the hitherto 
open Venetian quarter of the city of Negroponte. This 
precaution, followed by an order that henceforth the bailie 
and one of the two councillors must always reside within the 
walls, was due to an attempt by the Lombards to levy taxes 
on a Venetian citizen ; it was then that Chalkis assumed the 
picturesque appearance of a walled city, which, in spite of 
modern acts of Vandalism, it still preserves. Occasionally, 
however, a Jewish family was specially exempted from 
taxation, as a reward for its loyalty to the republic. Thus, 
at the beginning of the fourteenth century, Eubcea possessed 
for Venice an importance second to that of Crete alone. It 
became the station of a Venetian fleet, and during the 
maritime war against Andr6nikos II., which was concluded 
by the ten years' truce of 1303, it was a convenient basis 
whence privateers and armatores could swoop down upon 
those islands of the Archipelago which Licario had wrested 
from their Latin lords. 1 

Such was the condition of Greece, when a new race of 
conquerors from the West suddenly appeared there, and 
destroyed in a single day the most magnificent fabric which 
the Franks had raised in " New France." 

1 Prcdelli, Commemoriali, i., 4, 10, 35 ; Les Regis tres de Boniface 
VIILy L, 408, 763 ; Archivio Veneto, xx., 81. 



The history of Greece in the last quarter of the thirteenth 
century was more influenced by the long duel between the 
rival houses of Anjou and Aragon for the beautiful island of 
Sicily than by any other cause. It was the Sicilian vespers 
and their consequences which paralysed the schemes of the 
Angevins for the reconquest of the Latin Empire of the 
East ; it was the restoration of peace in Sicily, after a twenty 
years' struggle, by the peace of Caltabellotta in 1 302, which 
let loose upon the Greeks and the Frankish rulers of the 
Levant the terrible Catalan auxiliaries of the Aragonese 
party, and thus vitally affected for nearly a hundred years the 
fortunes of Hellas. What the Fourth Crusade was to the 
thirteenth century, the Catalan expedition was to the 
fourteenth, only that the rough mercenaries from Barcelona 
showed less regard for the Greeks than the motley band of 
younger sons and noble adventurers and astute Venetians, 
who had divided among themselves the fragments of the 
Byzantine Empire a hundred years before. The Catalans, 
like the Crusaders, have been very differently judged by 
Eastern and Western writers. Of the four contemporaries, 
who have left us accounts of their doings, the three Greeks 
— Pachymdres, Nikephoros Gregorys, and the rhetorician 
Theodoulos — depict them as savages, whose sole idea was 
plunder; while their comrade and compatriot, Ram6n 
Muntaner, is rather proud than otherwise of their exploits, 
and heaps upon the Greeks the same terms of opprobrium 
which we find applied to them a century earlier by the 
apologists of the Fourth Crusade. Modern writers have 

taken sides, according to their nationalities. To Stamatiades 



the Catalans are the oppressors of the Greeks, to Moncada 
and Rubi6 y Lluch they are heroes worthy to be descendants 
of the Crusaders. If their career has been very variously 
judged, it has, at least, inspired two masterpieces of literature 
— the delightful Chronicle of Muntaner and the majestic 
prose of Moncada, a work justly esteemed worthy of a place 
in the library of Spanish classics. 1 

During the long struggle against the Angevins in Sicily, 
King Frederick II., who now ruled that debatable island, 
had thankfully availed himself of the stout hearts and stalwart 
arms of the Catalans. Their principal chief was one Roger 
de Flor, whose father, a German, had been falconer of the 
Emperor Frederick II., and whose mother was daughter of a 
prominent citizen of Brindisi, where Roger, like Margaritone 
a century earlier, was born. His father lost both life and 
property, fighting against Charles of Anjou at the battle of 
Tagliacozzo, so that the lad was early thrown on his own 
resources. But Brindisi was, in that age, one of the most 
important ports in the Mediterranean, whence there was 
constant communication with Greece and Syria — just the 
place, in fact, where an adventurous boy would find an 
opening for a career. One winter, when Roger was eight 
years old, the vessel of a Knight Templar lay in the harbour, 
close to his mother's abode; the nimble youth was soon 
free of the ship, running about the deck as if he had been 
bred to the sea. The captain took a fancy to him, offered to 
make a man of him, and when the ship at last sailed, Roger 
sailed with it. He soon became an experienced seaman, and, 
in due course was admitted a brother of the Temple, being 
ultimately entrusted with the command of the largest vessel 
belonging to the Order. He was present with this ship at 

1 The contemporary authorities for the Catalan expedition are 
Pachyme>es, ii., 393-4<x>, 415-42, 480-518, 521-58, 562 sqq.\ Nike- 
ph6ros Gregoras, i., 218-33, 2 44"54 > The6doulos, llpeapcvriKds rpbt rbv 
f}a<n\4a 'Av8p6vucov and Tlcpl tuv 4v t$ *IraX«y ical Tiepa-jjv £<f>68<p yeyevrj/xivuv 
afiud Boissonade, Anecdota Grceca, ii., 188-228 ; Muntaner, ch. cxciv. 
sqq^ and Nicolaus Specialis apud Muratori, x., 1050. Of the moderns 
the best are Moncada (died 1635), Expedition de los Catalanes; Rubio y 
Lluch, La expedition y domination de los Catalanes en Oriente; Stama- 
tiacles, 01 KaraXdm iv r% 'A^aroXg; and Schlumberger, Expedition des 
" Almugavares " ou routiers Catalans en Orient 


the capture of Acre by the Egyptians, and was the means of 
conveying many of the fugitives and much treasure to a place 
of safety. But his large profits by this voyage aroused envy 
and suspicion ; the Grand Master of the Order laid hands 
upon what property of Roger's he could find, and tried to 
arrest him ; but the latter managed to escape to Genoa, 
where he equipped a galley of his own. Renouncing his 
allegiance to the Temple, he now offered his services to the 
Angevins, and, when his offer was coldly received, to King 
Frederick II., who graciously accepted them. Honours and 
wealth were bestowed upon him ; he became Vice- Admiral 
of Sicily, and the most terrible corsair of the age. 

The peace of Caltabellotta closed the active career of 
Roger and his band of Catalans in Sicily. Their present 
employer could no longer support them from the revenues of 
an island exhausted by twenty years of civil war; they 
could not return to Spain, because they had espoused the 
cause of King Frederick of Sicily against his brother, King 
James II. of Aragon, nor had these homeless wanderers any 
strong ties to bind them to their native land ; moreover, the 
pope either had demanded, or seemed likely to demand, the 
surrender of their chief, the scourge of the Angevins, the 
renegade brother of the Temple. Frederick II. was, on his 
part, naturally desirous, like governments in our own time, 
to rid himself of such dangerous allies, now that he had no 
further use for their services. He had already offered them 
to Charles of Valois, husband of Catherine of Courtenay, 
titular Empress of Constantinople, whose claims to the 
Byzantine throne he had pledged himself to support. 1 As 
this venture against Andr6nikos II. was not carried out, 
Roger bethought himself of offering his band of followers to 
the same emperor whom he had been expected to attack. 
Andr6nikos, then hard pressed by the growing power of the 
Turks, welcomed Roger's proposal as a godsend. He 
accepted the latter's terms, which had been drawn up by 
Muntaner himself ; Roger was to obtain the title of " Grand 
Duke," which was equivalent to Lord High Admiral in the 
Byzantine hierarchy, with the hand of the emperor's niece, 
Maria; his men were to receive pay at double the usual 
1 Ducange, op. ctf., ii., 335-6 ; Sanudo, 173. 


rate, and four months were to be paid in advance, the first 
instalment being paid at Monemvasia. On these conditions, 
Roger sailed for Constantinople with thirty-six ships and 
6500 men. 1 Of these, 4000 were the so-called almugavari % or 
"skirmishers," the most formidable infantry of the time, 
whose exploits led the terrified Pachymdres, by a false, but 
pardonable etymology, to connect them with the barbarous 
Avars. "Would that Constantinople," cried the historian, 
" had never beheld the Latin Roger ! " 

The name and fame of the Catalans were already known 
in the harbours of the Levant. As early as 1268, King 
James I. of Aragon, of whose dominions Catalufta formed a 
part, had allowed the merchants of Barcelona to establish 
consuls in the Byzantine Empire ; and, about 1 290, one of 
those officials is mentioned in a golden bull of Andr6nikos 
II., which granted special privileges to merchants from Spain. 
Catalan trade had naturally followed the Byzantine flag at a 
time when the Greek emperors were instigating the house of 
Aragon against the hated Angevins in Sicily, and the East 
had had a taste of the Catalans' quality as fighting men. 
Michael VIII. had on one occasion employed a Catalan 
vessel to tackle a Genoese corsair, and we saw Catalan 
mercenaries assisting Licario against the Lombards of Euboea 
and ravaging the Morea under Roger de Lluria. Thus the 
new Roger represented a force whose value the emperor was 
well able to estimate. 

On their way to Constantinople, the Catalans plundered 
Corfu, then a possession of the Angevins, and put into 
Monemvasia, where the imperial authorities received them 
well. When they reached the capital, the emperor was as 
good as his word : the soldiers were given four months' pay 
in advance, and Roger received the hand of the fair Maria. 
When, somewhat later, another Catalan leader, Berenguer de 
Entenca, Lluria's brother-in-law and " one of the noblest men 
of Spain," arrived with a fresh contingent, Roger relin- 
quished to him the title of Grand Duke, and was yet further 
honoured by that of "Caesar," one of the great Byzantine 
dignities, whose latest holders had been Alexios Strateg6- 

1 Muntaner, the best authority, gives 6500 ; Pachym£res, 8000 ; Nike- 
ph6ros, 2000. 


poulos, the conqueror of Constantinople from the Latins, 
and John and Constantine Palai61ogos, the uncles of the 
emperor. The Catalan commander was the last person who 
ever bore the title. 

The newcomers soon proved to be a curse to the empire 
which they had been summoned to defend. If they defeated 
the Turks in Asia, they quarrelled with the Genoese in the 
capital and plundered the Greeks everywhere. When they 
had desolated Asia, they crossed over into Europe, and 
encamped at Gallipoli on the Dardanelles, where Alfonso 
Fadrique, a natural son of King Frederick of Sicily, joined 
them. Roger was now killed at Adrianople by orders of 
Michael, the emperor's son and colleague ; but the deed only 
made the Catalans more desperate, and therefore more danger- 
ous. Under Enten^a, Roger's successor, they entrenched 
themselves at Gallipoli, and defied the emperor; when 
Enten^a was captured by a Genoese fleet, they made 
Berenguer de Rocafort, a resolute soldier of humble origin, 
their leader, routed the imperial troops and wounded the 
emperor's son. Twelve councillors were appointed to assist 
Rocafort ; a great seal was made bearing the image of St 
George and the proud superscription "the army of the 
Franks who reign over the kingdom of Macedonia," and was 
entrusted to the charge of Muntaner; three banners, those of 
Aragon, of Sicily, and of St George, accompanied the host to 
battle ; a fourth, that of St Peter, waved on the topmost 
tower of Gallipoli. Their victories soon attracted a body of 
loyal and valuable allies — 3800 Turks and Turkish renegades ; 
ere long there was scarcely a town in Thrace and Macedonia 
which they had not sacked. But dissensions broke out 
among the Catalan leaders. Enten^a, who had secured his 
release, was murdered on his return by Rocafort's relatives, 
and that crafty chief persuaded his men to refuse to recognise 
the authority of King Frederick of Sicily, who was desirous 
to exploit for his own ends the triumphs of his former 
mercenaries, and had accordingly sent his cousin, the Infant 
Ferdinand, son of King James I. of Majorca, to take 
command of the company in his name. 1 Unable to assert his 
powers as King Frederick's delegate, the Infant resolved to 
1 Buchon, Nouvelles Recherchts^ II., i., 385-90. 


return to Sicily ; with him went the faithful Muntaner, while 
the main body, under Rocafort, having exhausted Thrace and 
plundered the monasteries of Mount Athos, moved to 
Kassandreia, the ancient Potidaia, a deserted city on the 
narrow isthmus which connects the peninsula of Kassandra 
with the rest of Macedonia. 

It is at this point that the Catalan expedition begins to 
affect the history of Frankish Greece. On their way home, 
the Infant and Muntaner put into the Thessalian port of 
Halmyros, at that time under the regency of the Duke of 
Athens, and set fire to all that they could find, in revenge 
for the disappearance of some of their men and stores. 
After ravaging the island of Skopelos, still a Greek possession, 
they steered for Negroponte, where the Infant had been 
hospitably treated on his outward voyage. But at this 
moment there chanced to be in the harbour eleven Venetian 
vessels with Thibaut de Cepoy on board — a French nobleman, 
agent of Charles of Valois, who, in 1306, had renewed 
between his master and Venice the old arrangement made 
twenty-five years before at Orvieto for the recovery of the 
Latin Empire, 1 and who was now manoeuvring to win over 
Rocafort and his Catalans to the service of the titular 
empress and her husband. Cepoy feared that Ferdinand, as 
the representative of the King of Sicily, might thwart his 
plan ; his Venetian escort had heard that Muntaner's galley 
contained a goodly quantity of spoil ; accordingly, they 
attacked the little flotilla, seized the chronicler's property and 
arrested the Infant, in spite of the safe conduct, which the 
barons of Negroponte had given him. Ferdinand and his 
faithful retainer were lodged in the house of Bonifacio da 
Verona, whence the Infant was handed over to Jean de 
Maisy, a well-connected Frenchman, who had recently 
become, by marriage with one of the Lombard heiresses, the 
next most important baron of the island. He was then 
escorted to Thebes, where Duke Guy of Athens, annoyed 
at the destruction of Halmyros, and already won over by 
Cepoy, shut him up in the castle of St Omer. Muntaner was 
sent back to Rocafort at Kassandreia, where he received an 
enthusiastic reception, and whence he shortly returned to 
1 Thomas, Diflomatarium V^net0-Levantinum x I., 48-53. 


Negroponte, in quest of his stolen property. All efforts to 
recover it failed ; but half a century later Venice paid back 
to the chronicler's granddaughter a tenth part of what he 
had lost at Negroponte. 1 A poorer and a wiser man — for he 
had learnt that it was dangerous to travel with young 
princes — Muntaner proceeded to Thebes, where Guy II., 
then already a prey to the malady which carried him off a 
year later, received him with courtesy. He was not the 
first Catalan whom the duke had met; for, three years 
earlier, Ferdinand Ximenes, the most respectable of all the 
Catalan leaders, had left Roger de Flor in disgust at his 
cruelty, and had spent some time at the Theban court, where 
he had been entertained with those honours which the 
lavish duke knew so well how to bestow. Muntaner, in 
response to Guy's polite attentions, asked for one favour 
only — that the Infant might be well treated and that he 
might be permitted to see him. The request was granted ; the 
warm-hearted Catalan passed two days in the society of his 
young master, and when he departed, almost broken-hearted, 
for Sicily, he left behind him part of his scanty funds for 
the Infant's use, and made the cook swear on the gospels 
that he would not put poison into the royal prisoner's food. 
The Infant was subsequently released and sent to the King 
of Naples, at the request of Charles of Valois ; after more than 
a year's honourable imprisonment at Naples, he was allowed 
to return to Majorca. We shall find him later on intervening, 
with fatal results to himself, in the affairs of Greece. 

Meanwhile, the main body of the Catalans, in their camp 
at Kassandreia, were treating Macedonia as they had treated 
Thrace. Rocafort, hopelessly compromised with both the 
King of Sicily and the house of Aragon by his refusal to 
accept the authority of the Infant Ferdinand, had thought 
it prudent to take an oath of fealty to Thibaut de Cepoy as 
the representative of Charles of Valois, but, in spite of 
Cepoy's nominal leadership, he continued to be the guiding 
spirit of the Company. His ambition aimed at nothing less 
than a royal crown, and he dreamed of reviving for himself 
that kingdom of Salonika which Boniface of Montferrat had 
founded a century before, and which still lingered on as a 
1 Predelli, Commemoriali x i., 87 ; ii., 186, 190, 250. 


titular dignity of the ducal house of Burgundy. 1 He had a 
seal executed, bearing the figure of St Demetrios and a 
golden crown, while he excited his men by promising them 
the plunder of Salonika, a rich and populous city, at that 
moment a particularly splendid prize, because its walls 
contained the two empresses, Irene, wife of Andr6nikos II., 
and Maria, consort of his son and colleague, Michael. Just 
as Boniface's conquests had included Attica, so Rocafort, too, 
was plotting the ultimate dominion of the Athenian duchy. 
With this object he sought the hand of Jeannette de Brienne, 
half-sister of the childless Guy II., which the Empress Irene 
had already asked for her son Theodore. Guy had been too 
honest to accept her offer, which had been coupled with the 
proposal that he and she should simultaneously attack his 
ward, young John 1 1, of Thessaly and Neopatras, and that 
the latter's dominions should be given to her son. 2 Negotia- 
tions went on, however, for some time between him and 
Rocafort; two of his minstrels were sent as his envoys to 
Kassandreia, 3 and'he seems to have entertained the idea of 
using the Catalans to conquer the Morea in the name of his 
wife, the natural heiress of the Villehardouins, 4 who, as we 
saw, had in vain demanded it as her birthright from Nicholas 
de St Omer, when he had been left as bailie after the 
departure of Philip of Savoy. But Venice, alarmed for her 
colony at Negroponte, worked against a plan which would 
have exposed that station to a Catalan attack, and Rocafort, 
whose arbitrary acts had made him unpopular with his men, 
was arrested by the council of the Catalan Company, and 
handed over to Cepoy. The latter was by this time weary 
of his life with the wild Catalans, while his mission had no 
further object since the death of Catherine of Courtenay, the 
titular empress of Constantinople, at the beginning of 1308, 
and the consequent transference of her claims to her daughter, 
Catherine of Valois. He therefore determined to quit the 
Catalan camp with his prisoner. One night, without saying 

1 Buchon, Recherches et Mat/riaux, i., 68. 

2 Nikeph6ros Gregorys, i., 237 (who, however, calls her, by a con- 
fusion, the duke's "daughter") ; Lettere di Collegio, fol. 6. 

3 As we see from Cepoy's accounts ; Ducange, ofi. a't. t ii., 355. 
« X. r. M., 11. 7275-81 ; C. (L M., 456. 


good-bye to a single soul, he embarked on some galleys 
which his son had brought from Venice, and next morning 
when the Company awoke, he was well out at sea, on the 
way to Naples. There he surrendered Rocafort to the tender 
mercies of that amiable sovereign, King Robert, who paid off 
an old grudge which he had against the bold Catalan by 
throwing him into the dungeons of Aversa, where he died of 
hunger. 1 Meanwhile, the Catalans, furious at the departure 
of their leader, repented of what they had done. In their 
rage they slew fourteen captains who had been the ringleaders 
in the revolt against Rocafort — a proceeding which still 
further diminished the number of prominent men among 
them. Until they could find a new chief, they elected a 
committee of four, chosen in equal numbers from the cavalry 
and infantry, besides the original Council of Twelve. 

Such was the situation of the Catalan Company, when 
the last of the De la Roche dukes of Athens lay a-dying. 
Muntaner, as we saw, had found him very ill, when he 
visited Thebes, nor could the medical skill of the patriarch of 
Alexandria, who chanced to be in Euboea and prescribed for 
the ailing duke, avail to save him. On 5th October 1308, 
"the good duke," Guy II., died. On the following day, he 
was laid to rest in " the mausoleum of his ancestors " at the 
famous Cistercian Abbey of Daphni on the Sacred Way, 
where a sarcophagus with a cross, two snakes, and two 
lilies carved upon it, which was perhaps his tomb, may still 
be seen lying outside in the courtyard. A certificate of his 
death and burial was drawn up by Archbishop Henry of 
Athens, the Abbot of Daphni, the ex-pirate Gaffore, now a 
peaceful Athenian citizen, and others, who implored, in the 
name of the widowed duchess, now left alone in the world 

1 Hopf and Gregorovius rejected the statement of Muntaner (ch. 
ccxxxix.), that Cepoy fled with Rocafort on the ground that the last 
section of his financial accounts, which have been preserved and pub- 
lished by Ducange (op. cit. y ii., 352-6), begins with 9th September 1309, 
which they therefore assumed, without evidence, to be the date of his 
departure from Greece. But Cepoy was always accustomed to divide his 
accounts at that date, because it completed the period of twelve months 
from the time of his departure from Paris in 1306. The mention of that 
date therefore merely means that the fourth year of his mission began 
then. According to Lettere di Collegio, f. 63, he was in Thessaly in 1309. 


at the age of fifteen, the protection of her cousin, Count 
William of Hainault. Her husband had not, however, been 
dead four months, when she was affianced in the Theban 
minster, the scene of so many gorgeous ceremonies, to the 
eldest son of Philip of Taranto. Thither, for the last time, 
gathered the noble chivalry of Athens, to witness this latest 
sacrifice to the insatiable ambition of the Angevins. 1 

Guy II. had left no children, but fortunately the succession 
to his delectable duchy, of which he had appointed his 
bosom friend, Bonifacio da Verona, as temporary adminis- 
trator, was not seriously disputed. Neither the French nor 
the Argive branch of the De la Roche family (the barons of 
Veligosti and Damal&) made any claim to his inheritance ; the 
husband of his aunt Catherine, Carlo de Lagonessa, seneschal 
of Sicily and son of the former bailie of Achaia, who had 
regarded himself a few years before as his heir, and 
Lagonessa's son, Giovanni, had both predeceased him, 2 so that 
there only remained his two first cousins, Eschive, Lady of 
Beyrout, daughter of his aunt Alice, and Walter, son of his 
aunt Isabelle and Hugues de Brienne, his stepfather. 
Hugues de Brienne had left Greece for Apulia after his 
stepson had come of age, and had been killed in battle in 
1296. His son, Walter, Count of Lecce, accordingly came 
forward as Guy's successor. Dame Eschive of Beyrout 
asserted, however, that she had a prior claim, because her 
mother was the elder sister of Walter's mother. As the 
duchy of Athens was in the Angevin times a vassal state of 
the principality of Achaia, King Robert of Naples, the head 
of the Angevins, and Philip of Taranto, as Prince of Achaia 
and suzerain of Athens, referred the question in the middle 
of 1309 to the Achaian High Court, of which Philip's new 
bailie, Bertino Visconte, was the president. The High 
Court decided in favour of Walter, on the ground that he 

1 Pachym^res, II., 450, 595 ; Sanudo, 136; Muntaner, chs. ccxxxvii., 
ccxl., ccxliv.; X. t. M. t 1L 7263-9, 8046-55 ; Predelli, Commemoriali, I., 
89 ; St Genois, i., 215, 338 ; Buchon, Recherches historiques, i., 473 ; La 
Grke Continentale, 131 -3. M. Millet, however, in his monograph on 
Daphni (p. 39), doubts whether the sarcophagus is the tomb of Guy, as 
the arms upon it were not those of his family. 

2 Riccio, Studii storiei sopra 84 Registri y 54. 



was a powerful and gallant man, while the Lady of Beyrout 
was not only a woman but a widow. When Eschive heard 
the sentence of the Court, she knelt down at the altar of the 
church of St Francis at Glarentza, where the barons had met, 
and prayed the Virgin that if her judges and her opponent 
had wrought injustice, they might die without heirs of their 
bodies. Then she departed to her own home, and Walter of 
Brienne entered into the peaceable possession of his cousin's 
duchy, which Bonifacio da Verona, who had acted as bailie 
during the interregnum, handed over to him. 1 

The new Duke of Athens was a true scion of the 
adventurous house of Brienne, who in his thirty years of life 
had seen much of the world. As a boy he must have spent 
some time at the Theban court, when his father was guardian 
of Guy II. When barely of age, he had been one of the 
" knights of death," who had gone to Sicily to support the 
cause of Anjou, and he had fought like the lion on his 
banner at Gagliano, when he and his comrades were 
treacherously led into an ambuscade. Like his suzerain, 
Philip of Taranto, he had been the prisoner of the 
Aragonese, but prison had not made him cautious, nor had 
defeat taught him the folly of despising the infantry of Spain. 
Thus the succession of this brave but headstrong soldier 
destroyed, instead of preserving, "the pleasaunce of the 
Latins" in Frankish Athens. Yet it is impossible not to 
admire the reckless courage of this most unstatesmanlike 
ruler. Those who have seen the knightly figure of the last 
French Duke of Athens step on to the stage in M. Rhangab£s's 
gorgeously mounted play, "The Duchess of Athens" — a 
drama which, in spite of some glaring anachronisms, has given 
us a living picture of the brilliant French court of Thebes 
on the eve of the catastrophe — can feel all the pathos and 
all the pity of so promising a career so wantonly sacrificed. 

Meanwhile, the Catalans were drawing nearer to the 
Athenian frontier. The position of the Company in the 
camp at Kassandreia had grown more and more precarious. 
In Macedonia they were threatened with starvation and 
the combined attack of all the neighbouring peoples. The 
emperor had cut off their retreat into Thrace by building a 
1 L. d. F., 1 18-19. 


long wall across the pass of Christopolis; while in the 
imperial general Chandren6s, if we may believe the eulogy 
of his relative, the rhetorician The6doulos, they had found 
a foeman worthy of their steel, who pressed them hard in 
their station on the peninsula. Accordingly, they resolved 
to make a bold dash for Thessaly, " a land of plenty," or find 
an abiding settlement in one of the Greek countries to the 
south of it The company now numbered not less than 
8000 men, of whom some 5000 were Catalans, and the rest 
Turks, 1 100 of the latter being converts to Christianity. On 
the borders of Thessaly, a portion of the Turks left them, 1 
and the rest of the company, after wintering at the foot of 
Olympos, traversed the lovely vale of Tempe, the route of 
so many an army, and in the spring of 1 309 debouched into 
the great Thessalian plain. The granary of Greece lay at 
their mercy, for John II. of Neopatras, its ruler, who had 
been emancipated from his Athenian guardian by the death 
of Guy II., was young in years and weak in health; fearing 
a usurpation on the part of one of the feudal barons of 
Thessaly, he had recently married, or at least betrothed 
himself to, Irene, natural daughter of the Emperor 
Andronikos II. 2 But, as he had no heir, either annexa- 
tion or anarchy seemed likely to follow the demise of the 
moribund duke, the last of his race. 

The rest of the year was spent by the Catalans in ravaging 
Thessaly, till the inhabitants invoked the aid of the emperor, 
who not only ordered the redoubtable Chandrenos to pursue 
the Catalans, but summoned the people of Loidoriki and 
Galaxidi, districts which were included, as we saw, in the 
Wallachian principality of the Angeli, to join his standard 
against "the men of Aragon." Dissensions hindered the 
success of the Greeks till the arrival of Chandren6s gave 
unity of direction to their forces, and in two battles, in which 
the stalwart men of Galaxidi took a notable part, the Catalans 

1 Nikephoros (i., 248) makes all the Turks leave them ; but Muntaner, 
the Aragonese Chronicle, and Theodoulos (ii., 201) state that the Turks 
were present at the battle of the Kephissos. 

1 Nikeph6ros in one place says that in 1309 he had been "lately 
married" ; in another, that when he died in 131 8, he had been " married 
three years " (i., 249, 278). 


were defeated with much loss. 1 The Company was glad to 
make peace with the Thessalians ; Chandren6s, having done 
his work, returned into Macedonia ; and the Catalan leaders 
accepted the bribes and offers of the leading men of Thessaly 
to give them guides, who would conduct them into Boeotia 
and Achaia, " a luxurious and fertile land, endued with many 
graces, and of all lands the best to dwell in." Accordingly, 
in the spring of 1310, they crossed the Phourka Pass, suffering 
not a little from the nomad Wallachs who frequented that 
difficult country, and descended to Lamia. 

An energetic soldier like the new Duke of Athens, whose 
name was famous in the kingdoms of the West, could 
scarcely be expected to acquiesce in the practical establish- 
ment of a Byzantine protectorate over thei dominions of his 
predecessor's ward, John II. of Neopatras. From the brief 
account of Muntaner, it would appear that at this moment 
a species of triple alliance between the Greek rulers of 
Constantinople, Neopatras, and Arta, had been formed for 
the purpose of preventing the moribund principality of the 
Angeli from being annexed by the duchy of Athens. 
Against the allies Duke Walter bethought him of employing 
the venal arms of the wandering Catalans. The late Duke 
of Athens had already negotiated with them when they 
were still at Kassandreia ; his successor was, moreover, per- 
sonally popular with them ; he had gained their respect 
fighting against them in the Sicilian war, and he spoke their 
language, which he had learnt when a child during his im- 
prisonment as hostage for his father in the Castle of Augusta, 
near Syracuse. By means of the good services of Roger 
Deslaur, a knight of Roussillon, who was in his employ, he 
engaged them for six months at the high rate of 4 ounces 
(£9, 12s.) for every heavily-armed horseman, 2 ounces 
(£4, 1 6s.) for every light-armed horseman, and 1 ounce 
(£2, 8s.) for every foot-soldier — the same high scale of pay 
for which Roger de Flor had stipulated with Andr6nikos 
II. eight years earlier. As soon as he met them — probably 

1 I see no reason to doubt the accuracy of the Chronicle of Galaxidi 
(p. 205) here, because it is exactly confirmed by the contemporary account 
of Theodoulos. As Sdthas points out (p. 225), the "Andreas" or 
" Andrikos " of the Chronicle is Chandrends. 


at Lamia x — he gave them two months' pay in advance. The 
Catalans lost no time in giving him value for his money. 
Turning back by the way they had come, they took Domok6. 
At the end of a six months' campaign they had captured 
more than thirty castles for their employer, and had once 
more ravaged the fertile plain of Thessaly so effectually, 
that its exports of corn and other products diminished after 
this raid. His three adversaries were glad to make peace 
with him on his own terms, and the news of his triumph 
penetrated to the papal court at Avignon, whence Clement 
V. wrote ordering the Athenian revenues of the suppressed 
Order of the Templars to be lent to so " faithful a champion " 
of the true Church against the " schismatic Greeks." 2 

Having used the Company to serve his purpose, the duke 
now desired, like all its previous employers, to get rid of it. 
He picked out 200 of the best horsemen and 300 foot 
soldiers from its ranks, gave them their pay and lands, on 
which to settle, and then abruptly told the others to be gone, 
first giving up to him the castles which they had captured in 
his name and the booty which they had taken. They 
declined to obey his orders, reminded him that he owed them 
four months' pay, but offered to do him homage for the 
conquered castles, if he would allow them to remain, as they 
had nowhere else to go. 3 Walter haughtily replied that he 
would drive them out by force, and made preparations during 
the autumn and winter to carry out his threat His 
messengers went forth to all parts of the Frankish world in 
quest of aid against the common enemy. All the great 
feudatories of Greece rallied to his call. There came Alberto 
Pallavicini, Marquis of Boudonitza, and by his marriage 
with an heiress of the Dalle Carceri, hexarch of Euboea ; 
Thomas III. of Salona, that trusty vassal of the dukes of 

1 We know from a document quoted by Lunzi {Delia Condisione 
politica delle hole lonie, 125) that Walter was before "la Gyrona" 
( = Gytona, the Frankish form for Zetouni, or Lamia) on June 6, 13 10, 
and that is by far the most likely place for the meeting, being at the end 
of the pass from Thessaly. 

3 Sanudo, Secreia Fidelium Cruets, apud Bongars, ii., 68 ; Regestum 
dementis K, v., 235. 

3 X. t. M., 11. 7282-92 ; L. d. F. t 117 (where Walter is confused with 
Guy II.), 119, 120. 


Athens, who had lately become marshal of Achaia ; Boniface 
of Verona, the powerful Eubcean baron, who owed everything 
to the favour of Walter's predecessor ; and two other Eubcean 
lords, George Ghisi, owner of one of the three baronies of 
that island and master of Tenos and Mykonos, who had been 
captured by Roger de Lluria nearly twenty years before, and 
Jean de Maisy, who had received the custody of the Infant 
Ferdinand. The friendly Angevins, for whose cause Walter 
had fought in Sicily, willingly allowed their vassals in the 
Morea and their subjects in the kingdom of Naples to hasten 
to the Athenian banner, while the Duke of Naxos seems to 
have sent an island contingent 1 Never had such a brave 
host marched under the leadership of a Duke of Athens. 
According to a Byzantine estimate, Walter's army numbered 
6400 horsemen and more than 8000 foot soldiers ; according 
to the Catalan Muntaner, it consisted of 700 Frankish 
knights and of 24,000 Greek infantry from his own duchy ; 
while the Aragonese version of the Chronicle of the Morea 
assesses the numbers of the assembled force at more than 
2000 horse and 4000 foot With such an army, the con- 
temptuous duke hoped not only to annihilate the Catalans at 
one blow, but to extend his frontiers to the gates of 

The situation of the Catalan Company, now composed of 
3500 horsemen and 4000 foot soldiers, including many of 
their prisoners, enlisted because of their skill as archers, was 
now desperate. Retreat would have exposed them to a 
fresh attack by the victorious Chandren6s; allies they had 
none, for Venice had returned an evasive answer to their 
pacific overtures to her bailie at Chalkis, and had just 
renewed for twelve years her truce with the emperor, which 
contained a special stipulation, that no Venetian subject, 
under pain of losing all his goods, should visit any place 
where the Catalan Company chanced to be. 2 Nothing 
therefore lay before them but the alternative of a glorious 
death, or a still more glorious victory. Like seasoned 
warriors, they chose their battlefield well When spring 
came, they crossed the Boeotian Kephissds, and encamped 

1 L. d. F. f 120, confirming Sauger, Histoire nouvelU y p. 130. 

2 Thomas, LHplomaiarium Vctuto-Levantinum, i., 82-5. 



not far from the right bank of that sluggish stream, which 
ambles under the willows, like the Avon at Rugby. They 
then proceeded to prepare the ground, which was to be the 
scene of their final struggle for existence. Nature seems to 
have intended the great plain of Bceotia for a battlefield. 
A few miles from where the Catalans had taken their stand, 
Philip of Macedon, more than sixteen centuries before, had 
won " that dishonest victory at Chaironeia, fatal to liberty," 
which destroyed the freedom of classic Greece ; in the time 
of Sulla, the plain had thrice witnessed the clash of arms 
between the Roman masters of Greece and the Pontic troops 
of Mithridates. Now, after the lapse of 1400 years, it was to 
be the spot where the fate of Athens was to be decided. 
But the crafty Catalans did not put their trust in those arts 
by which the soldiers of Macedon and Rome had routed 
Greeks and Asiatics. They knew that they would have to 
face the most renowned chivalry of that day, knights who 
had made the names of Athens and Achaia famous all over 
the Eastern world, descendants of those tall horsemen, before 
whose coats of mail Sgour6s had fled from Thermopylae a 
century before. The marshy soil of the Copaic basin was an 
excellent defence against a cavalry charge, and the Catalans 
made this natural advantage more efficacious still by 
ploughing up the ground in front of them, digging a trench 
round it, and then irrigating the whole area by means of 
canals from the river. The moisture aided the germs of 
vegetation, and by the middle of March, when the Frankish 
army faced the Catalans, the quagmire was concealed by an 
ample covering of green grass. 

On Wednesday, 10th March 131 1, the Duke of Athens 
had assembled his forces at Lamia, where, as if by a fore- 
boding of his approaching death, he solemnly made his last 
will and testament. The document, witnessed by Gilles de la 
Planche, bailie of Achaia, and by the two great Eubcean 
barons, Jean de Maisy, the duke's kinsman, and Bonifacio da 
Verona, provided for all the outstanding claims of his 
predecessor's widow on his estate, bequeathed the sum of 
200 hyperperi (£89, 12s.) each to the cathedrals of Our Lady 
of Athens, Our Lady of Thebes, and Our Lady of Negroponte, 
to the great churches at Argos and Corinth^ and to the 


church at Daulia, a similar sum to the Athenian and Theban 
Minorites, and to the Theban Frires Prdcheurs, and half that 
amount to the church of St George at Livadia, and to the 
church at Boudonitza. The duke appointed his wife, Jeanne 
deChatillon, guardian of his two children, Walter and Isabelle, 
charged her to build a church to St Leonard in his Italian 
county of Lecce for the repose of his own and his parents' 
souls, but expressed the desire to be buried by the side of the 
last Duke of Athens in the abbey of Daphni, to which he left 
ioo hyperperi in land, or iooo in cash, for celebrating his 
anniversary. His wife, the bishop of Daulia, and others, were 
to carry out these dispositions. Having thus made his will, 
Walter set out to attack his enemies. 1 

Following the present route from Lamia to Livadia by 
way of Dadf, Walter halted, after passing Chaironeia, near 
the spot where the present road to Skripou, the ancient 
Orchomen6s, turns off. On the hill called the Thourion, 
which is still surmounted by a mediaeval tower, he probably 
took up his stand on that fatal 15 th of March to survey the 
field. But, before the battle began, the 500 favoured 
Catalans, whom he had picked out from the rest, came to him 
and told him that they would rather die with their brothers 
than fight against them. The duke told them that they had 
his permission to die with the others, so they departed and 
added a welcome and experienced contingent to the enemies' 
forces. When they had gone, Walter, impatient for the fray, 
placed himself at the head of 200 French knights with golden 
spurs and many other knights of the country and the 
infantry, and charged, with a shout, across the plain towards 
the grassy expanse, behind which the Catalans lay. Seldom 
had even Frankish Greece seen a braver sight than that of 
the martial duke and his mailed warriors, the flower of 
Western chivalry, with the lion banner of Brienne waving 
above them. But before the horses had reached the centre 
of the plain, they plunged all unsuspecting into the morass. 
Their heavy burdens and the impetus of their charge made 
their feet sink deeper into the yielding quagmire ; the shouts of 
" Aragon ! Aragon ! " from the Catalans added to their alarm. 

1 D'Arbois r de Jubainville, Voyage pal/oqraphique dans le dfyarte- 
ment de PAube, 332-340. 


Some rolled over with their armoured riders in the mud ; 
others, stuck fast in the stiff bog, stood still, like equestrian 
statues, powerless to move. The Catalans plied the helpless 
horsemen with showers of missiles ; the Turks, who had 
hitherto held aloof from the combat, for fear lest the Catalans 
and the French should join in attacking them, seeing that 
the battle was no mere feint, rushed forward and completed 
the deadly work. Still, despite their desperate situation, the 
French fought bravely, and the struggle was keen to the 
last. So great was the slaughter, thai, if we may believe the 
Catalan chronicler, more than 20,000 foot-soldiers and all the 
700 Frankish knights save two perished that day. Those two 
survivors were Bonifacio da Verona, who had always been a 
good friend of the Company, and Roger Deslaur, who had 
been the intermediary between it and the Duke of Athens. 
We know, however, from other sources, that at least two 
other knights, Jean de Maisy of Eubcea and the eldest son of 
the Duke of Naxos, who was wounded there, both survived, 
while the latter lived to marry Walter's half-sister Jeannette 
and to fight the Catalans again. 1 Two other great nobles, 
Nicholas III. of St Omer and Antoine le Flamenc, lord of 
Karditza, are known to have been alive after the battle, at 
which the former was apparently not present, while we may 
perhaps assume that the church of St George, which the 
Flemish knight erected in this very year at his Copaic village, 
was in pursuance of a vow made to the saint before he went 
into action. 2 But the fatal day of the Kephiss6s destroyed 
at one blow the noble chivalry of Frankish Greece. Almost 
all the leaders of the land, almost all the representatives of 
the old conquering families, were left dead in the Boeotian 
swamp. The Duke of Athens fell, and his head, severed from 
his body by a Catalan knife, was borne, many years afterwards, 
on a funereal galley to Brindisi, and thence escorted to 
Lecce, where it was buried beneath a marble monument, in 
the church of Sta. Croce, which his ill-fated son erected in 

1 Thomas, Diplomatarium, i., 111 ; Predelli, Commemoriali, i., 133, 
134, 198, 204. 

* Mr D. Steel, manager of the Lake Copais Company, has kindly had 
a fresh copy of this inscription made for me by his Greek draughtsman. 
The date is "6819, ninth indiction," /.*., 1311, a very significant one. 


his Italian residence, but which was destroyed, and with it the 
monument, when Lecce was fortified in the time of Charles V. 1 
There fell, too, the Marquis of Boudonitza and the lord of 
Salona, those twin guardians of the Greek marches, whose 
dignities dated from the Conquest ; and brave George Ghisi, 
and many another noble gentleman. It was scarcely a 
rhetorical exaggeration, when The6doulos the rhetorician 
wrote, that not so much as an army chaplain 2 was left to tell 
the tale. To him and to the Greeks it seemed a glorious 
victory, which rid them of the masters who had ruled Greece 
for three generations, and whose pride had been the cause of 
their fall ; even the Francophil Chronicle of the Morea admits 
that Walter's death was his own fault 3 

After the battle, the victors occupied the French camp, 
and then marched to the neighbouring town of Livadia, one 

1 Galateus, De Situ Iapygia y 92 ; Delia Monaca, Memoria historica 
delta Ciltd di Brindisi, 470 ; Summonte, Storia delta Cittd e del Regno 
di Napoli, ii., 248. 

2 Mrfii *v(Hf>6pov, a classical tag, " the priest who carried the sacrificial 

3 There are two difficulties about the battle — its date and place. The 
Greek Chronicle (11. 7295-300) gives "Monday, March 15, A.M., 68 171 
Indict, vii. " (or riii., another MS.)=A.D., 1309 ; the French version gives 
the same day and month of 13 10 (p. 240), but alters the year to 1307 else- 
where (p. 474). But in 131 1 the 15th March was a Monday, and that 
date is absolutely fixed by Walter's will and by the "Necrologium 
Monasterii S. Nicolai et Cataldi"of Lecce, which I have examined at 
Naples, and which says "15 Martii obiit Gualterius, dux Athenarum, 
Brennae et Lisii Comes, 131 1, Ind. viiii." The four versions of the Chronicle 
and Sanudo all say that the place was Halmyros ; but the well-known 
Thessalian town cannot be meant, as Neroutsos (AcXWor, iv., 130) and 
Giann6poulos {wapvaffffSt, viii., 76) believed, because nothing but the 
Boeotian plain suits the precise descriptions of Muntaner and Nikephoros. 
Halmyros ("the salt place") is, however, a common name in Greece, 
and there may well have been a spot so called in the Copaic district 

The contemporary authorities for the battle are : — Nikeph6ros 
Gregorys, i., 251-4; Muntaner, ch. ccxl. ; The6doulos, ii., 200-1. To 
it refer X. r. M. f 11. 7272-300, 8010 ; L. d. C, 239-40, 268, 474 ; C. d. M., 
456; L, d. F.y 120 ; Boccaccio, De Casibus Virorum lllustrium, p. 265 ; 
Villani apud Muratori, xiii., 379-80 ; Sanudo, J storia del Regno, 125 ; 
Chalkokondyles, 19. A poem by Pucci, published in Arch. Star. ltal. y 
Ser. III., xvi., 52, alludes to the fact of Walter's head being "cut off by 
the Company." A contemporary table of the rulers of Greece (Hop£ 
Chroniques, 1 77-8) marks the names of those who died. 


of the strongest positions in the duchy, which had been a 
special appanage of the ducal family. But the Greek inhabi- 
tants opened the gates to " the Fortunate Company of the 
Catalans," receiving as their reward the full rights and 
privileges of Franks under the Great Seal of St George. 1 
When the news of the French defeat reached Thebes, the 
citizens fled with all that they could carry to Negroponte — 
the general refuge of the Latin inhabitants of the duchy, 
where a Venetian fleet was at that moment watching events. 
But the abandoned city, the richest in all the duchy, was 
ruthlessly plundered by the rough soldiers of fortune, who 
then hastened to Athens. We would fain believe the story 
of the Aragonese Chronicle, that the heroic widow of the 
fallen duke, a daughter of a constable of France, defended 
the Akropolis, in which she had taken refuge with her little 
son, until she saw that there was no hope of succour, and 
then fled with young Walter to Naples, and thence to her 
old home in France. 2 But Nikeph6ros expressly says that 
the invaders surprised Athens and took it most easily, 
together with the possessions, wives, and children of the 
vanquished ; a very late authority of more than doubtful 
value 8 adds that they burnt the grove of the nymphs at 
Kolon6s, thus giving to the home of Sophokl£s the desolate 
appearance which it still preserves. As no French leaders 
were left to lead a resistance against them, and the Greeks 
remained spectators of this change of masters, they were able 
to parcel out among themselves all the towns and castles of 
the duchy, except its Argive appurtenances beyond the 
isthmus, which the faithful family of Foucherolles still held 
for the exiled dynasty. 4 The widows of the slain became 
the wives of the slayers; each soldier received a consort 
according to his services, and thus many a rough warrior 
found himself the husband of some noble dame, in whose 
veins flowed the bluest blood of France, and " whose wash- 
hand basin," in the phrase of Muntaner, " he was not worthy 

1 Lampros, "Eyypa^a, 337. 2 P. 121. 

3 The Chronicle of Anthimos (now ascribed to J. Beniz&os), quoted 
by Fallmerayer, GeschichU der Halbinsel Morea, ii., 182. 

4 These are doubtless the places to which Clement V. alludes as still 
holding out in 1314. {Regestum, viii., 14 ; ix., 46.) 


to bear." No wonder that these vagabonds decided to end 
their nine years' wandering and settle in this delectable 
duchy, which a kindly providence had bestowed upon them. 
Their Turkish allies, however, pined to return to their homes 
in Asia, although the Catalans offered to give them three or 
four places in the duchy in which to settle, and begged 
them to stay. They received as their share the horses, 
arms, 1 and military equipment of the fallen Franks, and 
departed on the best of terms with their Catalan comrades. 
Both parties promised to assist one another in case of need ; 
but, before the Catalans had had time to perform their 
promise, their Turkish friends had succumbed to the craft 
of the emperor and his Genoese allies at the Dardanelles. 
Those who escaped the Byzantine sword, ended their days 
in the Genoese galleys. 

The battle of the Kephiss6s, assuredly one of the 
strangest in history, had left both victors and vanquished 
without leaders. The Catalans had lost all their chiefs long 
before the fight, the French chivalry lay in the Boeotian 
swamp. But the Company felt that in its new situation it 
must have a commander of acknowledged rank and position. 
As they had no such man among them, the Catalans offered 
the command of the Company to one of their two noble 
prisoners, Bonifacio da Verona. The famous Eubcean 
baron was the most important Frank in the whole of 
Northern Greece ; he was of high lineage, wealthy, able, 
and popular with the Catalans; Muntaner, as we saw, had 
lodged in his house at Chalkis, and describes him in 
enthusiastic terms as "the wisest and most courteous 
nobleman that was ever born." Wisdom and nobility alike 
disposed him to decline an offer which would have embroiled 
him with Venice and have rendered him an object of loath- 
ing to the whole Frankish world. He accordingly absolutely 
refused. The Catalans then turned to his fellow-captive, 
Roger Deslaur, the knight of Roussillon, who had neither 

1 The6doulos (ii., 201), thus disposing of Buchon's ingenious theory 
that the armour, found at Chalkis in 1840 and now in the collection of 
the Historical and Ethnological Society at Athens, belonged to the fallen 
of the Kephiss6s and had been transported by Bonifacio to Chalkis. 
{La Grhe Continentale, 134 sqg.). 



the territorial position, the family ties, nor the scruples of 
Bonifacio. He accepted; the Catalans made him their 
leader, and gave him the splendid castle of Salona, together 
with the widow of its fallen lord, Thomas III., the last De 

Thus, after a duration of over a hundred years, fell at a 
single blow the French duchy of Athens. An artificial 
creation, imposed upon a foreign soil, it collapsed as suddenly 
as it had arisen, and it left few traces behind it. We have 
seen that under the dominion of the dukes of the house 
of De la Roche, trade prospered, manufactures flourished, and 
the splendours of the Theban court impressed foreigners 
accustomed to the pomps and pageants of much greater 
states. Never before, and never again, did the ancient city 
of the seven gates witness such a brilliant throng as that 
which made the frescoed walls of the great castle of St Omer 
ring with song and revelry ; never before, and never again, 
did the violet crown of Athens encircle so romantic a scene, 
as when armoured knights and fair Burgundian damsels rode 
up to attend mass in St Mary's minster on the Akropolis. 
But the French society, which had made Attica the cynosure 
of the Levant, never took firm root in the land. The Greeks 
and the Franks seem to have amalgamated even less in 
Burgundian Athens than elsewhere ; the French were, after 
three generations, still a foreign garrison, nor did they, as 
was the case in Norman England, form a powerful blend 
with the conquered race. Fascinating as is the spectacle 
of chivalry enthroned in the home of classical literature, it 
was an unnatural union, and, as such, doomed from the 
outset But in the long history of Athens, not the least 
gorgeous page is that written by the dukes from beyond 
the sea. 

If it made small mark on the character of the people, the 
French dynasty has, at least, bequeathed to us some visible 
memorials of its rule. All these rulers, except Othon and 
John, have left coins, which may be found in the doge's 
palace and elsewhere ; while, by way of compensation, as we 
saw, a pious donation to the abbey of Bellevaux has 
preserved the seal of the first French ruler of Athens. If 
there be one building more than another where we should 


expect to discover traces of French influence, it is the famous 
monastery of Daphni, which Othon had granted to the 
Cistercians, and where his successors chose their graves. 
But, if we except the so-called tomb of Guy II., two rows 
of Gothic arcades alone recall this, the most brilliant period 
in the life of the abbey. Under the auspices of the dukes 
from Franche-Comt6, the abbots of Daphni had played a 
considerable part in the ecclesiastical history of Greece. 
Popes had used them as intermediaries, and their quinquen- 
nial visits to the mother-abbey of Citeaux must have helped 
to maintain the connection between France and Athens. 
But after the fall of the French duchy, the monastery 
declined; it is but little mentioned in the two succeeding 
centuries; it ceased to be the ducal burial-place, and was 
eclipsed by the greater glories of St Mary's minster, on 
one of whose columns the last known of its abbots has 
obtained such immortality as a meagre Latin inscription 
can confer. 1 Another inscription on the Stoa of Hadrian 
commemorates, as we saw, an Athenian canon of the ducal 
family ; while Walter of Ray, who was bishop of Negroponte 
at the time of the catastrophe, found a sumptuous monument 
in the French abbey of Beze. 2 To this period, too, has. 
been ascribed the " Frankish monastery," the remains of 
which long stood at the foot of Pentelikon, and which was 
probably the Minorite establishment mentioned in the will 
of the last duke. 3 A much more striking foundation — the 
Gorgoep^koos church — was attributed by the enthusiastic 
Buchon to the French ; but the general opinion is that it is a 
Byzantine structure. An imaginative Greek, going one step 
further, maintained that this beautiful little building was the 
chapel of the ducal palace, which he supposed to have stood 
on the site of the present cathedral. 4 But the residence of 
the French dynasty was at Thebes, and the commander of 
the Akropolis, who represented it at Athens, doubtless lived 
within the castle. Accordingly, it is in Boeotia rather than 

1 Millet, Le Monastere de Daphni, 40, 42, 57 ; Martene et Durand, 
Thesaurus, iv., 1320, 1422. 

1 Academic de Besan$on (1880), 149-53, pi. v. 

3 AeXWoy, iv., 82, 136. 

4 Sourmel6s, Kardaraffts (rvvoiniK^ 36, n. 


in Attica that we should expect to find buildings of this first 
Frankish epoch. The stumpy Santameri tower at Thebes 
still preserves the name of its founder; a bridge, formerly 
of five, but now of three, arches, which crosses the Melas some 
two miles below the village of Topolia, testifies to the 
activity of the French in that same Copaic district which 
witnessed their fall — a disaster perhaps commemorated by 
the little church at Karditza. Frankish coats of arms may 
be seen on the walls of the older church at H6sios Louk&s, 
one of which, two snakes supporting two crosses, bears some 
resemblance to the device on the tomb at DaphnL It is, 
indeed, not surprising that a monastery which was the abode 
of the prior and chapter of the Holy Sepulchre, and later on 
the residence of the dowager duchess of Athens, should 
contain Frankish memorials. 1 

Like the French dukes, their most important vassals, the 
lords of Salona, have perpetuated their names by a separate 
coinage, of which specimens minted by Thomas II. and 
Thomas III. from their own mint have been preserved. 2 
But the splendid castle of Salona, which Honorius III. had 
helped to fortify, is the best jnemorial of that once powerful 
French family, although it is not easy to determine how 
much of the present structure is due to them, and how 
much to their successors. On the other hand, neither the 
Pallavicini of Boudonitza nor the branch of the ducal race 
which was established at Damal&iin Argolis seem to have 
left memories that can be identified save the ancient castle 
of the marquises. Both now lingered on in the female line 
alone — the usual lot of the Frankish nobles in Greece. Such 
was the end of that strange venture which had made Attica 
and Boeotia a "new France"; a few coins, a few arches, a 
casual inscription, are all that they have retained of their 
brilliant Burgundian dukes. 

1 Buchon, Ztf Grhe Continentale, 246 ; Atlas, pi. xli., 7, 8, 16 ; Schultz 
and Barnsley, The Monastery of St Luke, pi. 14, D. 

