Monday, 12 April 2010

The Revolt of Bryennius the Elder

I have not found any information to cover the year 1076, so here I illustrate the events of 1077AD:

In the Autumn of that year Prime Minister Nikephoritzes has the Duke of the Dyrrhachion (Durres) province,Nicephorus Bryennius, demoted and marked for assassination.

Such treatment made Bryennius rebel and to then proclaim himself as emperor.
He had been the only general to fight loyally for the former emperorRomanus IV at Manazkert.
It seemed the Fates, if not the Ducas family, favoured those who had betrayed Romanus and hunted down those few who had supported him.

By November Bryennius' army was encamped outside Constantinopolis, however he faced firm resistance, and even worse, the Prime Minister had hired Turks to fight him, and having them shipped across the Hellespont.
They reached the encamped army of Bryennius outside Constantinopolis in November and routed it, Bryennius escaped into the Balkans as a Pecheneg Turkish army crossed the Danube, in the pay of the Prime Minister, to join the fight against Bryennius.

The Anatolikon province was still in rebellion as we will see in the next chapter.
The provinces of the Armeniakon and Bucellarion are not likely to have been well garrisoned, so it is unlikely the emperors writ meant much there, the local nobility seeing to their own defenses or arrangements with the Turks.

An Armenian general of the name Bahram / Badre of Tal Bashir left with his Armenian brigade and took service with the Fatimid Caliphate, later becoming the governor of Acre in 1098, whether he left at this date, or later, it is clear he had been part of the military network for Byzantium in this region but the Emirate of Aleppo was gradually eroding whatever the Armenian generals titularly held for the empire.

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