30 October 2013

Antelm the Nasty

Antelm's view and castle of Patras 700 years later.

Antelm the Nasty was very nearly the worst person in the whole world. He comes to attention as the first Frankish archbishop of Patras. "Nasty" is the name Chris Schabel gave him in an outstanding paper (see below), and there is no reason to disagree with that assessment. When William of Chaplitte took the surrender of Patras in 1205, he appointed canons for Patras, and the canons elected Antelm Archbishop. He had to be ordained a priest first.

He spent his time in extraordinary legal and political entanglements, with two popes, and two Villehardouins, and just about everyone else, traveling back and forth to Rome a number of times. The man's persistence in arguing was amazing.

Now, the Pope has just suspended a German bishop for spending too much money on personal luxuries, a lot of money. After complaints from the Bishop of Coron, the Archbishop of Corinth, the Archbishop of Larissa, a cardinal, and a great many others -- "battered our ears," here are the 30 reasons why Pope Honorius suspended Antelm:
  1. He laid violent hands on the treasurer of the Church of Patras, and then said mass without having been absolved.
  2. He violently pushed a priest who was celebrating mass, spilled and stole the chalice, trampled the host, and had accomplices strip the priest of his vestments.
  3. He whipped a priest who could not pay him money he was trying to extort, put the priest backwards on an ass, hands tied behind his back, and had him whipped through Andravida.
  4. He had a canon of Olen whipped bloody and took his horse, and then said mass without absolution.
  5. When the Dean of Cephalonia (?) excommunicated him, he said mass.
  6. He said mass while he was suspended, and never paid satisfaction to the treasurer of Patras, within the time he was sworn to.
  7. He squandered the goods of the Church of Patras and used them to buy possessions in Burgundy, and extorted 100,000 hyperpera from the subjects of the Church.
  8. He kept men of the Church in prison so long that when they were taken out half-alive they died afterwards, and he had his own servant gouge out the eye of one of them.
  9. He promoted an excommunicate to holy orders, and conferred a priory on him.
  10. He performed the vice of infamous incontinence.
  11. He maintained incontinent clerics.
  12. He surrendered Latins and their lands to the Greeks.
  13. By his negligence the Church of Patras suffered partial ruin
  14. He falsified the privileges of the emperors of Constantinople and some papal affirmations and letters.
  15. He removed nearly all the ornaments of the Church of Patras.
  16. Having put aside the Cistercian habit, he conferred himself to the monastery of Casa Dei, and finally worked in a secular habit.
  17. He entertained pirates and gave them support so that they might capture and kill travellers.
  18. He gave indulgences to those who killed Templars, and in his very own presence many of them were killed.
  19. Despite the interdict by Gervais, Latin Patriarch of Constantinople, he celebrated mass.
  20. He so completely destroyed the abbeys of Galea and Gerochoma that no one remained in them.
  21. He incurred excommunication by detaining William de Lu[?]y in prison without cause and having violent hands be laid upon him.
  22. He had the eyes gouged out of one whom he had sworn by oath to protect.
  23. He had had some Greek abbots put in prison, and had the beard forcibly shaved off one of them.
  24. He had Herman, his servant, gouge out the eye of one of them and mutilate the foot of another, from which cause he met with death.
  25. He had the eye of one pulled out because he could not pay him the 10 hyperpera that he owed him.
  26. He had a certain Greek cleric be hanged.
  27. He had the eye removed from a certain layperson, and then had him tied up with rope, and set on fire, which person expired from this affliction.
  28. He had a certain Greek priest thrown into the sea, who, although he was pulled out, was only half-alive, and before he made it home, he exhaled his spirit.
  29. He had someone thrown from a tower, who for this reason perish.
  30. And he even dared to maintain heretics.
"Therefore, although the archbishop, even if not of all the aforesaid, was found guilty of enough of them that one could have prodeeded against him very severely, we however, the rigor of severity being tempered by the mildness of mercy, have decided to provide thus in this case: Indeed, we have suspended that archbishop from his pontifical duties for a year, ordering that for that year he shall live according to a rule in some monastery . . . the same archbishop shall behave such that we are not compelled to change mercy into judgment."

This material is taken from Chris Schabel's "Antelm the Nasty," Diplomatics in the Eastern Mediterranean, 1000-1500: Aspects of Cross-Cultural Communication. Eds, A. Beihammer, M. Parani, & C. Schabel (2008).

