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did not contain them. It is likely therefore that the original Book of the
Conquest was devoid of explicit hatred of the Romans and not, therefore,
inherently anti-Roman (see Appendix ). Examination of the content of
the anti-Roman diatribes further suggests that they are interpolations. It is
worth noting that only one (±“) is prompted by an action genuinely
detrimental to the Franks and each is directed against a powerful Byzan-
tine Roman ¬gure from outside the Morea. The diatribes are slotted in as
comment on the actions of Byzantine Romans from outside the Morea in
the thirteenth century but gain their intensity from their tone of contem-
poraneous and local discontent, implicitly tying together the malevolent
˜outside™ Romans of the thirteenth century with the treacherous ˜inside™
Romans of the fourteenth-century scribe™s knowledge. Most credibly, the
diatribes are interpolations added into the Book of the Conquest at a later
±·
Meanwhile, a long way from Constantinople . . .
date and so are more illustrative of fourteenth-century discontents than
of the actuality of thirteenth-century relations. It was noted above that
the Villehardouin leadership in the Peloponnese permitted the continu-
ance of the Orthodox faith in the principality and this is presented as a
good thing. Virulent attacks against the Orthodox church are anomalous
in this broader picture of inter-ethnic cooperation in the Villehardouin
principality presented by the Greek Chronicle.
The Greek Chronicle™s more typically complex approach to the Romans is
illustrated well by its account of the ±µ battle of Pelagonia. In its extended
account of the battle, the Chronicle tells how the Frankish command agreed
to join the Epirots in their ¬‚ight from the battle¬eld, leaving their troops
from the principality to fend for themselves as best they might. These
rank-and-¬le troops in the Frankish army at Pelagonia would have been
predominantly Roman, though this is not explicitly stated in the Chronicle
where they are called ˜the minor people™ (µ°, ), ˜his [Geoffrey de
Briel™s] people™ (µ) and ˜our people™ (). However, the admirable
Geoffrey de Briel of Karytaina refused to abandon the ordinary troops and
shamed the Franks into staying “ ˜anyone who says that we should ¬‚ee
and leave our people is a wretched fool who shouldn™t be a lord of men,
or bear arms, or call himself a soldier™ (“°). It has been speculated
that one of the sources for the Chronicle may have been a verse chronicle
or oral tradition of the deeds of Geoffrey de Briel, and this may well
be the source of this account of his actions at Pelagonia.· Whatever the
source, the story of de Briel™s chivalry re¬‚ects a more generous attitude
to the Roman subjects of the principality, and we therefore have in this
account of Pelagonia a contrast between the Romans subject and loyal to
the principality, who are deserving of loyalty, and the Byzantine Romans
from outside the principality who are faithless and contemptible.
It should also be noted that the later versions of the Greek Chronicle
tone down the anti-Roman polemic considerably. The Paris manuscript
gr. , of which Codex Parisinus gr. ·µ and Codex Bernensis gr. µ°
are copies, was written around ±µ°°, as was the Turin manuscript B, ii.±.
All these later versions abridge or entirely omit these polemical passages
and in general present a more positive view of the Romans. The alterations
introduced in these later versions allow us a window into ethnic relations in
the Peloponnese into the ¬fteenth century which will be further discussed
in the following chapter.


· Jeffreys ±·µ: .
± Being Byzantine: Greek identity before the Ottomans
Other identities?
There is no evidence in the Chronicle of any Hellenising identi¬cation
of contemporary Romans with the ancient past. A tower at the castle of
Arkadia (Kyparissia) is described as being ˜from the Hellenes™ (±··), and
this certainly seems to be a reference to the ancient masonry still evident
at the site. Signi¬cantly, the French Chronicle speaks here of ˜giants™ rather
than ˜Hellenes™, and it seems clear that this “ an awed acknowledgement
of the sheer scale of the ancient construction “ is the primary content
in this reference to the Hellenes. This understanding of the Hellenes as
a race of semi-mythical, supernormal beings survived into the modern
era. The Hellenes also appear, rather mysteriously, as the originators
of the title M”gav K…r (Megas Kyr: ˜Great Lord™), which was used by the
Frankish lords of Athens (±µµ·, ·, °µ°). At most, this usage suggests that
Athens was recognised as a place especially associated with the Hellenes “
perhaps Michael Choniates™ sermons had not been entirely in vain or, more
likely, the sheer bulk of ancient remains in the decaying city prompted the
association “ but this can only be hypothetical.

