Manuel I Comnenus (A.D. 1143-1180)
University of Western Australia
The reign of the emperor Manuel I Comnenus (5 April 1143- 24 September
1180) could well be regarded as a high-water mark of Byzantine civilization.
It was the apogee of the so-called "Comnenian Restoration". Politically,
the emperor undertook an ambitious foreign policy which has been seen by
some, particularly in the light of many ultimate failures, as "misguided
, though recent scholarship
has come to question this, the traditional judgement, and wondered whether
this policy was rather an energetic seizing of the different opportunities
that presented themselves in the rapidly changing constellations of powers
of the time[]
. Such measures were made possible
by the internal security of the empire under this, its third, Comnenian
incumbent, although there were a few other aspirants to the throne, not
least among them the emperor's cousin Andronicus
Manuel and other key members of the "Comnenian system", as it has been
called, were patrons of rhetoric and other forms of learning and literature,
and Manuel himself became keenly interested in ecclesiastical affairs,
even if here his imperialistic agenda was a factor as he tried to bring
Constantinopolitan theology in line with that of the west in a bid to unite
the Church under his crown.
In terms of volume of contemporary material, Manuel is the most eulogised
of all Byzantine emperors, and the panegyric addressed to him supplements
the two major Byzantine historians of the reign, the more critical Nicetas
Choniates and the laudatory John Cinnamus, as primary sources for the student
of the period to study. The Crusader historian William of Tyre met Manuel
personally, and such was the scope of Manuel's diplomacy that he is mentioned
incidentally in western sources, such as Romuald of Salerno. Among authors
of the encomia (panegyrics) we have mentioned are Theodore Prodromus and
the so-called "Manganeios" Prodromus, who wrote in verse, and the prose
encomiasts Michael the Rhetor, Eustathius of Thessalonica and Euthymius
Malaces, to name the most important.
Manuel, with his penchant for the Latins and their ways, left a legacy
of Byzantine resentment against these outsiders, which was to be ruthlessly
exploited by Andronicus in the end.
Manuel as sebastokrator
Manuel was born in the imperial porphyry birthchamber on 28 November 1118.
He was the fourth of John II's
so it seemed very unlikely that he would succeed. As a youth, Manuel evidently
accompanied John on campaign, for in the Anatolian expedition of 1139-41
we find Manuel rashly charging a small group of the Turkish enemy, an action
for which he was castigated by his father, even though
we are told, was inwardly impressed (mention of the incident is made in
John's deathbed speech in both John Cinnamus and Nicetas Choniates[]
negotiated a marriage contract for Manuel with Conrad III
of Germany; he was to marry
Bertha of Sulzbach.
It seems to have been John's
carve out a client principality for Manuel from Cilicia, Cyprus and Coele
Syria. In the event, it was Manuel who succeeded him.
The securing of the succession 1143
In the article on John II
it is related
how the dying John chose his youngest son Manuel to succeed him in preference
to his other surviving son Isaac. Manuel was acclaimed emperor by the armies
on 5 April 1143. Manuel stayed in Cilicia, where the army was stationed,
for thirty days, to complete the funeral rites for his father. He sent
his father's right-hand man John Axuch, however, to Constantinople to confine
Isaac to the Pantokrator monastery and to effect a donation of two hundredweight
of silver coin to the clergy of the Great Church. The surviving encomium
of Michael Italicus, Teacher of the Gospel, for the new emperor can be
regarded as a return gift for this largesse. In the meantime the Caesar
John Roger, husband of Manuel's eldest sister Maria, had been plotting
to seize the throne; the plot was, however, given away by his wife before
it could take effect. Manuel marched home to enter Constantinople
c. July 1143. He secured the good-will of the people by commanding that
every household should be granted two gold coins. Isaac the younger (Manuel's
brother) and Isaac the elder (Manuel's paternal uncle), were both released
from captivity and reconciled with him. Manuel chose Michael Oxeites as
the new patriarch and was crowned either in August or November 1143.
Manuel confirmed John Axuch in the office of Grand Domestic, that is,
commander of the army, appointed John of Poutze as procurator of public
taxes, grand commissioner and inspector of accounts and John Hagiotheodorites
as chancellor. John of Poutze proved to be an oppressive tax collector,
but was also unsusceptible to bribery. However, this John diverted monies
levied for the navy into the treasury, which would, as we shall see, further
Byzantine dependence on the maritime Italian city-states of Venice, Genoa
Early campaigns 1144-1146
Manuel's first concern was to consolidate the work of his father in securing
the eastern frontier. He sent a force under the brothers Andronicus and
John Contostephanus against the recalcitrant Crusader prince Raymond of
Antioch, which consisted of both an army and a navy, the latter commanded
by Demetrius Branas. Raymond's army was routed, and the naval force inflicted
no small damage on the coastal regions of the principality. In the meantime
the Crusader city of Edessa fell to the Turkish atabeg
therefore travelled to Constantinople as a suppliant to Manuel. It
was subsequently decided, in the light of Manuel's imperial status, that
the terms under which he would marry Bertha of Sulzbach should be improved.
Manuel asked for 500 knights, and Conrad happily granted them, being prepared
to supply 2000 or 3000 if need be all for the sake of this alliance. Bertha
took the Greek name Irene.
The Seljuk sultanate of Rum under Masud had become the ascendant Turkish
power in Anatolia. Manuel himself supervised the rebuilding of the fortress
of Melangeia on the Sangarius river in Bithynia (1145 or 1146). In
the most daring campaign of these early years, after building the new fort
of Pithecas in Bithynia, Manuel advanced as far into Turkish territory
as Konya (Iconium), the Seljuk capital. He had been wounded in the foot
by an arrow at a mighty battle at Philomelium (which had been Masud's headquarters),
and the city had been rased; once at Konya, he allowed his troops to despoil
the graves outside the city walls, before taking the road home. Cinnamus
relates that the gratutitous heroics which Manuel displayed on this campaign
were calculated to impress Manuel's new bride. Manuel and his army were
harried by Turks on the journey home. Manuel erected the fort of Pylae
before leaving Anatolia.
The Second Crusade and the Treaty of Thessalonica 1147-1148
When Manuel was on the Rhyndacus river with the intention of mounting another
campaign against Konya, envoys arrived announcing the intention of the
German king Conrad III to march through Byzantine territory to ride to
the rescue of the Holy Land (since he had taken the cross in response to
the fall of Edessa and the preaching of Bernard of Clairvaux). He required
markets and his army to be ferried across the Bosphorus. Manuel made a
hasty truce with his Turkish enemies and demanded that the crusading armies
(for a second army, of French under Louis VII was approaching) swear an
oath of fealty to him, much in the manner that the partcipants of the First
Crusade had sworn allegiance to Alexius I
He then set about strengthening the defences of Constantinople, for the
Byzantines were very suspicious of the crusaders' motives (particularly
those of the Germans, due to their imperial pretensions), as a reading
of Cinnamus and later panegyric will reveal. The Second Crusade was therefore
as great a shock as the First, for it showed that the latter was not merely
a mercenary expedition gone wrong, but a movement in which western sovereigns
were eager to participate, to try and assert their overlordship over the
The Germans' march was not without incident, there being confrontation
between the Greeks and Conrad's nephew Frederick (the future Frederick
I Barbarossa) and the swelling of the river Melas by a torrential downpour
which caused a flood which swept some of the Germans and many of their
belongings away. Finally, the German army reached Philopatium, from which
the impregnability of Constantinople was observed. Reluctant to camp in
the suburbs, Conrad begrudgingly had his army ferried across the Bosphorus.
