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On this page: Balbuinus Ii – Balearicus – Balista – Ballonymus – Balsamo



Constantinople, on the 9th of May, 1204. But lie received only a very small part of the empire, namely Constantinople and the greater part of Thrace ; the Venetians obtained a much greater-part, consisting chiefly of the islands and some parts of Epeirus ; Boniface, marquis of Monteferrato, received Thes- salonica, that is Macedonia^ as a kingdom ; and the rest of the empire, in Asia as well as in Europe, was divided among the French, Flemish, and Venetian chiefs of the expedition. The speedy ruin of the new Latin empire in the East was not doubtful under such divisions ; it was hastened by the successful enterprises of Alexis Comnenus at Trebizond, of Theodore Lascaris at Nicaea, and by the partial revolts of the Greek subjects of the con­ querors. Calo-Ioannes, king of Bulgaria, sup­ ported the revolters, who succeeded in making themselves masters of Adrianople. Baldwin laid siege to this town; but he was attacked by Calo- Ioannes, entirely defeated on the 14th of April, 1205, and taken prisoner. He died in captivity about a year afterwards. Many fables have been invented with regard to the nature of his death : Nicetas (Urbs Capta, 16) says, that Calo-Ioannes ordered the limbs of his imperial prisoner to be cut off, and the mutilated body to be thrown into a field, where it remained three days before life left it. But from the accounts of the Latin writers, whose statements have been carefully examined by Gibbon and other eminent modern historians, we must conclude, that although Baldwin died in captivity, he was neither tortured nor put to death by his victor. The successor of Baldwin I. was his brother Henry I. (Nicetas, Alexis Isaadus An- yelus Fr. iii. 9, Alexis Ducas Murzuphlus, i. 1, Urbs Capta, 1—17; Acropolita, 8, 12 ; Nice- phorus Gregor. ii. 3, &c.; Villehardouin, De la Conqueste de Constantinople^ ed. Paulin Paris, Paris, 1838.) [W. P.]

BALBUINUS II. (BaA§oi>rW>s), the last Latin emperor of the east, was descended from the noble family of Courtenay, and was the son of Peter I. of Courtenay, emperor of Constantinople, and the empress Yolanda, countess of Flanders. He was born in 1217, and succeeded his brother, Robert, in 1228, but, on account of his youth, was put under the guardianship of John of Brienne, count De la Marche and king of Jerusalem. The empire was in a dangerous position, being attacked in the south by Vatatzes, the Greek emperor of Nicaea, and in the north by Asan, king of Bulgaria, who in 1234 concluded an alliance with Vatatzes and laid siege to Constantinople by sea and land. Until then the regent had done very little for his ward and the realm, but when the enemy appeared under the walls of the capital the danger roused him to energy, and he compelled the besiegers to withdraw after having sustained severe losses. John of Brienne died soon afterwards. In 1337 Vatatzes and Asan once more laid siege to Constantinople, which was defended by Geoffroy de Villehardouin, prince of Achaia, while the emperor made a men­dicant visit to Europe. Begging for assistance, he appeared successively at the courts of France, England, and Italy, and was exposed to humilia­tions of every description ; he left his son Philip at Venice as a security for a debt. At last he succeeded in gaining the friendship of Louis IX., king of France, of the emperor Frederic II., and of Pope Gregory IX., among whom Louis IX. was the most useful to him. The French king gave


the unhappy emperor a large sum of money and other assistance, in return for which Baldwin per­ mitted the king to keep several most holy relics. With the assistance of the Latins, Baldwin ob­ tained some advantages over Vataizes, and in 1243 concluded an alliance with the Turks Seljuks; but notwithstanding this, he was again compelled to seek assistance among the western princes. He was present at the council of Lyon in 1245, and returned to Greece after obtaining some feeble assistance, which was of no avail against the forces of Michael Palaeologus, who had made himself master of the Nicaean empire. On the night of the 15th of July, 1261, Constantinople was taken by surprise by Alexis Caesar Strategopulus, one of the generals of Michael Palaeologus. Baldwin fled to Italy. In 1270 he nearly persuaded Charles, king of Naples, to fit out a new expedition against Michael Palaeologus, and Louis IX. of France promised to second him in the undertaking ; but the death of Louis in Tunis deterred the Latin princes from any new expedition against the East. Baldwin II. died in 1275, leaving a son, Philip of Courtenay, by his wife Maria, the daughter of John of Brienne. The Latin empire in the East had lasted fifty-seven years. (Acropolita, 14, 27, 37, 78, 85, &c.; Pachymeres, Michael Palaeologus^ iii. 31, &c., iv. 29 ; Nicephorus Gregor. iv. 4, &c., viii. 2, &.c.) [W.P.]

BALEARICUS, an agnomen of Q. Caecilius Metellus, consul b, c. 123. [metellus.]

BALISTA, one of the thirty tyrants of Trebel- lius Pollio. [aureolus.] He was prefect of the praetorians under Valerian, whom he accompanied to the East. After the defeat and capture of that emperor, when the Persians had penetrated into Cilicia, a body of Roman troops rallied and placed themselves under the command of Balista. Led by him, they raised the siege of Pompeiopolis, cut off numbers of the enemy who were straggling in disorderly confidence over the face of the country, and retook a vast quantity of plunder. His career after the destruction of Macrianus, whom he had urged to rebel against Gallienus, is very obscure. According to one account, he retired to an estate near Daphne; according to another, he assumed the purple, and maintained a precarious dominion over a portion of Syria and the adjacent provinces for three years. This assertion is however based on no good foundation, resting as it does on the authority of certain medals now universally recog­ nised as spurious, and on the hesitating testimony of Trebellius Pollio, who acknowledges that, even at the time when he wrote, the statements regard­ ing this matter were doubtful and contradictory. Neither the time nor manner of Balista's death can be ascertained with certainty, but it is believed to have happened about 264, and to have been contrived by Odenathus. (Trebell. Pollio, Trig. Tyrann. xvii., Gallien. 2, &c.; see macrianus, odenathus, quietus.) [W. R.]

BALLONYMUS. [abdolonimus.]

BALSAMO, THEODO'RUS, a celebrated Greek canonist, born at Constantinople, where, under Manuel Comnenus, he filled the offices of Magnae Ecclesiae (S. Sophiae) Diaconus, Nomo-liylax^ and Chartophylax. Under Isaac Angelus he was elevated to the dignity of patriarch of An-tioch, about 1185 ; but, on account of the invasion of the Latins, he was never able to ascend the pa­triarchal throne, and all the business of the patri-

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