The Reluctant Emperor: A Biography of John Cantacuzene, Byzantine Emperor and Monk, C.1295-1383
John Cantacuzene reigned as Byzantine emperor in Constantinople from 1347 to 1354. A man of varied talents, as a scholar, soldier, statesman, theologian and monk, he was unique in being the only emperor to narrate the events of his own career. His memoirs form one of the most interesting and literate of all Byzantine histories. Following his abdication in 1354, he lived the last thirty years of his life as a monk, a writer and a grey eminence behind the throne. This book is not a social or political history of the Byzantine Empire in the fourteenth century. It is a biography of a much maligned man who had a hope, however naive, of coming to terms with the emerging Muslim world of Asia and of winning the co-operation of western Christendom without compromising the Orthodox faith of the Byzantine tradition.
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THE POLITICAL AND SOCIAL BACKGROUND
THE OLD ORDER CHANGES 13211328
EMPEROR IN WAITING 13281341
WAR FOR THE THRONE 13411347
EMPEROR OF THE ROMANS 13471351
EMPEROR OF THE ROMANS 13511354
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abdication Adrianople Alexios Apokaukos appointed aristocracy army Arta Asia Minor bishops Bithynia Blachernai brev Bulgaria Byzantine Empire Byzantine Family Cantac Cantacuzenist Centuries of Byzantium Christian Chron church co-Emperor Constantinople coronation crowned daughter Demetrios Kydones Despot Didymoteichon Emir Emperor Andronikos Emperor John Empress Anna enemies Epiros father Galata Genoese Grand Domestic Greece Greek Greg Gregory Palamas Helena hesychasts Holy house of Palaiologos imperial Joasaph John Cantacuzene John Palaiologos John VI Cantacuzene John's Kabasilas Kallistos knew known later Latin leaders Macedonia Manuel memoirs Mistra monastery monastic monk Morea Mount Athos Muslim never Nicol Nikephoros Gregoras old Emperor Orhan Orthodox Osmanli palace Palamite Paris Peloponnese political Pope prison province Rogoi Romans Schreiner seemed senior Emperor sent Serbian ships soldiers son-in-law Stephen Dusan Suleiman Syrgiannes Theodora Theodore Metochites Theodore Synadenos theology Thessalonica Thessaly Thrace throne treaty troops Turkish Turks Umur of Aydin Venetians Venice western young Andronikos Zealots