Nikephoros I Timeline

Nikephoros I Timeline

Procopia, Byzantine Empress consort

Prokopia (c. 770 - after 813) was the Empress consort of Michael I Rangabe of the Byzantine Empire. She was a daughter of Nikephoros I. The name of her mother is not known. Her only known sibling is Staurakios. Prokopia married Michael Rangabe during the late 8th century. He was a son of Theophylaktos Rangabe, admiral of the Aegean fleet.

In 802, reigning Empress Irene was deposed by an alliance of patricians and eunuchs. Their leader was Nikephoros, father of Prokopia, who at the time held the position of finance minister (logothetēs tou genikou). On 31 October 802, Nikephoros was declared to be the next Emperor, making Prokopia a member of the imperial family. Her husband received the high court dignity of kouropalatēs.

On 26 July 811, Nikephoros was killed while fighting against Krum of Bulgaria at the Battle of Pliska. Much of the Byzantine army was annihilated with him in what is considered one of the worst defeats in Byzantine history. Among the few survivors was Staurakios, who succeeded as emperor.

Staurakios had not escaped the battlefield unharmed. A sword wound near his neck had left him paralyzed. Members of the imperial guard had managed to transfer him to Adrianople but he never fully recovered from his wounds. The matter of Staurakios' succession was deemed urgent and two factions emerged at court. One centered around Theophano, wife of the Emperor, who reportedly sought to succeed her husband. The other centered around Prokopia, who intended to place her husband on the throne.

Prokopia failed to pursue her brother to go along with her wishes at first. He apparently favored Theophano. However Michael and Prokopia had gathered enough support at court to threaten Staurakios himself. Unable to face opposition at his condition, Staurakios declared his brother-in-law as his designated her and abdicated at the same time. He then retired to a monastery. Prokopia had become the new Empress consort. [edit] Empress

On 2 October 811, Michael I Rangabe succeeded to the throne and Prokopia became the Empress consort. She is said to have effectively dominated the court for his brief reign.[1] She insisted on following her husband in campaigns but her presence reportedly was not wellcomed by the troops.

Michael generously distributed money to the army, the bureaucracy, and the Church in an effort to establish himself. He also reopened negotiations with Charlemagne and recognized the rival emperor as basileus (emperor). However the war with Krum continued and would bring the downfall of the imperial couple.

On 22 June 813, Michael lost the Battle of Versinikia. The Byzantine army was significantly larger than the Bulgarian but failed to use its advantage. Michael was among the first to retreat from the battlefield and other units followed his lead. Krum advanced to East Thrace and Constantinople itself had become a viable target. Whatever support Michael and Prokopia had managed to gain did not long survive the military defeat.

On 11 July 813, Michael abdicated the throne in favor of Leo V the Armenian. Theophanes Continuatus, the continuation to the chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor, records that Prokopia opposed the abdication to no avail. She had to retire to a monastery soon after the abdication. Her year of death is not known. [edit] Children

Prokopia and Michael I had at least five children:

Ignatios was later declared a saint. His hagiographythe records one of his sisters having helped iconodules during the persecutions of Theophilos (reigned 829 - 842). However which one is unclear. [edit] Possible descendants

Modern genealogists in search of descent from antiquity have theorised Michael I and Prokopia could be ancestors to later Byzantine Emperors or nobility.

For example, David Hughes has theorised [2] such a descent by which Theophylaktos was father to a daughter, named Melissena. Melissena married Inger Martinakios. Inger was father to Eudokia Ingerina. Only the relation between Inger and Eudokia seems to be confirmed by primary sources.


The etymology of the ethnonym Bulgar is not completely understood it is difficult to trace the name back earlier than the 4th century AD. [7] [8] It is generally believed to derive from the Turkic verb bulğha (to "stir", "mix", "disturb", "confuse"), [9] possibly suggesting that other Turkic peoples regarded the Bulgars as a "mixed" people [10] or as "rebellious". [11] [12] [13] [14] [13] [14]

Later Byzantine scholars implied that the Bulgars had previously been known as the Onogurs (Onoğur). Agathon wrote about the "nation of Onogur Bulğars", [ citation needed ] Nikephoros I stated that Kubrat was lord of the Onogundurs, Theophanes referred to them as Onogundur Bulgars and Constantine VII remarked that the Bulgars formerly called themselves Onogundurs. Variations of the name include Onoguri, Onoghuri, Onghur, Ongur, Onghuri, Onguri, Onogundur, Unogundur, and Unokundur. There are several theories about the origin of the name Onogur. In some Turkic languages on means "10" and ğur "arrow" and "ten arrows" might imply a federation of ten tribes, i.e. the Western Turkic Khaganate. Within the Turkic languages, "z" sounds in the easternmost languages tend to have become "r" in the westernmost Turkic languages therefore, the ethnonym Oghuz may be the source of Oghur that is, on Oğur would mean "ten clans of Oghuz".