2 Schlumberger, NumismaHque, 349 ; Sdthas, T6 Xpotwcbv rod TaXafridlov, 




The meteoric career of the Catalan Grand Company had 
placed it in the possession of the Athenian duchy, but had 
at the same time won for it a host of suspicious or vindictive 
enemies. The house of Anjou, as represented by Philip of 
Taranto, Prince of Achaia and suzerain of the Frankish 
states of Greece, naturally resented the capture of Athens 
by the enemies of his dynasty ; the Venetians of Negroponte 
were justly alarmed for the safety of that important colony ; 
the widow of the fallen duke was seeking to recover the 
duchy for her son ; the two Greek states of Neopatras and 
Arta were ill-disposed to the appearance of these fresh 
intruders; the Emperor though not sorry that the Franks 
had received such a fatal blow, had not forgotten the destruc- 
tion wrought by the Catalans upon his armies and his 
lands. Well aware of their critical position in a foreign land, 
surrounded by enemies, the victors of the Kephiss6s re- 
luctantly came to the conclusion, that, if they wished to 
maintain their acquisitions, they must place themselves 
under the protection of some powerful sovereign. Their 
choice naturally fell upon King Frederick II. of Sicily, the 
master whom they had served before they left that island 
for the East ten years before, and who, by sending the 
Infant of Majorca to command them in his name while they 
were still in the Greek Empire, had shown that he had 
not relinquished the idea of profiting by their successes. 
Accordingly, in 13 12, they invited the King of Sicily to 



send them one of his children, to whom they promised to 
take the oath of fealty as their lord and to hand over the 
command over all their forces. Frederick II. was only too 
pleased to accept an offer, which would add fresh lustre to 
his house. He told the Catalan envoys, that he would give 
them as their duke his second son Manfred; but, as the 
latter was at present too young to take personal charge of 
the duchy, he would send them a trusty knight, who would 
receive their homage and govern them in Manfred's name. 
For this important post he selected Berenguer Estafiol, a 
knight of Ampurias, who set out with five galleys to take 
possession of his command. The Catalans received him 
well, Deslaur retired from his provisional leadership to his 
lordship of Salona on the arrival of the ducal governor, 
and we hear of him no more. 1 

The archives of Palermo unfortunately contain no 
documents relating to the early administration of Attica 
under the Catalan rule. But from the fairly frequent 
allusions to Athens in the last two decades of the Sicilian 
suzerainty we can form a tolerably complete idea of the 
system of government — a system which, with some modifica- 
tions, may be assumed to have existed from the commence- 
ment. The two chief officials were the vicar-general and 
the marshal, both appointed by the duke, the former of 
whom exercised supreme political power as his deputy, 
while the latter was the military head of the state. The 
vicar-general was appointed during good pleasure, and took 
the oath of fidelity on the gospels to the duke or his 
representative, repeating it before the assembled sindici — 
a sort of parliament — of all the towns and cities of the 
duchy. From his residence at Thebes, the capital of the 
Catalan state, he could issue pardons in the duke's name to 
those accused of felony or treason ; it was he who exercised 
judicial authority, administered the finances, provided for 
the defence of the land, inspected the fortresses, and often 
appointed their commanders. The position of vicar-general 
was one of considerable splendour ; a major-domo presided 
over his household ; a prbcureur giniral was attached to his 

1 Muntaner, ch. ccxlii. ; Libro de los Fechos, 12 1 ; Sanudo, Epistolcr, 
apud Bongars, Gesta Dei per Francos^ II., 305. 



court Later on, under the Aragonese supremacy, his 
powers were practically those of the duke himself. 1 

The marshal was always chosen from the ranks of the 
Company, and the dignity became hereditary in the family 
of De Novelles till a little before the year 1363, when the 
hereditary marshal had apparently been deprived of his 
dignity for rebellion against his sovereign. Roger de 
Lluria succeeded him as marshal, and, three years later, 
combined the two great offices in his own person, holding 
them both till his death, after which we hear of no more 
marshals. The probable explanation of this is not far to 
seek. There had probably been, as we shall see, a conflict 
between the vicar and the marshal, which proved that there 
was no room in the narrow court of Thebes for two such 
exalted officials; and, as Lluria, when he became vicar- 
general, was already marshal, such a combination may have 
seemed a happy solution of the difficulty. 2 

Greece has ever been the land of local government, and 
under the Sicilian domination each city and district had its 
own local governor, called veguer, castellano, or capitdn — 
designations sometimes applied to the same person, some- 
times distinct, as it was considered to be an abuse when 
more than one of these offices were concentrated in the 
same hands. We are expressly told that the " capitulations " 
agreed upon between the Catalans and their duke limited 
the duration of a veguer* s office to three years, and on one 
occasion a " capitdn, veguer, and castellano" of Athens was 
removed because his three years' term was up. 8 But there 
are examples of the appointment of these officials for life 
or during good pleasure. 4 They were sometimes nominated 
by the vicar-general, sometimes by the duke, and sometimes 
by the local representatives, for example, by the community 
of Athens, from among the citizens, subject to confirma- 
tion by the duke, and they had power to appoint a substitute 

1 L&npros, "Eyypa^o, 247, 286; M flanges historiques, III., 53, 54; 
Rosario Gregorio, Consideration*, II., 574. 

2 Ldmpros, "Byy/xx^o, 240, 279, 282, 330, 350 ; Rubi6 y Lluch, Los 
Navarros en Grecia, 476; Rosario Gregorio, Considerasioni, II., 572, 
575. Cf. the author's article in the English Hist Review, xxii., 520. 

3 Ldmpros, "Eyypa^a, 249, 318. 4 Ibid., 276, 278, 280, 309. 


in case of absence on public business.. They were required, 
before entering upon their duties, to take an oath on the 
gospels before the vicar-general and the local community. 
These duties included the military command of the town 
and the hearing of criminal causes, 1 but a final appeal from 
their decisions, as from the civil and criminal jurisdiction of 
the vicar-general, lay to the ducal tribunal in Sicily, just as 
our Colonial and Indian Appeals go to the Privy Council in 
London. On one occasion, however, we find a lord justice 
appointed during good pleasure to try appeals on the spot — 
a system which must have saved much time and expense to 
the appellants. 2 We hear also of notaries, not infrequently 
Greeks, appointed by the duke for life, or even as hereditary 
officials, of a constable of the city of Thebes, and of a bailie 
of the city of Athens, apparently a municipal officer. 3 

The Catalan state enjoyed a considerable measure of 
representative institutions, such as the Catalans had for 
some time obtained in their native land The principal 
towns and villages were represented by sindici, and pos- 
sessed municipalities with councils and officials of their own. 
These municipalities occasionally combined to petition the 
duke for the redress of their grievances ; their petitions were 
then sealed by the "Chancellor of the Society of Franks" 
with the seal of St George, which had been that of the 
Company in its wandering days. On one occasion the 
communities elected the vicar-general, and the dukes 
frequently wrote to them about affairs of state. They did 
not hesitate to send envoys requesting the recall of an 
obnoxious vicar-general, they spoke perfectly plainly to 
their sovereign, who on one occasion complained of their 
"morose answers," and their petitions usually, for obvious 
reasons, received a favourable reply. Later on, one of their 
principal demands was that official posts should be bestowed 
on residents, not on Sicilians. Attica for the Catalans was, in 
fact, their watchword. They were stubborn folk, perfectly con- 
tented to maintain the Sicilian connection, so long as they 
could manage their own affairs in their own way ; in that, as 
in much else, they resembled our own self-governing colonies. 

1 Ldmpros, "Brw»0*» 266, 277, 309. 

* JHd^ 239, 247, 295. { lbid. % 270, 312. 


The feudal system continued, but with far less brilliancy 
than in the time of the French. The Catalan con- 
querors were of common origin ; when they had been 
settled some years, we find very few knights among them, 
and even after seventy years of residence, the roll of noble 
families in the whole state contained only some sixteen 
names. The Company particularly objected to the feudal 
practice of bestowing important places, such as Livadia, 
upon private individuals, preferring that they should be 
administered by the government officials. As a code of 
justice, the " Customs of Barcelona " supplanted the " Assizes 
of Romania," and Catalan became the official, as well as the 
ordinary language. The dukes wrote in the language of 
Muntaner, not merely to their Catalan, but also to their 
Greek subjects, and we are specially told that the employ- 
ment of " the vulgar Catalan dialect " was " according to the 
custom and usage of the city of Athens." 

The ecclesiastical organisation remained much the same 
as in the Burgundian times. After the annexation of 
Neopatras, the two duchies contained three archbishoprics — 
Athens, Thebes, and Neopatras — the first of which had 
thirteen suffragan bishoprics, and the last one, that of Lamia 
or Zetouni. Thus Athens had gained two, and Thebes had 
lost two, suffragans since the early Frankish days; but of the 
Athenian bishoprics only four — Megara, Daulia, Salona, and 
Boudonitza — were actually within the confines of the duchy. 

The church of St Mary at Athens, as the Parthenon was 
called, had twelve canons, appointed by the duke, whom we 
find confirming a Catalan as dean of the Athenian chapter, 
nominating the Theban archbishop, and bestowing vacant 
livings upon priests. Although in the last years of Catalan 
rule the clergy acquired great influence, and were selected 
as envoys to the ducal court, the law strictly forbade them to 
hold fiefs — a very necessary provision in a land won, and 
held, by the sword. 1 The Knights of St John, however, had 
property in the Catalan state, and the castle of Sykaminon, 
near Oropos, was theirs. 2 

1 Rubi6 y Lluch, 472, 481; Qurita, Anales, II., 377; L4mpros, 
-Eyflxi^a, 27 1, 285, 306-7. 

i Ibid., 233 ; AeXrlov, v., 827 ; Revue de P Orient latin, iii., 653. 



Like the Franks, the Catalans treated the Greeks as an 
inferior race. They excluded them, as a general rule, from 
all civic right*— the exclusive privilege of the Conquistadors, 
as the Catalans styled themselves — and thus an unhappy 
Hellene was legally debarred from acquiring, selling, or 
disposing of his property as he chose. Even after his death, 
someone else might step in and take his possessions from his 
son, and we hear of slavery existing at Athens. As a 
general rule, too, intermarriage of the two races was 
forbidden, but to these enactments there were not a few 
exceptions. Greeks, who had deserved well of the Company 
in times of difficulty, like the people of Livadia, received the 
full franchise, and might even hold serfs, besides being 
permitted to marry their children to members of the 
dominant race. In the later Catalan period, we find Greeks 
occupying posts of importance, such as that of castellano 
of Salona, chancellor of Athens, and notary of Livadia. 
Once, at the very close of Catalan rule, Greeks are mentioned 
as sitting on the municipal council of Neopatras. Persons of 
such standing as a count of Salona and a marshal of the 
duchies married Greek ladies, and it was provided in such 
cases that the Greek might keep the orthodox faith ; only, if 
the wife became a Catholic and then reverted, she paid for 
her double apostacy by the loss of her property. A similar 
penalty awaited any Catalan who was converted to the 
orthodox faith. 1 As for the Greek Church, it continued to 
occupy the inferior position which it had filled under the 
Franks. Of the former Frankish nobility we naturally hear 
nothing, as it had been annihilated at the battle of the 
Kephiss6s. The Burgundian burgesses are never mentioned. 
On the other hand, we find Armenians residing at Thebes 
and proving a source of revenue to the ducal exchequer. 

The duke would naturally assume the crown lands of his 
French predecessors, and this ducal domain included lands 
and house property at Athens and Thebes. These houses 
at the capital were let, and the rent was paid in wax every 
year; occasionally, the crown was pleased to grant an 
annuity out of the proceeds of the " Theban wax tax " to 

1 L&npros, op, cit, 238, 272, 331, 337-8, 342 ; Rubi6, Catalunya a 
Grecta, 46. 


some deserving Catalan. We hear, too, of a land-tax 
(jus terragu) payable to the ducal court, to which also 
escheated the real and personal property of converts to the 
Greek faith. 1 But, as in the case of the British Empire and 
its colonies, the Sicilian Dukes of Athens did not estimate 
the value of the connection by the methods of an accountant. 
Upon them it conferred the prestige which has in all ages 
attached to the great name of Athens, while it also gave 
them an excuse for intervention in Eastern politics. To the 
Catalans, on the other hand, the protection of the Sicilian 
crown was of great practical value. Having no diplomatic 
service of their own, they looked to the ducal diplomatists to 
explain away any more than usually outrageous act of piracy 
which they had committed upon some Venetian subject ; 
to say soft things on their behalf at the Vatican ; to give 
them, in short, a status in the community of nations. They 
had all the advantages of independence, without its drawbacks ; 
they lost nothing by having acknowledged the sovereignty 
of Sicily; and both they and their Sicilian dukes seem 
thoroughly to have understood their mutual relations. 

For four years, till his death in 1316, Estaftol governed the 
Catalan duchy wisely and well. Under his guidance, the 
Company maintained its martial spirit, which was the very 
essence of its existence, by expeditions in all directions — 
against the imperial fortresses on the borders of Thessaly, 
against the Angeli of Neopatras and of Arta, against the 
island of Euboea, and in support of the claims of their old 
comrade, the Infant Ferdinand of Majorca, to the principality 
of Achaia. We may judge of the devastation wrought on 
these forays from the fact that Archbishop Bartholomew of 
Corinth was at this time allowed by Clement V. to defer 
payment of his predecessor's debts for three years, because his 
diocese " had been desolated and the city of Corinth destroyed 
by the Catalan Company," while the Archbishop of Thebes 
and Walter of Ray, Bishop of Negroponte, could not reach 
their sees. But Estaftol was a diplomatist as well as a 
soldier. He managed to attack his enemies one at a time ; 
and, as soon as his soldiers had exhausted the resources of 

1 Limpros, op. cit 234, 272, 291, 292, 299, 313, 350 ; Rubi6 y Lluch, 
Los NavarroSy 465. 




the country which they had invaded, they moved on, like 
locusts, to another. In vain the pope ordered the Latin 
patriarch of Constantinople to argue with the Catalan leaders 
on the error of their ways, and to excommunicate these 
spoilers of churches and slayers of churchmen in case of 
their continued disobedience to his voice ; in vain he bade 
the Grand Master of the Knights of St John, but recently 
established in the island of Rhodes, to send four galleys to 
the aid of Walter of Foucherolles, who held the Argive 
fortresses with the title of " Captain of the Duchy " for the 
little duke's grandfather and guardian, the Constable of 
France; in vain he appealed to King James II. of Aragon 
to drive the Catalans out of Attica, and depicted the cruelties, 
robberies, and murders which they had perpetrated on the 
faithful children of the Church in those parts. The Catalans 
heeded not the patriarchal admonitions; the grand- master 
was occupied with the affairs of his new domain ; while the 
politic sovereign, who had no desire to intervene in the affairs 
of his brother's duchy, replied that that "true athlete of 
Christ and faithful boxer of the Church," as the pope had 
called the late Duke Walter, had met with his deserts, and 
that the Catalans, if they were cruel, were still Catholics, who 
would prove a valuable bulwark of Romanism against the 
schismatic Greeks of Byzantium. 1 

Upon Estafiol's death, the Company elected one of its 
own members, a knight, William Thomas, a man of higher 
rank than his fellows, as its temporary captain, until King 
Frederick had had time to send someone else to rule over 
them. 2 The king appointed his own natural son, Don 
Alfonso Fadrique, or Frederick, a man of much energy and 
force of character, whom we saw ravaging the coasts and 
islands of Greece some twelve years earlier. The " President 
of the fortunate army of Franks in the duchy of Athens," 
as the new vicar-general officially described himself, retained 
the leadership of the company for thirteen years — a position 

1 Muntaner, ch. ccxlii. ; (^urita, Anales> bk. vi., ch. xii. ; Raynaldus, 
op. cit. 9 v., 22-3; Regestum dementis V. f vii., 72-3, 125, 238; viii., 14, 
131-2 ; ix., 44-7. 

8 Buchon, Nouvelles Recherche s, II., i., 394-6; Ldmpros, "Byypa^a, 


of practical independence, as the nominal duke, Manfred, 
died in the year of Fadrique's appointment, and was suc- 
ceeded in the title by his younger brother, William, likewise 
a minor. Moreover, he strengthened his hold upon Attica, 
and at the same time obtained a pretext for intervening in 
the affairs of Euboea by his marriage with Manilla, the 
daughter and heiress of Bonifacio da Verona, " one of the 
fairest Christians in the world, the best woman and the 
wisest that ever was in that land," as Muntaner, who had 
seen her as a child in her father's house at Negroponte, 
enthusiastically describes her. Although the fair Lombard 
had a brother, the thirteen castles in the Athenian duchy 
and the other places which Guy II. of Athens had once 
bestowed upon her father, fell to her share. 1 

The Venetians had been alarmed for the safety of Euboea 
from the moment when the Catalans had arrived in Greece. 
After the battle of the Kephiss6s, they increased the salaries 
of their officials in the island, and organised a fleet for its 
defence. To this fleet the Lombard lords were invited to 
contribute, and, with the exception of Bonifacio, they agreed 
to do so. That powerful and ambitious baron, who was on 
the best terms with the Catalans, refused, intending, no doubt 
with their aid, to make himself master of the island. The 
marriage of his daughter with their chief seemed to favour 
this plan. 

Hitherto, the Catalans had contented themselves with 
preventing the Catholic bishop of Negroponte from returning 
to his see — which can scarcely surprise us, as he was a cousin 
of the French dukes of Athens — and with frequent plundering 
raids across the narrow sound, which separated them from 
the great island. A more serious campaign began, however, 
when Fadrique and more than 2000 men — among them 
Turkish mercenaries — marched across "the black bridge." 
In Negroponte these seasoned soldiers of fortune found little 
opposition. The baronage of the island, like the Frankish 
aristocracy in other parts of Greece, had suffered severely 
at the battle of the Kephiss6s, where two of the Eubcean 
lords, George Ghisi and Alberto Pallavicini, had fallen. 
Pallavicini's successor, Andrea Cornaro, a member of that 

1 Muntaner, ch. ccxliii., his last notice of the Catalans in Attica, 




famous Venetian family, hastened to make his peace with 
the invaders, who entered Chalkis and forced the Venetian 
bailie to do likewise. Thus abandoned by their allies, the 
other triarchs appealed to Matilda of Hainault, at that time 
Princess of Achaia, as their suzerain ; but she was alone and 
powerless to help ; she had already contemplated ceding her 
phantom suzerainty over the island to Venice ; and she now 
contented herself with pointing out to the doge the extreme 
danger which the island ran of falling into the hands of the 
Catalans. At this moment, Bonifacio da Verona died — the 
last survivor of the ancien regime of Frankish Greece — where- 
upon his son-in-law at once occupied the two important 
castles of Karystos and Larmena as part of Manilla's dowry. 
But the successes of the Company had so greatly alarmed 
Europe that a coalition of the European powers seemed likely 
to be formed against it; the pope complained bitterly 
that the Catalans, " the offscourings of humanity," employed 
infidel Turks against Christians, and urged Venice to drive 
them out ; the exiled family of Brienne was plotting to 
regain its heritage ; the Angevins protested against Fadrique's 
intervention in Eubcea. Under these circumstances, King 
Frederick of Sicily thought it prudent to order his daring 
son to desist from further conquests in that island, and 
Fadrique obediently retired from Eubcea, retaining, however, 
the two castles of Karystos and Larmena. But the Catalans 
had no real reason for fearing the active hostility of Venice, 
their nearest and most serious rival. The republic was 
informed by her agents that the very subjects of the young 
Duke Walter at Argos and Nauplia were in league with the 
Company — a proof that the Catalan usurpation was not 
unpopular in Greece. Her statesmen, always cautious, were, 
therefore, still less inclined to provide the money and the 
vessels for the restoration of the Brienne dynasty, even 
though the Duchess of Athens, after the fashion of kings in 
exile, made liberal promises of commercial concessions which 
it was not in her power to bestow. On the other hand, 
negotiations began between King Frederick and Venice, 
which ended in 1319 in a formal truce, renewed two years 
later, in which the triarchs were included. This remarkable 
agreement provided, under a penalty of £2240, that the 


Company should fit out no fresh ships in the Saronic Gulf 
(" the sea of Athens ") or in Euboean waters ; a plank was to 
be taken out of the hull of each of the vessels then lying in 
those stations, and their tackle was to be carried up to the 
Akropolis ("the castle of Athens") and there deposited. 
The Catalan ships in the Corinthian Gulf ("the sea of 
Rivadostria," or Livadostro) might, however, remain as they 
were. These stringent provisions were intended to check the 
growth of a Catalan navy, which had already become a 
menace to Venetian interests in the Levant It is significant 
of the revived importance of the Piraeus, that in a Genoese 
map of this period that harbour, usually called by the 
Venetians "the port of Sithines" (or Athens), figures for 
the first time by the name of " Lion," the later Porto Leone, 
derived from the colossal lion, now in front of the Arsenal at 
Venice, which then stood there. It was from there that Fad- 
rique had been able to send two galleys to his Turkish allies ; 
it was from there that his corsairs had preyed on Venetian 
commerce, and had wreaked their vengeance on the island 
of Melos, which belonged to the duchy of Naxos, for the 
part which the duke's son Nicholas had taken against the 
Catalans in the marshes of the Kephiss6s and in the plain 
of Elis. Even as far as Chios the Catalan galleys had 
penetrated, and had carried off from that fertile island the 
son of Martino Zaccaria, its Genoese lord, whose name had 
long been a terror to Latin pirates. 

Venice profited by the war in Eubcea to extend her 
influence in that island. When she had got rid of the 
Catalan danger, she informed the triarchs of her intention 
of occupying the towns and fortresses as a reward for her 
trouble and expense. She was, indeed, the only power 
which could defend Negroponte from the ever-increasing 
Turkish peril, which menaced all the islands and coasts of 
Greece. Since 13 14 the titular dignity of Latin Patriarch of 
Constantinople had been united with the see of Negroponte ; 
but the patriarchal admonitions had no effect upon the 
adventurous infidels. The Archbishop of Thebes, who went 
on a mission to Venice to seek aid against the Turks, wrote 
to Sanudo that they had thrice invaded Eubcea in one year ; 
the Venetian bailie feared that, if help were not forthcoming, 



• ~*4*o -*•" ^fc** • ^ ce of Ws successors was com- 

^ ~. xi^siUtui a? rfxese marauders. There was 

» .. v . Jb^ci -» J*-* Cirsfclans and Turks uniting against 

v ^ c. «k v» titer retained a fellow-feeling for their 

....^v^ *■■*. *&*•"« Fjbdrique, a few years later, again 

v tv . tsX . 44 .,k -uiairs of the island on behalf of his wife, 

: v s.v Axtv%t> *u***c her brother to enjoy the castle of 

... ..>»*^ x^ ou»i«vv * Jgain on his demise, the Turks were 

% ,, ^v.w .iK*c ^ » ; *° wonder, therefore, that when the 

w . c%»<ki .iww^ 5co»«n Venice and the Company were 

»..*..<>; -^ '.^KOv^ :l * ^S 1 * the Catalans had to promise 

*v*«*v ^ 1 s j** x i»w their land or service, and to make 

iv .^ .»v*oc* * 1 ^ those common enemies of the Latin 

^ -.<vviic Turkish raid into Attica, in the course of 

^ s ^ , Ki .,* o* it'* inhabitants had been killed and others 

w.v. !»»^ >su*c*>' i" Turkey, may have predisposed the 

v -.t.«.u>'.» ;o jkwy* thcse terms - Alfonso pledged himself 

o *.v* k v svtxtlcs to be built within his territory of Karystos 

*%w* x % ow^'N\t to sell to the republic, and from that time 

k iiK^v^vvv ;tw Venetians of Eubcea no more. 1 

\ls\c**fc^\ b\*vliK;ue had found leisure, while he was at 
s\inv * «Xh \ o«fc*\ to extend the Company's authority over 
< ;v.*o oau ^ Northern Greece, where the dynasty of the 
V » aS» Nao ik** become extinct After the death of the 
u% ^)\HNh Puke of Athens in the battle of the Kephiss6s, 
.a • '.vvNe iuIsh of Thessaly had adopted the style of "Lord 
.s oV 'usk»* o*" Athens and Neopatras " (Signore de le tcrre de 

v v „ . \*»av\ in virtue of his kinship with the house of 

IV ■* Kochc. But John II., the last of the Thessalian 
Vb£\<*» N^ wonc °f *e ener Sy °f his predecessors. His 
Sv^Utv ^*\l never been robust, and in 1318 he died without 
i.\auc* Unamivk hi* rich dominions to be dismembered. So 
»*wMi w^* the confusion which at once ensued, that the 
uKVo*»ohUii of l-Arissa could no longer exercise his sacred 
iuakikhv* ui that city. Feudalism, as we saw, had been 

\\frWWw tVwumJfr T., ix., 82 ; Raynaldi, loc. ciL ; Melanges his- 
tv«^*** Uti JW-54 l Thomas, DipUmatarium, i., 1 10-17, 120-2, 214-19 ; 
r lv Jvttv \\mm*m#Mi % U 163, 176, 189, 191, 195; II., 13; Sanudo, 
\j*.\4m*\ <#** lUu^ars, U., 298, 3i3-'5 J Giornale Ugustico (1888), p. 
> fc> , <•'« Jhfa >*V*>/») /Jgmre di Storia Patria, V., Tavo/e, iv., vi., vii. 


readily developed on the congenial soil of Thessaly, where 
the Greek archons had copied, and copied for the worse, as 
is always the case when the East borrows the manners of the 
West, the institutions of the Franks. One petty tyrant now 
established himself at Trikkala ; another, a member of the 
great family of the Melissenof, held sway over the ruins of 
Delphi, then already known by its modern name of Kastrf, 
keeping on good terms with his Catalan neighbours at 
Salona by means of a matrimonial alliance between his 
sister and the marshal of the Company. Several towns were 
annexed by the emperor, who had long coveted the lands of 
his son-in-law, and the Holy Synod threatened fearful pains 
and penalties upon the heads of those Thessalians, who 
declined to submit to the rule of Byzantium. Venice 
obtained a share of the spoil in the shape of the port of 
Pteleon at the entrance of the Pagasaean Gulf, which the 
emperor voluntarily allowed her to take, rather than it 
should fall into the hands of the Catalans, who subsequently 
agreed not to molest it A Venetian from Eubcea was 
appointed rector of this station — the sole point, except 
Modon and Coron, which the republic possessed on the 
mainland of Greece — and it remained in the occupation 
of Venice down to the capture of Eubcea by the Turks. 
But the best part of the country fell to the share of the 
Catalan Company. Sanudo tells us how Fadrique made 
himself master of one place after another, of Loidoriki and 
Siderokastro, of Gardiki and Lamia, of Domok6 and Pharsala 
— names so well known in the annals of modern Greece. At 
Neopatras, the seat of the extinct dynasty, he made his 
second capital, styling himself Vicar-General of the duchies 
of Athens and Neopatras. Henceforth the Sicilian dukes of 
Athens assumed the double title, which may be seen on their 
coins and in their documents, and, long after the Catalan 
duchy had passed away, the kings of Aragon continued to 
bear it. Besides these various competitors for the heritage 
of the Angeli, there now appeared for the first time in the 
plain of Thessaly great masses of Albanian immigrants, who 
formed a new and vigorous element in the population. They 
ravaged all the open country; and, as they brought their 
wives with them, their numbers soon increased, and they 



began to take the place of the Wallachs, who had hitherto 
formed the bulk of the Thessalian population, and had given 
the country its name of Great Wallachia. The Venetians 
thought that this Albanian immigration had the great 
advantage of keeping the Catalans employed, so that they 
had less leisure to attack their neighbours. It was from 
these Albanians that the gaps in the population of Attica 
and the Morea were subsequently replenished. 1 

Thessaly was now in great part Catalan ; Salona was the 
fief of the Company's former chief, Roger Deslaur ; so that 
these soldiers of fortune were masters of practically all 
continental Greece, except the historic marquisate of 
Boudonitza and the Despotat of Epiros. After the death of 
the last of the Pallavicini marquises in the swamps of 
the Kephiss6s, his widow had married that same Andrea 
Cornaro, baron of Eubcea, whom we have seen contending in 
vain against the claims of Fadrique in that island. Fadrique 
punished him by ravaging the marquisate, without, however, 
annexing it to Athens. Indeed, on Cornaro's death, it 
passed, by the marriage of his stepdaughter, into the hands 
of a bitter enemy and former prisoner of the Catalans, the 
son of Martino Zaccaria, the Genoese lord of Chios. At his 
demise, his widow married in 1335 one of the noble Venetian 
family of Giorgi, or Zorzi, as it was called in the soft dialect 
of the lagoons, with which the marquisate remained till the 
Turkish Conquest The marquises had long been peers and 
vassals of the principality of Achaia, and as such they 
continued to be reckoned during the whole of the fourteenth 
century. No proof exists that they ever depended upon the 
French duchy of Athens ; but though their sympathies were 
now with Venice, they paid an annual tribute of four horses 
to the Catalan vicar-general. 2 

The same year which witnessed the extinction of the 
Angeli in Thessaly saw, too, the close of their dynasty in 

1 Nikeph6ros Gregorys, i., 279, 318 ; Predelli, Commemoriali % I., 177 ; 
Sanudo, Epistola, afiud Bongars, II., 293; Miklosich und Miiller, I., 
79 ; (^urita, bk. vi., ch. xii.; Schlumberger, Numismatique de ? Orient latin, 
346 ; Archivio Veneto, xx., 84-5. 

f Canciani, III., 507 ; Rubi<5 y Lluch, 482 ; Qurita, bk. x., ch. xxx. ; 
Hopf, ChroniqueS) 125, 230, and a/tft/ Ersch und Gruber, lxxxv., 425, 436. 


Epiros. In 1 318, the feeble Despot Thomas, the last of his 
race, was murdered by his nephew, Count Nicholas of Cepha- 
lonia, who married his widow, Anna Palaiologina, a grand- 
daughter of the Emperor Andr6nikos II. Thus connected 
with the imperial house, the Italian count sought to establish 
his authority over the Despotat of Epiros by drawing closer 
to the Greeks, whose religion he adopted, and in whose 
language his seal was engraved. By this means he hoped to 
checkmate the plans of Philip of Taranto, who was still 
meditating the conquest of the mainland, and to whom 
he boldly refused the homage due for his island domain. 
But the people of Joannina, at that time a populous 
and wealthy city, where Jews could make money, and where 
Hellenic sentiments were fostered by the fact that it was 
the seat of the metropolitan, preferred the rule of the 
Greek Emperor, from whom their Church received repeated 
favours, to that of the Latin apostate. For a time the 
latter thought it worth while to purchase the friendship 
of Byzantium and the title of Despot by keeping his oaths 
not to molest the Greeks of that city. But the death of his wife 
and the growing weakness of the empire convinced him that 
he had nothing to hope or fear from that quarter. The " Count 
Palatine, by the grace of God Despot of Romania," as he 
styled himself, accordingly invited Venice to assist him in 
driving the imperial troops out of Epiros, offering in return 
to hoist the lion banner on all his castles, to do homage to 
the republic for all his dominions, and to cede to it either 
the valuable fisheries in the lake of Butrinto opposite Corfu, 
or the sugar plantations of Parga — the town which, five 
centuries later, was destined to obtain such romantic notoriety, 
and of which this is perhaps the earliest mention. But the 
cautious Venetians were anxious not to endanger their com- 
mercial interests in the Greek Empire, with which they 
continued to be at peace, and they calmly reminded the 
count that there was no great novelty in his offer to become 
" their man," seeing that his ancestor Maio had more than a 
century earlier recognised their suzerainty over the three 
islands of Cephalonia, Zante, and Val di Compare (or Ithaka). 
Nothing daunted by this politic answer, and encouraged by 
the utter confusion at Constantinople caused by the quarrels 



of the elder and the younger Andr6nikos, he openly attacked 
the strong city of Joannina. But at this point, in 1323, his 
career of crime was cut short by the hand of his brother, 
Count John II., who assassinated the assassin and received, 
in his turn, the title of Despot from Constantinople, on 
condition that he swore to govern Epiros, " not as its sove- 
reign, but as the servant of the emperor." None the less, 
from his "castle of Arta," he issued coins, still preserved, 
modelled on those of the princes of Achaia, to facilitate trade 
with Latin countries. Even in the motley history of 
Frankish Greece we are struck by the incongruity of an 
Italian adventurer minting French pieces on "Ambracia's 
Gulf." But this vigorous scion of the Roman Orsini 
embodied in his person the strangest anomalies. Like his 
brother, the new Despot married another Anna Palaiologina 
and embraced the orthodox faith, while he sought, after the 
usual manner of usurpers, to connect himself with the native 
dynasty by assuming the three great names of Angelos, 
Comnenos, and Doukas. As a proof of his ostentatious 
piety, he restored the famous church of Our Lady of Consola- 
tion at Arta, where an inscription preserving his name and 
that of Anna may still be seen. He was also one of the few 
examples in the history of Frankish Greece of a Latin ruler 
who patronised Greek literature. By his command, Con- 
stantine Hermoniak6s composed a paraphrase of Homer in 
octosyllabic verse. The poem, if such we can call it, has no 
literary merit, but is an incontestable sign of an interest in 
culture even at the court of wild Epiros. Indeed, the 
courtly poet would have us believe that his master was 
"a hero and a scholar," and that the Lady Anna "ex- 
celled all women that ever lived in beauty, wisdom, and 
learning." 1 

South of the isthmus of Corinth, French influence was 
still predominant despite Catalan raids and intrigues. The 

1 Nikeph6ros Gregorys, I., 283, 536, 544 ; Cantacuzene, I., 13 ; 
L. d. F. % 138 ; Raynaldus, v., 95 ; Miklosich und Miiller, I., 171 ; v., yy- 
84, 86 ; Thomas, Diplomatarium^ 146, 161, 168-70, Archivio Veneto, xx., 
93 ; Lettres secretes de Jean XXIL y i., 670 ; Romanes, op, ctt., 232-4 ; 
Schlumberger, Numismatique % 374, Les Principautis franques^ 80 ; 
AfXrlor rift Xpurr. 'Ap%- 'Eraipclas, iii^ 76, 


faithful family of Foucherolles, 1 whom the last Duke of 
Athens had invested with lands at Nauplia and Argos, still 
held that sole surviving fragment of the French duchy for 
the exiled house of Brienne, while the principality of Achaia, 
though sorely tried, remained, amid many vicissitudes, under 
the authority of the Angevins. At the time of the Catalan 
Conquest of Athens, as we saw, it was in the hands of Philip 
of Taranto, who had left it to be administered by means of 
bailies. But two years after the fatal battle of the Kephiss6s, 
the possession of it was transferred to another by means of 
one of those diplomatic family compacts, so dear to the 
intriguing house of Anjou. At that moment, one of the 
most eligible heiresses of the Frankish world was the titular 
Empress of Constantinople, Catherine of Valois, a child 
barely twelve years old, and to obtain her hand was now the 
main object of Philip of Taranto's policy. On his side, there 
was no obstacle to the match, for his first wife, Thamar of 
Epiros, with whom his relations had become more and more 
strained after his unsuccessful expedition against that 
country, had been accused of adultery a few years earlier and 
was now dead. The young empress had, however, been 
betrothed already to Hugues V., Duke of Burgundy and 
titular King of Salonika, and it was therefore necessary to 
break off this engagement before Philip's plan could be 
realised. The French king, uncle of the girl, had no difficulty 
in making the French pope, Clement V., the subservient tool 
of his designs, for the papacy was now established at 
Avignon, and, as a preliminary move, the child-empress was 
made to express doubts as to the capacity of her almost 
equally childish fiance to recover her lost empire. In order 
to compensate the house of Burgundy for the breach of the 
engagement, it was next arranged that Matilda, the young 
widow of Duke Guy II. of Athens, should marry the Duke of 
Burgundy's younger brother Louis. Matilda had already 
been betrothed, soon after her first husband's death, to the 
eldest son of Philip of Taranto ; but, of course, that engage- 
ment was not allowed to stand in the way of the new family 

1 Raynaldus, v., 116 ; Hopf, Chroniques, 241 ; L. d. F., 31 (which, 
by a characteristic anachronism, places them there in the time of 
Geoffrey !.)• 



compact. Philip of Taranto then conveyed to Matilda all 
his rights to the possession of Achaia, on condition that she 
should transfer them before her marriage to her future 
husband Louis ; it was further provided, that, if he died 
without heirs, she should have nothing more than the life- 
ownership of the principality, which, after her death was to 
revert to the house of Burgundy in any event At the same 
time, Louis received from his brother the barren title of King 
of Salonika, did homage to the Prince of Taranto for Achaia, 
of which the latter expressly retained the suzerainty, and 
promised to assist him in any attempt to recover the Latin 
Empire. The two marriages then took place, in 1313 ; Philip 
thus became titular Emperor of Constantinople, Louis of 
Burgundy Prince of Achaia and titular King of Salonika, and 
a coin and a magnificent seal still preserve the memory of his 
Achaian dignity. 1 The person who bore the loss of the 
whole transaction was the unhappy Matilda, who thus 
became merely life-owner of a principality, which she, as the 
eldest grandchild of Guillaume de Villehardouin, had not 
unnaturally considered as her birthright, and which her 
mother had bequeathed to her, all arrangements with the 
Angevins notwithstanding. 

Unfortunately, Louis of Burgundy delayed his departure 
for Greece, and in his prolonged absence a claimant arose to 
dispute his title. Hitherto, amid all its trials under the 
government of women, foreigners, and absentees, Achaia had 
been spared the horrors of a contested succession ; but that 
misfortune was now added to the other miseries of the land. 
Guillaume de Villehardouin's second daughter, Marguerite, 
Lady of Akova and widow of Count Richard of Cephalonia, 
was still alive, and, on the death of her elder sister in 131 1, 
had laid claim to the principality on the ground of an alleged 
will made by her father. According to the provisions of this 
document, mentioned only by those authorities who have a 
natural bias for the Spanish side, the last Villehardouin 
prince had bequeathed Achaia to his elder daughter, with the 
provision that, if she died without children, it would pass to 

1 Buchoa, Richsrches tt MatMaux, i., 54-5, 238-48 ; Atlas, xxiv., 10, 
11 ; xxvi., 2 ; Ptolemaeus Lucensis apud Muratori, xi., 1232 ; L. d. C, 
29,474; L.d.F. t 124-7. 


her younger sister. According to the marriage-contract of 
Isabelle in 1271 it was not in the power of her father to 
make any such disposition ; and, even if he had, his younger 
daughter would still have had no claim, because her elder sister's 
daughter, Matilda, would have been the rightful princess. 
It was no wonder, then, that both the court of Naples and 
the leading Moreot barons — the small remnant of the Achaian 
chivalry which remained after the battle of the Kephiss6s — 
both rejected this unsubstantial pretext So long, however, 
as her chivalrous protector, Nicholas III. de St Omer, lived, 
Marguerite was, at any rate, safe in the possession of her own 
barony. But, after his death in 13 13, she found herself 
surrounded by personal enemies, such as her stepson, Count 
John I. of Cephalonia, and by Burgundian partisans, like 
Nicholas Mavro, or Le Noir, baron of St Sauveur, who had 
been appointed by the new prince as his bailie, and who was 
supported by the bishop of Olena. In this dilemma, she hit 
upon the idea of seeking an alliance with those Catalans 
whose exploits had amazed the whole Greek world. Before 
her marriage to the late Count of Cephalonia, she had been 
the wife of Isnard de Sabran, son of the Count of Ariano, in 
Apulia, by whom she had a daughter, Isabelle. This 
daughter she now married to the Infant Ferdinand of 
Majorca, who had played such an adventurous part in the 
history of the Catalan Company, whose name was well known 
in Greece, and who was now at the Sicilian court The 
marriage was one of affection as well as of convenience. 
The susceptible Ferdinand fell in love at first sight of a 
damsel who, in the words of his faithful henchman Muntaner, 
was " the most beautiful creature of fourteen that one could 
see, the fairest, the rosiest, the best, and the wisest, too, for 
her age." Nor was the King of Sicily averse from a proposal 
which would make the house of Aragon supreme in the 
Morea as well as at Athens. Accordingly, the wedding was 
hurried on ; by way of dowry for her daughter, Marguerite 
ceded to Ferdinand the barony of Akova and all her claims 
to Achaia, now more modestly assessed at " the fifth part of 
the principality," and the ceremony took place with great 
rejoicings at Messina. It was not, however, to be expected 
that the Burgundian party in the Morea would acquiesce in 



this arrangement No sooner had Marguerite returned, 
leaving the newly married couple at Catania, than Nicholas 
Mavro and his confederates threw her into the castle of 
Chloumofitsi. "Thou hast given thy daughter to the 
Catalans," they scornfully told her ; " ill fortune shall attend 
thee, for thou shalt lose all thine own." Robbed of her 
baronial lands, the last child of the great Villehardouin died 
not long afterwards, in 1315, the prisoner of the unruly 
nobles. Two months later, her daughter followed her to the 
grave. 1 

Before her death, however, Ferdinand's young wife had 
given birth to a son, the future James II., last King of Majorca, 
and to this child she bequeathed her claims to Achaia. 
Assigning to his old comrade Muntaner the delicate task of 
conveying the baby to his mother, the Queen-Dowager of 
Majorca, at Perpignan, Ferdinand started with a body of 
soldiers to endeavour to make good these claims. Landing 
near Glarentza in the summer of 1315, he routed the small 
force which had sallied out to attack him, entered the town, 
and received the homage of the frightened citizens. He 
followed up this success by capturing the castle of Beauvoir, 
or Pontikokastro, the ruins of which still command the 
peninsula above Katakolo, and which Muntaner calls, not 
without reason, " one of the most beautiful sites in the world." 
All the plain of Elis was his, and his rapid triumph induced 
the three leaders of the Burgundian party — Mavro, Count 
John, and the bishop of Olena, to recognise his authority, 
which he endeavoured to justify by the publication of 
the testaments of Prince William, the Lady of Akova, 
and his own wife, as well as by that of his marriage- 
contract. He now styled himself " Lord of the Morea," 
and sought to consolidate his position by a second mar- 
riage with Isabelle d'Ibelin, cousin of the King of Cyprus. 
He even found time to mint money with his name at 

But Ferdinand's usurpation was of brief duration. Louis 
of Burgundy and his wife now at last appeared to take 
possession of their principality. The Princess Matilda would 

1 Muntaner, chs. cclxi.-lxv.; Buchon, Recherches historiques^ i., 439-42, 
452, 475 J L. d. F., 121-2. 


seem to have arrived first with a force of Burgundians, at 
the harbour of Navarino, 1 where Mavro hastened to meet her 
and assure her of his devotion to her cause. Adherents 
rapidly joined the French side; the Archbishop of Patras 
successfully held that city for her ; a contingent was sent by 
her vassal, the Duke of Naxos, to assist her. But the Catalan 
soldiers of Ferdinand inflicted a severe defeat upon the 
Franks and their Burgundian comrades near the site of the 
ancient city of Elis, and the princess was obliged to send in 
hot haste to summon her husband. Almost immediately, 
Louis landed with his Burgundian troops from his Venetian 
ships with the Count of Cephalonia by his side, and soon the 
fortune of war turned. In vain the usurper sent to the 
Catalans of Athens and to his brother the King of Majorca 
for reinforcements ; before they had had time to arrive, his 
cause was lost. On the advice of the Archbishop of Patras, 
Louis entered into negotiations with the Greek governor of 
Mistr& ; and, with a large contingent of Greek troops which 
made his forces three times more numerous than those of his 
rival, set out to attack him. On 5th July 13 16, the two 
armies met at Manolada, the beautiful estate in the plain of 
Elis, which now belongs to the Greek crown prince. 
Ferdinand took up his position in a forest of pines, but his 
enemy set fire to the resinous trees, which nowhere burn so 
easily as in Greece, and thus drove the Infant out into the 
open. The impetuous Spaniard made straight for the 
division commanded by his mortal foe, Count John of 
Cephalonia, and broke through his line ; the son of the Duke 
of Naxos was actually taken prisoner ; but the Burgundians 
came to the Count's rescue ; in the miUe> the Infant's standard- 
bearer fell, whereupon his followers, all save some seven, fled, 
leaving their master almost alone. His few remaining 
companions urged him in vain to flee to Chloumoutsi ; while 
they were arguing with him, the Burgundians fell upon the 
little band, the Infant was surrounded, and, in spite of the 
orders of Prince Louis that his life should be spared, was 
decapitated on the field. His head, gashed with many 

1 L. d. F. 9 128-32, which seems to me a trustworthy account, except 
for a few errors in the proper names ; Schlumberger, Numismatique^ 


wounds, was handed over to his implacable enemy, Count 
John, who next day caused it to be displayed before the gate 
of Glarentza. Still the sturdy infantry of Catalufta were for 
holding out ; but their captain pretended that he had neither 
provisions nor pay to give them, and counselled surrender. 
A commission of twelve was elected to arrange affairs; 
bribery was freely employed ; the Archbishop of Lepanto, 
naturally a warm partisan of the French party, disseminated 
the false news that the kings of Majorca, Aragon, and Sicily 
were dead ; and when the long-expected reinforcements arrived 
from Majorca, they were told that peace had been already 
made. An honest Catalan, however, shouted out to them 
not to believe the traitors, but to land and avenge the 
Infant's death. At this, they disembarked and hastened up 
to Glarentza, where their comrades insisted on the gates 
being opened to admit them. Then the commander of the 
place called in the Count of Cephalonia, whose threats of 
starvation gradually cooled the enthusiasm of the garrison. 
The severed remains of the ill-fated Ferdinand were trans- 
ported back on the Catalan galleys, and laid to rest at 
Perpignan. His best epitaph is that which his faithful old 
follower Muntaner has enshrined in his delightful Chronicle: — 
" He was the best knight and the bravest among all the 
king's sons of that day, and the most upright, and the wisest 
in all his acts." Thus ended one of the most romantic 
careers that even the mediaeval romance of Greece can 

Louis of Burgundy had nothing more to fear from his 
open enemies. The Catalans of Athens had turned back 
when they learnt at Vostitza, on the Gulf of Corinth, the 
news of the Infant's defeat and death ; all the castles held 
for his rival had been handed over to him, except Glarentza, 
which was still occupied by the Catalans pending the 
settlement of their affairs. But the victor did not long 
survive the fall of his opponent. Barely a month after the 
battle of Manolada, before Glarentza had been evacuated, 
Prince Louis died, poisoned, as it was suspected, by the 
.Count of Cephalonia, one of the darkest characters of that 
age. The Burgundians talked of avenging his murder with 
the aid of some of the Infant's followers; but a natural 


death a few months later removed the arch-criminal from 
the scene of his crimes. 1 

Matilda, barely twenty-three years old, yet already twice 
a widow, was now left alone to govern a country just 
recovering from civil war, where each unruly baron was 
minded to do what was right in his own eyes, and where 
anarchy was only tempered by Angevin intrigues. King 
Robert of Naples, whom historians have called "the wise," 
was an unscrupulous diplomatist, who saw in this state of 
things an opportunity for once more securing the possession 
of Achaia for a member of his house. Besides Philip of 
Taranto, he had another brother, John, Count of Gravina, 
in Apulia, and he accordingly resolved that the young 
widow should marry this man. Matilda, who had inherited 
the spirit of her race, refused to take the king's brother as 
her husband, whereupon Robert sent a trusty emissary, one 
of the Spinola of Genoa, to the Morea, to bring her to 
Naples by force. There she was compelled, in 1318, to go 
through the form of marriage with John of Gravina, who at 
once took the coveted title of Prince of Achaia. Even the 
king could not, however, compel her to recognise his brother 
as her husband, though he induced her to sign away her 
birthright in case she refused to do so. She appealed to 
Venice for aid, while her brother-in-law, Eudes IV., Duke of 
Burgundy, who had inherited claims on the principality 
under his brother's will, also protested against this arbitrary 
interference with his rights. But Venice did nothing on her 
behalf ; and Eudes was effectually silenced by the purchase 
of his claims by Philip of Taranto. Matilda, now absolutely 
helpless but still defiant, was dragged before Pope John 
XXII. at Avignon, and ordered to obey. She replied that 
she was already another's, having secretly married Hugues 
de la Palisse, 2 a Burgundian knight to whom she was much 
attached. This confession was her ruin, for it gave the 
King of Naples an excuse for depriving her of her inherit- 

1 Buchon, Recherches historiques y i., 442-50, 475-6, ii., 455-9 ; Mun- 
taner, chs. cclxvii.-lxx., cclxxx. ; L. d. F., 122-4, 127-37 ; Thomas, 
Diplomatarium^ i., 112. 

2 Buchon thinks that he had long been settled in Greece. Perhaps 
La Palessien (L. d. C. y 466), in Cephalonia, was his family estate. 



ance. He appealed to the clause in her mother's marriage 
contract, made thirty-three years before, which provided that 
if a daughter of Isabelle married without her suzerain's 
consent, the possession of Achaia should revert to the 
crown of Naples. Not content with this, Robert got up a 
story that Palisse had conspired against his life, and arrested 
the unhappy princess as his accomplice. For nine long 
years, in spite of appeals on her behalf by her cousin, the 
Count of Hainault, backed up by pecuniary arguments, 
she languished as a prisoner of state in the island fortress of 
Castel delP Uovo at Naples, where, in happier days, her 
mother Isabelle had spent the early years of her married 
life. Her royal gaoler allowed her the sum of three ounces 
a month (£7, 4s.) for her maintenance, and when, at last, in 
1 33 1, death released her from his clutches, he paid her funeral 
expenses, and gave her, the lost scion of a noble line, royal 
burial in his family vault in the cathedral. No traces now 
remain of the marble monument which he erected over his 
unhappy victim, the last human sacrifice to Angevin intrigues. 
Thus closed the career of the Villehardouin family in the 
Morea ; thus was the deceit of Geoffrey I. visited upon the 
head of his unfortunate descendant in the third generation. 1 

The Princess of Achaia had left neither children nor 
testament ; but when her end was near, she declared verbally, 
before a number of witnesses, that she bequeathed all she had 
to her cousin, King James II. of Majorca, the son of her old 
rival Ferdinand, and the child whom Muntaner had prayed 
that he might live to serve in his old age. Meanwhile, however, 
her hated consort, John of Gravina, governed his principality 
by means of bailies, who held office for a year or two at the 
most, and were therefore unable to restore order and 
prosperity to the land. 

The emperor, on the other hand, had recently adopted 
the sensible plan of appointing the imperial governor of 
MistrA, the "captain of the land and castles in the 

1 Buchon, Recherches historiques, i., 450-1 ; Ducange, op. cit. % ii., 380- 
2 ; L.d. /\, 137-9 ; \ illani apud Muratori, xiii., 489, 523 ; Riccio, Studii 
storici sopra 84 Registri Angioini, 3, 29, 30 ; Predelli, Commemoriali, i., 
189 ; Sir R. Rodd, The Princes of Achaia, ii., 282-7 ; Lettres seer} Us de 
Jean XX1L, i., 862, 898 ; Arch. Veneto^ xx., 93-4 ; St Genois, i., 360. 


Peloponnese," as he was officially styled, 1 for an indefinite 
period, so that that official was able to gain a real acquaint- 
ance with local conditions and requirements. Thus, 
Cantacuzene, son of the man who was killed in the war 
of 1264, and father of the future emperor, governed the 
Byzantine province for eight years, till he was killed in 
1 3 16, and his successor, a very able general, Andr6nikos 
Palaiol6gos Asan, nephew of the emperor and son of the 
Bulgarian tsar, remained in office for full six more. In his 
time the feeble Frankish principality, which had lost its 
ancient defenders, was still further curtailed by the loss of 
most of Arkadia, the strongest strategic position in the 
peninsula. The treacherous and venal commanders of the 
famous castles of St George, Akova, and Karytaina, sold 
them to Asan, who routed the bailie by means of an 
ambuscade, and captured the bishop of Olena and the 
grand constable, Bartolomeo Ghisi, who was at this time 
the leading man in Achaia. The result of this campaign 
was not only the loss of two more out of the twelve original 
baronies, of which only four — Patras, Veligosti, Vostitza, and 
Chalandritza — now remained in the hands of the Franks, 
but the conversion of the Franks of Arkadia to the Church 
of their conquerors — an inevitable movement, which the 
pope in vain urged the Archbishop of Patras to check. We 
can trace the growing importance of the Byzantine province 
and of the Greek Church in the inscriptions of MistrA, which 
begin at this period. In the early years of the fourteenth 
century the builders were hard at work there, restoring the 
church of the Forty Martyrs, and making a well; in 13 12 
the metropolitan church of St Demetrios was founded ; it 
was then, too, that the interesting Afentikd church was built, 
while it was in these years that the emperor showered 
privileges and immunities from taxation upon the monastery 
of Our Lady of Brontochion, whose widely-scattered posses- 
sions, ranging from Karytaina to Passav&, form a measure of 
Byzantine influence. Even in the still remaining "Latin 
part " of Arkadia the abbey was promised lands, whenever 

1 Golden bull of Andr6nikos 1 1., published by M. Millet in Bulletin 
de Carrespondance htlUnique, xxiii., 115. Cf. X. r. M., 8694, 8708, 



Providence should be pleased to restore that region to its 
lawful lord, the emperor. 

Thus reduced in numbers and crippled in resources, 
menaced by the imperial troops in the interior, and harassed 
by Catalan and Turkish corsairs on the coast, the leading 
men of the principality decided between the painful 
alternatives of offering their country to Venice, or to the 
Catalans of Attica, the former for preference, so that at least 
they might find a protection which their absentee prince 
could not give them. They communicated their decision to 
the Venetian government, which was too cautious, however, 
to accept their offer, and continued to content itself with the 
two colonies in Messenia. At last, however, in 1324, John of 
Gravina set out for the Morea, and after stopping at 
Cephalonia and Zante, restoring his authority as suzerain 
over those rebellious islands, and deposing the Orsini 
dynasty, received the homage of the Achaian barons in the 
customary manner at Glarentza. But his sojourn in his 
principality was short and useless. An attempt, which he 
and his vassal, Duke Nicholas I. of Naxos, made to recover 
Karytaina failed, and the Greeks continued to make progress, 
in spite of a defeat inflicted on them by the duke in the 
plain of Elis below the castle of St Omer. The only lasting 
result of his expedition was the establishment in Greece of 
the great Florentine banking family of the Acciajuoli, which 
was destined to wear the ducal coronet of Athens. From 
them John of Gravina had borrowed considerable funds for 
his expenses in the Morea, and from him they received in 
return the fiefs of La Mandria and La Lichina, which we 
may identify with Lechaina, near Andravida. Numerous 
Neapolitans, who had followed him, also expected to be 
rewarded with lands which had fallen vacant owing to the 
almost complete disappearance of the old Frankish nobility, 
and thus there arose a new race of barons, who were 
ignorant of the language and customs of the people, while 
they lacked also the energy and courage of the original 
conquerors. 1 It is significant of this new order of things, 

1 L. d C. y lxxviii., 476-7 ; L. d. F., 1407 ; Millet in op. cif., xix., 269 ; 
xxiii., 1 1 3- 1 8, 122 ; Boeckh, Corp. Jnscrip., 8762-4 ; Raynaldus, v., 200-1 ; 
Predelli, Commemoriali, i., 231 ; M Manges historiques, iii., 54-7 ; Canta- 


that one of the bailies of this period, Nicholas de Joinville, 
a noble and upright man, who did his best for the land 
entrusted to his charge, thought it necessary to add eight 
fresh articles, regulating the pay of soldiers, questions of 
succession, and the system of legal procedure, to the Book 
of the Customs of the Empire of Romania} 

John of Gravina soon grew tired of his Greek 
principality. In 1326 we find him in Florence, four years 
later he was senator of Rome, while a distinguished Roman, 
Guglielmo Frangipani, for many years Archbishop of Patras, 
acted as his bailie in Achaia — a post never before entrusted 
to a churchman, and a sure sign of the increasing power of 
the Achaian primates. Occupied exclusively with furthering 
Angevin interests in Italy, John never set foot in Greece 
again, and in 1333 severed all connection with it. Two 
years earlier, his brother and suzerain, Philip of Taranto, had 
died, and he refused to do homage to his nephew Robert. 
Thanks, however, to the mediation of Niccold Acciajuoli, 
the representative of the great Florentine Bank at Naples, 
and chamberlain, some say lover, of the widowed Empress 
Catherine of Valois, the dispute between the uncle and the 
nephew was arranged. John of Gravina transferred to the 
empress, for her son Robert, the principality of Achaia, with 
its dependencies, in exchange for the Angevin possessions in 
Epiros, the kingdom of Albania, and the duchy of Durazzo, 
as well as the sum of 5000 ounces (£12,500) in cash, 
advanced by the serviceable Acciajuoli. Thus, once again, 
the suzerainty and the actual possession of Achaia were 
concentrated in the same hands, those of the claimant to the 
long defunct Latin Empire. 2 

Meanwhile, young Walter of Brienne, heir of the last 

cuzene, i., 85 ; Nikeph6ros Gregoras, i., 362 ; Buchon, Nouvelles 
Recherches, II., i., 33. That the Orsini dynasty was deposed in the Ionian 
islands by John of Gravina in 1324 is expressly stated by both Villani 
and the Aragonese Chronicle, and an Angevin bailie figures there in 
1337 and 1356. 

