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Tatikios ( Taticius , Tatizius , Tatitius , Tatic , or Tetig ) was a Byzantine general under Alexios I. Komnenos .


His father was an Arab who was captured by Alexios' father, Johannes Komnenos , and who served as a slave in the imperial household . Tatikios and Alexios grew up together, the Arab is therefore referred to as Alexios' oikogenes , which means "from the same house".

In 1078, Alexios was not yet emperor, Tatikios accompanied him in a battle against his rival Basilakios and discovered his plans for an ambush. When Alexios became emperor in 1081, he was given the office of magnus primicerius of the imperial household. Later that year he commanded a Seljuk or Hephenegic mercenary force from Ohrid in the battle of Dyrrhachion against Robert Guiskard .

In 1086 he was sent to Nikaia to recapture it from the Seljuks, but was forced to leave when he learned that Seljuk relief forces were on the way. Alexios sent him back with naval support under Manuel Boutoumites; but he did not succeed in conquering the city, although he was able to defeat Abu'l Qasim, the governor of Nicaea, in Bithynia . At the end of the year he was recalled and sent against the Pechenegs, who supported a Manichean rebellion at Philippopolis . In 1087 he commanded the Byzantine right wing in the battle of Drista against the Pechenegs, in 1090 he defeated a small force of 300 Pechenegs when he led the Archontopouloi tagma against them.

At the beginning of 1094, as a guard of Alexios tent in Pentegostis, he discovered the conspiracy of Nikephoros Diogenes, the son of the former emperor Romanos IV. Diogenes . Nikephoros was an old friend of Alexios and Tatikios, and Alexios had scruples about punishing him. But since it was clear that Nikephorus was striving for the throne, he was banished and finally blinded . Later that year he was presumably entrusted with security duties at the Synod of Blachernae , in which Bishop Leo of Chalcedon was sentenced.

In 1095 Tatikios accompanied Alexios on the campaign against the Cumans . In 1096 he defended Constantinople against the Crusaders who attacked the city upon their arrival. In 1097 Alexios sent him to Nikaia with Tzitas and 2000 Peltasts to support the siege of Nikaias by the Crusaders. The chronicler Albert von Aachen writes that he was a mediator between the Turks and the Crusaders, while the more credible Anna Komnena reports that together with Boutoumites he negotiated the handover of the city to the Byzantines without the knowledge of the Crusaders, which created a deep rift between the Latins and the Greeks.

Tatikios was then assigned to escort the Crusaders through Anatolia , as a guide and to ensure that any conquest would be passed on to the Byzantines as agreed. After leaving Nikaia, the crusaders split into two groups. Tatikios accompanied the Normans under Guiskard's son Bohemond of Taranto , his nephew Tankred and Robert of Normandy , and Flemings under Robert II of Flanders . The Gesta Francorum reports that he often warned the crusaders of the ferocity of the Turks.

During the siege of Antioch he instructed - according to Raimund von Aguilers - the crusaders to conquer the surrounding area before attacking the city, which was supposed to save them from famine; however, the advice was ignored. In February 1098 he left the siege because - according to Anna Komnena , who was presumably able to speak to him personally after his return - Bohemond had informed him that the other crusaders mistrusted him and threatened his life. On the other hand, Bohemond spread the rumor that Tatikios was a coward and traitor, had fled the theater of war without intending to return, contrary to his promise to bring reinforcements from Constantinople - according to the report in the contemporary chronicles of the Crusaders, who identified him as an enemy and a liar ( periurio manet et manebit , according to the Gesta Francorum ), while Anna may be influenced by her prejudices against Bohemond, a long-time enemy of her father.

In April 1099, Tatikios and the Norman mercenary Landulf were appointed admirals and tasked with leading a fleet from Constantinople against Pisa's fleet , which was on its way to aid the Crusaders but was pillaging the shores of the empire. This fleet, equipped with Greek fire , stayed on the coasts of Cilicia and Syria , and later came into conflict with the Pisans and the Genoese .

The crusader chronicles mention that Tatikios had a mutilated nose - a common punishment for traitors among the Byzantines, but this does not seem to be the case with him. According to Guibert von Nogent , he had a prosthetic gold nose.

Contrary to the opinion of the crusaders about him, Anna Komnena describes him as “a brave fighter, a man who holds his senses together under combat conditions”, and “a clever speaker and a powerful man of action”. Anna also tells the story that Alexios and Tatikios were playing polo when the general was thrown and landed on the emperor. Alexios injured his knee and later suffered from gout. Anna does not mention the timing of this incident, it is a side note in her account of Alexios' Turkish campaign from 1110.

There is no statement about Tatikios' year of birth or death. Although the office of Magnus Primicerius was usually exercised by a eunuch , Tatikios seems to have had descendants who were a powerful noble family in the 12th century , including another general in the time of Manuel I Comnenus and a conspirator against Isaac II. , Konstantin Tatikios , belonged.



Secondary literature

  • Steven Runciman : History of the Crusades . 5th edition Dtv, Munich 2006, ISBN 978-3-423-30175-6 (3 volumes in one volume).
  • Basile Skoulatos: Les Personnages Byzantins de L'Alexiade. Analysis Prosopographique et Synthèse . Collège Erasme, Leuven 1980 (dissertation).