Constantine X Doukas

Constantine X Doukas
   Emperor (q.v.) from 1059-1067, whose incompetent administration and neglect of the army (q.v.) opened up Asia Minor and the Balkan Peninsula (qq.v.) to new invaders. His accession, engineered by Michael Psellos (q.v.), can be seen as a reaction against the reforms of the previous emperor, Isaac I Komnenos (q.v.). He utterly neglected the army, while spending lavishly on his court, on the civil service, and on gifts to monasteries and to foreign rulers. Meanwhile, under Robert Guiscard (q.v.), the Normans (q.v.) by 1059 had conquered all of southern Italy (q.v.); by the time of Constantine X's death in 1067 they were four years away from conquering Bari (q.v.). When Uzes (q.v.) invaded Byzantine Macedonia (q.v.) in 1064-1065 Constantine X could only raise 150 soldiers to oppose them. Fortunately, the plague did to the Uzes what Byzantine arms could not do. However, in the East the military situation was grave. In 1064 the Seljuks under Alp Arsan (qq.v.) invaded Armenia (q.v.), capturing Ani (q.v.), whose garrison had been depleted by cutbacks. The defenses of Asia Minor began to crumble with the Seljuk sack of Melitene (q.v.) in 1058. In effect, Constantine X's neglect of the army laid the foundation for the Seljuk victory at Mantzikert (q.v.) in 1071.

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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