The Byzantine civil war of 1341–47 broke out after the death of
Emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos (pictured). As his chief aide and
closest friend, John VI Kantakouzenos became regent for the Emperor's
young son and heir, John V Palaiologos. While Kantakouzenos was absent
from Constantinople, a new regency was established with support from
Empress-Dowager Anna of Savoy, which launched a persecution of
Kantakouzenos' family and supporters. In response, Kantakouzenos was
proclaimed co-emperor at Demotika on 26 October 1341. During the first
years of the war, the forces of the new regency prevailed. Most of the
cities in Thrace and Macedonia came under regency control, but
Kantakouzenos reversed these gains with assistance from the neighbouring
rulers of Serbia and the Turkish beyliks. Kantakouzenos was crowned in
1346, and entered Constantinople on 3 February 1347. By agreement, he
was to rule for ten years as the senior emperor and regent for John V,
until the boy came of age. Despite this apparent victory, a subsequent
resumption of the civil war forced Kantakouzenos to retire to become a
monk in 1354. The conflict proved disastrous for the Empire, as seven
years of warfare, marauding armies, social turmoil, the loss of
territory to neighbouring rulers, and the Black Death devastated
Byzantium, reducing it to a rump state.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_civil_war_of_1341%E2%80%9347>
Today's selected anniversaries:
The final stone of St Paul's Cathedral (pictured), rebuilt
after the original burned down in the 1666 Great Fire of London, was
laid by the son of its architect, Christopher Wren.
The Chicago Theatre, which is the oldest surviving Neo-Baroque
French-revival grand movie palace, opened.
World War II: In one of the largest naval battles in modern
history, Allied forces defeated the Imperial Japanese Navy at the Battle
of Leyte Gulf in the seas surrounding the Philippine island of Leyte.
Somalian hospital cook Ali Maow Maalin began displaying
symptoms in the last known case of naturally occurring smallpox.
Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty settling relations
between the two countries and pledging that neither would allow its
territory to become a staging ground for military strikes by a third
Wiktionary's word of the day:
(literature) A protagonist who proceeds in an unheroic manner, such as
by criminal means, via cowardly actions, or for mercenary goals.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
these days you might feel a shaft of light make its way across
your face and when you do you'll know how it was meant to be see the
signs and know their meaning