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Robert I, also Robert of Courtenay (died 1228), Latin Emperor of Constantinople, was a younger son of the emperor Peter II of Courtenay, and Yolanda of Flanders.[1]

Robert I
Robertus -Courtenay.jpg
Latin Emperor of Constantinople
Reign25 March 1221 – 1228
SuccessorBaldwin II
SpouseLady of Neuville
HouseHouse of Courtenay
MotherYolanda of Flanders

When it became known in France that Peter of Courtenay was dead, his eldest son, Philip, Marquis of Namur, renounced the succession to the Latin empire of Constantinople in favor of his brother Robert, who set out to take possession of his distracted inheritance.[1] Crowned emperor on March 25, 1221, Robert's first loss was Thessalonica in 1224 to Theodore Doukas of Epiros.[2] Worried about the situation of the Catholic Latin Empire, pope Honorius III called for a crusade for the defense of Thessalonica,[2] but the response was ineffective.[2] In the same year, Robert's empire would suffer another defeat to John Ducas Vatatzes at the Battle of Poimanenos.[3]

Following this defeat Robert was compelled to make peace with his chief foe, John III Ducas Vatatzes, emperor of Nicaea, who was confirmed in all his conquests. Robert promised to marry Eudoxia, daughter of the late emperor of Nicaea, Theodore I Lascaris and Anna Angelina. He had been betrothed to Eudoxia on a former occasion; the circumstances surrounding the failed negotiations are unclear, but George Akropolites states that the arrangement was blocked on religious grounds by the Orthodox Patriarch Manuel Sarantenos: Robert's sister Marie de Courtenay was married to Emperor Theodore I Laskaris. Accordingly, Robert, already Theodore's brother-in-law, could not also be his son-in-law.[4] Regardless, Robert soon repudiated this engagement, and married the Lady of Neuville, already the fiancée of a Burgundian gentleman. Heading a conspiracy, the Burgundian drove Robert from Constantinople, he fled to Rome to seek redress from the pope who convinced him to return to Constantinople, but on his return trip, in early in 1228, the emperor died in Morea.[2]


  1. ^ a b Nicol 2002, p. 12-13.
  2. ^ a b c d Nicol 2002, p. 13.
  3. ^ Tricht 2013, p. 1000.
  4. ^ Akropolites 2007, p. 157-158.


  • Akropolites, George (2007). Macrides, Ruth (ed.). The History:Introduction, Translation and Commentary. Oxford University Press.
  • Nicol, Donald M. (2002). The Last Centuries of Byzantium, 1261-1453. Cambridge University Press.
  • Tricht, Filip Van (2013). "Robert of Courtenay (1221-1227): An Idiot on the Throne of Constantinople?". Speculum. The University of Chicago Press. Vol. 88, No. 4 October.
  •   This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Robert of Courtenay". Encyclopædia Britannica. 23 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 401.
Robert I, Latin Emperor
 Died: 1228
Regnal titles
Title last held by
Yolanda of Flanders
Latin Emperor of Constantinople
Succeeded by
Baldwin II of Constantinople