AT the time of the Latin conquest of Constantinople, the Byzantine Empire no longer comprised the whole of the Balkan Peninsula and the Archipelago. A Serbian state, a Bosnian banat, and a revived Bulgarian Empire had been recently formed in the north, while two of the Ionian Islands—Cephalonia and Zante—already owned the Latin sway of Matteo Orsini, an Apulian offshoot of the great Roman family, and Corfu was threatened by the Genoese pirate, Leo Vetrano. In the Levant, Cyprus, captured from the Greeks by Richard I, was already governed by the second sovereign of the race of Lusignan, while Rhodes, amidst the general confusion, was seized by a Greek magnate, Leo Gabalas. All the rest of South-Eastern Europe—Thrace, Macedonia, Epirus, Greece proper, Crete and the islands of the Aegean—remained to be divided and, if possible, occupied by the Latin conquerors of Byzantium.

While the newly-created Latin Empire was formed almost wholly outside the limits of Greece, the Greek lands in Europe were partitioned, with the exception of three islands, between the Crusaders, whose leader was Boniface, Marquess of Montferrat, and the Venetian Republic. The marquess received Salonica, the second city of the Byzantine world, with the title of king; and his kingdom, nominally dependent upon the Latin Empire, embraced Macedonia, Thessaly, and much of continental Greece, including Athens. The Venetians, with a keen eye to business, managed to secure a large part of the Peloponnese and Epirus, the Cyclades and Euboea, the Ionian Islands, and those of the Saronic Gulf, and had purchased from the marquess on 12 August 1204 the great island of Crete, which had been “given or promised” to him by Alexius IV in the previous year. Such was, on paper, the new arrangement of the classic countries which it now remained to conquer.


Conquest of Athens and the Morea


The King of Salonica set out in the autumn of 1204 to subdue his Greek dominions and to parcel them out, in accordance with the feudal system, among the faithful followers of his fortunes. In northern Greece he met with no resistance, for the only man who could have opposed him, Leo Sgourós the archon of Nauplia, fled from Thermopylae before the harnessed Franks, and retreated to the strong natural fortress of Acrocorinth. Larissa with Halmyrus became the fief of a Lombard noble, Velestino that of a Rhenish count; while the commanding position of Boudonitza above the pass of Thermopylae was entrusted to the Marquess Guido Pallavicini, whose ruined castle still reminds us of the two centuries during which Italians were wardens of the northern March of Greece. Another coign of vantage at the pass of Graviá was assigned to two brothers of the famous Flemish house of St Omer, while on the ruins of classic Amphissa Thomas de Stromoncourt founded the barony of Sálona, so called from the city which had given to Boniface his royal title. Neither Thebes nor Athens resisted the invaders; the patriotic Metropolitan, Michael Acominatus, unable to bear the sight of Latin schismatics defiling the great cathedral of Our Lady on the Acropolis, withdrew into exil; a Latin archbishop ere long officiated in the Parthenon; a Burgundian noble, Othon de la Roche, who was a trusted comrade of Boniface, became Sire, or, as his Greek subjects called him, Megaskyr or "Great Lord," of both Athens and Thebes, with a territory that would have seemed large to the Athenian statesmen of old. Then the King of Salonica and the Sire of Athens proceeded to attack the strongholds that still sheltered Sgourós in the Peloponnese.

A large portion of that peninsula had been assigned, as we saw, to the Venetians. But, with two exceptions, the Morea, as it had begun to be called a century earlier, was destined to fall into the hands of the French. A little before the capture of Constantinople, Geoffrey de Villehardouin, nephew of the delightful chronicler of the conquest, had been driven by stress of weather into the Messenian port of Modon. During the winter of 1204 he had employed himself by aiding a local magnate in one of those domestic quarrels which were the curse of medieval Greece, and thus paved the way for a foreign occupation. Struck by the rich and defenceless character of the land upon which a kind fortune had cast him, Villehardouin no sooner heard of Boniface's arrival in the peninsula than he made his way across country to the Frankish camp at Nauplia, and confided his scheme of conquest to his old friend, William de Champlitte, whose ancestors came from his own province of Champagne. He promised to recognise Champlitte as his liege lord in return for his aid; and the two comrades, with the approval of Boniface, set out with a hundred knights and some men-at-arms to conquer the Morea. One pitched battle decided its fate in that unwar­like age, when local jealousies and the neglect of arms had weakened the power of resistance, and a tactful foreigner, ready to guarantee local privileges, was at least as acceptable a master as a native tyrant and a Byzantine tax-collector. One place after another surrendered; the little Frankish force completely routed the Moreote Greeks and their Epirote allies in the Messenian olive-grove of Konúdoura here and there some warrior more resolute than his fellows held out—Doxapatres, the romantic defender of an Arcadian castle; John Chamáretos, the hero of Laconia; Sgourós in his triple crown of fortresses, Corinth, Nauplia, and the Larissa of Argos; and the three hereditary archons of the Greek Gibraltar, isolated and impregnable Monemvasía; but Innocent III could address Champlitte, ere the year was up, as “Prince of all Achaia”. The prince rewarded Villehardouin, the real author of his success, with the Messenian seaport of Coron. But Venice, if she was not strong enough to occupy the rest of the Peloponnese, was determined that neither that place nor Modon, stepping-stones on the route to the East, should fall into other than Venetian hands. In 1206 a Venetian fleet captured both stations from their helpless garrisons, and the republic thus obtained a foothold at the extreme south of the peninsula which she retained for well-nigh three centuries. In the same year the seizure and execution of Vetrano enabled her to make good her claim to Corfu, where ten Venetian nobles were settled in 1207 as colonists. At this the Count of Cephalonia and Zante thought it prudent to recognize her suzerainty, for fear lest she should remind him that his islands had been assigned to her in the partition treaty.


Euboea and the Archipelago


In the rest of the scattered island-world of Greece, Venice, as became an essentially maritime state, acquired either actual dominion or what was more profitable—influence without expensive administrative responsibility. Crete furnished an example of the former system; Euboea, or Negropont, and the Cyclades and northern Sporades were instances of the latter. For “the great Greek island” the Venetians had to contend with their rivals, the Genoese, who had already founded a colony there and at whose instigation a bold adventurer, Enrico Pescatore, landed and forced the isolated Venetian garrison to submit. It was not till 1212 that Pescatore's final defeat and an armistice with Genoa enabled the Venetians to make their first comprehensive attempt at colonising Crete. The island was partitioned into 132 knights' fiefs—a number subsequently raised to 230—and 408 sergeants' fiefs, of which the former class was offered to Venetian nobles, the latter to Venetian burgesses. The administrative division of Crete into six provinces, or sestieri, was based on the similar system which still exists at Venice, and local patriotism was stimulated by the selection of colonists for each Cretan sestiere from the same division of the metropolis. The government of the colony was conducted by a governor, resident at Candia, with the title of duke, who, like most colonial officials of the suspicious republic, held office for only two years, by two councillors, and by a greater and lesser council of the colonists. But the same year that witnessed the arrival of these settlers witnessed also the first of that long series of Cretan insurrections which continued down to our own time. Thus early, Venice learnt the lesson that absolute dominion over the most bellicose Greek population in the Levant, however imposing on the map, was in reality very dearly bought.

The north and south of Negropont had fallen to the Venetians in the deed of partition. But a soldierly Fleming, Jacques d'Avesnes, had received the submission of the long island when the Crusaders made their victorious march upon Athens, building a fort in midstream, without, however, founding a dynasty on the shore of the Euripus. Thereupon Boniface divided Negropont into three large fiefs, which were bestowed upon three gentlemen of Verona—Ravano dalle Carceri, his relative Giberto, and Pegoraro dei Pegorari—who assumed from this triple division the name of terzieri, or triarchs. Soon, however, Ravano, triarch of Karystos, the southern and most important third, which seems to have included the island of Aegina, became sole lord of Negropont, though in 1209 he thought it prudent to recognise Venice as his suzerain. The republic obtained warehouses and commercial privileges in all the Euboean towns; a Venetian bailie was soon appointed to administer the communities which sprang up there; and this official gradually became the arbiter of the whole island. Upon Ravano's death in 1216 the bailie seized the opportunity of conflicting claims to weaken the power of the Lombard nobles by a re-division of the island into sixths, on the analogy of Crete. The capital remained common to all the hexarchs, while Ravano's former palace there became the official residence of the bailie. A large and fairly harmonious Italian colony was soon formed, and the pleasant little town of Chalcis has probably never been a more agreeable resort than when noble Lombard dames and shrewd Venetian merchants danced in the Italian palaces and took the air from the breezy battlements of the island capital.

Venetian influence in the archipelago took a different form from that which it assumed in Corfu, Crete, and Euboea. The task of occupying the numerous islands of the Aegean was left to the enterprise of private citizens. In truly Elizabethan style, Marco Sanudo, a nephew of the old Doge Dandolo, descended upon the El Dorado of the Levant with a band of adventurous spirits. Seventeen islands speedily submitted; of the Cyclades Naxos alone offered resistance, and there, in 1207, the bold buccaneer founded a duchy, which lasted for more than three centuries. Keeping Naxos for himself, he assigned other islands to his comrades. Thus Marino Dandolo, another nephew of the great doge, became lord of well-watered Andros, the family of Barozzi obtained the volcanic isle of Santorin, the Quirini associated their name with Astypalaia, or Stampalia, while the brothers Ghisi, with complete disregard for the paper rights of the Latin Emperor to Tenos and Scyros, acquired not only those islands but the rest of the northern Sporades. Lemnos, another portion of the imperial share, became the fief of the Navigajosi, who received from the Emperor the title of Grand Duke, borne in Byzantine times by the Lord High Admiral. While the Greek archon of Rhodes, Leo Gabalas, maintained his position there with the barren style of "Lord of the Cyclades," the twin islands of Cerigo, the fabled home of Venus, and Cerigotto, which formed the southern March of Greece, furnished miniature marquessates to the Venetian families of Venier and Viaro. But the Venetian nobles, who had thus carved out for themselves baronies in the Aegean, were not always faithful children of the republic. Sanudo did homage not to Venice but to the Latin Emperor Henry, the over-lord of the Frankish states in the Levant, and did not scruple to conspire with the Cretan insurgents against the rule of the mother-country, when self-interest suggested that he might with their aid make himself more than "Duke of the Archipelago"—"King of Crete."


The Despotat of Epirus


While the knightly Crusaders and the practical Venetians had thus established themselves without much difficulty, in the most famous seats of ancient poetry, there was one quarter of the Hellenic world where they had been forestalled by the promptitude and skill of a Greek. Michael Angelus, a bastard of the imperial house, had attached himself to the expedition of Boniface in the hope of obtaining some advantage on his own account. On the march the news reached him that the Greeks of the province of Nicopolis were discontented with the Byzantine governor who still remained to tyrannise over them. Himself the son of a former governor of Epirus, he saw that with his name and influence he might supplant the official representative of the fallen Empire and anticipate the establishment of a foreign authority. He hastened across the mountains to Arta, found the unpopular officer dead, married his widow, a dame of high degree, and with the aid of his own and her family connexions made himself independent Despot of Epirus. Soon his dominions stretched from the Gulf of Corinth to Durazzo, from the confines of Thessaly to the Adriatic, from Salona, whose French lord fell in battle against him, to the Ionian Sea. Treacherous as well as bold, he did homage, now to the Latin Emperor Henry and now to Venice, for his difficult country which neither could have conquered. But the mainland of Greece did not suffice for his ambition. He aided the Moreote Greeks at the battle of Koúndoura; his still abler brother, Theodore, accepted for him the Peloponnesian heritage of Sgourós, when the Argive leader at last flung himself in despair from the crags of Acrocorinth; the Ionian island of Leucas, which is practically a part of continental Greece, seems to have owned his sway; and, before he died by an assassin's hand in 1214, he had captured from Venice her infant colony of Corfu. Under him and his brother and successor Theodore, the Epirote court of Arta became the refuge of those Greeks who were impatient of the foreign rule in the Morea, and the base from which it was fondly hoped that the redemption of that fair land might one day be accomplished.


Organisation of Achaia


The Franks had scarcely occupied the scattered fragments of the Hellenic world when they began the political and ecclesiastical organisation of their conquest. We may take as the type of Frankish organisation the principality of Achaia, the most important of their creations and that about which we have most information. Alike in Church and State the Latin system was simple. These young yet shrewd nobles from the West showed a capacity for government which we are accustomed to associate with our own race in its dealings with foreign populations; and, indeed, the parallel is close, for in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries Greece was to them what our colonies were to younger sons in the nineteenth. They found to their hands a code of feudalism, embodied in the "Assises of Jerusalem," which Amaury de Lusignan had recently adopted for his kingdom of Cyprus, and which later on, under the title of the "Book of Customs of the Empire of Romania," served as the charter of Frankish Greece. Champlitte himself, recalled home by the death of his brother, died on the journey before he could do more than lay the foundations of his principality, which it was reserved for Villehardouin, acting as the bailie of the next-of-kin, to establish firmly on approved feudal principles. Twelve baronies of different sizes were created, whose holders formed the temporal peerage of Achaia; seven lords spiritual, with the Latin Archbishop of Patras as their Primate, received sees carved out of the existing Greek dioceses; and the three great military orders of the Teutonic Knights, those of St John, and the Templars, were respectively settled at Mostenitsa, Modon, and in the rich lands of Achaia and Elis. There too was the domain of the prince, whose capital was at the present village of Andravida, when he was not residing at La Cremonie, as Lacedaemon was then called. Military service, serfdom, and the other incidents of feudalism were implanted in the soil of Hellas, and the dream of Goethe's Faust, the union of the classical with the romantic, was realised in the birthplace of the former. The romance was increased by the fatal provision—for such it proved to be—that the Salic law should not apply to the Frankish states. Nothing contributed in a greater degree to the ultimate decline and fall of Latin rule in Greece than the transmission of important baronies and even of the principality of Achaia itself to the hands of women, who, by a strange law of nature, were often the sole progeny of the sturdy Frankish nobles. Ere long feudal castles rose all over the country, and notably in the Morea and the Cyclades, where the network of chivalry was most elaborate. Sometimes, as at Boudonitza, Salona, and Paroikía, the medieval baron built his keep out of the fragments of some Hellenic temple or tower, which the local tradition believed to have been the "work of giants" in days gone by; sometimes his donjon rose on a virgin site; but in either case he chose the spot with a view to strategic conditions. The Church, as well as the baronage, made its mark upon what was for it a specially uncongenial soil. The religious Orders of the West followed in the wake of the fortunate soldiers, who had founded a "new France" in old Greece. The Cistercians received the beautiful monastery of Daphni, on the Sacred Way between Athens and Eleusis, destined to be the mausoleum of the last Burgundian Duke of Athens; the "Crutched Friars" of Bologna had a hospice at Negropont; the emblem and the name of Assisi still linger in the Cephalonian monastery of Sisi ; and the ruins of the picturesque Benedictine abbey of Isova still survey the pleasant valley of the Alpheus. As for the Orthodox bishops, they went into exile; when, towards the end of the fourteenth century, they were again allowed to reside in their ancient sees, they became the ringleaders of the revived national party in the struggle against the rule of a foreign garrison and an alien Church. For in the Near East religion and nationality are usually identical terms.