Between 630 and 635, Khan Kubrat managed to unite the Onogur Bulgars with the tribes of the Kutrigurs and Utigurs under a single rule, creating a powerful confederation which was referred to by the medieval authors in Western Europe as Old Great Bulgaria, [15] or Patria Onoguria. According to some scholars, it is more correctly called the Onogundur-Bulgar Empire. [16]

Some scholars [ who? ] assume that it stretched as far west as the Pannonian Plain and included among its subjects some of the Pannonian Avars. It is presumed that Kubrat's capital was the ancient city of Phanagoria on the Taman Peninsula. Kubrat's grave was discovered in 1912 at Pereshchepina, Ukraine. [17]

Khan Kubrat

According to the Nominalia of the Bulgarian khans, Kubrat was from the royal clan Dulo and a rightful heir to the Bulgar throne. [18] Hermann Zotenberg (1883), while translating John of Nikiu's Chronicles from Old Ethiopian, intentionally replaced the name Qetrades to Kubrat. Since then, the historiography holds a misconception that Kubrat was raised and baptized by the Byzantine court, while John's character Qetrades has no real-life connection to the ruler of the Great Bulgaria Kubrat. [2] [18]

Kubrat quickly managed to overthrow Avar domination, extending Onogur influence among the Bulgars in Pannonia in what became known as Hungary. Ultimately, although there is no evidence that the Utigurs were independent of the Onogurs until after Kubrat's empire disintegrated, it is believed he seceded from the Onogurs when they became entangled in dynastic wars. After Kubrat's burial in Mala Pereshchepina, the Khazars, who had triumphed in the collapse of Onoguria, subjugated Kubrat's eldest son and heir Batbayan, forcing his other sons to flee north up the Volga (2nd son Kotrag) and west into the Balkans (4th son Kuber and 3rd son Asparukh) and Italy (5th son Alcek, Alzek) [19]

The events following Kubrat's death are described by the Byzantine Patriarch Nikephoros I. [15] In the times of Emperor Constantine IV, he narrates, Kubrat died and Batbayan, the eldest of his five sons, was left in charge of the state. Under strong Khazar pressure, Kubrat's other sons disregarded their father's advice to stay together in order to resist the enemies and soon departed, taking their own tribes.

Old Great Bulgaria disintegrated under Khazar pressure in 668. [20]

Some Bulgars remained in the former Onoguria, under the domination of the Khazars.


Some [ who? ] also believe that the present-day Balkars of the Caucasus are the descendants of the Batbayan horde even though they speak a Turkic language of the Kipchak type.

Volga Bulgars

After Kotrag, the leader of the Kutrigurs, took control on the western steppe, Batbayan led them into the upper Volga-Ural region. There they established Volga Bulgaria, at the confluence of the Volga and Kama. As the Volga or Silver Bulgars (Bessermens), they converted voluntarily to Islam in the 9th century. They managed to preserve their national identity well into the 13th century, by repelling the first Mongol attacks in 1223. However, they were eventually subdued, their capital Bolghar city became one of major cities of the Golden Horde of the Mongols and the Bulgars mixed with the Tatars. The citizens of the modern Russian republics of Tatarstan and Chuvashia are considered to be descendants of those Bulgars.

Bulgars in Vojvodina and Macedonia

Kuber ruled in Sirmium over a mixed group of peoples – Bulgars, Byzantine subjects, Slavs, and Germanic tribes – as a vassal of the Avar Khagan. After a revolt he led his people to Macedonia. There he settled in the region of Keremisia and made an unsuccessful attempt to capture the city of Thessaloniki. After this, he disappears from history and his people were later consolidated into the First Bulgarian Empire by Khan Krum.

Bulgars in Italy

Other Bulgars, circa 662, led by their "Duke Alzeco" (Alcek) sought refuge from the Avars with the Lombards and requested land from the Lombard King Grimoald I in exchange for military service "for an uncertain reason", initially staying near Ravenna and later moving further south. Grimoald sent Alcek and his followers to his son Romuald in Benevento and they were then granted by Romuald land northeast of Naples in the "spacious but up till that time deserted" towns of Sepino, Bovianum (Boiano), and Isernia, in the present-day region of Molise in the Apennines. Instead of the title "Duke", Altzek was granted the Lombard title of "Gastald". Paul the Deacon in his Historia Langobardorum writing after the year 787 says that in his time Bulgars still inhabited the area, and that even though they speak "Latin", "they have not forsaken the use of their own tongue". [21]

Excavations in the necropolis of Vicenne-Campochiaro near Boiano, which dates from the 7th century, found among 130 burials that there were 13 human burials alongside horses along with artifacts of Germanic and Avar origin. [22] [23] [24] Horse burials are characteristic of Central Asian horse-nomads, and therefore these burials are clearly those of the Bulgar settlers of Molise and Campania. [25]

First Bulgarian Empire

After the state disintegrated under Khazar attack in 668, Asparukh parted ways with his brothers and led some of the Bulgars to seek a secure home. He was followed by 30,000 to 50,000 Bulgars. [26]

After the Battle of Ongal, Asparukh founded the First Bulgarian Empire, which was officially recognized as an independent state by the Byzantine Empire in 681.

Turk Conquest of Anatolia and the First Crusade - A Timeline

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Hey there, amateur historians! I've written a timeline from 1064 - 1102 concerning Turk Anatolia and the First Crusade, mainly using Wikipedia (which has demonstrated to me much of its failings. ). I thought I might sit it here, partly to provide a good timeline for the events of the game, but mostly because I thought there'd be a lot of people who could help me with its accuracy . Warning, it is. (counts) 1763 words in length, so I have spoilered it out of consideration.

