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xii
Reference works




Liddell & Scott: Liddell, H. G. and R. Scott (±) A Greek“English Lexicon.
Oxford.
ODB: Kazhdan, A. and others (eds.) (±±) The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium
( vols.). Oxford.
Sophocles: Sophocles, A. (±·) Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Periods
(from BC 146 to AD 1100), nd edn ( vols.). New York.




xiii
introduction

The Frankish conquest of Greece




In ±°, the imperial city of Constantinople was captured by the troops
of the Fourth Crusade, a collection of forces gathered from the states of
western Europe with the ostensible aim of the liberation of Jerusalem. It
was a momentous event for the citizens and subjects of the ˜Byzantine™
empire ruled from Constantinople, as their city had never before fallen to
any enemy in its nine centuries of history. Having taken the capital city, the
crusaders from the west went on to conquer most of the empire, although
Constantinople was eventually won back ¬fty-seven years later, and what
we now generally call the ˜Byzantine™ empire did manage to survive into
the ¬fteenth century before its ¬nal irrevocable conquest by the Ottoman
Turks. Nevertheless, this ¬rst conquest by the western Franks of the Fourth
Crusade is often seen as the beginning of the end, and its impact on the state
of mind of the subjects of the empire was immense. For the next °° years “
and beyond “ various parts of what had historically been the Byzantine
empire were to be ruled, for varying lengths of time, by these crusaders and
their descendants. For centuries, the emperors of Constantinople had held
these territories, but now, remarkable quickly, they changed hands and the
peasants and local lords of the conquered areas had to become accustomed
to new masters who, at least at the beginning, spoke little or no Greek, had
some startlingly different ways of arranging society and everyday life and,
not least, had a church and religion which was Christian but very different
from the ˜Orthodox™ Christianity of the empire.
There had been a history of, if not animosity, then at least ill-ease between
the Byzantine empire and the kingdoms of western Europe long before the
shock of the taking of Constantinople. In the east, the Byzantines saw
themselves, with justi¬cation, as the heirs and continuators of the ancient
Roman empire. Their emperor was the ˜emperor of the Romans™, and the
people of the empire by and large thought of themselves as ˜Romans™ in a

±
 Being Byzantine: Greek identity before the Ottomans
usage that survived beyond the term of the empire and into modern times
in parts of Greece and Turkey. Further, the eastern Roman, Byzantine,
empire was the empire of Constantine the Great, who had founded Con-
stantinople in the fourth century and had made Christianity the religion of
his empire. The Byzantine Romans of the eastern empire were thus not just
the heirs of the pre-eminent state of the ancient world but also, in their view,
the heirs of the true and original Christianity. In contrast, the west had sus-
tained and survived the break with the ancient Roman world. It had its own
brand of Christianity which had survived in Rome itself, and it had started
to rediscover the ancient world as a political model. By the second millen-
nium after Christ, the east and west of Europe did not really know each
other and were in many senses rivals in their different versions of historical
and religious validation. Their mutual incomprehension was manifested
and reinforced in ±°µ when the patriarch of Constantinople, head of the
eastern Orthodox church, and Cardinal Humbert of the church of Rome
mutually excommunicated each other.
Nevertheless, how did an army bent on religious liberation end up
subjugating a city and state of their fellow Christians?
The Fourth Crusade has been an object of controversy ever since it went
so curiously awry. On his accession to the papal throne in ±±, Innocent
III had immediately started urging the need for a fresh crusade to regain
Jerusalem from the Saracens, and forces gathered at Venice in the spring of
±°. The Venetians were ready to provide sea transport to the Holy Land,
but they drove a hard bargain with the military pilgrims in return for this
help. Innocent may with justi¬cation already have felt that the crusade was
slipping from his control when the expedition began with a diversion to
Zara, on the eastern coast of the Adriatic. This Christian city had revolted
from Venetian rule, but now the crusading army paid off a part of their
debt to Venice by attacking and regaining it for them. However, things
only got worse with the intervention of the Byzantines.
Alexios Angelos was the son and heir of the deposed Byzantine Roman
emperor Isaak II Angelos, who had been forcibly ousted by his brother
Alexios in ±±µ. In ±°±, the younger Alexios had ¬‚ed to the west to try
and gather help to restore his father to the throne. Despite a speci¬c papal
prohibition on any intervention in Constantinopolitan affairs, a substantial
section of the crusading force now agreed to go to Alexios™ assistance,
largely at the urging of the Venetians. Debate has raged on Venetian
motivation: certainly, the Venetians present themselves in the accounts
of the conquest and its aftermath as a discrete and well-organised faction
within the larger crusade, both highly motivated and ef¬cient in accruing

