Alexios Doukas Philanthropenos was a Byzantine nobleman and notable general. A relative of the ruling Palaiologos dynasty, he was appointed commander-in-chief in Asia Minor in 1293 and for a time re-established the Byzantine position there, scoring some of the last Byzantine successes against the Turkish emirates. In 1295 he was betrayed and blinded. Nothing is known of him until 1323, when he was pardoned by Andronikos II and sent again against the Turks, relieving a siege of Philadelphia by his mere appearance, he was named governor of Lesbos in 1328, again in 1336, when he recovered the island's capital from Latin occupation. He ruled the island thereafter until his death in the 1340s. Alexios was born circa 1270 as the second son of prōtovestiarios and megas domestikos Michael Tarchaneiotes, his mother, belonged to the noble family of the Philanthropenoi, which rose to prominence in the latter half of the 13th century. She was the daughter of prōtostratōr and megas doux Alexios Doukas Philanthropenos, after whom Alexios was named.
On his father's side, Alexios was closely related to the imperial family of the Palaiologoi, through his grandmother, Martha Palaiologina, a sister of Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos. Alexios married Theodora Akropolitissa, daughter of Constantine Akropolites and granddaughter of the historian George Akropolites, they had one child, Michael Philanthropenos, who became a general. Alexios's uncle, Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos, took an active interest in the defence of the Anatolian possessions of the Byzantine Empire against the encroaching Turkic emirates in the early 1290s: hoping to re-establish the akritai, he settled refugees from Venetian-held Crete in military colonies along the border and appointed Alexios as doux of the Thracesian theme, awarding him the high court title of pinkernēs. Alexios commanded all of the Byzantine possessions in Asia, except for the Ionian coast, but his main area of responsibility was the interior of the old Thracesian Theme, which comprised the southeastern parts of Byzantine Anatolia.
A certain Libadarios deputized for him in the northern provinces. During the next two years, Alexios achieved several victories: he defeated the Turks of Mysia at Achyraous and forced them to recognize Byzantine rule, moved south. Based at Nymphaion, he scoured the valley of the Maeander river, managing to stop the Turkish raids and advance into the Emirate of Menteshe, recapturing the fortress of Melanoudion, the town of Hieron, rid Miletus of the payment of tribute to the Turks. Many Turks, fleeing from Mongol pressure, joined his army, so many prisoners were made during his campaigns, that the monk and scholar Maximus Planudes, a friend of Alexios, wrote that "a sheep was more expensive to buy than a Muslim prisoner", his successes made him popular with the locals, who began suggesting that he should make himself emperor. Philanthropenos at first refused to heed them and asked Andronikos to transfer him away from Anatolia, but in vain. In mid-1294, Philanthropenos was ordered by the emperor to transfer the region of Lydia to Libadarios's control.
In summer 1295, while Philanthropenos was at Tralleis, a Turkish general named Karman used the opportunity to launch an attack on Priene, but was beaten back with heavy losses, Philanthropenos's troops recovered Hieron. At this point, in the autumn of 1295, Alexios rose up against Andronikos; the exact circumstances and reasons for this move remain obscure, but the revolt was fuelled by the discontent of the Asian provinces over high taxation and what many perceived as the neglect of the defence of Asia by the Palaiologoi. His rebellion had the support of the people: as George Pachymeres recounts, "in the monasteries, the name of the Emperor was no longer commemorated, but only that of Philanthropenos." At Ephesus Alexios seized Theodore Palaiologos, the Emperor's brother, but failed to gain the support of all provincial governors. Negotiations began, with Andronikos offering Alexios the title of Caesar to lull him into a false sense of security, while he prepared to get rid of him. Around Christmas, Libadarios persuaded some Cretan soldiers to seize Alexios and had him blinded, the punishment meted out to rebels.
Alexios was replaced as commander by John Tarchaneiotes, first cousin of Andronikos II, disappeared from the scene for 30 years. His successors proved inferior, by 1323, Byzantine possessions in Asia had been reduced. At that point, Patriarch Jesaias urged Andronikos to recall the aged general. A desperate Andronikos agreed and pardoned Alexios in 1324. Alexios was tasked with relieving the isolated exclave of Philadelphia, long under siege and was ready to fall, he was given no army, according to the Byzantine chroniclers, the mere news of Alexios's approach, the respect in which the Turks held him, was enough for the siege to be lifted. Alexios was appointed governor of the city, a position he retained until 1327. Philanthropenos remained at Philadelphia until 1326 also 1327, but it appears that he was appointed as governor of the strategically important Byzantine island of Lesbos, since he was dismissed from the same post in 1328 by Andronikos III Palaiologos. In 1335, Lesbos was seized by a Latin army under the Genoese Lord of Phocaea, Domenico Cattaneo, Andronikos III raised a fleet of 83 ships to recover the island, which arrived in June 1336.
