Doge of Venice
The Doge of Venice, sometimes translated as Duke, was the chief magistrate and leader of the Most Serene Republic of Venice for 1,100 years. Doges of Venice were elected for life by the city-states aristocracy, commonly the man selected as Doge was the shrewdest elder in the city. The doge was neither a duke in the sense, nor the equivalent of a hereditary duke. The title doge was the title of the senior-most elected official of Venice and Genoa, a doge was referred to variously by the titles My Lord the Doge, Most Serene Prince, and His Serenity. After a deadlocked tie at the election of 1229, the number of electors was increased from forty to forty-one, new regulations for the elections of the doge introduced in 1268 remained in force until the end of the republic in 1797. Their object was to minimize as far as possible the influence of great families. Thirty members of the Great Council, chosen by lot, were reduced by lot to nine, the nine chose forty and the forty were reduced by lot to twelve, the twenty-five were reduced by lot to nine and the nine elected forty-five.
Then the forty-five were once more reduced by lot to eleven, none could be elected but by at least twenty-five votes out of forty-one, nine votes out of eleven or twelve, or seven votes out of nine electors. A detailed description of this process, and the procession that followed, is preserved in Martin Da Canales work Les Estoires de Venise. This practice came to an end in 1423, after the election of Francesco Foscari, the doges normally ruled for life. After a doges death, a commission of inquisitori passed judgment upon his acts, the official income of the doge was never large, and from early times holders of the office remained engaged in trading ventures. These ventures kept them in touch with the requirements of the grandi, from 7 July 1268, during a vacancy in the office of doge, the state was headed ex officio, with the style vicedoge, by the senior consigliere ducale. One of the duties of the doge was to celebrate the symbolic marriage of Venice with the sea. This was done by casting a ring from the state barge, in its earlier form this ceremony was instituted to commemorate the conquest of Dalmatia by Doge Pietro II Orseolo in 1000, and was celebrated on Ascension Day.
It took its and more magnificent form after the visit of Pope Alexander III, on state occasions the Doge was surrounded by an increasing amount of ceremony, and in international relations he had the status of a sovereign prince. The doge took part in processions, which started in the Piazza San Marco. The doge would appear in the center of the procession, preceded by civil servants ranked in ascending order of prestige, from the 14th century onwards, the ceremonial crown and well-known symbol of the doge of Venice was called corno ducale, a unique kind of a ducal hat. Every Easter Monday the doge headed a procession from San Marco to the convent of San Zaccaria where the abbess presented him a new camauro crafted by the nuns, the Doges official costume included golden robes, slippers and a sceptre for ceremonial duties
Florin derives from the city of Florence in Italy and frequently refers to the gold coin struck in 1252. Recent research indicates that the florin was once the dominant currency of Europe until accommodative policymaking led to the loss of its status as the de facto reserve currency. By 1419, the weight had been reduced and the alloy was substantially reduced. By 1626, the alloy had been reduced again, while the weight was more substantially reduced. In 1409, the Rheingulden standard was adopted for the Holy Roman Empires Reichsgulden
Mark the Evangelist
Mark the Evangelist is the traditionally ascribed author of the Gospel of Mark. Mark is said to have founded the Church of Alexandria, one of the most important episcopal sees of Early Christianity and his feast day is celebrated on April 25, and his symbol is the winged lion. According to William Lane, an unbroken tradition identifies Mark the Evangelist with John Mark, Hippolytus of Rome in On the Seventy Apostles distinguishes Mark the Evangelist, John Mark, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas. According to Hippolytus, they all belonged to the Seventy Disciples who were sent out by Jesus to saturate Judea with the gospel. According to Eusebius of Caesarea, Herod Agrippa I, in his first year of reign over the whole of Judea, killed James, son of Zebedee and arrested Peter, Peter was saved miraculously by angels, and escaped out of the realm of Herod. Peter went to Antioch, through Asia Minor, and arrived in Rome in the year of Emperor Claudius. Somewhere on the way, Peter encountered Mark and took him as travel companion, Mark the Evangelist wrote down the sermons of Peter, thus composing the Gospel according to Mark, before he left for Alexandria in the third year of Claudius.
