Ellie Wood Keith Genealogy

Theodoros I Komnenos Laskaris, Emperor in Nicea 1204-1222

Theodoros I Komnenos Laskaris, Emperor in Nicea 1204-1222

Male Abt 1175 - 1222  (~ 47 years)

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  • Name Theodoros I Komnenos Laskaris 
    Suffix Emperor in Nicea 1204-1222 
    Born Abt 1175 
    Gender Male 
    History Family[edit]
    Theodore Laskaris was born in ca. 1174,[1] to the Laskaris, a noble but not particularly renowned Byzantine family of Constantinople. He was the son of Manuel Laskaris (b. c. 1140) and wife Ioanna Karatzaina (b. c. 1148).[citation needed] He had four older brothers: Manuel Laskaris (died after 1256), Michael Laskaris (d. 1261/1271), Georgios Laskaris and Constantine Laskaris (died after March 19, 1205), Emperor of Byzantium (1204–1205); and two younger brothers: Alexios Laskaris, Latin military leader against the Bulgars who fought with the French against John III Doukas Vatatzes and was imprisoned and blinded, and Isaakios Laskaris.[2]

    William Miller identified the wife of Marco I Sanudo as the sister of Theodore, based on his interpretation of the Italian sources.[3] However, Mihail-Dimitri Sturdza rejected this identification in his Dictionnaire historique et Généalogique des grandes familles de Grèce, d\'Albanie et de Constantinople (1983), based on the silence of Byzantine primary sources.[4]


    The Latin Empire, Empire of Nicaea, Empire of Trebizond and the Despotate of Epirus. The borders are very uncertain.
    In 1198/9, Theodore married Anna Angelina, daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Alexios III Angelos and Euphrosyne Doukaina Kamatera; she was the widow of her (his?) cousin the sebastokrat?r Isaac Komnenos.[5] Soon after this, he was raised to the rank of despot?s.[1]

    Theodore 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.[6][7]

    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.[8] In addition, his own control over the Anatolian domains of the Byzantine Empire was challenged, by David Komnenos in Paphlagonia and Manuel Maurozomes in Phrygia. It was only after defeating the latter two in 1205 that he was proclaimed Emperor and invited Patriarch John X Kamateros to Nicaea. But John died in 1206 before crowning Theodore. Theodore appointed Michael IV Autoreianos 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 single combat.[1] Although the danger from Rum and Alexios III was thus neutralized, Emperor Henry defeated Theodore in October of the same year, and established his control over the southern shores of the Sea of Marmara.[1] In spite of this defeat, Theodore was able to take advantage of the death of David Megas Komnenos, the brother of Emperor Alexios I of Trebizond in 1212 and to extend his own control over Paphlagonia.[1]

    In 1214 Theodore concluded a peace treaty with the Latin Empire at Nymphaion, and in 1219 he married Marie de Courtenay, a niece of now deceased Emperor Henry and daughter of the current regent, Yolanda of Flanders.[9] 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.[10][11] He was buried in the Monastery of Hyakinthos in Nicaea.[1]

    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.[6]

    Marriages and children[edit]
    Theodore married three times. His first wife was Anna Komnene Angelina (b. c. 1176), whom he married in 1199. With Anna, Theodore had three daughters and two sons who died young:

    Nicholas Laskaris (d. c. 1212)
    John Laskaris (d. c. 1212)
    Irene Laskarina, who married first the general Andronikos Palaiologos and then John III Doukas Vatatzes
    Maria Laskarina, who married King Béla IV of Hungary
    Eudokia Laskarina (renamed Sophia, born between 1210 and 1212, died between 1247 and 1253), engaged to Robert of Courtenay, married firstly and divorced Frederick II, Duke of Austria, secondly (bef. 1230) Anseau de Cayeux, Governor of Asia Minor
    After Anna Angelina died in 1212, Theodore took Philippa of Armenia (1183-aft. 1219) as his second wife. She was a niece of Leo I, King of Armenia; this marriage was annulled a year later and they divorced in 1216. Gardiner mentions the theory that Leo wanted to marry his daughter to another, and sent his niece in her place; once Theodore found he had been duped, he sent her and the son born to them, Constantine Laskaris, born in 1214, back to Cilicia.[12]

    Theodore\'s third wife was Maria of Courtenay (1204-September, 1222), whom he married in 1219. She was the daughter of Emperor Peter II of Courtenay and Empress Yolanda of Flanders, but they had no children.

    See also[edit]
    flag Byzantine Empire portal
    List of Byzantine emperors  [1
    History Theodoros I Komnenos Laskaris, emperor in Nicea, was born about 1175, the son of Manuel Laskaris and his wife Ioanna (Karatzas, Phokaina). In 1199 he married Anna Komnene Angelina, daughter of Alexios III Komnenos Angelos, emperor of Byzantium.

    Theodoros distinguished himself during the siege of Constantinople by the crusaders of the Fourth Crusade in 1203-04. After the sack of the city he established himself in the town of Nicaea that became the rallying point for the Byzantines.

    Theodoros formed a new Byzantine state in Asia Minor and in 1206 assumed the title of emperor. His state was besieged by his enemies, but he fought successful defensive campaigns against the Latin emperor of Constantinople Henri of Flanders. He defeated his rival Alexius I, emperor of Trebizond, and successfully attacked Kay Khusrau I, the sultan of Rüm (Iconium or Konya). Theodore\'s most important victory was gained in 1210 when he captured Alexius and the city of Antioch.

    He had five children by his first wife Anna Komnene Angelina, who died in 1212. Two daughters would have progeny. He next married Philippa of Armenia, but this marriage was annulled after one year on religious grounds. Their son Konstantinos had no rights to the throne, instead becoming duke of Thrakesion. In 1219 he married Marie de Courtenay

    By the time of his death in August 1222 Theodoros had ruled over a territory covering the old Roman provinces of Asia and Bithynia. By his courage and military skill he enabled the Byzantine nation not only to survive, but ultimately to defeat the Latin invaders.  [2
    Died Aug 1222 
    Person ID I1824  Ellie Wood Keith
    Last Modified 26 Feb 2018 

    Father Manuel Laskaris,   d. yes 
    Mother Ioanna (Karatzas) Phokaina,   d. yes 
    Family ID F1142  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Anna Komnene Angelina, Empress in Nicaea,   b. Abt 1174,   d. 1212  (Age ~ 38 years) 
    Married 1199 
    +1. Maria Laskarina,   b. Abt 1206,   d. Abt 1270  (Age ~ 64 years)
    Last Modified 26 Feb 2018 
    Family ID F1141  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Anna Komnene Angelina, Empress of Nicea in Antolia
    Anna Komnene Angelina, Empress of Nicea in Antolia
    What is now Turkey
    Theodoros I Laskaris, Emperor in Nicea
    Theodoros I Laskaris, Emperor in Nicea
    Nicea, Latin empires
    Nicea, Latin empires

  • Sources 
    1. [S12] Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_I_Laskaris.

    2. [S64] Genealogics, Leo Van de Pas, http://www.genealogics.org/getperson.php?personID=I00049868&tree=LEO.