Young Alexios Komnenos, Part 5: An End to the Fight

The battle near Kalavrye had begun poorly for the Byzantines, but it appeared as though that was about to change. Their adversaries, the rebels commanded by imperial pretender Nikephoros Bryennios the Elder, were in chaos after their own Pecheneg allies had left the field to pillage their camp, causing the camp followers to flee to … More Young Alexios Komnenos, Part 5: An End to the Fight

Young Alexios Komnenos, Part 4: Kalavrye Begins

With the order to advance, rebel general and imperial pretender Nikephoros Bryennios led his army in a charge toward his opponents. Meanwhile, the smaller Byzantine army of Alexios Komnenos, the empire’s supreme commander-in-chief, braced itself for the impact. Alexios himself carefully surveyed the rebel army’s position, waiting to signal the small ambush force hiding beyond … More Young Alexios Komnenos, Part 4: Kalavrye Begins

Young Alexios Komnenos, Part 3: Kalavrye Looms

Just a few years after Alexios Komnenos’ triumph over Roussel Balliol’s rebellion, the Byzantine Empire was again in chaos. In the province of Dyrrakhion, along the Adriatic Sea, a new threat had emerged: Nikephoros Bryennios the Elder, the province’s disgruntled doux (military governor), was massing troops in rebellion. In Anatolia, a separate rebellion under Nikephoros … More Young Alexios Komnenos, Part 3: Kalavrye Looms

One Year Old!

By leaving this blog inactive for over three months, I’ve already broken one of the rules I set for myself when I started this project, and, by writing a “personal” post, I’m about to break another. Writers get to cheat every once in a while, I suppose. I want to apologize for the inactivity, but … More One Year Old!

Medieval Mold-Breaking Women: Countess Matilda of Tuscany

Matilda di Canossa lived in a tumultuous era, but she proved she was a capable leader. As the daughter of Beatrice of Lorraine and Boniface III, Margrave of Tuscany, she eventually inherited a considerable portion of northern Italy after the deaths of her brothers. During the 1070s, she ruled Tuscany in tandem with her mother; … More Medieval Mold-Breaking Women: Countess Matilda of Tuscany

Medieval Mold-Breaking Women: Countess Marie of Champagne

Countess Marie wasn’t exactly a mold-breaker, but her influence on society—both medieval and later—makes her a remarkable woman. Rather than defy the culture of her day, she was instrumental in defining culture for centuries to come. She was a member of France’s royal family, the eldest daughter of King Louis VII and Eleanor, Duchess of … More Medieval Mold-Breaking Women: Countess Marie of Champagne

Medieval Mold-Breaking Women: Empress Matilda

Empress Matilda is an often-overlooked medieval noble, but her life certainly warrants attention. She was the daughter of a king, Henry I of England, and her dynastic birthright would become the nation’s focus during her middle years. In A.D./C.E. 1114 she became the wife of an emperor, Henry V of the Holy Roman Empire, and … More Medieval Mold-Breaking Women: Empress Matilda

Medieval Mold-Breaking Women: Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine has become synonymous with the image of a powerful medieval woman. Volumes have been written about her extraordinary political influence, with the oldest dating as far back as when she was alive. Though historians continue to debate the nature of her rule, it’s clear that she was one of the most influential … More Medieval Mold-Breaking Women: Eleanor of Aquitaine