Athens, Duchy of: Information

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Athens, Duchy of (1205 - 1458)

The Duchy of Athens (Greek: Δουκᾶτον Ἀθηνῶν, Doukaton Athinon; Catalan: Ducat d'Atenes) was one of the Crusader states set up in Greece after the conquest of the Byzantine Empire during the Fourth Crusade, encompassing the regions of Attica and Boeotia, and surviving until its conquest by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century.

The first duke of Athens (as well as of Thebes, at first) was Otto de la Roche, a minor Burgundian knight of the Fourth Crusade. Although he was known as the "Duke of Athens" from the foundation of the duchy in 1205, the title did not become official until 1260. Instead, Otto proclaimed himself "Lord of Athens" (in Latin Dominus Athenarum, in French Sire d'Athenes). The local Greeks called the dukes "Megas Kyris" (Greek: Μέγας Κύρης, "Great Lord"), from which the shortened form "Megaskyr", often used even by the Franks to refer to the Duke of Athens, is derived.

Athens was originally a vassal state of the Kingdom of Thessalonica, but after Thessalonica was captured in 1224 by Theodore, the Despot of Epirus, the Principality of Achaea claimed suzerainty over Athens, a claim disputed by the de la Roche in the War of the Euboeote Succession. Like the rest of Latin Greece, however, the Duchy recognized the suzerainty of Charles I of Sicily after the Treaties of Viterbo in 1267.

From 1395 to 1402 the Venetians briefly controlled the Duchy. In 1444 Athens became a tributary of Constantine Palaeologus, the despot of Morea and heir to the Byzantine throne. In 1456, after the Fall of Constantinople (1453) to the Ottoman Empire, Turahanoğlu Ömer Bey conquered the remnants of the Duchy. Despite the Ottoman conquest, the title of "Duke of Athens and Neopatras" continued in use by the kings of Aragon, and through them by the Kings of Spain, up to the present day.

Athens, Duchy of: List of Rulers.
Reign / RuleFromToCoins Issued
Duke Othon 1205 1225
Duke Guy I 1225 1263
Duke John I 1263 1287
Duke William I 1280 1287
Duke Guy II 1287 5 October 1308
Gautier (Duke Walter), Count Walter V of Brienne 5 October 1308 15 March 1311
Duke Roger Deslaur 15 March 1311 1312
Duke Manfred 1312 9 November 1317
Duke William II 9 November 1317 22 August 1338
John II (Duke John of Randazzo) 22 August 1338 1348
Duke Frederick I 1348 11 July 1355
Duke Frederick II, King of Sicily as Frederick III or IV 11 July 1355 27 January 1377
Duchess Maria, Queen Maria of Sicily 27 January 1377 1379
Pedro (Duke Peter), King of Aragon as Peter IV 1379 6 January 1387
Juan III (Duke John III), King of Aragon as John I 6 January 1387 2 May 1388
Duke Nerio I 2 May 1388 25 September 1394
Duke Antonio I, first rule 25 September 1394 1395
Duke Antonio I, second rule 1402 January 1435
Duke Nerio II, first rule January 1435 January 1439
Duke Antonio II January 1439 1441
Duke Nerio II, second rule 1441 1451
Duke Francesco I 1451 1454
Duke Francesco II 1455 1456
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Athens, Duchy of: Details
Official NameDuchy of Athens
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