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John V Palaeologus (Ιωάννης Ε' Παλαιολόγος) (1332 – February 16, 1391) was the son of Andronicus III, whom he succeeded as Byzantine emperor in 1341, at age nine.

John VI Cantacuzenus, his father's friend, served as his regent and co-emperor (1347–1354). Forced to fight John Cantacuzenus, who usurped the throne during his minority, he came into power in 1354.

Coin during the reign of John V Palaeologus



His reign was marked by the gradual dissolution of the imperial power. In his reign the Ottomans took Adrianople and Philippolis, conquered Serbia, 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 Andronicus IV in 1376. In 1390 his grandson, John VII Palaeologus, briefly usurped the throne. John V was succeeded by his son Manuel II Palaeologus. To his second son Theodore I Palaeologus is given Despotate of Morea in 1383.

In the end 1390 emperor has ordered to build at Constantinople Golden Gate new strengthenings, having used on them a marble of the decayed churches of city. Upon termination of works Beyazid I, threatening with war, has demanded them to raze. John V has obeyed to the suzerain's order, but has not born such humiliation and, under the certificate of historians, of a nervous shock has died on February 16, 1391.

Preceded by:
Andronicus III

Andronicus IV

Byzantine Emperor
with John VI Cantacuzenus
Succeeded by:
Andronicus IV

Manuel II Palaeologus


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