The Catalan Expedition to the East: from the Chronicle of Ramon Muntaner 9781855661318

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The Catalan Expedition to the East: from the Chronicle of Ramon Muntaner

Table of contents :
Ramon Muntaner and his Chronicle, by J.N. Hillgarth
Translator's Preface
The Catalan Expedition to the East
I. On Friar Roger's beginnings
II. How Friar Roger joined King Frederick
III. On the siege of Messina and how it was raised by Friar Roger
IV. On the end of the war, and on how peace was established between King Frederick and Sir Charles and King Charles of Naples
V. On how Friar Roger made arrangements to travel to Constantinople
VI. On how Friar Roger sent envoys to the Emperor
VII. On how the Grand Duke made preparations for travelling to Constantinople
VIII. On how there was a violent struggle between the Catalans and the Genoese in Constantinople
IX. On how the Grand Duke went to Artaki and defeated the Turks
X. On how the Grand Duke presented a very great gift to the Company
XI. On the second battle that the Grand Duke fought against the Turks close to Philadelphia
XII. On how the Turks were defeated at Tira and on how Corberan of Let perished there
XIII. The miracle which took place in the city of Ephesus and the manna from the body of Saint John the Evangelist
XIV. On how the Grand Duke was in the city of Anaea and went to the Iron Gate
XV. On how the Grand Duke visited the Emperor of Constantinople
XVI. On how the noble Berengar of Entença came to Romania
XVII. On how the Grand Duke was made Caesar
XVIII. On how the forces of the Company stayed in Gallipoli
XIX. On how the Caesar perished in the city of Adrianople at the behest of the Emperor’s son
XX. On how Berengar of Entença went to the city of Heraclea
XXI. On how Berengar of Entença captured the said city of Heraclea
XXII. On the council of the Grand Company
XXIII. On how the Company fought the first battle against the Emperor in Gallipoli
XXIV. On how the Company fought the second battle against the Emperor’s son
XXV. On how the Company went to sack the city of Rodosto
XXVI. On how Ferdinand Eiximenis of Arenós carried out raids in the immediate vicinity of Constantinople and on how he captured Madytos
XXVII. On how Sir Christopher George came to mount an attack upon Gallipoli
XXVIII. On how Rocafort raided Stenia
XXIX. On how the Company went to fight against the Alans and Ramon Muntaner stayed behind to defend Gallipoli
XXX. On how the Genoese challenged the Company
XXXI. On how they came to attack Gallipoli
XXXII. On how the Turks became part of the Company
XXXIII. On how the noble Berengar of Entença came out of prison and returned to Gallipoli
XXXIV. On how the Lord Infant Ferdinand came to Romania and to Gallipoli
XXXV. On how the members of the Company left Gallipoli and on how there was a fight amongst them in which the noble Berengar of Entença perished
XXXVI. On how the Lord Infant left the Company
XXXVII. On the sacking of the castle of Phocea
XXXVIII. On how the Infant Ferdinand was captured by Venetians
XXXIX. On how the Company acknowledged Sir Theobald of Cepoy as commander on behalf of Sir Charles of France
XL. On how the Venetian galleys departed from the Company and how I, Ramon Muntaner, went away with them
XLI. On the galleys of Riembau des Far
XLII. On how the Lord Infant Ferdinand emerged from King Robert’s prison
XLIII. On how the members of the Company took Rocafort captive and handed him over to Sir Theobald of Cepoy
XLIV. On how the Duke of Athens left the Duchy to the Count of Brienne and on how the Company went to the Morea
XLV. On how the Count of Brienne fought against the Company
XLVI. On how the Turks and Turcopoles wished to return to their country
XLVII. On how the Company took the Duchy of Athens
XLVIII. On the German Princes who conquered the Duchy of Athens in the first place
XLIX. On a lofty nobleman who visited the Duke of Athens
Select Bibliography

Citation preview

The Catalan Expedition to the East:

translated by Robert D. I lughes with an introduction by J.N.Ilillgarth

The Catalan Expedition to the East: from the Chronicle of Ramon

Muntaner translated by Robert D. Hughes with an introduction byJ.N. Hillgarth

BARCINO -TAMESIS barcelona/woodbridge



Introduction: Ramon Muntaner and his Chronicle, by J.N. Hillgarth, 9 Translator’s Preface, 13

The Catalan Expedition I


to the


On Friar Roger’s beginnings, 21

How Friar Roger joined King Frederick, 25


On the siege of Messina and how it was raised by Friar Roger, 29


On the end of the war, and on how peace was established between King Frederick and Sir Charles and King Charles of Naples, 32

V vi

On how Friar Roger made arrangements to travel to Constantinople, 36 On how Friar Roger sent envoys to the Emperor, 38


On how the Grand Duke made preparations for travelling to Constantinople, 41


On how there was a violent struggle between the Catalans and the Genoese in Constantinople, 44


On how the Grand Duke went to Artaki and defeated the Turks, 47


Ramon Muntanu


On how the Grand Duke presented a very great gift to the Company, 51


On the second battle that the Grand Duke fought against the Turks close to Philadelphia, 55


On how the Turks were defeated at Tira and on how Corberan of Let perished there, 57


The miracle which took place in the city of Ephesus and the manna from the body of Saint John the Evangelist, 59


On how the Grand Duke was in the city of Anaea and went to the Iron Gate, 61


On how the Grand Duke visited the Emperor of Constantinople, 64


On how the noble Berengar of Entenęa came to Romania, 67


On how the Grand Duke was made Caesar, 68


On how the forces of the Company stayed in Gallipoli, 71


On how the Caesar perished in the city of Adrianople at the behest of the Emperor’s son, 73


On how Berengar of Entenęa went to the city of Heraclea, 76


On how Berengar of Entenęa captured the said city of Heraclea, 79


On the council of the Grand Company, 81


On how the Company fought the first battle against the Emperor in Gallipoli, 83


On how the Company fought the second battle against the Emperor’s son, 86


On how the Company went to sack the city of Rodosto, 90

The Catalan Expedition

to the



On how Ferdinand Eiximenis of Arenós carried out raids in the immediate vicinity of Constantinople and on how he captured Madytos, 91


On how Sir Christopher George came to mount an attack upon Gallipoli, 95



xxx xxxi


On how Rocafort raided Stenia, 97

On how the Company went to fight against the Alans and Ramon Muntaner stayed behind to defend Gallipoli, 98 On how the Genoese challenged the Company, 102 On how they came to attack Gallipoli, 105

On how the Turks became part of the Company, 109


On how the noble Berengar of Entenęa came out of prison and returned to Gallipoli, 111


On how the Lord Infant Ferdinand came to Romania and to Gallipoli, 113


On how the members of the Company left Gallipoli and on how there was a fight amongst them in which the noble Berengar of Entenęa perished, 119


On how the Lord Infant left the Company, 123


On the sacking of the castle of Phocea, 126


On how the Infant Ferdinand was captured by Venetians, 130




On how the Company acknowledged Sir Theobald of Cepoy as commander on behalf of Sir Charles of France, 132

On how the Venetian galleys departed from the Company and how I, Ramon Muntaner, went away with them, 135 On the galleys of Riembau des Far, 138


Ramon Mumtanu



On how the Lord Infant Ferdinand emerged from King Robert’s prison, 140


On how the members of the Company took Rocafort captive and handed him over to Sir Theobald of Cepoy, 142


On how the Duke of Athens left the Duchy to the Count of Brienne and on how the Company went to the Morea, 145


On how the Count of Brienne fought against the Company, 147


On how the Turks and Turcopoles wished to return to their country, 150




On how the Company took the Duchy of Athens, 152 On the German Princes who conquered the Duchy of Athens in the first place, 155 On a lofty nobleman who visited the Duke of Athens, 157

Select Bibliography, 161

Ramon Muntaner and his Chronicle, by J.N. Hillgarth

Ramon Muntaner’s is the third and perhaps the most interesting of the four great Catalan chronicles, all of which were written within a century. While no more personal than the chronicles of James I and Peter III, it does not record the deeds of a king but those of the whole Catalan people and its leaders. Muntaner was bom in 1265 at Peralada in northern Catalonia. He died in 1336 in Ibiza. His extremely eventful life took him to the Balearic Isles and Sicily, and, from 1302 to 1307, to Constantinople, Asia Minor and Greece, with the Catalan Company. From 1309 to 1315 he was governor of the Moorish island of Djerba off Tunisia for Frederic of Sicily. His last decades were spent in Valencia and the Balearics. His Chronicle covers the period from 1205 to 1328; it was begun in 1325. Muntaner was completely devoted to the Royal House of Barcelona. He says (23) that his book was written to celebrate the favours this house had received from God. His choosing to end it with a splendid account of the coronation of Alfonso III in 1328 (294-298), at which he was present as one of the representatives of Valencia, was not acci­ dental. James I's birth is compared to that of Christ and referred to on four occasions as a «great miracle» (see 3). Peter H’s arrival in Sicily to free it from the French is compared (60) to that of Moses, sent by God to guide the people of Israel. Muntaner sought to hold up a «mirror for princes» to future kings of ’ The Roman references below are keyed to the present edition, the Arabic references to the chapters of the chronicle as a whole. The edition I use for this is that of Casacuberta, reproduced by Soldevila; see the select bibliography.


