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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The later Crusades, 1189-1311

IV: Byzantium and the Crusades, 1081-1204,   pp. [unnumbered]-151 PDF (11.7 MB)

Page 127

an insidious propaganda campaign against Byzantium in the west, of which
Bohemond was almost certainly one of the main instigators. Fickle, malicious,
courageous, tenacious, Bohemond in Syria quarreled with his fellow crusaders
and with the emperor, and was worsted by the Turks. He was forced to return
to Italy to seek help; there he spread the story that the crusaders had been
betrayed by the Byzantines, and even suggested the conquest of Constantinople,
a feat at which he himself aimed in his renewed attack on Greece in 1107,
when he landed at Avlona. But he had no more success than his father, and
was defeated by Alexius. By the treaty of Devol (Deabolis; 1108) Bohemond
had to recognize the over lordship of Alexius and his son John, and to promise
to hold Antioch as a fief and to give military service to the emperor. He
also swore that "there shall never be a patriarch of our race, but he
shall be one whom your Majesties shall appoint from among the servants of
the great church of Constantinople",5 for the appointment of a Latin
patriarch (Bernard of Valence) to the ancient see of Antioch had caused great
offense in Byzantium. Tancred, who was at the time acting for his uncle in
the principality, refused to implement this treaty, and Antioch long continued
to be a center of opposition to Constantinople. But Alexius had at least
checked Bohemond and guarded his western approaches. 
 The defeat of Bohemond indicated the steady increase of Alexius' strength.
His prestige grew commensurately. He held the balance between the Serbian
principalities of Zeta and Rascia in the Balkans; in 1104 he married his
son and heir John to a Hungarian princess, thus recognizing the increasing
importance of Hungary in Balkan and Adriatic politics; he organized campaigns
against the Selchükids in Anatolia. Although he excelled at playing
off one power against another, his weapons were not only diplomatic ones.
Indeed diplomacy alone would not suffice to build up the military and naval
strength of the empire, and imperial attention and astuteness were therefore
also constantly directed towards the improvement of internal affairs. 
 Amid fundamental changes, which distinguish the Comnenian from earlier periods,
the old Byzantine conception of the imperial office still remained unchallenged,
as the Alexiad demonstrates. At home Alexius was a vigorous administrator
and a keen churchman, aware of his responsibilities in both secular and spiritual
spheres. His support of orthodoxy and of the church was unwavering. In acute
financial difficulties in the early years of his reign, he had 
 5 Anna Comnena, Alexiad, XIII, xii, 20 (ed. Leib, III, 134). 

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