Andronicus I

Andronicus I (Andronicus Comnenus) ăndrənīˈkəs kŏmnēˈnəs [key], 1120?–1185, Byzantine emperor (1183–85), nephew of John II. He acceded to the throne by strangling his cousin Alexius II. Though notorious in his younger years for his scandalous morals, he was a competent, if cruel, ruler. He took strict measures to protect the peasants against the great landowners, enforced honesty on the tax collectors, and was the terror of corrupt officials. His severity and his failure to stop the rapid advance of William II of Sicily against the capital led to his overthrow and the elevation of Isaac II. Andronicus was tortured to death by the rabble. He was the last of the Comnenus dynasty to hold the throne of Constantinople.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Ancient History, Late Roman and Byzantine: Biographies