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Niketas ChoniatesA Historiographical Study$

Alicia Simpson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199670710

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670710.001.0001

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(p.300) Appendix 2 Summary of the History

(p.300) Appendix 2 Summary of the History

Niketas Choniates
Oxford University Press

(p.300) Appendix 2

Summary of the History

Preface (1.5–4.81)

  1. (1) Declaration of purpose and value of historical narratives (1.5–2.29).

  2. (2) Reasons for undertaking to write a history (2.30–3).

  3. (3) The proper style and content of historical narratives (3.34–65).

  4. (4) Starting point of the history and brief description of the sources for the reign of John II Komnenos (4.66–81).

The reign of John II Komnenos, 1118–43 (4.83–47.85)

  1. (1) The succession dispute following the death of Alexios I Komnenos [15 August 1118] (4.83–8.92).

  2. (2) John succeeds to the throne and forms his government (8.93–10.36).

  3. (3) Plot against John [before 15 August 1119] by Anna Komnene (10.37–12.93).

  4. (4) Campaign against the Turks [spring 1119] in Phrygia; capture of Laodikeia (12.94–5).

  5. (5) Campaign against the Turks [spring 1120] in Pamphylia; capture of Sozopolis and the fortress of Hierakokoryphitis along with other fortified towns and strongholds (12.6–13.38).

  6. (6) Campaign against the Pechenegs [1122] (13.39–16.14).

  7. (7) Campaign against the Serbs [1123] (16.15–24).

  8. (8) The emperor’s four sons (16.25–17.38).

  9. (9) Campaign against the Hungarians [1127–8] (17.39–18.69).

  10. (10) Campaign against the Danishmends; capture of Kastamon [1130]; triumph proclaimed in Constantinople [1133] (18.70–19.2).

  11. (11) Campaign against the Danishmends; new conquest of Kastamon and Gangra [1134] (19.3–21.53).

  12. (12) Campaign against the Armenians in Cilicia [1136–7]; capture of Adana, Tarsus, Baka, and Anazarba (21.54–27.1).

  13. (13) John sojourns in Antioch [29 August–12 September 1137] (27.2–9).

  14. (14) Campaign in Syria [1137–9]; siege and capture of Piza [13–18 April 1138]; siege of Halep [April 1138]; capture of Ferep and Kafartab [end of April 1138]; siege of Shaizar (27.10–32.30).

  15. (15) The sebastokrator Isaac together with his son John is reconciled with the emperor (32.31–33.60).

  16. (16) Campaign against the Turks in the region of the Sangarios [spring 1139] (33.61–83).

  17. (17) Campaign against the Danishmends and Constantine Gabras [1139]; failure in Cappadocia [1140] (34.84­–35.89).

  18. (18) Defection of the son of the sebastokrator Isaac to the Turks [1140] (35.40–36.71).

  19. (19) Preparations for campaign near the river Rhyndakos [1140–1]; military operations around Lake Pousgouse (37.72–38.12).

  20. (p.301) (20) Death of the emperor’s sons, Alexios and Andronikos [1142] (38.13–19).

  21. (21) Campaign against the Latin principality of Antioch; John is forced to retreat towards Cilicia [after 25 December 1142] (38.20–40.60).

  22. (22) Hunting accident [1 April 1143]; John designates his son Manuel as his successor; death of the emperor [8 April 1143]; assessment of his reign (40.61–47.85).

The reign of Manuel I Komnenos, Book I: 1143–7 (48.5–71.76)

  1. (1) The megas domestikos John Axouch assures the succession of Manuel in Constantinople; the emperor’s elder brother Isaac is incarcerated (48.5–49.49).

  2. (2) Manuel takes the road back to Constantinople; his cousin Andronikos Komnenos is captured by the Turks on the way (49.50–50.68).

  3. (3) Manuel arrives in Constantinople [July 1143] (50.69–51.92).

  4. (4) Selection of new patriarch; reconciliation of Manuel and his brother Isaac (51.93–52.17).

  5. (5) Campaign against the Turks in Konya [1144]; campaign against Prince Raymond of Antioch [1146] (52.18–53.57).

  6. (6) Manuel weds Bertha of Sulzbach [6 December 1146] but has an affair with a relative (53.58–54.74).

  7. (7) The important administrators: John of Poutza, John Hagiotheodorites, and Theodore Styppeiotes; the character of John of Poutza; fall of Hagiotheodorites and rise of Styppeiotes (54.75–59.12).

  8. (8) Description of Manuel’s absolutist style of government (59.13–60.44).

  9. (9) The Second Crusade [1147–8]: negotiations and preparations [summer 1147] (60.45–62.9); crusaders march through Byzantine territory (62.10–67.40); battle between the crusaders and the Turks at Antioch in Pisidia [December 1147] (67.41–71.76).

Book II: 1147–58 (72.79–99.37)

  1. (1) Sicilian expedition against Greece under Roger II [1147] (72.79–76.95); war against the Sicilians and siege of Corfu [1148–9]; digression on the patriarch Kosmas Attikos (76.1–82.52); conflict with the Venetians and capitulation of Corfu (82.53–88.48).

  2. (2) Aborted expedition against Sicily [summer 1149] (88.49–89.72).

  3. (3) Campaign against Serbia and triumph in Constantinople [1149–50] (89.73–91.8).

  4. (4) Campaign against Sicily under Michael Palaiologos [1155] (91.9–28).

  5. (5) Campaign against the Serbs and the Hungarians [1150–1]; triumph in Constantinople (92.29–93.71).

