Robert of Courtenay

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Coat of arms of the Latin Empire of Constantinople.
Robert of Courtenay from "Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum "

Robert of Courtenay (died 1228), emperor of the Latin Empire, or of Constantinople, was a younger son of the emperor Peter II of Courtenay, and a descendant of the French king, Louis VI, while his mother Yolanda of Flanders was a sister of Baldwin and Henry of Flanders, the first and second emperors of the Latin Empire.

When it became known in France that Peter of Courtenay was dead, his eldest son, Philip, Marquis of Namur, renounced the succession to the Latin empire of Constantinople in favor of his brother Robert, who set out to take possession of his distracted inheritance, which was then ruled by Conon of Béthune as regent. Crowned emperor on March 25, 1221 Robert, who was surrounded by enemies, appealed for help to the pope Honorius III and to the king of France Philip II; but meanwhile his lands were falling into the hands of the rival Despotate of Epirus and Empire of Nicaea (Battle of Poimanenos).

Some little aid was sent from western Europe, but soon Robert was compelled to make peace with his chief foe, John Ducas Vatatzes, emperor of Nicaea, who was confirmed in all his conquests. Robert promised to marry Eudoxia, daughter of the late emperor of Nicaea, Theodore I Lascaris and Anna Angelina. He had been betrothed to Eudoxia on a former occasion; the circumstances surrounding the failed negotiations are unclear, but George Akropolites states that the arrangement was blocked on religious grounds by the Orthodox Patriarch Manuel Sarantenos: Robert's sister Marie de Courtenay was married to Emperor Theodore I Laskaris. Accordingly, Robert, already Theodore's brother-in-law, could not also be his son-in-law.[1] Regardless, Robert soon repudiated this engagement, and married the Lady of Neuville, already the fiancée of a Burgundian gentleman. Heading a conspiracy, the Burgundian drove Robert from Constantinople, he fled to Rome to seek redress from the pope who convinced him to return to Constantinople, but on his return trip, in early in 1228, the emperor died in Morea.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ George Akropolites (Ruth Macrides, ed), The History. Oxford: University Press, 2007, p. 157-158.

References[edit]

Robert of Courtenay
Died: 1228
Regnal titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Yolanda of Flanders
Latin Emperor of Constantinople
1221–1228
Succeeded by
Baldwin II of Constantinople