The Palaiologos found in English-language literature as Palaeologus or Palaeologue, was the name of a Byzantine Greek family, which rose to nobility and produced the last ruling dynasty of the Byzantine Empire. Founded by the 11th-century general Nikephoros Palaiologos and his son George, the family rose to the highest aristocratic circles through its marriage into the Doukas and Komnenos dynasties. After the Fourth Crusade, members of the family fled to the neighboring Empire of Nicaea, where Michael VIII Palaiologos became co-emperor in 1259, recaptured Constantinople and was crowned sole emperor of the Byzantine Empire in 1261, his descendants ruled the empire until the Fall of Constantinople at the hands of the Ottoman Turks on May 29, 1453, becoming the longest-lived dynasty in Byzantine history. A branch of the Palaiologos became the feudal lords of Italy; this inheritance was incorporated by marriage to the Gonzaga family, rulers of the Duchy of Mantua, who are descendants of the Palaiologoi of Montferrat.
The origins of the Palaiologoi are unknown. Traditions sometimes tied them to the Italian city of Viterbo or to the Romans who immigrated east with Constantine the Great during the founding of his new capital. Both were fabrications created to help legitimize the dynasty; the family are first attested as local lords in Asia Minor Anatolikon, with Nikephoros Palaiologos rising to command over Mesopotamia under Michael VII Doukas. He supported the revolt of Nikephoros III Botaneiates, while his son George married Anna Doukaina and therefore supported his sister-in-law's husband Alexios Komnenos during his rise to power; as commander of Dyrrhachium, George faced the Norman Duke Robert Guiscard in battle. The Palaiologoi held military offices and further united their family to the Doukai and Komnenoi during the 12th century, they followed Theodore Laskaris to Nicaea and began to assume high-ranking political offices as well. Alexios Palaiologos, whose wife was a granddaughter of Zoe Doukaina and her husband Adrianos Komnenos.
Another Alexios Palaiologos married Irene Angelina, eldest daughter of Alexios III Angelos and Euphrosyne Doukaina Kamatera. The latter couple's daughter Theodora Palaiologina married her cousin Andronikos Palaiologos, descended from Zoe; the couple were the progenitors of the imperial dynasty. Their son was Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos. Michael VIII's son Andronikos II Palaiologos married Anne of Hungary and fathered Michael Palaiologos, sometimes numbered the ninth. Michael IX married Rita of Armenia, their son, the grandson of Andronikos II, was Andronikos III Palaiologos. Andronikos III married Anna of Savoy, their son was John V Palaiologos. John V married a daughter of his co-ruler John VI Kantakouzenos, their sons included Manuel II Palaiologos. Manuel II married Helena Dragaš, they were the parents of John VIII Palaiologos and Constantine XI Palaiologos, the last Byzantine emperor, as well as the despots of Morea Demetrios Palaiologos and Thomas Palaiologos. Demetrios, after giving Mehmed II a pretext to invade Morea, was kept from his throne and remained in captivity.
His daughter Helen was a member of the sultan's harem for a time. Thomas, in exile in Venice, sold the imperial title to Charles VIII of France, who however never used it for formal purposes. Thomas' daughter Zoe married Ivan III of Russia and, on rejoining the Orthodox faith, returned to her earlier name Sophia, her influence on the court curtailed the power of the boyars and led to the proclamation of the Grand Prince of Muscovy as the Tsar of all the Russias. Though Thomas's male-line descendants soon became extinct, his descent lives on through a daughter and the family of Castriota Dukes of san Pietro di Galatina in south-Italian aristocracy. Descent from Thomas to many of the current and former ruling houses of Europe comes from his descendant Charles Marie Raymond d'Arenberg, his daughter and Duchess Leopoldine d'Arenberg, married Joseph Nicholas of Windisch-Graetz, chamberlain to Archduchess Marie Antoinette of Austria. The Dukes in Bavaria descend from this line, as do the ruling houses of Belgium and Liechtenstein, the former ruling houses of Portugal and Romania.
