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 by political prisoners during an inspection of a new prison, alexios was of humble origin, and was born in the late 13th century somewhere in Bithynia. He nevertheless studied under the scholar Theodore Hyrtakenos, and 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 hierarchy until, in 1321, he was appointed the imperial parakoimōmenos. Under the threat of war, the Emperor surrendered Thrace and some districts in Macedonia to the rule of his grandson, in early 1341, shortly before Andronikoss 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, Kantakouzenos did not claim the throne for himself, but demanded the regency, based on his close association with the deceased emperor, and with the support of the capitals troops secured it. As soon as Kantakouzenos left Constantinople in July 1341 to campaign against the Empires enemies who were assaulting it, Apokaukos also tried to kidnap the young John V, but failed and was forced to flee to his house at Epibatai. However, when Kantakouzenos returned victorious to the capital, instead of depriving Apokaukos of his offices, Apokaukos put on an exaggerated display of deference to Kantakouzenos, who allowed him to resume his offices and return to Constantinople, while Kantakouzenos left on yet another campaign. Once back in the city, however, the Patriarch and Apokaukos seized power, Kantakouzenoss family and friends were imprisoned, the Patriarch was declared regent, while Anna named Apokaukos as urban prefect of Constantinople. Kantakouzenos responded by having himself declared emperor at Didymoteicho in October 1341, the two coronations finalized the split, and ushered in a civil war that would embroil the Byzantine Empire and all of its neighbours until 1347 with Kantakouzenoss victory. In a similar development in 1342, Thessalonica, the Empires second-largest city, was seized by a known as the Zealots. Their anti-aristocratic beliefs made them enemies of Kantakouzenism, and earned them the support of the regency, Apokaukos himself arrived with a fleet of 70 ships to aid them, and appointed his elder son John Apokaukos as the citys governor, although the latters authority would remain only nominal. In the first years of the war, the tide was in favour of the regency, until, in the summer of 1342, however, from 1343 onwards, with the aid of his friend, Umur Beg of Aydin, Kantakouzenos began to reverse the situation. Gradually, Apokaukoss supporters abandoned him, including his son Manuel, in early 1345, Apokaukos and Kalekas rejected offers of reconciliation conveyed by two Franciscan monks. Trying to bolster his power, Apokaukos began a series of proscriptions in the capital. On 11 June 1345, Apokaukos suddenly decided to inspect the new prison, the prisoners immediately rose up and lynched him, and his head was severed and stuck on a pole. The prisoners believed that by getting rid of the hated Apokaukos, as a result, all prisoners, some 200 in total, were massacred, even though some attempted to seek refuge in a nearby monastery. As such, it marked the beginning of the wars end, alexios Apokaukos had two brothers, John and Nikephoros, of whom very little is knownAlexios 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 – Manuel Boutoumites or Butumites was a leading Byzantine general and diplomat during the reign of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, and one of the emperors most trusted aides. He was instrumental in the Byzantine recovery of Nicaea from the Seljuk Turks, in the reconquest of Cilicia, Abul Qasim was preparing to launch a fleet into the Sea of Marmara to challenge the Byzantine navy. Alexios, determined to prevent this, sent against him Boutoumites with the fleet, the two generals successfully destroyed the Seljuk fleet and forced Abul 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 Crete, after subduing Karykess revolt, they headed to Cyprus, where Kyrenia fell quickly. Rhapsomates came out to them and occupied the heights above the city, but Boutoumites enticed many of his men to desert. Boutoumites pursued and caught up with him at the church of the Holy Cross, promising to spare his life, he captured him and brought him back to Doukas. According to tradition, while in Cyprus, he founded the Kykkos Monastery there, Boutoumites was highly regarded and trusted by Alexios, Anna Komnene calls him Alexios sole confidant. The first great obstacle on the Crusaders path was Nicaea, the Seljuk capital, Boutoumites had been instructed by Alexios to secure the surrender of the city to imperial forces, and 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 relief force under Sultan Kilij Arslan I, they forced him to leave. Boutoumites, however, kept the deal a secret, and arranged with Tatikios for an assault by