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the Ottomans and to accept the latter as their masters.21 Likewise, when
Murad I demanded the return of Gallipoli in the summer of 1371 (while
Andronikos was once again acting as regent for John V, who was away this
time in Italy), the majority of the capital™s population and the members of
the Senate spoke out in favor of surrendering the fortress to the Ottomans,
according to the testimony of Kydones who composed another oration on
this occasion.22 Given the polemical nature of Kydones™ speech and the
strength of his anti-Ottoman convictions, it is questionable that those who

20 Kydones, “Oratio de admittendo Latinorum subsidio,” PG 154, cols. 961“1008. Cf. Nicol, Last
Centuries, pp. 265“6; Barker, “Question of ethnic antagonisms,” pp. 165“6, 172; Malamut, “Les
discours de D´m´trius Cydon`s,” pp. 205“12.
ee e
21 Kydones, “Oratio de admittendo Latinorum subsidio,” col. 1005. Cf. Balivet, “Personnage du
˜turcophile™,” 118“19.
22 Kydones, “Oratio de non reddenda Callipoli,” col. 1009: “kaª t» ge ple±ston t¦v p»lewv, kaª
t¤n sumboule…ein e«wq»twn, fasª de±n ¢dh did»nai.” See note 17 above.
125
The Byzantine court and the Ottomans
favored the surrender of Gallipoli actually formed “the majority.”23 Be that
as it may, his statement, together with his earlier oration of 1366 and the
aforementioned letter of 1373 to John V, all seem to indicate that plenty of
people in Constantinople would have readily welcomed and encouraged
Andronikos™ cooperation with the Ottomans in his successive attempts to
seize the throne from his father.
We know, moreover, from a short chronicle notice that soon after
John V returned from Italy (October 28, 1371), he ordered the arrest of
several archontes in Constantinople who may well have been partisans of
Andronikos.24 Indeed it might not be too far-fetched to link them with the
pro-Ottoman activists frequently mentioned in the writings of Kydones
since 1366. One panhypersebastos Tzamplakon among the arrested archontes
bears the family name of a former associate of John VI Kantakouzenos,25
suggesting that certain dignitaries at the Byzantine court who wished to
revive the ex-Emperor™s policy of coexistence with the Ottomans may have
clustered around Andronikos IV, particularly after John V™s conversion to
the Catholic faith in Rome at the end of 1369 and his subsequent offer
of the island of Tenedos to the Venetians in 1370, if not earlier. We may
even speculate that those within the Senate who advocated the cession of
Gallipoli to Murad I in the summer of 1371 were possibly seeking a direct
retaliation for John V™s deal with Venice over Tenedos, both places being
key points for control of the Dardanelles. In any case Andronikos, perhaps
at the instigation of the Genoese, seems to have refused to carry out John™s
orders with regard to the island™s cession in 1370, and he also declined

23 It should be noted that what has been said here about the possible effects of Kydones™ political
convictions and polemical style on the information he provides is applicable in general to all of
his writings, which tend to give an exaggerated and one-sided picture of the political make-up of
the Constantinopolitan population. Apprehensive about the consequences which might result from
the activities of his fellow countrymen who were well-disposed towards the Ottomans, Kydones is
inclined to emphasize and amplify the role played by these people in Constantinople, whereas the
pro-Latin people at the opposite end of the city™s political spectrum do not receive similar treatment
from him. Therefore, although Kydones™ writings are used extensively throughout this chapter,
the purpose of which is to document the various forms of cooperation between members of the
Byzantine court and the Ottomans, the reader should not be misled about the dimensions of the
“pro-Ottoman” phenomenon suggested by the testimony of Kydones, which conceals the existence
of a “pro-Latin” phenomenon that was equally, if not more, widespread in Constantinople, as is
going to be seen in subsequent chapters.
24 Schreiner, Kleinchroniken, vol. i, Chr. 9/23, p. 94. The likelihood of a connection between the
arrested persons and Andronikos has already been suggested by Charanis, “Strife,” 291 and Nicol,
Last Centuries, pp. 275“6. But Schreiner (Kleinchroniken, vol. ii, p. 302) rejects this on the grounds
that the time gap is too great between the arrests (December 5, 1371) and Andronikos™ earliest
known insurrection of 1373. Yet, as will be shown below, Andronikos™ designs against his father most
probably predated his ¬rst open insurrection, extending back it seems to 1370.
