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Manuel I Komnenos

( Byzantine Emperor)

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Biography Manuel I Komnenos
Manuel I Komnenos Byzantine emperor, who ruled in 1143-1180 he. Son of John II. Genus. app. 1118 g. + 24 sects. 1180

Childhood and adolescence Manuel held in military campaigns, in which he participated with his father. He was the youngest of four sons of the emperor and could hardly count on the throne. But it so happened that two of his older brothers died of the fever, and following them - Isaac - suffered a shameful cowardice and frightened by any noise. Manuel, in contrast, was a warrior bold, fearless in danger, but in the decisive battles. His face was pleasant and attractive. So nobody was surprised that, dying under Anazarvom, John, Isaac, bypassing. handed the throne of his younger son (Choniates: 2, 1, 1-2).

According Choniates, the emperor was a man of good-natured, had a simple soul and heart artless. It is easily placed in the hands of eunuchs, who were in the women's apartments, and flawlessly performed all of their requests. When the time caused it to work, with extraordinary patience, he endured hardships, endured the cold and withstand the heat. When he was free from war, we love to live in his pleasure. He was eloquent, and not shunned bogoslovekih classes (Choniates: 2, 7, 3,5). Um, he had a very sharp. Kinnam wrote that in his conversations with the emperor, he frequently offered him a lot of difficult questions Aristotelian and saw that he solves them easily and naturally. Similarly, much that in the writings of Aristotle, remained unsolved, he explained with remarkable simplicity (Kinnam: 6, 13). In the early years of his reign Manuel seemed to be the sea of generosity, an abyss of mercy, was accessible and friendly. But with age he began to take over control of affairs, and with his subordinates are not treated as free men, but as a wage-slaves. Flows of charity over the years, he greatly reduced and did so primarily because of increased military spending. His reign was filled with countless hikes: from the time of Justinian the Great, the empire did not lead such a number of wars of conquest. Soon after his accession the Sultan Masut ravaged eastern provinces of the empire. Manuel against him, defeated the Turks, Frakisiyu spoilers, and chased them until Niconium. Then the emperor was distracted by Western affairs.

In 1147, Mr.. the second time through the lands of the empire were the Crusaders. Relations between them and the rum-mi were even more hostile than it was during Alekseev 1. Manuel tried to harm himself and the knights and citizens ordered to apply them all possible evil (Choniates: 2, 1, 3-5). At the same time the war started with the Sicilian King Roger. The Normans invaded Corfu, Corinth and Thebes looted, ravaged Euboea. Manuel, gathering fleet of nearly a thousand ships and countless troops, wanted to attack the invaders (Choniates: 2, 2, 1). But reaching Filippolya, he heard that Polovtsy crossed the Danube and robbed everything that crossed their path. Manuel turned his troops to the Danube, to the same commanded his fleet to sail. Polovtsi already managed to leave with a rich production of the limits of the empire, but the Romans overtook them beyond the Danube, and won a brilliant victory (Kinnam: 3, 1). After that, Manuel, as planned, arrived in Corfu, and after a stubborn siege captured there the fortress. With all the troops he crossed in Avloniy and hence appointed hike in Sicily. Abundance of troops gave hope for the success of the expedition, but romeysky fleet was stopped by strong winds and a terrible storm. In the deep darkness of the court were scattered in different directions. Then Manuel refused at the time of the expedition to Sicily, and decided with a small part of the troops to wage war against the Serbs. He assumed that they would not dare to oppose him. But the Serbs, having received help from the Hungarians, fought bravely, and victory went to Romeo bloodless. The emperor himself fought arhizhupanom Vakhinom and took him prisoner. When there has been a success, Manuel went against the Hungarians, invaded their limits, and took many prisoners, captured a rich booty, and returned in triumph to Constantinople. Meanwhile, in 1154, Mr.. Southern Italy landed Michael Palaeologus. He captured the Wari and in a short time conquered almost the whole of Apulia and Calabria. But soon he died. Other generals who took command after his death, began to suffer one setback after another. Attempt Romans in 1157, Mr.. master Brundiziem ended in a complete collapse. As the huge costs of emptying the treasury, Manuel thought best to conclude with the Normans of the world (Choniates: 2, 2, 5-8). Thus, although the war in Italy, reminded the European nations about the past power and greatness of Romans, it did not bring any benefit of the empire. At the conclusion of peace with Roger, Manuel announced a campaign against Hungary, but here again soon, peace was concluded.

