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Matthew Kantakouzenos or Cantacuzenus (Greek: Ματθαίος Ασάνης Καντακουζηνός, Matthaios Asanēs Kantakouzēnos, c. 1325-1383 or 1391) was Byzantine Emperor from 1353 to 1357.


Matthew Asanes Kantakouzenos was the son of Emperor John VI Kantakouzenos and Irene Asanina. In return for the support he gave to his father during his struggle with John V Palaiologos, he was given part of Thrace as an appanage, and was proclaimed joint emperor in 1353. From his Thracian domain, he led several wars against the Serbians. An attack, which he prepared in 1350, was frustrated by the defection of his Turkish auxiliaries. In 1357, he was captured by his enemies, who delivered him to the rival emperor John V Palaiologos. Compelled to abdicate, he moved to the Morea, in 1361, and assisted his brother Manuel Kantakouzenos in its government. After his brother's death in 1380, Matthew Asanes Kantakouzenos governed the Morea until the appointment of the new governor Theodore I Palaiologos, in 1381, and his arrival in 1382. Before full transition of power in the Morea, from the Kantakouzenos family to that of Palaiologos, Matthew resigned his power in the Morea to his son Demetrios I Kantakouzenos.


By his wife Irene Palaiologina, Matthew Asanes Kantakouzenos had several children including:

  1. John Kantakouzenos, despotēs
  2. Demetrios Kantakouzenos, sebastokratōr
  3. Theodora Kantakouzene
  4. Helena Kantakouzene, who married Count Luis Fadrique of Salona
  5. Maria Kantakouzene, who married John Laskaris Kalopheros


Matthew Kantakouzenos
Palaiologos dynasty
Born: c. 1325 Died: unknown
Regnal titles
Preceded by
John V Palaiologos and John VI Kantakouzenos
Byzantine Emperor
with John V Palaiologos (1341–1376)
John VI Kantakouzenos (1347–1353)
Succeeded by
John V Palaiologos
Preceded by
Manuel Kantakouzenos
Despot of Morea
Succeeded by
Demetrius I Kantakouzenos


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