Geoffrey of Villehardouin: Difference between revisions

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[[Image:Lombards Library 022.jpg|right|170px|thumb|1585 edition with original text and translation in 16th-century French]]
A [[layman]] and a [[soldier]],<ref name=smalley-141>Smalley, p. 141</ref> heGeoffery was appointed Marshal of Champagne from 1185 and joined the Crusade in 1199 during a tournament held by Count [[Thibaud III of Champagne]]. Thibaud named him one of the [[ambassador]]s to [[Venice]] to procure ships for the voyage, and he helped to elect [[Boniface of Montferrat]] as the new leader of the Crusade when Thibaud died.
Although heGeoffery does not say so specifically in his own account, he probably supported the diversion of the Crusade first to [[Zadar|Zara]] and then to [[Constantinople]]. While at Constantinople he also served as an ambassador to [[Isaac II Angelus]], and was in the [[embassy]] that demanded that Isaac appoint [[Alexius IV]] co-emperor.
After the conquest of the [[Byzantine Empire]] in 1204 he served as a military leader, and led the retreat from the [[Battle of Adrianople (1205)|Battle of Adrianople]] in 1205 after [[Baldwin I of Constantinople|Baldwin I]] was captured by the forces of the [[Second Bulgarian Empire]]. In recognition of his services, [[Boniface of Montferrat]] gave to Geoffrey the city of [[Messinopolis]] in [[Thrace]]. After the Crusade, he was named Marshal of the [[Latin Empire]].
In 1207 heGeoffery began to write his chronicle of the Crusade, ''On the Conquest of Constantinople''. It was in French rather than [[Latin]], making it one of the earliest works of French [[prose]]. Villehardouin's account is generally read alongside that of [[Robert of Clari]], a French knight of low station, [[Niketas Choniates]], a high-ranking Byzantine official and historian who gives an eyewitness account, and [[Gunther of Pairis]], a [[Cistercian]] monk who tells the story from the perspective of Abbot Martin who accompanied the Crusaders.
Villehardouin's nephew (also named Geoffrey) [[Geoffrey I of Villehardouin]] went on to become [[Principality of Achaea|Prince of Achaea]] in [[Morea]] (the medieval name for the [[Peloponnesus]]) in 1209. Villehardouin himself seems to have died shortly afterwards. His son Erard had taken, in 1213, the title of ''seigneur de Villehardouin''. There is evidence of his children raising memorials for him in 1218, suggesting he died around this time.