the Crusaders and Tatikioss men. Although by and large the Crusaders accepted the outcome, the event soured relations, in the aftermath of the citys fall, Boutoumites was named by Alexios as doux of Nicaea. He also persuaded some of the Crusaders to enroll in the Byzantine army and they were then employed in garrisoning Nicaea and repairing its walls. In 1099, he was sent by the Byzantine commanders at Cyprus as an envoy to Bohemond I of Antioch, but he was detained by him for a fortnight before being released. A few years later, Boutoumites was placed at the head of an army sent to secure Cilicia against Bohemund. After taking Attaleia, the Byzantines took Maraş and its surrounding region, Boutoumites left behind a large force under Monastras to garrison the province, and returned to Constantinople. From Cyprus, Boutoumites first sailed to Tripoli, next the Byzantine envoys set out to meet with the King of Jerusalem, Baldwin I, who was besieging Tyre. Baldwin, however, advised of the untruth of Boutoumitess claims and he feigned willingness to attack Tancred provided that he received the promised subsidies beforehand. Boutoumites, however, perceived the kings intentions, and refused to do so, thus the mission ended in failure, and Boutoumites left Jerusalem, returning to Constantinople via TripoliManuel Boutoumites – Miniature of the Emperor Alexios I Komnenos (r. 1081–1118).
3. Joseph Bringas – Joseph Bringas was an important Byzantine eunuch official in the reigns of Emperor Constantine VII and Emperor Romanos II, serving as chief minister and effective regent during the latter. Having unsuccessfully opposed the rise of Nikephoros Phokas to the throne in 963, he was exiled to a monastery. The contemporary historian Leo the Deacon reports that Bringas hailed from Paphlagonia and he gradually rose in imperial service to the rank of patrikios and the court post of praipositos. Emperor Constantine VII appointed him first as sakellarios and then as Droungarios of the Imperial Fleet, when Emperor Constantine VIIs son, Romanos, assumed the Byzantine throne, he appointed Bringas as his parakoimomenos. The young Byzantine emperor preferred to spend his time hunting, in this capacity, Bringas foiled a plot against Romanos led by a group of nobles around the magistros Basil Peteinos. The plotters were arrested, tortured, and exiled, although most of them, Phokas visited the capital and celebrated his scheduled triumph in April 963, but then accused Bringas of plotting against him, and sought refuge in Hagia Sophia. There, he gained the support of the Patriarch of Constantinople, Polyeuctus, Bringas now turned to Marianos Argyros, the commander-in-chief of the West, and offered him the Byzantine throne. At the same time, he wrote to the strategos of the Anatolics John Tzimiskes, Phokass nephew and most important general, instead, Tzimiskes revealed the letter to Phokas and urged him to action. Phokass troops proclaimed him Byzantine emperor on July 2,963, in the capital, Bringas brought in troops, seized all ships to prevent a crossing of the Bosporus by the rebels, and even took Nikephoross father, the aged Bardas Phokas, as a hostage. The street clashes lasted for three days, and in the end, Phokass supporters prevailed, Bringas was banished first to his native Paphlagonia, and then to the monastery of Asekretis at Pythia near Nicomedia, where he died in 965Joseph 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 in the western Balkans against the Serbs, John was thus the brother-in-law of Alexios I Komnenos, who had married his sister Irene Doukaina. In 1074, during the rebellion of the Norman mercenary Roussel de Bailleul, John, 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 remained in his grandfathers estates in Thrace and it was there that he learned of the rebellion of Alexios Komnenos against Nikephoros III Botaneiates in 1081, and it was he who informed the Caesar of it. Together, they departed and joined Alexioss forces at Schiza, where the latter was proclaimed emperor. John remained there until 1092, when he was replaced by John Komnenos, the son of the emperors brother and his tenure was apparently very successful. Thus John managed to order in the region of Albania and Dalmatia. After being recalled to Constantinople in 1092, John was appointed to the post of megas doux, i. e. commander-in-chief of the Byzantine navy. Although he is the first known megas doux and hence usually credited as the first to hold the post, there is evidence of its already in late 1085. As megas doux, John was tasked with countering the threat posed by the Turkish emir Tzachas of Smyrna. Tzachas, formerly a Byzantine vassal, had built a fleet of his own and had seized several Aegean islands, raided others, 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 to the point