Maria / Despina-Khatun of the Byzantine Empire

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Maria / Despina-Khatun of the Byzantine Empire (Palaiologina)

Russian: Мария Деспина Монгольская (Палеолог), Greek: Μαρία Δέσποινα Παλαιολογίνα, Persian: دسپنه خاتون‎ of the Byzantine Empire (Palaiologina)
Also Known As: "Maria Palaiologina", "later sister Melany - a noun"
Birthplace: Byzantium, (Constantinople), Istanbul, Turkey
Death: Died in Wallachia, Romania
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Michael VIII Palaiologos and Mistress Diplovatatzina
Wife of Abaqa Khan
Mother of Uljath Khanum, Queen consort of Georgia; Marija Archautlan "Maria" Khanum of Persia and Geikhatu Ilkhan Grand Khan of Persia
Sister of Euphrosyne Palaiologina
Half sister of Manuel Palaiologos; Andronikos II Palaiologos; Anna Komnene Palaiologina; Konstantinos Palaiologos; Irini Palaiologina and 2 others

Managed by: Noah Gregory Tutak
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Immediate Family

About Maria / Despina-Khatun of the Byzantine Empire

Maria Palaiologina (Greek: Μαρία Παλαιολογίνα) was an illegitimate daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos (ruled 1258-1282), the wife of the Mongol ruler Abaqa Khan, and an influential Christian leader among the Mongols. After Abaqa's death she became the leader of a Monastery in Constantinople which was popularly named after her as Saint Mary of the Mongols.

[ Her father arranged her marriage to Hulagu Il-Khan, but by the time she arrived at his court he had died and she was married to his son instead. Vardan's History records that "Abaqa was brought a wife from the Byzantines named Despina, daughter of the king called Vatatzes" in [14 Jan 1265/13 Jan 1266] and that he was baptised at her request[331]. She was known as Despina Khatun at the Il-Khan court[332]. She founded the convent of Mugulion after 1281. She [married secondly ([1307/08]) Charbanden, Turkish prince]. Pachymeres records that Emperor Andronikos II negotiated an alliance with "Charmpantane" and proposed his marriage to "sororem propriam Mariam…dominæ Mugullorum", granting her "comitatu deduci Nicæam" which had been invaded by the Persians, dated to [1307/08] from the context[333]. It is not clear from the text whether this marriage ever took place, especially as it is unclear why Charbanden would have considered Maria a good marriage prospect as she must have been in her 50s or early 60s at the time, assuming that the date of her first marriage is correct. ] ref

After Abaqa's death, his widow Maria fled back to Constantinople where her father, apparently wishing to spare his capital the fate that befell Baghdad, tried to marry her off again to another Mongol khan. Maria could not accept the offer, became a nun, and founded the church of Panagia Mouchliotissa around 1285.

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Maria / Despina-Khatun of the Byzantine Empire's Timeline

Byzantium, (Constantinople), Istanbul, Turkey
Age 19
Maraghah, Adhorbijan Province, Persia, Iran
Age 26
Maraghah, Adhorbijan Province, Persia, Iran
Age 29
Maraghah, Azarbaijan, Iran
Age 62
Wallachia, Romania