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John II(John Comnenus) (kŏmnē`nəs), 1088–1143, Byzantine emperor (1118–43), son and successor of Alexius I. He was crowned despite the intrigues of his sister, Anna ComnenaAnna Comnena
, b. 1083, d. after 1148, Byzantine princess and historian; daughter of Emperor Alexius I. She plotted, during and after her father's reign, against her brother, John II, in favor of her husband, Nicephorus Bryennius, whom she wished to rule as emperor.
..... Click the link for more information. , and of his mother, Irene. His attempts to cancel the commercial privileges granted the Venetians by Alexius were unsuccessful, but his campaigns against the Magyars, Serbs, and Pechenegs were victorious. He successfully defied Roger II of Sicily, made an alliance with Emperor Conrad III to check growing Norman power, and conquered Cilicia from the Armenians. He died while preparing to fight the Latin prince of Antioch. John II was respected for his lofty character and for leniency toward his adversaries. He was succeeded by his son Manuel I.
John II,1397–1479, king of Aragón and Sicily (1458–79), king of Navarre (1425–79), count of Barcelona. He succeeded his brother, Alfonso V, in Aragón, Catalonia, and Sicily and became king of Navarre through his marriage with Blanche, heiress of that kingdom. After Blanche's death (1442) Navarre was ruled by their son, Charles of VianaCharles of Viana
, 1421–61, Spanish prince, heir of Navarre; son of Blanche of Navarre and John (later John II) of Aragón. After his mother's death (1441) he ruled Navarre for his father, but serious differences between the two soon plunged the country into civil
..... Click the link for more information. , but conflict between father and son plunged Navarre into civil war, and Charles fled to Italy. In 1461 a Catalan uprising forced John to recognize Charles as heir, but Charles died in the same year. John was expelled from Catalonia, and René of Anjou was chosen count of Barcelona. Only in 1472 did John succeed in pacifying Catalonia. At John's death Navarre passed to the house of FoixFoix
, town (1990 pop. 10,466), capital of Ariège dept., S France, on the Ariège River at the foot of the Pyrenees. It is an administrative and tourist center with some small industry.
..... Click the link for more information. through the marriage of John's daughter Leonor; Aragón, Catalonia, and Sicily passed to his son, Ferdinand II, who as Ferdinand V also became king of Castile.
John II(John the Good), 1319–64, king of France (1350–64), son and successor of King Philip VI. An inept ruler, he began his reign by executing the constable of France (whose office he gave to his favorite, Charles de La Cerda) and by appointing dishonest and unpopular advisers. Because of a general economic crisis, he subsequently debased the coinage for the expenses of the Hundred Years War between France and England. His quarrels with his ambitious son-in-law, Charles IICharles II
(Charles the Bad), 1332–87, king of Navarre (1349–87), count of Évreux; grandson of King Louis X of France. He carried on a long feud with his father-in-law, John II, king of France, procuring the assassination (1354) of John's favorite, Charles de
..... Click the link for more information. of Navarre, lasted throughout his reign. John was captured (1356) by the English at the battle of Poitiers. During his captivity, the dauphin (later King Charles VCharles V
(Charles the Wise), 1338–80, king of France (1364–80). Son of King John II, Charles became the first French heir apparent to bear the title of dauphin after the addition of the region of Dauphiné to the royal domain in 1349.
..... Click the link for more information. ) acted as regent and dealt with several rebellions, such as the JacquerieJacquerie
[Fr.,=collection of Jacques, which is, like Jacques Bonhomme, a nickname for the French peasant], 1358, revolt of the French peasantry. The uprising was in part a reaction to widespread poverty during the Hundred Years War.
..... Click the link for more information. . In 1360, by the Treaty of BrétignyBrétigny, Treaty of
, 1360, concluded by England and France at Brétigny, a village near Chartres, France. It marked a low point in French fortunes in the Hundred Years War.
..... Click the link for more information. , John was released in exchange for a ransom and hostages. In 1364 one of the hostages escaped, and John saved his honor by returning to England, where he died.