Others in the Chronicle
The Chronicle of the Morea stands apart from the other historical works
under consideration here in that the Rhomaioi are not the centre of atten-
tion. It is the Franks who take centre stage here and, as we have seen, for
most of the account the Rhomaioi in the form of the Byzantine Romans
are the ˜other™. The Chronicle tells its tale from a predominantly Frank-
ish viewpoint, and thus the two unambiguous instances of an authorial
˜we™ both refer to Franks: it is ˜our people™ who were betrayed by the
Byzantine Romans in ±° () and ˜our Franks™ who settled to the siege
of Constantinople ().·° In contrast, the French Chronicle is far more
explicitly partisan and frequently speaks of the Franks as ˜our people™:

 Molin °°±: ±°; Vacalopoulos ±·°: , ±.
 Schmitt ±°:  associates this usage with the legend that rulers of Athens had in the past been
called ˜(Great) Dukes™, pointing out that Gregoras gives the supposed practice a Constantinian
origin; this does not explain the connection with the Hellenes.
·° Two other uses of ˜we™ may be noted. At  there is the threat that the emperor™s armies might
˜throw us out of the Morea™, and at  Roman and Turkish warfare is contrasted with the style of
˜we Franks™. Both of these instances, however, should be read as direct speech by a Frank (respectively
the duke of Athens and Prince William) and it should be noted that this Copenhagen version survives
intact in both the Paris and Turin mss, which typically take out the more extreme pro-Frankish
elements and indeed omit the ˜we™ references at  and µ: this supports a contemporary reading
of speech rather than authorial identi¬cation.
±
Meanwhile, a long way from Constantinople . . .
compare, for example, French Chronicle ±°±, ±, , µ,  with the
Greek ±µ, µ°, ·°, ·°µ°, °. The lack of such references in the
Greek Chronicle again supports an audience of mixed ethnicity for this
work.
Nevertheless, the Greek Chronicle is clearly on the side of the Franks,
who are favourably compared with Romans “ one Frank on horseback was
worth twenty Romans () and Franks are praised as honest (µ), brave
(±), ¬ne soldiers (µ±) and highly skilled in battle (). This emphasis
on the martial virtues shares much with the typical Byzantine Roman view,
as do the two less complimentary comments on their arrogance at °µ“
 and ·°. At °µ“, Michael Palaiologos is negotiating with Prince
William after Pelagonia: ˜Prince, I can tell you™re a Frank, because you
have the Franks™ arrogance “ which always leads them astray and stops
them achieving what they want™; this comment is mirrored in the French
Chronicle and so may be seen as the words of a Roman. However, at
·°, Gauthier de Brienne is castigated as being typically Frankish in
his arrogance when he attacked the Catalans in ±±±. This comment is
noticeable in being both authorial in tone and sounding like the comment
of a non-Frank; in the French Chronicle Gautier is still described as proud,
but this is not given as typically Frankish. The Greek Chronicle is thus
pro-Frankish in recounting to good effect the deeds of the Franks in
their conquests, but it does not appear necessarily to have been written
by a Frank. Again, this is consistent with its origins as a product of the
ethnically mixed Peloponnese of the fourteenth century.
The Franks appear in the Chronicle more than any other group, including
the Rhomaioi, with more than °° occurrences. Approximately half of
these refer simply to the Franks established in the Peloponnese, but other
groups customarily termed Franks include the crusaders of ±° (e.g. ·±),
the westerners of the Latin empire (e.g. ±·°), and Angevin troops (e.g.
µ±); Fragkoi is also used for western Christians (e.g. µ°, °, ·,
···), always in contrast to the Rhomaioi. The term is sometimes used
as a general term for westerners: the despot of Epiros hires Franks from
the Morea, from Athens and from Evia (°), the Franks™ style of war
is contrasted with that of the Romans and Turks (e.g. °), reference is
made to the inheritance law of the Franks (±) and to the ˜training of the
Franks, the western military skill™ (). Such instances employ Fragkoi in
a non-speci¬c way, often in contrast to Rhomaioi. Alternatively, sometimes
Fragkoi can be read more speci¬cally as ˜the French™, as when Charles of
Anjou and William de Villehardouin are said both to be Franks (µ“·°),
or when Geoffrey de Briel the younger is said to be of the race of the Franks
° Being Byzantine: Greek identity before the Ottomans
(±); however, such instances could be read more generally as denoting
western non-Romans.
Many more speci¬c western groups are mentioned by the chronicler “
including the French. When relating the dispute over who should be
