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Encyclopedia > Michael VIII Palaeologus
The Byzantine Empire in 1265 (William R. Shepherd, Historical Atlas, 1911)
The Byzantine Empire in 1265 (William R. Shepherd, Historical Atlas, 1911)

Michael VIII (1225December 11, 1282) was the founder of the Palaeologos dynasty that would rule the Byzantine Empire to the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. He restored the derelict Empire in 1261 and ruled it until his death. Download high resolution version (1144x900, 272 KB)Map, The Byzantine Empire, 1265. ... Download high resolution version (1144x900, 272 KB)Map, The Byzantine Empire, 1265. ... Events January 20 - In Westminster, the first English parliament conducts its first meeting. ... 1911 (MCMXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (click on link for calendar). ... Events Births Thomas Aquinas, Christian philosopher and theologian (d. ... December 11 is the 345th day (346th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... For broader historical context, see 1280s and 13th century. ... The Palaeologus family was the last dynasty ruling the Byzantine Empire. ... The Byzantine Empire is the term conventionally used to describe the Greek-speaking Roman Empire during the Middle Ages, centered at its capital in Constantinople. ... The Siege of Constantinople (painted 1499). ... Events May 29 - Fall of Constantinople to Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror, marking the end of the Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire). ... Events July 25 - Constantinople re-captured by Nicaean forces under the command of Michael VIII Palaeologus, Byzantine Empire re-formed August 29 - Urban IV becomes Pope, the last man to do so without being a Cardinal first Bela IV of Hungary repels Tatar invasion Charles of Anjou given rule of...

Contents


Way to the throne

Michael VIII was the son of the megas domestikos Andronicus Doukas Comnenus Palaeologus by Theodora Angelina Palaeologina, the granddaughter of Alexius III Angelus, the last legitimate Byzantine emperor. Even with our imperfect knowledge of Byzantine genealogy, no less than 11 emperors may be traced among his ancestors. He was one of the noblest men in Constantinople and one who could have been born emperor, if it were not for the Latin Conquest of Constantinople in 1204. The Byzantine Empire had a complex system of aristocracy and bureaucracy. ... Alexius III Angelus, Byzantine emperor, was the second son of Andronicus Angelus, nephew of Alexius I. In 1195, while his brother Isaac II was away hunting in Thrace, he was proclaimed emperor by the troops; he captured Isaac at Stagira in Macedonia, put out his eyes, and kept him henceforth... The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204), originally designed to conquer Jerusalem by taking Egypt first, instead, in 1204, sacked and conquered the Orthodox Christian city of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. ...


At an early age he rose to distinction, and ultimately became commander of the French mercenaries in the employment of the emperors of Nicaea. A few days after the death of Theodore II Lascaris in 1259, Michael, by the assassination of Muzalon (which he is believed but not proved to have encouraged) became joint guardian with the patriarch Arsenius of the young emperor, John IV Lascaris, then a lad of eight years. Afterwards invested with the title of "despot," he was finally proclaimed joint emperor with the help of the Genoese. Iznik (formerly Nicaea) is a city in Anatolia (now part of Turkey) which is known primarily as the site of two major meetings (or Ecumenical councils) in the early history of the Christian church. ... Theodore II Lascaris (died August 1258) was Byzantine emperor, in exile in the Empire of Nicaea, from 1254 to 1258. ... For broader historical context, see 1250s and 13th century. ... Arsenius Autorianus (13th century), patriarch of Constantinople, lived about the middle of the 13th century. ... John IV Lascaris was only a boy of 8 years when he was elevated as emperor of the Nicaean Empire in 1258 on the death of his father Theodore II Lascaris. ... Despotism is government by a singular authority, either a single person or tightly knit group, which rules with absolute power. ... Alternate uses, see Genoa (disambiguation). ...


Reign

In 1261, Michael captured Constantinople from its last Latin monarch, Baldwin II. He had himself crowned, with his infant son Andronicus as co-Emperor. Later that year, in December, he had John Lascaris blinded and banished. For this last act he was excommunicated by Arsenius, and the ban was not removed until six years afterwards (1268) on the accession of a new patriarch. After rendering John Lascaris ineligible for the throne, Michael quickly married off John's sisters to foreigners, so their descendants could not threaten his own children's claim to the Imperial title. Events July 25 - Constantinople re-captured by Nicaean forces under the command of Michael VIII Palaeologus, Byzantine Empire re-formed August 29 - Urban IV becomes Pope, the last man to do so without being a Cardinal first Bela IV of Hungary repels Tatar invasion Charles of Anjou given rule of... Map of Constantinople. ... Baldwin II (1217—1273) was the last emperor of the Latin Empire of Constantinople. ...


