The Palaiologian Reforms were a series of economic and miltiary reforms enacted by Emperor Manuel II of the Roman Empire and his son and successor Emperor John VIII. The purpose of the reforms were to modernize and westernize many of the economic and military policies of the Empire in the face of the Roman revival at the time.

The Reforms


The vast majority of the economic reforms took place in the latter part of Manuel II's rule. To this end, Manuel II reissued gold currency and revalued the silver and bronze coinage in circulation. The overall currency was still called the Stavraton, but now its subdivision was the Torness.

Manuel II also reformed the tax code regarding trade in the capital, allowing merchants of all nations to profit there and reducing the possibility that the Empire would become dependent on one nation's trade.

John VIII continued his father's work by joining the Mediterranean Trade League created by Venice, something that would vastly expand the recovering state's economy, wealth, and influence.


The army was reformed almost entirely in the reign of John VIII, although Manuel II started the process by introducing cannons and hand cannons into the armed forces.

John VIII first dismissed the vast majority of Latin mercenaries from the army, although he kept competant and loyal members around as officers and retainers to train the new mostly Greek army. Most of the dismissed would later take part in the Latin Revolt, but most were pardoned once defeated by the superior Roman Army.

John VIII was a proponent of gunpowder weaponry, and in the first few years of his reign skilled gunsmiths were hired and dispersed throughout the Empire in order to produce such weapons.

The competing royal guard units were also disbanded and reformed into a singular unit called the Paramonai that obeyed and protected the Emperor and state instead of competing with each other for political influence.


The navy began to expand rapidly towards the start of John VIII's reign, and quickly the Roman Navy was the second largest fleet in the Aegean and Black Seas, beaten only by Venice. Some technological advances include the placing of cannons on galleys as well as the return of Greek Fire as a viable weapon.

The industrial strength of the navy increased thanks to diligent studying of Venetian practices and the Turkish shipyards at Sinope, and by the start of John VIII's reign there were important shipyards in Patras, Rhodes, Trebizond, Sinope, and Constantinople.


The only major change in education was the return of the University of Constantinople from Orthodox management to government management, which occurred early on in John VIII's reign.


John VIII was fascinated by western European heraldry, and as he implemented his reforms he took to changing the heraldry of the Empire. He changed the crown jewels and the coat of arms and changed the flag to a rectangular shape common in western European countries.

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