Alexios III Angelos (Medieval Greek: Ἀλέξιος Γ′ Ἄγγελος) (c. 1153 – 1211) was Byzantine Emperor from March 1195 to July 17/18, 1203. A member of the extended imperial family, Alexios came to throne after deposing, blinding, and imprisoning his younger brother Isaac II Angelos. The most significant event of his reign was the attack of the Fourth Crusade on Constantinople in 1203, on behalf of Alexios IV Angelos. Alexios III took over the defense of the city, which he mismanaged, then fled the city at night with one of his three daughters. From Adrianople, and then Mosynopolis, he unsuccessfully attempted to rally his supporters, only to end up a captive of Marquis Boniface of Montferrat. He was ransomed, sent to Asia Minor where he plotted against his son-in-law Theodore Laskaris, but was eventually arrested and spent his last days confined to the Monastery of Hyakinthos in Nicaea, where he died.
|Alexios III Angelos|
|Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans|
|Emperor of the Byzantine Empire|
|Reign||8 April 1195 – 18 July 1202|
|Predecessor||Isaac II Angelos|
|Successor||Isaac II Angelos and Alexios IV Angelos|
|Spouse||Euphrosyne Doukaina Kamatera|
Anna Komnene Angelina
|Father||Andronikos Doukas Angelos|
Alexios III Angelos was the second son of Andronikos Doukas Angelos and Euphrosyne Kastamonitissa. Andronikos was himself a son of Theodora Komnene, the youngest daughter of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos and Irene Doukaina. Thus Alexios Angelos was a member of the extended imperial family. Together with his father and brothers, Alexios had conspired against Emperor Andronikos I Komnenos (c. 1183), and thus he spent several years in exile in Muslim courts, including that of Saladin.
His younger brother Isaac was threatened with execution under orders of Andronikos I, their first-cousin once-removed, on September 11, 1185. Isaac made a desperate attack on the imperial agents and soon killed their leader Stephen Hagiochristophorites. He then took refuge in the church of Hagia Sophia and from there appealed to the populace. His actions provoked a riot, which resulted in the deposition of Andronikos I and the proclamation of Isaac as Emperor. Alexios was now closer to the imperial throne than ever before.
By 1190 Alexios had returned to the court of his younger brother, from whom he received the elevated title of sebastokratōr. In March 1195 while Isaac II was away hunting in Thrace, Alexios was acclaimed as emperor by the troops with the covert support of Alexios' wife Euphrosyne Doukaina Kamatera. Alexios captured Isaac at Stagira in Macedonia, put out his eyes, and thenceforth kept him a close prisoner, despite having previously been redeemed by Alexios from captivity at Antioch and showered with honours.
To compensate for this crime and to solidify his position as emperor, Alexios had to scatter money so lavishly as to empty his treasury, and to allow such licence to the officers of the army as to leave the Empire practically defenceless. These actions inevitably led to the financial ruin of the state. At Christmas 1196, Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI attempted to force Alexios to pay him a tribute of 5,000 pounds (later negotiated down to 1,600 pounds) of gold or face invasion. Alexios gathered the money by plundering imperial tombs at the church of the Holy Apostles and taxing the people heavily, though Henry's death in September 1197 meant the gold was never dispatched. The able and forceful empress Euphrosyne tried in vain to sustain his credit and his court; Vatatzes, the favourite instrument in her attempts at reform, was assassinated by the emperor's orders.
In the east the Empire was overrun by the Seljuk Turks; from the north, the Kingdom of Hungary and the rebellious Bulgarians and Vlachs descended unchecked to ravage the Balkan provinces of the Empire, sometimes penetrating as far as Greece, while Alexios squandered the public treasure on his palaces and gardens and attempted to deal with the crisis through diplomatic means. The Emperor's attempts to bolster the empire's defences by special concessions to pronoiars (notables) in the frontier zone backfired, as the latter increased their regional autonomy. Byzantine authority survived, but in a much weakened state. In 1197, local lord Dobromir Chrysos established himself in region of Vardar Macedonia, defying the imperial power for several years.
