Nikephoros Palaiologos (Greek : Νικηφόρος Παλαιολόγος; died 18 October 1081) was a Byzantine general of the 11th century.
Nikephoros is the first known member of the Palaiologos family, which would eventually rise to become the last ruling dynasty of the Byzantine Empire from 1259 to 1453. He had two sons, George and Nicholas. George Palaiologos also became a general and was one of the chief supporters of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos (r. 1081–1118). Through George and his great-great-grandson Andronikos Palaiologos, the later Palaiologan dynasty draws its descent.
Nikephoros is first attested during the short reign of Romanos IV Diogenes (r. 1068–1071). A Doukas partisan, he was hostile to Romanos and a member of the opposition around the Caesar John Doukas and Michael Psellos.After the fall of Romanos following the disastrous Battle of Manzikert (1071), Nikephoros was dispatched east against the Norman mercenary Roussel de Bailleul, who had rebelled against imperial rule. After gathering some 6,000 mercenaries in Georgia, he confronted Roussel, but his Georgian troops defected and he was defeated. In 1077, he is recorded as doux of Mesopotamia. Although loyal to the Doukas dynasty and Emperor Michael VII Doukas (r. 1071–1078), he did permit his son George to join the rebellion of Nikephoros Botaneiates, who became emperor as Nikephoros III (r. 1078–1081).
In 1081, he again remained loyal to Botaneiates when the Komnenoi under Alexios Komnenos rose up, even though his son George and the Doukai supported the Komnenian cause. According to Anna Komnene's Alexiad , father and son even met during the Komnenian forces' entry into Constantinople on 1 April 1081, in what Basile Skoulatos describes as one of the "most passionate" scenes of the work.Even then, Nikephoros tried to induce Botaneiates to resist, urging him to give him command of the Varangian Guard and try to defend the imperial palace, but in vain. He then tried to mediate and proposed that Alexios be adopted by Botaneiates and assume de facto control over the Empire, while the latter would retain the honorary position of emperor, but at the insistence of Caesar John Doukas, the Komnenoi rejected this proposal. Eventually, Botaneiates abdicated.
Nikephoros accepted Alexios as his new emperor, and accompanied him in his campaign in the same year against the Normans under Robert Guiscard. He fought and died at the Battle of Dyrrhachium against Guiscard's forces on 18 October 1081.
Alexios I Komnenos, Latinized Alexius I Comnenus, was Byzantine emperor from 1081 to 1118. Although he was not the founder of the Komnenian dynasty, it was during his reign that the Komnenos family came to full power. Inheriting a collapsing empire and faced with constant warfare during his reign against both the Seljuq Turks in Asia Minor and the Normans in the western Balkans, Alexios was able to curb the Byzantine decline and begin the military, financial, and territorial recovery known as the Komnenian restoration. The basis for this recovery were various reforms initiated by Alexios. His appeals to Western Europe for help against the Turks were also the catalyst that likely contributed to the convoking of the Crusades.
Michael VII Doukas or Dukas/Ducas, nicknamed Parapinakes, was Byzantine emperor from 1071 to 1078.
Anna Dalassene was an important Byzantine noblewoman who played a significant role in the rise to power of the Komnenoi in the eleventh century. As Augusta, a title bestowed upon her by her son, Alexios I Komnenos, rather than his empress-consort she guided the empire during his many absences for long military campaigns against Turkish and other incursions into the Byzantine Empire. As empress-mother, she exerted more influence and power than the empress-consort, Irene Doukaina, a woman whom she hated because of past intrigues with the Doukas family.
Constantine Doukas or Ducas, was Byzantine junior emperor from 1074–1078, and again from 1081–1087. He was born to Emperor Michael VII and Empress Maria of Alania in late 1074, and elevated to junior emperor in the same year. He was junior emperor until 1078, when Michael VII was replaced by Nikephoros III Botaneiates. Because Constantine was not made junior emperor under Nikephoros III, his betrothal to Olympias, the daughter of Robert Guiscard, was broken, which Robert Guiscard used as a pretext to invade the Byzantine Empire. John Doukas forced Nikephoros to abdicate to Alexios I Komnenos in 1081, and shortly after Alexios elevated Constantine to junior emperor under himself. Constantine remained junior emperor until 1087, when Alexios had a son, John II Komnenos. Constantine died in c. 1095.
The Battle of Kalavrye was fought in 1078 between the Byzantine imperial forces of general Alexios Komnenos and the rebellious governor of Dyrrhachium, Nikephoros Bryennios the Elder. Bryennios had rebelled against Michael VII Doukas and had won over the allegiance of the Byzantine army's regular regiments in the Balkans. Even after Doukas's overthrow by Nikephoros III Botaneiates, Bryennios continued his revolt, and threatened Constantinople. After failed negotiations, Botaneiates sent the young general Alexios Komnenos with whatever forces he could gather to confront him.
