Baldwin II, Latin Emperor of Constantinople

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About Baldwin II, Latin Emperor of Constantinople

BAUDOUIN de Courtenay, son of PIERRE Emperor of Constantinople, Seigneur de Courtenay & his second wife Yolande de Flandre Marquise de Namur (Constantinople [late 1217/early 1218]-Naples 1273 after 15 Oct, bur Barletta Cathedral). William of Tyre (Continuator) specifies that the wife of Pierre de Courtenay gave birth to a son soon after arriving in Constantinople. The Chronicle of Alberic de Trois-Fontaines names "iuvenis Balduinus qui modo est imperator" as youngest of the four son of "comitis Petris". He succeeded his brother in 1228 as BAUDOUIN II Emperor of Constantinople, Seigneur de Courtenay et de Montargis. Georgius Akropolites records the death of "Robertus" and the succession of "frater eius Balduinus puer". Jean de Brienne ex-King of Jerusalem was appointed regent, by agreement at Perugia in Apr 1229, and crowned emperor on his arrival in Constantinople in 1231. Theodoros Angelos Lord of Epirus, who had crowned himself emperor in 1225, marched on Constantinople in 1230 but changed course and attacked Bulgaria, but was defeated and captured by Tsar Ivan Asen II at Klokotnica in Apr 1230, once more averting the threat to the Latin empire. Tsar Ivan Asen and his Nikaian allies laid siege to Constantinople in 1236, but the city was saved by a quarrel between the two allies. In 1236, Emperor Baudouin left for the west to mobilise crusaders to help defend Constantinople. While in France, he took possession of Courtenay and his other lands in France and obliged his sister Marguerite to transfer Namur to him in 1237. Emperor Baudouin returned to Constantinople in Jul 1239, marching overland through Hungary and Bulgaria. He captured the Nikaian fortress of Tzurulum in 1240, although his forces appear thereafter to have dispersed. He was crowned emperor at St Sophia at Easter 1240. He was in France once again from end-1243 until he joined the Fifth Crusade, during which he was present at Damietta in Jun 1249. He returned to Constantinople after learning of the death of Theodoros II Emperor in Nikaia in 1257. Mikhael Palaiologos, co-Emperor in Nikaia, captured Constantinople 25 Jul 1261. Emperor Baudouin was wounded during the attack, but sailed for Euboea on a Venetian ship, eventually reaching France in 1262. He sold his rights to Namur 20 Mar 1263 to Guy de Dampierre, later Count of Flanders. In Jan 1266, he sold his titular rights to the kingdom of Thessaloniki to Hugues IV Duke of Burgundy for 13,000 livres tournois. Under the Treaty of Viterbo, concluded 27 May 1267, Emperor Baudouin ceded all his rights over Greece (except the city of Constantinople) to Charles I King of Sicily, which was confirmed by the betrothal of his son to Charles's daughter. m (contract Perugia 19 Apr 1229, in person 1234) MARIE de Brienne, daughter of JEAN de Brienne ex-King of Jerusalem & his third wife Infanta doña Berenguela de Castilla (Capua Apr 1225-in Italy after 5 May 1275, bur Assisi). The Chronicle of Alberic de Trois-Fontaines records the marriage of "rex…Iohannes super Grecos…filiam suam Mariam" and "Balduini iuveni…filius comitis Petri". Her marriage was agreed at the same time as her father was appointed regent for her husband. Emperor Baudouin II & his wife had two children, Philippe and an Unnamed son who died young.

Baldwin II of Courtenay

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Baldwin II of Courtenay (French: Baudouin II de Courtenay, 1217 – October 1273) was the last emperor of the Latin Empire of Constantinople.

He was a younger son of Yolanda of Flanders, sister of the first two emperors, Baldwin I and Henry of Flanders. Her husband, Peter of Courtenay, was third emperor of the Latin Empire (also known as Romania, not to be confused with modern Romania), and had been followed by his son Robert of Courtenay, on whose death in 1228 the succession passed to Baldwin, then an 11-year-old boy. The barons chose John of Brienne (titular king of the Kingdom of Jerusalem) as emperor-regent for life; Baldwin was to rule the Asiatic possessions of the empire when he reached the age of twenty, was to marry John's daughter Marie, and on John's death to enjoy the full imperial sovereignty. The marriage contract was carried out in 1234. Since the death of Baldwin's uncle, Emperor Henry of Flanders in 1216, the Latin Empire had declined and the Byzantine power advanced; and the hopes that John of Brienne might restore it were disappointed. He died in 1237.

The realm which Baldwin governed was little more than the city of Constantinople. His financial situation was desperate, and his life was chiefly occupied in begging at European courts. He went to the West in 1236, visited Rome, France and Flanders, trying to raise money and men to recover the lost territory of his realm. In 1237, Baldwin II pawned the Crown of Thorns to a Venetian merchant for 13,134 gold pieces. His efforts met with success, and in 1240 he returned to Constantinople (through Germany and Hungary) at the head of a considerable army. Circumstances hindered him from accomplishing anything with this help, and in 1245 he traveled again to the West, first to Italy and then to France, where he spent two years. The empress Marie and Philip of Toucy governed during his absence. He was happy to be able to get money from King Louis IX in exchange for relics. In 1249 he was with King Louis at Damietta.

The extremity of his financial straits reduced him soon afterwards to handing over his only son, Philip, to Venetian merchants as a pledge for loans of money. Philip was later redeemed by Alfonso X of Castile. The rest of his reign was spent by Baldwin in mendicant tours in western Europe. In 1261 Constantinople was captured by Michael VIII Palaeologus, and Baldwin’s rule came to an end. He escaped in a Venetian galley to Negropont, and then proceeded to Athens, thence to Apulia, finally to France. As titular emperor, his role was still the same, to beg help from the western powers. In 1267 he went to Italy; his hopes were centred on Charles of Anjou. Charles seriously entertained the idea of conquering Constantinople, though various complications hindered him from realizing it. To this intent, he signed the Treaty of Viterbo with Baldwin (May 1267). During the next year Baldwin and his son Philip lived on pensions from Charles. In October 1273 Philip married Beatrice, daughter of Charles, at Foggia. A few days later Baldwin died. Under Baldwin II, Constantinople's population had fallen to a mere 35,000 people.


Wolff, Robert L. (1954). "Mortgage and Redemption of an Emperor's Son: Castile and the Latin Empire of Constantinople". Speculum (29).

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Baldwin II, Latin Emperor of Constantinople's Timeline

Age 26
Istanbul, Turkey
Age 27
October 1273
Age 56
Napoli, Campania, Italia