The Latin Church


The wisdom which Villehardouin had shown in his treatment of Greeks and Franks alike now received its reward. Self-interest and the welfare of the State combined to indicate him as a better ruler of Achaia than any young and inexperienced relative of Champlitte who might, by the accident of birth, be the rightful heir. Youthful communities need able princes, and every step that he took was a fresh proof of Villehardouin's ability. He did homage to the Emperor Henry, and received in return the office of Seneschal of Romania; he won the support of Venice by relinquishing all claim to Modon and Coron; and he thereby induced the doge to assist him in his wily scheme for detaining the coming heir on his journey from France, so that he might arrive in the Morea after the time allowed by the feudal code for his personal appearance. When young Robert arrived with still a few days to spare, the crafty bailie avoided meeting him till the full period had elapsed. Then a parliament, summoned to examine the claimant's title, decided against the latter; Robert returned to France, while Geoffrey remained lord of the Morea. Poetic justice in the next century visited upon his descendants this sin of their ancestor. Meanwhile, Innocent III hastened to greet him as "Prince of Achaia"—a title which he did not consider himself worthy to bear till he had earned it by the capture of the still unconquered Greek castles of Corinth, Nauplia, and Argos. In 1212 the last of them fell; Othon de la Roche, as a reward for his aid, received the two latter as fiefs of the principality of Achaia, thus inaugurating the long connection of the Argolid with Frankish Athens; while Corinth became the see of a second Latin archbishop. Geoffrey I crowned his successful career by negotiating a marriage between his namesake and heir and the daughter of the ill-fated Latin Emperor, Peter of Courtenay, during a halt which the damsel made at Katakolo on her way to Constantinople. When he died, in 1218, “all mourned, rich and poor alike, as if each were lamenting his own father's death, so great was his goodness”.

His elder son and successor, Geoffrey II, raised the principality to a pitch of even greater prosperity. We are told of his wealth and of his care for his subjects; he could afford to maintain “80 knights with golden spurs” at his court, to which cavaliers flocked from France, either in search of adventures abroad or to escape from justice at home. Of his resolute maintenance of the State against the Church the Morea still preserves a striking monument in the great castle of Chloumoiltsi, which the French called Clermont and the Italians Castel Tornese, from the tornesi or coins of Tours that were afterwards minted there for over a century. This castle, on a tortoise-shaped hill near Glarentza, was built by him out of the confiscated funds of the clergy, who had refused to do military service for their fiefs, and who, as he pointed out to the Pope, if they would not aid him in fighting the Greeks, would soon have nothing left to fight for. Alike with his purse and his personal prowess he contributed to the defence of Constantinople, receiving as his reward the suzerainty over the Duchy of the Archipelago and the island of Euboea. The Marquess of Boudonitza and the cautious Count of Cephalonia and Zante, the latter ever ready to worship the rising sun, became the vassals of one who was acknowledged to be the strongest Frankish prince of his time. For, if Athens had prospered under Othon de la Roche, and sea-girt Naxos was safe under the dynasty of Sanudo, the Latin Empire was tottering already, and the Latin kingdom of Salonica had fallen in 1223—the first creation of the Fourth Crusade to go—before the vigorous attack of Theodore Angelus, the second Despot of Epirus, who founded on its ruins the Greek Empire of Salonica. This act of ostentation, however, by offending the political and ecclesiastical dignities of the Greek Empire of Nicaea, provoked a rivalry which post­poned the Greek recovery of Byzantium. The fall of the Latin kingdom of Salonica and the consequent re-conquest of a large part of northern Greece for the Hellenic cause alarmed the Franks, whose possessions lay between Thessaly and the Corinthian Gulf. Of these by far the most important was Othon de la Roche, the "Great Lord" of Athens, who had established around him alike at Thebes and Athens a number of his relatives from home, attracted by the good luck of their kinsman beyond the seas. But, as the years passed, the Burgundian successor of the classic heroes and sages, whom the strangest of fortunes had made the heir alike of Pindar and Pericles, began to feel, like several other Frankish nobles, a yearning to end his days in the less famous but more familiar land of his birth. In 1225, after twenty years of authority, he left Greece for ever with his wife and his two sons, leaving his Athenian and Theban dominions to his nephew Guy, already owner of half the Boeotian city. The descendants of the first Frankish Sire of Athens became extinct in Franche-Comte only as recently as the seventeenth century, and the archives of the Haute-Swine still contain the seal and counter-seal of the Megaskyr.

Guy I of Athens

No better man than his nephew could have been found to carry on the work which he had begun. Under his tactful rule his capital of Thebes became once more a flourishing commercial city, where the silk manufacture was still carried on, as it had been in Byzantine times, where the presence of a Jewish and a Genoese colony implied that there was money to be made, and where the Greek population usually found a wise protector of their customs and their monasteries, diplomatically endowed by Vatatzes, the powerful Greek Emperor of Nicaea, in their foreign yet friendly lord. Policy no less than humanity must have led Guy I to be tolerant of the people over whom he had been called to rule. It was his obvious interest to make them realise that they were better off under his sway than they would be as subjects of an absentee Greek Emperor, who would have ruled them vicariously in the old Byzantine style, from Macedonia or Asia Minor. Thus his dominions, if "frequently devastated" by the Epirote Greeks, remained undiminished in his hands, while his most dangerous neighbour, Theodore, the first Greek Emperor of Salonica, became, thanks to his vaulting ambition, the prisoner of the Bulgarians at Klokotinitza, and the short-lived Greek Empire which he had founded, after the usurpation of his brother Manuel, was reduced in the reign of his son John to the lesser dignity of a Despotat, and was finally annexed, in that of John's brother Demetrius, to the triumphant Empire of Nicaea in 1246. Another and very able member of the family of Angelus, the bastard Michael II, had, however, made himself master of Corfil and Epirus ten years earlier, and there held aloft the banner of Greek independence, as his father, the founder of the Epirote dynasty, had done before him.

In the same year that witnessed the annexation of Salonica, the second Villehardouin prince of Achaia died, and was succeeded by his brother William. The new prince, the first of the line who was a native of the Morea—for he was born at the family fief of Kalamata—was throughout his long reign the central figure of Frankish Greece. Crafty and yet reckless, he was always to the front whenever there was fighting to be done, and his bellicose nature, if it enabled him to complete the conquest of the peninsula from the Greeks, tempted him also into foreign adventures, which undid his work and prepared the way for the revival of Greek authority. At first, all went well with the soldierly ruler. The virgin fortress of Monemvasía, which had hitherto maintained its freedom, yielded, after a three years' siege, to the combined efforts of a Frankish force and a Venetian flotilla, and the three local archons­Mamonas, Daimonoyannes, and Sophianós—were obliged to acknowledge the Frank as their lord. To overawe the Slavs of Taygetus and the restive men of Maina, the prince built three castles, one of which, Mistra, some three miles from Sparta, was destined later on to play a part in Greek history second to that of Byzantium alone, and is still the chief Byzantine glory of the Morea. At this moment the Frankish principality reached its zenith. The barons in their castles lived "the fairest life that a man can"; the prince's court at La Cremonie was thought the best school of chivalry in the East, and was described as "more brilliant than that of a great king." Thither came to learn the noble profession of arms the sons of other Latin rulers of the Levant; the Duke of distant Burgundy was a guest at the prince's table; King Louis IX of France, most chivalrous sovereign of the age, might well esteem the tall knights of Achaia, who came with their lord to meet him in Cyprus, who helped the Genoese to defend Rhodes against the Greeks. Trade flourished, and such was the general sense of security that people gave money to the merchants who travelled up and down the country on their simple note of hand, while from the King of France the prince obtained the right to establish his own mint in the castle of Chloumofitsi in place of the coins which he seems to have struck pre­viously in that of Corinth.

Battle of Karydi

Unfortunately the prince's ambition plunged the Frankish world of Greece into a fratricidal war. On the death of his second wife, a Euboean heiress, in 1255, he claimed her ancestral barony in the northern third of that island; and when the proud and powerful Lombards, aided by their Venetian neighbours, repudiated his claim, not only did hostilities break out in Euboea, but also extended to the mainland opposite. William had summoned Guy I of Athens, his vassal for Argos and Nauplia, and, as was even pretended, for Attica and Boeotia as well, to assist him in the struggle. The Megaskyr, however, not only refused to aid his nominal lord, but actively helped the opposite party. Practically the whole of Frankish Greece took sides in the conflict, despite the wise warnings of the Pope, anxious lest the cause of the Church should be weakened by this division among its champions at a time when their national enemy had grown stronger. In 1258, at the pass of Mt Karydi, between Megara and Thebes, Frankish Athens first met Frankish Sparta face to face. The battle of the Walnut Mountain" was a victory for the latter; the Athenian army retreated upon Thebes, before whose walls the prayers of his nobles prevailed upon the victor to make peace with their old comrades. Guy of Athens, summoned to appear before the High Court of Achaia at Nikli near Tegea for his alleged breach of the feudal code, was sent by the Frankish barons before the throne of Louis IX of France, whose authority they recognized as supreme in a case of such delicacy. The question was referred by the king to a parliament at Paris, which decided that Guy had been, indeed, guilty of a technical offence in taking up arms against his lord, but that, as he had never actually paid him homage, his fief could not be forfeited. His long journey to France was considered sufficient punishment for his disobedience. Guy did not return empty-handed; asked by the king what mark of royal favour he would prefer, he begged, and obtained, the title of Duke, which would raise him to the heraldic level of the Duke of Naxos, and for which, he said, there was an ancient precedent at Athens. The style of "Duke of Athens" was not only borne by his successors for two centuries, but has been immortalised by Dante, Boccaccio, Chaucer, and Shakespeare, who by a pardonable anachronism transferred to Theseus the title of the French, Sicilian, Aragonese, and Florentine rulers of the medieval city.

Battle of Pelagonia

The history of Frankish Greece is full of sudden reverses of fortune, by which the victor of one day became the vanquished of the next. Guy I had left his country a defeated and an accused man, while his successful rival was the practical leader of the Latin Orient; he returned with the glamour of the ducal title to find his conqueror and feudal lord a prisoner of the Greeks. During Guy's absence, William of Achaia, by his third marriage with Anna, daughter of the Despot Michael II of Epirus, had become involved in the tortuous politics of that restless sovereign. It was Michael's design to anticipate the Greeks of Nicaea in their projected re-conquest of Constantinople, and he was anxious to secure his position by marrying one of his daughters to the powerful Prince of Achaia and another to Manfred, the ill-fated Hohenstaufen King of Sicily. This latter alliance by making Corfu a part of the Epirote princess's dowry led to the subsequent occupation of that island by the Angevin conquerors of Naples. But the plans of the crafty despot met with a serious obstacle in the person of Michael VIII Palaeologus, who had usurped the Nicene throne and intended to make himself master of Byzantium, and who ordered his brother to punish the insolence of his Epirote rival. In 1259 the hostile Greek forces met on the plain of Pelagonia in Western Macedonia; William of Achaia with a chosen band of Franks and a contingent of native troops was among the despot's allies. At a critical moment, a private quarrel between the despot's bastard John and the Frankish prince led the indignant Epirote to desert to the enemy; the despot, warned of his son's intention, fled in the night, and the Franks were left to meet the foe's attack. Despite their usual prowess in the field, the battle was lost; the prince, unhorsed and hiding under a heap of straw, was recognized by his prominent teeth and taken prisoner with many of his nobles. Michael VIII saw at once that the capture of so distinguished a man might be made the means of re-establishing Greek rule in the Morea, and offered him and his fellow-prisoners their liberty and money for the purchase of other lands in France in return for the cession of Achaia. The prince, however, replied in the true spirit of feudalism, that the land conquered by the efforts of his father and his father's comrades was not his to dispose of as if he were an absolute monarch. For three years he remained in captivity, while the Latin Empire fell. Michael VIII restored the seat of his government to Constantinople, and the Duke of Athens acted as bailie of the widowed principality of Achaia. It was, indeed, a tragic moment in the history of Greece when there devolved upon the Duke of Athens the task of receiving the fugitive Latin Emperor Baldwin II as his guest in the castle of the Cadmea at Thebes and upon the sacred rock of the Athenian Acropolis.

