The Catalans in Greece


With Michael's death the new Emperor Andronicus II allowed the army and navy to deteriorate. In 1302 after being defeated by the first arrival of Ottoman forces at Nicomedia he hired the Catalan Company. This was a mercenary company of some 6000 troops led by Roger De Flor 8. After a successful campaign against the Turks, Roger was murdered by Alans at Adrianople in 1305. The Catalan vengeance resulted in the devastation of Thrace and much of northern Greece. Walter, Duke of Athens employed the company in 1310. However, he failed to pay them and they rebelled. At armies clashed at Kephissos in 1311 when Walter's knights charged into a mire created by the Catalans. The light infantry Almogavars who formed the bulk of the Catalan company destroyed the Latins. They went on to conquer Athens establishing themselves there until its capture in 1388.