emperor, the Fragk©skoi (Fragkiskoi: French) are picked out as a special
interest group, along with the Lombards, backing Boniface of Montferrat
over Baldwin of Flanders (); this is a usage shared by Choniates (History
µ·.). Other speci¬ed groups within the overall Frankish crusade include
Flemings (±±°) and the men of Provence (·, µ°). It should also be
noted that the Venetians, heavily involved in the Fourth Crusade, are at
all times distinguished from the Franks, as is also the case in Geoffrey de
Villehardouin™s account of the Fourth Crusade. Again, when the Franks at
the heart of the story are involved in con¬‚ict with other westerners, the
latter are given more speci¬c group names, for example, the %lam†nnoi
(Alamannoi: Germans, µ·) ¬ghting with the Byzantine Romans at the
battle of Pelagonia, the NtouskŽnoi (Ntouskanoi: Tuscans, ·°·) opposed
to Charles of Anjou, or the KatelŽnoi (Katelanoi: Catalans ··) who
defeated Gauthier de Brienne. Thus, when the context speci¬es distinctions
between different western groups, more speci¬c group names are used in
preference to the more generic Fragkoi, or alongside Fragkoi, which is used
for the groups at the heart of the story, the Franks in Romania and their
allies. ˜Franks™, then, is used in the Greek Chronicle as a generic term for
westerners, in a comparable fashion to the use in the Byzantine Roman
histories of ˜Latins™ or, in Pachymeres, ˜Italians™.
In his use of the terminology of otherness, the chronicler is far less
ethnically prejudiced than the elite writers. He has less of an assumption
of automatic ethnic division, and this surely re¬‚ects the down-to-earth
approach of the Peloponnesians of all ethnic groups in the fourteenth cen-
tury. As would be expected, the Franks are never called barbarians in the
Greek Chronicle, where the terminology of the barbaros “ a mere four occur-
rences “ is reserved for Muslims (Appendix ±, p. °±). Religious associations
are thus central, and there is an explicit correlation with being unbaptised.
It should moreover be noted that the conceptualisation of the barbaros
in the Chronicle is necessarily plural and associated with large groups in
the Holy Land “ crucially, outside the chronicler™s sphere. When Muslims
are encountered within Romania no opprobrium attaches to them; such
Muslims are always called Tourkoi, and are encountered ¬ghting alongside
one side or another in the Morea. In the account of the troops under Melik
who took service under Mistra but then, being cheated of pay, entered the
service of Prince William, the Turks are portrayed sympathetically; indeed,
±
Meanwhile, a long way from Constantinople . . .
they are described as the ¬nest soldiers in the army of Mistra (µ±µ±“), and
Prince William addresses them as ˜my brothers™ (µ±). The single reference
to the religion of these Turks comes at the end of this account, when it is
mentioned that some of Melik™s men chose to settle in the principality and
were baptised. Even in its account of the First Crusade the Chronicle distin-
guishes between the Turks who hold Anatolia and the ˜race of barbarians™
who hold Syria (contrast Greek Chronicle ·, µ and “°).
This treatment of Turks contrasts markedly with that seen in the elite
historians, who consistently name Turks as wicked barbarians, a status con-
ditioned above all by their religion.·± This is true even of Kantakouzenos,
who was on friendly terms with some Turks “ notably Umur of Aydin. The
chronicler likewise sees the undifferentiated Muslims far away in the Holy
Land as barbarians because of their religion, but this is not an issue when
Muslims appear on, so to speak, home ground. This is a re¬‚ection of the
more pragmatic attitude towards others which was required on the periph-
ery of the empire. Again, in contrast to the customary elite model, Turks are
never called Perses (Persians): the chronicler eschews “ or more likely knows
nothing of “ the classicising paradigm favoured in Constantinople.· This
is, unsurprisingly, in direct contrast to the elite historians already consid-
ered, who all use both Perses and Tourkoi; for example, Choniates favours
the latter, while Gregoras slightly favours the former and Akropolites uses
Tourkoi less than any other, preferring Perses or Mousoulmanoi “ ˜Muslims™.
In his use of genos and ethnos, however, the chronicler is closer to the
Byzantine Roman norms we have explored above, most clearly exempli¬ed
by Pachymeres. He uses genos in its ethnic sense for groups of all kinds “
Romans, Franks, Christians, barbarians and, repeatedly, for humanity as
a whole, while ethnos is applied only to non-Christians of the type that
can also be called barbarians. There is thus no moral aspect to genos, while
ethnos has strongly negative overtones.


