Pages in category "Byzantine admirals"
The following 45 pages are in this category, out of 45 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 45 pages are in this category, out of 45 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Alexios Apokaukos – Alexios Apokaukos was a leading Byzantine statesman and high-ranking military officer during the reigns of emperors Andronikos III Palaiologos and John V Palaiologos. Apokaukos died when he was lynched during an inspection of a new prison. Alexios was born in the late 13th century somewhere in Bithynia. He nevertheless became a tax official. By 1320 he was director of the salt pans, from which he later advanced to the position of domestikos of the themes of the West. He rose in the bureaucratic hierarchy until, in 1321, he was appointed the imperial parakoimōmenos. Under the threat of war, the Emperor surrendered Thrace and some districts to the rule of his grandson. Shortly before Andronikos's death, he was rewarded with the high office of megas doux, giving him the high command over the Byzantine navy. He re-equipped the fleet, paying from his own pocket 100,000 hyperpyra. Soon as Kantakouzenos left Constantinople in July 1341 to campaign against the Empire's enemies who were assaulting it, Apokaukos made his first moves. Apokaukos also tried to kidnap the young John V, but was forced to flee to his house at Epibatai. However, when Kantakouzenos returned victorious against the counsel of his friends, he pardoned his protégé. However, the Patriarch and Apokaukos seized power. Friends were imprisoned, the Patriarch was declared regent, while Anna named Apokaukos as urban prefect of Constantinople. Kantakouzenos responded by having himself declared emperor in October 1341 while his opponents followed with the coronation of John V in November.Alexios Apokaukos – Donor portrait of the megas doux Alexios Apokaukos, from a collection of the "Works of Hippocrates " commissioned by him in the early 1340s. Alexios is depicted in the garb of his office, wearing a richly decorated kabbadion and the skaranikon, a ceremonial headdress depicting the reigning emperor.
2. Manuel Boutoumites – Abu'l Qasim was preparing to launch a fleet into the Sea of Marmara to challenge the Byzantine navy. Alexios, determined to prevent this, sent with the fleet while Tatikios would move against his base by land. The two generals forced Abu' l Qasim to withdraw to Nicaea, whence he concluded a truce with Byzantium. Soon after, Doukas and Boutoumites were sent against the rebellions of Karykes at Cyprus. After subduing Karykes's revolt, they headed to Cyprus, where Kyrenia fell quickly. Boutoumites caught up with him at the church of the Holy Cross, where the rebel had sought refuge. Promising to spare his life, he brought him back to Doukas. According to tradition, while in Cyprus, he founded the Kykkos Monastery there. Boutoumites trusted by Alexios; Anna Komnene calls him "Alexios' sole confidant". The great obstacle on the Crusaders' path was Nicaea, the Seljuk capital, which they proceeded to besiege. Boutoumites had been instructed by Alexios to secure the surrender of the city to imperial forces, not to the Crusaders. The Turks had entered negotiations, allowing Boutoumites to enter the city. Two days later, at the news of the approach of a force under Sultan Kilij Arslan I, they forced him to leave. Although by and large the Crusaders accepted the outcome, the event soured relations. In the aftermath of the city's fall, Boutoumites was named as doux of Nicaea.Manuel Boutoumites – Miniature of the Emperor Alexios I Komnenos (r. 1081–1118).
3. Joseph Bringas – Having unsuccessfully opposed the rise of Nikephoros Phokas to the imperial throne in 963, he was exiled to a monastery, where he died in 965. The contemporary historian Leo the Deacon reports that Bringas hailed from Paphlagonia. He gradually rose to the rank of patrikios and the court post of praipositos. When Romanos, assumed the Byzantine throne, he appointed Bringas as his parakoimomenos. The Byzantine emperor preferred to spend his time hunting, largely left affairs of state to him. In this capacity, Bringas foiled a plot against Romanos led by a group of nobles around the magistros Basil Peteinos. The plotters were arrested, exiled, although most of them, with the exception of Peteinos, were soon recalled. Phokas visited the capital and celebrated his scheduled triumph in April 963, but sought refuge in Hagia Sophia. Bringas now offered him the Byzantine throne. Instead, Tzimiskes urged him to action. Phokas's troops set out for Constantinople. In the end, Phokas's supporters prevailed. Bringas was banished first at Pythia near Nicomedia where he died in 965.Joseph Bringas – Gold solidus of Emperor Constantine VII (r. 945–959) with his son and heir, Romanos II.