Aspects of the Coptic liturgy can be traced back to Mark himself and he became the first bishop of Alexandria and he is honored as the founder of Christianity in Africa. According to Eusebius, Mark was succeeded by Annianus as the bishop of Alexandria in the year of Nero, probably. Later Coptic tradition says that he was martyred in 68, most modern scholars argue the Gospel of Mark was written by an anonymous author, rather than direct witnesses to the reported events. Evidence for Mark the Evangelists authorship of the Gospel that bears his name originates with Papias, scholars of the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School are almost certain that Papias refers to John Mark. The Coptic Church accords with identifying Mark the Evangelist with John Mark, as well as that he was one of the Seventy Disciples sent out by Christ, as Hippolytus confirmed. Furthermore, Mark is believed to have been among the servants at the Marriage at Cana who poured out the water that Jesus turned to wine, according to the Coptic tradition, Saint Mark was born in Cyrene, a city in the Pentapolis of North Africa.
This tradition adds that Mark returned to Pentapolis in life, after being sent by Paul to Colossae, when Mark returned to Alexandria, the pagans of the city resented his efforts to turn the Alexandrians away from the worship of their traditional gods. In AD68, they placed a rope around his neck, where Saint John Mark is distinguished from Saint Mark, the composer of the earliest Gospel that we have, Saint John Mark is celebrated on September 27 and the writer of the Gospel on April 25. In addition to Saint John Marks in Jerusalem, the Parish Church of Chester Hill with Sefton in the Diocese of Sydney is Saint John Marks and it celebrated its patronal festival on September 27. An icon of Saint John Mark on Cyprus, painted by a Russian Orthodox monk at Walsingham, was formerly in that church and is now in Christ Church Saint Laurence in Sydney. In 828, relics believed to be the body of Saint Mark were stolen from Alexandria by two Venetian merchants with the help of two Greek monks and taken to Venice, a mosaic in St Marks Basilica depicts sailors covering the relics with a layer of pork and cabbage leaves
Charles I of Hungary
Charles I, known as Charles Robert was King of Hungary and Croatia from 1308 to his death. He was a member of the Capetian House of Anjou and the son of Charles Martel. His father was the eldest son of Charles II of Naples and she laid claim to Hungary after her brother, Ladislaus IV of Hungary, died in 1290, but the Hungarian prelates and lords elected her cousin, Andrew III, king. Instead of abandoning her claim to Hungary, she transferred it to her son, Charles Martel, on the other hand, her husband, Charles II of Naples, made their third son, heir to the Kingdom of Naples, thus disinheriting Charles. Charles came to the Kingdom of Hungary upon the invitation of an influential Croatian lord, Paul Šubić, Andrew III died on 14 January 1301, and within four months Charles was crowned king, but with a provisional crown instead of the Holy Crown of Hungary. Most Hungarian noblemen refused to yield to him and elected Wenceslaus of Bohemia king, Charles withdrew to the southern regions of the kingdom.
Pope Boniface VIII acknowledged Charles as the king in 1303. Wenceslaus abdicated in favor of Otto of Bavaria in 1305, because it had no central government, the Kingdom of Hungary had disintegrated into a dozen provinces, each headed by a powerful nobleman, or oligarch. One of those oligarchs, Ladislaus Kán, captured and imprisoned Otto of Bavaria in 1307. Charles was elected king in Pest on 27 November 1308, Charles won his first decisive victory in the Battle of Rozgony on 15 June 1312. After that his troops seized most fortresses of the powerful Aba family, during the next decade, Charles restored royal power primarily with the assistance of the prelates and lesser noblemen in most regions of the kingdom. He was not able to hinder the development of Wallachia into an independent principality after his defeat in the Battle of Posada in 1330. Charless contemporaries described his defeat in battle as a punishment from God for his cruel revenge against the family of Felician Záh who had attempted to slaughter the royal family.
