Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-vtfg7 Total loading time: 0.365 Render date: 2022-05-23T15:21:09.885Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

The imperial governors of Dyrrakhion in the reign of Alexios I Komnenos1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 January 2016

Peter Frankopan*
Affiliation:
Worcester College, Oxford

Abstract

This article considers the conclusions that we can draw about the imperial governors of Dyrrakhion in the reign of the Emperor Alexios I Komnenos. It looks at why Dyrrakhion became increasingly important in the course of the 11th Century and, above all, after Alexios’ usurpation of the throne in 1081. Careful attention is paid to establishing the identity of the various individuals whom we know to have held the position of doux of the town in the period between 1081-1118, and the chronology of and context for the appointments looked at in detail. The significance of Dyrrakhion is further highlighted by drawing attention to the fact that only the very closest intimates of the Emperor — and indeed only senior members of the imperial family itself — were made governors of the town in this period. This study represents a fresh examination of Dyrrakhion, and establishes several new conclusions about the identities and careers of the imperial governors of the town in the reign of the Emperor Alexios I Komnenos.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, University of Birmingham 2002

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

1

I am very grateful for the helpful and kind comments of James Howard-Johnston and Jean-Claude Cheynet which were made before this article was submitted to BMGS, and also those of the two readers. Any errors or mistakes are, of course, my own.

References

2. The only author to comment on events in southern Italy after the mid-1040s is Kedrenos — who only provides the briefest of details about the loss of southern Italy, ed. Bekker, I., CFHB (Bonn 1838)720-4Google Scholar.

3. Psellos, Michael, ed. and tr. Renauld, E., Michel Psellos, Chronographie (2 vols., Paris 1926)Google Scholar; Attaleiates, Michael, ed. Bekker, I., Michaelis Attaliotae Historia (Bonn 1853)Google Scholar; Kedrenos, George, ed. Bekker, I., CFHB (2 vols., Bonn 1838)Google Scholar; Bryennios, Nikephoros, ed. and tr. Gautier, P. Nicephori Bryennii historiarum Libri Quattuor (Brussels 1975)Google Scholar; Zonaras, John, eds. Pinder, M., and Büttner-Wobst, T., Epitome Historiarum (3 vols., Bonn 1841-97)Google Scholar.

4. These fears are recorded by Kekavmenos Katakalon in his Strategikon, and can be dated with some certainty to the year 1066, Soveti i Rasskazy Kekavmena, ed. and tr. Litavrin, G. (Moscow 1972) 254 Google Scholar. Also see Chalandon, F., Essai sur le règne d’Alexis 1er Comnène (Paris 1900) 71 Google Scholar, von Falkenhausen, V., Aspetti storico-economici dell’ età di Roberto il Guiscardo’, in ed. Quagliarello, G., Roberto Guiscardo e il suo tempore (Rome 1975) 125-7Google Scholar.

5. Mandic, D., ‘Gregorio VII e l’ocupazione Veneta della Dalmazia nell’anno 1076’, in ed. Pertusi, A., Venezia e il levante - fino al secolo XV (2 vols., Florence 1973) I, 453-71Google Scholar.

6. Bryennios, III, 3, 214.

7. See Oikonomides, N., Les listes de préséances byzantines des IX-X siècles (Paris 1972) 49, 139Google Scholar.

8. Ibid., 267. For Byzantium’s concerns in the East in the later 9th and the 10th Centuries, see Whittow, M., The Making of Orthodox Byzantium 600-1025 (London 1996) 310-58CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

9. For Samuel’s uprisings, see Zlatarskii, V., Istoriya na B’lgarskata d’rzhava prez sredite vekove, 2nd ed. (2 vols., Sofia 1970-2) I, part 2, 675-7Google Scholar, Litavrin, G., Bolgariya i Vizantiya v XI-XII vv. = (Moscow 1960) 263-4Google Scholar, Stephenson, Balkan Frontier, 59-61. For the fall of Dyrrakhion, see Obolensky, D., The Byzantine Commonwealth (London 1971) 177 Google Scholar.

