George Maniakes was a prominent Byzantine Greek general during the 11th century, he was the catepan of Italy in 1042. He is known as Gyrgir in Scandinavian sagas and he is popularly said to have been extremely tall and well built, almost a giant. Maniakes first became prominent during a campaign in 1030–1031, when the Byzantine Empire was defeated at Aleppo and his greatest achievement was the partial reconquest of Sicily from the Arabs beginning in 1038. Here, he was assisted by the Varangian Guard, which was at that time led by Harald Hardrada, there were also Norman mercenaries with him, under William de Hauteville, who won his nickname Iron Arm by defeating the emir of Syracuse in single combat. In response, he was recalled by the emperor Michael IV, although the Arabs soon took the island back, Maniakes successes there later inspired the Normans to invade Sicily themselves. Maniakes accomplishments in Sicily were largely ignored by the Emperor, and he revolted against Constantine IX in 1042, the individual particularly responsible for antagonizing Maniakes into revolt was one Romanus Sclerus. Sclerus owed his influence over the emperor to his famously charming sister Sclerina, finding himself in a position of power, Sclerus used it to poison Constantine against Maniakes - ransacking the latters house and even seducing his wife, using the charm his family were famed for. Maniakes was then proclaimed emperor by his troops and marched towards Constantinople, in 1043 his army clashed with troops loyal to Constantine near Thessalonika, and though initially successful, Maniakes was killed during the melee after receiving a fatal wound. Constantines extravagant punishment of the rebels was to parade them in the Hippodrome. With his death, the rebellion ceased, in Sicily, the town of Maniace and the Syracusan fortress of Castello Maniace are both named after him
Maniakes conquering Edessa.
The Byzantines under George Maniakes land at Sicily and defeat the Arabs
Maniakes is brought to Constantinople seated on a donkey