Term of Award

Fall 2012

Degree Name

Master of Arts in History (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of History

Committee Chair

Vernon O. Egger

Committee Member 1

Kathleen M. Comerford

Committee Member 2

Michael J. Decker

Committee Member 3

Michael J. Decker

Abstract

Manuel I of Byzantium (1143-80) has been unfairly judged as misguided, reckless, and, ultimately, as a failure. This work endeavors to refute the claims that Manuel's imperial policy lacked any coherent strategy, and that Byzantium simply reacted to external stimuli. The most ambitious aim of this thesis is to present a cogent analysis of Manuel's imperial policy to demonstrate the emperor's efficacy and strategic flexibility. The perception, generally accepted by historians, that Manuel left his empire exhausted and vulnerable to outside aggression is also seriously challenged. Regardless of Manuel's defeat at Myriokephalon in 1176, he could claim that the empire was stronger than it had been in over a century.

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