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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.
'Byzantinists and church historians alike will be grateful to Professor Nicol for having provided what must remain for long the most authoritative and comprehensive survey of the history of the Palaiologan empire.' The Journal of Ecclesiastical History 'This is an excellent account by a first-rate historian ...'. Simon Seligman, The Literary Review