The Fourth Crusade was a Latin Christian armed expedition called by Pope Innocent III. The stated intent of the expedition was to recapture the Muslim-controlled city of Jerusalem, by first conquering the powerful Egyptian Ayyubid Sultanate, the strongest Muslim state of the time. However, a sequence of economic and political events culminated in the Crusader army sacking the city of Constantinople, the capital of the Greek Christian-controlled Byzantine Empire. In late 1202, financial issues led to the Crusader army sacking Zara, brought under Venetian control. In January 1203, en-route to Jerusalem, the Crusader leadership entered into an agreement with the Byzantine prince Alexios Angelos to divert the Crusade to Constantinople and restore his deposed father as Emperor; the intent of the Crusaders was to continue to Jerusalem with promised Byzantine financial and military aid. On 23 June 1203, the bulk of the Crusaders reached Constantinople, while smaller contingents continued to Acre. After the siege of Zara the pope excommunicated the crusader army.
In August, following clashes outside Constantinople, Alexios was crowned co-Emperor. However, in January 1204, he was deposed by a popular uprising; the Crusaders were no longer able to receive their promised payments from Alexios. Following the murder of Alexios on 8 February, the Crusaders decided on the outright conquest of the city. In April 1204, they plundered the city's enormous wealth. Only a handful of the Crusaders continued to the Holy Land thereafter; the conquest of Constantinople was followed by the fragmentation of the Empire into three rump states centred in Nicaea and Epirus. The Crusaders founded several Crusader states in former Byzantine territory hinged upon the Latin Empire of Constantinople; the presence of the Latin Crusader states immediately led to war with the Byzantine successor states and the Bulgarian Empire. The Nicaean Empire recovered Constantinople and restored the Byzantine Empire in 1261; the Crusade is considered to be one of the most prominent acts that solidified the schism between the Greek and Latin Christian churches, dealt an irrevocable blow to the weakened Byzantine Empire, paving the way for Muslim conquests in Anatolia and Balkan Europe in the coming centuries.
Ayyubid Sultan Saladin had conquered most of the Frankish, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, including the ancient city itself, in 1187. The Kingdom had been established 88 years before, after the capture and sack of Jerusalem in the First Crusade, a Byzantine holding prior to the Muslim conquests of the 7th century; the city was sacred to Christians and Jews, returning it to Christian hands had been a primary purpose of the First Crusade. Saladin led a Muslim dynasty, his incorporation of Jerusalem into his domains shocked and dismayed the Catholic countries of Western Europe. Legend has it that Pope Urban III died of the shock, but the timing of his death makes that impossible; the crusader states had been reduced to three cities along the sea coast: Tyre and Antioch. The Third Crusade reclaimed an extensive amount of territory for the Kingdom of Jerusalem, including the key towns of Acre and Jaffa, but had failed to retake Jerusalem; the crusade had been marked by a significant escalation in long standing tensions between the feudal states of western Europe and the Byzantine Empire, centred in Constantinople.
The experiences of the first two crusades had thrown into stark relief the vast cultural differences between the two Christian civilisations. The Latins viewed the Byzantine preference for diplomacy and trade over war as duplicitous and degenerate, their policy of tolerance and assimilation towards Muslims as a corrupt betrayal of the faith. For their part, the educated and wealthy Byzantines maintained a strong sense of cultural and social superiority over the Latins. Constantinople had been in existence for 874 years at the time of the Fourth Crusade and was the largest and most sophisticated city in Christendom. Alone amongst major medieval urban centres, it had retained the civic structures, public baths, forums and aqueducts of classical Rome in working form. At its height, the city held an estimated population of about half a million people behind thirteen miles of triple walls, its planned location made Constantinople not only the capital of the surviving eastern part of the Roman Empire but a commercial centre that dominated trade routes from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea, China and Persia.
