Guy Pallavicini

Guy, Guido, or Galdo Pallavicini (also Pallavicino), called Marchesopoulo by his Greek subjects, was the first margrave of Bodonitsa in Frankish Greece from 1204 to his death in 1237. The original purpose of the margraviate was to guard the pass at Thermopylae for the kingdom of Thessalonica.

He was the second son of the Marquis Guglielmo Pallavicino (also known as Pelavicino), a descendant of the Obertenghi of Liguria, who ruled over a series of fiefs in the area between Parma and Piacenza which were known collectively as the Pallavicino State.

After the death of the first Thessalonian king, Boniface, in 1207, Guy became the chief counsellor and bailiff of Margaret, the widowed regent and queen-mother of the young Demetrius. However, Guy and his brother Rubino had sided with the Lombards under Oberto II of Biandrate and been forced to submit to the Emperor Henry in 1209. He refused to attend the parliament of Ravennika in May that year. At the same time of the year in 1210, however, he was present at the second parliament of Ravennika and signed the concordat there agreed upon, though his reputation towards the church was one of violence and disregard.

Guy built a strong castle, Vriokastro, at Bodonitsa itself and successfully guarded the pass against the despot of Epirus, Theodore I Ducas, in 1224, even after Thessalonica fell. Along with Athens and Thebes, Bodonitsa was one of the few (mostly southern) fiefs of the kingdom to survive its capital's fall. In fact, it was to Guy that the duke of Athens owed his relative safety from Epirote assault.

On 2 May 1237, he made his will and he died soon thereafter. He had been one of the knights of the Fourth Crusade and he was one of the last to die. Bodontitsa was the northernmost Frankish holding in Greece at that time. He was succeeded by Ubertino, his son by the Burgundian Sibylla, a cousin of Guy I of Athens.


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