J.N. HiLLCim

Aragon, for whom he even foresaw universal dominion. He meant hb book to be read aloud to future rulers. Together with the other chro­ nicles it influenced the development of later Catalan historiography and helped to inspire the great Catalan novels of the later Middle Ages, Curial t Güelfa and Tirant lo Blanc. The epic tone and extraordinary detail of the Catalan chronicles bring with them some disadvantages. Muntaner sees Peter II as on the same level, if not superior, to Roland, Tristan, Lancelot, and the other knights of the Round Table (51). His tendency to “improve" on histo­ ry and his frequent inaccuracies are less important than what Soldevila called the «emotionalism which makes us understand and feel the force which drove the Catalans of his age, the reason for their expansive drive and their victorious enthusiasm». It was this force which achieved victory in 1285 against France, the greatest monarchy of the age, sup­ ported, as it was, by the papacy, also then at the height of its power. In Muntaner’s view the French defeat was merited. Muntaner insists on the way Philip III of France broke the oaths he had sworn to Peter II and to his brother, James II of Majorca (38-39). His criticism of the papa­ cy is only slightly veiled (32, 56, 77, 85, 103 f.). Muntaner shows us the men who led the Catalans, not only Peter II and his son Frederic of Sicily but the Italian Ruggiero di Loria, who com­ manded the Catalan fleets, and the German Roger of Flor, who led the Catalan Company. In his book he gives us himself, and, with himself, much of his contemporaries, the «nobles and knights and citizens and mer­ chants, captains of ships and sailors and almogavers and soldiers» (15) to whom he appeals to act as one in defence of the integrity of the Crown of Aragon and who stood in fact behind its phenomenal rise in the thir­ teenth and fourteenth centuries. His book celebrates the cities of the Catalan world and the unity with which «fine Catalan» was spoken from Montpellier to Murcia and across the Mediterranean to Italy and Greece. Antoni Rubió i Lluch brings out Muntaner’s character as a historian by comparing him to his Byzantine contemporary Pachymeres, whose chronicle covers, as does Muntaner, the adventures of the Catalan Company in the east. Pachymeres, Rubió points out, was much more cultivated and a better judge of character but he did not equal Muntaner in his ability to summon up the figures of the age. Unlike Pachymeres Muntaner makes no attempt at impartiality. At times his work resembles a chivalric romance. He could, however, be very realistic. Although he had enormous admira-


tion for Peter H’s chivalric qualities he saw that the king had made a cru­ cial mistake; by accepting a challenge to a duel in Bordeaux he had been prevented from completing his conquest of Naples (72). The regard Muntaner enjoyed from his contemporaries is clear from the commissions he received to govern Djerba (251) and, later, to equip some of the light galleys he - unlike others - had seen would be needed for the expedition to Sardinia (277). His chronicle shows how he was not only trusted by the Catalans he commanded but also by the Turks who joined them (XXXII). His descriptions of the com­ bat techniques employed by almogavers (159, 191 f.) help one to under­ stand how this terrifying light infantry was able to defeat French caval­ ry. He also explains the role played in combat at sea by Catalan cross-bowmen and the reasons for their superiority to their opponents (130). He is particularly skilful in putting the highest praise for Catalans in the mouths of their opponents (72, 107, 149). Muntaner’s devotion to the princes of the House of Barcelona embraced even James II of Aragon’s unbalanced eldest son (290). His especial fondness for James III of Majorca was no doubt due to his hav­ ing shared the adventures of his father, Prince Ferdinand (or Ferrando), in the east and then to having been entrusted with James when he was a small child and Muntaner had to bring him from Sicily to Perpignan (266, 268-269). Muntaner’s prose takes on special accents when he describes the child's mother, Isabel, as «the most beautiful creature of fourteen one could see * (263). Isabel had died shortly after the child’s birth in 1315. Her husband Ferrando was to be killed in battle in 1316. Writing in the 1320s Muntaner looked forward toJames Ill’s succession to the throne of Majorca. Despite opposition from Aragon this duly took place in 1324 but James’s reign was to be cut short by the enmi­ ty of his brother-in-law Peter III (the Ceremonious). Dispossesed of his kingdom James, like his father, was to die in battle (in 1349). While Muntaner was fortunate not to have lived to see these events, there are indications that he may have feared that Aragon might act against Majorca, as had happened in the past (280). On several occasions Muntaner preferred to pass over unpleasant facts. He was unwilling to record the occasions when the policy of the Crown of Aragon was subject to France, as happened in 1306-1310 when Prince Charles of Valois (the «king of the hat , * as Muntaner calls him) was put in charge of the Catalan Company (XXXVIII). The delight



with which he recounts the discomfiture of a French knight by a woman of Peralada illustrates his attitude to France. «By this you can see», he remarks, «that God’s anger was upon the French» (124). He had attempt­ ed to disguise the Aragonese seizure of Majorca in 1285 by inventing a story that this had been arranged to prevent a French take-over of the island (141 f.) Similarly he passed over the conflict between James 11 of Aragon and his brother Frederic of Sicily by saying «there are questions that can­ not be answered» (186). The reason for these omissions (or deliberate changes to history) is simple. Muntaner wished above all to defend and justify the policies of the House of Barcelona which he saw’ as «the house of God». Hence he records without comment James Is division of his kingdoms -objected to by Peter II and by the great lawyer Ramon of Penyafort-between his two surviving sons, Peter and James of Majorca (29). And hence his insistence that the different branches of the Royal House (Aragon, Majorca and Sicily) should remain united under the king of

Aragon, «the head and chief» of the three kingdoms (292). Soldevila saw Muntaner’s description of the Catalan (xjmpany’s expe­ dition to the east as the culmination of his work. It is certainly the most striking part of his chronicle. Much of it would be unbelievable if it were not confirmed by the documents collected by Rubió i Lluch. The Company's victories over the Turks in Asia Minor were followed by the murder of their commander, Roger of Flor, and the slaughter of many of his followers (XIX). Undismayed, this now leaderless army formally challenged the Byzantine empire which had called them in and then tried to destroy them (XX). Against great odds their victory was complete. As Muntaner says, «the whole of Romania was conquered» (XXIV). The «Catalan vengeance» the Company wrought on the Greeks was to be remembered for centuries. While Muntaner did not approve of every detail of this vengeance -he calls the massacre of the Greek popu­ lation of two towns «great cruelty» (XXV)- and he was not with the (kjmpany when, in 1311, their hegira ended with the conquest of the duchy of Athens, he records their actions until 1307 as one of their prin­ cipal leaders and saw them as part of the history of the Crown of Aragon. (In fact the Company had always acted as an independent body.) Rubió i Lluch was right to say that Muntaner «should be judged rather with the heart than the head». Despite the realism I have men­ tioned, it is the emotion that animates his writing that gives life to the chronicle and that makes one remember it when one closes his book.

Translator’s Preface

I have iasco uy translation of thh extract from Ramon Muntaner's

Cntaura relating to die exploits of the Grand Catalan Company in the

Eat upon the edition establithed by Lluís Nicolau d’Olwcr in the Els Nostre* CiMks serie», published by Barci no in 1936. and entitled

L'aptdtaa dfti caiaiam a CAirat To date. d'Olwer's edition remains Che

only one to hitw taken into account different manuscript* of Muntaner’s text Nevenhele*. in the cow of preparing ths translation. I have also

consulted the weH-kno*n edition of Ferran Soldevila, naraelv, the

Crònica de fianum Muntaner. in La yuaflr grans rràufites, published by

Editorial Selecta in 1971. and the more recent Crònica. edited by Vicent Josep Escani, and published by the Institució Alfons el Magnànim in

two volumes in 1999. During preparation of the final draft of this translation I also had

recourse to four existing translations or redactions for the purposes of

comparison and revision. These wrt: the relevant parts of the English translation by Lady Guctdenough of the entire Crònica, in her The ChrvnxU of Muntaner. published by the Hakluyt Society in 1931 and

reprinted by Kraus Reprint Limited. Nendeln, Liechtenstein, in 1967:

the relevant pans erf the riineteenthcentury Italian translation by Filippo Moist. in his Crvnache Catalan* del scrolo Xftl e xn; published by* Sellerio

editor*. Palermo in 1984; the corresponding parts of an abridged and •elective modern Catalan veraion, Fdt almogavm. redacted by Xavier

Nadal, for Edicions 3 1 4. Valencia/Barcelona. tn 1998; and the very recent and superior French translation byJean-Marie Barbera ofvirtu*

loilr D Hv««si


ally the same extract from Muntancr’s text a» published here, entitled Ln almo^avm: f'expedition dn catoiam ex Orient. and published by

Anacharsis Editions, Toulouse, 9003. Though the above versions were useful to varying degree» in the elucidation of the often obecure meaning and grammar of Ramon

Muntaner, my text differs from theirs in a variety of principally by trying to keep as close as possible to Muntaner» text while rendering hü often irregular syntax and archaic terminology in a way which is

both readable and modem, and yet which does not sacrifice any of

the enthusiasm and dynamism which drives his writing or revert to anachronisms. In certain cases of military, maritime, and administrative terminol­

ogy, I have substituted English equivalents or near-equivalent* for the Old Catalan terms (e.g. (avail armoi/aiforvoL, adahi^r\d alnoęaten^ leny

terid& pnxvndorgeneral, dnc. mnlrr rocimai,

etc.) where these

exist, although m the case of the oft-repeated terra abiugšutr, I have cho­

sen to transliterate this term rather than to use those variant* derived from Castilian. In the cases of measurements, so important m this text,

1 have generally retained the Catalan unit —or used an English equiva­ lent when* this exists (e.g. quintal, etc.)— often nuütig its difference from other Mediterranean or European uses of the "same* unit. (have also anglicised, as far as possible, at least the first names of characters

in the text (e.g. Rog^r of Flor, Bernard of Rocafort, William Peri* of

Caldes, etc.), and substituted the modem English equivalents of toponyms, though in the cases of Consianlinobie/Conlnitnable. Romania

and Lfrumar t have rendered these as "Constantinople*, "Romania" and “Outremer", respectively. With regard to the tides (5tr, Mitmt,