In the second half of his reign, Charles did not hold Diets and he established the Order of Saint George, which was the first secular order of knights. He promoted the opening of new mines, which made Hungary the largest producer of gold in Europe. The first Hungarian gold coins were minted during his reign, at the congress of Visegrád in 1335, he mediated a reconciliation between two neighboring monarchs, John of Bohemia and Casimir III of Poland. Treaties signed at the congress contributed to the development of new commercial routes linking Hungary with Western Europe. Charless efforts to reunite Hungary, together with his administrative and economic reforms, established the basis for the achievements of his successor, Charles was the only son of Charles Martel, Prince of Salerno, and his wife, Clemence of Austria
Chios is the fifth largest of the Greek islands, situated in the Aegean Sea,7 kilometres off the Anatolian coast. The island is separated from Turkey by the Çeşme Strait, Chios is notable for its exports of mastic gum and its nickname is the Mastic Island. Tourist attractions include its medieval villages and the 11th-century monastery of Nea Moni, the island forms a separate municipality within the Chios regional unit, which is part of the North Aegean region. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Chios town, locals refer to Chios town as Chora. Chios island is crescent or kidney shaped,50 kilometres long north to south,29 kilometres at its widest. The terrain is mountainous and arid, with a ridge of mountains running the length of the island, the two largest of these mountains and Epos, are situated in the north of the island. The center of the island is divided between east and west by a range of peaks, known as Provatas. Chios can be divided into five regions, Midway up the east coast lie the main centers, the main town of Chios.
Chios Town, with a population of 32,400, is built around the main harbour. The town was damaged by an earthquake in 1881. North of Chios Town lies the suburb of Vrontados, which claims to be the birthplace of Homer. The suburb lies in the Omiroupoli municipality, and its connection to the poet is supported by a site known traditionally as Teachers Rock. The villages, built between the 14th and 16th centuries, have a carefully designed layout with fortified gates and narrow streets to protect against the frequent raids by marauding pirates. Between Chios Town and the Mastichochoria lie a number of historic villages including Armolia, Myrmighi. Along the east coast are the villages of Kataraktis and to the south Nenita. Directly in the centre of the island, between the villages of Avgonyma to the west and Karyes to the east, is the 11th century monastery of Nea Moni, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery was built with funds given by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX, the monastery had substantial estates attached, with a thriving community until the massacre of 1822.
It was further damaged during the 1881 earthquake, in 1952, due to the shortage of monks, Nea Moni was converted to a convent
Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand III was Holy Roman Emperor from 15 February 1637 until his death, as well as King of Hungary and Croatia, King of Bohemia and Archduke of Austria. Ferdinand was born in Graz, the eldest son of Emperor Ferdinand II of Habsburg and his first wife, educated by the Jesuits, he became Archduke of Austria in 1621, King of Hungary in 1625, and King of Bohemia in 1627. Leader of the party at court, he helped negotiate the Peace of Prague with the Protestant states. Having been elected King of the Romans in 1636, he succeeded his father as Holy Roman Emperor in 1637, during the last period of the war, in 1644 Ferdinand III gave to all rulers of German states the right to conduct their own foreign policy. This way the emperor was trying to gain allies in the negotiations with France. This very edict contributed to the erosion of the imperial authority in the Holy Roman Empire. After 1648 the emperor was engaged in carrying out the terms of the treaty, on 20 February 1631 Ferdinand III married his first wife Archduchess Maria Anna of Spain.
