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

VII: The Catalans and Florentines in Greece, 1380-1462,   pp. 225-277 PDF (23.4 MB)

Page 239

himself to the Navarrese on the grounds that he is not helping the despot
against the Navarrese but against the despot's Greek barons who are in revolt,
and this is not contrary to the articles of peace. 
 But I think that this cloaking of motives will hardly endure, and in my
own opinion there will be war between the Navarrese on the one hand and the
lord Nerio and the despot on the other. A sign of this is the fact that news
has just come from Argos that the Navarrese for their part are preparing
to wage heavier warfare with the despot than they can [manage at present]
as soon as a new opportunity arises. The despot is also getting ready, because
a hundred horse have come to him from the city of Thessalonica, where his
brother [Manuel] is ruler, and the lord Nerio is collecting men-at-arms from
everywhere he can, and so I do [not] doubt there will be war. The lord Nerio
can raise a good 70 lances, 800 Albanian horse, and a good many foot. The
despot, moreover, who is always with the lord Nerio, will also have at least
200 horse and a good many foot including Turks in his force. The Navarrese
however have about 1,300 horse. Your excellency will be able to inform your
brother, the lord Donato, about all this... 41 
 Very likely the bishop of Argos knew a good deal about Nerio Acciajuoli's
intentions, but troops raised for one purpose could usually be employed for
another. If not against the Navarrese, why not against the Catalans? Nerio
was not only recruiting land forces. He also wanted (he said) to share in
the defense of east central Greece against constant Turkish assault. He had
offered the bailie, captain, and councillors of Negroponte 8,000 ducats for
the lease of an armed galley for a year to guard the Greek littoral, in conjunction
with the republic's "galley of Negroponte." Since a resolution of approval
was passed by the senate,42 we must assume 
41. Ferd. Gregorovius, "Briefe aus der ' Corrispondenza Acciajoli' in der
Laurenziana zu Florenz," Sitzungsberichte der philos. -philol. u. hist. Classe
der k. bayer. Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Munchen, II (1890—1891),
297—300; Gregorovius (tr. Lampros), Athens [in Greek], II, 640—644;
Dipl., doc. DLXXIV, pp. 611—6 13; and cf. in general Setton, Catalan
Domination, pp. 174 ff., with sources. The reference to Angelo Acciajuoli's
creation as cardinal of San Lorenzo in Damaso on December 17, 1384 (Eubel,
Hierarchia catholica, I, 24, 42—43), helps to date the letter with
some precision. 
 On the early years of Theodore I Palaeologus in the despotate of Mistra,
see Loenertz, "Pour l'histoire du Péloponèse au XIVe siecle
(1382—1404)," Etudes byzantines, I (1943), 161 ff., and on the background
of events in the Neapolitan kingdom, to which James of Argos refers, see
especially Noel Valois, La France et le grand schisme d'Occident (4 vols.,
Paris, 1896—1902, repr. Hildesheim, 1967), II, 65 ff., 112 ff., and
in brief compass, E. G. Leonard, Les Angevins de Naples (Paris, 1954), pp.
464—467, 474—475. A letter of king Peter IV, dated July 17, 1385,
to Mahiot of Coquerel and Peter Bordo de Saint Superan makes it clear that
Greeks and Turks were "daily" crossing the borders of the Athenian duchy
(Dipl., doc. DLXXV, p. 613, referred to above), and the letter of James of
Argos shows that these Greeks and Turks were troopers of the despot Theodore.
For the political and military situation in continental Greece and the Morea
at this time, see George T. Dennis, The Reign of Manuel II Palaeologus in
Thessalonica, 1382—1 387 (Rome, 1960), pp. 
42. Archivio di Stato di Venezia, Misti, Reg. 38, fol. 10r, dated "MCCCLXXXII
indict. sexta, die vigessimo Febr.," in the Venetian style, i.e., February
20, 1383. 

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