10. E.g Skyliztes, 424ff, Kekavmenos, 168, Sisic, F., Letopis Popa Dukljanina (Zagreb 1928) 346-54Google Scholar.

11. Ducellier, A., La façade maritime de l’Albanie au Moyen Age (Thessalonica 1981) 95 Google Scholar. Also see Ahrweiler, H., ‘Recherches sur l’administration de l’empire byzantin aux IX-XI siècles’, Bulletin de Correspondence Héllénique 84 (1960) 64-6Google Scholar, Cheynet, J-C., ‘Du stratège de theme au duc: chronologie de l’évolution au cours du XIe siècle’, TM 9 (1985) 181-94Google Scholar.

12. Bryennios, III.3, 212, Chalandon, F., Histoire de la domination normande en Italie et Sicilie (2 vols., Paris 1907) I, 258-60Google Scholar.

13. We know of Maurikas’ exploits in Dyrrakhion in this period from the Latin chroniclers of southern Italy. See for example, Chronicon Breve Nortmannicum, in Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, Old Series, V, col. 278, Lupus Protospatharius, Annales, in MGH, SS, V, a. 1070, 59, William of Apulia, Gesta Roberti Wiscardi, ed. and tr. Mathieu, M., La geste de Robert Guiscard (Palermo 1961) 331 Google Scholar.

14. Three seals are known which appear to have been struck with the same boulloterion, see Seibt, W., Die byzantinischen Bleisiegel in Österreich (Vienna 1978) 169 Google Scholar, and Nesbitt, J. and Oikonomides, N., (eds.) Catalogue of Byzantine seals at Dumbarton Oaks (3 vols., Washington D.C. 1991-) I, 42 (two seals)Google Scholar. Another seal, struck with different matrices, was recovered from the town of Silistra and has been published by Iordanov, I., ‘Neizadadeni vizantiiskii olovni pechati ot Silistra’, Izvestiya na Narodniya muzei Varna 19 (1983) 113-20Google Scholar.

15. Bryennios, II.26, 197-9.

16. The Normans ‘cum navibus omnibus omnes/ Ad Corifum properant. Haec complacet insula cunctis./ Classis Alexinae dux Mabrica venerat illuc’, William of Apulia, V, 11. 97-9, 240.

17. See for example, Skoulatos, B., Les personnages byzantins de l’Alexiade: analyse prosopographique et synthèse (Louvain 1980) 196-8Google Scholar, Stephenson, Frontier, 158, 168.

18. Ducellier, Façade, 79-80, Stephenson, 145.

19. Komnene, Anna, eds. Reinsch, D. and Karambylis, A., Alexias (Berlin 2001) I.4, 18 Google Scholar.

20. Alexiad, I.7, 28. Also see Skoulatos, Personnages, 35-9.

21. Alexiad, I.7-9, 27-34, Bryennios, IV.18-27, 285-96, Attaleiates, 297-300, Kedrenos, 739-41.

22. It is not possible to establish precisely when Monomakhatos was appointed doux of Dyrrakhion, since Anna simply says George ‘παρά тоС αύτοκράτορος Βοτανειάτου άποσταλεκ’, Alexiad, I.16, 51.

23. Alexiad, I.16, 53.

24. Alexiad, III.9, 111.

25. Alexiad, I.16, 51-2.

26. Anna Komnene certainly seems to think that the statements of Germanos and Borilos about Monomakhatos were untrue, ibid.

27. Alexiad, I.16, 52; III.9, 111.

28. William of Apulia, IV, 11. 215-7, 240.

29. The argument that the Alexiad as a whole is a work dedicated to presenting only the positive aspects of Alexios’ rule, and that the text is both unreliable and biased because of the author’s regular attempts to absolve the Emperor for responsibility for the problems which Byzantium faced in this period, has been presented by many historians, e.g. Kazhdan, A. and Constable, G., People and power in Byzantium (Washington D.C. 1982) 156-7Google Scholar; Shlosser, F., ‘The Alexiad of Anna Comnena as a source for the Crusades’, BF 15 (1990) 397406 Google Scholar; Thomas, R., ‘Anna Comnena’s account of the First Crusade, History and politics in the reign of the Emperors Alexius I and Manuel I Comnenus’, BMGS 15 (1991) 269312 Google Scholar; France, J., Victory in the East (Cambridge 1994) 110-2CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

30. Alexiad, I.16, 53-4. Nikephoros Melissenos, who had launched his own bid for the throne at the end of 1080 or at the start of 1081, was able to negotiate a settlement with the Komnenoi whereby he was given the title of Caesar, which ranked him third in the Empire, below only the Isaac Komnenos and the Emperor himself, Alexiad, III.4, 95. In addition, Melissenos appears to have been given a generous financial settlement, including the entire revenues of the town of Thessalonika, Alexiad, II.8, 76.