Choniates and Cinnamus claim that the Byzantines gave up count of those
whom they ferried[], but a panegyric of Eustathius
of Thessalonica mentions that the "number of the ten thousands is the highest
number of the decade"[], which is suggestive
of a figure of 9000 or 10 000. The French army arrived around the feast
day of St Denis. King Louis was treated to a lowly throne next to that
of the emperor, and shown the relics of the Passion in Constantinople,
until he too was sent on his way. Manuel's attempt to win him as an ally
against Roger II failed.
The passage of the armies was regarded with relief on the part of the
Byzantines, and Nicetas Choniates mentions ways by which the locals in
Anatolia swindled or contrived death for the crusaders passing through
their territory[]. The German forces encountered
a Turkish force under the command of the chieftain Mamplanes near Dorylaeum
on the Bathys river and were decimated (26 October 1147). The French joined
the Germans at Nicaea. Both armies progressed to Philadelphia, when Conrad,
unwell, decided to return to Constantinople. Once the remainder of the
army had reached Attaleia on the southern Anatolian coast, the barons took
ship to the Holy Land and left the rank-and-file soldiers to struggle the
best they could through hostile Turkish territory.
Conrad in the meantime convalesced in Constantinople throughout the
winter of 1147-1148, being treated to a variety of amusements. Manuel then
furnished him with a ship to take him to the Holy Land. On his return Conrad
and Manuel concluded a treaty, for the common enemy was the Normans of
Sicily under Roger II Guiscard. They were to undertake as campaign the
following year, and southern Italy was to be Bertha-Irene's dowry. The
Sicilians had taken advantage of Manuel's preoccupation with the crusaders
to raid Greece, the Aegean and Ionian seas.
We see the Second Crusade remembered as late as 1174 in an oration by
Eustathius of Thessalonica[]. The emperor
is praised for confining the westerners to their homeland. There is therefore
an evolution over the reign of Manuel in the Byzantine attitude to foreign
relations, from unabashed espousal of the idea of renovatio,
reconquest, as the legacy of Manuel's father John
II, to a gradual acceptance of the status quo of a central imperial
bloc surrounded by nations under lesser kings. This did not however prevent
Manuel exploiting any opportunities that came his way to pursue an imperialistic
agenda, and it was now apparent that the most serious threat was that of
the Normans under Roger II.
The war with Sicily: the first phase 1147-1149
Count Roger of Sicily had sought a Byzantine bride for his son. He was
rebuffed by the emperor. Cinnamus says that this is the reason why, in
1147, the Normans took the disaffected island of Corfu[]
(strategically important since it commanded the approach to the Adriatic),
then sailed into the Aegean and raided Euboea, Thebes and Corinth, carting
away weavers of silk. In reality it is more likely that Roger, as heir
to the pretensions of Robert Guiscard (see Alexius
), sought to carve out a more extensive kingdom for himself. The
emperor prepared a fleet of over 500 galleys to counter him (so Cinnamus;
Choniates says a total force of nearly 1000 ships), but was distracted
by a Cuman raid across the Danube in 1148, although this was soon repulsed.
The fleet, under the command of the megas doux (i.e. the high
admiral) Stephen Constostephanus, Manuel's brother-in-law, arrived at Corfu.
Contostephanus was killed by one of the stones with which the fleet was
bombarded. John Axuch assumed command, and supervised the building of a
ladder to storm the walls, which collapsed under the weight of the many
men who swarmed up it. To make matters worse a brawl broke out with the
Venetians, who had accompanied the Byzantines as allies. The Venetians
irreverently performed a mock-coronation of an Ethiopian, which Choniates
tells us infuriated Manuel. However, the Venetians and Manuel came to terms,
Manuel renewing the treaty and trading privileges after the fashion of
his father and grandfather (October 1147), and, since they were becoming
short of provisions, the Sicilians inside the main fortress of Cercyra
agreed to withdraw. So ended the first phase of the conflict between the
Sicilians and Byzantines, even if there had been some antagonism between
the Byzantines and their Venetian allies (who may have been wary of extending
Byzantine power over both sides of the Adriatic). Since Conrad III was
allied to Manuel, Roger realised that it was in his interests to come to
an understanding with the Hungarian king Géza II and the Serbs.
Manuel's beneficence towards the Church
Manuel had needed the support of the Church against his brother Isaac's
claim, as we have seen. We should therefore see the following measures
in this light. Firstly, in 1144 priests were exempted from extraordinary
taxes. In 1148 Manuel confirmed the titles of properties held by all bishops,
including the patriarch himself. In 1153 privileges were granted to the
Church of St Sophia. Even where its titles were defective, they were confirmed,
and imperial agents were forbidden to set foot on any of the patriarchal
estates. In 1158 these privileges were extended to the monasteries of Constantinople's
environs. Manuel therefore was a great benefactor to the Church, although
he actually only founded one new religious institution, a monastery at
Kataskepe, which was endowed not with lands, but rather directly by the
Early problems in the Church 1146-1147
Both Cinnamus and Choniates mention the intrigues surrounding the monk
Niphon and the patriarch who succeeded Michael II Oxeites, Cosmas Atticus[]
Niphon was condemned by the synod of bishops under Michael II for unorthodox
teachings, and sent to prison. It transpires (as we read in Choniates)
that this man was a favourite of Manuel's brother Isaac, and Niphon's enemies
accused him of encouraging Isaac to make an attempt on the throne. Cosmas
however, another associate of Isaac, supported Niphon even in the face
of popular condemnation. Manuel took a personal interest in the proceedings
of the synod, which reaffirmed Niphon's condemnation and deposed Cosmas.
Choniates tells how, in retaliation, Cosmas cursed the empress Bertha-Irene's
womb, saying that it would never bear a male child. Cosmas' successor
Nicholas IV Muzalon was an abbot from a Cypriot monastery. However the
synod regarded his consecration as uncanonical, and he was forced to resign.
The Balkan frontier 1149-1154
Manuel was kept from his main objective, the subjugation of the Normans
of Sicily, due to distraction from troublesome neighbours on the Balkan
frontier. Relations had been good with the Serbs and Hungarians since 1129,
so their rebellions came as a shock. The Serbs of Rascia, being so induced
by Roger Guiscard, invaded Byzantine territory in 1149, although their
grand zupan Uros was forced to flee to mountain fastnesses when Manuel
and his army advanced against him. In 1150 the Serbs became restive
again, and this time they had the support of contingents from their Hungarian
neighbours (ruled by Géza II). A kinsman of the emperor, John Cantacuzenus,
distinguished himself in battle against the Serbs, and Manuel duelled against
a Serb champion, Bagin. Victorious, he then invaded Sirmium, also known
as Frangochorion (Fruska Gora), that strip of territory between the Danube
and Sava rivers, and prevailed over the Hungarians, whose king sought peace
before Manuel could cross the Danube. The people of Constantinople awarded
the emperor a triumph for this triple victory against the Normans of Corfu,
the Hungarians and the Serbs of 1149-50.