23 October 2013

Remember the slaves, especially Margherita

Detail, Giovanni Bellini, Miracle of the Cross, 1500.

It is difficult to find pictures of slaves who are not black.  A hundred years after the documents in this blog, the European image of slaves was of a black African, but in the 14th and early 15th centuries, slaves were more likely to have been white -- Slavs, Greeks, Circassians, Tatars.  It is disconcerting to discover in Sally McKee's *** collection of Cretan wills that Greeks, and Greek priests, owned Greek slaves.

Almost nothing has survived from the Morea about slaves in the Byzantine-Franish-Venetian period, and what has survived has come from Methoni and Koroni.  Slaves were probably statistically insignificant in the Morea, but it is disturbing to see what a matter-of-fact process was the sale and purchase of a slave.  Most of them had been stripped of their identity by being baptizes and given a new, "Christian," name, yet in some cases someone was careful to make a record of the former name.A few names appear several times, both purchasers and slaves.  Some of the slaves here would end up in Venice.

There is not enough information to understand the prices, though  Greeks were usually the least expensive slaves. Only one of the then slaves here is a male.  The females were all wanted as "house" slaves, and whatever their other duties, would have been cooking and scrubbing and hauling water.  Studies of Mediterranean slavery have shown that buyers rarely wanted to introduce a male into the intimacy of a household.

  • 1372. Alvise de Tinto, resident of Methoni, sells to Luca de Albrigo of Venice, now living in Methoni, a female slave, formerly a Tatar, of sound body, about 28, named Lucia, for 30 gold ducats.
  • 1372. Pietro Bianco, tailor, resident of Methoni, sells to Francesco de Galvano, soldier in Methoni, a male slave, Tatar, about 20, named Cotulloga, for 25 gold ducats.
  • 1372. Lorenzo of Ancona, merchant, resident of Methoni, sells to Nicolo Montanari, resident of Methoni, a female slave, Tatar, about 20, baptized Bona, for 28 gold ducats.
  • 1373. Catellano Trevisan, resident of Methoni, sells Antonio Romano, resident of Koroni, a female slave, about 16, Tatar, baptized Zana, healthy and of sound body, virtuous, for 100 hyperpera.
  • 1374. Zualle Zuliano, resident of Koroni, sells a female slave whom he bought in Candia, Tatar, named Guthlugus, now baptized Maria, of sound body, to Luca de Albrigo of Venice, now present in Koroni, for 24 gold ducats.
  • 1374. Giorgio Strovilli, resident of Koroni, sells ser Manfredo de Botis, resident of Koroni, a female slave, Kali, Greek, about 14, for 22 gold ducats.
  • 1374. Giovanni Bon of Venice, now in Koroni, sells Nicolo Viaro of Venice, now present in Koroni, a female slave, Tatar, now baptized * * *, about 13, of sound body, for 27 gold ducats.
  • 1374. Pietro Bon of Venice, resident of Methoni, sells to Gerata, widow of Giacomelli Zanetti, now resident of Methoni, a female slave, Tatar, about 24, named Dierormuo, now baptized Agnese, for 30 gold ducats.
I don't find a document that tells me how Bon got Dieromuo back, but:
  • 1374. Pietro Bon of Venice, resident of Methoni, sells to Paulo Bitturi of Benice, resident of Methoni, a female slave, Tatar, about 24, named Dierormuo, now baptized Agnese, for 31 gold ducats.
The next pair of documents give a warm feeling, until you read a further document and discover that Enrico bought a new, younger, slave girl.
  • 1373 (16/9). Enrico Barbarigo of Venice, now resident of Methoni, makes you, Caterina, Tatar, my slave, free.  No one can hold you in servitude, but you will be recorded as free. Your present children and those to be born of you will remain free and in permanent liberty.
  • 1373 (16/9). Giovanni Rigi of Lucca, now resident of Methoni, with my heirs, give a receipt to Caterina, my beloved wife, servant of Enrico Barbarigo, for her dowry of 200 lire di denari piccoli.  You will remain secure and quiet in perpetuity.
  • 1373 (18/9). Zanobio of Florence, now resident of Methoni, sells to Enrico Barvarigo of Venice, now resident of Methoni, a female slave, Tatar, about 12, baptized Margherita.

