Manuel II, During his reign, from 1413 to 1421
During his reign, from 1413 to 1421, the Byzantines enjoyed their last respite. Manuel II, aware that it could not last, made the most of it by strengthening the defenses and administration of the fragments of his empire.
Its prosperity had been built up first by the sons of John Cantacuzenus (who died there in 1383) and then by the son and grandson of John V—Theodore I and Theodore II Palaeologus.
Among its scholars was George Gemistus Plethon, a Platonist who dreamed of a rebirth of Hellenism on Hellenic soil.