The fleet disembarked an army, led by Alexios Philanthropenos, which swiftly secured the entire island except for the capital, My
Almogavars is the name of a class of soldier from many Christian Iberian kingdoms in the phases of the Reconquista, during the 13th and 14th centuries. Almogavars were clad, quick-moving frontiersmen and foot-soldiers, they hailed from the Kingdom of Aragon, the Principality of Catalonia, the Kingdom of Valencia, the Crown of Castile and the Kingdom of Portugal. At first these troops were formed by farmers and shepherds originating from the countryside and frontier mountain areas, they were employed as mercenaries in Italy, Latin Greece and the Levant. There are several theories as to where this name comes from: in Arabic المغاور al-mughāwir or as المخابر al-mukhābir, al-Mujawir, "Pilgrims, outer marches" and a third theory which holds that it comes from the adjective gabar, which translates as "prideful" or "haughty"; the names of their military ranks derive from Arabic. The term was first used in the 10th century in the territory of Al-Andalus, to refer to small armed groups of Saracens engaged in looting and surprise attacks.
The first documented historical reference appeared in the chronicle "Akhbar muluk Al-Andalus" or "Chronicle of the Moor Rasis", the history of the kings of Al-Andalus, written between 887 and 955 by Ahmad ibn Muhammad Ar-Razi, known among Arabs by the name Al-Tarij and among Christians as the Moor Rasis. In his chronicle, the historian of Qurtuba describes the territories of Al-Andalus, upon arrival at the Ebro Valley, cites the existence of some troops called Almogavars present in the city of Saraqusta for the first time in history: And the city of Saraqusta was the chamber of the Almojarifes for a long time, was the choice of the warriors, and when they fought the city of Saraqusta, fought all the alcalles and Almogavars, they chose for them. The word Almogavar was used during the last centuries of the Reconquista, at the Granadan border, for designating the groups of Moorish bandits that launched attacks from the kingdom of Granada on the border towns of the kingdoms of Murcia and Valencia.
The Aragonese were the first Christians to adopt those strategies and fight like those groups of Saracens known as Almogavars, which led to them being known by the same name. Though there were no contemporary chronicles of the events of the 11th or 12th centuries, the first time that any Christian Almogavars are mentioned is in a testimony by Jerónimo Zurita in his Annals of Aragón, which places the Almogavars in the time of Alfonso I of Aragon reinforcing the fortress of El Castellar around 1105-1110 with visions of the conquest of Zaragoza: Taking Tahuste. Almogavar guards. From there he was passing captured the seat of Tahuste next to the banks of the Ebro, and soon after began to set people talking about war and training hard for it, they called them almogavars, in'el Castellar' who were on the frontier against the Moors of Zaragoza. Alfonso the Chaste, loyal to his friendship with the kingdom of Castile, went to besiege al-madinat Kunka in 1177, with a group of foot soldiers identified as Almogavars, to help the Castilian monarch.
Because of the Muslim invasion of the Iberian peninsula, the wars of the Reconquista and the military campaigns of Al Andalus, the Christian shepherds of the Pyrenean valleys were left unable to use the valleys in winter because they had been occupied. In order to continue to survive, these shepherds had to organize themselves into bands of outlaws and penetrate the enemy domain in search of what their people needed to survive. During these raids, which lasted only a few days, the Almogavars could live off the land and sleep way out in the open; the knowledge required to be able to perform in this struggle was gained in their former life as shepherds, since the majority of them had grown up among the wildest mountains, where the harshness of the climate made it so that the land did not provide many resources and they had to take full advantage of the few that were present. But after many generations of leading this new kind of life that they had been pushed into by the invaders, it seems clear that a genuine warrior spirit formed in these shepherd communities, so that they ended up not knowing how to live by any other means than making war.