John II(John Sigismund Zapolya), 1540–71, king of Hungary and prince of Transylvania, son of John I. Through his mother, Isabel (daughter of Sigismund I of Poland), he was related to the JagielloJagiello
, dynasty that ruled Poland and Lithuania from 1386 to 1572, Hungary from 1440 to 1444 and again from 1490 to 1526, and Bohemia from 1471 to 1526.
..... Click the link for more information. dynasty. As an infant, he was crowned king of Hungary on his father's death (1540). Sultan Sulayman ISulayman I
or Sulayman the Magnificent,
1494–1566, Ottoman sultan (1520–66), son and successor of Selim I. He is known as Sulayman II when considered as a successor of King Solomon of the Bible and Qur'an.
..... Click the link for more information. , on the pretext of protecting John's interests, invaded (1541) Hungary and took the capital, Buda, which remained in Ottoman hands for 150 years. John and Isabel received the principality of Transylvania under Ottoman suzerainty, but actual power was held by John's guardian, the monk George Martinuzzi, who sought to restore a unified Hungary. In 1551, Martinuzzi procured the deposition of John and Isabel and reunited Transylvania with Hungary, recognizing Ferdinand of Austria and Bohemia (later Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand IFerdinand I,
1503–64, Holy Roman emperor (1558–64), king of Bohemia (1526–64) and of Hungary (1526–64), younger brother of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
..... Click the link for more information. ) as king. Martinuzzi, made prince-primate and a cardinal, soon fell out with Ferdinand, who had him assassinated. On the pressure of Sulayman I the diet of Transylvania recalled (1556) John and Isabel, and when Ferdinand made peace (1562) with Sulayman, he also recognized John as ruler of Transylvania. Thus Hungary remained split into three states—an Austrian part, a Ottoman part, and Transylvania. It was under John II that the Transylvanian diet adopted (1564) Calvinism as the state religion. John was succeeded as prince of Transylvania by Stephen Báthory (see under BáthoryBáthory
, Pol. Batory, Hungarian noble family. Stephen Báthory, 1477–1534, a loyal adherent of John I of Hungary (John Zápolya), was made (1529) voivode [governor] of Transylvania.
..... Click the link for more information. , family).
John II(John Casimir), 1609–72, king of Poland (1648–68), son of Sigismund IIISigismund III,
1566–1632, king of Poland (1587–1632) and Sweden (1592–99). The son of John III of Sweden and Catherine, sister of Sigismund II of Poland, he united the Vasa and Jagiello dynasties.
..... Click the link for more information. . He was elected to succeed his brother, Ladislaus IV. The turbulent period of his reign is known in Polish history as the Deluge. The uprising of the Cossacks under ChmielnickiChmielnicki, Khmelnytskyy or Khmelnitsky, Bohdan
, c.1595–1657, hetman (leader) of Ukraine. An educated member of the Ukrainian gentry, he early joined the Ukrainian Cossacks.
..... Click the link for more information. , supported by the khan of Crimea, had begun under his predecessor. John II defeated (1651) the allied Cossack, Tatar, and Ottoman forces, but in 1654 the Cossacks accepted Russian suzerainty over UkraineUkraine
, Ukr. Ukraina, republic (2005 est. pop. 47,425,000), 232,046 sq mi (601,000 sq km), E Europe. It borders on Poland in the northwest; on Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova in the southwest; on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov in the south; on Russia in the
..... Click the link for more information. , and Czar Alexis promptly invaded Poland. In 1655, Charles XCharles X,
1622–60, king of Sweden (1654–60), nephew of Gustavus II. The son of John Casimir, count palatine of Zweibrücken, he brought the house of Wittelsbach to the Swedish throne when his cousin, Queen Christina, abdicated in his favor.
..... Click the link for more information. of Sweden nearly overran Poland and was checked only by the successful Polish defense of CzęstochowaCzęstochowa
, city (1993 est. pop. 258,800), Śląskie prov., S Poland, on the Warta River. It is an important railway and industrial center, known especially for its iron and steel plant and iron-smelting works.
..... Click the link for more information. , which inspired the Poles to renewed resistance. George II RákóczyRákóczy
, noble Hungarian family that played an important role in the history of Transylvania and Hungary in the 17th and 18th cent. Sigismund Rákóczy, 1544–1608, was elected (1607) prince of Transylvania to succeed Stephen Bocskay.
