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Byzantine Empire /
John 1 Tzimisces


(925-976) Byzantine emperor 969-976, slightly more than 6 years.
John proved to be an effective leader, and enjoyed important military victories, especially against the Russians and the Abbasids. He almost manages to secure Jerusalem for the empire. His victories would prove important for the stability of the empire under succeeding emperors.
His nickname Tizmisces came from the Armenian word for either "red boot" or "short stature."

Biography
925: Born in Cappadocia, into an aristocratic Armenian family.
— Rises quickly in military ranks, a reflection not only of his family's influence, but also of his own abilities.
Around 950: Appointed political and military leader of the province of Armenia.
960's: Fights together with his relative, Nicephorus Phocas, in Cilicia and Syria.
963 August 16: John is part of the revolt leading to Nicephorus being crowned new emperor.
969 December 10: Having Empress Theophano as mistress, John becomes emperor after Nicephorus has been killed.
— John is forced by the Patriarch of Constantinople, Polyeuctus, to punish those involved in the murder of Nicephorus. Theophano is exiled to a monastery.
970: Takes Theodora back and marries her.
971: Bulgaria attacks, but John retaliates quick and effectively. He captures the Bulgarian tsar and forces Bulgaria to accept Byzantine suzerainty.
July: Defeats the Russians, thereby securing the empire's northern borders.
972: Attacks the Abbasids in Upper Mesopotamia.
975: Conquers Antioch, Damascus and other important cities in Syria, but manages not to conquer Jerusalem.
976 January 10: After returning to Constantinople, John dies of typhoid. He his succeeded by his nephew, Basil 2, who had officially been emperor since 960.




By Tore Kjeilen