Michael VIII Palaeologus (Byzantine Empire). Article #26. Vol 8, pg 93.
In the grand map of history, Michael VIII Palaeologus, Byzantine Emperor from 1261-1282 is a bit of a blip. From 324-1453 AD there were 93 Byzantine emperors, so we can be forgiven if we forget a few.
Michael VIII grew up in Nicaea, home of the Byzantine Empire in exile, after Constantinople had fallen to the army of the 4th Crusade in 1204. Michael dreamed of kicking the Latins out of Constantinople and retaking the city. His big break came in 1258, He was appointed regent for the young emperor, John IV Laskaris. Michael promptly blinded John, took the throne for himself, and then retook Constantinople in 1261.
Michael spent the rest of his reign resisting the attempts of the Latins to retake Constantinople. He even went so far as to unite the Orthodox and Catholic churches, attempting to win the pope as an ally.
“Michael VIII Palaeologus (Byzantine Empire).” Encyclopedia Britannica. 15th ed. 2010. Vol 8, pg 93.