Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume III: The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
V: The Morea, 1364-1460, pp. 141-166 PDF (15.1 MB)
Ch. V THE MOREA, 1364—1460 163 Centurione hard in Elis, forcing him to take refuge in Glarentsa.38 The Greeks' brilliant successes and the devastation of Modon and Coron by Albanian forces with the despot's connivance, coupled with the fact that Centurione had earlier been negotiating with his ancestral city of Genoa over the cession of Achaea, led the Venetians to take the preventive action of occupying Port-de-Jonc. At the same time archbishop Stephen invited a Venetian garrison from Euboea to Patras to prevent the city from falling to the Greeks. Had the Venetians been allowed to remain in Patras they might have pre vented the Greek reconquest. But the papacy insisted on the inalien ability of church property and required the republic to withdraw in 1419. This shortsightedness resulted in the loss of the first city of the Morea to the Greeks a decade later. In the meantime a former captain of the despot named Oliver Franco (or Francone) seized Glarentsa early in 1418, taking one of Centurione's brothers captive. To save appearances the prince gave one of his daughters to the adventurer, with Glarentsa as her dower. But neither the hand of the princess nor her rich dower could hold Franco in Greece; in 1421 he accepted Charles Tocco's offer to buy Glarentsa and left the country. In the same year the war between the despot and the prince was renewed.39 In their extremity Centurione and Stephen sought to interest the Knights of Rhodes once more in the Morea. Perhaps Stephen hoped that the papacy would allow him to alienate his ecclesiastical barony to the great military-religious organization. Or perhaps an anti-Moslem coalition of the states of the Morea with the Hospitallers was in question, since Theodore II of Mistra was in correspondence with the order at the same time as the Zaccarias. But the reply of the Hospitallers to all three rulers (May 10, 1422) was a rather curt refusal to become involved in the affairs of the Morea at a time when they were deeply engaged against the Turkish states of Asia Minor.40 The anarchy now prevailing in the Morea made the government of 38. Cf. the anonymous panegyrist on Manuel II and John VIII Palaeologus, published in Sp. P. Lampros, Palaiológeia kal peloponnesiaká, III (Athens, 1926), 174—175, and the introduction to that volume by K. Voyatzidis, pp. xv—xvi. 39. The "Chronicle of the Tocchi" has a somewhat different account of these events. Centurione had brought Oliver over from Apulia with a hundred men in order to defend Glarentsa. Oliver, however, betrayed the prince by seizing the fortified port and holding the princess and Centurione's brother Benedict to ransom. Centurione, who had been absent from Glarentsa, entered into an alliance with the Byzantines of Mistra, but failed to retake the city. Finally Tocco bought it in order to rid himself of a dangerous neighbor. The Byzantines then launched their own campaign to capture Glarentsa. (See Schirô's summary of this part of the chronicle inByzantion, XXXII , 246—250.) 40. See below, pp. 3 12—313.
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