Recovery of Chios and Lesbon

Recovery of Chios and Lesbon

Byzantine Empire Palaiologos dynasty

Recovery of Chios and Lesbon
Recovery of Chios and Lesbon ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
1329 Aug 1

Recovery of Chios and Lesbon

Chios, Greece

In 1328, the rise of a new and energetic emperor, Andronikos III Palaiologos, to the Byzantine throne, marked a turning-point in relations. One of the leading Chian nobles, Leo Kalothetos, went to meet the new emperor and his chief minister, John Kantakouzenos, to propose a reconquest of the island. Andronikos III readily agreed. In autumn 1329 Andronikos III assembled a fleet of 105 vessels—including the forces of the Latin Duke of Naxos, Nicholas I Sanudo—and sailed to Chios.

Even after the imperial fleet reached the island, Andronikos III offered to let Martino keep his possessions in exchange for the installation of a Byzantine garrison and the payment of an annual tribute, but Martino refused. He sank his three galleys in the harbour, forbade the Greek population to bear arms and locked himself with 800 men in his citadel, where he raised his own banner instead of the emperor's. His will to resist was broken, however, when Benedetto surrendered his own fort to the Byzantines, and when he saw the locals welcoming them, he was soon forced to surrender. 

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