Source: Documenta Veneta: Coroni & Methoni Rogata, Vol. 1. Andrea Nanetti (Athens, 1999).

Vade, Sta, Ambulent: my article on freeing slaves in Crete.

*** Sally McKee has a number of articles on Cretan and Mediterranean slavery.

16 October 2013

Methoni: The marketplace

Lotto, St. Barbara, detail.

Last week, Surprised by Time looked at some of the laws in Methoni intended to maintain peace and quiet. More laws concern details of the marketplace. Monetary equivalents:*
                            1 ducat          = 130 (1424) - 175 (1457) soldi
                            1 soldo           = 4 tornesi/torneselli
                            1 hyperperon = 20 soldi/80 tornesi
                            300 soldi       = month's wages for a soldier or sailor
  • 1416. Anyone who sells wine at an eating house will pay 30 hyperpera for each offense and will stay 2 months in prison and 1 day in the pillory, if a man, and if a women in place of the pillory will be led through the castello with the wine jug hanging from her neck and her offense cried out before her. If anyone is found carrying a jug or other container of wine, and the tax collector asks about it, and the said person pours it on the ground, he will pay 10 hyperpera, half to the tax collector and half to the commune.
  • 1416. There are two ships here that will go to Flanders, and they want to buy corloti (a wine). No one is permitted to sell them corloti: experience has shown it does not travel well, and it will do great damage to Venice and this territory. Anyone who sells them corloti will spend a year in prison and pay 1/2 ducat for each offense. Anyone who sells corloti to anyone not from this territory, without a license from and the knowledge of the castellan, will suffer the same penalty.
  • 1416. It is permitted to anyone who has herd animals (mandra) to kill young goats, sheep, pigs, and other animals for the use of his household, without paying a tax. Similarly, anyone who raises pigs in his house and kills them will not pay a tax.
  • 1417. Anyone who transports wine out to the casali or anywhere in the territory without paying the tax will pay a penalty of 10 hyperpera, and double the tax. From the penalty one-third will go to the commune, one-third to the tax collector, and one third to the accuser. If the accuser is the tax collector, he will have one of the two-thirds.
  • 1417. No one of any rank can buy greens or fruit in the terra (Methoni) except at the produce market at the column of the piazza, with a penalty of 1 hyperper for each offense and confiscation of the purchase. Also, no one may presume to put a hand in the sack of the seller of the produce or take any produce against his will, with the same penalty. [This had also been made a law in 1344.]
  • 1428. No one of any rank may sell any quantity of grain, small or large, to any seller of bread without a license from the castellan, under penalty of losing the grain and the price of it. No seller of bread may buy any quantity of grain without a license from the castellan, under penalty of losing the grain, and the value of it, and one day in the pillory.

Lotto, St. Barbara, detail.

  • 1432. Anyone, either man or woman, who sells greens at 1 soldo a bunch, that is pozi, cabbage, (horse)radishes, zevole, pastonagie, or other vegetables, from here on will sell for 1 tornese a bunch, under penalty of 5 hyperpera.
  • 1440. No one may sell tallow candles except at the price of 5 soldi the pound, with 24 candles in a pound, under penalty of 20 soldi. [A pound = 301g. or 66% of a modern pound.]
  • 1440. No one may salt pork, either in the fortification or the borgo or the district, without a license from the castellan. It is permitted to each person to salt for household use one or two pigs, or as much meat as would equal two pigs, and no more.
  • 1444. No one should play any game of chance except in the loggias and porticos of the shops of the castello to the corner of the Memo house. There are those who play between the two gates and blaspheme God and the saints, and distract the guard, and they come to words and draw arms to the great danger of the guard. It is decreed that from here on no member of the guard can play any game of chance for any reason at the gate of the castello, if not in the loggias and porticos of the shops as far as the corner of the Memo house, under penalty of 40 soldi for each offense. This applies to the night guard as well.
Wartime affected market regulations.
  • 1468. No one of any rank can take or send out of this city or borgo or district or casali of this district, any grain, wine, oil, or food, without a license from the rettori given in writing at the chancery, under penalty of losing it all, or the value, as contraband, 1/3 to go to the commune, and 2/3 to the accuser and the rettori.
  • 1469. At present fish dealers have multiplied in this land who sell fish at a higher price than customary to the detriment of everyone. No one of any rank will sell a pound of fresh fish for more than 4 soldi, and little fish and bobe/pogue/gopa for more than 3 soldi a pound, under penalty of 5 hyperpera for each offence. 

