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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 274

Franco has added a generation to his family's possession of Athens. Franco's
tenure of the lordship of Thebes was short-lived. He lived 
in daily peril, for the Turks apparently believed that he or his followers
still entertained the hope of repossessing the Acropolis. After the Turkish
campaign of 1460 which had effected the final destruction of the Byzantine
despotate in the Morea, Franco was ordered to assist in a campaign against
Leonard III Tocco of Leucas and Cephalonia. 176 He was well aware that his
rule over Attica lay in the past, and that even his future in Boeotia could
not last long. On February 10, 1460, Franco wrote Francis Sforza the letter
to which reference has just been made. He offered to serve Sforza for a proper
stipend, to expend 10,000 ducats of his own in the establishment of a condotta,
and to betake himself immediately to his excellency in Milan. 177 But he
remained in Greece through the summer of 1460, witnessing the downfall of
the despots Thomas and Demetrius Palaeologus and participating in the Turkish
harassment of the Toc chi, after which sultan Mehmed II sent the unfortunate
Franco into the encampment of Zagan Pasha, now governor of the Morea. At
the sultan's command Zagan Pasha put Franco to death, 178 and thus the rule
of the Acciajuoli in Thebes, as well as in Athens, came to its tragic end.
 As the sun was setting on Levantine Christendom and the Turkish shadow lengthened,
Venice had to give a good deal of attention to the affairs of the petty princelings
of the Aegean, where the Catalans were always conspicuous throughout much
of the fifteenth cen tury. 179 Sometime before 1399 the Catalan Alioto I
(Aliot) de Caupena had acquired the island of Aegina as well as the coveted
Athens in June 1456, but we do not know how long thereafter the defenders
of the Acropolis held out. 
 176. Almost twenty years later, in the late summer of 1479, Leonard III
was to flee for his life before a Turkish armada which sailed from Aviona
to his island base at Leucas (Archivio di Stato di Venezia, Senatus Secreta,
Reg. 29, fols. 34v—35r [44v-45r]). He sought refuge in Naples. 
 177. Lampros, Eggrapha, part VI, doc. 2, pp. 407—409. (Wm. Miller,
Latins in the Levant, p. 456, seems to have misread this document.) 
 178. Chalcocondylas, Historia, IX (CSHB, pp. 483—484; ed. Darkó,
II-2, 237); Ubaldini, op. cit. (1588), pp. 178—179; Theodore Spandugino,
Tratt[at]o della casa d'Ottomano, in Hopf, Chroniques gréco-romanes,
pp. 329, 33 1—332; Cornelio Magni, Relazione della città d'
Athene [from a letter written from Athens December 15, 1674] (Parma, 1688),
pp. 20—21; Gregorovius (trans. Lampros), Athens, II, 402—403;
Miller, Latins in the Levant, pp. 
456—457; cf. N. Iorga, Histoire de la vie byzantine (Bucharest, 1934),
III, 291, note 2. Of the murder of Franco Acciajuoli, Akdes Nimet, Die turkische
Frosopographie bei Laonikos Chalkokandyles (diss. Hamburg, 1933), p. 44,
observes: "Dieses Ereignis wird nur von Laonikos iiberliefert. Eine Kontrolle
ist hier nicht möglich." 
 179. Setton, Catalan Domination, pp. 212 ff. 

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