As a result, it was both a rival and a tempting target for the aggressive new states of the west, notably the Republic of Venice. One of the leaders of the Third Crusade, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa plotted with the Serbs, Byzantine traitors, the Muslim Seljuks against the Eastern Empire and at one point sought Papal support for a crusade against the Orthodox Byzantines. Crusaders seized the breakaway Byzantine province of Cyprus. Barbarossa died on crusade, his army disintegrated, leaving the English and French, who had come by sea, to fight Saladin. In 1195 Henry VI, son and heir of Barbarossa, sought to efface this humiliation by declaring a new crusade, in the summer of 1197 a large number of German knights and nobles, headed by two archbishops, nine bishops, five dukes, sailed for Palestine. There they captured Sidon and Beirut, but at the news of Henry's death in Messina along the way, many of the nobles and clerics returned to Europe. Deserted by much of their leade
Guy, Count of Flanders
Guy of Dampierre was the Count of Flanders and Marquis of Namur. He was a prisoner of the French when his Flemings defeated the latter at the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302. Guy was the second son of Margaret II of Flanders; the death of his elder brother William in a tournament made him joint Count of Flanders with his mother. Guy and his mother struggled against the Avesnes in the War of the Succession of Flanders and Hainault, but were defeated in 1253 at the Battle of Walcheren, Guy was taken prisoner. By the mediation of Louis IX of France, he was ransomed in 1256; some respite was obtained by the death of John of Hainaut in 1257. In 1270, Margaret confiscated the wares of English merchants in Flanders for non-payment of customs; this led to a devastating trade war with England, which supplied most of the wool for the Flemish weavers. The dispute was ended by a treaty agreed at Montreuil-sur-Mer on 28 July 1274 abolishing customs charged on English merchants in Flanders. After her abdication in 1278, Guy found himself in difficulties with the fractious commoners.
In 1288, complaints over taxes led Philip IV of France to tighten his control over Flanders. Tension built between the king. However, Philip imprisoned Guy and two of his sons, forced him to call off the marriage, imprisoned Philippa in Paris until her death in 1306. Guy was summoned before the king again in 1296, the principal cities of Flanders were taken under royal protection until Guy paid an indemnity and surrendered his territories, to hold them at the grace of the king. After these indignities, Guy attempted to revenge himself on Philip by an alliance with Edward I of England in 1297, to which Philip responded by declaring Flanders annexed to the royal domain; the French under Robert II of Artois defeated the Flemings at the Battle of Furnes, Edward's expedition into Flanders was abortive. He left Guy to his fate; the French invaded again in 1299 and captured both Guy and his son Robert in January 1300. The Flemish burghers, found direct French rule to be more oppressive than that of the count.
After smashing a French army at the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302, Guy was released by the French to try to negotiate terms. His subjects, refused to compromise. Guy was returned to prison. In June 1246 he married Matilda of Béthune, daughter of Robert VII, Lord of Bethune, had the following children: Marie, married William of Jülich, son of William IV, Count of Jülich, she had William. Married in 1285 Simon II de Chateauvillain, Lord of Bremur. Robert III of Flanders, his successor. William, Lord of Dendermonde and Crèvecoeur, married in 1286 Alix of Beaumont, daughter of Raoul of Clermont and had issue, his son John married to daughter of Jacques de Chatillon. John of Flanders, Bishop of Metz and Bishop of Liège Baldwin. Margaret, married in 1273 John I, Duke of Brabant Beatrice, married c. 1270 Floris V, Count of Holland Philip, Count of Teano, married Mahaut de Courtenay, Countess of Chieti, married c. 1304 Philipotte of Milly, no issue. In March 1265 he married Isabelle of Luxembourg, daughter of Henry V of Luxembourg, had the following children: Beatrice, married c. 1287 Hugh II of Châtillon Margaret, married on 14 November 1282 at Roxburgh, Alexander of Scotland, married on 3 July 1286 in Namur, Reginald I of Guelders.
Isabelle, married 1307 Jean de Fiennes, Lord of Tingry and Chatelain of Bourbourg, mother of Robert de Fiennes, Constable of France. Philippa. John I, Marquis of Namur, married Margaret of Clermont, daughter of Robert, Count of Clermont, Marie of Artois, daughter of Philip of Artois and had issue. Guy of Namur, Lord of Ronse, Count of Zeeland, married Margaret of Lorraine, daughter of Theobald II, Duke of Lorraine. No issue. Henry, Count of Lodi, had issue. Joan, a nun at Flines Abbey. Bradbury, Jim; the Capetians: The History of a Dynasty. Continuum Publishing. Evergates, Theodore; the Aristocracy in the County of Champagne, 1100-1300. University of Pennsylvania Press. Fegley, Randall; the Golden Spurs of Kortrijk: How the Knights of France Fell to the Foot Soldiers of Flanders in 1302. McFarland & Co. Verbruggen, J. F.. DeVries, Kelly, ed; the Battle of the Golden Spurs. Translated by Ferguson, David Richard. Boydell Press. Walters, Barbara R.. The Feast of Corpus Christi; the Pennsylvania State University Press.
