Michael VIII oversaw the restoration of the Byzantine Empire after Constantinople was recaptured from the Latin Empire in 1261. Throughout Michael’s reign, there was a concerted effort to re-establish the Latin Empire and return Constantinople to the control of the pope. This effort was mainly driven by the King of Sicily, Charles I, who would act as the main opposing force to Michael’s plans for the Byzantine Empire and the reunification of the eastern and western churches. Due to the pressure of attacks against the Latin forces in Greece and from the Bulgarians in the north, Michael was not able to spare any sizeable military force to defend the eastern frontier from attacks by groups of nomadic Turks. The Byzantine Empire had a peace treaty with the Seljuk Turks; however, Michael’s inability to provide protection against the nomads caused increased civil unrest in the East and gradually allowed Turkish influence to grow.
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