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Ruler: Latin Rulers of Constantinople
Reigned: 1204-1261 A.D.
Denomination: Billon Trachy, small module (syphate)
Obverse: The Virgin Enthroned
Reverse: Emperor standing holding labarum
Reference: BCV 2044
Weight: 1.4 gms
Diameter: 20 mm

Latin Rulers of Constantinople 1204-61

In 1198 Pope Innocent III called for the 4th Crusade. The leaders of the Crusade, in order to raise the money required, became involved a plot to depose the Byzantine emperor Alexius III The result was the takeover of the South Balkan Peninsula and the Greek archipelago by the Latin leaders of the Crusade after they had sacked Constantinople in 1204. The empire's secular and ecclesiastic governments were carefully divided among the Crusaders and their Venetian creditors. The rulers were also suzerains of the kingdom of Thessalonica, the principality of Achaia, and other fiefs. Baldwin I, Henry of Flanders, Peter of Courtenay and his wife, Yolande, Robert of Courtenay, John of Brienne, and Baldwin II were rulers. The empire declined immediately after its creation, being beset by the Greek emperors of Nicaea and despots of Epirus, by the Bulgars under Ivan II (Ivan Asen), by the Turks, by discord among the Westerners, and by Greek resistance. In 1222, Thessalonica fell to the despot of Epirus. By 1224 the Nicaean Emperor John III had recovered Asia Minor. Constantinople, nearly captured by Ivan Asen in 1234, fell to Emperor Michael VIII in 1261. Venice, however, retained possession of most of the Greek isles, the duchy of Athens passed under Catalan rule, and Achaia stayed in the hands of the Villehardouin family until 1278

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