By Angeliki E. Laiou

on the age of 22, Andronicus II grew to become sole ruler of Byzantium. His father, Michael VIII, were a speeding figure--a strong soldier, outstanding diplomat, and the liberator of Constantinople from its fifty-seven-year Latin career. against this Andronicus appeared colorless and ineffectual. His difficulties have been immense--partly because of his father's policies--and his reign proved to be a chain of frustrations and failures.

For forty-six years he fought to maintain the empire opposed to consistent encroachments. while he used to be eventually deposed in 1328 through his grandson and co-emperor, Andronicus III, just about all of Asia Minor have been misplaced to the Turks, Westerners had taken over the safety of the Aegean, and the Catalan military he had invited to aid him struggle the Turks remained to struggle the emperor.

during this penetrating account of Andronicus' international coverage, Angeliki E. Laiou makes a speciality of Byzantium's relatives with the Latin West, the far-reaching household implications of the hostility of western Europe, and the serious determination that confronted Andronicus: even if to persist with his father's lead and make allowance Byzantium to turn into a eu kingdom or to maintain it an japanese, orthodox energy.

the writer, who argues that international coverage can't be understood with no reading the household components that impression, certainly create, it, devotes a wide a part of her examine to household advancements in Byzantium in the course of Andronicus' reign-the decline of the ability of the principal executive; the unfold of semi-independent neighborhood professionals; the country of funds, of the military, of the church.

She concludes that, opposite to universal opinion, Andronicus II clearly wanted the union of the Greek and Latin church buildings, whilst, within the final years of his reign, he discovered that the political scenario made any such union worthy. holding additionally that the conquest of Asia Minor via the Turks used to be now not a foregone end while Andronicus II got here to the throne, she discusses at size the error of coverage and the manifold situations which mixed to precipitate that loss.

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