Doge of Venice
The Doge of Venice, sometimes translated as Duke, was the chief magistrate and leader of the Republic of Venice between 726 and 1797. Doges of Venice were elected for life by the city-state's aristocracy; the doge was neither the equivalent of a hereditary duke. The title "doge" was the title of the senior-most elected official of Genoa. A doge was referred to variously by the titles "My Lord the Doge", "Most Serene Prince", "His Serenity"; the first historical Venetian doge, led a revolt against the Byzantine Empire in 726, but was soon recognised as the dux and hypatos of Venice by imperial authorities. After Ursus, the Byzantine office of magister militum was restored for a time until Ursus' son Deusdedit was elected duke in 742. Byzantine administration in Italy collapsed in 751. In the latter half of the eighth century, Mauritius Galba was elected duke and took the title magister militum, consul et imperialis dux Veneciarum provinciae, master of the soldiers and imperial duke of the province of Venetiae.
Doge Justinian Partecipacius used the title imperialis hypatus et humilis dux Venetiae, imperial consul and humble duke of Venice. These early titles combined Byzantine honorifics and explicit reference to Venetia's subordinate status. Titles like hypatos, protospatharios and protoproedros were granted by the emperor to the recipient for life but were not inherent in the office, but the title doux belonged to the office. Thus, into the eleventh century the Venetian doges held titles typical of Byzantine rulers in outlying regions, such as Sardinia; as late as 1202, the Doge Enrico Dandolo was styled protosebastos, a title granted by Alexios III. As Byzantine power declined in the region in the late ninth century, reference to Venice as a province disappeared in the titulature of the doges; the simple titles dux dux Venetiarum predominate in the tenth century. The plural clans. After defeating Croatia and conquering some Dalmatian territory in 1000, Doge Pietro II Orseolo adopted the title dux Dalmatiae, Duke of Dalmatia, or in its fuller form, Veneticorum atque Dalmaticorum dux, Duke of the Venetians and Dalmatians.
This title was recognised by the Holy Roman Emperor Henry II in 1002. After a Venetian request, it was confirmed by the Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos in 1082. In a chrysobull dated that year, Alexios granted the Venetian doge the imperial title of protosebastos and recognised him as imperial doux over the Dalmatian theme; the expression Dei gratia was adopted by the Venetian chancery only in the course of the eleventh century. An early example, can be found in 827–29, during the joint reign of Justinian and his brother John I: per divinam gratiam Veneticorum provinciae duces, by divine grace dukes of the Venetian provinces. Between 1091 and 1102, the Kingdom of Hungary conquered the Croatian kingdom. In these circumstances, the Venetians appealed to the Byzantine emperor for recognition of their title to Croatia; as early as the reign of Vital Falier by that of Vital Michiel, the title dux Croatiae had been added, giving the full dogal title four parts: dux Venetiae atque Dalmatiae sive Chroaciae et imperialis prothosevastos, Duke of Venice and Croatia and Imperial Protosebastos.
In the fourteenth century, the doges periodically objected to the use of Dalmatia and Croatia in the Hungarian king's titulature, regardless of their own territorial rights or claims. Medieval chronicles mistakenly attributed the acquisition of the Croatian title to Doge Ordelaf Falier. According to the Venetiarum Historia, written around 1350, Doge Domenico Morosini added atque Ystrie dominator to his title after forcing Pula on Istria to submit in 1150. Only one charter, however uses a title similar to this: et totius Ystrie inclito dominatori; the next major change in the dogal title came with the Fourth Crusade, which conquered the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantine honorific protosebastos had by this time been dropped and was replaced by a reference to Venice's allotment in the partitioning of the Byzantine Empire; the new full title was Dei gratia gloriosus Venetiarum, Dalmatiae atque Chroatiae dux, ac dominus quartae partis et dimidie totius imperii Romaniae, by the grace of God glorious duke of Venice and Croatia and lord of a fourth part and a half of the whole empire of Romania.