25 See PLP, no. 27752 (the megas papias Arsenios Tzamplakon).
126 Constantinople
lending aid to his father who was detained at Venice when the Tenedos
deal fell through.26 It seems reasonable, therefore, to seek the unstated
cause of the above-mentioned arrests in these particular circumstances that
emerged in the context of John V™s visit to Italy. Unfortunately the names
of the other archontes who were arrested on December 5, 1371 “ John
Asanes, Manuel Bryenni(o)s, Glabas, and Agalos “ are hardly useful for
purposes of clarifying this issue, since almost nothing else is known about
them even though they all belong to distinguished Byzantine families.27 In
short, on the basis of the evidence presented above, all that can be said with
certainty is that there was an anti-western faction in Constantinople that
sought, as early as 1366, to come to terms with the Ottomans rather than
¬ght against them with Latin aid in accordance with the current policy
of John V. Whether this faction ever became linked to Andronikos IV is
impossible to prove de¬nitively, but there are strong signs suggesting that
by the time of John V™s trip to Italy (1369“71), if not before, Andronikos
had already taken up leadership of this group that presumably backed him
in his subsequent rebellions of 1373 and 1376 in collaboration with the
Ottomans.
Yet even with a considerable number of in¬‚uential followers Andronikos
IV could not ensure for himself a long and secure reign, for in those days
the success of Byzantine rulers seems to have depended less on the support
of their own people than on the support they received from Ottoman
sultans. Thus, the young Emperor suffered a major blow in 1379, when
Murad I decided to change sides once again and came to the aid of his
former ally John V. The latter had just escaped from prison with his two
sons and arrived at Murad™s court, seeking assistance for the recovery of
his throne. At the sight of the Ottoman troops accompanying John V into
Constantinople, Andronikos ¬‚ed, as he had done before, to Pera. He took
with him as hostages his maternal grandfather, John VI Kantakouzenos, his
mother, the Empress Helena, and two aunts, one of whom was probably
Theodora Kantakouzene, the widow of Orhan.28 The Genoese forces that
Andronikos left behind in the capital were soon rendered harmless by
26 R.-J. Loenertz, “Jean V Pal´ologue a Venise (1370“1371),” REB 16 (1958), 217“32; J. Chrysostomides,
e `
“John V Palaeologus in Venice (1370“1371) and the Chronicle of Caroldo: a reinterpretation,” OCP
31 (1965), 76“84; Nicol, Byzantium and Venice, pp. 305“8.
27 Schreiner, Kleinchroniken, vol. ii, pp. 301“2. Only John Asanes, it has been suggested, may be
identi¬ed with a qe±ov of Manuel II by the same name who was the recipient of letters from Kydones
between 1374/5 and 1389. See Trapp, “Beitr¨ge zur Genealogie der Asanen,” 171“5; PLP, no. 91371.
a
28 Doukas“Grecu, XII.4, p. 73; Chalkok.“Dark´ , vol. i, pp. 57“8; Kydones“Loenertz, vol. ii, nos.
o
222, 244; Manuel II, Fun. Or., pp. 110“11; Schreiner, Kleinchroniken, vol. i, Chr. 7/19, 12/3, 22/20;
vol. ii, pp. 320“1. Doukas attributes John V™s escape to the help of a certain Angelos Diabolos,
who was nicknamed Diabolangelos. According to Kydones (Letter 222), the Empress Helena was
127
The Byzantine court and the Ottomans
John V™s Venetian allies. A western chronicler relates that Venetian help
was assured on this occasion through the pressure and insistence of the
citizens of Constantinople, “grandi e picholi,” who kept cheering “Viva
San Marco” before the somewhat reluctant captains of the ships that had
arrived from Venice to assist John V.29 Hence, these people belonging to
both the upper and the lower classes constituted a group that favored
John V and his Venetian allies against Andronikos IV and the latter™s
Genoese allies. Although Andronikos, too, had followers among the citizens
of Constantinople as shown above, at this point John V had regained the
support of the Ottomans, which seems to have tipped the scale in his
favor. Andronikos meanwhile continued his resistance from Pera, which
not only drew Constantinople into a new civil war for the next two years but
also sustained the intervention of foreign powers “ namely, the Ottomans,
the Venetians, and the Genoese “ in Byzantine internal affairs.
According to Chalkokondyles, before John V re-established himself in
Constantinople, Murad I sent a messenger to the city to consult the inhab-
itants on whether they would prefer to have himself or John as their
emperor. After hearing the opinion of the Constantinopolitans in favor of
the latter, Murad allegedly consented to reinstalling him on the throne.30
Some modern scholars have dismissed this story as belonging to the realm
of legend and pro-Ottoman propaganda on the part of Chalkokondyles.31
Yet, whether ¬ctitious or not, the story is worth drawing attention to,
for it re¬‚ects the Byzantines™ perception of Ottoman sovereignty and
in¬‚uence over the internal affairs of their own state. Chalkokondyles,
it must be granted, was writing with hindsight in the second half of the
¬fteenth century, but a contemporary Genoese document demonstrates
that Andronikos IV™s Italian allies, at any rate, observed with great appre-
hension the growing Ottoman in¬‚uence in Byzantine affairs during the
very period with which we are concerned. On March 7, 1382, the Genoese
Council of Elders noted that as a result of the civil war between John V
and Andronikos, “father as much as sons are rendered subject to the Turk

suspected of having played a role in John V™s escape. Cf. Barker, Manuel II, pp. 35, 38“9; Nicol,
Family of Kantakouzenos, pp. 135, 137.
