We pause the narrative briefly to learn more about Manuel’s world. Today we talk about the Emperor’s personality and relatives. Including his cousin, friend and rival Andronikos.
Pic: Maria of Antioch, Manuel’s second wife (Manuscript miniature, Vatican Library)
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Byzantine history generally has the air of inevitable doom about it, but the last century has been ominous foreshadowing left and right. Just hearing the name Andronikos pop up is like meeting someone you know in your heart will one day kill you – and then he keeps getting closer and closer.
And here’s Manuel, obliviously forgiving his dear cousin. How incredibly banal for them to have (possibly) fallen out over judging each other’s sex life.