But he was not able to save his friends, who were also the enemies of the reigning king.
Emmanuel Philibert, duke of Savoy, represented the oldest and not the least illustrious reigning house in Europe, and his descendants were destined to achieve for Italy the independence which no other power or prince had given her since the fall of ancient Rome.
What added to the practical difficulties of this arrangement was that the post of grand-prince was not an hereditary dignity in the sense of descending from father to son, but was always to be held by the senior member of the dynasty; and in the subordinate principalities the same principle of succession was applied, so that reigning princes had to be frequently shifted about from one district to another, according as they could establish the strongest claim to vacant principalities.
To avert the danger of a man of this type succeeding to the throne Peter made a law by which the reigning sovereign might choose his successor according to his own judgment, and two years later he caused his second wife, Catherine Catherine, the daughter of a Lithuanian peasant, to 1, be crowned with all due solemnity, " in recognition of the courageous services rendered by her to the Russian Empire."
In Herat, where he spent the greater part of his life, he gained the favour of that famous patron of letters, Mir `Alishir (1440-1501), who served his old schoolfellow, the reigning sultan Husain (who as the last of the Timurides in Persia ascended the throne of Herat in 1468), first as keeper of the seal, afterwards as governor of Jurjan.