The Ladies' Parliament

Master of Constantinople, Michael VIII was more than ever anxious to obtain a foothold in the Morea. He moderated his demands, in the hope of exhausting the patience of his wearied captives, and he professed that he would be content with the surrender of the three castles of Monemvasia, Maina, and Mistra, which had been either captured or built by the prince himself, and which were therefore his to bestow. The question, vital for the future of the Frankish principality, was referred to the high court at Nikli—a parliament consisting, with two exceptions, of ladies only, for the fatal day of Pelagonia had left most of the baronies in the possession of either the wives of the prisoners or the widows of the slain. In an assembly so composed, reasons of state and the scriptural argument employed by the Duke of Athens, that "it were better that one man should die for the people rather than that the other Franks of the Morea should lose the fruits of their fathers' labours," had naturally less weight than sentiment and the voice of affection. In vain Guy offered to pledge his own duchy to raise the ransom, or even to take the prince's place in prison. The three castles—with the doubtful addition of Geraki, which in any case soon became Greek—were surrendered; the prisoners were released; the noble dames were sent as hostages to Constantinople; and a Byzantine province, based on the ceded Frankish quadrilateral, was established in the south-east corner of the Morea, whose capital was Mistri, the seat of the "Captain of the Territory in the Peloponnese and its Castles." From the date of this surrender in 1262 began the decline of Frankish power; thenceforth friction between the rival elements in the population was inevitable; and while the discontented Greeks of the still Frankish portion of the peninsula found a rallying-point at Mistra, the Greek Emperor gained an excellent recruiting-ground for his light troops and his marines. In a word, the Ladies' Parliament of Nikli by destroying the unity of the State paved the way for the Turkish conquest.

The solemn vow that William had taken never again to levy war against the Greek Emperor was soon broken; hostilities inevitably followed the proximity of the rival residences of Mistra and Sparta, and weary years of warfare depopulated the peninsula. One woman, we are told, lost seven husbands one after the other, all killed in battle; such was the drain upon the male portion of the inhabitants. The Greeks imported Turkish mercenaries to aid them against the Frankish chivalry,and thus the future masters of the peninsula made their first appearance there. But the Turks, unable to obtain their pay, deserted to the Franks, whom they helped to win the battle of Makryplagi on "the broad hillside" now traversed by the railway to Kalamata, receiving as a reward lands on which to settle. Had the pride of the Franks then allowed them to accept Michael VIII's proposal for a marriage between his heir, the future Emperor Andronicus II, and the prince's elder daughter Isabelle, the future of the Morea might have been different; the two races might have been welded together; Eastern and Western Christendom might really have met in a firm alliance at Mistra; and the Morea might perhaps have resisted the all-conquering Turks. But racial prejudice would not have it so; and Isabelle was made the instrument of uniting the fortunes of the principality with those of the Neapolitan Angevins, whose founder, Charles I, in 1267, received from the exiled Latin Emperor by the treaty of Viterbo the suzerainty of Achaia­the beginning of many unsuspected woes for that beautiful land.

The Angevins and Greece

From the first, William, who had welcomed this new feudal tie with the brother of the King of France, found that it constituted an obligation rather than a benefit. He was summoned to the aid of his Angevin suzerain against Conradin at the battle of Tagliacozzo, and when his daughter espoused the second son of Charles I the marriage contract stipulated that, whether the Prince of Achaia left heirs or not, the principality should belong to the house of Anjou, which since 1267 likewise held Corfu and aspired to be the dominant factor in south­eastern, as it already was in southern, Europe. It was true that Neapolitan troops assisted him in the desultory warfare against the Greeks which, together with feudal disputes, occupied the rest of his reign. But when in 1278 the third Villehardouin prince was laid to rest beside his father and brother in the church of St James at Andravida, and the male stock of the family thus came to an end, the evils of the Angevin connexion began to be felt.

Elsewhere also the Greek cause had prospered at the expense of the Latins. In the north, it was true, Hellenism had split up into three divisions, for on the death of Michael II of Epirus his bastard, John I, had established himself as independent ruler of Neopatras—a splendid position on a spur of Mt Oeta, which commands the valley of the Spercheus and faces the barrier of Mt Othrys, while the snows of Tymphrestos bound the western horizon, beyond which lay the Epirote dominions of the lawful heir, Nicephorus I. As the champion of Orthodoxy at a time when Michael VIII was coquetting with the Papacy in order to avert the Angevin designs on Constantinople, the "Duke" of Neopatras, as the Franks called John Ducas Angelus, was a formidable adversary of the restored Greek Empire. When the imperial forces were sent to besiege his capital, he escaped by night and fled to Duke John of Athens, who in 1263 had succeeded his father Guy, and who assisted his namesake to rout them. But the imperial commander inflicted a crushing defeat off Demetrids in the Gulf of Volo upon a flotilla equipped by the Lombard barons of Euboea, while in that and the other islands of the Aegean the meteoric career of Licario, a knight of Karystos, caused serious losses to the Latins. Mortally offended by the proud Lombards, this needy adventurer, whose family, like theirs, had come from Northern Italy, gratified his vengeance by offering to subdue the long island to the Emperor's authority. Michael VIII gladly welcomed so serviceable a henchman; Licario's capture of Karystos proved that he was no vain boaster after the manner of the Franks ; he received from his new master the whole of Euboea as a fief, and soon one Lombard castle after another fell into his hands. Knowing full well the rashness of his fellow-countrymen, he easily entrapped one of the triarchs and Duke John of Athens, the victor of Neopatras, outside the walls of Negropont, and had the satisfaction of dragging them in chains to Constantinople. One of the most dramatic scenes in Byzantine history is the passage which describes the triumph of the once despised knight over his former superior, the rage and fury of the triarch and his sudden death of chagrin at the spectacle of the Emperor and Licario in confidential conversation. Ere long, Licario became Lord High Admiral, and spread devastation throughout the archipelago. Already the supposedly impregnable rock of Skdpelos, whose Latin lord had believed himself to be beyond the reach of malicious fortune, had surrendered to the traitor of Karystos; the rest of the northern Sporades, and Lemnos, the fief of the Navigajosi, shared its fate, and thenceforth remained in Greek hands till the fall of Constantinople. Ten other Latin islands were lost for twenty years or more, and two dynasties alone, those of Sanudo and Ghisi, survived this fatal cruise in the Aegean, while the two Venetian Marquesses of Cerigo and arigotto were driven from the southern March of Greece, and one of the three Monemvasiote archons, Paul Monoyannes, received the island of Venus as a fief of the Greek Empire. Licario disappeared from history as rapidly as he had risen; we know not how he ended; but his career left a permanent mark on Greek history. Thus Michael VIII had obtained extraordinary success over the Franks. He had destroyed the Latin Empire, recovered a large part of Negropont and many other islands; as early as 1256 his brother, as governor, had replaced the independent Greek dynasty of Gabalás in Rhodes; another viceroy was established at Mistra; and both a Prince of Achaia and a Duke of Athens had been his prisoners at Constantinople. But John of Athens was released on much easier terms than William of Achaia; for Michael VIII feared to provoke the Duke of Neopatras, who was bound by matrimonial ties to the ducal house of Athens and by those of commerce to the royal house of Naples, the dreaded enemy of the restored Greek Empire.


Nicholas II de St Omer


Soon afterwards the gouty Duke of Athens died, and William, his brother, reigned in his stead. A new era had begun all over the Frankish world. The house of Anjou was now the dominant factor in Greece. Isabelle de Villehardouin had been left a widow before her father died, and by virtue of her marriage contract Charles I of Naples and Sicily was now Prince as well as suzerain of Achaia, and governed that principality, as he governed Corfu, by means of deputies. While these two portions of Greece were his absolute property, he was acknowledged as suzerain of both the Athenian duchy and the palatine county of Cephalonia and Zante, and considered himself as the successor of Manfred in Epirus as well as in the Corfiote portion of the latter's Greek possessions. Alike in Corfu and Achaia his early governors were foreigners, and the Corfiotes for the first time found their national Church degraded and their metropolitan see abolished by the zeal of the Catholic Angevins. In Achaia, where the Frankish nobility was strongly attached to its privileges and looked upon newcomers with suspicion, the rule of the Angevin bailies was so unpopular that Charles was obliged to appoint one of the local barons, and almost the first act of the regency which followed his death was to confer the bailiwick upon Duke William of Athens, whose riches were freely expended upon the defences of Greece. Upon his death in 1287 he was succeeded at Athens by his infant son Guy II, under the regency of the duchess, a daughter of the Duke of Neopatras and the first Greek to hold sway over the Athenians since the conquest, while in the Morea a great Theban magnate, Nicholas II de St Omer, governed for Charles II of Anjou. This splendour-loving noble, then married to the widowed Princess of Achaia, had built out of the dowry of his first wife, a Princess of Antioch, the noble castle of St Omer, of which one tower alone remains, on the Cadmea of Thebes. An Emperor and his court could have found room within its walls, which were decorated with frescoes representing the conquest of the Holy Land by the ancestors of the Theban baron. Similar frescoes of the tale of Troy existed a century later in the archiepiscopal palace of Patras, and may still be seen, on a smaller scale, in the churches of Gerald. Besides the castle of St Omer, Nicholas built that of Avarino on the north of the famous bay of Navarino, the "harbour of rushes" as the Franks called it. And in the north-west of the peninsula the mountains and castle of Santameri still preserve the name of this once-powerful family.

The barons soon, however, longed for a resident prince. In the eleven years that had elapsed since the death of William of Achaia, they had had six bailies—two foreigners, two of their own order, and two great Athenian magnates. At last they represented to Charles II that he should marry Princess Isabelle, "the Lady of the Morea," who was still living in widowhood at Naples, to Florent d'Avesnes, a young Flemish nobleman, brother of the Count of Hainault and great-nephew of the conqueror of Euboea. Florent was already a favourite of the king, who accordingly consented to the marriage, on condition that, if Isabelle should survive her husband, neither she nor her daughter nor any other of her female descendants should marry without the royal consent; the penalty for so doing was to be the reversion of the principality to the Neapolitan crown. This harsh stipulation was in the sequel twice enforced; but in the meanwhile all were too well satisfied with the alliance to consider its disadvantages. In 1289 Florent married and became Prince of Achaia, and for seven years the country had peace. The ravages of the Angevin bailies were repaired, and in the words of the Chronicle of the Morea, "all grew rich, Franks and Greeks, and the land waxed so fat and plenteous in all things that the people knew not the half of what they possessed." But the insolence of the Flemings, who had followed their countryman to the Morea, another Epirote campaign, and a raid by Roger Loria, the famous Admiral of Aragon, marred this happy period of Moreote history. Unfortunately, in 1297, soon after the peace with the Greeks of the Byzantine province had expired, Florent died, leaving Isabelle again a widow with one small daughter, who was affianced to Guy II, the young Duke of Athens, and rightly regarded as "the best match in all Romania."

The pen of the contemporary Catalan chronicler, Ramón Muntaner, who was personally acquainted with Guy, has left us a charming picture of the Theban court at this period. Muntaner, who had seen many lands, described him as "one of the noblest men in all Romania who was not a king, and eke one of the richest." His coming of age was a ceremony long remembered in Greece, for every guest that came to do him honour received gifts and favours from his hand, and his splendid munificence to Boniface of Verona, a young cavalier from Euboea, who was chosen to dub him a knight, struck the shrewd Catalan freebooter as the noblest gift that any prince made in one day for many a long year. Jongleurs and minstrels enlivened the ducal leisure; in the noble sport of the tournament the young duke knew no fear, and in the great jousts at Corinth, in which more than a thousand knights and barons took part, he did not shrink from challenging a veteran champion from the West. Now for the first time we find the "thin soil" of Attica supplying Venice with corn, while the Theban looms furnished the Pope with silken garments. The excellent French that was spoken at Athens struck visitors from France, while long ere this the foreign rulers of Greece had learned the language of their Greek subjects. One Duke of Athens had even quoted Herodotus; one Archbishop of Corinth had actually translated Aristotle. In short, the little Frankish courts at the end of the thirteenth century were centres of prosperity, chivalry, and a large measure of refinement, while the country was far more prosperous than it had been in the later centuries of Byzantine rule, or than it was either beneath the Turkish yoke or in the early years of its final freedom under Otto of Bavaria. Unhappily, the Athenian duchy had scarcely reached its zenith, when the French dynasty fell for ever beneath the blows of another and a ruder race.

Philip of Taranto

The same year 1294 that made the young Duke of Athens his own master strengthened the hold of the Angevins upon Greece. The ambitious plans of Charles I for the conquest of Epirus and the restoration of the Latin Empire at Constantinople had been baffled by the defeat of his forces amid the mountains of the Greek mainland, and by the Sicilian Vespers and the consequent establishment of the rival house of Aragon on the throne of Sicily. Charles II attempted to recover by diplomacy what his father had lost by arms, and in 1294 he transferred all his claims to the Latin Empire, the actual possession of Corfu with the castle of Butrinto on the opposite coast, as well as the suzerainty over the principality of Achaia, the duchy of Athens, the kingdom of Albania, and the province of Vlachia (as Thessaly was still called), to his second son, Philip, Prince of Taranto. This much-titled personage, who thus became the suzerain of all the Frankish states in Greece, there­upon married, after the fashion of the luckless Manfred, whose sons were still languishing in an Angevin dungeon, a fair Epirote princess, daughter of the Despot Nicephorus I, who promised to give him as her dowry the castle of Lepanto with three other fortresses, and, if the heir apparent died, to make Philip Despot of Epirus, if the heir apparent lived, to make him its suzerain. Philip of Taranto by these extraordinary arrangements became the most important figure, at least on paper, in the feudal hierarchy of medieval Greece. In this capacity he was called upon to give his consent to the third marriage of Princess Isabelle of Achaia, who, during the Papal Jubilee of 1300, had met in Rome Philip, a young scion of the house of Savoy, and desired to wed so likely a defender of her land. The Savoyard was reluctantly invested with the principality by Charles II on behalf of his son, and thus inaugurated the connection of his famous family with the Morea. But Philip of Savoy, though a valiant knight, looked upon his Greek principality as a means of making money against the evil day when the Angevins, as he felt convinced, would repent of having appointed him and when Philip of Taranto would desire to take his place. He and his Piedmontese followers became very unpopular; for, while they occupied the chief strategic positions, he extorted loans and forced presents from his subjects. Before long Charles II revived the legal pretext that Isabelle's third marriage had been against his consent, and that she had therefore forfeited her principality; and Philip's refusal to assist in furthering the Angevin plans of conquest in Epirus gave him an excuse for releasing the Achaian barons from their allegiance to one who had broken the feudal law. Philip and Isabelle left the Morea for ever; an estate on the Fucine lake was considered adequate compensation for the loss of Achaia; and, in 1311, the elder daughter of the last Villehardouin prince, after having been the tool of Angevin diplomacy ever since her childhood, died in Holland far from the orange-groves of Kalamata. Her husband remarried, and his descendants by this second union continued to bear the name of "Achaia," and, in one case, endeavoured to recover the principality which had for a few brief years been his. Philip of Taranto, the lawful suzerain, became also the reigning prince, but, after a short visit, he resorted to the old plan of governing the Morea by means of bailies. Of these the first was Guy II, the good Duke" of Athens, whose wife, the elder daughter of Isabelle, might be regarded by the old adherents of the family as the rightful heiress of Achaia.