29 Chinazzo, Cronica, ed. Lazzarini, pp. 214“16. See also Caresini, Chronica, ed. Pastorello, p. 36; Vita
Caroli Zeni, ed. Zonta, pp. 22“3; Caroldo quoted by Chrysostomides, in Manuel II, Fun. Or.,
pp. 108“9, n. 27. Cf. Dennis, Reign of Manuel II, pp. 41“2, n. 65. For Pietro Grimani, bailo of
Constantinople, among John V™s Venetian allies in his con¬‚ict with Andronikos, see below, ch. 9,
p. 244 and note 41.
30 Chalkok.“Dark´ , vol. i, p. 57. Continuing his aforementioned chronological error (see note 7
o
above), Chalkokondyles relates this story with reference to Bayezid I and Manuel II.
31 See Schreiner, Kleinchroniken, vol. ii, p. 321 (n. 97). For those who do not entirely reject the story,
see Barker, Manuel II, p. 34 (n. 88).
128 Constantinople
Amorat, and the danger faces the city of Constantinople that it be subjected
to the aforesaid Turk Amorat.”32
As far as the concrete advantages which Murad I derived from his
diplomatic maneuver of 1379 are concerned, these must have entailed
further concessions on the part of John V with regard to the annual tribute
and military service obligations of Byzantium. It should be safe to assume
in any case that they would have equaled, if not surpassed, in magnitude
Murad I™s former gains from Andronikos IV. Chalkokondyles reports that
the annual tribute promised to the Sultan in 1379 was 30,000 gold coins.33
Pseudo-Phrantzes (Makarios Melissenos), on the other hand, claims that
the Emperor agreed to pay the same tribute that Andronikos had previously
committed himself to, without specifying its amount. He adds in more
speci¬c, though questionable, terms that the military forces which the
Byzantines were required by the agreement of 1379 to contribute yearly
to Ottoman campaigns amounted to twelve thousand foot soldiers and
cavalrymen.34 Unfortunately, we possess no ¬gures concerning the terms
of Murad I™s former agreements with John V in 1373 or with Andronikos IV
in 1376“7 that would have enabled us to conduct a numerical comparison.35
However, two letters written by Kydones, one in the winter of 1376“7 and
the other in 1391, give the general impression that during the time that
elapsed between the dates of their composition the tribute levied by the
Ottomans increased considerably, creating a very burdensome situation
by 1391. In the earlier letter Kydones wrote that the Turks “exacted such
an amount of money that nobody could easily count it.”36 In 1391 he
noted with increased alarm that the sum of the tribute was so great that
all the public revenues combined would not be suf¬cient to pay it, and
that it would be necessary to levy a tax even on the poor citizens.37 As to

32 J. W. Barker, “Miscellaneous Genoese documents on the Levantine world of the late fourteenth and
early ¬fteenth centuries,” ByzSt 6 (1979), 55, 57.
33 Chalkok.“Dark´ , vol. i, p. 58.
o
34 Pseudo-Phrantzes, Macarie Melissenos Cronica, 1258“1481, in Georgios Sphrantzes, Memorii, 1401“
1477, ed. V. Grecu (Bucharest, 1966), p. 196. Like Chalkokondyles, Pseudo-Phrantzes identi¬es the
emperor who carried out these negotiations with the Ottomans as Manuel II rather than as John V.
For reservations about the ¬gure given by Pseudo-Phrantzes, see Barker, Manuel II, p. 34 (n. 89);
Bartusis, Late Byzantine Army, p. 107 (n. 7).
35 For a discussion of the evidence concerning Byzantium™s tributary obligation to the Ottomans in
the late fourteenth and early ¬fteenth centuries, see Matschke, Ankara, pp. 64“75; Ostrogorski,
´
“Etat tributaire”; O. Iliescu, “Le montant du tribut pay´ par Byzance a l™Empire Ottoman en 1379
e `
et 1424,” RESEE 9 (1971), 427“32.
36 Kydones“Loenertz, vol. ii, no. 167, p. 38.
37 Ibid., no. 442, p. 407. See also no. 443 (date: 1391), p. 410: “. . . ˆhd”stata d• Šllwv di‡ tŸn
barb†rwn pleonex©an kaª Ìbrin, kaª t¼ mhd• to±v f»roiv oÍv –ke©noiv telo“men mhd• t¼ pŽn
ˆrke±n t¦v P»lewv t©mhma, de±n d• to…twƒ kaª t‡v «d©av t¤n polit¤n oÉs©av proske±sqai . . .”
