O’ROURKE: BYZANTIUM UNDER THE KOMNENOI EMPERORS
(*) To call the upper part of this region ‘Occitania’ would be an anachronism: thename does not appear until 1242. The name
(for the lower part) appearssomewhat earlier, i.e. in the early 1100s.The northern Italian princes were vassals of the ‘German’ Emperor (Franconian orSalian dynasty). (*) In the south, the Norman Kingdom of “Sicily” so-called (also knownas “the Regno”) included not only Sicily but (from 1130) also the whole southern half of the Italian peninsula. It was called ‘Sicily’ because the capital until 1266 was at Palermo.(*) It is perhaps too early to use the term ‘German’. The Salian kings’ subjects were variously Bavarians, Alemanns (Swabians), Franconians, Dutch, Saxons, Slavs andItalians (”Lombards”).Many would argue, however, that a German (as distinct from Frankish) identity
in fact firmly established by the eleventh century. In any event, the Papacy used the term
or ‘kingdom of the Germans’ against Henry VI, king from 1056 and emperor from 1084. The pope wanted to restrict Henry’s(Heinrich’s) claim of rulership. Henry II, king from 1002 and emperor from 1014,flourished the title of
‘king of the Romans’. This was a piece of anti-Byzantine propaganda.
was used again thereafter by Henry VI, to emphasise to the Pope and others that his Salian empire extended well beyond the Teutonic realm.It is also noteworthy that the term “holy Empire”, as in ‘Holy Roman Emperor’does not appear until 1157. The full phrase ‘Holy Roman Empire’ (
sacrum Romanum imperium
) is not used until 1254 (Rosenwein 2009: 351). The ‘true’Roman Emperor (Gk:
) of course lived in Constantinople . . .The Adriatic coast of the Balkans was divided between Venice, Byzantium and the Serbs.The latter are often counted as part of the Empire because they were a Greek (Byzantine)protectorate [see 1165] and culturally dominated by Byzantine clergymen.The splintering or devolution of the Muslim powers meant that Byzantium, or as it is better called, ‘the Christian Roman Empire of the Greeks’ [Gk:
], had become once again
the richest and strongest state inthe Mediterranean sphere
(albeit initially rather weak at sea)
It extended (see next)from our Montenegro and Albania through Greece and Bulgaria to the lowland two-fifthsof what is now Turkey. As we have said, the Seljuk Turks ruled the upland three-fifths of Asia Minor.
The Empire in 1118
At the death of Alexios I ‘the Great’ in 1118, the European sector of the empire remainedsomewhat larger than its Asian sector.On the European side the Byzantines controlled or protected parts of the lowerDalmatian coast (Dubrovnik and Kotor); the whole of the Balkans from the Danube atBelgrade to the tip of Greece; Crete; and an outpost in the Crimea. Conquered in 1018,Bulgaria had been a province of the Empire for 100 years. Or rather: several provinces,for the Bulgarian lands were subdivided for the purposes of imperial government.
[Zeta and Rascia]
was effectively independent, with the upper Dalmatiancoast divided between it and Venice
. Belgrade on the Danube and Dyrrhachium (Durres)on the Adriatic were the far points of the empire in the NW. The Serbians at this timecontrolled only the upper Drina basin and Montenegro; the Morava valley was still in