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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 137

Ch.IV THE MOREA, 1311—1364 137 
 Early in 1358 the inhabitants of the castellany of Corinth sent a despairing
plea to their prince to rescue them from impending enslavement by the Turks.
Robert responded promptly by granting the entire strategic area to Nicholas
Acciajuoli as a barony, with rights of high justice (April 1358). Shortly
after (November 1358), at the grand seneschal's instance, Robert ordered
the remission of all the dues which Nicholas's "men and vassals" in Achaea
and in the castellany owed to the princely fisc. At the same time Robert
ordered that measures be taken to induce the serfs who had fled from the
unprotected castellany to return to their habitations. The prince further
allowed Nicholas to perform all the feudal service which he owed for his
Greek estates on the frontiers of the exposed barony. Archaeological evidence
indicates that Nicholas spent large sums to rebuild a long stretch of the
great circuit wall of Acro corinth. 
 Du Cange long ago remarked on the special affection and solicitude which
Robert of Taranto demonstrated for Marie of Bourbon. The prince had given
repeated proof of his sentiments by granting his consort large estates and
by treating her son, Hugh of Galilee, as if he were his own. He had warmly
espoused Hugh's claims to the throne of Cyprus. At the time of their marriage
(September 1347) Robert had assigned to Marie for her dower an annual revenue
of 2,000 gold ounces from his possessions in Italy and in Corfu and Cephalonia.
In 1355 he granted her for her household an annual income of 1,050 ounces
from his Italian lands. In 1357 he bestowed on her the rich castellany of
Kalamata, with two dependent castles and the rights of high justice. About
this time Marie purchased the two important baronies of Vostitsa and Nivelet.43
The purchase was made from Guillemette, heiress of the Charny family, and
her spouse, Philip of Jonvelle; it included the castle of Phanaro on the
left bank of the Alpheus a little to the east of Olympia. In 1359 Robert
Tremblay" mentioned three times as a bailie in the Aragonese Chronicle, pars.
676, 684 (the appointment of 1356?), and 688. Difficulties arising over the
commercial privileges of Venice in Achaea and the treatment of her merchants
were frequent in these years. Cf. Predelli, ILibri commemoriali, II, 234,
nos. 101, 102; and II, 249, nos. 167, 170, 171, 172; Leonard, Louis de Tarente,
p. 496, note 7, and Hopf, in Ersch and Gruber, LXXXVI (1868; repr. 1960,
II), 2. Venetian merchants had a privileged status in Robert's Italian domains,
especially at Trani; the relations of the two sides were mutually profitable
here (Leonard, Louis de Tarente, pp. 494—495). 
 43. These baronies are often confounded, with Nivelet being placed near
Vostitsa (cf. Miller, Latins in the Levant, p. 148). However, from the content
of the report of Nicholas of Boyano (see note 44, below) it is certain that
Nivelet consisted of scattered estates in Messenia and that it was here that
John I of Nivelet received compensation for the loss of his ancestral barony
and castle of Geraki following the reestablishment of the Byzantines in the
southeastern Morea in 1262. 

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