We see a further eruption of hostilities between Manuel and Géza
in 1153, combined with a campaign against the Serbs under Uros, and, as
we shall see, one in 1154, provoked, we are told, by the emperor's cousin
Manuel would continue to war against the Hungarians until 1167, for the
Hungarians were the main rival contender for control in the Balkans. Also,
the (relatively) easy victories this foe afforded Manuel would have supplied
him with the political capital that his attempts to subdue the Normans
denied (see below). Further, in these earlier years Manuel may have preferred
to campaign closer to the capital, given the possibilities for conspiracy
or worse that the Comnenian system fomented.
The Russian connection 1151-1165
In 1151 Géza of Hungary had been engaged in supporting his ally
the prince of Kiev, Izjaslav, against his rivals (and Byzantine allies)
the princes of Suzdal' and Galicia, one of the reasons Manuel had success
in his 1151 campaign. With Izjaslav's death in 1154 Kiev returned to the
Byzantine sphere, accepting the customary nomination of the metropolitan
bishop of Russia by the patriarch of Constantinople. However, within a
few years the new prince of Galicia, Yaroslav, had reversed his father's
policy of friendship with Byzantium and allied instead with Stephen III
of Hungary. In 1164 prince Rostislav of Kiev refused to accept the Byzantine
candidate for the metropolitan episcopal throne. Manuel entrusted the task
of winning back the alienated Russian princes to the diplomacy of one of
his relatives (also named Manuel), which achieved the desired end.
The plots of Andronicus Comnenus 1152-1159
While war was being waged against both the Sicilians and the Hungarians,
Manuel dispatched his cousin Andronicus
(son of the elder sebastokrator
Isaac) to Cilicia as doux
along with the Caesar John Roger (1152), the latter of whom the emperor
proposed to marry to the widowed Constance of Antioch. Both Andronicus
and Caesar John failed in their efforts. Despite this, Manuel appointed
to command the province of Branitshevo and Nish (1153), where he commenced
to plot against his imperial cousin, entering into a secret compact with
Géza of Hungary. While the emperor was on a hunting trip, Andronicus
deemed that he had his opportunity to make his move with his Cilician supporters.
However, the plot was discovered and Andronicus
imprisoned. The Hungarians, however, took the opportunity to lay siege
to Branitshevo. They withdrew to Belgrade upon news of the approaching
Byzantine army. There was an indecisive bloody battle between the Byzantine
force, under a certain Basil, and the Hungarians. Manuel decided to winter
at Stara Zagora (1154-55), and then marched as far as the Danube frontier.
He accepted Géza's terms for peace. While Manuel was on campaign
in the east, Andronicus
through a secret tunnel under his cell. He was however recaptured at Nicaea,
and bound more securely.
The war with Sicily 1152-1158
Despite Manuel's preoccupation with Hungary and the Serbs, the war with
Sicily seems to have been prosecuted unabated. We have reports in the orations
of Michael the Rhetor and the poems of the so-called Manganeius Prodromus
of victories against the Normans corresponding to nothing related in Choniates
or Cinnamus. The death of Roger Guiscard, a strong ruler, gave the Byzantines
some respite, resulting as it did in dissent against central rule among
dissatisfied Norman nobility. The emperor sent Michael Palaeologus
and John Ducas with an army and gold to effect the reconquest of Apulia
(1155). These two generals sought to involve the German emperor Frederick
Barbarossa in the venture, since he was south of the Alps, but he declined
due to the fact that his army wished to return home. The Byzantine generals
were assisted by Alexander of Gravina, a disaffected Norman nobleman who
had sought refuge at Constantinople, and a local, Robert of Bassonville.
There was a spectacular string of successes when numerous strongholds yielded
either to force or the lure of gold. The turning point was the Battle for
Brindisi, where the naval battle was decided in the Sicilians' favour.
Indeed, John Ducas was captured. Although Manuel sent at first Alexius
Comnenus (son of his aunt Anna Comnena) and then Alexius Axuch (1158) to
Ancona to levy further support, in the end he decided to treat with Roger's
successor William I (1158). This ended any aspirations Manuel may have
had of reconquering Apulia. In future, Byzantine gold would be employed
to win support of local notables or whole cities, such as the Byzantine
bridgehead of Ancona.
Frederick Barbarossa and the "two-emperor problem"
Frederick Barbarossa, who was to become a constant menace to Manuel's designs,
had succeeded his uncle Conrad III in 1152, but unlike him proved in the
end unprepared to make any territorial concessions in Italy. The origins
of this "cold war" between the two empires cannot be dated with any certainty,
but there may have been a tendency to date it too early. One school of
thought would not date the outbreak of this rivalry to any earlier than
1159-60, the death of Manuel's German wife, Bertha-Irene. About this time
there was a scare at Constantinople that Frederick Barbarossa would march
on Byzantium, perhaps reflecting a desire on Frederick's part to crusade
(which he eventually did, in the reign of Isaac
). As related below, the new Pope, Alexander III, by,
as it would seem, offering to grant Manuel the imperial crown, used it
as a bargaining chip to play off the emperors of west and east against
one another. Manuel may have supported Alexander during the papal schism
of 1160-1177 because he was the preferred candidate of Hungary and the
Crusader states, both of which he hoped would recognise him as their feudal
overlord. By this means he could claim sovereign rights over the crusading
movement, and thereby turn it to his advantage. The playing off of Manuel
against Frederick continued right up until 1177, the Peace of Venice, whereby
Frederick agreed to recognise Pope Alexander, the autonomy of Sicily and
of the northern Italian communes. But this result was not a foregone conclusion
in the 1160s and early 1170s, and Manuel used Byzantine gold to win supporters
in Italy and thereby keep Frederick occupied.
Manuel and the Crusader principalities 1158-1159
Manuel marched out to Tarsus in 1158 and prevailed over the Rupenid prince
Thoros, who had reconquered the greater part of Cilicia, although Thoros
sought refuge in the mountains. Satisfied with what he had achieved there,
he advanced on Syrian Antioch. The prince of Antioch, Reynald, had raided
Cyprus, and he needed an ally against the atabeg
of Aleppo, Nur
ed-Din, so he now made a ritual submission to Manuel, unshod, head bared
and a halter around his neck. In the meantime Baldwin III (of the kingdom
of Jerusalem), who had an eye on the principality of Antioch, arrived there
as well, wishing to conduct negotiations with the emperor. He was treated
to a lowly throne. In the meantime Thoros too made his submission to the
emperor. Manuel made a triumphal entry into Antioch Easter, 12 April
1159. He had pride of place in the procession, while Reynald was on foot
next to his horse, and Baldwin followed a long way behind without his insignia,
though also granted a horse. This ceremonial obeisance of the Crusader
princes made, Manuel disbanded his army for the return journey, whereupon
his men were set upon by Turks, and a large part of his army lost.
