Latin Empire: Information

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Latin Empire (1204 - 1261)

The Empire of Romania (Latin: Imperium Romaniae), more commonly known in historiography as the Latin Empire or Latin Empire of Constantinople, and known to the Byzantines as the Latin Occupation, was a feudal Crusader state founded by the leaders of the Fourth Crusade on lands captured from the Byzantine Empire. It was established after the capture of Constantinople in 1204 and lasted until 1261. The Latin Empire was intended to supplant the Byzantine Empire as the titular Roman Empire in the east, with a Western Roman Catholic emperor enthroned in place of the Eastern Orthodox Roman emperors. Baldwin IX, Count of Flanders, was crowned the first Latin emperor as Baldwin I on 16 May 1204. The Latin Empire failed to attain political or economic dominance over the other Latin powers that had been established in former Byzantine territories in the wake of the Fourth Crusade, especially Venice, and after a short initial period of military successes it went into a steady decline. Weakened by constant warfare with the Bulgarians and the unconquered sections of the empire, it eventually fell when Byzantines recaptured Constantinople under Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos in 1261. The last Latin emperor, Baldwin II, went into exile, but the imperial title survived, with several pretenders to it, until the 14th century.

The original name of this state in the Latin language was Imperium Romaniae ("Empire of Romania"). This name was used based on the fact that the common name for the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire in this period had been Romania (Ῥωμανία, "Land of the Romans").

The names Byzantine and Latin were not contemporaneous terms. They were invented much later by historians seeking to differentiate between the classical period of the Roman Empire, the medieval period of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the late medieval Latin Empire, all of which called themselves "Roman." The term Latin has been used because the crusaders (Franks, Venetians, and other westerners) were Roman Catholic and used Latin as their liturgical and scholarly language. It is used in contrast to the Eastern Orthodox locals who used Greek in both liturgy and common speech.

Latin Empire: List of Rulers.
Reign / RuleFromToCoins Issued
Baudouin (Emperor Baldwin I) 9 May 1204 14 April 1205
Emperor Henry 20 August 1206 11 June 1216
Pierre de Courtenay (Emperor Peter) 1216 1217
Yolande de Hainault (Yolanda of Flanders), Regent 1217 August 1219
Emperor Robert de Courtenay 25 March 1221 1228
Baudouin de Courtenay (Emperor Baldwin II), first sole rule 1228 9 April 1229
Emperors John of Brienne and Baldwin II 9 April 1229 19 March 1237
Baudouin de Courtenay (Emperor Baldwin II), second sole rule 19 March 1237 24 July 1261
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Latin Empire: Details
Official NameLatin Empire
Original NameImperium Romaniae
FlagFlag of Latin Empire
Thessalonica 1204 1224