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Byzantium and the Crusader States 1096–1204$
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Ralph-Johannes Lilie

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198204077

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198204077.001.0001

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Byzantine Weakness and the Relapse into the Policy of Confrontation: From Alexius II Comnenus to Alexius V Murtzuphlus (1180–1204)

Byzantine Weakness and the Relapse into the Policy of Confrontation: From Alexius II Comnenus to Alexius V Murtzuphlus (1180–1204)

Chapter:
(p.222) 5 Byzantine Weakness and the Relapse into the Policy of Confrontation: From Alexius II Comnenus to Alexius V Murtzuphlus (1180–1204)
Source:
Byzantium and the Crusader States 1096–1204
Author(s):

Ralph-Johannes Lilie

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198204077.003.0005

The death of Manuel I Comnenus was an almost unbelievably heavy blow for the Byzantine Empire. True, the last years of his reign had brought bitter defeats to Byzantium, but neither the defeat at Myriocephalum in 1176 in the east, nor the relative isolation of the Greek position in the west as a result of the peace of Venice in 1177, was so severe in its consequences as Manuel's death. It was not so much the death of the Emperor himself that had such fateful consequences but rather the fact that no successor stood ready and able to take over the reins of Empire. The Emperor, Manuel's son Alexius II, was just 11 years old at the time of his accession and thus needed a regency to conduct affairs for him. Manuel named a council of regency with the Empress Mother Maria of Antioch at its head, but there was soon tension between the Empress Mother and her favourite the Protostrator Alexius on the one hand, and, on the other, various groups of the nobility led chiefly by Maria Comnena, the daughter of Manuel's first marriage.

Keywords:   Byzantine Empire, Manuel I Comnenus, Maria of Antioch, Alexius II, Myriocephalum, Greece, Maria Comnena

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