En/N\ Kyr) used, although not with absolute consistency by Mununcr,

for the Italian, French, Catalan and Creek personages, respectively, I have translated the first two as "Sir", suppressed the third, and ren­

dered the fourth as "Lord*. In the case of the titles of Afqgoduc and Megofu^uesw. since these are not Catalan titles but titles adapted from the Greek by Muntaner, 1 have substituted the terms "Grand Duke* or "Grand Duches*", despite the 17th-century origins of these term*. Finally, with respect to the Catalan titles Infant or In/ania, denoting the son or

daughter of a reigning monarch who is not the helnapparenc to the throne, I have made use of the admittedly rare English term "Infant" (for both sexes), e.g. "the Lady Infant", in order to avoid the uae of

Tuhklatos'b >UZACB


the (Castilian and Portuguese) cenns /n/Łmxc//n/ai«a, which have Hide or no place in a Catalan teat The footnotes in the text correspond U» a proportion of the notes

taken from d’Oliver's edition and. where indicated with an asterisk, to thoae in trcxhwed by the translator hinwell The reader will find a short

bibliography at the end of the text Dr. Robert D. Hughes,

Prague, aoofi.

shall speak to you about a brave man of humble origins who,


because of his bravery, rose in a short time to a greater height than any man ever bom. I wish to speak of him in this place, because those feats of his which follow were most remarkable and important deeds, all of which can be, and should be, ascribed to the House of Aragon. In part, 1 have resolved to write this book on account of the great wonders he brought about and the great victories which the Catalans and Aragonese have had in Romania1 as a result of his ini­ tiatives. Of these wonders, no man can relate the truth as well as I, for I was his Procurator-General* in Sicily, during the period of his pros­ perity, and I played a part in all the most important ventures he under­ took, both on land and at sea; therefore you should all believe me.

1 Romania designates: (a) the Eastern Roman Empire, also known as Greece or Byzantium; (6) the European pan of this Empire; (r) the territories belonging to this part which were beneath the direct sovereignty of the Emperor or Basiltui. There are instances of all three meanings in Muntaner. On this occasion, Romania should be taken in sense a. 1 Chief steward in charge of administrative matters (payment of troops, household affairs, etc.).*

On Friar Roger’s beginnings

I It is true that the Emperor Frederick* had a falconer who came from Germany, named Richard of Flor,4 who was a most gallant man. And in the city of Brindisi he gave him a maiden as his wife, the daughter of an honourable man from that place, a lofty nobleman.5 So, between what the Emperor gave him and what he received from his wife, he became a man of great mark. And by that lady he had two sons: the elder was named James of Flor and the younger was named Roger of Flor.6 At the time Conradin7 came to the kingdom, the elder of these was not yet four years of age, while Roger himself was but one. Their father, who was skilled in arms, wished to fight in the battle between Conradin and King Charles,8 and in that battle he was slain.9 And once King Charles had seized the kingdom, he took possession of all that belonged

s Frederick II, Emperor of Germany and King of Sicily, was married to Constance, the daughter of the Catalan Count-King Alfonso I (Count of Barcelona and King of Aragon ]. The rights of the House of Aragon to the Crown of Sicily date back to him. A book on hunting is attributed to Frederick. < Since this personage was German, his surname would be Blum (= flor/flower). It was the custom of the period to translate surnames. s Catalan rir horn in the Crown of Aragon, a member of the uppermost noble fami­ lies or magnate.* • Or Rutger von Blume.* ’ Following the death of King Manfred, Conradin wished to win back the kingdom of Sicily (Naples, Calabria. Puglia and the island of Sicily) from Charles of Anjou. He was defeated at Tagliacozzo (1268) and beheaded at Naples. • Charles I of Anjou, to whom the Holy Father granted the enfeoffment of Sicily. • Roger of Flor’s father died at the battle of Tagliacozzo (1268).*


Ramon Muntanim

to anyone who had been part of the Emperor’s or King Manfred's households,10 whereby the only thing that these young boys and their mother had left, was what the mother had brought with her in dowry. Of all else they had been disinherited. At that time, the ships belonging to the Temple and the Hospital" would end up in Brindisi, and those from Puglia came there to pass the winter with the intention of transporting pilgrims and provisions from the kingdom. The Orders all possessed much property, and still do, in Brindisi as well as throughout Puglia and across the entire kingdom. So, once spring had arrived, the ships which had wintered in Brindisi would take on pilgrims and load their cargoes of oil, wine, fats and fine wheat11 and go to Acre.13 Certainly, it is the best equipped place of any in Christendom for making the crossing to Outremer,1* and its land is the most abundant and fertile; it is also very close to Rome and has the best harbour in the world, and the city, which surrounds the entire harbour, is beautiful, for its houses come right down to the sea. Some years later, when this young boy, Roger, was about eight years of age, it happened that a member of the Templars, a Friar Sergeant by the name of Friar Vassall - a native of Marseilles, and the commander of a Templar ship as well as a worthy seaman - came to pass the winter in Brindisi with his ship, which he rested on its side for inspection and had repaired. While the Friar was having his ship repaired, the young boy Roger would run about this ship and climb up the rigging with the agility of a mon­ key, spending each day with the sailors since his mother’s house was close to where the ship lay. The worthy Friar Vassall was so fond of the young Roger that he loved him as much as if he had been his own son. So he asked his mother for him, telling her that if she entrusted Roger to him, he would

'• Catalan família.* 11 Catalan les maisons: the houses; that is to say, the Houses or Orders of the Temple and of the Hospital.* 11 Catalan foment hulled wheat. Species of hulled wheat (Triticum monococcum) inclu­ de einkurn, emmer and spelt, and are among the most ancient cereal crops of the Mediterranean region* Saint John of Acre or Ptolemaida, the final remnant of the Christian kingdom of Jerusalem. It fell on 18th May 1291. '< Term given to the Crusader states in the Levant established after the First Crusade. There were three Crusader states in Syria: namely, the principalities of Edessa and Antioch and the kingdom of Jerusalem. This term is possibly also used throughout Muntaner's text in a more general sense to indicate regions which are “overseas".*

The Catalan Expedition

to the



do everything in his power to make him a worthy Templar. So his mother, seeing that he was a man of integrity, entrusted her son to him gladly, and he took charge of him. The boy turned out to be the most expert of young seamen, for he performed great feats in climbing and in all manner of things, to the extent that, by the time he was fifteen years of age, he was held to be one of the finest seamen in the world, as much for his strength and agility as for his skills at navigation. For this reason, the worthy Friar Vassall let him do with the ship as he pleased. And the Master of the Templars, having seen that Roger was so capa­ ble and keen, gave him the mantle of the Order and made him a Friar Sergeant of the Temple. Shortly after he became a friar, the Templars bought from the Genoese the largest ship to have been built at that time, called “The Falcon", and he gave it over to the very same Friar Roger of Flor. And, for a long time, he sailed this ship with great wis­ dom and with great bravery, whereby, on account of this ship, the Temple found itself so well-provided in Acre that among all their ships none was worth as much to them as this one alone. Friar Roger was likewise the most generous man ever to have been born, for only the young king bore comparison to him; and everything he won, he would divide up and give to the prominent knights of the Order and to the many friends that he knew how to win by such gifts. And, at that time, the city of Acre fell,'5 while he was in port there with his ship, so he took away ladies and maidens bearing great treas­ ures and many worthy people. And then, likewise, he took the people to Montepelegrino, so he acquired unlimited gains during that voy­ age. So, when he came to lay up ship, he gave a great deal to the Master and to all those who were powerful among the Templars. Once this had been done, envious people spoke out against him to the Master, saying that he possessed immense treasures, which had remained in his hands since the exploits at Acre. The Master, there­ fore, seized all the boot}’ of his that he could find, and afterwards wished to seize him as well. But he learnt of this and left his ship in port at Marseilles, and made his way to Genoa. There he found Sir’6 Tedisio

U See note 13.* »• Catalan Ser. honorific title used by Muntaner to designate Italian knights; he uses F.n (or N' before a vowel) to indicate their Catalan equivalents; Afisserfor their French equivalents; and Kyr (Catalan Xor} far the Greek lords. Muntaner, however, is not always consistent in his use of them.*


Ramon Muntanu

of Doria'7 and other friends he had won, and he borrowed enough from them to purchase a fine galley,łł named “Oliveta”, and he fitted it out very well. And he went to the Duke'9 in Catania with this galley and offered his services and those of his galley and crew in the war. But the Duke did not receive him well either in actions or in words, and so he stayed for three days without receiving a worthy reply from him. On the fourth day he appeared before the Duke again and said, “My lord, I see that it does not please you that I should be in your service; therefore I commend you to God. and shall go to seek an­ other lord whom it may please.” And the Duke’s reply was to wish him well on his journey. And he went to Messina at once, where he found the Lord King Frederick,and he appeared before him and offered his senices to him just as he had done to the Duke. The Lord King received him most graciously and thanked him for his offer, and immediately made him a member of his household and assigned him full and fair provi­ sions.*' And Roger paid homage to the King, as did all those who had come with him.

