Manuel Ii, Palaeologus
MANUEL II, PALAEOLOGUS (1350-1425), Byzantine emperor from 1391 to 1425, was bom in 1350. At the time of his father's death he was a hostage at the court of Bayezid at Brusa, but succeeded in making his escape; he was forthwith besieged in Constantinople by the sultan, whose victory over the Christians at Nicopolis, however (Sept. 28, 1396), did not secure for him the capital. Manuel subsequently set out in person to seek help from the West, and for this purpose visited Italy, France, Germany and England, but without material success; the victory of Timur in 1402, and the death of Bayezid in the following year were the first events to give him a genuine respite from Ottoman oppression. He stood on friendly terms with Mahommed I., but was again besieged in his capital by Murad II. in 1422. Shortly before his death he was forced to sign an agreement whereby the Byzantine empire undertook to pay tribute to the sultan.
Manuel was the author of numerous works of varied character theological, rhetorical, poetical and letters. Most of these are printed in Migne, Patrologia graeca, clvi. ; the letters have been edited by E. Legrand (1893). There is a special monograph, by B. de Xivrey (in Memoires de I'Institut de France, xix. (1853), highly commended by C. Krumbacher, whose Geschichte der byzantinischen Litteratur (1897) should also be consulted.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)