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6-03-2015, 13:41

Morosini, Thomas (d. 1211)

Latin patriarch of Constantinople (1204-1211).

A member of the Morosini or Mauroceni family of Venice, Thomas was only a sub-dean when he was elected Latin patriarch of Constantinople (mod. Istanbul, Turkey) by the Venetians, as a result of the agreement of March 1204 between the Frankish crusaders and the Venetians and the ensuing conquest of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade (1202-1204).

Morosini arrived in Constantinople in midsummer 1205. Pope Innocent III objected to the uncanonical manner of his election, but finally accepted the fait accompli. Negotiations with the Greek clergy in 1206 did not prevent the Byzantines from electing their own patriarch in exile, Michael Autor-eianos, in Nicaea (mod. Iznik, Turkey) in 1208. On 17 March 1206 Morosini and Benedict of St. Suzanne signed a convention with the new Latin emperor, Henry of Flanders, regarding the partition of church property. On 2 May 1210 Morosini made an agreement with the barons of the kingdom of Thes-salonica regarding the kingdom’s churches. He tried to keep the Latin church firmly under Venetian control. This attempt was countered by Pope Innocent III, who sent his legates Benedict of St. Suzanne and Peter Capuano to Constantinople, and appointed non-Venetian canons (1205-1210). In 1208, Morosini was accused of misappropriating funds. Being at odds with Emperor Henry, the pope, the French, the Greeks, and occasionally the Venetian podesta (plenipotentiary representative of the doge) Marino Zeno, Morosini did not succeed in solving the problems of the new founded Latin patriarchate. He died in June or July 1211.

-B. Hendrickx

See also: Constantinople, Latin Patriarchate of; Venice


Lock Peter, The Franks in the Aegean, 1204-1500 (London: Longman, 1995).

Setton, Kenneth M., The Papacy and the Levant (1204-1571), vol. 1 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1976).