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

V: The Morea, 1364-1460,   pp. 141-166 PDF (15.1 MB)

Page 165

Ch. V THE MOREA, 1364—1460 165 
tine but also gave him the hand of his niece Maddalena, the elder daughter
of the late Leonard II. The turn of Patras came in 1429— 1430, when
town and citadel yielded successively to the Palaeologus destined to be the
last emperor of Byzantium; Constantine had defied a warning from Murad II
not to take the city, which paid tribute to the Turks. 
 It fell to Thomas Palaeologus to put an end to the principality of Achaea,
now reduced to little more than the baronies of Chalandritsa and Messenian
Arcadia. He besieged Centurione Zaccaria, who had been released from his
imprisonment, in the castle of Chalandritsa, and forced the prince to give
him his older daughter Catherine in marriage, along with all his possessions—except
Arcadia—as her dow er (September 1429). The marriage was celebrated
at Mistra in January 1430. John Asen, Centurione's natural son, was ignored
in these transactions. Centurione, it seems, continued to bear the title
"prince of Achaea" until his death in 1432. Then Thomas Palaeo logus not
only deprived his mother-in-law of the barony of Arcadia but also confined
the unfortunate woman in prison for the rest of her life. 
 Thus after 227 years the Morea was once more entirely under Byzantine control,
except for the Venetian establishments in Mes senia and the Argolid. But
although there was no longer any orga nized Frankish power in the peninsula
there must have been a number of Franks remaining in the land who were willing
to join a restoration movement. It is probable that John Asen Zaccaria took
refuge in Venetian territory after 1432. During sultan Murad's great invasion
of the Morea in 1446 a Greek magnate in rebellion against the despots Thomas
and Constantine proclaimed John Asen prince of Achaea. But the rising failed,
and Thomas imprisoned the "prince" and his son in the fortress of Clermont.
However, during the for midable revolt of the Albanians of the Morea, with
the support of Greek rebels, against the despots Thomas and Demetrius Palaeologus
in 1453—1454, John Asen Zaccaria escaped and again became a serious
menace to the regime. The Venetian doge, Francis Foscari, and king Alfonso
V of Naples sent congratulations to him as "prince Centurione." But as usual
the fate of the Morea was decided by the sultan. Mehmed II preferred two
puppet Byzantine governments in the peninsula to a Graeco-Albanian state
in which the Franks might make a comeback with Venetian or Neapolitan support.
Accordingly he sent the veteran Turakhan Beg to the Morea to help the despots
put down the revolt. John Asen Zaccaria "Centurione" fled to Modon, whence
he reached Italy, and was successively pensioned by 

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