He allowed the fleet, which his father had organized, to fall into decay; and the empire was thus less able than ever to resist the exacting demands of the rival powers of Venice and Genoa.
During his reign the Ottoman Turks under Osman conquered nearly the whole of Bithynia; and to resist them the emperor called in the aid of the Catalan Roger de Flor, who commanded a body of Aragonese and Catalan adventurers known as Almogavars. The Turks were defeated, but Roger was found to be nearly as formidable an enemy to the imperial power. He was assassinated by Andronicus's son and colleague (sometimes referred to as emperor Michael IX, though he never ruled in his own name), in 1305. His adventurers (known as the Catalan Grand Company or Companyia Catalana in Catalan) declared war upon Andronicus, and, after devastating Thrace and Macedonia, conquered the Duchy of Athens and Thebes.
From 1320 onwards the emperor was engaged in war with his grandson Andronicus. He abdicated in 1328 and died in 1332.
This article incorporates text from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, which is in the public domain.
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