It is to be seen that Manuel treated Reynald and Baldwin as his liegemen,
preferring their principalities to be client states than to absorb them
by conquest as his grandfather and father had tried to do. More than either
of them, Manuel had accepted the reality of Latin principalities in the
Levant. The advantage of having Manuel as suzerain was demonstrated to
the crusader princes in 1164, when Manuel paid the ransom money for Bohemond
III of Antioch (who had been captured by Nur ed-Din). Manuel presented
himself as protector of the Holy Places, defraying the expenses of decorating
the church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and the church of the Nativity
Manuel and Kilidj II Arslan 1159-1161
The chronology of the campaigns against the Seljuk Turks from 1159 to 1161
is confused. There seems to have been at least one winter campaign in Anatolia
under the command of Manuel himself, if not, as Cinnamus would have us
. As a result, since the
sultan Kilidj II Arslan needed allies against rival Turkish emirs, such
as his brother Shahan-Shah and brother-in-law Yaghi Basan, the sultan himself
travelled to Constantinople in 1161, to be treated to a lowly throne and
entertained by spectacles. A treaty, whereby Manuel and Kilidj Arslan agreed
to have the same friends and enemies, was concluded on the occasion. Kilidj
Arslan spent some 80 days in Constantinople. However, warring between the
Byzantines and Turks, in particular those Turcomans who had scant regard
for the sultan, continued unabated until the end of Manuel's reign.
The Styppeiotes affair 1159
Under the Comneni bureaucrats very much took second place to the upper
tier of the aristocracy, which consisted of the Comnenian extended family
("the Comnenian system"), and there was scope for bitter in-fighting among
these civil servants. In the 1150s one Theodore Styppeiotes was promoted
to epi tou kanikleiou
, or keeper of the imperial inkstand, the chief
imperial secretary, thus provoking the jealousy of John Camaterus, logothete
of the drome. Nicetas Choniates' account has Theodore's downfall the result
of the plotting of Camaterus, who forged a letter purportedly addressed
to the king of Sicily in 1165, which he hid among the former's letters[]
Styppeiotes was accordingly condemned to be blinded. Cinnamus' account
. He accuses Styppeiotes
of having prophesied the imminent death of the emperor, upon which the
Byzantine senate should elect an archon
as in a democracy. Such
an idea was treasonable in an absolute monarchy such as Byzantium. Cinnamus
was by 1165 a member of the imperial entourage, so his account cannot be
summarily dismissed. There is probably an element of truth in both versions.
Manuel would have been sensitive to any accusation of collaboration with
the king of Sicily, since the campaign which he funded during the years
1155-1158 cost him so much.
Marriage to Maria of Antioch 1161
Bertha-Irene died in late 1159/early 1160. Manuel sought to strengthen
his ties with the Crusader principalities by selecting an eastern Latin
princess for his wife. The exceedingly beautiful Maria of Antioch, daughter
of Raymond of Antioch, was chosen, and the nuptials celebrated at Christmas,
Hungarian intrigues and Serbia 1161-1167
King Géza II's brothers Stephen (IV) and László (II)
had defected to the Byzantine court before his death (31 May 1162). Géza's
son Stephen III succeeded his father, but Manuel, appearing on the Danube
frontier in the vicinity of Branitshevo and Belgrade in a show of force,
wished to place the future Stephen IV on the throne. He succeeded in persuading
the Hungarians to accept László as a compromise candidate.
When he died the following year, hostilities resumed, Stephen IV being
killed by treachery. In the meantime Stephen III's younger brother Béla
went to Constantinople and wed the porphyrogenite princess Maria, Manuel's
daughter, with Sirmium (that territory between the Sava and Danube rivers)
and Dalmatia as his apanage. In this way Manuel, still without a son, hoped
to unite the Byzantine and Hungarian realms upon his death.
In the meantime Manuel put down a revolt by the Serbian zupan Primislav.
When he again rebelled, Manuel established his brother Belus in the office,
and then when the latter laid it aside, the third brother, Desa. Desa,
as a result of his suspected plotting with Frederick I Barbarossa of Germany
against Manuel, was imprisoned in the Great Palace at Constantinople (1162).
Soon afterwards (1163 and 1164) Stephen III of Hungary thought better of
the arrangements over Sirmium and advanced against the Byzantines who were
occupying it. Manuel crossed the Danube on the second occasion and secured
Béla's inheritance. Having to deal not long afterwards with
his cousin Andronicus' second escape
from prison, Manuel was confronted by another Hungarian violation of the
Danube frontier. He dispatched to these parts Michael Gabras and Michael
Branas, who dealt with the incursion (1166). This was about the time Manuel
entered into alliance with some of the Russian princes, Primislav, Rostislav
of Kiev and Yaroslav of Galicia (1165), in order to counter the perennially
troublesome Hungarians. Manuel even formed an alliance with Frederick Barbarossa
at this time against Hungary.
The emperor himself was engaged in the siege of Zeugminon, to which
Stephen III had laid claim (the modern Semlin, opposite Belgrade - 1165).
John Cinnamus is an eyewitness of this siege. He says that Manuel himself
had to be forcibly prevented from being the first to mount a siege tower!
The fortress eventually capitulated under bombardment from siege engines
and a sapping of the walls. Manuel left his uncle Constantine Angelus to
rebuild the fort. Two other events of these years worthy of mention are
another rebellion of Desa of Serbia, and the conquest of Dalmatia by John
Ducas (both also 1165). Manuel celebrated a triumph for his victory over
Zeugminon and Dalmatia. The contemporary escapades of Manuel's cousin
subsequent to his governorship of Cilicia (1166) are best related in the
article on him (Andronicus I).
Doctrinal controversies 1156-1166
The reign of Manuel was marked by at least four controversies in the Church,
the first two of which we shall consider briefly here. In 1156-1157 (the
patriarchate of Constantine Chliarenus) there was doctrinal controversy
over the implications of St John Chrysostom's liturgy for the Eucharist,
"Thou art He who offers and is offered and receives". The deacon Basil,
who held the teaching chair of the Gospels, interpreted this as meaning
that Christ was both at once donor and recipient of the sacrifice. To Basil's
enemies this was dividing the natures of Christ too radically in the manner
of the Nestorian heresy. In the end a compromise formula was adopted, that
the Word made flesh offered a double sacrifice to the Holy Trinity, despite
the patriarch of Antioch-elect Soterichus Panteugenus insisting that the
sacrifice was made to the Father alone.
In 1159 there was a schism in the church of Rome. The majority of the
cardinals accepted Roland Bandinelli of Siena, who adopted the name Alexander
III. However, Frederick Barbarossa backed the candidacy of Octavian of
Monticelli, who assumed the name Victor IV. Alexander had considerable
political skills, and, if modern scholars are correct in this, in 1161
held out the promise of the imperial crown (i.e. that of the west, though
in theory there was only one emperor) to Manuel, who engaged enthusiastically
in dialogue with the new pope with a view to healing the schism between
western and eastern churches and thereby establishing Church union.