31. It should be said, however, that the Letopis contains very little information about Byzantium, Dyrrakhion or about members of the imperial administration. Indeed, this text does not even mention large-scale (Byzantine) military activity both along the frontier and within Serb-held territory in the early 1090s.

32. Ducellier, Façade, 34; Alexiad, I.16, 51, III. 12, 117, VI.5, 176.

33. Alexiad, III.9, 111. Palaiologos was the Emperor’s brother-in-law through of his marriage to the sister of Eirene Doukaina, Alexios’ wife, Polemis, D., The Doukai (London 1968) 74 Google Scholar, Skoulatos, Personnages, 99-100. A seal belonging to George Palaiologos, kouropalates and doux of Dyrrakhion has been published by Nesbitt and Oikonomides, Byzantine seals, I, 41.

34. Alexiad, III.12, 116; IV. 1, 122; IV.4, 127-8; IV.5, 129.

35. Alexiad, VI.1, 169.

36. Neither the Alexiad nor the Gesta provide as much information about the Norman assault of 1084-5 as they do about the invasion of 1081-3, a fact which is no doubt partly due to the anti-climatic nature of this attack which fizzled out following the death of Robert Guiscard, Alexiad, VI.5-6, 175-81, William of Apulia, V, 11. 143ff, 245-59. In contrast with the wealth of information about the first assault, where the Alexiad names the principal imperial officers in charge of the Byzantine defence, we learn nothing about the personnel involved in 1084-5.

37. There is no reason to think that Palaiologos was not still doux of Dyrrakhion in the spring 1083, when he is referred to Anna Komnene in her account of the recapture of the town of Kastoria, Alexiad, VI. 1,169.

38. Alexiad, VII.2-3, 207-18. For some comments on the date here, see Vasilievskii, V., Trudy (4 vols., St. Petersburg 1908-30) I, 52 Google Scholar, Chalandon, Essai, 106, 114, Liubarskii, , Aleksiada (Moscow 1965) 532, n. 752 Google Scholar, Diaconu, Pétchénègues, 117. Voinov, A., Aleksiadata, Go’tski Izbori za B’lgarskata Istoriya 15 (1971) 61, n. 1 Google Scholar.

39. Palaiologos appears on several occasions in the account of the expedition against Dristra, Alexiad, VII.2, 205; VII.3, 210; VII.4, 215-6. Neither George’s title nor his position are recorded in any of these references.

40. Anna duplicates the account of Doukas’ recall from the town, Alexiad, VII.8, 225-6 and IX. 1, 259. Also see here Gautier, P., ‘Diatribes de Jean l’Oxite contre Alexis 1er Comnéne’, REB 28 (1970) 13-4CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

41. See below, 90-1.

42. John’s position at Dyrrakhion in 1096 is attested to by Anna, Alexiad, X.2, 302, Fulcher of Chartres, Gesta Francorum Iherusalem Peregrinantium, ed. Hagenmeyer, H., (Heidelberg 1913) II, 144-5Google Scholar, Albert of Aachen, Liber christianae expeditionis pro ereptione, emundatione et restitutione sanctae Hierosolymitanae ecclesiae, in RHC, Occ., II.7, IV, 304. Also see Chalandon, Essai, 147, n. 1, Liubarskii, Aleksiada, 562, n. 999, Skoulatos, Personnages, 136.

43. The limits for Doukas’ appointment are fixed by the reference to Palaiologos as doux in 1083, and that of John Komnenos in 1096. The matter here is complicated by problems of the Alexiad’s sequence of events for Byzantine relations with the Serbs and for the posting of John Komnenos to the town as doux, below, 90-1.