129
The Byzantine court and the Ottomans
the requirement of military service, the vehemently anti-Turkish Kydones
wrote in 1381 to Manuel II, who was serving on an Ottoman campaign, that
for Manuel™s sake he had been compelled to pray for the well-being of “the
barbarian” (i.e. Murad I).38 One of the most dramatic consequences of
Byzantium™s military service obligation occurred in 1390 when Manuel II
and John VII, who were called to take part in Bayezid I™s expedition
against Philadelphia, became instrumental in the loss of this last Byzantine
possession in Asia Minor to the Ottomans.39 The following year Manuel II,
who accompanied the Sultan in yet another campaign, wrote to Kydones,
“for us it is especially unbearable to have to ¬ght along with those and on
behalf of those whose every increase in strength lessens our own strength.”40
In 1381, after having fought in vain for nearly two years against
Andronikos IV and his Genoese allies at Pera, Emperor John V was driven
to a compromise. He restored Andronikos, who had been formally disin-
herited in 1373, and his son John (VII) as successors to the throne. For
the time being, Andronikos was given Selymbria, Daneion, Herakleia,
Rhaidestos, and Panidos, where he was to rule independently.41 The grant
of this appanage was no doubt partly intended as a measure to guarantee
peace through the temporary removal of the unruly Andronikos from the
capital. However, it failed to achieve this result. In 1385 Andronikos sent his
son to Murad I and requested a fortress from the Ottoman ruler.42 Shortly
In a third letter (no. 432), likewise dated 1391, Kydones expressed his fear that the rapid spread
of poverty within Constantinople might soon be affecting the rich as well, eventually leading to
another civil war. It is likely that the circumstances related in this letter were the result, in part, of
the heavy tribute demanded by the Ottomans.
38 Ibid., no. 218, p. 97; no. 220. Cf. Dennis, Reign of Manuel II, pp. 47“9.
39 Chalkok.“Dark´ , vol. i, p. 58; cf. Gautier (ed.), “R´cit in´dit,” 104. See H. Ahrweiler, “La r´gion de
o e e e
Philadelphie au XIVe si`cle (1290“1390). Dernier bastion de l™Hell´nisme en Asie Mineure,” Comptes
e e
Rendus de l™Acad´mie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (1983), 175“97; P. Schreiner, “Zur Geschichte
e
Philadelpheias im 14. Jahrhundert (1293“1390),” OCP 35 (1969), 375“431. In Chalkokondyles™ chrono-
logically misleading account the discussion of the capture of Philadelphia (Alasehir) is placed imme-
¸
diately after the events of 1376“9. Thus, what he writes has been taken to imply that the city was
perhaps ceded to the Ottomans during the peace settlement of 1379 between John V and Murad I;
but as its inhabitants refused to surrender then, Bayezid I took it by force in the fall of 1390. See
Barker, Manuel II, p. 34 and n. 89, pp. 79“80 and n. 211; Nicol, Last Centuries, pp. 281, 292“3. On the
other hand, Doukas (ed. Grecu, IV.3, p. 41), As±kpasazade (ed. Giese, pp. 59“60; ed. Ats±z, pp. 135“6),
¸ ¸
and Nesri (Kitˆ b-± Cihan-n¨ mˆ , vol. i, pp. 312“13) report that the Philadelphians surrendered their
ua
a
¸
city to Bayezid. Recently, Reinert, “Palaiologoi,” pp. 299“301, 308, 345“7 (n. 57), maintaining that
Philadelphia was captured in late 1389 or early 1390 (rather than in the fall of 1390), has concluded
that the participation of John VII, and probably of Manuel II also, in Bayezid™s expedition against
Philadelphia is chronologically untenable.
40 Dennis, Letters of Manuel II, no. 19, pp. 56“7.
41 MM, vol. ii, no. 344 (May 1381), pp. 25“7; Doukas“Grecu, XII.4, p. 73; Kydones“Loenertz, vol. ii,
nos. 155, 198, 201, 218“20, 222. Cf. Dennis, Reign of Manuel II, pp. 42“6.
42 R.-J. Loenertz, “Fragment d™une lettre de Jean V Pal´ologue a la commune de Gˆnes, 1387“1391,”
e e
`
BZ 51 (1958), 37, lines 7“8.
130 Constantinople
afterwards, Andronikos captured a fortress in Thrace, near the town of
Melitias, from his father™s realm of control.43 It may be not only that these
two events were connected with each other, but that the fortresses in ques-
tion were one and the same. If this is correct, then the somewhat unusual
demand of a Byzantine fortress from the Ottoman ruler requires an expla-
nation, which is evidently to be sought in the vassalage relationship of
Byzantium to the Ottomans. In other words, it must have been the vassal

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