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1024 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.

CHAPTER LXXII-THE PALAEOLOGI.

By this revolution the capital of the East again fell

to the Greeks. The change was hailed by that people as an event most glorious; by the Eastern powers, as the greatest disaster. Paijeologus set diligently at work to reorganize

the Empire and to establish his family in the

succession. To this end he associated with

himself his son Andronicus, who for nine

years bore the title of Augustus jointly with

his father, and then for the long period of

forty-six years reigned alone.

No sooner was the expulsion of Baldwin

II. known in the West than the cause of the

fallen monarch was espoused by Pope Urban

IV., who advised a crusade against the Greeks.

The same policy was pursued by his successor,

Pope Gregory X., and so formidable a front

was set against Palaeologus that he determined

to be reconciled with the church of Rome.

He accordingly sent ambassadors to Italy to

tender his compliance with the demands of

the Holy Father in all matters at issue between the East and the West. Then did the

pope grow tender towards the returning prodigal of Constantinople. To that city were

soon dispatched the pope's nuncios to further

the work of union, but their presence there

excited the animosity of the Greeks, who

never consented to the primacy of the Western

Church. The rebellious ecclesiastics were accordingly excommunicated by the irate pope,

and the sword of Michael suspended over their

heads. But neither could the Emperor coerce

his subjects, nor would the papal power be saisfied with less. Finally, Martin IV., tired of

what he considered the lukewarmness of Michael, added him to the list of the excluded,

and when the Emperor died his son Andronicus, in extraordinary zeal for the Eastern

revival, denied him the rites of Christian

burial. The Turcomans now became once more aggressive and terrible. The armies of the Empire had, in the mean time, been recruited

from the Western provinces of the ancient

dominions of Rome, and were commanded by

Roger de Flor. He with his Catalans and

Portuguese confronted the Turks, and inflicted

on them two decisive defeats. The rough

soldiers, however, became as terrible to the

Greeks for whom they battled as to the Turks

against whom they fought. Roger was enticed

to Adrianople, and assassinated in the presence of the Empress. His followers then

rallied on the Hellespont, and Andronicus

pleaded eagerly for peace. Time and again

his forces were defeated; nor is it likely that

he could have maintained himself much longer

but for the quarrels which broke out among

the Catalan chiefs and led to their abandonment of the country of the Propontis.

Following the example of his father, Andronicus associated with himself in the government a son destined to be his successor. This was the prince Michael. The latter in like

manner had his son, named Andronicus, after

the grandfather, recognized as Caesar; so that

for once there were three Augusti, representing as many generations, reigning, as contemporaries. Of the three the father, Michael,

was the first to die; and for once the Empire

presented the scene of an aspiring stripling

contending with a superfluous grandfather for

the throne. The period from 1321 to 1328

was occupied with the civil wars between the

elder and the younger Andronicus, in which

at the last the youth triumphed, and by the

capture of Constantinople became sole sovereign of the now contracted dominions of the

East. The grandfather gave over the struggle

and was converted into the good old monk

Anthony.

Meanwhile on the ruins of the great Mongul dynasty of Asia, founded in the twelfth

century by Genghis Khan, and by him extended until it surpassed in geographical area

any other political dominion ever established