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

V: The Morea, 1364-1460,   pp. 141-166 PDF (10.1 MB)

Page 149

Ch. V THE MOREA, 1364—1460 149 
 The withdrawal of the Hospital from its costly venture in the Morea barely
preceded the queen's capture on September 2, 1381, by her second cousin and
the pretender to her throne, Charles of Durazzo. Charles was a grandson of
John of Gravina and was married to his cousin Margaret, one of the daughters
of Joanna's sister Marie of Anjou. Joanna had infuriated the Italian Urban
VI by her vigorous support of the French cardinals who elected Clement VII.
In retalia tion Urban first offered her throne to Charles (1379) and later
formally invested him with the Regno as Charles III (June 1, 1381). The queen
had thus been forced to adopt duke Louis of Anjou, the brother of Charles
V of France, as her son and heir (June 29, 1380). But Louis's delayed invasion
of Italy in 1382 came too late to save Joanna. The luckless queen—who
once wrote that her only regret was that the Creator had not made her a man—was
assassinated at Muro on July 22, 1382. 
 These events profoundly affected the Greek possessions of the Angevin dynasty.
Among the immediate beneficiaries of the triumph of Charles III was the pretender
to the principality of Achaea, James of Les Baux. On September 7, 1381, his
banner was raised over the castle of Taranto. On January 18, 1382, the Navarrese
Company concluded a treaty with the chancellor of Modon and Coron in the
latter city, settling disputes over the borders of the colony and the principality
in southern Messenia. Those who swore to uphold the agreement in the name
of the Company were Mahiot of Coquerel, as "imperial" bailie of Achaea, and
Peter Bordo de Saint Superan and Berard de Varvassa, as "imperial" captains
in the principality. It is evident that James of Les Baux had conferred these
titles and appointments on the chiefs of the Company in the last months of
1381 in return for their acknowledgment of him as lawful prince of Achaea
and titular emperor of Constantinople. James was also ac knowledged as lord
in Corfu. Two acts of his of December 26, 1381, regarding fiefs of Corfiote
nobles are preserved. 
 On March 2, 1382, James married—by proxy at Naples—Agnes of
Anjou-Durazzo, another daughter of Joanna's sister Marie of Anjou. The match
at first estranged the king of Naples and the prince of Taranto, now his
wife's brother-in-law, but on September 16, 1382, Charles III granted the
island of Corfu in perpetuity to James of Les Baux as the marriage portion
of Agnes. However, the princess was already dead by February 10, 1383, and
a few months later, in July, her husband James, the last titular emperor
of Constantinople, fol lowed her to the grave. 
 With the death of James of Les Baux the Angevin principality of Achaea was
virtually at an end. Such authority as Charles III of 

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