Constantine XV Angelus
|Emperor Constantine XV|
His Imperial Majesty Emperor Constantine XV was a distant descendent of the Angeli dynasty, which ruled Constantinople for a time before the founding of Pantocratoria. A minor aristocrat, his ability as an administrator had impressed Emperor Constantine XIII Comnenus, who offered Constantine the hand of his eleven year old daughter, Irene (named after her mother Irene II Palaeologus), and an Imperial diadem. Constantine married the young princess and was crowned co-emperor (Caesar). He was sent to New Constantinople to maintain order in the region.
New Constantinople had always been the first port of entry for new immigrants and new ideas into Pantocratoria. As the Reformation raged in Europe, oppressed minorities fled overseas. It was the misfortune of one group of Dutch Reformed from occupied parts of the United Provinces of Knootoss fleeing the wrath of Emperor Heinrich VII of Lavenrunz to land in New Constantinople. Historians argue over the exact size of the group, but it is generally believed to have been between two and three hundred. At first the Dutch Reformed Protestants thought they had found a potentially friendly harbour, reasoning that as Greek speakers, it was likely that the Pantocratorians were Greek Orthodox and generally sympathetic.
When Constantine XV discovered the settlement, he was keen to correct their misconceptions. There had always been some religious tension in New Constantinople and its environs as to whether the Church in Pantocratoria should be under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople or the Pope. To add a third religious faction to the mix was, in Constantine's view, dangerous. He issued an edict requiring the Knootians to convert to Byzantine Catholicism by Christmas Day, 1590. The Dutch Reformed settlers refused, but asked permission to leave Pantocratoria for the New World. Their request was left unanswered, until Christmas, 1590, in what would become known as the Christmas Conjuration. The settlers were, without exception, put to death.
It was perhaps this demonstration of strength, coupled with his marriage to Princess Irene and a weak-willed senior emperor, that Constantine XV was able to obtain a guarantee that his son would be crowned junior emperor after his death. No other junior emperor has ever successfully ensured the succession of his own title after his death. Constantine XV was killed in a riding accident at the age of 47.
| Preceded by:
| Angeli Imperial Claimant
Emperor of New Constantinople
(Crowned by Constantine XIII Comnenus)