4. John Doukas (megas doux) – John Doukas was a member of the Doukas family, a relative of Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos and a senior military figure of his reign. As governor of Dyrrhachium, he secured the imperial possessions against the Serbs. John was thus the brother-in-law of Alexios I Komnenos, who had married his sister Irene Doukaina. Roussel demanded that the Caesar give up the two as hostages in return for releasing their wounded father, whom he held captive. After his father died in 1077, John was raised by him. Together, they joined Alexios's forces at Schiza, where the latter was officially proclaimed emperor. John remained there until 1092, when he was replaced by John Komnenos, the sebastokrator Isaac. His tenure was apparently very successful. Thus John managed to restore order in the region of Albania and Dalmatia, which had suffered greatly during the Byzantine–Norman wars of the previous years. After being recalled to Constantinople in 1092, John was appointed to the post of i.e. commander-in-chief of the Byzantine navy. As megas doux, John was tasked with countering the naval threat posed by the Turkish emir Tzachas of Smyrna. Formerly a Byzantine vassal, had built a fleet of his own and had seized several Aegean islands, raided others, even had himself proclaimed basileus. After participating in a synod that condemned Leo of Chalcedon, John set forth to take back the island of Mytilene. His troops marched along the Anatolian coast opposite the island whence they crossed over. The fleet, which under Constantine Dalassenos had already recovered Chios, was to meet him there.John Doukas (megas doux) – Miniature of the Emperor Alexios I Komnenos (r. 1081–1118).
5. Constantine Gongyles – Constantine Gongyles was a Byzantine eunuch and court official who led a failed expedition against the Emirate of Crete in 949. Nothing is known of Constantine's early life, that he came from Paphlagonia. On this occasion, Constantine was raised to the noble rank of patrikios. He fell from power under Emperor Romanos I Lekapenos. They are not mentioned in the sources during the latter's reign. Upon Lekapenos's deposition in December 944, however, Constantine Gongyles was appointed as the head of the Byzantine navy. Thus, in 949 he was placed in charge of a large-scale attempt to recover the island of Crete from the Saracens. Gongyles himself barely escaped on his flagship.Constantine Gongyles – The Cretan Saracens slay the sleeping Byzantines. Miniature from the Madrid Skylitzes.
6. Andronikos Kontostephanos – Born ca. Andronikos had two older brothers, a sister, Irene. Andronikos himself is believed to have married, ca. 1150, an unnamed member of the Doukas family, another clan with imperial connections. The couple had possibly daughters, although none is mentioned in the sources. Andronikos was the leading military figure during the reign of his uncle, Emperor Manuel I Komnenos. However, his greatest success was as a general rather than as an admiral. At some point, Andronikos was also appointed commander of the Varangian Guard. Andronikos is first mentioned in the winter of 1148/49. The Byzantine forces, led by his Stephen, were attempting to expel the Normans of the Kingdom of Sicily who held the city. Andronikos' father was killed during the siege in early 1149, dying in his son's arms. This was opposed by Stephen III, who in 1162 expelled Stephen IV from the country. A prolonged conflict ensued, not only over the succession, but also over the region around Sirmium, disputed among the two realms. In 1164, Stephen IV had to be rescued by an army under Andronikos. Soon after, he was poisoned by agents of his nephew.Andronikos Kontostephanos – Emperor Manuel I Komnenos, uncle of Andronikos Kontostephanos
7. Licario – Licario, called Ikarios by the Greek chroniclers, was a Byzantine admiral of Italian origin in the 13th century. Licario was born in Karystos from a Vicentian father and a local woman. He was of humble origin, but ambitious. The match was met by Felisa's family. The marriage was cancelled by her relatives. Fleeing from their wrath, Licario sought refuge near Cavo D'Oro. He repaired the strong fortress, belonging to the island's nobles. Along with the Principality of Achaea it presented the major obstacle to his complete recovery of Greece. Already in 1269/1270, a Byzantine fleet under Alexios Doukas Philanthropenos had captured one of the island's major Latin strongholds, the town of Oreos. In turn was strengthened with imperial troops. The Byzantine forces, under Licario's command, now launched a campaign that took the fortresses of Larmena, La Cuppa, Manducho. The Lombard triarchs then appealed to Dreux de Beaumont, marshal of the Angevin Kingdom of Sicily. De Beaumont was defeated in a pitched battle and was subsequently recalled by Charles of Anjou. Following their great victory over the Lombard triarchs of Negroponte at the Battle of Demetrias, the Byzantines renewed their offensive in Euboea. Licario took it, after a long siege, in the same year.Licario – Map of the Byzantine Empire and the Latin East in ca. 1265.
