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Navarrese Company

The Navarrese Company was a company of mercenaries, mostly from Navarre and Gascony, which fought in Greece during the late 14th century and early 15th century, in the twilight of Frankish power in the dwindling remnant of the Latin Empire. "Navarrese Company" is an informal, modern, somewhat inaccurate, term for these soldiers.

Contents

  • Origins 1
  • Morea 2
  • Notes 3
  • Sources 4

Origins

The first Navarrese Company was formed to fight for Louis, Count of Beaumont-le-Roger in his own right and Duke of Durazzo in right of his wife, Joanna. Louis was a brother of Charles of Navarre, who supported his endeavour to recapture lost Durazzo and the regnum Albaniae. Charles of France likewise aided him with 50,000 ducats.

In 1372, the Navarrese ranks began to swell through the recruiting techniques of Naples. In 1375 and 1376, many men from Navarre began enlisting and travelled directly to Albania to join their countrymen. The enrollment lists for those years have been preserved in Pamplona and reveal the important presence of many engineers. The total number of men which left Tortosa between February 1375 and June 1376 was in the thousands. They were paid thirty gold Aragonese florins a month.

In 1376, Louis and the Navarrese captured Durazzo, thus reestablishing the regnum Albaniae.[1] Louis died that same year, leaving the Navarrese unemployed. They put themselves under at the command of the Peter IV of Aragon early in 1377 and were formed as four companies, commanded by four captains: the Gascon Mahiot of Coquerel and Pedro de la Saga and the Navarrese Juan de Urtubia and Guarro.

Coat of arms of the Principality of Achaea

Morea

The Navarrese entered Morea in the spring or early summer of 1378, some coming at the invitation of Gaucher of La Bastide, the Hospitaller prior of Toulouse and commandant in the Principality of Achaea and others probably at the bequest of Nerio I Acciaioli. Gaucher hired Mahiot and the remnant of the company for eight months during the captivity of the Grand Master Juan Fernández de Heredia. Meanwhile, Juan de Urtubia was in Corinth with a following of more than 100 soldiers.

After leaving the service of the Hospital, the Company took up with Pedro de San Superano, and Berard de Varvassa. For the next two years, the Navarrese governed Achaea and often hired itself out to the Hospital.

When James of Baux succeeded to the Republic of Venice. In 1386, Pedro de San Superano succeeded Mahiot as the Company's leader.

Notes

  1. ^ La conquista de Albania ("The Conquest of Albania") is a 1984 Spanish film about this episode, c.f. IMDB.

Sources

  • Setton, Kenneth M. (general editor) A History of the Crusades: Volume III — The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries. Harry W. Hazard, editor. University of Wisconsin Press: Madison, 1975.
  • Setton, Kenneth M. Catalan Domination of Athens 1311–1380. Revised edition. Variorum: London, 1975.
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