John, Duke of Durazzo
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John of Gravina (1294 – 5 April 1336), also known as John of Anjou, was Count of Gravina 1315–1336, Prince of Achaea 1318-1332, Duke of Durazzo 1332–1336 and ruler of the Kingdom of Albania (although he never used a royal title). He was the youngest son of King Charles II of Naples and Mary of Hungary.
|Duke of Durazzo, Prince of Achaea, Count of Gravina|
|Died||5 April 1336 (aged 41–42)|
|Spouse||Matilda of Hainaut|
Agnes of Périgord
|Issue||Charles, Duke of Durazzo|
Louis of Durazzo
Robert of Durazzo
Stephen of Durazzo
|House||House of Anjou-Sicily|
House of Anjou-Durazzo (founder)
|Father||King Charles II of Naples|
|Mother||Mary of Hungary|
The death of Louis of Burgundy in 1316 widowed Matilda of Hainaut, Princess of Achaea. Her suzerain, John's brother Philip I of Taranto, had her brought by force to Naples in 1318 to marry John, a design intended to bring the Principality of Achaea into the Angevin inheritance. The marriage, celebrated in March 1318, failed of its objective: Matilda refused to surrender her rights to Achaea to her husband and ultimately contracted a secret marriage with Hugh de La Palice. This violated the marriage contract of her mother Isabelle, which had pledged that Isabelle and all her female heirs should not marry without permission of their suzerain. On these grounds, Philip stripped her of Achaea and bestowed it upon John: the marriage was annulled for non-consummation, and Matilda was imprisoned in the Castel dell'Ovo.
- Charles, Duke of Durazzo (1323–1348). Married Maria of Calabria.
- Louis of Durazzo (1324–1362), Count of Gravina
- Robert of Durazzo (1326–1356)
In a tardy reaction to the Byzantine advances in the central Morea, in 1325 John launched a military expedition, financed by the Acciaiuoli, to Achaea. While he re-established his authority in Cefaphonia and Zante, he was unable to recapture Skorta from the control of the Byzantine Empire.
In 1332, Philip of Taranto died and was succeeded by his son Robert of Taranto, who became the new suzerain of Achaea. Not wishing to swear fealty to his nephew, John arranged to surrender Achaea to him in exchange for Robert's rights to the Kingdom of Albania and a loan of 5,000 ounces of gold raised upon Niccolo Acciaiuoli, and thenceforth adopted the style of "Duke of Durazzo".
- Kelly, Samantha (2003). The New Solomon: Robert of Naples (1309-1343) and Fourteenth-Century Kingship. Brill.
- Percy, William A. (1995). "Houses of Anjou". In Kibler, William W.; Zinn, Grover A. (eds.). Medieval France:An Encyclopedia. Garland Publishing.
- Zacour, Norman P. (1960). "Talleyrand: The Cardinal of Périgord (1301-1364)". Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. New Series. 50 (7). doi:10.2307/1005798. JSTOR 1005798.