1 Canciani, op. cit^ iii., 530 ; Itinerarium Symonis Simeonis, 15. 

2 Ducange, op. cit.,\L y 214-15, 376 ; Buchon, Nouvelles Recherchts, I., 
i., 54 ; Riccio, Studii storiei, 17, 28. The tombs of the two princes of 
Achaia — Philip of Taranto and his brother John of Gravina — may still be 
seen in the church of S. Domenico at Naples. 


Duke of Athens, had grown up to manhood, and thought 
that the time had come to attempt the recovery of his 
heritage from the Catalans. As a French noble, as Count of 
Lecce, and as son-in-law of Philip of Taranto, the titular 
emperor of Constantinople, he had every reason to expect 
the warm support of the house of Anjou in its interest, as 
well as his own. Philip saw that Walter's plans might be 
made to coincide with his own schemes for the reconquest of 
the Latin Empire, which he had never abandoned, and 
conferred upon him the title of his Vicar-General in Romania. 
Pope John XXI L, like his predecessor, Clement V., was an 
ardent worker in his cause, writing to Venice on his behalf 
and bidding the Archbishop of Patras and Corinth preach a 
crusade against the " schismatics, sons of perdition, and pupils 
of iniquity," who had occupied the ancient patrimony of the 
lawful Duke of Athens and afflicted with heavy oppression 
the ecclesiastics and faithful inhabitants of Attica. But the 
Venetians, who could have contributed more to the success of 
the expedition than all the ecclesiastical thunders of Rome, 
just at this moment renewed their truce with the Catalans at 
Thebes. From that instant the attempt was bound to fail. 

Walter was, like his father, a rash general, though he had 
already won the reputation of a wise administrator during 
a brief term of office as Angevin vicar at Florence. When 
he started for Epiros in 1331, a brilliant company of 800 
French knights, 500 picked Tuscan men-at-arms, and a body 
of soldiers from his domain at Lecce accompanied him. At 
first success smiled upon his plans. He captured the island 
of Santa Mavra, which had belonged to the counts of 
Cephalonia since about the year 1300, and which had 
consequently formed part of the Despotat of Epiros since 
their usurpation of that state. On the mainland, the fortress 
of Vonitza, one portion of the quadrilateral which the 
unhappy Thamar had brought as her dowry to Philip of 
Taranto, but which had relapsed from the Angevin rule, and 
the city of Arta, fell into his hands. But when he proceeded 
to attack the Catalans, he found that he had to deal with 
cautious strategists, who never gave his fine cavalry a chance 
of displaying its mettle in a pitched battle. Their plan of 
campaign was to remain in their fortresses, allowing his 


impetuous followers to expend their energies on the open 
country. His father and mother had incurred heavy debts 
on behalf of their Greek dominions, and Walter had sold his 
property and pawned his wife's dowry to raise funds for the 
recovery of his duchy ; but he had not calculated the cost of a 
protracted expedition, so that, ere long, he found it impossible 
to support the expense of so large a body of men, especially 
as the French contingent expected high pay and generous 
rations. A smaller force, particularly if aided by the Greeks, 
would have had more chance of success; but the native 
Athenians and Boeotians showed as little desire to fight for 
their lawful duke as they had shown to avenge his father's 
death. A correspondent of the contemporary historian, 
Nikeph6ros Gregorys, wrote, indeed, that they were " suffering 
extreme slavery," and had "exchanged their ancient 
happiness for boorish ways." But either their sufferings 
were not sufficient to make them desire a change of masters, 
or their boorishness was such that they did not appreciate 
the advantages of French culture ; in any case, they looked 
on impassively, while Walter's hopes daily dwindled away. 
Early in 1332, he retired to the Morea, whence, after a 
futile attempt to coerce the Catalans by the comminations 
of the great Archbishop Frangipani of Patras, he took ship 
for Italy never to return. 1 One irreparable loss, indeed, was 
inflicted upon Greece in consequence of his expedition. In 
order to prevent the castle of St Omer at Thebes from 
falling into his hands, and thus becoming a valuable base for 
the recovery of the duchy, the Catalans destroyed that noble 
monument of Frankish rule. Three years after their 
conquest of Athens, they had bestowed this splendid 
residence, together with the phantom kingdom of Salonika, 
upon Guy de la Tour, a noble French adventurer from 
Dauphin^, who had placed his sword at their disposal. More 
recently, Fadrique had granted the castle to Bartolomeo 
II. Ghisi, one of the chief magnates of Greece, who was at 
once triarch of Eubcea, great constable of Achaia, and lord 
of the islands of Tenos and Mykonos, and whose son had 

1 Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches, I., i., 30-3 ; Raynaldus, v., 495, 517 5 
Villani apud Muratori, xiii., 717; Nikeph6ros Gregorys, i., p. xciv. ; 
Ldmpros, "Eyypa^a, 55. 


married the daughter of the Catalan captain. Ghisi seems 
to have been a man of some literary and historic tastes, 
for the original of which the French version of the Chronicle 
of the Morea is an abridgment was found in his Theban castle. 
The abridgment has fortunately been preserved; but the 
castle with its historic frescoes and its memories of gorgeous 
ceremonies, when the song of the minstrel resounded through 
its vast halls and all the chivalry of Frankish Greece was 
gathered there, has perished, all save one short square tower, 
which still bears the once great name of St Omer. 1 

The only other results of Walter's expedition were the 
recognition of the shadowy Angevin suzerainty over Epiros 
by the despot John II., who, however, retained the substance 
of power, and struck coins at Arta bearing his name ; and 
the retention of Vonitza and the island of Sta. Mavra by the 
titular duke of Athens. Later on, in 1355, the latter con- 
ferred Vonitza, " our castle of Sta. Mavra and our island of 
Lucate " upon Graziano Zorzi, an old comrade-in-arms, and a 
member of the great Venetian family which we have already 
seen established in the marquisate of Boudonitza. 2 Walter 
himself still occasionally dreamed of his restoration to 
Athens, but soon found a sphere for his activity in Italy. 
Summoned by the Florentines to command their forces, he 
became tyrant of their city, whence he was expelled amidst 
universal rejoicings in 1 343, and where the traveller may now 
see his arms restored by the modern Italian authorities in 
the audience chamber of the Bargello. Thence he returned 
to his county of Lecce, and fell, thirteen years later, fighting 
as constable of France against the English at the battle of 
Poitiers. Before he left Lecce, he made his will, in which he 
mentioned all his possessions in Greece — his city of Argos, 
with its noble castle, the Larissa ; the castles of Nauplia, 
Kiveri and Thermisi, Vonitza, and Sta. Mavra, with their 
constables and men-at-arms. Something was left to the 
religious orders of Patras and Glarentza, and to the churches 

1 X. r. M. f 11. 8086-92 ; L. d C, 1, 274 ; Histoire de Dauphin/, II., 
151 ; Bibliotkique de tlicole des Chartes, xxxiii., 183 ; Melanges his- 
torique$ % III., 27. 

2 Lunzi, Delia Condizione politic^ 121 ; Lampros, "E77pa0a, 67 \ 
Romanos, op. cit. y 302. 


and chapels of Nauplia and Argos, while part of the customs 
dues of this last city was set aside to endow a perpetual 
chaplaincy, whose holder was to say a daily mass for the 
soul of the pious founder. As Walter left no children, his 
sister Isabelle, wife of Gautier d'Enghien, succeeded to his 
estates and claims, and of her sons, one styled himself Duke 
of Athens, and another was lord of Argos and Nauplia. 
More fortunate in one respect than his predecessors who had 
reigned in Greece, Walter has left us a portrait of himself. 
Every visitor to the lower church of St Francis at Assisi — a 
church traditionally associated with the family of Brienne, 
who were terciers of the Order — has seen in the foreground 
of Lorenzetti's "Crucifixion" the knightly figure of the 
titular duke of Athens. 1 

Thus, during the twenty years which followed its conquest 
of Athens, the Catalan Company had strengthened its position 
and extended its possessions. To Attica and Bceotia it had 
annexed the duchy of Neopatras, including part of Thessaly, 
while Catalan lords held the castles of Salona and Karystos, 
and the island of iEgina. It had made terms with Venice, 
and so could afford to despise the schemes of the dethroned 
dynasty of Brienne and the ecclesiastical weapons of the 
papacy. In the bastard son of Frederick II. of Sicily it had 
found a leader, resolute in action, and skilful in taking 
advantage of his opportunities. All the more remarkable 
is the sudden and premature retirement of this successful 
chief from the leadership of the Company. At the time of 
Walter of Brienne's invasion, he was no longer vicar-general 
— a post occupied by Nicholas Lancia — and in the treaty of 
Thebes between the Company and Venice, he figures as 
merely "Count of Malta and Gozzo." Probably, had he 
been at the head of affairs at that moment, he would have 
saved his kinsman's castle of St Omer from destruction. We 
are not told the reason of his retirement ; but, from the fact that 
he paid a visit to Sicily in the following year, we may perhaps 
infer that his too successful career in Greece had gained him 

1 D'Arbois de Jubainville, Voyage pattographique, 341-2 ; Arch. 
Stor. Iial.y Ser. III., xvi., 48; Galateus, De Situ lapygia^ 92 ; Hopf, 
Chroniques, xxix.-xxx., who rightly identifies "Chamires" with Kiveri 
opposite Nauplia and "Le Tremis" with Thermisi. 



enemies at the Sicilian court, who may have accused him of 
aiming at independent sovereignty, and whose charges he 
may have thought it desirable to answer in person. Though 
he did not resume the leadership of the Company, he passed 
the rest of his life in Greece, where we hear of him among 
the principal Catalans in 1335, and where he died in 1338, 
leaving a numerous progeny. His eldest son, Don Pedro, was 
already lord of Loidoriki and Count of Salona, which had 
come into the hands of his father, presumably on the death 
of Roger Deslaur without heirs. His second son, Don 
Jaime, succeeded his elder brother in his estates, held for a 
time the island of iEgina, and became, later on, vicar- 
general of the Company ; yet another son, Bonifacio, inherited 
Karystos and Lamia, and received from Don Jaime, with 
certain reservations, the island of iEgina, thereby reuniting the 
old possessions of his namesake and grandfather, Bonifacio da 
Verona. One interesting part of them, however, the sister- 
island of Salamis, seems to have been subdued by the Greeks, 
for we hear of it as paying taxes to the Byzantine governor of 
Monemvasia. 1 Thus, the fortunes of the family continued to 
be interwoven with those of the Catalan duchy till its falL 

All over Greece, these twenty years had wrought great 
changes. Alike in Thessaly and Epiros, the Greek dynasty 
of the Angeli had come to an end; and, while Byzantine 
officials, local magnates, Albanian colonists, and the Catalan 
Company had divided the former country between them, the 
latter was occupied by the palatine counts of Cephalonia, 
who had now been driven by the Angevins from their 
islands. The Angevins were, therefore, now both possessors 
and suzerains of most of the Ionian islands and of the 
principality of Achaia, much reduced, however, by the 
encroachments of the Greek governors, and still held the 
strong fortress of Lepanto, on the opposite shore of the 
Corinthian Gulf. The island of Sta. Mavra, the castle of 
Vonitza, on the Gulf of Arta, and the towns of Nauplia and 
Argos, owned the sway of Walter of Brienne, who appointed 

1 Thomas, Diplomatarium, i., 127, 214 ; Bozzo, Notizie Storicke 
Siciliane del Secolo XIV., 607; Ducange, op. cit % II., 204; Rosario 
Gregorio, II., 582-3 ; Rubi6 y LIuch, Los Navarros^77 ; Hopf, Karystos, 


a "bailie and captain-general," assisted by a council. 
Venice, by her usual statecraft, had increased her hold upon 
Eubcea, had gained a footing at Pteleon in Thessaly, and 
had preserved her original colonies of Modon and Coron, 
in spite of inroads by the Greeks of Mistr&, and troubles 
with those haughty neighbours, the Teutonic Knights of 
Mostenitsa. The republic felt strong enough, however, to 
allow a Greek bishop to reside there, although those patriotic 
and intriguing ecclesiastics were apt to foster the national 
instincts of their fellow-countrymen. 1 The lot of the latter 
was at this time lighter in the Frankish principality than 
under the Venetian flag ; for, in spite of the strict orders 
issued to the colonial governors to treat the Greeks well, they 
emigrated in large numbers to Achaia, where taxation 
was less oppressive. Piracy was still, however, the great 
curse of the dwellers on the coasts of the Morea and in the 
Greek islands. On one raid the corsairs carried off, and sold 
as slaves, no less than 500 persons from the island of Culuris, 
or Salamis, while the Turks were an annual, and a growing 
menace. Yet these depredations had not yet destroyed the 
Greek forests. Those who know how bare most of Greece is 
to-day, will learn with surprise that Sanudo 2 thought that 
the timber required for his cherished crusade against the 
infidels could be obtained from Attica, the Morea, and the 
island of Euboea. 

Nor was trade lacking. Monemvasia, whence our ancestors 
got their Malmsey wine, under Byzantine rule, continued to 
be a flourishing port, whose merchants enjoyed special 
privileges and exemptions, confirmed by Andr6nikos II. 
and 1 1 1., and including protection at all the fairs and festivals 
of the peninsula. Glarentza, the seat of a Venetian consul, 
and Patras, that of a Venetian podestd* under the enlightened 
administration of its great archbishop, Guglielmo Frangipani, 
were the chief commercial centres of the Frankish principality. 
The former was a very important mart for silk, raisins, and 

1 Archivio Veneto y xix., 1 15-16; Thomas, op, cit. y i., 105-7. 

2 Secreta Fidclium Cruets, 68 ; Predelli, Commemoriali, ii., 26. 

3 Phrantzgs, 400; Gerland, op. M 9 150; Pegalotti, Delia Decima, 
III., 51, 6o, 106-9, '45» 202; Schlumberger, Numismatique, 471, 476; 
Archivio Veneto^ xiii., 152. 


valonia, which had commercial relations with Apulia, 
Ancona, Florence, and Venice, as well as with Durazzo, Acre, 
and Alexandria ; which, like Thebes, Corinth, and Negro- 
ponte, had its own weights and measures, and still possessed 
its own mint, whose masters were paid salaries of 300 
hyperperi a year. But it had been already remarked at 
Venice, that the Achaian currency had depreciated by nearly 
a third since the days of Prince William, so that the 
Venetians had talked of establishing a mint at Coron and 
Modon. They never, however, carried out that project, and 
the mint at Glarentza continued to produce coins till about 
the year 1364, after which we have no more Achaian 
currency. In its place, the Venetians began to issue from 
the mint at Venice, about the middle of the fourteenth 
century, the so-called tornesi piccioli or torneselli, which 
henceforth served as the currency of their Greek colonies, 
and which were modelled on the old tornesi of the Achaian 
mint. In fact, classic Hellas was at this period a place where 
money was to be made, an undeveloped territory to be 
exploited by shrewd men of affairs. In that golden age 
of Italian banking, such men were not lacking. Now, for 
the first time, a new influence, that of high finance, had made 
its appearance in Frankish Greece in the person of Niccolo 
Acciajuoli, whose house was destined in another half century 
to put an end to Catalan rule in Athens and assume the 
ducal coronet on the Akropolis. 



The arrangement between John of Gravina and the titular 
empress, Catherine of Valois, had had the advantage of 
uniting all the Angevin dominions in Greece — the principality 
of Achaia, the county of Cephalonia, the castle of Lepanto, 
and the island of Corfii — in a single hand, and henceforth the 
jurisdiction of the Angevin bailie and the other chief 
functionaries of the Morea extended to the adjacent island of 
Cephalonia and to the " royal fortress " on the opposite coast 
of the Corinthian Gulf. Fortunately, too, although Robert, 
the young Prince of Achaia, for whom the empress had 
purchased the principality, was still a minor, his mother, who 
exercised supreme authority in his name, and even occasion- 
ally used the style of Princess, 1 was endowed with very 
masculine qualities, which she soon began to display in the 
management of this substantial fragment of her shadowy 
empire. A strong ruler was, indeed, much needed in the 
Morea, where the lax control of the late prince and the 
confusion of the last twenty years had increased the spirit of 
independence among the great barons, never at any time 
very tolerant of dictation. 

Among these feudal lords, the most important were the 
Archbishop of Patras and the Genoese family of Zaccaria, 
whom we have already seen ruling the island of Chios, and 
who had lately acquired a footing in the Morea, to which 
they were destined, later on, to give its last Frankish prince. 
Both of these great personages considered themselves 
practically independent. Martino Zaccaria had succeeded 
1 Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches^ I., i., 62 ; II., i., 103, 108* 



the extinct family of De la Roche as baron of Damal& in 
Argolis, where he actually dared to issue coins of his own. 
He had succeeded, too, the house of Tr6mouille at 
Chalandritza, and though the Greek Emperor had lately 
captured both him and his rich island, his son Centurione 
was in possession of both his Peloponnesian baronies. The 
Empress Catherine was specially warned of the designs which 
this crafty Levantine nourished against her authority by 
Niccold di Bojano, a Neapolitan treasury official who drew up 
a report upon the state of her son's principality. Centurione, 
he told her, must be put in his proper place, or else neither 
she nor her son would ever obtain theirs in the Morea. 1 
Patras, too, under its great archbishop, Guglielmo Frangipani, 
was practically autonomous, and Bertrand de Baux, the 
bailie whom the empress sent to govern Achaia, took the 
opportunity of his death to occupy the town and to besiege the 
castle. Pope Benedict XII. 2 entered a vigorous protest 
against this proceeding, claiming that Patras was under the 
direct jurisdiction of the archbishop, as the representative of 
the Holy See to which it belonged. He therefore ordered the 
bishops of Olena and Coron to lay the peninsula under an 
interdict. These difficulties convinced the empress that her 
presence was needed in the Morea; so, in 1338, she set out 
for Patras, accompanied by her trusted adviser, Niccol6 

We have already had occasion to mention this remarkable 
man, whose house was destined, in characteristically modern 
fashion, to supplant the noble chivalry of Frankish Greece. 
The history of the Acciajuoli bears a striking resemblance to 
that of the great financiers of our own time. After they had 
become famous, courtly biographers provided them with a 
pedigree stretching back as far as the sixth century, accord- 

1 Schlumberger, Numismatique, 326; Ducange, ii., 265. This un- 
dated report refers to Catherine, not, as Ducange imagined, to Marie de 
Bourbon, because Bojano was dead in 1342. (Buchon, NouvelUs 
Recherches, II., i., in). The allusions to "the Count of Cephalonia" 
and his war with " the Despot," which Hopf found it hard to explain, are 
easily explicable. The " Count n is John II. of Epiros, the " Despot" is 
Stephen Gabriel6poulos, a Thessalian magnate, to whom Cantacuzene 
(*•» 473) expressly applies that title ; the date must be 1333. 

2 Lettres Communes, i., 479 ; Raynaldus, vi., 115-16. 


ing to which the founder of the family was Angelo, brother 
of the Emperor Justin II., and one of its members was 
created a baron of the holy Roman Empire by Frederick 
Barbarossa. 1 As a matter of fact, the Acciajuoli owed their 
origin to an enterprising citizen of Brescia, the Sheffield of 
Italy, who moved to Florence about 1 160 and there established 
a steel-manufactory, which gave them their name. The 
" steel-workers " made money, lent it out at interest, and in 
due course became bankers, who played their part in the 
municipal life of their adopted city. They were also 
politicians of a practical sort, whose devotion to the Guelph 
cause brought them into relation with the Neapolitan 
Angevins, when the Florentines solicited the protection of 
King Robert of Naples against their Ghibelline enemies. 
That sagacious monarch rewarded one of the firm for his skill 
in transacting the royal business with the dignity of chamber- 
lain and privy councillor, and the latter naturally thought 
that in the management of the Naples branch his son would 
find an excellent opening. In 1331, when barely of age, 
young Niccol6 Acciajuoli arrived there accompanied by a 
single servant But his skill in business, combined with an 
agreeable presence and chivalrous manners, won him the 
favour, perhaps the affection, of the titular empress, Catherine 
of Valois, who was left a widow in that year with three sons 
to bring up. He assisted her with their education, and it was 
he who arranged, as we saw, the exchange of the duchy of 
Durazzo for the principality of Achaia. The bank, of which 
he was the representative, was already interested in Greece, 
which the Italian financiers of that age regarded much as 
their modern representatives in London regard the colonies. 
Having succeeded in making his pupil Robert Prince of 
Achaia, the astute Niccol6 resolved to acquire lands in the 
principality on his own account. He accordingly persuaded 
the bank to transfer to him the two estates, which it had 
received from John of Gravina, rounded them off by purchas- 
ing adjacent land, and further increased his holding by other 
properties at Andravida, Prinitza, Kalamata, and in the island 
of Cephalonia, which the empress bestowed upon him as the 
reward of his services. He thus became a vassal of the 
1 Fanelli, Atene Attica, 290. 



principality, taking care, however, to obtain from his 
patroness the reduction of the feudal burdens attaching to 
his lands and the permission to dispose of them to any 
person capable of rendering the requisite military service. 
Before his departure for Greece, he provided that, in the 
event of his death, the revenues of these estates should be 
devoted to building that splendid Certosa near Florence, 
which is still his chief monument 1 

The empress and her astute adviser must soon have seen 
for themselves the dangers to which Achaia was exposed. 
The Catalans of Attica were awkward neighbours, who 
required all the vigilance of the Knights of the Teutonic order ; 
the Greeks had encroached on the principality from without, 
while within they now held many important offices ; worst of 
all, the Turks, who had made enormous progress in Asia, 
now ravaged the Greek coast-line. The soundest and best 
managed portion of the principality was Patras, and the 
empress, who resided there, accordingly came to the con- 
clusion that her wisest course, especially as she needed papal 
aid against the Turks, was to disavow her too officious bailie, 
and recognise the authority of the Holy See over that 
temporal barony. Henceforth, the archbishop could truly 
say that he held the town direct from the pope. 2 

Catherine remained two years in Greece, during which 
time Acciajuoli spared neither his purse nor his personal 
comfort in the cause of the principality. At his own expense 
he built a fort to defend the once fair vale of Kalamata, the 
garden of Greece, which was then lying a desolate waste, and 
his services were further rewarded by the gift of that barony, 
the fortress of Piada, near Epidauros, and other lands. Thus, 
as a large Peloponnesian landowner and the representative 
of his firm at the Glarentza branch, which then ranked in 
their books as of equal importance with their London office, 
the Florentine banker had a stake in the country which gave 
him a direct interest in its preservation, and induced him, even 
after the departure of his mistress, to act for a time as her 
bailie in Greece. He calculated, indeed, that, from first to 

1 Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches y II., i., 31 -114, 117; G. Villani, M. 
Villani, and Palmerius, Devitd et gestis N. Acciajoti, afiud Muratori, xiii., 
958, 1205-6 ; xiv., 166-7. * Gerland, op. cit., 159. 


last, his bank had sunk 40,000 ounces 0696,000) in the Morea. 
When he returned to Italy in 1341, Boccaccio, afterwards his 
bitter enemy, addressed him an enthusiastic letter of welcome, 
in which he compared him to a second Ulysses. 1 

During her stay at Patras, the empress had also 
endeavoured to restore her influence in the Despotat of 
Epiros, where Lepanto alone remained of the former 
Angevin possessions. In 1335, the Italian Despot, John II., 
had met with the reward of his crimes at the hand of his 
"wise and learned" wife, who had poisoned him from fear 
of suffering a similar fate herself. She then assumed the 
regency for her youthful son, Nikeph6ros II., with the 
acquiescence of some, at least, of her unruly subjects. But 
the Emperor Andr6nikos III. thought that the moment had 
now come for reuniting Epiros with the Byzantine Empire, 
especially as he had lately been forced to expel the Epirote 
garrisons from Kalabaka, Trikkala, and other places in 
Thessaly, which they had occupied on the death of Gabriel6- 
poulos, the local magnate who had ruled there. At the news 
of his approach, the regent herself advised submission, as 
resistance seemed hopeless, so that Andr6nikos was able to 
accomplish without bloodshed what his predecessors had in 
vain struggled to obtain. No Greek emperor had visited 
Epiros since the time of Manuel I., nearly two centuries 
earlier; but the tour which Andr6nikos made through the 
cities of the Despotat was not so much due to curiosity as 
to the desire to let his new subjects see that he wished to 
understand their requirements. Judicious grants of titles and 
annuities to leading men were intended to console the 
Epirotes for the loss of their independence, while the 
regent was prudently ordered to leave the country. But 
the love of freedom had become ingrained in the breasts 
of others of the natives by the experience of more than a 
century ; with their connivance and the aid of his Frankish 
tutor, young Nikeph6ros, a boy with ambitions far above his 
years, fled across to the Empress Catherine at Patras, and 
asked her to restore him to his throne. The empress saw 
that he might be made the tool of Angevin interests in 
Epiros, and ordered one of her Neapolitan suite to conduct 
1 Buchon, op. cit., I., i., 46 ; II., i., 114. 



the lad back to his faithful subjects, who had meanwhile 
expelled the Byzantine viceroy and were clamouring for 
him. Andr6nikos, accompanied by the future emperor, 
John Cantacuzene, now returned to Akarnania, where the 
latter's diplomacy was more successful than the former's 
strategy. The most obstinate resistance was offered by 
"Thomas's Castle," whither Nikeph6ros had fled, a strong 
fortress on the Adriatic, christened after the last Greek Despot, 
which could be easily provisioned from the sea. But, 
although the Empress Catherine sent a small fleet and 
troops from the Morea to assist her protfgt, the arguments 
of Cantacuzene at ' last induced the garrison to surrender. 
He told them that the Angevins, in spite of their frequent 
efforts to conquer their country, had never succeeded in 
holding more than a few isolated positions, like Lepanto, 
Vonitza, and Butrinto, and those only with the consent of 
the Despot. Allies so weak, he said, would be of no avail 
against the imperial forces ; while, even if they were, they 
would conquer Epiros for themselves and not for the Epirotes, 
in which case the natives would be the slaves of the Latins. 
"If you surrender," he concluded, " I will give my own 
daughter to Nikeph6ros, and will treat him as a son ; my 
master will load him with honours, of which you too shall 
have your share." At this, the garrison opened the gates ; 
the whole country once more recognised the authority of 
the emperor, and Nikeph6ros, scarcely compensated by a 
high-sounding Byzantine title, was led away to Salonika. 

The specious arguments of Cantacuzene at Thomokastron 
had had their effect upon the Moreot troops, whom the 
empress had sent to aid in defending that castle. When 
they returned home, and found Catherine and her skilful 
minister gone, and the Turks ravaging their coasts unchecked, 
they reflected that in the Morea, too, the Angevins were 
powerless to aid. Impressed with the tact of Cantacuzene, 
whose father had been governor of MistrA, and who had 
himself been offered that post twenty years earlier, they 
entered into negotiations with him in 1341 for the cession 
of the principality of Achaia. Their envoys, the Bishop of 
Coron, and a half-caste, near Sider6s, told the great man that 
he had won their hearts by his conduct in Epiros, and begged 


him to come in person and take over their country. All they 
asked was to keep their fiefs, and to pay the same taxes to the 
emperor as they now paid to their prince; on these terms 
they were ready to do homage and receive an imperial 
viceroy. Cantacuzene was naturally flattered by this request, 
not, as he told them, the first of the kind ; he promised to 
visit the Morea in the following spring, sending meanwhile 
a confidential agent to win over dissentients and to show 
that he was in earnest. But the grandiose scheme which he 
had formed of thus reuniting the Byzantine Empire from 
Tainaron to Constantinople was never accomplished. The 
great Servian tsar, Stephen Dushan, had now begun his 
meteoric career of conquest at the expense of the Greek 
Empire, while the latter was soon distracted by the 
intrigues of the rival emperors, John Cantacuzene and John 
PalaioWgos. 1 

Besides the party of Cantacuzene, there was still a section 
of the Franks which regarded King James II. of Majorca, 
the grandson of the Lady of Akova, as the lawful Prince of 
Achaia. The King of Majorca, whom we last saw carried in 
Muntaner's arms as a baby of a few weeks, had now grown 
up to manhood, and accordingly the cause for which his 
father, Ferdinand of Majorca, had fallen more than twenty 
years before was revived, though the old Catalan chronicler 
was no longer there to fight for it A formal memoir was 
drawn up and sent to him, setting forth his rights, based 
upon the alleged will of his great-grandfather, Guillaume de 
Villehardouin, to the effect that if one of his two daughters 
died childless, the principality should go to the other or her 
heirs. Even so, James II. would have had no claim, for 
Isabelle de Villehardouin's daughter by her third marriage, 
Marguerite of Savoy, was still living ; but the barons did not 
consider her existence as an obstacle to their plans. Their 
memorial informed the King of Majorca that the island of 
Negroponte with its two great barons, Pietro dalle Carceri 
and Bartolomeo Ghisi, who then held all the three divisions 
of the island between them ; the duchy of Naxos, then 

1 Nikephoros Gregorys, i., 536, 538-9, 544-6, 550-4, ii., 596 ; Canta- 
cuzene, i., 77, 85-6, 473, 495, 499-5<>4, 5<>9-34, ii., 74-7, 80, 82, 83 ; Mik- 
losich und M tiller, i., 172-4 ; Arch, Stor. per le Prov. Napol., viii., 225. 


governed by Nicholas Sanudo ; and the duchy of Athens, 
were all vassal states of the principality, though in the case 
of the last the feudal tie was ignored by the Catalans, "our 
bitterest foes." The whole peninsula, they told him, was 
divided between Prince Robert of Taranto, a minor and an 
absentee, for whom Bertrand de Baux, now restored to 
favour, was again acting as vicar; the titular duke of 
Athens, Walter of Brienne, who held Argos and Nauplia 
from Robert ; the Venetians, independent masters of Modon 
and Coron ; and the Greek Emperor. The whole principality 
contained more than iooo baronies and knights' fees, each 
worth on an average 300 pounds of Barcelona a year ; after 
deducting all expenses for garrisoning the castles, this would 
leave the prince with a nett revenue of 100,000 florins. This 
document, which gives a clear account of the Morea as it was 
in 1 344, was signed by Roger, Archbishop of Patras ; Philippe 
de Joinville, baron of Vostitza ; £rard le Noir of St Sauveur, 
grandson of the man who had deserted the Infant of Majorca ; 
Alibert de Luc, perhaps a descendant of one of the original 
barons of the Conquest, and many others. James II. adopted 
the title of " Prince of Achaia " — a style assumed with about 
equal reason by another James, son of Philip of Savoy by his 
second marriage, and by Omarbeg of Aidin, who had at least 
plundered his "principality." But his only act in that 
capacity was to confer upon Erard le Noir the hereditary 
dignity of Marshal of Achaia — an honour which was perhaps 
deserved, if we may believe the high praise bestowed by the 
anonymous chronicler of the Morea upon the benevolence of 
that baron, " a true friend to the poor man and the orphan." 
In 1349 James II. fell, like his father, in battle, fighting 
against the Aragonese, who had dispossessed him of his 
kingdom. 1 

Meanwhile, the growing Turkish peril had convinced the 
popes that it was wise to recognise the Catalan occupation 
of Athens as an accomplished fact Three years after 
Walter of Brienne's unsuccessful expedition, Benedict XII. 
had ordered the Archbishop of Patras to excommunicate 
once more the leaders of the Company — William, Duke of 

1 Buchon, Reckerches historiques, i., 452-3 ; Ducange, op. cit. y ii., 
224-6 ; Datta, op. cit y ii., 166 ; X. r. M.,11. 8468-73. 


Athens; Nicholas Lancia, his vicar-general; Alfonso 
Fadrique and his two sons, Peter of Salona and James; 
and many more. But Archbishop Isnard of Thebes, who 
was better acquainted with the local needs than the pope, 
and who saw the growing tendency of his flock to join the 
Orthodox Church, not only annulled this sentence of 
excommunication on his own authority, but also celebrated 
mass before the Company in the Theban minster; and, 
though Benedict at first disapproved of this arbitrary act 
and ordered the renewal of the excommunication, he came 
to see that the Catalans might be useful as a buffer state 
between the Turks and the West, and disregarded the 
ineffectual protest of the exiled Duke of Athens. The 
Latin Patriarch of Constantinople acted as intermediary ; 
on his way to his residence at Negroponte, he stopped in 
Attica, where he found the Catalans willing to return to the 
bosom of the Church. He communicated their prayer to 
Benedict, who replied that he would hear it, if they would 
send envoys to Rome. His successor, Clement VI., anxious 
to form a coalition against the Turks, charged the patriarch 
with the task of making peace between the Catalans and 
Walter of Brienne, gave them absolution for three years, 
and invited Prince Robert of Achaia and his mother, the 
Empress Catherine, to contribute galleys to the allied fleet. 
The crusade had small results, but the reconciliation between 
the Catalans and the papacy was complete. Henceforth, 
those "sons of perdition" were regarded as respectable 
members of Christendom. Unfortunately, soon after they 
became respectable, they ceased to be formidable. Occa- 
sionally, the old Adam broke out, as when Peter Fadrique 
of Salona is found plying the trade of a pirate with the aid 
of the unspeakable Turk. But their Thessalian conquests 
were slipping away from the luxurious and drunken progeny 
of the hardy warriors who had smitten the Franks at the 
Kephiss6s, while the Venetians of Negroponte had no 
longer cause to fear their once dreaded neighbours. When 
the bailie wanted money for public purposes he borrowed it 
from a Catalan knight of Athens ; when a Catholic Bishop 
of Andros had to be consecrated, the Athenian Archbishop 
came to perform the ceremony of laying hands on his 


suffragan in the church of the Eubcean capital — an arrange- 
ment which shows that the ecclesiastical organisation of 
Athens had not been disturbed by the Catalan conquest. 1 
And in the war against Genoa, the Catalans rendered 
yeoman's service to the Venetians at Oreos. 

Meanwhile, in distant Sicily, the shadowy Dukes of 
Athens and Neopatras came and went without ever seeing 
their Greek duchies. Duke William died in 1338, and his 
successors in the title, John and Frederick of Randazzo, the 
picturesque town built on the lava of Etna, both succumbed 
to the plague ten and seventeen years later — mere names in 
the history of Athens, where almost their only known acts 
are in connexion with the castle of Athens and the church 
of St Michael at Livadia. Soon, however, after the death of 
the latter, in 1355, his namesake and successor became also 
King of Sicily under the title of Frederick III. Thus, the 
two Greek duchies, which had hitherto been the appanage 
of younger members of the royal family, were now united 
with the Sicilian crown. For a moment, indeed, in 1357, 
the new King of Sicily, hard pressed by enemies in his own 
island, actually proposed to purchase the aid of Pedro IV. 
of Aragon by bestowing Athens and Neopatras upon that 
sovereign's consort and his own sister, Eleonora. But as no 
help was forthcoming from his brother-in-law, the proposal 
fell through. 2 

The new duke found himself at once called upon to 
answer two petitions from his distant subjects. Shortly 
before the death of his namesake and predecessor, a 
deputation had arrived from Athens and Neopatras, begging 
for the removal of Ram6n Bernardi, the then vicar-general 
of the duchies, which were declared by the petitioners to be 
in danger, owing to the lack of proper authority. They 
suggested as suitable candidates for the post, Orlando de 
Aragona, a bastard of the house of Sicily, or one of Alfonso 

1 Ducange, ii., 204-5, 221 ; Raynaldus, vi., 286, 311 ; M. Villani apud 
Muratori, xiv., 371 ; Hopf, Die lnsel Andros, 51 ; Lampros, "Eyy/x^a, 
55-82 ; Lettres Closes de BenottXll., 515 ; de CL'ment VL % i., 162, 204. * 

2 Qurita, II., 17, 129, 287 ; Archiv. Stor. Siciliano, vii., 196 ; John and 
Frederick of Randazzo are mentioned as dukes in two documents ; 
Lampros, "Eyypa^a, 255, 304. 


Fadrique's sons, James and John. Frederick III. granted 
the prayer of the petitioners, and appointed James Fadrique 
vicar-general ; a second petition prayed the duke to reward 
his strenuous labours in defence of the duchies. What those 
labours were the document does not specify; but we learn 
from another source that one of his services to his sovereign 
was to crush a revolt of Ermengol de Novelles, the hereditary 
marshal. We may surmise that the dualism between that 
powerful noble and the vicar-general had now developed 
into open rebellion ; we know that the marshal lost his 
strong fortress of Siderokastron, which James Fadrique 
added to his own lands, and which his royal master 
confirmed to him ; and we may assume that the De Novelles 
family was further punished by the loss of the marshal's 
bdton, which is known to have been held by Roger de Lluria 
during the rest of ErmengoPs lifetime. On the present 
occasion the petitioners begged that the loyal James might 
have assigned to him as his reward the castles of Salona and 
Loidoriki with their appurtenances, which were his by law. 
They had belonged to his father, and had descended from 
him to his eldest . son Peter, on whose demise without 
children, they should have come to James as next-of-kin. 
Owing, however, as it would appear, to the disturbed state 
of the duchy, those great possessions had been withheld from 
him. 1 All these facts point to the mutual jealousy of the 
great Catalan feudatories of each other, a jealousy which was 
sure to break out in civil war, whenever the vicar-general 
was weak. Naturally, an hereditary office-holder like the 
marshal, with a large stake in the country and a powerful 
Greek connection, would be a dangerous rival to a foreigner 
from Sicily, the creature of a distant sovereign. 

James Fadrique did not long retain the office which the 
envoys of the duchies had begged the King of Sicily to 
bestow upon him. Possibly, like his father, he had enemies 
at court, who represented to his suspicious master that he 
was too powerful and too independent; at any rate, in 1359, 
Gonsalvo Ximenes de Arenos had succeeded him as vicar- 

1 This disproves Hopf s theory that Salona came into the Fadrique 
family by the marriage of Peter with an imaginary daughter of Roger 
Deslaur. Rosario Gregorio, II., 570-1, 582-3 ; Rubi6, Los Navarros, 476. 


general. 1 In that year, however, the post was conferred upon 
a great Sicilian noble, Matteo Moncada, or Montecateno, 
whose family had come from Catalufta to Sicily after the 
Vespers. Frederick added to his vicar's dignity by conferring 
upon him the lordships of Argos and Corinth and the 
marquisate of Boudonitza — dignities which were not his to 
bestow. For Argos still belonged to Guy d'Enghien ; 
Corinth had lately been bestowed upon Niccol6 Acciajuoli ; 
while Boudonitza, though threatened by the Catalan Company, 
was in the possession of the Zorzi — an outpost against 
attacks from the north, where a new power was now 
established. 2 

The five years' civil war between John Cantacuzene and 
John PalaiolcSgos and the Napoleonic career of Stephen 
Dushan, the great Servian tsar, who for a few years made 
the Serbs the dominant race of the Balkan peninsula, had 
profoundly affected Northern Greece. Cantacuzene's popu- 
larity was not confined to the Morea ; from Thessaly, where 
the Byzantine Empire had latterly recovered much lost 
ground, but where the Albanians had seized the moment of 
the late emperor's death to plunder the towns, and from 
Akarnania, where his recent exploits were remembered, and 
whither the widow of the late Despot had escaped, came 
invitations to assume the government of those provinces. 
Cantacuzene was unable to go there in person at so critical 
a moment in his career; but he appointed as life governor 
of Thessaly his nephew John Angelos, an experienced soldier 
and a man of affairs, who assisted him with the famed 
Thessalian cavalry, completed the downfall of Catalan rule 
in that region, and made himself master of jEtolia and 
Akarnania, taking the ambitious Anna prisoner. He died, 
however, in 1349, and the great Servian tsar, who had 
already extended his sway as far as Joannina, then annexed 
the rest of north-west Greece and Thessaly to his vast 
empire, which extended from Belgrade to Arta. Besides 
styling himself " Tsar and Autocrat of the Serbs and Greeks, 
the Bulgarians and Albanians," Dushan now assumed the 

1 L&npros, 'Erypa^o, 239, 332, 334. 

2 Predelli, Commemoriali % II., 308; Hopf, afiud Ersch und Gruber, 
Ixxxv., 438-9* 


titles of "Despot of Arta and Count of Wallachia." He 
assigned Akarnania and iEtolia to his brother, Simeon 
Urosh, who endeavoured to conciliate native sympathies by 
marrying Thomais, the sister of the deposed Despot Nike- 
ph6ros II., while a Serb magnate, named Preliub, received 
Joannina and Thessaly, with the title of Caesar, and made 
even the Venetians tremble in their settlement at Pteleon. 1 

While Thessaly and north-west Greece had thus passed 
in the middle of the fourteenth century under Servian rule, 
there had been, by way of compensation, a Greek revival in 
the Morea. In 1348, the Emperor John Cantacuzene, 
remembering the long connection of his family with a country 
in which both his father and grandfather had died, and of 
which he had been himself offered the governorship, sent his 
second son Manuel as governor to Mistr&, not merely for a 
term of years, but for life. Manuel remained Despot of the 
Byzantine province till his death in 1380, and his long rule of 
thirty-two years contributed greatly to the prosperity of the 
Greek portion of the peninsula. Henceforth, Mistr& assumed 
more and more importance as the seat of a younger member 
of the imperial family; and, as the Turks drew closer to 
Constantinople, more and more value was set on the strongly 
fortified hill near Sparta, whose fine Byzantine buildings still 
testify to the piety and the splendour of the Despots, and 
still bear their quaint monograms. The early years of the 
century, as we saw, had witnessed great ecclesiastical 
activity at Mistrl Manuel continued in the footsteps of 
Andr6nikos II. ; he erected a church of the Saviour; and a 
poem addressed by him to his father long adorned the 
church of the Divine Wisdom. 2 As is usual where there are 
Greeks, there was a desire for books at the new Sparta, and 
we are therefore not surprised to find men engaged in 
copying manuscripts there. Later on, when the Emperor 
John Cantacuzene had abandoned the throne for the garb 
of a monk, he spent a year with his son at Mistr&, and 

1 Cantacuzene, i., 495; ii., 15, 239, 309-22, 355; iii., 147, 150, 
i55> 3 1 *; Nikeph6ros Gregoras, ii., 596, 644, 656-8, 663; Epirotica y 
210-11. Predelli, op. cit y II., 181. 

2 Bulletin de Corr. Ml/nioue, xxiii., 144 ; Miklosich und Muller, i. t 


there, in 1383, he died and was buried. 1 He has given us in 
his history a graphic picture of the state of the peninsula at 
the moment of his son's appointment Turkish raids, the 
rule of the Franks, and, worst of all, the constant internecine 
quarrels of the Greeks had brought the country to the verge 
of ruin. The towns had been divided by the party strife of 
their citizens, the villages had been devastated by foreign 
foes; agriculture was neglected, so that the Morea was 
" worse than the proverbial Scythian desert." The imperial 
historian, no mean judge of men, gives the Moreot archons 
much the same character as Nik6tas Choniates had given 
them more than a century and a half earlier : " Neither good 
nor evil fortune, nor time, that universal solvent, can dissolve 
their mutual enmity, which not only endures during their 
lifetime, but descends as a heritage to their children. These 
modern Spartans neglect all the laws of Lycurgus, but obey 
one of Solon — that which punishes those citizens who remain 
neutral in party strife ! " Men of this kind, like the Albanians 
of to-day, had no appreciation for firm government, which 
interfered with their time-honoured custom of cutting one 
another's throats in some faction fight. They soon found a 
leader in a certain Lampoiidios, the cleverest scoundrel of 
them all, who had already rebelled against the Despot, but 
had been pardoned and provided with opportunities of 
rehabilitating his ruined fortunes. One of Manuel's wise 
measures was the creation of a navy for coast defence against 
the small bands of Turks from Asia Minor, which constantly 
molested the Peloponnesian coasts. For this purpose, he 
proposed to levy ship-money on the inhabitants, and the 
crafty Lampoiidios begged, and obtained, permission to 
collect it. He went all over the country, like a born 
demagogue, reproaching the people with being "voluntary 
slaves " of the Despot, creatures unworthy of their ancestors, 
the heroes who had fought — against each other — while the 
Franks were conquering Greece. The taunt and the 
threatened tax had their effect ; the people rose at a given 
signal, seized the chief officials of the towns and villages, and 

1 So Hopf and Krumbacher, rejecting the version of Doukas, that he 
died on Mt. Athos, and following the Chronicle published by Muller in 
Sitzungsberiehte der Wiener Akademic, ix., 393. 


marched on Mistr£. But the news that the Despot was 
preparing to attack them with the 300 men of his Byzantine 
bodyguard, and a few Albanian mercenaries, who now for the 
first time appear in the history of the Morea, sufficed to 
cause a general panic. Manuel with his usual clemency 
pardoned the rebels, who for a long time kept the peace. 
But that their behaviour was due to fear rather than 
gratitude was demonstrated when his father fell and the 
Emperor John Palaiol6gos sent Michael and Andrew Asan 
as governors to the Morea. The whole province, with the 
exception of one faithful city, went over to the newcomers, 
but Manuel stood firm, drove out the Asans and secured his 
recognition by the imperial government. Henceforth, the 
Greeks acquiesced in his mild but firm rule; the local 
magnates abandoned politics for the less exciting pursuit of 
agriculture, and it became the fashion to acquire large estates 
and to develop the country. Those who know the Greek 
distaste for rural life will realise how marvellous the influence 
of Manuel must have beea The Cantacuzenes wisely based 
their national policy upon the support of the national Church ; 
thus the emperor in 1348 confirmed by a golden bull the 
possessions of the great monastery of Megaspelaion, a direct 
dependency, or stavrop£gion % of the Patriarchate, which his 
predecessors had favoured, and the monks continued to 
dispose of their serfs as they chose ; six years later, the 
monastery was assigned by the patriarch as residence for life 
to the Greek metropolitan of Patras, " Exarch of all Achaia," 
who since the Latin Conquest had been, of course, unable to 
occupy his titular see. All these things testified to the great 
Greek revival in the Morea. With his Frankish neighbours, 
however, Manuel was usually on excellent terms ; they, too, 
learnt to respect his truthfulness, for his word was as good as 
his oath, and he never broke his engagements with them. 
Having been defeated by him at the outset, they became his 
allies, and agreed to assist him both within and without the 
peninsula at their own expense. This alliance proved most 
successful in repelling the Turks, who were now a serious 
danger to Franks and Greeks alike. 

The Ottomans have always made and retained their 
conquests in the Near East, thanks to the quarrels of the 


Christians, and it was the internal disputes of the Catalan 
state which now introduced them into Greece. In 1361, 
Moncada had been succeeded as vicar-general of the duchies 
by Roger de Lluria, a relative and namesake of the great 
Aragonese admiral, who had ravaged the Morea seventy 
years earlier. The Lluria family had gained influence at 
Thebes, of which city Roger's brother had recently been 
governor, while Roger himself had received grants from John 
and Frederick of Randazzo, and held the great office of 
marshal There was, however, a party at the capital opposed 
to this now predominant family, while the new vicar found 
himself simultaneously involved in a quarrel with the 
Venetians of Euboea arising out of a number of petty 
grievances on both sides. Thus pressed, Lluria resorted to 
the traditional policy of the Catalan Company and called in 
the Turks to his aid. They had not far to come, for 
Mur«Ul I. had now transferred the Turkish capital from 
Hnliii to Adrianople, and they were already casting longing 
exes on !• recce. They readily responded to his summons, 
and in 1J0J Thebes, the capital of the Catalan duchy, was 
occupied by these dangerous allies. The archbishop and an 
influential deputation from various communities in the duchies 
h**tcucd to Sicily to lay their grievances before their duke. 
Fiedcrick 111. listened to the tale of their sufferings, re- 
appointed Moncada vicar-general, and ordered Lluria to obey 
the Utter 1 * orders. l*ope Urban V., too, appealed to the 
lell^iouH sentiments of Lluria and his brother, and urged the 
Lombard* and Venetians ofEubcea and the primate of 
AchaU to prevent the "profane multitude of infidel Turks" 
I10111 entering the Morea, as was their intention. The 
common danger, even more than the papal admonitions, 
atouMcd all those interested in the peninsula to combine in its 
detonce. The united efforts of Gautier de Lor, the bailie of 
Achat*, the Krankish barons, the Despot Manuel, the Knights 
ot St lohn, and a Venetian fleet succeeded in burning 
thirty-live Turkish galleys which were lying off Megara. 
At this the Turks perforce abandoned their projected 
\maaion, and retreated to their ally's capital of Thebes. 
Vh* loval union of Greeks and Latins had saved the 
\l\W*. This alone would entitle Manuel Cantacuzene to the 


eulogies which his father and his father's devoted friend, the 
litterateur Dem£trios Kyd6nes, bestowed upon his wise 
administration. 1 

The distracted Frankish principality, nominally subject to 
an alien and absent prince, offered a sad contrast to the 
Byzantine province under a resident native governor. 
Prince Robert, who assumed the title of Emperor of 
Constantinople on the death of the Empress Catherine in 
1 346, from that moment never set foot in Achaia ; indeed, he 
was for several years a prisoner in Hungary ; and his main 
interest in his Greek dominions was that they enabled him to 
present large estates to his wife. He had married in 1347 
Marie de Bourbon, widow of Hugues IV., King of Cyprus, and 
to her he assigned lands in Corfu and Cephalonia, the old 
Villehardouin family fief of Kalamata, and other places in 
Achaia, to which she added by purchase the baronies of 
Vostitza and Nivelet. The frequent changes of the Angevin 
bailies, which are recorded in the Aragonese Chronicle of the 
Morea at this period, naturally weakened still further the 
authority of the absent prince, while real power fell more and 
more into the hands of the Archbishop of Patras and the 
family of the Acciajuoli, who at last became identical. After 
his departure from Greece, Niccol6 Acciajuoli had not 
forgotten to look after his great interests in that country. 
We may dismiss the story of a much later Neapolitan 
historian, that he was sent by Queen Joanna I. of Naples to 
receive the homage of the Athenians, whom the writer 
imagines to have been brought under her authority by two 
enterprising men from Lecce 2 — an obvious mistake, due to 
the subsequent rule of his family there. But he added to his 
already large possessions in Achaia the fortress of Vourkano, 
at the foot of classic Ithome, the picturesque site of the 
present monastery, and in 1358 received from Prince Robert 
the town and castle of Corinth, which was part of the 

1 Cantacuzene, iii., 85-90, 358-60 ; Nikephoros Gregorys, iii., 248, 
Chronkon Breve^ 515; Kydones apud Boissonade, Anecdota Nova, 294 ; 
Miklosich und Miiller, i., 326-30 ; v., 19 1-3 ; Raynaldus, vii., 108 ; Lettres 
secrltes dUrbain V. y 163 ; L. d. F., 151 ; Rosario Gregorio, II., 572-5 ; 
Predelli, Commemoriali^ II., 304. 

- Summon te, Hist di Napoli, II., 601. 


princely domain; two years afterwards, one of his family 
became through his influence Archbishop of Patras, a 
dignity subsequently held by two others of this clan, and 
estimated to be worth more than 16,000 florins a year. 

The bestowal of the great fortress of Corinth upon the 
shrewd Florentine banker was a marked tribute to his ability. 
The dwellers on the shores of the gulf were now a prey to 
the Turkish corsairs, against whom Robert in vain asked the 
pope and the Venetians for aid. The pope was, indeed, 
fully alive to the Turkish peril, and suggested to the 
Knights of St John the acquisition of the defenceless 
principality ; when this project failed, he begged Niccolo 
Acciajuoli to impress upon Robert the necessity of doing 
something to save Achaia from the infidels. The citizens of 
Corinth united their petitions to these admonitions of the 
pope ; they told Robert that he had left them to the tender 
mercies of the Turks, who daily afflicted them, that their 
fortresses had lost many of their defenders by captivity and 
famine, that their land was a desert, and that unless he could 
provide some remedy, they must either go into exile or pay 
tribute to the enemy. Robert accordingly bestowed the 
town and castle, with all their appurtenances, including 
eight smaller castles, upon Niccold Acciajuoli, who had mean- 
while been created grand seneschal of Sicily and Count of 
Malta, as the most likely man to defend them. Niccold 
spent large sums in repairing the fortifications of Akrocorinth, 
and obtained for his vassals from Robert the remission of all 
arrears due to the princely treasury, an order compelling all 
his serfs who had emigrated owing to the unsettled state of 
the district to return, and permission to render all the feudal 
service, for which he was liable on account of his other 
Peloponnesian possessions, exclusively in the frontier district 
of Corinth, more exposed than the rest of the peninsula to 
attacks from Catalans and Turks. Unable to return to 
Greece himself, he appointed his cousin Donato his repre- 
sentative at Corinth and in the rest of his Achaian fiefs, 
charging him to further the welfare of his dependants, to 
administer even-handed justice, to protect the Church — an 
injunction sometimes neglected — and to pay special regard to 
the fortifications. A swarm of Greeks — " Greeklings," the 


scornful Boccaccio calls them — crowded the almost regal 
audiences which he gave in his Italian palaces, and his will 
reads like an inventory of a large part of the Morea. He 
died in 1365, and lies in the noble Certosa which he had 
built near Florence to be his mausoleum. 1 Few who visit 
it reflect that it was erected out of the spoils of Greece. 