* Money from Alan M. Stahl, The Venetian Tornesello: A Medieval Colonial Coinage, 1985.

Pictures from the fresco by Lorenzo Lotto, The Legend of St. Barbara, 1523-24, in the Oratorio Suardi, Trescore.

09 October 2013

Methoni: Law and order

Column in the central plateia of Methoni wher
all  announcements were made, public
justice enacted, and the main market held.

Volume 4  of Sathas has a wonderful collection of laws and market regulations for Venetian Methoni. Laws were produced when there were problems to be solved. Some were produced locally, by the governor and his advisors, some were produced in Venice. New laws were announced by the gastaldo (and a trumpet) in Venetian-Italian and Greek at the column in the central plateia -- which still stands, as well as at the land and sea gates, and at other relevant locations.  Very similar laws were in effect at Koroni, though not always the same, and at Nauplion. Some monetary equivalents:
                            1 ducat          = 130 (1424) - 175 (1457) soldi
                            1 soldo           = 4 tornesi/torneselli
                            1 hyperperon = 20 soldi/80 tornesi
                            300 soldi       = month's wages for a soldier or sailor
  • It has been noticed that spicers and other shops in Methoni sell risigal and arsenic indiscriminately to anyone who wishes to buy. It might happen that one might be poisoned by his wife and die.  To avoid such errors, no one will sell risigal, arsenic, or other poisonous substances without a prescription and the knowledge of the paid city doctors.  If anyone does so, he will stay in prison for one full year, without remission.
  • 1415. The Honorable Castellan of Koroni and Methoni, misser Marco Dandolo, orders that from now on no one should throw, or cause to be thrown, garbage or night soil into the port of Methoni inside the breakwater, under penalty of 10 hyperpera for each offense, half to go to the accuser.
  • 1416. It has been noticed that there are many errors in the cadaster with people not declaring what they should. It is ordered that within the next 8 days, all the householders in the casali 1of this territory, whatever their class, should declare the residents in their house, and who has been born, or died, or fled, or returned, or come to stay, under penalty of 10 hyperpera for each omission, half to go to the accusor. Also they are to report their animals, whether bull or cow or mule, or if one has died. For a second offense they will pay another 10 hyperpera, and their hair and beard cut off, and put in the stocks. For a third offence, another 10 hyperpera, and they are to be branded three times with the seal of S. Marco.
  • 1426. It has been noticed that horses are being brought into the territories of Koroni and Methoni by Greeks, Albanians, and Serbs, and by people from the Greek territories, and from the Principality. They are sold to our people with the result of all kinds of errors. From here on, a Greek or Albanian or Serb or anyone else who wants to sell or buy a horse has to prove to the castellans where he got the horse.
  • 1427. It is noticed that there are those who do not obey the commands of the Lords Castellans and presume to come and go outside the borgo by way of the enclosure at the house of ser Jacomo da Pesaro to the shore. From here on, anyone who does will pay a fine of 10 hyperpera for each offense. If he cannot pay the 10 hyperpera, he will receive 25 lashes at the column. No person, whether soldier or citizen of the territory, of whatever rank, can carry outside the borgo of Methoni, either by land or sea, any crossbow without the permission of missier the Castellan, under penalty of losing the crossbow which will become the property of the commune. The accuser will have half of the value of the crossbow.
  • 1436.  It is noticed that there are soldiers and landworkers who leave Methoni illegally without orders and without permission.  Missier Piero Zen, honorable castellan of Methoni and Koroni declares that any soldier or landworker who leaves without permission, from here on, will stay in prison for six months straight, and pay 100 hyperpera to the commune, and then will be banned from Methoni and Koroni without pay.
  • 1458. It has been noticed that there have been frequent break-ins and escapes from the prison, counter to the dignity of our authority.  Anyone who gives any aid to an escape, or who provides tools or picklocks (grimaldelli), or breaks into, or helps to break into the prison will pay 25 hyperpera for each offense, and will stay one month in prison. 
With Methoni as the primary port for disembarking troops for the Peloponnesian war in the 1460s and 70s, there is a sequence of laws concerned with weapons, noise, and the inevitable violence. The last of the three included here reflects despair over the harshness of Venetian taxes, & the continual raids on farms by continually unpaid soldiers.2
  • 1464. Presumptuous individuals who have no shame go at night and offend newly-weds verbally, and with horns and drums, with a chivaree (zaravarini). The Doge Lorenzo Loredan, and the captain and provveditor Benedetto Gritti, declare that as of the second hour of night (about 8 PM) no one will bear arms, and no one will have a chivaree day or night.
  • 1467. Presumptuous individuals bear arms in the piazza, market, and between the city gates, and they do the same at night. The rettori and provveditori order and declare that anyone who bears arms against anyone between the gates, market, and piazza from the house of the late Ser Nicolò Tinto3 as far as the palazzo will pay 200 hyperpera for each offense, and if he cannot pay he will be whipped from the piazza to the mole.4 Anyone who does this at night, in the city or the borgo5 will be imprisoned for 3 months.
  • 1469. It has been recognized that some individuals through malice have set fire to their fields or vines or trees, with the greatest damage to this city. Anyone of any rank who dares to do this without the express permission of the rettori will pay a penalty of 200 hyperpera (with half to the accuser and) and stay six months in prison. If he cannot pay he will be whipped and put in prison. 1480. The hand that set the fire will be cut off.
This last law was an attempt to stabilize the Methoni food supply. Taxes on produce and sales were important, but the real issue was food. Because of the war, the soldiers who needed to be fed and who looted, and the recent two years of plague with the loss of so many farm hands, Methoni was constantly on the brink of starvation.
  • 1478. Anyone of any rank who brings into his house a female slave or servant for carnal purposes will pay a penalty of 100 hyperpera and will stay 4 months in prison. Any female slave or servant who brings a man into her master's house for such purposes will be whipped from the harbor gate to the piazza.