44. Alexiad. VII.8, 225-6.

45. Ibid.

46. The Letopis states that Constantine Bodin, the Serb leader, took Dyrrakhion after the death of Robert Guiscard in 1085, Letopis. LXII, 361. No other source mentions the role played by Bodin in the re-taking of the town, e.g. Alexiad, VI.6, 180. The Letopis is also suspect because we learn from elsewhere that Dyrrakhion had been recaptured in 1083, two years before Guiscard’s death — although the citadel had held out for an unspecified period of time, William of Apulia, V, 11. 80-8, 240. There is no evidence that the Normans were able to take the town again in the attack of 1084-5, nor for that matter, that they had tried to do so.

47. One letter congratulates Doukas for his victory over the Turk, Çaka, and can therefore be dated to after John’s departure from Dyrrakhion, , Theophylact of Ohrid, ed. Gautier, P., Théophylacte d’Achrida Lettres (Thessalonica 1986) viii, 153-5Google Scholar. The second letter appears to have been written just as (or just after) Doukas had been summoned from Epirus to lead the expeditions against the Turks in western Asia Minor, since Theophylact talks of his achievements and of the task at hand — which might perhaps be a reference to John’s appointment elsewhere, xvii, 187-9. Also see Mullett, M., Theophylact of Ohrid — reading the letters of a Byzantine archbishop (Aldershot 1997) 86, 295-6, 299, 360-2Google Scholar. Mullett says that another letter (Theophylact, xxvi, 215-7) was written to John Doukas, ibid., 360, 303. Elsewhere, however, she states that this letter was sent to John Komnenos, doux of Dyrrakhion later in the 11th Century, 204.

48. Theophylact says that: ‘καΊ θαρρώ σου так άπαραμίλλοις τήν σην γενεάν άρετοας ώς έν πασι πάντων άνακηρυχθήση δεξιώτερός τε και δοκιμώτερος και πάλιν τά της Βουλγαρίοκ; εύεργετησεκ’, Theophylact, xvii, 187. Mullett suggests that Theophylact’s praise was related to Doukas’ successful campaign against the Turk, Çaka, Byzantine archbishop, 86. However, no reference is made to Çaka in the letter. Moreover, there is no evidence to suppose, as Mullett does, that Doukas returned to Dyrrakhion after his campaign against the Turk, a hypothesis that is speculative.

49. For some comments on Theophylact’s literary style, see Mullett, Byzantine archbishop, 133-61.

50. Holtzmann, W., ‘Die Unionsverhandlungen zwischen Kaiser Alexios I und Papst Urban II im Jahre 1089’, BZ 28 (1928) 3867 Google Scholar, Stiernon, D., ‘Basile de Reggio, le dernier métropolite grec de Calabre’, Rivista di Storia della Chiesa in Italia 18 (1964) 189226 Google Scholar, Becker, A., Papst Urban II 1088-99 (2 vols., Stuttgart 1964-88) II, 88ffGoogle Scholar.

51. Holtzmann, ‘Unionsverhandlungen’, 46, 65. Basil does not say that he had been ejected from his seat in Calabria, rather that he was been prevented from taking it since his election (‘κωλΰομαι άπο του θρόνου’) — which should therefore be dated to c.1078, Stiernon, ‘Basile de Reggio’, 191-6.

52. Holtzmann, ‘Unionsverhandlungen’, 64, Becker, Urban, II, 74ff.

53. Holtzmann, ‘Unionsverhandlungen’, 66.

54. For example, Stiernon, L., ‘Notes de titulaire et de prosopographie byzantines — Adrien (Jean) et Constantin Comnène, sébastes’, REB 21 (1963) 195 and n. 97CrossRefGoogle Scholar, Stiernon, ‘Basile de Reggio’, 204, Gautier, Théophylacte, 44-5. Barzos does not consider this piece of evidence in his survey of the life and career of Adrian Komnenos, Barzos, K., ‘H γενεαλογία των Κομνηνών (2 vols., Thessalonica 1984) I, 114-7Google Scholar.

55. Alexiad, III.4, 96.

56. In fact Zonaras is misleading here, since he says that Adrian was made Great Domestic and given the title of protosebastos at the start of Alexios’ reign, Zonaras, XVIII.20, III, 732. However, Adrian only became Great Domestic in the mid-1080s, after the death of Gregory Pakourianos — Alexios’ original appointment as Domestic after the Emperor’s accession. See Alexiad, II.4, 64; VII.1, 204, and Skoulatos, Personnages, 5-6, Barzos, Γενεαλογία, I, 115.

