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

VI: The Catalans in Greece, 1311-1380,   pp. 167-224 PDF (10.1 MB)

Page 174

legal owner of the lands which they had won and now held by right of conquest,
but seeking perhaps a more constitutional basis for their authority, and
further protection in time of need, they had sur rendered to and received
back from the Catalan duke in Sicily their fiefs and offices in the Athenian
duchy. The grand enfeoffment of 1312, however, whereby the duke was obliged
to confirm the dis tribution of lands and offices which the Company had already
effected among themselves, was largely theoretical, for it was they who granted
the ducal domain to him rather than he who granted their fiefs to them. From
the time of their early establishment in Greece the Company possessed written
Articles or Statutes (Capitu la), an actual constitution, composed in Catalan
and largely based upon the Constitutions of Catalonia and the Customs of
Barcelona. The text of the Statutes of the Company (els Capitols de la Corn
panyia) has unfortunately not survived, although here and there a fragment
appears in the documents, most notably the article prohibi ting landed gifts
and testamentary bequests to the church.14 To important documents the chancellor
of the Company affixed the Company's own seal, which depicted St. George
slaying the dragon.15  
The duke appointed the vicar-general, the chief executive of the duchy, who
swore fealty to the duke in Sicily, and upon his arrival in Athens or Thebes
took an oath before representatives of the Com pany to discharge the duties
of his office properly, in accordance with the Statutes of the Company. The
duke quickly acquired, however, the right of appointment to the chief military
post in the Catalan state, that of marshal of the duchy, or after 1319, when
Don Alfonso Fadrique added the duchy of Neopatras to that of Athens, marshal
of the duchies. But the highest offices in the state were 
 14. See Dipl., doc. CCXCIV, p. 382, dated June 8, 1367; note also doe. CCCXCI,
476—477; and cf. doc. CDXXXIII, p. 508. (Landed property and feudal
revenues were to be reserved for gents d'armes who could defend the state.)
 15. A copy of this seal, from the collection of Count Pierre de Viry, was
published by Gustave Schlumberger, "Le Sceau de la compagnie des routiers
catalans a Gallipoli, en 1305," Comptes-rendus de l' Académie des
inscriptions et belles-lettres (Paris), 1925, pp. 
131—137; Anuari de l' Institut d'estudis catalans, VII (1921—1926),
302—304; and Gustave Schiumberger, Ferdinand Chalandon, and Adrien
Blanchet, eds., Sigillographie de l'Orient latin (Paris, 1943), pp. 208—209.
Muntaner, Cronica, ch. CCXXV (ed. Lanz, p. 397; ed E. B., VI, 66), relates
that after Roger de Flor's death the Company had made a great seal upon which
was represented lo benauirat monsènyer sant Jordi and bearing the
inscription Segell de la host de!s francs qui regnen lo regne de Macedonia
(and for Muntaner's idea of Macedonia, see, ibid., eh. CCXIV, Lanz, pp. 379—380;
E. B., VI, 44—45). The copy of the seal extant bears the official title
of the Company, familiar to us from papal and royal documents, Felix Francorum
exercitus in Romanie partibus [not finibus] comorans, on which see Jacoby,
"La Compagnie eatalane," Journal des savants, 1966, pp. 80—87, 93 ff.,
who believes that this seal must be dated after 1312. 

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