The Greek chronicler George Akropolites uses, lord. Akropolites attributes the title to Enrico Dandolo, although no known document of his survives with this title; the earliest documents using the title attach it to Marino Zeno, leader of the Venetians in Constantinople. The title was only subsequently adopted by Doge Pietro Ziani in 1205. By the Treaty of Zadar of 1358, Venice renounced its claims to Dalmatia and removed Dalmatia and Croatia from the doge's title; the resulting title was Dei gratia dux Veneciarum et cetera, By the grace of God duke of Venetia and the rest. This was the title used in official documents until the end of the republic; when the body of such documents was written in Italian, th
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family in the context of a feudal or monarchical system, but sometimes appearing in elective republics. Alternative terms for "dynasty" may include "family" and "clan", among others; the longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, otherwise known as the Yamato dynasty, whose reign is traditionally dated to 660 BC. The dynastic family or lineage may be known as a "noble house", which may be styled as "royal", "princely", "ducal", "comital" etc. depending upon the chief or present title borne by its members. Historians periodize the histories of numerous nations and civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt and Imperial China, using a framework of successive dynasties; as such, the term "dynasty" may be used to delimit the era during which a family reigned, to describe events and artifacts of that period. The word "dynasty" itself is dropped from such adjectival references; until the 19th century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty: that is, to expand the wealth and power of his family members.
Prior to the 20th century, dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as under the Frankish Salic law. In nations where it was permitted, succession through a daughter established a new dynasty in her husband's ruling house; this has changed in some places in Europe, where succession law and convention have maintained dynasties de jure through a female. For instance, the House of Windsor will be maintained through the children of Queen Elizabeth II, as it did with the monarchy of the Netherlands, whose dynasty remained the House of Orange-Nassau through three successive queens regnant; the earliest such example among major European monarchies was in the Russian Empire in the 18th century, where the name of the House of Romanov was maintained through Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna. In Limpopo Province of South Africa, Balobedu determined descent matrilineally, while rulers have at other times adopted the name of their mother's dynasty when coming into her inheritance.
Less a monarchy has alternated or been rotated, in a multi-dynastic system – that is, the most senior living members of parallel dynasties, at any point in time, constitute the line of succession. Not all feudal states or monarchies were/are ruled by dynasties. Throughout history, there were monarchs. Dynasties ruling subnational monarchies do not possess sovereign rights; the word "dynasty" is sometimes used informally for people who are not rulers but are, for example, members of a family with influence and power in other areas, such as a series of successive owners of a major company. It is extended to unrelated people, such as major poets of the same school or various rosters of a single sports team; the word "dynasty" derives from Latin dynastia, which comes from Greek dynastéia, where it referred to "power", "dominion", "rule" itself. It was the abstract noun of dynástēs, the agent noun of dynamis, "power" or "ability", from dýnamai, "to be able". A ruler from a dynasty is sometimes referred to as a "dynast", but this term is used to describe any member of a reigning family who retains a right to succeed to a throne.
For example, King Edward VIII ceased to be a dynast of the House of Windsor following his abdication. In historical and monarchist references to reigning families, a "dynast" is a family member who would have had succession rights, were the monarchy's rules still in force. For example, after the 1914 assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his morganatic wife Duchess Sophie von Hohenberg, their son Duke Maximilian was bypassed for the Austro-Hungarian throne because he was not a Habsburg dynast. Since the abolition of the Austrian monarchy, Duke Maximilian and his descendants have not been considered the rightful pretenders by Austrian monarchists, nor have they claimed that position; the term "dynast" is sometimes used only to refer to agnatic descendants of a realm's monarchs, sometimes to include those who hold succession rights through cognatic royal descent. The term can therefore describe distinct sets of people. For example, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, a nephew of Queen Elizabeth II through her sister Princess Margaret, is in the line of succession to the British crown.
