Geoffrey II of Villehardouin

Geoffrey II of Villehardouin

Geoffrey II Villehardouin (1195 – 1245) [Miller, William: The Latins in the Levant. A history of Frankish Greece 1204-1566. London: Murray 1908. XX, 676 S., 4 Kt. Neudr. Cambridge, New York 1964] was a Prince of Achaea, the first son of Geoffrey I Villehardouin.

He was recognized by the Latin Emperor of Constantinople Peter II of Courtenay. In 1217 he married the daughter of Peter the Emperor and Yolanda of Flanders, Agnes de Courtenay. Following his father's policy, he dissatisfied the Latin priests by restricting their activities and finances, and he was excommunicated by the Pope. However, due to the difficult situation of the Latin Empire, which needed his support, the excommunication was lifted.

From the taxes gained from the church, he built a castle in Elis, the Chlomoutsi castle. [Traquair R.: "Laconia; I. Medieval Fortress", Annual of the British School at Athens XII (1906), 272-276.] [Wallace D., Boase T. S. R.: "The Arts in Frankish Greece and Rhodes, A History of the Crusades." (Hrsg.) Setton K. M., Band IV, The Art and Architecture of the Crusader States, (Hrsg.) Hazard, H. W. Madison 1977, 218.] He supported the orthodox priests, whom he excluded from taxation and military service. In July 1237 he gave the Teutonic Knights a hospital in Andravida.

He was able to gather a strong army and fleet, so that when John III Ducas Vatatzes besieged Constantinople in 1236, Geoffrey II came to his aid with 100 knights, 800 archers and six vessels, releasing Constantinople from the siege. He also provided the Latin Empire in Constantinople with 22,000 hyperpyron. In recognition of his services, he was awarded by the Emperor the Aegean Sea, Evoia and several places in Sterea Hellas.

Geoffrey II died in 1245 and was buried in his capital, Andravida, in the church of the monastery of St. Jacob.



* [ Finley jr, John H.: "Corinth in the Middle Ages." Speculum, Vol. 7, No. 4. 1932, pp. 477-499.]
* [ Tozer, H. F.: "The Franks in the Peloponnese." The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. 4. (1883), pp. 165-236.]

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