DEMETRIOS PALAIOLOGOS, DESPOT

 

Demetrios Palaiologos (PLP 21454), the brother of Emperor John VIII Palaiologos and fifth son of Manuel II, was born in Constantinople ca. 1407/8 (ODB, 606). He has been described as ambitious and immoral (Zakythinos 1975, 241). Due to conflict with his family, in 1423, he fled to Hungary, to the court of Sigismund. In 1425, he returned to the island of Lemnos which he had received from his father Manuel and which he ruled until 1440 and then again from 1445 until 1447/8 (Patmos A, 323-4). In 1437, he was forced by his brother John VIII to follow him to Italy for the council of Ferrara-Florence, despite his anti-Unionist views. In 1440 he was given as a possession the region of Mesembria in the Black Sea, in order to be removed from the proximity of the capital. In 1442, with military support from the Turks he besieged Constantinople, while in 1448, after John VIIIís death he attempted to secure the imperial throne for himself. When he failed, his brother Constantine XI removed him from Constantinople and sent him to the Morea, where he shared the Despotat with his brother Thomas. There, he collaborated with the Turks during his conflicts with Thomas and he also married his daughter to Mehmed II and was honoured as his son in law (Zakythinos 1975, 241). Mehmed II did not return the rule of Mistras to Demetrios, but allowed him to spend the rest of his life in Adrianople, where he died in 1470 as the monk David (ODB, 606).

V.A.

(image from Lambros 1904, 423) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Translation is © Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, IAA, University of Birmingham 2008

 

All images are the property of those cited and may not be used for profit.

 

Last updated 19 June 2008