In addition, it was much easier to make a living through attacks lasting a few days than by working hard for the whole year. This way of life went on being adopted by the inhabitants of the areas that bordered the Muslim territories as the Christian kingdoms advanced toward the south; the presence of Islamic Almogavars fighting alongside Catholic Almogavars is documented too. They were characterized as being infantry shock troops that fought on foot, with light arms and baggage with a pair of javelins, one short spear and a good knife, they dressed poorly, only in a short gown. In addition, they always used to carry a good piece of flint with them that they struck their weapons with before going into battle, which gave off enormous sparks, together with their terrible cries, terrorized their enemies. Endowed with great valor and ferocity, those from the Crown of Aragon entered into combat to the cry of "Awake iron!! Let's kill, let's kill", "for Saint George!" and "Aragon! Aragon!". This is the famous description of an Almogavar, written by Bernat Desclot in his c
A coronation is the act of placement or bestowal of a crown upon a monarch's head. The term also refers not only to the physical crowning but to the whole ceremony wherein the act of crowning occurs, along with the presentation of other items of regalia, marking the formal investiture of a monarch with regal power. Aside from the crowning, a coronation ceremony may comprise many other rituals such as the taking of special vows by the monarch, the investing and presentation of regalia to the monarch, acts of homage by the new ruler's subjects and the performance of other ritual deeds of special significance to the particular nation. Western-style coronations have included anointing the monarch with holy oil, or chrism as it is called; the monarch's consort may be crowned, either with the monarch or as a separate event. Once a vital ritual among the world's monarchies, coronations have changed over time for a variety of socio-political and religious factors. In the past, concepts of royalty and deity were inexorably linked.
In some ancient cultures, rulers were considered to be divine or divine: the Egyptian pharaoh was believed to be the son of Ra, the sun god, while in Japan, the emperor was believed to be a descendant of Amaterasu, the sun goddess. Rome promulgated the practice of emperor worship. Coronations were once a direct visual expression of these alleged connections, but recent centuries have seen the lessening of such beliefs. Coronations are still observed in the United Kingdom and several Asian and African countries. In Europe, most monarchs are required to take a simple oath in the presence of the country's legislature. Besides a coronation, a monarch's accession may be marked in many ways: some nations may retain a religious dimension to their accession rituals while others have adopted simpler inauguration ceremonies, or no ceremony at all; some cultures use bathing or cleansing rites, the drinking of a sacred beverage, or other religious practices to achieve a comparable effect. Such acts symbolise the granting of divine favour to the monarch within the relevant spiritual-religious paradigm of the country.
Coronation in common parlance today may in a broader sense, refer to any formal ceremony in relation to the accession of a monarch, whether or not an actual crown is bestowed, such ceremonies may otherwise be referred to as investitures, inaugurations, or enthronements. The date of the act of ascension, however precedes the date of the ceremony of coronation. For example, the Coronation of Elizabeth II took place on 2 June 1953 sixteen months after her accession to the throne on 6 February 1952 on the death of her father George VI; the coronation ceremonies in medieval Christendom, both Western and Eastern, are influenced by the practice of the Roman Emperors as it developed during Late Antiquity, indirectly influenced by Biblical accounts of kings being crowned and anointed. The European coronation ceremonies best known in the form they have taken in Great Britain, descend from rites created in Byzantium, Visigothic Spain, Carolingian France and the Holy Roman Empire and brought to their apogee during the Medieval era.
In non-Christian states, coronation rites evolved from a variety of sources related to the religious beliefs of that particular nation. Buddhism, for instance, influenced the coronation rituals of Thailand and Bhutan, while Hindu elements played a significant role in Nepalese rites; the ceremonies used in modern Egypt, Malaysia and Iran were shaped by Islam, while Tonga's ritual combines ancient Polynesian influences with more modern Anglican ones. Coronations, in one form or another, have existed since ancient times. Egyptian records show coronation scenes, such as that of Seti I in 1290 BC. Judeo-Christian scriptures testify to particular rites associated with the conferring of kingship, the most detailed accounts of which are found in II Kings 11:12 and II Chronicles 23:11; the corona radiata, the "radiant crown" known best on the Statue of Liberty, worn by the Helios, the Colossus of Rhodes, was worn by Roman emperors as part of the cult of Sol Invictus, part of the imperial cult as it developed during the 3rd century.
