III. The Postclassical Period, 500–1500 > F. Europe, 461–1500 > 5. Christian States in the Eastern Mediterranean, 1000–1300 > c. Latin and Greek States in the Middle East
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See April 12)
c. Latin and Greek States in the Middle East
Division of the Eastern Empire after the fall of Constantinople: A council, composed equally of Crusaders and Venetians, decided to award the imperial crown to Count Baldwin of Flanders, while a Venetian (Pier Morosini) was made patriarch of Constantinople. Boniface of Montferrat was made king of Salonika (Thessalonica) and the remaining parts of the empire were assigned to various barons as vassals of the emperor. In Anatolia the Crusaders were never able to establish themselves except in a part of Bithynia near the Bosporus. In Europe they were constantly exposed to the attacks of the Bulgarians. The kingdom of Thessalonica at first extended over part of Thrace, Macedonia, and Thessaly, but to the west the Greek Michael Angelus Comnenus set himself up as despot of Epirus and soon began to expand his dominion eastward. Attica and the Peloponnesus were conquered by crusading barons in a short time, and these territories were organized on a feudal basis as the lordship of Athens (Otto de la Roche, 1205–25; Guy I, 1225–63; John I, 1263–80), and the principality of Achaea (conquered by Guillaume de Champlitte and Geoffroy de Villehardouin in 1205). Achaea was in turn divided into 12 feudal baronies, an example of the French feudal pattern. Under the Villehardouin family (Geoffroy I, 1209–18; Geoffroy II, 1218–46; Guillaume, 1246–78) it was well governed and popular with the Greco-Slavic population, which was considerately treated.  1
The Venetians took as their share of the empire most of the islands and other important strategic or commercial posts. They kept for themselves part of Constantinople, Gallipoli, Euboea, Crete, the southwestern tip of the Peloponnesus (Coron and Modon), Durazzo, and other posts on the Epiran coast, as well as the islands of the Ionian and Aegean Seas. For the most part these possessions were granted as fiefs to the leading Venetian families (e.g., triarchies of Euboea, duchy of the Archipelago).  2
BALDWIN I, Latin emperor.  3
Michael Angelus Comnenus, despot of Epirus.  4
Theodore Lascaris, son-in-law of Alexius III, with some of the Byzantine leaders, established himself in Bithynia; Alexius and David Comnenus organized a state on the north coast of Anatolia, with David at Sinope and Alexius at Trebizond, thus founding the empire of Trebizond, which lasted until Ottoman conquest in 1461.  5
Theodore I (Lascaris) became founder of the Nicaean Empire. In 1204 he made an alliance with the (Turkish) sultan of Rum to resist the advance of the Crusaders into Anatolia, but was defeated by the latter under Peter of Bracheuil.  6
The Bulgars, under Kaloyan, defeated Emperor Baldwin and Doge Dandolo in a battle near Adrianople. Baldwin was captured and died in captivity. The Bulgars then overran much of Thrace and Macedonia, exterminating a large part of the Greek population.  7
HENRY I, Latin emperor, the brother of Baldwin, and the ablest of the Latin emperors.  8
Kaloyan and the Bulgarians besieged Thessalonica, but in vain. Kaloyan died suddenly, probably murdered.  9
Theodore Lascaris, allied with the Seljuks of Rum, defeated David Comnenus and drove him back to Sinope. Theodore then concluded a truce with Emperor Henry, in order to oppose the advance of Alexius of Trebizond, who was now allied with the Seljuks.  10
Theodore repulsed a second attempt by Peter of Bracheuil and the Crusaders to conquer Bithynia.  11
Theodore Lascaris defeated Alexius of Trebizond and the sultan of Rum, both of whom were captured. As a result, a large part of the Anatolian coast was added to the Empire of Nicaea.  12
Henry I defeated Theodore at Luparcos and began the invasion of Anatolia. Theodore made peace, abandoning to the Latin Empire part of Mysia and Bithynia.  13
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.