opposite the island, the fleet, which under Constantine Dalassenos had already recovered Chios, was to meet him there. The combined Byzantine force laid siege to Mytilene for three months, when Tzachas offered to cede the island in exchange for passage back to Smyrna. John agreed, but as the Turks set sail, Dalassenos, Tzachas managed to escape, but most of his fleet was captured or sunk. After this victory, John Doukas reinforced the defences of Mytilene and then led his fleet to recover the islands Tzachas had conquered, before returning to Constantinople. Upon his return to Constantinople, he was tasked, along with Manuel Boutoumites, with the suppression of the revolts in Crete by Karykes, the rebellion of Karykes was subdued easily, as the news of the imperial fleets approach caused a counter-coup that overthrew him. At Cyprus, Rhapsomatess initial resistance was overcome, and he himself was captured soon after, eumathios Philokales was installed as the islands new governor, and the fleet returned to Constantinople. In 1097, after the surrender of Nicaea to the Byzantines, Alexios named John as commander-in-chief of the Byzantine army in Anatolia, John gave command of the fleet to Kaspax, and marched against SmyrnaJohn 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 Constantines early life, except that he came from Paphlagonia, on this occasion, Constantine was raised to the supreme noble rank of patrikios. Constantine Gongyles wielded great influence during the regency of Zoe, the brothers were quick to change sides when Lekapenos gained the upper hand, but they are not mentioned in the sources during the latters reign. Upon Lekapenoss 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 flagshipConstantine Gongyles – The Cretan Saracens slay the sleeping Byzantines. Miniature from the Madrid Skylitzes.
6. Andronikos Kontostephanos – Andronikos had two older brothers, John and Alexios, and 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 at least five sons, and possibly daughters, Andronikos was the leading Byzantine military figure during the reign of his uncle, Emperor Manuel I Komnenos. Like his father he was appointed to the office of megas doux, the commander-in-chief of the Byzantine navy and governor of the provinces of Hellas, 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 during the siege of Corfu in the winter of 1148/49. The Byzantine forces, led by his father 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 sons arms. Manuel supported his brothers, Ladislaus II and later Stephen IV, as his successors and this was opposed by Gézas eldest son, Stephen III, who in 1162 expelled Stephen IV from the country. A prolonged conflict ensued, not only over the succession, but also over possession of Dalmatia, in 1164, Stephen IV invaded Hungary on his own account, but had to be rescued by an army under Andronikos. Soon after, he was poisoned by agents of his nephew, the Hungarian army, commanded by the palatine Denis, met the Byzantine army near Zemun on the feast day of St. Procopius,8 July 1167. As the battle was about to begin, according to Niketas Choniates Andronikos received a message from Manuel, Andronikos ignored the order and kept it secret from his officers. The ensuing Battle of Sirmium resulted in the most spectacular military victory during Manuels reign, the victory sealed Byzantine control over the region around Sirmium, plus all of Bosnia, Dalmatia and the area south of the Krka River. Following the victory Manuel celebrated a triumphal entry into Constantinople with Andronikos Kontostephanos riding by his side, the fleet set sail from the port of Melibotos in the Dardanelles on 8 July 1169. After defeating a small Egyptian scouting squadron near Cyprus, Kontostephanos arrived at Tyre and Acre in late September to find that Amalric had undertaken no preparations whatsoever, the delays on the part of the Crusaders infuriated Kontostephanos and sow mistrust among the ostensible allies. It was not until mid-October that the armies and fleets set forth. The Christians delayed three days in attacking the city, allowing Saladin to hastily move in troops and supplies, as the Byzantines were about to storm the walls, Amalric stopped them by announcing that a negotiated surrender of Damietta had just taken place. Venice retaliated by outfitting a fleet of 120 ships under Doge Vitale II Michele, the Venetians sent envoys to negotiate, but Manuel allowed them to drag on until his own counterstroke,150 ships under Kontostephanos command, was ready. In the meantime, the Venetians suffered of disease on Chios, in April 1172, Kontostephanos set sail, but the Venetians were forewarned by the astrologer Aaron Isaakios, one of Manuels confidantes, and hastily abandoned Chios. Kontostephanos pursued them, but while the Venetians