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Peter II of Courtenay

Latin Emperor of Constantinople
The basics
About
Date of birth
Date of death 1219 Epirus Region, Greece
Family
Mother: Elisabeth de Courtenay
Father: Peter I of Courtenay
Spouse: Yolanda of Flanders Agnes I Countess of Nevers
Children: Philip II Marquis of Namur Robert of Courtenay Henry II of Namur Baldwin II of Constantinople Margaret Marchioness of Namur Elisabeth of Courtenay Yolanda de Courtenay Marie de Courtenay Mathilde von Courtenay Inés de Courtenay
The details
Biography

Peter, also Peter II of Courtenay (French: Pierre de Courtenay) (died 1219), was emperor of the Latin Empire of Constantinople from 1216 to 1217.

Biography

Peter II was a son of Peter I of Courtenay (died 1183), the youngest son of Louis VI of France and his second Queen consort Adélaide de Maurienne. His mother was Elisabeth de Courtenay, daughter of Renaud de Courtenay (died 1194) and Hawise du Donjon.

Peter first married Agnes I, via whom he obtained the three counties of Nevers, Auxerre, and Tonnerre. He took for his second wife, Yolanda of Flanders (died 1219), a sister of Baldwin and Henry of Flanders, who were afterwards the first and second emperors of the Latin Empire of Constantinople. Peter accompanied his cousin, King Philip Augustus, on the crusade of 1190 and fought (alongside his brother Robert) in the Albigensian Crusade in 1209 and 1211, when he took part in the siege of Lavaur. He was present at the Battle of Bouvines in 1214.

When his brother-in-law, the emperor Henry, died without sons in 1216, Peter was chosen as his successor, and with a small army he left his residence of château de Druyes, in France to take possession of his throne. Consecrated emperor at Rome, in a church outside the walls, by Pope Honorius III on 9 April 1217, he borrowed some ships from the Venetians, promising in return to conquer Durazzo for them; but he failed in this enterprise, and sought to make his way to Constantinople by land. On the journey he was seized by the despot of Epirus, Theodore Komnenos Doukas, and, after an imprisonment of two years, died, probably by foul means. Peter thus never governed his empire, which, however, was ruled for a time by his wife, Yolanda, who had succeeded in reaching Constantinople. Two of his sons, Robert and Baldwin, in turn emperors of the Latin Empire of Constantinople.

Family

By his first wife Agnes I, Countess of Nevers he had one child, Matilda I, Countess of Nevers.

By his second wife Yolanda of Flanders, he had 11 children:

  • Philip (died 1226), Marquis of Namur, who declined the offer of the crown of the Latin Empire
  • Robert of Courtenay (died 1228), emperor of the Latin Empire of Constantinople
  • Henry (died 1229), Marquis of Namur
  • Baldwin II of Constantinople (died 1273), emperor of the Latin Empire of Constantinople
  • Margaret, Marchioness of Namur, who married first Raoul d'Issoudun and then Henry count of Vianden
  • Elizabeth of Courtenay who married Walter count of Bar and then Eudes sire of Montagu
  • An unnamed daughter who married Tsar Boril of Bulgaria
  • Yolanda de Courtenay, who married Andrew II of Hungary
  • Eleanor, who married Philip of Montfort, Lord of Tyre
  • Marie de Courtenay, who married Theodore I Lascaris of the Empire of Nicaea
  • Agnes, who married Geoffrey II Villehardouin, Prince of Achaea

He had an illegitimate son:

  • Geoffrey, marquis of Lavaur (died 1229).
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