In 1158, Mr.. Caesar went to the East. Terrifying ruler of Cilician Armenia Torus, Manuel went up to Antioch (Choniates: 2, 3, 1): To avert the danger, the Prince Renald came out to greet the emperor barefoot, bare-headed and with a rope around his neck. Manuel was touched by his kind and forgive all sins (Kinnam: 4, 18). The alliance with the Crusaders was soon sealed by marriage: in 1161, Mr.. Manuel married the daughter of the former Prince of Antioch, a young and beautiful princess Mary (Choniates: 2, 3, 5).

Then resumed the Hungarian War. Manuel moved to Zevgminu. Hungarians, lined up on the high bank of the Danube, tried to prevent the passage Romans, but the arrows and heavy infantry drove them from the coastal sites. Emperor besieged Zevgmin and to excite the jealousy of his subordinates, first arrived at the gate and thrust a spear in them. Huge stones, is put to kamnemetov, Romans destroyed the wall and broke inside, took the town (Choniates: 2, 4, 3). In July 1167, Mr.. Andronicus Kondostefan utterly defeated the Hungarians in the big battle at Zemlin. Under the peace treaty to the Empire withdrew all the disputed territories in Croatia and Dalmatia, with many rich cities. Then he was put down Serbian ZhuPan Stephen Naaman. Manuel could be proud of - such power romeyskoe State did not know for many centuries. But just as in the days of Justinian, foreign policy successes have been achieved through excessive strain on the internal forces (Choniates: 2, 5, 1-3). Romans, according to Choniates, Manuel heaped derision for what he proudly cherished utopian desire, eyes stretched out on the edge of the earth, did then, what could venture only hothead. He was indeed far beyond the boundaries set by former sovereigns, and needlessly spending money collected, exhausting subjects extraordinary taxes and levies. He not only devastated the province, but also frustrated the army, as very sparingly let the money for soldiers (Choniates: 2, 7, 2, 4). Military setbacks that began to pursue the Emperor in the last years of his rule, further break the strength of the state.

In 1168, Mr.. immoderate popularity prompted Manuel, in alliance with King Amalric of Jerusalem to war against Egypt. But the siege of Damietta came to nothing, and the Romans retreated, abandoning all their siege machines (Choniates: 2, 5,4). In 1176, Mr.. Manuel started a grand crusade against the Turks. Rebuilt the fortress and Dorivleyu Suvley, he ordered the army to move directly to Iconium. His path lay through Ivritskie narrows. It was an oblong valley, which runs between high mountains. Assuming such a dangerous way to move, Manuel advance has bothered to clear the passage for the troops. When his army was immersed in the valley, and some units have already passed it, the Turks, descended from the peaks, a large mass attack on the camp Column Romans, tore it in many places and made a terrible slaughter. The emperor threw himself on the enemy with a few ex-soldiers with him, and all the others gave to save themselves as best they can. Covered with many wounds, the broken armor with a shield, which sunk about 30 arrows, he fought his way through the ranks of one of enemies and went out of the narrows. Happened to meet katafrakt brought to the camp Lapardy Manuel, who with their regiments had to pass through the valley until the attacks of the Turks. Choniates wrote that, finally reached her, the emperor scooped from the river water and drank a few sips. Noticing that the water is mixed with the blood of the slain, he cried and said that, unfortunately, tasted the blood of the Christian. One former close Romans said in response: 'Not now and not only for the first time, a long and often, and drunkenness, and without any admixture of you drink the cup of Christian blood, and obiraya oschipyvaya subjects like rob a field or pluck a vine'. Manuel blew this blasphemy so much indifference, as if nothing is heard as if there had been insulted. When night fell, he decided to flee, leaving the army. But as he made his intentions closest generals, they were horrified, especially Kondostefan. The emperor remained, but understood the helplessness of his position. Indeed, the Turks surrounded the camp and were able to complete the defeat of the Romans, but the sultan, moved by the misfortune Manuel, offered peace on terms of destruction and Dorilei Suvleya. By signing the peace treaty and to reach their holdings, Manuel broke Suvley and Dorileyu left whole. When the Sultan sent an embassy to recall the conditions of peace, the emperor replied that he paid little attention to the words as necessary, and do not want to hear about the destruction of Dorilei. Then the Turks resumed the war and became terribly devastate Asian land to the sea. Finally Manuel attacked them while crossing the Menander and inflicted a heavy defeat (Choniates: 2, 6, 1 - 7).

By the end of the life of the emperor lost interest in politics and was carried away instead astrology (Dashkov: 'Manuel Komnenos'). Before his death, he took monastic vows as a monk (Choniates: 2, 7, 7).

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