On the other hand, the German aristocrat Prince Ernst August of Hanover, a male-line descendant of King George III of the United Kingdom, possesses no legal British name, titles or styles. He was born in the line of succession to the British throne and was bound by Britain's Royal Marriages Act 1772 until it was repealed when the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 took effect on 26 March 2015. Thus, he requested and obtained formal permission from Queen Elizabeth II to marry the Roman Catholic Princess Caroline of Monaco in 1999. Yet, a clause of the English Act of Settlement 1701 remained in effect at that time, stipulating that dynasts who
Paphlagonia was an ancient area on the Black Sea coast of north central Anatolia, situated between Bithynia to the west and Pontus to the east, separated from Phrygia by a prolongation to the east of the Bithynian Olympus. According to Strabo, the river Parthenius formed the western limit of the region, it was bounded on the east by the Halys river; the name Paphlagonia is derived in the legends from a son of Phineus. The greater part of Paphlagonia is a rugged mountainous country, but it contains fertile valleys and produces a great abundance of hazelnuts and fruit – plums and pears; the mountains are clothed with dense forests, conspicuous for the quantity of boxwood that they furnish. Hence, its coasts were occupied by Greeks from an early period. Among these, the flourishing city of Sinope, founded from Miletus about 630 BC, stood pre-eminent. Amastris, a few miles east of the Parthenius river, became important under the rule of the Macedonian monarchs; the most considerable towns of the interior were Gangra – in ancient times the capital of the Paphlagonian kings, afterwards called Germanicopolis, situated near the frontier of Galatia – and Pompeiopolis, in the valley of the Amnias river, near extensive mines of the mineral called by Strabo sandarake exported from Sinope.
The Paphlagonians were one of the most ancient nations of Anatolia and listed among the allies of the Trojans in the Trojan War (ca. 1200 BC or 1250 BC, where their king Pylaemenes and his son Harpalion perished. According to Homer and Livy, a group of Paphlagonians, called the Enetoi in Greek, were expelled from their homeland during a revolution. With a group of defeated Trojans under the leadership of the Trojan prince Antenor, they emigrated to the northern end of the Adriatic coast and merged with indigenous Euganei giving the name Venetia to the area they settled. In the time of the Hittites, Paphlagonia was inhabited by the Kashka people, whose exact ethnic relation to the Paphlagonians is uncertain, it seems that they were related to the people of the adjoining country, who were speakers of one of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European languages. Their language would appear, from Strabo's testimony. Paphlagonians were mentioned by Herodotus among the peoples conquered by Croesus, they sent an important contingent to the army of Xerxes in 480 BC.
Xenophon speaks of them as being governed by a prince of their own, without any reference to the neighboring satraps, a freedom due to the nature of their country, with its lofty mountain ranges and difficult passes. All these rulers appear to have borne the name Pylaimenes as a sign that they claimed descent from the chieftain of that name who figures in the Iliad as leader of the Paphlagonians. At a period, Paphlagonia passed under the control of the Macedonian kings, after the death of Alexander the Great, it was assigned, together with Cappadocia and Mysia, to Eumenes. However, it continued to be governed by native princes until it was absorbed by the encroaching power of Pontus; the rulers of that dynasty became masters of the greater part of Paphlagonia as early as the reign of Mithridates Ctistes, but it was not until 183 BC that Pharnaces reduced the Greek city of Sinope under their control. From that time, the whole province was incorporated into the kingdom of Pontus until the fall of Mithridates.
