15. MANIACES (Γεώργιος ὁ Μανιακης
), the patrician, the son of Gudelius Maniaces, was governor of the city and thema of Teluch (Τελούχ
), in or near the Taurus, in the reign of the emperor Romanus III. Argyrus, about A. D. 1030.
After the defeat of the emperor by the Saracens near Antioch, George defeated the victorious enemy by stratagem near Teluch; and by this exploit obtained the governorship of the Roman province of Lower Media.
He was, apparently after this, protospatharius and governor of the cities on the Euphrates; and in A. D. 1032 took the town of Edessa, partly by bribing the governor; and found there the supposed letter of the Lord Jesus Christ to Augarus (or Abgarus), king of Edessa, which he sent to the emperor.
He was afterwards governor of Upper Media and Aspracania.
In the reign of Michael IV. the Paphlagonian (A. D. 1035), he was sent with an army into Southern Italy, then a part of the Byzantine empire, to carry on the war against the Saracens, the command of the fleet being entrusted to Stephen, husband of the emperor's sister. One of George's exploits was the conquest of Sicily (A. D. 1038), though the Saracens, who occupied the island, were assisted by 50,000 auxiliaries from Africa. Two years after (A. D. 1040) he gained a great victory over the Saracens of Africa, who had sought to recover the island, killing 50,000 of them in one battle.
The negligence of Stephen having allowed the Saracen commander to escape, a quarrel ensued between him and George; and Stephen, embittered by a blow and by the reproaches which he had received from George, accused him to Joannes, the brother and minister of the emperor, of meditating a revolt. George was consequently sent home a prisoner, but was released by Michael V. Calaphates, after his accession, A. D. 1041.
The disasters of the Byzantines in Italy, after his recal, induced Zoe, who succeeded Michael, to send him thither again as general (A. D. 1042).
He recovered the province from the power of his own Frankish mercenaries, who had seized it. Meantime, his interests at home were assailed by Romanus Sclerus, whose sister was concubine to the emperor Constantine X. Monomachus, who had married Zoe. Romanus, plundered the Anatolian estates of George, and procured his deprivation of the title " Magister." Provoked by these wrongs, George revolted, gained over the troops under his command, put to death the Byzantine Pardus, who had been sent to succeed him in his command, and assuming the title of emperor crossed over into Bulgaria to assert his claim.
He refused the offers of the emperor Constantine, and rotted his army, but fell in the moment of victory by a wound from an unknown hand, A. D. 1042 or 1043. (Zonaras, 17.12
; Cedren. Compend.
vol. ii. pp. 494, 500, 512, 514, 520-523, 541, 545-549, ed. Bonn. ; Joan Scylitza Curopalates, Historia,
p. 720, ed. Bonn.)