The Frankish conquest of Greece
all the potential mercantile gain from the expedition. Although not all the
crusaders assented to this radical redirection of their holy pilgrimage and
many continued to Syria, nevertheless a substantial crusading army arrived
outside Constantinople in July ±° and was swiftly able to effect the
restoration of Isaak and Alexios Angelos. The young Alexios had promised
¬nancial reward and military assistance in the continuing campaign to the
Holy Land, but, with the agreed payment not forthcoming and unrest
growing within the city, the patience of the crusaders ¬nally ran out and
they took the city by force on ± April ±°. Many of the inhabitants were
put to the sword and the city was comprehensively pillaged.
The crusaders and Venetians had already come to an agreement on the
division of the empire: a new emperor would be elected, who would per-
sonally hold one fourth of Constantinople and one fourth of the rest of the
empire, including eastern Thrace, the essential buffer for Constantinople.
Venice would hold one fourth of Constantinople and three eighths of the
rest of the empire; the rest would be divided between the leading knights
of the crusade.±
All in all, this was a vision of prosperity and power that few on the
crusade can have dreamt of. Surely, only Doge Enrico Dandolo and his
Venetians had a clear programme; certainly, after the conquest Venice
swiftly organised its apportionment, handing over mainland and inland
territory in exchange for islands and ports to the effect that the Republic
would exclusively control the sea routes between Constantinople and the
west and operate an effective monopoly on trade. Venice also held sway
more indirectly in the Aegean: the duchy of the Archipelago was created by
the Venetian Marco Sanudo, who was a nephew of Doge Enrico Dandolo
and had been present on the crusade. Sanudo regularised his conquests by
acknowledging the suzerainty of the Latin emperor (Baldwin of Flanders
had been elected emperor in Constantinople in May ±°), and several
other Venetian families ruled other islands in the Aegean, thus maintaining
Venetian in¬‚uence in the region while remaining at arm™s length from the
Republic.
In contrast to Venice™s well-planned and effective assumption of power,
the Latin empire was weak from the start because the lands granted to the
knights of the empire ¬rst had to be secured by them; this took much of
the ¬ghting arm away from Constantinople and out of the army which

± For the Fourth Crusade see especially Queller and Madden ±·, Brand ±: “. For the division
of the empire cf. Carile ±µ, also Nicol ±°: ±±, ±“µ° and Lock ±µ: °“, µ“µ°.
 Lock ±µ: ±“µµ, Nicol ±°: ±“µ.
 Being Byzantine: Greek identity before the Ottomans
should have been consolidating and defending the capital. The result was
that, in the end, the Latin empire of Constantinople ended up just one of
several Latin states carved out of the erstwhile Byzantine Roman empire,
being joined by the kingdom of Thessaloniki, the lordship of Athens, the
principality of the Morea, the above-mentioned duchy of the Archipelago
and ¬nally the lordships of Evia.
In ±°, however, Latin Constantinople stood alone, with the rest of
the empire awaiting conquest. There was considerable pressure from the
Bulgarian tsar Kalojan, the local population around Constantinople was
far from reliably loyal, and in Anatolia the Byzantine Roman aristocrat
Theodore Laskaris was on his way to establishing a signi¬cant power base
at Nikaia. Laskaris™ creation would eventually become the reborn eastern
empire that regained Constantinople in ±±, while other Roman nobles
established viable alternative successor states in Epiros in western Greece
and in Trebizond in northern Anatolia. Back in Constantinople, the Latin
empire needed a vigorous and dedicated defence at its heart, but many
knights had other priorities; Baldwin was left to defend Constantinople
and Thrace against the Bulgarians and, a mere year after the taking of
Constantinople, the unfortunate emperor was captured by them. He died
in captivity. Fortunately for the Franks, Baldwin™s brother Henry proved
a more effective ruler who was able to assert imperial suzerainty over the
Latin states in the Balkan peninsula, repel the advances of Epiros, push back
the Bulgarians in Thrace, and enlist Turkish aid against Laskaris of Nikaia.
Henry™s death in ±± brought in a less successful period. His brother-in-law
and heir, Peter of Courtenay, was captured and killed by the Epirots before
he even reached Constantinople. Peter™s widow, Henry™s sister Yolande,
ruled as regent for the baby Baldwin II for two years until her death in
±±, and her elder son Robert of Courtenay ruled as emperor from ±± to
±. Baldwin II then took the throne, assisted by John de Brienne as co-
emperor in the ±°s. The Latin empire was now under almost continual
threat, yet con¬‚ict amongst its enemies allowed it to stagger on: Baldwin
II reigned until the eventual retaking of Constantinople by the emperor
Michael VIII Palaiologos of Nikaia in ±±.
Of the other Latin states, some lasted only a handful of years while
others proved far more durable. Having wrested Thessaloniki from the
reluctant emperor Baldwin, Boniface of Montferrat set out to conquer
the western lands of the empire. His armies met very little resistance in