Walter of Brienne. The Catalans

Guy had latterly become more influential than ever; for death had left his mother's old home of Neopatras in the hands of a minor, John II, and the Duke of Athens had been appointed as regent there. Thus Athenian authority extended from the Morea to Thessaly; the Greek nobles of the North learnt French, and the coins of Neopatras bore Latin inscriptions in token of the Latinisation of the land. Alas! the duke was suffering from an incurable malady; he had no heir; and, when in 1308 he was laid to rest in the abbey of Daphni, the future destroyers of the French duchy were already at hand. For the moment, however, the future of Athens seemed to be assured. Guy's mother had married, after his father's death, a member of the great crusading family of Brienne, which had already provided a King of Jerusalem and Emperor of Romania and held the less sonorous but more profitable dignity of Counts of Lecce. By a previous marriage with an aunt of the duke, his stepfather had had a son Walter, who now succeeded to his cousin's dominions. Walter of Brienne possessed all the courage of his race; but he lacked the saving virtue of caution, and his recklessness at a critical moment destroyed in a single day the noble fabric which the wise statesmanship of the house of De la Roche had taken a century to construct. So dramatic are the vicissitudes of the Latin Orient: the splendid pageants of chivalry one day, absolute ruin the next.

The new conquerors of Athens came from an unexpected quarter. During the struggle for Sicily between the houses of Aragon and Anjou, Frederick II, the Aragonese king of the island, had gladly availed himself of the support of a band of Catalans, whose swords were at the disposal of anyone who would pay them. When the peace came, they found it necessary to seek employment elsewhere. At that moment the Greek Emperor, Andronicus II, hard pressed by the growing power of the Turks in Asia, was glad of such powerful assistance, and, to the detriment of Greece, took the Catalans into his service. In the East they repeated on a much larger scale their performances in the West; the Emperor, like the King of Sicily, found them valuable but dangerous allies, who quarrelled with his subjects, plundered his cities, and defied his orders. At last they constituted themselves into an organised society, and set out to ravage Macedonia and Greece on their own account. When they had exhausted one district they moved on to another, and by this locust-like progress they and some of their converted Turkish auxiliaries entered the great Thessalian plain in 1309. The young Duke of Neopatras, now emancipated by the death of Guy, was too feeble to oppose them till an imperial force compelled them to move on towards the Eden which awaited them in the Duchy of Athens. Walter of Brienne was at first by no means displeased with their appearance. He knew their language, which he had learnt as a child in Sicily, and he thought that he might use them for the accomplishment of his immediate object—the restoration of Athenian influence over the moribund principality of the Angeli at Neopatras. The Catalans accepted his proposals, and in six months they had captured more than thirty castles of northern Greece for their new employer.

Battle of the Cephisus

Having thus rapidly obtained his end, Walter wished to dispense with his instrument. He picked out the best of the Catalans for his future use and then peremptorily bade the rest begone without the formality of payment for their recent services. The Catalans, thus harshly treated, remonstrated; Walter vowed that he would drive them out by force, and took steps to make good his threat. In the spring of 1311, at the head of such a force as no Athenian duke had ever led before, a force recruited from the baronial halls of the highlands and islands of Hellas, he rode out to rout the vulgar soldiers of fortune who had dared to defy him. Once again, after the lapse of many centuries, the fate of Athens was decided on the great plain of Boeotia. The Catalans, who knew that they must conquer or die, prepared the battlefield with consummate skill. They ploughed up the soft ground in front of them, and irrigated it from the neighbouring Cephisus; nature herself assisted their strategy, and, when the armies met on 15 March, the quaking bog was concealed with an ample covering of verdure. Walter, impetuous as ever, charged across the plain with a shout, followed by the flower of the Frankish chivalry. But, long before they could reach the Catalan camp, they plunged into the quagmire. Their heavy armour and the harness of their horses made them sink yet deeper, till they stood imbedded in the marsh, as incapable of motion as equestrian statues. The Catalans plied them with missiles; the Turks completed the deadly work; and such was the carnage of that fatal day, that only some four or five of the Frankish knights are known to have survived. The duke was among the slain, and his head, severed by a Catalan knife, was borne to rest in his good city of Lecce long years afterwards. His duchy lay at the mercy of the victors, for there was none left to defend it save the heroic duchess. But, finding resistance vain, she escaped with her little son to France, and thus avoided the fate of many another widowed dame of high degree who became the wife of some rough Catalan, "unworthy," in the phrase of Muntaner, "to bear her wash-hand basin." As for the Greeks, they made no effort to rise in defence of the old order against their new masters; so shallow were the roots which French rule had struck in that foreign land. Nor have the Burgundian Dukes of Athens left many memorials of their sway. A few coins, a few arches, a few casual inscriptions—such is the artistic patrimony which Attica and Boeotia have preserved from this brilliant century of Latin culture.

The victors of the Cephisus were in one respect embarrassed by the completeness of their victory. They realised that they had no one in their own ranks of sufficient standing to become their ruler in the new position which their success had thrust upon them. They accordingly adopted the strange plan of offering the leadership to one of their prisoners, Boniface of Verona, the favourite of Guy II, and a great man in Euboea. Boniface was ambitious, but he felt that he could not, with his wide connections in the Frankish world, commit such an act of baseness. He, therefore, declined; but his fellow-prisoner, Roger Deslaur, a knight of Roussillon who had already acted as intermediary between the late Duke and the company, had no such obligations, and accepted the post with the castle of Salona and the hand of its widowed lady. A year later, however, the Catalans realized that their precarious situation (for all the Powers interested in Greece regarded them as interlopers) required to be strengthened by the invocation of some powerful and recognized sovereign as their protector. Their eyes naturally turned to their old employer, Frederick II of Sicily, and they begged him to send one of his sons to rule over them. Frederick gladly consented to a proposal which would add lustre to his house, and for the next 65 years the royal family of Sicily provided absentee dukes for the Catalan duchy of Athens, while the real political authority was always wielded by a vicar-general whom they appointed to represent them at the capital of Thebes. A marshal for long existed by the side of this official, till the two offices were first combined in the same person and then that of marshal was allowed to drop. An elaborate system of local government was created; representative institutions were adapted from Barcelona, whose "Customs" supplanted the "Assises of Romania," and whose language became the official as well as the ordinary idiom. The Greeks were, till towards the close of Catalan rule, treated as an inferior race, while the Orthodox Church occupied the same humble position that it had held in the Burgundian times. Feudalism lingered in a modified form; but it had lost its glamour, and the court of the Catalan vicar-general must have been a very drab and prosaic affair after the magnificent pageants of the splendour-loving Dukes of Athens, whose flag still floated over the Argive fortresses that had been granted to Othon de la Roche a century before.

The Infant Ferdinand of Majorca

Having thus established a connexion with one of the acknowledged states of Europe, the Catalan Grand Company began to extend its operations in Greece. A Catalan claim to the Morea furnished it with a plausible pretext for a raid. Two years after the battle of the Cephisus, Philip of Taranto had conferred that principality on Matilda of Hainault, the daughter of Isabelle and widow of Guy II of Athens, on condition that she married and transferred the princely dignity to Louis of Burgundy. The object of this manoeuvre was to compensate his brother the Duke of Burgundy for losing the hand of the titular Latin Empress of Constantinople, whom Philip, then a widower, had resolved to marry himself. But before Louis of Burgundy had taken possession of his Achaian principality, another claimant had appeared there. Besides Isabelle, William of Achaia had left another daughter, the Lady of Akova, who was regarded by some as the lawful representative of the Villehardouin dynasty, on the ground of a supposed will made by her father. With the object of securing her claims for her posterity, if not for herself, she married her daughter to the Infant Ferdinand of Majorca, who had at one time played an adventurous part in the career of the Catalan Company and was well known in Greece. Both the Lady of Akova and her daughter died before these claims could be realised, but her daughter left a baby behind her, the future King James II of Majorca; and, on behalf of this child, Ferdinand landed in the Morea to receive the homage of the principality. His usurpation was at first successful; he even coined his own money at the mint of Glarentza, while the Catalans of Athens set out to aid their old comrade against the Burgundian party. A battle in the forest of Manolada, in 1316, proved fatal, however, to the Infant's cause; and his head, severed on the field, was displayed before the gate of Glarentza. The Athenian Catalans turned back at the sad news, but Louis of Burgundy did not long enjoy the fruits of this victory; barely a month afterwards he died, poisoned, so it was said, by the Italian Count of Cephalonia, a medieval villain believed to be capable of every crime. Louis' widow, the Princess of Achaia, was forced against her will by the crooked diplomacy of Anjou to go through the form of marriage, in 1318, with John of Gravina, brother of Philip of Taranto. Matilda stoutly refused to be this man's wife, and when at last pressure was put upon her by the Pope to make her consent she replied that she was already another's. This confession proved to be her ruin. The crafty Angevins appealed to the clause in her mother's marriage contract which declared the principality forfeit should one of Isabelle's daughters marry without her suzerain's consent. While John of Gravina governed as Prince of Achaia, she languished in the Castel dell' Uovo at Naples, till at last, in 1331, death released her from the clutches of her royal gaoler. Thus closed the career of the Villehardouin family; thus, in the third generation, was the deceit of Geoffrey I visited upon the unhappy daughter of the unhappy Isabelle. Two years later, John of Gravina exchanged the Morea for the duchy of Durazzo, the kingdom of Albania, and the Angevin possessions in Epirus; while the titular Empress Catherine of Valois, acting for her son Robert of Taranto, whose father Philip was then dead, combined in her own person the suzerainty and actual ownership of Achaia, as well as the claim to the defunct Latin Empire. This arrangement had the advantage of uniting in a single hand all the Angevin dominions in Greece—the principality of Achaia, the castle of Lepanto, the island of Corfu, and the island-county of Cephalonia, which last had been conquered from the Orsini by John of Gravina in 1324.

The Duchy of Neopatras 

If the Catalans had failed to found a principality in the South, they were much more successful in the North. The feeble Duke of Neopatras had died, the last of his race, in 1318, and the head of the Company, at the time Alfonso Fadrique, a bastard of King Frederick II of Sicily, conquered the best part of the former dominions of the Thessalian Angeli. At Neopatras itself he established a second Catalan capital, styling himself Vicar-General of the Duchies of Athens and Neopatras. The Sicilian Dukes of Athens assumed the double title, and, long after the Catalan duchies had passed away, the Kings of Aragon, their successors, continued to bear it. Venice profited by the dismemberment of this Greek state to occupy Pteleon at the entrance to the Pagasaean Gulf, her first acquisition on the Greek mainland since Modon and Coron. On the other side of Greece the principal line of the Angeli had also been extinguished in 1318 by the murder of the Despot Thomas, a victim of Count Nicholas of Cephalonia, another member of that unscrupulous family. The assassin soon perished by the hand of his brother John II, who thus continued the traditions of the Hellenised Orsini. But the new ruler of Epirus was a patron of Greek letters; at his command a paraphrase of Homer was written; while the famous church of Our Lady of Consolation at Arta still contains an inscription recording the Orsini and the two bears which were the emblems of their house—one of the most curious and least-known monuments of the Latin domination in Greek lands.

Meanwhile, the house of Brienne had not abandoned the idea of recovering the lost duchy of Athens. Young Walter had grown up to manhood, and, in 1331, landed in Epirus to reconquer his father's dominions. Once again, however, the brilliant qualities of chivalry were seen to be inferior to the less showy strategy of the Catalans. The Greeks remained unmoved by the appearance of this deliverer from the "extreme slavery" which a contemporary described as their lot, and the only lasting result of this futile expedition was the destruction by the Catalans themselves of the noble castle of St Omer, for fear lest it should fall into the invader's hands. The abode of the Theban barons is connected with literature as well as art, for the original of one of the most valuable memorials of Frankish rule, the French version of the Chronicle of the Morea, was found within its walls—a proof of culture among its inmates. Walter's subsequent career was connected with Florentine and English history rather than with Athens, for he became tyrant of Florence, and died, fighting against our Black Prince, at the battle of Poitiers. The family of Enghien, into which his sister had married, succeeded to his Argive castles and his Athenian claims.

While the titular Duke of Athens thus retired to rule over Florence, a Florentine family, destined ultimately to succeed to his Greek duchy, established itself in the Morea. Of the numerous visitors who have journeyed from Florence to see the famous Certosa, few realise that it was constructed out of the Greek revenues of its founder. Niccolo Acciajuoli had made the acquaintance of the titular Empress Catherine of Valois at the Neapolitan Court, whither he had gone to seek his fortune; he became her man of business and the director of her children's education, and, when she and her son Robert obtained through his negotiations the principality of Achaia, he received his reward in the shape of broad estates in that land. He gradually increased his stake in the country, and in 1358 was invested by his old pupil, the Emperor Robert, with the town and castle of Corinth, whence the Acropolis of Athens can be seen, and whence, thirty years later, it was to be conquered. At the other end of the Corinthian Gulf, the archbishopric of Patras was occupied by three members of the Acciajuoli clan, which thus continued to prosper while the feeble rule of an absentee prince and another disputed succession on his death in 1364 weakened the hold of the Angevins upon the principality. Philip II of Taranto, the brother, and Hugh of Lusignan, Prince of Galilee, the stepson, of the titular Emperor Robert, then contended for the possession of the Morea till the latter abandoned the struggle for another similar contest in Cyprus. During these internal convulsions, the Byzantine province had grown stronger and was better governed than the neighbouring Frankish principality. The imperial viceroys of Mistra had been appointed for much longer periods than had been the case before; and, in 1348, the Emperor John Cantacuzene had sent his son Manuel as Despot for life to the Morea. Thenceforth, as the seat of a younger member of the imperial family, Mistra became more and more important; and its splendid Byzantine churches still testify to the value which, as the Greek Empire declined, the Emperors attached to this isolated fragment of Greece. It is a curious freak of history that, in the last as in the early days of Greek freedom, the two most flourishing cities of Hellas were once more Athens and Sparta—the Athens of the Acciajuoli, the Sparta, as Mistra was often pedantically styled, of the Palaeologi.

