How was 1360 Byzantium a shadow of its former self?

By: | Post date: 2016-10-19 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: History, Mediaeval Greek

  • The Byzantine navy had already been dissolved in the 1320s; Venice and Genoa ruled the waves.
  • The crown jewels were pawned off in 1343, never to be redeemed.
  • Byzantium had been wracked by civil war for decades; and the civil wars were being fought on behalf of the factions by Serbs and Turks.
  • Gallipoli was occupied by the Ottomans in 1354, establishing an Ottoman presence in Europe; the Byzantines re-took it in 1366 (through the Savoyard crusade, the last time the West did anything to contain the Ottomans for a long time); and the Byzantines surrendered it back in 1376, to repay debts incurred in yet another civil war. Once the Ottomans were in Europe, it was all over.
  • The Byzantine emperor John V (1354–1391), humiliatingly, was reduced to begging for help in Western courts.
  • The Serbs were defeated in 1371, and the Ottoman Emirate was the only regional power that mattered any more.
  • Byzantium was a vassal state of the Ottomans by 1372, and John V was obligated to take part in the emir’s military campaigns.

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