Post-classical history

Romanos IV Diogenes (d. 1072)

Byzantine emperor (1068-1071).

Romanos was originally a member of the landed aristocracy of Anatolia. Although convicted of plotting against the dowager empress, Eudokia Makrembolitissa, Romanos came to the throne when she pardoned and married him (January 1068). As emperor Romanos was unable to send help to the remaining Byzantine territory in southern Italy, where Bari fell to the Normans in 1071. He attempted to counter the growing Turkish threat against the eastern parts of the empire with campaigns in 1068-1069, but Turkish incursions continued. While campaigning in Armenia in 1071 he encountered a large Turkish army under the command of the Saljûq sultan Alp Arslān; after betrayal by some of his commanders and the flight of many of his troops, Romanos was defeated and captured at the battle of Mantzikert (26 August 1071). On news of the defeat the Doukas family led a revolt against him in Constantinople. After his release from captivity Romanos was pursued by their forces to Cilicia, captured, tonsured as a monk, and subsequently blinded. He died of his injuries on 4 August 1072.

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