Michael IV part 27

Roman forces in Sicily and it was not long before all Maniaces’ conquests

49. Not strictly correct. John was speaking of his brother-in-law, Stephen, husband of his sister Maria and father of the young Caesar. He was made admiral of the Roman fleet in Sicilian waters in 1035 and suffered heavy defeats there in the war against the Carthaginians. He incurred the righteous indignation of his colleague, George Maniaces, for his inefficiency and it was through his intrigues that Maniaces was recalled (cf. Constantine IX, ch. 76). Subsequently he became commander-in-chief of the Roman forces in Sicily and it was not long before all Maniaces’ conquests were nullified (1040). He undoubtedly owed his position to his brother-in-law.

50. Cf. note 49.

51. St. Cosmas and his brother St. Damian were put to death in the Diocletian persecution at the beginning of the fourth century. They had been physicians and made no charge for their medical services (hence their name Anargyroi). Justinian built the church in Constantinople in their honour.

52. ‘Hospice for Beggars.’

53. Homer, Odyssey, IX, l08-9

54. The Bulgarian Revolt broke out in 1040. The leader of the Slavs was Peter Delyan who claimed to be a grandson of Samuel. He had been a slave at Byzantium, but fled from the city. The rebels were at first highly successful and the emperor barely escaped with his life from Salonica. The Bulgars were angry because of the unjust exactions of John. Unlike Basil II, who respected the native methods of paying taxes in kind, John had invented new tribute and was ruthless in collecting it in money.

55. His name could remind a Greek of (treachery).

56. The rebels invaded Greece, and all the province of Nicopolis, except Naupactus, joined them.

57. Psellus uses the name Scyths indiscriminately for all Slavs.

58. September 1041. Alousianus was second son of Aaron. John had fined him without trial on some unknown charge and had imprisoned his wife.

59. When Delyan was intoxicated at a feast.

60. The Hippodrome.

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