Partitio Romaniae

   Literally, "the sharing of Romania," the title of the treaty of 1204 that ruthlessly divided up Byzantium (q.v.) among the major participants of the Fourth Crusade (q.v.). Latin emperor Baldwin of Flanders (q.v.) received five-eighths of Constantinople (q.v.), in addition to a quarter of imperial territory that included Thrace, a portion of northwest Asia Minor, and several islands in the Aegean Sea (qq.v), notably Lesbos, Chios, and Samos (qq.v.). Boniface of Montferrat seized Thessalonike (qq.v.) and its surrounding territory to form the Kingdom of Thessalonike. Subsequent to the treaty, in 1205 a Latin principality was founded in the Peloponnesos by William (I) Champlitte and Geoffrey (I) Villehardouin (qq.v.). In that same year, Othon de la Roche (q.v.) was granted Athens and Thebes (q.v.). The Venetians got the lion's share, including three-eighths of Constantinople (q.v.), the Ionian islands, the islands of Crete, Euboea (qq.v.), Andros, and Naxos (q.v.), as well as the most important ports of the Hellespont and the Sea of Marmara (qq.v.). This allowed them, in effect, to dominate the sea route from Venice (q.v.) to Constantinople. Long after the Latin Empire had collapsed the Venetians could look back on this treaty as providing them with the foundation for their colonial empire in the eastern Mediterranean (q.v.).

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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