Alexios I Komnenos

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Alexios I Komnenos, Latinized as Alexius I Comnenus (Greek: Ἀλέξιος Α' Κομνηνός, 1056 – 15 August 1118—note that some sources list his date of birth as 1048),[1] was Byzantine emperor from 1081 to 1118, and the founder of the Komnenian dynasty. Inheriting a collapsing empire and faced with constant warfare during his reign against both the Seljuk Turks in Asia Minor and the Normans in the western Balkans, Alexios was able to halt the Byzantine decline and begin the military, financial, and territorial recovery known as the "Komnenian restoration". His appeals to Western Europe for help against the Turks were also the catalyst that triggered the Crusades.

Contents

Life

Alexios was the son of Ioannis Komnenos and Anna Dalassena,[2] and the nephew of Isaac I Komnenos (emperor 1057–1059). Alexios' father declined the throne on the abdication of Isaac, who was accordingly succeeded by four emperors of other families between 1059 and 1081. Under one of these emperors, Romanos IV Diogenes (1067–1071), he served with distinction against the Seljuk Turks.[1] Under Michael VII Doukas Parapinakes (1071–1078) and Nikephoros III Botaneiates (1078–1081), he was also employed, along with his elder brother Isaac, against rebels in Asia Minor, Thrace, and in Epirus.

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