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Andronikos I Komnenos

( Byzantine Emperor)

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Biography Andronikos I Komnenos
Andronikos I Komnenos - Byzantine emperor, who ruled in 1183-1185 he. Genus. app. 1120 g. + 1185 g.

Sevastokratora Andronicus, the son of Isaac, the younger brother of Emperor John II, and a cousin Manuel 1. In 1143, during a hunt, he was captured by the Turks, and held them in captivity for a long time. Manuel, who had just received the throne, was in no hurry to buy (Choniates: 2, 1, 1). Returning at last to Constantinople Andronicus acted independently and freely. He was a skillful warrior, had a sharp tongue, was rich and respected by all. His everlasting freedom of speech, his strength, which he surpassed many of his beautiful appearance, worthy of the imperial dignity, and his indomitable character made him a dangerous opponent. In addition, he was a passionate and ardent lover, which went mad many noble women. Evdokia, one of the nieces of the emperor, having lost her husband, lived with Andronik in the criminal context, and did not secretly, but openly, in plain sight. When Andronicus was criticized for this connection, he jokingly said that subjects like to imitate their sovereign, and that the people of the same blood are always resemble one another. That he hinted at Manuel, who lived with the daughter of his brother (while Andronicus - only cousin). Such jokes besili relatives Evdokia. Naturally, therefore, against Andronicus undertaken more and built a lot of machinations, secretly and openly, but he says Choniates, thanks to their courage and intelligence destroyed them, as the filament web, and dissipates as children's games in the sand. More than once happened that the enemy attacked him by force, but he put them to flight.

Finally, he brought upon himself the wrath of the emperor. Andronicus, who ruled the Vranitsovoy and Belgrade, charged that he secretly joined with the Serbs and arranged with their leader Manuel deprive the government. In his fetters transmitted to Constantinople and imprisoned in one of the towers of the Grand Palace, where he spent a long time, without ceasing to look for ways to escape. He soon became convinced that the tower guard is very strict and discreetly leave it there is no possibility. However, after looking carefully his dungeon, he found an ancient underground tunnel, buried for most of its length. Hands he cleared an opening for entry and exit. To the manhole was not visible, he made him some kind of household belongings and hid it. When the time came to dinner, the guards opened the doors of the prison, but never found the prisoner. This was announced to all the dignitaries and grandees. Everywhere a search for, in the province have been sent letters announcing the flight Andronicus. They grabbed the meantime and his wife as an accomplice in the escape, and put in the same tower, where before he sat. Night Andronicus escaped from the dungeon through made an opening and met his wife. At first she took him for a demon and very scared, but when he hugged her and wept, she recognized him. Thus they lived together for a long time in prison (because of marital relations she became pregnant and later gave birth to a son of John). Since the guard is not as vigilant in guarding the prison, Andronicus finally managed to escape from it. But when he arrived in Melangii, one of the soldiers recognized him, and Andronicus was arrested again. This time he put in prison in double iron shackles and carried strict supervision (Choniates: 2, 3, 1-2).

N.o and from this the conclusion Andronicus also managed to escape. He pretended to be ill, and he was appointed to the service of a young hired servants of foreigners, bad. Greek-speaking. This servant Andronicus instructed to carry away the keys to the door quietly tower. At a time when the guards, decently drunk, fall asleep after dinner, and with these keys to make exact replicas of the wax. Cuffy carried out the order and handed casts his son Andronicus, Manuel. Manuel made of copper, such as keys and sent them to his father in the amphora of wine, along with flax rope, a ball of thread and a thin cord. Night Andronicus unlocked all the locks and a rope in his hands came out of prison. The rest of the night and the next two days he spent in the thick, tall grass, where some places are covered by the palace courtyard. When looking for him calmed down, Andronikos arranged out of sticks and a ladder going down the wall between two towers, sat in a boat that was waiting for him by agreement. As soon as they sailed from the coast, they detained the guard vukoleonskaya. However, the amazing resourcefulness saved Andronicus and this time. Replacing the Greek language in the barbaric, he portrayed himself from runaway slave whose master lucky after punishment. His accomplice bribed guard gifts, and it was released. Finally reached the shore, Andronikos was able to get rid of the shackles. Home provided him with a horse and roadside documents. From the capital, he went to Thrace. Of course it was to Russia, where Andronikos hoped to seek asylum and protection. He was able to safely drive a large part of the way, but in Bulgaria it was identified and detained. Knowing that the emperor Andronicus looking and hoping for a greater reward, a few of the Bulgarians took him back to Constantinople. To deceive their guards, Andronikos pretended to be suffering from diarrhea. He often went to the horse moved away from the satellite and preparing for the administration of the natural needs. Many times he did it day and night and finally betrayed his custody. One day, climbing in the dark, he stuck a stick in the ground, on which rested on the road, as a sick man, put on her mantle, put the top hat and so did something similar to the rights, squatting to defecate administration. By providing guards to observe 'this scarecrow, he smuggled his way into the nearby forest grew up and started running. Finally he reached the Galician prince Yaroslav Osmomysl, was adopted by them with open arms and stayed with him for quite some time. He had managed to tie him to her that hunted with him, sat in the council, he lived in the same house with him and dined together. In 1165, Mr.. Manuel, considering their long-standing cousin dangerous to himself, summoned him to Constantinople and made peace with him. In the same year he accompanied the emperor during the siege Zevgmina and built an amazing catapult such force that the rocks that run from it, crushing the wall.

