English: The Canal cutting through the Isthmus...

English: The Canal cutting through the Isthmus of Corinth, Greece (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nome (department) in the northeast Peloponnese, between the Gulf of Corinth and the Saronic Gulf, in the Peloponnese Region, and named after the city on the isthmus between the two Gulfs. Before 1899 and during part of the inter-war period it was joined with Argolis to the south to form one nome.

At the time that the Crusaders seized Constantinople in 1204 a Greek warlord, Leo Sgouros, had brought the northeastern Peloponnese, the isthmus of Corinth and much of Attica under his control. As the Crusaders came south in 1204 and 1205 they occupied these Sgouros lands, except for three cities and their fortresses, including Corinth, where Sgouros was besieged.  In 1208, presumably realising that the glory days would not return, he rode his horse over the precipice on which the citadel of Corinth stood. The citadel surrendered in 1210.

The city belonged to the Principality of Achaea, itself subject to the Angevin Kings of Naples from 1278. In 1358 Niccolo Acciajuoli, who belonged to a Florentine family who were the bankers for the Principality and himself long involved in the Principality’s affairs, was appointed governor of Corinth.

For the Angevin administrators it was a cheap way of getting the defences repaired. Various other members of the family descended on Corinth, among them Nerio, who bought up the lands on the coast between Corinth and Patras. After Niccolo’s death, c.1365, his son mortgaged his Corinth properties to Nerio, who continued to build up the lands he held as a virtually independent lordship. He had the money to pay mercenaries. In 1385 he added most of the Duchy of Athens to his lands, Athens itself falling to him in 1388.

When he died in 1394 his territories split up.   He left Corinth to his second daughter and her husband, Carlo Tocco, whose family held Cephalonia and had interests on the mainland. Theodore Paleologus, the Despot of the Morea and husband of Nerio’s elder daughter, had quarrelled with Nerio, and so had lost his expected inheritance in Corinth.

He gained it by fighting in 1396. Theodore however was overstretched. The Ottoman Turks had already been active in Central Greece and the Peloponnese and the Sultan was overlord of, among others, Theodore. Nerio had submitted to the Sultan in the last year of his life. Theodore tried to interest Venice in an alliance, but failed so he turned to the Knights Hospitaller, who took control of Corinth in 1400, or earlier. In 1404 they withdrew and Corinth reverted to Theodore’s Morea. In 1458 the city fell to the Turks after a siege.

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  1. Pingback: Argolis | davidseurope

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