Other branches of the Palaiologoi remained in Ottoman Constantinople, prospered in the immediate post-conquest period. In the decades after 1453, Ottoman tax registers show a consortium of noble Greeks co-operating to bid for the lucrative tax farming district including Constantinople and the ports of western Anatolia; this group included names like "Palologoz of Kassandros" and "Manuel Palologoz". This group stood in close contact with two powerful viziers, Mesih Pasha and Hass Murad Pasha, both of whom were members of the Palaiologos family and had converted to Islam after the fall of Constantinople, as well as with other converted scions of Byzantine and Balkan aristocratic families like Mahmud Pasha Angelović, forming what the Ottomanist Halil İnalcık termed a "Greek faction" at the court of Mehmed II. Michael VIII Palaiologos Andronikos II Palaiologos, son of Michael VIII Michael IX Palaiologos, co-emperor, son of Andronikos II Andronikos III Palaiologos, son of Michael IX John V Palaiologos, son of
The Ottoman Empire known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire; the Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror. During the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was a multinational, multilingual empire controlling most of Southeast Europe, parts of Central Europe, Western Asia, parts of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, North Africa and the Horn of Africa. At the beginning of the 17th century, the empire contained numerous vassal states; some of these were absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.
With Constantinople as its capital and control of lands around the Mediterranean basin, the Ottoman Empire was at the centre of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries. While the empire was once thought to have entered a period of decline following the death of Suleiman the Magnificent, this view is no longer supported by the majority of academic historians; the empire continued to maintain a flexible and strong economy and military throughout the 17th and much of the 18th century. However, during a long period of peace from 1740 to 1768, the Ottoman military system fell behind that of their European rivals, the Habsburg and Russian empires; the Ottomans suffered severe military defeats in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, which prompted them to initiate a comprehensive process of reform and modernisation known as the Tanzimat. Thus, over the course of the 19th century, the Ottoman state became vastly more powerful and organised, despite suffering further territorial losses in the Balkans, where a number of new states emerged.
The empire allied with Germany in the early 20th century, hoping to escape from the diplomatic isolation which had contributed to its recent territorial losses, thus joined World War I on the side of the Central Powers. While the Empire was able to hold its own during the conflict, it was struggling with internal dissent with the Arab Revolt in its Arabian holdings. During this time, atrocities were committed by the Young Turk government against the Armenians and Pontic Greeks; the Empire's defeat and the occupation of part of its territory by the Allied Powers in the aftermath of World War I resulted in its partitioning and the loss of its Middle Eastern territories, which were divided between the United Kingdom and France. The successful Turkish War of Independence against the occupying Allies led to the emergence of the Republic of Turkey in the Anatolian heartland and the abolition of the Ottoman monarchy; the word Ottoman is a historical anglicisation of the name of Osman I, the founder of the Empire and of the ruling House of Osman.
Osman's name in turn was the Turkish form of the Arabic name ʿUthmān. In Ottoman Turkish, the empire was referred to as Devlet-i ʿAlīye-yi ʿOsmānīye, or alternatively ʿOsmānlı Devleti. In Modern Turkish, it is known as Osmanlı Devleti; the Turkish word for "Ottoman" referred to the tribal followers of Osman in the fourteenth century, subsequently came to be used to refer to the empire's military-administrative elite. In contrast, the term "Turk" was used to refer to the Anatolian peasant and tribal population, was seen as a disparaging term when applied to urban, educated individuals. In the early modern period, an educated urban-dwelling Turkish-speaker, not a member of the military-administrative class would refer to himself neither as an Osmanlı nor as a Türk, but rather as a Rūmī, or "Roman", meaning an inhabitant of the territory of the former Byzantine Empire in the Balkans and Anatolia; the term Rūmī was used to refer to Turkish-speakers by the other Muslim peoples of the empire and beyond.
