John VIII Palaiologos
John VIII Palaiologos or Palaeologus was the penultimate reigning Byzantine Emperor, ruling from 1425 to 1448. John VIII Palaiologos was the eldest son of Manuel II Palaiologos and Helena Dragaš, the daughter of the Serbian prince Constantine Dragaš, he was associated as co-emperor with his father before 1416 and became sole emperor in 1425. In June 1422, John VIII Palaiologos supervised the defense of Constantinople during a siege by Murad II, but had to accept the loss of Thessalonica, which his brother Andronikos had given to Venice in 1423. To secure protection against the Ottomans, he visited Pope Eugene IV and consented to the union of the Greek and Roman churches; the Union was ratified at the Council of Florence in 1439, which John attended with 700 followers including Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople and George Gemistos Plethon, a Neoplatonist philosopher influential among the academics of Italy. The Union failed due to opposition in Constantinople, but through his prudent conduct towards the Ottoman Empire he succeeded in holding possession of the city.
John VIII Palaiologos named his brother Constantine XI, who had served as regent in Constantinople in 1437–1439, as his successor. Despite the machinations of his younger brother Demetrios Palaiologos his mother Helena was able to secure Constantine XI's succession in 1448. John VIII died at Constantinople in 1448, becoming the last reigning Byzantine emperor to die of natural causes. John VIII Palaiologos was married three times, his first marriage was in 1414 to Anna of Moscow, daughter of Grand Prince Basil I of Moscow and Sophia of Lithuania. She died in August 1417 of plague; the second marriage, arranged by his father Manuel II and Pope Martin V, was to Sophia of Montferrat in 1421. She was a daughter of Theodore II, Marquess of Montferrat, his second wife Joanna of Bar. Joanna was a daughter of Robert I, Duke of Bar, Marie de Valois, her maternal grandparents were John II of Bonne of Bohemia. His third marriage, arranged by the future cardinal, was to Maria of Trebizond in 1427, she was a daughter of Alexios IV of Theodora Kantakouzene.
She died in the winter of 1439 from plague. None of the marriages produced any children. John was the last Roman Emperor to both have an Empress consort and multiple consorts as the wives of his brother and only successor, Constantine XI Palaiologos, had died before he became emperor in 1449. John VIII Palaiologos was famously depicted by several painters on the occasion of his visit to Italy; the most famous of his portraits is the one by Benozzo Gozzoli, on the southern wall of the Magi Chapel, at the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, in Florence. According to some interpretations, John VIII would be portrayed in Piero della Francesca's Flagellation. A portrait of John appears in a manuscript at the Saint Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai Peninsula. List of Byzantine emperors Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, 1991; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "John VI or VII". Encyclopædia Britannica. 15. Cambridge University Press. P. 439. Harris, The End of Byzantium.
New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-300-11786-8 Kolditz, Johannes VIII. Palaiologos und das Konzil von Ferrara-Florenz. 2 Vol. Stuttgart: Anton Hiersemann Verlag 2013-2014, ISBN 978-3-7772-1319-4. Lazaris, Stavros, "L’empereur Jean VIII Paléologue vu par Pisanello lors du concile de Ferrare – Florence", Byzantinische Forschungen, 29, 2007, p. 293-324 Nicol, Donald M.. The Last Centuries of Byzantium, 1261-1453. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
The True Cross is the name for physical remnants which, by a Christian Church tradition, are said to be from the cross upon which Jesus was crucified. According to post-Nicene historians such as Socrates of Constantinople, the Empress Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome, travelled to the Holy Land in 326–328, founding churches and establishing relief agencies for the poor. Historians Gelasius of Caesarea and Rufinus claimed that she discovered the hiding place of three crosses that were believed to have been used at the crucifixion of Jesus and of two thieves, St. Dismas and Gestas, executed with him. Many churches possess fragmentary remains that are by tradition alleged to be those of the True Cross, their authenticity is not accepted by all Christians Protestants. The acceptance and belief of that part of the tradition that pertains to the early Christian Church is restricted to the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, the Church of the East.
