Frankish States in the Aegean

Following the capture of Constantinople in 1204 French 'crusaders' captured Thessalonika and most of central Greece east of the Pindos mountains, as well as much of the Peloponnese. They established a complex patchwork of states with in excess of thirty different dynasties of lordlings. The Byzantine Greek reconquest of Thessalonika (1224) and Constantinople (1261) left four main territories; Duchy of Athens and Thebes, Duchy of the Archipelago, Triarchies of Euboea and the Principality of Achaia. In addition there were smaller holdings linked to these territories and the islands usually under the colonial control of Venice or Genoa.

These states fought primarily against the Byzantine Greeks who retained a foothold in the Peloponnese and to the north in the Despotate of Epiros. They were organized on western feudal lines although they integrated with the local population to a degree that has only recently been given proper recognition 10. Whilst subject to western power struggles particularly in Italy, the sword proved more powerful than dynastic connections as the Catalan Company and later the Navarrese companies aptly demonstrated. The states gradually collapsed, finally falling to the Ottoman tide by the end of the 15th century. Although Venice held on until the 17th century in the islands.