Duchy of Athens

Intrige rundt Otto og hans rike; Duchy of Athens.

Two city-states at the heartland of ancient Greece, Thebes (in Boeotia) and Athens (in Attica), were once bitter rivals. Boeotia, to the north, is separated from Attica, a peninsula to its south, by the forested limestone hills of the Kithaeron Mountains, forming a natural border which was hotly disputed in ancient times.

These hills were the backdrop to many battles and legends, and they are now dotted with faerie sites and the ruins of ancient fortifications. Otto de la Roche of Burgundy established the Duchy of Athens in 1205 and took the title of Duke after 1208, though the Greeks call him Megas Kyr, “great lord,” Paying homage at first to Boniface of Montferrat as king of Thessaloniki, Otto supports Demetrios and also paid homage to the Latin emperor.

A pious Catholic, Otto has established a monastic house of Cistercians at Daphni (between Athens and Eleusis). He regards Orthodox priests as heretics and has reduced many to destitution by driving them from their positions, and heaps abuse upon them at every opportunity. So shameful is his treatment of the Greek clergy that the pope has excommunicated him for his crimes, and demanded he make recompense.
Whether he will obey the pope remains to be seen, for he claims that many Orthodox priests were simply ordained to excuse them from the labor dues and taxes he has levied upon his population, from which clergy are exempt, so he denies the validity of the Orthodox ordination.

Otto’s devotion to the Latin Church remains strong, and he has recently converted the Parthenon in Athens to the Cathedral of Our Lady, within the newly fortified Acropolis where he resides. His brother Guy is joint Lord of Thebes with Nicholas St. Omer.

Duchy of Athens

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