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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume III: The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries

II: Byzantium and the Crusades, 1261-1354,   pp. [unnumbered]-68 PDF (9.6 MB)

Page 68

larly to the port of Kaffa. Aragon, Venice, Genoa, and indirectly Orkhan
were all involved, the only result being the further humiliation of Byzantium
and a Byzantine promise to cede to Venice the island of Tenedos. 
 All this was rendered even more complicated by the renewal of the civil
war between John VI Cantacuzenus and the legitimate emperor, his son-in-law
John V Palaeologus. Sentiment in Constantinople began to favor the legitimate
dynasty, especially after the advance of the Ottoman Turks across the Dardanelles
and their seizure of Gallipoli. The population of Constantinople was seized
by panic and the position of the usurper Cantacuzenus became untenable. The
prominent scholar-statesman of the period Demetrius Cydones testifies that
lamentations resounded throughout Constantinople as the citizens wailed,
"Are not all of us within the walls caught as if in the net of the barbarians?"
137 John V, meanwhile, to secure Genoese support, had promised them the Greek
island of Lesbos, and in November 1354, with Genoese help, the partisans
of John V were able to force their way into Constantinople. Compelled to
abdicate, John Cantacuzenus entered a monastery and thenceforth took no further
part in politics, spending his last years writing his famous history and
theological tracts defending hesychasm. The Byzantine empire seemed on the
verge of complete collapse. 
137. PG, CLIV, col. 1013. 

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