Geoffrey of Villehardouin was born in around 1150. In 1185 he was appointed to the office
of marshal of Champagne, and having taken the cross in 1199 he was subsequently appointed as
an envoy by the leaders of the Fourth Crusade. He was privy to crucial decisions made
throughout the course of the crusade, which ended with the conquest of Constantinople from
its Greek Christian rulers in April 1204. His account of The Conquest of
Constantinople relates the controversial history of the Fourth Crusade and the early
years of the Latin empire from the perspective of a well-informed insider.