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Byzantium Triumphant - The Military History of the Byzantines 959-1025, Julian Romane

Byzantium Triumphant - The Military History of the Byzantines 959-1025, Julian Romane


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Byzantium Triumphant - The Military History of the Byzantines 959-1025, Julian Romane

Byzantium Triumphant - The Military History of the Byzantines 959-1025, Julian Romane

This book covers the military and political history of Byzantium during the lifetime of Basil II Porphrogenitus, better known as Basil the Bulgar Slayer, one of the most successful military emperors. Basil and his brother were officially crowned as Emperors during their childhood, but spent much of their youth in the background to a series of joint emperors who held real power.

This is history presented as a coherent narrative. This approach has several clear advantages. We get a very readable account of this period, which draws us into the subject. The author presents us with a plausible reconstruction of events, with some attention paid to individual motives. Basil emerges as a real individual (his less well documented brother and co-Emperor doesn't emerge quite as clearly, but the sources don't appear to say that much about him during Basil's reign, so that isn't at all surprising).

One flaw with this approach is that it smooths over the complexities of the sources. One example is the use of Byzantine military manuals as a guide to actual events. There is actually quite a bit of debate about the nature and use of these books. One argument is that they were produced by a scholarly elite that didn't actually fight, and weren't used by the actual soldiers. Another problem is that we can't always be sure how accurately they reflect contemporary practice and how much they were influenced by Classical Greek and Roman sources (in the same way that some Medieval European sources talk about Vikings and their opponents fighting in a phalanx).

I'm not sure that I agree with the author's view that Basil's military arrangements didn't play a part in later Byzantine problems. One of his key policies was the reduction of the power of the great military families of eastern Anatolia (for entirely understandable reasons), but this could be said to have rather hollowed out the defences of this area, which was soon lost to the Byzantine Empire, bringing the eastern frontier dangerous close to the city. I would have liked a bit more on why the author believes this to be the case.

Overall this is a good contribution to Byzantine history, bringing the period alive in a way that not many books of military history manage. Byzantium emerges as a living culture in its own right, and not as the footnote to Rome or declining power so often seen.

Chapters
1 - Romanus II: The Conquest of Crete and War in the East
2 - Nicephorus Phocas Seizes Power
3 - Nicephorus II Phocas: the conquest of Cilicia
4 - Nicephorus II Phocas: Wars in the East and the West
5 - The Murder of Nicephorus II: John Tzimiskes Seizes Power
6 - John I Tzimiskes: War with Svyatoslav in Bulgaria, and Rebellion in Asia
7 - John I Tzimiskes: War with Svyatoslav and Battle of Dorystolon
8 - John I Tzimiskes: Victorious Emperor
9 - Basil II and Constantine VIII: Civil War in the East
10 - Basil II and Constantine VIII: Wars in the East and West
11 - Basil II and Constantine VIII: Wars in the East and West II
12 - Basil II and Constantine VIII: Basil Sets the East in Order
13 - Basil II and Constantine VIII: Basil Battles in the Balkans
14 - Basil II and Constantine VIII: Basil Victorious in the Balkans and Asia Minor

Author: Julian Romane
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 208
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2015



Byzantium Triumphant - The Military History of the Byzantines 959-1025, Julian Romane - History

Julian Patrick Romane has a BA from Beloit College Wisconsin and an MA from the University of Colorado. He has been fascinated with Byzantine history, particularly their military history, for half a century. He has published articles in several journals and is the editor and/or translator of several books on historical and political subjects. He lives in Illinois, USA.

Reviews for Byzantium Triumphant: The Military History of the Byzantines, 959-1025

. a very good military history of the period. -- Balkan Wargamer Overall this is a good contribution to Byzantine history, bringing the period alive in a way that not many books of military history manage. Byzantium emerges as a living culture in its own right, and not as the footnote to Rome or declining power so often seen. -- History of War Romane's account of survival and triumph under such circumstances is fascinating. -- United Nations of Roma Victrix (UNRV) This book has been carefully researched and provides fresh insights into an empire that bridges the period from the fall of Rome to the new nations and religions of the Middle Ages. The text is supported by an interesting monochrome photo-plate section. Strongly Recommended. -- Firetrench


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Julian Romane's Byzantium Triumphant is not a triumph.I bought this book as a historian that wanted a different take on the "Great Expansion" period during the middle Byzantine era.

