Baldwin II

Baldwin II, 1217–73, last Latin emperor of Constantinople (1228–61), brother and successor of Robert of Courtenay. He began his personal rule only after the death (1237) of his father-in-law, John of Brienne. Baldwin traveled in Western Europe seeking financial and military aid for his precarious throne (see Constantinople, Latin Empire of). To obtain funds he sold a large part of the True Cross and other sacred relics to Louis IX of France and at one time pawned his son to the Venetians. In 1261, Michael VIII, Greek emperor of Nicaea, stormed Constantinople. Baldwin escaped to Italy and ultimately transferred his claims on the throne to Charles I of Naples.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.