During first years of Alexios reign, relations between Byzantium and Serbia were good, since his daughter Eudokia Angelina was married to Serbian Grand Prince Stefan Nemanjić, who was granted the title of sebastokrator. But in 1200, those relations deteriorated. Marriage between Stefan and Eudokia was dissolved, and alliance between Serbia and Byzantium ended, leaving Byzantium without a single ally in Southeastern Europe.
Soon Alexios was threatened by a new and more formidable danger. In 1202, soldiers assembled at Venice to launch the Fourth Crusade. Alexios IV Angelos, the son of the deposed Isaac II, had recently escaped from Constantinople and now appealed for support to the crusaders, promising to end the schism of East and West, to pay for their transport, and to provide military support if they would help him depose his uncle and ascend to his father's throne.
The crusaders, whose objective had been Egypt, were persuaded to set their course for Constantinople, arriving there in June 1203, proclaiming Alexios IV as Emperor, and inviting the populace of the capital to depose his uncle. Alexios III took no effective measures to resist, and his attempts to bribe the crusaders failed. His son-in-law, Theodore Laskaris, who was the only one to attempt anything significant, was defeated at Scutari, and the siege of Constantinople began. Unfortunately for the city, misgovernment by Alexios III had left the Byzantine navy with only 20 worm-eaten hulks by the time the crusaders arrived.
In July, the crusaders, led by the aged Doge Enrico Dandolo, scaled the walls and took control of a major section of the city. In the ensuing fighting, the crusaders set the city on fire, ultimately leaving 20,000 people homeless. On 17 July Alexios III finally took action and led 17 divisions from the St. Romanus Gate, vastly outnumbering the crusaders. His courage failed, however, and the Byzantine army returned to the city without a fight. His courtiers demanded action, and Alexios III promised to fight. Instead, that night (July 17/18), Alexios III hid in the palace, and finally, with one of his daughters, Eirene, and as much treasure (1,000 pounds of gold) as he could collect, got into a boat and escaped to Debeltos in Thrace, leaving his wife and his other daughters behind. Isaac II, drawn from his prison and robed once more in the imperial purple, received his son, Alexios IV, in state.
Alexios III attempted to organize resistance to the new regime from Adrianople and then Mosynopolis, where he was joined by the later usurper Alexios V Doukas Mourtzouphlos in April 1204, after the definitive fall of Constantinople to the crusaders and the establishment of the Latin Empire. At first Alexios III received Alexios V well, even allowing him to marry his daughter Eudokia Angelina. Later Alexios V was blinded and deserted by his father-in-law, who fled from the crusaders into Thessaly. Here Alexios III eventually surrendered, with Euphrosyne, to Marquis Boniface of Montferrat, who was establishing himself as ruler of the Kingdom of Thessalonica.
Alexios III attempted to escape Boniface's "protection" in 1205, seeking shelter with Michael I Komnenos Doukas, the ruler of Epirus. Captured by Boniface, Alexios and his retinue were sent to Montferrat before being brought back to Thessalonica in c. 1209. At that point the deposed emperor was ransomed by Michael I, who sent him to Asia Minor, where Alexios' son-in-law Theodore Laskaris - now emperor of Nicaea - was holding his own against the Latins. Here Alexios conspired against his son-in-law after the latter refused to recognize Alexios' authority, receiving the support of Kaykhusraw I, the sultan of Rûm. In the Battle of Antioch on the Meander in 1211, the sultan was defeated and killed, and Alexios was captured by Theodore Laskaris. Alexios was then confined to a monastery at Nicaea, where he died later in 1211.
