John V

John V

John V (John Palaeologus), 1332-91, Byzantine emperor (1341-91), son and successor of Andronicus III. Forced to fight John VI (John Cantacuzene), who usurped the throne during his minority, he came into power in 1354. In his reign the Ottoman Turks took Adrianople and Philippolis, conquered Serbia, and exacted tribute from the emperor. John vainly tried to heal the schism between East and West in order to secure Western aid against the Turks. He professed (1369) the Roman Catholic faith at Rome; while returning to Constantinople he was briefly imprisoned for debt in Venice. In 1371 he recognized the suzerainty of the Ottoman sultan Murad I. Deposed (1376) by his son Andronicus IV, he was restored in 1379. In 1390 his grandson, John VII, briefly usurped the throne. John V was succeeded by his son Manuel II.
John V (John the Magnanimous), 1689-1750, king of Portugal (1706-50), son and successor of Peter II. Before his accession the Methuen Treaty (1703) with England had brought Portugal into the War of the Spanish Succession, but after a major defeat at Almansa (1707), the Portuguese played little part in the fighting. After the war, John sought to maintain Portugal's alliance with England and to keep peace, except in giving assistance (1716-17) to the Venetians against the Ottomans. Enriched by gold from Brazil, John was a patron of arts and letters, had a sumptuous court, and erected beautiful buildings in Lisbon. However, his wealth also made him independent of the Cortes, so he ruled with increasing absolutism. He has been criticized for subservience to the church, from which he drew most of his ministers, especially in later years. John was succeeded by his son Joseph.
John V Palaiologos or Palaeologus (Ιωάννης Ε' Παλαιολόγος, Iōannēs V Palaiologos), (18 June, 1332February 16, 1391) was the son of Emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos and Anna of Savoy. His maternal grandparents were Count Amadeus V of Savoy and his second wife Maria of Brabant. He succeeded his father as Byzantine Emperor in 1341, at age nine.


John VI Kantakouzenos, his father's friend, served as his regent and co-emperor (1347–1354), after having fought a civil war (1342–1347) against the regency for young John V headed by his mother Anna of Savoy, the Patriarch John XIV Kalekas and the megas doux Alexios Apokaukos. Forced to fight John Kantakouzenos, who had usurped the throne during his minority, John V became sole emperor in 1354. In 1343, Anna of Savoy pawned the Byzantine crown jewels for 30,000 Venetian ducats. His long reign was marked by the gradual dissolution of the imperial power. In his reign the Ottomans, led by Suleyman Paşa the son of the Ottoman sultan, took Adrianople and Philippopolis, and exacted tribute from the emperor. After the Ottoman Turks gained control of Gallipoli and threatened Constantinople, John V appealed to the West for help, proposing to end the schism between the Byzantine and Latin churches by submitting to the supremacy of the Roman Church. Impoverished by war, he was detained as a debtor when he visited Venice (1369). In 1371 he recognized the suzerainty of the Ottoman sultan Murad I, who later helped him to regain the throne (1379) after he was deposed by his son Andronikos IV Palaiologos in 1376. In 1390 his grandson, John VII Palaiologos, briefly usurped the throne, but was quickly overthrown. John V was succeeded by his son Manuel II Palaiologos. His younger son Theodore I Palaiologos succeeded to the so-called Despotate of Morea in 1383.

Towards the end of his reign, in 1390, John ordered the strengthening of the Constantinople Golden Gate, utilizing marble from the decayed churches in and around the city. Upon the completion of this construction, Bayezid I, threatening war and the blinding of his son Manuel (whom he held in captivity), demanded that John raze these new works. John V obeyed the Sultan's order, but is said to have suffered from this humiliation and, according to historians, died of a nervous shock on February 16, 1391.


He married Helena Kantakouzene, daughter of John VI Kantakouzenos and Irene Asanina. They were parents of several children including:

  1. Andronikos IV Palaiologos, Byzantine emperor 1376-1379
  2. Manuel II Palaiologos, Byzantine emperor 1391-1425
  3. Michael Palaiologos, despotēs
  4. Theodore I Palaiologos, despotēs in Morea
  5. Eirene Palaiologina, who married Halil, the son of Sultan Orhan of the Ottoman Empire



tr: V. Yannis Palaiologos

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