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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 176

almost everyone in continental Greece and the Morea—emperor An dronicus
II Palaeologus and his imperial governor of Mistra (then the father of the
future emperor John VI Cantacuzenus); the Greek ruler John II Ducas "Comnenus"
of Thessaly and his relative, the despoina Anna of Epirus; the Frankish barons
in Achaea, vassals of the absentee prince Philip I of Taranto, among them
the Briennist retainers in Argos and Nauplia; the Venetian bailie in Negroponte
and the Venetian feudatories in the Archipelago; as well as the pope in Avignon,
the vigilant guardian of Latin legitimacy in the Levant as elsewhere. All
these looked forward to the collapse of the Company of Catalan cutthroats
holding sway in Boeotia and Attica. They had long to wait. The Venetians
were the first to become reconciled to the Company, or at least resigned
to the Catalan occupation of the Athenian duchy. Since the Catalans had long
been enemies of the Genoese and, after the murder of Roger de Flor, enemies
also of the Byzantine emperor, the Venetians had looked upon Catalan activities
in the Levant with no particular concern from 1303 to 1309—1310, but
when the Catalans finally settled in southern Thessaly and the Athenian duchy,
acquired allies among the Turks, and displayed a marked penchant for piracy,
the Venetians in nearby Negroponte had reason for apprehension. This change
in the republic's attitude toward the Catalan Company was first markedly
demonstrated in a treaty negotiated at Constantinople on November 11, 1310,
between emperor Andronicus II and envoys of Peter Gradenigo, the doge of
Venice, a treaty that was to last for twelve years. The Venetians undertook,
among other articles of agreement, not to go into Byzan tine territories
held by the Company, still in Thessaly in the employ of duke Walter of Brienne,
although trading rights between the empire and the republic were to be reestablished
in the territories in question after the withdrawal therefrom of the Catalans.16
Although in April 1315, in connection with the Moreote expedi tion of the
infante Ferdinand of Majorca, king Frederick II of Sicily had occasion to
ask the doge, John Soranzo, for friendship and devotion from Venice,17 the
Venetians in Euboea found Frederick's subjects in Thebes and Athens rather
deficient of friendship and devotion toward them. Soranzo must have been
interested to learn from Mahaut of Hainault, widow of Louis of Burgundy,
who had protected her claim to the principality of Achaea by his victory
over Ferdinand of Majorca at Manolada in Elis (on July 5, 13 16), that 
16. Dipl., doc. XLVI, pp. 56—5 8 (also in Thomas, Diplomatarium veneto-levantinum,
no. 46, pp. 82 ff.). 
17. Dipl., doc. LXXV, pp. 92—93. 

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