In Western Europe, the two names "Ottoman Empire" and "Turkey" were used interchangeably, with "Turkey" being favoured both in formal and informal situations. This dichotomy was ended in 1920–23, when the newly established Ankara-based Turkish government chose Turkey as the sole official name. Most scholarly historians avoid the terms "Turkey", "Turks", "Turkish" when referring to the Ottomans, due to the empire's multinational character; as the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum declined in the 13th century, Anatolia was divided into a patchwork of independent Turkish principalities known as the Anatolian Beyliks. One of these beyliks, in the region of Bithynia on the frontier of the Byzantine Empire, was led by the Turkish tribal leader Osman I, a figure of obscure origins from whom the name Ottoman is derived. Osman's early followers consisted both of Turkish tribal groups and Byzantine renegades, many but not all converts to Islam. Osman extended the control of his principality by conquering Byzantine towns along the Sakarya River.
It is not well understood how the early Ottomans came to dominate their
Andronikos II Palaiologos
Andronikos II Palaiologos Latinized as Andronicus II Palaeologus, reigned as Byzantine Emperor from 1282 to 1328. Andronikos' reign was marked by the beginning of the decline of the Byzantine Empire. During his reign, the Turks conquered most of the Western Anatolian territories of the Empire and, during the last years of his reign, he had to fight his grandson Andronikos in the First Palaiologan Civil War; the civil war ended in Andronikos II's forced abdication in 1328 after which he retired to a monastery. Andronikos II was born Andronikos Doukas Angelos Komnenos Palaiologos at Nicaea, he was the eldest surviving son of Michael VIII Palaiologos and Theodora Palaiologina, grandniece of John III Doukas Vatatzes. Andronikos was acclaimed co-emperor in 1261, after his father Michael VIII recovered Constantinople from the Latin Empire, but he was not crowned until 1272. Sole emperor from 1282, Andronikos II repudiated his father's unpopular Church union with the Papacy, which he had been forced to support while his father was still alive, but he was unable to resolve the related schism within the Orthodox clergy until 1310.
Andronikos II was plagued by economic difficulties. During his reign the value of the Byzantine hyperpyron depreciated precipitously, while the state treasury accumulated less than one seventh the revenue that it had previously. Seeking to increase revenue and reduce expenses, Andronikos II raised taxes, reduced tax exemptions, dismantled the Byzantine fleet in 1285, thereby making the Empire dependent on the rival republics of Venice and Genoa. In 1291, he hired 50–60 Genoese ships, but the Byzantine weakness resulting from the lack of a navy became painfully apparent in the two wars with Venice in 1296–1302 and 1306–10. In 1320, he tried to resurrect the navy by constructing 20 galleys, but failed. Andronikos II Palaiologos sought to resolve some of the problems facing the Byzantine Empire through diplomacy. After the death of his first wife Anne of Hungary, he married Yolanda of Montferrat, putting an end to the Montferrat claim to the Kingdom of Thessalonica. Andronikos II attempted to marry off his son and co-emperor Michael IX Palaiologos to the Latin Empress Catherine I of Courtenay, thus seeking to eliminate Western agitation for a restoration of the Latin Empire.
Another marriage alliance attempted to resolve the potential conflict with Serbia in Macedonia, as Andronikos II married off his five-year-old daughter Simonis to King Stefan Milutin in 1298. In spite of the resolution of problems in Europe, Andronikos II was faced with the collapse of the Byzantine frontier in Asia Minor, despite the successful, but short, governorships of Alexios Philanthropenos and John Tarchaneiotes; the successful military victories in Asia Minor by Alexios Philanthropenos and John Tarchaneiotes against the Turks were dependent on a considerable military contingent of Cretan escapees, or exiles from Venetian-occupied Crete, headed by Hortatzis, whom Michael VIII had repatriated to Byzantium through a treaty agreement with the Venetians ratified in 1277. Andronikos II had resettled those Cretans in the region of Meander river, the southeastern Asia Minor frontier of Byzantium with the Turks. After the failure of the co-emperor Michael IX to stem the Turkish advance in Asia Minor in 1302 and the disastrous Battle of Bapheus, the Byzantine government hired the Catalan Company of Almogavars led by Roger de Flor to clear Byzantine Asia Minor of the enemy.
