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yielded to the entreaties of his subjects and his ministers, who wanted a firm head in the capital during the approaching storm ; and the command of the army was consequently entrusted to Andro-nicus Contostephanus. Under Andronicus were Andronicus Lampados, Andronicus Comnenus, and Demetrius and Georgius Branas. The armies met .not far from Zeugminum, the present Semlm ; and after one of the most bloody and obstinate contests recorded in history, in which Demetrius Branas was slain, and the left wing of the Greeks completely routed, Andronicus Contostephanus at last carried the day. So terrible was the loss of the Hungarians, that king Geisa sued for immediate peace, which was granted to him ; and during a considerable period the Byzantine influence was so great in Hungary as to cause to its inhabitants great uneasiness for their further independence. A few years afterwards Manuel set out for Asia, and in an interview with king Amalric, who had just come to the throne, and intended to persuade Manuel to send him some auxiliaries for an expedition into Egypt, Manuel accepted the proposition with joy ; but instead of a subordinate force, he equipped a fleet of 220 large ships, with a sufficient army on board, under the command of Andronicus Contostephanus (1169). When this powerful armament appeared off Ascalon it excited the jealousy of Amalric, who was justly afraid that his share in the projected conquests would not answer his expectation; and this jealousy gradually instilling itself into the minds of all the party, became the cause of the final failure of the whole undertaking. The combined Latin and Greek forces marched by land upon Damietta, where the fleet appeared soon afterwards. The siege was long; but the town was at last reduced to such extremity, that everybody expected its hourly surrender, when the treachery of either Amalric himself or one of his generals obliged the assailants to raise the siege and retreat into Palestine. In order to clear himself from any blame, Amalric went to Constantinople, where he met with a splendid reception from Manuel, who was ready to join him in a second expedition, when he was unexpectedly involved in two wars, with the Venetians and the Turks. In 1176 Manuel suffered a dreadful defeat near Myriocephalus from Sultan Az-ed-din, in spite of his almost incredible personal valour, and completely surrounded by superior forces, was compelled to make a dishonourable peace, promising, among other conditions, to-raze the fortresses of Sableium and Dorylaeum (1176).* Anxious to revenge himself for such unexpected disgrace, Manuel broke the peace, and the war was renewed this time with better success for the Greeks, who routed Az-ed-din in Lydia, and finally obtained an honourable peace (1177). Manuel now proposed to the emperor Frederic an alliance against king Henry of Sicily, whom he intended to deprive of all his dominions; but the negotiations to that effect were carried on slowly ; and it seemed that Manuel had lost his former energy. In fact, the defeat at Myriocephalus preyed upon his mind ; his strength was undermined by a slow fever ; a»nd in the spring of 1180 he was compelled to keep to his bed, from which he never rose again. After a
* Roger de Hoveden, the English historian, was present at this battle, serving as a volunteer in the Greek army.
painful and long illness, he died on the 24th of September following, at the age of sixty. The. reign of Manuel was glorious, yet presents nothing but an uninterrupted series of bloodshed and de vastation. Manuel was perhaps the greatest war rior of his time, but he was far from being a great general. When young he was virtuous, but after he had ascended the throne he plunged into all those vices by which the Greeks, and espe cially the Comnenian family, disgraced themselves. He oppressed his subjects by heavy war-taxes, yet he did not pay his troops, though he gave large pensions to ministers or other men of influence at foreign courts, where he was constantly intriguing. He is said to have been deeply versed in theology, but was certainly rather a great talker than a great thinker on religion. His first wife was Bertha (Irene), niece of Conrad III., emperor of Germany; and his second Maria (Xene), daughter of Ray mond, prince of Antioch. His concubinage with his niece, Theodora Comnena, was a great disgrace to him. He was succeeded by his only sou, Alexis II. (Cinnam. lib. i. iv.; Nicet. lib. ii. iii.; Guill. Tyrensis, lib. xvi. We have more Latin or Western than Byzantine sources on the history of the time.) [W. P.] ^ MA'NUEL II., PALAEO'LOGUS (Maz/o^A 6 naAaioAttyos), emperor of Constantinople A. D. 1391—1425, was the son of the emperor John VL^ in whose life is related the history of Manuel pre vious to his sole accession, which took place on the death of John, in A. d. 1391. Manuel was then an hostage at the court of sultan Bayazid, but no sooner was he informed of the death of his father, than he escaped from Nicaea, and hastened to Con stantinople, fearing lest his brother Andronicua should seize the crown. His flight enraged the sultan, who, without declaring war, advanced with his main army against Constantinople, and laid siege to it, swearing he would not retire till he had taken the city, and put the emperor to death. In this extremity Manuel implored the assistance of the Western princes, with whom he had constant negotiations: his efforts were crowned with success, inasmuch as a powerful army, composed of. Hungarians, Germans, and French, headed by the flower of European chivalry and nobility, appeared on the Turkish frontier, and obliged Bayazid to raise the siege, and defend his own kingdom. The. unfortunate battle of Nicopolis, in 1396, where the allies were routed, and 10,000 of them, who were taken prisoners, massacred by the victors on the field of battle, seemed to be the signal for the final destruction of the Greek empire, for no sooner had Bayazid obtained that decisive victory on the banks of the Danube, than he changed the blockade of Constantinople into a close siege. The obstinate resistance of the inhabitants, and the attention which the sultan was obliged to pay to the ap proaching danger arising from the conquests of Timur, delayed the surrender of the Greek capital; and after a blockade and siege of nearly six years, the belligerent parties came to terms. Manuel turned the friendship of Bayazid for John, the son of the blinded Andronicus, to his own advantage. He gave his nephew the government of Constanti nople, reserving for himself the Peloponnesus, whither he proceeded with his family, and then, set out for Europe, to beg succour from the Western princes. Italy, France, and Germany, received the imperial suppliant with all the honours due to