The medieval legends that developed concerning the provenance of the True Cross differ between Catholic and Orthodox tradition. In the Latin-speaking traditions of Western Europe, the story of the pre-Christian origins of the True Cross was well established by the 13th century when, in 1260, it was recorded by Jacopo de Voragine, Bishop of Genoa, in the Golden Legend; the Golden Legend contains several versions of the origin of the True Cross. In The Life of Adam, Voragine writes that the True Cross came from three trees which grew from three seeds from the "Tree of Mercy" which Seth collected and planted in the mouth of Adam's corpse. In another account contained in Of the invention of the Holy Cross, first of this word invention, Voragine writes that the True Cross came from a tree that grew from part of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, or "the tree that Adam ate of", that Seth planted on Adam's grave where it "endured there unto the time of Solomon". After many centuries, the tree was cut down and the wood used to build a bridge over which the Queen of Sheba passed, on her journey to meet King Solomon.
So struck was she by the portent contained in the timber of the bridge that she fell on her knees and revered it. On her visit to Solomon, she told him that a piece of wood from the bridge would bring about the replacement of God's covenant with the Jewish people by a new order. Solomon, fearing the eventual destruction of his people, had the timber buried. After fourteen generations, the wood taken from the bridge was fashioned into the Cross used to crucify Christ. Voragine goes on to describe its finding by Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine. In the late Middle Ages and Early Renaissance, there was a wide general acceptance of the origin of the True Cross and its history preceding the crucifixion of Jesus, as recorded by Voragine; this general acceptance is confirmed by the numerous artworks that depict this subject, culminating in one of the most famous fresco cycles of the Renaissance, the Legend of the True Cross by Piero della Francesca, painted on the walls of the chancel of the Church of San Francesco in Arezzo between 1452 and 1466, in which he reproduces faithfully the traditional episodes of the story as recorded in The Golden Legend.
The Golden Legend and many of its sources developed after the East-West Schism of 1054, thus is unknown in the Greek- or Syriac-speaking worlds. The above pre-crucifixion history, therefore, is not to be found in Eastern Christianity. According to the sacred tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church the True Cross was made from three different types of wood: cedar and cypress; this is an allusion to Isaiah 60:13: "The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, the box together to beautify the place of my sanctuary, I will make the place of my feet glorious." The link between this verse and the Crucifixion lies in the words "the place of my feet", interpreted as referring to the suppedāneum on which Jesus' feet were nailed.. There is a tradition that the three trees from which the True Cross was constructed grew together in one spot. A traditional Orthodox icon depicts the nephew of Abraham, watering the trees. According to tradition, these trees were used to construct the Temple in Jerusalem.
During Herod's reconstruction of the Temple, the wood from these trees was removed from the Temple and discarded being used to construct the cross on which Jesus was crucified. According to the 1955 Roman Catholic Marian Missal, Helena went to Jerusalem to search for the True Cross and found it September 14, 320. In the eighth century, the feast of the Finding was transferred to May 3, September 14 became the celebration of the "Exaltation of the Cross", the commemoration of a victory over the Persians by Heraclius, as a result of which the relic was returned to Jerusalem. Eusebius of Caesarea who, through his Life of Constantine, is the earliest and main historical source on the rediscovery of the Tomb of Jesus and the construction of the first church at the site, does not mention the finding of the True Cross. In his Life of Const
The Hexamilion wall was a defensive wall constructed across the Isthmus of Corinth, guarding the only land route into the Peloponnese peninsula from mainland Greece. The Hexamilion stands at the end of a long series of attempts to fortify the Isthmus stretching back to the Mycenean period. Many of the Peloponnesian cities wanted to pull back and fortify the Isthmus instead of making a stand at Thermopylae when Xerxes invaded in 480 BC; the issue arose again before the Battle of Salamis. Although the concept of a fortress Peloponnese was appealing, fortification of the Isthmus was of no utility without control of the ocean, as Herodotos notes; the wall was constructed in the period between 408 AD and 450 AD, in the reign of Theodosius II during the time of the great Barbarian invasions into the Roman Empire. The attack of Alaric on Greece in 396 AD or the sack of Rome in 410 AD by the Visigoths may have motivated the construction, which included towers, sea bastions, at minimum one fortress; the one known fortress contained two gates, of which the northern gate functioned as the formal entrance to the Peloponessos.
The wall was constructed with a mortar core faced with squared stones. It is not certain how long it took to complete, but the importance given to the task is apparent from the scale of the construction; every structure in the region was cannibalized for stone for the effort, either being incorporated into the wall directly, as was the temple of Poseidon at Isthmia, or being burned into lime, as was the sanctuary of Hera at Perachora as well as much of the ancient statuary of Corinth. In the reign of Justinian, the wall was fortified with additional towers, reaching a total number of 153. Military use appears to have fallen off after the 7th century AD, by the 11th AD domestic structures were being built into the wall. In 1415, the Byzantine emperor Manuel II supervised repairs over a period of forty days; the high cost of this effort caused unrest among the local elite. The wall was breached again in 1431 by the Ottomans under the command of Turahan Bey. Despot Constantine Palaiologos restored the wall again in 1444, but the Turks breached it again in 1446 and in October 1452.
