None, however, achieved any success. Despite the efforts of Michael VIII Palaeologus to restore the unity of the Byzantine Empire, the states that had been formed subsequent to the fall of Constantinople in refused to give up their independence and submit to an emperor who was at the initiative of a union with the Western church.
The Palaeologi (1261-1453)
Conflicts with the West ruined what remained of Byzantine power, considerably weakening an empire under the constant threat of Slav and Turk attacks. He attempted to regain the people's confidence by rejecting the Union of Lyon as soon as he ascended the throne. To remedy the disastrous financial situation of the empire, Andronicus II decided to reduce the army and the navy even though the empire was being attacked on all fronts on a daily basis. In the north, he repulsed the Bulgars and annexed many Greek provinces that had seceded after Civil war was raging, weakening the empire, especially as foreign powers were playing an active role.
By the time John V Palaeologus —76 took power, the situation was desperate. In , he agreed to become the vassal of the Ottoman Emir Murad.
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His son Andronicus, who was horrified by the decision, ascended the throne in Bayezid I, son of Murad, laid siege to Constantinople in The Westerners responded immediately but their expedition was a failure. Respite came to Constantinople, however, because the unity of the Ottoman state was destroyed by Tamerlane, the Mongol conqueror, whom Bayezid confronted in in Ankara.
The Ottoman state was quickly built up again, and won back all its lost territories. Under the reign of Sultan Mehmed I, who ascended the throne in , peace was kept until Hostilities recommenced when Murad II —51 laid siege to Constantinople in and forced Manuel II Palaeologus — to sign a treaty of subjection. The contact established ended with the union of the Churches at the Council of Florence in On the Ottoman side, Mehmed II took the throne in Thus this period produced remarkable works in history as well as fine poetry, and much religious prose.
All the visual arts flourished, too.
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Most of the artists worked as servants of the court or belonged to religious orders, and they remained anonymous. Ivory carvings, Byzantine crosses, and "illuminations," or small manuscript paintings, attest to their skill.
Byzantine Glory A.D. - World History Volume
Almost all that survives of the Byzantine architecture are its churches, with their glorious frescoes and mosaics. With Hagia Sophia as an example, their architects and artisans reached heady heights of magnificence, indeed. Early and late, in his court and in his The court and the great body of the dignified clergy ratified the act by their presence ; but the monks and the people repudiated the connection.
In their opinion, the church of St.
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Sophia was polluted by the ceremony, and from that day it was deserted by the orthodox. The historian Ducas declares that they looked [Bk.
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Two monks who had been intrusted with a large sum for the purpose of repairing them had executed their duty in an insufficient and it was generally said in a fraudulent manner. The extreme dishonesty that prevailed among the Greek officials explains the selection of monks as treasurers for military objects; and it must lessen our surprise at finding men of their religious professions sharing in the general avarice, or tolerating the