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The introduction sets forth the goals and the methodologies of the study. It reviews the previous scholarship on Manuel II Palaiologos and explains the contributions made by this book. While setting the scholarly background of the book, previous studies on Late Byzantine political and socio-economic history, Byzantine literature, Byzantine philosophy and theology are discussed in relation to Manuel's biography. By relying on studies on historical biography writing and some select examples from historical biographies of Western medieval rulers, the metholodology for writing Manuel's biography is established. The sources used in the biography are introduced and their chief characteristics are discussed.
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