1064 – The Seljuq Turks seize the Armenian capital at Ani from the Byzantines.

1067 – Armenia proper is lost to the Seljuqs.

Byzantine Emperor Constantine X Doukas, unhealthy and old, forces his wife Eudokia Makrembolitissa to take a vow not to remarry and dies.

1068 – Romanus Diogenes attempts a military coup, but fails and is imprisoned. Eudokia, now Regent, not only pardons him but rescinds her vow and weds him. He is appointed co-emperor and crowned as Romanus IV.

Manuel Komnenos leads a Byzantine expedition against the Turks, but the campaign ends in disaster when he is captured.

The Normans siege Bari, the last Byzantine stronghold in Italy.

1069 – Alp Arslan, a Sunni Muslim, signs a peace treaty with Romanus IV, desiring to avoid hostilities toward Byzantium and focus against the Shia Fatimid Caliphate of Egypt.

1071 – Romanus IV sends envoys to renew the 1069 peace treaty. Alp Arslan, happy to secure his northern flank, agrees to the terms. However, Romanus IV immediately breaks the truce and invades Armenia.

Romanus IV is abandoned by his mercenaries and betrayed by Andronikos Doukas at the Battle of Manzikert. He is captured by Alp Arslan. However, the Sultan sets him free, and offers a relatively lenient peace treaty. Byzantium is forced to surrender its gains in Armenia as well as Hierapolis in Syria and pay a concession of over a million gold pieces. A marriage alliance is arranged between Romanus’ daughter and Arslan’s son, and two emirs and one hundred Mamluks escort Romanus to Constantinople.

Alp Arslan: "What would you do if I were brought before you as a prisoner?"

Romanos: "Perhaps I'd kill you, or exhibit you in the streets of Constantinople."

Alp Arslan: "My punishment is far heavier. I forgive you, and set you free."

Micheal VII Doukas, eldest son of Constantine X, is crowned Basileus in Romanus’ absence. Eudokia is forced into a convent by Caesar John Doukas. Romanus IV and the Doukas family gather troops to contest Byzantium however, Romanus’ forces are devastated from Manzikert, while Doukas had fled the battle with his army intact.

Bari is captured by Robert Guiscard after a three year siege.

1072 – Romanus IV is defeated in battle at Dokeia. He is forced to retreat to the fortress of Tyropoion, and from there to Adana in Cicilia. The garrison at Adana force him to surrender and turn him over to Andronikos. Romanus, before surrendering himself to Andronikos, seizes all the gold in Adana and sends it with an envoy to Arslan, saying:

Romanus is blinded and officially deposed. Micheal Psellos, ally of the Doukas family, sends him a message sarcastically congratulating him on his blinding. He is exiled to the island of Prote in the Sea of Marmara and slowly dies from an infection caused by the brutal blinding.

Alp Arslan moves to conquer Turkestan. He captures the military governor, Yussuf el-Harezmi, and condemns him to death. Yussuf rushes Arslan with a concealed dagger. Arslan, famed as an archer, does not permit his bodyguards to react and instead draws his bow. He slips, Yussuf’s dagger strikes his chest and he dies four days later. Arslan’s son, Malik-Shah I, succeeds him as Emperor of the Great Seljuq Empire.

1073 – Micheal VII refuses to honour the truce signed with the Seljuqs by Romanus IV. Isaac Komnenos is sent as commander of a military expedition by Micheal VII to attack the Seljuqs in Asia Minor. He is captured, and thousands of Turks pour into Anatolia.

The Byzantines are deserted by their Western mercenaries. John Doukas commands a military expedition against them, but is defeated and captured. He is forced to act as a pretender to the imperial throne.

Pope Alexander II dies. He is succeeded by Pope Gregory VII.

1074 – Malik-Shah I’s rule is challenged by his uncle, Qawurd-Beg. Qawurd-Beg is defeated following the defection of his army, and is later poisoned.

Alexios Komnenos leads another military expedition against the revolting mercenaries in Byzantium..

1075 – Nizam al-Mulk, vizier of the Great Seljuq Empire, campaigns against the Fatimid Caliphate in Syria and the Levant on behalf of Malik-Shah I.

Suleyman bin Kutalmish, distant cousin to Malik-Shah I, campaigns in Anatolia and conquers Nicaea and Nicomedia.

1076 – Alexios Komnenos defeats the rebel mercenaries in the Balkans and captures John Doukas.

1077 – Suleyman declares his independence from the Great Seljuq Empire and establishes the Sultanate of Rum in Anatolia and Armenia.

1078 – Byzantium is wracked by civil war. Two generals, Nikephoros Bryennios and Nikephoros Botaneiates, revolt, in the Balkans and Anatolia, respectively. Nikephoros Botaneiates gains the support of the Turks and marches into Constantinople without struggle. Micheal VII abdicates, and Nikephoros is crowned Nikephoros III. Under Micheal VII’s rule, the Byzantines had lost the majority of Anatolia.

Alexios Komnenos is appointed commander of the field army in the West by Nikephoros III.

