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did before they became Ottoman subjects.184 In Ottoman treasury accounts
dating from 1476“7, moreover, the names of some wealthy aristocrats of
Byzantine origin, including two Palaiologoi, one Chalkokondyles, and one
Agallianos, are recorded as tax-farmers for the Ottoman government. These
Greek entrepreneurs, who competed with Muslim Turks and Jews for the
control of the Istanbul customs zone, had huge amounts of capital at their
disposal, as indicated by their successive bids ranging from 11 million akce¸
185
to a sum close to 20 million akce, or about 400,000 ducats. Another
¸
member of the old Byzantine aristocracy, Andronikos Kantakouzenos, is
attested also as a tax-farmer in an Ottoman document dated circa 1481.
This document reveals that Andronikos Kantakouzenos had converted to
Islam and assumed the name Mustafa; he is mentioned among a group
of tax-farmers who took over the mints of Gallipoli and Adrianople for
a sum of 18 million akce, or approximately 360,000 ducats.186 Like the
¸
Kantakouzenoi, Palaiologoi, Chalkokondylai, and Agallianoi, the Rhaoul

184 Noiret, Domination v´nitienne en Cr`te, pp. 448“9. Cf. Jacoby, “V´nitiens naturalis´s,” 230.
e e e e
185 H. ™Inalc±k, “Notes on N. Beldiceanu™s translation of the Kan¯ nn¯ me, fonds turc ancien 39, Bib-
ua
lioth`que Nationale, Paris,” Der Islam 43 (1967), 153“5, H. ™
e Inalc±k, “Greeks in the Ottoman
economy and ¬nances 1453“1500,” in TO ELLHNIKON. Studies in Honor of Speros Vryonis, Jr.,
vol. ii, ed. J. S. Allen et al. (New Rochelle, 1993), pp. 312“13. The treasury accounts list their names
as follows: “Manul Palologoz/Palologoz of Istanbul,” “Palologoz of Kassandros,” “Andriya son of
Halkokondil,” and “Lefteri son of Galyanos of Trabzon.” They had a ¬fth partner, “Yakub, new
Muslim,” who seems to have left the group after the initial bid. Note that only Manuel Palaiologos
among them is speci¬cally stated to be “of Istanbul.” The Istanbul customs zone was the principal
customs zone of the Ottoman Empire which included, besides the Ottoman capital, the impor-
tant commercial ports of Galata, Gallipoli, Old and New Phokaia, Varna, and Mudanya. For a
Palaiologos of Istanbul, who farmed out the silver and gold mines in upper Serbia in 1473, acting in
partnership with three other Greeks from Serres (Yani Kantakouzenos of Novo Brdo, Yorgi Ivrana,
Toma Kantakouzenos), see ™ Inalc±k, “Greeks in the Ottoman economy,” p. 314. During the same
year, a Yani Palaiologos of Istanbul, resident of Galata, is attested among the tax-farmers of the
mines of Kratova in the province of K¨ stendil (p. 314). It is uncertain whether the latter can be
u
identi¬ed with his namesake who appears as the owner of several houses in Galata in an Ottoman
register of 1519: see ™Inalc±k, “Ottoman Galata,” pp. 54“5.
186 H. Sahillio˜ lu, “Bir m¨ ltezim zimem defterine g¨ re XV. y¨ zy±l sonunda Osmanl± darphane
g u o u
™ ¨ ™
mukataalar±,” Istanbul Universitesi Iktisat Fak¨ ltesi Mecmuas± 23 (1962“3), 188, 192. He is iden-
u
ti¬ed as “Andronikos, son of Katakuzino, also known as (nˆ m-± di˜er) Mustafa” and, shortly, as
a g
“Mustafa bin Katakuzinos.”
230 Constantinople
family became split as well, with several of its members emigrating to the
West, and some remaining in Constantinople after 1453.187
These last series of examples are quite revealing as they caution us to be
aware of the complexities involved in the formation of the economic and
political alliances of individuals or groups which did not always conform to
strict patterns. They indicate, on the one hand, that a favorable disposition
towards the Ottomans could coexist with one favorable towards the Italians,
as we have already seen in the context of the civil wars of Andronikos IV
and John VII, who had connections with both the Ottomans and the
Genoese. On the other hand, they re¬‚ect the ease with which attitudes
could ¬‚uctuate and loyalties could shift, especially when material interests
were at stake. Rather illuminating in this respect are the experiences of
one Constantine Quioca, who lost all his wealth at the time of the fall of
¸
Constantinople and barely managed to escape with his life to Crete. On
the Venetian island he accumulated large debts which he could not repay
and subsequently decided to go to Adrianople, in search of new prospects
among the Ottomans which he had not apparently been able to ¬nd
among the Latins.188 Matschke, who has recognized in the name Quioca a ¸
Latinized version of the Islamic title hoca “ the typical designation for an
Ottoman big merchant189 “ suggests that Constantine™s relations with the
Ottomans may have predated the conquest of Constantinople, facilitating
therefore his crossing over to their side in 1455. As future events were to
show, those Byzantines who chose to join the side of the conquerors and
became Ottoman subjects after 1453 seized the opportunity to supplant the
Italians who had overshadowed them in large-scale trade in the bygone
days of the Byzantine Empire, despite the material gains that a select group
of Byzantine aristocrats had been able to enjoy on account of their business
enterprises in association with Italian merchants.190

