The story of Andronicus III is one that by this period in Byzantine history is becoming ever more familiar. The son of Michael IX and heir-apparent to the throne, his youthful years witnessed the increasing distress of his grandfather who imagined his grandson too volatile and unstable to succeed him. Andy's volatility was such that he set upon and killed his own brother in the belief that his sibling was becoming too familiar with his (Andy's) mistress. The episode so distressed his father Michael IX who was worn out from near continuous campaigning in a losing cause, he died leaving Andronicus III as the only remaining co-emperor. In spite of his flaws, Andy enjoyed a populist following that enabled him to stay in the limelight, and as his grandfather's popularity declined so did his own increase. When the elder emperor disinherited his wild grandson, Andy inspired a popular uprising against the aging emperor forcing him to reinstate Andy as his heir. As Andronicus II's grip on power declined, Andy was able to slip into the imperial palace one night, arrest Granddad and then, gently, tell him he would now be retired. The old man stepped down without so much as a huff and lived the rest of his days in a monastery. But Andronicus III, and this is the familiar part, was subject to the chaos of his times. All the problems that beset the empire during his grandfather's reign continued, and then worsened, during his. Little by little the borders of the empire were being nibbled away by the usual suspects: the Turks, the Bulgarians, renegade Greeks and the many other groups that had been historical enemies of the Byzantines. Robbing the empire's territories meant fewer taxes and manpower which translated into a weaker economy and military ability. This, of course, spawned a vicious cycle hard to break out of. Although he was to prove his father and grandfather wrong and was as gifted a leader as could be expected, the crippling situation made him, as well as his followers, irrelevant now that the empire was rapidly deteriorating. He died of a high fever on June 15, 1341.
SB 2466, DOC V 942 AU Hyperpyron Obv: ANNAIWENXW - Anna of Savoy and John V standing facing.
Rev: ANDRONIKOCDEPO - Andronicus kneeling left before Christ standing right; IC XC to right. 1341-1347 (Constantinople).
SB 2471, DOC V 860, Bendall 195.2, Grierson 1317 AR Basilikon Obv: IC XC across field, Christ enthroned; sigla: B B
Rev: ΔHMHTPIOCANΔPNKOCGOA - St. Demetrius on left and Andronicus on right standing. (Constantinople). $500 5/21/03.
SB 2481, DOC V 908 AE Assarion (Class IV) Obv: Andronicus standing facing, holding scepter cruciger over right shoulder.
Rev: Split-ended cross, pellets in each quadrant. (Constantinople). $600 5/21/03.
SB 2494 AE Trachy Obv: Paleologan monogram.
Rev: AN D P NI K C - Andronicus standing facing, holding cross scepter and akakia. (Constantinople). $600 5/21/03.