In 1166. Manuel Andronicus appointed governor of Cilicia, and sent to Tara. Here, he often came into battle with the Torus, the ruler of Armenia, but he suffered from multiple injuries. Soon, however, he was distracted from the martial exploits of the new novel: Andronicus Antioch fell in love with the princess, Philippa, sister of the second wife of Emperor Manuel. Root in Antioch, he enthusiastically devoted himself to luxury, went into a frenzy of clothes, walked triumphantly through the city accompanied by a retinue of bodyguards, armed with silver bows. That he tried to capture the one that captivated him, and immediately managed to charm her, to entrap an affair and to arouse in her a passion even more to that which afflicted himself. She leaned on the marriage bed, forget the house and fatherland, and followed her lover in exile. Andronikos learned that the Emperor Manuel was angry at him, and thought best to move from Antioch to Jerusalem. Here he came into contact with Theodoro, the widow of Baldwin and niece of Emperor Manuel. Angered by the rulers of Syria, the Emperor sent an order to seize Andronicus and deprive him of. But the charter that came to Theodora, who warned about the danger of her lover. Together they fled from Jerusalem, and after long wanderings reached Saltuha, Sultan Colony (in Cappadocia). Here he settled with Theodore and two begotten of her children - Alexei and Irina. Manuel tried many times to get Andronicus, but all his attempts were unsuccessful (Choniates: 2, 4, 2-5). Finally, in 1177, Mr.. by Nicephorus Palaeologus,. who owned Trebizond, managed to capture the Emperor Theodore. Then Andronicus, attracted a passionate love for her and the children sent to Manuel ambassadors and asked for forgiveness for all my actions. Manuel allowed him to return. Before we come to the emperor, Andronicus put on a heavy chain around his neck, down to the very foot, and hid her until the time under clothes. Admitted to the throne, he immediately lay down on the floor the entire length of its tremendous growth and with tears in his eyes flame and touching apology. Manuel, astonished by the sight, He wept and told to raise his. But Andronicus arose not before Isaac Angel pulled him by the chain of the steps of the throne. Consequently, Andronikos was forgiven, adopted by the brilliant way, and won great treats. Then he was flown to Aeneas, so that he settled there and the rest from wandering life.


In 1180, Mr.. Manuel died. Authority after it inherited a young son Alexios II. But in reality, will manage the affairs of his mother, Empress Maria, who has started to a couple with her lover protosevastom Alexis Comnenus. In the cases at once, riots broke out, the treasury was plundered. Loudly say that Alex, agreeing with the empress, hopes to overthrow the young emperor and himself to become the owner of the kingdom.

Andronicus, on learning of the death of Manuel, began to think about how to seize the imperial power. First of all, he fought for protosevasta Alexis Comnenus, was sending around a letter complaining of his behavior and angry at his relationship with the Empress. Since Alexis all jealous, many agreed with Andronik and leaned on his side. Soon after he announced his intention to protect the rights of young Alexis, Aeneas left and moved to the capital. With this news all eyes were dissatisfied (and they were the majority) turned to Andronik. His arrival, according to Choniates, waited as a lamp in the darkness, and as a radiant star.

