* House of Kastrioti (defunct) * House of Rurik (defunct)
Michael VIII 1259–1282
with Andronikos II as co-emperor, 1261–1282
Andronikos II 1282–1328
with Michael IX (1294–1320) and Andronikos III (1321–1328) as co-emperors
Andronikos III 1328–1341
John V 1341–1391
with John VI Kantakouzenos (1347–1354), Matthew Kantakouzenos (1342–1357) and Manuel II (1373–1391) as co-emperors
Usurpation of Andronikos IV 1376–1379
Usurpation of John VII 1390
Manuel II 1391–1425
with Andronikos V (1403–1407) and John VIII (ca. 1416–1425) as co-emperors
John VIII 1425–1448
Constantine XI 1448–1453
_Preceded by_ Laskarids of Nicaea _Followed by_ Ottoman conquest
Family emblem with four "Bs"
The PALAIOLOGOS (pl. Palaiologoi; Greek : Παλαιολόγος, pl. Παλαιολόγοι), also romanized as PALAEOLOGUS or PALAEOLOGUE, was the name of a Byzantine Greek family, which rose to nobility and ultimately produced the last ruling dynasty of the Byzantine Empire .
Founded by the 11th-century general Nikephoros Palaiologos and his son George , the family rose to the highest aristocratic circles through its marriage into the Doukas and Komnenos dynasties. After the Fourth Crusade , members of the family fled to the neighboring Empire of Nicaea , where Michael VIII Palaiologos became co-emperor in 1259, recaptured Constantinople and was crowned sole emperor of the Byzantine Empire in 1261. His descendants ruled the empire until the Fall of Constantinople at the hands of the Ottoman Turks on May 29, 1453, becoming the longest-lived dynasty in Byzantine history; some continued to be prominent in Ottoman society long afterwards. A branch of the Palaiologos became the feudal lords of Montferrat , Italy . This inheritance was eventually incorporated by marriage to the Gonzaga family, rulers of the Duchy of Mantua , who are descendants of the Palaiologoi of Montferrat.
* 1 Dynastic genealogy
* 1.1 Palaiologoi emperors * 1.2 Montferrat cadet branch
* 2 Dynastic relations * 3 Political history * 4 Emblems * 5 References * 6 Sources * 7 External links
The origins of the Palaiologoi (lit. "old word", sometimes glossed as "ragman" or "antique collector" ) are unknown. Later traditions sometimes tied them to the Italian city of Viterbo (the Latin _vetus verbus_ having the same meaning as the family's name) or to the Romans who immigrated east with Constantine the Great during the founding of his new capital . Both were probably fabrications created to help legitimize the dynasty. The family are first attested as local lords in Asia Minor , particularly Anatolikon , with Nikephoros Palaiologos rising to command over Mesopotamia under Michael VII Doukas . He supported the revolt of Nikephoros Botaneiates , while his son George married Anna Doukaina and therefore supported his sister-in-law 's husband Alexios Komnenos during his rise to power. As commander (_doux_) of Dyrrhachium , George faced the Norman Duke Robert Guiscard in battle .
The Palaiologoi held military offices and further united their family to the Doukai and Komnenoi during the 12th century. They followed Theodore Laskaris to Nicaea and began to assume high-ranking political offices as well. Alexios Palaiologos , whose wife was a granddaughter of Zoe Doukaina (youngest daughter of Constantine X Doukas ) and her husband Adrianos Komnenos (younger brother of Emperor Alexios I). Another Alexios Palaiologos married Irene Angelina, eldest daughter of Alexios III Angelos and Euphrosyne Doukaina Kamatera . The latter couple's daughter Theodora Palaiologina married her cousin Andronikos Palaiologos , who was descended from Zoe. The couple were the progenitors of the imperial dynasty. Their son was Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos (1223–1282).
Michael VIII's son Andronikos II Palaiologos (1259–1332) married Anne of Hungary and fathered Michael Palaiologos (1277–1320), sometimes numbered the ninth. Michael IX married Rita of Armenia . Their son, the grandson of Andronikos II, was Andronikos III Palaiologos (1297–1341).
Andronikos III married Anna of Savoy . Their son was John V Palaiologos (1332–1391). John V married Helena Kantakouzene , a daughter of his co-ruler John VI Kantakuzenos . Their sons included Andronikos IV Palaiologos (1348–1385) and Manuel II Palaiologos (1350–1425). The double-headed eagle was adopted as a symbol for high-ranking members of the imperial family (including the Emperor), during the Palaiologos dynasty period.
Manuel II married Helena Dragaš . They were the parents of John VIII Palaiologos (1392–1448) and Constantine XI Palaiologos (1404–1453), the last Byzantine emperor , as well as the despots of Morea Demetrios Palaiologos (1407–1470) and Thomas Palaiologos (1409–1465). Demetrios, after giving Mehmed II a pretext to invade Morea , was kept from his throne and remained in captivity. His daughter Helen was a member of the sultan's harem for a time. Thomas, in exile in Venice, sold the imperial title to Charles VIII of France , who however never used it for formal purposes.
