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JOHN VIII Paleologos, December 18, 1392 – October 31, 1448
Stavraton c 1423-1448
John VIII Paleologos was the eldest son of Manuel II Paleologos and Helena Dragas. He was a co-emperor with his father and became senior emperor in 1423 until his death October 31, 1448. Apart from the flourishing Despotate of Morea the Byzantine Empire consisted of the city of Constantinople alone. Just like his father and grandfather before him he appealed to the Latin West for aid to salvage the beleaguered city. While John attended the Council of Florence in 1439 which ratified the union of the churches it never materialized as the Byzantines refused subordination to the Church of Rome. The Ottoman Empire never overran Constantinople while he was living due to his diplomatic efforts. John VIII Palaiologos remained childless despite his three marriages (Anna of Moscow who died of plague in 1417, Sophia of Montferrat but the marriage was annulled and Maria of Trebizond who also died of the plague in 1439) named his brother Constantine XI as his successor. Obverse bearded and nimbate Christ has his right hand forward in the sign of the benediction holding a Gospel in the left hand. IC XC. Reverse bearded and nimbate John VIII wearing a crown with pendilia and a scalloped tippet +ΙΩΑΝΝΗCΔΕCΠΟΤΗCΟΠΑΛΕΟΛΟΓΟC +ΘVΧΑΡΙΤΙΒΑCΙΛΕVCΤΟΝΡΟΜΕΟΝ
Mint: Constantinople
Provenance: Private acquisition

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