By his marriage to Euphrosyne Doukaina Kamatera, Alexios had three daughters:
Alexios III Angelos
Angelid dynastyBorn: 1153 Died: 1211
Isaac II Angelos
| Byzantine Emperor
Isaac II Angelos
Alexios IV Angelos
Alexios Palaiologos (Greek: Ἀλέξιος Παλαιολόγος; died 1203) was a Byzantine nobleman, son-in-law of Emperor Alexios III Angelos (r. 1195–1203) and his heir apparent from 1199 to his death. Throughout this time, he was actively involved in the suppression of several revolts and riots against the emperor. Through his daughter, he became one of the progenitors of the Palaiologan dynasty (1261–1453).Andronikos Doukas Angelos
Andronikos Doukas Angelos (Greek: Ἀνδρόνικος Δούκας Ἄγγελος, c. 1133 – before 1185) was a Byzantine aristocrat related to the ruling Komnenos dynasty. During the reign of his cousin, Manuel I Komnenos, he served without success as a military commander against the Seljuk Turks, and as envoy to the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Following Manuel's death, in 1182 he was sent to stop the rebellion of Andronikos I Komnenos, but was defeated and eventually defected to him. Shortly after, he led a failed conspiracy of leading aristocrats against Andronikos I. When it was discovered, Andronikos and his sons fled the Empire, ending up in Acre, where he died. He was the father of emperors Isaac II Angelos and Alexios III Angelos.Anna Komnene Angelina
Anna Komnene Angelina or Comnena Angelina (c. 1176 – 1212) was an Empress of Nicaea. She was the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Alexios III Angelos and of Euphrosyne Doukaina Kamatera.Basil Doukas Kamateros
Basil Doukas Kamateros (Greek: Βασίλειος Δούκας Καματηρός) was a Byzantine aristocrat and senior official.
Basil was the son of the official and theologian Andronikos Doukas Kamateros, and brother of Empress Euphrosyne Doukaina Kamatera, wife of Alexios III Angelos (r. 1195–1203). A relative of the imperial family—his grandmother Irene Doukaina was probably a daughter of the protostrator Michael Doukas, brother-in-law of Alexios I Komnenos (r. 1081–1118)—he held the high rank of sebastos, and by 1166 held the office of protonotarios. By 1182 he had advanced to the post of logothetes tou dromou, but was dismissed, blinded (apparently only in one eye), and banished to Russia when Andronikos I Komnenos (r. 1182–1185) took power.He returned to Constantinople and was again logothetes tou dromou under Isaac II Angelos (r. 1185–1195), and remained active at court under his brother-in-law Alexios III. After the Fourth Crusade he fled to the Empire of Nicaea, established by his nephew Theodore I Laskaris, who in 1209/10 sent him on an embassy to the King of Armenian Cilicia, Leo I.Constantine Komnenos Angelos
Constantine Komnenos Angelos (Greek: Κωνσταντῖνος Κομνηνός Ἄγγελος; c. 1151 – after 1199) was a Byzantine aristocrat and military commander, and the older brother of the emperors Isaac II Angelos and Alexios III Angelos. He was blinded by the usurper Andronikos I Komnenos, and raised to sebastokrator by his brother Isaac upon the latter's accession.Dobromir Chrysos
Dobromir, known to the Byzantines as Chrysos (Macedonian: Добромир Хрс, Bulgarian: Добромир Хриз, Greek: Δοβρομηρός Χρυσός), was a leader of the Vlachs and Bulgarians in eastern Macedonia during the reign of the Byzantine emperor Alexios III Angelos. According to Niketas Choniates, Dobromir-Chrysus was, despite his Slavic name, a Vlach by birth. However, most probably he was of mixed Slavic - Vlach origins. He became prominent in 1197 and is last heard of in 1202.
He was already married, but in order to cement an alliance with him the Emperor offered him a daughter of the Byzantine warlord Manuel Kamytzes. She was forced to divorce her husband and to marry Dobromir in 1198. About 1200 he took a third wife, the Emperor's granddaughter Theodora Angelina, who had previously been married to a rival leader, Ivanko.