Though it was written for a broader audience I doubt they will be captivated by Romane's scholarship or penmanship. First of, the editing is done very poorly with many typo's still present. I also find the "old" spelling of Byzantine names a tad outdated, if you chose to write Nicephorus II Phocas at least write everything in this Latin form (ignoring the modern convention of using the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium as basis for spelling: Nikephoros II Phokas).

Then with regard to the actual scholarship. Mr. Romane tends to take everything at face value. Byzantine armies of 50,000 souls are quoted and deaths number in the tens of thousands. This ignores pretty much everything that was written since Gibbon and does not paint the picture of the period as you would expect it.

Leo the Deacon and Skylitzes are used as primary sources though not once have I found any doubt about any event that you stumble across in these works. Even Liutprand of Cremona's highly subjective account is taken at face value (the emperor Nikephoros transforms from a broad shouldered man to an ugly dwarf in the same chapter).

For the non-initiated it's hard to get a clear view of what was at stake or what many terms actually mean (the thematic structure is not explained for exampled). Cultural/economic/ecclesiastical development is ignored as well making the book a dry summary of chronological military events. The precarious balance an emperor had to walk with regard to his rich landowning elite is mentioned but not really explained (let only doubted).

All in all I would not recommend this book to anyone, scholar or enthusiast as there are many better works out there. Either pick up the sources used for this book (Skylitzes in the Wortley translation, Leon the Deacon by Alice-Mary Talbot, Psellos by Penguin books, Attaleitas by Anthony Kaldellis) or better scholarly works such as John Haldon.


Byzantium Triumphant - The Military History of the Byzantines 959-1025, Julian Romane - History

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Byzantium Triumphant describes in detail the wars of the Byzantine emperors Nicephorus II Phocas, his nephew and assassin John I Tzimiskes, and Basil II. The operations, battles and drama of their various bitter struggles unfold, depicting the new energy and improved methods of warfare developed in the late tenth century. These emperors were at war on all fronts, fighting for survival and dominance against enemies including the Arab caliphates, Bulgars (Basil II was dubbed by later authors 'the Bulgar Slayer') and the Holy Roman Empire, not to mention dealing with civil wars and rebellions.

Julian Romane's careful research, drawing particularly on the evidence of Byzantine military manuals, allows him to produce a gripping narrative underpinned by a detailed understanding of the Byzantine tactics, organization, training and doctrine. While essentially a military history, there is, inevitably with the Byzantine emperors, a healthy dose of court intrigue, assassination and political skulduggery too.

Byzantium Triumphant is a dramatic and well-documented military history of this little-known era.

The NYMAS Review, Winter 2020-2021

This is a very good military history of the period.

Read the full review here

Balkan Wargamer

Overall this is a good contribution to Byzantine history, bringing the period alive in a way that not many books of military history manage. Byzantium emerges as a living culture in its own right, and not as the footnote to Rome or declining power so often seen.

Read the complete review here.

History of War

The Roman Empire expanded to rule most of the known world. In the process, it inevitably expanded beyond its ability to administrate. Equally inevitable was the subsequent fall of the Roman Empire, but it was not extinguished. Instead it divided under two Emperors. In the West it did break up and dissolve, but the Eastern Empire continued on and was able to defend itself from attackers to the West and to the East. The author has provided a compelling account of the period of triumph, as the world moved into the Middle Ages. The text is supported by an interesting monochrome photo-plate section. Strongly Recommended.

The book helpfully describes the mystery of Byzantine survival and success at one of the high points, in terms of state power, of the Empire’s roller-coaster ride from founding to dissolution, and can be recommended, with cautions, for its descriptions and conclusions.

UNRV. com – Michael Mates

Julian Patrick Romane has a BA from Beloit College Wisconsin and an MA from the University of Colorado. He has been fascinated with Byzantine history, particularly their military history, for half a century. He has published articles in several journals and is the editor and/or translator of several books on historical and political subjects. He lives in Illinois, USA.