The Serbians in Northern Greece

The peril that was to prove fatal alike to the medieval Athens and the medieval Sparta had ere this appeared on the horizon of Greece. The growing Turkish danger had at last induced the Papacy to recognize the Catalan conquest of Attica, and extend its benediction over those whom it had hitherto described as "sons of perdition." But the new generation of Catalans that had succeeded to the sturdy conquerors of the Cephisus was a degenerate race, given to drink and divided by quarrels, which led to the introduction of the Turks, by this time established in Europe. For the moment, however, the north of Greece had been annexed to the ephemeral empire of the great Serbian Tsar, Stephen Dugan; and, even after his death in 1355, Serbian rule lingered on for a time and provided a more or less feeble barrier between the duchy of Athens and the Ottoman power. On the other side of con­tinental Greece, the tottering Greek despotat of Epirus, long disputed between the Byzantine and the Serbian Empires, had finally perished in 1358 with the Despot Nicephorus II, becoming partly Serb and partly Albanian, while the former island-domain of the Orsini, the county palatine of Cephalonia, had been conferred by the Angevins upon Leonardo Tocco of Benevento, who united four out of the seven Ionian islands in his hand, adopted from one of them the style of "Duke of Leucadia," and founded a family which, after over a century's rule in Greece, has only become extinct at Naples in our own time. Elsewhere, in Chios and Lesbos, two other fresh Italian factors had appeared in the many-coloured map of the Levant: the Genoese families of Zaccaria and Gattilusio. The rule of the Zaccaria in the former island lasted only from 1304 to 1329, but in 1346 Chios was reconquered by a band of Genoese, who formed a chartered company, or maona, which, reconstituted some years later under the title of the "Maona of the Giustiniani," held the island till the Turkish conquest in 1566. Lesbos, in 1355, was bestowed by the Greek Emperor, John V, upon his brother-in-law, Francesco Gattilusio, whose dynasty survived by nine years the fall of Constantinople, while in 1374 Genoa obtained Famagosta in pledge from King Peter II of Cyprus. Yet another bulwark of Latin rule had been created in the Aegean by the capture of Rhodes from the Seljuqs, the successors of the Greek governors, by the Knights of St John in 1309. But, if Latin Christendom was as strong as ever in the islands of the Aegean and the Ionian seas, it was weaker in the continental states that lay between them.

The Navarrese Company

The death of Frederick III, King of Sicily and Duke of Athens, in 1377, was a severe blow to the two Catalan duchies, for the claims of his daughter and heiress, Maria, were disputed by Pedro IV of Aragon, who found support with the clergy, the leading nobles, and the burgesses of Athens and Neopatras. Another competitor, however, appeared upon the scene, and repeated on a smaller scale the history of the Catalan Company seventy years earlier. During the struggle between the Kings of France and Navarre, the latter had been assisted by a body of Navarrese of good family, who, at the peace, had offered their services to their sovereign's brother for the conquest of Durazzo, and were at this time lying idle in the south of Italy. Meanwhile, the principality of Achaia, on the death of the childless Philip II in 1373, had been offered to Queen Joanna I of Naples, conferred by her upon one of her numerous husbands, Otto of Brunswick, and then pawned in 1377 for five years to the Knights of St John. All the time, however, the lawful heir was the nephew of Philip and last titular Emperor of Constantinople, Jacques de Baux, who thought that in the disturbed condition of Greece the moment had arrived to make good his claim to Achaia, and that the Navarrese Company would be the best means of doing so. The Company entered his service, captured Corfu from the Neapolitan officials, and in 1380 entered Attica, of which Baux as Prince of Achaia might claim the suzerainty, and as the uncle of Maria of Sicily might desire the conquest. The Navarrese, under the leadership of Mahiot de Coquerel, and Pedro de S. Superan, known as "Bordo" or the "bastard," were aided by the Sicilian party against the mutual enemy, and the important castle of Livadia, a town which had attained great prominence under Catalan rule and had received special privileges at the Catalan conquest, fell into their hands. Salona and the castle of Athens, however, held out, and their defenders expected their duke, the King of Aragon, to reward their loyalty by signing two series of capitulations which their envoys presented to him. Pedro IV granted many of their requests, and showed his appreciation of the glamour which must ever attach to the sovereign of the Acropolis by describing that sacred rock as "the most precious jewel that exists in the world, and such that all the kings of Christendom together could in vain imitate." But so great had been the ravages of civil war in the duchy, that he was forced to invite Greeks and Albanians to settle there, the beginning of the Albanian colonization of Attica and Boeotia. As for the Navarrese, they marched into the Morea in 1381, came to terms with the Knights of St John, already weary of their bargain, and occupied the principality in the name of Jacques de Baux. When the latter died in 1383, they became practically independent, despite the protests of rival claimants. Androasa, in Messenia, was the Navarrese capital; Coquerel, and, after him, S. Superan, ruled with the title of Vicar, which the latter in 1396 exchanged for that of Prince. Thus, at the end of the fourteenth century, a Navarrese principality was carved out of Achaia, just as at its beginning a Catalan duchy had been created in Attica.

Florentine capture of Athens

The existence of the latter was now drawing to a close. While the Duke of Athens remained an absentee at Barcelona, Nerio Acciajuoli, the adopted son of the great Niccolò, was watching every move in the game from the citadel of Corinth. Like a clever diplomatist, he prepared his plans carefully; and, when all was ready, easily found his casus belli. The important castle of Salona was at this time in the possession of a woman, and her only daughter, the young countess, was the greatest heiress of the Catalan duchies. Nerio applied, on behalf of his brother-in-law, for her hand; the offer was scornfully refused, and a Serbian princeling preferred to the Florentine upstart's kinsman. The choice of a Slav offended Franks and Greeks alike; Nerio invaded the duchies by land and sea, and in 1387 was master of the city of Athens. The Acropolis, however, held out under the command of a valiant Spaniard, Pedro de Pau, and John I of Aragon, who had by that time succeeded Pedro IV as Duke of Athens and Neopatras, wrote as late as 22 April 1388 to the Countess of Sdlona, offering her the "Castle of Athens," if she could succour its garrison. Ten days later, the Acropolis was Nerio's; Catalan domination was over. Two Catalan fiefs alone, the county of Salona and the island of Aegina, remained independent, but memorials of Catalan rule may still be seen in the castles of Livadia and Lamia and in a curious fresco at Athens. Otherwise, the Catalans melted away, as if they had never been masters of the city of the sages, till at last the title of Athens and Neopatras in the style of the Kings of Spain was the sole reminder of the Greek duchies that had once been theirs.

The epoch that had now been reached was one of change all over Greece. Two years before Nerio hoisted his flag on the Acropolis, another Florentine, Esau Buondelmonti, had put an end to Serbian rule at Joánnina by marrying the widow of Thomas Preljubovic, the former ruler of Epirus, while Esau's sister was regent of Cephalonia. Venice, as well as Florence, had increased her Greek possessions. In 1363 a Cretan insurrection, more serious than any that had yet occurred because headed by Venetian colonists, involved Tito Venier, the Marquess of Cerigo, whose family had recovered their island by intermarriage with its Greek lords. Thenceforth Cerigo remained either wholly or partially a Venetian colony. In 1386 Venetian replaced Neapolitan rule at Corfu, and in 1388 the republic purchased Argos and Nauplia, the ancient fiefs of the French Dukes of Athens, from their last representative, Marie d'Enghien. Two years later, the islands of Tenos and Myconus became Venetian by bequest of the Ghisi. In 1383 the murder of Niccolò dalle Carceri, a great Euboean baron who was also Duke of Naxos, and the usurpation of Francesco Crispo, a Lombard of Veronese origin, had installed a new dynasty in the archipelago, which not only allowed two Euboean baronies to come under Venetian influence but also made the duchy of Naxos more dependent upon the goodwill of the republic. Thus, if Florence was predominant at Athens, in Epirus, and in the county palatine, Venice was stronger than ever in Negropont and Crete, held the Argive castles as well as Modon and Coron in the Morea, and was mistress of Corfu and Cerigo. As Pteleon was a Venetian colony, and as the Marquess of Boudonitza had long belonged to the Venetian family of Zorzi, both the northern and the southern Marches of Greece were in Venetian hands. Athens itself was soon to follow.

Nerio's ambition had not been appeased by the acquisition of that city; he coveted the Argive appurtenances of the Athenian duchy in its palmy days. Accordingly, he instigated his son-in-law, the Despot Theodore Palaeologus, who then ruled at Mistra, to seize Argos before the Venetian commissioner could arrive. On this occasion, however, the wily Florentine over-reached himself; he became the prisoner of the Navarrese Company, acting on behalf of Venice, and had to strip the silver plates off the doors of the Parthenon and rob the treasury of that venerable cathedral in order to raise his ransom. In 1393 the Turks, by the conquest of Thessaly and Neopatras, became his neighbours on the north, and it became evident that the Turkish conquest of Athens, which he avoided by the payment of tribute, was only a question of time. Before the year 1394 was many weeks old, the Catalan county of Salona had become Turkish, the Dowager Countess had been handed over to the insults of the soldiery, and her daughter sent to the harem of the Sultan, who ere long was reported to have murdered the ill-fated heiress of the Fadriques. The memory of her tragic fate still lingers round the castle rock of Salona, and the loss of this western bulwark of Athens sounded like a death-knell in the ears of Nerio. King Ladislas of Naples might confer upon him the coveted title of Duke of Athens—a name to conjure with in the cultured world of Florence—but when, a few months later, the first Florentine wearer of the title lay a-dying, he foresaw clearly the fate that was hovering over his new-won dominions.

Nerio left no legitimate sons; but he had a bastard, Antonio, the child of a fair Athenian, and to him he left Thebes and Livadia, while he bequeathed the city of Athens and his valuable stud to the Parthenon, in which he desired to be buried. It was not to be expected that the Orthodox Greeks, who had recently been allowed for the first time since the Frankish conquest to have their own metropolitan resident at Athens, and had thereby recovered their national consciousness, would permit their city to become the property of a Roman Catholic cathedral. While, therefore, Nerio's two sons-in-law, the Despot Theodore I and Carlo I Tocco, were fighting over the possession of Corinth, the Metropolitan of Athens called in the Turks. The Acropolis, however, held out, and its governor, one of Nerio's executors, offered to hand over Athens to the Venetian bailie of Negropont for the republic, on condition that the ancient privileges of the Athenians should be respected. The bailie dispersed the Turks, and the home government decided to accept Athens, but on one ground alone: its proximity to the Venetian colonies, which might be injured if it were allowed to fall into Turkish or other hands. A governor, styled podestà and captain, was appointed, and so little desirable did the position seem that four months elapsed before any Venetian noble could be found to accept it. Nor need this reluctance surprise us.

Condition of Athens

Athens at the close of the fourteenth century, as we know from the contemporary account of an Italian visitor, could not have been a very desirable residence. The city contained "about a thousand hearths" but not a single inn; Turkish pirates infested the coast, and Antonio Acciajuoli harried the country­side. Still, the "Church of St Mary" was the wonder of the pious pilgrim, just as the relics which it contained had been the envy of Queen Sibylla of Aragon. Twenty of the columns of the "house of Hadrian," as the temple of the Olympian Zeus was popularly described, were then standing, and the remains of the Roman aqueduct marked, according to the local ciceroni, "the study of Aristotle." Venice, however, was not long concerned with the care of this glorious heritage which she so lightly esteemed. The bastard Antonio routed her forces in the pass between Thebes and Negropont, and after a long siege forced the gallant defenders of the Acropolis to surrender from sheer starvation. To save appearances the shrewd conqueror, having obtained all that he wanted, agreed to become the nominal vassal of the republic for "Sythines," as Athens was then called, while the Venetians compensated themselves for its actual loss by the acquisition of the two keys of the Corinthian Gulf—Lepanto, in 1407, from Paul Bona Spata, its Albanian lord, and Patras from its Latin archbishop on a five years' lease. The former of these places remained Venetian for over ninety years; the latter, with an interval, till 1419, when it was restored to ecclesiastical rule, and consequently lost. Four years later the republic purchased Salonica.

The Turkish defeat at Angora in 1402 gave Greece, like the other Christian states of the Near East, a brief respite from her doom, and the tide of Turkish conquest temporarily receded. The Despot Theodore I of Mistra, who had endeavoured to strengthen the fighting forces of the Morea by the admission of a large Albanian immigration, and by handing over Corinth to the Knights of St John, now urged the latter to occupy the county of Salona instead. Turkish rule was, however, soon restored there; and in 1414 the sister creation of the Crusaders, the historic marquessate of Boudonitza, finally disappeared from the map. Meanwhile, in the Frankish principality of Achaia a new and vigorous prince, the last of the line, had arisen. On the death of S. Superan in 1402, his widow had succeeded him, but the real power was vested in her nephew Centurione Zaccaria, a member of the Genoese family which had once ruled over Chios. Centurione, following the precedent of the first Villehardouin, deprived S. Superan's children of their birthright and, by the same legal quibble, received in 1404 the title of Prince of Achaia from the King of Naples. But the Frankish portion of the peninsula was dwindling away before the advancing Greeks. The young Despot Theodore II, who had succeeded his namesake in 1407, was a son of the Emperor Manuel II, who therefore took a double interest in a part of his diminished Empire which seemed best able to resist a Turkish attack. Manuel visited the Morea, rebuilt the six-mile rampart across the Isthmus, and reduced the lawless Mainates to order. Nor was he the only Greek who occupied himself in the welfare of the Peloponnese. It was at this time that the philosopher George Gemist Plethon, who was teaching the doctrines of Plato at Mistra, drew up his elaborate scheme for the regeneration of the country. If Plethon was an idealist, the other side of the picture is supplied by the contemporary satirist Mazares, who described in dark colours the evil qualities of the seven races then inhabiting the peninsula, the insecurity of life and property, and the faithlessness and craft of the Greek archons. Unfortunately, the last period of Moreote history before the Turkish conquest proved that the satirist was nearer the truth than the philosopher.

