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John VI Cantacuzenus, 13 May 1347 - 22 November 1354 A.D.
Joint rule as senior emperor with John V, 13 May 1347 - April 1353 A.D. Sole rule, April 1353 - February 1354 A.D. Joint rule with Matthew Cantacuzenus (his son), February 1354 - 22 November 1354 A.D.
When Andronicus III died, his chief administrator, John Kantakouzenos asserted a claim to regency of the young emperor John V. The emperor's mother, Anna of Savoy, was appointed regent and she had John Kantakouzenos declared an enemy of the state. After John Kantakouzenos defeated Anna with Ottoman help, he was made Emperor John VI. John V was married to his daughter, Helena Kantakouzene, and the boy was allowed to reign as the junior emperor. John VI Kantakouzenos unsuccessfully spent much of his own private wealth trying to strengthen the Empire but was still unpopular because of his ties to the Ottomans. His attempt to curb Genoese power ended with the total destruction of the Byzantine fleet in 1349. John VI ignored his young colleague and in time even replaced him with his own son Matthew. John V Palaeologus obtained Genoese help, overthrew his rivals, and banished John Kantakouzenos to a monastery, where he lived 30 years as the monk Joasaph and wrote his famous history.