Michael Doukas Glabas Tarchaneiotes
Michael Doukas Glabas Tarchaneiotes or Michael Tarchaneiotes Glabas was a notable Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 aristocrat and general.


He is first mentioned in ca. 1260, when he was assigned to capture the city of Mesembria
Mesembria or Messembria or Mesambria may refer to:*Mesembria , modern Nesembar, an ancient Greek city on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria...

 on the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 coast from the deposed Bulgarian tsar Mitso Asen
Mitso Asen of Bulgaria
-Reign:Mitso Asen ascended the throne by virtue of his marriage to Maria, a daughter of Ivan Asen II of Bulgaria by Irene Komnene of Epirus. The dates of his birth and death are unknown...

. In 1263 and 1278 he led successful campaigns against the Bulgarians
Second Bulgarian Empire
The Second Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state which existed between 1185 and 1396 . A successor of the First Bulgarian Empire, it reached the peak of its power under Kaloyan and Ivan Asen II before gradually being conquered by the Ottomans in the late 14th-early 15th century...

, launched a raid against Serbia with some 4,000 Cumans
The Cumans were Turkic nomadic people comprising the western branch of the Cuman-Kipchak confederation. After Mongol invasion , they decided to seek asylum in Hungary, and subsequently to Bulgaria...

 in 1282, and fought against the Angevins
Capetian House of Anjou
The Capetian House of Anjou, also known as the House of Anjou-Sicily and House of Anjou-Naples, was a royal house and cadet branch of the direct House of Capet. Founded by Charles I of Sicily, a son of Louis VIII of France, the Capetian king first ruled the Kingdom of Sicily during the 13th century...

 in Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

 ca. 1284. At the same time, he rose in the imperial hierarchy, occupying progressively higher titles: from primmikerios of the court (33rd in the hierarchy), he became megas papias (22nd), pinkernes
Pinkernes was a high Byzantine court position. The term, deriving from the Greek verb , signified the Byzantine emperor's cup-bearer. The position is attested in Philotheos's Kletorologion of 899, where a pinkernes of the Byzantine emperor and of the Augusta are listed amongst the eunuchs of...

(15th), megas konostaulos (12th) and finally, sometime between 1297 and 1304, protostrator
Prōtostratōr was a Byzantine court office, originating as the imperial stable master, which in the last centuries of the Empire evolved into one of the senior military offices...

(8th, in essence the commander of the army).

In 1297/1298, Glabas (still a megas konostaulos) was named as the governor of the western part of the Empire, with Thessalonica as his seat, and sent to deal with the Serbs, who had been periodically attacking Byzantine holdings in Macedonia
Macedonia (region)
Macedonia is a geographical and historical region of the Balkan peninsula in southeastern Europe. Its boundaries have changed considerably over time, but nowadays the region is considered to include parts of five Balkan countries: Greece, the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia, as...

 and Albania for over a decade. Despite his great military experience and his disposing of a relatively strong army, Glabas was unable to make any headway as the Serbs relied on guerrilla tactics and refused a pitched battle. Consequently he advised Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos
Andronikos II Palaiologos
Andronikos II Palaiologos , Latinized as Andronicus II Palaeologus, was Byzantine emperor from 1282 to 1328. He was the eldest surviving son of Michael VIII Palaiologos and Theodora Doukaina Vatatzina, grandniece of John III Doukas Vatatzes...

 (r. 1282–1328) to conclude a peace agreement with Stephen Uroš II.

In 1304, Glabas was dispatched to counter a Bulgarian invasion under Tsar Theodore Svetoslav
Theodore Svetoslav of Bulgaria
Theodore Svetoslav ruled as emperor of Bulgaria from 1300 to 1322. The date of his birth is unknown. He was a wise and capable ruler who brought stability and relative prosperity to the Bulgarian Empire after two decades of constant Mongol intervention in the internal issues of the Empire...

