21.07.

Manuel II. Palaeologus – Byzantine emperor who sought help in Europe against the Ottomans – 1425.

Manuel II. Palaeologus – Byzantine emperor who sought help in Europe against the Ottomans – 1425.

Manuel II. a year before his death he was forced to sign a humiliating peace with Sultan Murat II. by which Byzantium undertook to pay an annual tribute.

On July 21, 1425, the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II died. from the Palaeologus dynasty. It was the last dynasty to rule Byzantium, and they held the throne for almost 200 years. Palaeologans were characterized by restoring the power of the empire in the 13th century, and in the last period of their reign they fought intensively against the Ottomans, who took more and more of their territory. The emperors of the Palaeologus dynasty tried to create a union of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, hoping that the West would help them in the fight against the Ottomans.

In Manuel’s time the Byzantine Empire fell to a small territory around Constantinople and isolated parts of Greece. That is why the emperor traveled to Europe asking for financial and military help in the fight against the unstoppable Ottomans. He was in Hungary, Germany and France. Indeed, he is distinguished by being the only emperor in Byzantine history to ever visit England. He stayed at Eltham Palace near London, and in his honor the English organized a kind of knights’ tournament.

In the end, the help received and promised was not enough, so Manuel II. a year before his death he was forced to sign a humiliating peace with Sultan Murat II. by which Byzantium undertook to pay an annual tribute. Manuela II. he was succeeded by his son John VII, whom he elevated to the position of co-ruler during his lifetime. John and his brother and heir Constantine XI. (the last Byzantine emperor) were the sons of Manuel and his wife Jelena, who was a Serbian princess from the Dejanović dynasty.

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