Wyffels, C.. "Economische oorlog tussen Vlaanderen en Engeland". Doorheen de nationale geschiedenis. State Archives in Belgium. Maison de Dampierre
William II of Holland
William II was a Count of Holland and Zeeland from 1234 until his death. He was ruled as sole King of the Romans from 1254 onwards, he was his wife Matilda of Brabant. When his father was killed at a tournament at Corbie, William was only seven years old, his uncles and Otto, were his guardians until 1239. With the help of Duke Henry II of Brabant and the Cologne archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden, he was elected King of the Romans after the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick II was excommunicated by Pope Innocent IV, he succeeded the Thuringian landgrave Henry Raspe who had died within a year after his election as anti-king in 1246. The next year, William decided to extend his father's hunting residence to a palace which met his new status; this would be called the Binnenhof and was the beginning of the city of The Hague. Meanwhile, after a siege of five months, William besieged Aachen for six months before capturing it from Frederick's followers. Only could he be crowned as king by Archbishop Konrad of Cologne.
He gained a certain amount of theoretical support from some of the German princes after his marriage to Elizabeth, daughter of the Welf duke Otto of Brunswick-Lüneburg, in 1252. He made. In July 1253, he defeated the Flemish army at Westkapelle and a year a cease-fire followed, his anti-Flemish policy worsened his relationship with France. From 1254 to his death he fought a number of wars against the West Frisians, he built some strong castles in Heemskerk and Haarlem and created roads for the war against the Frisians. William gave city rights to Haarlem, Delft,'s - Alkmaar. William married Elizabeth, daughter of Otto the Child, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, in 1252, they had: Floris V, Count of Holland. In battle near Hoogwoud on 28 January 1256, William tried to traverse a frozen lake by himself, because he was lost, but his horse fell through the ice. In this vulnerable position, William was killed by the Frisians, who secretly buried him under the floor of a house, his body was recovered 26 years by his son Floris V, who took terrible vengeance on the West-Frisians.
William was buried in Middelburg. Contemporary sources, including the chronicle of Melis Stoke, portray William as an Arthurian hero. A golden statue of William can be found on the Binnenhof in The Hague, the inner court of the parliamentary complex of the Netherlands. Counts of Holland family tree
Provence is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône River to the west to the Italian border to the east, is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It corresponds with the modern administrative région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, includes the départements of Var, Bouches-du-Rhône, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and parts of Alpes-Maritimes and Vaucluse; the largest city of the region is Marseille. The Romans made the region the first Roman province beyond the Alps and called it Provincia Romana, which evolved into the present name; until 1481 it was ruled by the Counts of Provence from their capital in Aix-en-Provence became a province of the Kings of France. While it has been part of France for more than five hundred years, it still retains a distinct cultural and linguistic identity in the interior of the region; the coast of Provence has some of the earliest known sites of human habitation in Europe. Primitive stone tools dating back 1 to 1.05 million years BC have been found in the Grotte du Vallonnet near Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, between Monaco and Menton.
More sophisticated tools, worked on both sides of the stone and dating to 600,000 BC, were found in the Cave of Escale at Saint Estėve-Janson, tools from 400,000 BC and some of the first fireplaces in Europe were found at Terra Amata in Nice. Tools dating to the Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic were discovered in the Observatory Cave, in the Jardin Exotique of Monaco; the Paleolithic period in Provence saw great changes in the climate. Two ice ages came and went, the sea level changed dramatically. At the beginning of the Paleolithic, the sea level in western Provence was 150 meters higher than today. By the end of the Paleolithic, it had dropped to 100 to 150 metres below the sea level today; the cave dwellings of the early inhabitants of Provence were flooded by the rising sea or left far from the sea and swept away by erosion. The changes in the sea level led to one of the most remarkable discoveries of signs of early man in Provence. In 1985, a diver named Henri Cosquer discovered the mouth of a submarine cave 37 metres below the surface of the Calanque de Morgiou near Marseille.
