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Empire of Nicaea, Theodore I Komnenos Laskaris, c. 1204 - 1222 A.D.
After Constantinople fell to the crusaders in 1204, the Byzantines fled and organized areas of resistance. Nicaea was ruled by a strong leader, Theodore Laskaris. Crowned Emperor by the patriarch in 1208, Theodore checked both the Latins and the Turks. When he died in 1222, his state was a powerful empire ready to make a bid at taking back Constantinople.