Defeat & capture of Isaakios Komnenos by Turks at Caesarea

Summary:
Action against Roussel had to be postponed because of a more pressing emergency. Isaakios Komnenos attacked the Turks outside Caesarea during the night. However the enemy were ready and resisted stoutly. When Isaakios' horse was hit he fell, was captured, and his army was defeated with considerable losses. His camp and all his baggage were seized, and his men dispersed. His brother Alexios (I) fought heroically and almost saved the day, but in the end found himself in grave danger 
Dates:
1073 
Emperor Alexios I Komnenos (Alexios 1)
  • His hopes of finding his brother (Isaakios 61) dashed, he was very distraught, arrived at Ankyra, learnt that the captors were asking for a ransom of several thousand gold coins, was encouraged, and left for Constantinople to gather the gold (:) ὡς βούλοιντο οἱ τὸν ἀδελφὸν κατασχόντες ἀποδόσθαι τιμῆς χρυσίου χιλιάδων συχνῶν ἠκηκόει Bryennios 155.21-27
  • When the Turks had dispersed the Roman army and advanced towards the camp, he attempted to help with some of his companions and almost saved them all, although by putting himself at risk for everybody's sake he was almost captured (:) βοηθεῖν ἐπειρᾶτο Ἀλέξιος μετ ᾿ ὀλίγων τῶν ξυνόντων αὐτῷ Bryennios 149.27-151.2
  • Threw himself among the enemy, struck with his lance and killed the first assailant, and when he was encircled and attacked with arrows from everywhere his horse fell and threw him too, but he escaped only through protection from above (:) αὐτὸς ἀσινὴς ὑπὸ τῆς ἄνωθεν τετήρητο δεξιᾶς Bryennios 151.3-8
  • Rescued by his loyal companions, of which only 5 out of 15 returned with him to the camp, the others taken captive or killed, he did not remain idle, but touring the camp he encouraged the soldiers lest they commit acts unworthy of Roman valour (:) οὐκ ἠρέμησεν, ἀλλὰ κύκλῳ περιθέων τοῦ χάρακος τὰ φρονήματα τῶν στρατιωτῶν ἐπερρώννυεν ὡς μηδέν τι τῆς Ῥωμαϊκῆς γενναιότητος ἀνάξιον πεπραχέναι Bryennios 151.8-14
Isaakios Komnenos, elder brother of Alexios I (Isaakios 61)
  • When the army reached Caesarea and pitched camp there he decided to attack suddenly the Turks and went out at night with part of the army, but his plan failed and he was defeated. for he was unprepared whereas the enemy was ready and numerous (:) ἡττᾶται δὲ περιγενομένων αὐτοῦ τῶν ἐναντίων τῷ πλῆθει Attaleiates: History 183.18-184.3 / 136.3-9
  • Resisted vigorously the enemy and did not back away but was defeated and captured by the Turks, losing the camp (at Caesarea) together with the baggage while many Romans fell, were captured, or fled, and exchanged his freedom against much gold (:) ἐρρωμένως ταῖς οἰκείαις χερσὶν ἀντιτάξασθαι Attaleiates: History 184.4-15 / 136.9-18
  • Sent by the emperor (Michael 7) at the head of an army with Roussel 61 against the Turks who were raiding Roman lands, when they reached Caesarea (after the defection of Roussel at Ikonion) he decided to attack during the night but was captured (:) καὶ αἰχμάλωτος αὐτίκα γίνεται Skylitzes Continuatus 157.4-17
  • Took his forces and marched against the Turks whom he encountered at the borders of Cappadocia, fought bravely, but when his horse was injured and threw him down he was surrounded by the enemy, was captured, and his army dispersed (:) γενναίως τε ἀγωνίζεται καὶ κυκλωθεὶς ὑπὸ τῶν ἐναντίων, τοῦ ἵππου αὐτοῦ τρωθέντος καὶ τὸν ἐπιβάτην αὐτῷ συγκαταβαλόντος, ἁλίσκεται Bryennios 149.21-26
  • Attacked the Turks with the remainder of his army and was defeated; many fell and others, including the commander himself, were captured, and the camp was pillaged (:) Zonaras 18.16.15
  • He was (at an early age) given supreme command against Roussel 61, with his brother Alexios 1 under his command; but even these commanders could not mount a successful attack against Roussel (:) Anna Komnene 12.39-43
Emperor Michael VII Doukas (Michael 7)
  • Although upset at the news that Isaakios 61, sent against the Turks, was captured, he did not stop doing wrong to the people, encouraged by Nikephoros 63, and in fact it became obvious that by nature he was not opposed to the advice he received (:) ἔδοξε μὲν σκυθρωπόν τι παθεῖν Attaleiates: History 184.9-13 / 136.13-17
  • Learnt of the capture of Isaakios 61 Komnenos by the Turks and realised the gravity of the situation, but did not abstain from doing wrong, encouraged by Nikephoros 63 whose orders he followed like a slave (:) πᾶν τὸ προσταττόμενον παρὰ τοῦ Νικηφόρου ἐποίει ὥσπερ ἀνδράποδον Skylitzes Continuatus 157.19-24
Nikephoritzes (Nikephoros 63)
  • Encouraged the emperor (Michael 7) to do wrong and his orders were followed by the latter like a slave (:) ταῖς τοῦ Νικηφόρου ὑποθημοσύναις Skylitzes Continuatus 157.20-24
  • His orders were followed slavishly by Michael 7 even after the failed campaign against the Turks and the capture of Isaakios 61 Komnenos (:) ταῖς Νικηφόρου ὑποθήκαις ἀγόμενος ὡς ἀνδράποδον Glykas 614.4-6