The entrance led to a cave above sea level. Inside, the walls of the Cosquer Cave are decorated with drawings of bison, auks and outlines of human hands, dating to between 27,000 and 19,000 BC; the end of the Paleolithic and beginning of the Neolithic period saw the sea settle at its present level, a warming of the climate and the retreat of the forests. The disappearance of the forests and the deer and other hunted game meant that the inhabitants of Provence had to survive on rabbits and wild sheep. In about 6000 BC, the Castelnovian people, living around Châteauneuf-les-Martigues, were among the first people in Europe to domesticate wild sheep, to cease moving from place to place. Once they settled in one place they were able to develop new industries. Inspired by pottery from the eastern Mediterranean, in about 6000 BC they created the first pottery made in France. Around 6000 BC, a wave of new settlers from the east, the Chasséens, arrived in Provence, they were farmers and warriors, displaced the earlier pastoral people from their lands.
They were followed about 2500 BC by another wave of people farmers, known as the Courronniens, who arrived by sea and settled along the coast of what is now the Bouches-du-Rhône. Traces of these early civilisations can be found in many parts of Provence. A Neolithic site dating to about 6,000 BC was discovered in Marseille near the Saint-Charles railway station, and a dolmen from the Bronze Age can be found near Draguignan. Between the 10th and 4th century BC, the Ligures were found in Provence from Massilia as far as modern Liguria, they were of uncertain origin. Strabo distinctly states they were not of a different race from the Gauls, they did not have their own alphabet, but their language remains in place names in Provence ending in the suffixes -asc, -osc. -inc, -ates, -auni. The ancient geographer Posidonios wrote of them: "Their country is dry; the soil is so rocky. The men compensate for the lack of wheat by hunting... They climb the mountains like goats." They were warlike. Traces of the Ligures remain today in the dolmens and other megaliths found in eastern Provence, in the primitive stone shelters called'Bories' found in the Luberon and Comtat, in the rock carvings in the Valley of Marvels near Mont Bégo in the Alpes-Maritimes, at an altitude of 2,000 meters.
Between the 8th and 5th centuries BC, tribes of Celtic peoples coming from Central Europe began moving into Provence. They had weapons made of iron, which allowed them to defeat the local tribes, who were still armed with bronze weapons. One tribe, called the Segobriga, settled near modern-day Marseille; the Caturiges and Cavares settled to the west of the Durance river. Celts and Ligurians spread throughout the area and the Celto-Ligures shared the territory of Provence, each tribe in its own alpine valley or settlement along a river, each with its own king and dynasty, they built hilltop forts and settlements given the Latin name oppida. Today the traces 165 oppida are found in the Var, as many as 285 in the Alp
Charles I of Anjou
Charles I called Charles of Anjou, was a member of the royal Capetian dynasty and the founder of the second House of Anjou. He was Count of Provence and Forcalquier in the Holy Roman Empire, Count of Anjou and Maine in France. In 1272, he was proclaimed King of Albania. Being the youngest son of Louis VIII of France and Blanche of Castile, he was destined for a Church career until the early 1240s, he acquired Forcalquier through his marriage to their heiress, Beatrice. His attempts to secure comital rights brought him into conflict with his mother-in-law and the nobility, he received Maine from his brother, Louis IX of France, in appanage. He accompanied Louis during the Seventh Crusade to Egypt. Shortly after he returned to Provence in 1250, Charles forced three wealthy free imperial cities—Marseilles and Avignon—to acknowledge his suzerainty. Charles supported Margaret II, Countess of Flanders and Hainaut against her eldest son in exchange for Hainaut in 1253. Two years Louis IX persuaded him to renounce the county, but compensated him by instructing Margaret to pay him 160,000 marks.
