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Latin Empire

The knights of the Fourth Crusade set up a Crusader kingdom known as the Latin Empire or Romania based on Constantinople after sacking the city in 1204, with the intent that it would be a Roman Catholic successor of the Byzantine Empire. Baldwin IX, Count of Flanders, was crowned the first emperor May 16, 1204.

Although this state lay claim to all of the lands controlled by the Byzantine Empire at the time Constantinople was conquered and did exert control over areas of Greece (Achaea), much of the territory remained in the hands of rival states led by aristocrats of the former empire, such as the Despotate of Epirus[?], the Empire of Nicaea[?], and the Empire of Trebizond. Although the relatives of Baldwin, Count of Flanders struggled for many years for their domain, it came to an end on July 25, 1261 when Michael VIII Palaeologus recaptured Constantinople, deposing the last Latin Emperor, Baldwin II.

For about a century thereafter, the heirs of Baldwin II continued to use the title of Emperor of Constantinople, and were seen as theoretical overlords by the various remaining Latin states in the Aegean.

Latin Emperors of Constantinople, 1204-1261

Titular Latin Emperors of Constantinople, 1261-1383

  • Emperor Baldwin II 1261-1273
  • Philippe de Courtenay 1273-1283
  • Catherine de Courtenay 1283-1308
  • Charles, Comte de Valois (her husband) 1302-1308
  • Catherine de Valois 1308-1346
  • Philip of Taranto (her husband) 1313-1332
  • Robert of Taranto 1346-1364
  • Philip II of Taranto 1364-1373
  • Jacques des Baux 1373-1383
(Jacques willed his titular claims to Duke Louis I of Anjou[?], also claimant to the throne of Naples, but Louis and his descendants never used the title.)

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