In spite of some successes, the Catalans were unable to secure lasting gains. Being more ruthless and savage than the enemy they intended to subdue they quarreled with Michael IX, openly turned on their Byzantine employers after the murder of Roger de Flor in 1305. There they conquered the Duchy of Thebes; the Turks continued to penetrate the Byzantine possessions, Prusa fell in 1326. By the end of Andronikos II's reign, much of Bithynia was in the hands of the Ottoman Turks of Osman I and his son and heir Orhan. Karasids conquered Mysia-region with Paleokastron after 1296, Germiyan conquered Simav in 1328, Saruhan captured Magnesia in 1313, Aydinids captured Smyrna in 1310; the Empire's problems were exploited by Theodore Svetoslav of Bulgaria, who defeated Michael IX and conquered much of northeastern Thrace in c. 1305–07. The conflict ended with yet another dynastic marriage, between Michael IX's daughter Theodora and the Bulgarian emperor; the dissolute behavior of Michael IX's son Andronikos III Palaiologos led to a rift in the family, after Michael IX's death in 1320, Andronikos II disowned his grandson, prompting a civil war that raged, with interruptions, until 1328.
The conflict precipitated Bulgarian involvement, Michael Asen III of Bulgaria attempted to capture Andronikos II under the guise of sending him military support. In 1328 Andronikos III entered Constantinople in triumph and Andronikos II was forced to abdicate. Andronikos II died as a monk at Constantinople in 1332. On 8 November 1273 Andronikos II married as his first wife Anna of Hungary, daughter of Stephen V of Hungary and Elizabeth the Cuman, with whom he had two sons: Michael IX Palaiologos. Constantine Palaiologos, despotes. Constantine was forced to become a monk by his nephew Andronikos III Palaiologos. Anna died in 1281, in 1284 Andronikos married Yolanda, a daughter of William VII of Montferrat, with whom he had: John Palaiologos (c. 1286–13
Byzantine civil war of 1341–1347
The Byzantine civil war of 1341–1347, sometimes referred to as the Second Palaiologan Civil War, was a conflict that broke out in the Byzantine Empire after the death of Andronikos III Palaiologos over the guardianship of his nine-year-old son and heir, John V Palaiologos. It pitted on the one hand Andronikos III's chief minister, John VI Kantakouzenos, on the other a regency headed by the Empress-Dowager Anna of Savoy, the Patriarch of Constantinople John XIV Kalekas, the megas doux Alexios Apokaukos; the war polarized Byzantine society along class lines, with the aristocracy backing Kantakouzenos and the lower and middle classes supporting the regency. To a lesser extent, the conflict acquired religious overtones; as the chief aide and closest friend of Emperor Andronikos III, Kantakouzenos became regent for the underage John V upon Andronikos's death in June 1341. While Kantakouzenos was absent from Constantinople in September the same year, a coup d'état led by Alexios Apokaukos and the Patriarch John XIV secured the support of Empress Anna and established a new regency.
In response, Kantakouzenos' army and supporters proclaimed him co-emperor in October, cementing the rift between himself and the new regency. The split escalated into armed conflict. During the first years of the war, forces of the regency prevailed. In the wake of several anti-aristocratic uprisings, most notably that of the Zealots in Thessalonica, a majority of the cities in Thrace and Macedonia came under regency control. With assistance from Stefan Dušan of Serbia and Umur Beg of Aydin, Kantakouzenos reversed these gains. By 1345, despite Dušan's defection to the opposition and the withdrawal of Umur, Kantakouzenos retained the upper hand through the assistance of Orhan, ruler of the Ottoman emirate; the June 1345 murder of megas doux Apokaukos, the regency's chief administrator, dealt the regency a severe blow. Formally crowned as emperor in Adrianople in 1346, Kantakouzenos entered Constantinople on 3 February 1347. By agreement, he was to rule for ten years as the senior emperor and regent for John V, until the boy came of age and ruled alongside him.