On his accession to the throne, Michael abolished all Latin customs and reinstated most Byzantine ceremonies and institutions as they had existed prior to the Latin invasion. His principal ambition was to put the Greek Empire back on the map as a force to be reckoned with. He realized that the danger existed that the Latin West, particularly his neighbors in Italy (Charles of Anjou, Pope Martin IV, and the Venetians) would be unified against him and set out to avoid the mistakes of Manuel I. The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204), originally designed to conquer Jerusalem by taking Egypt first, instead, in 1204, sacked and conquered the Orthodox Christian city of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. ... Charles I (March 1227 - January 7, 1285) was the posthumous son of King Louis VIII of France, created Count of Anjou by his elder brother King Louis IX in 1246, thus founding the second Angevin dynasty. ... Martin IV, né Simon de Brion (ca. ... Location within Italy Venice (Italian: Venezia, Venessia in the local dialect), the city of canals, is the capital of the region of Veneto and of the province of Venice, 45°26′N 12°19′E, population 271,663 (census estimate January 1, 2004). ... Fresco of Manuel I Manuel I Comnenus Megas (November 28, 1118? – September 24, 1180) was Byzantine Emperor from 1143 to 1180. ...

Michael kneeling in front of Christ, in this coin issued to celebrate the liberation of the capital of the Empire from the Crusaders.
Enlarge
Michael kneeling in front of Christ, in this coin issued to celebrate the liberation of the capital of the Empire from the Crusaders.

In 1263 and 1264 respectively, Michael, with the help of Pope Urban IV, concluded peace with Villehardouin, prince of Achaia, and Michael, despot of Epirus, who had previously been incited by the pope to attack him, but had been decisively beaten at Pelagonia in Thessaly (1259); Villehardouin was obliged to cede Mistra, Monemvasia and Maina in the Morea. Subsequently Michael was involved in wars with the Genoese and Venetians, whose influence in Constantinople he sought to diminish by maintaining the balance of strength between them. Image File history File links Michael VIII Palaeologus AV Hyperpyron. ... Image File history File links Michael VIII Palaeologus AV Hyperpyron. ... Events Detmold, Germany was founded. ... Events May 12 - The Battle of Lewes begins (ends May 14). ... Urban IV, né Jacques Pantaléon (Troyes, ca. ... William II Villehardouin (died May 1, 1278) was the last Villehardouin prince of Achaea (=Morea) and ruled the principality at the height of its power and influence. ... Epirus (Greek Ήπειρος, Ípeiros; see also List of traditional Greek place names), is a province or periphery in northwestern Greece, bounded by West Macedonia and Thessaly to the east, by the province of Sterea Ellada (Central Greece) to the south, the Ionian Sea and the Ionian Islands to the west and... The Battle of Pelagonia took place in September of 1259, between the Empire of Nicaea and the Principality of Achaea. ... Thessaly (Θεσσαλια; modern Greek Thessalía; see also List of traditional Greek place names) is one of the 13 peripheries of Greece, and is further sub-divided into 4 prefectures. ... For a village in the prefecture of Ioannina, see Mystras (Ioannina), Greece The Vale of Laconia seen from the battlements of Mystras Mystras (also Mistra, Mystra and Mistras Greek: Μύστρας , Μυζηθράς Mizithras or Myzithras in the chronicle... Monemvasia (Greek: Μονεμβασία), or Malvasy, is a medieval fortress with an adjacent town, located on a small peninsula off the east coast of the Peloponnese in the Greek prefecture of Laconia. ... The Morea and surrounding states carved from the Byzantine Empire, as they were in 1265 (William R. Shepherd, Historical Atlas, 1911) The name Morea (Μωρέας) for Peloponnesos first appears in the 10th century in Byzantine chronicles. ...


To drive a wedge between the pope and the others he decided to unify the Byzantine church with the Catholic one; a tenuous union between the Greek and Latin church was signed at the Second Council of Lyons in 1274. He did so at a great price at home: his prisons filled with many disgruntled people of Orthodox faith. For a while the wedge worked but in the end Pope Martin IV (working in part for Charles of Anjou) excommunicated him. Then he needed a new wedge and used truly "Byzantine" diplomacy to get the Catalans of Peter III of Aragon to attack Sicily, thus cutting Charles's kingdom in half. ... The Second Council of Lyon was a Roman Catholic council convened in Lyon in 1274. ... Events May 7 - In France the Second Council of Lyons opens to consider the condition of the Holy Land and to agree to a union with the Byzantine church. ... Martin IV, né Simon de Brion (ca. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Byzantine Empire acquired a negative reputation among historians of the 18th and 19th century not only for the complexity of the organization of its ministries and the elaborateness of its court ceremonies (from this came the term still in modern use, Byzantine, often used pejoratively to describe any work... Capital Barcelona Official languages Spanish and Catalan In Val dAran, also Aranese. ... Peter III of Aragon (Catalan: Pere) (1239 – November 11, 1285, also Peter I of Valencia, Peter II of Barcelona), known as the Great, was the king of Aragon and Valencia and count of Barcelona from 1276 to 1285. ... Sicilian disambiguates here; see also Sicilian language or Sicilian Defence. ... The Sicilian Vespers is the name given to a rebellion in Sicily, in 1282 against the rule of the Angevin king Charles I, who had taken control of the island with Papal support in 1266. ...