Charles forced the rebellious Provençal nobles and towns into submission and expanded his suzerainty over a dozen towns and lordships in the Kingdom of Arles. In 1263, after years of negotiations, he accepted the offer of the Holy See to seize the Kingdom of Sicily from the Hohenstaufens; this kingdom included, in addition to the island of Sicily, southern Italy to well north of Naples and was known as the Regno. Pope Urban IV declared a crusade against the incumbent Manfred of Sicily and assisted Charles to raise funds for the military campaign. Charles was crowned king in Rome on 5 January 1266, he annihilated Manfred's army and occupied the Regno without resistance. His victory over Manfred's young nephew, Conradin, at the Battle of Tagliacozzo in 1268 strengthened his rule. In 1270 he took part in the Eighth Crusade and forced the Hafsid caliph of Tunis to pay a yearly tribute to him. Charles's victories secured his undisputed leadership among the popes' Italian partisans, but his influence on papal elections and his strong military presence in Italy disturbed the popes.
They tried to channel his ambitions towards other territories and assisted him in acquiring claims to Achaea and Arles through treaties. In 1281 Pope Martin IV authorised Charles to launch a crusade against the Byzantine Empire. Charles' ships were gathering at Messina, ready to begin the campaign when a riot—known as the Sicilian Vespers—broke out on 30 March 1282, it put an end to Charles' rule on the island of Sicily, but he was able to defend the mainland territories with the support of France and the Holy See. Charles was the youngest child of Louis VIII of Blanche of Castile; the date of his birth was not recorded, but he was a posthumous son, born in early 1227. Charles was Louis's only surviving son to be "born in the purple", a fact he emphasised in his youth, according to Matthew Paris, he was the first Capet to be named for Charlemagne. Louis willed; the details of Charles' tuition are unknown. He could identify errors in Latin texts, his passion for poetry, medical sciences and law is well documented.
Charles said. In reality, Blanche was engaged in state administration, could spare little time for her youngest children. Charles lived at the court of a brother, Robert I, Count of Artois, from 1237. About four years he was put into the care of his youngest brother, Count of Poitiers, his participation in his brothers' military campaign against Hugh X of Lusignan, Count of La Marche, in 1242 showed that he was no longer destined for a Church career. Raymond Berengar V of Provence died in August 1245, bequeathing Provence and Forcalquier to his youngest daughter, Beatrice because he had given generous dowries to her three sisters; the dowries were not discharged, causing two of her sisters and Eleanor, to believe that they had been unlawfully disinherited. Their mother, Beatrice of Savoy, claimed that Raymond Berengar had willed the usufruct of Provence to her. Emperor Frederick II, Count Raymond VII of Toulouse and other neighbouring rulers proposed themselves or their sons as husbands for the young countess.
Her mother put her under the protection of the Holy See. Louis IX and Margaret suggested. To secure the support of France against Frederick II, Pope Innocent IV accepted their proposal. Charles hurried to Aix-en-Provence at the head of an army to prevent other suitors from attacking, he married Beatrice on 31 January 1246. Provence was a part of the Kingdom of Arles and so of the Holy Roman Empire, but Charles never swore fealty to the emperor, he ordered a survey of the counts' rights and revenues, outraging both his subjects and his mother-in-law, who regarded this action as an attack against her rights. Being a younger child, destined for a church career, Charles had not received an appanage from his father. Louis VIII had willed that his fourth son, should receive Anjou and Maine upon reaching the age of majority, but John died in 1232. Louis IX knighted Charles at Melun in May 1
Margaret II, Countess of Flanders
Margaret called Margaret of Constantinople, ruled as Countess of Flanders during 1244–1278 and Countess of Hainaut during 1244–1253 and 1257–1280. She was the younger daughter of Baldwin IX, Count of Flanders and Hainaut, Marie of Champagne. Called the Black due to her scandalous life, the children of both her marriages disputed the inheritance of her counties in the War of the Succession of Flanders and Hainault, her father left on the Fourth Crusade before she was born, her mother left two years leaving Margaret and her older sister Joan in the guardianship of their uncle Philip of Namur. After her mother died in 1204, her father the next year, the now-orphaned Margaret and her sister remained under Philip of Namur's guardianship until he gave their wardship to King Philip II of France. During her time in Paris and her sister became familiar with the Cisterian Order under influence of Blanche of Castile, the future Queen consort of France. In 1211 Enguerrand III of Coucy offered the King the sum of 50,000 livres to marry Joan, while his brother Thomas would marry Margaret.
