Andronikos IV Palaiologos

Andronikos IV Palaiologos
Emperor of the Byzantine Empire

Andronikos IV
Emperor of the Byzantine Empire
Reign 12 August 1376 – 1 July 1379
Predecessor John V Palaiologos
Successor John V Palaiologos
Born 2 April 1348
Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
Died 28 June 1385
Selymbria, Byzantine Empire
Spouse Keratsa of Bulgaria
Issue John VII Palaiologos
two daughters
Full name
Andronikos IV Palaiologos
Ἀνδρόνικος Δ' Παλαιολόγος
House House of Palaiologos
Father John V Palaiologos
Mother Helena Kantakouzene

Andronikos IV Palaiologos (or Andronicus IV Palaeologus) (Greek: Ἀνδρόνικος Δ' Παλαιολόγος, Andronikos IV Palaiologos) (2 April 1348 – 28 June 1385) was Byzantine Emperor from 1376 to 1379.


Andronikos IV Palaiologos was the eldest son of Emperor John V Palaiologos by his wife Helena Kantakouzene. His maternal grandparents were John VI Kantakouzenos and Irene Asanina.

Although associated as co-emperor with his father since the early 1350s, Andronikos IV rebelled when the Ottoman sultan Murad I forced John V into vassalage in 1373. Andronikos IV had allied with Murad's son Savcı Bey, who was rebelling against his own father, but both rebellions failed. Murad I blinded and executed his son and demanded that John V have Andronikos IV blinded as well, but John V blinded Andronikos in only one eye.[1]


In July 1376, the Genoese helped Andronikos to escape from prison, whence he went straight to sultan Murad I, and agreed to return Gallipoli in return for his support. Gallipoli had been retaken by the Byzantines ten years before, with the assistance of Amadeus VI, Count of Savoy. The sultan duly provided a mixed force of cavalry and infantry and with these, Andronikos was able to take control of Constantinople. Here he was able to capture and imprison both John V and his son Manuel.

However, he made the mistake of favouring the Genoese too highly by awarding it Tenedos. The governor there refused to hand it over, and passed it on to Venice. In the same year, 1377, he crowned his young son John VII as co-emperor. However, in 1379 John and Manuel escaped to sultan Murad, and with the assistance of the Venetians, overthrew Andronikos later in the year. The Venetians restored John V to the throne, and Manuel II. Andronikos fled to Galata, staying there until 1381, when he was once again made co-emperor and heir to the throne despite his earlier treachery. Andronikos IV was also given the city of Selymbria (Silivri) as his personal domain. However, he predeceased his father there in 1385, never to rule as legitimate emperor.


By his wife Keratsa of Bulgaria (nun Makaria), a daughter of Emperor Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria and his second wife Sarah-Theodora, Andronikos IV had three children:


See also


  1. Gibbon, Edward, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Modern Library, v. iii, p. 651

Further reading

Andronikos IV Palaiologos
Palaiologos dynasty
Born: 2 April 1348 Died: 28 June 1385
Regnal titles
Preceded by
John V Palaiologos
Byzantine Emperor
with John VII Palaiologos (1377–1379)
Succeeded by
John V Palaiologos
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