Lordship of Chios

The Lordship of Chios was a short-lived autonomous lordship run by the Genoese Zaccaria family. Its core was the eastern Aegean island of Chios, and in its height it encompassed a number of other islands off the shore of Asia Minor. Although theoretically a vassal of the Byzantine Empire, the Zaccaria ruled the island as a practically independent domain from its capture in 1304 until the Greek-Byzantines recovered it, with the support of the local Greek population, in 1329.

Lordship of Chios
Χίος
Autonomous lordship under Byzantine suzerainty

1304–1329
Capital Chios
40°38′N 22°57′E / 40.633°N 22.950°ECoordinates: 40°38′N 22°57′E / 40.633°N 22.950°E
Government Feudal lordship
Lord
 •  1304–1307 Benedetto I Zaccaria
 •  1314–1329 Martino Zaccaria
Historical era Middle Ages
 •  Established 1304
 •  Reconquest by the Byzantines 1329
 •  Capture of Chios by the Genoese 1354
Today part of  Greece

History

The lordship was founded in 1304, when the Genoese noble Benedetto I Zaccaria captured the Byzantine island of Chios. Benedetto, who was already lord of Phocaea on the coast of Asia Minor, justified his act to the Byzantine court as necessary to prevent the island's capture by Turkish pirates. The Byzantine emperor, Andronikos II Palaiologos, impotent to intervene militarily, accepted the fait accompli and granted him the island as a fief, initially for a period of 10 years, but which was then renewed at five-year intervals.[1][2] Benedetto died in 1307 and was succeeded in Chios by his son, Paleologo Zaccaria. When he died childless in 1314, the island passed to Martino and his brother, Benedetto II.[2] Chios was a small but wealthy domain, with an annual income of 120,000 gold hyperpyra. Over the next few years, Martino made it the core of a small realm encompassing several islands off the shore of Asia Minor, including Samos and Kos.[3] Martino, with his small army and fleet, achieved considerable successes against the Turkish pirates, and won praise by his Latin contemporaries, the Pope, and Philip II, the titular Latin emperor of Constantinople, who in 1325 named him "King and Despot of Asia Minor".[4][5]

Despite Martino's ties to the Latin Emperor, while Andronikos II reigned relations with the Byzantine Empire remained good, and the lease of Chios was renewed in 1324. At the same time, however, Martino's behaviour became increasingly assertive, and in ca. 1325 he ousted his brother as co-ruler of Chios.[6] In 1328 the young and energetic Andronikos III Palaiologos succeeded his grandfather on the Byzantine throne. One of the leading Chian nobles, Leo Kalothetos, went on behalf of the Chian population to meet the new emperor and his chief minister, John Kantakouzenos, to propose a reconquest of the island. Andronikos III readily agreed, and, finding a pretext in Martino's unauthorized construction of a fortress, sailed with a large fleet against him.[7] Martino barricaded himself in his castle, but after witnessing the defection of the native Greek population, and the surrender of his brother, he too decided to capitulate. Benedetto II was initially offered to govern the island in the emperor's name, but his demand to receive the same autonomy and rights as his brother was unacceptable to Andronikos III, and Kalothetos was named instead.[3][8]

Chios returned to Byzantine control where it remained until 1346, when the Genoese Simone Vignose captured it, taking advantage of the Byzantine civil war of 1341–1347. The island became the seat of the Maona di Chio e di Focea company, and fell under the rule of the Giustiniani family, who held it until 1566, when it finally capitulated to the Ottoman Empire.

Lords

References

  1. ^ Nicol 1993, p. 113.
  2. ^ a b Miller 1921, pp. 287–289.
  3. ^ a b Nicol 1993, pp. 171–172.
  4. ^ Nicol 1993, pp. 142–144, 171.
  5. ^ Miller 1921, pp. 289–290.
  6. ^ Miller 1921, pp. 290–291.
  7. ^ Miller 1921, p. 291.
  8. ^ Miller 1921, pp. 292–294.

Sources

  • Miller, William (1921). "The Zaccaria of Phocaea and Chios (1275-1329)". Essays on the Latin Orient. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 283–298.
  • Nicol, Donald MacGillivray (1993). The Last Centuries of Byzantium, 1261–1453. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-43991-4.
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Duchy of Neopatras

The Duchy of Neopatras (Catalan: Ducat de Neopàtria; Greek: Δουκάτο Νέων Πατρών; Latin: Ducatus Neopatriae) was a Catalan-dominated principality in southern Thessaly, established in 1318. Officially part of the Crown of Aragon, the duchy was governed in conjunction with the neighbouring Duchy of Athens by the local Catalan aristocracy, who enjoyed a large degree of self-government. From the mid-14th century, the duchies entered a period of decline: most of the Thessalian possessions were lost to the Serbian Empire, internal dissensions arose, along with the menace of Turkish piracy in the Aegean and the onset of Ottoman expansion in the Balkans. Enfeebled, the Catalan possessions were taken over by the Florentine adventurer Nerio I Acciaioli in 1385–1390.

