Empire of Nicaea


The Empire of Nicaea was a successor state to the Byzantine Empire, or rather a Byzantine Empire in exile lasting from 1204 to 1261 CE. The Empire of Nicaea was founded in the aftermath of the sacking of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade and the establishment there of the crusader-run Latin Empire in 1204 CE and was ruled by the Laskarid Dynasty. When the forces of Michael VIII Palaiologos recaptured Constantinople in 1261 CE, the Empire of Nicaea, an empire in exile no more, effectively became the Byzantine Empire once again, until it ultimately fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 CE.

More about: Empire of Nicaea


  • 1204 - 1222
    Reign of Theodore I Laskaris over the Empire of Nicaea.
  • 1204 - 1261
    The existence of the Empire of Nicaea, the Byzantine Empire in exile.
  • 1206
    Theodore I Laskaris proclaims himself emperor of the Byzantine Empire (at this point only the Empire of Nicaea).
  • 1208
    Theodore I Laskaris is anointed emperor by the patriarch-in-exile of Constantinople.
  • 1211
    Battle of Antioch on the Meander, in which the Nicaean forces of Theodore I Laskaris defeat those of Seljuk Sultan Kaykhusraw I and kill him.
  • 1214
    Nicaean Emperor Theodore I Laskaris and Latin Emperor Henry sign the Treaty of Nymphaeum, establishing peace between the two.
  • 1220
    The Empire of Nicaea is officially recognized by Venice.
  • 1222 - 1254
    Reign of John III Doukas Vatatzes of the Empire of Nicaea.
  • 1230
    Battle of Klokotnitsa, in which the Bulgarian army under Tsar Ivan Asen II defeated Theodore Komennos Doukas, Despot of Epirus.
  • 1241
    Death of Tsar Ivan Asen II.
  • 1242
    The Empire of Thessalonica is forced to submit as a despotate to the Empire of Nicaea.
  • 1242
    John III Doukas Vatatzes conquers the city of Thessalonica.
  • 1246
    The Empire of Nicaea conquers Thessalonica.
  • 1250
    Death of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II.
  • 1254
    Death of John III Doukas Vatatzes.
  • 1254 - 1258
    Reign of Theodore II Laskaris over the Empire of Nicaea.
  • 1258 - 1261
    Reign of John IV Laskaris over the Empire of Nicaea.
  • 1259
    Battle of Pelagonia: Manfred of Sicily and William II of Villehardouin are defeated by the Empire of Nicaea. William is forced to cede the castles of Mystras, Maina, and Monemvasia.
  • 1259
    Michael VIII Palaiologos makes himself co-emperor in Nicaea with John IV Laskaris.
  • 1259
    Battle of Pelagonia, in which Michael VIII Palaiologos of the Empire of Nicaea defeated the combined forces of Sicily, the Latin Empire, the Latin kingdoms in Greece, and the Despotate of Epiros.
  • 1261
    Treaty of Nymphaeum, in which the Byzantine Empire grants Genoa mercantile concessions in exchange for naval support.
  • 1261
    The Nicaean general Alexios Strategopoulos sneaks into Constantinople and recaptured it for the Empire of Nicaea.
  • 1261
    Michael VIII Palaiologos enters Constantinople and re-establishes it as the Byzantine capital.