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Robert of Courtenay

Robert of Courtenay (d. 1228), emperor of the Latin Empire, or of Constantinople, was a younger son of the emperor Peter of Courtenay, and a descendent of the French king, Louis VI, while his mother Yolanda 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, marquess 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 and to the king of France; but meanwhile his lands were falling into the hands of the rival Despotate of Epirus[?] and Empire of Nicaea[?].

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, a lady to whom he had been betrothed on a former occasion; however, he soon repudiated this engagement, and married a French lady, already the fiancée of a Burgundian gentleman. Heading a conspiracy, the Burgundian drove Robert from Constantinople, and early in 1228 the emperor died in Morea[?].

This entry is based on an article from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.

Preceded by:
Latin Empire Followed by:
John of Brienne

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