By Angeliki E. Laiou
On the age of 22, Andronicus II turned sole ruler of Byzantium. His father, Michael VIII, have been a rushing figure--a sturdy soldier, awesome diplomat, and the liberator of Constantinople from its fifty-seven-year Latin profession. in contrast Andronicus appeared colorless and ineffectual. His difficulties have been immense--partly because of his father's policies--and his reign proved to be a chain of frustrations and failures. For forty-six years he fought to maintain the empire opposed to consistent encroachments. while he used to be eventually deposed in 1328 via his grandson and co-emperor, Andronicus III, just about all of Asia Minor have been misplaced to the Turks, Westerners had taken over the safety of the Aegean, and the Catalan military he had invited to assist him struggle the Turks remained to struggle the emperor. during this penetrating account of Andronicus' overseas coverage, Angeliki E. Laiou makes a speciality of Byzantium's relatives with the Latin West, the far-reaching family implications of the hostility of western Europe, and the serious determination that confronted Andronicus: no matter if to persist with his father's lead and make allowance Byzantium to turn into a ecu kingdom or to maintain it an japanese, orthodox energy. the writer, who argues that overseas coverage can't be understood with out analyzing the family components that impact, certainly create, it, devotes a wide a part of her research to household advancements in Byzantium in the course of Andronicus' reign-the decline of the ability of the relevant govt; the unfold of semi-independent neighborhood experts; the kingdom of funds, of the military, of the church. She concludes that, opposite to universal opinion, Andronicus II clearly wanted the union of the Greek and Latin church buildings, while, within the final years of his reign, he learned that the political state of affairs made any such union useful. holding additionally that the conquest of Asia Minor by way of the Turks used to be now not a foregone end whilst Andronicus II got here to the throne, she discusses at size the error of coverage and the manifold situations which mixed to precipitate that loss.
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Extra info for Constantinople and the Latins: The Foreign Policy of Andronicus II, 1282-1328 (Harvard Historical Studies)
In Holland, too, the men who advocated political and religious liberty sensed an aﬃnity of beliefs in the pages of Machiavelli. It is true that Machiavelli never theorized religious freedom, but read the Bible on his own and was convinced that he read it intelligently. For that matter, one of Machiavelli’s closest readers in Holland was none other than Baruch Spinoza, the great theorist of religious freedom. In his Tractatus politicus (Political Treatise), which was ﬁrst published in the Opus Posthumus (1677), Spinoza praised Machiavelli as a “most ingenious” and “far-seeing” man who had written on political matters with much better results than the philosophers, especially those who “conceive of men, not as they are, but as they themselves would like them to be; Whence it has come to pass that, instead of ethics, they have generally written satire, and Eco Haitsma Mulier, “A Controversial Republican: Dutch Views on Machiavelli in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries,” in Machiavelli and Republicanism, edited by Gisela Bock, Quentin Skinner, and Maurizio Viroli, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1990, pp.
In this fundamental work of seventeenth-century republican political thought, Machiavelli therefore emerges as a proponent of a religion that is on the side of republican liberty. A similar contrast in the interpretations of Machiavelli’s religious ideas also developed within Dutch political thought. 165. Sidney, Discourses Concerning Government, p. 283. , pp. 144–45. , pp. 134–35. 16 introduction parts, the Protestants of the United Provinces accused Machiavelli of using religion for political ends.
Giacomo Leopardi came to a similar conclusion in his commentary on passages from Machiavelli, whom he saw as a great and tragic ﬁgure; the passages that he chose concerned the renewal of political bodies and religions through a return to ﬁrst principles. If humanity is to avoid extinction, it must free itself from the corruption of civilization and return to its true nature, rediscover the ancient virtues and the love of the fatherland that ﬂourished in the ancient republics ﬁlled with a religion that taught the populace to cherish the public interest and to seek true glory.