Revolutionaries who established an independent regime in Thessalonike (q.v.) from 1342-1350. The Zealots ejected the local aristocracy (q.v.) and expropriated the property of all the landed magnates, including the property of monasteries and churches. The context of the revolution was the civil war of 1341-1347, and the chief enemy of the Zealots was John (VI) Kantakouzenos (q.v.). Their eventual demise is explained by the victory of Kantakouzenos in 1347, and the conclusion of the civil war. Isolated politically, the Zealots threatened to hand the city over to Stefan Urosh IV Dushan (q.v.), a proposal which lost them support within the city. Racked by internal dissension, Zealot rule collapsed. John VI took control of the city in 1350 with the aid of Ottoman (q.v.) troops. Among those now able to enter Thessalonike was the appointed archbishop Gregory Palamas (qq.v.), previously refused entry by the Zealots.

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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