The Armenian general Philaretos Brachamios rebels and establishes Antioch and Edessa as an independent principality.

1079 – Nikephoros III is faced by widespread rebellion. He is faced by a Paulician (a Christian adoptionist sect and militant movement) revolt in Thrace.

Nikephoros Basilakes revolts in the Balkans and is defeated by Alexios Komnenos.

1080 – Alexios Komnenos is ordered to campaign against his rebelling brother-in-law Nikephoros Melissenos in Anatolia. He refuses to fight his kinsman.

The independent Principality of Cicilia is established by a rebellious Armenian prince.

1081 – Alexios Komnenos and his brother Isaac launch a coup Nikephoros III. Western mercenaries outside Constantinople are bribed and Alexios and Isaac enter the capital victoriously. Alexios is crowned Alexios I.

Robert Guiscard and his son Bohemund of Hautville invade the Balkans and seize Dyrrachium and Corfu.

1083 – Alexios I bribes Henry IV of the Holy Roman Empire to attack the Normans in Italy.

1084 – Antioch and Smyrna are lost to the Sultanate of Rum.

1085 – Robert Guiscard dies, ending the first Norman invasion of the Balkans. Byzantium recoups most of its losses.

Heretical Christian sects, i.e the Bogomils and Paulicians, again rebel in Thrace. Alexios I brutally punishes rebels and confiscates their lands, leading to further rebellions in Phillipopolis.

1086 – Suleyman I is killed near Antioch by Tutush I, Seljuq governor of Syria. Danishmend Gazi takes advantage of the Seljuq dynasty’s internal struggles following Suleyman I’s death, and establishes an independent state in Anatolia.

Kilij Arslan I, Suleyman I’s successor, is captured and kept as a prisoner of Malik-Shah I.

1087 – The Pecheneg tribes raid Byzantium with over 80,000 troops. Alexios I campaigns in Moesia, but fails to capture Dorostolon and is forced to retreat. The Pechenegs pursue and harass him, forcing him to sign a truce and pay tribute.

Pope Victor III dies and his papacy ends.

1088 – Pope Urban II succeeds the Papacy and lifts Alexios I’s excommunication as part of his attempt at reconciliation between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

1090 – The Pechenegs again raid Byzantium. They invade Thrace with the cooperation of the Sultanate of Rum.

1091 – Alexios I allies with 40,000 Cuman tribesmen and defeats the Pechenegs at Levounion in Thrace. The Pecheneg tribesmen are completely massacred, including the women and children brought with the army.

1092 – Nizam al-Mulk and Malik-Shah I are murdered. The deaths are disputed it is claimed that Nizam was murdered by Malik-Shah I in a power struggle, and that Malik-Shah I was assassinated in return by students of Nizam’s theological schools.

Mahmud I succeeds Malik-Shah I. Various successor states break from the Great Seljuq Empire. Kijil Arslan I is released and re-establishes himself in the Sultanate of Rum.

1094 – Mahmud I is succeeded by Barkiyaruq.

The Cumans again attack the Pechenegs.

1095 – The Council of Piacenza. Envoys sent by Alexios I request on his behalf military aid in the form of Western mercenaries. Urban II, eager at reconciliation between the East and West, then holds the Council of Clermont to discuss the matter further. He preaches for a Crusade in the East, crying Deus vult (God wills it!).He promises remission of all sins for those who fight in the Crusade. Response from Catholic Europe is overwhelming.

1096 – The First Crusade begins. A force of some 40,000, consisting of low ranking knights and untrained peasants led by Peter the Hermit of Amiens, begin their pilgrimage early. They pillage cities and conduct pogroms throughout Europe. When they arrive at Constantinople, Alexios I hurriedly ferries them across the Bosporus, where they continue to Nikaea and are slaughtered wholesale by the Turks.

1097 – The main body of Crusaders have completely arrived at Constantinople. They swear an oath of fealty to Alexios I and are shipped across the Bosporus, accompanied by Byzantine advisors.

The city of Nikaea, the capital of the Sultanate of Rum, is captured by the Crusaders and returned to Alexios I.

The Crusaders gain victory over Kijil Arslan I at the Battle of Dorylaeum. The Crusaders travel unopposed through the remainder of Anatolia.

1098 – Baldwin of Boulogne campaigns independently near Edessa and creates a Crusader State, the County of Edessa.

The Crusaders lay capture Antioch. They claim that Alexios I had broken his oath to the Crusaders, and refuse to return it to Byzantine hands. Bohemund of Hauteville, son of Robert Guiscard, establishes the Principality of Antioch.

The Fatimids capture Jerusalem from the Turks.

1099 – The Holy City of Jerusalem is captured by the Crusaders. The Crusaders then sack the city, indiscriminately murdering Christian, Muslim and Jew. The Jewish synagogue is burnt to the ground with the majority of the city’s Jewish population still inside.

The Kingdom of Jerusalem is established, ruled by Godfrey de Bouillon. He refuses to take the title King, instead taking the ambiguous title Princeps. He is also widely called Advocatus Sancti Sepulchri, or Advocate/Defender of the Holy Sepulchre.

A Fatimid relief force is defeated at Ascalon by the Crusader army.

