|Battle of Picotin|
Map of the Peloponnese with its principal locations during the late Middle Ages
|Kingdom of Majorca||Principality of Achaea|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Ferdinand of Majorca||Unknown|
|500 cavalry, 500 infantry||700 Burgundian knights, native Achaean feudal levies|
|Casualties and losses|
|unknown||500 Burgundians, 700 Achaeans dead|
The Battle of Picotin was fought on 22 February 1316 between the Catalan forces of the infante Ferdinand of Majorca, claimant to the Principality of Achaea, and the forces loyal to Princess Matilda of Hainaut, comprising native levies from the barons loyal to the Princess as well as Burgundian knights. The battle ended in a crushing victory for Ferdinand, but he was later engaged and killed by the troops of Matilda's husband, Louis of Burgundy, at the Battle of Manolada.
In 1278, when Prince William II of Villehardouin died without male offspring, per the Treaty of Viterbo, the princely title of Achaea in southern Greece passed to the Angevin King of Sicily, Charles of Anjou.In 1289, the Angevins had passed control of the principality to William's eldest daughter, Isabella of Villehardouin, and her descendants, but retained their suzerainty over Achaea. After Isabella's death in 1312, her younger sister Margaret of Villehardouin claimed the principality, or at least part of it, as her inheritance, but her claims were rejected by the Angevins, who supported the succession of Isabella's daughter, Matilda of Hainaut.
In order to gain support for her claims, Margaret visited Sicily in February 1314 to wed her only daughter, Isabella of Sabran to the Infante Ferdinand of Majorca, who, as a landless prince, was eager to claim the princely title of Achaea. The wedding was celebrated at Messina in February 1314 in great pomp. Margaret passed her titles and claims to them, and returned to Achaea. There she was confronted with the hostility of the Achaean barons to her act, and imprisoned by the Angevin bailli Nicholas le Maure at the castle of Chlemoutsi, where she died in March 1315.Soon after, Ferdinand invaded Achaea in a bid to claim the Principality from Matilda and her husband, Louis of Burgundy, who were still absent from Greece. Landing in late June, by August Ferdinand had taken over the town of Glarentza and the principality's heartland, the rich plains of Elis.
The subsequent events are described in the Aragonese version of the Chronicle of the Morea . In late 1315, Princess Matilda arrived in Achaea, landing at Port-de-Jonc with 1,000 Burgundian soldiers, as her husband's vanguard. Nicholas le Maure and several of the Achaean barons, who had recognized Ferdinand's rule, now came over to seek her pardon. Ferdinand reacted by capturing the castle of Chalandritsa, whose baron had defected to Matilda, and garrisoning it with 1,500 men. He then proceeded to lay siege to Patras, which was successfully defended by its archbishop, Renier.
In early 1316 the Princess appointed a commander, who led the Burgundians and the feudal levies of the Achaean barons loyal to her north. The loyalist army encamped at a village called Picotin, near Palaiopolis (ancient Elis), and on 22 February Ferdinand marched out from Andravida to meet them with 500 cavalry and 500 Almogavar infantry. According to the Chronicle, to speed their progress, Ferdinand ordered his riders to take each one of the infantry on their horses, himself giving the example. When he saw the Catalans approaching, the Princess' captain arranged the 700 Burgundians in the front line and charged the advancing Catalan army, leaving the Achaean troops back in the second line. The Burgundians unhorsed 300 Catalans on the first clash, but the dismounted riders, together with the Almogavars, used their lances to kill the Burgundian knights' horses to terrible effect: within less than two hours, according to the Chronicle, the Catalans killed 500 Burgundians and 700 native troops, including Gilbert Sanudo, brother of the Duke of Naxos, and many other nobles. The Catalans reportedly counted 700 dead horses on the battlefield. The remnants of the Princess' army withdrew in haste, pursued by the Catalans for a while, before they turned back to loot the abandoned Achaean camp.
At about the same time as the battle at Picotin, an attempt by Renier of Patras and his men to capture Chalandritsa, while Ferdinand was pre-occupied with the princely army, failed.The defeated Achaean barons retreated once more to the south, into Messenia. There they were soon joined by Louis and his main force, who had landed in Greece at about the time of the battle. Reinforced by Byzantine troops from Mystras, Louis enjoyed a large numerical superiority, and at the Battle of Manolada on 5 July 1316, Ferdinand was defeated and killed. The Catalans abandoned the fortresses they controlled and left Achaea a few months later.
The Principality of Achaea or of the Morea was one of the three vassal states of the Latin Empire which replaced the Byzantine Empire after the capture of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade. It became a vassal of the Kingdom of Thessalonica, along with the Duchy of Athens, until Thessalonica was captured by Theodore, the despot of Epirus, in 1224. After this, Achaea became for a while the dominant power in Greece.
William of Villehardouin was the last Villehardouin prince of Achaea and ruled the principality at the height of its power and influence(1246 - 1278).
Ferdinand of Majorca was an infante of the Kingdom of Majorca; he was born at Perpignan, the third son of King James II. He was Viscount of Aumelas and Lord of Frontignan from 1311 and claimed the title of Prince of Achaea from 1315.
