Post-classical history

Devol, Treaty of (1108)

The treaty imposed on Bohemund I, prince of Antioch, after his invasion of Byzantine territory from southern Italy had been defeated by Alexios I Komnenos, the Byzantine emperor. The treaty was concluded at the unidentified site of Devol (Gr. Deabolis) in western Macedonia. The fullest account of its terms is given by the chronicler Anna Komnene, Alexios’s daughter.

According to the treaty, Bohemund became the liegeman (Gr. lizion anthropon) of the emperor and his son John and promised to provide them with military support when requested. If he should rebel, the treaty stated, Bohemund’s own vassals would be obliged to either stop him or fight against him. He was allowed to retain the principality of Antioch during his lifetime and was granted the county of Edessa. Both he and his nephew, Tancred, were to give up all other previously Byzantine territory, particularly Cilicia and Laodikeia in Syria. The Greek patriarchate in Antioch was to be restored. In return, Bohemund was granted as yet unconquered lands in Berroia (Aleppo), Cappadocia, and Mesopotamia and an annual payment of 200 pounds of gold, payable in the sound gold coinage of Michael VII (1071-1078).

Tancred, however, who was in effective control of Antioch in Bohemund’s absence, refused to accept the treaty, and its terms were not known in detail in the West. The historian Orderic Vitalis maintained that Bohemund had merely sworn peace and fidelity to Alexios. The treaty was never enforced, though it remained the basis for Byzantine negotiations with the princes of Antioch in the twelfth century.

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