Franks, Venetians and Catalans in central Greece
Euboea is a 'mosaic' of inhabitants
After 1204 and the disintegration of the Byzantine Empire, the Latin conquerors brought the system of feudalism to the island. Thus the island was divided into three large fiefdoms, the terzieri (south, north and central Euboea), which were subdivided into smaller units and ruled over by the triarchs. In the cities of Euboea, and particularly Chalkis, the number of inhabitants from the West increased, especially with Venetians and Lombard traders, as well as adventurers, who lived in the own settlements. The period was rocked by constant feuds and claims within the ruling class. A characteristic example is the case of the knight, Likarius, who led his forces against the other feudal overlords. In the two centuries that followed, Venice gradually extended her control over the island, until 1390, when the whole of Euboea was administered by the doge's representative, the bailo. For a short time in the 14th century, Karystos was incorporated into the Catalan Duchy of Athens. The city of Negroponte, as Chalkis was then known, was highly multicultural, as were, most likely, Karystos and Oreon, where the local Orthodox population, the Latins, Venetians, Lombards and Jews all co-existed.
The numerous forts and castles, the creation of the Latin feudal overlords, which rose imposingly across the whole island and the public and religious buildings, which were constructed both in Negroponte and Karystos, but also throughout Euboea, of which only little survives today, marked the areas of settlement and influence of the new rulers: the Lombards, Venetians and Catalans. The co-existence of the Latins with the Orthodox population, resulted in the osmosis of the two traditions, a fact which is reflected in the monuments and the artistic output of the time, where the influences of western art can be traced.
Boeotia of the Latins
Following the fall of Constantinople to the Latin crusaders in April 1204, Boeotia, along with Attica formed the Duchy of Athens, was organised along the line of the feudal system. The Latin element was mostly concentrated around Athens and Thebes, while the Duchy underwent constant changes of overlords: the Burgundy family of de la Roche, the mercenary Catalan Company, and finally, the Florentine Acciaiuoli family. The period came to an end in 1460, when the area came under Ottoman control.
The military nature of the new administration is visible, even to the present day, in the Boeotian landscape in the scattered forts of the Latin lords and their powerful castles. There are the symbols of the great and lesser overlords, places of residence and power, places where political decisions were taken. An example of a castle town is Livadeia, where the Catalans, after 1311, when they took power, they gave the city's castle its current appearance. At the same time, the Boeotian artists' contact with the western rulers, brought in influences from western art.