Despite this apparent victory, subsequent resumption of the civil war forced John VI Kantakouzenos to abdicate and retire to become a monk in 1354. The consequences of the prolonged conflict proved disastrous for the Empire, which had regained a measure of stability under Andronikos III. Seven years of warfare, the presence of marauding armies, social turmoil, the advent of the Black Death devastated Byzantium and reduced it to a rump state; the conflict allowed Dušan to conquer Albania and most of Macedonia, where he established the Serbian Empire. The Bulgarian Empire acquired territory north of the Evros river. In 1341, the Byzantine Empire was in a state of turmoil, despite the restoration of the Empire's capital to Constantinople and the recovery of a measure of its former power by Michael VIII Palaiologos, the policies implemented during his reign had exhausted the state's resources, the Empire's strength waned under his successor, Andronikos II Palaiologos. During Andronikos II's long reign, the remaining Byzantine possessions in Asia Minor fell to the advancing Turks, most notably the newly established Ottoman emirate.
This caused a flood of refugees into Byzantium's European provinces, while at the same time the Catalan Company wrought havoc in the imperial domains. Taxes rose to finance tributes to the Empire's enemies. A combination of these failures and personal ambition moved the Emperor's grandson and heir, the young Andronikos III Palaiologos, to revolt. Supported by a group of young aristocrats led by John Kantakouzenos and Syrgiannes Palaiologos, Andronikos III deposed his grandfather after a series of conflicts during the 1320s. Although successful in removing the old Emperor from power, the war did not augur well for the future, as the Empire's neighbours—the Serbs, Turks and Venetians—took advantage of Byzantine infighting to gain territory or expand their influence within the Empire; the only son of a former governor of the Byzantine holdings in the Morea, John Kantakouzenos was related to the Palaiologoi through his mother. He inherited vast estates in Macedonia and Thessaly, became a childhood friend and the closest and most trusted advisor of Andronikos III.
During Andronikos III's reign, John Kantakouzenos acted as his chief minister, holding the office of megas domestikos, commander-in-chief of the Byzantine army. The relationship between the two remained close, in 1330, when the heirless Andronikos III fell ill he insisted that Kantakouzenos be proclaimed Emperor or regent after his death, their ties were further strengthened in the spring of 1341, when the latter's eldest son, Matthew Kantakouzenos, wed Irene Palaiologina, a cousin of the Emperor. Unlike Andronikos II, who had disbanded the Byzantine army and navy, who favoured monks and intellectuals, Andronikos III was an energetic ruler who led his forces in military campaigns. In 1329, his first campaign against the Ottomans resulted in a disastrous defeat at the Battle of Pelekanos, after which the Byzantine position in Bithynia collapsed. Subsequent sorties into the Balkans were successful in shoring up Andronikos' tottering realm. Thessaly and the Despotate of Epirus, two territories separated from the Empire after the Fourth Crusade, were restored to imperial rule without bloodshed in 1328 and 1337 respectively.
Andronikos III rebuilt a modest fleet, which allowed him to recover the ri
Harem known as zenana in the Indian subcontinent, properly refers to domestic spaces that are reserved for the women of the house in a Muslim family. This private space has been traditionally understood as serving the purposes of maintaining the modesty and protection of women. A harem may house a man's wife — or wives and concubines, as in royal harems of the past — their pre-pubescent male children, unmarried daughters, female domestic workers, other unmarried female relatives. In former times some harems were guarded by eunuchs; the structure of the harem and the extent of monogamy or polygamy has varied depending on the family's personalities, socio-economic status, local customs. Similar institutions have been common in other Mediterranean and Middle Eastern civilizations among royal and upper-class families, the term is sometimes used in other contexts. Although the institution has experienced a sharp decline in the modern era due to a rise in education and economic opportunities for women, as well as Western influences, seclusion of women is still practiced in some parts of the world, such as rural Afghanistan and conservative states of the Gulf region.
In the West, Orientalist imaginary conceptions of the harem as a hidden world of sexual subjugation where numerous women lounged in suggestive poses have influenced many paintings, stage productions and literary works. Some earlier European Renaissance paintings dating to the 16th century portray the women of the Ottoman harem as individuals of status and political significance. In many periods of Islamic history, women in the harem exercised various degrees of political power, such as the Sultanate of Women in the Ottoman Empire; the word has been recorded in the English language since early 17th century. It comes from the Arabic ḥarīm, which can mean "a sacred inviolable place", "harem" or "female members of the family". In English the term harem can mean "the wives of a polygamous man." The triliteral Ḥ-R-M appears in other terms related the notion of interdiction such as haram, ihram and al-Ḥaram al-Šarīf. In Turkish of the Ottoman era, the harem, i.e. the part of the house reserved for women was called haremlık, while the space open for men was known as selamlık.
