Andreas Palaiologos was born 1453 to Thomas Palaiologos (c1409-1465) and Katharina Zaccaria of Achaea (1411-1462) and died 1502 of unspecified causes. Charlemagne (747-814)/s, Hugh Capet (c940-996)/s.

Andreas Palaiologos' (or Palaeologus) (1453–1502) titular Byzantine emperor and Despot of Morea from 1465 until his death in 1502.


He was the nephew of Constantine XI Palaiologos, the last Byzantine Emperor of Constantinople. After Constantine was defeated and killed by the forces of Mehmed II on May 29, 1453, Andreas continued to live in Morea, which was ruled independently by Andreas' father Thomas Palaiologos, the younger brother of Constantine, until 1460. At this time he escaped to the Italian peninsula following an Ottoman invasion. When his father died in 1465, Andreas stayed in Italy under the protection of the Papal States. He lived in Rome, styling himself Imperator Constantinopolitanus ("Emperor of Constantinople").[1] Andreas is considered the last "titular" Roman (Byzantine) Emperor who, curiously, lived in Rome years after the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire.

During his lifetime, Andreas was believed to have wasted enormous sums of money given to him by the Pope; however, modern historians now believe that the money received from the Pope was only enough for a meager style of life.

Looking for money and a better life, Andreas sold the rights to the Byzantine crown which he held since the death of his father, Thomas. Charles VIII of France purchased the rights of succession from Andreas in 1494 and died on April 7, 1498.

Andreas' younger brother Manuel Palaiologos arranged a deal with the Ottoman Sultan Bayazid II, exchanging his rights to the Byzantine throne, which were already lawfully sold to France, for a comfortable pension.

Andreas died a pauper in 1502, in spite of having sold his titles and royal and imperial rights again to Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile.[1]. Neither of them, however, is attested to have used the title of Imperator Constantinopolitanus, or anything similar, and the title appears to have fallen into desuetude.

Eight years after the marriage of Ivan III of Russia with Andreas' sister Zoe Palaiologina (c1448-1503) and only 1 year after the birth of their son in 1480, Ivan had started to call himself tsar (emperor). This was related to Russia's growing ambitions to become an Orthodox "Third Rome" (Constantinople being the second Rome) and Byzantium's heir. Finally, in 1514, Ivan III of Russia (1440-1505) was recognized in the title of emperor of Russia in a letter from Maximilian I, the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.[2] Maximilian's letter was of great importance to Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great, when they wished to back up their titles of "tsar" and "emperor", respectively. This letter was needed for somebody to be legally proclaimed Roman emperor or heir of Roman or Byzantine empire. Both monarchs demonstrated the letter to foreign ambassadors; Peter even referred to it when he was proclaimed Emperor by the Senate and the Synod.

Andreas visited his sister in Moscow in 1480 and 1491.


While most scholars believe Andreas left no descendants, Donald M. Nicol's The Immortal Emperor recognises a son, Constantine Palaiologos who served in the Papal Guard and a daughter, Maria, who married the Russian noble Vasily Mikhailovich Vereysky (?-c1501) as possible offspring of Andreas.

Russian sources tell of a great scandal in Moscow regarding Sophia's niece Maria. The Grand Duchess arranged the marriage of her niece with Prince Vasili Mikhailovich of Vereya-Belozersk. Vasili was the son of Prince Mikhail Andreyevich Mozhaisky (?-1486) who was a cousin of Grand Duke Ivan III. In 1483 Sophia gave to her niece a necklace from the dowry of Ivan III's first wife Maria of Tver, mother of her stepson Ivan the Young, the heir. When Ivan III wanted to present the same necklace to Ivan the Young's wife Elena of Moldavia he found out that the jewel was missing. Because of this scandal, Maria and her husband Vasily escaped to Lithuania, and Mikhail Andreevich of Mozhaysk lost the Principality of Vereya. Only in 1493 did Sophia persuade her husband to forgive Maria and Vasiliy.[3]


16. Andronikos III Palaiologos
8. John V Palaiologos
17. Anna of Savoy
4. Manuel II Palaiologos (1350-1425)
18. John VI Kantakouzenos
9. Helena Kantakouzene
19. Irene Asanina
2. Thomas Palaiologos (c1409-1465)
20. Dejan
10. Constantine Dragaš
21. Theodora of Serbia
5. Jelena Dragaš (c1372-1450)
1. Andreas Palaiologos
24. Centurione I Zaccaria
12. Andronico Asano Zaccaria
25. Asanina
6. Centurione II Zachariainos (1404-1432)
26. Erard III, Baron of Arcadia and Saint-Sauveur
13. Mavros of Arcadia
3. Katharina Zaccaria of Achaea (1411-1462
28. Leonardo I di Tocco
14. Leonardo II di Tocco
29. Maddalena Buondelmonti
7. Creusa Tocco (c1404-a1424)

Patrilineal descent

Descent before Michael VIII is taken from es:Dinastía Paleólogo and may be inaccurate.

  1. Nikephoros Palaiologos
  2. George Palaiologos
  3. Nikephoros Palaiologos
  4. Michael Komnenos
  5. Alexios Palaiologos
  6. Andronikos Doukas Komnenos Palaiologos, d. 1246
  7. Michael VIII Palaiologos, 1223–1282
  8. Andronikos II Palaiologos, 1259–1332
  9. Michael IX Palaiologos, 1277–1320
  10. Andronikos III Palaiologos, 1297–1341
  11. John V Palaiologos, 1332–1391
  12. Manuel II Palaiologos, 1350–1425
  13. Thomas Palaiologos, 1409–1465
  14. Andreas Palaiologos, 1453–1502


  1. ^ a b Norwich, John Julius, Byzantium - The Decline and Fall, p.446
  2. ^ "Kayser vnnd Herscher aller Rewssen und Groszfürste zu Wolodimer" in the German text of Maximilian's letter; "Imperator et Dominator universorum Rhutenorum et Magnus Princeps Valadomerorum" in the Latin copy. Vasili III responded by referring to Maximilian as "Maximiliano Dei gratia Electo Romanorum Caesare", i.e., "Roman Caesar".
  3. ^ Sophia Fominichna // Russian Biographical Dictionary


  • Jonathan Harris, Greek Émigrés in the West, 1400-1520, Camberley: Porphyrogenitus, 1995. ISBN 1-871328-11-X
  • Jonathan Harris 'A worthless prince? Andreas Palaeologus in Rome, 1465-1502', Orientalia Christiana Periodica 61 (1995), 537-54
  • Donald M. Nicol, The Immortal Emperor, Cambridge University Press, 1992, pp. 115–22. ISBN 0-521-41456-3.
  • Steven Runciman, The Fall of Constantinople 1453, Cambridge University Press, 1965, pp. 183–4. ISBN 0-521-09573-5
  • also see F. Rodriguez, Origine, cronologia esuccesione degli Imperatori Paleologo, "Riv. di Araldica e Genealogia" I, 1933.
Andreas Palaiologos (1453-1502)
Palaiologos dynasty
Born: 1453 Died: 1502
Pretenders to the title
Preceded by
Thomas Palaiologos
Despot of Morea
Succeeded by
Pretence ended
Byzantine Emperor
(formally "Emperor of Constantinople")

* Reason for succession failure *
The Fall of Constantinople led to
the Ottoman conquest of the Byzantine Empire 
Succeeded by
Ferdinand I and Isabella I


Offspring of Andreas Palaiologos and unknown parent
Name Birth Death Joined with
Maria Palaiologina (?-?)
Constantine Palaiologos (?-?)


Footnotes (including sources)