Books received (April 2016)

This entry was posted on April 4, 2016 by Josho Brouwers .

Books! You gotta love ‘em. If you’ve been reading our magazine blogs for a while, you know we regularly get stacks of books sent to us by publishers in hopes that their latest (and some older) releases get a review published in one of our magazines. For one reason or another, we’ve amassed a huge stack of books on a variety of medieval matters that are ready to be reviewed.

I mean, just look at all these books:

And here’s a complete list of all the books that we’ve still got available:

  • Andrew Rawson, A Clash of Thrones: The Power-Crazed Medieval Kings, Popes and Emperors of Europe (The History Press, 2015) - gone!
  • Hans Leckuchner, The Art of Swordmanship (translated by Jeffrey L. Forgeng Boydell Press 2015) - gone!
  • David Santiuste, The Hammer of the Scots: Edward I and the Scottish Wars of Independence (Pen & Sword 2015) - gone!
  • Timothy Venning, An Alternative History of Britain: Normans and Early Plantagenets (Pen & Sword 2014) - gone!
  • John Carr, Fighting Emperors of Byzantium (Pen & Sword 2015) - gone!
  • Kathleen Thompson, Power and Border Lordship in Medieval France: The County of the Perche 1000-1226 (Past & Present 2002) - gone!
  • Robert W. Jones, Bloodied Banners: Martial Display on the Medieval Battlefield (Boydell Press 2010) - gone!
  • Rory Cox, John Wyclif on War and Peace (Boydell Press 2014) - gone!
  • Hans Talhoffer, Medieval Combat: A Fifteenth-Century Manual of Swordfighting and Close-Quarter Combat (transl. Mark Rector Pen & Sword 2000/2014) - gone!
  • Michael Newth (transl.), Heroines of the French Epic: A Second Selection of Chansons de Geste (D.S. Brewer 2014).
  • Geoff Boxell, If You Go Down in the Woods (self-published novel, 2015).
  • Timothy Dawson, By the Emperor’s Hand: Military Dress and Court Regalia in the Later Roman-Byzantine Empire (Frontline Books 2015) - gone!
  • Christopher Mott, The Formless Empire: A Short History of Diplomacy and Warfare in Central Asia (Westholme 2015) - gone!
  • Martin J. Dougherty, The Wars of the Roses: The Conflict That Inspired Game of Thrones (Amber Books 2015) - gone!
  • Damien Bouet, Les bateaux vikings (Heimdal 2015).
  • Julian Romane, Byzantium Triumphant: The Military History of the Byzantines, 959-1025 (Pen & Sword 2015) - gone!
  • Anthony Adolph, Brutus of Troy and the Quest for the Ancestry of the British (Pen & Sword 2015) - gone!

If you’re interested in reviewing one or more books from the list above, just send an email to me at [email protected] Be sure to tell me what makes you qualified to review the book: just a brief comment is enough. I’d also like a quick turnaround on reviews, so be prepared to send me your review of the book within two months of reveiving it.

Please note that you don’t get paid for a review, but you do get to keep the book that we send you. Reviews should generally be between ca. 400 and 1200 words in length, with an average of around 650 words (about one page in the magazine), though the length of the review is also dependent on the nature of the book.

Books are sent out on a first-come, first-served basis, so better be quick than sorry!

Related Posts:

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on April 4, 2016 by Josho Brouwers . &larr Previous Post Next Post &rarr


Commentaires client

Meilleures évaluations de France

Meilleurs commentaires provenant d’autres pays

Julian Romane's Byzantium Triumphant is not a triumph.I bought this book as a historian that wanted a different take on the "Great Expansion" period during the middle Byzantine era.

Though it was written for a broader audience I doubt they will be captivated by Romane's scholarship or penmanship. First of, the editing is done very poorly with many typo's still present. I also find the "old" spelling of Byzantine names a tad outdated, if you chose to write Nicephorus II Phocas at least write everything in this Latin form (ignoring the modern convention of using the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium as basis for spelling: Nikephoros II Phokas).

Then with regard to the actual scholarship. Mr. Romane tends to take everything at face value. Byzantine armies of 50,000 souls are quoted and deaths number in the tens of thousands. This ignores pretty much everything that was written since Gibbon and does not paint the picture of the period as you would expect it.