The practice of female seclusion is not exclusive to Islam, but the English word harem denotes the domestic space reserved for women in Muslim households. Some scholars have used the term to refer to polygynous royal households throughout history. Leila Ahmed describes the ideal of seclusion as a "a man's right to keep his women concealed—invisible to other men." Ahmed identifies the practice of seclusion as a social ideal and one of the major factors that shaped the lives of women in the Mediterranean Middle East. For example, contemporary sources from the Byzantine Empire describe the social mores that governed women's lives. Women were not supposed to be seen in public, they were guarded by eunuchs and could only leave the home "veiled and suitably chaperoned." Some of these customs were borrowed from the Persians, but Greek society influenced the development of patriarchal tradition. The ideal of seclusion was not realized as social reality; this was in part because working class women held jobs that required interaction with men.
In the Byzantine empire, the ideal of gender segregation created economic opportunities for women as midwives, bath attendants and artisans, since it was considered inappropriate for men to attend to women's needs. At times women engaged in other commercial activities. Historical records shows that the women of 14th-century Mamluk Cairo visited public events alongside men, despite objections of religious scholars; the practice of gender segregation in Islam was influenced by an interplay of religion and politics. Female seclusion has signaled social and economic prestige; the norms of female seclusion spread beyond the elites, but the practice remained characteristic of upper and middle classes, for whom the financial ability to allow one's wife to remain at home was a mark of high status. In some regions, such as the Arabian peninsula, seclusion of women was practiced by poor families at the cost of great hardship, but it was economically unrealistic for the lower classes. Where historical evidence is available, it indicates that the harem was much more to be monogamous.
For example, in late Ottoman Istanbul, only 2.29 percent of married men were polygynous, with the average number of wives being 2.08. In some regions, like Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, prevalence of women in agricultural work leads to wider practice of polygyny, but makes seclusion impractical. In contrast, in Eurasian and North African rural communities that rely on male-dominated plough farming, seclusion is economically possible but polygyny is undesirable; this indicates that the fundamental characteristic of the harem is seclusion of women rather than polygyny. The idea of the harem or seclusion of women did not originate with Islam; the practice of secluding women was common to many Ancient Near East communities where polygamy was permitted. In pre-Islamic Assyria and Egypt, most royal courts had a harem, where the ruler’s wives and concubines lived with female attendants, eunuchs. Encyclopædia Iranica uses the term harem to describe the practices of the ancient Near East. In Assyria, rules of harem etiquette were stipulated by
Stefan Uroš IV Dušan, known as Dušan the Mighty, was the King of Serbia from 8 September 1331 and Emperor and autocrat of the Serbs, Bulgarians and Albanians from 16 April 1346 until his death. Dušan conquered a large part of southeast Europe, becoming one of the most powerful monarchs of the era. Under Dušan's rule, Serbia was the major power in the Balkans, a multi-lingual empire that stretched from the Danube in the north to the Gulf of Corynth in the south, with its capital in Skopje, he enacted the constitution of the Serbian Empire, known as Dušan's Code the most important literary work of medieval Serbia. Dušan promoted the Serbian Church from an archbishopric to a Patriarchate, finished the construction of the Visoki Dečani monastery, founded the Saint Archangels Monastery, among others. Under his rule Serbia reached its territorial, political and cultural peak. Dušan died in 1355, seen as the end of resistance against the advancing Ottoman Empire and the subsequent fall of the Eastern Orthodox Church in the region.