However, the Flemish nobility was hostile to the project, dropped. After her sister's marriage with Infante Ferdinand of Portugal, Margaret was placed under the care of Bouchard of Avesnes, Lord of Etroen and a prominent Hainaut nobleman, knighted by Baldwin IX before he parted to the Crusades. In the middle of the war against France for the possession of the Artois and the forced territorial concession made by the Treaty of Pont-à-Vendin and Ferdinand wanted to marry Margaret with William II Longespée, heir of the Earldom of Salisbury, in order to reinforce the bonds of Flanders with England. Despite the considerable age difference between them, Bouchard gained Margaret's affection, in the presence of a significant number of bourgeois of Hainaut, she declared she did not want another husband than him, before 23 July 1212 they were married. After the capture of Ferdinand of Portugal at the Battle of Bouvines, Bouchard of Avesnes claimed to Joan in the name of his wife her share of their inheritance, which led Joan to attempt to get Margaret's marriage dissolved.
Philip II informed Pope Innocent III that before his wedding, Bouchard of Avesnes had received holy orders as sub-deacon, so technically his union was illegal. In 1215, at the Fourth Council of the Lateran, the Pope annulled the marriage on this ground. In the following four years, they had three sons: Baldwin of Avesnes. John of Avesnes Baldwin of Avesnes In 1219, in a battle against Joan, Bouchard of Avesnes was captured and imprisoned for two years, until 1221, when he was released on the condition that he separate from his wife and made a trip to Rome to get the absolution from the Pope. While he was in Rome in order to obtain not only the forgiveness but the release of the holy orders to make his union legitimate, Joan took advantage of this to convince Margaret to contract a new wedding. Margaret gave in to her sister's pressures, between 18 August and 15 November 1223, she married William II of Dampierre, Lord of Dampierre, a nobleman from Champagne, they had five children: Count of Flanders.
Joan of Dampierre, married in 1239 to Hugh III of Rethel in 1243 to Theobald II of Bar. Guy of Dampierre. John of Dampierre, Lord of Dampierre-sur-l'Aube and Saint-Dizier, Viscount of Troyes and Constable of Champagne. Marie of Dampierre, Abbess of Flines, near Douai; this situation caused something of a scandal, for the marriage was bigamous, violated the church's strictures on consanguinity as well. The disputes regarding the validity of the two marriages and the legitimacy of Margaret's children by each husband continued for decades, becoming entangled in the politics of the Holy Roman Empire and resulting in the long War of the Succession of Flanders and Hainault. At the death of her sister Joan in 1244, Margaret succeeded her as Countess of Hainaut, her sons from both marriages began the fight for the inheritance of the Counties, with the question of the validity of her first marriage to Bouchard of Avesnes was raised, as if it was indeed illegitimate the inheritance of Flanders and Hainaut was passed only to the children from her second marriage favored by Margaret in 1245 when she paid homage to King Louis IX of France: at that point, she tried to obtain from the French King the recognition of William of Dampierre, the eldest son of her second marriage, as sole heir, arguing that Pope Gregory IX declared her first marriage invalid on 31 March 1237 and thus her sons from this union were illegitimate.
In 1246 Louis IX, acting as an arbitrator, gave the right to inherit Flanders to the Dampierre children, the rights to Hainaut to the Avesnes children. This would seem to have settled the matter, but neither party accepted the solomonic decision of the French King, while responding to the spirit of fairness of the monarch, it had a political effect advantageous for the interests of France, to dislocate the county, served to avoid war. H
Joan, Countess of Flanders
Joan called Joan of Constantinople, ruled as Countess of Flanders and Hainaut from 1205 until her death. She was the elder daughter of Baldwin IX, Count of Flanders and Hainaut, Marie of Champagne. Orphaned during the Fourth Crusade, Joan was raised in Paris under the tutelage of King Philip II of France, he arranged her marriage to Infante Ferdinand of Portugal in 1212. Ferdinand turned against Philip, starting a war that ended with the defeat of Bouvines and his imprisonment. Joan ruled her counties alone from the young age of 14, she faced the rivalry of her younger sister, Margaret, as well as the revolt of her domains – guided by a man who claimed to be her father. After the end of the war, Ferdinand died soon after. Joan married Thomas of Savoy, she died in 1244 at the Abbey of Marquette near Lille, having survived her only child, a daughter by Ferdinand. Joan's policies favored economic development in her counties, she played an important role in the development of the Mendicant orders, the Beguines, the Victorines and hospital communities in her domains.
