- Dynasty that ruled the Empire of Nicaea (q.v.) from 1205-1258. Its emperors included Theodore I Laskaris ([q.v.]; 1205-1221), who founded the Empire of Nicaea, and who staved off a Seljuk (q.v.) invasion in 1211; his son-in-law John III Vatatzes ([q.v.]; 1221-1254), who expanded the empire into European territory; Theodore II Laskaris ([q.v.]; 1254-1258), who defended the empire's European possessions against the Bulgarians and despotate of Epiros (qq.v.); and John IV Laskaris ([q.v.]; 12581261), who was blinded by Michael VIII Palaiologos (q.v.), whose sole rule ushered in the Palaiologan dynasty (q.v.).
Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . John H. Rosser .
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