|The death of Gautier V, duke of Athens|
Parents: Hugues, count of Brienne, and Isabella de la Roche
Date of Birth: circa 1275
Spouse: Jeanne, Gaucher de Châtillon, constable of France, and Isabelle de Dreux
Reign: 1308 – 1311
Predecessor: Guy II
Summary: Gautier was destined to be great, but never achieved greatness. His mother, Isabella de la Roche, was the daughter of Guy I, duke of Athens and cousin of the ruling duke, Guy II. His father, Hugues, was the heir-general to the recently abolished kingdom of Jerusalem and Cyprus, with claims to Taranto and Sicily as well. Thus Gautier was a man of many claims and little power. He spent most of his childhood as a hostage in Sicily at Castle Agosta. When his father died in 1296, Gautier inherited the hereditary county of Brienne in France. While serving in the Neapolitan army in 1300, he was captured and imprisoned for another two years until the Treaty of Caltabellotta freed him. The death of his cousin, Guy II, in 1308 made him the titular duke of the Crusader state of Athens, and Gautier V decided to stake his claim.
With the death of the last de la Roche dynast, Gautier was hard-pressed to assert his claim over the small duchy in southern Greece. The nearby Despotate of Epirus, the Byzantine Empire, and the land of Vlachia all wished to end Latin control of the Greek state. Gautier did the only thing he could do at the time: hire the mercenary Catalan Company to fight his war for him. The Company succeeded wonderfully, pushing out all Greek intruders, but things went astray when the time for payment came. The Company refused to leave and began ravaging Athens. Gautier brought new troops from France, Naples, and the nearby Latin state of Morea to Athens to defeat the Catalan Company. The two armies met at the Battle of Halmyros where the Catalans won a decisive victory. Gautier and his entire cavalry was killed and all of Athens was taken from the Brienne family except the small land of Argos and Nauplia. Gautier's son, Gautier VI, succeeded his father in France and in the small region left to the family in Greece. Roger Deslaur, one of the victorious Catalan knights, was nominated duke of Athens.
Date of Death: 15 March 1311
Successor: Roger Deslaur and Gautier VI
Other Monarchs Who Died Today: