Andronicus III Palaeologus, Byzantine Emperor

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May 5, 1328, to June 15, 1341; b. Constantinople, 1296?; d. Constantinople. He was the eldest son of Michael IX Palaeologus, and was coemperor with his grandfather andronicus ii, who on Michael's death in 1320 attempted to exclude Andronicus III from the succession. He joined John Cantacuzenus against the government at Constantinople, and in a civil war forced the abdication of Andronicus II. He married Irene of Brunswick (d. 1324), then Jeanne (later Anne) of Savoy (1326). Andronicus was an outstanding military leader who sought the assistance of Pope benedict xii against the Turks, promising to join a crusade. In 1339 he dispatched Stephen Dandolo and barlaam the Calabrian to Avignon for aid. There, in regard to the question of Church re-union, the Latin hatred for the Greeks, rather than dogmatic differences, was cited as the obstacle, and the question of an ecumenical council was raised. Andronicus increased the influence of the Church in the juridical system of the empire by the establishment of an ecclesiastical law court under the patriarch, and in the disputes over hesychasm he attempted to act as pacifier but accepted the judgment of Cantacuzenus in favor of palamas.

Bibliography: f. dÖlger, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 1:523524. l. brÉhier, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 2:179297. barlaam calabro, Epistole greche, ed. g. schirÒ (Palermo 1954). g. ostrogorsky, History of the Byzantine State, tr. j. hussey from 2d German ed. (Oxford 1956) 444454.

[j. h. geiger]