The origin of the crown is thus religious, comparable to the significance of a halo, marking the sacral nature of kingship, expressing that either the king is himself divine, or ruling by divine right. The precursor to the crown was the browband called the diadem, worn by the Achaemenid rulers, was adopted by Constantine I, was worn by all subsequent rulers of the Roman Empire. Following the assumption of the diadem by Constantine and Byzantine emperors continued to wear it as the supreme symbol of their authority. Although no specific coronation ceremony was observed at first, one evolved over the following century; the emperor Julian was hoisted upon a shield and crowned with a gold necklace provided by one of his standard-bearers. Emperors were crowned and acclaimed in a similar manner, until the momentous decision was taken to permit the Patriarch of Constantinople to physically place the crown on the emperor's head. Historians debate when this first took place, but the precedent was established by the reign of Leo II, crowned by the Patriarch Acacius in 473.
This ritual in
Kingdom of Thessalonica
The Kingdom of Thessalonica was a short-lived Crusader State founded after the Fourth Crusade over conquered Byzantine lands in Macedonia and Thessaly. After the fall of Constantinople to the crusaders in 1204, Boniface of Montferrat, the leader of the crusade, was expected by both the Crusaders and the defeated Byzantines to become the new emperor. However, the Venetians felt that Boniface was too tied to the Byzantine Empire, as his brother Conrad had married into the Byzantine royal family; the Venetians wanted an emperor whom they could control more and with their influence, Baldwin of Flanders was elected as emperor of the new Latin Empire. Boniface reluctantly accepted this, set out to conquer Thessalonica, the second-largest Byzantine city after Constantinople. At first he had to compete with Emperor Baldwin, who wanted the city, he went on to capture the city in 1204 and set up a kingdom there, subordinate to Baldwin, although the title of "king" was never used. Late 13th and 14th century sources suggest that Boniface based his claim to Thessalonica on the statement that his younger brother Renier had been granted Thessalonica on his marriage to Maria Komnene in 1180.
In 1204–05, Boniface was able to extend his rule south into Greece, advancing through Thessaly, Boeotia and Attica. The boundaries of the actual Kingdom of Thessalonica seem to have extended only up to Domokos and Velestino: southern Thessaly, with the towns of Zetounion and Ravennika, was under governors appointed by the Latin Emperor, the principalities of southern Greece were only Boniface's feudal vassals. Emperor Henry of Flanders' expedition against the rebellious Lombard barons of Thessalonica in 1208–09, ended the feudal dependency of the southern principalities—the Duchy of Athens, the Marquisate of Bodonitsa, the Lordship of Salona, the Triarchy of Negroponte—on Thessalonica, replacing it with direct imperial suzerainty. Boniface's rule lasted less than two years before he was ambushed by Tsar Kaloyan of Bulgaria and killed on September 4, 1207; the kingdom passed to Boniface's son Demetrius, still a baby, so actual power was held by various minor nobles of Lombard origin. These nobles, under the regent Oberto, began plotting to place William VI of Montferrat, Boniface's elder son, on the throne, defied the Latin Emperor Henry of Flanders.
Henry forced their submission. As a result, Henry's brother Eustace became regent for Demetrius. Taking advantage of this situation, Michael I of Epirus, a former ally of Boniface, attacked the kingdom in 1210, as did the Bulgarians. Henry of Flanders defeated both, but after Michael's death in 1214, his brother and successor Theodore began anew the assault on the kingdom. Over the next nine years Theodore conquered all of Thessalonica except the city itself, as the Latin Empire could spare no army to defend it while they were busy fighting the Byzantine Empire of Nicaea in Asia. In 1224, just as Demetrius had become old enough to take power for himself, Theodore captured Thessalonica and the kingdom became part of the Despotate of Epirus; the kingdom was claimed by titular kings of the house of Montferrat until 1284 and by the Dukes of Burgundy. 1204–1207: Boniface of Montferrat 1207–1224: Demetrius of Montferrat 1207–1209: Oberto II of Biandrate, regent 1210–1216/17: Eustace of Flanders, regent 1217: Berthold of Katzenelnbogen, regent 1221–1224: Guido Pallavicini, regent 1224–1230: Demetrius of Montferrat 1230–1239: Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor 1239–1253: Boniface II of Montferrat 1253–1284: William VII of Montferrat 1266–1271: Hugh IV, Duke of Burgundy, rival claimant 1273–1305: Robert II, Duke of Burgundy, rival claimant 1271–1284 1274–1277: Philip of Sicily, rival claimant 1305–1313: Hugh V, Duke of Burgundy 1313–1316: Louis of Burgundy 1316–1320: Odo IV, Duke of Burgundy, sold his rights to 1320: Louis I, Duke of Bourbon Haberstumpf, Dinastie europee nel Mediterraneo orientale.