187 N. Iorga, Byzance apr`s Byzance (Paris, 1992), pp. 19“20; ™
e Inalc±k, “Greeks in the Ottoman economy,”
pp. 312, 314. For a Manuel Rhalles of Constantinople who moved to southern Italy with his
family, see Harris, Greek Emigres in the West, p. 28. See also R. Croskey, “Byzantine Greeks
in late ¬fteenth- and early sixtenth-century Russia,” in The Byzantine Legacy in Eastern Europe,
ed. L. Clucas (Boulder, 1988), pp. 33“9, for members of the Rhaoul family who emigrated to
Russia.
188 M. Manoussakas, “Les derniers d´fenseurs cr´tois de Constantinople d™apr`s les documents
e e e
v´nitiens,” in Akten des XI. internationalen Byzantinistenkongresses, p. 339; Matschke, “Griech-
e
ische Kau¬‚eute,” p. 81.
189 See p. 203 and note 78 above.
190 On the reduced economic role of Italians vis-`-vis the Greek and other non-Muslim subjects of
a
the Ottoman Empire in the ¬fteenth and sixteenth centuries, see H. ™ Inalc±k, “The Ottoman state:
economy and society, 1300“1600,” in An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire,
1300“1914, ed. H. ™
Inalc±k and D. Quataert (Cambridge, 1994), pp. 209“16.
231
Constantinople (1403“1453)
At the opening of Part III it was pointed out that the social structure of the
Byzantine capital in the late fourteenth and early ¬fteenth centuries resem-
bled very much the social structure of Thessalonike during the same era.
It can now be concluded that the political responses of the Thessalonians
to Ottoman pressures were closely paralleled by the attitudes that emerged
in Constantinople under similar circumstances, and, as in Thessalonike,
the political divisions of the Constantinopolitan population generally fol-
lowed the social divisions. Although the option of acquiring western help in
Thessalonike never became as tightly identi¬ed with the issue of the union
of the Churches as in Constantinople, when faced with what appeared
to be an inevitable choice between Ottoman or Latin domination, the
urban populations of the Byzantine Empire reacted in more or less simi-
lar ways. On the whole, the aristocracy of the capital, comprising mostly
high-ranking individuals in court and government circles, many of whom
owed their continued prosperity during this period to the economic ties
they established with Italy and Italians, supported an anti-Ottoman policy
based on the premise of assistance from the Latin West. Since invariably
the prerequisite for this assistance was the union of the Byzantine Church
with the Church of Rome, this group was prepared in general to give
up its Orthodox faith for the salvation of the capital and the empire.
Nonetheless, the pro-Latin/anti-Ottoman position did not become ¬rmly
established within the ranks of the capital™s upper classes until the time of
Bayezid I, whose eight-year-long siege directly exposed them to and made
them aware of the magnitude of the Ottoman threat for the ¬rst time.
As has been shown in chapter 6, up to the ¬nal years of the fourteenth
century there was a fairly strong group within court circles that upheld
accommodationist attitudes towards the Ottomans and leaned towards a
policy of coexistence with them. Coexistence, however, no longer seemed
feasible after the emergence of Bayezid I with his new and aggressive policy
of forceful uni¬cation, which he applied both in the Balkans and in Asia
Minor. It was thereafter that the pro-Latin/anti-Ottoman attitude gained
nearly universal popularity among the aristocracy of Constantinople and
culminated in the acceptance of the union at the Council of Florence
in 1439.
The majority of the lower classes, on the other hand, were opposed to
the Latins for religious as well as for social and economic reasons. But
their attitude towards the Ottomans is not always clearly distinguishable.
During the period of intense danger and hardship prompted by Bayezid I™s
blockade, they agitated and demonstrated in favor of surrender to the
enemy, hoping thereby to secure the establishment of peace. Again, during
232 Constantinople
Mehmed II™s siege in 1453, part of the capital™s common people voiced their
preference for Ottoman domination over the domination of the Latins;
however, at this time there is no evidence of a widespread or uni¬ed
movement among the lower classes in favor of surrender. This stands
in contrast to the situation that was observed in Thessalonike, where
the anti-Latinism of lower-class people was generally accompanied by an
attitude favorable to the Ottomans, in particular favorable to surrender.
The difference may be attributed to the diverse political experiences of the
two cities. In addition to the contrast based on Thessalonike™s history of
rapid political change and subjection to foreign rule (¬rst of the Ottomans,
then of the Venetians), Constantinople during the last ¬fty years covered
in this chapter was not exposed to Ottoman attacks as consistently as
Thessalonike, and it enjoyed periods of relative peace during 1403“11 and
1424“39. Therefore, the population of Constantinople may not have been
under as much pressure as the Thessalonians to adopt an accommodationist
stance vis-`-vis the Ottomans. It is, however, also likely that the situation in
a
the imperial capital, as displayed in contemporary sources, re¬‚ects in part
the interests of the authors who were absorbed in the union controversy
and consequently focused more on the attitudes of people towards the
Latins and the religious question, while not paying as much attention to
their attitudes towards the Ottomans except at certain critical moments.
Finally, similar observations can be made about the attitudes that took
shape within the ecclesiastical and monastic circles of Constantinople. As
far as the union of the Churches is concerned, although a number of people
from the upper ranks of the ecclesiastical hierarchy lent their support to this
cause, the majority of religious groups who were characteristically hostile
to the Latins emerged unwilling to sacri¬ce their theological principles
for what they regarded as the transient political advantages that most
unionists were seeking. In contrast to the pro-Latin sentiments fostered by
the unionists, a conciliatory attitude towards the Ottomans was embraced
by the anti-Latin/anti-unionist priests and monks of the capital, one of
whom “ namely George-Gennadios Scholarios “ became the ¬rst patriarch
of Constantinople under the rule of Mehmed the Conqueror.
part iv
The Despotate of the Morea