It was soon obvious that neither ramparts across the Isthmus nor Platonic schemes of reform could save the disunited peninsula. In 1423 the great Turkish captain Tura-Khan, accompanied by the Sultan's frightened vassal, Antonio of Athens, easily demolished the Isthmian wall, and only evacuated the Morea on condition that the rampart should be left in ruins and an annual tribute should be paid to his master. But, before the end came, it was fated that the Greeks should first realize the aspirations of two centuries, and annex all that remained of the Frankish principality. This achievement, which threw a final ray of light over the darkness of the land, was the work of Constantine Palaeologus, destined to die the last Emperor of the East. The necessity of providing this prince with an appanage in the Morea outside of his brother Theodore's possessions, was the occasion of the Greek reconquest. Constantine first obtained Glarentza by a politic marriage, and took up his residence in the famous castle of Chloumoutsi. There he prepared, with the aid of his confidential agent, the historian Phrantzes, his next move against Patras. The folly of the Church in insisting on the restitution of that important city to the archbishop was now demonstrated; the citizens opened their gates to the Greek conqueror, and the noble castle, still a splendid memorial of Latin rule, was forced by lack of provisions to surrender in 1430. Meanwhile, Constantine's brother Thomas, who had also come in quest of an appanage in the Peloponnese, had besieged Centurione at Chalandritza with such success that the Prince of Achaia was compelled to bestow upon his assailant the hand of his daughter with the remains of the principality as her dowry, reserving for himself nothing but the family barony of Kyparissia and the princely title. Two years later, in 1432, the last Frankish Prince of Achaia died, leaving a bastard behind him to dispute later on the Greek title to his dominions. For the time, however, this man was a fugitive, and the whole peninsula was at last in Greek hands, save where the lion of St Mark waved over Nauplia and Argos in the east, and over the ancient colonies of Modon and Coron, recently extended to include Navarino, in the south-west. The three brothers divided the rest of the Morea between them; Theodore II continued to reside at Mistril, Constantine removed his abode to Kalavryta, and Thomas received in exchange Glarentza as his capital.

Turkish capture of Joánnina

The triumph of the Greeks in the Morea was contemporaneous with two far more lasting Turkish conquests in the north. The year 1430, fatal to the Franks of Achaia, saw the fall of both Salonica and Joánina. Salonica had been for seven short years a Venetian colony, while Joánnina with Epirus, seized by an Albanian chief after Esau Buondelmonti's death in 1408, had been conquered by Esau's nephew and rightful heir, Carlo I Tocco of Cephalonia, who had thus revived the former dominion of the Orsini over the islands and the mainland of north-western Greece. "In military and administrative ability, he was," according to the testimony of Chalcocondyles, "inferior to none of his contemporaries," while his masterful consort, a true daughter of the first Florentine Duke of Athens, was regarded as the most remarkable woman of the Latin-Orient. Froissart extolled her magnificent hospitality, and described her island-court as a sort of fairyland. But Carlo's death without legitimate sons in 1429 exposed his hitherto compact state to the dissensions of his five bastards and his nephew Carlo II. One of the former had the baseness to invoke the aid of the Turks, and the surrender of Joannina was the result of his selfishness. Carlo II was allowed to retain the rest of Epirus, with Acarnania and his islands, but from that day till 1913 the city of Joannina with its beautiful lake never ceased to be a part of the Ottoman Empire—another example of Christian jealousies.

Meanwhile, amidst the fall of principalities and the annexation of flourishing cities, the statesmanlike policy of Antonio Acciajuoli had maintained the practical independence of the Athenian duchy. An occasional Turkish raid, such as that which had forced him to accompany the Ottoman troops to the Morea, reminded him that diplomacy must sometimes bow to force; and once, the claim of Alfonso V of Aragon and Sicily to this former Catalan colony gave him momentary alarm. But, with these exceptions, his long reign was a period of almost unbroken prosperity. Himself an honorary citizen of his family's old home of Florence, he encouraged Florentine trade, and welcomed Florentine families at his court, now established in the Propylaea instead of at Thebes. The Athenian history of the time, interspersed with such names as Medici, Pitti, and Machiavelli, reads like a chapter of the Tuscan annals, and the life of the Florentine family party which assembled there was almost as agreeable as it would have been by the banks of the Arno. Good shooting and good mounts from the famous Acciajuoli stable were to be had, and one of the visitors wrote with enthusiasm that fairer land nor fairer fortress" than Attica and the Acropolis could nowhere else be seen. Nor did the Acciajuoli forget to strengthen the fortifications of their capital; for to them may be ascribed the "Frankish tower" which once stood on the Acropolis, and perhaps the so-called "wall of Valerian" which may still be seen in the city. Even culture began to show signs of life in Florentine Athens; it was under Antonio that Ladnikos Chalcocondyles, the last Athenian historian, and his scholarly brother Demetrius, were born, and a young Italian sought at Athens and Joánnina a chair of any science that would bring him in an income.

Constantine Palaeologus in Greece

When, however, in 1435 Antonio I was one morning found dead in his bed, two parties, one Latin, one Greek, disputed the succession. The Latin candidate to the ducal dignity, young Nerio Acciajuoli, whom the childless duke had adopted as his heir, occupied the city, while the dowager duchess, a noble Greek dame, and her kinsman, the father of the historian Chalcocondyles, held the castle. The Greek party entered into negotiations with the Sultan on the one hand and with Constantine Palaeologus on the other, offering a bribe to the former and the duchy to the latter. Both schemes failed, and peace was secured by the marriage of Antonio's widow with his heir. But Nerio II soon made himself unpopular by his arrogance, and was deprived of the throne by his brother Antonio II. On the death of the latter, however, in 1441, he returned to his palace on the Acropolis, where he received a visit from Cyriacus of Ancona, the first archaeologist who had set foot in Athens since the conquest. But Nerio had occupations more serious than archaeology. In the year of this very visit the Despot Constantine threatened the existence of his tottering state. Theodore II had by that time retired from Mistra to the Sea of Marmora, so as to secure the succession to the imperial throne, while Constantine and Thomas divided the Morea between them. At this moment, the news of Hunyadi's successes over the Turks encouraged Constantine to ravage Boeotia and occupy Thebes. A large part of northern Greece declared for the Greek prince, and Cardinal Bessarion dreamed of a resurrection of the ancient glories of Hellas. Nerio escaped destruction by promising tribute, but thereby called down upon himself the vengeance of the Turks, who, after the rout of the Christian forces at Varna, were able to turn their attention to Greece. Placed between Turk and Greek, the wretched puppet on the Acropolis threw in his lot with the former, and joined the Sultan in invading the Morea. In 1446 Murad II stormed the restored Isthmian wall, ravaged the country behind it, and retired to Thebes with a vast train of captives and the promise of a tribute. All Constantine's recent conquests in the north were lost again, and the death of the Emperor John VI in 1448 ended that adventurous prince's direct connexion with Greece proper. On 6 January 1449 the last Emperor of the East was crowned at Mistra; upon his brother Demetrius he bestowed his own previous government, and in vain bade both him and Thomas live in unity and brotherly love, the sole means of saving the Morea.

Mahomet II in the Morea

Scarcely had he been crowned than the Christian rulers of Greece received another warning of their fate, the annexation by the Turks of all the continental dominions of the Tocco dynasty save three fortresses. Four years later came the awful news that Constantinople had fallen and that the Emperor was slain. The terrified Despots of the Morea, whose first impulse had been flight to Italy, purchased a reprieve by the promise of tribute, while the Albanian colonists, under the leadership of Peter Boua, "the lame," rose against their feeble rulers, and Giovanni Asan, the bastard son of the last Prince of Achaia, raised the standard of a second revolt. Turkish aid was required to suppress these insurrections, for it was the policy of Mahomet II to play off one Christian race against the other, and so weaken them both, till a suitable moment should arrive for annexing Greek and Albanian, Orthodox and Roman Catholic, to his Empire. Giovanni Asan died in Rome, a pensioner of the Pope, like the Despot Thomas whom he had sought to dethrone. For a few more years, however, the two despots remained in possession of their respective provinces, which they might have retained for their lives had they not allowed the promised tribute to fall into arrears. At last Mahomet's patience was exhausted; he sent an ultimatum; and when Thomas refused to pay, he entered the Morea in 1458 at the head of an army. The despots fled at his approach; Acrocorinth surrendered after a gallant resistance; and the cession of about one-third of the peninsula, including Corinth, Patras, and Kalavryta, as well as an annual tribute, were the conditions under which alone Mahomet would allow the two brothers a further respite. Then the conqueror set out for Athens, the city which he longed to visit, and which the governor of Thessaly, Omar, son of Tura-Khan, had captured two years before the campaign in the Morea.

Florentine rule at Athens had ended in one of those domestic tragedies of which the history of the Franks in Greece was so productive. Nerio II, left a widower, had married a beautiful Venetian, daughter of the baron of Karystos, by whom he had a son Francesco. When his father died in 1451, this child was still a minor, and his mother assumed the regency with the consent of the Sultan. But the duchess had other passions besides the love of power. She became enamoured of a young Venetian noble, Bartolomeo Contarini, who chanced to visit her capital, and bade him share her couch and throne. Contarini had a wife at home, but poison freed him of that encumbrance, and he returned to the palace on the Acropolis to wed the tragic widow. But the Athenians were not minded to support this Venetian usurpation. They complained to Mahomet, who cited Contarini and his stepson to appear before his court, where a dangerous rival awaited them in the person of the former Duke Antonio II's only son Franco, a special favourite of the Sultan.

Turkish capture of Athens

The real master of Athens ordered the deposition of the duchess and her husband; Francesco disappeared, and Franco ruled, by Mahomet's good pleasure, at Athens. The first act of the new ruler was to throw the duchess into the dungeons of Megara, where she was mysteriously murdered by his orders. Contarini, enraged at her loss, begged Mahomet to punish his puppet, and the Sultan, thinking that the time had come to make an end of Latin rule at Athens, ordered Omar to march against that city. On 4 June 1456 the lower town fell into the hands of the Turks; but the Acropolis, where Franco lay, held out until Omar offered him, in the name of his master, Thebes with the rest of Boeotia, if he would surrender. Then the last duke who ever held court in the Propylaea and the last Latin archbishop who ever performed Mass in the Parthenon left the castle for ever, and when Mahomet returned in triumph from the Morea in the autumn of 1458, he received from the Abbot of Kaisariane the keys of the city. The Athenians obtained humane treatment and various privileges, thanks to the respect which the cultured conqueror felt for their ancestors and the interest which he showed in their monuments, while in Boeotia Franco lingered on a little longer as "Lord of Thebes."

Scarcely had Mahomet left Greece than the two despicable Despots of the Morea, whom no experience could teach that honesty and unity constituted their sole hope of safety, resumed their quarrels and intrigues. The inability of Thomas to raise the stipulated tribute was the final stroke which made the Sultan resolve to have done once and for all with both these faithless rulers. In 1460 he a second time entered the Morea; Mistra, with Demetrius inside it, surrendered; but the impregnable rock of Monemvasia defied the Turkish menaces, while Thomas, its absent lord, sailed with his wife and family for Corfu and thence to Italy. At this the Monemvasiotes invited first a Catalan corsair and then the Pope to take them under his protection; till in 1464 they found salvation by becoming subjects of Venice, the sole Christian state whose colours broke the monotony of Turkish rule in the Morea. Only one man worthy of the name, Graitzas Palaeologus, was found there to keep flying the flag of Greek independence over the mountain-fortress of Salmenikcin, and when he at last capitulated in 1461, the last vestige of Greek rule disappeared from the peninsula. As for the two Despots, Thomas died in Rome in 1465; while Demetrius, after receiving the islands of Imbros and Lemnos and the mart of Aenus, the former dominion of the Gattilusi, as compensation for the loss of his province in the Morea, fell into the disfavour of his master, and finished his days in 1470 as a monk. Thomas’ elder son Andrew, after a career of dissipation, married a Roman prostitute, and died in abject poverty in 1502, while the younger accepted the charity of his father's conqueror. Such was the inglorious end of the last Greek princes of the Morea.

The Gattilusi of Lesbos 

The annexation of the last fragments of the Athenian duchy followed the conquest of the two Greek principalities in the Peloponnese. On his way home Mahomet revisited Athens, where he was informed of a plot to restore Franco. The Sultan thereupon ordered Zagan, his governor in the Morea, to kill the "Lord of Thebes." The order was promptly executed, and the Turkish guards strangled the unsuspecting Franco on his way back from the pasha's tent; Thebes and the rest of Boeotia became Turkish, and the sons of the last Florentine ruler were enrolled among the janissaries. Finally, two of the three continental fortresses held by Leonardo III Tocco were captured, and in 1462 the rule of the Gattilusi ceased to exist in Lesbos. Of all the Latin lords of the Levant this Genoese family had been perhaps the most distinguished for its toleration and its culture. Even Francesco, the founder of the dynasty, had come among the islanders not in the guise of a foreign conqueror but as the brother-in-law of the Greek Emperor. Speaking the language of his subjects, he allowed the national Church, which was that of his consort, to retain its local hierarchy, and his successors followed his example. The marriages of ladies of the family with Byzantine, Trapezuntine, and Serbian' princes maintained this tendency, while the love of archaeology displayed by Dorino Gattilusio aroused the admiration of Cyriacus of Ancona; and also the historian Ducas was the secretary of his son Domenico. Their abundant coinage proves the commercial prosperity of the little state ruled by the lords of Lesbos and their relatives. Besides Lesbos, its original nucleus, it included at its zenith in the fifteenth century the islands of Lemnos, Imbros, Thasos, and Samothrace, as well as Aenus on the mainland. By 1456, however, Mahomet II had captured all these places except Lesbos, and six years later that island was taken and its last princeling was strangled, as he had likewise strangled his brother. Thus poetic justice closed the career of the Lesbian Latins.