57. Actes de Lavra, eds. P. Lemerle, N. Svoronos, A. Guillou, D. Papachryssanthou, (Paris 1970) 247.

58. Gautier, P., ‘Le synode des Blachernes (fin 1094)’, REB 29 (1971) 217 CrossRefGoogle Scholar. For some comments on the date, see ibid., 280-4.

59. The fact that the seals refer to Adrian Komnenos, protosebastos and Great Domestic of the West, provide a clear indication that they did once belong to the Adrian Komnenos who was the brother of Alexios I, and not to any other member of the Komnenos family: only one other individual of the family is known to have had the same first name, and there is no evidence to suggest that this person also held the position of Domestic, Barzos, Γενεαλογία, I, 158-69. There are three seals in the collections at Dumbarton Oaks, Nesbitt and Oikonomides, Byzantine seals, I, 6-7. Two other seals, bearing the same legend, but struck with a different boulloterion have been published by Schlumberger, G., Sigillographie de l’Empire byzantin (Paris 1884) 639 Google Scholar.

60. Alexiad, VI.5, 178. While it is not impossible that the Doge might have helped Basil — there was, after all, a Venetian community in Dyrrakhion in this period — one might have expected the cleric to identify his patron more clearly had it been the Doge. This, coupled with the lack of an obvious motivation and the logistical questions that it raises, would seem to make it highly unlikely that Basil’s benefactor had been from Venice. Anna Komnene’s account of the privileges accorded to Venice and of the title being awarded to the Doge was almost certainly drawn from an original document, Liubarskii, Ia., ‘Ob instochnikakh “Aleksiady” Anny Komninoi’, vv 25 (1965) 117 Google Scholar. Also see Tafel, T. and Thomas, G. (eds.), Urkunden zur älteren Handels und Staatsgeschichte der Republik Venedig (3 vols., Vienna 1857) III, 52 Google Scholar.

61. Cheynet, J-C. and Vannier, J-F., Etudes Prosopographiques (Paris 1986) 6674 Google Scholar.

62. Alexiad, III.4, 95-6.

63. Anna does seem to imply that the titles were awarded around the time of Alexios’ accession, since this section of the text deals with the decisions made by the new Emperor in the first days of his reign. However, the fact that the author is vague here, stating that Taronites’ titles were awarded ‘κατ’ έκείνο 6ε καιροϋ’, without providing a clear reference point, means that we should be careful of taking what we are told at face value, ibid.

64. Alexiad, IX.6, 272; IX.8, 276. Modern scholars invariably date the conspiracy of Nikephoros Diogenes, in which Taronites was implicated, to 1094, Chalandon, Essai, 150, Leib, B., ‘Complots à Byzance contre Alexis Ier Comnène’, BS 23 (1962) 256 Google Scholar, Liubarskii, Aleksiada, 549, nn. 893, 897, Skoulatos, Personnages, 235-6, Cheynet, Pouvoir, 98-9, and nn. 2-3, and 395.

65. The report of Taronites’ involvement in the Diogenes plot is followed by a lacuna in the text, Alexiad, IX.8, 276.

66. Mullett, Byzantine archbishop, 79-222.

67. Holtzmann, ‘Unionsverhandlungen’, 64.

68. Chalandon, Essai, 112-34, Zlatarski, Istoriya, II, 184ff, Diaconu, Pétchénègues, 112ff.

69. Adontz, N., ‘Les Taronites à Byzance’, B. 11 (1936) 531-51Google Scholar. Also see Barzos, Γενεαλογία, I, 128, Skoulatos, Personnages, 211-2.

70. Basil does not say why the protosebastos treated him so kindly. While it is perfectly plausible to suppose that the individual in question acted for entirely altruistic reasons, it is important to stress that an additional — if not an alternative — context can be suggested in the case where John Doukas can be shown to have been a possible benefactor.

71. Although we can deduce the approximate date of Basil’s arrival in Dyrrakhion, there is no evidence that allows us to state with any certainty that John Doukas was — or was not — in the town at the time.