1100 – Godfrey I of Jerusalem is killed while besieging Acre. Baldwin of Edessa becomes King of Jerusalem – he does not take the title of Advocatus Sancti Sepulchri.

1101 – Pope Urban calls for a second Crusade to reinforce the newly-founded Kingdom of Jerusalem. The new Crusaders are decisively defeated by Turks in Anatolia.

1102 – The survivors of Crusade of 1101 arrive in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The Crusader States struggle against the Sultanate of Rum, the Great Seljuq and the Fatimid Caliphate of Egypt.

Late Byzantine era (843-1054)

  • 843 Triumph of Orthodoxy occurs on first Sunday of Great Lent, restoring icons to churches.
  • 850 Third Finding of the head of John the Forerunner.
  • 852 Ansgar founds churches at Hedeby and Ribe in Denmark.
  • 858 Photius the Great becomes patriarch of Constantinople.
  • ca. 860 Christianization of the Rus' Khaganate.
  • 861 Cyril and Methodius depart from Constantinople to missionize the Slavs Council of Constantinople attended by 318 fathers and presided over by papal legates confirms Photius the Great as patriarch and passes 17 canons.
  • 862 Rastislav of Moravia converts to Christianity.
  • 863 First translations of Biblical and liturgical texts into Church Slavonic by Cyril and Methodius.
  • 863 Venetians steal relics of Apostle Mark from Alexandria.
  • 864 Baptism of Prince Boris of Bulgaria Synaxis of the Theotokos in Miasena in memory of the return of her icon.
  • 865 Bulgaria under Khan Boris I converts to Orthodox Christianity.
  • 866 Vikings raid and capture York in England.
  • 867 Council in Constantinople held, presided over by Photius, which anathematizes Pope Nicholas I of Rome for his attacks on work of Greek missionaries in Bulgaria and use by papal missionaries of Filioque Pope Nicholas dies before hearing news of excommunication Basil the Macedonian has Emperor Michael III murdered and usurps Imperial throne, reinstating Ignatius as patriarch of Constantinople.
  • 867 Death of Kassiani, Greek-Byzantine poet and hymnographer, who composed the Hymn of Kassiani, chanted during Holy Week on Holy Wednesday.
  • 869-870 Robber Council of 869-870 held, deposing Photius the Great from the Constantinopolitan see and putting the rival claimant Ignatius on the throne, declaring itself to be the "Eighth Ecumenical Council."
  • 870 Conversion of Serbia death of Rastislav of Moravia martyrdom of Edmund, King of East Anglia.
  • 877 Death of Ignatius of Constantinople, who appoints Photius to succeed him.
  • 878 King Alfred the Great of Wessex defeats Vikings the Treaty of Wedmore divides England between the Anglo-Saxons and the Danes (the Danelaw).
  • 879-880 Eighth Ecumenical Council held in Constantinople attended by 383 fathers passing 3 canons, confirms Photius as Patriarch of Constantinople, anathematizes additions to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, and declares that the prerogatives and jurisdiction of the Roman pope and the Constantinopolitan patriarch are essentially equal the council is reluctantly accepted by Pope John VIII of Rome.
  • 885 Mount Athos gains political autonomy.
  • 885 Death of Methodius.
  • 886 Glagolitic alphabet, (now called Old Church Slavonic) adopted in Bulgarian Empire St Alfred the Great, King of Wessex, captures London from the Danes.
  • 910 BenedictineAbbey of Cluny founded in France.
  • 899 Death of Alfred the Great.
  • 911 Holy Protection of the Virgin Mary.
  • 912 Normans become Christian Nicholas I Mysticus becomes Patriarch of Constantinople.
  • 927 Church of Bulgaria recognized as autocephalous by Constantinople.
  • 931 Abbott Odo of Cluny reforms monasteries in Aquitaine, northern France, and Italy, starting the Cluniac Reform movement within the Benedictine order, focused on restoring the traditional monastic life, encouraging art and caring for the poor.
  • 935 Martyrdom of Wenceslas, prince of the Czechs.
  • 944 City of Edessa recovered by Byzantine army, including Icon Not Made By Hands.
  • 945 Dunstan becomes Abbot of Glastonbury.
  • 957 Olga of Kiev baptized in Constantinople.
  • 960 Emperor Nicephorus II Phocas re-captures Crete for Byzantines Dunstan becomes Archbishop of Canterbury, reforming monasteries and enforcing rule of Benedict.
  • 962 Denmark becomes Christian nation with baptism of King Harald Blaatand ("Bluetooth") Holy Roman Empire formed, with Pope John XII crowning Otto I the Great Holy Roman Emperor.
  • 963 Athanasius of Athos establishes first major monastery on Mount Athos, the Great Lavra.
  • 965 Emperor Nicephorus II Phocas gains Cyprus completely for the Byzantines.
  • 969 Death of Olga of Kiev Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas captures Antioch and Aleppo from Arabs.
  • 972 Emperor John I Tzimiskes grants Mount Athos its first charter (Typikon).
  • 973 Moravia assigned to the Diocese of Prague, putting the West Slavic tribes under jurisdiction of German church.
  • 975 Emperor John I Tzimiskes in a Syrian campaign takes Emesa, Baalbek, Damascus, Tiberias, Nazareth, Caesarea, Sidon, Beirut, Byblos and Tripoli, but fails to take Jerusalem.
  • 978 Death of King Edward the Martyr.
  • 980 Revelation of the Axion Estin (the hymn "It Is Truly Meet"), with the appearance of the Archangel Gabriel to a monk on Mount Athos.
  • 980-5 The Western Rite Monastery of Amalfion is founded on Mount Athos.
  • 987 Sixth Rus-Byzantine War, where Vladimir of Kiev dispatches troops to the Byzantine Empire to assist Emperor Basil II with an internal revolt, agreeing to accept Orthodox Christianity as his religion and bring his people to the new faith.
  • 988 'Baptism of Rus' begins with the conversion of Vladimir of Kiev who is baptized at Chersonesos, the birthplace of the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox churches Vladimir marries Anna, sister of Byzantine emperor Basil II.
  • 992 Death of Michael, first Metropolitan of Kiev.
  • 995 Olaf of Norway proclaims Norway to be a Christian kingdom.
  • 1000 Conversion of Greenland and Iceland.
  • 1008 Conversion of Sweden.
  • 1009 Patr. Sergius II of Constantinople removes name of Pope Sergius IV of Rome from diptychs of Constantinople, because the pope had written a letter to the patriarch including the Filioque.
  • 1009 Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem destroyed by the "mad" Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, founder of the Druze.
  • 1012 Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah issues oppressive decrees against Jews and Christians including the destruction of all Christian and Jewish houses of worship.
  • 1014 Filioque used for first time in Rome by Pope Benedict VIII at coronation of Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor.
  • 1015 Death of Vladimir of Kiev.
  • 1017 Danish king Canute converts to Christianity.
  • 1022 Death of Simeon the New Theologian.
  • 1027 Frankish protectorate over Christian interests in Jerusalem is replaced by a Byzantine protectorate, which begin reconstruction of Holy Sepulchre.
  • 1034 Patriarch Alexius I Studites writes the first complete Studite Typikon, for a monastery he established near Constantinople this was the Typikon introduced into the Rus' lands by Theodosius of the Kiev Caves.
  • 1036 Byzantine Emperor Michael IV makes a truce with the Caliph of Egypt to allow rebuilding of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre by Byzantine masons Varangian Guard of the Byzantine Emperor sent to protect pilgrims.
  • 1043 Edward the Confessor crowned King of England at Winchester Cathedral.
  • 1045-50 Cathedral of Saint Sophia in Novgorod built, the oldest Orthodox church building in Russia, executed in an architectural style more austere than the Byzantine, reminiscent of the Romanesque.
  • 1048 Re-consecration of Holy Sepulchre.
  • 1051 Monastery of the Kiev Caves founded.

