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Valens
Valens
(/ˈveɪlənz/; Latin: Flavius Julius Valens
Valens
Augustus;[2] Greek: Οὐάλης; 328 – 9 August 378) was Eastern Roman Emperor from 364 to 378. He was given the eastern half of the empire by his brother Valentinian I
Valentinian I
after the latter's accession to the throne. Valens, sometimes known as the Last True Roman, was defeated and killed in the Battle of Adrianople, which marked the beginning of the collapse of the decaying Western Roman Empire.

Contents

1 Life

1.1 Appointment as emperor 1.2 365 Crete earthquake 1.3 Revolt of Procopius 1.4 War against the Goths 1.5 Conflict with the Sassanids 1.6 Gothic War 1.7 Battle of Adrianople
Battle of Adrianople
and death of Valens

2 Legacy

2.1 Struggles with the religious nature of the Empire

3 See also 4 Notes 5 References 6 External links

Life[edit]

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Appointment as emperor[edit] Valens
Valens
and his brother Valentinian were both born in Cibalae
Cibalae
(in present-day Croatia) into an Illyrian family in 328 and 321 respectively.[3] They had grown up on estates purchased by their father Gratian
Gratian
the Elder in Africa and Britain. While Valentinian had enjoyed a successful military career prior to his appointment as emperor, Valens
Valens
apparently had not. He had spent much of his youth on the family's estate and only joined the army in the 360s, participating with his brother in the Persian campaign of Emperor Julian. In February 364, reigning Emperor Jovian, while hastening to Constantinople
Constantinople
to secure his claim to the throne, was asphyxiated during a stop at Dadastana, 100 miles east of Ankara. Among Jovian's lieutenants was Valentinian, a tribunus scutariorum. He was proclaimed Augustus
Augustus
on 26 February, 364. Valentinian felt that he needed help to govern the large and troublesome empire, and, on 28 March of the same year, appointed his brother Valens
Valens
as co-emperor in the palace of Hebdomon. The two Augusti travelled together through Adrianople
Adrianople
and Naissus to Sirmium, where they divided their personnel, and Valentinian went on to the West.[4] Valens
Valens
obtained the eastern half of the Empire Greece, Egypt, Syria and Anatolia
Anatolia
as far east as Persia. Valens
Valens
was back in his capital of Constantinople
Constantinople
by December 364. 365 Crete earthquake[edit] In 365, an undersea earthquake between magnitudes 8 and 9 near Crete caused a tsunami that hit the coasts of the Eastern Mediterranean. Revolt of Procopius[edit] Valens
Valens
inherited the eastern portion of an empire that had recently retreated from most of its holdings in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
and Armenia because of a treaty that his predecessor Jovian had made with Shapur II
Shapur II
of the Sassanid Empire. Valens's first priority after the winter of 365 was to move east in hopes of shoring up the situation. By the autumn of 365 he had reached Cappadocian Caesarea when he learned that a usurper, Julian's maternal cousin, named Procopius, had proclaimed himself in Constantinople. Procopius had been charged with overseeing a northern division of his relative's army during the Persian expedition and had not been present when Jovian was named his successor. Though Jovian made accommodations to appease this potential claimant, Procopius fell increasingly under suspicion in the first year of Valens' reign. After narrowly escaping arrest, he went into hiding and reemerged at Constantinople
Constantinople
where he was able to convince two military units passing through the capital to proclaim him emperor on 28 September 365. Though his early reception in the city seems to have been lukewarm, Procopius won favor quickly by using propaganda to his advantage: he sealed off the city to outside reports and began spreading rumors that Valentinian had died; he began minting coinage flaunting his connections to the Constantinian dynasty; and he further exploited dynastic claims by using the widow and daughter of Constantius II
Constantius II
to act as showpieces for his regime. This program met with some success, particularly among soldiers loyal to the Constantinians and eastern intellectuals who had already begun to feel persecuted by the Valentinians. Valens, meanwhile, faltered. When news arrived that Procopius had revolted, Valens
Valens
considered abdication and perhaps even suicide. Even after he steadied his resolve to fight, Valens's efforts to forestall Procopius were hampered by the fact that most of his troops had already crossed the Cilician gates into Syria when he learned of the revolt. Even so, Valens
Valens
sent two legions to march on Procopius, who easily persuaded them to desert to him. Later that year, Valens himself was nearly captured in a scramble near Chalcedon. Troubles were exacerbated by the refusal of Valentinian to do any more than protect his own territory from encroachment. The failure of imperial resistance in 365 allowed Procopius to gain control of the dioceses of Thrace
Thrace
and Asiana by year's end. Only in the spring of 366 had Valens
Valens
assembled enough troops to deal with Procopius effectively. Marching out from Ancyra through Pessinus, Valens
Valens
proceeded into Phrygia
Phrygia
where he defeated Procopius's general Gomoarius at the Battle of Thyatira. He then met Procopius himself at Nacoleia and convinced his troops to desert him. Procopius was executed on 27 May and his head sent to Valentinian in Trier
Trier
for inspection. War against the Goths[edit]