Under her reign, women's foundations increased, transforming the place of women in both society and the church. The Manessier's Continuation, one of the novels of the Story of the Grail was written for Joan, as well as the Life of St. Martha of Wauchier de Denain; the first novel in Dutch, Van den vos Reynaerde, was written by a cleric of her court. There are several painted or sculpted representations of the Countess in France and Belgium, as well as two Géants du Nord. Joan's exact date of birth is unknown. Contemporary sources indicate that, like her younger sister Margaret, she was baptized in the Church of St. John of Valenciennes. In 1202, Joan's father Baldwin left his lands to participate in the Fourth Crusade. After the capture of Constantinople, he was proclaimed Emperor by the crusaders on May 9, 1204, his wife, decided to join him shortly after his departure, leaving their daughters Joan and Margaret in the care of their paternal uncle, Philip I, Marquis of Namur. Marie decided to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land before reuniting with her husband, but died after her arrival at Acre in August 1204.
One year on April 14, 1205, Baldwin IX vanished during the Battle of Adrianople against Bulgarians and Cumans under Tsar Kaloyan of Bulgaria. His fate is unknown. After the news of Baldwin IX's disappearance reached Flanders in February 1206, Joan succeeded her father as Countess of Flanders and Hainaut; because she was still a child, the administration of both counties was assumed by a council composed of the Chancellor of Flanders, the Provost of Lille and the Castellans of Lille and Saint-Omer. The guardianship and education of both Joan and her sister was supervised by their uncle Philip I of Namur, who soon put his nieces in a difficult position, he became betrothed to Marie of France, a daughter of King Philip II. He gave his future father-in-law custody of Joan and Margaret, who were raised in Paris alongside the young Theobald IV of Champagne. During their time in France, they became familiar with the Cistercian Order because of the future French queen Blanche of Castile. In 1206, the French king demanded assurances from Philip I of Namur that he would not marry off his nieces without the former's consent.
In 1208, they reached an agreement: Joan and Margaret were forbidden to marry before their legal majority without the consent of the Marquis of Namur. However, the Marquis would not oppose the royal choice of husbands. If either refused the candidate chosen by King Philip II, the agreement required the Marquis to find a husband—after compensation was made to the French king. In 1211 Enguerrand III of Coucy offered the King the sum of 50,000 livres to marry Joan, while his brother Thomas would marry Margaret. However, the Flemish nobility was hostile to the project. Matilda of Portugal, widow of Joan's granduncle Philip I of Flanders offered her nephew, Ferdinand of Portugal, as Joan's husband for the same amount; the marriage was celebrated in Paris in January 1212. Ferdinand thus became Joan's co-ruler. While on their way to Flanders, the newlyweds were captured by Joan's first cousin Louis of France, eldest son of King Philip II; the French prince intended to recover a large portion of the territory that he considered as belonging to his late mother's dowry, including the Artois that Joan's father had taken back by force after the death of Louis' mother in 1190.
Joan and Ferrand only could obtain their release after signing the Treaty of Pont-à-Vendin, under which they were forced to surrender the towns of Aire-sur-la-Lys and Saint-Omer to France, recognizing the previous occupation of Prince Louis over that lands. After this event and Ferrand decided to join in an alliance with the former allies of Baldwin IX, King John of England and Otto IV, Holy Roman Emperor, they obtained the support of the powerful bourgeoisie of Ghent after Joan and Ferrand agreed to the annual election of four prudhommes chosen among the aldermen of the city. In retaliation for this alliance, King Philip II attacked Lille, burned in 1213. In Damme, the French fleet was destroyed by the English. At the Battle of Roche-au-Moine, Prince Louis defeated the English army. King