Nicaea, Empire of

   The center of Byzantium-in-exile from 12081261. Theodore I Laskaris (q.v.), its first emperor, was crowned in 1208. The victory of Kalojan over Baldwin of Flanders (qq.v.) in 1205 weakened subsequent Latin military initiatives in Asia Minor by Henry of Hainault (qq.v.). Theodore I's victory over the Seljuks (q.v.) in 1211 further insured the immediate survival of the Empire of Nicaea. John III Vatatzes (q.v.), who reigned from 1222-1254, expanded the empire into Thrace (q.v.), conquering Thessalonike (q.v.) in 1246. Theodore II Laskaris ([q.v.], reigned 1254-1258) turned back a Bulgarian invasion in 1254-1255. The ineffectual John IV Laskaris, a child of seven when he came to the throne, gradually fell sway to his general Michael (VIII) Palaiologos, who was crowned co-emperor in 1259. The Latin Empire (q.v.) ended in 1261 when the forces of Michael VIII captured the city, restoring, in effect, Byzantium (q.v.) to its proper capital.

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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  • Nicaea — or Nice geographical name ancient city of Byzantine Empire; site at modern village of Iznik in NW Turkey in Asia at E end of Iznik Lake • Nicaean adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Nicaea — /nuy see euh/, n. an ancient city in NW Asia Minor: Nicene Creed formulated here A.D. 325. * * * Independent principality (1204–61) of the fragmented Byzantine Empire. Founded in 1204 by Theodore I Lascaris, it was the political and cultural… …   Universalium

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