After the Ottoman conquest of the Peloponnese in 1460, the wall was abandoned. During its history, the wall never succeeded in fulfilling the function for which it was constructed, unless it acted as a deterrent. Elements of the wall are preserved south of the Corinth Canal and at the Sanctuary of Poseidon at Isthmia. Diolkos Official website Excavations on the Hexamilion, by the Ohio State University
Christians are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The words Christ and Christian derive from the Koine Greek title Christós, a translation of the Biblical Hebrew term mashiach. While there are diverse interpretations of Christianity which sometimes conflict, they are united in believing that Jesus has a unique significance; the term "Christian" is used as an adjective to describe anything associated with Christianity, or in a proverbial sense "all, noble, good, Christ-like."According to a 2011 Pew Research Center survey, there were 2.2 billion Christians around the world in 2010, up from about 600 million in 1910. By 2050, the Christian population is expected to exceed 3 billion. According to a 2012 Pew Research Center survey Christianity will remain the world's largest religion in 2050, if current trends continue. Today, about 37% of all Christians live in the Americas, about 26% live in Europe, 24% live in sub-Saharan Africa, about 13% live in Asia and the Pacific, 1% live in the Middle East and North Africa.
About half of all Christians worldwide are Catholic. Orthodox communions comprise 12% of the world's Christians. Other Christian groups make up the remainder. Christians make up the majority of the population in territories. 280 million Christians live as a minority. Christians have made noted contributions to a range of fields, including the sciences, politics and business. According to 100 Years of Nobel Prizes, a review of Nobel prizes awarded between 1901 and 2000 reveals that of Nobel Prizes laureates identified Christianity in its various forms as their religious preference; the Greek word Χριστιανός, meaning "follower of Christ", comes from Χριστός, meaning "anointed one", with an adjectival ending borrowed from Latin to denote adhering to, or belonging to, as in slave ownership. In the Greek Septuagint, christos was used to translate the Hebrew מָשִׁיחַ, meaning " anointed." In other European languages, equivalent words to Christian are derived from the Greek, such as Chrétien in French and Cristiano in Spanish.
The abbreviations Xian and Xtian have been used since at least the 17th century: Oxford English Dictionary shows a 1634 use of Xtianity and Xian is seen in a 1634-38 diary. The word Xmas uses a similar contraction; the first recorded use of the term is in the New Testament, in Acts 11:26, after Barnabas brought Saul to Antioch where they taught the disciples for about a year, the text says: " the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." The second mention of the term follows in Acts 26:28, where Herod Agrippa II replied to Paul the Apostle, "Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." The third and final New Testament reference to the term is in 1 Peter 4:16, which exhorts believers: "Yet if as a Christian, let him not be ashamed. The city of Antioch, where someone gave them the name Christians, had a reputation for coming up with such nicknames; however Peter's apparent endorsement of the term led to its being preferred over "Nazarenes" and the term Christianoi from 1 Peter becomes the standard term in the Early Church Fathers from Ignatius and Polycarp onwards.
The earliest occurrences of the term in non-Christian literature include Josephus, referring to "the tribe of Christians, so named from him. In the Annals he relates that "by vulgar appellation called Christians" and identifies Christians as Nero's scapegoats for the Great Fire of Rome. Another term for Christians which appears in the New Testament is "Nazarenes". Jesus is named as a Nazarene in Math 2:23, while Saul-Paul is said to be Nazarene in Acts 24:5; the latter verse makes it clear that Nazarene referred to the name of a sect or heresy, as well as the town called Nazareth. The term Nazarene was used by the Jewish lawyer Tertullus which records that "the Jews call us Nazarenes." While around 331 AD Eusebius records that Christ was called a Nazoraean from the name Nazareth, that in earlier centuries "Christians" were once called "Nazarenes". The Hebrew equivalent of "Nazarenes", occurs in the Babylonian Talmud, is still the modern Israeli Hebrew term for Christian. A wide range of beliefs and practices are found across the world among those who call themselves Christian.
