Peter II of Courtenay

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Peter of Courtenay (French: Pierre de Courtenay) (died 1219) was emperor of the Latin Empire of Constantinople from 1216 to 1217.

He was a son of Peter of Courtenay (d. 1183), the youngest son of Louis VI of France and his second Queen consort Adélaide de Maurienne. His mother was Elizabeth of Courtenay.

Peter first married Agnes of Nevers, via whom he obtained the three counties of Nevers, Auxerre, and Tonnerre. He took for his second wife, Yolanda of Flanders (d. 1219), a sister of Baldwin and Henry of Flanders, who were afterwards the first and second emperors of the Latin Empire of Constantinople. Peter accompanied his cousin, King Philip Augustus, on the crusade of 1190 and fought (alongside his brother Robert) in the Albigensian Crusade in 1209 and 1211, when he took part in the siege of Lavaur. He was present at the Battle of Bouvines in 1214.

When his brother-in-law, the emperor Henry, died without sons in 1216, Peter was chosen as his successor, and with a small army set out from France to take possession of his throne. Consecrated emperor at Rome, in a church outside the walls, by Pope Honorius III on 9 April 1217, he borrowed some ships from the Venetians, promising in return to conquer Durazzo for them; but he failed in this enterprise, and sought to make his way to Constantinople by land. On the journey he was seized by the despot of Epirus, Theodore Komnenos Doukas, and, after an imprisonment of two years, died, probably by foul means. Peter thus never governed his empire, which, however, was ruled for a time by his wife, Yolanda, who had succeeded in reaching Constantinople. Two of his sons, Robert and Baldwin, in turn held the throne of the Latin Empire.

Children

By his first wife Agnes of Nevers he had one child, Mahaut de Courtenay (Maud, Matilda, d. 1254), countess of Nevers, Auxerre and Tonerre.

By his second wife Yolanda of Flanders, he had 10 children:

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