Catherine I, Latin Empress

Catherine I, also Catherine of Courtenay (25 November 1274 – 11 October 1307), was the recognised Latin Empress of Constantinople from 1283 to 1307, although she lived in exile and only held authority over Crusader States in Greece. In 1301, she became the second wife of Charles of Valois, by whom she had one son and three daughters; the eldest of these, Catherine II of Valois, Princess of Achaea succeeded her as titular empress.

Catherine I
Marchioness of Namur
Lady of Courteney, Mortargis and Balcon
Tombeau Catherine de Courtenay.jpg
Latin Empress
Reign15 December 1283 – 11 October 1307
PredecessorPhilip I
SuccessorCatherine II
Born25 November 1274
Died11 October 1307 (aged 32)
Paris, France
SpouseCharles of Valois
IssueJohn, Count of Chartres
Catherine II, Latin Empress
Joanna of Valois
Isabella of Valois
FatherPhilip of Courtenay
MotherBeatrice of Sicily
ReligionRoman Catholic


She was born on 25 November 1274, the only daughter and heir of the titular Emperor of Constantinople Philip I of Courtenay by Beatrice of Sicily.[1]

Upon her father's death on 15 December 1283, Catherine inherited his claims to the Latin throne of Constantinople and was recognized as empress by the Latin states in Greece, despite the city having been re-taken by the Empire of Nicaea in 1261.

Catherine was betrothed to three men she never married, including James of Majorca. On 28 February 1301 at the Priory of St. Cloud near Paris, she became the second wife of Count Charles of Valois, son of King Philip III of France.[1] On 23 April 1301, Charles became titular emperor with Catherine until her death in Paris on 11 October 1307 at the age of 32. She was buried at the abbey of Maubuisson[2] the following day, 12 October. Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Knights Templar served as one of her pallbearers.


By Charles of Valois, Catherine I had four children:


  1. ^ a b c d Peter Lock, The Franks in the Aegean: 1204-1500, (Routledge, 2013), 66.
  2. ^ {FR} Revue archéologique Juillet-Decembre 1907, Volume 4; Volume 9, ed. G. Perrot and S. Reinach, (Ernest Leroux, 1907), 448–449.

See alsoEdit


Catherine I, Latin Empress
Cadet branch of the Capetian Dynasty
Born: 25 November 1274 Died: 11 October 1307
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Philip of Courtenay
Latin Empress of Constantinople

with Charles, Count of Valois (1301–1307)
Succeeded by
Catherine of Valois

External linksEdit

  Media related to Catherine of Courtenay at Wikimedia Commons