Pompey united the coastal districts of Paphlagonia, along with the greater part of Pontus, with the Roman province of Bithynia, but left the interior of the country under the native princes, until the dynasty became extinct and the whole country was incorporated into the Roman Empire. The name was still retained by geographers, though its boundaries are not distinctly defined by the geographer Claudius Ptolemy. Paphlagonia reappeared as a separate province in the 5th century AD. In the 7th century it became part of the theme of Opsikion, of the Bucellarian Theme, before being split off c. 820 to form a separate province once again. Artoxares eunuch, envoy of Persian kings Artaxerxes I and Darius II Diogenes of Sinope Greek philosopher, one of the founders of Cynic philosophy. Alexander of Abonoteichus called Alexander the Paphlagonian, or the false prophet Alexander Saint Philaretos Theodora wife of the Byzantine emperor Theophilus John Mauropous Greek poet and author Michael IV the Paphlagonian Eumenes of Cardia Ancient regions of Anatolia List of rulers of Paphlagonia Adriatic Veneti Bartin Paphlagonia sdu.dk/halys A Geographical and Historical Description of Asia Minor by John Anthony Cramer Attribution This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed..
"Paphlagonia". Encyclopædia Britannica. 20. Cambridge University Press
Caesar is a title of imperial character. It derives from the cognomen of the Roman dictator; the change from being a familial name to a title adopted by the Roman Emperors can be dated to about AD 68/69, the so-called "Year of the Four Emperors". For political and personal reasons, Octavian chose to emphasize his relationship with Julius Caesar by styling himself "Imperator Caesar", without any of the other elements of his full name, his successor as emperor, his stepson Tiberius bore the name as a matter of course. The precedent was set: the Emperor designated his successor by adopting him and giving him the name "Caesar"; the fourth Emperor, was the first to assume the name "Caesar" upon accession, without having been adopted by the previous emperor. Claudius in turn adopted his stepson and grand-nephew Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, giving him the name "Caesar" in the traditional way; the first emperor to assume the position and the name without any real claim to either was the usurper Servius Sulpicius Galba, who took the imperial throne under the name "Servius Galba Imperator Caesar" following the death of the last of the Julio-Claudians, Nero, in 68.
Galba helped solidify "Caesar" as the title of the designated heir by giving it to his own adopted heir, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi Licinianus. Galba's reign did not last long and he was soon deposed by Marcus Otho. Otho did not at first use the title "Caesar" and used the title "Nero" as emperor, but adopted the title "Caesar" as well. Otho was defeated by Aulus Vitellius, who acceded with the name "Aulus Vitellius Germanicus Imperator Augustus". Vitellius did not adopt the cognomen "Caesar" as part of his name and may have intended to replace it with "Germanicus". Caesar had become such an integral part of the imperial dignity that its place was restored by Titus Flavius Vespasianus, whose defeat of Vitellius in 69 put an end to the period of instability and began the Flavian dynasty. Vespasian's son, Titus Flavius Vespasianus became "Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus". By this point the status of "Caesar" had been regularised into that of a title given to the Emperor-designate and retained by him upon accession to the throne.
After some variation among the earliest emperors, the style of the Emperor-designate on coins was Nobilissimus Caesar "Most Noble Caesar", though Caesar on its own was used. The popularity of using the title Caesar to designate heirs-apparent increased throughout the third century. Many of the soldier emperors during the Crisis of the Third Century attempted to strengthen their legitimacy by naming heirs, including Maximinus Thrax, Philip the Arab, Trebonianus Gallus and Gallienus; some of these were promoted to the rank of Augustus within their father's lifetime, for example Philippus II. The same title would be used in the Gallic Empire, which operated autonomously from the rest of the Roman Empire from 260 to 274, with the final Gallic emperor Tetricus I appointing his heir Tetricus II Caesar and his consular colleague for 274. Despite the best efforts of these emperors, the granting of this title does not seem to have made succession in this chaotic period any more stable. All Caesars would be killed before or alongside their fathers, or at best outlive them for a matter of months, as in the case of Hostilian.
The sole Caesar to obtain the rank of Augustus and rule for some time in his own right was Gordian III, he was controlled by his court. On 1 March 293, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus established the Tetrarchy, a system of rule by two senior Emperors and two junior sub-Emperors; the two coequal senior emperors were styled identically to previous Emperors, as Imperator Caesar NN. Pius Felix Invictus Augustus and were called the Augusti, while the two junior sub-Emperors were styled identically to previous Emperors-designate, as Nobilissimus Caesar; the junior sub-Emperors retained the title "Caesar" upon accession to the senior position. The Tetrarchy was abandoned as a system in favour of two equal, territorial emperors, the previous system of Emperors and Emperors-designate was restored, both in the Latin-speaking West and the Greek-speaking East; the title of Caesar remained in use throughout the Constantinian period, with both Constantine I and his co-emperor and rival Licinius utilising it to mark their heirs.
