Tuesday, September 19, 2006

More on Manuel II Paleologus

For information on the Byzantine emperor so surprisingly cited by the pope see the entry at De Imperatoribus Romanis, a solid scholarly resource devoted to Roman emperors. Reading an excerpt from the Manuel entry at English Eclectic, I was struck by the precarious situation that this "emperor" lived in, so near to the empire's final collapse. He had to fight his own subjects at the behest of the Ottoman Sultan. The debate on Islam vs. Christianity that the pope referred to supposedly took place when Manuel was on campaign on the Sultan's service.


Blogger Will McLean said...

Wikipedia says that Philadelphia was an independent neutral city at the time. Which makes sense, since if they were his subjects he could just tell them to surrender.

2:59 PM  
Blogger Steve Muhlberger said...

It is the nature of emperors to not recognize some theoretical neutrality in a long-time imperial city. Roman emperors in particular believed they ruled the world. That's why they held that orb in their hands.

It would be interesting to know if he tried to command them to surrender. In any case, I can't see why they would obey whatever their theoretical allegiance. If they could defy the powerful Sultan, they could defy the Sultan and his pet emperor.

3:52 PM  

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