introduction to part iv
In 1453 those among the survivors of the fall of Constantinople who ¬‚ed
to the Despotate of the Morea for refuge found themselves in the midst
of a turbulent environment. They discovered upon their arrival that the
rulers of the province, the Despots Thomas and Demetrios Palaiologos,
as well as some of the local magnates, were contemplating escaping to
Italy in order to avoid the Ottoman danger. Indeed it was only after
Sultan Mehmed II made a truce with them that the Despotate™s rulers and
magnates decided to remain in their homeland.1 Shortly afterwards peace
in the peninsula was interrupted by an uprising of the Albanian subjects
of the Despotate. The Albanian revolt, in addition to constraining the
Despots to resort to the Ottomans for military help, led to the further
deterioration of the Peloponnesian countryside which had already been
devastated by earlier Ottoman and other foreign incursions.2 Yet what
perhaps contributed most to the troubled state of affairs in the Byzantine
Morea was the intense discord between the two Despots, brothers of the
deceased Emperor Constantine XI. From the beginning of his political
career Demetrios Palaiologos had been inclined towards collaborating with
and accommodating the Ottomans, while his younger brother Thomas
persistently favored the intervention of western powers as an alternative
to submitting to Ottoman sovereignty.3 It is, however, noteworthy that
Byzantine sources, while admitting the role of the divergent political views
1 Chalkok.“Dark´ , vol. ii, p. 169. See also Kritob.“Reinsch, I.74,1, p. 85.
o
2 Albanians had been living in Byzantine Morea since their settlement there by Theodore I Palaiologos
during the last decade of the fourteenth and ¬rst decade of the ¬fteenth centuries: see Zakythinos,
Despotat, vol. ii, pp. 31“2; V. Panayotopoulos, Plhqusm¼v kaª o«kismoª t¦v Peloponnžsou (13ov“
18ov a«¤nav) (Athens, 1985), pp. 78ff. On the Albanian uprising of 1453“4, see Chalkok.“Dark´ , o
vol. ii, pp. 169“76; Sphrantzes“Grecu, XXXVII, pp. 104“8; Schreiner, Kleinchroniken, vol. i, Chr.
33/41, 34/22, 36/20, 40/5; vol. ii, pp. 482“3; cf. Spandugnino, De la origine, in Sathas, Documents,
vol. ix, pp. 156“7.
3 For details and references to the sources, see above, ch. 6, pp. 140“1, and below, ch. 10, pp. 277ff.