In the case of Constantine, this meant that by the time he died, he had four Caesars: Constantius II, Constantine II, Constans and his nephew Dalmatius, with his eldest son Crispus having been executed in mysterious circumstances earlier in his reign. In the event, Constantine would be su
Alp Arslan, real name Muhammad bin Dawud Chaghri, was the second Sultan of the Seljuk Empire and great-grandson of Seljuk, the eponymous founder of the dynasty. As Sultan, Alp Arslan expanded Seljuk territory and consolidated power, defeating rivals to his south and northwest, his victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 ushered in the Turkish settlement of Anatolia. For his military prowess and fighting skills he obtained the name Alp Arslan, which means "Heroic Lion" in Turkish. Alp Arslan accompanied his uncle, Tughril Bey, on campaigns in the south against the Shia Fatimids while his father, Çağrı Bey, remained in Khorasan. Upon Alp Arslan's return to Khorasan, he began his work in administration at his father's suggestion. While there, his father introduced him to Nizam al-Mulk, one of the most eminent statesmen in early Muslim history and Alp Arslan's future vizier. After the death of his father, Alp Arslan succeeded him as governor of Khorasan in 1059, his uncle Tughril was succeeded by Suleiman, Arslan's brother.
Arslan and his uncle Kutalmish both contested this succession. Arslan defeated Kutalmish for the throne and succeeded on 27 April 1064 as sultan of Great Seljuq, thus becoming sole monarch of Persia from the river Oxus to the Tigris. In consolidating his empire and subduing contending factions, Arslan was ably assisted by Nizam al-Mulk, the two are credited with helping to stabilize the empire after the death of Tughril. With peace and security established in his dominions, Arslan convoked an assembly of the states and in 1066, he declared his son Malik Shah I his heir and successor. With the hope of capturing Caesarea Mazaca, the capital of Cappadocia, he placed himself at the head of the Turkish cavalry, crossed the Euphrates, entered and invaded the city. Along with Nizam al-Mulk, he marched into Armenia and Georgia, which he conquered in 1064. After a siege of 25 days, the Seljuks captured the capital city of Armenia. An account of the sack and massacres in Ani is given by the historian Sibt ibn al-Jawzi, who quotes an eyewitness saying: Putting the Persian sword to work, they spared no one...
One could see there the calamity of every age of human kind. For children were ravished from the embraces of their mothers and mercilessly hurled against rocks, while the mothers drenched them with tears and blood... The city became a road; the army entered the city, massacred its inhabitants and burned it, leaving it in ruins and taking prisoner all those who remained alive... The dead bodies were so many, and the number of prisoners was not less than 50,000 souls. I was determined to see the destruction with my own eyes. I tried to find a street. En route to fight the Fatimids in Syria in 1068, Alp Arslan invaded the Byzantine Empire; the Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes, assuming command in person, met the invaders in Cilicia. In three arduous campaigns, the Turks were defeated in detail and driven across the Euphrates in 1070; the first two campaigns were conducted by the emperor himself, while the third was directed by Manuel Comnenos, great-uncle of Emperor Manuel Comnenos. During this time, Arslan gained the allegiance of Rashid al-Dawla Mahmud, the Mirdasid emir of Aleppo.
