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William of Villehardouin became Prince of Achaea when his brother Geoffrey II died in 1246. He conquered the remaining Peloponnese territory and built the fortress of Mistra near Sparta. In 1249 he accompanied Louis IX of France on the Seventh Crusade, joining him in Cyprus with 400 knights and 28 ships. Louis gave him a license to mint coins in the style of royal French money. William defeated Venice in the War of the Euboeote Succession and defeated the Duke of Athens in 1258, reaffirming his power over the duchy. In 1259 he formed an alliance with the Byzantine Despotate of Epirus against Nicaea. He led the Achaean forces against the Nicaeans, but the Epirote army deserted and William was defeated. He fled and hid under a haystack, but was captured. He remained captive until 1262 and permanently lost all his power.
CR88481. Billon denier tournois, Tzamalis Frankish GV224; Malloy Crusaders 10a; Metcalf Crusaders pl. 39, 940, VF, centered, toned, Corinth mint, weight 0.822g, maximum diameter 19.5mm, die axis 180o, 1246 - 1278; obverse +:G:PRINCE ACh', cross pattée; reverse VCLARENTIAD, castle tournois, spire in the form of Λ, surmounted by cross; from the Louis G Estate; $160.00
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