8. Constantine Lips – Constantine Lips was a Byzantine aristocrat and admiral who lived in the later 9th and early 10th centuries. He was killed in 917 against Bulgaria. Constantine Lips is most notable for his foundation of the convent bearing his name at Constantinople. The facts regarding Constantine's life are subject to conjecture. The date of the inauguration is traditionally placed in 907/908. On August 917, he fell at the Battle of Acheloos, fighting against the Bulgarian forces under Simeon I. He is also equated with two other people named Lips, whose activities are believed to have been erroneously post-dated. He also served to Gregory I, the ruler of the Armenian principality of Taron. On the first embassy, he returned with Gregory's Ashot, received by Leo and named protospatharios. Lips returned with Gregory's brother, also given the rank of protospatharios. Constantine accompanied Abu Ghanim on his journey. When the latter visited Constantinople again some years later, he was married to Constantine's daughter. After a prolonged sojourn, he was escorted by Lips. Constantine Lips had the patrikios Bardas Lips, involved in a conspiracy against Emperor Romanos II in 962. He is also the last known representative of the Lips family.Constantine Lips – Interior of the Theotokos Panachrantos church, erected by Lips
9. Marinus (praetorian prefect) – Marinus was one of the most trusted and senior aides of the Byzantine emperor Anastasius I. He survived into the regime of Justin I, when he was soon sidelined from power. Marinus was a native of Apamea in Syria, and, like most Syrians, a Monophysite. His predecessor in John the Paphlagonian, went on to supervise Anastasius's reform of Byzantine coinage. Although the new system seems to have been successful in increasing revenue, it was extensively modified and ultimately mostly abandoned in subsequent reigns. He seems to have held the post until early 515. Marinus then defeated the rebels he found there. Disheartened by the losses suffered, his army fled north under cover of night. He died sometime before 539. Of his family it is only known that her son was named governor in Libya, where he proved particularly rapacious.Marinus (praetorian prefect) – Semissis of Emperor Anastasius I (r. 491–518).
10. Niketas Ooryphas – Nothing is known of Niketas Ooryphas's early life. In his capacity as urban prefect, Ooryphas made a report to Emperor Michael III, campaigning in Asia Minor. At a subsequent date, in 867 he was in charge of the Imperial Fleet. It is, however, possible as he may be identifiable with one of the commanders of the 853 attack on Damietta. As a result of the quarrel, the main part of the Byzantine force left, without participating in the siege of the city. In ca.Niketas Ooryphas – Saracen corsairs, from the Madrid Skylitzes manuscript.