  6. (6) Victory over the Cumans; characteristics of these people (93.72–94.92).

  7. (7) Michael Palaiologos is relieved of his command in Italy [dies end 1155/beginning 1156] and is replaced by Alexios Komnenos and John Doukas; siege of Brindisi [c.15 April 1155–28 May 1156] and capture of Komnenos and Doukas (94.93–95.15).

  8. (8) Naval expedition of Constantine Angelos against Sicily [after February 1154] (95.16–96.55).

  9. (9) Negotiations and peace treaty with the Sicilians [spring 1158] (96.56–98.11).

  10. (10) Sicilian naval expedition to Constantinople (98.12–99.37).


Book III: 1154–62 (100.40–125.45)

  1. (1) Campaign against the Hungarians; conspiracy of Andronikos Komnenos [1154–5] (100.40–102.87).

  2. (2) Campaign against Cilician Armenia; treaty with Thoros [1158–9] (102.88–103.6).

  3. (3) Andronikos Komnenos escapes from prison [autumn 1158]: digression on his character and adventures (103.7–108.40).

  4. (4) Manuel visits Antioch [spring 1159]; the Turks fall upon the imperial troops during the journey back to Constantinople (108.41–110.19).

  5. (5) Fall of Theodore Styppeiotes due to the machinations of his rival John Kamateros (110.20–113.87); digression on John Kamateros (113.88–115.46).

  6. (6) Death of Bertha of Sulzbach [1160]; Manuel marries Maria of Antioch [1161] (115.47–116.66).

  7. (7) Summary of Turkish affairs after the death of Masud I [1152] (116.67–118.37); visit of the sultan Kiliç Arslan II to Constantinople [1162] (118.38–121.22); wars with the Turks [1162–75] (121.22–125.45).

Book IV: 1162–73 (126.48–150.56)

  1. (1) Summary of Hungarian affairs after the death of Geza II [1162]; betrothal of Manuel’s daughter, Maria to Béla III [1163]; murder of Istvan IV [13 April 1165] and beginning of the war with Hungary (126.48–128.27).

  2. (2) Escape of Andronikos Komnenos from prison and sojourn in Galitza; reconciliation with the emperor [1165–6] (129.28–132.30).

  3. (3) The Hungarians defeat the Byzantine generals Michael Gabras and Michael Branas (132.29–133.51); the Byzantines capture Zeugminon [1165]; restoration of the fortifications of Zeugminon, Belgrade, and Niš; colonization of Braničevo [1166] (133.52–135.36).

  4. (4) Desa of Serbia renews his allegiance to Manuel [1165] (136.47–65).

  5. (5) Manuel arranges for the succession of his daughter, Maria, and her fiancé, Béla-Alexios [1166] (137.66–88).

  6. (6) Andronikos Komenos becomes governor of Cilicia [1166] and engages Thoros II of Armenia; he falls in love with Philippa (daughter of Raymond of Antioch) and abandons his post for Antioch; he then escapes to Jerusalem where he conducts an illicit affair with his niece Theodora [1167] and then seeks refuge with Saltuq, the ruler of Erzurum (137.89–142.41).

  7. (7) Fall of the protostrator Alexios Axuch [1167]; the fate of his chief accuser, Isaac-Aaron (143.42–147.80).

  8. (8) Blinding of Skleros Seth and Michael Sikidites (147.81–150.34).

  9. (9) Manuel fortifies the towns of Chliara, Pergamon, and Attramytion and protects the surrounding territory with the building of new fortresses called Neokastra [1162–73] (150.35–56).

Book V: 1167–71 (151.59–174.22)

  1. (1) War against the Hungarians: Byzantine victory at the battle of Semlin [8 July 1167] (151.59–157.52); triumph celebrated in Constantinople (157.53–158.81).

  2. (2) Campaign against Stefan Nemanja of Serbia [autumn 1168] (158.82–159.17).

  3. (p.303) (3) Campaign against Egypt with Amalric of Jerusalem; siege of Damietta [30 October–2 November 1169] and Byzantine retreat [13 December 1169] (159.18–168.78).

  4. (4) Birth of Alexios II [10 or 14 September 1169]; Manuel designates him as successor to the throne [24 March 1171] (169.79–170.12).

  5. (5) Béla-Alexios marries the emperor’s sister-in-law and becomes king of Hungary [1173]; Manuel’s daughter Maria marries Renier of Montferrat [February 1180] (170.13–171.40).

  6. (6) Arrest of the Venetians in the empire and the confiscation of their properties [12 March 1171]; negotiation over renewal of privileges and recompense (171.41–174.22).

Book VI: 1175–9 (175.25–198.40)

  1. (1) Comparison between Manuel and Kiliç Arslan II (175.25–176.48); hostilities erupt (176.49–177.4).

  2. (2) Expedition against the Turks [summer 1176]: battle of Myriokephalon [17 September 1176] (178.5–187.18); peace terms and retreat (188.19–192.44).

  3. (3) Turkish expedition against the cities along the Meander (192.45–195.27).

  4. (4) Expedition against the Turks in Lakerion and Panasion; campaign in Charax [1177–9] (195.28–197.6); Turkish siege of Klaudiopolis and deeds of the emperor [end of 1179] (197.7–198.40).

Book VII: 1156–80 (199.43–222.86)

  1. (1) Western affairs: the policy of Manuel towards the Italian city states; relations with Frederick Barbarossa and the papacy; alliance with the Montferrats; German siege of Ancona [1 April–15 October 1173]; criticism of the emperor’s foreign policy by the populace and Niketas’ defence (199.43–204.78).