..... Click the link for more information. , prince of Transylvania, attacked Poland from the south but was defeated. Frederick WilliamFrederick William,
known as the Great Elector,
1620–88, elector of Brandenburg (1640–88), son and successor of George William. At his accession the scattered lands of the Hohenzollern were devastated and depopulated by the Thirty Years War and occupied by
..... Click the link for more information. of Brandenburg (the Great Elector), originally a Swedish ally, joined (1657) the Polish side in the struggle; in return John recognized his full sovereignty over East Prussia. The fighting in the west was concluded in 1660 (see Oliva, Peace ofOliva, Peace of
, 1660, treaty signed at Oliva (now a suburb of Gdańsk) by Poland and Sweden. John II of Poland renounced the theoretical claim of his line to the Swedish crown, which his father, Sigismund III, had in practice lost in 1599.
..... Click the link for more information. ). War with Russia ended only in 1667, with the cession of the eastern part of Ukraine to the czar. During John's reign the liberum veto (by which any deputy could dissolve the diet and annul its decisions) was greatly abused. The king and his French consort, Louise Marie de Gonzague (widow of Ladislaus IV), were childless; their efforts to nominate a successor evoked several rebellions of the nobles. John abdicated a year after the death (1667) of his queen, and retired to an abbey at Nevers, France. Michael Wisniowiecki was elected his successor; disorder continued during his reign (1668–73), which was followed by that of John IIIJohn III
(John Sobieski) , 1624–96, king of Poland (1674–96), champion of Christian Europe against the Ottomans. Born to an ancient noble family, he was appointed (1668) commander of the Polish army.
..... Click the link for more information. .
John II,1405–54, Spanish king of Castile and León (1406–54), son and successor of Henry III. He was little interested in government, which he entrusted to his favorite Alvaro de LunaLuna, Alvaro de
, 1391?–1453, constable of Castile, grand master of the Order of Santiago. The favorite of John II of Castile, he virtually ruled the kingdom, winning victories over the Moors (1431) and the rebellious nobles (1445).
..... Click the link for more information. . Literature, particularly poetry, flourished at his court, which was also celebrated for tournaments and brilliant festivals. John was succeeded by his son Henry IV.
John II(John the Perfect), 1455–95, king of Portugal (1481–95), son and successor of Alfonso V. He was an astute politician and statesman and a patron of Renaissance art and learning. He reduced the power of the feudal nobility and had his chief opponent, the duke of BraganzaBraganza
, royal house that ruled Portugal from 1640 to 1910 and Brazil from 1822 to 1889. It took its name from the castle of Braganza or Bragança. The line was descended from Alfonso, the natural son of John I of Portugal, who became the duke of Braganza in 1442.
..... Click the link for more information. , executed for treason. John maintained peace with Spain and signed (1494) the Treaty of TordesillasTordesillas, Treaty of
, 1494, agreement signed at Tordesillas, Spain, by which Spain and Portugal divided the non-Christian world into two zones of influence. In principle the treaty followed the papal bull issued in 1493 by Pope Alexander VI, which fixed the demarcation line
..... Click the link for more information. , setting bounds for Spanish and Portuguese colonial expansion. Supporting Portuguese exploration, he sent land expeditions to India and Ethiopia in search of Prester John and sent a vessel N past North Cape. John refused to help Columbus, whom he thought a dreamer, but he encouraged the search for an eastern sea route to India. Diogo Cão discovered (1484) the Congo, and Bartholomew Diaz rounded (1488) the Cape of Good Hope during his reign. John's son Alfonso predeceased him, so he was succeeded by his cousin and brother-in-law, Manuel I.
1. called the Good. 1319--64, king of France (1350--64): captured by the English at Poitiers (1356) and forced to sign treaties (1360) surrendering SW France to England
2. called the Perfect. 1455--95, king of Portugal (1481--95): sponsored Portuguese expansion in the New World and reduced the power of the aristocracy
3. surnamed Casimir Vasa. 1609--72, king of Poland (1648--68), who lost much territory to neighbouring countries: abdicated