Latin Empire

Empire of Romania

Imperium Romaniae
1204–1261
The Latin Empire with its vassals (in yellow) and the Greek successor states of the Byzantine Empire (in red) after the Treaty of Nymphaeum in 1214.
The Latin Empire with its vassals (in yellow) and the Greek successor states of the Byzantine Empire (in red) after the Treaty of Nymphaeum in 1214.
CapitalConstantinople
Common languagesLatin, Old French (official)
Greek and Bulgarian (popular)
Religion
Roman Catholic (official)
Greek Orthodox (popular)
GovernmentFeudal Christian Monarchy
Emperor 
• 1204–1205
Baldwin I
• 1206–1216
Henry
• 1216–1217
Peter
• 1217–1219
Yolanda (regent)
• 1219–1228
Robert I
• 1228–1237
John of Brienne (regent)
• 1237–1261
Baldwin II
Historical eraHigh Middle Ages
• Established
1204
• Disestablished
1261
Area
1204 est.339,000 km2 (131,000 sq mi)
1260 est.22,000 km2 (8,500 sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
(Angelos dynasty)
(Palaiologos dynasty)
Today part ofTurkey
Greece
Bulgaria

The Empire of Romania[2] (Latin: Imperium Romaniae), more commonly known in historiography as the Latin Empire or Latin Empire of Constantinople, and known to the Byzantines as the Frankokratia or the Latin Occupation,[3] was a feudal Crusader state founded by the leaders of the Fourth Crusade on lands captured from the Byzantine Empire. It was established after the capture of Constantinople in 1204 and lasted until 1261. The Latin Empire was intended to supplant the Byzantine Empire as the titular Roman Empire in the east, with a Western Roman Catholic emperor enthroned in place of the Eastern Orthodox Roman emperors.

Baldwin IX, Count of Flanders, was crowned the first Latin emperor as Baldwin I on 16 May 1204. The Latin Empire failed to attain political or economic dominance over the other Latin powers that had been established in former Byzantine territories in the wake of the Fourth Crusade, especially Venice, and after a short initial period of military successes it went into a steady decline. Weakened by constant warfare with Bulgaria and the unconquered sections of the empire, it eventually fell when Byzantines recaptured Constantinople under Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos in 1261. The last Latin emperor, Baldwin II, went into exile, but the imperial title survived, with several pretenders to it, until the 14th century.

Name

The original name of this state in the Latin language was Imperium Romaniae ("Empire of Romania"). This name was used based on the fact that the common name for the Byzantine Empire in this period had been Romania (Ῥωμανία, "Land of the Romans").

The names Byzantine and Latin were not contemporaneous terms. They were invented much later by historians seeking to differentiate between the classical period of the Roman Empire, the medieval period of the Byzantine Empire, and the late medieval Latin Empire, all of which called themselves "Roman." The term Latin has been used because the crusaders (Franks, Venetians, and other westerners) were Roman Catholic and used Latin as their liturgical and scholarly language. It is used in contrast to the Eastern Orthodox locals who used Greek in both liturgy and common speech.