Denominations and sects disagree on a common definition of "Christianity". For example, Timothy Beal notes the disparity of beliefs among those who identify as Christians in the United States as follows: Although all of them have their historical roots in Christian theology and tradition, although most would identify themselves as Christian, many would not identify others within the larger category as Christian. Most Baptists and fundamentalists, for example, would not acknowledge Mormonism or Christian Science as Christian. In fact, the nearly 77 percent of Americans who self-identify as Christian are a diverse pluribus of Christianities that are far from any collective unity. Linda Woodhead attempts to provide a common belief thread for Christians by noting that "Whatever else they might disagree about, Christians are at least united
Ancona is a city and a seaport in the Marche region in central Italy, with a population of around 101,997 as of 2015. Ancona is the capital of the province of Ancona and of the region; the city is located 280 km northeast of Rome, on the Adriatic Sea, between the slopes of the two extremities of the promontory of Monte Conero, Monte Astagno and Monte Guasco. Ancona is one of the main ports on the Adriatic Sea for passenger traffic, is the main economic and demographic centre of the region. Ancona was founded by Greek settlers from Syracuse in about 387 BC, who gave it its name: Ancona stems from the Greek word Ἀγκών, meaning "elbow". Greek merchants established a Tyrian purple dye factory here. In Roman times it kept its own coinage with the punning device of the bent arm holding a palm branch, the head of Aphrodite on the reverse, continued the use of the Greek language; when it became a Roman town is uncertain. It was occupied as a naval station in the Illyrian War of 178 BC. Julius Caesar took possession of it after crossing the Rubicon.
Its harbour was of considerable importance in imperial times, as the nearest to Dalmatia, was enlarged by Trajan, who constructed the north quay with his Syrian architect Apollodorus of Damascus. At the beginning of it stands the marble triumphal arch with a single archway, without bas-reliefs, erected in his honour in 115 by the Senate and Roman people. Ancona was successively attacked by the Goths and Saracens between the 3rd and 5th centuries, but recovered its strength and importance, it was one of the cities of the Pentapolis of the Exarchate of Ravenna, a lordship of the Byzantine Empire, in the 7th and 8th centuries. In 840, Saracen raiders burned the city. After Charlemagne's conquest of northern Italy, it became the capital of the Marca di Ancona, whence the name of the modern region. After 1000, Ancona became independent turning into an important maritime republic clashing against the nearby power of Venice. An oligarchic republic, Ancona was ruled by six Elders, elected by the three terzieri into which the city was divided: S. Pietro and Capodimonte.
It had a coin of its own, the agontano, a series of laws known as Statuti del mare e del Terzenale and Statuti della Dogana. Ancona was allied with the Republic of Ragusa and the Byzantine Empire. In 1137, 1167 and 1174 it was strong enough to push back the forces of the Holy Roman Empire. Anconitan ships took part in the Crusades, their navigators included Cyriac of Ancona. In the struggle between the Popes and the Holy Roman Emperors that troubled Italy from the 12th century onwards, Ancona sided with the Guelphs. Differently from other cities of northern Italy, Ancona never became a seignory; the sole exception was the rule of the Malatesta, who took the city in 1348 taking advantage of the black death and of a fire that had destroyed many of its important buildings. The Malatesta were ousted in 1383. In 1532 it definitively lost its freedom and became part of the Papal States, under Pope Clement VII. Symbol of the papal authority was the massive Citadel. Together with Rome, Avignon in southern France, Ancona was the sole city in the Papal States in which the Jews were allowed to stay after 1569, living in the ghetto built after 1555.
In 1733 Pope Clement XII extended the quay, an inferior imitation of Trajan's arch was set up. The southern quay was built in 1880, the harbour was protected by forts on the heights. From 1797 onwards, when the French took it, it appears in history as an important fortress. Ancona, as well as Venice, became a important destination for merchants from the Ottoman Empire during the 16th century; the Greeks formed the largest of the communities of foreign merchants. They were refugees from former Byzantine or Venetian territories that were occupied by the Ottomans in the late 15th and 16th centuries; the first Greek community was established in Ancona early in the 16th century. Natalucci, the 17th-century historian of the city, notes the existence of 200 Greek families in Ancona at the opening of the 16th century. Most of them came from northwestern Greece, i.e. the Ionian Epirus. In 1514, Dimitri Caloiri of Ioannina obtained reduced custom duties for Greek merchants coming from the towns of Ioannina and Avlona in Epirus.