Upon the death of the titular emperor Robert in 1364, 
the principality of Achaia was for the second time exposed 
to the evils of a disputed succession. Robert had left no 
children; but his stepson, Hugues de Lusignan, Prince of 
Galilee, who by the law of primogeniture should have been 
King of Cyprus, finding himself deprived of the Cypriote 
throne by his uncle, conceived the idea of seeking compensa- 
tion in Achaia, which was claimed by the late prince's 
brother Philip, now titular emperor of Constantinople, who 
accordingly styled himself also " Prince of Achaia." Robert's 
widow, Marie de Bourbon, favoured her son's enterprise, and 
her territorial influence in the country, owing to purchase and 
her late husband's gifts, was greater even than that of Niccold 
Acciajuoli himself. We learn from a list of the Achaian baronies 
in 1364, preserved by a lucky accident, that no less than 
sixteen castles were her property, including such strongholds 
as the great fortress of Chloumoutsi, the old family castle of 
the Villehardouins at Kalamata, the two fortresses which the 
famous house of St Omer had built on the bay of Navarino 
and in the Santameri mountains above the plain of Elis, and 
Beauvoir, or " Mouse Castle," whose ruins still command the 
harbour of Katakolo. But the barons had appointed the 
lord of Chalandritza, Centurione Zaccaria, bailie of the 
principality on the death of Robert, and had sent him to 
receive Philip's oath as their new prince at Taranto. Thus, 
when Marie de Bourbon and her son arrived in Greece in 
1366 with more than 12,000 troops from Cyprus and 
Provence, they found that Philip's bailie held all the 
fortresses for his master, except that of Navarino, while 
Angelo Acciajuoli, Archbishop of Patras and an adopted 

1 Ducange, ii., 233, 263-4 ; L. d. F. y 149-52 ; Buchon, Nouvcllcs 
Rechcrekesy I., i., 90, 98-100, 113; II., i., 143-204; M. Villani apud 
Muratori, xiv., 608 ; Raynaldus, vi., 515 ; Lettres secretes dUrbain K, 
55, 76 ; Lampros, "firw><*0<** 106-7, 120-8. 


son of the great Niccold, had declared for Philip as lawful 
Prince of Achaia. Confident in their superior numbers, 
Marie and the Prince of Galilee besieged the castle of 
Patras. But the archbishop, though he had only 700 horse- 
men, possessed among the canons of his cathedral one of the 
greatest commanders of that age. Some years before, a 
young Venetian, Carlo Zeno, had received, as a mere boy, a 
canon's stall at Patras, then already regarded as the property 
of the Holy See. It was part of the canons' duty to guard 
the castle, or donjon, as it was called, of Patras, and this 
uncanonical work exactly suited Zeno. The lad cared more 
for fighting than for theology, and the almost constant 
warfare with Turkish pirates at the mouth of the Corinthian 
Gulf gave him ample outlet for his energies. Wounded in 
one of these skirmishes, the young canon had only recently 
returned to his stall, whence the archbishop summoned him 
to assume the command of the garrison. Zeno had learnt 
all the devices of Greek warfare ; he waited till the besiegers 
were scattered about the country, plundering the rich 
environs of Patras, fell upon them with signal success, and 
not only defended Patras for six months, but carried the 
war to the walls of Navarino, where Marie and her son had 
taken refuge, and where the Emperor Philip's bailie lay a 
prisoner. The commander of Navarino now summoned the 
Despot of Mistr& and Guy d'Enghien, the lord of Argos, to his 
aid, the civil war spread, and the Byzantine and Argive 
forces ravaged the plain of Elis. Fortunately, at this moment, 
a peacemaker appeared upon the scene, in the person of the 
chivalrous Conte Verde % Amadeo VI. of Savoy, who chanced 
to put in at Coron on his expedition to the East. He there 
received news of the siege of Navarino, and hastened to the 
aid of Marie de Bourbon, who was his wife's cousin ; at the 
sight of his galleys, the archbishop's troops withdrew from 
the attack, whereon Amadeo offered his services as an 
arbitrator to the two parties. Both Marie and the archbishop 
accepted his offer ; they met on neutral ground at Modon ; 
Marie relinquished all claims to Patras, and recognised the 
independence of the archbishop, who, in return, agreed to 
make her a money payment The collection of this money 
was entrusted to the ever-useful Zeno, who adopted the usual 


plan of inviting the citizens of Glarentza to subscribe it. 
Glarentza was then not only " the chief city of Achaia," but 
an important trade centre, though its mint had now ceased to 
issue the familiar Achaian coinage, the last specimens of which, 
bearing Robert's name, may still be seen in the Museo Correr 
at Naples. Boccaccio, who laid a scene of his novel Alatiel 
there, represents Genoese merchants as trading with Glarentza, 
and we know that it levied a duty of from two to three per cent, 
on all merchandise. It could therefore have well afforded to pay 
the indemnity. But a certain knight of Glarentza denounced 
Zeno as a traitor for having made peace on what he 
considered such unfavourable terms; Zeno challenged his 
accuser to a duel, was deprived of his canonry in consequence, 
and resigned the other ecclesiastical benefices which he held 
in Greece. The point of honour was referred to Queen 
Joanna I. of Naples, who decided in Zeno's favour; the 
latter, as the reward for his services, received from the 
Emperor Philip the post of bailie of Achaia, where for the 
next three years he remained to assist his old patron, the 
archbishop, and his successor, " with both hand and counsel." 
No further hostilities took place between the see of Patras 
and the Prince of Galilee, who continued to occupy the 
south-west of the peninsula, whence his followers were a 
menace to the neighbouring Venetian colonies. But the 
murder of his uncle, the King of Cyprus, in 1369, led him to 
leave Greece in order to push his pretensions to the throne of 
that island; and, in the following year, he and his mother 
signed an agreement with the Emperor Philip, by which they 
relinquished Achaia, except her widow's portion of Kalamata, 
in return for an annuity of 6,000 gulden. From that time 
till his death, nine years later, the Prince of Galilee troubled 
Greece no more ; but we shall hear of his mother again in 
the tangled history of the principality, while an Isabelle de 
Lusignan, probably his daughter, married one of the Despots 
of Mistr«L, where her monogram has lately been found. The 
Emperor Philip, for his part, did not long enjoy the 
undisputed right to bear the title of " Prince of Achaia." He 
died in 1373, without having visited his Greek dominions; 
but in that short time, his bailie, a Genoese, had so harassed 
the Archbishop of Patras, that the latter, a Venetian citizen, 



actually offered his town and its territory to the republic of 
St Mark. The offer was not accepted then, but there was 
talk of removing all the Venetian trade from Glarentza to 
Patras, and thirty-five years later the administration of the 
town passed into the hands of Venice. 1 

While the Acciajuoli family had played so important a 
part in asserting the independence of the archbishopric of 
Patras, its members had continued to extend their territorial 
influence in other parts of the peninsula. By his will, 
Niccol6 Acciajuoli had divided his Greek possessions between 
his eldest living son, Angelo, and his cousin and adopted son, 
also called Angelo, and afterwards Archbishop of Patras, 
whom we have just seen at war. To the former he had 
bequeathed " the most noble city of Corinth," with all the 
nine castles dependent upon it, as well as all the other lands 
and castles of which he was possessed in Greece, except 
those which he left to the latter. His adopted son's share 
was the castle of Vourkano in Messenia, and all his farms, 
rights, and vassals in the barony of Kalamata. The two 
Angelos were to share the expense of endowing a Benedictine 
monastery in the tenement of Pethone in the said barony. 
Anxious for the further welfare of his house in Greece, the 
astute testator left still more property — " the lands which had 
formerly belonged to Niccol6 Ghisi, the great constable of 
the principality of Achaia " — to his adopted son, on condition 
that the latter married Fiorenza Sanudo, the much-sought 
heiress of the duchy of the Archipelago. After the death 
of Niccol6, the Emperor Philip, as Prince of Achaia, duly 
conferred the castle and town of Corinth afresh upon his son 
Angelo, and a little later, as a reward for his trouble and 
expense in accompanying him to Hungary, raised him to the 
dignity of a palatine. But this Angelo was too much 
occupied with affairs in Italy, where he had inherited large 

1 Hopf, Chroniqtus, 227; Z. d. F. % 152-5; lac. Zeno, Vita Caroli 
Zeniy apud Muratori, xix., 212-14 ; Datta, Spedizione in Oriente di 
Amadio VI. y 89-93, 186-9, 205-6; Guichenon, op. cit., I., 416; Servion, 
Gestes et Chroniques de la May son de Savoy e, II., 130-2; Boccaccio, 
Decamertme, Novel 7, Day II.; Pegalotti, Delia Decima, III., 107; 
Gerland, Ntue Quellen, 41-2 ; Millet in Bulletin de Corr. helUnique{\y&b\ 



possessions from his father; he had received from Philip 
express permission to nominate a deputy-captain of Corinth 
in his place, and as such he selected Rainerio, or Nerio, 
Acciajuoli, another cousin and adopted son of Niccold. 

Young Nerio Acciajuoli, who was destined to make 
himself master of Athens and rule over the most famous city 
in the world, had already begun his extraordinary career in 
Greece. He, too, sought the hand of the fair Fiorenza 
Sanudo — the Penelope of Frankish Greece — who was now 
Duchess of the Archipelago, and his brother John, then Arch- 
bishop of Patras, aided him in this plan for bringing that 
delectable duchy into the family. But Venice was resolved 
that so great a prize should fall to the lot of none but a 
Venetian nominee, and she succeeded in frustrating Nerio's 
intended marriage. Baffled in the iEgean, he next turned 
his attention to the Peloponnese, where he purchased from 
Marie de Bourbon the baronies of Vostitza and Nivelet. 
Thus, when he became deputy-captain of Corinth with its 
dependency of Basilicata, the ancient Sikyon, his authority 
stretched along a large part of the southern shore of the 
Corinthian Gulf, as well as over the isthmus. Soon he 
became real owner of the Corinthian group of castles, which 
Angelo was glad to pawn to him for a sum of money paid 
down. The loan was never repaid ; so, while Angelo and his 
offspring kept the empty title of Palatine of Corinth, Nerio 
remained in possession of this valuable position, which served 
him as a base for attacking the Catalans of Attica. Naturally, 
numbers of relatives and hangers-on of the Acciajuoli followed 
their fortunate kinsmen to Greece, so that a Florentine 
colonisation somewhat replenished the diminished ranks of the 
French settlers and the Neapolitan adventurers. The baron- 
age of Achaia was, indeed, by this time a mixture of races ; 
of those who figure in the feudal roll of 1 364, the Acciajuoli 
hailed from Florence, the Zaccaria from Genoa, Marchesano 
from Nice; Janni Misito was apparently a Greek; in fact, 
£rard le Noir was almost the only Frenchman left among the 
great barons, and even his ancestors had not come over at the 
Conquest. 1 The old conquering families were extinct 

1 Buchon, NouvelUs Recherches y II., i., 164, 175, 189-90, 204-14; 
Palmerius a/fc/^Muratori, xiii., 1228, 1230 ; Gerland, Neue Quellen, 141 -5. 


The Acciajuoli were not the only new Italian family which 
at this period laid the foundations of a dynasty in Greece. 
Among the favourites of the Angevins were the Tocchi, who 
had originally come from Benevento, and who were leading 
personages at the Neapolitan court. Flattering genealogists 
derived their name and lineage from the Gothic tribe of 
Tauci, which had followed Totila into Italy; but the first 
historic member of the clan was Ugolino, the grand seneschal. 
A Guglielmo Tocco had held the post of governor of Corfu 
for Philip I. of Taranto and his son, and became connected 
with one of the reigning families of Greece by marrying the 
sister of John II. of Epiros. His son Leonardo continued to 
enjoy the favour of Robert ; he was one of the witnesses 
of his marriage-contract, he worked hard to secure his libera- 
tion from imprisonment in Hungary, and, by marrying the 
niece of Niccolo Acciajuoli, secured the influence of that 
powerful statesman. Accordingly, in 1357, Prince Robert 
bestowed upon him the county of Cephalonia, to which 
Leonardo might perhaps lay some claim as first-cousin of the 
last of the Orsini. To the islands of Cephalonia, Zante, and 
Ithaka, he added in 1362 that of Santa Mavra and the fort of 
Vonitza, whose inhabitants had grown tired of the Zorzi 
family, and summoned him to their aid — an episode which 
forms the subject of an unfinished drama by the modern poet 
Valaorites. If we may believe another modern writer, he 
promised to give them a share in the local administration, to 
respect their property, and to tolerate their religion. We 
know, however, from a contemporary document, that he 
showed his toleration by driving out the orthodox arch- 
bishop from the island. He thus reunited the old 
dominions of the Orsini, and he and his heirs, under the 
style of " Duke of Leucadia, Count of Cephalonia, and Lord 
of Vonitza," not only held their possessions for over a 
century, but, almost alone of the Frankish rulers of 
Greece, left representatives down to the present generation. 1 

1 Buchon, Nouvelles RecAercAes, I., i., 307, 410; L. d. F. y 151; 
Remondini, De Zacynthi AnHquitaHbus, 139, 142-3 ; Hopf, Chroniques, 
182 ; Ducangc, ^. «*/., ii., 264, and Predelli, Commemoriali, ii., 263, give 
the date 1357 and his title ; Mazella, DescritHone del Regno di Napoli y 
643-5 > Petritz6poulos, Saggio^ 45 ; Miklosich und Miiller, i., 493. 


It is only in our own time that the family has become 

It was not to be wondered that the Angevins should 
desire to see the Ionian islands in the hands of a strong man 
whom they could trust, at a moment when the adjacent 
continent, where they still held Lepanto, was in flames. On 
the death of the great Servian tsar, Dushan, in 1355, anarchy 
broke out in his rapidly formed empire, and every petty 
Servian satrap declared his independence. At the same 
moment, the death of Preliub, the Servian ruler of Thessaly, 
and the fall of John Cantacuzene from the Byzantine throne, 
completed the confusion. Such an opportunity seemed to 
the dethroned Despot of Epiros, Nikeph6ros Unfavourable 
for the recovery of his inheritance. Since his surrender, he 
had been living as governor of the Thracian cities on the 
Dardanelles in the enjoyment of his imperial father-in-law's 
favour and confidence. He now marched into Thessaly, 
whose inhabitants received him gladly, and then crossed 
Pindos into Akarnania, whence he drove out the Servian 
prince, Simeon Urosh, thus reviving in his own person the 
ancient glories of the Greek Despotat of Epiros. But, from a 
desire to conciliate Servian sympathies, he was so foolish as 
to desert his devoted wife, in order to contract a marriage 
with the sister-in-law of the late Servian tsar. This act both 
offended and alarmed his Albanian subjects, particularly 
devoted to the Cantacuzene family, and then, as now, 
suspicious of Servian influence. The injured wife took refuge 
with her brother Manuel at Mistr&, while the Albanians rose 
against her husband. Nikeph6ros summoned to his aid a 
body of Turkish mercenaries, who were ravaging Thessaly, 
and confidently attacked his rebellious subjects. Rashness 
had always been his chief characteristic, and in the battle 
which ensued, near the town of Acheloos in 1358, it cost him 
his life. Thus ended the Despotat of Epiros, and the lands 
which had owned the sway of the Greek Angeli and the 
Roman Orsini, now fell into Servian and Albanian hands. 
Simeon Urosh, who now styled himself " Emperor of the 
Greeks and Serbs," established his court, with all the high- 
sounding titles of Byzantium, at Trikkala, where an 
inscription still preserves his name, and obtained recog- 




nition of his authority, at least in name, over Epiros, as 
well as Thessaly. Henceforth, however, he devoted his 
personal attention exclusively to the latter, assigning 
Joannina to his son-in-law, Thomas Preliubovich, in 1367, and 
iEtolia and Akarnania to two Albanian chiefs, belonging to 
the clans of Boua and Liosa — a name still to be found in the 
plain of Attica. Thus, about 1 362, all north-west Greece was 
Albanian, except where the Angevin flag still floated over 
the triple walls of Lepanto, and that of the Tocchi over 
Vonitza. 1 

The brief Servian domination over Thessaly was destined 
soon to yield before the advance of the all-conquering Turks. 
But the reigns of Simeon Urosh and his son John, who 
sought to live as men of peace in their Thessalian capital of 
Trikkala, have bequeathed to modern Greece the strangest 
of all her mediaeval monuments. No one who has visited 
the famous monasteries "in air," the weirdly fantastic 
Metiora, which crown the needle-like crags of the grim 
valley of Kalabaka, has satisfactorily answered the question, 
how the first monk ever ascended the sheer rocks on which 
they are built, rocks to which the traveller must scale by 
swinging ladders, unless he prefers to be hauled up, fish-like, 
in a net According to the late Abbot of Met^oron, who 
published a history of the twenty-four monasteries, 2 the 
origin of this aerial monastic community may be traced to 
the end of the tenth century, when a monk Andronikos, or 
Athandsios, established himself there at the time when the 
great Bulgarian tsar Samuel was ravaging Thessaly. The 
same authority ascribes the foundation of the most accessible 
of the five still inhabited monasteries, that of St Stephen, 
to the beginning of the fourteenth century, and the monks 
there related to the present author how the pious emperor, 
Andr6nikos the elder, when forced to abdicate, had come 
and settled for a little time there, under the name of 
Ant6nios, giving at his departure a considerable sum for 
the extension of the buildings. According, however, to a 
fifteenth century manuscript, preserved in a late copy at 

1 Cantacuzene, iii., 211, 310, 315-19; Epirotica^ 211-16; Nikeph6ros 
Gregoras, III., 249, 557 ; nopKi<r<rAt, v., 191. 
* TA MeWwpa. 


Met^ora, 1 and to a monkish biography recently published by 
Professor Ldmpros, it was the Abbot Neilos of Doupiane, near 
the picturesque village of Kastrdki, who, in 1367, first built 
four churches in the caverns, which we see in the rocks of that 
wild and savage valley of isolated crags, while the Athanisios 
who "first mounted to the flat top" of Met6oron was a 
contemporary of Simeon Urosh, who had been taken prisoner 
by the Catalans when a lad at Neopatras. In any case, the 
monasteries attained their zenith under the Servian rulers of 
Thessaly. John Urosh, who had been on Mount Athos as 
a youth, retired from the world to the pinnacle of Metioron, 
as the largest of the monasteries is pre-eminently called, 
leaving two deputies to govern his dominions. The humble 
fathers received him with gladness ; we can easily imagine 
the delight with which they listened to his tales of the 
career of politics which he had left, just as their modern 
successors love no talk so much as that of the stranger newly 
arrived from a ministerial crisis at Athens. By his energy 
and influence he was able to increase the importance of the 
monastery; in 1388, he founded the present church of the 
Transfiguration, as an inscription still preserved there states ; 
while his genius for organisation was displayed in a larger 
sphere on behalf of his sister, the widowed Lady of Joannina, 
and in the less exalted task of managing the lands which 
she bestowed on the monastery, which still reverences his 
portrait with that of Athandsios, its pious founder. After 
presiding for seventeen years over the community as " father 
of Met^oron," he finally became Abbot — a title hitherto 
borne by no head of the Met£ora monasteries, which had 
remained under the jurisdiction of the Abbot of Doupiane — 
and was consecrated a bishop by the metropolitan of Larissa, 
when, in 1393, the Turkish Conquest of Thessaly put an end 
to his temporal power. The Abbot of Metdoron became 

1 Translated in Revue Archtologique (1864), 157 sqq. 9 N&w 'EXX^o- 
fLvJuwv, ii., 61 sqq. There is no authority for the legend that a much 
greater man, the emperor John Cantacuzene, was " King Joseph," and 
arrived at Meteora in 1368. Not only the MS. but the EpiroHca mention 
John Urosh by that title. Col. Leake {Travels in Northern Greece, iv., 
539) heard the same tradition from the monks, and the note to Codinus, 
p. 286, cannot refer to Cantacuzene, who died long before 141 1, but to 
him. A MS. now in the National Library at Athens bears his autograph. 




the president of a monastic federation, of which the other 
monasteries were members, retaining the management of 
their internal affairs — a form of government which has now 
ceased. But his admirers still called him " King Joseph " — 
the monastic name which he had assumed — from the re- 
membrance of his former dignity, and he died in 141 1 in 
his lonely cell far above the intrigues and controversies of 
his time. Such was the euthanasia of the last Christian 
ruler of Thessaly. 

Meanwhile, the Catalan duchy of Athens, like the 
principality of Achaia, had experienced the evils of a weak 
and absent sovereign, and of the consequent anarchy which 
ensued. We saw that, in 1363, in response to the Theban 
envoys, Frederick III. of Sicily had re-appointed Moncada 
as vicar-general for life, and had sent letters to the community 
of Thebes and to Roger de Lluria, bidding them obey this 
tried representative of the duke. But, although entrusted 
by his sovereign with very wide powers, Moncada does not 
seem to have occupied himself very much with the affairs of 
the duchy, nor even to have revisited it. At any rate, early 
in 1365, he was still only preparing to sail for Greece, where 
one great Catalan magnate after another acted as his deputy. 
First it seems to have been James Fadrique, Count of 
Salona, the former vicar-general, who governed in his stead ; 
then, after Fadrique's death in 1365, we find Roger de Lluria 
once more rehabilitated and negotiating as "marshal and 
vicar-general" with the Venetians for the renewal of the 
treaty of peace between them and the Company. It is 
characteristic of Venetian policy towards the Latin states of 
Greece, that the republic emphatically rejected Lluria's 
request that the Company might be allowed to fit out a fleet 
at its own expense against its enemies. He was reminded 
that the old clause prohibiting the growth of an Athenian 
navy was still in force ; thus did Venice crush the efforts of 
this mediaeval Themistoklfts, as in our own time the Powers 
have sealed up the Russian fleet in the Black Sea. 

A letter of the governor of Livadia to Frederick III. depicts 
in dark colours the condition of the duchies at this period. 
Menaced from without by the Venetians of Euboea and the 
Turkish peril, the Catalans were divided among themselves 


by party strife, which paralysed the central authority, and 
caused a general feeling of insecurity. One party wished to 
place the duchies under the aegis of Genoa, the natural 
enemy of Venice, while a rival to Lluria had arisen in the 
person of Pedro de Pou (the Catalan equivalent of de Puteo\ 
who held the strong castle of Lamia. This man had long 
exercised the chief judicial authority in the duchies, and acted 
at this time as their vicar during the absence of Moncada. 
We may infer that the absent vicar-general had not forgotten 
Lluria's treasonable alliance with the Turks, which his 
master had not dared to punish, and may have found Pou 
a more loyal, or, at any rate, a more supple representative. 
Pou was, however, a grasping and ambitious official, as well 
as an unjust judge. While he allowed cases to be protracted 
for years, while he seized a Greek serf, the property of 
another Catalan, and sold him as a slave to Majorca, his 
advice to Moncada was most injurious to Lluria and his 
friends, whose castles he seized during an Albanian raid 
and then retained. The discontent culminated in a rising 
against the tyrant in the summer of 1366. Pou, his wife, 
and his chief followers were slain ; Moncada's men who came 
to avenge them were killed ; and Lluria once more acted as 
vicar-general. The victors sent an envoy to Sicily to justify 
their conduct to their duke, who wisely granted them an 
amnesty, which he had no power to refuse, and ordered all 
confiscated property to be restored. The experiment of 
allowing the vicar-general, as well as the duke, to remain in 
Sicily, while the duchies were administered by the vicar- 
general's vicars, had proved to be a failure ; as a strong man 
on the spot, Lluria, now the enemy of the Turks, was the 
best selection ; after some hesitation, due to the difficulty of 
solving the delicate situation created by Moncada's absence 
in Sicily, the natural desire not to offend that powerful noble, 
and an equally natural distrust of Lluria, King Frederick 
came to a decision, which was perhaps inevitable under the 
circumstances. Moncada was removed, and in May 1367, 
Lluria was formally re-appointed vicar-general during his 
sovereign's good pleasure, in consideration of his " strenuous 
defence of the duchies against the Parthians (or Turks)," 
when he had "shirked neither danger to his person nor 




expense to his pocket" The Thebans must have smiled 
when this diplomatic phrase of the ducal chancery was 
read to them ; but it was the age and country of rapid changes 
of policy, and Roger de Lluria now found it worth while to 
be loyal. Honours were heaped upon him by his grateful, or 
nervous, master, the privileges granted to him by the last 
two Dukes of Athens were confirmed, and thenceforth to 
his death he combined the double qualities of marshal and 
vicar-general of the duchies. 1 

The declining power of the Catalan duchies inspired the 
heirs of Walter of Brienne with the idea of renewing the 
attempt which he had made so unsuccessfully nearly forty 
years before. His nephew, Sohier d'Enghien, who had 
borne the title of Duke of Athens, had perished on the 
scaffold at the hands of the regent of Hainault in 1366 ; but 
his brothers, Guy of Argos, and the Counts of Lecce and 
Conversano, asked the Venetian republic, of which they 
were honorary citizens, to aid them in the recovery of Athens 
by permitting them to use Negroponte as their base. The 
republic coldly replied that she was at peace with the 
Catalans, and must therefore decline. If we may trust a 
notice in the Aragonese Chronicle* the Count of Conversano, 
at that time bailie of Achaia, none the less attacked Athens 
with an army from Achaia, and temporarily occupied the 
whole city except the Akropolis. But, in any case, through 
the good offices of the bailie of Negroponte, a treaty was 
made between the vicar-general and the lord of Argos, by 
which the latter's only daughter was to marry Lluria's son 
John, and Venice was to receive Megara as a pledge of good 
faith. The marriage did not take place, and ten years later 
we find John de Lluria a prisoner of the Count of Conver- 
sano. 3 

From some mysterious documents preserved in the 

1 Rosario Gregorio, II., 57-78 ; Guardione, Sul Dominio dei Ducati 
di Atene e NeopcOria 22-4 ; Lampros, "Eyypa^a, 234-8, 254-61, 283, 
302, 328, 343 (whence it is clear that Pou was slain before August 3, 
1366, when Lluria first re-appears as acting vicar-general). Cf. the 
author's article in the Eng. Hist Review^ xxii., 519. 

9 P. 155. 

8 Rubi6 y LIuch, Los Navarros, 437, 440 ; Predelli, Commetnoruili y 
III., 96 ; St Genois, L, 41. 


Vatican archives, it would appear that another and much 
more elaborate matrimonial alliance was being projected at 
this time for the purpose of reconciling the claims of the 
house of Enghien to Athens with the ducal dominion 
exercised over it by the King of Sicily. The idea was to 
marry Gautier d'Enghien, now titular Duke of Athens, to 
Constance, daughter of John of Randazzo and first cousin 
of King Frederick. This intrigue occupied a number of 
celestial minds, but without result It proves, at least, the 
tenacity of the claims put forward even at this late date by 
the heirs of the last French Duke of Athens. 1 

The domestic quarrels of the Catalans broke out again 
on the death of Roger de Lluria in 1370, and the mutual 
jealousies of the leading men were increased by the practice 
of sending strangers from Sicily to fill the most important 
posts in the duchies for life, or during good pleasure. Thus 
at this time, both the vicar-general and the captain of " the 
castle of Athens," belonged to the great Sicilian family of 
Peralta, connected by marriage with the royal house, but 
newcomers to Greece. 2 The Catalans had now been estab- 
lished for two generations at Athens, and they felt, like most 
colonies after that period, that the mother country should 
intervene as little as possible in their affairs, and that the 
best places should be held by the colonists. Being not only 
a colony, but a military commonwealth, they preferred that 
tenure of office should be short, so that those places should 
go round. Frederick III., docile as usual, granted both their 
requests ; the captain of the Akropolis was removed because 
he had been three years — the old constitutional period — in 
office ; henceforth the community of Athens was to elect its 
own captain from among the body of Athenian citizens, 
merely subject to the duke's confirmation. A similar 
arrangement was made at Livadia, whose governor had 
received and held all the three offices of caste llano, veguer, 
and captain, as the reward for his services as a peacemaker 
during the barons' war, which had begun after Lluria's 
demise. These offices were now separated, as. the Catalans 

1 Limpros, "Eyypa^a, 82-8, and Eng . Hist. Review, loc. eit. 
' l Matteo de Peralta was appointed March 31, 1 370 (Lampros, 'Eyypa^a, 
314. Cf. Ibid., 273, 317). 




desired ; but so morose was the reply of the people of 
Livadia, when asked to submit the names of their new 
officials, that the king took the matter into his own hands. 1 

A few lines about the Venetian colonies will complete 
this sketch of Greece in the second half of the fourteenth 
century. The importance which the republic attached to 
Modon and Coron may be inferred from the minute regula- 
tions for their government, the so-called "Statutes and 
Capitulations," which begin with this period. The two 
Messenian stations suffered, like the rest of the world, from 
the Black Death, so that it was necessary to send a fresh 
batch of colonists from home, and the franchise was extended 
to all the inhabitants, except the Jews. A curious regulation 
forbade the Venetian garrison to wear beards, so as to 
distinguish them from the Greeks. We still hear complaints 
of the maltreatment of the Greek peasants there, and their 
consequent emigration into the Frankish territory ; but they 
now had influential spokesmen in the Greek bishops, who 
were permitted to reside in their ancient sees by the side of 
their Catholic colleagues. One of the latter, however, St 
Peter Thomas, effected many conversions, and even in that 
age, when the ecclesiastics wielded the greatest influence in 
Frankish Greece, his authority with the great nobles of 
Achaia was exceptional. Though usually more peaceful than 
the neighbouring states, the Venetian colonies were affected 
by the war between the republic and Genoa, which lasted 
from 1350 to 1355. In 1347 the Genoese had recovered from 
the Byzantines the rich mastic island of Chios, and entrusted 
its administration to a chartered company, or maona, which 
continued to manage it for more than 200 years. This step, 
and the exclusion of their commerce from the Black Sea, 
irritated the Venetians, who sent a fleet to the Levant, which 
made Negroponte the base of its operations. The large 
harbour between the classic bay of Aulis, where the Greek 
fleet had assembled before sailing for Troy, and the Skdla 
of Oropos, was the scene of a Genoese defeat ; but the 
vanquished retaliated by burning the Venetian and Jewish 
quarters of Negroponte and hanging up the keys of the town 
before the gates of Chios. The Venetians now induced both 

1 L&npros, "Eyy/xx^a, 249-52, 3 1 9-2 1. 


John Cantacuzene and Pedro IV. of Aragon, whose rule over 
Sardinia had been undermined by Genoese intrigues, to join 
them in crushing the common enemy. The King of Aragon's 
action naturally predisposed the Catalans of Attica to take 
the same side as their fellow-countrymen ; but Pedro declined 
to assist until Venice had paid to Muntaner*s heirs the 
compensation due for the loss sustained by the Catalan 
chronicler at Negroponte half a century earlier. The aid of a 
Catalan force from Athens and Thebes enabled the Venetians 
to repel a Genoese attack on the fortress of Oreos, then a 
strong place, though now a mere ruin; but Pteleon, the 
importance of which had much increased of late, was exposed 
to the forays of the invaders, who also landed in the famous 
harbour of Navarino, and plundered the Venetians. Now 
that the Genoese family of Zaccaria had become barons in 
the Morea, it was inevitable that a war between the two rival 
republics should involve hostilities between it and the 
garrisons of the two Messenian colonies. 1 So risky had 
official posts in Greece become, that Venice found it neces- 
sary to raise the salaries of her governors of Modon and 
Coron, and of her councillors at Negroponte, in order to 
attract good men. 

The damage done to Negroponte was soon repaired, and 
the war served to strengthen the growing power of Venice 
over the island. Indeed, Nikeph6ros Gregorys, who himself 
visited the island during the war, remarks that " Eubcea has 
now been subject to the Venetians for many years." The 
population had been increased by many fugitives from 
Thessaly after the Catalan conquest of Athens, and there, 
too, all the natives of the city, except the Jews, now 
received the Venetian franchise after ten years' residence. 
Even the Jews, who had had to pay for fortifying the town of 
Negroponte more securely against the Turks, preferred to 

1 Miklosich und Miiller, i., 333 ; Nikeph6ros Gregoris, ii., 878 ; in., 
42-4, 46-51 ; Cantacuzene, iii., 209; Cortusii and M. Villani, afiud 
Muratori, xii., 935-6 ; xiv., 82 ; Predelli, Commemoriali, ii., 204, 206, 
215, 231, 248 ; Sdthas, Up^eta, iv., 6. Nikeph6ros Gregoris in the first 
passage quoted gives " Oreos " as the scene of the naval battle instead 
of " Oropos," which appears in the second. But " Oropos " is obviously 
correct, as " Oreos " is far too much to the north. 



be under the direct authority of the bailie, to whom they 
now paid nearly ^90, in taxes, instead of remaining " Jews 
of the Lombards/' to whom they had paid only half that 
sum. The triarchs, now reduced to two — one a Ghisi, the 
other a Dalle Carceri — no longer opposed the republic, 
though they occasionally complained that the bailie inter- 
fered with them and even quashed the decisions of their 
judge ; but feudal disputes were referred by common consent 
to the Latin patriarch of Constantinople, who, as we saw, 
now, ex-officio, held the see of Negroponte, and must, by that 
fact, have conferred dignity upon the island. Upon the 
triarchs was shifted the cost of fitting out the Euboean galleys 
— a burden subsequently shared between them and Venice — 
while the bailie appointed the collectors of customs. Two 
of the chief fortresses of the island passed, too, into Venetian 
hands — Larmena and the " red castle " of Karystos. Venice 
had long striven to obtain the latter coveted position, even 
to-day a noble ruin, and then so strong that it could be 
defended by some thirty men-at-arms ; at last, in 1365, after 
many attempts, she bought the whole barony, serfs and all, 
from Bonifacio Fadrique, for 6000 ducats. 1 

Thus, the chief results of the forty years which have 
been described in this chapter, were the revival of Greek 
influence in the Peloponnese, thanks to the statesmanship of 
the Cantacuzenes ; and the rise of the Acciajuoli as a force 
in Greece, thanks to the shrewdness of a Florentine banker. 
At Athens, the ultimate goal of the latter's family, the 
Catalans have grown feeble and disunited ; in Epiros and 
Thessaly, Serb and Albanian have displaced alike Frank 
and Hellene ; while the Turk is waiting his time to supplant 
all four Christian races. In the Ionian islands a new and 
virile Italian dynasty has been founded ; while Venice has 
tightened her hold on her Greek colonies. Such is the 
picture which Greece presents to us in 1373. 

1 Hopf, Karystos, 602-6 ; Arch, Veneto^ xx., 90. 



THE NAVARRESE COMPANY ( 1 373- 1 388) 

The fast approaching Turkish danger ought to have aroused 
all the Latins of the Levant to present a united front 
against the common foe, whom concerted action might have 
kept at a distance. But the motley population of the 
Balkan peninsula had then, as now, no common bond 
which would prevent them from sacrificing the general 
welfare to some temporary advantage. Thus the Byzantine 
emperor, John V. Palaiol6gos, instead of joining the Serbs 
and Bulgarians in a league against Mur&d I., had contracted 
a selfish alliance with the Sultan, which had not even the 
merit of saving him from the ignominy of sacrificing his 
honour in Venice and the religion of his ancestors in Rome 
for the vain hope of aid from the West. The new pope, 
Gregory XL, was, however, so much moved by "the tearful 
exposition" of the Archbishop of Neopatras, who told him 
how the Turks had subdued and held enslaved the Greek 
Christians almost up to the frontiers of the principality of 
Achaia and the duchy of Athens, and threatened the very 
existence of those states, that he summoned the Christian 
rulers of the East to a congress to be held at Thebes on 
1st October 1373. The papal invitation was addressed to 
the real emperor, John V., and to the titular emperor, Philip 
III.; to the republics of Venice and Genoa; to the Knights 
of St John ; to the kings of Cyprus, Hungary, and Sicily ; 
to the last named's vicar-general of the duchies of Athens and 
Neopatras; Niccold III. dalle Carceri, Duke of the Archi- 
pelago ; Leonardo Tocco, Duke of Leucadia ; Nerio Accia- 
juoli, " Prince of Corinth ; " Francesco Giorgio, Marquis of 
Boudonitza ; Francesco Gattalusio, " Prince of Mytilene " ; 
and Ermolao Minotto, lord of little Seriphos. We can well 




imagine how the ancient city of Thebes was enlivened by 
the arrival of these more or less eminent persons, or their 
plenipotentiaries, how union against the infidel was preached 
by the Archbishops of Neopatras and Naxos, how their 
excellent advice was loudly applauded, and how personal 
jealousies conspired to render abortive the resolutions of the 
congress, just as they have marred those of every subsequent 
congress on the Eastern question. Scarcely had the delegates 
separated, when Nerio Acciajuoli, the boldest and astutest 
of them all, disregarding the pope's appeal to him as a 
champion of Christendom, seized the excuse afforded by 
the Company's refusal to hand over some of his fugitive 
vassals, to attack Megara and to make himself master of 
that important position on the way to Athens. It is 
remarkable as a proof that Catalan rule was not altogether 
unpopular in Greece, that one of its warmest defenders was 
a Greek notary, Dem&rios Rendi, who a few years before 
had received the Catalan franchise and a grant of lands 
from Frederick III., and afterwards rose to wealth and 
importance at Athens. But, in all countries governed by 
foreigners, there are always natives bound by ties of interest 
to the governing class. Nerio returned with some distin- 
quished captives to Corinth ; Megara remained in his 
power, and its bishop was glad to find a living as priest of 
the chapel of St Bartholomew, which was in the governor's 
palace on the Akropolis. So weak was the once famous 
Company that it could not protect its own territory from the 
upstart Florentine. Disturbances, which broke out on the 
death of Matteo de Peralta, the vicar-general, in the following 
year, prevented reprisals ; in his place, the various communi- 
ties of the duchies, without waiting for orders from Sicily, 
unanimously elected Louis Fadrique, Count of Salona and 
grandson of the famous Alfonso, an excellent appointment — 
for Fadrique was now the most important member of the 
old colonial families — which Frederick III. did not fail to 
ratify. 1 He was wise to waive the irregularity of the 

1 Raynaldus, vii., 224 ; Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches, II., i., 218-20; 
Jauna, Histoire generate des royaumes de Chypre, etc. y ii., 882 ; Rubi6 y 
Lluch, Los NavarroSy 464, 465, 474 ; Lrimpros '%yypa<f>a 9 286, 289-90, 298, 
3°°> 323, 342. 


election, for Fadrique had restored order to his Greek 

The death of that weak monarch, in 1377, led to a 
complete change in the ducal dynasty. Frederick III., 
dying without legitimate sons, bequeathed the duchies to 
his young daughter Maria ; but the succession was disputed 
by his brother-in-law, King Pedro IV. of Aragon, who 
appealed to the principal of the Salic law as laid down by 
Frederick II. The prospect of having a girl at their head 
was naturally displeasing to the Catalans of Athens at a 
moment when the Turkish danger was imminent It was 
no wonder, then, that all the three archbishops — Ballester of 
Athens, Simon of Thebes, and Matthew of Neopatras — and 
the principal barons and knights at once declared for Pedro 
IV. Among them were, first and foremost, the vicar-general, 
Louis Fadrique, Count of Salona and lord of Lamia, with 
his cousin, Don John of Aragon; the Count of Mitre, or 
Demetrias, on the Gulf of Volo, who kept 1500 Albanian 
horsemen in his pay, and enjoyed the privilege of bearing the 
royal standard ; the governors of the four important military 
positions of Athens, Livadia, Salona, and Neopatras; the 
two brothers Puigpardines, lords of Karditza and Atalante ; 
Pedro de Ballester, who held the sordid village of Kapraina, 
which has grown up on the site of Chaironeia; and 
Melissen6 Novelles, half-Greek, half-Catalan, whose castle 
bore the name of Estafiol. There was, however, a minority 
in favour of Maria of Sicily, the leader of which was 
Francesco Giorgio, Marquis of Boudonitza, who was 
naturally eager to shake off his vassalage to the vicar-general, 
and who, as a Venetian, had no sympathy with the Catalans. 
With him were Don Pedro Fadrique, lord of iEgina, whose 
rebellion caused him to forfeit his island to his cousin, the 
vicar-general ; and Thomas de Pou, a son-in-law of Roger 
de Lluria. The burgesses, anxious for security, supported 
the King of Aragon. 1 

1 C^urita, Anales, II., 377 ; Indices> 350-1 ; Rubio y Lluch, Los 
NavarroS) 265, 266, 436, 440-2, 447-9, 477, 482. The latter shows from 
the Aragonese documents, that " Don Louis de Aragon, Count of Malta," 
whom (Jurita quotes as a separate person, is none other than Don Louis 



The Aragonese party, represented by the vicar-general 
and the governor of Athens, sent two envoys to Pedro IV.'s 
court, informing him that the people of the duchies awaited 
his commands, and craving him to appoint someone as his 
representative there. The king replied, thanking the vicar- 
general and the governor for their faithful services, and 
requesting them to remain in office until the arrival of the 
new vicar-general. For that post he selected, in 1379, 
Philip Dalmau, Viscount of Rocaberti, whose appointment he 
notified to the authorities and communities of Thebes, 
Athens, Livadia, Neopatras, and Siderokastron. At the 
same time, he sent Berenguer Ballester of Thebes, one 
of the envoys, back to the duchies, requesting that he 
might return, together with some other suitable person, 
authorised to offer their homage to the new " Duke of Athens 
and Neopatras." 1 

At this moment, however, another competitor appeared 
in the Catalan duchies. The origin of the Navarrese 
Company, which now attempted to repeat the exploits of the 
Catalan Company seventy years earlier, is still obscure. But 
it seems probable that it resembled that of its more famous 
predecessor. Employed by King Charles II. of Navarre in 
his struggle with Charles V. of France, the Navarrese 
Company found no further occupation at home when the two 
enemies made peace in 1366, just as the Catalans were no 
longer able to practise their profession in Sicily after the 
peace between the houses of Anjou and Aragon in 1302. 
But Don Louis, the adventurous brother of the King of 
Navarre, had just married the Duchess of Durazzo, who had 
inherited the claims of her grandfather, John of Gravina, to 
Albania, and when, in 1368, the Albanians captured Durazzo, 
and with it the last vestige of Angevin rule over their country, 
the chivalrous Louis naturally set about making preparations 
to recover his wife's lost dominions. A body of 800 
Navarrese and Gascons, mostly men of good family, had 
accompanied him to Naples, where his wife resided ; more 
followed, and a further force of 400 was furnished him by the 
King of Navarre, by the latter's chamberlain, Mahiot de 
Coquerel, whom we shall later on find as bailie of Achaia, 
1 Rubi6 y Lluch, Los Navarros, 444-5 1. 


and others. But the death of Don Louis in 1376 put an end 
to his plans for the reconquest of Durazzo, 1 and we hear no 
more of the Navarrese Company till 1380. In that year, 
Jacques de Baux, titular emperor of Constantinople and 
Prince of Achaia, thought that the moment had come to 
occupy the Greek dominions, which should have been his, 
and that the Navarrese Company would be the best 
instrument for his purpose. 

Philip III. had died, like his brother, without children, 
in 1373, so that his title of Emperor of Constantinople and 
his principality of Achaia should have passed to his nephew, 
Jacques de Baux, son of his sister, the widow of King 
Edward Baliol of Scotland, who had subsequently married 
Francois de Baux, Duke of Andria, in Apulia, a member of a 
distinguished Provencal family, which had followed the 
fortunes of Charles I. of Anjou to Naples, and had attained 
to high dignities under the Angevin rule. The Baux were 
already connected with Achaia, where Jacques's grandfather 
had been twice bailie for the Empress Catherine of Valois, 
and at first the barons recognised his mother as their lawful 
princess. Indeed, during the civil war between the Baux 
and Queen Joanna I. of Naples, who twice drove Jacques's 
rebellious father from her kingdom, the son found a 
temporary refuge, and perhaps recognition, in Greece. But 
as one of her numerous husbands had been the son of King 
James II. of Majorca, and therefore a direct descendant of the 
Villehardouins, Joanna might advance some sort of claim to 
the principality, to which he had already been a pretender. 
It seems probable that there had always been a party favour- 
able to his pretensions, for it is remarkable that among the 
envoys whom the barons sent in 1 374 to offer the princely 
dignity to Queen Joanna, was the same £rard le Noir, who 
had signed the similar document to the King of Majorca 
thirty years earlier. The embassy, which was very repre- 
sentative — for it included Leonardo Tocco, Count of 
Cephalonia, and, as such, one of the peers of the principality, 
and the two great barons, Centurione Zaccaria and Janni 
Misito — informed the queen that they would accept her as 
their princess on condition that she promised to maintain 
1 Rubio y Lluch, Los Navarros, 251, 254, 428, 430-5 ; Curita, II., 377. 



their old constitution, or, in other words, leave them alone. 
The queen naturally agreed to such easy terms, took the 
oath and the title of princess, and sent a bailie to govern in 
her name. This official was, however, a restless man, who 
not only broke the long peace between the principality and 
the Despot Manuel of MistrA, by besieging the oft-mentioned 
castle of Gardiki in the pass of Makryplagi, but also irritated 
the Venetians by raising a question as to the boundaries of 
their Messenian colonies. The queen was willing to refer 
this dispute to a joint commission, and told her bailie to 
treat the Venetians properly; but she had already grown 
tired of what had turned out to be a troublesome possession ; 
so, when she had taken a fourth husband, Otto of Brunswick, 
in 1 376, she conferred the principality upon him, and, in the 
following year, they pawned it to the Knights of the Hospital 
of St John of Jerusalem for five years, in consideration of an 
annual payment of 4000 ducats. 1 

The Knights of St John were no strangers in the Morea. 
Like the Templars and the Teutonic Knights, they had 
received four fiefs there at the time of the Conquest, and the 
possessions of the Templars had passed to them on the 
dissolution of that order in 131 2. On the roll of 1364, we 
find two castles belonging to them ; a little earlier, 
Innocent VI. had suggested that they should move from 
Rhodes, which had been their headquarters since 1309, to 
the Peloponnese, and defend it against the Turks. Their 
grand-master at this time was Juan Fernandez de Heredia, 
a noble and adventurous Spaniard, who had won the favour 
of Innocent VI., had become " the right arm of the Avignon 
papacy," had fought against the Black Prince at Poitiers, 
and had lately escorted Gregory XI. to Rome, when that 
pontiff, in obedience to St Catherine of Siena, ended the 
"Babylonish captivity" and returned to the widowed city. 
The barons, notably the Venetian Archbishop of Patras, 
welcomed the advent of so distinguished a soldier, who 
seemed a heaven-sent defender of their threatened land. A 
new and vigorous race of invaders had now appeared to 
contest the country with the remnant of the Franks. Since 

1 Ducange, II., 292-4; L. <L F. y 155-9 (which ends here); Predelli, 
Commetnoriali, III., 129-31 ; Costanzo, Start a del Regno di Napoli y 1 1., 21. 


the collapse of the Despotat of Epiros, and the establishment 
of two Albanian chieftains on its ruins, the north of Achaia 
had been menaced by an Albanian immigration, as well as 
by Turkish raids. The very year after the Knights had 
acquired the principality, one of those chieftains, Ghin (or 
John) Boua Spata, who had already seized the possessions 
of the rival clan of Liosa at Arta upon the death of its chief 
by the plague, and had thus united iEtolia and Akarnania 
in his own person, captured Lepanto, and thus destroyed the 
last vestige of Angevin rule on the continent of Greece. 
For over eighty years the French lilies had waved over the 
triple fortifications of that celebrated castle ; it had been part 
of the dowry which Philip of Taranto had received in 1294 
with the unhappy Thamar ; now it had gone, and an 
Albanian chieftain held one of the keys of the Corinthian 
Gulf. Heredia judged that this insult must be avenged ; he 
crossed the gulf, and recaptured Lepanto. But his imprison- 
ment by the Black Prince after the battle of Poitiers had not 
taught him prudence ; he marched rashly into the heart of 
the enemy's country, intending to take Arta, was defeated 
by the Albanians, and brought as a prisoner to Spata. The 
chieftain was "a man of thought and action, in all things 
distinguished, and of striking beauty " ; but, with all these 
qualities, he lacked generosity, and, without hesitation, he 
sold his noble captive to the Turks. In spite of the efforts 
of the Knights, assisted by the money of the Archbishop of 
Patras, to retain the important position of Lepanto, it fell 
again into the possession of the redoubtable Spata. 1 Heredia, 
after languishing for two years in prison, was ransomed in 
1 381, and returned to the Morea. 

Meanwhile, the lawful heir of that principality thought 

1 Epirotica, 221, 223; Gerland, Neue Quellen, 43; Miklosich und 
Muller> ii., 11 ; Bosio (De/F Istoria delta Sacra Religione . . . di S. Gio. 
Gierosolno.y II., 126-9) gives a very picturesque, but mostly inaccurate, 
account of Heredia's campaign in Greece, making him scale the walls of 
Patras and slay the Turkish (I) commander with his own hand. Heredia 
then proceeds against Corinth, but is captured by the Turks, who obtain 
back Patras as part of his ransom. It need scarcely be said, that in 1378 
Patras was not Turkish, nor had the Turks " lately taken the Morea." 
Bosio tells us, however, on the authority of the documents of the Order, 
of Heredia's captivity in Albania, and of his release in 1381. 


that his hour of triumph had come. His rival, Queen Joanna 
of Naples, had recently been deposed by Pope Urban VI., 
and in Greece circumstances seemed peculiarly favourable 
to the claimant's plans ; in Achaia, the Knights of St John 
were growing tired of their lease; in Attica there was a 
disputed succession. As instruments of his policy, Jacques de 
Baux naturally chose the men of the disoccupied Navarrese 
Company, who probably regarded him with favour as the 
husband of their late leader's sister-in-law. For him, they 
took Corfu from Queen Joanna's officials ; and then directed 
their steps, early in 1 380, towards Attica. There were special 
reasons for attacking the Catalan duchy. The Navarrese had 
an old grudge against Pedro IV., who had imprisoned their 
late beloved leader ; Baux, as the uncle of Maria of Sicily, 
regarded Pedro as an usurper ; while he was also connected 
with the family of Enghien, who were claimants to the duchy ; 
moreover, as Prince of Achaia, he might claim suzerainty 
over Attica, as some of his predecessors had done, while, as 
titular emperor, he could cast the shadow of his authority 
over the whole Latin Orient. 

The Navarrese Company was under the command of 
Mahiot de Coquerel and Pedro de S. Superan, surnamed 
Bordo, either because he had received the freedom of 
Bordeaux from our Black Prince, or, as is more probable, 
because he was a " bastard " (port), like so many other famous 
commanders of the Middle Ages. 1 These experienced person- 
ages found valuable auxiliaries in the leaders of the Sicilian 
party. The Marquis of Boudonitza, whose castle com- 
manded the defile of Thermopylae, allowed them to pass 
beneath his walls and assisted their enterprise ; Niccol6 III. 
dalle Carceri, Duke of the Archipelago and lord of two out 
of the three great baronies of Euboea, was their ally, hoping 
by means of their swords to make himself master of the 
city of Negroponte. From the Morea, the Knights of St 
John came to pillage the distracted duchy of Athens, where 
they possessed a stronghold, in the castle of Sykaminon ; and 
it seems probable that the Count of Conversano had made a 
second attack upon the lawful heritage of his house, for at 
the time of the Navarrese invasion, John de Lluria of Thebes 

1 Ducange's note to Cinnamus 392 ; Rubi6, oi>. cit } 309, n. 2. 


had been already two years his prisoner. Added to these 
misfortunes were the mutual jealousies of that city and 
Athens, which had recently aimed at some form of autonomy, 
and had chafed at being regarded as inferior to the capital in 
Bceotia. Finally, among the Greeks not a few were dis- 
affected to the Catalan rule. It is no wonder, then, that 
one place after another fell rapidly into the hands of these 
fresh adventurers from the West, fresh in both senses of the 
word, if we contrast them with the degenerate grandsons of 
the Catalans who had conquered Attica. The fine castle, 
which still stands on the hill above Livadia, a noble monu- 
ment of Catalan rule in Greece, was, indeed, bravely defended 
by its veteran governor William de Almenara and James 
Ferrer, a Catalan from Salona. The citizens were mostly 
loyal, for the Greeks of Livadia had received special privileges 
at the Catalan Conquest, and their town had attained great 
prominence under Catalan rule. But the treachery of a 
Greek from Durazzo opened the gates to the enemy, and 
Almenara lost his life in the vain effort to save the betrayed 
citadel. On the other hand, two Greeks, Dimitre and Mitro, 
gallantly defended Thebes, in the absence of John de Lluria, 
and of the three traitors who surrendered it to the Navarrese, 
two bore Spanish names. Rather than remain under these 
new masters, many of the terrified inhabitants of both these 
cities, Greeks as well as Catalans, fled for safety to the 
Venetian colony of Negroponte, where they remained for 
months, wandering about the island with their flocks and 
herds. Dimitre and Mitro were rewarded for their fidelity 
with the governorship of Salona, and that castle, as well 
as Lamia and Siderokastron, defied the assaults of the 
Navarrese, thanks to the efforts of the vicar-general on 
behalf of his own possessions, and the invaluable aid of the 
Count of Demetrias and his Albanians — not by any means 
the last service rendered by that sturdy race to Greece. 
Like Salona, the Akropolis of Athens offered a resolute 
resistance to the enemy. Galceran de Peralta, the governor 
of the city, was unfortunately taken prisoner in a sortie, 
together with many others ; but Romeo de Bellarbe, the 
commander of the castle, assisted by the faithful Greek 
notary, Dem£trios Rendi, whom we saw fighting manfully 



at Megara six years earlier, baffled the machinations of 
a little knot of traitors and defied the soldiers of Navarre. 
The garrison had good reason to remember with gratitude 
the wise policy of their late duke, who had ordered that the 
revenues of certain lands, originally intended for the defence 
of the castle, but bestowed by his predecessors on a Catalan 
favourite, should again be devoted to that object. By the 
20th May the Athenians could meet in security under the 
presidency of Romeo de Bellarbe for the purpose of drawing 
up a petition to King Pedro embodying their requests. As 
a similar assembly was held at Salona on the last day of the 
month, the invaders had by that time withdrawn to Boeotia, 
which was still in their power. 1 

These capitulations, drawn up in the Catalan language 
and still preserved in the archives of Barcelona, throw a 
flood of light upon the condition of the duchy in this, the 
last decade of its existence. They show us, too, that the 
leaders of the Aragonese party, scarcely emerged from a 
desperate struggle for the existence of the country, were 
fully conscious of the value of their services, and desired to 
have them amply rewarded. As is the case with most 
practical as distinct from philosophical politicians, the 
Athenian Parliament of 1380 mainly occupied itself with 
personal questions. The community of Athens prayed King 
Pedro to send them a vicar-general who would restore the 
country from the power of the invaders, or, failing that, to 
appoint Romeo de Bellarbe their governor for life, on the 
ground of his intimate personal acquaintance with their 
affairs and the poverty and distress of the people. They 
begged him to bestow upon Romeo all the Athenian 
property of three of his majesty's enemies, and to grant 
to his mistress, a Greek slave from Megara, the full rights 
and franchises of a Catalan. Large favours were asked for 
another Greek, the notary Dem^trios Rendi, who had 
already received lands at Athens and the franchise from 
Frederick III., and whose loyalty to Pedro IV. had caused 
him pecuniary damage. The petitioners craved for him, for 

1 Rubi6, op. cit, 43M0, 443, 455. 463-8, 473, 474, 483, 485 ; Qurita, 
loc. cit; Stefano Magni apud Hopf, Chroniques x 183 ; Ldmpros, "Eyy/xi^a, 


his relative, Jo&nnes Rendi, and for their descendants, all the 
rights and privileges enjoyed by the Conquistadors of the 
duchies, and that their property might be free from every 
kind of tax ; furthermore, they asked his majesty to bestow 
upon him and his heirs for ever the office of Chancellor of 
the city of Athens, with an annual stipend of 40 gold dinars, 
payable out of the customs and dues thereof. They 
requested that Guerau de Rodonella, one of their envoys, 
Francisco Pons, and Berenguer Oroniola, might be rewarded 
with grants of traitors' or criminals' lands and possessions ; 
that his majesty would be pleased to provide for the libera- 
tion from captivity of his loyal subject Galcerdn de Peralta, 
for whom the Navarrese demanded a higher ransom than the 
Athenians could raise ; and that he would confer upon Pedro 
Valter, who had been captured with Galcerdn, all the notarial 
offices of both duchies for life. The king granted all these 
petitions, except the last, remarking that one clerkship would 
suffice to keep the worthy Valter in decent affluence ; later 
on, he showered yet further benefits — lands, goods, and serfs, 
in both Athens and Thebes — upon the ever-useful Dem6trios 
Rendi. From the time of the Frankish Conquest of Attica 
no Greek had ever risen to such distinction as this 
serviceable notary, whose good fortune was not even yet 

Of the sixteen clauses which compose the Athenian 
petition, four alone deal with questions of general policy. 
The first of these reflects that municipal jealousy, or spirit of 
local patriotism — the terms are synonymous — which has in 
all ages been characteristic of Greece. It consisted of a 
prayer that Athens might retain under the new regime that 
measure of autonomy which she had recently obtained from 
the central authorities at Thebes. This King Pedro absolutely 
refused, asserting his intention of treating the two duchies as 
an indivisible whole, governed by his vicar-general, without 
regard for any special aspirations for home rule which Athens 
might cherish. The second clause met with an equally 
decisive negative. The king declined to grant the request of 
the pious Athenians, prompted no doubt by the powerful 
ecclesiastics who had supported the Aragonese cause, that they 
might henceforth be permitted to bequeath their property and 


serfs to the Catholic Church for the good of their souls, and to 
emancipate their villains whenever they chose. According to 
the existing constitution of the duchies, this had been. strongly 
forbidden, and a special proviso had nullified any such 
bequest, and ordered that all goods or serfs bequeathed to 
the Church should be forfeited to the use of the castle of 
Athens. The king, as a practical statesman, pointed out 
that the Catalans were only a small garrison in Greece, and 
that if Holy Church became possessed of their property, 
there would be no one left to defend the country, for the 
clergy were neither liable to bear arms nor dependent upon 
the royal jurisdiction. Besides, the existing law of Athens 
was also that of his kingdoms of Majorca and Valencia. 
Finally, the petitioners begged that they might continue to 
be governed by the customs of Barcelona, and that they 
might be joined for ever to the crown of Aragon — requests 
which his majesty naturally granted. These capitulations, 
laid before him at L£rida by the two Athenian envoys, 
Boyl, Bishop of Megara, and Rodonella, were solemnly signed 
by the king on 1st September, whereupon the envoys did 
homage to him as their lawful duke. 