In 1314, Serbian King Stefan Milutin quarreled with Stefan Dečanski. Milutin sent Dečanski to Constantinople to have him blinded, though he was never blinded. Dečanski wrote to Danilo, the Bishop of Hum. Danilo wrote to Archbishop Nicodemus of Serbia, who spoke with Milutin and persuaded him to recall his son. In 1320 Dečanski was permitted to return to Serbia and was given the appanage of'Budimlje', while his half-brother, Stefan Konstantin, held the province of Zeta. Milutin became ill and died on 29 October 1321, Konstantin was crowned king. Civil war erupted as Dečanski and his cousin, Stefan Vladislav II, claimed the throne. Konstantin refused to submit to Dečanski, who invaded Zeta and killing Konstantin. Dečanski was crowned king on 6 January 1322 by Nicodemus, his son, Stefan Dušan, was crowned “young king”. Dečanski granted Zeta to Dušan, indicating him as the intended heir. In the meantime, Vladislav II mobilized local support from Rudnik, the former appanage of his father, Stefan Dragutin.
Vladislav proclaimed himself king, he was supported by the Hungarians, consolidating control over his lands and preparing for battle with Dečanski. As was the case with their fathers, Serbia was divided by the two independent rulers. In 1323, war broke out between Vladislav. Rudnik had fallen to Dečanski by the end of 1323, Vladislav appeared to have fled north. Vladislav was defeated in battle in late 1324 and fled to Hungary, leaving the Serbian throne to Dečanski as undisputed "king of All Serbian and Maritime lands". Dušan was the eldest son of King Stefan Dečanski and Theodora Smilets, the daughter of emperor Smilets of Bulgaria, he was born circa 1308 in Serbia, but with the exile of his father in 1314, the family lived in Constantinople until 1320, when his father was allowed to return. In Constantinople he learned Greek, gained an understanding of Byzantine life and culture, became acquainted with the Byzantine Empire, he was more a soldier than a diplomat. Dečanski appointed his nephew Ivan Stephen to the throne of Bulgaria in August 1330.
Dečanski's decision not to attack the Byzantines after the victory at Velbazhd, when he had an opportunity, resulted in the alienation of many nobles, who sought to expand to the south. By January or February 1331, Dušan was quarreling with his father pressured by the nobility. According to contemporary pro-Dušan sources, advisors turned Dečanski against his son, he decided to seize and exclude Dušan from his inheritance. Dečanski sent an army into Zeta against his son. A brief period of anarchy took place in parts of Serbia before father and son concluded peace in April 1331. Three months Dečanski ordered Dušan to meet him. Dušan feared for his life and his advisors persuaded him to resist, so Dušan marched from Skadar to Nerodimlje, where he besieged his father. Dečanski fled, Dušan captured the treasury and family, he pursued his father, catching up with him at Petrić. On 21 August 1331 Dečanski surrendered, on the advice or insistence of Dušan's advisors, he was imprisoned. Dušan was crowned King of All Maritime lands in the first week of September.
The civil war had prevented Serbia from aiding Ivan Stephen and Anna Neda in Bulgaria, who were deposed in March 1331, taking refuge in the mountains. Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria feared Serbia, as the situation there had settled, he sought peace with Dušan; as Dušan wanted to move against richer Byzantium, the two made peace and an alliance in December 1331, accepting Ivan Alexander as ruler. It was sealed with the marriage of Dušan and Helena of Bulgaria, Empress of Serbia, the sister of Ivan Alexander. Contemporary writers described Dušan as unusually tall and strong, "the tallest man of his time" handsome, a rare leader full of dynamism, quick intelligence, strength, bearing "a kingly presence". According to the contemporary depictions, he had brown eyes. Serbia made some raids into the Macedonia region in late 1331, but a planned major attack on Byzantium was delayed as Dušan had to suppress revolts in Zeta in 1332. Dušan's ingratitude toward those
Mystras or Mistras known as Myzithras in the Chronicle of the Morea, is a fortified town and a former municipality in Laconia, Greece. Situated on Mt. Taygetos, near ancient Sparta, it served as the capital of the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea in the 14th and 15th centuries, experiencing a period of prosperity and cultural flowering; the site remained inhabited throughout the Ottoman period, when it was mistaken by Western travellers for ancient Sparta. In the 1830s, it was abandoned and the new town of Sparti was built eight kilometres to the east. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Sparti, of which it is a municipal unit; the municipal unit has an area of 131.948 km2. In late 1248, William II of Villehardouin, ruler of the Frankish Principality of Achaea, captured Monemvasia, the last remaining Byzantine outpost on the Morea; this success was soon followed by the submission of the restive Tsakones on Mount Parnon, the Slavic Melingoi tribe of Mount Taygetos, the inhabitants of the Mani peninsula, thereby extending his sway over all of Laconia and completing the conquest of the peninsula, which had begun in 1205, in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade.