  2. (2) Criticism of taxation policy and excessive expenditures; the emperor’s mistress and his illegitimate sons; his preference for foreigners (204.79–205.39).

  3. (3) Manuel’s secular building works in Constantinople (205.40–206.56).

  4. (4) The emperor’s character: heroism and perseverance in war, luxurious living in peace (206.57–66).

  5. (5) Manuel’s religious foundations; policy towards monasteries (206.67–208.15).

  6. (6) Manuel extents the use of the grants of the paroikoi and brings disorder upon the army and the provinces (208.16–209.58).

  7. (7) Manuel and theological disputes: debate over the phrase of St John Chrysostomos that Christ is both the Offerer and the Offered [resolved by the synods held on 26 January 1156 and 12–13 May 1157]; debate over the scriptural verse ‘My Father is greater than I’ [synod held in 1166]; controversy over the anathema directed against the God of the Prophet Muhammad [March–May 1180] (209.59–219.70).

  8. (8) Niketas, bishop of Chonai, and the prophecy on the madness of Manuel (219.71–220.9).

  9. (9) Death of the emperor [24 September 1180] (220.10–222.86).

The reign of Alexios II Komnenos, 1180–3 (223.4–274.29)

  1. (1) Affairs after the death of Manuel and the character of Alexios II; the protosebastos Alexios Komnenos and his affair with Maria of Antioch (223.4–225.55).

  2. (p.304) (2) The events relating to Andronikos Komnenos: reconciliation with Manuel [July 1180] and sojourn at Oinaion; Andronikos makes plans to seize the throne and marches on Constantinople [1181] (225.56–229.66).

  3. (3) The protosebastos Alexios establishes his power over the young emperor; Constantinople looks to Andronikos as a saviour and Maria Komnene encourages him to enter the city (229.67–231.10).

  4. (4) Conspiracy against the protosebastos spearheaded by Maria Komnene; unsuccessful attempt against the life of the protosebastos [7 February 1181]; plot exposed [1 March 1181]; conspirators condemned to prison by the imperial tribunal (231.11–232.31).

  5. (5) Maria and her husband Renier of Montferrat flee to Hagia Sophia [before Easter, 5 April 1181] and incite a popular revolt with the support of Patriarch Theodosios Boradiotes; the rebellion is put down by military force [2 May 1181] (232.32–241.87).

  6. (6) Deposition and return of the patriarch [autumn 1181] (241.88–243.31).

  7. (7) Andronikos Komnenos marches on Constantinople (243.32–244.47).

  8. (8) Negative characterization of the protosebastos and his actions against Andronikos in the provinces (244.48–69).

  9. (9) Nicaea refuses to submit to Andronikos Komnenos; John Komnenos, the governor of Thrace, refuses to join the rebellion; imperial force led by Andronikos Angelos engages Andronikos Komnenos in Charax near Nikomedia but is defeated; Angelos and his sons are forced to join Andronikos Komnenos (244.70–246.19).

  10. (10) The protosebastos attempts to block Andronikos’ entry into the city with a naval force led by the megas doux, Andronikos Kontostephanos; the latter joins the rebellion; the protosebastos is arrested and blinded (246.20–250.20).

  11. (11) Latin massacre in Constantinople (250.21–251.44).

  12. (12) Portents regarding the rule of Andronikos Komnenos appear in Constantinople (251.45–252.69).

  13. (13) Andronikos meets the patriarch Theodosios Boradiotes (252.70–254.20).

  14. (14) Andronikos enters Constantinople [April 1182] and meets Alexios II and the empress-mother; he then visits the tomb of Manuel at the Pantokrator Monastery (254.21–257.71).

  15. (15) Andronikos rewards his supporters and persecutes those loyal to Alexios II (257.72–259.36).

  16. (16) Murder of Maria Komnene and Renier of Montferrat (259.37–260.50).

  17. (17) Marriage of Andronikos’ daughter Eirene to Manuel’s illegitimate son Alexios; Basil Kamateros becomes the new patriarch [August 1183] (260.51–262.6).

  18. (18) Seljuk invasion and capture of Attaleia, Kotyaeion, and other cities; the megas domestikos John Vatatzes in Philadelphia rebels; after his death, his sons attempt to flee but are arrested and blinded (262.7–264.72).

  19. (19) Alexios II is crowned emperor [16 May 1182]; Maria of Antioch is expelled from the palace (264.73–266.15).

  20. (20) Conspiracy against Andronikos headed by Andronikos Angelos and Andronikos Kontostephanos; when the plot is discovered Angelos and his sons escape; Kontostephanos, his sons, and Basil Kamateros, are arrested and blinded (266.16–267.41).

  21. (p.305) (21) The empress-mother Maria of Antioch is charged with treason and executed (267.42–269.1).

  22. (22) Andronikos is proclaimed co-emperor [September 1182] (269.2–273.91).

  23. (23) Murder of Alexios II [September 1183] (273.92–274.29).

The reign of Andronikos I Komnenos, Book I: 1183–5 (275.4–316.1)

  1. (1) Andronikos weds Anna of France (275.4–276.19).

  2. (2) The patriarch Basil Kamateros and the synod absolve Andronikos of the oaths he had sworn to Manuel and his son (276.20–277.42).

  3. (3) Andronikos Lapardas rebels; he is arrested at Atramyttion and blinded (277.43–280.29).

  4. (4) Andronikos visits the monastery founded by his father in Vera (280.30–9).

  5. (5) Andronikos marches against the rebellious cities of Nicaea and Prousa [1184] (280.40–289.89).

