When Alexios Komnenos came to power his family decided to marry their way out of the civil wars which threatened the state. By Manuel’s day this meant that a new aristocracy had grown up who dominated the organs of the Byzantine state.
We discuss this development and how Manuel managed his family. As well as those who resented this innovation.
Pic: Manuel Komnenos (Manuscript miniature, Vatican Library)
Today we talk to historian Katherine Pangonis about her book ‘Queens of Jerusalem.’ Not only do we talk about the fascinating lives of the women of Outremer but we also pick up Andronikos’ story as he manages to scandalise all of Christendom.
With Italy and the Balkans at peace Manuel turns his attention to Anatolia. He marches to Antioch to punish those who’d wronged him. He then campaigns against the Turks with surprisingly positive results.
The Normans raid the cities of Greece during the passage of the Second Crusade. Manuel sees this as such a worrying development that he makes the decision to prioritise the recovery of Apulia over Antioch. This sets off a series of conflicts in the Balkans and a series of missed opportunities in Syria.
In a bonus episode for Patreon supporters (at the $6 level) we follow the Emperor Conrad and King Louis as they arrive in the Holy Land and attempt to besiege Damascus. We then retrace our steps to the start of the Crusade and go through what the Latins were saying about the Byzantines during their march.