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Michael IX Palaiologos

Michael IX Palaiologos

Byzantine co-emperor
The basics
Quick Facts
A.K.A. Michael IX Palaeologus
Gender male
Birth April 17, 1277 (Constantinople)
Death October 12, 1320 (Thessaloniki, Municipality of Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia Region, Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace)
Mother: Anna of Hungary
Father: Andronikos II Palaiologos
Spouse: Rita of Armenia
Children: Theodora PalaiologinaAndronikos III PalaiologosAnna Palaiologina
The details

Michael IX Palaiologos or Palaeologus (Greek: Μιχαήλ Θ΄ Παλαιολόγος, Mikhaēl IX Palaiologos), (17 April 1277 – 12 October 1320, Thessalonica, reigned as Byzantine co-emperor with full imperial style 1294/1295–1320. Michael IX was the eldest son of Andronikos II Palaiologos and Anna of Hungary (1260-1281), daughter of Stephen V of Hungary.


Michael IX Palaiologos was acclaimed co-emperor in 1281 and was crowned in 1294 or 1295. In 1300, he was sent at the head of Alanian mercenaries against the Turks in Asia Minor, and in 1304–1305 he was charged with dealing with the rebellious Catalan Company. After successfully organizing the murder of the Catalan commander Roger de Flor in an elaborate plot, Michael IX led the Byzantine troops (augmented by Turks and 5–8,000 Alans) against the furious Catalans (who swore revenge for the assassination of their commander), but was decisively defeated at the Battle of Apros. He was also heavily injured during that battle; a Catalan soldier named Bernad Ferrer seized him, whipped him and slashed his face.

A brave and energetic soldier willing to make personal sacrifices to pay or encourage his troops, Michael IX was generally unable to overcome the Catalans and is the only Palaiologan emperor to predecease his father. Michael IX's premature death at age 43 was attributed in part to grief over the accidental murder of his younger son Manuel Palaiologos by retainers of his older son and co-emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos.


Michael IX Palaiologos married Rita of Armenia (renamed Maria, later nun Xene), daughter of King Leo III of Armenia and Queen Keran of Armenia on 16 January 1294. By this marriage, Michael IX had several children, including:

  • Andronikos III Palaiologos
  • Manuel Palaiologos, despotēs
  • Anna Palaiologina, who married Thomas I Komnenos Doukas and then Nicholas Orsini.
  • Theodora Palaiologina, who married Theodore Svetoslav of Bulgaria and then Michael Asen III of Bulgaria.


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