Theodore I, Marquess of Montferrat

Theodore I, Marquess of Montferrat
Marquess of Montferrat
Reign 1306 - 1338
Predecessor John I Aleramici
Successor John II Palaiologos
Spouse(s) Argentina Spinola


Noble family Palaiologos
Father Andronikos II Palaiologos
Mother Irene of Montferrat
Born c.1290
Died 24 April 1338(1338-04-24)

Theodore I Palaiologos or Palaeologus (full name:Theodore Komnenos Doukas Angelos Palaiologos) (c.1290 – April 24, 1338) was Marquess of Montferrat from 1306 until his death.

He was a son of Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos and Irene of Montferrat.[1] When his uncle John I died in 1305, the male line of the Aleramici Marquesses of Montferrat became extinct. The March of Montferrat was passed to Irene's children. Patriarch Athanasius I of Constantinople blocked the candidacy of the elder son John, so Theodore went to Italy instead.

Theodore sailed to Genoa in 1306. In 1307 he married Argentina Spinola,[2] daughter of Genoese magnate Opicino Spinola, Capitani del Popolo (co-ruler) of the Republic of Genoa. Spinola used his wealth to back Theodore's claim to Montferrat.

Theodore was opposed by Manfred IV of Saluzzo. Manfred was a cadet of the House of Savoy, and several marquesses of Montferrat had Savoyard wives.[3] King Charles II of Naples also claimed parts of the March. He gradually overcame these foes and secured the whole March. In 1310 he received the imperial investiture from Emperor Henry VII.

Theodore and Argentina had two children, John ΙΙ (1313–1372) and Yolande (1318–1342), who married Aimone, Count of Savoy.

Theodore is known to have authored an original military manual, titled Les Enseignemens ou Ordenances pour un Siegneur qui a Guerres et Grans Gouvernemens a Faire, often referred to as Les enseignements. Originally composed in Greek in 1326-27 while Theodore was in Constantinople, it exists now only in the medieval French translation of Jean de Vignay. The work is one of the most interesting medieval military manuals in that it is not dependent on Vegetius' De Re Militari or any other known classical text. It thus serves as an example of the military thinking of the late Byzantine and Medieval worlds.[4]

Theodore died at Trino Vercellese in 1338. He was succeeded by his son John II Palaiologos.


The French translation of Les enseignements


  1. Donald M. Nicol, The Byzantine Lady: Ten Portraits, 1250-1500, (Cambridge University Press, 1994), 49.
  2. C. W. Previté-Orton, The Shorter Cambridge Medieval History, Vol. 2, (Cambridge University Press, 1978), 733.
  3. F. Gabotto, Gli Ultimi principi d'Acaia e la politica subalpina 1883
  4. John R.E. Bliese, 'Rhetoric Goes to War: The Doctrine of Ancient and Medieval Military Manuals', Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Vol 24, No. 3/4, 1994, p. 116-117.

Theodore I, Marquess of Montferrat
Born: c.1290 Died: 24 April 1338
Preceded by
John I
Marquess of Montferrat
Succeeded by
John II

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