The Emperor John II Komnenos (1118–1143) has been overshadowed by both his father Alexios I and his son Manuel I. Written sources have not left us much evidence regarding his reign, although authors agree that he was an excellent emperor. However, the period witnessed territorial expansion in Asia Minor as well as the construction of the most important monastic complex of twelfth-century Constantinople. What else do we know about John’s rule and its period? This volume opens up new perspectives on John’s reign and clearly demonstrates that many innovations generally attributed to the genius of Manuel Komnenos had already been fostered during the reign of the second great Komnenos. Leading experts on twelfth-century Byzantium (Jeffreys, Magdalino, Ousterhout) are joined by representatives of a new generation of Byzantinists to produce a timely and invaluable study of the unjustly neglected figure of John Komnenos.

chapter 1|10 pages

John II Komnenos: a historiographical essay

ByDionysios Stathakopoulos

chapter 2|11 pages

John II Komnenos before the year 1118

ByVlada Stanković

chapter 4|16 pages

The political ideology of John II Komnenos

ByAngeliki Papageorgiou

chapter 5|18 pages

The triumph of 1133

ByPaul Magdalino

chapter 6|20 pages

Emperor John II’s encounters with foreign rulers

ByMartin Marko Vučetić

chapter 8|11 pages

Literary trends in the Constantinopolitan courts in the 1120s and 1130s*

ByElizabeth Jeffreys

chapter 10|20 pages

Architecture and patronage in the age of John II*

ByRobert Ousterhout