Thomas' daughter Zoe (died 1503) married Ivan III of Russia and, on rejoining the Orthodox faith, returned to her earlier name Sophia. Her influence on the court curtailed the power of the boyars and eventually led to the proclamation of the Grand Prince of Muscovy as the Tsar of all the Russias . Though Thomas's male-line descendants soon became extinct, his descent lives on through a daughter and the family of Castriota Dukes of san Pietro di Galatina in south-Italian aristocracy.
Other branches of the Palaiologoi remained in Ottoman Constantinople, and even prospered in the immediate post-conquest period. In the decades after 1453, Ottoman tax registers show a consortium of noble Greeks co-operating to bid for the lucrative tax farming district including Constantinople and the ports of western Anatolia. This group included names like "Palologoz of Kassandros" and "Manuel Palologoz". This group stood in close contact with two powerful viziers, Mesih Pasha and Hass Murad Pasha , both of whom were members of the Palaiologos family and had converted to Islam after the fall of Constantinople, as well as with other converted scions of Byzantine and Balkan aristocratic families like Mahmud Pasha Angelović , forming what the Ottomanist Halil Inalcik termed a "Greek faction" at the court of Mehmed II.
One such female descendant, Princess d'Arenberg, married at the beginning of the 19th century a Pfalzgraf of Zweibrücken , whereby the Dukes of Bavaria descend from Byzantine emperors. Also Queen Anne , consort of former king Michael of Romania descends from these Arenbergs, thus being a descendant of Byzantine emperors of Constantinople.
* Michael VIII Palaiologos * Andronikos II Palaiologos , son of Michael VIII * Michael IX Palaiologos , co-emperor, son of Andronikos II * Andronikos III Palaiologos , son of Michael IX * John V Palaiologos , son of Andronicus III (disputed by John VI Kantakuzenos , a maternal relative of the Palaiologoi) * Andronikos IV Palaiologos , eldest son of John V * John VII Palaiologos , son of Andronikos IV * Andronikos V Palaiologos , co-emperor, son of John VII * Manuel II Palaiologos , younger son of John V * John VIII Palaiologos , eldest son of Manuel II * Constantine XI Palaiologos , a younger son of Manuel II
MONTFERRAT CADET BRANCH
Further information: List of rulers of Montferrat § Palaeologus dynasty
A younger son of Andronikos II became lord of Montferrat as heir of his mother. His feudal dynasty ruled in Montferrat, longer than the imperial branch did in Constantinople. This inheritance was eventually incorporated by marriage to the Gonzaga family, rulers of the Duchy of Mantua , who descend from the Palaiologoi of Montferrat. Later, that succession passed to the Dukes of Lorraine , whose later head became the progenitor of the Habsburg-Lorraine emperors of Austria .
The Paleologo-Oriundi, an extant line, descends from Flaminio, an illegitimate son of the last Palaiologos marquess John George .
The reconstituted realm was very weak compared with the pre-1204 Empire. The Palaiologoi emperors were not granted the earlier luxury of isolation. Imperial marriages became increasingly mercenary and royal princesses regarded as little more than merchandise. The future Michael VIII married Theodora Palaiologina , a kinswoman of the Vatatzes Laskaris family, in order to solidify his position in the Nicean Empire.
Michael VIII was the father of Constantine, who in turn fathered John, who became the father-in-law of Stefan Dečanski of Serbia .
Michael's daughter Irene married Ivan Asen III of Bulgaria , and another daughter, Eudokia Palaiologina , married John II Komnenos of Trebizond , and another daughter, Theodora, married David VI of Georgia .
Andronikos II Palaiologos married Anna of Hungary , daughter of Stephen V of Hungary and Elizabeth the Cuman . They were parents of Michael IX Palaiologos , who predeceased his father but was a co-regent, as such sometimes numbered the ninth. This Michael married Rita of Armenia , a princess of Cilician Armenia as daughter of Leo III of Armenia and Queen Keran of Armenia .
His son, the grandson of Andronikos II, was Andronikos III Palaiologos . Michael's daughter Theodora Palaiologina married Theodore Svetoslav and Michael Shishman , rulers of Bulgaria, in turn. A daughter Anna Palaiologina married first Thomas I Komnenos Doukas , Ruler of Epirus and then his successor Nicholas Orsini , already count of Kefalonia .
By his second wife, Irene of Montferrat , Andronikos II had Simonis , later the wife of Stefan Milutin of Serbia. His son, Theodore I, Marquess of Montferrat , became lord of Montferrat as heir of his mother. Theodore' inheritance was eventually incorporated by marriage to the Gonzaga family, rulers of the Duchy of Mantua .
Andronikos III married firstly Irene of Brunswick , who died without surviving issue, and secondly Anna of Savoy who was descended from Baldwin I of Constantinople . They were the parents of John V Palaiologos . John V was compelled to marry Helena Kantakouzene, a daughter of John VI Kantakouzenos .
