'''Geoffrey of [[Villehardouin family|Villehardouin]]''' (in [[French language|French]]: '''Geoffroi de Villehardouin''' ) (c. 1150–c. 1213-1218<ref>Jean Longnon, ''Les Compagnons de Villehardouin: Recherches sur les croisés de la quatrième croisade'' (1978), pp. 26 and 32</ref>) was a [[knight]] and [[historian]] who participated in and chronicled the [[Fourth Crusade]]. He is considered one of the most important historians of the time period,<ref>Smalley, p. 131</ref> best known for writing the eyewitness account ''[[De la Conquête de Constantinople]]'' (''On the Conquest of Constantinople''), about the battle for Constantinople between the Christians of the West and the Christians of the East on 13 April 1204. The ''Conquest'' is the earliest French historical prose narrative that has survived to modern times. Ηis full title was: " Geoffrey of Villehardouin, Marshal of Champagne and of [[Latin Empire|Romania]]".
[[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>
Geoffery 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.
Geoffery 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]].
Geoffery 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 [[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.