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Friday, 16 April 2010

The Revolt of Botaneiates

1078: In January the governor of the Anatolikon province, Nicephorus Botaneiates, had himself proclaimed emperor.

He had been in rebellion since defecting from the empire in 1074 and it seems the imperial authorities could not bring him to heel whilst dealing with Roussel de Baileul.
Botaneiates hired a Turkish army and marched to Constantinopole via the city of Nicea.

Suleyman ibn Qutulmish of the Seljuk Turks was hired by the Prime Minister, Nikephoritzes, to defeat Botaneiates.
Sulayman intercepted Botaneiates near the Sangarius river en route to Nicea.
However the willy Botaneiates made a deal with Suleyman in return for his support.
Sulayman and his army settled in most of the Opsikion province, across the Sangarius river.

In March after a huge riot in the city, Michael VII abdicated.
His younger brother Constantius was now the offical emperor.
Botaneiates and his army reached Constantinopole, where he was crowned as emperor Nicephorus III.

The Prime Minister, Nikephoritzes, is murdered by the mob.

The new emperor offered the position of Caesar to the rebel,Bryennios, however he refused.

And so the emperor assembled what was left of the Anatolian armies and hired some Normans and a large Seljuk army which was put under the command of Alexius Comnenus, to defeat Bryennios.

With the aid of the Seljuks, since his Norman mercenaries had defected (again!), Alexius defeated Bryennios by the river Almyros in the Hellas province.
Bryennios was then blinded, but retained his liberty and estates and was made the governor of Adrianapolis, which he successfully defended despite his blinding, from an invasion by Kipchak Turks in 1095.

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