Leo the Deacon and Skylitzes are used as primary sources though not once have I found any doubt about any event that you stumble across in these works. Even Liutprand of Cremona's highly subjective account is taken at face value (the emperor Nikephoros transforms from a broad shouldered man to an ugly dwarf in the same chapter).

For the non-initiated it's hard to get a clear view of what was at stake or what many terms actually mean (the thematic structure is not explained for exampled). Cultural/economic/ecclesiastical development is ignored as well making the book a dry summary of chronological military events. The precarious balance an emperor had to walk with regard to his rich landowning elite is mentioned but not really explained (let only doubted).

All in all I would not recommend this book to anyone, scholar or enthusiast as there are many better works out there. Either pick up the sources used for this book (Skylitzes in the Wortley translation, Leon the Deacon by Alice-Mary Talbot, Psellos by Penguin books, Attaleitas by Anthony Kaldellis) or better scholarly works such as John Haldon.


ISBN: 9781848844124
Published by : Pen & Sword
Patricians and Emperors offers concise comparative biographies of the individuals who wielded power in the final decades of the Western Roman Empire, from the assassination of Aetius in 454 to the death of Julius Nepos in 480. The book is divided . . Learn More

ISBN: 9781473845701
Published by : Pen & Sword Books Ltd
Byzantium Triumphant describes in detail the wars of the Byzantine emperors Nicephorus II Phocas, his nephew and assassin John I Tzimiskes, and Basil II. The operations, battles and drama of their various bitter struggles unfold, . . Learn More


Byzantium Triumphant - The Military History of the Byzantines 959-1025, Julian Romane - History

Byzantium Triumphant is a detailed narrative of the wars of the Byzantine emperors, Nicephorus II Phocas, John I Tzimiskes and Basil II (the Bulgar Slayer).

Byzantium Triumphant describes in detail the wars of the Byzantine emperors Nicephorus II Phocas, his nephew and assassin John I Tzimiskes, and Basil II. The operations, battles and drama of their various bitter struggles unfold, depicting the new energy and improved methods of warfare developed in the late tenth century.

These emperors were at war on all fronts, fighting for survival and dominance against enemies including the Arab caliphates, Bulgars (Basil II was dubbed by later authors the Bulgar Slayer) and the Holy Roman Empire, not to mention dealing with civil wars and rebellions. Julian Romane's careful research, drawing particularly on the evidence of Byzantine military manuals, allows him to produce a gripping narrative underpinned by a detailed understanding of the Byzantine tactics, organization, training and doctrine.

While essentially a military history, there is, inevitably with the Byzantine emperors, a healthy dose of court intrigue, assassination and political skullduggery too.

About The Author

Julian Patrick Romane has a BA from Beloit College Wisconsin and an MA from the University of Colorado. He has been fascinated with ancient/early medieval military history for half a century. He has published articles in several journals and is the editor and/or' translator of several books on historical and political subjects. His first monograph, _Byzantium Triumphant_, was published by Pen & Sword in 2015. He lives in Illinois, USA.

REVIEWS

"Romane's account of survival and triumph under such circumstances is fascinating. "

- United Nations of Roma Victrix (UNRV)

". a very good military history of the period."

- Balkan Wargamer

"Overall this is a good contribution to Byzantine history, bringing the period alive in a way that not many books of military history manage. Byzantium emerges as a living culture in its own right, and not as the footnote to Rome or declining power so often seen."

- History of War

"This book has been carefully researched and provides fresh insights into an empire that bridges the period from the fall of Rome to the new nations and religions of the Middle Ages. The text is supported by an interesting monochrome photo-plate section. Strongly Recommended."

- Firetrench

&ldquoByzantium Triumphant is a dramatic and well-documented military history of this little-known era.&rdquo

- The NYMAS Review

List of Byzantine emperors

This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation of Constantinople in 330 AD, which marks the conventional start of the Byzantine Empire (or the Eastern Roman Empire), to its fall to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 AD. Only the emperors who were recognized as legitimate rulers and exercised sovereign authority are included, to the exclusion of junior co-emperors (symbasileis) who never attained the status of sole or senior ruler, as well as of the various usurpers or rebels who claimed the imperial title.

