Constantine XI Palaiologos
Constantine XI Dragases Palaiologos or Dragaš Palaeologus was the last Byzantine emperor, reigning from 1449 until his death in battle at the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. He was the fourth son of Emperor Manuel II Palaiologueos and Helena Dragaş, the daughter of Serbian ruler Konstantin Dejanović. He died unmarried on May 29, 1453, and was buried in the Church of St. Andrew in Constantinople.
About Constantine XI Palaiologos in brief
Constantine XI Dragases Palaiologos or Dragaš Palaeologus was the last Byzantine emperor, reigning from 1449 until his death in battle at the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. His death marked the end of the Byzantine Empire, which traced its origin to Constantine the Great’s foundation of Constantinople as the Roman Empire’s new capital in 330. Constantine was known in later Greek folklore as the Marble Emperor, reflecting a popular legend which endured for centuries that Constantine had not actually died, but had been rescued by an angel and turned into marble, hidden beneath the Golden Gate of Constantinople. He was the fourth son of Emperor Manuel II Palaiologueos and Helena Dragaş, the daughter of Serbian ruler Konstantin Dejanović. Constantine’s death and Constantinople’s fall also marked the definitiveend of the Roman Emperor, founded by Augustus almost 1,500 years earlier. Although no reliable eyewitness accounts of his death survived, most historical accounts agree that the emperor led a last charge against the Ottomans and died fighting. Although some, such as Alexios I and Manuel I, had successfully recovered portions of Anatolia, their gains were only temporary. The catalyst of the fall had been the arrival of the Seljuk Turks in Anatolia in the 11th century. Though some emperors, including Alexios, had managed to recover Anatolia through help from western crusaders, their only temporary gains were from the wealthy, fertile Anatolia’s most fertile areas. The most fertile area was the Anatolian peninsula, which was the most fertile in the Byzantine empire’s time.
Constantine personally led a campaign into Central Greece and Thessaly in 1444–1446, attempting to extend Byzantine rule into Greece once more. Despite attempts by Constantine’s friend and confidant George Sphrantzes to find him a wife, Constantine ultimately died unmarried. The second concern was the religious disunity within what little remained of his empire. Constantine and his predecessor John VIII both believed a union between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches was needed to secure military aid from Catholic Europe, but much of the Constantinople populace opposed the idea. The emperor stayed to defend the city and on 29 May, Constantine died the same day. Some saw the foundation of Constantinople under Constantine the great and its loss under another Constantine as fulfillment of the city’s destiny, just as Old Rome had been founded by a Romulus and lost under another, Romulus Augustulus. Constantine’s eighth birthday was February 14, 1405, but he was born February 14th, 1403. He is frequently described as Dragaš Porphyrogrogos, the eighth son of the emperor. Constantine is granted a distinction of a distinction granted to sons born to a reigning emperor in the palace of a Byzantine emperor. The distinction was granted to a son of a ruler of the dynasty of the same name. He died unmarried on May 29, 1453, and was buried in the Church of St. Andrew in Constantinople.