Laconia was incorporated into the princely domain, the young prince passed the winter of 1248–49 there, touring the country and selecting sites for new fortifications such as Grand Magne and Leuktron. In September 1259, William of Villehardouin was defeated and captured, along with many of his nobles, at the Battle of Pelagonia, by the forces of the Nicaean emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos. Two years the Nicaeans recaptured Constantinople, putting an end to the Latin Empire and restoring the Byzantine Empire. At this point, the emperor concluded an agreement with the captive prince: William and his men would be set free in exchange for an oath of fealty, for the cession of Monemvasia, Grand Magne, Mystras; the handover was effected in 1262, henceforth Mystras was the seat of the governor of the Byzantine territories in the Morea. This governor was changed every year, but after 1308 they started being appointed for longer terms. On his return to the Morea, William of Villehardouin renounced his oath to the emperor, warfare broke out between Byzantines and Franks.
The first Byzantine attempts to subdue the Principality of Achaea were beaten back in the battles of Prinitsa and Makryplagi, but the Byzantines were ensconced in Laconia. Warfare became endemic, the Byzantines pushed the Franks back; the insecurity engendered by the raids and counter-raids caused the inhabitants of Lacedaemon to abandon their exposed city and settle at Mystras, in a new town built under the shadow of the fortress. From 1348 until its surrender to the Ottoman Turks on 31 May 1460, Mystras was the residence of a Despot who ruled over the Byzantine Morea, known as the "Despotate of the Morea"; this was the city's golden age. The frescos in the Peribleptos Monastery Church, dating between 1348 and 1380, are a rare surviving late Byzantine cycle, crucial for the understanding of Byzantine art. Mystras was the last centre of Byzantine scholarship, he and other scholars based in Mystras influenced the Italian Renaissance after he accompanied the emperor John VIII Palaiologos to Florence in 1439.
The last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI Palaiologos, was despot at Mystras before he came to the throne. Demetrius Palaeologus the last despot of Morea, surrendered the city to the Ottoman emperor Mehmed II in 1460; as Mezistre, it was the seat of a Turkish sanjak. The Venetians occupied it from 1687 to 1715, but otherwise the Ottomans held it until 1821 and the beginning of the Greek War of Independence, it was abandoned under King Otto for the newly rebuilt town of Sparta. In 1989 the ruins, including the fortress, palace and monasteries, were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mystras is situated on the slopes of Taygetos Mountain; the archaeological site stands above the city of Sparta. The greenery surrounding the area is composed by pine trees and cypresses; some small rivers and lakes are found in the region. The municipal unit Mystras is subdivided into the following communities: Agia Eirini Agios Ioannis Lakedaimonas Anavryti Barsinikos Longastra Magoula Mystras Paroreio Soustianoi TrypiThe municipality seat of Mystras is in Magoula.
Gemistus Pletho and scholar Manuel Kantakouzenos, first Despot of Morea John VI Kantakouzenos Manuel Kantakouzenos Gemistus Pletho Theodora Tocco Cleofe Malatesta 1. Main entrance. Metropolis. Evangelistria Church. Church of Saints Theodores. Hodigitria-Afendiko. Monemvasia Gate. Church of Saint Nicholas. Despot's square. Nauplia Gate. Upper entrance to the citadel. Church of Hagia Sophia. Small Palace. Citadel. Mavroporta. Pantanassa. Church of the Taxiarchs. House of John Phrangopoulos. Peribleptos Monastery. Church of Saint George. Krevatas House. Marmara. Aï-Yannakis. Laskaris' House. Church of Saint Christopher. Ruins. Church of Saint Kyriaki. List of settlements in Laconia Bon, Antoine. La Morée franque. Recherches historiques, topographiques et archéologiques sur la p