Isaac Komnenos or Comnenus was a notable Byzantine aristocrat and military commander in the 1070s. Isaac played a major role in the rise to the throne of his younger brother, the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, and remained a leading figure in his brother's administration until his death.
Nikephoros Basilakes, frequently encountered simply as Basilakios (Βασιλάκιος), Latinized as Nicephorus Basilacius, was a Byzantine general and aristocrat of the late 11th century, who in 1078/79 tried to overthrow the Emperor Nikephoros III Botaneiates and was defeated by Alexios Komnenos.
Nikephoros Melissenos, Latinized as Nicephorus Melissenus, was a Byzantine general and aristocrat. Of distinguished lineage, he served as a governor and general in the Balkans and Asia Minor in the 1060s. In the turbulent period after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, when several generals tried to seize the throne for themselves, Melissenos remained loyal to Michael VII Doukas and was exiled by his successor Nikephoros III Botaneiates. In 1080–1081, with Turkish aid, he seized control of what remained of Byzantine Asia Minor and proclaimed himself emperor against Botaneiates. After the revolt of his brother-in-law Alexios I Komnenos, however, which succeeded in taking Constantinople, he submitted to him, accepting the rank of Caesar and the governance of Thessalonica. He remained loyal to Alexios thereafter, participating in most Byzantine campaigns of the period 1081–1095 in the Balkans at the emperor's side. He died on 17 November 1104.
George (Georgios) Palaiologos or Palaeologus was a Byzantine general, one of the most prominent military commanders and supporters of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos.
Nikephoros Diogenes, Latinized as Nicephorus Diogenes, was a junior Byzantine emperor from 1070–1071. He was born in c. 1069 to Byzantine Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes and Empress Eudokia Makrembolitissa. He was elevated to junior emperor in 1070, although he lost this position when his father was overthrown in 1071. Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, after overthrowing Nikephoros III, made Nikephoros doux of Crete, and made him a general. Nikephoros conspired against him in 1094, involving numerous confidants and relatives of Alexios, including Alexios' brother, Adrianos. For this conspiracy, he was blinded, in accordance with Byzantine traditions. After this, he retired to his estates, and spent the last years of his life studying classical literature.
John Doukas was a member of the Doukas family, a relative of Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos and a senior military figure of his reign. As governor of Dyrrhachium, he secured the imperial possessions in the western Balkans against the Serbs. Appointed megas doux, he scoured the Aegean of the fleets of the Turkish emir Tzachas, suppressed rebellions in Crete and Cyprus, and then recovered much of the western coast of Anatolia for Byzantium.
Michael Doukas was a member of the Doukas family, a relative of the Emperor Alexios I Komnenos and a senior military figure, with the rank of protostrator, during Alexios's reign. His life is only known through the Alexiad of Anna Komnene and the history of her husband, Nikephoros Bryennios.
Adrianos Komnenos was a Byzantine aristocrat and general, and a younger brother of the Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos.
Constantine Choirosphaktes was a Byzantine diplomat and official active during the reigns of Nikephoros III Botaneiates and Alexios I Komnenos.
Nikephoros Euphorbenos Katakalon was a Byzantine aristocrat and son-in-law of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos.
Constantine Diogenes was one of the sons of Byzantine Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes.
John Komnenos was a Byzantine aristocrat and military leader. The younger brother of Emperor Isaac I Komnenos, he served as Domestic of the Schools during Isaac's brief reign (1057–59). When Isaac I abdicated, Constantine X Doukas became emperor and John withdrew from public life until his death in 1067. Through his son Alexios I Komnenos, who became emperor in 1081, he was the progenitor of the Komnenian dynasty that ruled the Byzantine Empire from 1081 until 1185, and the Empire of Trebizond from 1204 until 1461.
The Byzantine Empire was ruled by emperors of the Doukas dynasty between 1059 and 1081. There are six emperors and co-emperors of this period: the dynasty's founder, Emperor Constantine X Doukas, his brother John Doukas, katepano and later Caesar, Romanos IV Diogenes, Constantine's son Michael VII Doukas, Michael's son and co-emperor Constantine Doukas, and finally Nikephoros III Botaneiates, who claimed descent from the Phokas family.
Michael Taronites was a Byzantine aristocrat and brother-in-law of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos. He was involved in a conspiracy against him and was banished in 1094.
Maria Komnene was the second daughter of the Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos. She was initially betrothed to Gregory Gabras, but married to Nikephoros Katakalon.