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Villehardouin

Villehardouin (vēlärdwăN´), French noble family that ruled the Peloponnesus from 1210 to 1278. Geoffroi I de Villehardouin, d. 1218, nephew of the historian and marshal of Champagne and Romania, set out on the conquest of Morea (as the Peloponnesus was then called) in 1205, with his friend Guillaume de Champlitte. With some 100 knights the two men rapidly subdued the Greeks, who were beset by internal quarrels, and, in 1205, Champlitte proclaimed himself prince of all Achaia. On the return of Champlitte to France, Villehardouin succeeded him (1210) as prince. Achaia, organized on the feudal model of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, comprised virtually the whole Peloponnesus save several ports held by the Venetians, and it was a fief held under the Latin Empire. Its capital was Mistra, near Sparta. The principality prospered under the strong rule of Geoffroi I and of his son Geoffroi II de Villehardouin, d. 1246, who like his father was an excellent administrator. Geoffroi II's brother and successor, Guillaume de Villehardouin, d. 1278, was a warlike prince. Captured (1259) at the battle of Pelagonia by Emperor Michael VIII of Nicaea, who in 1261 was to recover Constantinople and to restore the Byzantine Empire, he refused to accept freedom in exchange for the cession of Achaia. In 1262 the so-called Ladies' Parliament, held by the wives and widows of the captive or slain nobles of Morea, met some of Michael's demands and ceded the Greeks a foothold in SE Morea, including Mistra but not Sparta, which became the new Latin capital. Released, Guillaume gained the alliance of King Charles I of Naples and Sicily, to whom he gave the hand of his elder daughter, Isabelle, and who received (1267) the nominal suzerainty over Achaia from the exiled Latin emperor, Baldwin II. Guillaume's death in 1278 ended the male line of Villehardouin.

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Villehardouin, Geoffroi de

Geoffroi de Villehardouin, c.1160–c.1212, French historian and Crusader. As marshal of Champagne, he was a leader of the Fourth Crusade (see Crusades), which resulted in the conquest (1204) of Constantinople and the creation of the Latin Empire of Constantinople. Villehardouin, in his De la conquête de Constantinople (first pub. 1585; available in several English editions), described the Crusade and the subsequent struggles of the Latin nobles against their Greek and Bulgarian neighbors, from 1198 to 1207, with vivid detail and disarming frankness. Reliable as a historical source, Villehardouin's account stands as an early masterpiece of French prose. For his services in the Crusade he received the title of marshal of Romania (the name then given to Thrace) and a rich fief in Thrace. His nephew, Geoffroi I de Villehardouin, founded the Villehardouin dynasty in the Peloponnesus.

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"Villehardouin, Geoffroi de." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Villehardouin, Geoffroi de." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved October 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/villehardouin-geoffroi-de

Villehardouin, Geoffroi de

Villehardouin, Geoffroi de (1150–1213) French historian. He was a leader of the Fourth Crusade. Villehardouin's incomplete account of the Crusade, Conquest of Constantinople, was the first historical chronicle written in French.

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"Villehardouin, Geoffroi de." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved October 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/villehardouin-geoffroi-de