In 1518 a Jewish merchant of Avlona succeeded in lowering the duties paid in Ancona for all “the Levantine merchants, subjects to the Turk”. In 1531 the Confraternity of the Greeks was established which included Orthodox Catholic and Roman Catholic Greeks, they secured the use of the Church of St. Anna dei Greci and were granted permission to hold services according to the Greek and the Latin rite; the church of St. Anna had existed since the 13th century as "Santa Maria in Porta Cipriana," on ruins of the ancient Greek walls of Ancona. In 1534 a decision by Pope Paul III favoured the activity of merchants of all nationalities and religions from the Levant and allowed them to settle in Ancona with their families. A Venetian travelling through Ancona in 1535 recorded that the city was "full of merchants from every nation and Greeks and Turks." In the second half of the 16th century, the presence of Greek and other merchants from the Ottoman Empire declined after a series of restrictive measures taken by the Italian authorities and the pope.
Helena Dragaš was the empress consort of Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaiologos and mother of the last two emperors, John VIII Palaiologos and Constantine XI Palaiologos. In life she became a nun, she is venerated as a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church under her monastic name, as Saint Hypomone, translated in English as Saint Patience. Helena was the daughter of Serbian magnate Konstantin Dejanović, a provincial lord during the fall of the Serbian Empire that held Kyustendil, her mother was Konstantin's unnamed first wife and Konstantin was the grandson of Serbian king Stefan III Dečanski. Her stepmother was a daughter of Alexios III of Trebizond and Theodora Kantakouzene, the widow of Tadjeddin Pasha of Sinop, Emir of Limnia, her father fell at the battle of Rovine, while fighting for his overlord, Ottoman sultan Bayezid I against the rebel Mircea I of Wallachia. She was well known for her beauty, piety and justice, her husband became a monk with the name Matthew. After his death, on 21 July 1425, she became a nun at the Monastery of Kyra Martha, taking her monastic name.
She helped to establish a home for old people, with the name "The Hope of the Despaired". The home was located at the Monastery of St. John in Petrion, where the relics of St. Patapius of Thebes are kept; when her eldest son, John VIII, died in 1448, the succession was disputed between Constantine, her eldest remaining son and John's chosen heir, his ambitious but inept younger brother, Demetrios. As Empress Dowager, Helena backed Constantine, assumed the regency in Constantinople while her sons competed for the throne, she persuaded Sultan Murad II to intervene in Constantine's favour, leading to his assumption of the throne in January 1449. When Constantine became Emperor, he referred to himself as Constantine XI Dragases Palaiologos, after Helena, to whom he was close. Helena died on 23 March 1450 in Constantinople, she is venerated by the Orthodox Church as a saint, her memory is commemorated on 29 May, the day of the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans and of the death of her son Constantine XI.
Her skull, as a holy relic, is treasured in the Monastery of Saint Patapios in Greece. On 10 February 1392, Helena married Manuel II Palaiologos, they had several children. The list follows the order of births given by George Sphrantzes: A daughter. Mentioned as the eldest daughter but not named. Confused with Isabella Palaiologina, an illegitimate daughter of Manuel II known to have married Ilario Doria. Constantine Palaiologos. Died young. John VIII Palaiologos. Byzantine emperor, 1425–1448. Theodore II Palaiologos. A second daughter. Not named in the text. Andronikos Palaiologos. Michael Palaiologos. Died young. Constantine XI Palaiologos. Despotēs in the Morea and subsequently the last Byzantine emperor, 1448–1453. Demetrios Palaiologos. Despotēs in the Morea. Thomas Palaiologos. Despotēs in the Morea. Sources"Life, paraklitikos kanonas and egomia of the holy mother ‘’Saint Hypomone" "Saint Hipomoni: History and asmatiki akolouthia" "Kanon parakletikos & Hairetistirioi oikoi to the Blessed Mother's Saint Hypomone" "The Holy Monastery of Saint Patapios in Loutraki".
«The Greek Monasteries». "Agiologio of Orthodoxy," «O Megas Synaxaristis of the Orthodox Church" Saint Patapios, p. - "Saint Patapios" [Stylianos Papadopoulos, professor of the University of Athens, Holy Monastery of Saint Patapios, Greece, edition 2006). "St. Patapios and his miracles," "Deltos of Miracles of our miraculous father St. Patapios" Information about St Hypomone from the Church of Sparta http://www.impantokratoros.gr/agiaypomoni.el.aspx https://web.archive.org/web/20110711101627/http://www.globalusers.com/monastir_eng.htm
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