  6. (6) Collapse of a section of the railing of the imperial box in the Hippodrome of Constantinople during the games in the summer (289.90–290.11).

  7. (7) Rebellion of Isaac Komnenos and establishment of independent rule in Cyprus (290.12–292.58).

  8. (8) Isaac’s relations, Constantine Makrodoukas and Andronikos Doukas, are charged with treason and executed; conspiracy of the Sebasteianos brothers (292.59–296.69).

  9. (9) Alexios Komnenos (grand nephew of Manuel) escapes to the court of William II of Sicily; Norman expedition captures Dyrrachion [24 June 1185] and Thessalonike [24 August 1185] (296.70–308.17).

  10. (10) Execution of the Sebasteianos brothers; Alexios Komnenos (illegitimate son of Manuel) is blinded and banished; his secretary Mamalos is burned alive in the Hippodrome (308.18–312.8).

  11. (11) Andronikos imprisons George Dishypatos and blinds Constantine Tripsychos (312.9–316.1).

Book II: 1185 (317.4–354.47)

  1. (1) Division of the Norman forces after the fall of Thessalonike; Andronikos’ initial protective measures against the Sicilian invasion (317.4–318.44).

  2. (2) March of the Norman forces through Byzantine territory; Alexios Komnenos accompanies the army as pretender to the throne (319.45–320.71).

  3. (3) Andronikos prepares Constantinople for a siege and attempts to calm the fears of the citizenry; he occupies himself with licentious amusements (320.72–323.59).

  4. (4) Andronikos’ cruel character and reign of terror (323.60–325.13).

  5. (5) Andronikos’ beneficial deeds: restriction of the greed of the powerful, end to public corruption, prosperity of the provinces (325.14–326.49).

  6. (6) Andronikos puts an end to the custom of looting shipwrecks (326.50–329.49).

  7. (7) Andronikos rebuilds the underground aqueduct (329.50–330.63); he revives the office of praetor (330.64–74); he is just towards his subjects (330.75–331.91); and he does not debate theology (331.92–11).

  8. (8) Restoration of the Church of the Forty Martyrs; other building works (332.12–333.60).

  9. (p.306) (9) Publication of decree sentencing to death all those suspected of plotting against Andronikos (333.61–338.92).

  10. (10) Andronikos turns to divination (338.93–341.64).

  11. (11) Isaac Angelos kills Stephanos Hagiochristophorites and seeks refuge in Hagia Sophia [11 September 1185]; a popular revolt erupts and Isaac is proclaimed emperor; Andronikos flees the city (341.65–347.40).

  12. (12) Isaac is acclaimed emperor; the Constantinopolitan mob is allowed to loot the palace armoury, the mint, and the churches (347.41–56).

  13. (13) Arrest and execution of Andronikos (347.57–351.55).

  14. (14) Evaluation of Andronikos (351.56–354.47).

The reign of Isaac II Angelos, Book I: 1185–7 (355.3–393.15)

  1. (1) Isaac’s first acts as emperor (355.93–356.23).

  2. (2) The Norman war: the general Alexios Branas engages the Normans at Mosynopolis and Demetritzes [7 November 1185]; the Norman troops withdraw from Thessalonike and Dyrrachion; the Norman generals together with Alexios Komnenos are captured (356.24–362.88).

  3. (3) The Norman navy is prevented from landing at the Gulf of Astakenos; the Byzantines engage the enemy and force them to withdraw [November 1185] (362.89–364.44).

  4. (4) Isaac meets with the Norman commanders (364.45–366.4).

  5. (5) Isaac announces that no one is to be maimed in body even if he is found guilty of treason; he later reversed his decision and emulated Andronikos in the destruction of his enemies (366.5–367.25).

  6. (6) The Seljuks invade the Thracesian theme [autumn 1185]; Isaac arranges the payment of annual tribute in exchange for peace (367.26–368.42).

  7. (7) Isaac marries Margaret, daughter of Béla of Hungary [1185/6]; beginning of the Vlach-Bulgarian rebellion [autumn 1185] (368.43–369.73).

  8. (8) Campaign against Isaac Komnenos of Cyprus [winter 1185–6] (369.74–370.12).

  9. (9) Campaign against the Vlach-Bulgarians; the Byzantine forces rout the rebels [21 April 1186]; Isaac returns to Constantinople (371.13–373.78).

  10. (10) The Vlach-Bulgarians join forces with the Cumans and resume their attacks; the sebastokrator John Doukas is sent against them, but is deprived of his command for plotting against the emperor; John Kantakouzenos assumes command, but is defeated [1186] (374.79–376.36).

  11. (11) Rebellion of Alexios Branas [summer 1187]; with the help of Conrad of Montferrat the rebel is defeated and killed in battle outside Constantinople (376.37–389.73).

  12. (12) Isaac allows the Constantinopolitans to take their revenge on the supporters of Branas along the Propontis; the Latin troops plunder the city; the mob attempts to attack the Latin quarters but is repulsed (389.74–393.15).

Book II: 1187–90 (394.18-418.88)

  1. (1) Second campaign against the Vlach-Bulgarians [autumn 1187]: digression on Conrad of Montferrat, who flees to the Holy Land (394.18–398.42).

  2. (2) Campaign against the Vlach-Bulgarians [spring 1188]; Isaac besieges the fortress of Lovitzos; he returns to Constantinople with Asen’s wife and his brother Kalojan (Ioannitsa) as hostages (399.43–53).