’ł Ticino or Tedisio of Oria (or Doria), was an eminent Genoese nobleman wellknown for financing maritime expeditions. *• A long, low, narrow vessel used in the Mediterranean from the 13th to the t8łh century, consisting of a false structure placed on lop of the base of the ship on which was situated the benches on which the oarsmen (professional mariners) sal. At the fore end of lhe vessel there was a platform from which the crew could board other vessels or defend their own; al the stem was situated the command platform, from where a stan­ dard generally flew. These vessels carried two large, triangular lateen sails. The oars were used solely for entering or leaving harbours or during battles. See D. Agustí, Lot aimogśvam: Im expansion de ia Cvnma de Aragón. Silex ediciones. Madrid. 2004, pp. 8081.* '* Robert. Duke of Calabria, third son of Charles II. became King of Naples. M Frederick 111, King of Sicily, who was at war with the House of Anjou. 11 Catalan rand. daily provision for servants, soldiers etc. in service to a lord, either in money or in foodstuffs.*

How Friar Roger joined King Frederick

II Friar Roger, having seen how well and how honourably the Lord King had received him, felt most satisfied. When he had stayed with his Lord King for a week and had revived his troops, he took his leave of the Lord King and set course for Puglia. On the way, he captured one of King Charles’’'1' ships, laden with provisions, which was sailing to the Duke in Catania, and he put some of his men from the galley aboard this three-decked ship, with its cargo of wheat and other provisions, and sent it to Syracuse. After this he seized a good ten cargo ships. ** simi­ larly laden with provisions, which King Charles had been sending to the Duke. He then went with these cargo ships to Syracuse, where sup­ plies were very scarce, and with his galley likewise brought provisions into the castle of Agosta. What can I tell you? With this haul, he sup­ plied Syracuse, the castle of Agosta, Lentini and all the other places around Syracuse which recognised the sovereignty of the Lord King, such as Avola and other places. Then he arranged to sell the provisions cheaply in Syracuse, and he sent some to Messina. With the money he earned, he paid the mer­ cenaries who were in the castles and city of Syracuse, and those at Agosta and Lentini and other places, whereby he paid everyone six months wages - some in money and others in provisions - thereby set­ tling all accounts. When he had done this, he still had a profit left over,

** Charles II of Anjou. King of Naples. ł* Catalan taridrx flat-bottomed vessels usually towed by a galley and used for trans­ porting troops, horses, provisions and military equipment.*


Ramon Muntanu

for he had acquired a full eight thousand ounces;'4 so he went to Messina and sent his Lord King one thousand ounces in fine carlines,15 and he paid six months wages, likewise in money and in provisions, to the mercenaries who were with the Count of Esquilaix*6 in Reggio di Calabria, and at Calanna and La Mota and at the castle of Saint Agatha, and at Pentedattilo and Amandolea and Gerace. Besides his own, he then fitted out three more galleys which he had taken from the arsenal.2' When he had Pitted out these galleys, he immediately set course for Puglia once more and, al Otranto, he seized the ship of Berengar Samuntada of Barcelona, laden with wheat belong­ ing to King Charles - a huge three-decked ship which King Charles was sending to Catania - and he put a crew aboard the ship and sent it to Messina. He made the most generous gifts to the city, in the form of more than thirty other ships and light vessels’8 he had captured, which he sent there likewise laden with provisions. Thus, both the spoils he acquired and the good deeds he performed were infinite: his deeds in Messina, Reggio di Calabria and the entire surrounding area were of the greatest importance. When he had done al) this, he purchased a good fifty horses, all of fine quality, with which he provided mounts for (Catalan and Aragonese squires that he had admitted into his company, and he took ten Catalan and Aragonese knights into his own lodgings, and he went, with a large amount of money, to where the Lord King was, whom he found in Piazza Armenina. Upon arriving, he gave him more than a thousand ounces in coin, and then he gave money to Don Blasco,*9 and to William M Catalan on^a in the Middle Ages, a gold coin weighing one tmęa or ounce and worth seven morabatins; more specifically, a Muslim gold coin from Valencia worth two mora­ batins or gold Almoravid dinars. Hillgarth points out that in 1395 one morabatin was worth less than a Barcelona sou. J. N. Hillgarth. Elprvòlema dun imperi mediterrani català. Editorial Moll. Palma de Mallorca. 19B4.P. 122. note 225? Catalan cariin. Italian, cortina Neapolitan silver or gold coins of Charles I of Naples.* ** The Count of Esquilaix [Squilace] was Hugh of Empúries (see Chapter 4). Catalan darassenat arsenal: "A dock equipped for the reception, construction, repair, and fitting of ships* (Shorter Oxford English Dictionary').* *• Catalan Ueny. a small, fast vessel similar to the galliot, used in the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages. These vessels were used as auxiliary craft in instances of battle. They were shorter and wider than a galley and. so, had a commercial use also. They had a sin­ gle mast with a large lateen sail and fewer benches for the oarsmen than a galley. See D. Agustí, op. til., p. Si.* *• Don Blasco of Alagón. an Aragonese nobleman, transplanted to Sicily, where he was always one of the leaders of the Catalan faction.

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to the



Galceran,50 and above all to Berengar of Entenęa, of whom he had grown so fond that they were like brothers and held their possessions in common at all times. What can I tell you? There was neither noble­ man nor knight who did not receive gifts from him, and in all the cas­ tles he went to, he paid the mercenaries six months wages, whereby he strengthened the Lord King and gave his troops fresh provisions to such an extent that he made each man worth his double. And the Lord King, who had seen his worth, made him Vice-Admiral of Sicily and a member of his council, and gave him the castles ofTripi and of Alicata and the revenues from Malta. So Friar Roger, having seen the honours showered upon him by the Lord King, left his com­ pany of horsemen with him and left two knights as their leaders, one named Berengar of Montroig and the other, Sir Roger of La Massina, leaving them money to cover all their expenses. He then took his leave of the Lord King and armed five galleys and a light vessel, and he proceeded to ravage the entire Principality of Naples, and the Roman shores, and the coasts of Pisa, Genoa, Provence, Catalonia, Spain3* and North Africa. From friend and foe alike, he took everything he could find, whether coinage or fine goods, as long as it could be put on board his galleys; and he left notes of hand with his friends, telling them that he would repay them once peace had been established, while he took likewise from his foes whatever they possessed of value. He left their vessels and their people alone, for he caused no harm against their persons, and so none of those who part­ ed from him had reason to complain. On that voyage, therefore, he secured limitless quantities of gold and silver and of valuable items, as much, indeed, as the galleys could carry, and so with all these spoils he returned to Sicily, where all the mercenaries, both horsemen and foot­ soldiers, were awaiting him as the Jews do the Messiah. When he was in Trapani, he heard that the Duke had marched against Messina and that he had blockaded the port from the sea. He then went to Syracuse and laid up ship; and, wherever the soldiers were awaiting him with great confidence, he took pains to help them, pay­ ing a further six months wages to every man he found, horsemen, foot­

s’ William Galceran of Cartallà. Lord of Pontons and Hostoles, Count of Catanzaro. See what is said about him in Chapter i a8 of the Chronirle. ’• Al-Andalus. the Muslim part of the Iberian peninsula.*

Ramon Muntamu

soldiers and castle guards alike, both in Sicily and in Calabria. As a result of this, all the mercenaries were so filled with zeal that each man was easily worth his double. Afterwards, he immediately summoned his own company and likewise paid it, sending substantial supplies of money also to the Lord King and all the lofty noblemen.


the siege of



III Nevertheless, it is true that the Duke was aware that there was a short­ age of food in Messina, and he believed that he could exert pressure upon the town; for. if he went with his army to Catona and kept his fleet at water off Messina, so that neither light vessels nor small boats3’ carrying wheat could enter either Messina or Reggio di Calabria, then, in this way, he could lay two sieges at once. He could place Messina, above all, in a difficult situation, given that assistance could not reach it by land, since he had possession of Milazzo, Monforte San Giorgio, Castiglione, Francavilla, Acireale and Catania. Thus he took care of the frontiers by leaving troops at Catania, Patemo, Aderno, Cero and other places, and he went to Messina with his entire fleet of more than a hundred galleys, and put ashore at Roccamadore. Then he went to Borgo, where they hold the market, and he razed it and burnt it. Then he went to the arsenal, where he set ftre to two galleys, though the others were successfully defended against him. What can I tell you? Every day he subjected us to ferocious attacks, and I can assure you of this, for I was present at the siege from the first day through to the last, having under my command the area stretch­ ing from the Tower of Saint Clare right up to the Lord King's palace. Without a doubt, we were put to more effort in that place than any­ where else in the city. What can I tell you? They gave us a great deal to contend with, both on land and at sea.

’* Catalan barra: small boats or barges with a single mast, smaller than the limy and carrying fewer oarsmen.*

Ramon Muntanu

The Lord King of Sicily told Don Blasco and Count Galceran to make ready» and he despatched them, with seven hundred horsemen, their shields hanging over their necks, and two thousand Almogaven, to go to the aid of Messina. These men were such that they did not intend to enter Messina until they had first fought the Duke in batde. Do not believe that they had anything else in mind: for they had all come with this intention. When they had reached Tripi, they sent word to us that they would be standing before Messina by dawn the follow* ing morning, and that we should mount an attack on the Duke’s forces from the one side, and that they would attack from the other. So with great joy we prepared to go forth in the morning and to attack. Bui during the night the Duke had learnt of this, and by daytime they had all passed into Calabria, for not a single one of them remained, apart from a few tents they had left behind and which they had been unable to take with them, since dawn had taken them by surprise. So, when dawn broke, Don Blasco and Count Galceran, along with their entire force, arrayed for battle, were on the mountain overlooking Mategriffon. Those from the city were ready to sally forth, but when they looked they found no one, since all of them had moved off to Calabria

and had stopped at Catona. So Don Blasco and Count Galceran entered Messina with their troops, and everyone was unhappy that they had encountered no bat* de. For this reason, Eixiverre ofjosa, Count Galceran’s standard bear­ er, sent a minstrel to those in Catona with songs in verse in which he let them know that their troops were ready, and that if they wished to return to Messina, they would allow them to land safely, and that, fol­ lowing this, they would Tight them. But they did not wish to do any­ thing of the sort, for they feared these two noblemen more than any­ one in the world. As well they might, for they were most illustrious and valiant knights and had defeated them in many battles. So the siege lasted so long, that Messina was at risk of being evacu­ ated on account of starvation. Nevertheless, the Lord King entered Messina twice, each time bringing in more than ten thousand mules laden with wheat and with flour and much livestock; but all this was as nothing, for wheat brought by land does not amount to much, since all the horsemen and the accompanying soldiers have already eaten a great amount by the time they leave. So the city was in great distress. Friar Roger, who was aware of this, had six galleys at Syracuse, and