On the same day, Pedro IV. confirmed the capitulations 
drawn up at Salona, and laid before him by Bernard 
Ballester, who also represented the two important com- 
munities of Thebes and Livadia, which were still in the 
hands of the Navarrese. The petition of Salona is even more 
personal and egotistical than that of Athens, for it relates 
entirely to Don Louis Fadrique. It begged the king to 
bestow upon him and his heirs the dignity of Counts of 
Malta, to confirm to him the castle of Siderokastron, captured 
by his father from the rebellious Marshal Ermengol de 
Novelles, the island of ^Egina, and any castles which he might 
be able to recover from the Navarrese and their allies before 
the arrival of the new vicar-general. The king, conscious of 
the Count of Salona's services, granted all these requests, and 
received the envoy's homage. Then he again notified his 
faithful subjects of his intention to send Rocaberti to govern 
them ; ordered the new governor to allow the clergy of the 
duchies and their Latin and Greek dependants the privileges 
enjoyed by the Church in Aragon and Catalufta, and to see 


that their stolen property was restored; and granted the 
bishop of Megara twelve men-at-arms, with four months' pay, 
for the defence of "the Castle of Athens." Of that noble 
rock the poetic monarch — himself a troubadour and a 
chronicler — wrote to his treasurer in eloquent language as 
" the most precious jewel that exists in the world, and such 
that all the kings of Christendom together could in vain 
imitate." Thus, from the pen of a King of Aragon, we have 
the first allusion in the whole range of the history of Frankish 
Athens to the classic beauties of the Akropolis. The king 
had doubtless heard from the lips of the bishop, who was 
chaplain in the governor's palace, an enthusiastic description 
of the ancient buildings, then almost uninjured, which the latter 
knew so well. While Pedro IV. waxed enthusiastic over the 
classical glories of the Parthenon, his pious queen, Sybilla, 
was keen to possess the relics of the Virgin and other saints, 
which it then contained, and begged the archbishop to send 
them to her. Yet this rare "jewel," so dear at once to the 
man of taste and the devotee, could be defended in that age 
by a mere handful of men. 1 When, more than four centuries 
later, the Akropolis sustained its last siege, its garrison 
consisted of a thousand. 

Their mission satisfactorily accomplished, the envoys 
departed, laden with marks of royal esteem ; the Bishop of 
Megara was specially favoured, for the king not only granted 
him the goods of one of the Theban traitors, and ordered the 
payment to him of an annual stipend on account of "the 
Chapel of St Bartholomew in the palace of the Castle of 
Athens," but begged the pope to appoint him Archbishop of 
Thebes. Rocaberti, however, in consequence of important 
political events in Catalufia and Sicily, delayed his departure, 
so that he did not arrive in the Piraeus, with his fleet of four 
galleys till the autumn of 1381, whereupon Louis Fadrique 
and Galcerdn de Peralta, who had escaped from captivity, 
handed over their offices to him. His instructions were to 
establish friendly relations with all the neighbouring poten- 
tates, to grant a general amnesty in his master's name to 
all the inhabitants of the duchies, and to reward those who 

1 Rubi6, op. cit, 451-7, 461-71, 474, 476-9, 49© J AArlor, v., 


had been conspicuous for their loyalty to the king. Royal 
letters had already been sent to "the Emperor" Matthew 
Cantacuzene, who, in 1380, had succeeded his brother Manuel 
.as Despot of MistrA, commending the king's Athenian 
subjects to his good offices ; the Venetian bailie of Negro- 
ponte had been requested to render aid against the Navarrese 
Company, and to prevent the Duke of the Archipelago and 
the Marquis of Boudonitza from molesting the king's Greek 
dominions; and similar appeals were made to Nerio 
Acciajuoli, the lord of Corinth ; to Maddalena Buondelmonti, 
widow of the Count of Cephalonia and regent for her infant 
son ; to the powerful Archbishop of Patras ; and to the 
Grand-master Heredia, now liberated from his captivity, whose 
Knights had hitherto joined in pillaging the duchies. All 
these persons regarded the Navarrese as their common foe ; 
of Heredia we are specially told that he and his Knights were 
Rocaberti's most valuable support, while Queen Sybilla of 
Aragon did not hesitate to ask him to bestow the Athenian 
castle of Sykaminon upon one of her protfgis. The Navarrese 
Company, faced by this coalition, withdrew from Boeotia to 
the Morea, leaving, however, garrisons behind them in 
Livadia and Thebes, the former of which soon fell, while the 
latter was still in their possession two years later, and never 
appears again in the Aragonese archives. As a reward for 
what the good people of Livadia had undergone, they received 
from the king a formal confirmation of all the privileges con- 
ferred upon them by his predecessors, including the right to 
be governed by the usages of Barcelona. At their own 
request, he established in their town, where the head of St 
George was preserved, a branch of the order of that saint, 
the insignia of which he conferred upon the late vicar-general 
and other prominent men. But he privately ordered Roca- 
berti to bring with him, when he returned to Spain, the relic 
of the popular Greek saint 1 — an order, however, never 
executed. He also requested the vicar-general to restore to 
the rebel branch of the Fadrique clan all the castles and 
goods which they had forfeited. Among these was the 
classic island of jEgina, which thus came into the hands of 

1 Rubi6, op. ciL, 330, 436, 453, 459, 472, 473* 4«2, 486-90, and 
Catalunya a Grecia, 57 ; C^urita, Anales, II., 378 ; Indices, 355. 


Boniface's second son, John. 1 Finally, in order to fill up the 
gaps in the population of the duchy, caused by the Navarrese 
invasion, Pedro told his vicar-general to grant exemption 
from taxes for two years to all Greeks and Albanians who 
would come and settle there. This was the beginning of that 
Albanian colonisation of Attica and Bceotia, of which so 
many traces remain, both in the population and in the 
geographical nomenclature, to the present day. 2 Numbers 
of villages round Athens are still inhabited by Albanians, 
who speak Albanian as well as Greek, and such names as 
Spata, Liosia, and Liopesi are of Albanian origin. 

While the Catalans were thus replenishing their Athenian 
duchy, their rivals and imitators, the Navarrese, had carved 
out for themselves a state in the Morea. Marching in 1381 
along the south shore of the Corinthian Gulf, they found no 
one to contest their claims, for the Knights of St John, weary 
of their profitless lease of the principality, were ready to 
make terms with the new arrivals, and soon afterwards 
abandoned the country altogether. Their five years were 
not yet up ; but, though the land tax of Achaia yielded them 
9000 ducats, their expenses had been so heavy that they 
asked the Queen of Naples to relieve them of their bargain. 
But as she was murdered, and her husband captured by 
Charles of Durazzo in the following year, the Navarrese 
remained masters of the principality. Their commander 
Mahiot de Coquerel condescended, indeed, to call himself 
bailie for the titular emperor and Prince of Achaia, Jacques 
de Baux, so long as the latter lived. But when, in 1383, the 
last Latin Emperor of Constantinople died at Taranto without 
children, the Navarrese became absolutely independent They 
and not he — as the pompous inscription on his tomb in the 
church of St Cataldo states — had " subjected by war the cities 
of Greece," 3 and they remained the real masters of Achaia, 
although his heir, Louis of Anjou, the still living empress 
and former princess, Marie de Bourbon, and Charles of 
Durazzo, the new King of Naples, might each claim to be the 
rightful sovereign. The first two thought it worth while to 
transmit their unreal rights to their heirs — Louis of Anjou to 

1 In spite of the capitulations of Salona in the previous year. 

2 Rubio, Los Navarros, 460. 3 Ducange, op. cit, ii., 296. 


his widow, Marie of Brittany ; the empress to her nephew, 
Louis de Bourbon; and a further pretender arose in the 
person of Amadeo, grandson of Philip of Savoy, the former 
prince. Amid these conflicting claims, Mahiot de Coquerel 
was willing to keep up the fiction that he was the representa- 
tive of Charles III. of Naples, the strongest and nearest of 
the claimants ; but both he and Pedro, the famous bastard 
of S. Superan, who succeeded him as vicar in 1386, were, to 
all practical purposes, independent of foreign suzerainty. 
The Navarrese treated the country as a conquered land, just 
as the French had done, dividing the old fiefs, including most 
of the Acciajuoli estates, among themselves, except in one or 
two cases, where the barons came to terms with them. The 
Greek archons of Mistr&, where Theodore Palaiol6gos, son of 
the Emperor John V., was now Despot, sided with them, and 
seized the opportunity to rebel against the imperial repre- 
sentative. 1 As for the Venetian governors of Modon and 
Coron, they were glad to make peace with these uncomfortable 
neighbours, who drew nearer and nearer to their two valued 
Messenian colonies. When the Navarrese occupied Navarino 
— a place already long known by that name — and the then 
important town of Androusa, which became their headquarters, 
it was felt that an arrangement must be made. The republic 
was particularly nervous about the fine bay of Navarino, 
which she feared might be purchased by her hated rival 
Genoa ; she accordingly offered to buy it from the Navarrese. 
Her offer was declined, but she obtained the right of pre- 
emption to the place. Thus, this company of adventurers 
from Navarre had established itself as a recognised power in 
the Peloponnese by the side of the Greeks of Mistra and the 
two ancient colonies of Venice. 

All efforts to oust the interlopers failed. Heredia, who 
had never abandoned the idea, which appealed to his 
romantic mind, of regaining the principality for the Knights of 
St John, did, indeed, succeed in purchasing Marie of 
Brittany's claim. But the rival claimant, Amadeo of Savoy, 
protested against this sale, and induced the anti-pope 
Clement VII. to annul it. Even then Heredia was not 
discouraged; as late as 1389 we find him endeavouring to 

1 Miiller, Byzantinische Analekten, ix., 393 ; Chalkokondyles, 52. 


organise an expedition to his beloved Morea. But that was 
his last effort; he spent the rest of his life at Avignon, 
surrounded by men of letters, and devouring in his library 
the romantic biographies of the great conquerors of olden 
times. To the last he kept up his interest in Greece ; and 
it was by his command that in 1393 was compiled the 
Aragonese version of the Chronicle of the Morea, which, in 
spite of some glaring anachronisms, contains much valuable 
information about the later period of Latin rule. Louis de 
Bourbon seemed at one time a more formidable competitor ; 
he entered into negotiations with discontented survivors of 
the old feudal nobility, like 6rard le Noir, the baron of 
Arkadia, and we have it on the authority of his secretary, 
that " the Moreots were only waiting to receive him as their 
lord." But they waited in vain, for the Bourbon claimant 
never came, but remained till his death merely titular prince 
of Achaia — the last of that historic race which ever set up 
its title to rule over Greece. As for Amadeo of Savoy, he 
corresponded with the cautious Despot Theodore, and 
endeavoured to win over Venice to his side. Finally, as 
if there were not claimants enough, Pope Urban VI., " in the 
interests of peace and justice," appointed the Archbishop of 
Patras, whose see was now independent, as vicar-general of 
the principality. 1 

Besides the Navarrese, the Greeks, and the Venetian 
colonies, there were two other important factors in the 
politics of the Peloponnese — Nerio Acciajuoli, who held 
Corinth and its appurtenances ; and the last fragment of the 
old Athenian duchy, the castles of Nauplia and Argos. There 
a woman, Marie d'Enghien, the last of her race, held nominal 
sway. But, on her father's death, Venice had convinced the 
two leading archons of Nauplia, Kamater6s and Kaloeth£s, 
by judicious bribery, that it was for the good of the place 
that she should marry a Cornaro. Thus, the republic was 
already practically mistress of those coveted fortresses. 2 

By this time, in Eubcea, too, Venice had become absolute 
mistress, except in name. In 1383, the assassination of the 

1 Buchon, Recherche s et Matiriaux, L, 258 ; Miklosich und M tiller, 
iii., 249; Gerland, 133. 

2 Predelli, Contmemoriali % iii., 157 ; Dorotheos of Monemvasia, 471. 


powerful triarch, Nicol6 III. dalle Carceri, who not only held 
two-thirds of the island but was also Duke of Naxos, removed 
her last rival — for he left no legitimate heirs. Seven years 
later, the holder of the other third, Giorgio Ghisi, bequeathed 
his share to the republic, which could thus have easily 
annexed the whole island, had she pleased. But, with its 
usual shrewdness, the Venetian Government saw that it 
would be more advantageous to retain the substance of 
power, while allowing petty lords to have the empty 
honour and large expense of maintaining the castles of the 
island. The example of Karystos had served as a warning ; 
that coveted barony yielded to the Venetians less than one- 
third of what Bonifacio had obtained from it ; many of the 
inhabitants had emigrated to Attica, and an attempt to 
colonise it with people from Tenedos failed. Accordingly, 
it was decided to let it to three Venetians, the brothers 
Giustiniani, at a very low rent. 1 The Greeks were among 
the first to benefit by this complete supremacy of Venice, 
for the Government, never unduly tender to the Catholic 
Church, abolished the tax which the Orthodox clergy had 
been accustomed to pay to the titular patriarch of Constanti- 
nople, who resided in Euboea. 

Freed from the horrors of civil war and foreign invasion, 
the Catalans of Attica had no reason to suspect that their 
doom was impending, and that in a few years their dominion 
would for ever pass away from Greek lands. Their absent 
sovereign with his rhapsodies over the Akropolis, and his 
vicar-general at Athens, both acted as if they regarded the 
duchies as now firmly assured to the crown of Aragon. To 
Rocaberti the connection seemed so durable that he was 
anxious to establish his family in Greece, and to secure for 
his son the famous fief of Salona. Louis Fadrique, the last 
count, died in 1382, after affiancing his sole heiress, Maria, 
to young Rocaberti, and the King of Aragon wrote urging 
her mother to hasten on the marriage, of which the castle of 
Siderokastron, granted to her father for his life, should be 
the reward It was naturally to his interest that Salona, 
and Lamia, which went with it, should be in strong hands. 
The county had a large population of both Franks and 
1 Hopf, Karystos (tr. Sardagna), 90. 


Greeks, and its geographical position made it a valuable 
bulwark against the Turks, now only a single day's journey 
from Neopatras. But before the wedding had been cele- 
brated, Rocaberti had left Greece. In the late summer 
of 1382 we find him in Sicily, occupied in obtaining posses- 
sion of the young Queen Maria, who, as the heiress of 
Frederick III., should have been Duchess of Athens, and 
whom Pedro IV. was anxious to have in his clutches. As 
his deputy at Athens, Rocaberti left behind him Ram6n de 
Vilanova, a man of great valour and prudence, who governed 
the duchies well. During his time the last of the Navarrese 
must have left Boeotia, and the relations between the King 
of Aragon and his old enemies, now established in the Morea, 
became so good, that they assisted in repelling the frequent 
attacks made by the Greeks and Turks upon the duchy of 
Athens. We are told that Vilanova was preparing to 
recover what was in the power of these enemies, when the 
domestic quarrels between Pedro and his son John compelled 
him, too, to return to Spain, leaving the military command in 
the hands of Roger and Antonio de Lluria, sons of the former 
vicar-general, and entrusting the command of the castle and 
city of Athens and the other places in the duchies to a gallant 
soldier, Don Pedro de Pau. Rocaberti, who had espoused 
the cause of the king's son, consequently fell into disfavour 
with Pedro, who insisted upon his releasing his lieutenant 
Vilanova from the oath of fealty which the latter had taken 
to him, dismissed him from his post as vicar-general, and 
prevented the projected marriage between Rocaberti's son 
and the Countess of Salona. After a long delay, caused by 
important affairs of state at home, the king appointed, in 
June 1386, Bernardo de Cornell^ as his vicar-general The 
appointment was notified to all the friendly potentates of 
Greece, among whom the leaders of the Navarrese Company 
were now reckoned. The King of Aragon told them that his 
representative would co-operate with them, and would leave 
for Greece with a large force in the following spring. But 
before that date the ceremonious sovereign was dead, and most 
of the Athenian duchy no longer owned the sway of Aragon. 1 

1 Rubi6, Los Navarros, 460, 479-80 ; Catalunya a Grecia, 44-7 ; 
£urita, Anales, ii., 387 ; Indices, 360. 



Nerio Acciajuoli had long been watching attentively 
from the rock of Corinth, and from the twin hills of Megara, 
the rapid dissolution of the Catalan rule. He saw a land 
weakened by civil war and foreign invasion ; he knew that 
the titular duke was an absentee, engrossed with more 
important affairs; he found the ducal viceroys summoned 
away to Spain or Sicily, while the old families of the duchy 
were almost extinct He was a man of action, and he saw 
that the moment had come to strike. Like the clever 
diplomatist that he was, he had prepared the ground well, 
and had established friendly relations with most of his 
neighbours, Greeks and Latins alike. He had married his 
elder daughter, the beautiful Bartolomea, said to be the 
fairest woman of her time, to Theodore I. PalaioUSgos, the 
Despot of Mistr&, to whom he promised as her dowry the 
future possession of Corinth, and this alliance secured for 
his schemes the approval of both the Despot and his brother 
Manuel, at that time Imperial Viceroy at Salonika. Through 
his trusty agent, the Bishop of Argos, he had gained the 
acquiescence of Pietro Cornaro, the Venetian consort of the 
Lady of Argos, and had conveyed some inkling of his 
schemes to his relatives in Italy. His own marriage with a 
Saraceno of Eubcea had connected him with one of the 
most influential families of that important island The 
disturbed state of the Morea, where the Navarrese were 
threatening his son-in-law, the Despot, provided him with an 
excellent excuse for collecting an army, nominally for the 
aid of Theodore, really for the conquest of Athens. A letter 
of the Bishop of Argos, written early in 1385, informs us that 
Nerio was "gathering men-at-arms from every possible 
quarter," and that he could put into the field " full 70 lances, 
800 Albanian horsemen, and a very large number of foot 
soldiers." 1 It only remained to provide for an attack by sea 
as well as by land. This was a more difficult matter, for it 
was against the policy of Venice to allow the Latin lords of 
the Levant to maintain navies. But Nerio had hired a 
galley from the Venetian arsenal at Candia, under the 
plausible pretext of keeping the twin seas on either side of 

1 Gregorovius, Brief* aus der " Corrispondensa Acciajolj," 298-9 ; 

Chalkokondyks, 208. 



the isthmus free from Turkish corsairs, whereas, as a matter 
of fact, he was giving them shelter at Megara. When all 
was ready, he easily found a casus belli. 

The pride of a noble dame was the occasion of the fall 
of Catalan Athens, just as, two generations later, the passion 
of a beautiful woman led to the Turkish Conquest Again 
and again the fair sex had played a leading part in the 
fortunes of Frankish Greece, owing to the absence of that 
Salic law which might have saved the country many disasters, 
but which would have robbed mediaeval Greek history of 
half its romance. The county of Salona was the most 
important fief of the Catalan duchy, and at this time there 
dwelt in the old castle of the Stromoncourts and the 
Fadriques, the widowed Countess Helene and her only 
daughter Maria, to whom Rocaberti's son had been in vain 
affianced. Nerio now made an offer for the hand of the 
young countess, the greatest heiress of Catalan Athens, on 
behalf of his brother-in-law, Pietro Saraceno of Euboea. 
The dowager countess, in whose veins was the blood of the 
Cantacuzenes — she was a direct descendant of the famous 
emperor and a cousin of the Despot of Mistr& — scornfully 
rejected the proposal of the Florentine tradesman, and 
affianced her daughter to Stephen Doiikas, a Servian 
princeling of Thessaly. This alliance with a Slav naturally 
aroused the indignation of both Greeks and Franks at 
Salona At this critical moment, Nerio's horsemen invaded 
Salona and the rest of the Catalan duchy, while his galley 
made straight for the Piraeus. The details and precise date 
of this Florentine Conquest are unknown, but in July 1385 
Nerio was already able to style himself " Lord of Corinth 
and the duchy," 1 and in January 1387 he was signing a 
patent in that capacity in the city of Athens. 2 We now 
know, however, that the Akropolis held out for sixteen 
months longer. That noblest of all fortresses was com- 
manded by Don Pedro de Pau, the gallant officer whom 
Vilanova had left behind him, and whose name deserves to 
be included in the long roll of heroes associated with the 
sacred rock. Down to almost the close of 1387 he managed 

1 Dominator Choranti et Ducamims ; Misti, xxxix., foL 1 10, v. 

2 Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches y II., i., 221. 


to keep up communications with the Home Government In 
March of that year, his envoy, Rodonella, the same man who 
had laid the Athenian capitulations before Pedro IV. seven 
years before, appeared before Pedro's son and successor, 
John I., at Barcelona, to hear his majesty's pleasure concerning 
the duchies, and to do him homage. The new duke had 
already reappointed his friend Rocaberti vicar-general, and 
announced his intention of sending him with a fleet to " con- 
found his enemies." This announcement was made to the 
Captain of the Navarrese Company, to the Archbishop of 
Neopatras, and to the Dowager Countess of Salona. From 
the phraseology of the royal letter to the archbishop, it is 
clear that much of that duchy was no longer in the possession 
of the Catalans, though the castle had not been taken ; from 
the document addressed to the countess, we see that Salona 
was still hers, and that the king was anxious to secure the 
hand of her much-wooed daughter for the son of his favourite 
Rocaberti, although that damsel, the Helen of mediaeval 
Greece, was already affianced to another. At the same time, 
his majesty assured the sindici of Athens that he would 
never " forget so famous a portion of our realm," which he 
hoped by God's grace to visit in person. Affairs of State at 
home prevented, however, this projected journey, while 
Rocaberti's promised fleet seems never to have arrived at 
the Piraeus. On the contrary, in November 1387 we find 
him still lingering in Spain. Such was the practical 
sympathy shown by the effusive kings of Aragon for their 
distant dominions. 

Meanwhile, abandoned by his Government at home, Don 
Pedro de Pau still held out— a lonely and pathetic figure on 
the Akropolis. Circumstances in Greece favoured his 
defence, for the attention of the besiegers had been distracted 
by a raid of Turkish pirates, which they joined the Venetian 
bailie of Negroponte in repulsing. On 5th November 1387, 
a rumour of the brave commander's death reached Catalufia, 
and a successor was appointed in the person of P. de Vilalba, 
who was to hold the two still unconquered castles of Athens 
and Neopatras. Eleven days later, however, a second 
messenger arrived with the news that Don Pedro was alive, 
and Vilalba's warrant was cancelled. From that moment the 


Aragonesc archives are silent as to the fate of Athens. 1 But a 
letter, preserved in the Laurenziana library at Florence, 
laconically informs us that on 2nd May 1388, "Messer Neri 
had the castle of Setines." The victor was unable at once 
to establish himself on the Akropolis, for plague had broken 
out at Athens, many had died, and among the victims had 
been his own valet Nerio and all his family accordingly 
withdrew to Thebes to reflect in safety over his new position. 
His triumph was, indeed, complete; not only was he 
master of Athens, but a fortnight before the Akropolis fell he 
had yet further strengthened his position in Greece by 
bestowing the hand of his second and favourite daughter, 
Francesca, upon Carlo Tocco, the young Duke of Leucadia 
and Palatine Count of Cephalonia, the most powerful Latin 
ruler of the Levant 2 

The Catalan rule over the duchies had thus ended for 
ever. The sovereigns of Aragon and Sicily might continue 
to style themselves Dukes of Athens and Neopatras — a title 
also borne by Queen Maria of Sicily and her husband, 8 and 
which was included among the dignities of the Spanish crown 
down to the end of the seventeenth century. Courtly Spanish 
poets might enumerate " thy great Athens, thy Neopatria," 
among the " good lands " of a dead Aragonese monarch, and 
the rulers of Sicily might gratify their vanity by appointing 
a titular vicar-general with a pompous patent to rid the 
land of the " tyrants " who had occupied it* Alfonso V. 
even went so far as to create one of his subjects Duke of 
Athens, and in 1444 actually demanded the restitution of his 
two duchies. 6 But, since that memorable 2nd May 1388, the 
flag of Aragon has never waved again from the castle of 

The Catalan Grand Company disappeared from the face 
of Attica as rapidly as rain from its light soil. Like their 

1 Rubio, Catalunya a Grecia, 42-55, 91, n. ; Los A/avarros, 491 ; C^urita, 
Ana/es, ii., 391 ; Indices, 360, 363, 367 ; Chalkokondyles, 69, 213 ; Hopf, 
ChroniqueSy 183 ; Misti, xxxviii., foL 10; xL, fol. 17. 

2 Ldmpros, "Eyy/xi^a, 119. 

8 La Lumia, StorU Siciliane, III., 339, *. 1. 

4 L&mpros, 'Eyypa^a* 324-7. 

• Arch. Stor. per le Prov. Napoletatu, xxvii., 430. 



Burgundian predecessors, these soldiers of fortune came, 
conquered, and disappeared, without taking root in the land. 
Only two generations had elapsed since the battle of the 
Kephiss6s, and already one family after another had died out, 
while now and again an old Catalan had returned to spend 
the evening of his life in his old home, so that King Pedro 
could point to the smallness of the Catalan garrison in 
Greece. After the fall of Athens, some, like the brothers 
Lluria, took ship for Sicily; others, like Ballester, the last 
Catalan Archbishop of Athens, returned to Barcelona, while 
others again lingered on for a time, among them the two 
branches of the Fadrique family, the former represented by 
the Countess of Salona and her daughter, the latter by John, 
the baron of iEgina. The masterful countess, either by her 
courageous defence or her patrician airs, sure to impress the 
Florentine upstart whom she had affronted, held her own for 
nearly six years longer. In 1390 we find King John of 
Aragon again asking the hand of her much-disputed 
daughter for a noble scion of the Moncada family. 1 The 
final disappearance of the county of Salona we shall see in 
the next chapter. The famous island of jEgina remained 
still longer in Catalan hands. From John Fadrique it passed, 
presumably by the marriage of his daughter, to the family of 
Caopena, then settled at Nauplia, whose name undoubtedly 
points to a Catalan origin, though Venetian genealogists 
make them come from the Dalmatian island of Lesina — a 
name easily confused with " Legena," the Venetian form of 
JEgirn. — and others suppose Cyprus to have been their 
home. 8 At JEgim. the Caopena held sway till 145 1, and this 
explains the boast of a much later Catalan writer, that his 
countrymen maintained their " ancient splendour " in Greece 
till the middle of the fifteenth century. It seems probable 
that, soon after the Florentine Conquest, the Catalan 
lord of iEgina conveyed thither the head of St George, 
which King Pedro had wished to have removed from 
Livadia to Spain, but which was still preserved there in 1 393, 

1 Rubid, Catalunya a Grecia, 54, 61, 63-5 ; Monumenia Ord. Frat 
PradUatontMy vii., 71. 

3 Hopf, Karystos (tr. Sardagna), 67, 73. The name of Cao-Pinna 
is still common in Sardinia, where there are many Catalan families. 


for the Venetians found it at ;Egina when they became 
possessed of the island, and transported it thence to Venice 
in 1462. 1 We hear of a Catalan living at Modon in 1418, 
and of a Catalan corsair at Monemvasia in 1460, and in 1609 
a Catalan was Bishop of Cerigo. There is still a noble 
family in Zante called Kataliinos, and persons of the same 
name have been found at Patras, Kalamata, and Aigion 
within recent years. The island of Santorin possesses three 
families of Spanish origin — those of Da Corogna 2 , De 
Cigalla, and Delenda, the latter a name common in Sardinia 
in the form Deledda. Thus, it happens that the present 
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Athens, Mgr. Delenda, is a 
descendant of its Catalan conquerors. 

Memorials of the Catalan domination may still be seen 
in Greece. The fine castles of Salona, Livadia, and Lamia — 
all important places at that epoch, contain Catalan work, 
and the three ruined churches still to be seen within the 
precincts of the first of those fortresses were certainly used, 
if not built, by the devout soldiers of Spain who resided 
there. We know, too, that in their time there were churches 
of St George, St Mary, and St Michael at Livadia, but we 
are not told that they were of Catalan origin. Probably the 
row of towers between Thebes and Livadia dates from this 
period, as it was naturally most important to keep up 
communication between the capital and the chief fortress of 
the duchies. We are expressly told that they fortified the 
Akropolis, and that the governor had his residence and a 
chapel dedicated to St Bartholomew there. But of this 
nothing now remains. The Christian Archaeological Museum 
at Athens contains, however, one very curious memorial of 
Catalan rule — a fresco of the Virgin and Child, with two 
armorial shields hanging from trees, and some mysterious 
letters in Gothic character, which came from the church of 
the Prophet Elias, near the gate of the Agori. 8 The Gothic 
inscription on the west front of the Parthenon does not, 

1 Hopf, Chroniques, 202. 

' Hopf (tr. Sardagna), in Archivio Veneto, xxxi., 163, says, on the 
strength of a genealogical tree at Santorin, that they came from Cortina. 
But they are heard of in the Archipelago in 1307, before the Catalan 
conquest of Athens. 

3 AcXrfop rip XpurriaviKrji * XpxatoKoyiKrjt 'Eratpflat, i., 65. 


however, appear to be Catalan. It is no wonder that the 
Catalans left few great buildings behind them, when it is 
remembered that they lacked the stimulus of a ducal court, 
such as had existed in the time of the Burgundians, and that 
they were not, for the most part, the younger sons of noble 
houses, but a band of soldiers of fortune, who, by the strangest 
of accidents, had become the heirs of Periklfis and Phidias. 
Being merely the representatives of the absent dukes, the 
Catalan vicars-general coined no money, but the kings of 
Sicily and Aragon bore the title of " Duke of Athens and 
Neopatras " on their coins. 1 

Such a society as this was not likely to encourage culture, 
and it is significant that the Catalan dialect has left no mark 
on the Greek language ; yet even in Catalan Athens we find 
an Athenian priest copying medical works, while we know 
that the Catholic bishops of Salona and Megara had 
libraries. 2 But professional men seem to have been scarce in 
the country, if we may judge from the fact that on one 
occasion a doctor had to be sent from Sicily to Thebes.* 
Trade, on the other hand, naturally flourished between 
Barcelona and her Greek colony. The Venetian archives 
contain several allusions to the commercial relations between 
Thebes and both Barcelona and Majorca ; Thebes, " the head, 
as it were, and mistress " of the cities of the duchies, had its own 
measures, and levied an octroi of 2 per cent, on all merchandise 
that went in or out of its gates ; the contemporary geographer 
Abulfeda, mentions its gold and silver embroideries, but a 
Catalan traveller tells us that it suffered severely from earth- 
quakes. Although Venice bound down the Company to keep 
no galleys in the Piraeus, and prohibited the Catalans of 
iEgina from all traffic by sea, the "port of Athens" had 
recovered some of its importance, for we hear of a harbour- 
master being appointed, and of ships from Spain being 
anchored there. 4 From the beginning of the fourteenth century 

1 Schlumberger, Numismatique de f Orient latin, 345. 

2 Montfaucon, Pal, Graca y 70 ; Rubid, Los JVavarros, 458, 475. 
8 L&npros, "Eyypa^a, 303. 

4 Prcdelli, Commemoriali, II., 22, 139, 141, 310, 325, 331 ; III, 69; 
Pegalotti, Delia Decima, III., 51, 108, 109; Friar Jordanus, AfinMUa 
Descripta (tr. Yule), 2, 3. 


it had borne the name of Lion, or Porto Leone, by which it 
was known down to late Turkish times, from the great stone 
lion which then stood there, and which was removed by 
Morosini to Venice, where it still guards the entrance to the 
arsenal, waiting for the day when all her stolen treasures shall 
be restored to free Greece. Athens, on the other hand, had 
sunk into insignificance, as compared with Thebes. The 
Westphalian priest, Ludolph, who travelled in Greece between 
1 3 36 and 1 341 , describes it as " almost deserted," and he adds the 
curious remark, which perhaps must not be taken too literally, 
that "there is not a marble column nor any good work of cut 
stone in the city of Genoa which has not been brought thither 
from Athens, so that the city has been wholly built out of 
Athens." 1 Forty years later the Catalans of Athens lamented 
to Pedro IV. their "poverty and distress." Livadia under 
the Catalans obtained an importance, which it retained in 
Turkish times ; the county of Salona was the largest fief in the 
country; and the fortress of Siderokastron is described as 
"the key of the duchy of Athens." 2 Boudonitza, whose 
Venetian marquis was a Catalan vassal ; Demetrias, " the 
boundary of Hellas," the last fragment of the Catalan posses- 
sions in Thessaly ; Lamia, under its name ;of Citon ; the 
Boeotian Karditza ; Atalante, or La Calandri ; Kapraina, the 
ancient Chaironeia; Stiris, or Estir, near the monastery of 
the Blessed Luke ; and Vitrinitza, or La Veterni^a, on the 
Gulf of Corinth, all figure in the history of the Catalan 
duchies ; while their second capital, Neopatras, or La Patria, 
by furnishing one half of the ducal title, became a household 
word all over the Spanish world, and a Spanish poet com- 
memorated it long after the last Catalan governor had left 
its walls. 

The Greeks long remembered with terror the Catalan 
domination ; a Greek girl in a mediaeval song, prayed that her 
seducer might "fall into a Catalan's hands," and even a 
generation ago in Attica, in Euboea, in Akarnania, Messenia, 
Lakonia, and at Tripolitza, the name of " Catalan " was used 
as a term of reproach ; but the present author's enquiries in 
Greece have not succeeded in tracing this curious survival to 

1 De Itinere Terra Sancta, 23 ; Rubi6, Catalunya, 98. 

2 Guardione, op. cit. y 22. 


the present day. Professor Polftes, the leading authority on 
Greek folklore, states, however, that in Mane a child is some- 
times christened " Catalan/ 1 as an omen of his future strength 
and courage, and that there the name is held in high esteem. 1 
The distinguished Greek historian, Professor Ldmpros, in his 
juvenile drama, " The last Count of Salona," and Koutoubdles 
in " John the Catalan, Archon of Olympos," have embodied 
in literature the Greek conception of the Catalans as monsters, 
but there is more of rhetoric than of history in those produc- 
tions. That the Catalans were harder masters than the 
French is very probable ; yet it is remarkable that the Greeks 
did not stir a finger to assist in a French restoration, when 
they had the chance. The probability is, that the Catalans 
have obtained their bad name from their cruelties before they 
settled down in Attica, and that they became staider and 
more tolerant as they became respectable ; towards the close, 
as we have seen, King Pedro was not only liberal towards the 
Greeks, but waxed as enthusiastic as any philhellene over 
the splendours of the Parthenon. If, in spite of his liberality, 
they assisted Nerio, as has been plausibly argued, to conquer 
Athens, that merely proves that they recognised in him a 
strong man on the spot, connected by marriage with the chief 
representative of Hellenism in Greece, who would perhaps 
give them that peace which their absent duke could not 

But if the modern Greeks do not view the Catalans with 
favour, the modern Catalans look back with justifiable pride 
on the connection between their countrymen and Athens. 
Catalan divines have truly boasted that their tongue was once 
spoken in the precincts of the Parthenon ; Catalan poets and 
dramatists have chosen the Catalan Grand Company for their 
theme ; to the labours of a brilliant Catalan scholar we owe 
the documents which have thrown so much light on this 
period ; and in the history of Athens, where nothing can 
lack interest, these rough soldiers from the West are also 
entitled to a place. 

About the same time that Nerio Acciajuoli obtained 

1 Stamatftdes, 01 KaroXdvot, 223 ; Polftes, quoted by Rubi<5, La 
EspedicMn, 15-17; Legrand, Recueil de Chansons populaires grtcques, 
p. xx. 


possession of Attica, a relative of his completed the phe- 
nomenal good fortune of the family by becoming Despot of 
Epiros. We last saw all Akarnania and iEtolia in the 
possession of an Albanian chieftain, Ghin (or John) Boua 
Spata, while a Serb, Thomas Preliubovich, ruled at Joannina. 
" At first," says the Chronicle of Epiros, " he wore a fox's 
skin ; but he soon threw it off, and put on that of a lion." 
Every class and race suffered from the persecutions of this 
petty tyrant; he first attacked the Greek Church, ex- 
pelling the metropolitan, and distributing the ecclesiastical 
property among his Servian followers; then it was the 
turn of the native magnates, whom he either banished, or 
imprisoned, then that of the common people, whose food he 
taxed and whose savings he extorted. Wine, corn, meat, 
and cheese, the fish of the lake, the fruit of the orchards, all 
became monopolies of the tyrant, who compelled the peasants 
to work for him without pay. The Albanians do not usually 
turn the left cheek to the smiter ; they called in the aid of 
their countryman, Boua Spata, who more than once besieged 
Joannina, but in vain. The Archangel Michael — so ran the 
story — saved the threatened city, and its tyrant, imitating 
Basil "the Bulgar-Slayer," was able to style himself with 
pride Thomas "the slayer of the Albanians," from the 
number of his victims. " All wickedness is small compared 
with the wickedness of Thomas" — such is the constant 
refrain of the tearful chronicler. Even his Serbs fled from 
before his face ; and thus, having forfeited the sympathies of 
all, he completed his enormities by calling in the Turks. In 
1385, for the first time, a Turkish force marched on Arta, 
under the command of Timourtash, carrying away a number 
of prisoners. Boua Spata, at this crisis, in vain proposed to 
Preliubovich an alliance against the common enemy ; but 
vengeance was at hand, and before the year was out, the 
tyrant fell by the hands of his own bodyguard. The people 
of Joannina joyfully proclaimed his widow, who called her 
brother, the famous Abbot of Metdora, " King Joseph," to 
her councils, and, on his advice and that of the leading 
magnates, resolved to marry a strong man who could help 
her to reorganise her distracted country and protect it from 
the renewed attacks of the ambitious Spata. Such a consort 


was found in the person of Esau Buondelmonti, a Florentine 
of noble family, connected with the Acciajuoli and brother 
of the Duchess of Leucadia, in whose island dominions he 
was then residing. The elegant and quiet Florentine pleased 
the Servian widow all the more by contrast with her first 
husband's barbarous ways ; indeed, according to one account, 
Esau had already been her paramour, having been captured 
in battle by Preliubovich, pardoned at the instance of his 
wife, and then having helped her to get rid of the tyrant 
The people received him with intense relief; he restored 
their confiscated property, recalled the banished metropolitan, 
re-endowed the Church, opened the doors of the prisons, 
summoned back the exiled magnates, and abolished the 
hateful corv/es. Like his predecessor, he strove to legitimise 
his rule with the Greeks by accepting the title of Despot from 
the imperial court at Constantinople ; but he needed more 
efficient aid against Spata and his Albanians, and had to 
ask the Sultan Murad I. in person for his protection — to 
such a state of weakness were the Christian states of the , 
East now reduced. A Turkish force appeared at Joannina ; 
Spata, who was besieging the town by both land and water, 
was forced to withdraw, and sorely-tried Epiros enjoyed for 
a few years the blessings of peace. 1 

Thus, in the year 1388, by an extraordinary coincidence, 
Florentines held sway alike at Athens, at Corinth, in Epiros, 
and in the island county of Cephalonia, where Esau's sister, 
the Duchess Maddalena, widow of Leonardo Tocco, was 
regent for her son Carlo, 2 himself affianced to an Acciajuoli, 
Another daughter of that dominant house charmed with 
her beauty the ceremonious Byzantine court of Mistra. If 
Florence was thus the leading Latin power in Greece, Venice 
came near her ; for she was firmly settled in Crete, and was 
practically mistress of Eubcea and of Argolis, where a noble 
French dame still maintained the appearance of power in 
the last fragment of the old French duchy of Athens. 
Venice held, too, her Messenian colonies ; the possession of 

1 Epirotica y 216-35; Chalkokond^les, 211 -12; Gregorovius, Brief e y 
304 ; Verino, De lllustratume Urbis Florentine, i., 120 ; ii., 22. 

3 Leonardo I. had died between 1374 and 1377 ; Buchon, Nouvclles 
RecttertheSy I., i., 309 ; Hopf, Chroniques> 183. 

wl 1 . «fla#">£^ 



-*" * 13$$* 


GREECE IN 1388 333 

Pteleon gave her a post of observation in Thessaly ; she had 
just acquired the island of Corfii, the key of the Adriatic ; 
and in the Cyclades the new Italian dynasty was more sus- 
ceptible to her influence than the previous dukes of the 
Archipelago had been. The Navarrese in the principality of 
Achaia, and the Catalans at Salona, completed the Latin 
element. While the Albanian chieftains still held Arta and 
Lepanto, and the Servian dominion was fast waning in 
Thessaly, the Turk was surely approaching. Already his 
aid is invoked in Greek affairs ; already his shadow is over 
the vale of Tempe and the great Thessalian plain. Too 
late the Greek people, so long inarticulate, was growing 
conscious of its nationality and of its power. The last 
period of Latin rule at Athens witnessed, on the eve of the 
Turkish Conquest, the revival of the Greek Church and the 
national aristocracy. 



THE history of mediaeval Athens is full of surprises. A 
Burgundian nobleman founding a dynasty in the ancient 
home of heroes and philosophers; a roving band of 
mercenaries from the westernmost peninsula of Europe 
destroying in a single day the brilliant French civilisation 
of a century ; a Florentine upstart, armed with the modern 
weapons of finance, receiving the keys of the Akropolis from 
a gallant and chivalrous soldier of Spain — such are the 
tableaux which inaugurate the three epochs of her Frankish 
annals. But the merchant prince, whom a successful policy 
of enlightened selfishness had made the founder of the 
third and last Latin dynasty of Athens, was in a much 
more difficult position than either of his predecessors. It 
was true that his dominions, on paper at any rate, were 
almost as extended as ever had been those of the Bur- 
gundians and Catalans in their palmiest days. If, unlike 
the former, he did not own the Argolid, he held the stately 
castle of Corinth, the key of the Morea, with its ring of 
dependent fortresses. Chalkokond^les tells us that he 
possessed most of Phokis, the outlying parts, no doubt, of 
the Catalan county of Salona, and that his northern frontier 
marched with the confines of Thessaly. The three most 
prosperous cities of ancient Hellas — Athens, Thebes, Corinth 
— were all his. But the handwriting was on the wall : the 
Turk was hovering on the Macedonian border. Under these 
circumstances the keynote of the new ruler's policy was 
naturally conciliation of the Greeks. Now, for the first time 
since the day when Michael Akominitos had fled from his 
cathedral on the Akropolis before the Burgundian con- 



querors, a Greek metropolitan was allowed to reside at 
Athens. 1 He did not, indeed, recover the time-honoured 
church of Our Lady on that sacred rock — for the Parthenon 
continued, as before, to be the Catholic minster of the city — 
but conducted his services in what is now the military 
bakery, but which was in Turkish times "the mosque of 
the conqueror." This venerable edifice, now put to such 
base uses, was the metropolitan church of Athens during 
the rest of the Frankish period. Opinions differ as to the 
residence of the metropolitan ; one archaeologist thought 
that he had discovered fragments of the building in the 
Stoa of Attalos ; the more probable view is that it was near 
the church of Dionysios the Areopagite under the shadow 
of the Areopagos, where travellers visited the metropolitan 
in the seventeenth century, until a fragment of the rock, 
loosened by an earthquake, fell and destroyed his abode. 2 
Great was the surprise of the Holy Synod at Constantinople 
when the news arrived that, after nearly two centuries, an 
Athenian metropolitan could live in his see, instead of 
remaining, as most of his predecessors had done, merely 
a titular dignitary, who found occupation in attending the 
meetings of that august body. In the ecclesiastical docu- 
ments 8 of the Catalan period we find frequent allusions to 
the metropolitans of Athens as members of the Holy Synod ; 
and one of the exiled hierarchs died in Crete a martyr for 
his Church ; but the local business had always been carried 
on in their absence by deputies, whose title was the more 
modest one of "first priest" (irparroTraTrdg) 4 or "Exarch." 6 
The degradation of the Athenian see to a lower place in 
the ecclesiastical hierarchy by Andr6nikos II. was therefore 

Throughout the Frankish period the Greek ecclesiastical 
organisation had subsisted, with a few changes; but its 
existence had been merely on paper, so far as most of the 

1 Miklosich und Miiller, ii., 165. 

* Kampotiroglos, 'I<rro/>(a t&v 'Aerator, ii, 37, 170, 304 ; Spon, Voyage^ 
ii., 200 ; Philadelphetis, 'leropla tQv 'ABnr&r, L, 178, 273, 278, 279, 312 ; 
ii., 91. 

8 Miklosich und Miiller, i., 453, 456, 459, 467, 47 1, 476, 477, 488, 498, 
558, 564. 

4 Ibid. y ii., 259. 6 Ldmpros, Uapvcurvfo, vi., 172. 


Latin states of the Levant were concerned. The twelve 
metropolitan sees, which we found at the time of the Latin 
Conquest, had been increased to fifteen or sixteen in the 
time of Andr6nikos II. ; but it is significant that he awarded 
all the sees of Greece a lower place in the hierarchical scale, 
with the notable exception of Monemvasia — a natural tribute 
to the great importance of that city to the empire after its 
recovery in 1262. The Venetians, always more indifferent 
to religious fervour than other Catholics, had allowed the 
Greek bishops to reside in their colonies of Coron and 
Modon. But there was no room found for a Catholic 
archbishop and a Greek metropolitan in the same town. 
Hence the custom had arisen at the oecumenical patriarchate 
of tacking suffragan bishoprics, which had from time im- 
memorial belonged to the " enslaved " metropolitan sees, on to 
other sees which had been so fortunate as to escape from the 
clutches of the Franks. It had become the practice, too, 
for the bishop of a •' free " diocese to lay hands on those 
persons of an " enslaved " diocese who desired to enter the 
ministry. 1 But, as the Greeks had gradually recovered a 
large part of the Morea, two out of its five metropolitans — 
those of Monemvasia and Lacedaemonia — had been able to 
reside in their respective sees ; while a third, his grace of 
Patras, though, of course, excluded from what was pre- 
eminently the Catholic city of the peninsula, had latterly 
resided, after a long homeless existence, in the splendid 
monastery of " the Great Cave," still the richest institution 
of the kind in Greece, which was a special dependency (or 
(trravpoTrnyiov) of the patriarchate. North of the isthmus 
the occupation of Thessaly by the orthodox Serbs, after a 
temporary attempt to form a separate Servian church, had 
naturally involved the return of the metropolitan of Larissa, 
" Exarch of Second Thessaly and all Hellas," to that ancient 
city, and the capture of Lepanto from the Angevins by the 
Albanians had restored the metropolitan of Naupaktos, 
"Exarch of all iEtolia," to his old see in 1380, after 
long exile at Arta.* At Salona, thanks, no doubt, to the 

1 Miklosich und M tiller, ii., 139. 

2 Dor6theos of Monemvasia, op. cit., 397 ; Miklosich und M tiller, i., 
413, 493, 514, 587 ; ii., ", 23, 270. 


influence of its Greek countess, we now hear for the first 
time of a Greek bishop, whose example, like those of the 
restored metropolitans of Athens, inspires doubts as to the 
wisdom of this tolerant policy, from the Frankish point of 
view. The conquerors had now, however, to face this 
dilemma: either they must continue to exclude the higher 
Greek clergy, in which case they would lose the sympathies 
of their numerous and more and more indispensable Greek 
subjects, or they must permit them to return, in which 
case the patriotic aspirations of the orthodox hierarchy, 
combined with its intensely political character, would 
certainly lead to conspiracies against the temporal authori- 
ties, who were at once aliens and — worse still — schismatics. 
This was exactly what happened. The Greek bishop at 
Athens or Salona, became a political agent of Hellenism, 
a leader, or at least a representative, of the national party, 
just as he is to-day in Macedonia; unable to secure the 
triumph of Greek independence, he was ready, as is his 
fellow in Macedonia, to seek the aid of the Turk, as a 
preferable alternative to the rule of a Christian of another 
Church, Thus, the restoration of the Greek metropolitan 
see of Athens was an event of the first importance to 
Hellenism, and the Holy Synod was able to report with 
pride that under the tactful administration of Dor6theos, 
"Exarch of All Hellas, and president of Thebes and 
Neopatras," the Athenian Church, which had preserved the 
orthodox faith even without its hierarch, "seemed to have 
recovered its ancient happiness, such as it had enjoyed before 
the barbarian conquest" * As for the Catholic hierarchy, it 
continued as before, only that, instead of a Catalan, a 
Tuscan was archbishop at both Athens and Corinth. 

But it was not the Greek Church alone which profited by 
the change of dynasty. Nerio's philhellenic policy — and it 
was policy, not sentiment, which made this hard-headed 
Florentine favour the Greeks — was also extended to the 
laity. Greek for the first time became the official language 
of the Government at Athens ; thirty years before, it had been 
employed by the bailie of the titular duke at Nauplia. 
Nerio and his accomplished daughter, the Countess of 
1 Miklosich und M uller, ii., 165. 



Cephalonia, used it in their public documents ; the countess, 
the most masterful woman of the Latin Orient, proudly 
signed herself, in the cinnabar ink of Byzantium, " Empress 
of the Romans." This practice naturally necessitated the 
engagement of Greeks as secretaries and clerks. Nerio's 
secretary was a certain Phiomichos, the ever-useful 
Demdtrios Rendi continued to be notary of the city, and as 
his colleague we find another Greek, Nik61aos Makri. There 
is some evidence that Greek " elders " were allowed a share 
in the municipal government, as was the case under the 
Turks. 1 Even Florentines settled at Athens assumed the 
Greek translations of their surnames. A member of the 
famous Medici family had emigrated to Athens in the 
Catalan days ; possibly he was one of the Tuscan men-at- 
arms who took part in Walter of Brienne's futile expedition ; 
at any rate, a certain Pierre de Medicis " of Athens " held 
the office of bailie and captain-general of Argos and Nauplia 
for Walter, when the latter was tyrant of Florence, and we 
may conjecture that the titular duke was glad to employ as 
his deputy a Florentine and an old follower who had 
remained in Greece. This man's son had now settled in 
Athens, doubtless attracted by the success of his eminent 
fellow- Florentine. The Medici had intermarried with Greeks, 
and had now become so Hellenised as to call themselves 
Iatr6s, instead of Medici. A century and a half later, their 
descendants still flourished at Athens and at Nauplia, and 
the family of Iatr6poulos claims them as its ancestors. 2 

Hitherto the career of Nerio Acciajuoli had been one of 
unbroken success. His star had guided him from Florence 
to Akrocorinth, and from Akrocorinth to the Akropolis ; his 
two daughters, one famed as the most beautiful, the other as 
the most talented woman of her time, were married to the 
chief Greek and to the leading Latin potentate of Greece. 
These two alliances seemed to afford him protection against 
the only serious foe whom he had to fear, the vigorous and 

1 If, with Philadelpheiis (i., 135), we accept the Qprjvos, or " Lament for 
the Capture of Athens," as referring to this period. 