It is in the light of these proceedings that we should see the second
of the controversies of Manuel's reign: the interpretation of Christ's
saying "My Father is greater than I". Demetrius of Lampe, who had been
witness to controversy over this scripture in the west, thought that the
formula arrived at, that Christ was equal to the Father with regard to
his Divinity yet inferior with regard to his Manhood, was nonsensical.
Manuel on the other hand, perhaps with an eye on the project for Church
union, found that the formula made sense, and prevailed over a majority
in a synod convened to decide the issue (1166), where he had the support
of the patriarch Luke Chrysoberges. As a result of his Caesaropapist stance
Manuel became known as epistemonarches, "Chief scientific expert",
of the Church.
In the meantime Manuel's son-in-law Alexius Axuch had engaged in dialogue
with the brother of the Armenian
catholicus, Nerses "the Gracious".
Nerses succeeded to the patriarchal throne and pursued dialogue with one
Theorian, a Byzantine philosopher on the question of possible union between
the Greek and Armenian church. Theorian may have misrepresented Nerses'
position when he claimed to have converted him to Chalcedonian Christianity.
Whatever the truth, Nerses died before union could be effected (1173),
and though Nerses' successor Gregory IV was just as keen to be in communion
with the Greeks. Manuel died before he could be informed of the decisions
of an Armenian synod convened to discuss the issue in 1179. The great
compiler and commentator on canon law, Theodore Balsamon, approved of Manuel's
epistemonarches. As an absolute monarch, the emperor was
not subject to either canon or civil law, and if the patriarch was in the
wrong, he was answerable to his sovereign.
The conclusion of the war with Hungary 1166-1167
An army of Hungarians under a certain Denis advanced on Sirmium (1166).
It turned an army of Byzantines under Michael Branas and Michael Gabras
to flight. Accordingly Manuel sent two armies against the Hungarians, one
to the Danube under Béla-Alexius, his son-in-law, and one under
Leo Batatzes to invade Hungary from the Black Sea. The latter captured
much booty. A further invasion was led by John Ducas, following the success
of which a cross commemorating the victory was erected on Hungarian soil.
Since Denis was once again advancing on Sirmium, Manuel sent an army
under the command of Andronicus Contostephanus to deal with the invasion.
Ignoring the emperor's injunction not to fight on St Procopius' day (8
July, 1167), Andronicus and his army,
thanks to the effectiveness of the mace against Hungarian armour, had a
resounding victory, the most spectacular of the reign, so total that the
Hungarians were not to be a problem again in the reign of Manuel. One of
the terms of peace was that the Byzantine emperor should hold the right
of dispensation of the Hungarian crown, as he was to do in 1172. A triumph
was held to celebrate the victory, and Manuel yielded his place in a silver
chariot, drawn by four snow-white horses, to the icon of the Mother of
The fall of Alexius Axuch 1167
Alexius Axuch was accused of conspiring against
the emperor (1167), falsely, according to Choniates[]
while Cinnamus says that Alexius admitted his guilt[]
When Alexius was governor of Cilicia (1165), Cinnamus reports, he communicated
with the sultan Kilidj II Arslan (we must remember that Alexius was part
Turk), seeking his support for his bid for the throne. The walls of Alexius'
home were decorated with achievements of the sultan rather than those of
the emperor, and Alexius planned to attack the emperor with Cuman retainers.
When the plot was discovered, Manuel was lenient, and Alexius was tonsured
as a monk and sent to Mount Papicium.
Manuel was responsible for four achievements of note in this period (ca.
1168). Firstly, he had the walls of Constantinople repaired. Secondly,
he had the aqueducts supplying the city cleansed and a new reservoir excavated
at nearby Petra to improve the city's water supply. The remaining
measures were legal in their nature. He had already issued a chrysobull
to the monasteries of Constantinople protecting their property (1158).
As a later measure, he forbade poor men to sell themselves into slavery.
Finally, he permitted courts to operate on certain feast days.
The campaign against Egypt 1169
Manuel's alliance with Amalric I of Jerusalem (who had succeeded Baldwin
III) involved him in a débacle in Egypt. This episode is related
by Cinnamus only briefly, Choniates at greater length, and by William of
Tyre. It was Amalric's ambition to secure Egypt, the sultan of which was
the young Saladin. This in itself was a prudent measure, because the Crusader
States were presently caught in the pincer movementof the counter-crusade
being directed by Nur ed-Din. Amalric persuaded Manuel to participate in
a joint venture in which the Byzantines would supply the navy, which was
commanded by the megas doux
Andronicus Contostephanus. The Byzantines
proceeded as far as Damietta on the Nile Delta, but were running short
of supplies when Amalric finally arrived on the scene. Amalric was persuaded
by a bribe to lift the siege. The failure of the Egyptian venture led to
mutual incriminations on the part of the Byzantines and the Crusaders.
The whole fiasco ended by a sinking of many Byzantine ships in a winter
storm on their voyage home.
Stephen Nemanja 1168-1172
Desa was succeeded as grand zupan by his nephew Stephen Nemanja. When he
rebelled, he was pursued by Manuel and his army and forced to hide in caves
before he finally surrendered (in 1168 according to Choniates[]
A second rebellion, put down in 1172, saw him taken captive and paraded
in the streets of Constantinople, where he endured the humiliation of being
shown murals of his defeat by the emperor (Eustathius, 1176 Epiphany oration[]
Dynastic considerations 1169-1172
Manuel's wife Maria of Antioch gave birth to a baby boy 14 September 1169
in the porphyry marble birthchamber, the cause of great festivities. The
infant was crowned emperor in 1171. With the death of Stephen III of Hungary
in 1172, Stephen's brother Béla was sent out from Constantinople
to assume the throne (though without Sirmium and Dalmatia being surrendered
to the Hungarian crown). A husband for Maria Porphyrogenita was therefore
required. At first it was proposed that she marry William II of Sicily,
who was outraged when she failed to show up at Taranto on the appointed
day, the emperor having had second thoughts.
Manuel and the Italian communes 1170-1171
We have seen how Manuel had renewed the Venetians' trading privileges in
of 1148. By 1170 Manuel had also concluded alliances
with Pisa and Genoa, in which the tax on trading transactions was reduced
from 10 to 4 percent (as opposed to the total exemption for the Venetians).
The insolent behaviour of the Venetians, who were becoming rich at the
expense of others due to their trading privileges, led Manuel to have all
the Venetians who were in the empire arrested on a single day (12 March
1171) and their goods impounded. The Venetians took reprisals at Euripos
in Euboea and in the Aegean (Chios and Lesbos). They were pursued by the
Andronicus Constostephanus with 150 ships, but evaded capture.
The doge Vitale Michiel was assassinated on the return of the Venetian
fleet to home base.