sailed north, raiding the islands of Thasos, Lesbos and Skyros, he assumed they would sail back westwards, and directed his fleet to Cape MaleaAndronikos 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. At odds with the Latin barons of his native Euboea, he entered the service of the Byzantine emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos, and reconquered many of the Aegean islands for him in the 1270s. For his exploits, he was rewarded with Euboea as a fief and rose to the rank of megas konostaulos and megas doux, Licario was born in Karystos in Latin-held Euboea, from a Vicentian father and a local woman. He was of humble origin, but able and ambitious, serving as a knight under the Latin triarch Giberto II da Verona, he managed to win the heart of Felisa, sister of Giberto and widow of another triarch, Narzotto dalle Carceri. The match was met with disapproval by Felisas family and they secretly married, but the marriage was cancelled by her relatives. Fleeing from their wrath, Licario sought refuge in the fort of Anemopylae near Cavo DOro and he repaired the strong fortress, assembled a small group of followers, and began raiding the surrounding estates, belonging to the islands nobles. Furthermore, along with the Principality of Achaea it presented the major obstacle to his recovery of Greece. Already in 1269/1270, a Byzantine fleet under Alexios Doukas Philanthropenos had attacked and captured many Latin nobles, facing the persistent refusal of the islands barons to treat with him, desiring vengeance and eager for glory and wealth, Licario presented himself to Philanthropenos, offering his services. He, in turn, took him to the Emperor, who was eager to use the services of talented Westerners whenever he could, Licario became the Emperors vassal according to Western feudal rules, and in turn was strengthened with imperial troops. Under the leadership of Licario, the Byzantines could now mount an attempt to conquer the island. The Byzantine forces, under Licarios command, now launched a campaign took the fortresses of Larmena, La Cuppa, Clisura. The Lombard triarchs then appealed to their liege-lord, Prince William II of Achaea, William was able to recover La Cuppa, but de Beaumont was defeated in a pitched battle and was subsequently recalled by Charles of Anjou. Between then and 1275, according to the Venetian chronicler Marino Sanudo, Licario himself served in the Byzantine army in Asia Minor, in 1276, following their great victory over the Lombard triarchs of Negroponte at the Battle of Demetrias, the Byzantines renewed their offensive in Euboea. Licario attacked his native Karystos, seat of the southern triarchy, for this success, he was rewarded by Michael VIII with the whole island as a fief, and a noble Greek wife with a rich dowry. In turn, Licario pledged to provide 200 knights to the Emperor, gradually, Licario reduced the Latin strongholds on the island, until, by 1278, he had seized almost all of it except for the capital, the city of Negroponte. For his successes, Licario was rewarded with the post of megas konostaulos, head of the Latin mercenaries,1296, the first foreigner to be thus honoured. He commanded the Byzantine navy in a series of expeditions against the Latin-held Aegean islands, the first to fall was Skopelos, whose fortress was believed to be impregnable. Licario, however, knew that it lacked water supplies, thus, he attacked it during the hot and dry summer of 1277 and forced its surrenderLicario – 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 at the Battle of Acheloos against Bulgaria, Constantine Lips is most notable for his foundation of the convent bearing his name at Constantinople. The facts regarding Constantines life are confused and subject to conjecture, the date of the inauguration is traditionally placed in 907/908. In its wake, several nobles who had been or were suspected of being involved in the coup were executed, while others fled the city, on August 20,917, he fell at the Battle of Acheloos, fighting against the Bulgarian forces under Simeon I. He is also equated by modern scholarship with two people named Lips, whose activities are believed to have been erroneously post-dated. He also served on occasions as imperial envoy to Gregory I. On the first embassy, he returned with Gregorys son Ashot, Lips accompanied Ashot back to his father, and returned with Gregorys brother, who was also given the rank of protospatharios. Constantine accompanied Abu Ghanim on his return journey, when the latter visited Constantinople again some years later, he was married to Constantines daughter. After a prolonged sojourn, he was escorted to his domains by Lips, Constantine Lips had a son, the patrikios Bardas Lips, who was involved in a conspiracy against Emperor Romanos II in 962. He is also the last