* Ibid., III., 248, 253 ; Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches % I., i., 131 ; II., i., 
220 ; Gregorovius, op. M, ii., 227 ; Ldmpros, "Ey/pa^a, 407 ; Sdthas, 
Uni/ieia, viii., 370, 451. 


unscrupulous leader of the Navarrese Company. The King 
of Aragon, in his palace at Barcelona, was far away ; but the 
Navarrese were near at hand. They had never shown much 
love for Nerio, even when he was only lord of Corinth ; they 
had seized many of his family estates ; they would be only 
too glad, as his confidant, the worldly Bishop of Argos, had 
complained, " to do him some great harm." They had not 
forgotten their temporary occupation of the Athenian duchy, 
and they were now on excellent terms with the new King of 
Aragon, who still regarded himself as its lawful duke, and 
might at any moment employ their swords and their local 
knowledge against the usurper. 1 The most elementary 
common-sense suggested that he should not place himself in 
the power of these astute enemies. But success had 
apparently blinded the wily Florentine to the obvious dictates 
of prudence. He was now destined, thanks to his ambition 
and his rashness, to experience one of those sudden turns of 
fortune so peculiarly characteristic of Frankish Greece. 

Nerio was naturally desirous of rounding off his dominions 
by the acquisition of the castles of Nauplia and Argos, which 
had been appendages of the French duchy of Athens, but 
which, during the Catalan period, had remained loyal to the 
family of Brienne and to its heirs, the house of Enghien. 
It chanced that in the very same year, 1388, which witnessed 
the fall of the Akropolis, Marie d'Enghien, the Lady of 
Argos, lost her Venetian husband, Pietro Cornaro. Thus 
left a young and helpless widow, and fearing an attack upon 
her possessions by her two ambitious neighbours, Nerio and 
his son-in-law, the Despot Theodore of Mistr£, whose 
dominions came up as far as Astros, on the Gulf of Nauplia, 
the Lady of Argos transferred her Argive estates to Venice, 
in return for a perpetual annuity of 500 gold ducats to 
herself and her heirs, and a further life annuity to herself of 
200 ducats. In the event of her death without heirs, she 
was allowed to bequeath the sum of 2000 ducats, payable out 
of the Venetian treasury, to whomsoever she pleased. She was, 
however, to forfeit all claim to the above annuities, if she 
married anyone except a Venetian noble. The ancient 
Larissa of Argos, the twin castles of Nauplia, " the Frank " 
1 Rubi6, Los Navarros, 480, 492. 


and " the Greek," as they were still called, and the noble gulf 
whose waves then washed their base, were cheap at the 
price. 1 Thus, Venice acquired the sole remaining dependency 
of the old French duchy of Athens, which remained in her 
hands for over one hundred and fifty years. Thus, the most 
shrewdly practical and least romantic of mediaeval republics 
began her long domination over the ancient kingdom of 
Agamemnon. Thus, in the selfsame year, a Florentine 
banker became the heir of Theseus, a Venetian magistrate 
the heir of Atrides. 

Before, however, the Venetian commissioner, Malipiero, 
had had time to take over the Argolid, the Despot Theodore, 
instigated by his father-in-law, Nerio, had seized Argos by a 
coup de main. Nerio regarded himself, and not Venice, as the 
successor of the De la Roche and the Brienne in places 
which had once been theirs, and in which he himself had 
property. His plan was, however, only half successful, for 
Malipiero persuaded the people of Nauplia to admit him as 
the representative of the most serene republic. Already 
incensed with Nerio, whom she accused of still harbouring 
Turkish corsairs at Megara to the detriment of her colonies, 
Venice retorted by breaking off all commercial relations 
between them and the subjects of Nerio and his son-in-law. 
The Athenians were no longer allowed to export their figs 
and raisins to Negroponte, nor to import their iron and 
ploughshares from Modon and Coron. At the same time, 
Venetian diplomacy made use of the Navarrese Company to 
punish the chief culprit San Superan was on good terms 
with Venice; he had promised to compensate her subjects 
for the damage done by his men at the time of their 
invasion, to favour her commerce, and to dispose of no 
portion of the principality to her foes. He now willingly 
offered his services ; the Venetian Archbishop of Patras did 
the same. The shrewd Florentine showed on this occasion 
a childlike simplicity, remarkable in one who had lived so 
many years in the Levant. He accepted the invitation of 
the Navarrese commander to a personal interview on the 

1 Thomas and Predelli, Diplomatarium, ii., 211-15; Caresinus, 
Sanudo, and Navagero apud Muratori, xii., 482 ; xxii., 760, 777 ; xxiii. 
1072 ; Gerland, 159 ; Chronicon Breve, 516. 


question of Argos, relying on a safe-conduct which he had 
received. To the men of Navarre the law of nations was 
mere waste-paper ; the opportunity of securing their enemy 
was too good to be lost San Superan bade Asan Zaccaria, 
the great constable of the Morea, arrest him, and on ioth 
September 1389, the order was executed. 1 At once the 
whole Acciajuoli clan set to work to obtain the release of 
their distinguished relative. His wife offered Theodore a 
large sum to surrender Argos. One of his brothers, Angelo, 
Cardinal Archbishop of Florence, sent a trusty emissary to 
the Despot, and implored the intervention of the pope; 
another, Donato, a Florentine Gonfaloniere, to whom Nerio's 
wife specially appealed for aid, persuaded his Government to 
despatch envoys to Venice, offering the most liberal terms, 
if the republic would secure Nerio's release. Donato was 
ready to place the cities of Athens and Thebes and part 
of the barony of Corinth in the hands of a Venetian com- 
missioner as a pledge of his brother's sincerity, together with 
Nerio's merchandise in the city of Corinth to the value of 
from 12,000 to 15,000 ducats, so as to defray any expenses 
incurred by the republic in obtaining his release. He offered 
to go in person to Greece and see that Argos was handed 
over to Venice before his brother was set free, and appealed 
for mercy to one who was an honorary citizen of the republic 
On the same ground, he applied for aid to Genoa, which had 
lately conferred the freedom of the city upon Nerio's 
daughter, the Countess of Cephalonia, and invoked the 
assistance of Amadeo of Savoy. The fear of Genoese 
intervention, and the news that the Despot was preparing to 
release his father-in-law by force, decided Venice to give 
way. After nearly a year's imprisonment near Vostitza and 
in the inland castle of Listrina (near Patras), Nerio obtained 
his release in the latter half of 1390 by sending his favourite 
daughter, the Countess of Cephalonia, as a hostage to 
Negroponte, and by consigning the city and castle of Megara 
and the value of his merchandise at Corinth to the Venetians, 
until they had obtained possession of Argos, which he 
promised to assist in securing for them, by force if 
necessary. If the Navarrese had hoped to annex his 
1 Gregorovius, Brief e aus der " Corrispcndenza Acciajoli? 305-6. 


dominions during his captivity, they were mistaken, for his 
wife could point with pride to the loyalty of both his old 
subjects at Corinth and his new subjects at Athens to their 
imprisoned lord — a fact which shows that his philhellenic 
policy had borne fruit But the men of Navarre, as was 
well known, were fond of money, and they, too, were deter- 
mined to make their captive pay dearly for his liberty. In 
order to raise the money for his ransom, he stripped the 
silver plates off the doors of the Parthenon, seized the gold, 
silver, and precious stones which the piety of many genera- 
tions had given to the ancient minster and to the cathedral 
of Corinth, and acquired, by lease or other means, various 
churches, including the Parthenon. The Despot was, however, 
in no hurry to surrender Argos. It was not till 1394 that 
Venice at last obtained possession of that coveted city, 
together with the castles of Thermisi and Kiveri. Then, at 
last, internal dissensions in his own dominions, where one 
of the hereditary archons of Monemvasia, a descendant of 
the Mamon&s who had parleyed with William de Ville- 
hardouin one hundred and fifty years before, aimed at 
practical independence with Turkish aid or under Venetian 
suzerainty, forced him to yield. Venice thereupon restored 
Megara to Nerio, together with a large sum of his money 
which she had still in hand. The administration of the 
Argolid was then settled ; in the days of the titular dukes of 
Athens, Nauplia and Argos had been governed by a bailie or 
captain-general, assisted by a council ; each of the two cities 
now received zftodestit, or " captain," with a couple of governors 
under him, but the two administrations were to work in 
common, as at Modon and Coron ; a deputation of Argives 
presented the capitulations of the towns at Venice, and 
received the ratification of their fiscal and feudal privileges. 
One of the first acts of the Venetian authorities was to erect 
a third fortress at Nauplia, on the north-west slope of Itsh- 
Kaleh, to which they gave the name of the Torrione. As at 
that time the site of the present lower town was covered by 
the sea, the place was extremely strong. 

1 Predelli, Commemoriali, III., 206, 208, 223, 231 ; Buchon, Nouvelles 
Recherches % II., i., 238-53, 254-6; L&npros, "Eyypa^a, 114; Ckronicon 
Brtve, 516 ; Dordtheos of Monemvasia, 472. 


Nerio was not the man to forgive the Navarrese the trick 
which they had played upon him, especially as they had 
seized most of his family estates in the Morea and insisted in 
maintaining the old fiction, that the duchy of Athens was a 
fief of Achaia, and its master merely " lord of Corinth." He 
accordingly entered into relations with the pretender Amadeo 
of Savoy, who had been greatly moved at the news of his 
imprisonment, and was at this moment extremely active. 
Venice thought that the Savoyard might assist in capturing 
Argos for her, and undertook to transport him and his men 
to the Morea, and to make terms between him and the 
Navarrese when he arrived there. The Navarrese, on their 
part, alarmed by the approaching Turkish peril, offered to 
recognise his claims, provided that he would confirm them 
in the possession of the fiefs which they had won by their 
swords, with full right of sale if any of them wished to return 
to Navarre, would permit them to make certain gifts or 
bequests to the famous Minorite church at Glarentza, and 
would pay 20,000 gold ducats to San Superan. For Amadeo's 
guidance, they sent him a list of the fiefs which existed in the 
Morea in 1391. From this list we see that the twelve peers 
now consisted of the three dukes of Athens, the Archipelago, 
and Leucadia; the Marquis of Boudonitza, the Count of 
Cephalonia, and the Countess of Salona ; the three triarchs 
of Negroponte ; the barons of Arkadia and Chalandritza ; 
and the Archbishop of Patras. Three other ecclesiastical 
barons are enumerated — the bishops of Olena, Modon, and 
Coron ; and the two military orders of the Teutonic Knights 
and those of Rhodes. 1 Great, indeed, had been the changes 
since the Achaian peerage was founded nearly two centuries 
before. Arkadia, Chalandritza, and Patras were the only 
original baronies left, and they had all passed away from 
their original holders, for the two former now both belonged 
to the Genoese Asan Zaccaria, great constable of the princi- 
pality, while Patras was practically an independent fief, held 
by the archbishop, who acknowledged no overlord but the 
pope. Moreover, nine of the peers resided out of the 
peninsula, whereas, even in the list preserved in the Book 

1 Predelli, Commemoriali, iii., 203, 209 ; Gregorovius, Briefe y 306 ; 
Buchon, Recherehes et MatMaux^ i., 288-99 J Hopf, Chroniques y 229-30. 



of the Customs of ttu Empire of Romania and composed 
somewhat earlier in this same century, there were only seven 
absentees. It is especially noticeable that the Ionian islands 
furnish two baronies, though Carlo I. Tocco was both Count 
of Cephalonia and Duke of Leucadia ; but this is doubtless 
to be explained by the fact that on paper Amadeo had 
recently bestowed the former island, together with little 
Ithaka, upon a Greek supporter, one Ldskaris Kaloph6ros, 
who had thus succeeded in theory to the realm of Odysseus. 1 
We notice, too, that the vicar-general had managed to secure 
for himself the best of both the domanial and the baronial 
lands. Thus he held such celebrated places as Vostitza, 
captured from the Acciajuoli ; Glarentza ; Belveder, above 
Katakolo; the castle of St Omer, whose name is still 
preserved by the Santameri mountains; Androusa, or 
" Druse," in Messenia, now the capital of the principality ; 
Kalamata, the old fief of the Villehardouins, and many 
smaller castles — comprising altogether about 2770 hearths 
out of more than 4050. Next to him in importance came 
Asan Zaccaria ; but most of the old castles were now in the 
hands of soldiers of the Company ; the strong position of 
Navarino, " Port Jonc " as it is still called in the document, 
was entrusted to two of those adventurers. Another person- 
age, who figures largely in the transactions of this period, was 
Rudolph Schoppe, great preceptor of the Teutonic Knights, 
who resided at Mostenitsa. A century later, "the German 
house" at Modon was the usual stopping-place of German 
pilgrims to the Holy Land. 2 

These negotiations with the Navarrese did not prevent 
Amadeo from adopting a policy dear to diplomatists in our 
own day — that of insuring his position by making terms with 
the adversary of his allies. He sent envoys to Athens, and 
there "in the chapel of the palace" on the Akropolis, now 
the residence of " the lord of Corinth, of the duchy of Athens 
and of Neopatras," as Nerio styled himself, the latter pledged 
himself to aid Amadeo in taking the Morea from the 
Navarrese, and to induce his son-in-law, the Despot, to join 

1 Hopf apud Ersch und Grubcr, IxxxvL, 48. 

8 Fabcr, Evagatorium, i., 39, r6j ; Hi., 33' \ Archives d* ? Orient 
latin, H., documents, 354, 


in the attack upon them. As his reward, he claimed the 
restitution of his family property. 1 Thus, insured against all 
competitors, Amadeo might have been expected to act But 
the death of his relative, the Count of Savoy, made his 
presence necessary at home ; he wisely preferred to preserve 
what he possessed in Italy rather than make fresh acquisitions 
in Greece, and neither he, nor his brother and heir, Louis, 
did more than call themselves by the barren title of " Prince 
of Achaia," which appears on their coins. 8 With the death 
of Louis in 141 8, the legitimate race of the Savoyard 
pretenders ceased, but as late as the last century a bastard 
of Savoy still styled himself " of the Morea." 

While the Latin rulers of Greece were thus intriguing 
against each other, the Turks were threatening the existence 
of them all. The overthrow of the Servian empire on the 
fatal field of Kossovo in 1389 had removed the last barrier 
between Hellas and her future masters, and then, as now, the 
dissensions of Greeks and Slavs had made them unable to 
combine against the Moslem. In 1387 and the following 
year Turkish bands had appeared in the Morea, and in 1391 
the redoubtable Evrenosbeg, "Bren£zes," as the Byzantine 
historians call him, had been invited by the Navarrese into 
the Morea, to assist them in attacking the Despot of Mistr&, 
and had occupied his capital, the new Greek town of Leondari, 
and the old Frankish castle of Akova. 8 Next year it was the 
turn of Thessaly, Boeotia, and Attica. Nerio thought that he 
had found a traitor in the newly restored Greek metropolitan, 
Dor6theos, whose theological rancour against the Latin Church 
was a sufficient reason to make him welcome the Turkish 
commander. The accused fled, for his life was in danger, 
protesting his innocence and maintaining an active corre- 
spondence with his flock. Nerio thereupon complained of 
his conduct to the oecumenical patriarch, alleging that he 
had repaired to the Turkish camp, and had promised the 
infidels, in return for their aid against the Latins, the 
treasures of the Athenian Church. The Holy Synod, 
however, pronounced the metropolitan to be innocent, on 
the excellent canonical ground, that the statements of 

1 L&npros, "Eyypo^a, 405-7. 2 Buchon, Atlas, xxiv., 14, 15. 

3 Hopf, Chromques, 185 ; Doiikas, 47, 50; Chromcon Breve, 516. 


heretics and schismatics were not evidence against bishops 
of the true Church, and allowed him to retain his three 
dioceses of Athens, Thebes, and Neopatras. But a century 
later, when the Latins no longer ruled over Athens, we find 
another oecumenical patriarch accusing the worthy Dor6theos 
of corruption for having divided in two the hitherto united 
sees of Daulia and Atalante. Nerio, however, cared nothing 
for the decision of the Synod ; he refused to permit Dor6theos 
to return to Athens, and strongly expressed his preference — 
on the principle of divide et impera — for having two Greek 
metropolitans instead of one — namely, one for Athens, and 
the other for Thebes and Neopatras. 1 

The Boeotian raid of Evrenosbeg led to nothing more 
serious than the temporary loss of Livadia, which was 
recovered early in 1 393 by Bertranet Mota, who is described 
as "one of the chief captains of the duchy of Athens," 2 and 
who played an important part in the politics of those years — 
now acting as Nerio's gaoler in the castle of Listrina, now 
fighting for him against the Turks in Boeotia. But in 1393 
Bajazet I., " the Thunderbolt," resolved to annex permanently 
a large part of northern Greece. He was now arbiter of its 
fate, and to his camp came trembling magnates to hear his 
decisions. With the contemptible Despot Theodore in his 
train, he took Pharsala and Domok6, whence the Servian 
governor, Stephen Doiikas Chlapen, viceroy for " King 
Joseph" of Met^ora, fled to Nauplia, and then proceeded 
southward to Lamia. The Greek bishop betrayed that 
strong fortress, Neopatras fell, and many other castles sur- 
rendered on terms. Ecclesiastical treachery and corruption 
sealed the fate of Salona amid tragic surroundings, which a 
modern Greek drama has endeavoured to depict 8 The 
dowager-countess had allowed her paramour, a priest, to 
govern in her name, and this petty tyrant had abused his 
power to wring money from the shepherds of Parnassos and to 
debauch the damsels of Delphi by his demoniacal incantations 

1 Miklosich und M tiller, II., 165 ; Kampotiroglos, II., 135-6. 

a Arch. Cor. Arag., Reg. 1964, fol. 72, v., 2243, fol. 123 (kindly com- 
municated to me by D. Antonio Rubi6 y Lluch) ; Chalkokond^les, 145, 
213 ; Epirotica, 242. 

3 Lclmpros, *0 reXevraiot K6/irjs tQv Zak&vwv, 


in the classic home of the supernatural. At last he cast his 
eyes on the fair daughter and full money-bags of the Greek 
bishop Serapheim ; deprived of his child and fearing for his 
gold, the bishop roused his flock against the monster, and 
begged the sultan to occupy a land so well adapted for his 
majesty's favourite pastimes of hunting and riding as is the 
plain at the foot of Parnassos. The Turks accepted the 
invitation ; the priest shut himself up in the noble castle, 
slew the bishop's daughter, and prepared to fight. But there 
was treachery among the garrison ; a man of Salona murdered 
the tyrant and offered his head to the sultan ; and the 
dowager-countess and her daughter in vain endeavoured 
to appease the conqueror with gifts. Bajazet sent the young 
countess to his harem ; her mother he handed over to the 
insults of his soldiery ; her land he assigned to one of his 
lieutenants, Mur&d Beg. When the latter showed signs of 
independence, he was deposed and beheaded by his autocratic 
sovereign. Ere long, another act of blood completed the 
grim tragedy. The story reached the people of Salona 
that the sultan had murdered their fair young countess, 
considering a descendant of Aragon and Byzantium unworthy 
of his embraces. Such was the end of the famous fief of the 
Stromoncourts, the Deslaurs, and the Fadriques. Thus, in 
the early weeks of 1 394 a Turkish governor was, for the first 
time, established on the northern shore of the Corinthian 
Gulf. 1 

1 Nerio's letter of 20th February 1394 (Gregorovius, Brief e y 307) fixes 
the capture of Salona before that date. Thus the much criticised 
chronology of Chalkokondyles (67-9) is quite correct N. de Martoni 
{Revue de P Orient latin, III., 660) also alludes to it. Cf also Kpovucb¥ 
toO TaXa&iSlov, 206 ; Manuel Palaiol6gos, Oratio Funebris y apud 
Migne, Patrologia, clvi., 223, 228, 232 ; PhrantzSs, 57 ; Miklosich und 
Miiller, II., 270; Lampros, "Eyy/wi^a, 89. The name of the governor of 
Domok6, 'EiriK4ppc<ai t has puzzled readers of Chalkokondyles. Some have 
thought it a corruption of *iyic4p¥a, but a Greek historian would not 
corrupt a well-known Byzantine title ; Nero&tsos asserted that his family 
came from Cernagora (Montenegro) ; others have imagined a French 
family of Charny, whereas the Franks had long been extinct in Thessaly. 
I believe it to be a corruption of Chlapen, as we know that Stephen 
Doukas Chlapen (Orbini, Regno degli Slavic 271) was one of John 
Urosh's viceroys. It was he who was engaged to the Countess of Salona. 
The Chronicon Breve (517) mentions him at Nauplia. 


The blow had fallen very near Athens, and Nerio wrote 
to his brother on the fall of Salona, that the Great Turk was 
expected to advance, and that war was imminent The 
Turkish troops, however, once more evacuated his dominions ; 
Thessaly became a timar, or hereditary fief of the redoubt- 
able Evrenosbeg, but the hour of Athens was not yet come. 
The statesmanlike Florentine now reaped the reward of his 
politic treatment of the Greeks. When he had heard that 
the Turks were advancing, he had seized a number of women 
and children as hostages for the loyalty of the leading men 
in the small places, and had sent these hostages to Boeotia. 
When, none the less, the Greeks of those villages 
welcomedl the Turks, he abstained from visiting their dis- 
loyalty upon the hostages. He felt sure that when the 
Turks retired, the Greeks, if not driven to desperation, 
would return to their allegiance, and his surmise proved 
correct Again he had found that humanity was the best 
policy. 1 

Nerio had escaped for the moment by consenting to pay 
tribute to the sultan ; but he hastened to implore the aid of 
the pope and of King Ladislaus of Naples against the 
infidels, who killed and tortured the Christians of Achaia 
and Attica. At the same time, like all usurpers, he desired 
to legitimise his position at Athens by obtaining formal 
recognition from an established authority. His family's 
fortunes had originated at the Neapolitan court ; the king 
still pretended that he was the overlord of Achaia, of which, 
according to the old legal fiction, Athens was a dependency, 
and he had already given Nerio a mark of his favour by 
creating him bailie of Achaia. He now rewarded the 
services of the faithful Florentine in having recovered the 
duchy of Athens "from certain of the king's rivals," by 
conferring upon him and his posterity in January 1394 the 
title of duke, so long borne by its former rulers. As Nerio 
had no legitimate sons, the king consented that the title 
should descend to his brother Donato and the latter's heirs. 
Another of his brothers, Cardinal Angelo Acciajuoli, was 
entrusted with the duty of investing the new Duke of Athens 
with a golden ring, and was appointed in his stead bailie of 
1 LimproSy "&yy pa<fxi ) 114 ; Raspe, v., fol 16. 


Achaia. But it was expressly stated that the duke should 
have no other overlord than the King of Naples. Thus, the 
old theory that Athens was a vassal state of Achaia received 
its deathblow. The pope completed the fortunes of the 
Acciajuoli by nominating the Cardinal Archbishop of Patras. 
The news that one of their clan had obtained the glorious 
title of Duke of Athens filled the Acciajuoli with pride, such 
was the fascination which the name of that city exercised 
in Italy. 1 Boccaccio, half a century before, had familiarised 
his countrymen with a title, which Walter of Brienne, the 
tyrant of Florence, had borne as of right, and which, as 
applied to Nerio Acciajuoli, was no empty flourish of the 
heralds' college. 

The first Florentine Duke of Athens did not, however, 
long survive the realisation of his ambition. On 25th 
September of the same year he died, laden with honours, 
the ideal of a successful statesman. But, as he lay on his 
sick-bed at Corinth, the dying man seems to have perceived 
that he had founded his fortunes on the sand. Pope and 
king might give him honours and promises ; they could not 
render effective aid against the Turks. The first Florentine 
Duke of Athens was also her first ruler who paid tribute to 
the sultan. It was under the fear of this coming danger 
that Nerio drew up his remarkable will. 2 

In making his final dispositions, the dying duke's first 
care was for the Parthenon, " St Mary of Athens," in which 
he directed that his body should be laid to rest. He ordered 
that its doors should once more be plated with silver ; that 
all the treasures of the cathedral, which he had seized in his 
hour of need, should be bought up and restored to it ; that 
besides the canons, who, as we saw, were twelve, there should 
always be twenty priests serving in the great minster day 
and night, and saying masses for the repose of his soul. For 
the maintenance of these priests and of the fabric of the 
church, he bequeathed to it the city of Athens with all its 
dependencies, and all the brood-mares of his valuable stud — 

1 Raynaldus, vii., 585 ; Gerland, 134 ; Fanelli, Atene Attica, 290-1 ; 
Gregorovius, Brie) fe, 309-10; Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches^ II., i., 

2 Ibid., 254-62 ; Chalkokondyles, 213 ; Gregorovius, Briefe^ 308. 


for the Acciajuoli were good judges of horse-flesh. 1 Seldom 
has a church received such a remarkable endowment; the 
cathedral of Monaco, built out of the earnings of a gaming- 
table, is perhaps the closest parallel to the Parthenon, 
maintained by the profits of a stud-farm. He also restored 
two sums of money owing to it, ordered the restitution of the 
treasures which he had taken from the church of Corinth, 
bequeathed a splendid cross to the cathedral of Argos and 
a sum of money for a weekly mass there, and directed that 
all cathedrals and other churches which had come into his 
hands by lease or other means should return to their prelates 
and patrons at the end of the lease. He bequeathed his 
Argive property to build a hospital for the poor at 
Nauplia, which, restored by Capo d'Istria, is still in use, 
and placed both that and the nunnery which he had 
built there under the administration of his faithful 
councillor, the Bishop of Argos. 2 Nerio had treated the 
Latin Church with scant respect in his lifetime ; he 
had seized its treasures, and had reinstated its hated 
rival; but he certainly made ample reparation on his 

Nerio's wife had died only three months before, so that he 
had not to provide for her ; but made his favourite daughter, 
the Duchess of Leucadia, his principal heiress. While he 
left his other child nothing more than 9,700 ducats owed him 
by her husband the Despot, he bequeathed to her sister the 
castles of Megara and Sikyon (or Basilicata), all his other 
lands not specially left to others, and a large sum of money. 
She was to have Corinth also, despite the fact that it was to 
have belonged to the Despot after Nerio's death, so long as 
the children of Angelo Acciajuoli, who were its legal owners, 
did not repay the sum which their father had borrowed from 
Nerio. Besides these two daughters, Nerio had an 
illegitimate son, Antonio, by Maria Rendi, daughter of the 
ever-handy Greek notary. To this son he bequeathed the 
government of Thebes, the castle of Livadia, and all that lay 
beyond it, for Livadia, as we saw, though it had been annexed 
by the Sultan Bajazet, had been recovered by the Gascon 

1 Sathas, Mi^/acZb, i., 178. 

8 Lamprinfdes, 'H XovTXfa, 109. 


free-lance Bertranet for the duchy in 1393. As for his 
mistress, Nerio directed that she should have her freedom 
and retain all her property, including perhaps the spot 
between Athens and the Piraeus which still preserves the 
name of her family — a provision all the more curious 
because Pedro IV. had, as we saw, conferred the full 
franchises and privileges of the conquerors upon her father 
and his family. To his brother Donato, who should have 
succeeded him in the title, the duke left his Florentine 
property and 250 ducats; he gave small legacies to his 
servants, and ordered that his cattle should be sold and 
the proceeds invested in Florence for religious and charit- 
able purposes. As his executors he appointed the Duchess 
of Leucadia, his sister Gismonda (so long as she was 
in Greece), the Bishop of Argos, the governor of the 
Akropolis, and three other persons, two of them members 
of the Acciajuoli clan. Finally, he recommended his 
land to the care of the Venetian republic, to which 
his executors were to have recourse in any difficulty. 
He specially begged the republic to protect his heiress, 
the Duchess Francesca, and to see that his dispositions 
concerning the cathedral of Athens were carried out. 

Donato Acciajuoli, Gonfalionere of Florence and Senator 
of Rome, made no claim to succeed his brother in the duchy 
of Athens, in spite of the natural desire of the family that 
one of their name should continue to take his title from that 
celebrated city. He had already had some experience of 
Greece, where he had acted as Niccoli's representative thirty 
years before, and he preferred his safe and dignified positions 
in Italy to the glamour of a ducal coronet in the East 
But it was obvious that a conflict would arise between 
the sons-in-law of the late duke, for Nerio had practi- 
cally disinherited his elder daughter in favour of her 
younger but abler sister. Theodore Palaiol6gos, who con- 
tended that Corinth had always tbeen intended to be 
his after Nerio's death, besieged it with a large force, 
and took all the smaller castles of the Corinthian barony. 
Nerio's bastard, Antonio, and Bertranet Mota, the victor 
of Livadia, who had also profited under Nerio's will, 
threw their powerful aid on Theodore's side. On the other 


hand, Carlo Tocco, Duke of Leucadia, demanded from the 
executors the places bequeathed to his wife, and invited the 
Turks to assist him. Some 40,000 of those fatal auxiliaries 
obeyed his call ; a sudden night attack upon the Despot's 
camp proved completely successful ; 3000 of Theodore's 
cavalry were captured, and Theodore himself only just 
escaped. Carlo then signed a document, promising, on 
receipt of Corinth, to carry out all the testamentary dispositions 
of his late father-in-law. The executors, who had no option 
in the matter, thereupon handed over the great fortress to 
him. Leaving his brother Leonardo in charge of Corinth, 
and another official in command of Megara, he inveigled two 
of the Florentine executors into visiting him in his island of 
Cephalonia on their way home. As soon as he had them 
safe in the castle of St George, he told them that they should 
never leave the island alive, unless they restored him the 
compromising document. They replied that they had already 
sent it to Donato, whereupon he compelled them to sign 
another, stating that he had carried out the terms of Nerio's 
will. Against this act of violence they protested at both 
Florence and Venice, whose citizenship and protection against 
his obligations to Genoa he had recently asked. Well might 
that tried friend of the Acciajuoli family, the Bishop of 
Argos, urge the Archbishop of Patras to mediate between 
the rival kinsmen. For some months longer the civil war 
between them rendered the isthmus unsafe to travellers. 
An Italian notary has left us a graphic picture of the perils of 
a journey at this critical time from Athens to Corinth, how 
the Turks infested the Sacred Way, how all admission to the 
town of Megara was refused, for fear of the Despot's men, and 
how Nerio's elder daughter lay in wait to intercept her 
younger sister on her way to take ship at the port of Corinth 
for Cephalonia. The man of law was not sorry to find himself 
in the castle of Corinth under Carlo Tocco's protection, 
though the houses in that city were few and mean, and the 
total population did not exceed fifty families, or thirty fewer 
than that of Megara. The place did not boast a single inn, 
there was no bread to be had for love or money, but the 
excellent figs of the place and the hospitality of the Arch- 
bishop of Athens, an Italian, like himself, consoled the 


notary for his hardships. Such was life in the duchy of 
Athens in 1395. 1 

Not long afterwards the two sons-in-law of Nerio, 
frightened perhaps at the increasing audacity of the Turks, 
came to terms, and Tocco handed over the great fortress of 
Akrocorinth to the Despot Theodore. Its walls had struck 
the Italian notary as poor, and the donjon as insignificant ; 
but the natural position of the citadel made it almost 
impregnable, and its acquisition by a Byzantine prince was 
regarded as a national triumph, commemorated by the 
erection of his statue over the gate. 2 Theodore hastened to 
ask the co-operation of Venice in repairing the Hexamilion, 
or six-mile rampart of Justinian across the isthmus, a part of 
which was still standing, while the rest was in ruins. Thus, 
after the lapse of nearly two centuries, the isthmus once 
more acknowledged the Greek sway. The metropolitan of 
Corinth, so long an exile, at once returned to his see ; one of 
his first acts was to demand, and obtain, the restitution by 
his brother of Monemvasia of the two suffragan bishoprics of 
Maina and Zemen6, which had been given to the latter's 
predecessor after the Latin Conquest of Corinth. 8 Such ire 
was common in celestial minds at this critical period, when all 
Greeks should have been united. Unhappily, the ecclesias- 
tical literature of the fourteenth century shows us metro- 
politan arrayed against metropolitan, bishops persecuted by 
their superiors, and the Despot of Mistr&, who should have 
been the recognised leader of Hellenism, thwarted by the 
Greek hierarchy. 4 

While Nerio's children had thus been quarrelling over 
Corinth, the Greeks of Athens had not been idle. It was not 
to be expected that the race, which had latterly recovered its 
national consciousness, and which had ever remained deeply 
attached to its religion, would quietly acquiesce in the 
extraordinary arrangement by which the city of Athens was 
to be the property of the Catholic cathedral. Sanudo, an 

1 Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches, II., i., 262-69; Grcgorovius, Brie) Sr, 
309-10; N. de Martoni in Revue de ? Orient latin % III., 652-3, 656-9; 
Predelli, Commemoriali, III., 218, 236, 238. 

' lUos 'EW-nvonv/ifjAtv, II., 443-4. 3 Miklosich und Muller, ii., 287-91. 

* Ibid., i., 216-21 ; ii., 9-", 23-5* 135'7, 249-55- 



excellent judge of Eastern politics, had truly said that no 
power on earth could make the Orthodox Greeks love the 
Roman Church, and at Athens the professional jealousy of 
two great ecclesiastics embittered the natives against the 
alien establishment Despite the warning which he had 
received from the treachery of Dor6theos, Nerio had felt 
obliged to permit another Greek metropolitan, Makirios, to 
reside at Athens. This divine, thinking that the rule of a 
Mussulman pasha would be preferable to that of a Catholic 
archbishop, summoned Timourtash, the redoubtable Turkish 
commander, to rid Athens of the filioque clause, and his 
strange ally occupied the lower town. The Akropolis, how- 
ever, held out under its brave governor, Matteo de Montona, 
one of the late duke's executors, who sent a messenger to 
the Venetian bailie of Negroponte asking for his aid, and 
offering to hand over Athens to the republic, if the bailie would 
promise that she would respect the ancient franchises, 
privileges, and customs of the Athenians. The bailie gave 
the required promise, subject to the approval of his Govern- 
ment ; he sent a force which dispersed the Turks, and before 
the end of 1394, for the first but not the last time in history, 
the lion-banner of the Evangelist waved from the ancient 
castle of Athens. 

The republic decided, after mature consideration, to 
accept the offer of the Athenian commander. No sentimental 
argument, no classical memories, weighed with the sternly 
practical statesmen of the lagoons. The romantic King of 
Aragon had waxed enthusiastic over the past glories of the 
Akropolis, and sixty years hence the greatest of Turkish 
sultans contemplated his conquest with admiration. But 
the sole reason which decided the Venetian Government to 
annex Athens was its proximity to the Venetian colonies 
and the consequent danger which might ensue to them if it 
fell into Turkish or other hands. l Thus, Venice took over 
the Akropolis in 1395, not because it was a priceless monu- 

1 Navagcro afud Muratori, xxiii., 1075 ; Predelli, Comtnemoriali, III., 

238. The text of the Venetian decision is printed in the SitzungsberichU 

der K. Bayerischen Akademie, 1888, i., 152-8 ; Niccolb de Martoni, who 

' visited Athens on 24th February 1395, says that the Venetians had 

"lately taken it," — Revue de V Orient latin, iii., 647. 


ment, but because it was a strong fortress; she saved the 
Athenians, not, as Caesar had done, for the sake of their 
ancestors, but for that of her own colonies, "the pupil of 
her eye." From the financial standpoint, indeed, Athens 
could not have been a valuable asset. A city which had 
complained of its poverty to the King of Aragon, and whose 
revenues Nerio had assigned to support the cathedral chapter, 
could not have been great or rich, nor can we well believe the 
statement of a much later Venetian historian that in his short 
reign he had found time to build " sumptuous edifices " and 
" spacious streets." l The Venetians confessed that they did 
not know what its revenues and expenses were; on this 
point their governor was to send them information as soon 
as possible ; meanwhile, as the times were risky and the city 
would consequently require additional protection, involving 
extra expenditure, whereas some of Nerio's famous brood 
mares had been stolen and the available revenues conse- 
quently diminished, it was directed that only eight priests 
should for the present serve " in the church of St Mary of 
Athens." Upon such accidents did the maintenance of the 
Parthenon depend in the Middle Ages! The Government 
informed Montana's envoy, Leonardo of Bologna, that its 
officials would be instructed to preserve all the ancient rights, 
liberties, and customs of "our faithful Athenians," whose 
capitulations he had presented, as they had been presented 
fifteen years before to Pedro IV. Montona was to have 400 
hyperperi a year, and his envoy 200, out of the city revenues, 
as their reward, but five years later we find the former 
complaining that this annuity had not been paid. 2 That 
official Greeks were favourable to Venice is shown by the 
fact that the city notary, Makri, was also awarded a sum 
of money. 

The Venetian Government next arranged for the future 
administration of its new colony. The governor was styled 
podestd and captain, and was appointed for two years at an 
annual salary of £70, out of which he had to keep a notary, 
a Venetian assistant, four servants, two grooms, and four 
horses. Four months elapsed before a noble was found, in 
the person of Albano Contarini, ambitious of residing in 
1 Fanelli, 293. 2 Sdthas, Mingpcta, II., 6. 


Athens on these terms. Two artillery officers, or casteUani, 
were appointed at 6 ducats a month each to guard the castle, 
where one was always to be in the daytime and both were to 
sleep at night. Twenty men were to be engaged at 12 
hyperpeti a month each, for the garrison ; if more men or 
money were wanted, Contarini was to ask the bailie of 
Negroponte or the casteUani of the two Messenian colonies. 
Together with two ecclesiastical commissioners, he was to 
receive the revenues of the Church, so that the republic might 
not be out of pocket ; later on he also had the appointment 
of the casteUani} 

We are fortunately in a better position than was the 
Venetian Government to judge of the contemporary state 
of Athens. At the very time when its fate was under 
discussion, an Italian notary, Niccol6 de Martoni, spent two 
days in that city, and his diary is the first account which any 
traveller has left us from personal observation of its condition 
during the Frankish period. 2 "The city," he says, "which 
nestles at the foot of the castle hill, contains about a thousand 
hearths," but not a single inn, so that, like the archaeologist 
in some country towns of modern Greece, he had to seek 
the hospitality of the clergy. He describes " the great hall * 
of the castle (the Propylaea), with its thirteen columns, and 
tells how the churchwardens personally conducted him over 
" the church of St Mary," which had sixty columns without 
and eighty within. On one of the latter he was shown the 
cross, made by Dionysios the Areopagite at the moment of 
the earthquake which attended our Lord's passion ; four 
others, which surrounded the high altar, were of jasper, and 
supported a dome, while the doors came — so he was told — 
from Troy. The pious Capuan was then taken to see the 
relics of the Athenian cathedral — the figure of the Virgin, 
painted by St Luke, the head of St Maccarius, a bone of 
St Denys of France, an arm of St Justin, and a copy of the 
Gospels, written by the hand of St Elena — relics which 
Queen Sybilla of Aragon had in vain begged the last 
Catalan archbishop to send her fifteen years before. 

1 S&thas, M*i7/*ta, II., 3. 

2 The earlier fourteenth century traveller, Ludolf von Suchem, who 
mentions Athens, did not actually visit it. 


He saw, too, in a cleft of the wall, the light which never 
fails, and outside, beyond the castle ramparts, the two pillars 
of the choragic monument of Thrasyllos, between which there 
used to be "a certain idol" in an iron-bound niche, gifted 
with the strange power of drowning hostile ships as soon as 
they appeared on the horizon— an allusion to the story of the 
Gorgon's head, mentioned by Pausanias, which we find in 
later mediaeval accounts of Athens. In the city below he 
noticed numbers of fallen columns and fragments of marble ; 
he alludes to the Stadion ; and he visited the " house of 
Hadrian," as the temple of Olympian Zeus was popularly 
called, from the many inscriptions in honour of that emperor 
which were to be seen there. Twenty of its columns were 
then standing. He completed his round by a pilgrimage to 
the so-called " Study of Aristotle, whence scholars drank to 
obtain wisdom" — the aqueduct, whose marble beams, com- 
memorating the completion of Hadrian's work by Antoninus 
Pius, were then to be seen at the foot of Lykabettos, and, 
after serving in Turkish times as the lintel of the Bouboun- 
istra gate, now lie, half buried by vegetation, in the palace 
garden. But the fear of the prowling Turks was a serious 
obstacle to the researches of this amateur archaeologist. At 
Port Raphti, where he landed, he had been able, indeed, to 
admire the two marble statues, male and female, one of which 
still remains and has given the place its name of "the tailor's 
harbour." The more picturesque mediaeval legend was that 
the woman, hotly pursued by the man, had prayed that they 
might be both turned into stone. At Eleusis, already called 
Levsina, he could see in the gloaming the marble columns 
and the arches of the aqueduct. But he tells us that both 
these places were infested by Turks, so that it was necessary 
to travel by night. On his way to Negroponte, he was only 
saved from falling into their hands by the characteristic 
unpunctuality of his muleteers — not a horse was to be had in 
Athens, and mules then, as now, were the sole means of 
conveyance in the country districts. Even so, he narrowly 
escaped being attacked by the Knights of St John, who 
held the castle of Sykaminon and who saw a Turk in 
every traveller, while the Albanians of Oropos were even 
worse marauders than the Turks. Yet our traveller notes 


that these gentry had spared the fair olive-grove of 
Athens. 1 

Such was the state of affairs which confronted the first 
Venetian governor of Athens. He had, indeed, no easy task 
before him. He found Turkish pirates infesting the coast of 
Attica, and the land so poor that he had to ask his Govern- 
ment for a loan of 3000 ducats. The Metropolitan Makdrios, 
a born intriguer, who had been plotting against the Despot in 
the Morea, as well as the Latins at Athens, was now in 
prison at Venice, but found means to continue his schemes in 
favour of the Turks. 2 The Athenian duchy was now terribly 
exposed to their attacks. By the fall of Salona she had lost 
her western bulwark : the warden of her northern marches, 
the Marquis of Boudonitza, had managed to retain his castle 
at Thermopylae by payment of a tribute and by virtue of his 
Venetian citizenship. 3 But, in 1395, his marquisate and the 
Venetian station of Pteleon, in Thessaly, were the sole re- 
maining Christian states of north-eastern Greece. All else 
was Turkish, as far south as Thebes, as far west as Lepanto. 
Even the Northern Sporades temporarily succumbed. 

The Ottoman advance was fortunately, however, checked 
for a moment by the news that Sigismund, King of Hungary, 
had responded to the appeal of the Emperor Manuel II., and 
was marching on the Danube with the chivalry of the West to 
save the Byzantine Empire. Bajazet hastily retired from 
Greece to meet this new foe, whom he utterly routed in the 
great battle of Nikopolis. The defeat of this fresh crusade 
left Greece at the mercy of the conqueror. Marching himself 
against Constantinople, he despatched two trusty lieutenants, 
Jakub Pasha and Evrenosbeg, with an army of 50,000 men 
to continue his interrupted Greek campaign. On crossing 
the isthmus, the forces divided : Jakub marched upon Argos, 
Venice's recent acquisition, which surrendered, in 1397, 
without a blow, burnt the castle, and carried off 14,000 (some 
say, even more than 30,000) Argives into slavery — a number 
considerably superior to the present population of the town — 

1 Revue de P Orient latin, III., 647-56. 

2 Miklosich und Miiller, ii., 250, 256, 259; Predelli, Comtnemoriali^ 
III., 238. 

3 Thomas and Predelli, Diplomatarium, ii., 292. 


while Evrenos harassed the Venetian colonies in Messenia. 
After an attack on Leondari, the Turks recrossed the 
isthmus, 1 and would appear to have made themselves 
masters of the lower city of Athens. Neither Venetian 
documents nor Byzantine historians tell us of this capture of 
"the city of the sages" in 1397, of which Turkish writers 
boast 2 But the Turkish account receives confirmation from 
a document of 1405, discovered at Zante and recently 
published, 3 which describes how Athenian families fled to 
that island before the Turks, and from a passage in the 
Chronicle of Epiros, which states that Bajazet subdued 
Athens. It is possible, too, that the above mentioned 
"Lament for the taking and captivity of Athens" 4 — a 
prosaic poem in sixty-nine verses of the " political " metre — 
also refers to this capture, though some critics have supposed 
the " captivity " to be that which the city suffered from Omar 
in 1456, or that the allusion is to the visit of Mohammed II. 
two years later. The writer, a priest, tells us how "the 
Persians," as he calls them, "first enslaved the region of 
Ligouri6 " — between Epidauros and Nauplia — " the feet of 
Athens" 6 — an allusion to the days when Argolis was a 
dependency of the duchy — and then came to Athens and 
" slew the priests, the elders, the wise, and all their council." 
Above all, he makes Athens mourn the enslavement of 
the husbandmen of the suburb of Sepolia, who will no 
longer be able to till the fields of Patesia. 

Another enemy was ever on the watch for an opportunity 
to make himself master of Athens. The bastard Antonio 
Acciajuoli was not content with the cities of Thebes and 
Livadia, which his father had left him, but soon began to 
harry Attica with his horsemen, and to hound on the Turks, 
who readily responded to his exhortations. Successive 
Venetian governors depicted the pitiful state of the country 

1 Chalkokondyles, 97; Chronicon Breve y 516; Phrantzes, 62, 83; 
Revue de ? Orient latin, viii., 79. 

* Hammer, GeschichU des Osmanisehen Reichs, L, 252, 613. 

3 By Philadelpheus, i., 139, and Kampouroglos, Mn^ta, ii., 153. Cf. 
Epirotica, 242. 

4 Ibid.% 'I<n-opfa, L, 117-24; Philadelpheus, i., 134-9. 

6 Professor Ldmpros (Nta 'EX^o/w^m**, ii., 236) now suggests that 
'\atovpy€ia (" olive-yards ") should be read. 


and asked for reinforcements; the Home Government re- 
sponded by raising the garrison to fifty-six men and the 
cavalry to fifty-five, and by authorising Vitturi, who was 
podestd in 1 401, to spend 200 hyperperi on restoring the walls 
of the Akropolis. In order to pacify those Athenians who 
were discontented with the Venetian rule, he was ordered to 
issue a proclamation bidding them lay their complaints before 
the commissioners at Negroponte or Nauplia. But these 
measures were inadequate to save Athens. In the middle of 
1402, the bad news reached Venice that the lower city, thanks 
to the treachery of its inhabitants, naturally favourable to one 
who was half a Greek, was in the hands of the bastard, but 
that the Akropolis still held out The Senate ordered the 
bailie of Negroponte to proclaim Antonio an u enemy of the 
Christian faith," and to offer a reward of 8000 hyperperi to 
whosoever should deliver him up alive, or of 5000 to whoso- 
ever could prove that he had killed him. It also commanded 
him to relieve the Akropolis, and, if possible, lay Thebes, 
the lair of the enemy, in ashes. At the head of 6000 men, 
the bailie set out to perform the second of these injunctions. 
The bastard had only a tenth of that number at his disposal, 
but he placed them in ambush, we may assume in the 
Pass of Anephorites, which the Venetians were bound to 
traverse, took the enemy at the same moment in front and 
rear, and made the bailie his prisoner. Having nothing 
more to fear from Venice, he returned to the siege of the 
Akropolis. 1 

The republic received the news of his victory with alarm, 
not so much at what might befall Athens, as at the possible 
loss of her far more important colony of Negroponte. Com- 
missioners were hastily despatched to make peace with 
Antonio; but the bastard, sure of being undisturbed by 
the Turks, calmly continued the siege of the small Venetian 
garrison of the Akropolis. Vitturi and Montona held out 
for seventeen months altogether, until they had eaten the 
last horse and had been reduced to devour the plants which 
grew on the castle rock. Then they surrendered and were 
allowed to retire penniless to Negroponte, which the 
Venetian councillors had put into a state of defence. 
1 S&has, MnjMfui, II., 7, 45, 60, 75, 91, 92 ; Chalkokonctyles, 213-14. 


Antonio was master of Athens; the half-caste adventurer 
had beaten the proud republic 1 

Venice attempted to recover by diplomacy what she had 
lost by arms. She possessed in the person of Pietro Zeno, 
lord of Andros, a diplomatist of unrivalled experience in the 
tortuous politics of the Levant Zeno's skill had contributed 
to the cession of Argos ; it was now hoped that he might be 
equally successful with Athens. In spite of the capture of 
Bajazet by Timur at the battle of Angora in 1402, and 
the divided state of the Turkish Empire, both he and 
Antonio knew that the fate of Athens depended upon 
Suleyman, the new ruler of Turkey in Europe, and to his 
court they both repaired, armed with those pecuniary 
arguments which are usually found most convincing in all 
dealings with Turkish ministers. The diplomatic duel was 
lengthy ; Antonio was already favourably known as a 
suppliant of the late sultan, while Zeno worked upon the 
Turkish fears of the Mongol peril, and pointed out that the 
Christian league, which had been formed by the two 
republics of Venice and Genoa, the Greek Emperor, the 
Knights of St John, and the Duke of Naxos, was not to be 
despised He also spent his employers' money to good 
purpose, and finally gained one of those paper victories, so 
dear to ambassadors and so worthless to men of action. 
The sultan promised to Venice the restitution of Athens 
and the grant of a strip of territory five miles wide on the 
coast opposite the whole length of the island of Euboea ; he 
ceded the Northern Sporades to the emperor, ratified the 
recent transfer of Salona by Theodore Palaiol6gos to the 
Knights of St John, and consented not to increase the tribute 
paid by the Marquis of Boudonitza, although the latter had 
been caught conspiring against his Thessalian governor. 2 
But Suleyman took no steps to make Antonio carry out his 

1 Sithas, op. cit. 9 I., 4, 5 ; II., 95-103 ; Jorga, "Notes et Extraits," in 
Revue de ? Orient latin, iv., 303. 

* Jorga, iv., 259-62 ; Thomas and Prcdelii, Diplomatarium, II., 290-3 ; 
Lampros, r Eyypa<pa, 392. This treaty bears no date ; it must have 
been not earlier than 1404, the date of Theodore's grant of Salona to the 
Knights of St John. According to Chalkokond^les (174) and Doukas (79) 
the sultan also ceded Thessaly as far as Zetouni. Cf. Bessarion (Migne, 
clxi., 618). 



part of the treaty, while the latter had powerful friends in 
Italy — Pope Innocent VII., Ladislaus of Naples, and Cardinal 
Angelo Acciajuoli — working on his behalf. Accordingly, 
Venice, nothing if not practical, reconciled herself to the 
loss of a place which it would have been expensive to 
recover. To save appearances, Antonio, in 1405, was per- 
suaded to become her vassal, holding " the land, castle, and 
place of Athens, in modern times called Sythines," on con- 
dition that he sent every year a silk pallium worth 100 
ducats to the church of St Mark. He was to make peace 
or war at the bidding of his suzerain, to give no shelter to 
her foes, to join in repelling attacks on adjacent Venetian 
colonies. He undertook to compensate Venetian subjects 
for their possessions seized during the war, to pay the value 
of the munitions which he found in the Akropolis, and to 
restore the goods of the late governor of Athens to his heirs. 
He was also to banish for ever the mischievous Greek 
metropolitan Makarios, who had apparently escaped from 
his Venetian dungeon. On these terms the republic agreed 
to pardon the erring Antonio for all the harm which he had 
done her, and to receive him under her protection. He was, 
however, in no hurry to carry out his promises. He had to 
be sharply reminded that he had not sent the pallia, and 
had not evacuated the strip of territory opposite Euboea, 
which the sultan had ceded to Venice, " the continent," or 
"Staria" (Sre/oea), as the Venetians called it. Unless he 
mended his ways, the republic warned him that she would 
retract her promise to let him retain Athens. A compromise 
was made, by which he was allowed to keep the fortresses in 
the coveted piece of land, such as Sykaminon and Oropos, pro- 
vided that he built no more. Nine years later, he was still trying 
in vain to obtain further concessions from the Venetians. 1 

The latter consoled themselves for the loss of Athens by 
two fresh acquisitions in Greece. The fortress of Lepanto — 
one of the most famous names in the history of Christendom — 
was still in the possession of the Albanian family of Boua 

1 Predclli, Commemoriali, III., 309; S&has, op. cit. % I., 52; II., 135, 
184, 183 ; Jorga, iv., 284. The "Staria" was not five miles of territory, 
ash s been supposed, but tantum infra terrain quantum capiunt miliaria 
v., tantum quantum est longa insula (Jorga, loc. at.). 


Spata, but seemed likely to fall ere long into the hands of 
the Turks, with whom its lord was in agreement. Ever since 
the Turkish Conquest of Salona with its admirable harbour 
of Galaxidi, corsairs had preyed upon Venetian commerce in 
the Gulf of Corinth, and it was feared that the Venetian 
island of Corfii would be damaged, if the Turks were able to 
convert Lepanto into what it became in the seventeenth 
century — a "little Algiers." Rather than that this should 
happen, Venice resolved to acquire the place. As far back 
as 1390, a daring Venetian captain had hoisted the lion- 
banner on its walls ; but he had not been supported by the 
Venetian admiral, and had paid for his premature act by the 
loss of his eyes. Four years later, the inhabitants, alarmed 
by the Turks, had offered their town to the republic, but the 
offer was cautiously declined. At last, in 1407, Venice made 
up her mind that the psychological moment had arrived. 
Two versions exist of the way in which she attained her 
object. According to the official story, the then lord of 
Lepanto, Paul Boua Spata, sold it for the sum of 1500 
ducats ; but a more probable account informs us that a 
Venetian detachment suddenly landed, and that its com- 
mander inveigled the ingenuous Albanian under promise of a 
safe-conduct to his camp, and then threatened to cut off his 
head, unless he gave up the town. A capitano or rettore was 
appointed, who was dependent on the governor of Corfii, 
except during the temporary occupation of the much nearer 
town of Patras. The cost of keeping up the fortifications, 
which are still one of the most picturesque sights of the 
beautiful gulf, was defrayed out of the valuable fisheries of 
Anatolikd For ninety-two years Lepanto remained in 
Venetian hands, and its " triple tiara " of walls was called by 
a Venetian historian " the strongest bulwark of the Christian 
peoples." l But Venice was wise enough to supplement this 
defence by an annual tribute of 100 ducats to successive 
sultans. 2 

A year later, in 1408, the republic rented Patras for five 

1 Sdthas, op. cit y I., 1, 2 ; II., 64, 70, 172, 180, 187-9, 2 3* ; HI-, 75 ; 
Nuovo Archivio Veneto^ xv., 284-5 J Sanudo, apud Muratori, xxii., 837 ; 
Jorga, iv., 295. 