In 1202 the lands of Dobromir Chrysos were conquered by Bulgarian emperor Kaloyan.Eudokia Angelina
Eudokia Angelina (or Eudocia Angelina) (Greek: Ευδοκία Αγγελίνα, Serbian: Evdokija Anđel; around 1173–died c. 1211, or later) was the consort of Stefan the First-Crowned of Serbia from c. 1190 to c. 1200. She later remarried, to Alexios V Doukas, who briefly ruled as Emperor of Byzantium in 1204. She was a daughter of Alexios III Angelos and Euphrosyne Doukaina Kamatera.Euphrosyne Doukaina Kamatera
Euphrosyne Doukaina Kamaterina or better Kamatera (Greek: Ευφροσύνη Δούκαινα Καματερίνα ή Καματηρά, c. 1155 – 1211) was a Byzantine Empress by marriage to the Byzantine Emperor Alexios III Angelos.
Euphrosyne was the daughter of Andronikos Kamateros, a high-ranking official who held the titles of megas droungarios and pansebastos and wife, an unknown Kantakouzene. She was related to the Emperor Constantine X and Irene Doukaina, empress of Alexios I Komnenos. Both of her brothers had rebelled against Andronikos I Komnenos; one was imprisoned and the other was blinded.Evdokija
Evdokija (Serbian Cyrillic: Евдокија, Macedonian: Евдокија) and Jevdokija (Јевдокија) are Serbian and Macedonian variants of Greek name Eudokia (Ευδοκία), a feminine given name. It may refer to:
Teodora-Evdokija (1330–after 1381), daughter of Stefan Dečanski, wife of Dejan
Jevdokija Balšić (fl. 1411), daughter of Đurađ I Balšić, wife of Esau de' Buondelmonti
Eudokia Angelina or Evdokija Anđel (fl. 1186–1211), daughter of Alexios III Angelos, wife of Stefan the First-CrownedEvdokija Foteva - Vera (1926 - 2011), a Macedonian communist from Aegean Macedonia.Irene Laskarina
Irene Laskarina (died 1239) (Greek: Ειρήνη Λασκαρίνα, Eirēnē Laskarina) was an Empress of Nicaea. She was a daughter of Theodore I Laskaris, emperor of Nicaea and Anna Angelina. Her maternal grandparents were Emperor Alexios III Angelos and Euphrosyne Doukaina Kamaterina. Her sister Maria Laskarina married King Béla IV of Hungary.
Irene first married the general Andronikos Palaiologos, and after his death became the wife of Theodore's designated successor, the future John III Doukas Vatatzes in 1212. With John III she had a son, the future Theodore II Laskaris. After the latter's birth, she fell from a horse and was so badly injured that she was unable to have any more children. She retired to a convent, taking the monastic name Eugenia, and died there in 1239, some fifteen years before her husband.Irene is much praised by historians for her modesty and prudence, and is said to have brought about by her example a considerable improvement in the morals of her nation.Ivanko of Bulgaria
Ivanko (Bulgarian: Иванко) killed Ivan Asen I, ruler of the renascent Second Bulgarian Empire, in 1196. The murder occurred when Asen angrily summoned Ivanko to discipline him for having an affair with his wife's sister.
In 1197 Ivanko, who was a Vlach according to the terminology used by Niketas Choniates, married Theodora Angelina, the daughter of Anna Angelina and the sebastokrator Isaac Komnenos. Theodora's father had died in Bulgarian captivity not many months earlier.
Ivanko, who adopted the Greek name Alexios, fought at first for his grandfather-in-law, the Byzantine emperor Alexios III Angelos, but afterwards turned against him. He captured the general Manuel Kamytzes in 1198; Kamytzes was ransomed by his son-in-law, Ivanko's rival, Dobromir.
