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Henry, Emperor Of Constantinople

HENRY, EMPEROR OF CONSTANTINOPLE (c. 1174-1216), emperor of Romania, or Constantinople, was a younger son of Baldwin, count of Flanders and Hainaut (d. 1195). Having joined the Fourth Crusade about 1201, he distinguished himself at the siege of Constantinople in 1204 and elsewhere, and soon became prominent among the princes of the new Latin empire of Constantinople. When his brother, the emperor Baldwin I., was captured at the battle of Adrianople in April 1205, Henry was chosen regent of the empire, succeeding to the throne when the news of Baldwin's death arrived. He was crowned on the 20th of August 1205. Henry was a wise ruler, whose reign was largely passed in successful struggles with the Bulgarians and with his rival, Theodore Lascaris I., emperor of Nicaea. Henry appears to have been brave but not cruel, and tolerant but not weak; possessing " the superior courage to oppose, in a superstitious age, the pride and avarice of the clergy." The emperor died, poisoned, it is said, by his Greek wife, on the nth of June 1216.

See Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. vi. (ed. J. B. Bury, 1898).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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