The Catalan Expedition

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he purchased a further four, which lay between Palermo and Trapani and belonged to the Genoese, and so he had ten galleys. He loaded them with wheat at Sciacca and sailed to Syracuse, and he waited for a storm with southerly or south-easterly winds to arrive. But when the storm broke, it was so fierce that the entire sea turned the colour of blood. No other man, unless he were as good a seaman as Friar Roger, would have dared think of taking to the seas, yet he, having taken repose after close of day, set sail from Syracuse and reached the Straits of Messina33 by dawn. And it is the most wondrous thing on this earth that any ves­ sel can withstand it in these straits when the storms blow from the south and the south east, for the currents are so strong and the seas so high that nothing can endure it. But he prepared to enter Messina in the leading galley with the main lateen sails3* furled. When the men on the Duke’s galleys saw them, they all started to whistle and tried to raise their anchors, but they could not do it. So Friar Roger’s ten galleys entered Messina safe and sound, though there was no man among them who was not soaked to the skin. As soon as he had arrived in Messina, he announced the sale of fine wheat at thirty tarins a salma,3f* which had cost him more than forty tarins, and which he could have sold at ten ounces a salma, if he had wished. So Messina was replenished, and the next day the Duke raised the siege and returned to Catania. And by this you can appreciate whether the lords of this world should show disdain towards anyone, for see what considerable service this nobleman rendered to the Lord King of Sicily who, through cour­ tesy, gave him a gracious reception, and what considerable injury he caused to the Duke on account of the poor reception he gave him.

M Catalan Boca de Far. More specifically, the entrance to the Straits of Messina.* x Catalan artimons bords, artimons are mizzen sails or mainsails; bords or bastards are lateen sails, triangular sails suspended by a long yard at a 45-degree angle to the mast. Goodenough translates as "the large lateen sails drawn up and furled". It should also be noted that galleys used their oarsmen to manoeuvre during battle and when entering or leaving ports.* « The salma generate regni, was a common measurement for grain in Sicily, having a capacity of 263 litres [57.53 imperial gallons]. There was also a salma magna (at Messina and Terranova), measuring 315.5 litres [69 imperial gallons]. The uncia auri tarinorumwasa "currency of account" (a denomination not commonly seen in daily transactions due to its high value] divided up into 30 tarins. The tarin had 20 grains. Its approximate intrinsic value, in gold francs, was as follows: ounce = 65; tarin = 2.16; grain = 0,15. See also note 168.


the end of the war, and on how peace was



King Charles’6



IV After the siege of Messina had been raised, all Sicily and Calabria were filled with great joy and great happiness, as were the Lord King and all of his barons. But King Charles and the Pope*7 were full of apprehension and fear lest the Duke be lost. So all who were with him sent urgent messages to Sir Charles*8 telling him that he should has­ ten to come to Naples; and Sir Charles went there and brought with him a good three thousand knights in the Pope’s pay. When he reached Naples, he proceeded to board the galleys that the Duke had sent him and others that were already in Naples, which had been equipped by King Charles, and he put ashore at Termini along with cargo ships and light vessels. So the Duke came to Termini from Catania with his entire army and a great banquet was held in that place. As a good start to this, a fight broke out in Termini between the Latins,*9 the Provençals and the French and it became so widespread that, altogether, more than three thousand people perished. And they departed from Termini and went to lay siege to the town of Sciacca, which is on the seaboard coast,i .00 litres in Valencia. The almutí bartrlla. quartera. and rafts are all increasing sub-multiples of the mlma (or ton). See C. Alsina. G. Feliu, and L Marquet. Dirrvmande mesurrs catalanes, Curial, Barcelona. 1996. pp, 120-122, 127-129. 209-215, 230-231.’

Ramon Muntaníb

swore allegiance to Sir Charles of France and made the entire Company do the same, unfortunately for both sides. Once they had sworn fideli­ ty to Theobald of Cepoy as representative of Sir Charles, they then swore to acknowledge as their commander the said Sir Theobald, who conducted his captaincy with the greatest restraint, given that he could not do otherwise. What can I tell you? Once they had acknowledged Theobald on oath, he imagined that no man but he would dare to command, yet Rocafort took less account of him than he would a dog; rather, he had a seal made for himself depicting a knight wearing a golden crown, for he was thinking of having himself crowned King of Thessalonica. What can I tell you? When this was done, Theobald was commander of noth­ ing but the wind; for, just as his lord. Sir Charles, had been King of the Hat'69 and the Wind once he had accepted the gift of the kingdom of Aragon, so too was Theobald Commander of the Hat and the Wind.

In 1285 ,he Papal legate. Jean Cholet had granted the Kingdom of Aragon to QmHrt of Valois by placing his own cardinal's hat upon Charles' head. Muntaner's mock­ ery derives from fact that such a ‘coronation’ bore no tangible effects, given that such entitlement existed nowhere outside (save on top of) Charles' head.*


how the

Venetian galleys



went away with them

So, when the captains of the galleys saw this, they thought that they had achieved what they had come to do; and since they had left Theobald in command of the Company, they took their leave and wished to return. But the Company and the Turks and the Turcopoles, and Theobald himself, begged me to stay; yet I said that on no account would I do so. So when they saw that they could not obtain anything else from me, they summoned the captains of the galleys and begged them insistent­ ly on my behalf, and, without further ado, these captains gave me a gal­ ley in which all my retinue could travel. And Sir John Quirini, the cap­ tain-in-chief, wished me to travel in his galley, and Sir Theobald wrote letters for me to Negropont so that everyone, under pain of death and forfeit of property, should return to me what was mine.'7" So I gave all my horses, cans and beasts of burden to those of my men who wished to stay behind with the Company. Thus I took my leave of everyone and embarked on the galley belonging to SirJohn Quirini. And if ever any man has been honoured by a nobleman, I was so honoured by him, for he wished at all times that 1 should sleep alongside him in the same bed, and we both ate alone together al the same table.*7’ Thus we came to the city of Chalkis, and once we were in the city, the captains asked the Bailiff of Venice to have it proclaimed that every­ one who had received anything of mine should return it co me under The granting of leave and safe-conduct to Muntaner by the Grand Company - which had already rendered homage to theEtuptmr Charles - which is dated the 31 st August 1307, sheds light upon the chronology of this entire period. Customary ways of honouring a guest.*


Ramon Muntaneb

pain of death and forfeit of property. Sirjohn of Maisy and Sir Boniface of Verona did likewise when they had seen the letter of Sir Theobald of Cepoy. What can I tell you? They were most willing to compensate me with thin air, but we were unable to recover any of my goods. So I begged Sirjohn Quirini to please permit me to go to visit the Lord Infant in the city of Thebes. And he said that, on account of the friendship he bore me, he would wait for me for four days, for which I thanked him profusely. So, without further delay, I took five mounts and went off to the city of Thebes, which lies twenty-four miles from that place, and there I found the Duke of Athens suffering from an illness, though, sick as he was, he gave me a gracious welcome, and told me that he was most displeased at the loss I had suffered, and he offered his services to me, saying that he would assist me in any way which I considered to be of help. I gave him hearty thanks for this and told him that the greatest pleasure he could afford me would be to show every kind of honour to the Lord Infant. And he replied that he considered himself very much obliged to do so, and that be was saddened at his having to be of service to him in such circumstances. So I asked him whether he would be pleased to let me see the Lord Infant, and he said that he would and that not only could I see him and stay with him, but that, on account of the friendship he bore me, everyone could go in and dine with the Lord Infant while I was there, and also that if he wished to go riding, he could do so. Without further ado, he ordered the gates of the castle of SaintOmer, where the Lord Infant was staying, to be opened, and I went to see him. But do not ask me if I grieved when I saw him in the power of another, for I thought my heart would burst, but he, through his good­ ness, consoled me. What can I tell you? I stayed with him for two days and I begged him to please let me remain with him, for I would obtain permission from the Duke of Athens to stay with him. But he said that it was not necessary for me to remain; rather that it was essential that I should go to Sicily, and that he would write a letter of credence for me to the Lord King of Sicily, since he did not wish to write to anyone else. So, without delay, he had me write the letter and told me the entire message that I should communicate and everything that I should do, for he knew very well that nobody in this world was as familiar with the events which had befallen him in Romania as I. And, most certain­ ly, he spoke the truth. When I had stayed with him for two days, I took my leave of him

The Catalan Expedition to the East


with great sorrow, for my heart was not far short of bursting. So I left him part of the small sum of money which I was carrying; and, in addition, I took off some garments I was wearing and gave them to the cook that the Duke had assigned him. And, taking him aside, I spoke to this cook, telling him to take care not to allow anything harmful to be put in the Lord Infant’s food, and that, if he saw to this, great rewards would come to him from myself and others. Therefore, he placed his hands upon the Gospels and swore in my presence that sooner would he let himself be beheaded than permit any ill to befall the Lord Infant through his hav­ ing eaten any food that he had prepared for him. So I parted from him and having already taken my leave of the Lord Infant and of his ret­ inue, I went to take my leave of the Duke. His grace, the Duke, gave me some of his fine and precious jewels. So, thus satisfied, I parted from him. And I returned to Chalkis and I found the galleys, which were wait­ ing only for me, so I embarked straight away. We then left Negropont and we went to the island of Spetses to take on supplies, and then to Hydra, and then to Monemvasia and Malea and Cape Saint Angelo and the Port of Quails,'7’ and then to Coron. And from Coron we went to the island of Sapienza, where we spent the night.