A Solidus of Valens

The Gothic people in the northern region had supported Procopius in his revolt against Valens, and Valens
Valens
had learned the Goths
Goths
were planning an uprising of their own. These Goths, more specifically the Thervingi, were at the time under the leadership of Athanaric and had apparently remained peaceful since their defeat under Constantine in 332. In the spring of 367, Valens
Valens
crossed the Danube and marched on Athanaric's Goths. These fled into the Carpathian Mountains, and eluded Valens' advance, forcing him to return later that summer. The following spring, a Danube flood prevented Valens
Valens
from crossing; instead the Emperor occupied his troops with the construction of fortifications. In 369, Valens
Valens
crossed again, from Noviodunum, and attacked the north-easterly Gothic tribe of Greuthungi before facing Athanaric's Tervingi and defeating them. Athanaric pleaded for treaty terms and Valens
Valens
gladly obliged. The treaty seems to have largely cut off relations between Goths
Goths
and Romans, including free trade and the exchange of troops for tribute. Valens
Valens
would feel this loss of military manpower in the following years. Conflict with the Sassanids[edit] Among Valens' reasons for contracting a hasty and not entirely favorable peace in 369 was the deteriorating state of affairs in the East. Jovian had surrendered Rome's much disputed claim to control over Armenia in 363, and Shapur II
Shapur II
was eager to make good on this new opportunity. The Sassanid ruler began enticing Armenian lords over to his camp and eventually forced the defection of the Arsacid Armenian king, Arsaces II (Arshak II), whom he quickly arrested and incarcerated. Shapur then sent an invasion force to seize Caucasian Iberia and a second to besiege Arsaces II's son, Papas (Pap), in the fortress of Artogerassa, probably in 367. By the following spring, Papas had engineered his escape from the fortress and flight to Valens, whom he seems to have met at Marcianople while campaigning against the Goths. Already in the summer following his Gothic settlement, Valens
Valens
sent his general Arinthaeus to re-impose Papas on the Armenian throne. This provoked Shapur himself to invade and lay waste to Armenia. Papas, however, once again escaped and was restored a second time under escort of a much larger force in 370. The following spring, larger forces were sent under Terentius to regain Iberia and to garrison Armenia near Mount Npat. When Shapur counterattacked into Armenia in 371, his forces were bested by Valens' generals Trajanus and Vadomarius at Bagavan. Valens
Valens
had overstepped the 363 treaty and then successfully defended his transgression. A truce settled after the 371 victory held as a quasi-peace for the next five years while Shapur was forced to deal with a Kushan
Kushan
invasion on his eastern frontier. Meanwhile, troubles broke out with the boy-king Papas, who began acting in high-handed fashion, even executing the Armenian bishop Narses and demanding control of a number of Roman cities, including Edessa. Pressed by his generals and fearing that Papas would defect to the Persians, Valens
Valens
made an unsuccessful attempt to capture the prince and later had him executed inside Armenia. In his stead, Valens imposed another Arsacid, Varasdates (Varazdat), who ruled under the regency of the sparapet Mushegh I Mamikonian, a friend of Rome. None of this sat well with the Persians, who began agitating again for compliance with the 363 treaty. As the eastern frontier heated up in 375, Valens
Valens
began preparations for a major expedition. Meanwhile, trouble was brewing elsewhere. In Isauria, the mountainous region of western Cilicia, a major revolt had broken out in 375 which diverted troops formerly stationed in the East. Furthermore, by 377, the Saracens
Saracens
under Queen Mavia had broken into revolt and devastated a swath of territory stretching from Phoenicia
Phoenicia
and Palestine as far as the Sinai. Though Valens
Valens
successfully brought both uprisings under control, the opportunities for action on the eastern frontier were limited by these skirmishes closer to home. On 17 November 375, Valens' older brother Valentinian died of a burst blood vessel in his skull in Pannonia. Gratian, Valentinian's son and Valens' nephew, had already been associated with his father in the imperial dignity and was joined by his half-brother Valentinian II
Valentinian II
who was elevated, on their father's death, to Augustus
Augustus
by the imperial troops in Pannonia. Gothic War[edit] Main article: Gothic War (376–382)