Stamboom Homs » Bardas 'the Elder' Phokas (± 889-± 969)

Bardas Phokas, caesar1,2
b. circa 880, d. 969, #9953
Bardas Phokas, caesar was an important Byzantine general in Anatolia, on the borders of the empire.3 He was born circa 880. He was the son of Nikephoros "the Elder" Phokas. He married N. N. Maleine, daughter of Eudokias Maleinos, before 912. He was patrikos, magistros, and domestikos ton scholon before 963 in Constantinople, Byzantium. Caesar in Byzantine Empire, in 963.4 He was given the title Caesar by his son, the emperor Nikephoros in 963.4 He died in 969.

Children of Bardas Phokas, caesar and N. N. Maleine:
Leo Phokas, curopalates+ b. c 912, d. 976
N. N. Phocaina+ b. c 920

Child of Bardas Phokas, caesar:
Nikephoros II Phokas, basileus Rhomaiôn b. 912, d. 10 Dec 969

[S204] Roderick W. Stuart, Royalty for Commoners: The Complete Lineage of John of Gaunt, Son of Edward III, Kings of England, and Queen Philippa (.: ., 3rd Ed., 1998), 219-39. Hereinafter cited as RfC.
[S204] Roderick W. Stuart, RfC, 275-37.
[S862] Various Encyclopædia Britannica 2001 Standard Edition CD-ROM (U.S.A.: Inc.
, 1994-2000), Nicephorus II Phocas. Hereinafter cited as EB CD 2001.
[S1170] John Julius Norwich, A Short History of Byzantium (London: Penguin Books, 1988), pg. 190. Hereinafter cited as Norwich - Byzantium.

Bardas Phokas (Greek: Βάρδας Φωκᾶς) (c. 878 – c. 968) was a notable Byzantine general in the first half of the 10th century, and father of Byzantine emperor Nikephoros II Phokas and the kouropalates Leo Phokas the Younger.

Bardas was the scion of the Phokas family, one of the great houses of the Anatolian military aristocracy, his father was Nikephoros Phokas the Elder, an eminent Byzantine general with a distinguished record of service in Italy. In 917, he participated under the orders of his elder brother Leo in the disastrous Battle of Acheloos.

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Anna Komnena – Byzantine Historian of the First Crusade

Anna Komnena was a Byzantinian Princess in the 11th century. She is considered one of the world’s first female historian and a major source of information about the reign of her father, Alexius I. in the times of the crusades . Of course this is rather unusual for the time being, that a princess writes about the life of her father, The Alexiad , and even more that this piece of writing should become one of the most valuable works in the collection of the Byzantine Historians.