I Monferrato e i Savoia nei secoli XII–XV, Torino Runciman, Steven, A history of the Crusades, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Van Tricht, Filip. The Latin Renovatio of Byzantium: The Empire of Constantinople. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-20323-5
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic, traditionally known as La Serenissima was a sovereign state and maritime republic in northeastern Italy, which existed for over a millennium between the 7th century and the 18th century from 697 AD until 1797 AD. It was based in the lagoon communities of the prosperous city of Venice, was a leading European economic and trading power during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; the Venetian city state was founded as a safe haven for the people escaping persecution in mainland Europe after the decline of the Roman Empire. In its early years, it prospered on the salt trade. In subsequent centuries, the city state established a thalassocracy, it dominated trade on the Mediterranean Sea, including commerce between Europe and North Africa, as well as Asia. The Venetian navy was used in the Crusades, most notably in the Fourth Crusade. Venice achieved territorial conquests along the Adriatic Sea. Venice became home to an wealthy merchant class, who patronized renowned art and architecture along the city's lagoons.
Venetian merchants were influential financiers in Europe. The city was the birthplace of great European explorers, such as Marco Polo, as well as Baroque composers such as Vivaldi and Benedetto Marcello; the republic was ruled by the Doge, elected by members of the Great Council of Venice, the city-state's parliament. The ruling class was an oligarchy of aristocrats. Venice and other Italian maritime republics played a key role in fostering capitalism. Venetian citizens supported the system of governance; the city-state employed ruthless tactics in its prisons. The opening of new trade routes to the Americas and the East Indies via the Atlantic Ocean marked the beginning of Venice's decline as a powerful maritime republic; the city state suffered. In 1797, the republic was plundered by retreating Austrian and French forces, following an invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Republic of Venice was split into the Austrian Venetian Province, the Cisalpine Republic, a French client state, the Ionian French departments of Greece.
Venice became part of a unified Italy in the 19th century. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is referred to as La Serenissima, in reference to its title as one of the "Most Serene Republics". During the 5th century, North East Italy was devastated by the Germanic barbarian invasions. A large number of the inhabitants moved to the coastal lagoons. Here they established a collection of lagoon communities, stretching over about 130 km from Chioggia in the south to Grado in the north, who banded together for mutual defence from the Lombards and other invading peoples as the power of the Western Roman Empire dwindled in northern Italy; these communities were subjected to the authority of the Byzantine Empire. At some point in the first decades of the eighth century, the people of the Byzantine province of Venice elected their first leader Ursus, confirmed by Constantinople and given the titles of hypatus and dux, he was the first historical Doge of Venice. Tradition, first attested in the early 11th century, states that the Venetians first proclaimed one Anafestus Paulicius duke in 697, though this story dates to no earlier than the chronicle of John the Deacon.
Whichever the case, the first doges had their power base in Heraclea. Ursus's successor, moved his seat from Heraclea to Malamocco in the 740s, he represented the attempt of his father to establish a dynasty. Such attempts were more than commonplace among the doges of the first few centuries of Venetian history, but all were unsuccessful. During the reign of Deusdedit, Venice became the only remaining Byzantine possession in the north and the changing politics of the Frankish Empire began to change the factional divisions within Venetia. One faction was decidedly pro-Byzantine, they desired to remain well-connected to the Empire. Another faction, republican in nature, believed in continuing along a course towards practical independence; the other main faction was pro-Frankish. Supported by clergy, they looked towards the new Carolingian king of the Franks, Pepin the Short, as the best provider of defence against the Lombards. A minor, pro-Lombard faction was opposed to close ties with any of these further-off powers and interested in maintaining peace with the neighbouring Lombard kingdom.
