III. The Postclassical Period, 500–1500 > F. Europe, 461–1500 > 5. Christian States in the Eastern Mediterranean, 1000–1300 > a. The Byzantine Empire > 1060
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
The Normans took Rheggio, completing the conquest of Calabria.  1
The Seljuks, under Alp Arslan, took Ani and ravaged Armenia.  2
Romanus IV Diogenes, who, on Constantine's death, married the widowed empress, Eudoxia. Romanus was an ambitious soldier who did his best to check the advance of the enemy in the east and the west.  3
The Normans took Otranto and then Bari (1071), the last Byzantine outpost. This marked the end of the Byzantine rule in Italy.  4
Romanus succeeded in repulsing the Seljuks, though they repeatedly raided through the whole of eastern Anatolia.  5
BATTLE OF MANZIKERT (north of Lake Van). Romanus had concentrated huge forces for a decisive battle, and he rejected all offers of a settlement. In the course of a hard-fought battle he was deserted by Andronicus Dukas and other Byzantine magnates. Romanus was defeated and captured, but then was released by the Seljuks. He attempted to regain the Byzantine throne, but was defeated by his opponents and blinded. He died soon afterward.  6
MICHAEL VII (Parapinakes), a son of Constantine X. His elevation meant another victory for the bureaucratic group. Michael made the great scholar Michael Psellus his chief adviser and devoted himself to the pursuit of learning. The military system was again allowed to fall into neglect.  7
The emperor concluded a treaty with the Seljuks in order to secure their aid against his uncle, who had set himself up as a pretender. The Seljuks defeated the pretender, but took advantage of the situation to spread themselves over a large part of Anatolia.  8
NICEPHORUS III (Botaniates), emperor after Michael's abdication. His accession was met by a number of insurrections in various parts of the army, but these were suppressed by General Alexius Comnenus.  9
Revolt of Alexius Comnenus himself. He seized Constantinople with a force of mercenaries, who thereupon plundered the capital. The victory of Comnenus meant the final success of the military aristocracy and the beginning of a new period of military achievement.  10
Alexius I Comnenus, an able general, vigorous administrator, conscientious ruler, and shrewd diplomat. Having to rely on the great feudal families, he attempted to win their support with lavish grants of honors and ranks. At the same time, he tried to use the high clergy to counterbalance the influence of the nobility. He reformed the judicial and financial systems and systematically used his financial resources to buy off the enemies he could not conquer.  11
The war against the Normans under Robert Guiscard. The latter landed in Epirus with a large force and besieged Durazzo (Dyracchium). Alexius bought the support of the Venetians with extensive trade privileges (1082), but Guiscard defeated the emperor in the Battle of Pharsalus, after which he took Durazzo. The war was continued by Robert's son, Bohemund, who again defeated Alexius and in 1083 conquered all Macedonia as far as the Vardar. But the advance was broken by the resistance of Larissa, by the guerrilla tactics of the natives (who hated the heretical Latins), and by the Seljuk cavalry employed by the emperor. In 1085 the combined Byzantine and Venetian fleets defeated the Normans near Corfu. The death of Robert Guiscard at the same time led to dissension among his sons and the abandonment of the Balkan project.  12
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.