72. Of course, the fact that there is no evidence to link Adrian or Michael with Dyrrakhion is not conclusive, as this may simply reflect the limitations of the various sources for this period. But while there are obvious dangers in using the silence of the sources to draw firm conclusions here, it is worth at least noting that there is nothing to suggest that either individual had ever been in Dyrrakhion in the later 1080s or, for that matter, at any other point in Alexios’ reign.

73. Alexiad, VII.8, 226; IX. 1, 259, 262.

74. See here Gautier, P., ‘Diatribes de Jean l’Oxite contre Alexis Ier Comnène’, REB 28 (1970) 13-4CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

75. Alexiad, II.6, 70; II.7, 72-3 (grandson); VII.8, 226; IX.1,259; XI.5, 336 (brother-in-law); IX.2, 262-3.

76. For example, Doukas is referred to by this title in the typikon of the Pantokrator, Gautier, P., ‘L’obituaire du typikon du Pantokrator’, REB 27 (1969) 254 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

77. For the Blakhemai reference, see Gautier, ‘Blachernes’, 217; for the life of St. Meletios, see Vasilievski, V., ‘Νικολάου Μεθώνης: Bíoc Μελετίου τοϋ νέου’, Pravoslavnyi Palestinskii Sbornik 17 (1886) 27 Google Scholar.

78. Gautier, P., ‘Le typikon de la Théotokos Kécharitôménè’, REB 43 (1985) 125 CrossRefGoogle Scholar, Skoulatos, Personnages, 149, Polemis, Doukai, 69.

79. For John’s expedition against Crete, see Ahrweiler, H., Byzance et la Mer (Paris 1966) 186 Google Scholar, Gautier, P., ‘Défection et soumission de la Crète sous Alexis Ier Comnène’, REB 35 (1977) 215-27CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

80. The letter, which praises Doukas as saviour of Bulgaria, surely dates to before either the Blakhernai synod or the expedition against Crete, Theophylact, viii, 153, and above, n. 48. For some comments on titles during the reign of Alexios I, see Hohlweg, H., Beiträge zur Verwaltunsgeschichte des oströmischen Reiches unter den Komnenen (Munich 1965)Google Scholar; Ahrweiler, Byzance, 204-5; Kazhdan, A., Sotsiaľnyi sostav gospodstvuiushego klassa Vizantii XI-XII vv. (Moscow 1974) 171ffGoogle Scholar, Oikonomides, N., ‘L’évolution de l’organisation administrative de l’empire byzantin au XIe siècle’, TM 6 (1976) 125-52, esp. 126-8Google Scholar.

81. Mullett, , Byzantine archbishop, 169, n. 37 Google Scholar. Also see here Stiernon, L., ‘Notes de prosopographie et de titulaire byzantines’, REB 23 (1965), 222-43, esp. 231-2Google Scholar, and Gautier, P. cf., ‘Les letters de Grégoire, higoumène d’Oxia’, REB 31 (1973), 222 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

82. See for example, Cheynet and Vannier, Études prosopographiques, passim, Oikonomides, N., ‘The usual lead seal’, DOP 37 (1983) 147-57Google Scholar.

83. Above, 79-92. Isaac Komnenos was ranked second only to Alexios in the imperial hierarchy, and held the title of sebastokrator, Alexiad, III.4, 95. The title(s) held by the Emperor’s other brother, Nikephoros Komnenos, are unknown, although we do know that he was appointed admiral of the fleet some point after Alexios had taken the throne, ibid., and Skoulatos, Personnages, 232-3, Barzos, Γενεαλογία, I, 118-20.

84. Actes d’lviron, eds. Lefort, J., Oikonomides, N and Papachryssanthou, D. (3 vols., Paris 1970) Texte II, 162 Google Scholar.

85. For the original manuscript, see Iviron, Album II, Plate 45, line 24.

86. Lefort, Oikonomides, Papachryssanthou, Actes d’Iviron, Texte II, 157, 159.

87. Ibid., 158.

88. Anna reports John’s recall, Alexiad, VII.8, 225-6, and again at Alexiad, IX.1, 259. The account of Doukas’ exploits appears at Alexiad, IX. 1, II, 259-61.

89. There are three seals of John Komnenos in the collections at Dumbarton Oaks, all struck with the same boulloterion, that refer to John as doux of Dyrrakhion and son of the sebastokrator, Nesbitt and Oikonomides, Byzantine seals, I, 41. Another, similar seal has been published by Likhachev, N., Molibdobuly grecheskogo vostoka (Moscow 1991) 57 Google Scholar.