The successors of Obelerio inherited a united Venice. By the Pax Nicephori, the two emperors had recognised that Venice belonged to the Byzantine sphere of influence. Many centuries the Venetians claimed that the treaty had recognised Venetian de facto independence, but the truth of this claim is doubted by modern scholars. A Byzantine fleet sailed to Venice in 807 and deposed the Doge, replacing him with a Byzantine governor. During the reign of the Participazio family, Venice grew into its modern form. Though Heraclean by birth, the first Participazio doge, was an early immigrant to Rialto and his dogeship was marked by the expansion of Venice towards the sea via the construction of bridges, bulwarks and stone buildings; the modern Venice, at one with the sea, was being bor
John Tarchaneiotes was a Byzantine aristocrat and general under Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos. Although related by blood to the Palaiologos dynasty, he became notable as one of the main leaders of the "Arsenites", the supporters of the deposed Patriarch of Constantinople Arsenios Autoreianos, who challenged the dynasty's legitimacy. A capable soldier, he was released from prison in 1298 to take command against the Turks in Asia Minor, his administrative reforms and integrity shored up the Byzantine position, but aroused the ire of the local magnates, who forced him to abandon the province. John Tarchaneiotes hailed from a distinguished family: his father, Nikephoros Tarchaneiotes, had served as megas domestikos under the Nicaean emperor John III Doukas Vatatzes and had married Maria-Martha, the sister of Andronikos II's father, Michael VIII Palaiologos, whom he had supported in his rise to the throne. Following the coronation of Michael VIII, John and his brothers had lived in the imperial palace.
Tarchaneiotes distinguished himself early on as a soldier, fighting under his uncle, the despotes John Palaiologos, in the 1262 campaign against Michael II Komnenos Doukas of Epirus. Tarchaneiotes soon came to oppose the Palaiologoi, by 1266 he had emerged one of the leaders of the Arsenites, the supporters of the former Patriarch of Constantinople Arsenios Autoreianos, who had excommunicated Michael VIII for usurping the rights and the blinding of his predecessor, John IV Laskaris; the Arsenites refused to recognize the Patriarch's subsequent deposition by the Emperor, were savagely persecuted. They ipso facto refused to recognize the validity of Andronikos' claim to the throne as well, whom they regarded as "the son of the excommunicated usurper", and, crowned by an "illegitimate" patriarch, the anti-Arsenite Joseph I Galesiotes. After the failure of Andronikos' attempt at reconciliation with the Arsenites in the synod of Adramyttion in 1284, John Tarchaneiotes became the leader of the radical faction, while the moderates followed a monk, Hyakinthos.
Tarchaneiotes spent long periods in exile or in prison. He was banished to Chele in 1289 placed under house arrest in Constantinople. Released ca. 1296, he was thrown in the palace prison. In 1298, Andronikos was in need of his cousin's military talent in Asia Minor, where the Turks of Menteshe were encroaching once more on Byzantine territory after having been beaten back in 1293–1295 by Alexios Philanthropenos. Philanthropenos had ended up rising in revolt, supported by the local populace which still cherished the memory of the Laskarids of Nicaea and resented the Palaiologoi. There Tarchaneiotes achieved swift success, not only in the field, but most in reorganizing the local administration and ending corruption which had allowed the alienation of the pronoia estates intended for the upkeep of the army, from their rightful holders. Tarchaneiotes seems to have engaged in a reassessment and redistribution of these lands, so successful that it resulted not only in an increase in the numbers of his army, but in the equipment of a small squadron of ships.
Despite his success, Tarchaneiotes was resented by the local magnates, who had profited from the previous situation and were most affected from his reforms and his honest administration, as well as by the anti-Arsenite establishment of the Church. In the end, some of the pronoia holders, who were deprived of land through John's reforms, approached the anti-Arsenite bishop of Philadelphia and accused Tarchaneiotes of plotting a revolt. Facing the hostility of the local aristocracy, Tarchaneiotes was forced to flee—probably in mid-1300—to Thessalonica, where the emperor resided. Tarchaneiotes was imprisoned again, for he is last recorded as being released again from prison in 1304. Following his flight, the situation in Asia Minor deteriorated as his reforms were abandoned and reversed, the army's pay was diverted into the pockets of the local elites. Within a short time the Byzantine army disintegrated as the numerous mercenaries deserted it for want of pay, opening the path for the complete collapse of Byzantine authority in Asia Minor over the next decade.