She was the youngest daughter of Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria and they were first cousins as Maria Annas mother was a sister of Ferdinands father. They were parents to six children, Ferdinand IV, King of the Romans Maria Anna Mariana, married her maternal uncle Philip IV of Spain. She was a daughter of Leopold V, Archduke of Austria and they were first cousins as male-line grandchildren of Charles II, Archduke of Austria, and Maria Anna of Bavaria. They had a son, Karl Josef, Archduke of Austria. He was Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights from 1662 to his death, in 1651, Ferdinand III married Eleonora Gonzaga. She was a daughter of Charles IV Gonzaga, Duke of Rethel, Maria Anna Josepha of Austria, who married Johann Wilhelm, Elector Palatine. Ferdinand Josef Alois, Archduke of Austria Ferdinand III was a patron of music. He studied music under Giovanni Valentini, who bequeathed his works to him. Some of Ferdinands own compositions survive in manuscripts, motets and other sacred music and his Drama musicum was praised by Athanasius Kircher, and the extant works, although clearly influenced by Valentini, show a composer with an individual style and a solid technique.
Recordings of Ferdinands compositions include, Jesu Redemptor Omnium, with Schmelzer, Lamento Sopra La Morte de Ferdinand III. Leopold I, Sonata Piena, Laudate Pueri, Ferdinand III, Hymnus Jesu Corona Virginum
Michele Steno was a Venetian statesman who served as the 63rd Doge of Venice from December 1,1400 until his death. He served as proveditor of Venice, and proved a capable diplomat, in 1400 he was elected as doge as a compromise choice, since previous votes had become deadlocked. Upon becoming Doge he took to dressing like Lorenzo Celsi, who had known for his elegance of dress. In his accessions year, Venice begun a war against Padua and its lord, Francesco da Carrara. During the Christian schism of 1408, Venice sided with Pope Alexander V, an old and ill man in his late years, Steno died in 1413, and was interred in the Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo, a traditional burial place of the doges. Steno was succeeded as Doge by Tommaso Mocenigo, Michele Steno is honored as the dedicatee of Johannes Ciconias motet, mundi splendor/Michael, qui Stena domus, probably on the occasion of Paduas submission to Venetian rule. Among other rhetorical flourishes, the text praises Michele for his celibate life
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of both the Spanish Empire from 1516 and the Holy Roman Empire from 1519, as well as of the Habsburg Netherlands from 1506. He voluntarily stepped down from these and other positions by a series of abdications between 1554 and 1556, through inheritance, he brought together under his rule extensive territories in western and southern Europe, and the Spanish colonies in the Americas and Asia. As a result, his domains spanned nearly four square kilometers and were the first to be described as the empire on which the sun never sets. Charles was the heir of three of Europes leading dynasties, the Houses of Valois-Burgundy and Trastámara and he inherited the Burgundian Netherlands and the Franche-Comté as heir of the House of Valois-Burgundy. From his own dynasty, the Habsburgs, he inherited Austria and he was elected to succeed his Habsburg grandfather, Maximilian I, as Holy Roman Emperor, a title held by the Habsburgs since 1440. Charles was the first king to rule Castile and Aragon simultaneously in his own right, the personal union, under Charles, of the Holy Roman Empire with the Spanish Empire resulted in the closest Europe would come to a universal monarchy since the death of Louis the Pious.
France recovered and the wars continued for the remainder of Charless reign, enormously expensive, they led to the development of the first modern professional army in Europe, the Tercios. The struggle with the Ottoman Empire was fought in Hungary and the Mediterranean, after seizing most of eastern and central Hungary in 1526, the Ottomans’ advance was halted at their failed Siege of Vienna in 1529. A lengthy war of attrition, conducted on his behalf by his younger brother Ferdinand, in the Mediterranean, although there were some successes, Charles was unable to prevent the Ottomans’ increasing naval dominance and the piratical activity of the Barbary Corsairs. Charles opposed the Reformation and in Germany he was in conflict with the Protestant Princes of the Schmalkaldic League who were motivated by religious and political opposition to him. Once the rebellions were quelled the essential Castilian and Burgundian territories remained mostly loyal to Charles throughout his rule, Charles’s Spanish dominions were the chief source of his power and wealth, and they became increasingly important as his reign progressed.
