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If you were the Byzantine emperor in the 14th century, what would you do to prevent the fall of your empire?
In 1300? That would make me Andronikos II Palaiologos.
Well, I’ve done the best I can with the Venetians and the Genoese. I’ve played them off each other, but I don’t have the money or the navy to get rid of them. I’ve done what I can with dynastic marriages as well. The Ottomans are starting to move on me, and I can only postpone the inevitable. Same goes for the Serbs. Hiring the Catalans certainly did not work out as a solution, but there’s a risk with any mercenary army.
There is one thing I can do though. Not just disown my grandson, Andronikos III Palaiologos. Have him blinded, the way my predecessors dealt with annoying relatives. The civil war between the two Androniki was where the fate of Byzantium was sealed.
Still, that would have likely only bought me a couple of decades. And Byzantium had a lot of lucky escapes over the following century, that it no longer deserved.