In reconstituting the Byzantine Empire Michael restored the old administration without endeavouring to correct its abuses. By debasing the coinage he hastened the decay of Byzantine commerce. He died in Thrace in December 1282, but his dynasty continued for almost two centuries, longer than any other in Roman history. For broader historical context, see 1280s and 13th century. ...


Family

In 1253, Michael VIII married Theodora Doukaina Vatatzaina, a grandniece of John III Ducas Vatatzes, Emperor of Nicaea. Orphaned in childhood, she was raised by her great-uncle John III, who was said to have "loved her like a daughter", and who arranged for her marriage to Michael. Their children were: For broader historical context, see 1250s and 13th century. ... John III Ducas Vatatzes (1193 - November 3, 1254) was Byzantine Emperor, in exile in the Empire of Nicaea, from 1222 to 1254. ... The Empire of Nicaea was the largest of the states founded by refugees from the Byzantine Empire after Constantinople was conquered during the Fourth Crusade. ...

  1. Manuel (c. 1254 - 1259)
  2. Andronicus II (1259-1332)
  3. Constantine (1261-1306)
  4. Irene Palaeologina, married Tsar Ivan Asen III of Bulgaria
  5. Anna Palaeologina, married Demetrios Angelos
  6. Eudocia Palaeologina, married Emperor John II of Trebizond
  7. Theodora Palaelogina, married King David VI Narin of Georgia and Imereti

By a mistress, a Diplobatatzaina, Michael also had two illegitimate daughters: Andronicus II Palaeologus (1260 – February 13, 1332), Byzantine emperor, was the elder son of Michael VIII Palaeologus, whom he succeeded in 1282. ... For broader historical context, see 1250s and 13th century. ... Events November 7 - Lucerne joins the Swiss Confederation with Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden. ... Events July 25 - Constantinople re-captured by Nicaean forces under the command of Michael VIII Palaeologus, Byzantine Empire re-formed August 29 - Urban IV becomes Pope, the last man to do so without being a Cardinal first Bela IV of Hungary repels Tatar invasion Charles of Anjou given rule of... Events March 25 - Robert the Bruce becomes King of Scotland June 19 - Forces of Earl of Pembroke defeat Bruces Scottish rebels at the Battle of Methven Philip IV of France exiles all the Jews from France and confiscates their property In London, a city ordinance degrees that heating with... Tsar Ivan Asen III of Bulgaria was the son of Tsar Mico Asen and his wife Princess Maria of Bulgaria. ... Eudocia Palaelogina (c. ... Categories: People stubs | Emperors of Trebizond | Trapezuntine Empire ... David VI Narin ( 1225- 1293), from the Bagrationi dynasty, was king of Georgia in 1245- 1293. ... Imereti is a historic province in Western Georgia, situated along the middle and upper reaches of the Rioni river. ...

  1. Euphrosyne Palaeologina, married Nogai Khan
  2. Maria Palaeologina, married Abaqa Khan

Nogai Khan (died 1299), also called Kara Nogai (Black Nogai), was a Khan of the Golden Horde and a great-grandson of Genghis Khan. ... Abaqa Khan (1234-1282), the son of Hulegu and Oroqina Khatun, a Mongol Christian. ...

Sources

  • Nicol, Donald. The Last Centuries of Byzantium, 1261-1453, 1993
  • Vannier, J-F. Les premiers Paléologues (Etudes prosopographiques), 1989

External links

  • Michael coinage: http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/byz/michael_VIII/t.html

Preceded by:
John IV Lascaris
Byzantine Emperor Succeeded by:
Andronicus II

This article incorporates text from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, a publication in the public domain. John IV Lascaris was only a boy of 8 years when he was elevated as emperor of the Nicaean Empire in 1258 on the death of his father Theodore II Lascaris. ... This is a list of the Emperors of the late Roman Empire, called Byzantine. ... Andronicus II Palaeologus (1260 – February 13, 1332), Byzantine emperor, was the elder son of Michael VIII Palaeologus, whom he succeeded in 1282. ... Supporters contend that the Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica (1910-1911) represents the sum of human knowledge at the beginning of the 20th century; indeed, it was advertised as such. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Palaeologus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1349 words)
Michael VIII Palaeologus became emperor in 1259 and recaptured Constantinople in 1261.
Michael IX, co-emperor, son of Andronicus II Andronicus III Palaeologus, son of Michael IX John V Palaeologus, son of Andronicus III (disputed by John VI Cantacuzenus, a maternal relative of the Palaeologans
Michael VIII was the father of Constantine, who in turn fathered John, who became the father-in-law of Stefan Decansky of Serbia.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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