Siege of Constantinople (1235)

For other sieges of the city, see list of sieges of Constantinople.
Siege of Constantinople (1235)
Part of the Byzantine-Latin Wars
Bulgarian-Latin Wars

Map showing Constantinople and its walls during the Byzantine era
LocationConstantinople, Latin Empire
Result Two year truce.
Bulgarian Empire
Empire of Nicaea
Latin Empire

The Siege of Constantinople (1235) was a joint Bulgarian-Nicaean siege on the capital of the Latin Empire. Latin emperor John of Brienne was besieged by the Nicaean emperor John III Doukas Vatatzes and Tsar Ivan Asen II of Bulgaria. The siege remained unsuccessful.


After Robert of Courtenay died in 1228, a new regency under John of Brienne was set up. After the disastrous Epirote defeat by the Bulgarians at the Battle of Klokotnitsa,[1][2] the Epirote threat to the Latin Empire was removed, only to be replaced by Nicaea, which started acquiring territories in Greece. Emperor John III Doukas Vatatzes of Nicaea concluded an alliance with Bulgaria, which in 1235 resulted in joint campaign against the Latin Empire.

The siege

In 1235, Angelo Sanudo sent a naval squadron for the defense of Constantinople, where the Emperor John of Brienne was being besieged by John III Doukas Vatatzes, Emperor of Nicaea, and Ivan Asen II of Bulgaria. The joint Bulgarian-Nicaean siege was unsuccessful.[3] The allies retreated in the autumn because of the incoming winter. Ivan Asen II and Vatatzes agreed to continue the siege in the next year but the Bulgarian Emperor refused to send troops. With the death of John of Brienne in 1237 the Bulgarians broke the treaty with Vatatzes because of the possibility that Ivan Asen II could become a regent of the Latin Empire.

By Angelo's further intervention, a truce was signed between the two empires for two years.


By 1247, the Nicaeans had effectively surrounded Constantinople, with only the city's strong walls holding them at bay, and the Battle of Pelagonia in 1258 signaled the beginning of the end of Latin predominance in Greece. Thus, on July 25, 1261, with most of the Latin troops away on campaign, the Nicaean general Alexios Strategopoulos[4] found an unguarded entrance to the city, and entered it with his troops, restoring the Byzantine Empire for his master, Michael VIII Palaiologos.

See also


  1. Turnovo inscription of Tsar Ivan Asen II in the Holy 40 Martyrs Church in honour of the victory at Klokotnitsa on 9 March 1230
  2. "Battle of Klokonista". Retrieved 2008-12-29.
  3. "John III Ducas Vatatzes". Retrieved 2009-05-18.
  4. Nicol (1993), p. 34.

Coordinates: 41°00′30″N 28°58′30″E / 41.0083°N 28.9750°E / 41.0083; 28.9750

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