»?• Catalan: el port de la Guailiex, Modem Greek: Porto Kayio, called Psamathous in ancient times and Porto Quaglio or Porto delle Quaglie by the Venetians, on account of the presence of these migratory birds.*


the galleys of

Riembau des Far

When morning came,just as the sun was rising, we looked and saw four galleys and a light vessel approaching from the direction in which we had come. So, without further delay, we left our anchorage and set course towards them, and, once they had seen us, they proceeded to arm them­ selves. Sol looked and Isaw their helmets and short spears'™ gleaming; immediately I thought that they were the galleys belonging to Riembau des Far, of whom I had received news, so, without delay, I told this to our captain, and so the Venetians set to arming themselves. After a short while the armed vessel belonging to Riembau des Far arrived bearing Peter of Ribalta on the stem, and I recognised him straight away. So he approached, for he had seen me; and he was filled with great joy, so he climbed on board the galley to greet me and told me that these were Riembau des Far’s galleys. But the Venetian captains took me aside and asked me to inform them about this knight,'74 and whether he was a wicked man or whether he had caused any harm to Venetians. So I told them that he was, most definitely, a man of great distinction and a per­ son who would on no account cause harm to anyone who was a friend of the Lord King of Aragon; but, rather, I begged them to love and hon­ our him for as long as they were together. So they ordered their men to lay down their arms and asked me to give him assurances on their part regarding his safety and to tell them they were welcome. So I climbed aboard the vessel with Peter of Ribalta and 1 went to see Riembau, who *n Catalan escona muntrra a type of short spear used for hunting large game.* •’« That is to say, Riembau des Far.*

The Catalan Expedition

to the



made everyone disarm, and we returned to the galleys together. And there we greeted each other and all sailed away together to the island of Sapienza, and there we let all our ladders down. Then our captains invited Riembau des Far and all his commanders to dine with them and we stayed there that day until the waking hour. So, at the waking hour we all got up together and we went to Methone, and there we loaded fresh supplies onto all the galleys and took on waler. The following day, we sailed away to the shores of Mategriffon where, likewise, we took on water. Then we travelled to Clarenza, and in Clarenza the Venetian galleys had to stop off so as to deal with four galleys which they had to leave behind on guard. So I went to join Riembau des Far, who made a light vessel over to me for my troops. And Sirjohn Quirini, the Venetian commander, gave me two barrels of wine, and a large amount of biscuit, as well as salted pork fat and some of everything that he had for his troops. And while I was in Clarenza I bought all the things I needed. So I took my leave of them and together with Riembau des Far we undertook our journey to Corfu. Then we crossed from Corfu and put up ship in the Gulf of Taranto, that is to say, at the exit to the Cape of Marina di Leuca?7* Then we sailed along the Calabrian coast and came to Messina. In Messina, Riembau des Far disarmed his ships,176 and he and I visited the Lord King, whom we found in Castronuovo. There the Lord King gave a gracious welcome to Riembau, and gave him some of his jewels. Then Riembau went away and 1 remained with the King, giving him the letter from the Lord Infant and passing on the entire message to him.

Not the Cape of Santa Maria di Leuca.* ’»• Catalan desarmar in nautical terms this means to disarm a ship or ships, to untie the sails, and to discharge the crew or crews.*


Lord Infant Ferdinand emerged from King Robert’s prison how the

The Lord King was most displeased by the captivity of the Lord Infant, and, without further delay, he despatched an envoy to inform the Lord King of Majorca and the Lord King of Aragon about it. In the mean­ time, a message from Sir Charles arrived with the Duke of Athens, bid­ ding him to send the Lord Infant to King Robert. And, immediately, he sent him to Brindisi, and from Brindisi he travelled by land to Naples. And in Naples, the Lord Infant was under courtly duress,'77 for he was placed under guard but he went riding with King Robert and he dined with him and with the Lady Queen, King Robert’s wife, who was the Lord Infant's sister?7** What can I tell you? The Lord Infant was held captive for more than a year. Then his father, the Lord King, obtained an agreement from the King of France*79 that they would convey the Lord Infant to him. So the King of France and Sir Charles sent envoys to King Charles, who was still alive? and to Duke Robert, commanding them to convey him to his father, the Lord King. So, without further ado, two galleys were sent to return him to his father, the King, and they came ashore at Collioure. And his father, the King, together with his mother, the Lady Queen, as

•n Barberà notes that in this type of captivity, the prisoner retains a degree of free­ dom to move about a town or to travel within a certain distance.* •tB Robert's second wife was Sancha or Sancia of Majorca. •t* The King of France was Philip The Fair. ,Bo Charles II of Naples lived until 1309. Old and sickly, however, he had ceased to govern, which task was undertaken by his son, Robert. For this reason, the latter is often called King instead of Duke.

The Catalan Expedition to the East


well as all those within the territories of the Lord King of Majorca, held great celebrations for the Lord Infant, since they all loved him more than any other of the King's children. So I must leave the Lord Infant be, that is to say, living healthily and happily in the company of his father, the Lord King, and I must speak to you once more about the men of the Company until I have shown them arriving in the Duchy of Athens, where they are today. From there onwards I shall not concern myself with them, for if I were to say any­ thing in their regard I might fall into error, as one who, from this point forward, has no reliable knowledge concerning their deeds.

On how the members of the Company Rocafort captive and handed him over to Sir Theobald of Cepoy


When Rocafort had made his seal depicting a knight wearing a gold* en crown, he assumed such control over the Company that they showed less respect to Theobald of Cepoy than they would to a sergeant, and therefore he was greatly aggrieved by this and considered himself to have been roundly insulted. And Rocafort became so arrogant that no man in the army could perish without his taking possession of everything that had belonged to him; and, in addition, if anyone had a beautiful daugh* ter or beautiful mistress, it was necessary that he should have her; nobody knew, therefore, what to do. So, in the end, the commanders of each company secretly went to Sir Theobald of Cepoy and asked him what advice he could give them concerning Rocafort, for they could not tol­ erate him. But he replied that he could not give them any advice, for Rocafort was their lord, but that if they wished to behave correctly, then they should consider, on their part, what best to do, as he would on his. And Sir Theobald said all this, because he thought that they wished to betray and to trick him. So Sir Theobald went to Rocafort and, taking him to one side, reprimanded him, to which Rocafort did not attach the slightest importance. And Sir Theobald had sent his son to Venice in order to equip six galleys for him, and he was awaiting these. And these arrived soon afterwards with his son who was their captain. So, once the galleys were there, he considered himself to have been saved. And, secretly, he sent word to the commanders of each compa­ ny, asking them what they had done or what decision they had reached in the matter of Rocafort. So they said that they thought it appropriate that Sir Theobald should summon a general council and that, while they

The Catalan Expedition to the East


were in council, they would give a report of all those things that Rocafort had done, and that they would seize him bodily and would hand him over. And this is how it was done. For, to their great misfortune, while they were in council the following day, they provoked an argument with him, and, after the discussion, they seized him and handed him over to Sir Theobald. Yet, by handing him over to someone else in this way, they were responsible for the greatest abomination ever to have been committed, for if only they had taken their vengeance upon him while they were inclined to do something about it. What can I tell you? Once Sir Theobald had taken possession of Bernard of Rocafort and of his brother, Humbert (for their uncle, Dalmau of Sant Marti had perished from an illness a short time before), the company commanders hurried towards the lodgings and the cof­ fers belonging to Rocafort, and they found so many gold hyperpers that a share of thirteen hyperpers fell to each man, so they ransacked everything he had. But, one night, when Sir Theobald was holding Rocafort and his brother, he and his troops embarked in total secrecy on the galleys, placing Rocafort and his brother on board; so, immediately, with his crews tugging hard at the oars, he left the Company, without having taken his leave of anybody.'8' When morning came and the Company could not find Sir Theobald and saw that he had gone away and had taken Rocafort and his brother with him, they were very distressed and regretted what they had done. A great commotion then erupted among them and they took up arms and put to the lance fourteen company commanders who had given their consent in that affair. Then they chose two knights and a captain and a sergeant to govern them until they had a leader. So these four men governed the army in accordance with the advice of the twelve.,8a And Sir Theobald of Cepoy travelled to Naples, where he handed

'** In recounting these events, which he had not witnessed himself, Muntaner is incorrect. Once the Rocafort brothers had been sent to Italy, Thibaud of Cepoy conti­ nued as head of the Grand Company for more than a year, until the beginning of 1310. In Chapter X. Muntaner refers to the twelve men, “six notables from the locality [of Artaki]. together with two Catalan knights, two sergeants and two captains [...who...] assigned lodgings to each nobleman, knight, sergeant, and Almogàver," and in Chapter XXXIII he refers to "the Company’s twelve councilion and myself [who] helped to recon­ cile [Rocafort and Entença].“•


Ramon Muntanłb

Rocafort and his brother over to King Robert, who hated them more than anyone in the world, on account of the Calabrian castles that Rocafort had not wished to give back as the others had done. When King Robert had the two brothers in his custody, he sent them both to the castle of Aversa, and they were placed in a vault and there he left them to starve to death; for, once they had entered that place, they were never given food or drink again. So you can see that whoever commits evil can never avert it from himself, and that the higher a man’s stand­ ing, the more patient and just he must be. I shall now cease to speak to you of Rocafort, for he has ended his days, and I shall speak of the Company once again.


on how the

Company went to the Morea

It happened at that time that the Duke of Athens perished as a result of an illness, leaving neither son nor daughter, so he left the Duchy to the Count of Brienne, who was his first cousin.18* And this Count of Brienne had spent a long period as a boy growing up in Sicily, in the castle of Agosta; for his father, who had been held captive there, was released for a ransom and had left his son there as a hostage in his stead. For this reason he made a pretence of liking Catalan people and he spoke Catalan. When he came to the Duchy, the Despot of Epirus'8* challenged him, as did the Angelus, Lord of Thessaly,,Hr’ and the Emperor likewise;186 whereby they gave him a great deal to do on all sides. So he sent his envoys to the Company and promised to pay them six months’ wages if they came to his aid, and, in addition, to keep them on those wages afterwards, that is to say, four ounces per month for a heavily-armoured horseman, two for a light horseman, and one ounce fora foot-soldier.'8" They took an oath upon this and their agree­ ment was sworn by both sides.