Solidus minted by Valens
Valens
in c. 376. On reverse, Valens
Valens
and his brother Valentinian I
Valentinian I
hold together the orb, a symbol of power.

Valens' plans for an eastern campaign were never realized. A transfer of troops to the Western Empire in 374 had left gaps in Valens' mobile forces. In preparation for an eastern war, Valens
Valens
initiated an ambitious recruitment program designed to fill those gaps. It was thus not unwelcome news when Valens
Valens
learned that the Gothic tribes had been displaced from their homeland by an invasion of Huns
Huns
in 375 and were seeking asylum from him. In 376, the Visigoths
Visigoths
advanced to the far shores of the lower Danube and sent an ambassador to Valens
Valens
who had set up his capital in Antioch. The Goths
Goths
requested shelter and land in Illyria. An estimated 200,000 Gothic warriors and 1 million persons were along the Danube in Moesia
Moesia
and the ancient land of Dacia
Dacia
though this can be questioned as Roman writers notoriously wildly inflated barbarian figures for rhetorical effect. As Valens' advisers were quick to point out, these Goths
Goths
could supply troops who would at once swell Valens' ranks and decrease his dependence on provincial troop levies—thereby increasing revenues from the recruitment tax. However, it would mean hiring them and paying in gold or silver for their services. Among the Goths
Goths
seeking asylum was a group led by the chieftain Fritigern. Fritigern had enjoyed contact with Valens
Valens
in the 370s when Valens
Valens
supported him in a struggle against Athanaric stemming from Athanaric's persecution of Gothic Christians. Though a number of Gothic groups apparently requested entry, Valens
Valens
granted admission only to Fritigern and his followers. This did not, however, prevent others from following. When Fritigern and his Goths
Goths
undertook the crossing, Valens's mobile forces were tied down in the east, on the Persian frontier and in Isauria. This meant that only limitanei units were present to oversee the Goths' settlement. The small number of imperial troops present prevented the Romans from stopping a Danube crossing by a group of Goths
Goths
and later by Huns
Huns
and Alans. What started out as a controlled resettlement mushroomed into a massive influx perhaps 200,000. And the situation grew worse. When the generals present began abusing the Visigoths
Visigoths
under their charge, they revolted in early 377 and defeated the Roman units in Thrace
Thrace
outside of Marcianople. After joining forces with the Ostrogoths and eventually the Huns
Huns
and Alans, the combined barbarian group marched widely before facing an advance force of imperial soldiers sent from both east and west. In a battle at Ad Salices, the Goths
Goths
were once again victorious, winning free run of Thrace
Thrace
south of the Haemus. By 378, Valens
Valens
himself was able to march west from his eastern base in Antioch. He withdrew all but a skeletal force—some of them Goths—from the east and moved west, reaching Constantinople
Constantinople
by 30 May, 378. Meanwhile, Valens' councilors, Comes
Comes
Richomeres, and his generals Frigerid, Sebastian, and Victor cautioned Valens
Valens
and tried to persuade him to wait for Gratian's arrival with his victorious legionaries from Gaul, something that Gratian
Gratian
himself strenuously advocated. What happened next is an example of hubris, the impact of which was to be felt for years to come. Valens, jealous of his nephew Gratian's success, decided he wanted this victory for himself. Battle of Adrianople
Battle of Adrianople
and death of Valens[edit]

