Alexius Komnenos' top-5 greatest allies and enemies

Jul 2018
Hong Kong
Top-5 Allies

1. The Venetians
2. The Crusaders
3. The Cumans
4. Henry IV, the Holy Roman Emperor
5. Raymond of Toulouse

Top-5 Enemies

1. Prince Bohemund of Antioch
2. Robert Guiscard
3. The Pechenegs
4. Tzachas
5. Nikephoros Bryennios

What do you think ?


Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
I'd say that his number one ally was the Kaisar John Doukas, whose desperation to keep his house in power and lack of available male relatives caused him to throw his weight and the weight of his clan with Alexios. While this helped him seize power, it also helped him keep it, which was not a sure thing given that Alexios' early years were a disaster. I think we also have to put the Georgian cabal that helped make Alexios and keep him in power high up on the list. The number of Georgians connected to Alexios' revolt is notable.

As for enemies, it's hard to place Bohemond. This is in part due to the Alexiad's fixation with him and his fame as a crusader. His invasion was arguably more capable than his father's, but achieved even less because it was not launched against a young, untested emperor whose empire was crumbling around him. Guiscard's attack, on the other hand, came at an extremely bad time and shook the political support of a usurper. Not sure I'd even put Tzachas on the list; his expansion was short-lived, his supposed Pecheneg alliance might be nothing more than a literary reference back to Herakleios, he was at odds with other Turkish rulers in Asia, and his polity came apart the moment Byzantine pressure was applied.