Distinguished visitors to Constantinople 1171-1172
These years saw the visit of King Amalric I of Jerusalem to Constantinople,
with the conclusion of a treaty, whereby Amalric recognised Manuel as his
suzerain (1171), and, the following year, the visit of Henry the Lion,
Welf duke of Saxony and Bavaria, on his way to crusade in the Holy Land.
Henry seems to have known of the marriage alliance negotiations between
Constantinople and Palermo (the capital of Sicily) being carried out at
the time, and may have suggested an alliance with Germany instead. Manuel
took the bait, the Sicilian marriage project fell through, but Frederick
reneged on his side of the bargain negotiated for him by Henry.
Eastern developments 1172-1174
Thoros of Armenian Cilicia was succeeded as prince by his brother Mleh,
who had the backing of the powerful Nur ed-Din of Aleppo. In 1173, Kilidj
Arslan joined the alliance, as well as the Danishmendid ruler. Manuel marched
out to Philadelphia to deal with this threat, and was able to avert harm
to the empire through diplomacy. KIlidj Arslan, however, waxed ascendant,
and soon after annexed the rival Danishmendid principality (1174).
In the campaigns of 1156-1158 the Italian city of Ancona had served as
the base from which operations had proceeded, and a large sum of gold was
deposited there in later times. In 1171 Frederick Barbarossa sent his chancellor
Christian, archsbishop of Mainz, into Italy to counter Manuel's policy
of winning over Italian cities to his cause through the lure of Byzantine
gold. So it was that over March to October 1173 Ancona found itself besieged
by a combined German and Italian army led by Christian. Ancona resisted
long enough for help to arrive in the form of armies under William of Marchisella
from Ferrara and Aldruda Frangipane, countess of Bertinoro. The episode
is celebrated in a short history written by Boncompagno da Signa.
Fortifications in Anatolia
Manuel pursued a policy of fortification of the east, for which he was
lauded by Nicetas Choniates and Eustathius of Thessalonica, among others
(e.g. Euthymius Malaces). Choniates mentions in particular the fortification
of the region of Chliara-Pergamum-Adramyttium, which became a theme named
Neocastra. This strategic placing of strongholds allowed land to be cultivated
by Manuel's local subjects, who had walls to which they could resort in
case of attack from Turcomans. Manuel also ratified a treaty whereby the
Turcoman nomads could pay for pasturage in Byzantine territory (Eustathius
of Thessalonica, 1176 Epiphany oration[]
The culmination of this programme of fortification was the re-erection
of Dorylaeum and Siblia in Phrygia (1175), effected under the supervision
of Manuel himself. In order to erect the former, Manuel needed to beat
off Turcoman nomads encamped in the area. The Turks resorted to a scorched-earth
policy in order to try and forestall the work, which was nevertheless completed,
and the new forts were garrisoned by both locals and Latin mercenaries.
Manuel now wished to impress the West with an enterprise against the Seljuk
sultanate of Rum with its capital at Iconium/Konya. Some have argued,[]
since Manuel preached the enterprise and his willingness to lay down his
life for God, that it was intended as no less than a crusade. Not far from
Iconium, the army led by Manuel, with its large baggage-train, was caught
in the pass of Tzibritze, close to the ruined fort of Myriocephalum, whereupon
it was beset by Turks, who engaged in a wholesale massacre of the Byzantines
and their mercenaries (17 September 1176). Choniates records in his history
the heroic actions of the emperor himself in the battle. The victorious
sultan Kilidj Arslan's terms were lenient: Manuel was to withdraw, and
demolish Dorylaeum and Siblia. Manuel obeyed in the case of the latter,
but had second thoughts in the case of the former. The fleet of 150 sail
which Manuel had sent against Egypt in a second prong of his "crusade"
appeared off Acre (1177) but did not see action. There is one tradition
that Myriocephalum was a disaster of the magnitude of Manzikert (1071).
However, despite the psychological blow the battle seems to have dealt
the emperor (so William of Tyre), there were victories against the Turks
subsequent to it. It was the eastern arena which would occupy Manuel for
the remainder of his reign.
Turkish campaigns 1177-1180
In retaliation for the violation by Manuel of his treaty with him, Kilidj
Arslan sent a force to ravage the Meander valley as far as the Aegean sea.
John Vatatzes was dispatched by the emperor to intercept this horde on
its return journey, and many Turks met their death on the banks of the
great river. In 1178 (my date: see bibliography) Manuel advanced against
the Turks encamped at Panasium and Lacerium, but they were frightened away
by Manuel's scout. Andronicus Angelus encountered the Turks at Charax (later
1178?) only to turn tail and flee, his army following suit, abandoning
the livestock they had captured. However in the year 1179 Manuel
rode, with a relay of horses, to the rescue of the beleaguered city of
Claudiopolis in Bithynia and frightened the Turks away. Finally, in 1180,
there was another victory against the Turks, although Manuel did not supervise
in person. Our source for this is the funeral oration by Gregory Antiochus.
It can be seen that fortunes against the Turks in these last years were
mixed, and that the east, as at the outset of the reign, had now become
the main theatre of war.
New alliances in the west 1179-1180
Manuel was isolated in the late 1170s due to alliances between Frederick
Barbarossa and Kilidj Arslan, and especially as a result of the 1177 Peace
of Venice. Manuel nevertheless formed two new marriage alliances. His son,
Alexius Porphyrogenitus, was to marry Louis VII's daughter Agnes of France
(a minor), and his daughter from his first marriage, Maria Porphyrogenita,
married Renier, the son of William V the Old of Montferrat (in the north-western
corner of modern Italy). Both marriages took place as a double bill on
March 2 1180. They gave Manuel dynastic connections with potentates on
the western flank of his most serious adversary, Frederick Barbarossa.
The final months 1180
Manuel took ill in the month of March 1180. During this period of terminal
illness the last major religious controversies took place. We are told
that Manuel directed that the anathema pronounced against the god of Muhammad
be removed from the abjuration against the Islamic faith declared by converts
to Christianity. Manuel was opposed by the last patriarch of his reign,
Theodosius Boradiotes (1179-1183), as well as, notably, by Eustathius of
Thessalonica. Both parties were satisfied in the end upon a reading of
the emperor's proposed amendments to the abjuration. This controversy would
seem to be a different one from the one alluded to in Eustathius' funeral
oration for Manuel, since Manuel is praised by Eustathius for his stance
in it, which seems to have revolved around a book written by a convert
from Islam that magnified the Father at the expense of the Son (and therefore
had Arian overtones). It became apparent that the emperor was dying,
and, on the advice of Theodosius, he renounced astrology. As his end approached,
he assumed the monastic habit and the name Matthew, demanding that his
wife Maria become a nun. Manuel's son Alexius was but eleven, and the minority
would prove to be disastrous for Byzantium. Manuel died thirty-seven years
and nine months from the beginning of his reign.