After these sweeping Turkish conquests the only Latin possessions left on the mainland of Greece were the four groups of Venetian colonies —Coron, Modon, and Navarino in the south, Argos and Nauplia on the west, Lepanto at the mouth of the Corinthian, and Pteleon at that of the Pagasaean Gulf—the Papal fortress of Monemvasia (soon likewise to become Venetian); and the castle of Vónitza on the Gulf of Arta, the last possession of Leonardo Tocco on the continent. But in the islands there was still much Latin territory. While Venice held Corfu and Cerigo, Crete and Negropont, Tenos and Myconus, she had succeeded the Catalan family of Caopena in Aegina in 1451, and had occupied the northern Sporades in 1453. The Genoese still administered Chios and Famagosta, the latter soon to be restored to the still existing kingdom of Cyprus. The Knights of St John were still unconquered in Rhodes; the Dukes of the Archipelago were still secure in Naxos ; and Leonardo Tocco still governed the old county palatine of Cephalonia. It now remains to describe the fate of these outworks of Christendom

The dynasty of Tocco

A long war which broke out in 1462 between Venice and the Turks led to the temporary conquest of a large part of the Morea by the Venetians, of the islands that had so lately belonged to the Gattilusi, and of the city of Athens. But these exploits of Victor Cappello had no permanent effect; whereas in 1470 Venice lost, through the culpable hesitation of Canale, another of her admirals, the city of Negropont and the rest of that fine island. The heroism of Erizzo, its brave defender, sawn asunder by order of Mahomet II, afforded a splendid but useless contrast to the incapacity of his fellow-officer. Venice emerged in 1479 from the long war with a diminished colonial empire; she ceded all her recent conquests, and by the loss of Argos, Pteleon, and Negropont was poorer than when she began the contest. The acquisition of Cyprus in 1489 was some compensation for these misfortunes. There James II, having driven the Genoese from Famagosta, had married Caterina Cornaro, an adopted daughter of the Venetian republic. After the death of his posthumous son, James III, the Queen-Dowager continued for a time to govern the island under the guidance of Venice; then, like a dutiful daughter, she gave the real sovereignty to her mother-country, while her rival, Queen Charlotte, left nothing save the barren title of "King of Cyprus" to the house of Savoy.

Meanwhile, another Latin dynasty, that of Tocco, had disappeared from the Ionian Islands, at that time both populous and fertile. Wedded to a niece of King Ferdinand I of Naples, Leonardo III had thereby become an object of suspicion to Venice, and the republic accordingly sacrificed him to the Turks by leaving him out of the treaty of peace which had ended the long war. Accordingly, in 1479, the Turks, seizing upon a slight to one of their officials as a pretext, annexed all the four islands and the mainland fortress of Vónitza, which then comprised this ancient Italian state. Like most of the princely exiles from the Near East, Leonardo and his family found refuge in Italy, whence his brother Antonio succeeded in making a successful raid upon Cephalonia and Zante. Once again, however, the Tocco dynasty had to reckon with Venice. The jealous republic, long mistress of Corfu, Paxo, and Cerigo, coveted the "flower of the Levant" and its big neighbour. Both islands were occupied by the Venetians who, though forced to cede Cephalonia to the Sultan, managed, on payment of a tribute, to keep Zante from that time down to the fall of the republic. The Tocco family long flourished at Naples, almost the sole example of medieval rulers of Greece who prospered in exile, if such it could be called, and the last representative of the honours and titles of this ancient house, the Duke of Regina, died only in 1908.

A twenty years' peace followed the disastrous Turco-Venetian war, but when in 1499 hostilities were resumed, the Turks made further gains in Greece at the republic's expense. Lepanto was lost in that year, and Modon and Coron with Navarino in the following, and great was the lamentation at home when it was known that Mod on, the half­way house between Venice and the East, had fallen. While Zante took its place as a port of call, the republic in the same year recovered and thenceforth permanently kept Cephalonia, and temporarily obtained Santa Mavra. The final blow to her colonies in the Morea was dealt by the next Turco-Venetian war, which lasted from 1537 to 1540. Corfu successfully resisted the first of her two great Turkish sieges, but the war cost the republic Nauplia and Monemvasia, Aegina, Myconus, and the northern Sporades. Thenceforth till the time of Morosini she ceased to be a continental power in Greece; but she still retained six out of the seven Ionian Islands, as well as Crete, Cyprus, and Tenos. Moreover, in the Aegean, the duchy of Naxos, founded but no longer ruled by her adventurous sons, lingered on, the last surviving fief of the long extinct Empire of Romania, while the Genoese Company still managed Chios.

The history of the Duchy of the Archipelago, perhaps the most romantic creation of the Middle Ages, is largely personal and centres in the doings of the dukes and the small island-barons. Several of the latter, whom Licario had dispossessed, recovered their lost islands about the beginning of the fourteenth century, while new families arrived at the same time and settled there. The islanders, however, suffered severely from Turkish raids, which grew increasingly frequent, while, under the Crispo dynasty, Venice became more and more predominant in their affairs, twice taking over the government of Naxos, Andros, and Paros in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. But the republic was not always able to aid her distant children, who, after the Turkish capture of Rhodes and the departure of the Knights on New Year's Day 1523, were deprived of another bulwark against the Asiatic invasion. The war, which broke out between Venice and the Sultan fourteen years later, involved the downfall of three insular dynasties, those of the Michieli, the Pisani, and the Quirini, while the Duke of the Archipelago, Giovanni IV Crispo, only saved his tottering throne at Naxos from the blows of the terrible Khair-ad-Din Barbarossa, who commanded the Turkish fleet, by the humiliating payment of a tribute. The peace of 1540 left only three families, the Crispi, the Sommaripa, and the Gozzadini, still reigning in the Aegean, and it is remarkable that not one of the three was of Venetian origin. This fact and the loss of all the Venetian colonies except Tenos in the Archipelago thenceforth naturally diminished the political interests of the republic in that sea. In vain the duke addressed a solemn appeal to the princes of Christendom to forget their mutual differences and unite against the Turks, emphasizing his arguments by a quotation from his great "ancestor," Sallustius Crispus, a proof alike of his literary culture and of his family pride.

Turkish capture of Naxos and Chios

Fortunately for himself he ended his reign, the longest of any duke of Naxos, before the final catastrophe. In 1566, however, his son and successor, Giacomo IV, a feeble debauchee, so disgusted the Greeks, who formed the overwhelming majority of his subjects, that they invited the Sultan to depose him. Piale Pasha thereupon occupied Naxos without opposition, and the Latin Duchy of the Archipelago ceased to exist. Selim II bestowed this picturesque state upon his Jewish favourite, Joseph Nasi, who never visited his insular dominions, but governed them through his deputy, a Spanish Jew, Francesco Coronello. With Nasi's death in 1579 the Hebrew sway over the Cyclades ended, and the duchy was annexed to the Turkish Empire. One petty Latin dynasty, however, that of the Gozzadini of Bologna, which had been restored in 1571, the year of Lepanto, continued to rule far into the seventeenth century. This curious survival of Italian authority in seven small islands ended in 1617, but Tenos remained a Venetian colony for nearly a hundred years longer.

Genoese domination over Chios terminated in the same year as the Latin duchy of Naxos, and by the same hand. The trading company of the Giustiniani managed at its zenith both Chios and the islands of Psard, Samos, and Icaria (this last entrusted to one of its members, Count Arangio) as well as the two towns of Phocaea on the coast of Asia Minor with their rich alum mines. For a long time the payment of a tribute secured immunity from a Turkish invasion, and the chief events of Chiote history were the declaration of independence in 1408, when Genoa became French, and a war with Venice. But Mahomet II was anxious for an excuse to annex this little state; in 1455 the Turks took both the Phocaeas; in 1475 the Company abandoned Psará and Samos, and in 1481 allowed the Knights of St John to occupy Icaria, the neglected county of the Arangio family. Thus reduced to the island of Chios alone, the maona merely survived by the prompt payment of what the Sultans chose to demand, till at last its financial condition made it no longer in a position to raise the amount of the tribute. In 1566 Piale descended upon the island and added it to the empire of his master. Genoa struck not a blow in defence of her sons, nor did she ever pay the sum which she had guaranteed to them in the event of the loss of Chios.

History of Cyprus

Five years after the fall of Chios and Naxos, Cyprus was lost. The history of this island was throughout the Frankish period so completely detached, save at rare intervals, from that of the rest of the Hellenic world, that it seems most convenient to treat it separately. It falls naturally into three sharply-defined epochs: that of prosperity under the Lusignan dynasty down to the death of Peter I in 1369, that of decline under the remaining princes of that house, and that of colonial dependence upon the Venetian republic. Guy de Lusignan, ex-King of Jerusalem, having lost all chance of recovering that dignity, gladly purchased Cyprus from Richard I in 1192, after the gran rifiuto of the Templars, and in his short reign laid the foundations of the feudal system in the island. The Franks naturally became, as in Greece, predominant alike in Church and State; the well-to-do Greeks were reduced to the condition of vassals, the peasants remained serfs. His brother and successor Amaury completed his work, organising the Latin Church of Cyprus with its hierarchy dependent upon the Archbishop of Nicosia, introducing the feudal code of Jerusalem, and striving to weaken the power of the Cypriote nobles, none of whom had the right, exercised by some of the Frankish barons in Greece, of coining money for their own use. Anxious to increase his authority, he exchanged the title of "Lord of Cyprus," borne by his brother, for that of "King," which he persuaded the Western Emperor to bestow upon him in 1197, and in the following year added to it the coveted but empty honour of King of Jerusalem. This double accession of dignity proved, however, to be detrimental to the interests of Cyprus; for the former distinction involved the suzerainty of the Western Emperor over the island and led to the subsequent civil war, while the latter diverted the attention of Amaury to Syrian affairs. Another event of lasting influence upon the country was the privilege granted in 1218 to the Genoese, who thus began their connexion with the island. A time of much trouble began in 1228, when the Emperor Frederick II, then on his way to the Holy Land, landed in Cyprus, and claimed suzerainty over the young King Henry I. A long struggle, known as "the Lombard war," ensued between the National party under John of Ibelin, the Regent, and "the Lombards," as the imperialists were called. The Nationalists were at last successful, and the imperial suzerainty was destroyed for ever. After the close of this conflict the island became very prosperous, and the loss of St Jean d'Acre, the last stronghold of the Crusaders in Syria, in 1291, was really a benefit to the Cypriotes, because their sovereigns need no longer concern themselves with the affairs of the phantom kingdom of Jerusalem. From 1269, however, down to the end of their dynasty, the sovereigns of Cyprus continued to bear the title of "King of Jerusalem," and it became the custom to hold a double coronation, one at Nicosia, the Cypriote capital, and the other at Famagosta as representing the Holy City. Thus isolated from the continent, the Cypriote court became, in 1306, a prey to the ambition of Amaury de Lusignan, titular Prince of Tyre, who deposed his brother Henry II, the "beast" of Dante', and drove him into exile. This brief usurpation of the regency (for he was assassinated in 1310) was remarkable for the commercial concessions made to the Venetians, who thus became the rivals of the Genoese and established a basis for their future dominion over the island.

The Genoese in Cyprus

The accession of Peter I in 1359, the most valiant and adventurous of the Lusignan kings, a man who should have been born in the days of the Crusades, plunged Cyprus into a vigorous foreign policy, which contrasted with the concentration of the last two generations in internal politics. The small Turkish princes of Cilicia became his tributaries, and the Cilician fortress of Gorigos remained in Cypriote hands till 1448. Flushed by these successes, he dreamed of recovering the Holy Land, and undertook two long European tours for the purpose of exciting interest in this new crusade. But, although he journeyed as far as London, he received no real support save from the Knights of Rhodes, with whose aid he took Alexandria. In 1368 he was offered the crown of Lesser, or Cilician, Armenia, but was assassinated in the following year on his way to take it—the victim of conjugal infidelity and aristocratic intrigues. With his death the kingdom of Cyprus began to decline, and the two rival Italian republics, Genoa and subsequently Venice, became the real powers behind the throne.

The coronation of Peter II as King of Jerusalem at Famagosta on 2 October 1372 marked the first downward step. A foolish question of precedence between the Genoese consul and the Venetian bailie led to the sack of the Genoese warehouses by the mob. A Genoese fleet under Pietro di Campofregoso arrived off Famagosta; the two coronation cities and the king were captured. Peter II had to purchase his freedom on 21 October 1374 by promising to pay a huge indemnity and by ceding Famagosta, the commercial capital of the island, to his captors until this sum should be paid. In Genoese hands the city became the chief emporium of the Levantine trade, and a clause in the treaty prevented the Kings of Cyprus from creating another port which might interfere with the Genoese monopoly. When Peter II died, circumstances enabled the astute merchant-republic to obtain a confirmation of this humiliating convention from his uncle and successor, James I, then still a hostage at Genoa. The new king was not released till he had paid up his predecessor's arrears and guaranteed to the Genoese the possession of Famagosta, nor was his acquisition of the barren title of King of Armenia by the death of Leo VI, the last native sovereign, in 1393, any real compensation for the loss of the richest city in Cyprus. Thenceforth all his successors wore the three crowns of Cyprus, Jerusalem, and Armenia, although of the former Armenian kingdom they held nothing except the castle of Gorigos. His son Janus, whose name denoted his humiliating birth as a captive at Genoa, tried in vain to drive the foreigners out of Famagosta, with the sole result that he was forced in 1414 to sign another onerous treaty. But this was not the only misfortune of this rash prince. By his encouragement of Christian pirates, who preyed upon the Egyptian coast, he so greatly irritated the Sultan of that country, that the latter, probably instigated by the Genoese, landed in Cyprus, burnt Nicosia, and captured Janus at the battle of Choirokoitia in 1426. An annual tribute to Egypt was one of the conditions of his ransom and thenceforth formed a constant charge upon the Cypriote revenues.

