Matthew Cantacuzenus

1354

One of the outcomes of John V's renunciation of the regency and authority of John VI was the coronation of John VI's son Matthew in retaliation. This only escalated tensions between the two but, for now, Matthew would be a beneficiary of their quarreling. With co-emperor status came but a meager perk: he was given the city of Hadrianapolis as the place of his immediate rule and palace court. He had to take this minor concession as best he could and politely retired to his small domains to act the part of emperor. Within the year, however, John V himself rolled up with his army to the gates of Hadrianapolis with the intent of incorporating it as his own and depose this pretender. Matthew, predicatably, didn't just sit idly by but called on his father to send help as soon as possible. John VI resigned his office and Matthew, as part of the formal agreement, was allowed to keep his city but deposed of any imperial titles or rights of succession. However, John V was overall a weak ruler and his own son would rebel against him. Seeing that there would probably be little in the way of reprisals he and his brother Manuel came out of the shadows and formed a despotate of their own based in the southern Greek city of Mistra. (Manuel would later go on to become the emperor Manuel II).

Matthew's short stint as emperor means his coins are exceedingly rare. Sear notes only one type attributed to his sole reign.

No coin photos available.