The Despotate of Epiros 1267-1479: A Contribution to the History of Greece in the Middle Ages
The district of Epiros in north-western Greece became an independent province following the Fourth Crusade and the dismemberment of the Byzantine Empire by the Latins in 1204. It retained its independence despite the recovery of Constantinople by the Greeks in 1261. Each of its rulers acquired the Byzantine titles of Despot, from which the term Despotate was coined to describe their territory. They preserved their autonomy partly by seeking support from their foreign neighbours in Italy. The fortunes of Epiros were thus affected by the expansionist plans of the Angevin kings of Naples and the commercial interests of Venice. Until 1318 it was governed by direct descendants of its Byzantine founder. Thereafter it was taken over first by the Italian family of Orsini, then conquered by the Serbians, infiltrated by the Albanians, and appropriated by an Italian adventurer, Carlo Tocco. Like the rest of Byzantium and eastern Europe it was ultimately absorbed into the Ottoman Empire in the fifteenth century. The Despotate of Epiros illuminates part of Byzantine history and of the history of Greece in the Middle Ages.
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The restored Despotate 126785
Epiros between Italy and Byzantium12851306
French Byzantines and Venetians in Epiros12941318
the Orsini family131837
The Byzantine restoration133748
The Serbian occupation134859
The Serbian Despotate of Ioannina and the Albanian
Esau Buondelmonti and Carlo
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Acheloos ActAlb ActAlbVen Akarnania Albanians Andronikos Angelokastron Angevin army Arta Athens basilissa Anna Berat bishop brother Butrinto Byzantine Cantac Carlo Tocco castle Catalans century Cephalonia Charles of Anjou Chron Chronicle of Ioannina chrysobull church city of Ioannina Constantinople Corfu Cronaca Darrouzes daughter Despot Despot Nikephoros Despot of Arta Despot Thomas Despotate of Epiros document Dolger Doukas Dubrovnik Ducellier Durazzo Dusan Eirene Emperor Michael Empire Epiros Esau Buondelmonti Ferjancic Gjin Spata governor Greece Greek Greg Hopf hyperpyra Ibid Ioann Ioannina islands John Cantacuzene John Orsini Kanina Komnenos Krekic L'Empire latin Leonardo Leukas Longnon Maria marriage married monastery Mor.fr Morea Muriki Naples Naupaktos Nicholas Nicol Pach Palaiologos patriarch Perrat-Longnon Philip of Taranto pinkernes prince of Achaia Ragusa Regestes Rogoi rulers Schiro sebastokrator sent Serbian Setton Soustal-Koder Spata Syrgiannes Thamar Theodore Thessalonica Thessaly Thiriet Thomas Preljubovic Turkish Turks Valona Venetians Venice Vonitsa Vranousis wife Zante Zenevesi