known representative of the Lips family, recherches sur les Institutions Byzantines, Tome II. New York and Oxford, Oxford University Press, lilie, Ralph-Johannes, Ludwig, Claudia, Zielke, Beate, Pratsch, Thomas, eds. London, United Kingdom, MacMillan & Company, berkeley and Los Angeles, California, University of California PressConstantine 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 held his second tenure as praetorian prefect, Marinus was a native of Apamea in Syria, and, like most Syrians, a Monophysite. His predecessor in the post, John the Paphlagonian, went on to supervise Anastasiuss reform of Byzantine coinage, although the new system seems to have been successful in increasing state revenue, it was extensively modified and ultimately mostly abandoned in subsequent reigns. By the 500s, Marinus had emerged as the most trusted adviser of Anastasius and he seems to have held the post until early 515. In autumn 512, Marinus encouraged Anastasius to openly support the Monophysite version of the Trisagion and it took a personal appearance by Anastasius in the Hippodrome of Constantinople to calm the crowds, who demanded that Marinus and Plato be thrown to the beasts. Marinus then landed with his men on the shore of Sycae, disheartened by the losses suffered, Vitalian and his army fled north under cover of night. Of his family it is known that he had a daughter, and that her son was named governor in LibyaMarinus (praetorian prefect) – Semissis of Emperor Anastasius I (r. 491–518).
10. Niketas Ooryphas – Nothing is known of Niketas Ooryphass early life. Several people surnamed Ooryphas are recorded in sources during the first half of the 9th century, all of them in high naval positions, but any family relation is conjectural. Niketas Ooryphas first appears in our sources in 860, as prefect of Constantinople. In his capacity as prefect, Ooryphas made a report to Emperor Michael III. At a subsequent date, he was appointed in a position in the Byzantine navy, as such he sailed with 100 ships in relief of Ragusa against an Arab siege which had already lasted 15 months, and restored the imperial suzerainty over the coasts of Dalmatia. It is, however, possible that Ooryphas already had naval experience, as a result of the quarrel, the main part of the Byzantine force left, without participating in the siege of the cityNiketas 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. Theophylact, as a soldier, had rescued the Emperor Basil I from the enemy in battle at Tephrike and had been rewarded by a place in the Imperial Guard. 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. In this capacity he was supposed to participate in the Byzantine operations against Bulgaria on the Danube in 917, 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 and his early reign saw several conspiracies to topple him, which led to the successive dismissal of his first paradynasteuontes, John the Rhaiktor and 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, which had been 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 Constantinoples walls. In 924, when Simeon had once again blockaded the capital by land, meeting Simeon in person at Kosmidion, Romanos criticized Simeons disregard for tradition and Orthodox Christian brotherhood and supposedly shamed him into coming to terms and lifting the siege. 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. On the death of Simeon in May 927, Bulgarias new emperor, Peter I, made a show of force by invading Byzantine Thrace, in September 927 Peter arrived before Constantinople and married Maria, the daughter of his eldest son and co-emperor Christopher, and thus Romanos granddaughter. From this point on, Romanos government was free from direct confrontation with Bulgaria. Romanos appointed the brilliant general John Kourkouas commander of the armies in the East. John Kourkouas subdued a rebellion in the theme of Chaldia and intervened in Armenia in 924, from 926 Kourkouas campaigned across the eastern frontier against the Abbasids and their vassals, and won an important victory at Melitene in 934. The capture of this city is considered the first major Byzantine territorial recovery from the Muslims. In 941, while most of the army under Kourkouas was absent in the East, the invaders were defeated at sea, through the use of Greek fire, and again at land, when they landed in Bithynia, by the returning army under Kourkouas. In 944 Romanos concluded a treaty with Prince Igor of Kiev and this crisis having passed, Kourkouas was free to return to the eastern frontier. In 943 Kourkouas invaded northern Mesopotamia and besieged the important city of Edessa in 944, as the price for his withdrawal, Kourkouas obtained one of Byzantiums most prized relics, the mandylion, the holy towel allegedly sent by Jesus Christ to King