On the 1 The Crusades in their course established a number of new states or kingdoms. The First Crusade established the kingdom of Jerusalem (I too); the Third, the kingdom of Cyprus (1195); the Fourth, the Latin empire of Constantinople (1204); while the long Crusade of the Teutonic knights on the coast of the Baltic led to the rise of a new state east of the Vistula.
Beaten in the war, the Genoese avenged themselves for their defeat by an alliance with the Palaeologi, which led to the loss of Constantinople by the Latins (1261), and to the collapse of the Latin empire after sixty years of infirm and precarious existence.
In the settlement of the Latin empire after the truce with Lascaris, Villehardouin received the fief of Messinople (supposed to be Mosynopolis, a little inland from the modern Gulf of Lagos, and not far from the ancient Abdera) from Boniface of Montferrat, with the record of whose death the chronicle abruptly closes.
They threatened at once the debris of the old Latin empire in Greece and the archipelago, and the relics of the Byzantine empire round Constantinople; they menaced the Hospitallers in Rhodes and the Lusignans in Cyprus.
Europe refused to take any direct action against the Mussulman, but Latin feudalism, assembled at Venice, diverted the crusade by an act quest of conof formal disobedience, marched on Constantinople, seized the Greek Empire and founded a Latin Empire in its place; and Innocent had to accept the fait accompli.
When it became known in France that Peter of Courtenay was dead, his eldest son, Philip, marquess of Namur, renounced the succession to the Latin empire of Constantinople in favour of his brother Robert, who set out to take possession of his distracted inheritance, which was then ruled by Conon of Bethune as regent.
The benefits of the Crusade were promised to those who went to the assistance of the Latin empire of the East.
After the flight of the usurper Alexius, and when the blind Isaac, whose claims the crusaders were defending, had been taken by the Greeks from prison a;nd placed on the throne, Villehardouin, with Montmorency and two Venetians, formed the embassy sent to arrange terms. He was again similarly distinguished when it became necessary to remonstrate with Alexius, the blind man's son and virtual successor, on the nonkeeping of the terms. Indeed Villehardouin's talents as a diplomatist seem to have been held in very high esteem, for later, when the Latin empire had become a fact, he was charged with the delicate business of mediating between the emperor Baldwin and Boniface, marquis of Montferrat, in which task he had at least partial success.
The formation of a Latin empire in the East increased the popes prestige; while at home it was his policy to organize Countess Matildas heritage by the formation of Guelph leagues, over which he presided.
While the Holy Land was thus at peace, crusaders were also being drawn elsewhere by the needs of the Latin empire of Constantinople, or the attractions of the Albigensian Crusade.2 But Innocent could never consent to forget Jerusalem, as long as his right hand retained its cunning.