“The stream of Time, irresistible, ever moving, carries off and bears away all things that come to birth and plunges them into utter darkness, both deeds of no account and deeds which are mighty and worthy of commemoration.”
— Anna Komnena, The Alexiad, Preface

Born and Bred in the Purple

Anna Komnena was the daughter of the Emperor Alexius I. (Komnenus) and his wife Irene, and was born on December 1, 1083, being the eldest of seven siblings. She notes her imperial heritage in the Alexiad by stating that she was “born and bred in the purple.”, which also is a hint that she was born in the Porphyra Chamber (the purple chamber) of the imperial palace of Constantinople. Anna also notes in the Alexiad in her early childhood that she was raised by the former empress, Maria of Alania , who was the mother of Anna’s first fiancé, Constantine Doukas , which was common custom by these times to be raised by the future mother-in-law. In 1087, Anna’s brother, John II Komnenos , was born.

Languages and Sciences

According to her own account, she emphasizes on her experience with literature, Greek language, rhetoric, and sciences. She was trained in subjects that included astronomy, medicine, history, military affairs, geography, and mathematics. Anna also studied philosophy and was a follower of Christian Aristotleism, which had neo-Platonic traits. As was customary for nobility in the medieval times, Anna was betrothed already at infancy. In 1097, she married an accomplished young nobleman, the Caesar Nikephoros Bryennios the Younger, a renowned statesman, general, and historian that had contested the throne before the accession of Alexios I. However, she herself would have preferred to remain single.

Managing a Hospital and Orphanage

Anna was placed in charge of a large hospital and orphanage that her father built for her to administer in Constantinople . The hospital was said to hold beds for 10,000 patients and orphans. There, Anna taught medicine and was considered an expert on gout .

The Succession to the Throne

In 1118 Anna, together with her mother, tried to persuade the emperor on his deathbed to disinherit his son Kaloioannes (1118-1143) and instead transfer the succession to Anna’s husband. But Alexios, determined to make John his successor, secretly sent his seal ring to his son. According to other sources, John and his brother Isaac secretly invaded the Mangana Palace and stole the ring. After the death of Alexios, perhaps as a result of pneumonia, John secured the palace, had himself proclaimed emperor by the army and senate and confirmed by the patriarch of Constantinople. Anna and her mother Irene then conspired the same year with the aim of bringing Anna’s husband Nikephoros to the throne. However, the conspiracy was uncovered, possibly even by Nikephoros himself, who had no desire to become emperor. The participants escaped with light punishments. Their possessions were confiscated, Irene and Anna were banished to the monastery, where Irene died in 1123.

Anna’s Husband Nikephoros Bryennios

Anna’s husband, Nikephoros Bryennios the Younger had been working on an essay that he called “Material For History“, which focused on the reign of Alexios I. However, Nikephoros died in 1137 in Constantinople from a wound he had sustained during a campaign to Syria and Cilicia without ending the history he had begun on the way.

The only Eyewhitness Account

At the age of 55, Anna took it upon herself to finish her husband’s work, calling the completed work the Alexiad, the history of her father’s life and reign from 1069 to his death in 1118 in Greek. The 15 volumes of the Alexiad is today the main source of Byzantine political history from the end of the 11th century to the beginning of the 12th century. In her writings Anna provided insight on political relations and wars between Alexios I and the West. She vividly described weaponry, tactics, and battles. Despite always being on the moral side of her father, her account of the First Crusade is of great value to history because it is the only Hellenic eyewitness account available.

Literary Style

Anna Komnene’s literary style is fashioned after the antique historians such as Thucydides , Polybios, and Xenophon . Her work also contains quotations from Homer, Herodotus ,[3] Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, John of Epiphany and many others. Her style, with numerous direct commentaries, resembles that of Michael Psellos, but influences from late antique historians can also be found. In the descriptions of the unsuccessful treatment of her father by his doctors, the medically versed Anna shows humoral-pathological knowledge of Galenus.[4] For the most part, the chronology of events in the Alexiad is sound, except for those that occurred after Anna’s exile to the monastery, when she no longer had access to the imperial archives.

The exact date of Anna Komnena’s death is uncertain. The date of her death is unknown, but she was still at work on her history in 1148.

At yovisto academic video search you can learn more about Byzantine era in the lecture series of Yale Prof Paul Freedman on the Early middle ages. Here, he is focussing the ‘Splendor of Byzantium‘.

Byzantine/Roman Comparison

Despite being a largely unbroken continuation of the Ancient Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire military history couldn’t be any more different than its distant past, at least at first glance.

The Ancient Roman Empire was one of constant expansion and conquest, a tradition dating back to its days as a republic.

On the other hand, the Byzantine Empire, despite regaining some of its territory during the Komnenoi and other limited achievements, has (to my recollection) no grand conquests (beyond Justinian’s) to its name.

What’s the reason behind this?

Was there an ideological difference between the Romans of old and the Medieval Byzantines that discouraged conquest in part of the Byzantines (middle and late, since early Byzantines would probably not be too different than late Romans), or was the lack of Byzantine grand conquests more a practical limitation?

