Home Ancient Byzantine Paleologian Dynasty 1261-1453 AD BC001229
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Manuel II Paleologos 1391-1423 AD
Silver half Stavraton, Imperial Mint – Basileus Series
Manuel II Paleologos (27 June 1350 – 21 July 1425) was made co-emperor in 1373 with his father John V. His brother and John’s eldest son Andronikos IV was sidelined after a failed overthrow attempt. Manuel became Byzantine Emperor in 1391. He married Helena Dragases (the future Saint Hypomone), the daughter of the Vardar Valley Serbian prince and had six sons with her, John VIII, Theodore , Konstantine XI, Andronikos, Thomas and Demetrios. Around the end of the 14th century the Ottomans, under Bayazid were dueling with the Latins. Manuel II appealed to the Christian Princes to save Constantinople. Manuel decided to make a western appeal for help personally leaving John VII (his nephew and son of his brother Andronicus IV) in charge of Constantinople Helena Dragases went to Mistra under the protection of his brother, the Despot Theodore I. Theodore I died in 1407. Manuel immediately appoints his eleven year old son Theodore II as the new Despot. He repairs the Justinian/ Hexamillion (six mile) wall in an astounding 25 days at the Isthmus and in 1414 Manuel II makes his son John VIII co-emperor and appoints Andronikos to govern Thessalonica. Meanwhile Bayazet’s son Mehmet I became the undisputed Sultan thanks to the interventions of Emperor Manuel II. This was a favor Mehmet never forgot adopting non violent attitudes with Manual for the duration of his life. Manuel tries to create western alliances but the Latins were not interested as they saw no reason to assist willful religious schematics. He did forge friendships when John married Sophia of Monferat in and Theodore married Cleope Malatesta who was the cousin of Pope Martin V. In 1421 Mehmet I died and his son Murad II assumes control. Against his father’s advice John supported Murad’s rivals resulting in a discord that led to the siege of Constantinople and the blockade of Thessalonica’s port in 1422. While John was defending Constantinople, Andronikos in Thessalonica was suffering from elephantiasis and decided to give Thessalonica to the Venetians in 1423. Murad’s general Turkahan Bey was ordered to advance to the Isthmus of Corinth where he neutralized the Byzantine garrison of Hexamilion and ravaged Morea. In 1423 when Antonio Acciajuoli of Athens attempted to occupy Corinth Theodore II had to ask for the intervention of his brother Constantine XI who was at the time governing Mesembria and Anchialos on the Black Sea. Manuel II withdrew to a monastery and died in 1425. Obverse Christ with nimbus cruciger, wearing himation over a chiton, his right hand in front in gesture of benediction, holding book of Gospels in his left hand field IC and XC surrounded by concentric lined circle of dots. Reverse nimbate Manuel wearing domed crown with pendilia and series of concentric circles with dots + MANOVHΛ BACIΛЄVC O ΠAΛЄOΛOΓ
Mint: Constantinople
Provenance: Private acquisition

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