'•> When Guy It de la Roche died (around November 1308), the Duchy of Athens passed to his cousin and step-brother. Walter of Brienne. «M Catalan Alia Mod.: Epirus. Arta was the capital of the Despotate and the name of a river flowing to the south of Epirus.* •*s Mod.: Thessaly: Catalan Blnquui or Wallachia, home to the Vlachs; here designa­ ting Thessaly rather than pan of modern-day Romania.* The princes to whom Muntaner alludes are Thomas Comnenus. Despot of Aria [EpirusJJohn II Angelus. Sebastocrator of Wallachia [Thessaly], and Andnmicus II. >•7 This is the same level of payment that Andronicus II had given them.


Ramon Muntane*

After this the Company departed from Cassandria and went to the Morea, having undergone great labours while passing through Thessaly, which is the most difficult land tn the world to cross. When they came to the Duchy of Athens, the Count ofBrienne received them gracious­ ly and gave them two months’ pay straight away. And they proceeded to move against the Count’s enemies in such a manner that they had, in a short time, devastated all the areas bordering upon those enemies. What can I tell you? Everyone was glad to be able to make peace with the Count, so the Count recovered more than thirty castles which had been taken from him, and negotiated a very honourable agreement with the Empire, with the Angelas and with the Despot. And he did this over a period of six months, and he had given payment for only two.


Count of Brienne fought against the Company how the

So when he saw that he was at peace with all his neighbours, he con­ ceived of a very wicked design, namely, that he might destroy the Company. So he selected about two hundred horsemen from among the best the army had and about three hundred foot-soldiers, and he attached them to his household and paid them what they were owed, and gave them land and other possessions. When he had installed them properly, he ordered the others to leave his territories and his entire Duchy. So these men asked him to pay them for the time that they had served him, and he said to them that he would send them to the gal­ lows. In the meantime, he had summoned a good seven hundred French knights, some from the territories of King Robert, others from the Principality of the Morea, and others still from that country itself.1 wł Once he had assembled them, he also gathered some thirty thousand Greek foot-soldiers from within the Duchy, and then, in battle array, he marched against the Company. So the members of the Company, learning of this, sallied forth with their wives and children to await them on a love­ ly plain close to Thebes. And there was a bog there, and the Company used the bog as a shield. When the two hundred Catalan horsemen and three hundred Catalan foot-soldiers saw that the Count was doing this in earnest, they went to him all together and said to him: “Lord, our brothers are here before us, and we see that you wish most ■u That is to say, the Duchy of Athens* **• This “bog", as Muntaner calls it, was Lake Copais.


Ramon Muntaner

wrongfully and most sinfully to put an end to them, and for this reason we say to you that we wish to go to perish by their sides. Thus we chai* lenge you and break with you.” So the Count told them to go to their ruin, for it would be fitting for them to perish with the others. So, all together, they went off to join the Company. Both sides proceeded to position themselves in battle array. But the Turks and the Turcopoles all assembled in a separate place, for they did not wish tojoin the Company, believing that all this was being done by common agreement between the two sides, in order to destroy them; and so they wished to all stay together to see what might happen. What can I tell you? In battle array, the Count advanced towards the Company, along with seven hundred French knights, all wearing gold spurs,'90 and with many others from that country itself and with the foot-sol­ diers. So he positioned himself among the vanguard with his standard, and proceeded to charge at the Company, and the men of our Company at him. What can I tell you? On hearing the roars the Almogàvers let out, the Count’s horsemen turned towards the bog, and there the Count fell, as did his standard and all those who came in the vanguard. So the Turks and Turcopoles, seeing that the battle was in earnest, dug in their spurs and proceeded to charge at them. And the fighting was very heavy. But God, who always gives succour tojustice, assisted the Company in such a way that only two out of the seven hundred knights escaped. For all but they perished, the Count as well as all the barons from the Principality and from the Morea who had all come to put an end to the Company. Of these two, one was Sir Boniface of Verona, lord over a third part of Negropont, who was a most distinguished and worthy man and had always loved the Company well; for this reason, they saved him as soon as they recognised him. The other was Sir Roger des Laur, a knight from Rousillon, who had come to the Company many limes as a messenger. And, likewise, all the horsemen from that coun­ try'9' perished there, and of the foot-soldiers more than twenty thou­ sand. So the Company gathered up the spoils, and they had won the battle'9" and the entire Duchy of Athens. Gold spurs were the distinctive sign of knights of high birth. •»’ Again, the Duchy of Athens.* '** Goodenough notes that this was the battle of Kephissos, March 15th, 1311. This battle has been identified more recently by David Jacoby as taking place at Halmyros.*

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No sooner had they gathered up the spoils than they invited Sir Boniface to be their commander, but he did not wish to accept this position on any account. So they made Sir Roger des Laur their com­ mander, and they gave the widow of the Lord of Salona to him in mar­ riage, along with the castle of Salona.'95 So they divided the city of Thebes and all the towns and castles of the Duchy among themselves. And they gave the noble ladies in marriage to the members of the Company, to each according to his degree, and to some they gave ladies of such high nobility that these men were not worthy enough to pour water over their hands. So they settled there and organised their lives in such a way that, if they choose to lead it wisely, they and theirs will be held in honour for evermore.

Roger III of Stromoncourt. Count of SaJona - "Lord of la Sola*, as the chronicler puts it - died during this battle. Further on, we know not how. the county of Salona remained under entailment to the primogenital line descending from Alfonso Frederick, and stayed this way until 1394-


how the



Turcopoles wished to return to their country

XIVI So the Turks and the Turcopoles, seeing that henceforth the Company did not intend to depart from the Duchy of Athens and, having them­ selves gained a whole world of spoils, said that they wished to go away. And the Catalans said that they would give them three or four places within the Duchy, or more, in whatever locations they wished, and that they were inviting them to stay. But they said that on no account would they stay, and that, since God had been good to them and all of them were rich, they wished to return to the kingdom of Anatolia to be with their friends. So they separated with great respect and harmony between each other, and they offered their mutual assistance if it were needed. Thus they returned safely to Gallipoli, travelling at their leisure and setting fire to all that appeared before them, since they had no fear lest anyone should oppose them, given the state in which the Catalans had left the Empire. When they were at the Dardanelles, ten Genoese galleys came to them by order of the Emperor, telling them that they would ferry them across the arm of sea that was the Dardanelles, which is, at that point, no more than four miles wide. So they made a pact with them, and the Genoese swore to them upon the Holy Gospels that they would ferry them across safely. Therefore, on the first crossing, they took the lowliest troops that were there. When those of higher stand­ ing saw that they had transported the first group safely, they went aboard the galleys; and as they boarded the galleys, the Genoese took their weapons from them (for thus had they agreed that the Turks should hand over all their weapons to the Genoese) and the Genoese placed al) their weapons on a separate galley.

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Then, once the Turks were on board the galleys, and stood without their weapons, the seamen threw themselves upon the Turks and slew a good half of them, putting the others below deck. So (hey had in their possession the better part of those who were of any consequence, and they took them away to Genoa, and they went about selling them in Puglia, in Calabria, in Naples and in other places. Of those who had remained in the area of Gallipoli not one escaped, for the Emperor had sent many troops from Constantinople who slew them all. See then by what duplicity and disloyalty the Turks were annihilated by the Genoese, for only those escaped who made the first crossing. And the members of the Company were most upset when they learnt of this. See then to what end the Turks came.


how the

Company took the Duchy of Athens

XIVII When the Catalans found themselves thus to be established in the Duchy of Athens and lords of that land, they despatched their envoys to Sicily to the Lord King, to tell him that, if he would be pleased to send one of his sons to them, they would swear an oath to him as their lord and would hand over to him all the strongholds they possessed. For they realised full well that they could not live properly without a lord, since God had shown them so much favour. The Lord King of Sicily received counsel that he should give them his second son as lord, that is to say, the Infant Manfred.'*1 And they were most satisfied with this; but he told them that the Infant was so young that it was not yet the right time to send him to them, but that they should swear an oath taking the Infant Manfred as their lord and that, afterwards, a knight would be sent there to be their commander in his place. The envoys consented to this and swore allegiance to Manfred on behalf of the entire Company. And the Lord King appointed a knight, by name of Bernard Estanyol, who came from Empordà, to return with the envoys in order to be commander of the army and to receive oaths of fidelity from all. So the Lord King sent them all togeth­ er in five galleys. When they were back among the Company, they found that every­ one was most satisfied with what the envoys had accomplished and with the fact that Bernard Estanyol was to be their commander, so they

*** Manfred, second son of Frederick III and Eleanor of Anjou, could not have been more than six years old a( chat time.

The Catalan Expedition to




acknowledged him as commander and as lord on behalf of the Infant Manfred. So he governed the army most worthily and most wisely for a great length of time, being the experienced knight that he was; and there he accomplished a very worthy feat of arms. For he devised a strategy for the Company, given that they had four great powers alto­ gether as their neighbours; for, beyond their borders were, on one side, the Emperor, with his castles and fortresses; on another, the Angelus, Lord of Thessaly; on yet another, the Despot of Epirus; and, finally, the Prince of the Morea.'95 And Bernard Estanyol’s strategy was this: namely, that they would wage one war at a time and make truces with the other parties, and that then, when they had ravaged the coun­ try against which they were fighting, they would forge a truce with that country and begin to wage war against one of the others. And they lead this same life even now, for they could not live in the absence of war. Some time later Bernard Estanyol perished as a result of illness, and they despatched messengers to Sicily, to the Lord King, asking that he send them a governor. So the Lord King summoned from Catalonia his son, Alfonso Frederick - who was being educated at the court of the Lord King of Aragon. And he brought with him from Catalonia a fine com­ pany of knights, sons of knights, and other troops. So they assembled in Barcelona and went to Sicily; and it made his father, the king, very happy to see him so well grown and of such fine bearing. And he equipped him very amply, and despatched him with ten galleys to the Company as their commander-in-chief, on behalf of the Infant Manfred. Once he was among the Company, they were all mostjoyful at his arrival and welcomed him. He governed and ruled them, as he still does, most worthily and with the greatest wisdom. But it was not very long before the Infant Manfred perished, and so the Lord King sent word to them that since the Infant Manfred had per­ ished, they should, from that day forward, consider Alfonso Frederick as their commander-in-chief,'96 and, at this, the Company was most sat­ isfied. So, without further delay, they procured him a wife, and they gave him in marriage the daughter of Sir Boniface of Verona, to whom

'»» During that period, Philip of Savoy was Prince of the Mores, as the third hus­ band of Isabella de Villehardouin. '** Once Manfred was dead, his brother William became Duke, and acted as VicarGeneral for Alfonso Frederick.