In the Americas, Charles sanctioned the conquest by Castillian conquistadors of the Aztec, Castillian control was extended across much of South and Central America. The resulting vast expansion of territory and the flows of South American silver to Castile had profound long term effects on Spain. Charles was only 56 when he abdicated, but after 34 years of rule he was physically exhausted and sought the peace of a monastery. Upon Charles’s abdications, the Holy Roman Empire was inherited by his younger brother Ferdinand, the Spanish Empire, including the possessions in the Netherlands and Italy, was inherited by Charles’s son Philip II. The two empires would remain allies until the 18th century, Charles was born in 1500 as the eldest son of Philip the Handsome and Joanna of Castile in the Flemish city of Ghent, which was part of the Habsburg Netherlands. The culture and courtly life of the Burgundian Low Countries were an important influence in his early life and he was tutored by William de Croÿ, and by Adrian of Utrecht.
He gained a decent command of German, though he never spoke it as well as French, a witticism sometimes attributed to Charles is, I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men and German to my horse
Louis I of Hungary
Louis I, Louis the Great or Louis the Hungarian, was King of Hungary and Croatia from 1342 and King of Poland from 1370. He was the first child of Charles I of Hungary and his wife, Elizabeth of Poland, a 1338 treaty between his father and Casimir III of Poland, Louiss maternal uncle, confirmed Louiss right to inherit the Kingdom of Poland if his uncle died without a son. In exchange, Louis was obliged to assist his uncle to reoccupy the lands that Poland had lost in previous decades and he bore the title of Duke of Transylvania between 1339 and 1342 but did not administer the province. Louis was of age when succeeded his father in 1342, and he inherited a centralized kingdom and a rich treasury from his father. He launched two campaigns to the Kingdom of Naples between 1347 and 1350 and his troops occupied large territories on both occasions, and Louis adopted the styles of Neapolitan sovereigns, but the Holy See never recognized his claim. Louiss arbitrary acts and atrocities committed by his mercenaries made his rule unpopular in Southern Italy and he withdrew all his troops from the Kingdom of Naples in 1351.
Like his father, Louis administered Hungary with absolute power and used royal prerogatives to grant privileges to his courtiers, however, he confirmed the liberties of the Hungarian nobility at the Diet of 1351, emphasizing the equal status of all noblemen. At the same Diet, he introduced a system and a uniform rent payable by the peasants to the landowners. He forced the Republic of Venice to renounce the Dalmatian towns in 1358 and he made several attempts to expand his suzerainty over the rulers of Bosnia, Moldavia and parts of Bulgaria and Serbia. His attempts to convert his pagan or Orthodox subjects to Catholicism made him unpopular in the Balkan states, Louis established a university in Pécs in 1367, but it was closed within two decades because he did not arrange for sufficient revenues to maintain it. Louis inherited Poland after his uncles death in 1370, since he had no sons, he wanted his subjects to acknowledge the right of his daughters to succeed him in both Hungary and Poland.