Abgar V of Edessa. John Kourkouas, although considered by some of his contemporaries a second Trajan or Belisarius, was dismissed after the fall of the Lekapenoi in 945Romanos 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 was also an active and able diplomat, and led the defense of Constantinople against the Rus invasion of 941. Nothing is known of Theophaness origin and early life, unlike Mystikos, Theophanes would prove both capable and loyal to his master, and remained the chief figure of the government for the remainder of Romanoss reign. At that time, the Byzantine Empire had been embroiled in a protracted, in 927, however, Simeon died, and his infant son, Peter, ascended the Bulgarian throne under the regency of his uncle George Sursubul. Despite its victories, Bulgaria was exhausted from decades of warfare, consequently, the Bulgarians decided to make peace with Constantinople. Theophanes played a role in the negotiations prior to the final signing of the treaty. Theophanes proved his diplomatic skills yet again in April 934, when a large Magyar raid descended into Thrace and he met the raiders in person and arranged terms for their withdrawal and for the release of their captives in exchange for sums of money. At that point, the Byzantine capital was well-nigh defenceless, for the army was fighting in the east under John Kourkouas. Fifteen old chelandia were discovered in one of Constantinoples harbours, put in order, outfitted with siphons for the discharge of Greek fire, the improvised squadron met the Rus at the entrance of the Bosporus, and through the use of Greek fire, turned them back. The bulk of the raiders then turned east and made landfall in Bithynia, as the local Byzantine forces rallied there and the army began to arrive from the East, the Rus found themselves increasingly constrained. Trying to evade the Byzantines and return to their homeland, one night in September they tried to cross over into Thrace, Theophanes, however, now placed in command of the entire navy, was vigilant, and the Rus fleet was annihilated. Theophanes returned in triumph to the Byzantine capital, where he was raised to the post of parakoimomenos as a reward and this triumph, however, was to be the last for Emperor Romanos. His eldest sons and co-emperors, Stephen and Constantine, overthrew him in December 944, shortly after, another palace coup deposed them as well, and restored power to the legitimate emperor, Constantine VII. The plot was uncovered sometime in 947, and Theophanes was deposed and exiled, the date and place of his death are unknownTheophanes (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. Although his rule was considered successful, especially in containing the Arab threat to the east, he was overthrown by the former emperor Justinian II. Tiberius was a Germanic naval officer from the region of Pamphylia and originally named Apsimar and 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, changing his name to Tiberius, Apsimaros sailed on Constantinople which was suffering from a plague and proceeded to besiege it. When he was established on the throne, he commanded that the nose of deposed Emperor Leontius be cut off. Leontios had also mutilated his predecessor Justinian II in the same three years earlier. As emperor, Tiberius III made the decision to ignore Africa. He then proceeded to invade and for a period hold territory in Armenia, success in the military sphere was accompanied by Tiberiuss attempt to strengthen the empire militarily by reorganizing its administration. Tiberius then turned his attention to the Island of Cyprus, which had been underpopulated since the reign of Justinian II. He sent a delegation to the Caliph at Damascus, asking for the return of many Cypriot prisoners who had captured near the Propontis. He strengthened the defence of the island at the 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. Philippikos, an emperor, had dreamed that his head was overshadowed by an eagle. Meanwhile, in 704 Justinian II escaped from exile in Cherson, seeking the aid of the Khazars, for three days, Justinian tried to convince the citizens of Constantinople to open the gates, but to no avail. In the meantime, his troops had discovered an abandoned water conduit beneath the city walls, through which Justinian. Hearing that Justinian had approached Constantinople in the night, Tiberius fled to Bithynia where he evaded capture for several months, there, before a jeering populace, Tiberiuss nose was cut off. Justinian placed his feet on the necks of Tiberius and Leontius in a gesture of subjugation before ordering their execution by beheading. Tiberiuss brother, Heraclius, and many of the commanders under him were subsequently hangedTiberios III – Solidus displaying the cuirassed bust of Tiberius III, with spear & shield