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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume III: The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
(1975)

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


Page 178

 178 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES III 
problems. If it should prove otherwise, the letter ends serenely, the republic
intended to do what might be pleasing to God and the honor of the state and
in the interests of Robert and his brothers. 21 The signoria of Venice was
much concerned with the affairs of the Catalan Company throughout the spring
of 1318. In April represen tatives of the constable Gaucher of Châtillon
and his daughter, the dowager duchess of Athens, presented a petition to
the doge; they sought a large loan and ships enough to transport four or
five hundred knights and a thousand or more infantry to Negroponte or to
Nauplia. The doge replied that the Briennist feudatories in Argos and Nauplia
were now allied with the Catalan Company, and since their own vassals were
not loyal, their proposal would only entail a vain expenditure of men and
money.22 
 On May 8 pope John XXII wrote the doge and republic of Venice, urging the
expulsion of the Catalans from the island of Euboea, where Don Alfonso held
the fortress towns of Carystus and Larmena as his wife's dowry. The pope
claimed that Don Alfonso aimed at the occupation of the entire island and,
which was quite true, that he had Turks in his employ; the Venetians should
expel the Catalans not only from Euboea, but from the duchy of Athens also,
in which business, the pope indicates, his beloved son king Robert of Naples
had some interest.23 On June 18, 1318, Don Alfonso himself wrote a letter
from Athens to Francis Dandolo, the captain and bailie of Negroponte, expressing
his astonishment that Catalans from the 
 21. Dipl., doe. XCII, p. 111. The principality of Achaea was much threatened
by the Greeks of Mistra, who in 1320 occupied the Arcadian castles of Akova
or Matagrifon, near the modern Dimitsana, and Karytaina, which overlooks
the valley of the Alpheus. They also seized the fortress of St. George between
Mistra and Karytaina (ef. A. Morel-Fatio, ed., Libro de los fechos [Geneva,
1885], pars. 641—654, pp. 140—143; Jean Longnon, ed., Chronique
de Morde [Paris, 1911], pp. 404—405, chron. table; and R. J. Loenertz,
"La Chronique breve moréote de 1423," in Mélanges Eugene Tisserant,
II-1, 403, 413—414). King Robert of Naples, who was then living in
Avignon, was much concerned with the recovery of lands lost to the Greeks
and with the protection of those being attacked by the Catalans and Turks.
G. M. Monti, Nuovi studi angioini (Trani, 1937), pp. 612—629, has published
eight relevant documents dated from July 18 to November 10, 1321. The Greeks
had taken Matagrifon, Karytaina, and St. George, but on July 18 (1321), king
Robert seemed to think that Don Alfonso Fadrique "with that dismal Company"
had seized these three places (Monti, op. cit., p. 626). On October 1, 1322,
pope John XXII wrote the Latin patriarch Nicholas and archbishop William
Frangipani of Patras, excoriating "Alfonso the captain and the other leaders.
. . of the Grand Company,. . . walking damnably in the darkness and shadow
of death," who had been attacking the principality of Aehaea: the patriarch
and the archbishop were to make the Grand Company call a halt to their criminal
activity by the application of ecclesiastical censure (Dipl., doe. CXX, pp.
148—149, misdated by Rubio i Lluch). So far, it must be admitted, this
had proved a rather inefficacious weapon. 
 22. Dipl., doc. XCIII, pp. 112—113. 
 23. Dipl., doc. XCIV, pp. 113—1 14. On Don Alfonso's marriage, see
below, p. 185. 


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