. Nobles through secret letters assuring him that no one will oppose him, that no one will oppose even his shadow, but accept it with open arms
. Especially approve it and encouraged to go to its goal of Mary, sister of the Emperor Alexius II of his father, who hated his stepmother and her lover. Win over those of their relatives, in which she was sure it was a conspiracy against protosevasta. But the plot was uncovered, and all of its members were in prison. Mary herself with her husband Caesar managed to escape to Sofia and announced that seeks refuge from her stepmother, who nurtures her implacable hostility, and from her lover. Patriarch himself and all the people once felt for her compassion. Her party had even foreigners, mercenaries. In the capital, a rebellion broke out.

Learning about the war began, Andronikos began his march to Constantinople. Nicaea, where was John Duca, did not take it. John Comnenus, driving frakisiytsami, also remained loyal protosevastu. But nikomediytsy went over to the side Andronicus. Around the fortress Heraksa with him joined in the battle Andronicus angel, but was completely defeated, and, fearing punishment, defected to the rebels. Protosevast sent to the winner after and persuaded to stop the war. He offered him to return to Aeneas and all the world to resolve disputes. Andronicus angrily replied, . is ready to go, . but first let protosevast be deposed from his seat and will report in its lawless affairs, . let the mother of Emperor retire to solitude and postrizhetsya, . and the emperor would rule in fatherly legacy and will not be constrained by the rulers,
. This demagoguery was a huge success. Famed commander Andronicus Kontostefan first protosevastu changed and went along with his entire fleet to the side of Andronicus Comnenus. The news of this change completely crushed the spirit of the empress and her lover. Their enemies whole crowds fled across the strait to Andronicus and, according to Choniates, mellifluence reveled in his speeches, surprised its growth, the majestic beauty and venerable old age, and took everything he was saying to them, like grass field takes rain. Only a few at first glance able to discern in it the wolf that covered the sheep's clothing.

Soon Germanic mercenaries entered protosevasta custody at his apartment. He was then sent to Andronicus and blinded. Since the court case settled at the request of Andronicus, he boarded a ship and in April 1183 g. moved to the capital. Appearing before the young emperor, he gave him a deep bow, clasped his feet and sobbed. Empress he only bowed coldly. Then, Andronikos was at his discretion to dispose of public affairs, and the emperor gave amuse dogs in hunting and spending time in other amusements. At higher positions, or he put his own sons, or people loyal to him, and many of the old aristocracy deposed and imprisoned in a dungeon. This was done so that they themselves did not know any, obviously being built on them, guilt. In fact, some have suffered for what had noble origins, others - for a beautiful appearance, and others - for some former minor insults inflicted once Andronik. Were persecuted not only avowed opponents Andronicus, but many of his ardent servants. From those to whom he was the best yesterday raised a piece of bread, who poil fragrant wine, and included in the circle of his followers, today he did worst way. Not once has happened so that the same man was in the same day awarded and executed. First, until he reached power, no one could suspect Andronicus in otravitelstve, but it turned out that he was a master of deadly bowl dissolve. Before other was poisoned kesarisa Mary, daughter of Manuel, who had all, and most of all wanted to return to the fatherland Andronicus. After his wife died and her husband, Caesar.

Emperor Alexis Andronikos proposed crowned autocrat, himself, in full view of the many thousands of people brought it on their shoulders to the pulpit Sofia. It seemed that he loved him more than his father and had his right hand. But this coronation, he cleared the path to the throne for himself. Wanting to remove the first mother of the Emperor, he continued to accuse her, and finally forced the patriarch to drive Mary from the palace. Then Andronicus Angel Andronicus Kontostefan and 16 of their sons, all in the prime of life, Drom-Logofet Kamatir and many others were plotting against Andronicus. Learning of this, he had to catch an angel, but he happily escaped along with his sons. But Kontostefan, his four sons and Kamatir were placed in prison and blinded, as well as all those of whom managed to learn. Alone Andronicus imprisoned, others condemned to exile. Having settled in such a way with his enemies, he established a court of the Empress. She was accused of intercourse with the enemies of the state and that it made the war against Andronicus Hungarian king, deposed, imprisoned in the monastery of St.. Diomede and there subjected to many hardships and humiliations. But as she hesitated to die, Andronicus brought against Mary's second trial and this time sentenced to death: the Empress was strangled in prison.

When all the enemies Andronicus were destroyed, no longer hindered the implementation of its hidden agenda. In September 1183 g. a crowd of supporters proclaimed him emperor. Capital populace greeted the news with jubilation, but a little Alex when he heard the cheering in the palace, came to persuade his uncle to rule with a. Andronicus first mince and joking, but several hot supporters grabbed him and put him on zlatotkanoe bed, the other clad in his robes. The next day he was crowned, and after a few days the killers attacked at night on Alexis and strangled his bowstring from the bow. Andronik brought the boy's head and his body thrown into the sea (Choniates: 3, 1-6, 10-11,13-14,16,18).


