This eunuch suggested to the Patriarch that his brother Bardas should marry the empress. Xiphilinus, flattered by this proposal, consulted the Senate, but did not press his brother’s claims (Bardas was quite unsuitable for such a position); he finally agreed instead that Romanus Diogenes should marry her.
254.The Turks were enjoying uninterrupted success: in Cilicia, helped by a Roman deserter, Amertices, who had been exiled because of an attempted assassination of Constantine X, they had won victories and ravaged the land; in Syria Nicephorus Botaneiates tried to stem their advance with an ill-equipped force, short both of supplies and of money, and eventually resigned his command. In Europe the Patzinaks had again gone over to the offensives but had been repulsed by the Romans.
For his success in this campaign Romanus had been promoted by Constantine at the end of his reign and (probably with some justice) had plotted to dethrone the empress. He was denounced, arrested and sent into exile, but soon recalled. On 24 December 1067 he was made magister and put in command of the army, with the approval of the Senate. One man consistently opposed him, John Ducas.
255. Romanus, son of Constantine Diogenes, was born in Cappadocia. His father had conspired against Romanus Argyrus (Romanus III) but had escaped capture.
256. John Ducas. Cf. note 254.
257 The marriage took place on 1 Janua y 1068 and Romanus IV’s reign begins from that date.
Romanus was really a victory
258. The elevation of Romanus was really a victory for the military party in the state. Psellus himself exercised great influence, but only as long as the Court held the upper hand. In his account of the new emperor it is not difficult to see that he is to some extent biased.
259. cf. Homer, Iliad, XV, 678.
260. Romanus had a conglomerate force of Macedonians, Bulgarians, Cappadocians, Uzes, Franks, and some poor levies from Phrygia. The army was ill-paid and ill-equippedCa state of affairs that was due entirely to his predecessor, Constantine.
Psellus is not altogether fair to him, for his strategy was not so aimless as the historian infers. The enemy had the initiative and were able to strike at many points, while the emperor had generals whom he could scarcely trust. It is certain that he himself was a brave man and more than once saved the day when his lieutenants had suffered defeat. After pushing back the Turks in the north he inflicted a severe reverse on them in the south (20 November 1068).
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