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Anna of Savoy

Anna of Savoy

Byzantine Empress consort, as the second wife of Andronikos III Palaiologos
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Byzantine Empress consort, as the second wife of Andronikos III Palaiologos
Gender female
Birth January 1, 1306
Death January 1, 1360 (Constantinople)
Family
Mother: Marie of BrabantCountess of Savoy
Father: Amadeus VCount of Savoy
Siblings: AymonCount of SavoyEdwardCount of SavoyAgnes of SavoyMargaret of SavoyBonne of SavoyBeatrice of BâgéCatherine of SavoyBeatrice of Savoy
Spouse: Andronikos III Palaiologos
Children: John V PalaiologosMaria-Irene Palaiologina
The details
Biography
Not to be confused with Anne of Savoy

Anna of Savoy, born Giovanna (1306–1365) was a Byzantine Empress consort, as the second spouse of Andronikos III Palaiologos. She served as regent during the minority of her son from 1341 until 1347.

Life

Anna was a daughter of Amadeus V, Count of Savoy, and his second wife, Maria of Brabant.

Empress

She was betrothed to Andronikos III Palaiologos, during which time he was involved in a civil war with his paternal grandfather Andronikos II Palaiologos. He had claimed the throne since 1321.

According to the history of John VI Kantakouzenos, the marriage took place in October, 1326. She joined the Eastern Orthodox Church and took the name Anna.

In 1328, Andronikos III entered Constantinople and finally deposed his grandfather.

Regent

On 15 June 1341, Andronikos III died. He was succeeded by their son John V who was still three days short of his ninth birthday. Anna was appointed regent for her son. However Andronikos III had entrusted the administration to his advisor John Kantakouzenos. Anna did not trust the powerful advisor.

At about the same time, Stefan Uroš IV Dušan of Serbia launched an invasion of Northern Thrace. Kantakouzenos left Constantinople to try to restore order to the area. In his absence, Patriarch John XIV of Constantinople and courtier Alexios Apokaukos convinced Anna that the senior advisor was her enemy. Anna declared Kantakouzenos an enemy of the state and offered the title of eparch of Constantinople to Apokaukos.

Kantakouzenos was still in control of part of the Byzantine army. On 26 October 1341, he answered by proclaiming himself emperor at Didymoteicho. This was the beginning of a civil war that would last until 1347. Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria soon allied with the faction under John V and Anna while Stefan Uroš IV Dušan of Serbia sided with John VI. Both rulers were actually taking advantage of the civil war for their own political and territorial gains. In time John VI would ally himself with Orhan I of the nascent Ottoman emirate.

At the same time Anna was attempting to gain support from Western Europe. In Summer, 1343 an emissary proclaimed her loyalty to Pope Clement VI in Avignon. In August, 1343, Anna pawned the Byzantine crown jewels to the Republic of Venice for 30,000 ducats as part of an attempt to secure more finances for the war. However Anna at last lost the war.

On 3 February 1347, the two sides reached an agreement. John VI was accepted as senior emperor with John V as his junior co-ruler. The agreement with the marriage of John V to Helena Kantakouzene, a daughter of John VI. John VI entered Constantinople and took effective control of the city.

Later years

In 1351, Anna left Constantinople for Thessaloniki. She held her own court in the city, issuing decrees in her name and even controlling a mint. She was the second Byzantine empress to hold court in Thessaloniki, following Irene of Montferrat. Her rule there lasted to about 1365.

Her last official act was the donation of a convent in the memory of Agioi Anargyroi (Greek: «Άγιοι Ανάργυροι» "The Holy Unmercenaries"). Agioi Anargyroi is the joined description of Saints Cosmas and Damian, who supposedly offered free medical services. Their worshipers usually pray for healing. The donation may indicate Anna suffering from poor health and hoping for a cure. A little later she became a nun and died under the name "Anastasia" ca. 1365.

Issue

  • Maria (renamed Eirene) Palaiologina (1327 – after 1356), who married Michael Asen IV of Bulgaria.
  • John V Palaiologos (18 June 1332 – 16 February 1391).
  • Michael Palaiologos, despotes (1337 – before 1370). He entered the court of Stefan Uroš IV Dušan of Serbia in 1351/1352.
  • Eirene (renamed Maria) Palaiologina (d. 6 August 1384), who married Francesco I of Lesbos.

Ancestry

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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