  3. (p.307) (3) Rebellion of Theodore Mangaphas [1188–9]: Mangaphas is proclaimed emperor in Philadelphia; he flees to the sultan Kay-Khusraw; with Turkish mercenaries he plunders Laodikeia, Phrygia, and Caria, but is finally given up to the emperor (399.54–401.18).

  4. (4) Third Crusade led by Frederick Barbarossa crosses Byzantine territory: initial negotiations [autumn 1188] and beginning of hostilities (401.19–404.93).

  5. (5) Digression on Patriarch Dositheos (404.94–408.90).

  6. (6) The Germans defeat the Byzantines at the fortress of Prousenos; Frederick Barbarossa divides his army and leaves for Adrianople [November 1189]; peace agreement [February 1190] (408.91–412.11).

  7. (7) Continuation of the German Crusade; conflict with the Turks and capture of Konya [18 May 1190]; death of Barbarossa [10 June 1190] (412.12–417.50).

  8. (8) Third Crusade in the Holy Land: the French and the English are unable to capture Jerusalem and withdraw [summer 1192]; the English King, Richard the Lionhearted, captures Cyprus and hands it over to Guy de Lusignan [May 1192] (417.51–418.88).

Book III: 1189–95 (419.91–452.19)

  1. (1) Isaac arranges the succession: his younger daughter Eirene marries Roger, the son of Tancred of Sicily [1193] and his son Alexios [IV] is designated heir to the throne (419.91–420.10).

  2. (2) Rebellion of Pseudo-Alexios [beginning 1189]: the rebel enlists Turkish troops and attacks the cities along the Meander; he is murdered by a priest [before 6 January 1193] (420.11–422.90).

  3. (3) Rebellion of another Pseudo-Alexios in Paphlagonia; rebellion of Basil Chotzas in Tarsia, near Nikomedia; rebellion of Isaac Komnenos (nephew of Andronikos) in Constantinople; rebellion of Constantine Tatikios in Constantinople (422.91–424.51).

  4. (4) Arrest and blinding of the governor of Thessalonike, Andronikos Komnenos, for plotting against the throne; his co-conspirator, Alexios Komnenos (illegitimate son of Manuel), is tonsured a monk, but later recalled (424.52–427.41).

  5. (5) Constantine Aspietes is deprived of his command and blinded for inciting rebellion; the son of the governor of Thessalonike rebels (428.42–62).

  6. (6) Campaign against the Vlach-Bulgarians and the Cumans [1190]; the Byzantine army is ambushed and defeated at Sredna Gora (428.63–431.45).

  7. (7) Isaac and the prophecies of Dositheos (431.46–433.9).

  8. (8) The Vlach-Bulgarians resume their raids; new campaign [1191] led by Isaac recovers Varna and Anchialos; the emperor then marches out against the Serbs and gains a victory at the Morava River; meeting with Béla III of Hungary [winter 1191–2] (434.25–35).

  9. (9) Constantine Angelos takes over the command of Philipoppolis and checks the raids of the Vlach-Bulgarians in the region; he then rebels against the emperor and is captured and blinded [1193] (435.36–436.89).

  10. (10) The Vlach-Bulgarians rejoice at Constantine’s downfall and resume their raids (436.89–437.15).

  11. (11) The emperor’s style of government and his shortcomings; digression on his civil administrators: the logothetes ton sekreton, Theodore Kastamonites, assumes (p.308) control of public affairs; Constantine Mesopotamites becomes the favourite of the emperor (437.16–441.5).

  12. (12) Isaac’s character and his passion for erecting buildings: the restoration of the Church of the Archangel Michael at Anaplous; defilement of sacred objects; debasement of the coinage and the selling of public offices (441.6–444.10).

  13. (13) Isaac’s charity: gifts and restoration of churches and monasteries; the foundation of hospitals and inns; monetary relief and distribution of gold to the citizens (444.11–445.35).

  14. (14) Isaac becomes the benefactor of cities by remitting taxes; he contrives new taxes and illegal sources of revenue; the emperor’s compassionate nature (445.36–446.62).

  15. (15) Campaign against the Vlach-Bulgarians after the defeat of Alexios Gidos and Basil Vatatzes near Arkadiopolis [1194]; Isaac sets out on campaign against the rebels and meets father Basilakios at Rhaidestos [spring 1195] (446.63-450.57).

  16. (16) The sebastokrator Alexios and his co-conspirators stage a coup d’etat [8 April 1195]; Isaac is arrested and blinded (450.58–452.19).

The reign of Alexios III Angelos, Book I: 1195–9 (453.3–501.7)

  1. (1) Alexios is proclaimed emperor and rewards his supporters (453.3–455.48).

  2. (2) Alexios returns to Constantinople; popular revolt acclaims the astrologer Alexios Kontostephanos emperor but is easily subdued; the role of the empress Euphrosyne (455.49–457.1).

  3. (3) Alexios enters Constantinople and is crowned in Hagia Sophia (457.2–459.53).

  4. (4) Alexios changes his surname to Komnenos; he withdraws from the public administration, wastes all the monies amassed by Isaac, and grants petitions to his supporters (459.54–460.77).

  5. (5) The character and actions of the empress Euphrosyne (460.78–461.13).

  6. (6) Rebellion of Pseudo-Alexios in Cilicia [1195]; the rebel is murdered [c.1197] (461.14–463.77).

  7. (7) Intrigues of Isaac Komnenos of Cyprus; he attempts to gain the support of the Turks and the nobility of Asia Minor against Alexios but dies soon after [1197] (463.78–465.17).