In 1071 Romanos again took the field and advanced into Armenia with 30,000 men, including a contingent of Cuman Turks as well as contingents of Franks and Normans, under Ursel de Baieul. Alp Arslan, who had moved his troops south to fight the Fatimids reversed to meet the Byzantines. At Manzikert, on the Murat River, north of Lake Van, the two forces waged the Battle of Manzikert; the Cuman mercenaries among the Byzantine forces defected to the Turkish side. Seeing this, "the Western mercenaries rode off and took no part in the battle." To be exact, Romanos was betrayed by general Andronikos Doukas, son of the Caesar, who pronounced him dead and rode off with a large part of the Byzantine forces at a critical moment. The Byzantines were routed. Emperor Romanos IV was himself conducted into the presence of Alp Arslan. After a ritual humiliation, Arslan treated him with generosity. After peace terms were agreed to, Arslan dismissed the Emperor, loaded with presents and respectfully attended by a military guard.
The following conversation is said to have taken place after Romanos was brought as a prisoner before the Sultan: Alp Arslan's victories changed the balance in near Asia in favour of the Seljuq Turks and Sunni Muslims. While the Byzantine Empire was to continue for nearly four more centuries, the Crusades would contest the issue for some time, the victory at Manzikert signalled the beginning of Turkish ascendancy in Anatolia. Most historians, including Edward Gibbon, date the defeat at Manzikert as the beginning of the end of the Eastern Roman Empire. Alp Arslan's strength lay in the military realm. Domestic affairs were handled by his able vizier, Nizam al-Mulk, the founder of the administrative organization that characterized and strengthened the sultanate during the reigns of Alp Arslan and his son, Malik Shah. Military fiefs, governed by Seljuq princes, were established to provide support for the soldiery and to accommodate the nomadic Turks to the established Anatolian agricultural scene.
Histamenon was the name given to the gold Byzantine solidus when the lighter tetarteron was introduced in the 960s. To distinguish the two, the histamenon was changed in form from the original solidus, becoming wider and thinner, as well as concave in form. Shortened to stamenon, it was discontinued after 1092. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the name stamenon came to be applied to the concave billon and copper trachea coins. Since Emperor Constantine I introduced it in 309, the Byzantine Empire's main coinage had been the high-quality solidus or nomisma, which had remained standard in weight and gold content through the centuries. Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas, introduced a new coin, the tetarteron, 2 carats lighter than the original nomisma; the latter now became known as the histamenon, from the Greek verb ἵστημι, "to stand up", implying that these followed the traditional standard. The reasons for this change are not clear; the two coins were indistinguishable except in weight. During the reign of Basil II, the tetarteron began to be minted in a thicker and smaller form, while the histamenon became correspondingly thinner and wider.
Only during the sole rule of Constantine VIII did the two coins become iconographically distinct as well. By the mid-11th century, the tetarteron measured 18 mm wide and its weight standardized at 3.98 grams, i.e. three carats less than the histamenon or stamenon, which now measured 25 mm in diameter. In addition, under Michael IV the Paphlagonian, it began to be minted in a concave form to increase the thin coin's strength and to make it less bent. Flat coins were still struck at times, but scyphate ones came to predominate from Constantine IX on and became standard under Isaac I Komnenos; these concave coins were known as histamena trachea or trachea from their shape. Starting with Michael IV, a former money lender, the gold content began to be lowered and the coins debased. After a period of relative stability in circa 1055–1070, the gold content declined in the disastrous 1070s and 1080s; the michaelata of Michael VII Doukas still contained some 16 carats of gold, but by the time of Alexios I Komnenos, the nomismata struck contained no gold at all.