11. Romanos I Lekapenos – Romanos Lekapenos, born in Lakape between Melitene and Samosata, was the son of an Armenian peasant with the remarkable name of Theophylact the Unbearable. Although he did not receive any refined education, Romanos advanced through the ranks of the army during the reign of Emperor Leo VI the Wise. In 911 he was general of the naval theme of Samos and later served as admiral of the fleet. On 25 March 919, at the head of his fleet, Lekapenos seized the Boukoleon Palace and the reins of government. It is notable that, as he left Constantine untouched, he was called'the gentle usurper'. His early reign saw several conspiracies to topple him, which led to the successive dismissal of John Mystikos. From 925 and until the end of his reign, the post was occupied by the chamberlain Theophanes. The first major challenge faced by the new emperor was the war with Bulgaria, re-ignited by the regency of Zoe. Consequently, the first four years of Romanos' reign were spent in warfare against Bulgaria. Although Simeon generally had the upper hand, he was unable to gain a decisive advantage because of the impregnability of Constantinople's walls. In 924, when Simeon had once again blockaded the capital by land, Romanos succeeded in opening negotiations. In reality, this was accomplished by Romanos' tacit recognition of Simeon as emperor of Bulgaria. Relations were subsequently marred by continued wrangling over titles, but peace had been effectively established. In September 927 Peter arrived before married Maria, thus Romanos' granddaughter. From this point on, Romanos' government was free from direct military confrontation with Bulgaria.Romanos I Lekapenos – Miliaresion from 931–944, showing Romanos' bust on a cross on the obverse and listing the names of Romanos and his co-emperors, Constantine VII, Stephen Lekapenos and Constantine Lekapenos, on the reverse
12. Theophanes (chamberlain) – Theophanes was a Byzantine palace official and the chief adviser of Emperor Romanos Lekapenos during most of his reign. He led the naval defense of Constantinople against the Rus' invasion of 941. Nothing is known of Theophanes's origin and early life. Unlike Mystikos, Theophanes remained the chief figure of the government for the remainder of Romanos's reign. At that time, the Byzantine Empire had been embroiled in a disastrous war with Bulgarian Tsar Simeon. In 927, his infant son, Peter, ascended the Bulgarian throne under the regency of his uncle George Sursubul. Despite its victories, Bulgaria was furthermore threatened in its northern borders by the Magyars. Consequently, the Bulgarians decided to make peace with Constantinople. Theophanes proved his diplomatic skills again in April 934, when a large Magyar raid descended into Thrace. He arranged terms for their withdrawal and for the release of their captives in exchange for sums of money. The improvised squadron met the Rus' through the use of Greek fire, turned them back. The bulk of the raiders then made landfall in Bithynia, plundering the province. As the army began to arrive from the East, the Rus' found themselves increasingly constrained. Trying to return to their homeland, one night in September they tried to cross over into Thrace. The Rus' fleet was annihilated.Theophanes (chamberlain) – Bronze follis of Emperor Romanos I Lekapenos (r. 920–944).
13. Tiberios III – Tiberius III was Byzantine emperor from 698 to 21 August 705. Tiberius was a Germanic naval officer from the region of Pamphylia and originally named Apsimar, who rose to the position of droungarios of the Cibyrrhaeotic Theme. He participated in the failed campaign to regain Carthage in 698. As admiral John the Patrician retreated from Carthage to Crete, the fleet rebelled, deposed and murdered their commander, chose Apsimaros as his replacement. Changing his name to Tiberius, Apsimaros sailed on Constantinople, suffering from a plague and proceeded to besiege it. Leontios had also mutilated his predecessor Justinian II in the same fashion three years earlier. As emperor, Tiberius III made the tactical decision to ignore Africa, where Carthage was now definitively lost. Success in the military sphere was accompanied by Tiberius's attempt to strengthen the empire militarily by reorganizing its administration. Tiberius then turned his attention to the Island of Cyprus, underpopulated since the reign of Justinian II. He strengthened the defence of the island at the same time by increasing the garrison numbers with troops from the Taurus Mountains. He also reorganized the Cibyrrhaeotic Theme and repaired the sea walls of Constantinople. Domestically, his only known act of note was the banishment of Philippikos Bardanes, the son of a notable patrician, to the island of Cephalonia. Meanwhile, in 704 Justinian II escaped in Cherson leading an army with the Khazars to Constantinople. For three days, Justinian tried to convince the citizens of Constantinople to open the gates, but to no avail. Hearing that Justinian had approached Constantinople in the night, Tiberius fled to Bithynia where he evaded capture for several months.Tiberios III – Solidus displaying the cuirassed bust of Tiberius III, with spear & shield