Traditionally, the line of Byzantine emperors is held to begin with the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor, who rebuilt the city of Byzantium as an imperial capital, Constantinople, and who was regarded by the later emperors as the model ruler. It was under Constantine that the major characteristics of what is considered the Byzantine state emerged: a Roman polity centered at Constantinople and culturally dominated by the Greek East, with Christianity as the state religion.

The Byzantine Empire was the direct legal continuation of the eastern half of the Roman Empire following the division of the Roman Empire in 395. Emperors listed below up to Theodosius I in 395 were sole or joint rulers of the entire Roman Empire. The Western Roman Empire continued until 476. Byzantine emperors considered themselves to be rightful Roman emperors in direct succession from Augustus [2] the term "Byzantine" was coined by Western historiography only in the 16th century. The use of the title "Roman Emperor" by those ruling from Constantinople was not contested until after the Papal coronation of the Frankish Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor (25 December 800), done partly in response to the Byzantine coronation of Empress Irene, whose claim, as a woman, was not recognized by Pope Leo III.

The title of all Emperors preceding Heraclius was officially "Augustus", although other titles such as Dominus were also used. Their names were preceded by Imperator Caesar and followed by Augustus. Following Heraclius, the title commonly became the Greek Basileus (Gr. Βασιλεύς), which had formerly meant sovereign, though Augustus continued to be used in a reduced capacity. Following the establishment of the rival Holy Roman Empire in Western Europe, the title "Autokrator" (Gr. Αὐτοκράτωρ) was increasingly used. In later centuries, the Emperor could be referred to by Western Christians as the "Emperor of the Greeks". Towards the end of the Empire, the standard imperial formula of the Byzantine ruler was "[Emperor's name] in Christ, Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans" (cf. Ῥωμαῖοι and Rûm). When on occasion rendering their names and titles in Latin in the centuries following the adoption of Basileus and Greek language, Byzantine rulers used Imperator for senior emperors and Rex for junior emperors, as seen in coins of Michael III and his junior emperor Basil I. [3]

In the medieval period, dynasties were common, but the principle of hereditary succession was never formalized in the Empire, [4] and hereditary succession was a custom rather than an inviolable principle. [1]


Related Research Articles

Nikephoros II Phokas, Latinized Nicephorus II Phocas, was Byzantine emperor from 963 to 969. His brilliant military exploits contributed to the resurgence of the Byzantine Empire during the 10th century. His reign, however, included controversy. In the west, he inflamed conflict with the Bulgarians and saw Sicily completely turn over to the Muslims, while he failed to make any serious gains in Italy following the incursions of Otto I. Meanwhile, in the east, he completed the conquest of Cilicia and even retook the island of Cyprus, thus opening the path for subsequent Byzantine incursions reaching as far as Upper Mesopotamia and the Levant. His administrative policy was less successful, as in order to finance these wars he increased taxes both on the people and on the church, while maintaining unpopular theological positions and alienating many of his most powerful allies. These included his nephew John Tzimiskes, who would take the throne after killing Nikephoros in his sleep.

John I Tzimiskes was the senior Byzantine Emperor from 11 December 969 to 10 January 976. An intuitive and successful general, he strengthened the Empire and expanded its borders during his short reign.

The Arab–Byzantine wars were a series of wars between the mostly Arab Muslims and the Byzantine Empire between the 7th and 11th centuries AD, started during the initial Muslim conquests, under the expansionist Rashidun and Umayyad caliphs, in the 7th century and continued by their successors until the mid-11th century.

John Kourkouas, also transliterated as Kurkuas or Curcuas, was one of the most important generals of the Byzantine Empire. His success in battles against the Muslim states in the East definitively reversed the course of the centuries-long Byzantine–Arab Wars and began Byzantium's 10th century "Age of Conquest".

Joseph Bringas was an important Byzantine eunuch official in the reigns of Emperor Constantine VII and Emperor Romanos II, serving as chief minister and effective regent during the latter. Having unsuccessfully opposed the rise of Nikephoros Phokas to the imperial throne in 963, he was exiled to a monastery, where he died in 965.

