Thomas Palaiologos

Thomas Palaiologos

Male 1410 - 1465  (55 years)    Has more than 100 ancestors and more than 100 descendants in this family tree.

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  • Name Thomas Palaiologos  [1
    Relationshipwith Francis Fox
    Born 1409-1410 
    Gender Male 
    Died 12 May 1465  Rome Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I84633  Geneagraphie
    Last Modified 15 Nov 2009 

    Father Manuel Palaiologos, II,   b. 27 Jun 1350,   d. 21 Jul 1425  (Age 75 years) 
    Mother Jelena-Helene Dragas,   d. 23 Mar 1450 
    Married Abt 10 Feb 1392 
    Siblings 7 siblings 
    Family ID F34718  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Aikaterina Asanina Zachariaina,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married Jan 1430 
     1. Helene Palaiologina,   b. Abt 1430,   d. 7 Nov 1473, Leucadia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 43 years)
     2. Sophia Palaiologina,   b. 1448-1451,   d. 7 Apr 1503  (Age 52 years)
     3. Andreas Palaiologos,   b. 17 Jan 1453,   d. Aft 7 Apr 1502  (Age 49 years)
     4. Admiral Manuel Palaiologos,   b. 2 Jan 1455,   d. Bef 1512  (Age 56 years)
     5. NN Palaiologina,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 16 Oct 2004 
    Family ID F196183  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos

  • Notes 
    • Prince of Achaia

      youngest son, Thomas was never expected to reign, but his children became the only surviving heirs of the defunct Palaiologan dynasty .
      Like other imperial sons, Thomas Palaiologos was made a Despot (despot and from 1428 joined his brothers Theodore and Constantine in the Morea. After the retirement of Theodore in 1443, he governed together with Constantine, until the latter became emperor (Constantine XI) in 1448. Thomas remained Despot of the Morea, but was forced to share the rule with his older brother Demetrios from 1449. The Byzantine holdings in Morea had expanded considerably at the expense of the Latin Principality of Achaea . After the last war in 1430 virtually the entire peninsula was under Byzantine rule, and Thomas married Catherine Zaccaria , the daughter of the last Prince of Achaea Centurione II Zaccaria , succeeding to his father-in-law's possessions in 1432.
      After this period of success, the fortunes of Byzantine Morea declined, as the collegiate government by several brothers caused increasing friction. This became especially acute after the arrival of Demetrios, who took a pro-Ottoman stance as opposed to Thomas' pro-western orientation. From 1447 the Despots had become vassals of the Ottoman Sultan. At the onset of the siege of Constantinople by Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire , an Ottoman army was sent with orders to raid in the Morea, preventing help from being sent to The City. After the conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed II on May 29 , 1453 , to maintain the status quo , the Sultan ordered the two brothers to continue as joint rulers in Morea.
      This order had been accepted for the first two years because of the Kantakouzenos family's revolt which started in 1453 during the fall of Constantinople by Demetrius I Kantakouzenos ' grandchild Manuel . Only in the next year did the forces of the Palaiologos brothers destroy the rebel forces.
      In these circumstances, and without Constantine XI to maintain peace in the family, Thomas sought western support against both the Ottomans and his competitive pro-Ottoman brother Demetrios. He allied with Genoa and the Pope , and defeated Demetrios, who fled seeking help from the Ottomans in 1460. The Ottoman army duly attacked Morea and quickly breached the Hexamilion wall across the Isthmus of Corinth , which was too long to be effectively manned and defended by Thomas' forces. Thomas escaped with his family to Italy , where he had already been recognized as the legitimate heir to the Byzantine Empire at Rome .
      The commanders of the garrisons of the fortified cities in Morea , deserted by their rulers, chose individually whether to fight or surrender, depending on their own will and circumstances. In the final battle of the Roman Empire in its Byzantine incarnation, Graitzas Palaiologos , the military commander of the city of Salmenikos defeated Mehmed II, who after a month of siege returned home without conquering that "unimportant city". In the following year Graitzas received an offer to become general of the Republic of Venice , which he accepted, thus leaving Salmenikos to the Ottomans.

      After the fall of Morea, Thomas lived in Rome, recognized throughout Christian Europe as the rightful Emperor of the East. To create greater support for his situation Thomas changed his religion to Catholicism in his last years of life. After his death in 1465, the position of rightful Byzantine emperor fell to his older son Andreas Palaiologos , born in Mistra around 1453.
      Mehmed II conquered the Empire of Trebizond , de facto the last free territory of the ancient Roman state, in the year 1461. Nevertheless, Mehmed had already proclaimed himself "Roman Emperor" upon capturing Constantinople in 1453.
      In an effort to reunite the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, Pope Paul II arranged in 1472 a marriage between the Catholic daughter of Thomas, Zoe Palaiologina (renamed Sophia), and Grand Prince Ivan III of Russia , with the hope of making Russia a Catholic country. This attempt to unite churches failed. Nonetheless, because of this marriage, Moscow began in the following century its imperial policy of " third Rome ". Moreover, Thomas' great-grandson was Ivan IV of Russia , the first emperor (tsar) of Russia to be crowned as such (the imperial title had already come into use under Ivan III and his son Vasili III of Russia ). The last known descendant of Zoe/Sophia was Maria of Staritsa , wife of Livonia 's king Magnus . She died in 1610.

  • Sources 
    1. [S14] University of Hull Royal Database (England), Brian Tompsett, (copyright 1994, 1995, 1996 , , Repository: WWW, University of Hull, Hull, UK HU6 7RX

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