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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries

II: Byzantium and the Crusades, 1261-1354,   pp. [unnumbered]-68 PDF (16.6 MB)

Page 43

of Courtenay, the titular empress of the Latin throne, and the Greek heir-apparent,
young Michael (IX) Palaeologus.41 Andronicus II, on his side, riding the
current of anti-Latinism, was at first uncertain of what policy to follow
with respect to the pope,42 although one Byzantine source implies that the
initiative was his.43 In any event, he showed interest when he realized the
possibility, through this marriage, of warding off a western threat to Constantinople
in the person of a princess who, as granddaughter to the last Latin emperor,
Baldwin II, had fallen heir to his claim to the Latin throne at the death
in 1283 of her father Philip. The negotiations collapsed, however, the overpowering
anti-unionist sentiment in Constantinople making it impossible for Andronicus
to fulfill the papal condition for the marriage—recognition of the
pope's supremacy over the Greek church. Soon thereafter, in 1295, Michael
IX married Rita ("Maria Xenia"), a sister of king Hetoum II of Cilician Armenia,
thereby foreclosing this opportunity to achieve a solution to the political
disagreement between east and west.44 Thereafter Andronicus, occu pied with
Byzantine internal affairs, remained largely indifferent to western developments
until later, when the danger from the west once again became pressing. 
As for Catherine, a succeeding pope, Boniface VIII, reverting to Martin TV's
aggressive policy toward Constantinople, sought to marry her to a powerful
western prince able to arouse Europe to a crusade against Byzantium. Indeed,
according to one modern authority it was following a suggestion originally
contained in a memoir (composed c. 1300) of the French legist and propagandist
Peter Dubois, that in 1301 a marriage was concluded between Catherine and
Charles of Valois, brother of the French king, Philip IV the Fair, thus giving
Charles a claim to the Latin empire of Constantinople.45 Dubois in another
work, De recuperatione Terre Sancte, advised king Philip that on the return
of the French "crusading" armies from recaptur ing Jerusalem they should,
under Charles of Valois, stop on the way 
 41. See Bratianu, "Notes sur le projet," pp. 59—63, and Marinescu,
"Tentatives de mariage," pp. 139—140. 
 42. In 1284 Andronicus II himself married Yolanda ("Irene"), daughter of
William VII, marquis of Montferrat, so as to do away with the Montferratine
claims to the Byzantine throne. Nicephorus Gregoras, VI, 2 (CSHB, I, 167—168)
says that the pope withheld his approval. 
 43. Ibid., VI, 8 (CSHB, I, 193), however, implies that the initiative was
taken by the "king of Italy," Catherine's father. He says that the negotiations
failed because of the excessive demands made by the westerners ("dia ta hyper
to prosekon zetemata"). 
44. Ibid., VI, 8 (CSHB, I, 193 ff.); cf. Bratianu, "Notes sur le projet,"
pp. 59 ff.; Marinescu, "Tentatives de mariage," pp. 139—140. 
45. Dubois was ostensibly discussing how Philip IV could acquire universal
domination. On all this see Delaville Le Roulx, La France en Orient, pp.
48 ff. On the memoir, see E. 

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