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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries

IV: The Morea, 1311-1364,   pp. 104-140 PDF (15.1 MB)

Page 136

urged Bartholomew, Peter Thomas, Latin patriarch of Constanti nople, the
Venetian bailie of Euboea, and the feudality of that island to concert all
measures to defend the principality. He wrote in similar terms to the Angevin
bailie and to the ecclesiastics and lords of Achaea. These appeals did not,
apparently, lead to any united action by the Latins of Greece against the
Turks. The crusade led by Peter I of Cyprus with the zealous support of Urban
V might have brought important relief to the Latin states of Greece if directed
against the emirates of Anatolia.41 Instead, Peter's spectacular cap ture
and sack of Alexandria in 1365, far from liberating Jerusalem, would only
weaken the whole Christian position in the Levant and allow the Turks to
plunder and penetrate the Greek peninsula almost at will. 
 Robert of Taranto had returned to Naples from his Hungarian captivity early
in 1353. As the elder brother of queen Joanna's consort, Louis of Taranto,
and as an important territorial lord, it was natural that he should try to
play a leading role in the affairs of the kingdom of Naples, the "Regno."
But he was as ineffectual now as in the years before his captivity. If the
Regno counted for something at this time in the Italian peninsula and in
Europe, it was due solely to the statesmanship of Nicholas Acciajuoli, who
had been appointed grand seneschal in 1348. In the principality of Achaea
Nicholas's influence was still greater than before; he acted as Robert's
principal adviser in Greek matters, as he had done for Catherine of Valois,
and his services were again rewarded with large estates in the Morea. In
a letter dated February 22, 1356, which the grand seneschal addressed to
his familiar, Americo Cavalcanti, and to his favorite cousin, Jacob, he reports
that "the emperor" (i.e., Robert) has commissioned him "to reform the principality."
Nicholas needs to send out a good bailie and wants Americo to consider the
post. But he adds frankly that "the emperor" has no money to give from Italy
and that the country is no longer as prosperous as it used to be. A few weeks
later (March 14, 1356), writing to his cousin Jacob, Nicholas reports that
he will advise Robert to appoint Adam Visconte bailie. It was probably Visconte
to whom Robert sent orders on July 10, 1356, to enforce respect for the trading
privileges of the Venetian merchants in Achaea.42 
 41. Cf. A. S. Atiya, The Crusade in the Later Middle Ages (London, 1938),
p. 332, note 
1. See chapter X, below. 
 42. The texts of these letters are in Leonard, Louis de Tarente, pp. 574—575,
589—590; partial text of the letter of March 14, 1356, is in Buchon,
Nouvelles recherches, II, 
124—125. Adam Visconte is probably the same person as "micer Adam,
vizconte de 

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