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John V Palaiologos
Ίωάννης E΄ Παλαιολόγος
Emperor of the Byzantine Empire
John V Palaiologos.jpg
John V Palaiologos.
Reign 1341 – 1376
(with John VI Kantakouzenos in 1347 – 1354 and
Matthew Kantakouzenos in 1353 – 1357)
1379 – 1390
1390 – 1391
Born 18 June 1332
Birthplace Didymoteicho[1]
Died 16 February 1391[aged 58]
Place of death Constantinople
Predecessor Andronikos IV Palaiologos
Successor Manuel II Palaiologos
Consort to Helena Kantakouzene
Offspring Andronikos IV Palaiologos
Manuel II Palaiologos
Michael Palaiologos
Theodore I Palaiologos
Eirene Palaiologina
Dynasty Palaiologos dynasty
Father Andronikos III Palaiologos
Mother Anna of Savoy

John V Palaiologos or Palaeologus (Greek: Ίωάννης Ε' Παλαιολόγος, Iōannēs V Palaiologos), (18 June 1332 – February 16, 1391) was the son of Emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos and Anna of Savoy. His maternal grandparents were Count Amadeus V of Savoy and his second wife Maria of Brabant. He succeeded his father as Byzantine Emperor in 1341, at age nine.



John VI Kantakouzenos, his father's friend, served as his regent and co-emperor (1347–1354), after having fought a civil war (1341–1347) against the regency for young John V headed by his mother Anna of Savoy, the Patriarch John XIV Kalekas and the megas doux Alexios Apokaukos. Forced to fight John Kantakouzenos, who had usurped the throne during his minority, John V became sole emperor in 1354. In 1343, Anna of Savoy pawned the Byzantine crown jewels for 30,000 Venetian ducats. His long reign was marked by the gradual dissolution of the imperial power. In his reign the Ottomans, led by Suleyman Paşa the son of the Ottoman sultan, took Adrianople and Philippopolis, and exacted tribute from the emperor. After the Ottoman Turks gained control of Gallipoli and threatened Constantinople, John V appealed to the West for help, proposing to end the schism between the Byzantine and Latin churches by submitting to the supremacy of the Roman Church. Impoverished by war, he was detained as a debtor when he visited Venice (1369). In 1371 he recognized the suzerainty of the Ottoman sultan Murad I, who later helped him to regain the throne (1379) after he was deposed by his son Andronikos IV Palaiologos in 1376. In 1390 his grandson, John VII Palaiologos, briefly usurped the throne, but was quickly overthrown. John V was succeeded by his son Manuel II Palaiologos. His younger son Theodore I Palaiologos succeeded to the so-called Despotate of Morea in 1383.

Towards the end of his reign, in 1390, John ordered the strengthening of the Constantinople Golden Gate, utilizing marble from the decayed churches in and around the city. Upon the completion of this construction, Bayezid I, threatening war and the blinding of his son Manuel (whom he held in captivity), demanded that John raze these new works. John V filled the Sultan's order, but is said to have suffered from this humiliation and, according to historians, died on February 16, 1391.


He married Helena Kantakouzene, daughter of John VI Kantakouzenos and Irene Asanina. They were parents of several children including:

  1. Andronikos IV Palaiologos, Byzantine emperor 1376-1379
  2. Manuel II Palaiologos, Byzantine emperor 1391-1425
  3. Michael Palaiologos, despotēs
  4. Theodore I Palaiologos, despotēs in Morea
  5. Eirene Palaiologina, who married her maternal first cousin, Halil, the son of the Ottoman Sultan Orhan and Maria Kantakouzene, who, like John's wife Helena, was a daughter of John VI Kantakouzenos and his wife, Irene Asanina.


  1. ^ Επίτομο Γεωγραφικό Λεξικό της Ελλάδος (Geographical Dictionary of Greece), Μιχαήλ Σταματελάτος, Φωτεινή Βάμβα-Σταματελάτου, εκδ. Ερμής, ΑΘήνα 2001


John V Palaiologos
Palaiologos dynasty
Born: 1332 Died: 16 February 1391
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Andronikos III Palaiologos
Byzantine Emperor
with John VI Kantakouzenos (1347–1354)
Matthew Kantakouzenos (1353–1357)
Succeeded by
Andronikos IV Palaiologos
Preceded by
Andronikos IV Palaiologos
Byzantine Emperor
Succeeded by
John VII Palaiologos
Preceded by
John VII Palaiologos
Byzantine Emperor
Succeeded by
Manuel II Palaiologos


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