  8. (8) The Vlach-Bulgarians launch an invasion in the region of Serrai and capture the commander Alexios Aspietes; the emperor dispatches a relief force under Isaac Komnenos but the latter is defeated and captured [1195] (465.18–468.23).

  9. (9) The murder of Asen by Ivanko; the latter takes possession of Trnovo and requests the assistance of Alexios; a force is sent under Manuel Kamytzes, but the troops mutiny; Ivanko flees to Constantinople and Peter assumes power [1196–7] (468.24–472.19).

  10. (10) Peter is murdered [1197] and succeeded by his brother Kalojan; the latter continues the policy of plundering Byzantine lands (472.20–473.44).

  11. (11) Ivanko is welcomed at the Byzantine court and serves in the war against the Vlach-Bulgarians; he is betrothed to the emperor’s granddaughter (473.45–68).

  12. (12) Conflict with Muhyi al Din of Ankara [July 1195–December 1196]; siege and fall of Dadibra; peace treaty and arrangement of payment of tribute to the Turks [December 1196] (474.69–475.25).

  13. (13) Henry VI of Germany lays claim to the provinces between Dyrrachion and Thessalonike; negotiations in Constantinople on the payment of tribute (p.309) [Christmas 1196]; Alexios attempts to raise a special tax and raids the tombs of former emperors to raise the money (475.26–479.43).

  14. (14) Henry VI dies [28 September 1197]; character and deeds of the German ruler in Sicily; Isaac’s daughter Eirene (widow of Roger, son of Tancred of Sicily) is taken captive and married to Philip of Swabia [25 May 1197] (479.44–481.94).

  15. (15) War against the Genoese pirate Gafforio [1197–8?] (481.95–483.34).

  16. (16) The administration of Alexios; Euphrosyne appoints Constantine Mesopotamites as head of the administration; her relatives Andronikos Kontostephanos and Basil Kamateros accuse her of adultery; Alexios orders the murder of her alleged lover (483.35–486.55).

  17. (17) Alexios sets out on a campaign against the Vlach rebel Dobromir-Chrysos in Strummitsa [February or July 1197] (487.56–75).

  18. (18) Alexios expels Euphrosyne from the palace [October 1197–March 1198]; the empress is reinstated and assumes complete control over the administration (487.76–489.46).

  19. (19) Rise and fall of Constantine Mesopotamites: a plot spearheaded by Michael Stryphnos expels him from the palace and the priesthood; his replacement is Theodore Eirenikos [1198] (489.47–493.66).

  20. (20) War against the Turks: the sultan Kay-Khusraw raids the cities along the Meander; the captive Byzantines are settled in the vicinity of Philomelion [winter 1198–9]; Byzantine counter-attack [1198–9] (493.67–496.65).

  21. (21) Troop concentration at Kypsella [spring 1199]; illness of Alexios and deliberations on the succession; the Cumans plunder Thrace (496.66–501.7).

Book II: 1199–1203 (502.10–548.11)

  1. (1) Campaign against Dobromir-Chrysos [spring 1199]; siege of Prosakon and peace treaty (502.10–508.66).

  2. (2) Cuman raids into Macedonia [1199] (508.67–74).

  3. (3) Marriage of the emperor’s daughters: Eirene to Alexios Palaiologos and Anna to Theodore Laskaris [February 1200] (508.75–509.17).

  4. (4) Rebellion of Ivanko at Philippopolis; the Byzantine forces led by Manuel Kamytzes fall into a trap and are defeated; Kamytzes is captured [spring 1200] (509.18–514.37).

  5. (5) Doctrinal controversy initiated by Michael Sikidites concerning the Eucharist (514.38–517.4).

  6. (6) Alexios campaigns against Ivanko-; the rebel is seized and executed [spring 1200] (518.5–519.35).

  7. (7) Euphrosyne practises divination and mutilates statues in Constantinople (519.36–520.66).

  8. (8) Turkish affairs after the death of Kiliç Arslan II and conflict between Rukn al-Din of Tokat and Kay-Khusraw of Konya; Kay-Khusraw flees to the Byzantine court (520.67–522.24).

  9. (9) Cuman raids into Byzantine territory; Roman of Galicia attacks Cumans and forces them to withdraw; war between Roman and Rurik of Kiev (522.25–523.49).

  10. (10) Popular revolt in Constantinople due to the arrest of the banker Kalomodios (523.50–524.84).

  11. (11) Popular revolt in Constantinople against the commander of the Praetorian prison, John Lagos (525.85–526.33).

  12. (p.310) (12) Revolt of John Komnenos ‘the Fat’ [July 1200]; the rebel occupies the Great Palace and the Hippodrome but is defeated and killed by imperial troops (526.34–528.80).

  13. (13) Constantine Frangopoulos plunders the Turkish ships trading with the port of Aminsos; the Turkish merchants complain to the sultan Rukn al-Din; a tribute and peace treaty is agreed, but the emperor is caught conspiring against the life of the sultan (528.81–529.17).

  14. (14) Rebellion of Michael Komnenos Doukas in the region of the Meander [spring 1200] (529.18–530.51).

  15. (15) The emperor’s belief in astrology: the floor partially collapses in Alexios’ bedchamber [17 February 1201] (530.52–531.71).

  16. (16) The emperor’s daughter Eudokia is dismissed by her husband Stefan Nemanja; Alexios sends an escort to collect her from Dyrrachion [spring 1201?]; civil war between the sons of Stefan Nemanja (531.72–532.20).

  17. (17) Campaign of Kalojan: siege and capture of Varna [1201] (532.21–533.41).

