Abt 1175 - 1222 (~ 47 years)
Has 2 ancestors and more than 100 descendants in this family tree.
||Theodoros I Laskaris |
|Relationship||with Francis Fox|
||19 Mar 2010 |
- emperor of Nicaea
Keizer van Byzantie, 1175-1222
later distinguished himself during the sieges of Constantinople by the Latins of the Fourth Crusade (1203-1204). He remained in Constantinople until the Latins actually penetrated into the city, at which point he fled across Bosphorus together with his wife. At about the same time his brother Constantine Laskaris was unsuccessfully proclaimed emperor by some of the defenders of Constantinople. In Bithynia Theodore established himself in Nicaea , which became the chief rallying-point for his countrymen.
At first Theodore did not claim the imperial title, perhaps because his father-in-law and his brother were both still living, perhaps because of the imminent Latin invasion, or perhaps because there was no Patriarch of Constantinople to crown him emperor. He was proclaimed emperor in 1205 and invited Patriarch John Kamateros to Nicaea. But John died in 1206 before crowning Theodore. Theodore appointed Michael IV as the new Patriarch and was crowned by him in March 1208.
In the meantime Theodore had been defeated by the Latins at Adramyttion ( Edremit ), but soon afterwards the Latins were themselves defeated by Kaloyan of Bulgaria at the Battle of Adrianople . This temporarily stalled the Latin advance, but it was renewed by Emperor Henry of Flanders in 1206. Theodore entered into an alliance with Kaloyan and took the offensive in 1209. The situation was complicated by the invasion of Sultan Kaykhusraw I of Rum at the instigation of the deposed Alexios III in 1211; however, the Nicaeans defeated the Seljuk army at the Battle of Antioch on the Meander where Theodore Laskaris killed the sultan in combat. Although the danger from Rum and Alexios III was thus neutralized, Emperor Henry defeated Theodore in the same year, and established his control over the southern shores of the Sea of Marmara . In spite of this defeat, Theodore was able to take advantage of the death of David Megaskomnenos, the brother of Emperor Alexios I of Trebizond in 1212 and to extend his own control over Paphlagonia .
In 1214 Theodore concluded a peace treaty with the Latin Empire at Nymphaion , and in 1219 he married a niece of Emperor Henry. In spite of predominantly peaceful relations, Theodore attacked the Latin Empire again in 1220, but peace was restored. Theodore died in November 1221 and was succeeded by his son-in-law John III Doukas Vatatzes .
At the end of his reign he ruled over a territory roughly coterminous with the old Roman provinces of Asia and Bithynia . Though there is no proof of higher qualities of statesmanship in him, by his courage and military skill he enabled the Byzantine nation not merely to survive, but ultimately to beat back the Latin invasion.