90. No modern commentator acknowledges the possibility that John Doukas might not have been succeeded by John Komnenos.

91. See below, 97-100.

92. Chalandon, Essai, 145, Liubarskii, Aleksiada, 544, n. 852, Barzos Γενεαλογία, I, 135, Maksimovic, Lj., ‘Srbija I pravtsi vizantijskikh pokhoda u XII veku’, ZRVI 22 (1983) 79, Stephenson, Frontier 173Google Scholar.

93. Alexiad, IX.4, 266-7.

94. ‘Ταΰτα ό βασιλευς μεμαθηκώς ούκέτ’ άνεκτώς ειχεν’, Alexiad, 266.

95. Alexiad, 265.

96. Alexiad, VII.8, 226.

97. E.g. Zlatarskii, V., ‘Namestnitsi upraviteli na B’lgariya prez tsaruvaneto na Aleksii I Komnin’, BS 4 (1932) 185-90Google Scholar, Liubarskii, , Aleksiada, 538, n. 800 Google Scholar, Gautier, Lettres, 55-6. F. Dölger suggests scribal error here, and argues that Anna meant to write that that Doukas was in Dyrrakhion ‘μηνας δέκα προς τω ένιαυτω ένι δέκα’, Review of an article by Adontz, N., BZ 37 (1937) 534-5Google Scholar. There is no evidence to support this speculation. Nor does there appear to be any substance to Liubarskii’s unconvincing hypothesis that there may have been a period when John Doukas and John Komnenos were both governors of Dyrrakhion, Liubarskii, Aleksiada, 544-5, n. 857. There is no evidence to support this claim. No instances are known where two individuals held the same senior military command position in Byzantium.

98. Above, n. 43.

99. Alexiad, IX.4, 266-7. Anna says that John’s judgement was clouded by the fact that he was ‘ο’ια άπειροπόλεμ(Κ και σφαδάζων (¿ç véoc προς μάχας’, Alexiad, 266.

100. Alexiad, 266.

101. Alexiad, 267.

102. Alexiad, IX.5, 267.

103. Alexiad, IX.5-9, 267-79.

104. Alexiad, VIII.7, 252. According to the Alexiad, the Emperor had heard rumours about his nephew from from ‘του τηνικαϋτα άρχιεπισκόπου BouXvcxpíaç’, Alexiad, VIII.7, 252. Liubarskii speculates that the letter was sent by John Aionios, the predecessor of Theophylact of Ohrid as Archbishop of Bulgaria, Aleksiada, 544, n. 852. Geizer, H. Cf. , Der Patriarcat von Achrida (Leipzig 1902) 6 Google Scholar. There is no evidence to support this hypothesis. It is more likely that the sender was Theophylact of Ohrid, who had been made Archbishop of Bulgaria after the start of 1088, Gautier, P., ‘L’épiscopat de Théophylacte Héphaistos, archevêque de Bulgarie’, REB 21 (1963) 160-2CrossRefGoogle Scholar, Mullett, Byzantine archbishop, 7.

105. John was told in a letter sent by the Emperor: ‘Δέον ouv έστι mi αύτόν σε παραγενέσθαι τά κατά τήν ύπό σε άρχήν άναδιδάξοντα’, Alexiad, VIII.7, 254.

106. Alexiad, VIII.8, 254.

107. Alaciad, VIII.7, 252.

108. Alexiad, 253.

109. Alexiad, VIII.8, 254-5.

110. Theophylact, x, 161; xi, 163-5; xii, 167-9; xix, 195; xxii, 203-5; xxiii, 207; xxiv, 209-11; xxvi, 215-7; lxi, 351-3.

