John II Comnenus
born Sept. 13, 1087died April 8, 1143Byzantine emperor (1118–43).The son of Alexius I Comnenus, he made it his mission to reconquer Byzantine territory lost to the Arabs, Turks, and Crusaders. He cancelled Venetian trading privileges in the empire but was forced to restore them after the Venetians launched a fleet to retaliate against him. John allied himself with the German emperor against Roger II of Sicily (1130). He reconquered Cilicia (1137) and won homage from Antioch, but he failed to defeat the Syrian Turks.
* * *▪ Byzantine emperorComnenus also spelled Komnenosborn September 13, 1087died April 8, 1143Byzantine emperor (1118–43) whose reign was characterized by unremitting attempts to reconquer all important Byzantine territory lost to the Arabs, Turks, and Christian Crusaders.A son of Emperor Alexius I Comnenus and Irene Ducas, John kept an austere court and spent most of his reign with his troops. He canceled Venetian trading privileges granted by his father but was forced to restore them after the Venetians launched a fleet against him. He thwarted Pecheneg (Pechenegs), Hungarian, and Serbian threats during the 1120s, and in 1130 he allied himself with the German emperor Lothar II (Lothar II (or III)) (III) against the Norman king Roger II of Sicily.In the later part of his reign John focused his activities on the East. In 1135 he defeated the Danishmend (Dānishmend dynasty) emirate of Melitene. Two years later he reconquered all of Cilicia from the kingdom of Lower Armenia and later forced Raymond of Poitiers, prince of Antioch, to recognize Byzantine suzerainty. Though John and Raymond formed an alliance against the Turkish Atabegs of Syria, their campaigns were not particularly successful. In 1143 John returned to press his claims to Antioch. He died following a hunting accident after naming his fourth son, Manuel I (Manuel I Comnenus), to succeed him.
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