Medal of Valens, Vienna

Main article: Battle of Adrianople After a brief stay aimed at building his troop strength and gaining a toehold in Thrace, Valens
Valens
moved out to Adrianople. From there, he marched against the confederated barbarian army on 9 August 378 in what would become known as the Battle of Adrianople. Although negotiations were attempted, these broke down when a Roman unit sallied forth and carried both sides into battle. The Romans held their own early on but were crushed by the surprise arrival of Visigoth cavalry which split their ranks. The primary source for the battle is Ammianus Marcellinus.[5] Valens had left a sizeable guard with his baggage and treasures depleting his force. His right wing, cavalry, arrived at the Gothic camp sometime before the left wing arrived. It was a very hot day and the Roman cavalry was engaged without strategic support, wasting its efforts while they suffered in the heat. Meanwhile, Fritigern once again sent an emissary of peace in his continued manipulation of the situation. The resultant delay meant that the Romans present on the field began to succumb to the heat. The army's resources were further diminished when an ill-timed attack by the Roman archers made it necessary to recall Valens' emissary, Comes Richomeres. The archers were beaten and retreated in humiliation. Returning from foraging to find the battle in full swing, Gothic cavalry under the command of Althaeus and Saphrax now struck and, with what was probably the most decisive event of the battle, the Roman cavalry fled. From here, Ammianus gives two accounts of Valens' demise. In the first account, Ammianus states that Valens
Valens
was "mortally wounded by an arrow, and presently breathed his last breath," (XXXI.12) His body was never found or given a proper burial. In the second account, Ammianus states the Roman infantry was abandoned, surrounded and cut to pieces. Valens
Valens
was wounded and carried to a small wooden hut. The hut was surrounded by the Goths
Goths
who put it to the torch, evidently unaware of the prize within. According to Ammianus, this is how Valens
Valens
perished (XXXI.13.14–6). A third apocryphal account states that Valens
Valens
was struck in the face by a Gothic dart and then perished while leading a charge. He wore no helmet to encourage his men. This action turned the tide of the battle which resulted in a tactical victory but a strategic loss. The church historian Socrates likewise gives two accounts for the death of Valens.

Some have asserted that he was burnt to death in a village whither he had retired, which the barbarians assaulted and set on fire. But others affirm that having put off his imperial robe he ran into the midst of the main body of infantry; and that when the cavalry revolted and refused to engage, the infantry were surrounded by the barbarians, and completely destroyed in a body. Among these it is said the Emperor fell, but could not be distinguished, in consequence of his not having on his imperial habit.[6]

When the battle was over, two-thirds of the eastern army lay dead. Many of their best officers had also perished. What was left of the army of Valens
Valens
was led from the field under the cover of night by Comes
Comes
Richomer and General Victor. J.B. Bury, a noted historian of the period, provides specific interpretation on the significance the battle: it was "a disaster and disgrace that need not have occurred."[7] For Rome, the battle incapacitated the government. Emperor Gratian, nineteen years old, was overcome by the debacle, and until he appointed Theodosius I, unable to deal with the catastrophe which spread out of control. Legacy[edit]

Aqueduct of Valens
Valens
in Istanbul (old Constantinople), capital of the Eastern Roman Empire.

