Alexios I Komnenos

Alexios I Komnenos, Greek Ἀλέξιος Α ' Κομνηνός (* 1048, † August 15, 1118 ), was Byzantine emperor from 1081 to 1118.


Alexius was a nephew of the Emperor Isaac I Komnenos and served as a commander under the emperors Michael VII Ducas and Nicephorus III. Botaniates. Against the snares of the latter Alexios fled to the army, was proclaimed emperor of this, conquered the capital and dethroned Nicephorus. On April 4, 1081, the new rulers of Patriarch Cosmas I was crowned emperor. His marriage to Irene from the influential family of Alexios I Komnenos Dukai secured his rule. The 1078 sold by Nikephoros as an infant co-emperor Constantine Ducas Porphyrogenitus, he participated to the birth of the heir of John in the government. With the Seljuks, he made ​​peace in order to turn against the sunken into the realm Norman Duke Robert Guiscard. Against this he allied himself with the Venetians, whom he rich trading privileges conferred, and with the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV, but was defeated at Durazzo. Robert now penetrated victoriously to Macedonia before, but had threatened by the progress of Henry IV in Italy and by a rebellion in Apulia, 1082 to return to Italy, whereupon his left behind under his son Bohemond army was almost completely destroyed by Alexios. Robert renewed the attack in 1084, defeated the united Venetian- Byzantine fleet at Corfu, but died in 1085, whereupon his army returned home.

Alexios had 1088-1091 to fight against the Pechenegs had penetrated across the Danube, he finally defeated after changing battles. The rebellious mercenary leader Roussel Phrangopolos he was off by bribing his Seljuk allies. Against the Seljuks, he also sought to Pope Urban II and the Western princes for assistance. Pope Urban II called then on November 27, 1095 in Clermont- Ferrand to the crusade. But when in 1096 the Crusaders appeared in the kingdom, they did not find the desired recording. Alexios, worried by the large amount of the Crusaders and at the same time strives to protect the interests of the empire, called by the appearing before Constantine Opel Prince fealty to be conquered by the Muslims countries, this also knew with great dexterity to enforce, though by no means completely. But came out of this relationship a lot of conflicts and threats to his empire ( a new idea Bohemund 1107-1108 was blocked and ended with the Treaty of Devol ), which had not yet been settled, as Alexios died August 15, 1118.

Alexios had with his request for help to the West were, opened a Pandora's box, albeit unintentionally. The existence of this aid petition is controversial because Anna Comnena not mentioned in her work Alexia who single source for the first crusade from the Byzantine view the epistle and especially the surprise and dismay of the Basileus points out, when he heard rumors of the approach of the Crusaders. In modern research, however, emphasizes that the Byzantines, the nearly one year relevant in every preparations are likely to be missed for the crusade hardly, especially since he had good relations with Hungary and Venice. More likely may be that Alexios acted wisely in order to be prepared for all eventualities, even if the Byzantines was quite clear early on probably what was the goal of the Crusade.

Nevertheless, Byzantium was a force again, was to be reckoned with. Inside the Empire, which he found in a disordered state, he put the order here, improved the military organization and the finances, favored the church and persecuted heretics ( Paulicians and Bogomils ). However, it was not possible Alexios, to take complete control of Asia Minor; Byzantium remained there limited to the coastal regions. His life described his daughter Anna Comnena (albeit glorifying ) in the historical work Alexia.