Between 780�, the Byzantine Empire and the Abbasid & Fatimid caliphates in the regions of Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Anatolia and Southern Italy fought a series of wars for supremacy in the Eastern Mediterranean. After a period of indecisive and slow border warfare, a string of almost unbroken Byzantine victories in the late 10th and early 11th centuries allowed three Byzantine Emperors, namely Nikephoros II Phokas, John I Tzimiskes and finally Basil II to recapture territory lost to the Muslim conquests in the 7th century Arab–Byzantine wars under the failing Heraclian Dynasty.

ʿAlī ibn ʾAbū l-Hayjāʾ ʿAbdallāh ibn Ḥamdān ibn al-Ḥārith al-Taghlibī, more commonly known simply by his laqab of Sayf al-Dawla, was the founder of the Emirate of Aleppo, encompassing most of northern Syria and parts of western Jazira, and the brother of al-Hasan ibn Abdallah ibn Hamdan.

Peter was a Byzantine eunuch general. Originally a servant of the powerful Cappadocian Phokas family, he was raised to high military office under Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas, leading the capture of Antioch and the subjugation of Aleppo in 969. Under John I Tzimiskes, he fought as a senior commander against the Rus' in 970�, while after Tzimiskes' death he led the loyalist forces against the revolt of the general Bardas Skleros in Asia Minor, falling in battle in autumn 977.

Michael Bourtzes was a leading Byzantine general of the latter 10th century. He became notable for his capture of Antioch from the Arabs in 969, but fell into disgrace by the Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas. Resentful at the slight, Bourtzes joined forces with the conspirators who assassinated Phokas a few weeks later. Bourtzes re-appears in a prominent role in the civil war between Emperor Basil II and the rebel Bardas Skleros, switching his allegiance from the emperor to the rebel and back again. Nevertheless, he was re-appointed as doux of Antioch by Basil, a post he held until 995, when he was relieved because of his failures in the war against the Fatimids.

Phokas or Phocas, feminine form Phokaina, was the name of a Byzantine aristocratic clan from Cappadocia, which in the 9th and 10th centuries provided a series of high-ranking generals and an emperor, Nikephoros II Phokas. Its members and their clients monopolized the high command positions of the Byzantine army for much of the 10th century and led the successful Byzantine offensive against the Arabs in the East. As one of the leading families of the Anatolian military aristocracy, the Phokades were also involved in a series of rebellions that laid claim to power and challenged the emperors at Constantinople. Their power was eventually broken by Basil II, and the family declined in importance after the 11th century.

The Battle of Marash was fought in 953 near Marash between the forces of the Byzantine Empire under the Domestic of the Schools Bardas Phokas the Elder, and of the Hamdanid Emir of Aleppo, Sayf al-Dawla, the Byzantines' most intrepid enemy during the mid-10th century. Despite being outnumbered, the Arabs defeated the Byzantines who broke and fled. Bardas Phokas himself barely escaped through the intervention of his attendants, and suffered a serious wound on his face, while his youngest son and governor of Seleucia, Constantine Phokas, was captured and held a prisoner in Aleppo until his death of an illness some time later. This debacle, coupled with defeats in 954 and again in 955, led to Bardas Phokas' dismissal as Domestic of the Schools, and his replacement by his eldest son, Nikephoros Phokas.

The Battle of Raban was an engagement fought in autumn 958 near the fortress of Raban between the Byzantine army, led by John Tzimiskes, and the forces of the Hamdanid Emirate of Aleppo under the famed emir Sayf al-Dawla. The battle was a major victory for the Byzantines, and contributed to the demise of Hamdanid military power, which in the early 950s had proven a great challenge to Byzantium.

The Battle of Andrassos or Adrassos was an engagement fought on 8 November 960 in an unidentified mountain pass on the Taurus Mountains, between the Byzantines, led by Leo Phokas the Younger, and the forces of the Hamdanid Emirate of Aleppo under the emir Sayf al-Dawla.