Bartusis, Mark C.. The Late Byzantine Army: Arms and Society 1204–1453. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-1620-2. Kazhdan, Alexander P.. Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6. Nicol, Donald MacGillivray; the Last Centuries of Byzantium, 1261–1453. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-43991-4. Trapp, Erich. "27487. Ταρχανειώτης ᾿Ιωάννης". Prosopographisches Lexikon der Palaiologenzeit. 11. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
Thrace is a geographical and historical region in Southeast Europe, now split between Bulgaria and Turkey, bounded by the Balkan Mountains to the north, the Aegean Sea to the south and the Black Sea to the east. It comprises northeastern Greece and the European part of Turkey; the word Thrace was established by the Greeks for referring to the Thracian tribes, from ancient Greek Thrake, descending from Thrāix. It referred to the Thracians, an ancient Indo-European people inhabiting Southeast Europe; the name Europe first referred to Thrace proper, prior to the term vastly extending to refer to its modern concept. The region could have been named after the principal river there, Hebros from the Indo-European arg "white river", According to an alternative theory, Hebros means "goat" in Thracian. In Turkey, it is referred to as Rumeli, Land of the Romans, owing to this region being the last part of the Eastern Roman Empire, conquered by the Ottoman Empire. In terms of ancient Greek mythology the name appears to derive from the heroine and sorceress Thrace, the daughter of Oceanus and Parthenope, sister of Europa.
The historical boundaries of Thrace have varied. The ancient Greeks employed the term "Thrace" to refer to all of the territory which lay north of Thessaly inhabited by the Thracians, a region which "had no definite boundaries" and to which other regions were added. In one ancient Greek source, the Earth is divided into "Asia, Libya and Thracia"; as the Greeks gained knowledge of world geography, "Thrace" came to designate the area bordered by the Danube on the north, by the Euxine Sea on the east, by northern Macedonia in the south and by Illyria to the west. This coincided with the Thracian Odrysian kingdom, whose borders varied over time. After the Macedonian conquest, this region's former border with Macedonia was shifted from the Struma River to the Mesta River; this usage lasted until the Roman conquest. Henceforth, Thrace referred only to the tract of land covering the same extent of space as the modern geographical region. In its early period, the Roman province of Thrace was of this extent, but after the administrative reforms of the late 3rd century, Thracia's much reduced territory became the six small provinces which constituted the Diocese of Thrace.
The medieval Byzantine theme of Thrace contained only. The largest cities of Thrace are: Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, Haskovo, Komotini, Xanthi, Istanbul, Çorlu, Kırklareli and Tekirdağ. Most of the Bulgarian and Greek population are Orthodox Christians, while most of the Turkish inhabitants of Thrace are Sunni Muslims. Ancient Greek mythology provides the Thracians with a mythical ancestor Thrax, the son of the war-god Ares, said to reside in Thrace; the Thracians appear in Homer's Iliad as Trojan allies, led by Peiros. In the Iliad, another Thracian king, makes an appearance. Cisseus, father-in-law to the Trojan elder Antenor, is given as a Thracian king. Homeric Thrace was vaguely defined, stretched from the River Axios in the west to the Hellespont and Black Sea in the east; the Catalogue of Ships mentions three separate contingents from Thrace: Thracians led by Acamas and Peiros, from Aenus. Ancient Thrace was home to numerous other tribes, such as the Edones, Bisaltae and Bistones in addition to the tribe that Homer calls the “Thracians”.
Greek mythology is replete with Thracian kings, including Diomedes, Lycurgus, Tegyrius, Polymnestor and Oeagrus. Thrace is mentioned in Ovid's Metamorphoses, in the episode of Philomela and Tereus: Tereus, the King of Thrace, lusts after his sister-in-law, Philomela, he kidnaps her, holds her captive, rapes her, cuts out her tongue. Philomela manages to get free, however, she and her sister, plot to get revenge, by killing her son Itys and serving him to his father for dinner. At the end of the myth, all three turn into birds – Procne into a swallow, Philomela into a nightingale, Tereus into a hoopoe; the indigenous population of Thrace was a people called the Thracians, divided into numerous tribal groups. The region was controlled by the Persian Empire at its greatest extent, Thracian soldiers were known to be used in the Persian armies. On, Thracian troops were known to accompany neighboring ruler Alexander the Great when he crossed the Hellespont which abuts Thrace, during the invasion of the Persian Empire itself.
The Thracians did not describe themselves by name. Divided into separate tribes, the Thracians did not form any lasting political organizations until the founding of the Odrysian state in the 4th century BC. Like Illyrians, the locally ruled Thracian tribes of the mountainous regions maintained a warrior tradition, while the tribes based in the plains were purportedly more peaceable. Discovered funeral mounds in Bulgaria suggest that Thracian kings did rule regions of Thrace with distinct Thracian national identity. During this period, a subculture of celibate ascetics called the Ctistae lived in Thrace, where they served as philosophers and prophets. Sections of Thrace in the south star