), the name of an illustrious Byzantine family, of which there are said to have been descendants still existing in the 17th century (Du Cange, Familiae Byzantinae, p. 255).
This family is first mentioned in the eleventh century [see below No. 1], and from that time down to the downfall of the Byzantine empire the name constantly occurs.
It was the last Greek famiily that sat upon the throne of Constantinople, and it reigned uninterruptedly from the year 1260 to 1453, when Constantinople was taken by the Turks, and the last emperor of the family fell while bravely defending his capital.
A branch of this family ruled over Montferrat in Italy from A.D. 1305 to 1530, Theodorus Comnenus Palaeologus, the son of Andronicus II., taking possession of the principality in virtue of the will of John of Montferrat, who died without children.
This branch of the family does not fall within the compass of the present work; and we can only mention the leading Palaeologi spoken of in Byzantine history.
A full account of all of them is given by Du Cange, where all the authorities for the following particulars are collected (Familiae Lyzantinae,