After this atrocity Andronikos married to his wife murdered, thirteen Princess Agnes, which, although it has been wedded with Alexei, but under age is not lived with him (Choniates: 4, 1, 1). Many, this marriage seemed to be obscene, but not Andronicus drew attention to this. Sensuality, as in his youth, he was betrayed into a frenzy, and to strengthen their child-bearing members, resorted to various ointments and drugs. Neagu and luxury, he also loved, like Sardanapalus (Choniates: 4, 2, 2). His reign of the new emperor had to start with riot. Isaac Angel, Theodore Cantacuzenus and many others of his enemies had fled to Nicaea. Gathering the troops besieging the city Andronicus long and could do nothing against the courage of the besieged. Kamnemetnye car and rams, which he built, the defenders were burned and the nutcracker. Andronicus ordered to bring the capital's mother Angela, Euphrosyne, and put it instead of covering before the trucks, and sometimes planted to ram and then a gun up against the wall. These inventions did not bring him, however, no good: went out at night, nikeytsy burned all the siege weapons, and Frosya taken to the city. Only after the death of Kantakouzene spirit of the defenders fell, and they surrendered, reprimand honorable conditions. Angela Andronicus pardoned and sent to Constantinople, and went on Prus. This war was the same fierce, as in Nicea. However, after the machines broke the wall of the besiegers, that city also yielded Andronik. Many people were killed and executed (Choniates: 4, 1, 2-4). The reign of Andronicus was generally observed executions and brutal repression, particularly in the last months of his reign. Then, ignoring the guilt, he ordered to kill all the prisoners & dungeons, and then turned his anger on their family. It was compiled several detailed lists, in which the judges were put on the orders of the Emperor of all suspicious indicating penalty for their appointments (Choniates: 4, 2, 2, 7-8). The closest henchmen of the Emperor must have feared for their fate, no less than his enemies. So Andronicus ordered stoned Makroduka Constantine and Andronikos Dooku after Isaac Comnenus, whom they instructed, changed the emperor and conquered Cyprus. Son-in-a, Alexis Comnenus, he was blinded on suspicion of power-hungry designs. The same fate befell his beloved Constantine Tripsiha (Choniates: 4, 1, 6, 10-II). But Andronicus was done and a lot of good. According Choniates, he curbed predatory magnates, embarrassed hands, grabbing a stranger, sternly punished arbitrary tax collectors, was available to all who came to complain about the arbitrariness and violence. In addition, he has spent huge sums on it to restore the old city to provide water and healthy water.

However, all these advantages are not saved from the wrath of fellow Andronicus. Indignation against him broke out unexpectedly in September 1185, Mr.. It all started with the fact that attempted to seize and put to death an old enemy Andronicus Isaac Angel. Angel ran to the church of St. Sophia and asked for protection of the people. A large crowd who had escaped to the temple, proclaimed him emperor. At this time, Andronicus was not in town. When he arrived, he found the capital in great excitement. At first he was full of enthusiasm: collecting the guards wanted to engage the crowd and himself through the cracks in the tower shot an arrow in the rebel. Finding shortly that it is impossible to curb the outrage, he entered into negotiations with the besiegers, and announced that he will deny power in favor of his son Manuel. But the people of these words even more hardened. The mob broke the gate and stormed the palace. Seeing that all was lost, Andronikos threw purple boots and fled. At the royal Trier, he sailed to Miludiysky palace, where we picked up two women - his wife and mistress Agnes Maraptiku, which he passionately and madly loved, and ordered to sail to Asia. Isaac meanwhile took the palace and sent after Andronik chase. Deposed emperor seized in Hile, and put a collar and in this form was sent to Isaac. Angel gave him to mock the crowd. Niello furiously outraged by his former master: accident tore all the hair, knocked out teeth, cut off his right hand and once again thrown into prison. A few days later Andronik gouged his left eye, put on a lousy camels and drove around the city. Then at the racetrack was hanged by the feet between two pillars. Some scum exposed Andronicus and tormented him childbearing member. One latinyanin drove him to the rear of the scimitar, the other - drove his sword into the throat. Finally, after many torments Emperor barely gave up the ghost (Ho NIAT: 4, 2, 3, 5,10-12).

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