- Spanish mercenary band, like the Catalan Grand Company (q.v.) before them, that migrated east in the late 14th century. The name derives from Navarre, where many of them originated. Once in Greece (q.v.), the Navarrese hired themselves out to whoever would pay them. Employed by the Hospitallers (q.v.), they helped conquer Thebes (q.v.) from the Catalans in 1379. This proved to be the beginning of the end of the Catalan domination in Greece. So weakened were the Catalans that the Acciajuoli (q.v.) wrested Athens (q.v.) from them in 1388. The Navarrese then fought for control of Frankish Achaia (q.v.), and subsequently for the Peloponnesos (q.v.) against Theodore I Palaiologos (q.v.) and the Acciajuoli (q.v.). Their meteoric expansion ended in 1402, by which time they had joined forces with an ally more powerful than themselves, the Ottomans (q.v.). In effect, their military intervention served to erode resistance to Ottoman expansion in Greece.
Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . John H. Rosser .
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