His rule was contemporaneous with a renewed Italian philhellenism and corresponding interest in antiquities and the Greek language. Nerio not only spoke Greek naturally, but also owned the most famous monuments of the Hellenic world in his capital of Athens. Nerio arrived in Greece in 1419 on the death of his father when he was only three years old.
While George Chalkokondyles, the father of the Laonikos Chalkokondyles was pressing her suit before Murad II, the Ottoman sultan, the leading men of Athens tricked Maria into leaving the Acropolis then handed the title to Nerio.
Maria and George Chalkokondyles" family were banished from Athens. His inveterate personal enemy, the historian Laonikos Chalkokondyles, denigrates him as "effeminate."
Nerio returned to power in 1441 after spending a few years in Florence.
He immediately expelled his brother"s widow Maria Zorzi. In 1444, Nerio went to war against the Turks on the side of the despot Constantine, but came to terms with the Ottomans.
He subsequently lost Thebes to Constantine and was forced to pay him tribute and become his vassal.
In 1446, Murad assisted Nerio in retaking Thebes for the Latins.