"...Theodore of Smolensk was the youngest son of Vladimir Monomach, and perhaps inherited the most of his father’s traits – military talent and a combination of political will and ability to compromise. When the situation presented itself, he rose in rebellion against his nephew, the Despot Konstantine shortly after Miloslav the Unmerciful died, and in a logistically impeccable and stunningly well-planned campaign either conquered or convinced all major Rus centres to switch sides, and then sailed down to Thrace to confront Nikephoros Mouzakios who was marching toward the capital to claim the diadem after Konstantine’s death in the storming of Rhodes. The Monomach was crowned Emperor immediately after his victory and made his seat in Constantinople; nonetheless he was very aware of the fragility of his position. He sought to engage both Slavic and Greek nobility in the shared governance of the Empire, creating a deeply feudal institution that had the theoretical right to choose or reject their Emperor by vote of the Princes. Further, he sought unification through an external enemy, which he found in the shape of the Seljuks. Several years of successful campaigning were interrupted by a devastating defeat at Dwin, and although (since they involved troops from all over the Empire, from Novgorod to the Peloponnesos) it created a common war experience for the Empire as a whole, it also reminded the remote principalities of the impracticality and the cost of sending forces to support Constantinople’s campaigns, a situation that would several times create manpower problems for the warrior Emperors of the 12th century. Despite the efforts to broaden his support base, he was forced to continue to rely upon the same few bureaucratic clans that supported the previous Monomachs – chiefly the Petzikopouloi and the Philanthropenoi. His wounds in Dwin proved to be crippling and that was the last campaign by an otherwise very able general. It also slowed expansion East, since his son Vsevolod was more interested in expanding the Empire’s influence westward, into the chaos-stricken Europe..."

Predecessor: Theodore I Monomach-Rurikovich (Barbarian Empire) Successor:
Nikephoros IV Theodore I

Basileus of Eastern Roman Empire

Basil IV
Oleg Yaroslav II

Prince of Smolensk

Andrew I
Izyaslav II

Grand Prince of Pereyaslavl

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