Manuel II Palaiologos

   Emperor (q.v.) from 1391-1425. Prior to his accession, from 1382-1387, he vainly attempted to defend Thessalonike against the Ottomans (qq.v.). Other humiliations followed. The year John V (q.v.) died, the first year of Manuel's reign (1391), he was forced to join Bayezid I (q.v.) on an Ottoman campaign along the coast of the Black Sea to Sinope (qq.v.). From 1399-1403 he journeyed to Venice (q.v.), Paris, and London, seeking help against the Ottomans. Ironically, it was Timur (q.v.) who inadvertently aided Byzantium (q.v.) by defeating Bayezid I at the battle of Ankara (q.v.) in 1402. The respite allowed Manuel to refortify the Hexamilion (q.v.) in 1415. However, with the accession of Murad II (q.v.) in 1421, the lull since 1402 (which had extended through the reigns of Musa and Mehmed I [qq.v.]) ended. Murad II unsuccessfully attacked Thessalonike and Constantinople (q.v.), then brushed past the Hexamilion (1423) to ravage the Morea (q.v.). Manuel II made peace with the sultan (q.v.) in 1424, and he died the following year.

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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