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J R Soc Med. 1997 February; 90(2): 106–109.
PMCID: PMC1296151

The fatal disease of the Byzantine Emperor Andronicus III Palaeologus (1328-1341 AD).


The Byzantine Emperor Andronicus III Palaeologus (1328-1341 AD) died at age 45 from a disease the nature of which is unknown. However, light is thrown on this by the texts of the Byzantine historians John Cantacuzenus (who became Emperor under the name of John VI) and Nicephorus Gregoras, both of whom belonged to the immediate entourage of the Emperor. From their descriptions of the symptoms it appears that Andronicus suffered from malaria for 20 years (1321-1341). The coma that preceded the Emperor's death was probably a cerebral manifestation of chronic malaria.

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