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Andronikos Palaiologos (son of Manuel II)

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Andronikos Palaiologos (son of Manuel II)

Andronikos (second from right) as a youth with his parents and brothers

Andronikos Palaiologos or Andronicus Palaeologus (Greek: Ανδρόνικος Παλαιολόγος) (ca. 1400– 4 March 1428) was a Byzantine prince and the last Byzantine governor of Thessalonica with the title of despot (despotēs), from 1408 to 1423.

Andronikos Palaiologos was a son of the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos and his wife Helena Dragaš. His maternal grandfather was the Serb prince Constantine Dragaš. His brothers included emperors John VIII Palaiologos and Constantine XI Palaiologos, as well as Theodore II Palaiologos, Demetrios Palaiologos and Thomas Palaiologos, who ruled as despots in Morea.

In childhood Andronikos survived the sickness which killed his older brother Constantine and two sisters. He never recovered in full, remaining in poor health for the rest of his life, eventually developing leprosy. When he was only eight years old his father made him a despot (despotēs) and appointed him imperial representative in Thessalonica, where he succeeded his deceased cousin John VII Palaiologos. As he was still a minor, for the first years of his rule there, until ca. 1415/1416, he was under the tutorship of the general Demetrios Laskaris Leontares.

After John VIII assumed control of the imperial government in 1421, the Byzantine Empire faced an increasingly hostile Ottoman Empire. Constantinople was attacked by the Ottomans in 1422, and Thessalonica was subject to a long blockade in 1422–1423. Under siege, and increasingly unwell, Andronikos began diplomatic initiatives for the surrender of the city to the Republic of Venice. These negotiations resulted (although he did not have the support of the whole of the population, and was opposed by the church, which mistrusted the Latins), in a Venetian force entering the city in 1423. The handing over of Thessalonica to Venice contributed to the outbreak of the first in a series of wars between Venice and the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans conquered Thessalonica in 1430.

Because of his illness Andronikos became a Koroni.

Ancestry

Bibliography

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