In order to obtain support to remove John VI, John V gave his sister Maria to Francesco I Gattilusio , who received the Duchy of Lesbos , an island which remained under the control of the Genoese until 1462. They founded the noble family who continued into Italian Genoese aristocracy, being ancestors of the princes of Monaco .
In 1446, Zoe's elder sister Helena Palaiologina was married to Lazar Branković , a Serbian prince. Their descendants continued for some time in the Balkans. Thomas's male-line descendants shortly became extinct.
Under the rule of the Palaiologoi (1261 - 1453), the fragmented Byzantine Empire still considered themselves to be the Roman Empire , but began to focus more on the empire's Greek heritage. The word " Hellene " began to be used again to describe themselves, after having been a synonym for "pagan " for many centuries. The dynasty was a patron of literature and the arts; among others, George Gemistos Plethon came to prominence. The hesychasm controversy also took place during the rule of the Palaiologoi dynasty.
At the later days of their empire the Peloponnese was the largest and wealthiest part of the empire, and was ruled as the Despotate of Morea by members of the Palaiologos family, often two or three younger brothers simultaneously. Although they often squabbled amongst themselves they were usually fiercely loyal to the emperor in Constantinople (though sometimes they sought to supplant the emperor and rise to the throne), while their land was surrounded by hostile Venetians and Turks . The capital of the despotate was Mystras , a large fortress built by the Palaiologoi near Sparta .
The Palaiologoi frequently attempted to reunite the Eastern Orthodox Church with the Roman Catholic Church , hoping this would lead the West to give them aid against the Turks. Every attempt at reunification was strongly opposed by the general population.
The family had connections throughout Europe . They married into the Bulgarian , Georgian and Serbian royal families, as well as the noble families of Trebizond , Epirus , the Republic of Genoa , Montferrat , and Muscovy .
See also: Byzantine heraldry
Flag with the emblem of the Palaiologos dynasty, the tetragrammic cross. The four _B_s, or _pyrekvola_, represent the initials of the family's motto.
Stylized depiction (based on the modern-day flag of the Greek Orthodox Church ) of the double-headed eagle with the dynastic cypher of the Palaiologoi. The eagle was used to represent the emperor, as well as higher-ranking members of the imperial family in general. *
Variant flag from the _ Libro del Conoscimiento _ (c. 1350) for the "Empire of Constantinople", featuring St. George\'s Cross (likely representing Genoa ) alongside the tetragrammic cross.
The "tetragrammic cross" emblem of the Palaiologos dynasty was used under the Palaiologoi to represent the Empire, as attested in several sources of the 14th and 15th centuries. It is a cross between four firesteels (Greek : πυρέκβολα), each representing the letter _B_ (beta ). The firesteels have been interpreted as the initials of the imperial motto _Βασιλεὺς Βασιλέων Βασιλεύων Βασιλευόντων_ (_ Basileus Basileon Basileuon Basileuonton_) or _Βασιλεὺς Βασιλέων Βασιλεύων Βασιλεῦσι_ (_ Basileus Basileon Basileuon Basileusi_), translated as "king of kings, ruling over rulers". Another common emblem used by the Palaiologoi to represent the Emperor and high-ranking members of the Imperial family, was the double-headed eagle , occasionally displayed bearing the family's _sympilema_, or dynastic cypher, on the breast. This is the only recorded instance of the double-headed eagle in actual imperial use.
* ^ _A_ _B_ History of the Byzantine Empire volume 2 Aleksandr A. Vasiliev page 583 “The dynasty of the Palaeologi belonged to a very well known Greek family which, beginning with the first Comneni, gave Byzantium many energetic and gifted men, especially in the military field.” * ^ Edward Gibbon (1862). _Gibbon\'s History of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire_. Volume 5. Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green. Retrieved 24 June 2011. * ^ Gill, Joseph (1980). "Family feuds in fourteenth century Byzantium: Palaeologi and Cantacuzeni". _Conspectus of History_. 1 (5): 64. * ^ Kazhdan, A. "Palaiologos" in the _Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium_, Vol. III, p. 1557. Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1991. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Vannier, J.-F. "Les premiers Paléologues. Étude généalogique et prosopographique" in J.-C. Cheynet's _Études prosopographiques_, pp. 129 ff. (Paris), 1986. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ "Palaeologan Dynasty (1259-1453)" in the _Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World_: Asia Minor. Foundation of the Hellenic World, 2008. Accessed 15 Oct 2014. * ^ _A_ _B_ Papademetriou 2015 , p. 190. * ^ Vryonis, Speros (1969). "The Byzantine Legacy and Ottoman Forms". _Dumbarton Oaks Papers_. 23/24: 251–308. * ^ "I Paleologi di Monferrato dopo il 1533" (PDF). www.marchesimonferrato.com. * ^ Ottfried Neubecker, _Heraldry - Sources, Symbols