 Longnon ±; Wolff ±; Nicol ±.
µ
The Frankish conquest of Greece
Thessaly, Boiotia and Attica, and the local population suffered little at his
hands. Boniface assigned the important island of Evia (with the exception
of its major town, Negroponte, which was under the Venetians) to three
Lombard knights; these lordships are generally known as the triarchies of
Evia. The lordship of Athens and Thebes went to the Burgundian knight
Othon de la Roche, and this rule over Attica and Boiotia came to be
known as the duchy of Athens. By early ±°µ, Boniface had won through
to the Peloponnese, where he met up with Geoffrey de Villehardouin the
younger, who together with Guillaume de Champlitte went on to establish
the principality of the Morea in the Peloponnese, again under the aus-
pices of Boniface of Montferrat. While the states which Boniface oversaw
in Evia, Athens and the Peloponnese all achieved lasting security, Boni-
face™s more personal conquests were not to last long. He was captured and
killed by the Bulgarians in September ±°·, and his kingdom of Thessa-
loniki was then largely absorbed by the Byzantine Roman state based in
Epiros.

The momentous victory of ±°, then, marked a new phase in the history
of the eastern Aegean and heralded a period when westerners of French,
Flemish, Hispanic or Italian origin ruled in that part of the old east-
ern Roman Empire which we now call Greece. This book examines and
illustrates various developments in the identity of the Greeks “ or, as the
subjects of the empire tended to call themselves, the ˜Romans™ “ during this
period of western rule. Chronologically speaking, the period under study
is, roughly, the two centuries following the conquest of Constantinople
by the Frankish troops of the Fourth Crusade in ±°, but preceding the
Ottoman domination and eventual conquest of the ¬fteenth century.
This investigation rests on the fundamental hypothesis that the conquest
by the westerners was an event with extreme implications for group iden-
tities among the Byzantine Romans. Such a major alteration in the quality
of their relationship with westerners, and such a blow to their imperial self-
esteem as the taking of Constantinople, inevitably brought about changes
in the ways they viewed themselves as a group “ in their sense of ethnic
identity. This central hypothesis can be further elaborated, thus:
r There was no single uniform sense of ethnic identity among the Romans
(that is, the inhabitants of the territory under the rule of the emperor
in Constantinople in the period preceding the conquest of ±° and the
descendants of those inhabitants).
r Ethnic identities among the Romans were not static during this period
but developed in response to major political changes.
 Being Byzantine: Greek identity before the Ottomans
r The phenomenon of Frankish conquest and rule was the single most
critical impetus for developments in the senses of ethnic identity among
the Romans during this period.
Until recently, the vast majority of histories of the period of western rule
have made the assumption that the ethnic division between the western-
ers (often referred to as the ˜Franks™) and the Greeks (or as they will be
called here the ˜Romans™) conditioned political and social developments
and that there was no true assimilation between these ethnic groups. This
well-established position has emphasised the history of the religious schism
between the eastern and western churches and pointed to the repeated and
ill-fated attempts at church union in this period as indicative of ethnic hos-
tility. However, this book challenges this position by means of a systematic
analysis of sources from both ends of the social spectrum in the Byzantine
Roman world. Employing a model of ethnicity as an aspect of interac-
tion between social groups, it will further be shown that the conquests by
the Franks in fact effected a signi¬cant shift in the relationship between
the Byzantine Romans and their western neighbours that was more about
rapprochement than any ethnically conditioned hostility.
Finally, a preparatory note on naming. As discussed above, this study
looks at the sense of ethnic identity among a particular set of people “
those people resident in the Byzantine empire at the time of the Frankish
conquest of the empire in ±°, and their descendants. These people will
generally be called ˜Romans™ or ˜Byzantine Romans™, and this may need
some justi¬cation or at least explanation. Most modern historians make
reference to either ˜Byzantines™ or ˜Greeks™, but the ¬rst of these is anachro-
nistic for the period, while the second is a term of limited use within the
empire, and typically a term used by outsiders about the empire and its
people. In a discussion of identity in which names are so important, it
seems appropriate to use the self-identifying term favoured by the people
themselves, and this was, overwhelmingly, <Rwma±ov “ Rhomaios, ˜Roman™.
However, to use simply ˜Roman™ would inevitably be confusing for the
English-speaking reader, so I have for the sake of clarity often quali¬ed the
basic name with ˜Byzantine™.
Naming is such a fundamental part of the expression of ethnic identity
that any choice of ethnonym is laden. However, ˜Byzantine Roman™ hope-
fully goes some way to give the people of the empire their own name while
being clear for a modern readership. Nevertheless, it has proved impossible
to be entirely consistent in this usage. At some points, for example, it has
been necessary to use ˜Byzantine Roman™ with a limited application so that
it relates only to the state ruled by the emperor and to the subjects of that
·
The Frankish conquest of Greece
state “ this is mostly when a group or groups who are clearly ethnically
Roman need to be contrasted with the Byzantine Roman state because

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