Villehardouin was a noble dynasty originating in Villehardouin, a former commune of the Aube department, now part of Val-d'Auzon, France. It is most notable as the ruling house of the Principality of Achaea, a Frankish crusader state in the Peloponnese peninsula of Greece, between 1209 and 1278, when possession passed to the angevin Kings of Naples.
Louis of Burgundy, Prince of Achaea and titular King of Thessalonica, was a younger son of Robert II, Duke of Burgundy and Agnes of France.
The Battle of Manolada was fought on July 5, 1316 at Manolada, on the plains of Elis in the Peloponnese. The two leaders were Louis of Burgundy and the infante Ferdinand of Majorca, both of whom claimed the Principality of Achaea in right of their wives. The defeat and death of Ferdinand ensured the continued Angevin supremacy over Achaea and checked the further movement of his allies, the Catalan Company then occupying the Duchy of Athens.
Nicholas III of Saint Omer was one of the most powerful and influential lords of Frankish Greece. He was hereditary Marshal of the Principality of Achaea, lord of one third of Akova and of one half of Thebes. He also served on three occasions as bailli of the Principality of Achaea.
Matilda of Hainaut was the Princess of Achaea from 1313 to 1318. She was the daughter of Isabella of Villehardouin and her husband Florent of Hainaut.
Glarentza was a medieval town located near the site of modern Kyllini in Elis, at the westernmost point of the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece. Founded in the mid-13th century by William II of Villehardouin, the town served as the main port and mint of the Frankish Principality of Achaea, being located next to the Principality's capital, Andravida. Commerce with Italy brought great prosperity, but the town began to decline in the early 15th century as the Principality itself declined. In 1428, Glarentza was ceded to the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea, and served as its co-capital, being the residence of one of the Palaiologos despots, until the Ottoman conquest in 1460. Under Ottoman rule, Glarentza declined rapidly as the commercial links with Italy were broken, and by the 16th century was abandoned and falling into ruin. Little remains of the town today: traces of the city wall, of a church and a few other buildings, as well as the silted-up harbour.
Roger was the Latin Archbishop of Patras and ruler of the Barony of Patras in Frankish Greece from 1337 until ca. 1347.
The Barony of Akova was a medieval Frankish fiefdom of the Principality of Achaea, located in the mountains of eastern Elis in the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece, centred on the fortress of Akova or Mattegrifon. It was among the twelve original baronies of Achaea, but was conquered by the Byzantines in 1320.
The Barony of Arcadia was a medieval Frankish fiefdom of the Principality of Achaea, located on the western coast of the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece, and centred on the town of Arcadia, ancient and modern Kyparissia.
The Barony of Chalandritsa was a medieval Frankish fiefdom of the Principality of Achaea, located in the northern Peloponnese peninsula in Greece, and centred on the town of Chalandritsa south of Patras.
John I Orsini was the count palatine of Cephalonia and Zakynthos from 1303 or 1304 to his death in 1317. Married to an Epirote princess, John spent a decade at the Epirote court before succeeding his father, Richard Orsini, as count palatine. As a vassal of the Principality of Achaea, he was involved in its domestic affairs and especially the dynastic dispute between the infante Ferdinand of Majorca and Princess Matilda of Hainaut in 1315–16, and participated in a number of Latin campaigns against Epirus, which he aspired to rule. A year after his death, his son and heir Nicholas Orsini seized Epirus and brought it under the Orsini family's rule.
Geoffrey of Briel, in older literature Geoffrey of Bruyères, was a French knight and the third lord of the Barony of Karytaina in the Principality of Achaea, in Frankish Greece. He led a colourful and turbulent life, narrated in detail in the Chronicle of the Morea. Accounted the finest knight in the Principality, he fought in the wars against the Byzantine Greeks, was captured in the Battle of Pelagonia in 1259, and was sent back to Achaea bearing the Byzantine terms in 1261. Geoffrey was twice deprived of his barony, once for rebelling against his uncle, the Prince of Achaea William II of Villehardouin, and then for abandoning the Principality without leave in order to spend time with a mistress, the wife of one of his feudatories, in Italy. He was pardoned both times, but henceforth held his title as a gift of the Prince. He died childless in 1275, and the Barony of Karytaina was split up.
Margaret of Villehardouin was the daughter of William II of Villehardouin, Prince of Achaea, and his third wife Anna Komnene Doukaina.
Nicholas le Maure was a French knight of the Principality of Achaea, lord of Saint-Sauveur, who served as the Principality's bailli on behalf of the Angevins of Naples between 1314 and 1315/6.
Aimon de Rans was the lord of half of the Barony of Chalandritsa in Frankish Greece from 1311 to ca. 1316. After his victory over Ferdinand of Majorca at the Battle of Manolada, Louis of Burgundy, the new Prince of Achaea, gave the entire vacant barony to two of his Burgundian followers, Aimon of Rans and his brother, Otho. Otho died soon after, and Aimon sold the domain to Martino Zaccaria, Lord of Chios, and returned to his homeland.
John II of Nivelet is the name given in modern historiography to the last Baron of Nivelet in the Principality of Achaea, in Frankish Greece.
The Battle of Saint George took place on 9 September 1320 between the Latin Principality of Achaea and the forces of the Byzantine governor of Mystras, at the fortress of Saint George in Skorta in Arcadia. As a result of the battle, Arcadia, the heartland of the Morea, came firmly under Byzantine control.