Monday, March 14, 2011

Mercurio Bua

Mercurio Bua



Mercurio Bua was born in 1478 in Nauplion of southern Greece. At the time the city was controlled by Venice unlike the rest of the area which was under Ottoman occupation. He fought 1496 for the Venetian army as a leader of a light cavalry corps consisted of 300 Arvanites of Southern Greece against Florence to prevent the occupation of Pisa.The next year he fought in Naples against the French who were led by King Charles VIII. At this battle he showed his excellent qualities and valor and he participated in many other battler all around Europe.

He was the son of Petros Buas and grandchild of Alexis Buas who came in Peloponese from Epirus in 1405 invited by the despot of Morea after his uncle lost the territories he ruled.
In the year 1533 the Emperor of the Holy Roman empire and king of Spain Charles V  was in discussion with the pope and the Venetians about a alliance and a decisive crusade against the Ottoman empire.
In a war council that in which the venetian general of Urbino a papal representative and Mercurio Bua participed the venetian general stated that such a campaign cannot be conducted since his country doesn't possess a large in number military force. Then Mercurios Buas took the initiative and presented his own plan. He proposed as a theater of operations the Greek penisula and he was sure that the Greek the Arvanite and the Albanian insurgents would join them in large numbers. In the end this plan was never materialized.
In the rest of his life Bua was entitled as count of Aquino and Roccasecca.


Flag given in 1510 to Mercurio Bua by Emperor Maximilian I. It features a double-headed eagle, symbol of both Byzantine and the Holy Roman empire, the Cross of Burgundy and four "B"s or firesteels, used in the Palaiologos arms, but also linked to the House of Habsburg's.

 Since 1519 he was married to the Greek Maria Boccali, the daughter of Niccolò Boccali. Maria died in 1524 leaving one son with the name Flavio. She was buried in Santa Maria di Treviso. In 1525 Mercurio married Elisabetta, daughter of Alvise Balbi. With her Mercurio had four children: Helena Maria, Curio, Polyxena and Alessandro. Elizabeth died in or before 1528 .
M. Bua died in Treviso (Italy) between 1527 and 1562 were earlier he served as Captain of a unit of 50 soldiers. He is buried in Santa Maria Maggiore in the same city. In 1562 a marble monument was erected on his tomb, made by Antonio Lombardo. In 1637 the following inscription was made on the monument:
"Mercurio Bua Comiti E. Principibus PeloponnesiEpirotarum Equitum Ductori,
Anno Salu. MDCXXXVII."
Which means "To Count Mercurio Bua, Prince of Peloponnesus, Leader of the Epirote Horsemen, Year of our Salvation, 1637". The monument also lists some of his military career.
Bua's life and heroic achievements were hymned in a very long epic poem written in vernacular Greek language by Tzanes (Ioannes) Coroneos. The latter was born in Zacynthos(western Greek island) and is assumed that was a stratioti-troubadour. This poem was found in a manuscript in Italy and was published partially by C. Hopf and entire by K. Sathas. It was written in 1519 when Coroneos was in Venice and refers to Bua's history till 1517. It consists of about 4.500 rhyming verses and contains valuable historical information. Coroneos wrote and sent to Bua also a smaller poem (“pittakion”) of about 125 verses in Greek language, too.



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