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the name of one of the most illustrious of the Byzantine families. It is probable that the Cantacuzeni belonged to the nobility at Constantinople long before the time of its supposed founder, who lived in the latter part of the eleventh and the early part of the twelfth century. There are at present several Greek nobles who style themselves princes Cantacuzeni, but it is very doubtful whether they are descended from the imperial Cantacuzeni, of whom, however, there are probably descendants living in Italy, although they have dropt the name of their ancestors.

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