Andronicus II (Palaeologus)
From Classic Encyclopedia 1911
ANDRONICUS II. (PALAEOLOGUS) (1260-1332), eastern Roman emperor, was the elder son of Michael Palaeologus, whom he succeeded in 1282. He allowed the fleet, which his father had organized, to fall into decay; and the empire was thus less able than ever to resist the exacting demands of the rival powers of Venice and Genoa. During his reign the Turks under Osman conquered nearly the whole of Bithynia; and to resist them the emperor called in the aid of Roger di Flor, who commanded a body of Spanish adventurers. The Turks were defeated, but Roger was found to be nearly as formidable an enemy to the imperial power. He was assassinated by Andronicus's son and colleague, the emperor Michael IX., in 1305. His adventurers (known as the Catalan Grand Company) declared war upon Andronicus, and, after devastating Thrace and Macedonia, conquered the duchy of Athens and Thebes. From 1320 onwards the emperor was engaged in war with his grandson Andronicus (see below). He abdicated in 1328 and died in 1332.