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John V Palaiologos

John V Palaiologos or Palaeologus (Greek:

' , Ianns V Palaiologos; 18 June 1332
16 February 1391) was a Byzantine emperor, who succeeded his father in 1341 at age eight.

riving at the Royal city of Buda to meet King Louis I

of Hungary. However, the Byzantine emperor oended
the king by staying on his horse, while Louis descended
and approached him on foot. The Hungarian monarch
then oered him help on the condition that John change
his confession to the catholic, or at least achieve recognition by the Patriarch of the Popes supremacy. The
Emperor left the court of Buda with empty hands and
continued his trip throughout Europe searching for assistance against the Ottomans.[2] Impoverished by war, he
was detained as a debtor when he visited Venice in 1369
and was later captured on his way back in Bulgarian territories. In 1371, he recognized the suzerainty of the Ottoman sultan Murad I. Murad later assisted him against
his son Andronikos when the latter deposed him in 1376.


John V was the son of Emperor Andronikos III and his

wife Anna, the daughter of Count Amadeus V of Savoy
by his second wife Maria of Brabant. His long reign was
marked by the gradual dissolution of imperial power amid
numerous civil wars and the continuing ascendancy of the
Ottoman Turks.
John V came to the throne at age eight. His reign began
with an immediate civil war between his designated regent, his fathers friend John Kantakouzenos, and a selfproclaimed council of regency composed of his mother
Anna, the patriarch John XIV Kalekas, and the megas
doux Alexios Apokaukos. During this civil war in 1343
Anna pawned the Byzantine crown jewels for 30,000
Venetian ducats. From 1346 to 1349, the Black Plague
devastated Constantinople.

In 1390, his grandson John VII briey usurped the throne,

but he was quickly overthrown. The same year, John
ordered the strengthening of the Golden Gate in Constantinople, utilizing marble from the decayed churches
in and around the city. Upon completion of this construction, Bayezid I demanded that John raze these new works,
threatening war and the blinding of his son Manuel,
whom he held in captivity. John V lled the Sultans order but is said to have suered from this humiliation and
Victorious in 1347, John Kantakouzenos ruled as co- died soon thereafter on 16 February 1391.
emperor until his son Matthew was attacked by John V John V was nally succeeded to the imperial throne by
in 1352, leading to a second civil war. John V asked the his son Manuel. His younger son Theodore had already
ruler of Serbia, Stefan Duan for help, and Duan obliged acceded to the Despotate of Morea in 1383.
by sending 4,000 Serbian horsemen to his aid. Matthew
Kantakouzenos asked his father for help, and 10,000 Ottoman Turks showed up at Demotika in October 1352 and
engaged the forces of John Vs Serbian allies in an open 2 Family
eld battle that resulted in the destruction of the allies and
a victory for the more numerous Turks in the service of John V married Helena Kantakouzene, daughter of his
the Byzantines. The Ottoman Empire thus acquired its co-emperor John VI Kantakouzenos and Irene Asanina,
rst European territory, at impe and Gallipoli. Able to on 28 May 1347. They had at least six children -- four
retake Constantinople in 1354, John V removed and ton- sons and at least two daughters.[3] Their known children
sured John VI; by 1357, he had deposed Matthew as well, include:
who had been captured by the Serbs and was ransomed
to John V.
Andronikos IV Palaiologos (2 April 1348 28 June
The Ottomans, who had been allied with the Kantak1385);
ouzenoi, continued to press John. Suleyman Paa, the
son of the Ottoman sultan, led their forces in Europe
Irene Palaiologina (c. 1349 after 1362), who marand was able to take Adrianople and Philippopolis and
ried her rst cousin Khalil of Bithynia. Her husband
to exact tribute from the emperor. John V appealed
was a son of Orhan I and Helenas sister Theodora
to the West for help, proposing to end the schism beKantakouzene.
tween the Byzantine and Latin churches by submitting the
patriarchate to the supremacy of Rome.
Manuel II Palaiologos (27 June 1350 21 July
In 1366, John V reached the Hungarian Kingdom, ar-


Theodore I Palaiologos, Lord of Morea (c. 1355
24 June 1407);
Michael Palaiologos (d. 1376/1377), who claimed
the throne of the Empire of Trebizond from Alexios
Maria Palaiologina (d. 1376), who was betrothed
to Murad I but died before the marriage could take
One daughter betrothed to Peter II of Cyprus, who
may not be Irene or Maria;
Two unnamed daughters reported to have entered
a monastery in 1373, who may be dierent women
from the ones listed above.

See also
List of Byzantine emperors


[1] (Geographical Dictionary of Greece), ,

-, . ,
[2] Kkllei Jnos: Lajos kirly krnikja, Nvtelen szerz:
Geszta Lajos kirlyrl; Osisris Kiad, Budapest, 2000.
(Millenniumi Magyar Trtnelem)
[3] Anthony Luttrell, John Vs Daughters: A Palaiologan
Puzzle, Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 40 (1986), pp. 103112


Harris, Jonathan, The End of Byzantium. New
Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2010.
ISBN 978-0-300-11786-8
Nicol, Donald M., The Last Centuries of Byzantium.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, 2nd
edition. ISBN 0-521-43991-4

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