Marie de Courtenay (fl. 1215)

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Marie de Courtenay (fl. 1215)

Empress of Byzantium . Name variations: Marie or Mary of Courtenay; daughter of Yolande of Courtenay (d. 1219) and Pierre II also known as Peter II of Courtenay, emperor of Constantinople; third wife of Theodore I Lascaris, Byzantine emperor (r. 1204–1222); no children.

Marie de Courtenay, the third wife of Theodore I Lascaris, was a pawn in her husband's political career. Following the death of the first empress Anna Angelina , and his divorce from his second wife, Philippa of Lesser Armenia , Theodore was eager to end hostilities with Constantinople, which at the time was ruled by empress Yolande of Courtenay . He convinced Yolande to allow him to marry her young daughter Marie de Courtenay, believing, no doubt, that any male offspring from the union might heal the breach between the rival imperial lines. As it turned out, however, the couple had no children, and upon Theodore's death, the throne went to his daughter by Anna Angelina, Irene Lascaris , who ruled with her husband John III Ducas Vatatzes.


Head, Constance. Imperial Byzantine Portraits. New Rochelle, NY: Caratzas Brothers, 1982.