Thus, in 1092, Alexios I carried out a comprehensive monetary reform, replacing among others the debased gold coins, both the histamenon and the tetarteron, with a new high-quality gold issue, the hyperpyron. Henceforth, for the duration of the Komnenian monetary system, the term stamenon, due to its association with scyphate coins, came to be applied as a blanket term to the concave billon and copper coins issued by the Byzantine Empire
This article is about the 11th-century Byzantine historian and philosopher. For the 9th-century Byzantine Emperor with the byname Psellus, see Michael II. "Michael Psellus the Elder" is covered below under Pseudo-Psellos. Michael Psellos or Psellus was a Byzantine Greek monk, writer, philosopher and historian, he was born in 1017 or 1018, is believed to have died in 1078, although it has been maintained that he remained alive until 1096. The main source of information about Psellos' life comes from his own works, which contain extensive autobiographical passages. Michael Psellos was born in Constantinople, his family hailed from Nicomedia and, according to his own testimony, counted members of the consular and patrician elite among its ancestors. His baptismal name was Constantine. Psellos was a personal by-name referring to a speech defect. Michael Psellos was educated in Constantinople. At around the age of ten, he was sent to work outside the capital as a secretary of a provincial judge, in order to help his family raise the dowry for his sister.
When his sister died, he returned to Constantinople to resume his studies. While studying under John Mauropus, he met the Patriarchs Constantine Leichoudes and John Xiphilinos, the emperor Constantine X Doukas. For some time, he worked in the provinces again; some time before 1042 he returned again to Constantinople, where he got a junior position at court as a secretary in the imperial chancellery. From there he began a rapid court career, he became an influential political advisor to emperor Constantine IX Monomachos. During the same time, he became the leading professor at the University of Constantinople, bearing the honorary title of "Chief of the Philosophers". Despite his leading eminence and prowess in learning, his knowledge of Latin was cloudy enough to confuse Cicero with Caesar; this is cited as one prime example of the paradigm of how the Eastern Roman Empire had lost nearly all of its connection to its nominal Roman roots by the High Middle Ages. Towards the end of Monomachos' reign, Psellos found himself under political pressure for some reason and decided to leave the court, entering the Olympus monastery on Mount Olympus in Bithynia in 1054.
After Monomachos' death, however, he was soon recalled to court by Empress Theodora. Throughout the following years, he remained active in politics, serving as a high-ranking political advisor to several successive emperors, he played a decisive political role in the transition of power from Michael VI to Isaac I Komnenos in 1057. As Psellos had served as Michael's personal teacher during the reign of Michael's father Constantine, as he had played an important role in helping Michael gain power against his adversary and stepfather Romanos, Psellos entertained hopes of an more influential position as a teacher and advisor under him. However, Michael seems to have been less inclined towards protecting Psellos and after the mid-1070s there is no more information about any role played by Psellos at court; as his own autobiographic accounts cease at this point, there is little reliable information about his years. Some scholars believe that Psellos had to retreat into a monastery again at some time during the 1070s.
Following a remark by Psellos' fellow historian Joannes Zonaras, it is believed by most scholars that Psellos died soon after the fall of Michael VII in 1078, although some scholars have proposed dates. What is known is that Theophylaktos of Bulgaria wrote a letter to Psellos's brother comforting him on the death of his brother saying that, "Your brother has not died, but has departed to God released of both a painful life and disease". Psellos' best known and most accessible work is the Chronographia, it is a history of the Byzantine emperors during the century leading up to Psellos' own time. It covers the reigns of fourteen emperors and empresses, beginning with the 50-year-long reign of Basil II, the "Bulgar-Slayer", ending some time during the reign of Michael VII Doukas, it is structured as a series of biographies. Unlike most other historiographical works of the period, it places much more emphasis on the description of characters than on details of political and military events, it includes extensive autobiographical elements about Psellos' political and intellectual development, it gives far greater weight to those periods when Psellos held an active position in politics, giving the whole work the character of political memoirs.
It is believed to have been written in two parts. The first covers the emperors up to Isaac I Komnenos; the second, which has a much more apologetic tone, is in large parts an encomium on Psellus' current protectors, the emperors of the Doukas dynasty. Psellos left many other writings: "Historia syntomos", a shorter, didactic historical text in the form of a world chronicle. A large number of scientific and religious treatises. One well-known example of these is a classification of demons, he compiled an important work on philosophy, the De omnifaria doctrina. Other works deal with topics such as astronomy, music, jurisprudence and laography. Various didactic poems on topi