Manuel I

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Manuel I

(Manuel Comnenus) (kŏmnē`nəs), c.1120–1180, Byzantine emperor (1143–80), son and successor of John II. He began his reign with a war against the Seljuk Turks, the subjugation of Raymond of Antioch, and an alliance with the German king, Conrad IIIConrad III,
c.1093–1152, German king (1138–52), son of Frederick, duke of Swabia, and Agnes, daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV; first of the Hohenstaufen dynasty.
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, against Roger of Sicily. In 1147 the Second Crusade (see CrusadesCrusades
, series of wars undertaken by European Christians between the 11th and 14th cent. to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims. First Crusade

In the 7th cent., Jerusalem was taken by the caliph Umar.
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) was preached and although Manuel aided the Crusaders, he made a truce with the Turks in order to protect his western provinces, which had been invaded by Roger. At first Manuel relied on mercenaries and the help of Venice, but in 1155 he invaded S Italy. Defeated at Brindisi in 1156 by William I of Sicily, in 1158 he made peace with him (which lasted for 30 years) and withdrew his forces. Manuel subsequently directed his diplomacy against Holy Roman Emperor Frederick IFrederick I
or Frederick Barbarossa
[Ital.,=red beard], c.1125–90, Holy Roman emperor (1155–90) and German king (1152–90), son of Frederick of Hohenstaufen, duke of Swabia, nephew and successor of Holy Roman Emperor Conrad III.
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, supporting Pope Alexander IIIAlexander III,
d. 1181, pope (1159–81), a Sienese named Rolandus [Bandinelli?], successor of Adrian IV. He was a canonist who had studied law under Gratian and had taught at Bologna.
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, and uniting both the Western Empire and Church with his Eastern Empire and Church. With all of his energies directed to the West, Manuel neglected Asia Minor, which led to his crushing defeat (1176) by the Turks at Myriocephalon. Manuel liked Westerners and gave them high positions in the empire. During his reign Genoese, Pisan, and Venetian merchant colonies grew at Constantinople and began to be influential. His son Alexius II succeeded him.

Manuel I,

1469–1521, king of Portugal (1495–1521), successor of John II. Manuel's reign was most notable for the successful continuation of Portugal's overseas enterprises. John had planned the expedition in search of a sea route to India and had appointed Vasco da Gama to head it, but it was under Manuel that the epochal voyage was made (1497–99) and that the wealth of the Indies began to pour into Portugal. Cabral announced the discovery of the coast of Brazil (1500), and such commanders as Francisco de Almeida and Afonso de Albuquerque built up the Portuguese commercial empire. Portugal became the leading commercial nation of the West. This sudden wealth, however, soon had corrupting effects on officials and started the process of turning interest away from the agricultural and industrial development of Portugal itself. In order to marry Isabel, eldest daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, Manuel accepted (1496) the Spanish condition that he expel the Jews and Moors from Portugal. However, because he did not wish to lose a community that had contributed much to learning and science in Portugal and had provided many able artisans, he first attempted a policy of forcible conversion of the Jews. Though Manuel promised that no investigation would be made into the faith of the "new Christians," he could not prevent the departure of some Jews. Nor could he prevent a great massacre of the Jews in Lisbon in 1506, though he punished the perpetrators. Manuel used his new wealth to erect some beautiful buildings, including the Hieronymite monastery at Belém (now in Lisbon), near the spot where Vasco da Gama embarked for India. He also revised the laws and strengthened the power of the king. He was succeeded by his son, John III.