, which took several forts and cities along the Balkan Mountains
Balkan Mountains
The Balkan mountain range is a mountain range in the eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. The Balkan range runs 560 km from the Vrashka Chuka Peak on the border between Bulgaria and eastern Serbia eastward through central Bulgaria to Cape Emine on the Black Sea...

 and the Black Sea coast. Glabas had some success: according to a panegyric
A panegyric is a formal public speech, or written verse, delivered in high praise of a person or thing, a generally highly studied and discriminating eulogy, not expected to be critical. It is derived from the Greek πανηγυρικός meaning "a speech fit for a general assembly"...

 by the court poet Manuel Philes
Manuel Philes
Manuel Philes , of Ephesus, Byzantine poet.At an early age he removed to Constantinople, where he was the pupil of Georgius Pachymeres, in whose honour he composed a memorial poem. Philes appears to have travelled extensively, and his writings contain much information concerning the imperial court...

 he retook Roussokastron and Mesembria, rebuilt Anchialos and forced the Bulgarians to withdraw behind the Balkans. At this juncture however he fell ill and returned to Constantinople, while the co-emperor Michael IX Palaiologos
Michael IX Palaiologos
Michael IX Palaiologos or Palaeologus , , reigned as Byzantine co-emperor with full imperial style 1294/1295–1320...

 (r. 1294–1320) assumed command.

It is not known when Glabas died; before his death, he became a monk, and along with his wife Maria restored the Pammakaristos Church
Pammakaristos Church
Pammakaristos Church, also known as the Church of Theotokos Pammakaristos , in 1591 converted into a mosque and known as Fethiye Mosque and today partly a museum, is one of the most famous Byzantine churches in Istanbul, Turkey...

 in Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

, where Glabas was also buried in a small chapel. The church was possibly decorated with a fresco
Fresco is any of several related mural painting types, executed on plaster on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Greek word affresca which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance...

 cycle celebrating his military exploits. In 1303 they had also sponsored the restoration of a chapel to St. Euthymius in the Church of St. Demetrius in Thessalonica. Glabas was remembered by his contemporaries as an excellent soldier: the historian Nikephoros Gregoras claims that his military experience made the other generals "look like children". Philes also records that he had written a now lost treatise on "various military topics", one of the last attested examples in the long tradition of Byzantine military manuals
Byzantine military manuals
This article lists and briefly discusses the most important of a large number of treatises on military science produced in the Byzantine Empire.- Background :...



Glabas married Maria Doukaina Komnene Branaina Palaiologina, of unknown ancestry. After his death she became a nun with the name Martha. Together they had two daughters:
  • Anna, who married the sebastos
    Sebastos was an honorific used by the ancient Greeks to render the Roman imperial title of Augustus. From the late 11th century on, during the Komnenian period, it and variants derived from it formed the basis of a new system of court titles for the Byzantine Empire. The female form of the title...

    Andronikos Palaiologos, the son of the sebastokrator
    Sebastokratōr was a senior court title in the late Byzantine Empire. It was also used by other rulers whose states bordered the Empire or were within its sphere of influence. The word is a compound of "sebastos" Sebastokratōr was a senior court title in the late Byzantine Empire. It was also used...

    Constantine Palaiologos
    Constantine Palaiologos (half-brother of Michael VIII)
    Constantine Palaiologos was a son of Andronikos Palaiologos, Grand Domestic of the Empire of Nicaea and an unknown second wife...

  • an unnamed daughter, who married Andronikos Asen
    Andronikos Asen
    Andronikos Asen was the epitropos of the Byzantine province of the Morea between 1316 and 1322.-Life:Andronikos Asen was the son of Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Asen III and Irene, who was the sister of Byzantine emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos. His father and mother escaped to Byzantine territory...

    , son of the Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Asen III
    Ivan Asen III of Bulgaria
    Ivan Asen III , ruled as emperor of Bulgaria 1279–1280. Ivan Asen III was the son of Mitso Asen of Bulgaria and Maria of Bulgaria, a daughter of Ivan Asen II of Bulgaria and Irene of Thessalonica...

     (r. 1279–1280) and later governor in the Morea
    The Morea was the name of the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. It also referred to a Byzantine province in the region, known as the Despotate of Morea.-Origins of the name:...


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