2 Thomas and Predelli, Diplomatarium, II., 303, 318, 345, 368. 


years from its archbishop, Stephen Zaccaria, at an annual 
rent of iooo ducats. The archbishop was harassed by the 
Turks, and wanted to spend three years in study at Padua, 
while the Venetians were glad to acquire a place where they 
had so much trade. He retained his spiritual jurisdiction, while 
they appointed their own podest&, who decided all temporal 
matters in the archbishop's name, and was assisted, according 
to the custom of the place, by a certain number of citizens. 
The Venetians took over the serfs, received the revenues of 
the Archbishopric — the duties on wine, corn, oil, silk, and 
cotton, which, though much diminished, still amounted to 
some 15,000 ducats, and raised the tribute of 500 ducats, 
which the city had already been compelled to pay to the 
Turks, and which was remitted to the sultan by the Prince 
of Achaia together with his own contribution. Both Patras 
and Venice benefited by these arrangements. The latter now 
held the two keys of the gulf in her hands ; the former experi- 
enced the good effects of a practical administration, which 
spent the balance of the revenues on the defences, repaired 
the walls and the palace, whose noble hall was adorned with 
frescoes of the destruction of Troy, and stationed an 
" admiral " at the mouth of the gulf to keep off corsairs. The 
numerous Venetian mercantile colony naturally felt safer 
under the flag of the republic than under the crozier of a 
spiritual prince. Unfortunately, the archbishop desired to 
return, and at the end of the five years' lease, he received 
back his dominions. But the fear of a new foe, the Greeks of 
Mistr&, soon drove him to place Patras, with the seven 
fortresses dependent on it, once more in the power of the 
republic, and in 141 7 a Venetian governor again took up his 
abode in the old castle of the Franks. The pope, however, 
objected to this alienation of ecclesiastical property ; Venice 
had to restore it two years later to the feeble rule of the 
archbishop, with the natural result that, a few years after- 
wards, the Roman Church lost Patras for ever. By clutching 
at the shadow, she had lost the substance. 1 

1 Gerland, 162-71; Predelli, Commemoriali> iii., 335 ; Diplomatarium^ 
II., 303 ; Sithas, op. cit % I., 2, 15, 21-30, 34, 41, 51, 68, 76-89, 91-6, 101, 
106; II., 216, 260; Sanudo apud Muratori, xxii., 839, 917; N. dc 
Martoni, op. at., III., 661. 


Further Venetian attempts at territorial expansion in the 
Morea were not successful, the offer of Megara had no attrac- 
tions, as the place was too remote, but in Epiros the famous 
rock of Parga had, in 1401, become a dependency of 
Corfu, 1 with which it remained connected till the memorable 
cession by the British in 18 19 ; while in 1390 the two islands of 
Mykonos and Tenos had been bequeathed to the republic. 
The islanders petitioned the Venetian Government not to 
dispose of them, " seeing that no lordship under Heaven is so 
just and good as that of Venice," whereupon the latter farmed 
them out, after a public auction, to a Venetian citizen, who 
agreed to pay an annual rent of 1 500 hyperperi out of the 1800 
which represented the insular revenues, and who was 
dependent on the bailie of Negroponte. With them went the 
classic island of Delos, "le Sdiles," then a favourite lair of 
Turkish pirates, who drew their water from the sacred lake, 
of which Callimachus had sung. 2 Of all the Venetian 
acquisitions in the y£gean, this was the most durable. 

Thus, in the first decade of the fifteenth century, the 
Venetian dominions in the Levant were increasingly impor- 
tant — a fact fully recognised by the Home Government. The 
documents of the period are full of provisions for the colonies, 
inspired by the Turkish peril, and of concessions to the 
natives. Commissioners are sent to enquire into their con- 
dition, with power to examine Greeks as well as Latins ; in 
Negroponte, all the inhabitants, except the Jews, whose taxes 
are doubled, are to have privileges, the oppressive hearth-tax 
is temporarily removed, and the barons are ordered to arm 
their serfs with bows and arrows, and see that they practice 
them. The Home Government grants a humble petition of 
the islanders, praying that their good old customs may be 
observed, pluralities prevented, local offices made annual, and 
limited to those who have lived five years in the island, and 
the serfs exempted from the duty of acting as beaters at 
the bailie's hunting-parties. Still, the island was not prosper- 
ous ; there was a large deficit in the annual budget of the 
colony; the vassals complained of their poverty, their 
ineptitude for trade, and their struggle to live on their rents. 

1 Sathas, II., 29, 35, 46. 

2 Predelli, Commemoriali y iii., 278, 354 ; Sathas, II., 163, 168, 178. 


About this time the total population consisted of 14,000 
families, and the city of Negroponte, though much smaller 
than it once had been, could boast of a fine church, a rich 
Franciscan monastery , and a nunnery. But what most struck 
travellers was the picturesque castle — now alas ! no more — 
in mid-stream, approached by a wooden draw-bridge on 
either side. The local legend made it the abode of fairies, 
the enchanted fortress where the Lady of the Lake had held 
Gauvain captive. The beauty of the Lombard and 
Venetian damsels of Negroponte, who dressed in Italian 
fashion, seemed to be due to their descent from these fairy 

In order to prevent the growing danger of the acquisition 
of landed property in the island by the Jews, the latter were 
forbidden to purchase real estate beyond the Ghetto, and the 
Cretan system of letting land on long leases of twenty-nine 
years was introduced so as to give the tenants more interest 
in the soil ; finally, any " Albanians or other equestrian 
people," who would emigrate to Eubcea, were given full 
freedom and grants of uncultivated land, provided that they 
brought, and kept, horses for the defence of the island. 
Albanians, too, were induced to settle at Argos, Astros on 
the Gulf of Nauplia was occupied, and the fortifications of 
Nauplia were ordered to be repaired. So greatly did that 
colony prosper under its new rulers, that soon a considerable 
annual surplus was remitted out of its revenues to the Cretan 
administration. In view of the increasing peril of invasion, 
the cautious republic was ready to give favourable con- 
sideration to the Despot Theodore's plan of rebuilding the 
"six-mile" rampart across the isthmus, while by treaties 
with successive sultans in 1406 and 141 1 she secured that 
her Greek colonies should not be molested. 1 

During the brief Venetian occupation of Athens, the 
Peloponnese had been a prey to those jealousies which had 
distracted it at the time of the Frankish Conquest The 
Despot, though he was the brother of the reigning Emperor 
Manuel II., had never succeeded in imposing his authority 

1 Sdthas, II., 27, 30, 56-9, 60-2, 79, 83, 122-4, 224 ; III., 1, 2, 74, 9S J 
Jorga, iv., 291, 296 ; N. de Martoni, loc. cit; Thomas and Predelli, Diplo- 
matarium, ii., 299, 303. 


upon the proud and stubborn arckons, whose ancestry was 
as ancient as his own. If we may believe the iambic poem 
inscribed on the door of the former church at Parori, near 
Mistr&, during the first five years of his reign they had 
thwarted him in every way, striving either to drive him out 
of the country or to murder him, the veritable " gift of God" 
One of these local magnates, a Mamon&s of Monemvasia, a 
descendant of the man who had handed over that great 
fortress to Villehardouin, held the office of " Grand Duke," 
or Lord High Admiral, and comported himself as an inde- 
pendent princelet. When Theodore had asserted himself 
and expelled him, Mamon&s had not hesitated to submit 
his hereditary right to tyrannise over his native city to the 
arbitrament of the sultan, who ordered his restoration. 
Whenever the Despot tried to make his authority respected, 
his rebellious Greek subjects found allies in the Navarrese, 
and Theodore was thus forced in self-defence to look else- 
where for support At this time some 10,000 Albanians had 
emigrated from their homes in Thessaly and Akarnania 
before the invading Turks, and had encamped with their 
wives and children on the isthmus. Thence they sent 
spokesmen to the Despot, asking permission to settle in his 
dominions. Most of his advisers opposed the idea, on the 
ground that the manners and customs of these strangers were 
not those of the Greeks. Theodpre saw, however, as his 
predecessor Manuel Cantacuzene had done, that these 
Highlanders should furnish him with splendid fighting 
material, with which he might keep his archons in order. 
He admitted the Albanians to the peninsula ; they occupied 
uninhabited spots, planted trees in places whence brigandage 
had driven the pacific natives ; while, when it came to fight- 
ing against the rebels and their Navarrese allies, they and 
their leader, Demetrios Ral, or Raoul, an ancestor of the 
great family of Ralles, undaunted by San Superan's mail- 
clad horsemen, succeeded in capturing that proud warrior 
and his brother-in-law, the Constable Zaccaria, the former 
captor of Nerio. Nothing but the fear of the Turks and 
the good offices of Venice secured their release. 1 Imitating 

1 Manuel Palaiol6gos, op. cit % 211 -15, 228-9; Chronicon Breve, 516; 
Phrantzes, 57 ; Bulletin de Cdrr. hellen^ xxiii^ 15 1-4. 


the example of Nerio, San Superan obtained in 1396 from 
Ladislaus of Naples the title of hereditary Prince of Achaia, 
to which Pope Boniface IX., without encroaching on the 
rights of the Neapolitan king, added that of "standard- 
bearer" of the Church. 1 Soon afterwards, in 1402, he died, 
the type of a successful adventurer, who had never scrupled 
to use the Turks when it suited his purpose. His widow 
Maria succeeded him as Princess of Achaia and regent 
for his eldest child ; but the real power was vested in 
her nephew, Centurione Zaccaria, the ambitious baron of 
Kyparissia. 2 

The Despot Theodore had soon convinced himself that 
the Albanians alone would not suffice to save his land from 
the Turks. He could not appeal for aid to his brother, the 
Emperor Manuel II., for the latter had gone to London to 
crave the help of Henry IV., leaving his wife and children 
in charge of the Venetians at Modon. Indeed, it seemed 
as if Theodore himself might have to seek a refuge in some 
Venetian colony. 3 In this dilemma, he bethought him of the 
Knights of St John, who had previously held Achaia, and 
were known to be bold and experienced soldiers. He 
accordingly went to Rhodes in 1400 and sold Mistri, 
Kalavryta, and Corinth, to the Knights. When the news 
reached Greece, great was the indignation of the natives ; 
even the laboured funeral oration, which the Emperor Manuel 
subsequently delivered over his brother, fails to justify this 
craven act The panegyrist strove, indeed, to show that his 
brother had conferred a greater benefit upon Hellenism by 
ceding Akrocorinth than by regaining it five years before ; 
in vain, he quoted Solomon in proof of his brother's wisdom, 
and pronounced the admirable maxim — utterly disregarded 
by the Greeks in practice — that, after all, it was better to give 
Corinth to one's fellow-Christians than to let it fall into the 
hands of the infidels. This was not the opinion of the people. 
The Knights, indeed, occupied Corinth, where the Greek 
party had not had time to take firm root, and where they 
strove to make their rule popular by all manner of con- 

1 Predelli, Commtmoriali, III., 240; Raynaldi, viii., 72; Riccio, 
Notizie Storiche, 67. 

2 Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches^ II., i., 273. 3 Jorga, iv., 228. 


cessions; but at MistrA, the capital and the seat of the 
metropolitan of Lacedaemonia, the Greeks rushed with sticks 
and stones to slay the envoys of the Order. The metro- 
politan intervened to save their lives, and gave them three 
days to quit the district, whereupon the fanatical people 
entrusted him with the supreme temporal power, and refused 
to receive back the Despot, until he had repaid the purchase- 
money to the Knights and vowed never to dream of such a 
monstrous transaction again. He saw that what he had 
regarded as a masterpiece of diplomacy had well-nigh cost 
him his dominions. Moreover, the defeat and capture of the 
dreaded Sultan Bajazet removed for a time the prospects of a 
fresh Turkish invasion. Theodore thought that the Knights, 
having served their turn, were no longer needed ; and 
successfully applied his diplomatic talents to the task of 
ejecting them with the least possible amount of friction. 
A money payment, and the cession of the old county of 
Salona, with the barony of Lamia, which Theodore, as the 
representative of the last countess, had occupied on the news 
of the Turkish defeat at Angora, but which he was too weak 
to hold, settled the claims of the Knights, and both parties 
separated on the best of terms. In 1404, Theodore re-entered 
Corinth, and the Knights crossed the gulf to take possession 
of Salona. But there, too, they found the Greeks fanatically 
opposed to " the French priests." When they tried to bribe 
the mountain folk to rise against the Turks, who had re- 
occupied the country, the crafty Greeks took their money 
and then laughed at them, and the monkish chronicler 
narvely justifies his countrymen's conduct towards the 
Frankish "Antichrists," who got no more than they 
deserved All that they accomplished was the building 
of a church at Galaxidi, the ruins of which still disguise, in 
a corrupted form, the name of St John of Jerusalem. Even 
the formal acquiescence of the new sultan in their occupation 
of Salona availed them nothing in the face of this Greek 
opposition, and the old Frankish barony was soon all 
Turkish again. 1 

1 Phrantzgs, 63 ; Chalkokond^les, 97, 206 ; Manuel Palaiologos, op. 
eit, 24472 ; Chronicon Breve^ 517 ; Xporucbv roQ TaXafriSlov, 207-9 ; Bosio, 
II., 117; Thomas, Diplomatarium y II., 290-3. 

2 A 


Theodore did not long survive his diplomatic triumph. 
In 1407 he died, and, as he left no heirs, the Emperor 
Manuel II. appointed his own second son, Theodore II., 
who was still a minor, as his brother's successor. Over the 
remains of the late Despot the emperor delivered, a few years 
later, a pompous funeral oration, still preserved, in which he 
lauded his brother to the skies in faultless Greek and with 
great wealth of classical allusion, attributed to his wise policy 
in calling in the Knights the revival of prosperity in the 
peninsula, and exclaimed that the Peloponnese was his 
brother's monument — "a monument, too, not dead, but 

The Despot's last act before his death had been to 
attempt what his predecessors had been compassing for a 
century and a half— the conquest of the Frankish principality, 
now in the hands of a new and energetic ruler. Centurione 
Zaccaria, son of the former constable and nephew of the last 
prince, was not the man to be content with governing in the 
name of his aunt and her infant children. He had the 
effrontery to ask Venice, to whose care San Superan had 
committed his heirs, for assistance in his ambitious design of 
setting them aside, just as, two centuries before, the first 
Villehardouin, with Venetian aid, had deprived Champlitte's 
successor of his heritage. Then he applied to King Ladislaus 
of Naples, who still posed as overlord of Achaia, and 
obtained from him, in 1404, the coveted title of Prince of 
Achaia. The Neapolitan monarch salved his conscience for 
thus depriving San Superan's children of their birthright by 
pretending that they had not notified their father's death 
within the time prescribed by the feudal law. Thus, the 
great Genoese family from which Centurione sprang had 
reached the summit of its ambitions by a quibble similar to 
that by which the first Villehardouin had won Achaia. But 
the handwriting was on the wall. He was the last of the long 
series of Frankish Princes of Achaia ; weakened by internal 
dissensions, the diminished state was destined to succumb 
ere long to the brief revival of Hellenism at Mistrl Mean- 
while, Centurione's most pressing foes were those of his own 
race. One of his most important peers, Carlo Tocco, Count 
of Cephalonia, at once obtained from the King of Naples 


the abolition of the feudal tie, which had united his 
island county to Achaia for 170 years — an event com- 
memorated on the only coin of his dynasty, now in the 
British Museum. Not content with that, he and his brother, 
Leonardo of Zante, seized Glarentza, from which they were 
finally dislodged by the united efforts of the Zaccaria clan 
and the Albanian troops of the prince. The latter, feeling 
himself insecure, begged his ancestral city of Genoa to look 
upon him as her son and citizen. 1 

The Tocchi were at this time among the most ambitious 
and able of the Latin dynasties in the Levant. We have 
seen how Carlo I., Duke of Leucadia and Palatine Count of 
Cephalonia and Zante, had married the favourite daughter 
of Nerio Acciajuoli, and had played an active, if devious, part 
in the execution of his father-in-law's will. His wife, the 
Duchess Francesca, one of the ablest and most masterful 
women of the Latin Levant, in which her sex had played so 
prominent a part, was the ruling spirit in his councils. To 
her influence was due the restoration of the Greek arch- 
bishopric of Leukas ; she was sufficiently Greek and sufficiently 
proud to sign her letters in Greek, and with the cinnabar ink 
of Byzantium : " Empress of the Romans " ; and she possessed 
all her father's brains, and inherited his political ideas. In 
her castle of Santa Mavra — the irregular, hexagonal building 
which is still preserved — and in her court at the castle of St 
George in Cephalonia, which served as barracks during the 
British occupation, but which now remains a deserted land- 
mark of foreign rule, she presided over a bevy of fair ladies. 
Old Froissart tells us, how the Comte de Nevers and the 
other French nobles, whom the sultan had taken prisoners 
at the battle of Nikopolis, were received there by her with 
splendid hospitality on their way home. The ladies were 
exceeding glad, he says, to have such noble society, for 
Venetian and Genoese merchants were, as a rule, the only 
strangers who came to their delightful island. He describes 
Cephalonia as ruled by women, who scorned not, however, 
to make silken coverings so fine that there were none like 
them. Fairies and nymphs inhabited this ancient realm of 

1 S4thas, op. tit.) II., 30, 109, 155, 165, 168, 194; Schlumberger, 
Numismatique y 391 ; Riccio, Notizie Storicht, 67. 


Odysseus, where a mediaeval Penelope governed in the absence 
of her lord. Events were soon to extend his rule over the 
neighbouring continent, where we last saw his uncle, Esau 
Buondelmonti, holding sway. 1 

The Florentine ruler of Joannina was anxious to secure 
immunity for his people from the attacks of the great 
Albanian clan of Spata, which had its capital at Arta. 
Accordingly, on the death of his beloved wife, he had 
contracted a second marriage with a daughter of old Ghin 
(or John) Boua Spata, its chieftain. But this act of policy 
had the very opposite effect of what had been expected, for 
it brought Evrenosbeg and a Turkish army upon Epiros, 
and made the Albanians more jealous than ever of the 
Italian interloper. Buondelmonti proved a match for the 
Turks in that difficult country ; but in his new brother-in-law, 
Ghin Zenevisi, Lord of Argyrokastron, he found a more 
dangerous antagonist. During an expedition to punish this 
treacherous chieftain, he was taken prisoner, and only released, 
thanks to the good offices of his influential Florentine relatives, 
and of the Venetian governor of Corfu, on payment of a large 
ransom. We last hear of him in 1408, when he died with- 
out offspring, and, in the ordinary course, his nephew, Carlo 
Tocco, should have succeeded him. 2 But, no sooner was 
Esau dead, than another Albanian chief, Maurice Boua 
Sgouros, who had seized the succession of his brother Ghin 
at Arta, made himself also master of Joannina, whence Tocco 
was unable to dislodge him. Both parties appealed for aid 
to Venice, which, after her acquisition of Lepanto, was not 
at all desirous to see a vigorous Italian princelet establish 
himself on the mainland. Sgour6s, when hard pressed, called 
in the Turks, which had the effect of frightening all parties 
into peace. But, though Tocco temporarily relinquished the 
places which he had taken on the mainland, he did not 
abandon his claim to the old Despotat of Epiros. The 

1 Miklosich und Miiller, II., 139; III., 253; Buchon, Nouvelles 
Recherches, II., i., 254, 283, 286; Froissart (ed. Buchon), xiv., 57, 58; 
Mcliardkcs, Tctaypa&a toQ No/LtoO Ke^oXXijWat, 34 ; BlantSs, 'H Aet/icdj, 58. 

2 A golden bull of his, dated 1408, and published by Roman6s 
(Uepl toO Aemror&Tov, 168), disproves the statement of the Epirotica, that he 
died in 1400. 


various races of Epiros seem to have grown weary of the 
Albanian ascendancy ; already another rival had endeavoured 
to obtain as many diverse racial sympathies as possible by 
describing himself as a " Serbo-Albano-Boulgaro-Wallach " — 
a name worthy of Aristophanes himself. Tocco and his 
consort were doubtless popular with the Greek element; 
supported by them and with his own right arm, he would 
appear to have at last vanquished his enemy in a battle, 
which was fatal to the latter ; early in 14 17, he had already 
made himself master of "the land of Arta," and in 1418 he 
was able to style himself " Despot of the Romans." His 
dominions embraced, besides his islands, Epiros, jEtolia, 
and Akarnania; he resided now at Arta, now at Joannina, 
and now in his insular castles, while the relatives of his fallen 
rival emigrated to the Morea, where they and their descend- 
ants, later on, played a prominent part. Thus he and his 
masterful wife had established in North-west Greece, a com- 
pact dominion, broken only by the Venetian castle of Lepanto. 
That, too, he offered to buy ; but he received the haughty 
answer, that the republic had "never been accustomed to 
sell her fortresses, and is quite capable, even if they were not 
remunerative, of supporting their cost." l 

The ten years' fratricidal struggle between the four sons 
of Bajazet I. had given Greece as a whole a welcome respite 
from Turkish invasions, and a Byzantine governor actually 
ruled, for the first time for generations, in Lamia. But the 
two surviving fragments of Latin rule in North-east Greece — 
the Venetian marquisate of Boudonitza and the Venetian 
station of Pteleon — were, from their isolated position, 
peculiarly exposed to attack. Suleyman, as we saw, had 
guaranteed the independence of the Marquis Giacomo on 
continued payment of a tribute, which was also claimed from 
Pteleon ; but the Turks none the less became so threatening 
that he removed his vassals and cattle to the safer castle of 
Karystos in Eubcea, which his brother now held from the 
Venetians. The danger increased when Suleyman's brother, 
Musa, seized the Turkish throne in 141a The new sultan's 

1 Epirotica> 235-8 ; Sithas, i., 34 ; ii., 114, 234 ; in., 64, 174 ; Hopf, 
Chroniques, 195, 301, 342, 368 ; Lami, Delicto: Eruditorum, v., p. cxx. ; 
Jorga, iv., 581. 


victorious troops marched straight, like a new army of 
Xerxes, against the historic fortress which, for two centuries, 
had guarded the Pass of Thermopylae. The marquis 
defended it, like a spcond Leonidas, but he was assassi- 
nated by a traitor within the walls. Even then, his sons, 
aided by their uncle, the baron of Karystos, held the 
castle for some months longer, in the hope that Venice would 
send aid to her children in distress. Aid was, indeed, 
ordered to be sent; but, before it arrived, Boudonitza had 
fallen — surrendered at last by its gallant defenders on 
condition that their lives and property were spared. The 
Turks violated their promise, robbed their prisoners of all 
that they possessed, and incorporated the marquisate with 
the Pashalik of Thessaly. Young Niccolo Zorzi, the late 
marquis's heir, and his uncle, Niccold of Karystos, were 
dragged off as captives to the sultan's court at Adrianople, 
where Venice did not forget them. In the treaty of 1411, 
between Musa and the republic, the sultan promised to 
release the young marquis, for love of Venice, seeing that 
he was a Venetian, to vex him no more, if he paid the 
tribute agreed upon, and to allow his ships and merchandise 
to enter the Turkish Empire on payment of a fixed duty. 
But young Niccol6, after what had occurred, felt insecure in 
his ancestral castle at the northern gates of Greece. In 141 2 
we find him sending the Bishop of Thermopylae to ask for 
archers from Negroponte and the protection of the Venetian 
admiral, in case the Turks, or their vassal, Antonio of Athens, 
should attack him. 1 His request was granted ; but his 
marquisate was doomed. 

Mohammed I. had indeed promised on his accession in 
141 3, to be a son to the Greek Emperor Manuel, who had 
helped him to the throne ; and he had told the envoys of 
the Despot Theodore, the Prince of Achaia, and the Despot of 
Joannina, that he wished to be at peace with their masters. 2 
But he did not spare the Venetian Lord of Boudonitza. His 
fleet sailed to Eubcea, and, after ravaging the island, crossed 
over to the mainland. On 20th June 1414 the castle fell, 

1 Hopf, Karystos (tr. Sardagna), 55-8, 90; Thomas and Prcdelli, 
Diplomatarium, ii., 203 ; Sdthas, II., 155, 210, 270 ; Jorga, vi., 119. 
1 Doukas, 97. 


its fortifications were destroyed, numbers of the marquis's 
subjects were dragged off as slaves, and the historic mar- 
quisate which had lasted over two hundred years, disappeared 
from the face of Greece. Young Niccoli fled to Venice, 
which afforded him shelter and endeavoured to recover for 
him his lost dominions. When the republic, after a brilliant 
victory over the Turkish fleet, forced upon Mohammed the 
treaty of 14 16, one of the conditions was that the marquis 
should be restored, if he did homage and paid tribute to the 
sultan. But his castle was now in ruins, and he was glad 
to cede the vain honour of bearing the title to his uncle, the 
baron of Karystos, receiving for himself the rectorship of 
Pteleon, as the reward of the services of his father, " killed by 
the Turks in the cause of Venice." From that time we hear 
of him no more ; but his uncle, Niccold of Karystos, was 
prominent in the diplomatic negotiations of the period. He 
went as Venetian ambassador to both the Emperor Sigismund 
and Pope Martin V., and it was on an embassy to Mur&d II. 
at Adrianople that he died, it was said, of poison administered 
by the sultan's orders. The title of Marquis of Boudonitza 
and the barony of Karystos lingered on for two generations 
in his family, and at the present day his descendants, the 
Zorzi of S. Giustina still exist in Venice. Such was the 
tragic end of the marquisate, which Boniface of Montferrat 
had conferred upon the Pallavicini, and which had passed 
from them to the family of Zorzi. 1 A picturesque ruin still 
marks the spot where the Italian marquises held their court. 

With the fall of Boudonitza, the brief restoration of 
Byzantine rule in Lamia passed away, and the whole of 
continental Greece, from Olympos to Bceotia, was Turkish, 
except where the Eubcean governor of Pteleon kept the 
Venetian flag still flying. Despite the late sultan's promise 
not to molest the Venetian colonies, every year the Turks 

1 Sanudo ajmd Muratori, xxii., 890, 911, 1043 ; Navagero, ibid., xxiii., 
1080- 1 ; Cronaca di Amadeo Valier, fol. 259 (Cod. Cicogna, No. 297) in 
Museo Correr ; S 4th as, iii., 429-31 ; Jorga, iv., 561 ; v., 196. Much con- 
fusion has been caused by the fact that both uncle and nephew had the 
same name. I have followed the account given by Hopf in his Karystos 
(tr. Sardagna), rather than that in his history (lxxxvi., 73-6), because we 
know (Jorga, iv., 546) that the uncle was five years in prison. 


descended in smaller or larger numbers upon Euboea, and on 
one of these raids some 1 500 of the islanders were carried off 
into captivity, and the town of Lepso, the modern ^Edepsos, 
where the Greeks go to take the hot baths, was destroyed. 
So wretched was existence in the island at this time, that the 
inhabitants petitioned Venice for permission to become 
tributaries of the Turks. This request the proud republic 
refused ; but it was obvious, as the petitioners pointed out, 
that Negroponte was now, like Lepanto, " on the frontier of 
all her Levantine possessions," and had therefore to bear the 
brunt of every Turkish invasion. Attica was still more 
exposed to these dreaded enemies, and in 141 5 Antonio 
Acciajuoli applied to Venice for munitions from Negroponte 
and leave to deposit his animals and property there in case 
of attack. A year later the Turks ravaged his duchy and 
forced him to pay tribute. Happily the great Venetian 
naval victory over the Turks in 1416 checked for a time the 
Ottoman advance, and the subsequent treaty, which the 
sultan made with the victors three years later, procured a 
breathing space for the Latins of the Levant Mohammed I. 
even went so far as to threaten with condign punishment, 
Antonio Acciajuoli, who had maltreated some Venetian sub- 
jects, or anyone else who should dare to lay a finger on any 
Venetian colony. 1 Thus, Greece enjoyed a welcome respite 
from the Turkish peril. Had her rulers been wise, they 
would have availed themselves of it to consolidate their 
forces against the common enemy, who was so soon to 
destroy their dominions. But when have the Eastern 
Christians been united against the Crescent? Yet few 
moments were more favourable than this, when the Turkish 
ruler was pacific, when his Empire was just emerging from 
a long civil war, and when, by a curious irony of fate, 
Hellenism was displaying a consciousness of its past and a 
concern for its future such as it had not shown since the 
Frankish Conquest. It was, alas! the last flicker of light 
before the long centuries of Turkish darkness. 

1 Sanudo apud Muratori, xxiL, 896; S&has, III., 1002, 125-7, 
I2 9*3 f ) 19° > Thomas and Predelli, Diplomatarium, ii., 318-20. 



Early in the year 141 5, the Emperor Manuel II. paid a 
memorable visit to the Peloponnese. His object was to 
establish his son Theodore, now of age, in the governorship of 
Mistr&, to do what was practicable for the defence of a province 
which had attracted greater attention at the Byzantine court 
since the rest of the empire had been so woefully curtailed by 
the Turkish Conquests, and to pronounce a funeral oration 
over his late brother. The Venetians gave him a state 
reception when he stopped at Negroponte on his way. But 
they were so much alarmed at the arrival of a ruler, who 
naturally personified the reviving idea of Hellenism, that 
they at once dismissed the Greek mercenaries of their 
Peloponnesian colonies. From Eubcea the emperor sailed to 
Kenchreai, the port of Corinth, where he received the 
homage of the Prince of Achaia, and where he assembled the 
people of the peninsula. He then set them to work to 
rebuild the great rampart across the isthmus which his 
brother had proposed. Under the imperial eye the workmen 
laboured so fast, that in twenty-five days a wall 42 stades in 
length, strengthened by 1 53 towers and a ditch, and terminated 
by a castle at either end, stretched from sea to sea. The 
emperor built on the site of the rampart which the Pelopon- 
nesians had raised on the approach of Xerxes, which Valerian 
had restored when he fortified Greece against the Goths, 
which Justinian had again constructed when Greece was 
threatened by the Huns and Slavs. An inscription in 
honour of Justinian came to light in the course of the work, 
and it was hoped that the wall of Manuel would prove as 



durable as his. Remains of the Hexamilion may still be 
seen between the modern town of Corinth and the Canal, 
while its name is preserved by a hamlet on the line to 
Argos. But the restoration of the wall availed little against 
the bravery of the Turks ; for, as Thucydides had observed 
centuries before, it is men and not walls that make a city. 
If we may believe a Byzantine satirist — and his statement is 
in keeping with their character — the Peloponnesian archons 
showed so little patriotism and so much jealousy of the 
emperor, that they rose and threatened to destroy the ram- 
part when it was barely finished. Such was their insubordin- 
ation, that, when he returned to Constantinople, Manuel 
thought it prudent to take them with him. Before he left, he 
announced the completion of the work to the doge, who sent 
his congratulations, and authorised the governors of the 
Venetian colonies in the Morea to assist in its defence. But, 
when asked to contribute to the cost of maintaining it, the 
Venetians excused themselves, on the plea that they were 
incurring heavy expenses for defending other parts of Greece 
against the Turks. So unpopular was the tax imposed upon 
the Greeks for the support of the Hexamilion, that many 
serfs fled into the Venetian colonies to escape it, and a few 
years later the Despot Theodore II. actually offered to 
transfer the custody of the great wall to the republic. But the 
selfish Venetians would only consent to this, if they also 
received a mile or two of land inside it, and if Theodore 
would pay half the cost of defence. Such was the attitude of 
the two powers most vitally interested in the preservation of 
the peninsula at a time when union alone could have saved it 
from the Turks. 1 

There was at least one man then living in the Pelopon- 
nese who was well aware that more than ramparts of stone 
was needed to secure the independence of the peninsula. 
The Platonic philosopher, George Gemist6s, or Ptethon, as he 
afterwards called himself, had been engaged for the last 
twenty years in teaching the doctrines of his master in the 

1 Phrantzgs, 96, 107, 108 ; Chalkokonctyles, 183, 216 ; Doukas, 102 ; 
M&zaris aftud Boissonade, Anecdote Graca y III., 177 ; Chronicon Breve, 
517; Sathas, i., 115; iii., no, 113, 116, 126, 177, 179; Jorga, iv., 547, 
554-5, 558, Nto 'EWrivonvfinw, ii., 451-4, 461-6. 


picturesque Byzantine capital of Mistr£. Even to-day, when 
the Mistr& of the Palaiol6goi is a deserted town, the traveller, 
wandering among the ruins of the palace, visiting the beautiful 
Byzantine churches, and climbing up to the castle hill, may form 
some idea of the civilisation of the mediaeval Sparta. MistrA 
was at this time more than 1 50 years old ; and, as the Byzantine 
empire had shrunk to a few islands and a small tract of land 
near Constantinople, the Greek province of the Peloponnese 
and its capital had assumed an importance which they had 
not before possessed. The second son of the emperor now 
regularly resided there, and already there lay buried at MistrA 
the ex-Emperor John Cantacuzene, his sons Matthew and 
Manuel, and the Despot Theodore I. To this beautiful spot, 
within sight of the ancient Sparta but in a far finer situation, 
Gemist6s had moved from the Turkish capital of Adrianople. 
If we may assume that "the philosopher George," to whom 
the litterateur Demetrios Kyd6nes addresses three or four 
playful letters, is none other than he, his choice of abode seems 
to have surprised the elegant Byzantine world, which, like 
modern French novelists, could conceive of no life as worth 
living except that of the metropolis. " You thought," writes 
Kydones, " that this mere shadow of the Peloponnese was the 
Islands of the Blessed ; to your wild philhellenism it seemed 
as if the soil of Sparta were enough to show you Lycurgus, and 
that you would be his companion." l There was not a little 
truth in the remark, for the economic schemes of Gemist6s 
were better fitted for Plato's Republic than for the 
Moreot society of the fifteenth century. But, in point of 
culture, Mistr& could have compared favourably with some 
modern seats of learning. No less famous a man than 
Bessarion came-from distant Trebizond to hear this disciple of 
Plato expound the master's teaching, while in Hieronymos 
Charitonomos, whose funeral oration over P16thon has been 
preserved, Mistr& produced one of the earliest teachers of 
Greek in the University of Paris. 2 

1 Boissonade, Anecdota Nova, 303. There is no anachronism in the 
assumption, for Kyddnes is known to have been alive as late as 1397, 
about the time of Gemistds's removal to the Morea. The plague alluded 
to in the letters may have been that of 1399. 

2 Platina, Paneg. in laudem Bessarionis, 2. 


Gemistos was doubtless emboldened to address his scheme 
for the regeneration of the Peloponnese to the emperor by 
the favourable reception accorded to a previous letter, in 
which he had urged Manuel to pay a personal visit to the 
peninsula, if he cared anything for its safety. 1 In that letter 
and in an appeal to the Despot Theodore, he foreshadowed 
the proposals which he embodied in a memorial to the 
patient emperor, handed to him while he was still at the 
isthmus. He began by proclaiming the Hellenism of 
Greece, and, overlooking the existence of various other 
races in the Peloponnese, he pointed to the speech and 
education of the people as proofs of their Greek origin. But 
all was not well in this citadel of the race, which neither its 
strong natural defences nor the Isthmian wall could protect 
without drastic reforms. According to the philosopher of 
Mistr&, the radical defect in the existing system of military 
service was that the taxpayers were summoned away from 
their agricultural pursuits to bear arms. So long as campaigns 
were short this did not greatly matter ; but the continual and 
lengthy calls upon the people in consequence of the frequent 
domestic wars and Turkish invasions had made them less 
and less inclined to respond. Hence few put in an appear- 
ance when war was proclaimed ; and even those few were 
badly armed and anxious to quit the camp for their domestic 
duties. As a consequence, it had been found necessary to 
hire foreign mercenaries for the defence of the country — a 
plan which increased the taxes, corrupted the natives, and 
was quite inadequate in an emergency. To remedy this, 
Gemist6s suggested that justice demanded a division of the 
products of the country into three equal shares between the 
three classes of producers, capitalists, and officials, the last of 
which included the soldiers, the archons, and the court The 
first class, which was by far the most numerous, would keep 
one-third of what it produced, would pay one-third to the 
capitalists, and one-third in the form of a tax to the State for 
the maintenance of the soldiers and officials. A peasant 
proprietor who owned his own cattle and instruments of labour, 
would, of course, retain two-thirds of his produce. In districts 

1 Wphi rbv BcurtMa, aptid M tiller in Sitsungsberichte der Wiener 
Akademie (1852), ix., 400-2. 


where most of the peasants were fit for military service, they 
should be grouped in pairs, each pair having property and 
capital in common, so that one man would cultivate the soil 
while the other was performing military service, and vice versd. 
The official class should be excluded from trade (as was the case 
in the Venetian colonies), and exempt from payment of taxes in 
consideration of its public services. The peasants, who would 
thus be the sole taxpayers, and whom Gemist6s calls in truly 
Spartan phraseology " Helots," should no longer be expected to 
undertake forced labour or to pay a number of small taxes at 
frequent intervals to an army of tax-collectors. In place of 
those irksome imposts, the new Lycurgus advocated, centuries 
before Henry George, a single tax, payable, not in cash, but 
in kind, and amounting to one-third of all crops and young 
animals. The " Helots," no longer liable to military service, 
would thus be able to support themselves and their families, 
remunerate the capitalist, and also provide for the maintenance 
of the official, non-producing class. Gemist6s would have 
assigned one " Helot " for the support of each foot-soldier, 
and two for that of each horseman, while he left it to the 
discretion of the sovereign to select as many " Helots" as he 
thought adequate for that of the officers and of the reigning 
house, suggesting, however, three for the former. One section 
of the unproductive class — the clergy — received scant favour 
from this unorthodox philosopher, who drew his inspiration 
from Plato rather than from the Fathers of the Church. He 
was willing to concede three " Helots " apiece to the bishops, 
as state officials, but to the monks, " who, under the pretence 
of philosophic enquiry, claim the largest share of the public 
revenues," he refused even the smallest aid from the funds of 
the State. They were, he said, "a swarm of drones," who 
deserved no other privilege than that of enjoying their 
possessions free of taxation. Or, at least, let them hold 
public offices without salary, as the " ransom " which they 
paid for the retention of their property. It is not surprising 
that* this attack on their order gained for Gemist6s the bitter 
hatred of the clergy ; even after his death they refused him 
burial in consecrated ground, and it is not at Mistr&, but in 
the cathedral of Rimini that we must seek his remains. 
Not content with having thus excited one powerful interest 


against him, the dauntless visionary attacked another — the 
landed interest — by boldly proposing the nationalisation of the 
land — a measure which, so he believed, would make the 
Peloponnese blossom like the rose. 

By these reforms Gemist6s confidently hoped to support 
in the least irksome manner a force lof some 6000 native 
soldiers. But his reforming zeal was not confined to the 
question of national defence. A strong patriot, he wished to 
erect a high fiscal barrier, a tariff Hexamilion, against the 
foreigner. A land such as ours, he told his distinguished 
correspondents, is essentially agricultural ; that is our principal 
occupation ; we can produce in the Peloponnese all that we 
want, except iron and arms, and we should be much better 
without foreign clothes, seeing that the peninsula yields wool, 
flax, hemp, and cotton. Why then import wool from the 
Atlantic Ocean, and have it woven into garments beyond the 
Ionian Sea ? Accordingly, he advocated a high export duty 
of fifty per cent, on the fruits of the earth and on other useful 
products of the country, unless they were exchanged for iron 
or arms, in which case they should be exported free of charge. 
Taxes and salaries being paid in kind, and the export of 
cotton being sufficient, in his opinion, to pay for the imports 
of iron and arms, Gemist6s saw no further need for money. 
The Peloponnese was, at this time, flooded with bad foreign 
coins — for the Despots of Mistr&, so far as is known, never 
issued any currency of their own, though Theodore I. pledged 
himself in 1 394 not to imitate the Venetian coinage, while he 
received permission to copy other currencies, which looks as 
if he had contemplated the establishment of a mint 1 This 
evil the philosopher accordingly desired to remove. Lastly, 
he turned his attention to the reform of the penal code. 
Capital punishment, formerly usual, had fallen into abeyance ; 
while, in its place, the judges inflicted the barbarous penalty 
of amputation, or in too many cases let the criminals off scot- 
free. Gemist6s deplored both this excessive cruelty and this 
excessive leniency; he thought it far better to chain the 
criminals in gangs and set them to work at the repair of the 
Isthmian wall. 

1 Predelli, Commemoriali\ III., 223; Schlumberger, Numismatiquc> 


He concluded his scheme of reforms, by modestly offering 
his own services to carry them out. The offer was declined ; 
the Emperor Manuel was a practical man, who knew that he 
was living, not in Plato's republic, but in the dregs of 
Lycurgus. 1 The philosopher continued, however, to enjoy 
the favour of the imperial family. When the Emperor John VI. 
visited the Morea in 1428, he consulted him on the Union of 
the Eastern and Western Churches, and confirmed the grant 
of two manors, Phanarion and Vrysis, made to Gemist6s and 
his two sons by the Despot Theodore II. It is interesting to 
note that one of the conditions was the payment by the lord 
of the manor of thzfloriatikdn, or tax for the maintenance of 
the Isthmian wall. Gemist6s showed his gratitude by a 
florid funeral oration, still preserved, over the Despot's Italian 
wife, Cleopa Malatesta. 2 

About the same time that Gemist6s drew up his scheme for 
the regeneration of the Morea, a Byzantine satirist composed, 
in the manner of Lucian's Dialogues of the Dead, a bitter 
pamphlet, in which he gives us his impressions of the Pelo- 
ponnese. The satire may be overdrawn, but it is nearer 
to life than the idealism of the Platonist. In place of the 
" purely hellenic " population of Gemist6s, Mdzaris tells us that 
there are in the peninsula seven races, "Lacedaemonians, 
Italians, Peloponnesians, Slavonians, Illyrians, Egyptians, 
and Jews, and among them are not a few half-castes." These 
are precisely the races which we should have expected to find 
there. The '• Lacedaemonians," as Mdzaris himself explains, 
are the Tzdkones, who had "become barbarians" in their 
language, of which he gives some specimens. The " Italians " 
are the Franks of all kinds — French, Italians, and Navarrese ; 
the " Peloponnesians " are the native Greeks ; the " Slavonians " 
are the tribes of Ezerits and Melings about Taygetos; the 
" Illyrians " are the Albanians whom Theodore I. had 
admitted to the peninsula ; the " Egyptians " are the gypsies, 
whose name, like that of the Jews, is still preserved in the 

1 IIf/>i tQv iv neXoTovv^atf rpay/xdrup. A6y<H } & ical /3', apudMignt, Patro- 
logia Graca, clx., 821-64. Cf. Tozer in Journal of Hellenic Studies, vii., 


2 Miklosich und Muller, iii., 173-6 ; Sgur6poulos, Vera Historia 
Unionise § 6, ch. x. 


various " Gypht6kastra " and " Ebrai6kastra " of Greece. 
Mdzaris goes on to make the shrewd remark, true to-day of 
all Eastern countries where the Oriental assumes a veneer of 
Western civilisation, that "each race imitates the worst 
features of the others," the Greeks assimilating the turbulence 
of the Franks, and the Franks the cunning of the Greeks. 
So insecure were life and property, that arms were worn 
night and day — a practice obsolete in the time of Thucydides. 
Of the Moreot archons he gives much the same account as the 
Emperor Cantacuzene ; they are " men who ever delight in 
battles and disturbances, who are for ever breathing murder, 
who are full of deceit and craft, barbarous and pig-headed, 
unstable and perjured, faithless to both emperor and Despots." 1 
Such men were not likely to sink their private differences 
and rally round their sovereign's representative in a firm and 
united stand against the Turk. 

Manuel's sojourn in the Peloponnese seems, at least, to 
have had some effect in reducing to order and civilising the 
lawless and savage population of Maina. Like the Bavarian 
rulers of Greece in the nineteenth century, the Byzantine 
sovereign destroyed numbers of the towers, which were the 
refuge of the wild Mainate chieftains. It was he, too, as two 
Greek panegyrists inform us, who stamped out their brutal 
but very ancient custom, mentioned by the Greek tragedians, 
of cutting off their enemies' fingers or toes, and dipping these 
ghastly trophies in the festive bumper, with which they 
drank to the health of their friends. In a land where stones 
were so plentiful and imperial officials so rare, the towers 
soon rose again, but this grim practice (Mao-xaXtoTxo?, as it 
was called by the ancients) is never mentioned again. 2 

After the departure of the emperor, the Morea enjoyed 
relative repose, broken only by occasional conflicts between 
the Greeks and Centurione, the Prince of Achaia, in the 
course of which the Venetian colonies suffered from the un- 
controllable Albanians of the Despot, while the old Frankish 
principality steadily dwindled away almost to nothing before 

1 'Ertdwda Mdfr/u iv "At&ov, afiud Boissonade, Anecdota Graca^ iii., 164, 
168, 174, 177-8. 

8 Isidore of Monemvasia and Argyr6poulos in N^os 'EXAi^o^/tow. ii., 


the Greek attack. The imperial family continued to display 
a strong personal interest in the peninsula; John, the heir 
and associate of Manuel II., spent a year there, during which 
he captured Androusa, the capital of the principality ; and, 
when he returned home, his youngest brother, Thomas, was 
sent there, attended by the historian Phrantzfcs, a native of 
Monemvasia, who was destined to play an active part in the 
last act of Greek freedom, and to describe the events of his 
time for the edification of posterity. Nor were the Greeks 
the only enemies of Centurione ; an Italian adventurer, named 
Oliverio, seized the important port of Glarentza, forced the 
Prince of Achaia to bestow it upon him with the hand of his 
daughter, and then sold it to Carlo Tocco, who had long 
desired that foothold in the Morea. Feeling his position 
daily more insecure, Centurione tried to dispose of the 
principality. He first offered it to his ancestral city of 
Genoa, much to the alarm of her rival, Venice, and then 
to the Knights of St John, who declined, owing to the 
Turkish danger in Asia Minor, to interfere again in 
its administration; he was even quite willing to make 
a bargain with the republic of St Mark. The latter was 
desirous of extending her possessions in the peninsula, 
or of even acquiring the whole of it, not from ambitious 
motives, as she truly said, but from fear lest it should 
fall into the hands of an enemy who might injure her 
trade and colonies. Indeed, the lack of settled govern- 
ment, and of any proper police, practically ruined her 
traffic in the Malmsey wine, which it then produced. 
In 1417 she had garrisoned Navarino, just in time 
to prevent its occupation by the Genoese ; in 1423 
she legalised her position there by purchase, and she 
rounded off her Messenian colonies by the acquisition 
of several other important castles. These greatly 
strengthened her position in the south of Messenia; 
communication by land between Modon and Coron was 
now secured by the fortress of Grisi, which was of 
great value when the sea was beset by Turkish ships. 
New regulations were drawn up for this enlarged strip 
of Venetian territory. In 1439, we are told, it included 
seven castles, three of which, including Navarino, were 

2 B 



placed under the jurisdiction of Modon, and the other 
four under that of Coron; in each of these seven strong- 
holds a Latin governor, chosen from among the Venetians 
of the two colonial capitals, held office for two years, 
and at the end of his term, a councillor of the colony 
went and heard any charges which the people might have 
against him. 

Not satisfied with these piecemeal acquisitions, the 
republic, in 1422, sent a commissioner to examine thoroughly 
and report upon the defences, the revenues and expenditure 
of the Morea, and to sound the Despot Theodore, the Prince 
of Achaia, and Carlo Tocco, with a view to obtaining all, or 
most, of the Greek Despotat ; the whole of the principality 
of Achaia, either at once, or on the death of Centurione ; and 
the valuable mart of Glarentza. The commissioner presented 
a thorough and satisfactory report to his Government ; the 
Morea, he wrote, yields more than Crete ; it comprises more 
than 150 castles, its circumference is 700 miles; its soil 
contains deposits of gold, silver, and lead, and it exports silk, 
honey, wax, grain, poultry, and raisins. It is curious to 
compare this statement with that of Gemist6s. The philo- 
sopher had made no mention of the silk industry, which still 
flourished, while the commissioner omitted the cotton, which 
figured so largely in the schemes of Ptethon, and to which 
there is frequent allusion in the Venetian documents. The 
large amount of merchandise which Nerio Acciajuoli had 
stored at Corinth, the great value of the Venetian wares 
which we find at Patras, and the existence of a considerable 
Jewish colony there, confirm the commercial importance of 
the country. Even in the midst of war's alarms, a wealthy 
Venetian merchant, settled at Patras, had customers on both 
sides of the Corinthian Gulf, and that city was the home of 
several well-to-do families, whose standard of living would 
have incurred the censure of the philosopher. In spite, then, 
of all it had undergone, the constant civil wars, the Turkish 
depredations, the eight plagues of the last two generations, 
and at least one great earthquake, the Peloponnese would 
seem to have been well worth acquiring. Had Venice 
annexed it, she might perhaps have saved it, or at least post- 
poned its fall. But the negotiations came to nothing, and 


the republic contented herself with urging united action 
against the Turks. 1 

The warning was indeed needed. The warlike Murad II. 
was now Sultan, and in 1423, when the negotiations were 
barely over, the great Turkish commander, Turakhan, in- 
vaded the Morea with an army of 25,000 men. Accompanied 
by the sultan's frightened vassal, Antonio Acciajuoli of 
Athens, Turakhan made short work of the vaunted Hexa- 
milion, whose defenders fled as soon as they saw him approach, 
and marched upon Mistra, Gardiki, in the pass of Makryplagi, 
and the town of Leondari. In one difficult defile the Greeks 
fell upon him, defeated him with much loss, and recovered 
most of the rich booty which he had taken. But this check 
proved to be only temporary. Tocco's representatives at 
Glarentza purchased their own safety by betraying to the 
Turks the pass of Kissamo, which exposed the Venetian 
colonies to attack. A string of 1260 Venetian subjects and 
some 6000 Greeks followed the homeward march of the 
Turkish commander. But the Albanian colonists were 
resolved that he should not leave the Morea without feeling 
the weight of their arms. They gathered at Davia, near 
Tripolitza, under a general of their own race, and prepared 
to attack. They paid dearly for their daring, many were 
slain, about 800 were captured and massacred, and towers of 
Albanian skulls, such as that which still stands near Nish, 
marked the site of the battle. The emperor was obliged to 
purchase peace by promising that the Morea should pay an 
annual tribute of 100,000 hyperperi, and that the walls of the 
Hexamilion should be left in ruins. Even this sharp lesson 
did not teach the princelings of the Morea wisdom ; scarcely 
had the Turks withdrawn, than Theodore attacked Centurione 
and made him his prisoner. 2 

A more attractive and more energetic figure now appeared 

1 PhrantzSs, 109, no, 138 ; Chalkokonctyles, 241 ; Sanudo, in op. cit., 
xxii., 916, 943 J Sdthas, i., 52-60, 64, 65, 68-70, 74, 75, 92, 104, 106-8, 115-19 ; 
iii., 185, 207, 449-5°; Jor&a, iv -» 5**2, n. 3, 607, 615 ; Gcrland, 171, 211- 
16 ; Chronic on Breve, 518 ; Journal of Hellen. Studies, xxvii., 300-1. 

2 Chalkokondyles, 238-9; Chronicon Breve, 518; Phrantzgs, 117; 
Sanudo, in op. cit., xxii., 970, 975, 978 ; Buchon, NouveUes Recherches, IT., 
i., 272 ; Sdthas, iii., 268 ; Jorga, v., 136, 145. 


among the Greeks of the Morea — that of the man who was 
destined to die on the walls of Constantinople, the last Emperor 
Constantine. The Despot Theodore was subject to fits 
of depression ; he did not get on with his Italian wife ; and 
then the intrigues of MistrS. seemed to him vanity, and the 
life of a monk preferable to that of a ruler. In one of these 
moods, he announced his intention of entering a monastery, 
and of handing over the government to his active brother, 
Constantine. The Emperor John VI., who now sat on the 
throne, agreed to this plan, and, in 1427, set out for the Morea 
with his brother Constantine and the faithful PhrantzSs, in order 
to install the new Despot. But, when the imperial party arrived, 
they found that Theodore, like several other sovereigns in 
love with the charms of private life in theory, but in practice 
wedded to the delights of power, had changed his mind. The 
local magnates, he told them, would not permit the abdication 
of their beloved Despot It therefore became necessary to 
provide Constantine, who had hitherto been content with 
some towns on the Black Sea, with an appanage somewhere 
else, and this led to the reconquest of the Frankish Morea. 

The plan of campaign was skilfully laid. First, an attack 
was made upon Glarentza and the other possessions of Carlo 
Tocco in the peninsula. Some of these surrendered, and a 
politic marriage between Constantine and Carlo's niece 
Theodora (daughter of Leonardo of Zante) brought him 
Glarentza as her dowry. The historian Phrantzfcs took over 
the town on his behalf, and Constantine fixed his residence 
in the historic castle of Chloumofitsi, which Geoffroy II. de 
Villehardouin had built two centuries before. Patras was 
his next objective, and the papacy now realised too late its 
folly in compelling the Venetians to restore it to the much 
weaker government of the Church. On the death of the 
late archbishop, Venice had in vain appealed to Martin V. 
to appoint one of her citizens to the vacant see; but the 
pope thought that he would better secure the town against 
Greek attacks by sending as archbishop, Pandulph Mala- 
testa of Pesaro, whose sister Cleopa was wife of the Despot 
Theodore. But this connection failed to save the place. 
The first attack of the three brothers was, indeed, only 
partially successful, for their quarrels prevented united 


action, and the citizens were thus able to purchase a brief 
respite by an annual tribute of 500 pieces of gold to Con- 
stantine. In 1429, however, Constantine and the faithful 
Phrantzfts made a second attempt to obtain possession of 
Patras. The offer of some of the local priests and leading 
citizens to hand over the town was considered unpractical, 
so, on Palm Sunday, the Greek forces, with myrtle boughs in 
their hands, began the attack. On the Saturday before 
Easter, a sudden sortie was made from the Jews' gate ; it 
was repulsed, but as Phrantzes and his master ventured too 
near the walls, Constantine's horse was shot under him by a 
well-aimed arrow. The future emperor fell to the ground, 
and would have been killed by the enemy, had it not been 
for the devotion of his companion, who kept them at bay 
until Constantine had had time to disentangle himself 
from his charger and escape on foot. Phrantzes and his 
favourite steed were both wounded, and the historian was 
taken prisoner and chained in a disused granary, where for 
forty days he had ample leisure for meditating, amidst ants, 
weevils, and mice, on the rewards of loyalty. When his name- 
day arrived, the pious Phrantz&s prayed to his patron saint 
St George to deliver him ; his prayer was heard, his chains 
were removed, and he was able to correspond with Constantine. 
At his suggestion, a conference was held between the besiegers 
and the besieged, at which the latter consented, on condition 
that Constantine would retire to Glarentza, to surrender the 
town, if their archbishop, who had gone to seek aid of the 
pope, did not return from Italy by the end of May. Phrantzfcs 
was released more dead than alive, but his master's expres- 
sions of gratitude and a present of fine clothes and money 
consoled him for his forty days' imprisonment. Constantine 
had, however, almost immediate occasion to demand from 
him a further proof of devotion. Scarcely had he reached 
Glarentza than he received a haughty message from the 
sultan, forbidding him to besiege Patras, as it paid tribute 
to the Turks. Constantine was a man of action, and he at 
once resolved to take the town first and then make diplomatic 
excuses afterwards. Accordingly, as soon as the time agreed 
upon had expired and there was no sign of the archbishop, 
he returned to Patras, and there in the church of its patron 



saint, St Andrew, received the keys of the town. His entry 
was a veritable holiday; flowers rained on him from the 
windows ; it was roses, roses all the way, when, for the first 
time for 225 years a Greek conqueror trod the streets of the 
archiepiscopal city. Only the old feudal castle and the 
archbishop's palace near it held out, in the hope that 
Pandulph would return. Next day the citizens swore fealty 
to the Despot in the church of St Nicholas, an historic 
building unhappily destroyed by an explosion less than a 
century ago ; * and, at their request, Phrantz&s, their late 
prisoner, was appointed their governor. 

