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)
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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