Lascaris(lăs`kərĭs), family name of the Greek emperors of Nicaea (see Nicaea, empire ofNicaea, empire of,
1204–61. In 1204 the armies of the Fourth Crusade set up the Latin Empire of Constantinople, but the Crusaders' influence did not extend over the entire Byzantine Empire.
..... Click the link for more information. ). The empire was founded in 1204 by Theodore ITheodore I
(Theodore Lascaris), d. 1222, Byzantine emperor of Nicaea (1204–22), son-in-law of the Byzantine emperor Alexius III. He escaped from Constantinople after it was captured (1204) by the Latins of the Fourth Crusade and founded a Byzantine state at Nicaea (see
..... Click the link for more information. , a son-in-law of Alexius III (Alexius Angelus). Theodore I was succeeded (1222) by his son-in-law, John IIIJohn III
(John Ducas Vatatzes) , d. 1254, Byzantine emperor of Nicaea (1222–54), successor and son-in-law of Theodore I. He extended his territory in Asia Minor and the Aegean islands but failed (1235) to take Constantinople from the Latins, although he was aided by Ivan
..... Click the link for more information. (John Ducas Vatatzes). John's son Theodore IITheodore II
(Theodore Lascaris), 1222–58, Byzantine emperor of Nicaea (1254–58), son and successor of John III. He fought the Bulgarians and temporarily regained parts of Thrace. He made Nicaea a cultural center. His son, John IV, succeeded him.
..... Click the link for more information. (1254–58) assumed the family name Lascaris. He was succeeded by his son John IVJohn IV
(John Lascaris) , b. c.1250, d. after 1273, Byzantine emperor of Nicaea (1258–61), son and successor (under a regency) of Theodore II and last of the Lascarids. Michael Palaeologus (later Michael VIII) overthrew the regency and in 1259 was crowned coemperor.
..... Click the link for more information. , who was forced (1259) to share his throne with Michael VIII, founder of the Palaeologus dynasty. John was deposed in 1261.