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.