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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 238

security and the good friends of Aragon such as Nerio would have cause for
contentment.38 Rather similar letters went off to countess Helena Cantacuzena,
the syndics and council of Athens, and the lieutenant Raymond de Vilanova,
informing them that once the then meeting of the Corts Generals had adjourned,
Dalmau would leave promptly for Greece. Vilanova's young son Albert was anxious
to go to Greece to relieve him of his duties and allow him at long last to
return home, but Peter wanted the father and not the son in command on the
Acropolis until the vicar-general could arrive in Athens.  
 It is at this point that Nerio Acciajuoli emerges from behind the scenes
into the full light of the Athenian stage, and for the first time we get
a panoramic view of his activities in a letter which James, the Dominican
bishop of Argos, wrote Nerio's brother Angelo, whom Urban VI had recently
created a cardinal. Since the affairs of Greece were much influenced by the
turbulence in the kingdom of Naples, where Charles III of Durazzo had displaced
Joanna I, the Acciajuoli were inevitably much interested in the Neapolitan
scene. Bishop James wrote cardinal Angelo from Venice that "our lord [the
pope] hates to death my lord count of Nola [Nicholas Orsini], to such an
extent that he has deprived him of his county, and this because the said
lord count has made friends with king Charles. . . ," 40 and more to the
same effect, concerning which the cardinal must have been much better informed
than the good bishop. The Acciajuoli had been caught up in the shifting currents
of Neapolitan politics (into which we shall not go) for more than half a
century, but certainly cardinal Angelo did not lose interest in James of
Argos's letter as he contin ued reading: 
 Since your excellency wants reliable news of the lord Nerio, know that by
the grace of God he is very well, as are his lady [Agnes de' Saraceni] and
their daughters, the despoina Bartolommea and Francesca, and a beautiful
family they make! The Navarrese who are in the Morea, as I see it, have no
love for him and would willingly do him damage in a big way if they could,
but they do not dare show their hand. In short, they make war on the despot
[Theodore I Palaeo logus, Nerio's son-in-law, the husband of Bartolommea],
whose affairs are going badly because all his barons are rebelling against
him and are siding with the Navarrese. The lord Nerio aids the despot, but
not very vigorously, and excuses 
 38. Dipl., doc. DLXI, p. 603. 
 39. Dipl., docs. DLXII—DLXIV, pp. 604—606, dated May 30, 1384,
and see also docs. 
DLXVI, DLXVIII, pp. 606—607. 
 40. On Urban VI's savage struggle with the Durazzeschi, to which bishop
James alludes, see Angela Valente, Margherita di Durazzo, vicaria di Carlo
III e tutrice di Re Ladislao (Naples, 1919), especially pp. 73—85.

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