Both lasted roughly 1,000 years (I’m including the Republic for Ancient Rome), so looking back at them, which policy worked best, to expand or not to expand?

Expanding or not expanding isn't dictated by policy, is only dictated by necessity/possibility.

The roman empire spent his last 300 years (basically most of his tenure if we only consider the empire) defending what they gained and never really adding lands to their borders.

the Byzantines also did launch several campaigns to regain lost territories (which is saying a lot since they claimed all of Europe) some worked and some didn't, they slowly lost lands in all direction because of different factors :Islamic expansion, Seljucks, Ottomans, Bulgarians, slavs, crusaders, Normans, they had to face them all while being politically isolated in Europe.

Most European countries would support each other against Islamic expansions but the byzantine empire wasn't catholic.

No allies, threats on all sides, economic downturns (they were in general very unlucky, reconquering italy after a long war only to loose it 13 years later to the longbeards)

The Byzantine Empire was attacked on all sides in ways the conventional Roman Empire wasn’t you had much stronger entities in the Lombards, the new Islamic caliphates, Slavs and Avars, and on. The Islamic caliphates in particular were a significant geopolitical threat to Byzantine holdings, which hampered reconquest significantly. (Or, at least, holding on to reconquered land.)

A lot of the successor kingdoms saw themselves in part as Roman. Theoderic claimed to be a legitimate ruler on behalf of Constantinople for example, and the following “Holy Roman Emperors” lent legitimacy to the new kingdoms. It’s much harder to expand into established, legitimate territory like that.

I would say this had much less to do with policy or attitudes for either the Roman Empire or the byzantines and much more to do with the fact that the new, geopolitical landscape couldn’t support such expansion.

Comparing the size of these later conquests to those of the Late Roman Republic and Empire, I would consider them insignificant.

The Byzantine Empire by your own calculations was only slightly SMALLER than Charlemagne’s, but BOTH empires COMBINED are smaller than Ancient Rome at its height, which I feel is kind of a disappointing legacy.

The facts remain that manpower-wise Byzantium never recovered from the Bubonic plagued of Justinian, it never recovered in size to the former glory of Ancient Rome, and whereas Ancient Rome stood in league with other great empires of history, such as the Mongol Empire, the multiple Chinese dynasties, and the Caliphates, the Byzantines felt more like a regional power than a world power through most of their history.

I also feel like comparing Byzantium to Medieval standards is a disservice to them. While Charlemagne’s Empire and the Byzantines existed during the same time, unlike Charlemagne, Constantinople enjoyed the administrative and organizational advantages it inherited from Ancient Rome.

Nicephorus Gregoras

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Nicephorus Gregoras, Nicephorus also spelled Nikephoros, (born c. 1292, Heraclea Pontica, sultanate of Rūm [now Eregli, Turkey]—died c. 1360, near Constantinople, Byzantine Empire [now Istanbul, Turkey]), Byzantine humanist scholar, philosopher, and theologian whose 37-volume Byzantine History, a work of erudition, constitutes a primary documentary source for the 14th century.

Having gained the favour of the emperor Andronicus II Palaeologus (1282–1328) and of ecclesiastics in Constantinople, Gregoras was entrusted with diplomatic missions, including a legation to the Serbian king Stephan Uroš III in 1326. With the downfall of his patrons, however, Gregoras was, as was the custom, forced to retire to a nearby monastery. Gregoras emerged victorious in a philosophical disputation, accompanied by polemical tracts, against the monk Barlaam of Calabria, an outspoken Aristotelian scholastic, and was recognized as Constantinople’s leading academician. A theological controversy with deep political ramifications followed, in which Gregoras contended with the doctrine of Hesychasm. After the accession of the emperor John VI Cantacuzenus (1347), the Hesychast party, led by the monks of Mount Athos, enjoyed preference, requiring Gregoras to retire from public life. In 1351 he was excommunicated by a local church council, and after his death about 1360 his body was dragged through the streets of Constantinople.

His most renowned work, the Byzantine History, chronicles the events of the Eastern Empire from the time of the Latin conquest in the Fourth Crusade (1204) to 1359. Supplementing the work of the earlier 14th-century historian George Pachymeres, Gregoras enlarged on the philosophical and theological disputes in which he had engaged. His Correspondence, containing more than 160 letters, is a rich source for knowledge of the outstanding Byzantine ecclesiastical and political figures of the period. Among Gregoras’s other notable works are philosophical dialogues against the Sophists, studies in astronomy, a commentary on the Almagest of the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy, eulogies for several emperors, and a proposal for calendar reform that anticipated Pope Gregory XIII’s revision of 1582.


  • Some of these dates are necessarily a bit vague, as records for some periods are particularly difficult to piece together accurately.
  • The division of Church History into separate eras as done here will always be to some extent arbitrary, though it was attempted to group periods according to major watershed events.
  • This timeline is necessarily biased toward the history of the Orthodox Church, though a number of non-Orthodox or purely political events are mentioned for their importance in history related to Orthodoxy or for reference.

Watch the video: Χρονολόγιο Νικηφόρου Βρεττάκου (January 2022).