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BOHEMUND I

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V04, Page 136 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BOHEMUND I. (c. A.D. 1058–1111), prince of Otranto and afterwards of Antioch, whose first name was Marc, was the eldest son of Robert Guiscard, dux Apuliae et Calabriae, by an early marriage contracted before 1059. He served under his father in the great attack on the East Roman empire (xo8oro85), and commanded the Normans during Guiscard's absence (1082–1084), penetrating into Thessaly as far as Larissa, but being repulsed by Alexius Comnenus. This early hostility to Alexius had a great influence in determining the course of his expansion of Antioch to the south. Ransomed in 1I03 by the generosity of an Armenian prince, Bohemund made it his first object to attack the neighbouring Mahommedan powers in order to gain supplies. But in heading an attack on Harran, in 1104, he was severely defeated at Balich, near Rakka on the Euphrates. The defeat was decisive; it made impossible the great eastern principality which Bohemund had contemplated. It was followed by a Greek attack on Cilicia; and despairing of his own resources, Bohemund returned to Europe for reinforcements in order to defend his position. His attractive personality won him the hand of Constance, the daughter of the French king, Philip I., and he collected a large army. Dazzled by his success, he resolved to use his army not to defend Antioch against the Greeks, but to attack Alexius. He did so; but Alexius, aided by the Venetians, proved too strong, and Bohemund had to submit to a humiliating peace (I1o8), by which he became the vassal of Alexius, consented to receive his pay, with the title of Sebastos, and promised to cede disputed territories and to admit a Greek patriarch into Antioch. 'Henceforth Bohemund was a broken man. He died without returning to the East, and was buried at Canossa in Apulia, in 1111.
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