  18. (18) Rebellion of Dobromir-Chrysos and Manuel Kamytzes in Greece; revolt of John Spyridonakes in Smolena; Alexios Palaiologos defeats Spyridonakes; John Ionopolites and the emperor crush the rebellion of Dobromir-Chrysos and Kamytses [1202]; peace treaty with Kalojan (533.42–535.2).

  19. (19) Preliminaries of the Fourth Crusade: Isaac conspires with his daughter Eirene and Philip of Swabia to depose Alexios; Isaac’s son Alexios [IV] flees to Sicily [September 1201] (535.3–537.48).

  20. (20) Relations of the Angeloi emperors with the Latin nations and the Venetians (537.49–538.71).

  21. (21) The Doge Enrico Dandolo plans an attack against Byzantium with the leaders of the crusade; Alexios [IV] makes outlandish promises to the crusaders (538.72–540.23).

  22. (22) Departure of crusader fleet from Venice [October 1202] and siege of Zara [11–24 November 1202]; Alexios IV is proclaimed emperor at Dyrrachion; the fleet arrives before Constantinople [June 1203] (540.24–542.63).

  23. (23) The crusaders land on the shores of the Bosphoros, capture the tower of Galata, and break the chain protecting the Golden Horn [5–6 July 1203]; the Latins pitch camp outside the land walls, northwest of Blachernai Palace (542.64–543.7).

  24. (24) Attack on Constantinople [17 July 1203]; the emperor Alexios escapes Constantinople [17–18 July] (544.8–547.84).

  25. (25) Assessment of the emperor and his reign (547.85–548.11).

The second reign of Isaac II with his son Alexios IV Angelos, July 1203–January 1204 (549.4–564.19)

  1. (1) The emperor Alexios escapes to Develton (549.4–13).

  2. (2) Isaac is released from prison and proclaimed emperor [17–18 July 1203] (549.14–550.33).

  3. (3) Alexios IV becomes co-emperor; the leaders of the Fourth Crusade enter Constantinople and receive gifts from Isaac (550.34–551.60).

  4. (4) Isaac plunders the wealth of the churches (551.61–552.76).

  5. (5) The Constantinopolitan mob raids the Latin quarters and forces the inhabitants to flee to the crusader camp (552.77–90).

  6. (p.311) (6) The crusaders set fire to the city [19 August 1203] (553.91–556.77).

  7. (7) Alexios IV and Boniface of Montferrat campaign against Alexios III in Thrace (556.78–92).

  8. (8) Isaac opposes his son and turns to divination and astrology (556.93–558.46).

  9. (9) The Constantinopolitan mob destroys the statue of Athena in the Forum of Constantine (558.47–559.73); the Byzantines attempt to collect the money owed to the crusaders (559.74–560.89).

  10. (10) The crusaders despoil and destroy the palaces and churches along the Propontis and wage battles on the shores of Constantinople [December–January 1204]; the populace urges the emperor Alexios IV to oppose them (560.90–561.22).

  11. (11) Alexios Doukas engages the crusader forces at Trypetos Lythos [7 January 1204] (561.23–32).

  12. (12) An assembly composed of the senate, the bishops, and the clergy meets in Hagia Sophia [25 January 1204] to decide upon the succession; Nikolaos Kannavos is acclaimed emperor [27 January] (561.33–562.62).

  13. (13) Coup of Alexios Doukas [27–8 January 1204]; Nikolaos Kannabos is arrested and Alexios IV is murdered (562.63–564.19).

The reign of Alexios V Doukas “Mourtzouphlos”, February–April 1204 (565.4–582)

  1. (1) Alexios V confiscates the monies of those who held the highest offices for public needs, fortifies the walls of Constantinople, and resists the crusaders (565.4–566.43).

  2. (2) Alexios engages Baldwin of Flanders in battle; the Byzantines flee and the crusaders capture the icon of the Theotokos (567.44–50).

  3. (3) Failed negotiations between Alexios and Enrico Dandolo at Kosmidion (567.51–568.76).

  4. (4) First crusader attack on the sea walls [9 April 1204]; in a second attack [12 April] the crusaders breach the sea walls and set fire to that section of the city; they occupy Blachernai Palace and take up headquarters in the Pantepoptes Monastery (568.77–570.38).

  5. (5) Alexios flees Constantinople [12–13 April] (570.39–571.54).

  6. (6) Constantine Laskaris is chosen as the new emperor in Hagia Sophia; he unsuccessfully attempts to organize resistance against the crusaders and flees (571.55–572.78).

  7. (7) Capture [13-14 April 1204] and sack of Constantinople (572.79–575.58); Niketas’ judgement against the crusaders (575.59–576.95); his lamentation for the fall of the city (576.1–582.46).

The events after the fall of Constantinople, April 1204–November 1206 (583.4–646.11)

  1. (1) Solon and the tyranny of Peisistratos (583.4–585.57); recapitulation of events leading to the capture of Constantinople (585.58–586.78).

  2. (2) The crusaders take up quarters in Constantinople; Niketas and others escape the city [17 April 1204] and arrive at Selymbria (586.79–594.78).

  3. (3) The crusaders ridicule the Byzantines; they divide the cities and provinces of the empire amongst themselves; the gates of the city and pieces of the harbour (p.312) chain are sent to the Crusader states to announce the fall of Constantinople (594.80–595.32).

  4. (4) Baldwin of Flanders is chosen Latin emperor [9 May 1204] (596.33–597.78).

  5. (5) The Latin emperor marches through Thrace [summer 1204]: (597.79–598.4).