The emperor's sons-in-law Alexios Palaiologos and Theodore Laskaris marched against Ivanko in 1200, and he was eventually captured when Alexios promised not to harm him in a peace council but then took him prisoner.John Spyridonakes
John Spyridonakes (Greek: Ἰωάννης Σπυριδωνάκης, fl. ca. 1195–1201) was a Byzantine governor and rebel in the region of Macedonia during the reign of Emperor Alexios III Angelos (r. 1195–1203).
Spyridonakes was born in Cyprus. Originally a low-born handicraftsman, he secured the favour of Emperor Alexios III Angelos and rose to the post of head of the imperial privy purse (the oikeiakon vestiarion). Subsequently, he was appointed governor of the theme of Smolena in eastern Macedonia. In 1201, he rebelled against the Byzantine emperor, taking advantage of a series of raids and rebellions – such as those of Dobromir Chrysos and Ivanko – then occurring in the Byzantine Empire's Balkan provinces. He was soon defeated by imperial forces under the Emperor's son-in-law Alexios Palaiologos and driven to seek refuge at the court of the Bulgarian emperor Kalojan (r. 1197–1207).John X of Constantinople
John X Kamateros (Greek: Ἰωάννης Καματηρός), (? – April or May 1206) was the Patriarch of Constantinople from 5 August 1198 to April/May 1206.
John was a member of the Kamateros family, to which belonged the Empress Euphrosyne Doukaina Kamatera, wife of Alexios III Angelos (r. 1195–1203). An educated man, well versed in classical literature, rhetoric and philosophy, he occupied a series of ecclesiastical posts reaching the post of chartophylax, which he held at the time of his elevation to the patriarchal throne.In 1198–1200 he had an exchange of letters with Pope Innocent III on the issue of papal supremacy and the filioque clause. Notably, he disputed Rome's claim to primacy based on St Peter, and asserted that in reality its primacy came from the fact that Rome was the old imperial capital. He intervened in the riots in Constantinople against the arrest of the banker Kalomodios, and secured his release, but during the coup of John Komnenos the Fat on 31 July 1200, he hid in a cupboard as the rebels seized control of the Hagia Sophia.
John remained in office after Alexios III's deposition in July 1203, and according to Western sources, both he and Alexios IV Angelos, threatened by the Fourth Crusade, acknowledged papal supremacy in the same year. After the capture of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade in 1204, he initially fled to Didymoteichon in Thrace. In 1206, Theodore I Laskaris invited him to Nicaea, where he had established the Empire of Nicaea, a Byzantine Greek successor state, but John refused, perhaps because of his advanced age, and died in April or May of the same year.The Crusaders then installed a Latin Patriarch in Constantinople, while Theodore simply created a new provisional seat of the Constantinoplitan Ecumenical Patriarchate in Nicaea, which was eventually restored in Constantinople with the rest of the Empire in 1261.Kamateros
The Kamateros (Greek: Καματηρός), Latinized Camaterus, were a Byzantine family of functionaries from Constantinople that became prominent in the 10th–12th centuries. Several family members were scholars and literary patrons. The feminine form of the name is Kamatera (Greek: Καματηρά).
