, showing the eagle of the Doria family (far left), the family cypher of the Palaiologoi (center left), and the Gattilusi coat of arms (center right) NiccolÃ² Gattilusio (died 1462) was the sixth and last Gattilusio lord of Lesbos (1458â€“1462). He was a younger son of Dorino I Gattilusio and Orietta Doria. He deposed his elder brother Domenico Gattilusio, threw him in prison, and had him strangled. The Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II used this crime as his pretext to invade Lesbos. According to Franz Babinger, Mehmed's true motivation was that NiccolÃ² had sheltered Catalan pirates in return for a considerable share of their loot; these pirates were preying on the nearby Anatolian coast, kidnapping their inhabitants and selling them as slaves.Babinger, Mehmed the Conqueror and his Time (Princeton: University Press, 1978), p. 209 In 1462, Mehmed marched from Constantinople at the head of a detachment of Janissaries across Anatolia to Assos (near the modern Behram KÃµy), where on 1 September he was met by a fleet containing the balance of his forces, after which he crossed over to Lesbos. First his troops laid waste to the countryside, hoping this would intimidate NiccolÃ² into surrendering; but NiccolÃ² trusted to the fortifications of his city of Mytilini and its garrison of 5,000, and announced he would go down fighting. Sultan Mehmed proceeded to conquer Mylitini: after four days of skirmishing, Mehmed ordered the city bombarded with the six giant cannons he brought with him. The damage these cannons caused could not be repaired, and when the Janissaries penetrated the city, NiccolÃ² was forced to admit his defeat. He surrendered Mytilini and the rest of the island.Babinger, Mehmed, pp. 210f NiccolÃ² was carried off to Constantinople as a captive, along with most of his family. There he converted to Islam and was briefly released. His sister Maria Gattilusio (widow of Alexander, the brother of Emperor David of Trebizond), who was told to be lovely, entered the imperial harem. Her son Alexios became a page and as some sources relate, a favorite of sultan, but seems to have been beheaded not long afterwards.Babinger, Mehmed, p. 212 Then Mehmed II discovered that a favorite page of his, who had fled from him some time before, had become Christian and was included among the retinue of NiccolÃ². This final indignity seems to have hastened NiccolÃ²'s death sentence. He was strangled to death with a bowstring in Constantinople.
Category:1462 deaths Category:Rulers of Lesbos Category:Converts to Islam Category:People executed by ligature strangulation Category:Italian nobility Category:15th-century executions by the Ottoman Empire Category:House of Gattilusio Category:Year of birth unknown Category:15th-century rulers in Europe Category:15th-century Genoese people