General strategies in Manuel's foreign policy
The funeral oration for Manuel by Eustathius of Thessalonica is an interesting
document in that it discusses some of the general policies pursued over
Manuel's reign. It endorses his policy of dividing his enemies, the Petchenegs,
the Sicilian Normans and the Turks, among themselves by using Byzantine
gold, a policy of "divide and rule". We have seen how this was applied
especially in Italy. Another general policy was to create friendly buffer
states on the frontiers of the empire, most notably Hungary (and Serbia)
and the Crusader States. Manuel would deliberately underpin the most powerful
potentate in each region (the king of Hungary, the king of Jerusalem, the
sultan of Konya) and thereby emphasise his own absolute sovereignty. In
the funeral oration this granting of autonomy is justified as the reward
for good service, as in the parable of the talents. We also see in the
panegyric of the 1170s the downplaying of the idea of world rule which
was so prevalent in the reign of John. Although Manuel claimed sovereign
rights over many of his neighbours, his territorial claims were limited:
coastal southern Italy, Dalmatia and Sirmium, coastal Egypt. The Byzantines
seem to have come to terms with the reality of nation states and it is
in Manuel's reign that they begin to refer to themselves not only as "Romans",
but as "Hellenes", in order to demarcate themselves from the barbarians
Manuel's taxation, government and army
Nicetas Choniates roundly criticises Manuel in his history for increasing
taxes and lavishing money on his family and retainers, particularly his
Latin favourites. We have also seen how money was spent in Manuel's ambitious
foreign policy. Mention is made of two towers, one at Damalis, and one
next to the monastery of the Mangana, between which a chain could be stretched
to block the Bosphorus. Then there was the work done at both the Great
Palace and the Palace of the Blachernae, galleries, a pavilion alla
and numerous mosaics. He also founded a monastery at Kataskepe
at the mouth of the Black Sea, which was endowed from the imperial treasury.
Choniates further criticizes the continuation and spread of the granting
of pronoiai, parcels of land, the income from each of which supported
a soldier. Many of these were granted to foreigners, for example, Turks
captured in the Meander campaigns were settled around Thessalonica. The
would pay not only for a soldier's upkeep, but his expensive equipment,
for in Manuel's reign the bow and arrow and circular shield had been replaced
by a heavier western-style panoply of armour, large triangular shield and
lance. Choniates laments how fashionable a practice it had become in Manuel's
reign to forsake the land or one's trade and become enlisted in the army.
Manuel and the "Comnenian system"
Throughout Manuel's reign, as under his father John, the top tier of the
aristocracy was formed by the emperor's family, the Comneni, and the families
into which they married. The extended family was, however, by now becoming
unwieldy, and beginning to lose its cohesion, as the example of Manuel's
shows. Under Manuel
it was degree of kinship to the emperor which determined one's rank, as
synodal listings show. So it was that very quickly after Manuel's death
the upper tier of the aristocracy splintered into separate groups, each
with its own identity and interests.
The various aristocratic courts, that of the emperor and other key members
of the extended family, most notably the sebastokrator
the elder and the sebastokratorissa
Irene, widow of Manuel's brother
Andronicus, attracted literati
who would seek to serve under them.
Such figures would not only turn their hands to literature, encomia in
prose or poetry, expositions on mythology, commentaries on Homer or the
philosophers, historical chronicles and even, in this period, romances
- the twelfth century is a high point of literary production at Constantinople,
so much so that some have even talked of a "Comnenian renaissance" - but
they would seek to perform more menial, such as administrative, duties
to support themselves. Such men would often come from noble families whose
prestige had been eclipsed by the Comnenian upper tier of the aristocracy.
Serving under a lord was one way of advancing oneself, entering the Church
The patriarchal church and education
The deacons of the church of St Sophia were a powerful group, the chartophylax
being second only to the patriarch. These deacons would either go on to
become bishops in the provinces, or possibly first hold one of the professorial
chairs associated with the patriarchal church. First there were the "teachers",
of the Gospels, Epistles and Psalter. Then there was the maistor ton
, "master of the rhetors", responsible for delivering speeches
in praise of the emperor on January 6 each year and of the patriarch on
the Saturday prior to Palm Sunday, as well as for other state occasions.
And there was the
hypatos ton philosophon
, "consul of the philosophers",
an office which had lapsed but was revived under Manuel.
Character and Legacy
Was Byzantium of the middle to late twelfth century living on borrowed
time? Until recently this was the verdict of many scholars. Yet John II
and Manuel had, if there is any kernel of truth in their encomia, at least
temporarily reversed the overrunning of Anatolia by the Turks, and Manuel
had won Dalmatia and Sirmium from Hungary. But Byzantine collapse was rapid,
which is the reason why scholars have searched in the reigns of John and
Manuel for the beginnings of the disintegration that occurred under the
last Comneni and the Angeli. The history and comments of Nicetas Choniates
have been adduced as vindicating this view. The victory of the military
aristocracy that the establishment of the Comnenian dynasty represents
has been seen as both the reason for the temporary reversal of Byzantine
fortunes - government by three very capable autocrats - and of ultimate
failure, because of the splintering into factions that oligarchy, such
as was present in the Comnenian system, foments. A Marxist interpretation
is that the feudalisation of the Byzantine empire, the depletion of the
free peasantry, that began to take place in the middle period was the reason
for its ultimate failure. But to the Byzantines at the time Byzantium seemed
to be holding its own; the "nations" around were being kept at bay, and
even though the panegyric of
is less evident than in the
reign of John II, the emperor remains despotes
, "master" of the
"world". Indeed, Manuel would be remembered in France, Genoa and the Crusader
States as the most powerful sovereign in the world.
We have mentioned the funeral oration for Manuel by Eustathius of Thessalonica[].
This contains a series of vignettes of the personal aspects of Manuel.
There are commonplaces: the emperor is able to endure hunger, thirst, heat
and cold, lack of sleep and so on, and sweats copiously in his endeavours
on the empire's part. Although these ideas have been recycled from earlier
reigns, notably that of John II, the contemporary historians agree that
Manuel was an indefatigable and daring warrior. However, there are more
specifically individual touches in the Eustathian oration. Manuel had a
manly suntan and was tall in stature. The emperor was capable of clever
talk, but could also talk to others on a man-to-man basis. Eustathius makes
much of the emperor's book-learning (Cinnamus claims to have discussed
Aristotle with the emperor[]). The restoration
of churches was a major concern for Manuel. He also had some expertise
in medicine (he had tended Conrad III of Germany and Baldwin III of Jerusalem
personally). Manuel showed temperance in eating and drinking, with a certain
liking for beer as well as wine, the latter being mixed sour after the
manner of ascetics. Likewise, he would not slumber long. He would generally
chose walking over riding. The oration closes on the widow and orphan Manuel
has left behind. The situation resulting for the Byzantine empire at this
stage, with the vacuum created by Manuel would result in no less than implosion,
as the articles on Alexius II Porphyrogenitus
and his successors will show.
-Nicetas Choniates, Historia, ed. J.-L. Van Dieten, Corpus Fontium
Historiae Byzantinae 11, 2 vols., Berlin and New York, 1975; trans. as
City of Byzantium, Annals of Niketas Choniates, by H.J. Magoulias,
-John Cinnamus, Epitome, ed. A. Meineke, Corpus Scriptorum
Historiae Byzantinae, Bonn, 1836, trans. as
Deeds of John and Manuel
Comnenus, by C.M. Brand, New York, 1976.