The first attested member of the family is the spatharokandidatos Petronas Kamateros, who in c. 839 supervised the construction of the Sarkel fortress for the Khazars and later became governor of Cherson. Several members of the family are attested in the 10th and 11th centuries as fiscal or judicial officials, and Gregory Kamateros became protasekretis and later logothetes ton sekreton to Emperor Alexios I Komnenos (r. 1081–1118).The family reached its peak in the 12th century, under Manuel I Komnenos (r. 1143–1180) and the Angelos emperors. The sebastos John Kamateros enjoyed the favour of Manuel I and was logothetes tou dromou in the late 1150s. The sebastos Andronikos Kamateros became Eparch of Constantinople and droungarios of the Vigla, and was also a theologian of note. His son Basil was logothetes tou dromou under Isaac II Angelos (r. 1185–1195, 1203–1204), while his daughter Euphrosyne Doukaina Kamatera married emperor Alexios III Angelos (r. 1195–1203).The family also produced two Ecumenical Patriarchs of Constantinople, Basil II (1183–1186) and John X (1198–1206). At the same time, John V Kamateros was archbishop of Bulgaria after 1186. Another John Kamateros, possibly identical with John V, was the author of two astrological works.Leo Sgouros
Leo Sgouros (Greek: Λέων Σγουρός), Latinized as Leo Sgurus, was a Greek independent lord in the northeastern Peloponnese in the early 13th century. The scion of the magnate Sgouros family, he succeeded his father as hereditary lord in the region of Nauplia. Taking advantage of the disruption caused by the Fourth Crusade, he made himself independent, one of several local rulers that appeared throughout the Byzantine Empire during the final years of the Angeloi dynasty. He expanded his domain into Corinthia and Central Greece, eventually marrying the daughter of former Byzantine emperor Alexios III Angelos (r. 1195–1203). His conquests, however, were short-lived, as the Crusaders forced him back into the Peloponnese. Blockaded in his stronghold on the Acrocorinth, he committed suicide in 1208.Manuel Kamytzes
Manuel Kamytzes Komnenos Doukas Angelos (Greek: Μανουήλ Καμύτζης Κομνηνός Δούκας Άγγελος, ca. 1150 – after 1202) was a Byzantine general who was active in the late 12th century AD. He was the son of Constantine Kamytzes and Maria Angelina, who was the granddaughter of the Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos and Irene Doukaina through her mother Theodora. He was therefore a first cousin of the emperors Isaac II Angelos and Alexios III Angelos, and of Michael I Komnenos Doukas, who was to be the founder of the Despotate of Epirus.
He led Imperial troops in 1189, when the Third Crusade crossed Byzantine territory. Manuel afterwards fought against a rival Bulgarian leader, Ivanko, and was captured. The emperor took no steps to ransom him. Manuel therefore asked his son-in-law, Dobromir Chrysos, to pay the ransom, and joined him in fighting against the Empire.
Manuel's wife's name is unknown. He is known to have had a daughter, who was forced by the emperor Alexius III Angelus to divorce her husband and marry Dobromir in 1198. He also had a son, named John Kamytzes (Ioannes Kamytzes).Theodora Angelina Palaiologina
Theodora Angelina Palaiologina (Greek: Θεοδώρα Άγγελίνα Παλαιολογίνα) was a Byzantine noblewoman and mother of the future Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos, the founder of the Palaiologan dynasty. She was the daughter of the despotes Alexios Palaiologos and Irene Komnene Angelina, the daughter of Alexios III Angelos and Euphrosyne Doukaina Kamatera.Theodora Komnene (daughter of Alexios I)
Theodora Komnene (Greek: Θεοδώρα Κομνηνὴ; born 15 January 1096) was a Byzantine noblewoman, being the fourth daughter of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos and Irene Doukaina. She married Constantine Angelos, by whom she had seven children. Byzantine emperors Alexios III Angelos and Isaac II Angelos were her grandsons, thereby making her an ancestor of the Angelos dynasty.Theodore II of Constantinople
Theodore II Eirenikos (Greek: Θεόδωρος Β' Εἰρηνικός), (? – 31 January 1216), also known as Theodore Kopas or Koupas (Κωπάς/Κουπάς), was a high-ranking Byzantine official and chief minister during most of the reign of the Byzantine emperor Alexios III Angelos (r. 1195–1203). After the fall of Constantinople to the Fourth Crusade, he fled to the Empire of Nicaea, where he became a monk and served as Patriarch of Constantinople in exile in 1214–1216.
27 BC – 235 AD
|Empire of Nicaea|
Italics indicates a co-emperor, while underlining indicates a usurper.