For this purpose, he issued the Privilege of Koszyce in 1374 spelling out the liberties of Polish noblemen, his rule remained unpopular in Poland. In Hungary, he authorized the free cities to delegate jurors to the high court hearing their cases. Suffering from a disease, Louis became even more religious during the last years of his life. At the beginning of the Western Schism, he acknowledged Urban VI as the legitimate pope, after the pope dethroned Joanna I of Naples and made Louiss distant cousin, Charles of Durazzo, king of Naples, Louis helped Charles occupy the kingdom. In Hungarian historiography, Louis was regarded for centuries as the most powerful Hungarian monarch who ruled over an empire whose shores were washed by three seas, born on 5 March 1326, Louis was the third son of Charles I of Hungary and his wife, Elizabeth of Poland. He was named for his fathers uncle, Bishop of Toulouse, the first-born son of his parents, died before Louis was born. Louis became his fathers heir after the death of his brother Ladislaus in 1329 and he had a liberal education by the standards of his age and learned French and Latin
United States dollar
The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States and its insular territories per the United States Constitution. It is divided into 100 smaller cent units, the circulating paper money consists of Federal Reserve Notes that are denominated in United States dollars. The U. S. dollar was originally commodity money of silver as enacted by the Coinage Act of 1792 which determined the dollar to be 371 4/16 grain pure or 416 grain standard silver, the currency most used in international transactions, it is the worlds primary reserve currency. Several countries use it as their currency, and in many others it is the de facto currency. Besides the United States, it is used as the sole currency in two British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean, the British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands. A few countries use the Federal Reserve Notes for paper money, while the country mints its own coins, or accepts U. S. coins that can be used as payment in U. S. dollars. After Nixon shock of 1971, USD became fiat currency, Article I, Section 8 of the U. S.
Constitution provides that the Congress has the power To coin money, laws implementing this power are currently codified at 31 U. S. C. Section 5112 prescribes the forms in which the United States dollars should be issued and these coins are both designated in Section 5112 as legal tender in payment of debts. The Sacagawea dollar is one example of the copper alloy dollar, the pure silver dollar is known as the American Silver Eagle. Section 5112 provides for the minting and issuance of other coins and these other coins are more fully described in Coins of the United States dollar. The Constitution provides that a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and that provision of the Constitution is made specific by Section 331 of Title 31 of the United States Code. The sums of money reported in the Statements are currently being expressed in U. S. dollars, the U. S. dollar may therefore be described as the unit of account of the United States. The word dollar is one of the words in the first paragraph of Section 9 of Article I of the Constitution, dollars is a reference to the Spanish milled dollar, a coin that had a monetary value of 8 Spanish units of currency, or reales.
In 1792 the U. S. Congress passed a Coinage Act, Section 20 of the act provided, That the money of account of the United States shall be expressed in dollars, or units. And that all accounts in the offices and all proceedings in the courts of the United States shall be kept and had in conformity to this regulation. In other words, this act designated the United States dollar as the unit of currency of the United States, unlike the Spanish milled dollar the U. S. dollar is based upon a decimal system of values. Both one-dollar coins and notes are produced today, although the form is significantly more common
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian I was King of the Romans from 1486 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 until his death, though he was never crowned by the Pope, as the journey to Rome was always too risky. He was the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and he ruled jointly with his father for the last ten years of his fathers reign, from c.1483 to 1493. Charles father Philip died in 1506, so Charles succeeded Maximilian as Holy Roman Emperor in 1519, Maximilian was born at Wiener Neustadt on 22 March 1459. His father, Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor, named him for an obscure saint whom Frederick believed had once warned him of imminent peril in a dream, in his infancy, he and his parents were besieged in Vienna by Albert of Austria. One source relates that, during the sieges bleakest days, the prince would wander about the castle garrison, begging the servants. The young prince was an excellent hunter, his hobby was the hunting for birds as a horse archer. The reigning duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, was the political opponent of Maximilians father Frederick III.
After the Siege of Neuss, he was successful, the wedding between Maximilian and Mary took place on the evening of 16 August 1477. Maximilians wife had inherited the large Burgundian domains in France and the Low Countries upon her fathers death in the Battle of Nancy on 5 January 1477. Already before his coronation as the King of the Romans in 1486, Maximilian decided to secure this distant and extensive Burgundian inheritance to his family, the House of Habsburg, at all costs. Maximilian undertook the defence of his wifes dominions from an attack by Louis XI and defeated the French forces at Guinegate, the wedding contract between Maximilian and Mary stipulated that only the children of bride and groom had a right to inherit from each, not the surviving parent. Mary tried to bypass this rule with a promise to transfer territories as a gift in case of her death, but her plans were confounded. After Marys death in an accident on 27 March 1482 near the Wijnendale Castle, Maximilians aim was now to secure the inheritance to one of his and Marys children.