233
234 The Despotate of the Morea
and practices of Thomas and Demetrios, attribute the con¬‚ict between the
Despot brothers primarily to the instigation of the dissident landlords of the
Morea who craved for independence from central authority.4 This suggests
that the situation which the refugees from Constantinople encountered
there in 1453 was not simply a result of the particular disagreement between
the two Despots; nor was it mainly due to the immediate confusion created
by the fall of the Byzantine capital. It seems rather to have been a long-term
phenomenon rooted in the internal structure of Moreote society. Therefore,
it will be illuminating to examine the social conditions in the Despotate
from the time of the establishment of the Palaiologoi there in 1382 down
to the conquest of this last Byzantine outpost in Greece by the Ottomans
in 1460, paying special attention to the relations of the local landowning
aristocracy with the Despots of the Morea. Against this background of the
internal circumstances prevailing in the province between 1382 and 1460, it
will be much easier to comprehend the political attitudes of the Despotate™s
inhabitants towards the Ottomans and the Latins, and to follow as well the
turns and twists in the foreign policy pursued by the government at Mistra
during these years.
4 Kritob.“Reinsch, III.19, p. 141; Sphrantzes“Grecu, XXXIX, pp. 110“16; Chalkok.“Dark´ , vol. ii,
o
pp. 213“14.
chapter 9

The early years of Palaiologan rule in the Morea
(1382“1407)



Ever since the Fourth Crusade, followed by the creation of a number of
Frankish principalities and the settlement of Venetians in various parts
of the Peloponnese, political instability had become a persistent trait that
characterized the region. Some order and prosperity were restored to the
Byzantine possessions of the peninsula during the long administration of
the Despot Manuel Kantakouzenos (r. 1349“80), who asserted his authority
over the insubordinate Greek landlords and made favorable alliances with
the neighboring Latin princes and states.1 Yet the region™s volatile political
situation remained unchanged as military struggles continued among the
different powers competing for control in the peninsula and as frontiers
kept shifting accordingly. About the time of Manuel Kantakouzenos™ death
in 1380, the Frankish principality of Achaia in the North had long been
broken up into several small fragments; Corinth was held by the Florentine
Nerio Acciaiuoli; the Catalan duchy of Athens across the Gulf of Corinth
had come under the protection of the Aragonese; and the Venetians still
held onto the port cities of Coron and Modon, as well as some neighboring
rural areas in the southern Peloponnese. The years shortly preceding 1380
also saw two groups of newcomers in the Morea, namely the Hospitallers
of Rhodes and the companies of Navarrese mercenaries, of whom the latter
in particular brought further confusion and disorder to the peninsula. The
Hospitallers, who had considered moving their headquarters from Rhodes
to the Morea as early as 1356, were invited in 1376 by Joanna of Naples,
the princess of Achaia (r. 1373“81), who leased her principality to the order
for a period of ¬ve years. The Navarrese, on the other hand, came to the
Morea in 1378 as hired mercenaries in the pay of the Hospitallers. Shortly

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