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In February 1341, Pope Benedict XII ordered him to receive some procurators representing the Catalan Grand Company, which wished to return to "the bosom of the mother Church".In 1342, Henry negotiated an alliance between King Hugh IV of Cyprus and the Knights Hospitaler against the Turkish ruler Umur Beg of Aydin. On 2 November 1342, he delivered a papal letter to the doge of Venice, Bartolomeo Gradenigo, asking him to join the league and appointing Cardinal Guillaume Court apostolic legate to Venice. On 31 August, Pope Clement VI officially named Henry his legate for the upcoming crusade against Smyrna, "because of the great and important business [he conducted] in Greece". He was to travel, as commander-in-chief, with the Genoese fleet under Martino Zaccaria, who was named captain-general, but whom Henry had authority to remove if need be. In the summer of 1343, the Duke John I of the Archipelago informed Henry in a letter that he wished to supply a galley to the expedition.On 21 October 1343, Henry was charged with keeping the peace in the Duchy of Athens between the ducal claimant Count Walter VI of Brienne and the occupying forces of the Catalan Company, with whom he had previous experience from 1341. As the crusade dragged on into 1344, Henry wrote to the pope describing its "fortunate progress" and the pope responded, in a letter dated 25 July, by thanking the Hospitaler grand master, Hélion de Villeneuve, for the assistance he was giving the crusade. On 18 September the pope ordered Henry to prevent Zaccaria from re-conquering the Lordship of Chios, which his family had lost to the Byzantines after an internal rebellion. The loss of Chios, the pope thought, would force the Byzantines into an alliance with the Ottomans. After the fall of the harbour of Smyrna on 28 October 1344, Henry established his headquarters there and began restoring the fortifications. Belatedly, on 1 February, Pope Clement congratulated Henry on the victory and on his "virtuously, constantly and intrepidly" leading. He warned about the difficulty of raising funds for the continuance of the crusade, but left the decision on how to proceed to Henry, since the latter, he said, had been taught "in the school of experience". One of the last actions of the patriarch before his death was to lead, with Zaccaria, a fleet of twelve galleys on a successful foray to captured supplies. On their return the Ottomans who had been besieging the citadel retreated.Henry was killed on 17 January 1345. He had intended to celebrate a victory Mass in a former church (perhaps the seat of the metropolis) that the Turks had used as a stable, and which at the time lay between the Christian and Turkish lines. Although Zaccaria objected to the dangerous venture, he was with Henry at the Mass when the Turks under Umur himself attacked the church. While most of those present got to the safety of the harbour citadel, Henry, Zaccaria and the Venetian leader, Pietro Zeno, were killed. Many legends surrounding this event were later current in Italy.

When Umur Beg's brother and successor, Khidr Beg, signed a peace treaty with the crusaders on 18 August 1348, he offered to return the body of Henry of Asti whenever they claimed it.

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The name Latin was in the Middle Ages a common demonym among the followers of the Latin Church of Western Christianity. It derived from the Italic tribe who in antiquity developed ancient Roman civilization. The name was used irrespective of ethnicity, including by Germanic, Italic and Slavic peoples. In the Byzantine Empire, and the broader Greek Orthodox world, Latins was an exonym for all people who followed Roman Catholic Christianity. It was generally a negative characterization, especially after the 1054 schism. Thus the people associated with the states created during the Crusades were generally referred to as Latins or Franks.

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Tedisio Zaccaria

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He was appointed governor of Phocaea by his uncle Benedetto I and remained in office after his death, when he became governor of the Lordship of Chios. In 1306 Tedisio campaigned in Thasos, where he captured the castle and made the island his fief. In 1307 Benedetto II Zaccaria decided to replace to Tedisio with a new governor.

The new governor, Andriolo Cattaneo, sent his son Domenico against Tedisio, and took over Phocaea. Tedisio then fled to Gallipoli where he sought the support of the Catalan Company. In 1307 he campaigned against Phocaea. After a siege he captured the city, but he was unable to keep it under control, and was forced to retreat to Thasos to defend his fief. The Catalan historian Ramon Muntaner refers in his Chronicle that the raid into the castle of Phokaia allowed Zaccaria to take with him the relics of the Holy Cross, a white shirt made by the Virgin Mary, and a codex with the Apocalypsis, all of them taken after the Turkish conquest into Pholaia from the tomb of Saint John, the author of the Gospel, in Ephesos. The fragments of the Holy Cross were given to the same Muntaner, as he was the Chancellor of the Catalan Company, while Zaccaria retained the other relics. Zaccaria remained lord of Thasos until 1313, when the island was reconquered by the Byzantines.

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