Next week, Surprised by Time will look at some of the laws of the Methoni marketplace.

1  Casali: villages on landholdings.
2  In 1465, provveditor Jacopo Barbarigo had written of his embarrassment at not being able to control his         soldiers looting, because they weren’t being paid.
3  I have no idea who Ser Nicolò Tinto was, but apparently his house was quite prominent.
4  The mole led from the harbour gate to the little island tower
5  Borgo: the city outside the fortifications.

02 October 2013

Air erodes feathers

Primary feathers from left and right wings, thinner on the fore-edge.
Erosion is evident on both edges.

From July on, the crows are in moult, even the ones that hatched out in the summer. The feathers that grew in beginning last July work their way out, and new feathers grow. There is a period of more than two months when crows lose their glossy black and become not just a drab brown, but because of the feathers coming out and the feathers coming in, they look like a medieval band of lepers. This is when you see bits of their insulating undercoat made up of little fluffy grey feathers.

Crow at the worst stage of moult.

Air -- and sunlight -- erodes feathers. The brilliant black that sometimes flashes blue and purple in the right angle of light is a matter of refraction, not only of melanins. During the year the structure of the feathers that refracts the gloss wears down, and at the end of summer crows show the underlying pigments. 

Not all of our crows are evenly-pigmented.  The Korax family has patches of lighter-colored feathers all year around, some of them with a light ring around the neck. They are not discriminated against by the black crows.

The fore-edges of the wings gradually deteriorate.  Brushing against the nest, or tree branches and telephone poles, or other crows, wears down feathers. If you want to see nearly perfect feathers, go to this site created by the US Fish and Wildlife Service where you can identify most of the individual feathers from 100+ species of birds. 

It is illegal to possess these feathers.  I brought them inside to scan, and then returned them to the outdoors, to the crow shrine.  We have a place on the edge of the yard where we put odd things dug up in the course of gardening -- strange-shaped rocks, enormous nails used for railroad ties, crow feathers. Passers-by sometimes take the stones, never the feathers. As far as I can tell, when the crows eat cracked corn beside the feathers, they never notice them.  

I am fascinated by the evidence of the seasons, something I take for granted with the trees, with the plants in the garden. When the chlorophyll in leaves breaks down at the end of summer, we see the underlying carotene and anthocyanin pigments. Until this year, I had never made the connection across the species between the change of leaf color, and the change of crow color, between shedding leaves, and shedding feathers.  But that analogy goes only so far.  One of the Korax family came up to the car when I drove into the driveway this afternoon, and I saw the glossy black of the new feathers, not fully grown out.