111. Thus ‘παμμένιστέ μου αΰθέντα ш άντιλήτορ, πολλά μεν άγαθά εΐργάσω έν μέσω τής γής ήμών’, Theophylact, xxii, 202.

112. Mullett, Byzantine archbishop, 163ff.

113. Stephenson, Balkan Frontier, 151.

114. Alexiad, X.7, 302-3. Several sources talk of John’s efficious behaviour. Neither Raymond of Aguilers and the anonymous author of the Gesta Francorum mention John by name. Both, however, say that the doux of Dyrrakhion had been very zealous in his dealings with the Crusaders, Raymond of Aguilers, Historia Francorum qui ceperunt Jerusalem, RHC., Occ., III, 236, Gesta Francorum et aliorum Hierosolimitanorum, ed. and tr. Hill, R., (London 1962) 6 Google Scholar. Fulcher of Chartres only says that Hugh of Vermandois had been captured by the Byzantines soon after landing in Epirus and then ‘conducted to the Emperor at Constantinople’, Fulcher, Gesta, I.6, 155.

115. For Byzantine attitudes to the West in this period, see Shepard, J., ‘Aspects of Byzantine attitudes and policy towards the West in the 10th and 11th Centuries’, BF 13 (1988) 67-118Google Scholar.

116. Alexiad, XII.4, 369.

117. Chalandon takes the Alexiad at face value here, Essai, 239. Cf. Liubarskii, Aleksiada, 589, n. 1235.

118. For some comments on the chronological unreliability of the Alexiad, see Liubarskii, Ia., ‘Zamechaniya k khronologii XI knigi “Aleksiada” Anny Komninoi’, vv 24 (1963) 4756 Google Scholar, Lilie, R-J., Byzantium and the Crusader states, tr. Morris, J., and Ridings, J. (Oxford 1993) 259276 Google Scholar.

119. Cf. Alexiad, XII.4, 369 and IX.4, 168-9.

120. Alexiad, XII.4, 369.

121. Iviron, II, 232.

122. Ibid., 224.

123. E.g. Stephenson, Frontier, 181. Liubarskii does not comment on whether Alexios Komnenos, nephew of the Emperor and son of the sebastokrator Isaac, succeeded his brother or whether another individual held this position after John.

124. The letter was sent to ‘τφ πανυπερσεβάστω Βρυεννόψ, τω ναμβρω τοϋ βασιλέως’, Theophylact, ivc, 483. We know that Bryennios held the title of panhypersebastos when he was sent to negotiate with Bohemond in 1108, Alexiad, XIII.11, 412. Zonaras implies that Bryennios was given the title of panhypersebastos at the time of his marriage to Anna Komnene, eldest child of the Emperor, Zonaras, XVIII.22, III, 739. The marriage is usually dated to 1097, e.g. Buckler, G., Anna Comnena (Oxford 1929) 42 Google Scholar, Magdalino, P., The Empire of Manuel I Komnenos 1143-1180 (Cambridge 1993) 203 CrossRefGoogle Scholar. There is, however, no evidence to show when (or why) Bryennios was given this title, and the first reliable reference to Bryennios as panhypersebastos comes in the attack of Bohemond at the start of the 12th Century. Also note Oikonomides, ‘Organisation’, 127.

125. Theophylact, lxxxvi, cv, 453-5, 521. For the identity of this individual, see ibid., 41-3, Mullett, Byzantine archbishop, 359. As Mullett notes, Bryennios is referred to in both letters with the title of megalepiphanestatos, ibid., 169.

126. E.g. Barzos, Γενεαλογία, I, 178-80.

127. Mullett, Byzantine archbishop, 69-70 and nn. 289-91.

128. For the evidence escorts being provided by the Byzantines inn 1096-7, see Runciman, S., History of the Crusades (3 vols., Cambridge 1952-5) I, 156-7Google Scholar, France, Victory, 104-5.

129. Theophanes, lxxxvi, 453-5; cv, 521.

130. Alexiad, XII.4, 369; XII.8, 378.

131. Alexiad, XIII.3 390-4.

132. Alexiad, XIII.8, 406-7; XIII.1O, 410-1.

133. Alexiad, XII.9, 382-3. Also see here Rowe, J., ‘Paschal II, Bohemund of Antioch and the Byzantine Empire’, in Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 49 (1966) 165202 CrossRefGoogle Scholar for the background to and context for Bohemond’s attack on Byzantium.

134. Zonaras, XVIII.29, III, 766-7.

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The imperial governors of Dyrrakhion in the reign of Alexios I Komnenos1
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

The imperial governors of Dyrrakhion in the reign of Alexios I Komnenos1
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

The imperial governors of Dyrrakhion in the reign of Alexios I Komnenos1
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *