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111 See note 105 above. For Loukanes, cf. PLP, no. 15089.
112 Sphrantzes“Grecu, XXXVIII.2, XXXIX.1, pp. 110, 112.
113 Chalkok.“Dark´ , vol. ii, pp. 170“6, 203, 209“11, 214. Cf. Zakythinos, Despotat, vol. i, p. 249,
o
for an interpretation of the Albanian revolt of 1453 as part of the historical con¬‚ict between the
landowning aristocracy and the central government of the Morea.
114 Sphrantzes“Grecu, XXXIX.2“7, XL.5,11, pp. 112“14, 118, 120. On these individuals, see PLP, nos.
24996, 23815, 25084, 27758, 21447, 19805.
115 In 1456 George Palaiologos was still in the service of Thomas, who received a safe-conduct for him
from the Venetian Senate: Thiriet, R´gestes, vol. iii, no. 3010 (Jan. 17, 1456).
e
283
The ¬nal years of the Byzantine Morea (1407“1460)
of George Palaiologos with the Sultan™s grand vizier Mahmud Pasa, who ¸
116
was a former Christian of Byzantine aristocratic descent. If, however, one
is prepared to view George™s entry into the service of Demetrios and his
connections with the Ottoman court as signs of a pro-Turkish orientation
on his part, the inaccuracy of such a conclusion is revealed through the
information that after his desertion to the Despot Demetrios, George spent
a lot of time in Venetian Nauplia where his wife and children had taken
refuge.117 His son-in-law Bochales, on the other hand, ended up killing
Mahmud Pasa™s men assigned to escort him and his family out of Gardiki
¸
and ¬‚ed to the Venetian-held island of Corfu.118 Bochales later returned to
the Morea and lost his life ¬ghting against the Ottomans on the side of the
Venetians.119
The same picture emerges when we examine a document which lists
the names of a group of archontes from the Morea who were invited
by Mehmed II to submit to Ottoman sovereignty at the end of 1454.120
The individuals or families to whom the Sultan promised the security of
their lives and property, and even greater prosperity, in return for their
submission to him are the following: Sph(r)antzes, Manuel Rhaoul, Sophi-
anos, Demetrios Laskaris, the families of Diplobatatzes, Philanthropenos,
Kabakes, (Pe)pagomenos, Phrankopoulos, Sgouromalles, Mauropapas, and
the Albanian chief Petro-Bua. It will be noticed that this list does not include
names such as Mamonas or Asanes, whose connections with the Ottomans
have been demonstrated in the present chapter and in the preceding one.
The only family with a former record of association with Turks is that of
Mauropapas, if we are to recall that in 1296 “Corcondille” had captured
the fortress of Hagios Georgios from the Latins with the assistance of one
Leo Mauropapas, who commanded a band of one hundred Turkish mer-
cenaries.121 By contrast, several of the archontes listed in the document of
1454 bear the names of families which are known to have had ties with
Italians or a prior record of resistance to the Ottomans, such as Rhaoul,
Sophianos, and Kabakes. It appears that during the year and a half that
elapsed following the fall of Constantinople, these Moreotes, convinced
of the permanence of Ottoman power and concerned as always with their
116 Sphrantzes“Grecu, XXXIX.6“7, XL.6“8, pp. 112“14, 118“20. According to Sphrantzes, Mahmud
Pasa™s mother and George Palaiologos were ¬rst cousins, and the latter™s daughter (i.e. Bochales™
¸
wife) was hence second cousin to the grand vizier. On Mahmud Pasa™s origins and family, see
¸
Stavrides, Sultan of Vezirs, pp. 73“106.
117 Sphrantzes“Grecu, XL.8, p. 120. 118 Ibid., XL.7, p. 120.
119 Stavrides, Sultan of Vezirs, p. 79 n. 27. 120 MM, vol. iii, p. 290 (Dec. 26, 1454).
121 See above, p. 266 and note 33. The only two members of this Moreote family listed in PLP are
nos. 17473 (Theodore Mauropapas) and 17474 (Nicholas Mauropapas).
284 The Despotate of the Morea
material interests, adapted their political outlook to the contemporary sit-
uation, recognizing that an af¬liation with Sultan Mehmed II would serve
their interests best. After all, people like Sophianos may well have been
familiar with the bene¬ts their ancestors had reaped through an accommo-
dation with the Frankish conquerors of the Peloponnese in the thirteenth
century.
In his chapter on the Latins of Greece in The Cambridge Medieval
History, Setton wrote that in the Morea,
Greeks and Latins had grown accustomed to each other during the many years
that followed the [Latin] conquest . . . [T]he lapse of time and the advent of
the Turk tended to bring the Greeks and Latins more closely together . . . Since
there was less theological rancour in continental Greece and the Morea than in
Constantinople, the turban was not often preferred to the Latin tiara.122
It has been seen, however, that other factors besides “theological rancour”
determined the choice people made between the “turban” and the “tiara.”
The sociopolitical and socioeconomic structure of the Despotate of the
Morea, which gave occasion to persistent rivalries between the local aris-
tocracy and the central government, played a prominent role in the political
choices people made with respect to foreign powers. It has perhaps been
dif¬cult to discover many Moreote families with consistent and steady
political orientations, yet when it came to guarding their material interests
they all proved their consistency and steadfastness.
122 Setton, “Latins in Greece,” pp. 48“9.
Conclusion




common patterns and divergences: assessing the
interregional similarities and variations
Having examined and analyzed the effects of Ottoman pressures between
about 1370 and 1460 in three major areas of the Byzantine Empire in
terms of the political attitudes that emerged among various groups or
individuals, we can detect certain patterns that recur in Thessalonike and
Constantinople, and to some degree in the Morea as well. First, it has been
seen that variations in the political orientation of different groups within
the empire™s population towards foreign powers were closely intertwined
with the social tensions that existed in Byzantium during this period, which
resulted in marked differences between the attitudes of people belonging
to the upper and the lower segments of Byzantine society. In the two largest
urban centers of the empire represented by Constantinople and Thessa-
lonike, generally speaking, an opinion in favor of cooperation with western
Christian powers against the Ottomans prevailed among the aristocracy.
Included within the ranks of this urban aristocracy were the ruling and
intellectual elite of the cities named above, as well as rich merchants and
businessmen who had strong economic ties with Italian maritime republics.
In the rural areas, too, represented by the countryside of Thessalonike and
the Morea, the landowning aristocrats on the whole seem to have shared
the western political orientation of their urban counterparts. We have seen,
however, that some landowners, responding to the conciliatory policy the
Ottomans pursued with regard to the Christians who submitted to their
authority, adopted an accommodationist attitude towards the enemy in
return for which they won the right to retain their estates, acquired new
ones, or were granted other comparable privileges.
The lower-class citizens of Thessalonike and Constantinople, on the
other hand, exhibited a generally unfavorable attitude towards the Latins,
whether they regarded the Latins as speci¬c powers with a political or

285
286 Byzantium between the Ottomans and the Latins
economic presence, as in the case of the Venetians and the Genoese, or
judged them from a religious and ideological standpoint as Catholics. Dur-
ing times of intense Ottoman pressure, moreover, when faced with what
seemed to be an inevitable choice between Latin or Ottoman domination,
the common people often showed a preference for the latter and particularly
in Thessalonike led several demonstrations in favor of peaceful surrender
to the Ottomans as a means of relief from the dangers and hardships they
were undergoing. Unfortunately, our information concerning the political
attitudes of the common people in the Morea is rather limited and does not
conform to much of a pattern. As parallels to the tendencies noted above
in reference to the Byzantine capital and Thessalonike, we know of one
case in which the inhabitants of Mistra all together stood in opposition to
the takeover of their city by the Hospitallers of St. John in 1400, and one
case in which the inhabitants of Sikyon surrendered to Murad II following
the destruction of the Hexamilion by the Sultan™s forces in 1446. But we
also know that on the very same occasion the inhabitants of Patras ¬‚ed to
Venetian-dominated areas, and that in 1460 those of Monemvasia sought
and acquired the protection of the papacy shortly after their ruler, the
Despot Demetrios Palaiologos, surrendered on terms to Mehmed II.1 The
Monemvasiots, it should be noted, had previously made an unsuccessful
attempt to place themselves under Venetian sovereignty when Theodore I
ceded their town to Bayezid I in 1394.2 Furthermore, several examples
of the ¬‚ight of Greek peasants from the Despotate of the Morea to the
neighboring Venetian territories of the peninsula have been documented
in the last two chapters, whereas analogous references to their ¬‚ight to the
Ottomans have not been encountered.
Before attempting to provide an explanation for the divergences and
inconsistencies that have emerged in the context of the Morea, we must
¬rst complete this outline of the recurring attitudes that can be traced in
the three areas under examination. This brings us to the third element
within Byzantine society, namely the members of the empire™s ecclesiastical
and monastic establishments, whose political tendencies as a group show
some signs of regularity across the regions. We have seen that religious
considerations pushed the majority of the members of this group away
from a cooperation with westerners, who often demanded the union of
the Byzantine Church with the Latin Church in return for their assistance
1 On Monemvasia, see B. Kreki´, “Monemvasie sous la protection papale,” ZRVI 6 (1960), 129“35;
c
Kalligas, Byzantine Monemvasia, pp. 191“3. For Mistra, Sikyon, and Patras, see above, ch. 9, p. 258
and note 95; ch. 10, p. 273 and note 67.
2 See above, ch. 9, note 90.
287
Conclusion
against the Ottomans. A number of people from within the religious
circles were in turn driven closer to the Ottomans, whose tolerant religious
policy and conciliatory attitude with regard to conquered Christian peoples
proved to be very effective in this respect. Nonetheless, there always was a
segment within the religious hierarchy that remained strongly attached to
an anti-Latin/anti-Ottoman position.
Turning now to the differences noted in connection with the Morea,
we can add another major point of departure exhibited by the inhabitants
of the province, speci¬cally by its landowning aristocracy, that contrasts
with the motives and behavior of the inhabitants of Constantinople and
Thessalonike. As pointed out earlier, a desire for the establishment of peace
with the Ottomans was what everyone in the last two places, regardless
of their rank or social status, wanted even though they differed over the
means by which they wished to implement this peace, some siding with
the Latins, some with the Ottomans, and others maintaining an anti-
Latin/anti-Ottoman stance. In the Morea, on the other hand, there was
no great desire for the establishment of peace. To the contrary, the unruly
landowners of the province consistently favored the disruption of peace in
their quest for independence from central authority, and in this process
they welcomed the interference sometimes of the Navarrese mercenaries
from the neighboring principality of Achaia and sometimes of Ottoman
or other Turkish forces.
These differences stem in large part from the distinct political history
of the Despotate of the Morea, dictated particularly by the nature of the
Ottoman presence there. For nearly three-quarters of a century before the
¬nal conquest of the province by Mehmed II in 1460, Ottoman attacks
against the Morea were generally carried out without the aim of conquest or
settlement, and the Despotate enjoyed moreover long stretches of peaceful
relations with the Ottomans both prior to the last decade of the fourteenth
century and during 1402’23. Although the region was by no means free
from military and political instability, the Ottomans were for the most
part not the ones who were responsible for it, as they were in Thessalonike
or in Constantinople. Therefore, in the absence of an imminent threat of
conquest and settlement by Ottoman forces, the landowners of the Morea
appear to have seen no great risk involved in deterring the establishment of
peace for their own ends through the methods they employed. The same
historical circumstances also help to explain the inconsistent and often
contradictory attitudes of people from the lower ranks of Moreote society
with regard to the Ottomans and the Latins. Whereas in Thessalonike
and Constantinople many poorer people adopted, for the sake of peace,
288 Byzantium between the Ottomans and the Latins
a position in favor of surrender to the Ottomans whose intention was
to conquer these cities together with the lands surrounding them, in the
Morea such an option did not really exist when Ottoman armies for a long
time went there only for plundering raids, and when unstable and insecure
conditions were generated mostly by native landowners or by inhabitants
of the small Latin principalities in the vicinity. As to the discontented
Greek peasants who ¬‚ed to the Venetian territories of the peninsula, their
choice seems to have been determined primarily by geographical factors,
since the Venetians were settled just outside the borders of the Despotate,
quite unlike the countryside of Thessalonike which in the late fourteenth
and early ¬fteenth centuries had become almost like an island surrounded
by an Ottoman sea. Finally, in discussing the case of the Morea it must be
borne in mind that we are dealing with an entire province, rather than a
single city with its outlying districts, which makes it all the more likely for
variations to exist.
