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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 218

his rule, but his attitude was not likely to please the commanders of the
Hospital in the Morea. Although Peter IV remained on friendly terms, apparently,
with Heredia,181 the Hospitallers' attitude toward the Catalans in Thebes
and Athens was one of hostility, and Heredia's lieutenant in the Morea, Gaucher
of La Bastide, clearly abetted the attack of the Navarrese Company under
John de Urtubia upon the city of Thebes. 
 In the early spring of 1379 Urtubia and the so-called Navarrese or White
Company, which must have included at least as many Gascons and Italians as
Navarrese, set out from the Morea, conceivably from the headquarters of the
Hospitallers in Navarino (St. Mary of Zonk lon) or Kalamata. They made their
way through the Corinthian barony of Urtubia's good friend Nerio Acciajuoli,
who also held the Megarid, and launched their attack upon the city of Thebes.
They proceeded obviously with the permission and presumably with the encouragement
of Nerio. They came most inopportunely for Louis Fadrique, since the two
years of uncertainty which had followed the death of king Frederick III had
not prepared the Catalans in the Athenian duchy to withstand a powerful assault.
In 1379 the Cata lans no longer possessed the strength which had been theirs
when they had repulsed Walter II of Brienne in 133 1. Also the destruction
of the castle of St. Omer on the Cadmea by the Catalans on the occasion of
Brienne's expedition, for fear that he might occupy the castle and hold it
against them, had made Thebes, although the capital of the southern duchy,
much less easy to defend than the Acropolis, known to the Catalans as the
"Castell de Cetines." Ur tubia and the Navarrese Company took Thebes in a
violent encoun ter, with ample assistance from traitors within the city,
one of whom, John Conominas, "revealed himself as quite adept in securing
the loss of Thebes, dealing with Messer Nerio [Acciajuoli] " 182 Whether
Urtubia acted as Nerio's ally or employee remains uncertain. Barcelonese
documents show clearly that the fall of Thebes was known at the royal court
in Aragon by September 13, 1379. 183 Allowing three or possibly four months
for the bearers of the sad tidings to make the voyage to Barcelona from the
Athenian duchy, 
 181. Cf. Dipl., doc. CCCLXXI, p. 453, dated August 2, 1379. 
 182. Dipl., doc. CCCXCI, p. 476, lines 12—13: "...lo qual dit Johan
se trobà esser bo en la perdua de Estives tractant ensemps ab micer
Aner      A decade later, a Barcelonese document of January 3, 1390, refers
to the siege of Neopatras by Nerio Acciajuoli, ". . . la ciutat nostra de
la Patria asseiat per micer Arner, enemich nostre capital . . ." (Dipl.,
doc. DCXXVII, p. 657). For the identification of Aner or Arner, see Loenertz,
Arch. FF. Praed., XXV, no. 209, pp. 153, 193—194. 
 183. Dipl., docs. CCCLXXVIII, CCCLXXX, pp. 459—461. 

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