The Latin Empire that was established after the Sack of Constantinople in 1204 went into a steady decline in the years that followed. It was divided into several groups to start with, and rival empires also rose to weaken it further. The rulers who succeeded Emperor Henry were hounded with bad luck or were weak in the first place. Finally, the last Latin Emperor Baldwin II was driven out of Constantinople. This signalled the end of the Latin Empire in 1261, which is where it is recorded on the Biblical Timeline Chart with World History. Although he tried, he was not meant to return to Constantinople to get his throne back. Baldwin II died in Italy in 1273.
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The Beginning of the End
The Latin Emperor Henry died without an heir, so the Empire was given to his brother-in-law, Peter II of Courtenay. The new king lived in Western Francia at that time, so he let his wife Yolanda travel to Constantinople ahead of him to rule as his regent. He left Francia in 1217, but he disappeared while passing through the Despotate of Epirus (led by Theodore Komnenos Doukas). Because of the mysterious disappearance of the emperor, Yolanda was forced to rule Constantinople until her own death in 1219.
A couple of years passed before her son, Robert I, accepted the position of Latin Emperor. He was a weak ruler, and by 1225, John III Vatatzes of Nicaea had reduced the Latin Empire into nothing more than the city of Constantinople. When he died, Robert left Constantinople to his younger brother, Baldwin II, who was a young boy at that time. The Regency was assigned to John of Brienne, King of Jerusalem, who ruled from 1229 to 1237.
When Baldwin II came of age, Constantinople had become so poor that he was forced to pawn or sell off some of the remaining treasures in the palace. In 1261, the Byzantine general Alexios Stratigopoulos and his troops entered Constantinople. Baldwin II fled Constantinople and returned to Western Francia which ended the reign of the Latin emperors. He lived until 1273 but never recovered Constantinople.
Picture By Palma Le Jeune (1544–1620) – Lebédel, Claude (2006) Les croisades, origines et consequences, Ouest-France ISBN: 978-2-7373-4136-6., Public Domain, Link
Jacoby, David. The New Cambridge Medieval History C. 1198-1300. Edited by David Abulafia. Vol. V. Cambridge: University Press, 1995.
Madden, Thomas F. Crusades: The Illustrated History. Ann Arbor, MI: Univ. of Michigan Press, 2004.
Phillips, Jonathan. The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople. New York: Penguin Books, 2005.
Roberts, J. M., and Odd Arne. Westad. The History of the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
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