Before, however, he took up his duties, he was sent to 
explain away as best he could to the sultan the annexation 
of Patras. At Lepanto, on the way, he fell in with two 
Turkish envoys and the Archbishop of Patras, who had 
heard of the loss of his see, and had put in with one of the 
Catalan galleys furnished him by the pope, at the Venetian 
station on the north coast of the gulf. Phrantzes and the 
archbishop tried hard to pump one another without success ; 
but in the evening the artful historian, at the imminent risk 
of getting drunk himself, as he sadly confesses, made the 
Turks intoxicated and then opened their letters. Arrived 
at the sultan's court, he received peremptory orders to bid 
his master restore Patras to its rightful lord ; but Phrantzds 
knew his Turks; he made friends with the sultan's Prime 
Minister, pacified Turakhan on his way back, and was able 
to assure his sovereign that the Turks would not molest him. 
Pandulph in despair offered Patras to Venice ; but, as it was 
no longer his to offer, the cautious republic declined. Still 
the fine old castle held out, till, in May 1430, hunger forced 
the garrison to yield. The Catalan galleys of the pope 
proved useless to Pandulph, for, though they captured 
Glarentza, their captain at once sold it back to Constantine. 
The latter ordered the destruction of that famous town, from 
fear lest it should be occupied again by an enemy. The 
churches and monasteries, where once the High Court of 
Achaia had met, were dismantled, the monks, the archons, 
and the poor became homeless exiles, and from the ruin of 
Glarentza a Greek poet traced the beginning of the future 
1 Gerland, 117, n. 1. 


emperor's ill-fortune. Meanwhile, however, the goddess 
smiled on him. The last Latin Archbishop of Patras, 
baffled in his hopes, retired to his native Pesaro, where his 
remains lie; his name is, however, still preserved in two 
inscriptions, which now serve as doorposts of the inner 
entrance of the castle which his men had so manfully 
defended. But to the Greeks the capture of Patras will be 
ever associated with the name of the last Emperor of 
Constantinople, whose exploits in the Morea well deserved 
the encomium composed by a Byzantine rhetorician of 
that day. 1 

Nearly all the Peloponnese was now in the hands of the 
three brothers, Theodore, Constantine, and Thomas. Besides 
Glarentza and Patras, which he had won for himself, Con- 
stantine had received from Theodore the old barony of 
Vostitza, which adjoined that of Patras, and in the far south 
of the peninsula, on the west of Taygetos, the strong castle 
of Leuktron, the creation of the last Villehardouin prince, 
together with a large strip of Maina. Theodore had also 
transferred to him the administration of the great possessions 
of the Melissen6s family during the minority of the present 
representative, and these included the richest part of Messenia, 
with such places as Androusa, Kalamata, Nesi, Ithome, and 
the Lakonian Mantineia, the ancient Abia, where another 
brother, Andr6nikos, had taken up his abode after he had 
sold Salonika to the Venetians. Meanwhile, Thomas had 
not been idle. He had obtained Kalavryta from his brother 
Theodore, and at the time of the surrender of Patras was 
besieging Centurione in the castle of Chalandritza. In 
September 1429, the Prince of Achaia was reduced to make 
terms with his assailant ; he gave his elder daughter Catarina 
in marriage to Thomas ; and, passing over his bastard son, 
conferred upon her the remains of the Frankish principality 
as her dowry, reserving for himself nothing except the family 
barony of Kyparissia and the title of prince. The wedding 
took place at MistrA in January 1430, and Thomas received 

1 Boeck, Corpus Inscriptionum Gracarum, No. 8776 ; AeXrfw, i., 523 ; 
Phrantzes, 122-39, 144-58 ; Qprivot rrfi KtovararrwovrdXeut, 1L 52-62 ; Chalko- 
kondyles, 206, 239-42 ; Sdthas, i., 160-2, 191 ; Ckronicon Ariminense y apud 
Muratori, xv., 939 ; Dokian6s apud Hopf, Chroniques, 251. 



from his imperial brother the title of Despot Two years 
later the last Prince of Achaia died, when Thomas, fearing 
the intrigues of his widow, kept her in prison for the rest of 
her life. Centurione's son, Giovanni Asan, seems to have 
sought refuge in Venetian territory, where we shall find him 
a quarter of a century later. At the same time, the 
Greeks annexed the ancient fiefs of the Teutonic Knights 
at Mostenitsa; and to complete the symmetry of the 
peninsula, an exchange was effected between Thomas 
and Constantine, the former, as the heir of Centurione, 
taking Glarentza, and the latter Kalavryta. Thus, in 
1432, after the lapse of two hundred and twenty-seven 
years, the whole peninsula was Greek, save where the 
Venetian flag waved over the colonies of Modon and Coron, 
with their seven dependent castles, and the territory of 
Nauplia and Argos. Never since the old Byzantine days 
had there been such uniformity. 

The rule of the Franks in Achaia had latterly been simply 
an element of discord ; but in its earliest stage it had wrought 
no little good to the land and people. A fair-minded modern 
Greek historian has contended that his countrymen owe the 
warlike spirit, which they showed after the Turkish Conquest 
down to the time when they at last regained their freedom, 
to the example of the splendid Frankish chivalry, which had 
taught Greek fingers to war and Greek hands to fight 
Certainly, there is a great contrast between the feeble 
resistance offered by the Peloponnesians to the Franks in the 
thirteenth century and their constant insurrections against 
the Turks. Only, we must not forget in this comparison the 
fact that the Albanians — that nation of fighters — were not 
represented in the Morea at the time when the Franks 
arrived. But there can be no doubt that during a large 
portion of the reigns of the Villehardouin princes, the penin- 
sula experienced all the advantages of strong and vigorous 
personal rule. Trade flourished, the alien Church was kept 
in its place, the Greeks had at least as much liberty as their 
own emperors and their own local tyrants had allowed them. 
We may, indeed, distinguish three periods in the history of 
Frankish Achaia. The golden age terminated with the 
cession of the four castles in 1262, which led to the 


reintroduction of Byzantine influence and the consequent 
duel between Hellenism and the Franks, of which the Morea 
was the theatre for the next one hundred and seventy years. 
The second period lasted down to the year 131 1, the fatal date 
of the battle of the Kephiss6s, which profoundly affected the 
fortunes of all Frankish Greece. During this half century 
there were short periods of peace and plenty, as in the reign 
of Florent of Hainault, but the country had become depopu- 
lated by the long wars of its soldierly Prince William, and 
after his death without a male heir, the Angevin connection, 
with its evils of absenteeism and dynastic intrigue, sorely tried 
this fairest portion of " new France." The barons, always the 
peers of the prince, aimed at being the masters of the Angevin 
bailies, and would tolerate no interference with their right to 
liberty, which was often merely a euphemism for liberty to riot. 
Meanwhile, foreigners — Flemings, Neapolitans, and Savoy- 
ards — ignorant of the manners and language of the country, 
took the place of the old French families, which by some 
inscrutable law of population had become extinct, or else 
survived in the female line alone after two or three genera- 
tions. During the third period these evils were aggravated, 
and others were added. The disputed succession to the 
throne more than once afflicted the land with the curse of 
civil war, while the Byzantine governor first ceased to be a 
merely annual official, and then became an important member 
of the imperial family. MistrS. waxed as Constantinople 
waned, until at last, two centuries too late, the Morea once 
again became a Greek state. We have compared the 
Frankish Conquest of Achaia with the Norman Conquest of 
England ; but the similarity unfortunately ceased with the 
conquest The Morea had her Wars of the Roses before the 
two races, the conquerors and the conquered, had been 
thoroughly amalgamated ; she lacked the long line of able 
sovereigns, and above all, the sturdy burghers, who contributed 
so much to the stability of our national institutions, while in 
Greece the Roman Church, except in Corfii and the Cyclades, 
remained to the last that of a small minority, whereas in 
England it was that of the people even before the conquest. 
Where the two nationalities were united in marriage, the half- 
castes who were the offspring of these unions, usually sided 



with the Greeks, manned the imperial ships, fought in the 
imperial armies, and held office in the imperial administra- 
tion. Now and again self-interest led a Gasmule to identify 
himself with the Franks ; but in most cases the legal maxim 
held good— partus sequitur matrent. 

For us, however, after the lapse of nearly five centuries, 
the brilliant French chivalry of Achaia still lingers on in 
many a ruined keep, in many a mouldering castle, in the 
Norman arch of Andravida, in the great fortresses of 
Karytaina and ChloumoOtsi, in the splendid isolation of 
Passav<L Elis still preserves in the names of her prosperous 
little towns, and in the trappings of her horses, the memory 
of the bright days when gentle knights pricked over the 
plain that leads to Olympia or rested for shelter from the 
noon-day sun beneath the oaks of Manolada ; when many a 
pleasaunce studded the smiling country round Vlisiri ; when 
monks from far-off Assisi chanted their vespers in the 
Minorite church of rich Glarentza. 

At the same time when the Frankish rule in Achaia 
ended, the Turks made further conquests in Northern Greece. 
In 1423, Andr6nikos Palaiol6gos, who governed Salonika, 
afflicted by elephantiasis and harassed by the Turks, had 
sold that great city, the second of the empire, to Venice, 
which was also anxious to accept the offer of the Greek 
captain of Lamia to transfer the port of Stylida and the 
village of Avlaki, half-way between Stylida and Lamia, to 
the strongest of the Christian powers interested in the 
Levant, as the best means of saving the latter place, 
temporarily regained from the sultan. 1 The republic 
thought sufficiently highly of her new purchase to bestow 
the title of duke upon the chief official whom she sent 
there, and to pay an annual tribute for it to Mur&d II. 
But her occupation of Salonika was very short and by 
no means beneficial either to Venice or to her colony in 
Euboea. Lamia and its territory soon fell again into 
Turkish hands, and the unhappy Euboeans complained that 
they were more harried than ever by those invaders, 
who carried off so many captives that the island was in 

1 Sdthas, i., 140, 149 ; iii., 250, where "Zeffali Zitoni" is a corruption 
of KC<pa\ii 7*rfTOVPlov. 

DfiATtt 0$ CARLO TOCCO 395 

danger of becoming depopulated. This so greatly alarmed 
the Home Government, that the bailie received instructions to 
inspect and repair, by means of the forced labour of the 
serfs, all the fortresses of Euboea, and to restrict the sale of 
wine to those strongholds so as to induce people to inhabit 
them. In consideration of the pressing danger, his salary 
was increased, but all other expenses in the island were 
reduced, and the Duke of the Archipelago was reminded 
that it had always been the custom of his predecessors to 
light signal fires, warning the colonists of Euboea when a 
Turkish fleet was approaching. In 1430, Salonika fell finally 
before the Ottoman arms, and then the Venetians of Euboea 
feared that their turn would come. More than 5000 of the 
islanders were in captivity, and stores and 200 men were 
sorely needed to defend the eleven castles of the island. 
Venice hastened to save her colony by concluding peace 
with Mur&d II. 1 - 

On the opposite side of Greece, however, the Latins were 
not so fortunate as to escape. In 1429, Carlo I. Tocco had 
ended in his capital of Joannina his long and successful 
reign. " In military and administrative ability he was," as 
Chalkokondyles says, " inferior to none of his contemporaries," 
and under him the dynasty of the palatine Counts of 
Cephalonia had reached its zenith. Having no legitimate 
heirs, he left the island of Sta. Mavra and the strong fort of 
Vonitza on the Ambrakian Gulf to his widow, the able and 
masculine Duchess Francesca, divided Akarnania among his 
five bastards, and bequeathed the rest of his continental and 
insular dominions to his nephew, Carlo II. Such an arrange- 
ment was sure to lead to civil war; the Albanians hated 
the Italian rule, which had weighed heavily upon them ; the 
bastards, after the fashion of this degraded period, appealed 
with their approval to the sultan, and Memnon, the ablest 
and most unscrupulous of the five, was particularly impor- 
tunate in imploring Murid II. to restore him to his heritage. 
Carlo II. in vain invoked the good offices of his brother-in- 
law, Constantine, and the latter despatched his handy man, 
Phrantzds, whose decision all the parties swore to accept 

1 Sdthas, in., 306, 349, 372, 388-91 ; Thomas and Predelli, Diploma- 
farium, ii., 345. 


Phrantzes met, however, with his usual ill-fortune. Off the 
small islands near Sta. Mavra, once the abode of the Homeric 
Taphians, " lovers of the oar," a Catalan galley, in the pay of 
the Duchess Francesca, captured the historian and sold him 
and his suite at Glarentza for a ransom such as no archaeo- 
logist would now fetch. Meanwhile, the fall of Salonika had 
left the sultan free to respond to the bastard's appeal. Two 
previous attempts to enter Epiros had been checked by the 
natives in the difficult passes of Pindos. But a Turkish 
army under Sinan Pasha now appeared under the walls of 
Joannina, preceded by a letter from the sultan, calling upon 
the inhabitants to surrender, promising not to deprive them 
of their city, and bidding them decide ere it was too late for 
repentance. Sinan Pasha reiterated the orders and promises 
of his master, who had sent him, he told them, " to take the 
duke's lands and castles," and threatened to treat any place 
which resisted as he had treated Salonika. " The Franks," 
he pointed out to the Greeks and Albanians, "are merely 
seeking to ruin you, as they ruined the Thessalonians ; 
whereas I will allow the metropolitan to have all his 
ecclesiastical rights, and the archons to keep all their fiefs." 
These arguments convinced the inhabitants that further 
resistance was useless; Carlo II. was allowed to retain the 
rest of Epiros, Akarnania, and his islands, on payment of an 
annual tribute; the archons purchased the continuance of 
their privileges by the usual capitation-tax. On 9th October 
1430, Joannina surrendered, and has ever since belonged to 
the Turkish Empire. A small Turkish colony settled there, 
and soon a new version of the Rape of the Sabine women 
provided them with Christian wives. Carlo did not feel 
secure against the invasion of his reduced dominions, 
especially as his cousin, Memnon, continued to haunt the 
sultan's court and grovel before his patron " like a respectful 
servant." We accordingly find him asking Venice for 
protection, as otherwise he " will be forced to come to some 
arrangement with the Genoese, the Catalans, or the Turks." 
A similar appeal was made by the dowager duchess, from 
whose island the Turks carried off 500 souls. The Venetians 
were anxious that the Ionian islands, which carried on a 
large trade with their possessions, should not be lost ; they 


therefore urged the duchess to defend her own, as "so 
masculine a lady " well could, and told Carlo that they would 
treat him as a Venetian citizen, and elect him a noble of the 
Grand Council. This did not, however, prevent Memnon 
and his brother Ercole from conspiring with his continental 
subjects against him, until he purchased peace by allowing 
them to retain what they had occupied. The " Despot," or 
" Lord of Arta," as he styled himself, thenceforward remained 
for many years on good terms with both them and the sultaa 1 
Meanwhile, under the statesmanlike rule of Antonio 
Acciajuoli, the duchy of Athens had been spared the 
vicissitudes of the other Latin states in the Levant. While 
all around him principalities and powers were shaken to 
their foundations ; while that ancient warden of the northern 
march of Athens, the marquisate of Boudonitza, was swept 
away for ever; while Turkish armies invaded the Morea, 
and annexed the Albanian capital to the sultan's empire; 
while the principality of Achaia disappeared from the map 
in the throes of a tardy Greek revival ; the statesmanlike 
ruler of Athens skilfully guided the policy of his duchy. At 
times even his experienced diplomacy failed to avert the 
horrors of a Turkish raid ; we saw how the Turks had 
ravaged his land in 141 6, how Mohammed I. had threatened 
to chastise him for injuring some Venetian subjects, how, in 
1423, Turakhan had forced him, as a vassal of the sultan, to 
join in the invasion of the Morea. The historian Doukas 2 
even represents him as helping the Turks against Salonika. 
But, as a rule, the dreaded Mussulmans spared this half- 
Oriental, who was a past-master in the art of managing the 
sultan's ministers. From the former rulers of Athens, the 
Catalans and the Venetians, he had nothing to fear. Once, 
indeed, he received news that Alfonso V. of Aragon and 
Sicily, who never forgot to sign himself " Duke of Athens 

1 Chalkokondyles, 236-8 ; PhrantzSs, 154, 155, 157 ; Spandugino (ed. 
l SS l \ 2 5"8; Epirotica, 242-6, 254; Jorga, vi., 75, 82; Miklosich und 
Muller, L, 191 ; Hi., 282 ; Slthas, iii., 416 ; Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches^ 
II., i., 350-2 ; Brocquiere, Voyage doutrenur in Af /moires de Plnstitut, 

v., 587. 

2 P. 197, where he is called Inert** 9vP&*- He styles himself either 
"Duca" (Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches y II., i., 273) or more usually 

afiOtrrrii 'ABtjpQv Qrjp&v kclI t&v itfji (ibid., 289, 290, 296). 


and Neopatras," had invested a Catalan named Thomas 
Beraldo with the Athenian duchy, and intended to put him 
in possession of it So great was Antonio's alarm that he 
asked the Venetian Government to order its bailie in 
Negroponte to protect him. But Venice reassured him 
with the shrewd remark that theiCatalans usually made much 
ado about nothing, 1 and nothing further was heard about 
the matter. On her part the republic was friendly to the 
man who had supplanted her, when once she had come to 
an understanding with him. She twice gave Antonio per- 
mission, in case of danger, to send the valuable Acciajuoli 
stud — for, like his father, he was a good judge of horse-flesh 
— to the island of Euboea ; and she ordered her bailie to 
" observe the ancient commercial treaties between the duchy 
and the island, which he would find in writing in the 
chancery of Negroponte." When he complained that a 
number of Albanian families had emigrated from his duchy 
to Euboea, they were sent back with all the more readiness 
because they were useless. At his request the Euboean 
peasants were at last allowed to cultivate the five-mile territory 
which the Venetians still held as a strategic position on the 
mainland opposite the island. But when he asked permission 
to construct two galleys, he received a flat negative, even 
though he offered to join the republic against the Turks. 
Nor was he more fortunate in his protest against the arrange- 
ment by which Venice secured to herself the future possession 
of jEgina. That classic island had passed, as we saw, about the 
end of the fourteenth century, from the family of Fadrique to 
that of Caopena. But, in 1425, Alioto Caopena, at that time 
its ruler, placed himself under the protection of the republic 
in order to escape the danger of a Turkish raid. The island 
must then have been fruitful, for one of the conditions under 
which Venice accorded him her protection was that he should 
supply corn for her colonies. While he retained his 
independence, he agreed to hoist the banner of the 
Evangelist, whenever desired, and it was stipulated that, 
if his family became extinct, -/Egina should become Venetian. 
Against this treaty Antonio of Athens, one of whose adopted 
daughters had married the future lord of jEgina, Antonello 

1 Jorge, v., 122. 


Caopena, in vain protested. To the Florentine Duke of 
Athens, jEgina, as a Venetian colony, might well seem, as 
it had seemed to Aristotle, the " eyesore of the Piraeus." But 
a quarter of a century later, a Venetian colony it was. 1 

With another Italian commonwealth, his family's old 
home of Florence, Antonio maintained the closest relations. 
In 1422, a Florentine ambassador arrived in Athens with 
instructions to confer the freedom of his city upon the 
Athenian ruler, and to inform him that Florence, having 
now become a maritime power (by the destruction of Pisa 
and the purchase of Leghorn), intended to embark in the 
Levant trade, and asked from him as favourable treatment 
as the Venetians and Genoese merchants received in his 
dominions. The ambassador was directed to make a similar 
request of Carlo I. Tocco, on the ground that his mother, 
Maddalena Buondelmonti, was a Florentine. Antonio gladly 
made all Florentine ships free of his harbours, and halved the 
usual customs dues in favour of all Florentine merchants 
throughout his dominions. Any rights which he might 
thereafter grant to Venetians, Catalans, or Genoese, were 
to be theirs also. 2 

Visitors from Tuscany, when they landed at Riva d'Ostia 
on the Gulf of Corinth, must, indeed, have felt themselves in 
the land of a friendly prince, though the court on the 
Akropolis presented a curious mixture of the Greek and 
the Florentine elements. Half a Greek himself, Antonio 
chose both his wives from that race — the first the beautiful 
daughter of a Greek priest, to whom he had lost his heart 
in the mazes of a wedding-dance at Thebes, and whom, 
though she had a husband already, he made his mistress, and 
subsequently his wife; the second was Maria Melissen6, a 
daughter of the great Messenian family, who brought him 
Astros, Leonidi, and other places in Kynouria, the land of 
the Tzdkones, as her dowry. As he had no children, he 
adopted the two daughters of Protimo, a nobleman of Eubcea, 
whom he married to Niccol6 Giorgio, the titular marquis 

1 S4thas, i., 178, 179; iii., 6, 225, 281, 287, 319, 420; Chalkokondyles, 
215-16. The best account of the mediaeval history of JEgina. is in Baron 
Sardagna's version of Hopfs Karystos^ pp. 66-72. 

2 Buchon, Nouvelles kecherches, II., i., 287-90. 


of Boudonitza and baron of Karystos, and to Antoncllo 
Caopena of iEgina. The latter was a great favourite at the 
Athenian court, as he was useful to his father-in-law. 1 The 
succession to the duchy being thus open, members of the 
Acciajuoli clan, sons of Antonio's uncle Donato, whom King 
Ladislaus of Naples had appointed Nerio's heir in 1394, and 
who was now dead, came to Athens to pay their respects to 
their prosperous relative. Of these cousins, Franco settled 
in Greece at the castle of Sykaminon, near Oropos, which 
had belonged to the Knights of St John, and acted as 
Antonio's ambassador during negotiations with Venice; 
Nerio twice visited the Athenian court, and was long the 
guest of his cousin, the Duchess of Leucadia ; Antonio was 
made bishop of her other island of Cephalonia, and Giovanni 
archbishop of Thebes, where another Acciajuoli had been his 
predecessor. Towards the close of Antonio's long reign a 
second generation of this family had grown up to manhood in 
Greece. Foremost among these younger cousins were 
Franco's sons, Nerio and Antonio, both destined to be dukes 
of Athens ; their sister, Laudamia, Lady of Sykaminon, and 
her husband, a member of the great Florentine family of 
Pitti ; two other grandchildren of Donato, Niccol6 Machiavelli 
and Angelo Acciajuoli, both spent some time in Greece, 
where the latter, a devoted adherent of Cosimo de' Medici, 
was banished when his chief was exiled by Albizzi from 
Florence. A branch of the Medici, as we saw, was already 
established at Athens. Thus, with such names as Acciajuoli, 
Medici, Pitti, and Machiavelli at the Athenian court, Attica 
had, indeed, become a Florentine colony. 2 

Antonio and his Florentine relatives must have led a 
merry life in their delectable duchy. In the family corre- 
spondence we find allusions to hawking and partridge 
shooting, and the ducal stable provided good mounts for 
the young Italians, who scoured the plains of Attica and 
Bceotia in quest of game. The cultured Florentines were 
delighted with Athens and the Akropolis. '• You have never 
seen," wrote Niccold Machiavelli to one of his cousins, "a 

1 Chalkokonctyles, loc. cit. ; Phrantzgs, 159. 

2 Buchon, op. city 269-86, 294 ; Predelli, Commemoriali, iii., 509 ; 
Mai, SpiciUgium Romanum, L, 460; Sstthas, III., 100. 


fairer land nor yet a fairer fortress than this " — a sentiment 
which recalls the rhapsody of Pedro IV. over the castle of 
Athens. It was there, in the venerable Propylaea, that 
Antonio fixed his ducal residence. In the closing years 
of the Catalan rule there had been, as we saw, a palace 
and an adjoining chapel of St Bartholomew on the Akropolis ; 
but under both the Burgundians and the Catalans, Thebes had 
been the usual residence of the head of the state. The 
Acciajuoli, however, made Athens their capital and the 
Propylaea their home. No great alterations were required 
to convert the classic work of Mnesikl£s into a Florentine 
palace. All that the Acciajuoli seem to have done was to 
cut the two vestibules in two, so as to make four rooms, to 
fill up the spaces between the pillars by walls (which were 
seen by Dodwell, Leake, and other travellers of the early 
part of the last century, and which were only removed in 
2 835), and to add a second story, of which the joist-sockets 
are still visible, to both that building and to the Pinakoth6ke, 
which either then, or in Turkish times, was crowned with 
battlements. 1 It has been conjectured from a passage in 
an anonymous account of the antiquities of Athens, 2 com- 
posed probably in 1458, that the ducal chancery, whence 
the Acciajuoli issued their Greek documents, was in this 
latter edifice. Here, too, was the chapel of St Bartholomew, 
to which Pedro TV. alluded, and in which Nerio I. signed a 
treaty with the envoys of Amadeo of Savoy. The vaulted 
arches of this chapel and the central column which supported 
them were still to be seen in 1837. To the Florentine 
dukes, too, is usually ascribed the construction of the square 
" Frankish tower," which was pulled down in 1874 by an act 
of vandalism unworthy of any people imbued with a sense of 
the continuity of history. This tower, 85 feet high, 28J 
feet long by 25 J feet broad, and sf feet thick at the base, 
was built of large stones from the quarries of Pentelikon 

1 Burnouf, La ville et PAcropole dAttenes, 80. Cf. his plan of the 
Akropolis under the Franks, pi. vi. ; Stuart and Revett, Antiquities of 
Athens, II., ch. v., pi. I. 

2 TA Star pa ko.1 SiSaffKoKgui rGtv 'AdrjvQv, apud Laborde, AtAenes aux 
xv. y xvi. y et xvii. Sihles y i., 20 ; Wachsmuth, Die Stadt Athen, i., 738. 
But Professor Lampros, in a note to his translation of Gregorovius 
("•> 359) n ' 2 )» thinks that KayiccXKapla means a portico. 

2 C 


and the Piraeus, all taken by the mediaeval architects from 
the classical buildings of the Akropolis. High up, on the 
north side of the tower, was a little square turret projecting 
from the wall, and on the top beacon-fires could be kindled 
which would be visible from Akrocorinth. Placed opposite 
the graceful temple of Nike Apteros, it commanded the 
sea-coast and the plain and mountains of Attica, save where 
the cathedral of Our Lady shut out a part of Hymettos. A 
wooden staircase, fastened into the walls, such as one sees in 
some of the Venetian catnpanili, enabled the Florentine 
watchman to ascend to the top, and sweep land and sea 
for Turkish horsemen or rakish-looking galleys. Such 
towers may still be seen near Moulki in Boeotia and in 
the island of Eubcea. In addition to these erections on the 
Akropolis, some archaeologists have regarded the Acciajuoli 
as the authors of the marble steps which lead up to the 
Propylaea, more usually ascribed to the Romans, 1 and others 
have believed that it was they who first surrounded the 
famous Klepsydra with bastions, so as to provide the 
Akropolis with water; 2 in that case, Odysseus was merely 
following their example when he fortified the well in 1822. 

Nor did they limit their activity as builders to the castle 
rock alone. To the Florentine, if not to the Burgundian 
period, is now assigned the so-called wall of Valerian, 8 of 
which the remains are still visible in an Athenian backyard, 
with sheds and hutches under it The anonymous writer 
above mentioned alhides to "the splendid abode of the 
polemarch " — a name supposed to be his way of expressing 
the title of the Frankish governor of the town — in the Stoa 
of Hadrian, where frescoes, still quite fresh, are even now 
visible. The same author says that the dukes possessed a 
beautiful villa at the spring of Kallirrhoe, where they used to 
bathe, and that close by they were wont to pray in a church 

1 Burnouf, 75, 76, 85, 87 ; Leake, Topography of Athens^ i., 73 ; Finlay, 
iv., 170 (who thought the tower earlier than the Acciajuoli) ; Buchon, 
La Grke Continentale> 67, 127 (who considered it to have been the ducal 

2 Pittakys, LAncienne Attenes, 155 ; Curtius in Archdologischc 
Zeitung for 1854, p. 203. 

3 Wachsmuth, 1., 724. Both Cyriacus of Ancona and the anonymous 
visitor of 1466 speak of the "new walls" of Athens. 


which had in pagan times been "a temple of Hera," or, more 
correctly, of Triptolemos. In this church, called St Mary's 
on the Rock, the Marquis de Nointel had mass recited when 
he visited Athens in 1674. His companion, Cornelio Magni, 
also alludes in his " Description of Athens," to a church on 
the bridge over the Ilissos, then "all in ruins but still 
displaying the traces of the Acciajuoli arms," while he found 
the lion rampant of Brescia, the emblem of the ducal family, 
which visitors to the famous Certosa know so well, still 
guarding — auspicium melioris &vi — the entrance of the 
Turkish bazaar. 1 A few years later, a chapel called H agios 
FrAnkos is mentioned by the Venetian writer, Coronelli, 2 as 
"having been built by the Acciajuoli"; on the other hand, 
the statement of the Florentine biographer, Ubaldini, 3 that 
Antonio erected the lion of the Piraeus, which gave the har- 
bour its mediaeval name of Porto Leone, is incorrect, for we saw 
that it was already so called a century earlier. But enough has 
been said to justify both his remark and that of the Athenian 
historian, Chalkokond^les, that Antonio's long pacific and 
economic administration enabled him to beautify the city. 

Of literary culture there are some few traces in Florentine 
Athens. It was in Antonio's reign that Athens gave birth 
to her last historian, Laonikos Chalkokond^les, the Herodotos 
of mediaeval Greece, who told the story of the new Persian 
invasion, and to his brother Dem^trios, who did so much to 
diffuse Greek learning in Italy. Another of Antonio's 
subjects, Ant6nios the Logothete, is known to scholars as a 
copyist of manuscripts at Siena ; and it is obvious that the 
two Italian courts of Athens and Joannina were regarded as 
places where there was an opening for professional men, 
for we find a young Italian writing from Arezzo to Nerio, in 
order to obtain, through the latter's influence with Carlo I. 
Tocco and Antonio, a chair of jurisprudence, logic, natural or 
moral philosophy, or medicine, at either of their courts — he 
did not mind which.* Even a Greekling of Juvenal's time 

1 Laborde, i., 18, 19 ; Stuart (I., ch. ii., pi. 1) gives a picture of the 
llavcryia arty TUrpa, which was destroyed by Hadji Ali in 1778 ; Magni, 
RelasionC) 14, 49, and Viaggi^ 466, 491 ; it is marked in his plan. 

2 Tavola, 36. * Originc del la fatniglia degli Acciajuoli \ 176. 

4 Montfaucon, Palcrographia Gracu^ 76, 79, 94 ; Buchon, Nouvelles 
Re c here he s i II., i., 276. 


could have scarcely offered to teach such a variety of subjects. 
Unfortunately, we are not told whether the versatile candi- 
date's modest offer was accepted 

Thus, for a long period, the Athenian duchy enjoyed 
peace and prosperity, broken only by the pestilence which 
visited it in 1423, driving Antonio to seek safety at Megara. 1 
Yet, if we may judge from the complaints which he made 
about the emigration of a few hundred Albanians from his 
dominions, it would seem that the land had become depopu- 
lated, and that there was a lack of men to till the soiL A 
similar phenomenon is observable in the Greece of to-day, 
where even the most fertile districts are being rapidly 
denuded of their male inhabitants. But the modern Greeks 
have not the twin institutions on which mediaeval society 
rested — serfdom and slavery. Both continued to exist under 
the AcciajuolL Antonio granted, and his successor con- 
firmed, the Frankish privileges to a Greek, from which we 
learn that those who did not enjoy the franchise were still 
liable to furnish baskets, new wine, oil, and other articles; 
while the Duchess Francesca of Leucadia made a present of 
a young female slave to her cousin Nerio, with full power to 
sell or dispose of her as he pleased. Yet there continued to 
be a growth of Greek influence at Athens, as was natural 
under a dynasty which was now half hellenised. The notary 
and chancellor of the city continued to be a Greek ; the 
public documents were drawn up in the Pinakoth£ke in that 
language ; and a Greek archon was now destined to play a 
leading part in Athenian politics. 2 

When, in 1435, after a long reign of thirty-two years, the 
longest of any Athenian ruler till the time of King George, 
Antonio was one summer morning found dead in his bed, 
the victim of an apoplectic stroke, two parties, an Italian and 
a Greek, arose to dispute the succession. The Italian candi- 
date, young Nerio, eldest son of Franco Acciajuoli, baron of 
Sykaminon, whom the late duke had adopted as his heir, 
occupied the city. But the Duchess Maria Melissen£ and 
her kinsman, Chalkokond^les, father of the historian and the 
leading man of Athens, held the castle. Well aware, how- 

1 Buchon, Nouvelles Reckerchcs^ II., i., 272, 279, 280. 

2 lbid. y 285, 290, 296-7. 


ever, that the sultan was the real master of the situation, the 
Greek archon set out for the Turkish court with a large sum 
of money to obtain Mur&d II.'s consent to this act of usurpa- 
tion. The sultan scornfully rejected the 30,000 gold pieces 
which the Athenian archon offered him, cast him into prison, 
and demanded the surrender of the duchy, at the same time 
sending an army under the redoubtable Turakhan to occupy 
Thebea Chalkokond^les managed to escape to Con- 
stantinople, whence he took ship for the Morea ; but on the 
way, falling in with some vessels belonging to the Frankish 
party at Athens, he was seized and sent back as a prisoner to 
the sultan, who pardoned him. This futile attempt was not, 
however, the only effort of the Greeks to make themselves 
masters of Athens. Even before the death of the duke, 
Constantine Palaiol6gos had sent his trusty emissary 
Phrantz£s on a mission to the Athenian court, and the 
duchess now requested him to return with a large force of 
soldiers and a formal document setting out the agreement 
made between her and his master. This arrangement was, 
that Constantine should take the duchy of Athens, and that 
she should receive in exchange lands in Lakonia near her 
own family possessions. This diplomatic scheme, which 
would have united nearly all Greece under the Palaiol6goi, 
was frustrated, as the other had been. Turakhan had 
already invested, and soon took, Thebes, while the Frankish 
party at Athens, which included the other leading Greeks 
hostile to Chalkokond^les, had at once seized the opportunity 
of his absence to decoy the duchess out of the Akropolis, and 
to proclaim Nerio. Peace was secured by the marriage of 
the new duke with the dowager duchess, and by the banish- 
ment of the family of Chalkokond^les. Venice, which might 
have interposed as the late duke's suzerain, instructed her 
bailie at Negroponte, whither many Athenian serfs had fled, 
not to interfere with the occupation of Athens by either of the 
two parties, or even by the Turks. At the same time, he was 
to suggest diplomatically to Nerio that he should offer to 
recognise the Venetian suzerainty. 1 The only interest which 

1 Chalkokondyles, 320-2 ; Phrantz6s, 158-60 ; Sdthas, i., 199; iii., 427 
(which proves, by the phrase, ex matrimomo secuto, that Maria actually 
married Nerio). 


the republic had in endeavouring to recover the city was to 
prevent its falling into dangerous hands. As for the Turks, 
although Phrantzes betook himself to Turakhan's head- 
quarters at Thebes, and was assured that the Turkish com- 
mander would have granted his request, had he known a 
little earlier, they did not molest the new duke. The 
Turkish policy has always been to govern by dividing the 
Christian races of the Near East ; and the Sultan was well 
content to allow a Florentine princeling to retain the 
phantom of power so long as he paid his tribute with 

The weak and effeminate Nerio II. was exactly suited for 
the part of a Turkish puppet. But, like many feeble rulers, 
the " Lord of Athens and Thebes," as he officially styled 
himself, seems to have made himself unpopular by his 
arrogance, and a few years after his accession he was 
deprived of his throne by an intrigue of his brother, Antonio 
II. He then retired to Florence, the home of his family, 
where he had property, to play the part of a prince in exile, 
if exile it could be called. There he must have been living 
at the time of the famous council, an echo of whose decisions 
we hear in distant Athens, where a Greek priest, of rather 
more learning than most of his cloth, wrote to the oecu- 
menical patriarch on the proper form of public prayer for the 
pope. A bailie — so we learn from one of his letters l — was 
then administering the duchy pending Nerio's return, for 
Antonio had died in 1441, his infant son, Franco, was absent 
at the Turkish court, and his subjects had recalled their 
former lord to the Akropolis, preferring the rule of a grown- 
up man, however feeble, to that of a child, who was enjoying 
so dubious an education. Presenting his Florentine pro- 
perty to Tommaso Pitti, his man of business, to whom he 
owed money, Nerio returned to his palace on the Akropolis, 
where we shall presently find him entertaining the first 
archaeologist who had visited Athens for centuries. 

1 Chalkokond^les, 322; Buchon, Nowelles Recherches, II., i., 298- 
302 ; Ubaldini, op. cit., 177 ; Gaddi, Elogiographus, 90-4 ; and Corol- 
larium Poeticum, 33 ; Nfo 'EMi^o^/aw*, i., 43*5 6 - 



The Frankish principality of Achaia being now extinct, it 
might have been expected that common-sense and the 
common danger from the Turks would have convinced the 
Greeks that union and disinterested endeavours were needed 
to consolidate and defend against the Turks what had been 
so slowly and laboriously won back from the Latins. But 
that nota inter fratres inimicitia y which Tacitus had remarked 
as a characteristic of human nature in his time, was 
intensified in the case of the four surviving brothers of the 
Emperor John VI. — Theodore, Constantine, Thomas and 
Dem£trios. The Peloponnese, as we saw, was now divided 
amongst the three former, while the fourth had not yet 
obtained an appanage in the peninsula. Unhappily, the 
prospect of the imperial succession was an apple of discord 
among them, and the Byzantine court became a hot-bed of 
fraternal intrigues, which were naturally continued in the 
residences of the three Despots in the Morea. The emperor, 
who wished Constantine to succeed him, was desirous of 
keeping the trio in Greece ; while Constantine and Thomas 
wanted to have the peninsula to themselves, and the former 
did not hesitate to seek the consent of the sultan to this 
scheme through the mediation of the ever-useful Phrantzfts, 
his unfailing emissary in all dubious, or diplomatic, trans- 
actions. Civil war accordingly broke out between Theodore 
and his two brothers, which it required all the efforts of two 
imperial embassies to assuage. It was agreed that Con- 
stantine should go to live in Constantinople, leaving the 
Morea to Theodore and Thomas, and there he remained as 
regent for the emperor, while the latter, accompanied by 



Dem&rios and the oecumenical patriarch, set out to achieve 
the union of the Eastern and Western churches at the councils 
of Ferrara and Florence. On his journey to Italy, the 
emperor landed at Kenchreai, traversed Greece on horseback, 
preached the blessings of brotherly love to the two Despots, 
and ordered the philosopher Gemist6s to accompany him to 
the council. Then he took ship at the Venetian harbour of 
Navarino. The insecurity of the Greek seas at that period 
may be judged from the fact that the emperor and his ship- 
load of learned theologians ran imminent risk of being 
captured by a Catalan corsair who was lurking behind the 
island of Gaidaronisi, near Sunium. 1 Their sufferings and 
labour were in vain ; and on their return journey, wherever 
they stopped in Greece, at Corfu, Modon, and Chalkis, the 
Greek clergy indignantly remonstrated with them on the 
concessions which they had made. The Greeks of Corfu, 
who had no bishop of their own, bitterly remarked that the 
Latin archbishop would now press his claim to ordain their 
priests ; those of Chalkis, where the returning theologians 
took part in a service in a Catholic church, declared that 
henceforth they could no longer exclude the Latin clergy 
from performing mass in the Greek churches. 

During the six years between 1437 and 1443, during 
which Constantine was mainly absent at Constantinople, 
the Morea enjoyed the blessing of having practically no 
history. We find Thomas administering justice and confirm- 
ing sales of property at Patras, and Theodore ratifying the 
ancient privileges of the inhabitants of Monemvasia. All the 
Despot's subjects, whether freemen or serfs, were permitted to 
enter or leave that important city without let or hindrance, 
except only the dangerous denizens of Tzakonia and Vatika, 
whose character had not altered in two hundred years. The 
citizens, their beasts, and their ships, were exempt from 
forced labour ; and, at their special request, the Despot con- 
firmed the local custom, by which all the property of a 
Monemvasiote who died without relatives was devoted to the 
repair of the castle ; while, if he had only distant relatives, 
one-third of his estate was reserved for that purpose. This 

1 Phrantzgs, 161 -3 ; Doukas, 214 ; Jorga, vi., 389, 393 ; Sgur6poulos, 
Vera Historic* Umonis } § 4, chs, iv., vi, ; § n, chs, vi.-viii. 


system of death-duties (to afiictrriKiov, as it was called) was 
continued by Theodore's successor, Dem&rios, by whom 
Monemvasia was described as " one of the most useful cities 
under my rule." The prosperity of Patras, on the other 
hand, must have suffered by the transference of the Venetian 
trade to Lepanto, previously only a cattle-market, which, in 
consequence, began to pay its expenses. 1 To the- eye, 
however, of a literary observer, the Humanist, Francescus 
Philelphus, 2 there was " nothing in the Peloponnese worthy 
of praise except George Gemist6s," or Pl£thon, as he now 
called himself, who had returned from Florence, and was 
holding a judicial post at Mistr&. " The Palaiol6goi princes 
themselves," added the critic, " are oppressed by poverty, and 
even their own subjects ridicule and plunder them. The 
language is depraved, the customs are more barbarous than 
the barbarians." Yet it is to these barbarians that we owe 
those beautiful Byzantine churches, the Pantanassa and the 
Peribleptos, at MistrA. 

In 1443 a fresh distribution of the Moreot Governments 
took place. In view of the succession to the throne of all the 
Caesars, both Constantine and Theodore were anxious to 
obtain the city of Selymbria, on the Sea of Marmara, which 
was close to the capital. Finally, an arrangement was made 
by which Theodore received Selymbria, where he died of the 
plague five years later, and ceded his province in the Morea 
to Constantine. An inscription in the chapel of Our Lady 
of Brontochion, at Mistr&, still commemorates Theodore's 
temporary aspirations for the peace of the cloister, and a 
feeble monody has been preserved in remembrance of this 
feeble ruler. 8 

Thus, Constantine now held the larger portion of the 
peninsula, including Patras, Corinth, and Mistr&, in each of 
which he was represented by a governor, in the case of 
Mistral the faithful Phrantzes, whose jurisdiction included not 
only the capital, but the village of Jewish Trype, at the mouth 
of the Langada Gorge, Sklavochorio (the ancient Amyklai), 
and several other villages in the neighbourhood PhrantzGs 

1 Miklosich und Muller, iii., 258 ; v., 170-4 : Gerland, 218, 222 ; 
S4thas, iii., 413, 458. 

J Epistola, bk. v., fol. lvii, 3 Bys. Zeitschrifr ix., 641. 


received on his appointment strict injunctions to abolish a 
number of offices and to establish one-man rule at Mistr£, while 
a single minister in attendance (called kclOoXikos /meo-afar) was 
attached to the person of the sovereign wherever he went. Con- 
stantine's first act after his arrival was to rebuild the Isthmian 
wall, which Turakhan had destroyed a second time during 
a raid into the Peloponnese in 143 1 ; the next was to renew, 
this time by force of arms, the attempt which he had made by 
diplomacy nine years before, to recover the Athenian duchy 
for himself and the cause of Hellenism, which he personified. 
The moment seemed singularly favourable, for a weak man 
held sway at Athens, and the Turks, hard pressed by the 
Hungarians and Poles, whom Pope Eugenius IV. had 
marshalled against them, defied by Skanderbeg in Albania, 
defeated by John Hunyady at Nish, threatened by the 
appearance of a Venetian fleet in the iEgean, were unable to 
protect their Athenian vassal. He, therefore, cheerfully 
responded to the appeal of the papal envoys, marched into 
Bceotia early in 1444, occupied Thebes, ravaged the country 
to the gates of Livadia and as far north as Lamia and 
Agrapha, and compelled Nerio II. to pledge himself to pay 
tribute. The Wallachs of Pindos now descended upon the 
Turks of the great Thessalian plain, and received from the 
victorious Constantine a governor whose seat was at 
Phanari ; one of the Albanian clans in Phthiotis, to which 
the sultan had granted autonomy, joined his standard ; 
300 Burgundian auxiliaries arrived to swell his forces, 
and he was so flushed with success that he did not scruple to 
arouse the wrath of Venice by seizing the port of Vitrinitza, 
on the Gulf of Corinth, which had been ceded by the Turks 
to the governor of Lepanto. Thus, for a moment, almost all 
the Morea and the greater part of continental Greece 
acknowledged the sway or the suzerainty of a Greek prince. 
Never, since the time of the Frankish Conquest, had the 
Hellenic cause been so successful The news spread to 
Italy ; Cardinal Bessarion hastened to congratulate Con- 
stantine on the fortification of the isthmus, and urged him to 
transfer his capital from MistrA to Corinth. At the same 
time, he bade him become the Lycurgus of the new Sparta — 
lightening taxation, checking extravagance in dress and 


servants by strict sumptuary laws, preventing the export of 
corn, building a navy from the wood of the Peloponnesian 
forests, and searching for iron in the folds of Taygetos. Above 
all, the cardinal advised him to send a few young Spartans to 
learn letters and arts in Italy and so qualify as literary and 
technical instructors of their fellow-countrymen. While the 
patriot churchman dreamed of a revival of ancient Hellas by 
the genius of Constantine, the court of Naples heard that he 
had actually occupied Athens ; and Alfonso V. of Aragon, 
who had never forgotten that he was still titular duke of 
Athens and Neopatras, wrote at once demanding the 
restitution of the two duchies to himself, and sent the 
Marquis of Gerace to receive them from the conqueror's 
hands. But, before the letter was despatched, the fate of 
Greece had been decided on the shores of the Black Sea. 
The perjury of the Christians, who had broken their solemn 
oaths to keep peace with the sultan, had been punished by 
their crushing defeat at Varna in November 1444. Venice 
made peace to save her colonies ; the rest of Greece lay at 
the mercy of the victor. 1 

Nerio II. was the first sufferer for his compulsory alliance 
with the Greek Despot Omar, the son of Turakhan, 
governor of Thessaly, ravaged Boeotia and Attica, as a 
punishment for his weakness. Nerio now saw that his only 
hope lay in obsequiousness to the Turks, whose star was 
again in the ascendant, and sent an envoy to the sultan, 
expressing his willingness to pay the same tribute as before. 
On these conditions he purchased safety from the Turks, but 
at the same time called down upon himself the vengeance of 
Constantine, who marched against Athens, and endeavoured 
to take it Nerio now called upon the sultan to protect him ; 
his appeal was supported by Turakhan, whose Thessalian 
province had suffered from Constantine's recent successes ; 
and Mur&d, true to the traditional Turkish policy of support- 

1 Chalkokondyles, 283, 305, 306, 318, 319 (where for Qartplou I read 
Qapaplov); Phrantzes, 157, 193-6,200-1; Chromcon Breve % 518, 5i9;Do6kas, 
223 ; Magno apud Hopfi Chroniques^ 195 ; Sathas, i., 208 ; Jorga, viii., 6 ; 
Alfonso V.'s letter in ArckMo Storico per le Prov. Napoletane^ xxvii., 
430-1 ; Cyriacus of Ancona in Fabricius, Biblioteca Latina media et 
infimcc /Etatis, vi., addenda, p. 12 ; N6» 'EKKipopriipWi III., 15-27 ; iv., 23. 



ing the weaker of two rival Christian nationalities, accord- 
ingly sent an ultimatum to Constantine, demanding the 
evacuation of the Turkish territory which he had occupied. 
As Constantine refused, the sultan resolved to chastise the 
bold Greek who dared to disobey him. 

In 1446 all Mur&d's preparations were made, and he set 
out from Macedonia to invade Greece, with a commissariat 
so splendidly organised as to call forth the enthusiastic 
praise of the Athenian historian. North of the isthmus he 
met with no opposition, for Constantine, with his brother 
Thomas and the whole force of the Peloponnese, amounting 
to 60,000 men, had retired behind the newly restored 
walls of the Hexamilion. At Thebes an Athenian con- 
tingent joined the sultan under Nerio, who had thus the 
petty satisfaction of assisting his present against his late 
master. After encamping for a few days at a place called 
Mingiai to prepare his cannon and fascines, Mur£d drew up 
his forces in front of the Isthmian wall. A spy, who was 
despatched from the Greek headquarters, came back with an 
alarming report of the strength of the Turkish army, which 
stretched from sea to sea, and implored the Despot to send 
an embassy to the sultan with all speed, and so avert, if 
possible, the evils which his rashness had brought upon the 
Peloponnese. Constantine ordered the spy to be thrown 
into prison for his frankness, and rejected his advice. He 
had, indeed, sent Chalkokond^les, father of the historian, 
as an envoy to the sultan, but his instructions were to claim 
the isthmus and the Turkish possessions recently captured in 
continental Greece — a claim which, as the historian admits, 
was excessive, and so irritated Mur&d that he threw the 
ambassador into prison. When, however, the sultan came 
to examine the imposing walls of the Hexamilion, he 
remonstrated with old Turakhan for having advised him to 
attack such apparently impregnable lines so late in the season 
— for it was now 27th November. But the veteran, who knew 
his Greeks and had already twice taken the Isthmian wall, 
maintained that its defenders would not resist an attack, but 
would flee at the news of his arrival at the isthmus. In this 
expectation the sultan waited several days before ordering 
the attack ; but, as Constantine showed no sign of surrender, 


he ordered his cannon to open fire on the wall. On the 
evening of the fourth day, the fires in front of the Turkish 
tents, and the strains of the martial hymns which rose from 
the Turkish camp, warned the Greeks that, according to their 
custom, the besiegers would begin the assault on the next 
day but one. On the following evening the sutlers dragged 
the siege engines into position, and at dawn next day, ioth 
December, the band sounded the signal for the attack. 
While some endeavoured to undermine the wall, and others 
placed scaling ladders against it, the Turkish artillery 
prevented the defenders from exposing themselves over the 
battlements. The honours of the day rested with a young 
Servian janissary, who was the first to scale the wall right in 
the centre under the eyes of the sultan — a sad but characteristic 
example of the manner in which the Turks in all ages have 
used the Slavs against the Greeks and the Greeks against 
the Slavs. Others followed him, the Greeks were driven 
down from that point of the battlements, a panic seized them, 
and they fled in disorder, followed by the troops near them. 
The two Despots in vain endeavoured to rally their panic- 
stricken men ; then, finding their efforts useless, and suspect- 
ing the Albanians of treachery, they fled also; while the 
Turkish soldiers poured over the fatal battlement, through a 
breach in the wall, and finally through the gates. Some fell 
upon the ample plunder which they found in the Greek camp, 
others slew or captured the fleeing Greeks; the whole 
isthmus, laments a Greek poet, was strewn " with gold-winged 
arrows, jewelled swords, and the heads and hands and bodies 
of men." The sultan stained his laurels by two hideous acts 
of cruelty. Three hundred Greeks, who had fled to Mount 
Oneion, above Kenchreai, he induced to surrender, and then 
butchered in cold blood ; six hundred of his soldiers' captives 
he purchased, in order to sacrifice them as an acceptable 
offering to the Manes of his father. 

The two Despots retreated into the far south of the 
peninsula, for they knew that the citadel of Akrocorinth had 
neither provisions nor munitions sufficient to resist a long 
siege; they had staked and lost their all at the isthmus, 
and they had to face a revolt headed by a Greek arclion, who 
proclaimed Centurione's bastard son, Giovanni Asan, as 


legitimate Prince of Achaia. If hard pressed by the Turks, 
they were resolved to quit the country. Meanwhile, leaving old 
Turakhan, who knew the Peloponnese well, to pursue them, 
the sultan marched along the south shore of the Corinthian 
Gulf with such rapidity that, on the same day on which he 
captured the isthmus, he surprised Basilicata, the ancient 
Sikyon, whose entire male population had gone to defend 
the Hexamilion, with the exception of a few who had taken 
refuge with the women and children in the Akropolis. This 
small garrison soon surrendered ; the sultan set fire to the 
town, and then continued his march to the wealthy city of 
Vostitza, which met with a like fate at his hands. When he 
reached Patras, he found that all the inhabitants, except 
some 4000 who had occupied the castle and the palace, had fled 
across the gulf to the Venetian colony of Lepanto, which had 
secured immunity by continuing to pay him tribute. The 
occupants of the palace surrendered, and were enslaved ; but 
the people in the splendid old castle, even though a breach 
was made in the walls, hurled blazing resin and pitch on 
to the heads of the janissaries, and so maintained their 
position. The sultan had to content himself with burning 
and destroying the town, whose wealth had made it the 
" purse " of Constantine, and with ravaging the country as far 
as Glarentza. Meanwhile, Turakhan had returned from his 
raid ; and, as the season was far advanced and the Despots 
were willing to make peace on his terms, and pay him a 
tribute, Murad withdrew to Thebes, leaving the Hexamilion a 
heap of ruins, and taking more than 60,000 captives with 
him. On his approach, the terrified Thebans abandoned 
their homes, only to fall into the clutches of the Turkish army 
at the isthmus. The news of the fall of the Hexamilion had 
been at once followed by the submission of all Constantine's 
recent conquests in continental Greece; and the Bey of 
Salona swore on the Koran that no harm should befall the 
revolted people of Loidoriki and Galaxidi, if they would 
return to their allegiance. 1 

On the death of his brother, the Emperor John, in 1448, 

1 Chalkokondyles, 320, 322, 341-50, 408 ; Doukas, 223 ; Chronkon 
Breve > 519, 520; Phrantzes, 202, 203 ; Magno and "AvOot apud Hopf, 
Chroniquts, 194, 267 ; Qprjpos ttjs Kw