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The Alliance between Byzantium and Rus’ Before the Conquest of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204

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image of Russian History

The Galician-Volhynian prince Roman Mstislavich became the main military ally of the Byzantine Empire in the early 13th century. The circumstances and the time of Roman’s campaign in Niketas Choniates’ account are the same as in the Russian chronicles reporting the steppe campaigns of the prince. All the Byzantine sources name Roman Mstislavich the “igemon of Galicia”. The term igemon, unlike other Byzantine titles of Rusian princes, meant the Emperor’s ally and relative (or in-law). The alliance between Alexios III and Roman led also to more stable relations with the Rusian population of the Lower Dniester and the Lower Danube. The military aid that Roman rendered to Alexios III was guaranteed by Roman’s marriage to the niece of Alexios III, the elder daughter of the overthrown emperor Isaak II.

Affiliations: 1: Prof., Head of the Department of Museology, Faculty of History, St. Petersburg State University, Russia,


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