Ramon Muntaner

all Sir Boniface's possessions had been left, that is to say, the third part of Negropont and a good thirteen casdes on the mainland in the Duchy of Athens.'97 So he had this maiden as his wife, the daughter of that nobleman who was, I believe, the wisest and most gracious man ever to have been born. To illustrate his worthiness, I shall describe to you the honours bestowed upon him by the good Duke of Athens. So Alfonso Frederick had as his wife this noble lady, who, on her father’s side, is descended from a line of the loftiest noblemen19" in Lombardy, while her mother, who was wife to Sir Boniface, was descended from the noblest family in the Morea, and, through his wife, Sir Boniface possessed the third part of Negropont. And by this lady, Alfonso Frederick had a good number of children,'99 and she turned out to be the best and the wisest lady there ever was in that country, and she was, without any doubt, one of the finest Christians in the world. For I saw her in her father’s house when she was but a child of around eight year’s old, when the Lord Infant of Majorca and myself were held in the house of Sir Boniface on being taken captive. Now, from this point onwards, I shall cease to speak to you of Alfonso Frederick and of the Company. Henceforth I shall not trouble myself to talk about them, for, since returning to Calabria and to Catalonia, they are at such a distance that I would have to speak blindly of their deeds, and I only wish to include in this book what is the real truth. So may God leave them to act and to speak well, for, from now on, I shall not concern myself with their deeds. But I do wish to tell you, how­ ever, about the honours shown one day to Sir Boniface of Verona by the good Duke of Athens, who left his territories to the Count of Brienne. I wish to tell you this so that kings and noblemen might take a good example from it.

See note 204. ’•* Catalan nobles hòmens de sang, in the Catalan kingdoms, at least, this means a second-order nobility - vassals of the sovereign Counts - principally dedicated to mili­ tary and knightly roles; formerly known as milites in the Catalan kingdoms and later as knights.* Macula and Alfonso Frederick s children were: Peter (f 1355); James, Count of Salona (f 1365); Boniface, lord of one third of Negropont and of Aegina; William (f 1358), lord of Styria: John and Simone, wife of George II Ghisi.



German Princes who


XLVHI It is the truth that, next to a King, the Duke of Athens is one of the noblest and wealthiest princes there is in the Empire of Romania. And in bygone times, there were two brothers, sons of the Duke of Raymont, who were travelling to Outremer in ships on behalf of the Holy Church of Rome, accompanied by a large number of knights and many other men, and they had embarked at Brindisi and at Venice. But winter caught up with them while they were in the port of Clarenza and, at that time, the people of that country were defying the Church. So these two lords sent envoys to the Pope, stating that, if he were to grant them the Principality of the Morea and the Duchy of Athens, then they would conquer these regions that winter, since, in any case, they were unable to go any further. And the Pope granted their wish with great joy, and therefore these two lords conquered the entire Principality of the Morea and the Duchy of Athens. The elder brother became Prince of the Morea, and the other the Duke of Athens, ■‘■· and each obtained his territories free and exempt from tributes, and they gave castles to some of their knights, farms to others, and villages to still others, whereby, altogether, these places were inhabited by a thousand French knights, all of whom had their wives and children brought there. And they brought their wives over from France themselves; and so, those who have lived there since then, always chose their wives from among the daughters of the noblest Barons in France. So they are noblemen of exalted lineage by direct descent. *** Muntaner has confused the genealogy of the Princes of the Morea with that of the Dukes of Athens. They have, in fact, nothing in common.


Ramon Muntaner

It came to pass that the good Duke of Athens who, as I have already told you, left his territories to the Count of Brienne, wished to become a knight, and summoned plenary Courts’*" throughout his territories. He also decreed that on the Feast of Saint John the Baptist,20* all the men of noble rank there were in his Duchy, should be in the city of Thebes, where he wished to become a knight, and he gave the same instructions to prelates and to all other prominent men. Then he had it declared throughout the Empire and the Despotate and Thessaly that everyone who wished to be there should come to receive gifts and favours from him. So the Courts were convoked more than six months before they were to be held.

*** Catalan corts: The Catalan and Valencian Corts were established in 1283-1384 as a result of increasing internal pressures upon the impoverished Crown of Aragon. They were legislative assemblies of the representatives of a country. The courts referred to here must be equivalent institutions within the Catalan Duchy of Athens.* *•* Literally, “the Feast of Saint John in June". The feast day in question is celebra­ ted on 24thJune.*


XIIX It is true that the Lord of Verona,203 which is a fine city in Lombardy, had three sons, and one of these, that is to say the eldest, inherited everything he possessed; and the one who came next, he equipped with thirty knights and with thirty sons of knights, and despatched them to the Morea to the Duke of Athens. And he who was Duke of Athens, namely the father of this Duke about whom I am speaking to you now,204 received him with great willingness and gave him much of what he pos­ sessed, making him a powerful nobleman and presenting him with a very wealthy wife. And this son was a most wise and illustrious knight, and he had two sons and two daughters by his wife. When his brothers learnt that he prospered to this degree, Sir Boniface, who was the youngest, said to his eldest brother, that he wished to go to the Morea to be with his other brother. This pleased the eldest brother, and he assisted him in this as much as he could. And Sir Boniface had but a single castle which his father had left him, so he sold that castle in order that he might better equip himself. So he equipped himself with ten knights and with ten sons of knights, and he was knighted by his eldest brother, because it would be better for him to set out as a knight than to go as a squire: for, in those parts, no son of a noble­ man or of a knight is worthy of esteem until he has become a knight, •**5 The genealogy of Boniface of Verona given by Muntaner does not match that which can be inferred from the relevant documents. See Mas Laurie, “Les seignieun ter­ riers de Nćgrepont", in the fínw de I'Orient Latin, II. 413. The Duke who was Guy de la Roche’s father was William I, in office between t »8o and 1*87.


Ramon Muntaner

so for this reason was he was made a knight by his brother's hand. So he departed from Lombardy and went off to Venice, and there he embarked and went to the Duchy of Athens. When he was in the Duchy, he presented himself before the Duke, who received him most graciously, and he discovered that his brother had perished less than one month before, and that he had left behind two sons and two daugh­ ters. So this nobleman considered himself to be ruined, for what belonged to his nephews and nieces could be of no benefit to him, for those who were their guardians could not give him anything which belonged to these heirs; and thus you can understand how he con­ sidered himself to be without resource. But the good Duke of Athens, seeing that he was so dejected, com­ forted him and told him not to lose heart, for he would admit him into his household and onto his council along with all those who had come with him, and so the nobleman took full consolation from this. So the Duke of Athens had him and his troops written down for a full and fair allowance. What can 1 tell you? He lived this life for a full seven years, whereby there had never been a man in the Duke’s Court to dress more elegantly than he and his troops, nor to go better equipped, for which reason he added lustre to the entire Court. And the Duke of Athens had taken good note of his soundjudgement and his honourable conduct, although he made no display of this. In addition to this, he found his counsel to be most worthy and wise. At this time (when the plenary Court which the Duke had sum­ moned was drawing near), everyone endeavoured to make garments for himself and for his retinue, in order to give honour to the Court and to hand out to minstrels. What can 1 tell you? The day of the Court arrived, and in the entire Court none was dressed more finely or more immaculately than Sir Boniface and his train, and there were at least a hundred torches bearing his device. And the cost of all this had been borrowed against the allowance he was due to receive. What can I tel) you? The celebration began in very grand style, and when they were in the main church where the Duke was to be invested as a knight, the Archbishop of Thebes said Mass, with the Duke's weapons lying upon the altar. Everyone was expecting the Duke to be invested as a knight, and they were astonished to see that the King of France and the Emperor considered it a pleasure and an honour that the Duke should wish to be knighted by them.

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So, as all stood waiting, the Duke had Sir Boniface of Verona sum­ moned, and he came straight away. So the Duke said to him: “Sir Boniface, sit down here next to the Archbishop, for I wish to be knighted by you.” So Sir Boniface said to him: “Ha, my lord! What is this? What are you saying? Are you making fun of me?” “Certainly not," said the Duke, “but sooner would I have it this way." So Sir Boniface, who saw that he was speaking in earnest, approached the altar where the Archbishop stood and there he knighted the Duke. And once he had been dubbed a knight, the Duke said in front of everyone: “Sir Boniface, custom has it that those who confer knighthood always make a gift to the new knight they have invested. But I wish to do quite the reverse: you have made me a knight, for which reason, from today and in perpetuity, 1 give you a yearly income of fifty thousand sous toumois™* for you and your heirs, all in the form of castles and fine towns belonging to you as free alod,i'