Villehardouin, Geoffrey of


Villehardouin, Geoffrey of

▪ French general
French  Geoffroi de Villehardouin  
born c. 1150, near Bar-sur-Aube, Burgundy [France]
died c. 1213, Greece?

      French soldier, chronicler, marshal of Champagne, and one of the leaders of the Fourth Crusade (1201–04), which he described in his Conquest of Constantinople. He was the first serious writer of an original prose history in Old French.

      Although he was only one of the lesser nobility, Villehardouin was from the start accepted as one of the leaders of the Fourth Crusade (Crusades). In 1205 his consummate generalship saved the Frankish army from destruction at the hands of the Bulgars outside Adrianople (modern Edirne, Turkey) and led them without loss through hostile country to safety in Constantinople.

      Villehardouin's work, usually known as the Conquête de Constantinople (Conquest of Constantinople), initiated the great series of histories that so distinguishes medieval French literature. His achievement is remarkable because neither in style nor form did he have any models on which to base his work; his Latin predecessors were probably unknown to him firsthand. He probably started writing his chronicle about 1209. In it, he describes the “crusade,” a war in which French knights and their Venetian allies invaded the Byzantine Empire and captured its capital Constantinople (1204). It was after the city's fall that Villehardouin distinguished himself in the conflict with the Bulgars.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Villehardouin, Geoffrey —    See Geoffrey de Villehardouin …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

  • Geoffrey I of Villehardouin — Geoffrey I Villehardouin (Geoffroi) was nephew to Geoffrey of Villehardouin, and a knight and crusader who went to Palestine and later came to help William of Champlitte to conquer Morea and became Prince of Achaea after William s death.Geoffrey… …   Wikipedia

  • Geoffrey of Villehardouin — (in French Geoffroi de Villehardouin) (1160 ndash; c. 1212) 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, [Smalley, p. 131] best known… …   Wikipedia

  • Geoffrey II of Villehardouin — Geoffrey II Villehardouin (1195 ndash; 1245) [Miller, William: The Latins in the Levant. A history of Frankish Greece 1204 1566. London: Murray 1908. XX, 676 S., 4 Kt. Neudr. Cambridge, New York 1964] was a Prince of Achaea, the first son of… …   Wikipedia

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  • Geoffrey II Villehardouin —    Son of Geoffrey I Villehardouin (q.v.), and Prince of Achaia (q.v.) from ca. 1230 1246. He was succeeded by his brother, William II Villehardouin (q.v.) …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

  • Geoffrey I Villehardouin —    Nephew of historian Geoffrey de Villehardouin (q.v.) who in 1205, in the service of Boniface of Montferrat (q.v.), and with the help of William I of Champlitte (qq.v), inaugurated the Frankish conquest of the Morea. From 1208, when William I… …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

  • Geoffrey de Villehardouin —    Major participant and chief Latin historian of the Fourth Crusade (q.v.). Marshal of Champagne prior to the Fourth Crusade, his Conquest of Constantinople is a kind of official history of the Crusade, written from the point of view of someone… …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

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