The Byzantine Empire, fragmented and enfeebled by the Fourth Crusade in 1204, never again recovered its former extent, power and influence. Its greatest revival came when the Byzantines in exile reclaimed their capital city of Constantinople in 1261 and this book narrates the history of this restored empire from 1261 to its conquest by the Ottoman Turks in 1453. First published in 1972, the book has been completely revised, amended, and in part rewritten, with its source references and bibliography updated to take account of scholarly research on this last period of Byzantine history carried out over the past twenty years.
1. The Byzantine empire after the Fourth Crusade; 2. The empire in exile and its restoration; Part I. The Problems of the Restored Empire: the Reign of Michael VIII Palaiologos, 1261-82: 3. The price of survival; 4. The battle of wits between east and west; 5. The Byzantine dilemma in the thirteenth century; Part II. Byzantium as a Second-rate Power: the Reign of Andronikos II Palaiologos,1282-1321: 6. The restoration of orthodoxy; 7. Symptoms and causes of decline; 8. The failure to find a cure; 9. The nature of the enemy; Part III. The Mortal Illness of Byzantium: the Age of Civil Wars, 1321-54: 10. The question of the succession and the first civil war; 11. The reign of Andronikos III, 1328-41; 12. The second civil war, 1341-47; 13. The reign of John VI Cantacuzene, 1347-54; Part IV. Byzantium as a Vassal of the Turks: the Last Hundred Years, 1354-1453: 14. The reign of John V Palaiologos, 1354-91; 15. The reign of Manuel II: the first crisis, 1391-1402; 16. The last reprieve, 1402-25; 17. The Ottoman revival and the reign of John VIII Palaiologos, 1425-48; 18 Constantine XI and Mehmed II: The fall of Constantinople, 1448-53; 19. The last outposts of Byzantium; Bibliography.