Cyprus becomes a Venetian colony

The next reign, that of the feeble John II, marked the further decline of Latin authority and the revival of Hellenism, phenomena which we observed in the contemporary history of the Morea. Indeed, the influence of the Moreote court of Mistra then made itself felt in Cyprus also, for the real power behind the throne was Queen Helen, daughter of the Despot Theodore II, a masterful woman, who naturally favoured the claims advanced by the clergy of her own race and creed to supremacy over the hitherto dominant Church. The loss of Gorigos in 1448 was a smaller misfortune than her quarrel with the most dangerous man in the kingdom, the bastard James, himself the offspring of a Moreote mother, who had been compelled as a boy to accept the archbishopric of Nicosia. On the death of John II in 1458, his daughter, the brave young Queen Charlotte, feebly supported by her husband, Louis of Savoy, in vain attempted to combat the rival forces of the bastard, seconded by the Sultan of Egypt. By 1460 her ruthless adversary had already occupied most of the island and assumed the royal style of James II, but the strong castle of Cerines held out for the queen three years longer. Charlotte then withdrew to her husband's land, while the bastard acquired popularity by achieving, in 1464, the ardent wish of his last four predecessors, the recapture of Famagosta, held since 1447 by the Bank of St George, and the consequent abolition of the Genoese monopoly of Cypriote commerce. With characteristic cruelty he completed this conquest by the massacre of the Mamluks, who had assisted him in his campaign and for whom he had no further use. But if it had been reserved for this bold and unscrupulous usurper to end the galling commercial predominance of one Italian republic, it was also his fate to prepare the way for the political hegemony of another. He had rid his country of Genoa, only by his marriage with Caterina Cornaro, niece of a wealthy Venetian sugar-planter resident in Cyprus, to place it under the influence of Venice, whose adopted daughter his consort was. His premature death, in 1473, followed by that of his posthumous child, James III, a year later, left his widow queen in name but the republic regent in fact, till at last, in 1489, Venice acquired the nominal as well as the actual sovereignty of the coveted island.

The prosperity of Cyprus had, however, begun to wane before the island became a Venetian colony. It was still saddled with the Egyptian tribute; except for the revenues of its salt-pans it yielded little; and a traveller who visited it at this period described its barrenness and depopulation, which the Venetians in vain tried to remedy by colonization. The republic exacted a hard measure of tithes and forced labour from the people, while to the last there lingered on the descendants of the French nobles, whose serfs were little better than slaves. In these circumstances, it cannot be considered as remarkable that the Greeks should have welcomed the Turks as deliverers, although they found when too late that Turkish officials were more rapacious than Venetian governors. Selim II, whose bibulous propensities led him to desire the conquest of an island famous for its rich vintage, had promised to bestow on his favourite Nasi, the Jewish Duke of Naxos, the crown of Cyprus, of which he might claim to be suzerain in virtue of the Turkish annexation of Egypt and the consequent transference of the tribute to the Porte. While the ambitious Jew painted in anticipation the arms and title of King of Cyprus in his house, he urged his willing patron to perform his promise by the conquest of this Venetian colony. Accordingly, in 1570, a Turkish fleet appeared off the island; Nicosia, the residence of the Venetian governor, was taken on 9 September, most of the other towns surrendered, but Famagosta held out till, on 1 August 1571, famine forced its heroic defender Bragadino to yield. The name of this brave officer, flayed alive at Famagosta, will ever be remembered, with that of Erizzo, sawn asunder a century earlier at Negropont, as a splendid example of that devotion to duty which Venice demanded from the defenders of her colonial Empire.

Loss of the last Venetian colonies

Even after the loss of Cyprus, the republic still retained for nearly a century more her much older colony of Crete. The Cretan insurrection of 1363 had been followed by a long period of peace; but after the Turkish conquest of Negropont the Venetians became alarmed for the safety of their other great island. When Cyprus became also Venetian it served as an outpost of Candia, and its capture was therefore felt to have weakened the republic's position in Crete. It was at this period that Venice set to work to restore the fortifications of the island, and sent Foscarini on his celebrated mission to redress the grievances of the islanders. The old feudal military service, which had fallen into abeyance, was revived; exemptions were curtailed; the Jews regarded the commissioner as their enemy, the peasants looked on him as their friend. But vested interests and the fanaticism of the Orthodox clergy proved stubborn obstacles to the reformer. The population diminished, the island cost more than it yielded, and the Cretans avowed their preference for the Turkish rule which was destined to be their lot. In 1669, after a war that had lasted well-nigh a quarter of a century, "Troy's rival," Candia, fell, and only the three fortresses of Grabusa, Suda, and Spina­longa remained in Venetian hands—the first till 1691, the two last till 1715, when Tenos also, the last Venetian island in the Aegean, was lost. Venice, however, still retained the Ionian Islands, including Santa Mavra, reconquered by Morosini in 1684, down to the fall of the republic in 1797, when the career of Franks and Venetians in Greek lands, which had begun six centuries earlier, ended with the short-lived triumph of Bonaparte, the self-constituted heir of both.

Frankish society

The Frankish domination in Greece is certainly the most romantic period of her history. The brilliant courts of Thebes and Nicosia, the gaieties of Naxos and Negropont, the tournament of Corinth, the hunting parties of Attica, Cyprus, and the Morea, and the pleasaunces of Elis, were created by the Franks and perished with them. The grass-grown ruins of Glarentza were then a flourishing mart with its own weights and measures, the residence of Italian bankers, and known all over the Mediterranean; the palace of Mistra, now the haunt of tortoises and sheep, was then a princely residence, second to Constantinople alone. Splendid castles in marvellous sites, like Passava, Chloumotitsi, and Dieu d'Amour, remind us how the Frank nobles lived and fought, while dismantled abbeys by fair streams or above azure seas, like Isova and Bella Paise, tell us how the Latin monks fared in these lands of their adoption. But, except in the Cyclades and the Ionian Islands, the Frankish conquest has left little mark upon the character and institutions of the people. With the exception of the half-castes, a despised breed which usually sided with the Greeks, the two races had few points of contact and never really amalgamated. They differed in origin, in creed, in customs, and, at first, in language, and the tact of many Frankish rulers did not succeed in bridging the impassable chasm which Nature has placed between East and West. In a word, the Frankish conquest of Greece did not succeed in becoming a permanent factor in Greek life, because it was unnatural. Here and there, especially in the case of the Cephalonian Orsini, Latin princes became hellenised, adopting the religion and language of their subjects, only in such cases, as is usual, to assimilate their vices without their virtues. Even in the Cyclades, where the Latin element is still considerable and the Roman Church is still powerful, the picturesque adventurers who built their castles above marine volcanoes or out of classical temples were to the last a foreign garrison, while in Crete the existence, much rarer elsewhere, of a con­siderable native aristocracy furnished leaders for that long series of revolts against foreign authority which was a peculiar feature of Cretan history. One lesson, however, the Greeks of the Morea learnt from the Franks, a lesson to which they owe in some measure their later independence—that of fighting. For, if the Frankish conquest found the Greeks an unwarlike race, the Turkish conquest was disturbed by continual insurrections. Of the influence of the Latin domination upon the common language of the country there is abundant evidence, especially in the islands, where Venetian authority lingered longest. Frankish Greece has bequeathed to us in literature the curious Chronicle of the Morea, a work extant in four languages and even more valuable for social and legal than for political history; while Crete and Corfu produced romances drawn from Western models. In art the influence of Venice may still be seen at Monemvasia, Andros, and Zante, whereas Crete gave birth to a native school of painting which owed nothing to foreign influence, and in the frescoes of Geraki we have perhaps the sole surviving portraits of Frankish nobles on the soil of Greece. That the Latin masters of the country were not indifferent to culture, we know, however, from several instances. An Orsini patronising a vernacular version of Homer, a Giustiniani and a Gattilusio interested in archaeology, a Sommaripa excavating statues, a Tocco facilitating a foreign savant's search for inscriptions, a Crispo quoting Sallust, a Ghisi studying the Chronicle of the Morea, an Archbishop of Corinth translating Aristotle—such are a few of the figures of this by no means barbarous epoch, to which we owe some of the best Byzantine historians—the Athenian Chalcocondyles, the Lesbian llucas, the Imbrian Critobulus, the Monemvasiote Phrantzes, men not only of letters but of affairs. Even under the Catalans at Athens we find a bishop possessed of a library, while Mistra in the time of the Palaeologi was a centre of philosophic culture as the residence of Plethon. "New France" was therefore, especially at its zenith, a land more brilliant and more prosperous than either the Byzantine provinces out of which it was formed or the Turkish provinces which succeeded it. But the Franks, like their successors, could neither absorb nor suppress that marvellous Greek nationality which has survived through the vicissitudes of more than twenty centuries. Thus the motley sway of Frenchmen and Italians, Catalans and Navarrese, Flemings and Germans, over the classic home of literature and the arts has remained save in a few cases merely a long episode in the long history of Greece, but still an episode curious above all others from its strange contrasts, its unexpected juxtapositions of races and civilisations, its dramatic surprises, and its sudden and tragic reverses of fortune.





William de Champlitte 1205.

Robert of Taranto 1346

Geoffrey I de Villehardouin. Bailie 1209; prince 1210.

Marie de Bourbon 1364.

Geoffrey II de Villehardouin 1218

Philip II of Taranto 1370.

William de Villehardouin 1246.

Joanna I of Naples 1374.

Charles I of Anjou 1278.

Otto of Brunswick 1376.

Charles II of Anjou 1285.

[Knights of St John-1377-81.]

Isabelle de Villehardouin 1289.

Jacques de Baux 1381.

With Florent of Hainault 1289.

With Philip of Savoy 1301.


Philip I of Taranto 1307.

Matilda of Hainault 1313.

Mahiot de Coquerel, vicar 1383.

With Louis of Burgundy 1313

Bordo de S. Superan. Vicar 1386; prince 1396

John of Gravina 1318.

Maria Zaccaria 1402.

Catherine of Valois-Robert of Taranto 1333.

Centurione Zaccaria 1404-32.



Othon de la Roche, Megaskyr 1205

Pedro IV of Aragon 1377

Guy I. Megaskyr 1225; duke 1260.

John I of Aragon 1387.

John 1 1263.

William 1280.

Guy II 1287.

Nerio I Acciajuoli. Lord of Athens 1388; duke 1394.

Walter of Brienne 1309.


Roger Deslaur, chief of the Catalan Company 1311.

Antonio I 1402.

Manfred 1312.

Nerio II 1435.

William 1317.

Antonio II 1439.

John of Randazzo 1338.

Nerio II (restored) 1441.

Frederick of Randazzo 1348.

Francesco 1451.

Frederick III of Sicily 1355.

Franco 1455-6; "Lord of Thebes" 1456 -60.



Michael I Angelus 1204

Nicephorus II 1335-58.[Byzantine 1336-49 ; Serbian 1349-56. ]

Theodore 1214. Emperor of Salonica 1223.

Manuel 1230. Emperor of Salonica 1230.

Michael II 1236.

Simeon Uros 1358.

Nicephorus I 1271.

Thomas Preljubovic 1367.

Thomas 1296

Maria Angelina 1385.

Esau Buondelmonti 1386-1408.

Nicholas Orsini 1318.

[Albanians-1408-18; then united with Cephalonia.]

John II Orsini 1323.


John I Angelus 1271.

John II 1303-18.

Constantine 1295.

[United with Athens.]




Matteo Orsini 1194.

Leonardo I Tocco 1357.

Richard. Before 1264.

Carlo I. Before 1377.

John I 1303.

Carlo II 1429.

Nicholas 1317.

Leonardo III 1448-79.

John II 1323.

Antonio 1481-3.

[Angevins (united with Achaia) 1324-57.]









Marco I Sanudo 1207.

Fiorenza 1361.

Angelo c. 1227.

With Niccole II Sanudo "Spezza­banda " 1364.

Marco II 1262.

Niccolò III dalle Carceri 1371.

Guglielmo I 1303.

Francesco I Crispo 1383.

Niccolò I 1323.

Giovanni I 1341.


Giacomo I 1397

Venice 1494-1500

Giacomo II 1418

Franesco III 1500

Giacomo II 1433

venice 1511-17

Gian Giacomo 1447

Giovanni IV 1517

Guglielmo II 1453

Giovanni IV 1564-6

Francesco II 1463

Giacomo III 1463

Giovanni III 1480





Robert of Taranto 1346.

Despots of Epirus 1214-59.

Marie de Bourbon 1364.

Manfred of Sicily 1259-66.

Philip II of Taranto 1364

Chinardo 1266.

Joanna I of Naples 1373.

Charles I of Anjou 1267.

Jacques de Baux 1380.

Charles II of Anjou 1285.

Charles III of Naples 1382-86.

Philip I of Taranto 1294.


Catherine of Valois.) 1331. Robert of Taranto




Crete. [Genoese occupation 1206-10] 1204-1669. (Two forts till 1715.)

Cephalonia 1483-5; 1500-1797.

Modon} 1206-1500 ; 1685-1715. Coron

Zante 1482-1797.

Argos 1388-1463.

Cerigo 1363-1797.

Nauplia 1388-1540 ; 1686-1715.

Sta. Mavra 1502-3; 1694-1797.

Monemvasia 1464-1540 ; 1690-1715.

Athens 1394-1402 ; 1466 ; 1687-88.

Lepanto 1407-99; 1687-99.

Patras 1408-13; 1417-19; 1687-1715.

Negropont 1209-1470.

Naxos 1494-1500; 1511-17.

Pteleon 1323-1470.

Andros 1437-40; 1507-14.

Egina 1451-1537; 1693-1715.

Paros 1518-20; 1531-36.

Tenos 1390-1715.

Maina 1467-79.

Myconus 1390-1537.

Vostitza 1470.

Northern Sporades 1453-1538.

Amorgos 1370-1446.

Corfu 1206-1214; 1386-1797.

Lemnos 1464-79.

Cyprus 1489-1571.




Theodore Angelus. Emperor 1223.

Demetrius. Despot 1244-46.

Manuel. Emperor 1230.

[Annexed to Nicaea 1246.]

John. Emperor 1240 ; Despot 1242.