the chronicle in context: franks and romans under
the angevins
Above, we examined the evidence to support the narrative which the
Greek Chronicle gives for the thirteenth-century Villehardouin principality.

·± Akropolites uses Tourkos rather than Perses when referring to individuals rather than races, which is
comparable to the Chronicle™s approach; however, Akropolites™ portrayal of Turks is still overwhelm-
ingly negative: Macrides °°·: , n. µ·.
· See above, p. .
 Being Byzantine: Greek identity before the Ottomans
It is similarly possible to employ the analysis of the fourteenth-century
language of the Greek Chronicle (in its earliest Copenhagen version) to
garner supporting evidence for a view of ethnic identities and interactions
in the fourteenth century. This picture can be supported and expanded
through reference to other sources.
The fourteenth century saw steady encroachment by Byzantine Roman
Mistra into the territory of the Frankish principality. By the beginning
of the ¬fteenth century the principality had shrunk to Messenia and the
western coast, and the title of prince had become a bargaining chip with
little real power. The French Chronicle gives an insight into how Byzantine
Roman in¬‚uence spread, and further reveals the haziness of borders and
the complexity of allegiances in the Peloponnese.
In ± Isabeau de Villehardouin, reigning as prince, erected a castle
called Castelneuf in northern Messenia. We are told that this area had been
used to pay tribute to the Romans of Mistra and of Gardiki, but that once
Castelneuf was built it was agreed that ˜all the tribute that the Greeks [i.e.
the Byzantine Romans of Mistra] had been taking should be given and
paid to Castelneuf™ (French Chronicle °). It seems that the Franks in the
area had allowed the Byzantine Romans of Mistra to dominate from their
strong bases, thinking it better to pay tribute than to suffer continual costly
raiding. However, once the Franks had a military presence in the area they
were able to put up effective resistance, and the local lords then paid their
tribute to the prince.
When the local seigneurs had been paying tribute to Mistra, whose
subjects had they been? The account of the construction of Castelneuf
makes it clear that they were considered subjects of the principality, but
this must at best have been only theoretical for some years. The agreement
between Prince Florent and Andronikos II Palaiologos in ±° recognised
this phenomenon of shared authority, arranging for the sharing of revenues
from the lands in question, the casaux de parcon. In some cases, this sharing
¸
of revenues may have formally re¬‚ected the type of dominance seen in the
case of the Castelneuf area, which was assumed by Byzantine Romans in
default of effective Frankish resistance. This system of shared authority was
not unfamiliar to the Byzantine Romans, having a precursor in Asia Minor
with agreements between the Romans and the Seljuk Turks in the twelfth
century. In the Peloponnese, it can be detected into the ±°s, and casaux
feature among the donations to Niccolo Acciajuoli.·

· Jacoby ±: ±±µ“±·; Longnon and Topping ±: .“µ, ·.“. Asia Minor: Magdalino ±b:
±µ“.

Meanwhile, a long way from Constantinople . . .
However, the dominant impression of Peloponnesian society in the
fourteenth century, from whatever source, is one of squabbling animosity.
The Chronicle of the Morea details quarrels between Franks and Romans;
a scribe adds his comments into the Greek Chronicle which are scathing

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