Ovidiu Cristea, The Siege of Zemun in 1165 and a Gesture of Power of Manuel I Komnenos

Ovidiu Cristea - “N. Iorga” Institute of History, Bucharest
TOME IV 1966 1-2
pp. 29-38
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Manuel Komnenos; Byzantine-Hungarian relations; Zemun; siege; gestures of power

The struggle for Sirmium and for the city of Zemun during the Byzantine-Hungarian wars received significant attention from two of the most important Byzantine authors of Manuel Komnenos’ reign, John Kinnamos and Nicetas Choniates. Nicetas Choniates’ version of the events includes a spectacular episode occurred at the beginning of the siege of Zemun. According to Choniates the emperor, mounted on his horse, stroke the city gates with his spear. The paper tries to understand the episode’s significance from the chronicler’s perspective and to suggest the meaning of the gesture by comparing it with other similar deeds of the Middle Ages.

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