Manuel I Comnenus was a Byzantine Emperor of the 12th century who
presided over a crucial turning point in the history of Byzantium and
the Mediterranean. Eager to restore his empire to its past glories as
the superpower of the Mediterranean world, Manuel pursued an energetic
and ambitious foreign policy. In the process he made alliances with
the Pope and the resurgent west, invaded Italy, successfully handled
the passage of the dangerous Second Crusade through his empire, and
established a Byzantine protectorate over the Crusader kingdoms of
Outremer. Facing the Islamic jihad in the Holy Land, he made common
cause with the Kingdom of Jerusalem and participated in a combined
invasion of Fatimid Egypt. Manuel reshaped the political map of the
Balkans and the east Mediterranean, placing the kingdoms of Hungary
and Outremer under Byzantine hegemony and campaigning aggressively
against his neighbours both in the west and in the east. However,
towards the end of his reign Manuel's achievements in the east were
compromised by an embarrassing defeat at Myriokephalon, which in large
part resulted from his arrogance in attacking a well-defended Turkish
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Fourth Crusade: Count Baldwin IX of Flanders was crowned the first
Latin Emperor in Constantinople.
The Medici were driven from Florence and a republic was
Root beer was first prepared commercially.
The first Academy Awards were handed out at the Hollywood Roosevelt
Hotel in Los Angeles.
World War II: SS-Brigadeführer Jürgen Stroop put an end to the Warsaw
Ghetto Uprising, the first mass uprising in Poland against the Nazi
occupation during the Holocaust.
Wikiquote of the day:
"I like quoting Einstein. Know why? Because nobody dares contradict
you." -- Studs Terkel