Economy and Administration

  • John Haldon


The system of defence as re-established ultimately under Alexios I Komnenos (1081–1118) was a continuation ofthe methods he had found to be most successful in his wars to repel the Pechenegs, Normans and Seljuk Turks in the years 1081–1094. Strategy in the broader sense in the opening years of his rule did not exist: the emperor had to respond to a series of emergencies in different parts of the empire on an entirely reactive basis, although it is apparent that the Balkan theatre preoccupied him in the opening years of his rule. But imperial political control in the Balkans was achieved by 1094. The Normans were hemmed in to a small enclave on the Illyrian coast; a little before this, the Pechenegs were crushed at the battle of Lebounion and placed under treaty or incorporated into the imperial armies. The stabilisation of the situation in this theatre brought a return to the administrative arrangements of the middle of the eleventh century, and it was now the Balkan provinces which provided the resources with which the emperor could begin to reassert imperial authority in the east. Manuel I placed a great deal of emphasis on defending imperial interests in the Balkans, on protecting the hinterland behind the frontier zone, and on maintaining a firm control of the Danube frontier with its constituent fortresses, and this demonstrates the recognition by the imperial government that the resources of the area were essential to the empire’s financial and political survival.


Imperial Control Twelfth Century Senior Official Eleventh Century Balkan Region 
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© John Haldon 2005

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  • John Haldon

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