" Valens
Valens
was utterly undistinguished, still only a protector, and possessed no military ability: he betrayed his consciousness of inferiority by his nervous suspicion of plots and savage punishment of alleged traitors," writes A.H.M. Jones. But Jones admits that "he was a conscientious administrator, careful of the interests of the humble. Like his brother, he was an earnest Christian."[8] To have died in so inglorious a battle has thus come to be regarded as the nadir of an unfortunate career. This is especially true because of the profound consequences of Valens' defeat. Adrianople
Adrianople
spelled the beginning of the end for Roman territorial integrity in the late Empire and this fact was recognized even by contemporaries. Ammianus understood that it was the worst defeat in Roman history since the Battle of Edessa, and Rufinus called it "the beginning of evils for the Roman empire then and thereafter." Valens
Valens
is also credited with the commission of a short history of the Roman State. This work, produced by Valens' secretary Eutropius, and known with the name Breviarium ab Urbe condita, tells the story of Rome from its founding. According to some historians, Valens
Valens
was motivated by the necessity of learning Roman history, that he, the royal family and their appointees might better mix with the Roman Senatorial class.[9] Struggles with the religious nature of the Empire[edit] During his reign, Valens
Valens
had to confront the theological diversity that was beginning to create division in the Empire. Julian (361–363), had tried to revive the pagan religions. His reactionary attempt took advantage of the dissensions between the different factions among the Christians
Christians
and a largely Pagan rank and file military. However, in spite of broad support, his actions were often viewed as excessive, and before he died in a campaign against the Persians, he was often treated with disdain. His death was considered a sign from God. Like the brothers Constantius II
Constantius II
and Constans, Valens
Valens
and Valentinian I held divergent theological views. Valens
Valens
was an Arian and Valentinian I
Valentinian I
upheld the Nicene Creed. When Valens
Valens
died, however, the cause of Arianism
Arianism
in the Roman East was to come to an end. His successor Theodosius I
Theodosius I
would endorse the Nicene Creed. See also[edit]

Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
portal

Flavia (gens) List of Byzantine emperors List of people who disappeared mysteriously

Notes[edit]

^ a b Lendering, Jona, "Valens", livius.org ^ In Classical Latin, Gratian's name would be inscribed as FLAVIVS IVLIVS VALENS AVGVSTVS. ^ Lenski, Noel Emmanuel (2002). Failure of empire: Valens
Valens
and the Roman state in the fourth century A.D. University of California Press. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-520-23332-4. Retrieved 12 October 2010.  ^ Noel Emmanuel Lenski, Failure of Empire: Valens
Valens
and the Roman State in the Fourth Century A.D., University of California Press, 2002 ^ Historiae, 31.12–13. ^ The Ecclesiastical History, VI.38, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf202.ii.vii.xxxviii.html ^ http://rbedrosian.com/Ref/Bury/ieb4.htm ^ Jones, Arnold Hugh Martin, The Later Roman Empire, 284–602: A Social, Economic and Administrative Survey (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University, 1986), p. 139. ^ Eutropius, Breviarium, ed. H. W. Bird, Liverpool University Press, 1993, p. xix.

References[edit]

Lenski, Noel, " Valens
Valens
(364–378 A.D)", De Imperatoribus Romanis

External links[edit]

Media related to Valens
Valens
at Wikimedia Commons Laws of Valens This list of Roman laws of the fourth century shows laws passed by Valens
Valens
relating to Christianity.

