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The Reluctant Emperor

The Reluctant Emperor
A Biography of John Cantacuzene, Byzantine Emperor and Monk, c.1295–1383

$29.99 (G)

  • Date Published: August 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521522014

$ 29.99 (G)
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About the Authors
  • This is a biography of one of the most unusual Byzantine emperors in Constantinople who reigned from 1347 to 1354, and subsequently spent thirty years as a monk. John Cantacuzene was unique in that he wrote his own memoirs and in his varied talents and interests in a long life, as a soldier, scholar, and theologian. His dealings with the earliest leaders of the Ottoman Turks, with the merchants of Venice and Genoa, with the papacy, and with Stephen Dusan of Serbia also give his career a special interest. This is the first biography of John Cantacuzene in English.

    • A further stylish and attractive study by one of the most elegant writers on Byzantine history
    • Was the first biography in English of a unique life as Byzantine emperor and monk
    • Accessible to the general reader and illustrated from contemporary sources
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Nicol tells the story well, and it is a story worth telling..." Mark C. Bartusis, The Catholic Historical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521522014
    • length: 228 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.34kg
    • contains: 9 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of plates
    Introduction
    List of abbreviations
    1. The political and social background
    2. The old order changes, 1321–1328
    3. Emperor in waiting, 1328–1341
    4. War for the throne, 1341–1347
    5. Emperor of the Roman, 1347–1351
    6. Emperor of the Roman, 1351–1354
    7. Monk, historian and theologian, 1354–1383
    8. Character, achievements and failures
    Bibliography.

  • Author

    Donald M. Nicol, King's College London

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