Andreas Palaeologus

Andreas Palaeologus ( 1453 - 1503 ) de jure Byzantine emperor and Despot of Morea from 1465 until death in 1503.

He was the nephew of Constantine XI Palaeologus, the last Byzantine Emperor of Constantinople. After Constantine was defeated and killed by the forces of Mehmed II in 1453, Andrew continued to live in Morea, which was ruled independently by Andrew's father Thomas Palaeologus, the younger brother of Constantine until 1460. At this time he escaped to Italy following an Ottoman invasion. When his father died in 1465, Andreas stayed in Italy under the protection of the Papal States.

During his lifetime, Andreas is believed to have wasted enormous sums of money given to him by the Papacy. However, modern historians now believe that the money received from the Pope was only enough for a meager standard of living.

Looking for money and a better life, Andreas tried to sell the rights to the Byzantine crown, which had fallen to him de jure since the death of his father Thomas. Charles VIII of France originally agreed to purchase the rights from Andreas in 1494. Regardless, Andreas left the rights to Ferdinand II of Aragon.

To escape the constant poverty of Andreas, his younger brother Manuel Palaeologus arranged a deal with the Ottoman Sultan Bayazid II that in exchange for surrendering the rights to the Byzantine throne Manuel and Andreas be recieved as honorary guests. The successor of the Sultan had Andreas and John converted to Islam on the condition that they would not become slaves, as had happened to other members of Manuels household after his death.

He died a pauper in 1503. While most scholars say he left no heirs, Donald M. Nicol's The Immortal Emperor recognises a Constantine Paleologus who served in the Papal Guard and a Maria who married a Russian noble Mihail Vasilivich.


Byzantine Emperor

Preceded by: Thomas Palaeologus

Succeeded by: end of state

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