  6. (6) Boniface of Montferrat weds Maria of Hungary, widow of Isaac II, and rebels against Baldwin of Flanders (598.5–599.28).

  7. (7) Baldwin of Flanders arrives at Thessalonike and confirms privileges to the city; he returns to Constantinople and is reconciled with Boniface of Montferrat (599.29–600.57).

  8. (8) Boniface of Montferrat marches through Greece with the support of certain Byzantine nobles (600.58–601.75).

  9. (9) Henry of Flanders and Peter of Bracieux campaign in the east [1204–5]; they engage the Byzantines under Theodore Laskaris near Poimanenon [6 December 1204] but fail to take Prousa and are subsequently defeated [19 March 1205] (601.76–603.30).

  10. (10) Theodore Mangaphas of Philadelphia engages Henry of Flanders in the vicinity of Atramyttion but is defeated [19 March 1205] (603.31–604.48).

  11. (11) Boniface of Montferrat advances through the Thessalian Temple and Larissa; at Thermopylae he is ambushed by Leon Sgouros, who flees to Akrokorinth (604.49–605.64).

  12. (12) Digression on the actions of Leon Sgouros and the fate of Alexios V (605.65–609.72).

  13. (13) Boniface of Montferrat advances on Peloponnesos and besieges Sgouros at Akrokorinth (609.73–611.35).

  14. (14) Alexios III surrenders to Boniface of Montferrat; the Byzantines who support him turn to Kalojan and instigate a rebellion against the Latins in Thrace and Macedonia [February 1205] (612.36–613.76).

  15. (15) The Byzantines take Adrianople and Didymoteichon; the Latins recover Vizye and Tzouroulos and defeat the Byzantines at Arkadiopolis (613.77–614.10).

  16. (16) The Latins campaign against the rebels; at Adrianople they are defeated by Kalojan and his Cuman allies [14 April 1205]; Baldwin of Flanders is taken captive (615.11–617.92).

  17. (17) The Cumans plunder the Thracian cities tributary to the Latins; Kalojan departs for Thessalonike [after 29 May 1205] and takes Serrai (618.93–619.43).

  18. (18) Boniface of Montferrat returns to Thessalonike to crush the rebellion; Alexios III and Euphrosyne are sent to the ruler of Germany; Boniface sends reinforcements to the Latins at Serrai (619.44–620.83).

  19. (19) Campaign led by Henry of Flanders (May–October 1205) (621.84–625.27).

  20. (20) In the eastern provinces, Manuel Mavrozomes allies with Kay-Khusraw of Konya and ravages the lands along the Meander; Theodore Laskaris defeats Mavrozomes and is proclaimed emperor [summer 1205]; David Komnenos is defeated by Laskaris (625.28–626.75).

  21. (21) Kalojan takes Philippopolis [summer 1205]; his new campaign in Thrace reaches to the walls of Constantinople (627.76–631.16).

  22. (22) Kalojan lays siege to Adrianople and Didymoteichon; the Patriarch John Kamateros dies at Didymoteichon [first half of 1206] (631.17–633.59).

  23. (23) Lamentation on destruction caused by the Cuman raids in Thrace and Macedonia [1206] (633.60–637.24); Niketas returns to Constantinople [summer 1206] and after a brief stay departs for Nicaea; Kalojan besieges Adrianople (p.313) [early 1207]; fighting in Mosynopolis and the death of Boniface of Montferrat [4 September 1207] (635.1–636.65 LO).

  24. (24) The situation in the western provinces: the Latins capture Athens, Thebes, Euboia, and the lands around Methone and Patra; Leon Sgouros rules over Corinth and Nauplion, Leon Chamaretos controls the vale of Lakedaimon, and Michael Komnenos Doukas establishes himself as the ruler of Epiros; Boniface of Montferrat rules Thessalonike and the coastal region to Halmyros (637.25–638.61).

  25. (25) The situation in the eastern provinces: Theodore Laskaris is recognized as emperor [summer 1205]; he subdues most of the islands with a fleet and makes peace with the sultan Kay-Khusraw [before March 1206], surrendering part of his dominion to the sultan’s father-in-law, Manuel Mavrozomes; David and Alexios Komnenos rule Pontic Herakleia, Paphlagonia, Oinaion, Sinope, and Trebizond (638.62–639.95).

  26. (26) Siege of Attaleia by Kay-Khusraw [spring 1206] (639.1–640.12).

  27. (27) Conflict between Theodore Laskaris and David Komnenos [autumn 1206] (640.13–641.49).

  28. (28) Peter of Bracieux takes possession of Pegai [November 1206] (641.50–63).

  29. (29) The Latins bring relief to the cities devastated by the Cuman raids; Henry of Hainault is elected emperor [20 August 1206] (642.64–85).

  30. (30) Death of Baldwin of Flanders and Constantine Torrnikes (642.86–643.10).

  31. (31) The Latins and the ancient statuary in Constantinople (643.11–644.40).

  32. (32) Comparison of the Latins and the Byzantines (644.41–53).

  33. (33) Criticism of the Byzantines; Niketas and other senators suffer ill-treatment in exile (644.54–645.88).

  34. (34) Campaign of Henry of Hainault against the Vlach-Bulgarians and the Cumans [autumn 1206] (645.89–646.11).

De Signis

  1. (1) The Latin patriarch Thomas Morosini (647.1–18).

  2. (2) The crusaders plunder the imperial tombs in Constantinople and melt down bronze statues in order to make coins; Niketas’ ekphrasis on the antique statuary (647.19–655.65).