-Theodore Prodromus, Theodoros Prodromos, historische Gedichte,
ed. W. Hörandner, Wiener Byzantinische Studien 11, Vienna,
-Eustathius of Thessalonica, Eustathii Thessalonicensis opera minora,
ed. P. Wirth, Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae 32, Berlin and
New York, 2000.
-id. Eustathii Metropolitanae Thessalonicensis Opuscula,
ed. T.L.F. Tafel, Frankfurt am Main, 1832, repr. Amsterdam, 1964.
-Euthymius Malaces, Eujqumivou tou' Malavkh mhtropolivtou Nevwn Patrw/n
(ÔUpavth") ta; swzovmena, ed. K.G. Bones, 2 vols, Athens 1937 and
-id. in Noctes Petropolitanae (orations nos. 4-6), ed.
A. Papadopoulos-Kerameus, St Petersburg, 1913; repr. Leipzig, 1976.
- Michael Italicus, Michel Italikos, lettres et discours, ed.
P. Gautier, Archives de l'orient chrétien 14, Paris, 1972.
-Michael the Rhetor, in Fontes Rerum Byzantinarum, ed. W. Regel,
vol. 2, St. Petersburg 1917; repr. Leipzig, 1982, pp. 131-182.
-Nicephorus Basilaces, Nicephori Basilacae orationes et epistolae,
ed. A. Garzya, Leipzig, 1984.
-William of Tyre, A history of deeds done beyond the sea, ed.
and trans. by E.A. Babcock and A.C. Krey, New York, 1976.
At the time of writing the panegyrical oeuvre of "Manganeios Prodromos"
is still being prepared, with a text and commentary, by Profs. M. and E.
There are lesser rhetors whose works are cited in Magdalino, Empire
-M. Angold, The Byzantine Empire, 1025-1204: a political history,
2nd ed., London and New York, 1997.
-P. Magdalino, The Empire of Manuel I Komnenos, 1143-1180, Cambridge,
-F. Chalandon, Les Comnène: Jean II Comnène (1118-1143)
et Manuel I Comnène (1143-1180), 2 vols., Paris, 1912.
-id. Histoire de la domination Normande en Italie et en Sicile,
-V.G. Berry, "The Second Crusade" in A History of the Crusades,
vol. 1, ed. K.M. Setton and M.W. Baldwin, Philadelphia, 1958, pp. 463-513.
-C. Cahen, Pre-Ottoman Turkey, London, 1968.
-P. Classen, "Die Komnenen ubd die Kaiserkrone des Westens", Journal
of Medieval History 3, 1977, pp. 207-20.
-id. "La politica di Manuele Comneno tra Federico Barbarossa
e la città italiane", in Popolo e stato in Italia nell'età
di Federico Barbarossa. Relazioni e communicazioni al 330 congresso storico
subalpino, Turin, 1970, pp. 265-79.
-S. der Nesessian, "The kingdom of Cilician Armenia", in A History
of the Crusades, vol. 2, ed. K.M. Setton, R. Wolff and H.W. Hasard,
Philadelphia, 1962, pp. 630-660.
-G. Day, Genoa's response to Byzantium, 1155-1204: Commercial expansion
and factionalism in a medieval city, Urbana and Chicago, 1988.
-P. Lamma, Comneni e Staufer. Ricerche sui Rapporti fra Bisanzio
e l'Occidente nel Secolo XII, 2 vols., Rome, 1955-57.
-R.-J. Lile, Handel und Politik zwischen dem byzantinischen Reich
und den italienischen Kommunen und Venedig, Pisa und Genua in der Epoche
der Komnenen und der Angeloi (1081-1204), Amsterdam, 1984.
- id. Byzantium and the Crusader States, 1096-1204, tr. J.C.
Morris and J.E. Ridings, Oxford, 1993.
-F. Makk, The Árpáds and the Comneni: Political relations
between Hungary and Byzantium in the 12th century, tr. G. Novák,
-C. Mango, "The conciliar edict of 1166", in Dumbarton Oaks Papers
17, 1963, pp. 317-30.
-D.M. Nicol, Byzantium and Venice, Cambridge, 1988.
-J.S.C. Riley-Smith, The Crusades: a short history, London, 1987.
-S. Runciman, A History of the Crusades, vol. 2, Cambridge, 1952.
-P. Stephenson, Byzantium's Balkan Frontier: a political study of
the northern Balkans, 900-1204, Cambridge, 2000.
-S. Vryonis, The decline of medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and
the process of Islamization from the Eleventh Century through the Fifteenth
Century, Berkeley, Los Angeles and London, 1971.
[]The most ambitious project undertaken by Manuel
was an attempt to achieve recognition as emperor of the West as well as
Byzantium; Chalandon (see bibliography) describes this as an "ambitious
design", and the more general history of R. Browning,
Empire (London 1980), p. 126, speaks of this attempt by Manuel to restore
Byzantine universalism through diplomatic means as an "absurdity". G. Ostrogorsky,
of the Byzantine State (Oxford 1968) is less critical, and credits
Manuel with considerable gifts as a ruler (p. 380), but talks of Manuel's
designs on Italy as a "Byzantine dream" (p. 386).
[]See for example, Magdalino's monograph on Manuel
(in the bibliography), as well as Angold and Stephenson.
[]Cinnamus, ed. Meineke (Bonn edition), p. 27;
Choniates, ed. Van Dieten, pp. 45-46.
[]Choniates, ed. Van Dieten, pp. 65-66; Cinnamus,
ed. Meineke, p. 69.
[]Eustathius of Thessalonica, ed. Wirth, p. 272.
[]Choniates, ed. Van Dieten, p. 66.
[]Eustathius, ed. Wirth, pp. 272-274.
[]Cinnamus, ed. Meineke, pp. 91-92.
[]Cinnamus, ed. Meineke, pp. 63-66; Choniates,
ed. Van Dieten, pp. 79-81.
[]Cinnamus, ed. Meineke, pp. 190-198.
[]Choniates, ed. Van Dieten, pp. 110-113.
[]Cinnamus, ed. Meineke, pp. 184-185.
[]Choniates, ed. Van Dieten, pp. 143-146.
[]Cinnamus, ed. Meineke, pp. 265-269.
[]Choniates, ed. Van Dieten, pp. 158-159.
[]Eustathius, ed. Wirth, p. 217.
[]Eustathius, ed. Wirth, p. 205.
[]See R.-J. Liliw, "The Crusader States, " P.
Magdalino, "Empire," and M. Angold, "The Byzantine Empire."
[]Eustathius, ed. Tafel, pp. 196-214.
[]Cinnamus, ed. Meineke, pp. 290-291.
Copyright (C), Andrew Stone. This file may be copied on the
condition that the entire contents, including the header and this copyright
notice, remain intact.
For more detailed geographical information, please use the DIR/ORB
Antique and Medieval Atlas below. Click on the appropriate part of the
map below to access large area maps.
to the Imperial Index