Irene of Byzantium: Birth: ABT 1184.
Theodora Angelos: Death: 1246
Note: ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA: Isaac II ANGELUS
(b. c. 1135--d. February 1204), Byzantine emperor who, although incapable of stemming administrative abuses, partly succeeded,by his defeat of the Serbians in 1190, in retrieving imperialfortunes in the Balkans.
In September 1185 Isaac was unexpectedly proclaimed emperor bythe Constantinople mob that murdered his cousin, the emperorAndronicus I Comnenus. His reign was inaugurated by the decisive victory ofhis general Alexius Branas over the Normans, who, after invading the empireand sacking Thessalonica (1185), were then driven off Greek soil, except forthe islands of Cephalonia and Zacynthus (modern Zante). Isaacwas unsuccessful, however, in recovering Cyprus from the rebelIsaac Comnenus, who set himself up as an independent ruler ofthat island in 1185. Isaac II failed to crush the revolt of theBulgarians and Walachians that broke out toward the end of thatyear, even though he led expeditions against them in 1186-87. In1187 he was forced to recognize the second Bulgarian empire.
In 1189 the Byzantine ruler was confronted with the ThirdCrusade, which, led by German emperor Frederick I Barbarossa,was passing through Byzantine territory. Isaac tried to protecthimself by concluding a treaty with Saladin, the sultan ofEgypt, but he was soon forced to assist Frederick; he concludedthe Treaty of Adrianople with him in February 1190, and in thefollowing month Frederick's forces were transported across theHellespont to Asia Minor.
Free to turn his attention to the Balkans, Isaac restoredByzantine prestige by defeating Stephen Nemanja of Serbia (1190). With Hungarian helphe planned an expedition against the Bulgarians, assembling aByzantine army for this purpose near the city of Cypsela in thespring of 1195. On April 8, however, he was suddenly overthrown by his brother, whoimprisoned and blinded him and assumed the throne as Emperor Alexius III.
In 1201 Isaac's son Alexius made his way to Germany, where hesucceeded in bringing about the diversion of the Fourth Crusade toConstantinople in order to restore his father to power. In July 1203 the crusaderscaptured the city, and on August 1, Isaac, after eight years' imprisonment,was crowned co-emperor with Alexius, who assumed the title Alexius IV.Friction between the crusaders and the townspeople of Constantinople, however,led to a revolution in January 1204; the co-emperors were dethroned,Alexius IV was assassinated on Feb. 8, 1204, and Isaac died several days later.
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