Sa'd al-Dawla Abu 'l-Ma'ali Sharif, more commonly known by his laqab, Sa'd al-Dawla, was the second ruler of the Hamdanid Emirate of Aleppo, encompassing most of northern Syria. The son of the emirate's founder, Sayf al-Dawla, he inherited the throne at a young age and in the midst of a major Byzantine offensive that within two years conquered the western portions of his realm and turned Aleppo into a tributary state. Facing a multitude of rebellions and desertions until 977, Sa'd was unable even to enter his own capital, which was in the hands of his father's chief minister, Qarquya. By maintaining close relations with the Buyids, he managed to re-establish his authority in parts of the Jazira, but his rule was soon challenged by the rebellion of his governor Bakjur, who was supported by the Fatimids of Egypt. In turn, Sa'd came to rely increasingly on Byzantine assistance, although he continued to fluctuate in his allegiance between Byzantium, the Buyids, and the Fatimids.

Melias was a Byzantine general of Armenian origin, active in the wars against the Arabs in the east under Nikephoros II Phokas and John I Tzimiskes. He was defeated before Amid in 973 by the Hamdanids and died in captivity shortly after.

Rashiq al-Nasimi was the governor of Tarsus for the Hamdanid emir Sayf al-Dawla from 962 until the city's surrender to the Byzantine emperor Nikephoros II Phokas in 965. He then took over Antioch, and launched a failed attack on the Hamdanid capital, Aleppo in early 966. He took the lower city and besieged the citadel for over three months, but was killed and his men fled back to Antioch.

The Siege of Chandax in 960-961 was the centerpiece of the Byzantine Empire's campaign to recover the island of Crete which since the 820s had been ruled by Muslim Arabs. The campaign followed a series of failed attempts to reclaim the island from the Muslims stretching as far back as 827, only a few years after the initial conquest of the island by the Arabs, and was led by the general and future emperor Nikephoros Phokas. It lasted from autumn 960 until spring 961, when the main Muslim fortress and capital of the island, Chandax was captured. The reconquest of Crete was a major achievement for the Byzantines, as it restored Byzantine control over the Aegean littoral and diminished the threat of Saracen pirates, for which Crete had provided a base of operations.

The Syrian campaigns of John Tzimiskes were a series of campaigns undertaken by the Byzantine emperor John I Tzimiskes against the Fatimid Caliphate in the Levant and against the Abbasid Caliphate in Syria. Following the weakening and collapse of the Hamdanid Dynasty of Aleppo, much of the Near East lay open to Byzantium, and, following the assassination of Nikephoros II Phokas, the new emperor, John I Tzimiskes, was quick to engage the newly successful Fatimid Dynasty over control of the near east and its important cities, namely Antioch, Aleppo, and Caesarea. He also engaged the Hamdanid Emir of Mosul, who was de iure under the suzerainty of the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad and his Buyid overlords, over control of parts of Upper Mesopotamia (Jazira).

The Rebellion of Bardas Phokas the Younger was a major Byzantine civil war fought mostly in Asia Minor. During the second half of the tenth century the Byzantine Empire was characterized by emperors either devoted to or forced into long periods of campaigning mostly in the Middle East, Crete, Cyprus, Antioch many other territories were also conquered during this period. The success Byzantium experienced during this period was largely thanks to the Phokas clan, an aristocratic family who consistently produced competent generals, and their relatives. Indeed, during the reigns of Nikephoros II Phokas and his nephew John I Tzimiskes, these aristocratic generals supplanted the legitimate heirs of the Macedonian dynasty, the adolescent brothers Basil II and Constantine VIII, as the true rulers of the empire. When Tzimiskes died in 976 Basil II ascended to power. Quickly, however, tensions began to flare up within the royal court itself as the purple-born emperor attempted to reign fully out of the influence of the established court eunuchs. The figureheads behind the simmering tensions in the capital would come to blows in a major rebellion lead by Bardas Phokas the Younger, the most powerful man left of the old Phokas regime.

The Sack of Aleppo in December 962 was carried out by the Byzantine Empire under Nikephoros Phokas. Aleppo was the capital of the Hamdanid emir Sayf al-Dawla, the Byzantines' chief antagonist at the time.


Watch the video: Men of the Eagle - Roman and Byzantine Infantry (May 2022).