Valens Valentinian dynasty Born: 328 Died: 9 August 378

Regnal titles

Preceded by Jovian Roman Emperor 364–378 with Valentinian I, Gratian, and Valentinian II Succeeded by Theodosius I

Political offices

Preceded by Jovian, Varronianus Consul of the Roman Empire 365 with Valentinian I Succeeded by Gratian, Dagalaifus

Preceded by Flavius Lupicinus, Flavius Iovinus Consul of the Roman Empire 368 with Valentinian I Succeeded by Valentinianus Galates, Flavius Victor

Preceded by Valentinianus Galates, Flavius Victor Consul of the Roman Empire 370 with Valentinian I Succeeded by Gratian, Sextus Claudius
Claudius
Petronius Probus

Preceded by Domitius Modestus, Flavius Arinthaeus Consul of the Roman Empire 373 with Valentinian I Succeeded by Gratian, Flavius Equitius

Preceded by Gratian, Flavius Equitius Consul of the Roman Empire 376 with Valentinian II Succeeded by Gratian, Merobaudes

Preceded by Gratian, Merobaudes Consul of the Roman Empire 378 with Valentinian II Succeeded by Ausonius, Quintus Clodius Hermogenianus Olybrius

v t e

Roman and Byzantine emperors

Principate 27 BC – 235 AD

Augustus Tiberius Caligula Claudius Nero Galba Otho Vitellius Vespasian Titus Domitian Nerva Trajan Hadrian Antoninus Pius Marcus Aurelius
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Crisis 235–284

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and Gordian II Pupienus
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Gallic Emperors: Postumus (Laelianus) Marius Victorinus (Domitianus II) Tetricus I
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Tetricus II
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Dominate 284–395

Diocletian
Diocletian
(whole empire) Diocletian
Diocletian
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Maximian
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Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
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I (East) and Constantine the Great
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Licinius
II, Constantine II, and Crispus
Crispus
as Caesares (Martinian) Constantine the Great
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Crispus
as Caesar Constantine II Constans
Constans
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Magnentius
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Constantius II
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Magnus Maximus
with Victor Theodosius the Great (Eugenius)

Western Empire 395–480

Honorius Constantine III with son Constans
Constans
II) Constantius III Joannes Valentinian III Petronius Maximus
Petronius Maximus
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Eastern/ Byzantine Empire 395–1204

Arcadius Theodosius II Pulcheria Marcian Leo I the Thracian Leo II Zeno (first reign) Basiliscus
Basiliscus
with son Marcus as co-emperor Zeno (second reign) Anastasius I Dicorus Justin I Justinian the Great Justin II Tiberius
Tiberius
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Constans
II Constantine IV
Constantine IV
with brothers Heraclius
Heraclius
and Tiberius
Tiberius
and then Justinian II as co-emperors Justinian II
Justinian II
(first reign) Leontios Tiberios III Justinian II
Justinian II
(second reign) with son Tiberius
Tiberius
as co-emperor Philippikos Anastasios II Theodosius III Leo III the Isaurian Constantine V Artabasdos Leo IV the Khazar Constantine VI Irene Nikephoros I Staurakios Michael I Rangabe
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Michael II
the Amorian Theophilos Michael III Basil I
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Porphyrogennetos Romanos I Lekapenos
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Constantine IX Monomachos
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Michael VII Doukas
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John II Komnenos
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Constantine Laskaris Theodore I Laskaris John III Doukas Vatatzes Theodore II Laskaris John IV Laskaris

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Michael VIII Palaiologos Andronikos II Palaiologos
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as co-emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos John V Palaiologos John VI Kantakouzenos
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and Matthew Kantakouzenos as co-emperors John V Palaiologos Andronikos IV Palaiologos John VII Palaiologos Andronikos V Palaiologos Manuel II Palaiologos John VIII Palaiologos Constantine XI Palaiologos

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Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 64806218 LCCN: n97033019 ISNI: 0000 0000 6138 3982 GND: 118913158 SELIBR: 227498 SUDOC: 031866905 BNF:

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