Some of the Netherlander provinces were hostile to Maximilian, and they signed a treaty with Louis XI in 1482 that forced Maximilian to give up Franche-Comté and they openly rebelled twice in the period 1482–1492, attempting to regain the autonomy they had enjoined under Mary. Flemish rebels managed to capture Philip and even Maximilian himself, Maximilian continued to govern Marys remaining inheritance in the name of Philip the Handsome. After the regency ended and Charles VIII of France exchanged these two territories for Burgundy and Picardy in the Treaty of Senlis, thus a large part of the Netherlands stayed in the Habsburg patrimony. Maximilian was elected King of the Romans on 16 February 1486 in Frankfurt-am-Main at his fathers initiative and he became emperor of the Holy Roman Empire upon the death of his father in 1493. Much of Austria was under Hungarian rule when he took power, in 1490, Maximilian reconquered the territory and entered Vienna
Michael VIII Palaiologos
Michael VIII Palaiologos or Palaeologus reigned as Byzantine Emperor 1259–1282. Michael VIII was the founder of the Palaiologan dynasty that would rule the Byzantine Empire until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 and he recovered Constantinople from the Latin Empire in 1261 and transformed the Empire of Nicaea into a restored Byzantine Empire. Michael rose to distinction at an age, serving as the governor of the Thracian towns of Melnik. However, in the fall of 1253 Michael was accused before the Emperor John III Vatatzes of plotting against the throne, the only way Michael was allowed to prove his innocence was through trial by ordeal, holding a red-hot iron. Following the death of John Vatatzes, Michael crossed the Sangarios River with a few close friends, Michael was invested with the titles of megas doux and, in November 1258, of despotēs. On 1 January 1259 Michael VIII Palaiologos was proclaimed co-emperor at Nymphaion, in 1259 Michael VIII defeated the alliance of William II Villehardouin, Prince of Achaea, and Michael II Komnenos Doukas of Epirus at the Battle of Pelagonia.
According to Geanakoplos, n the period preceding the Nicene reconquest of Constantinople in 1261 no event was of greater importance than Michael Palaeologus victory at Pelagonia. Despite this brilliant victory, only one event could remove the stigma of usurper completely from the eyes of his subjects — recovery of Constantinople itself, in 1260 Michael personally led an unsuccessful attempt to capture the city. Rumors of reinforcements for the city forced Michael to sign a one-year truce with the Latin Emperor Baldwin II that August. Realizing that he needed a navy to effectively besiege Constantinople, Michael concluded the Treaty of Nymphaeum with Genoa in March of the following year, Genoese help proved to be unneeded when Michael VIIIs general Alexios Strategopoulos captured Constantinople from Baldwin II through treachery on 25 July 1261. News of the city first reached Michaels sister Eulogia, who awoke her brother at dawn. He was not convinced until a messenger arrived from Strategopoulos bearing the crown, Michael VIII entered the city on 15 August and had himself crowned together with his infant son Andronikos II Palaiologos.
Once in control of Constantinople, Michael abolished all Latin customs and reinstated most Byzantine ceremonies and institutions as they had existed before the Fourth Crusade. He repopulated the capital, building its population from 35,000 when he took power to 70,000 by the end of his reign, and restored damaged churches and public buildings. In December John IV, who had left behind at Nicaea, was blinded and relegated to a monastery. Although Michael tried to keep the blinding of John a secret and this ban was not lifted until six years on the appointment of patriarch Joseph I. In the words of Geanaklopos, With the fall of Constantinople, for the Greeks had now effectively reasserted their right to a church divorced from Rome. Thus it became the task of each of the six successive popes of Michaels reign to accomplish the return of the schismatics to the Roman fold, Michael approached Manfred of Sicily to achieve some kind of accord