Lascaris lăs´kərĭs [key], family name of the Greek emperors of Nicaea (see Nicaea, empire of ). The empire was founded in 1204 by Theodore I , a son-in-law of Alexius III (Alexius Angelus). Theodore I was succeeded (1222) by his son-in-law, John III (John Ducas Vatatzes). John's son Theodore II (1254–58) assumed the family name Lascaris. He was succeeded by his son John IV , who was forced (1259) to share his throne with Michael VIII, founder of the Palaeologus dynasty. John was deposed in 1261.
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