Another point that must be stressed in connection with these conclud-
ing remarks and that applies to all three areas of the Byzantine Empire
examined in this study is that the question of the political attitudes which
different people or groups in Byzantium adopted should not be approached
as if this were an either/or issue for them. First, contrary to the impression
given by most contemporary Byzantine and Latin authors, and oftentimes
accepted at face value by modern historians, the pro-Ottoman disposition
that began to emerge among certain sectors of the Byzantine population
after the middle of the fourteenth century was not necessarily or solely a
result of anti-Latin feelings.3 We have seen that many other factors besides
an antagonism they nurtured for the Latins played a role in driving cer-
tain individuals or groups towards an accommodation with the Ottomans.
These factors included in the ¬rst place the religious policy of the Ottomans
and the methods of conquest they employed; expectations of prosperity,
high posts, and other opportunities or material bene¬ts in the service of

3 Such a schematic presentation is provided, for instance, by Doukas in the passage quoted in note 1
of ch. 8. Among western authors Bertrandon de la Broqui`re, who visited Constantinople in 1432,
e
wrote the following words about the city™s native inhabitants: “ . . . ilz cuiderent que je fusse Turc et
me ¬rent de l™onneur beaucoup . . . car en cestuy temps, ilz heoient fort les Crestiens . . . ” (Voyage
d™Outremer de B. de la Broqui`re, pp. 148“9). Similarly, Jean Gerson, the chancellor of the University
e
of Paris, stated to King Charles VI of France in 1409 that the Greeks preferred the Turks to the Latins,
attributing the pro-Turkish attitude of the Byzantines to their dislike of the Latins: “ . . . des Grecs
qui sur tous autres haissent et mesprisent tous les Latins et les jugent h´r´tiques et scismatiques et pis
ee
encores et se tourneront auant aux Turcs que aux Latins” (A. Galitzin, Sermon in´dit de Jean Gerson sur
e
le retour des Grecs a l™unit´ (Paris, 1859), p. 29). In recent years M. Balivet has also questioned whether
` e
the pro-Ottoman attitude encountered among the Byzantines was necessarily a manifestation of their
anti-Latinism: see his “Personnnage du ˜turcophile™,” 111“29.
289
Conclusion
Ottoman sultans; a desire for the re-establishment of internal peace in
Byzantium and the conviction that this could be achieved only through
the establishment of external peace with the Ottomans. Secondly, we have
encountered several examples of Byzantine families or individuals who
simultaneously associated with the Ottomans and the Latins, which illus-
trates another dimension of the caution against an either/or approach. To
these must be added the existence of overlaps within the attitudes of people
from varying social backgrounds, and the pieces of evidence concerning
members of the same family who embraced different views at a given
time or changed their position over time through successive generations.
Argued differently, the political attitudes that have been presented in this
study were by no means constant phenomena that conformed to one rigid
pattern, and I hope to have demonstrated that the complex process of
their formation can only be interpreted within their proper contextual and
historical framework.
Appendices
appendix i

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