Michael VII began to feel responsible for Byzantine disasters, but still followed evil counsellors

After the rebellion of Roussel de Bailleul and the defeat of the kaisar Ioannes Doukas at the bridge of Zompos, Michael VII began to feel responsible for these disasters. In a speech he claimed to be desperately worried, and compared himself to Jonah, expecting to be thrown overboard. He nevertheless persisted in the policy which was causing the problems, continuing to rely on the advice of Nikephoritzes, who isolated the emperor from his entourage and concentrated more and more money and power in his own hands, extorting bribes from military and civil officials, especially tax collectors 
Emperor Michael VII Doukas (Michael 7)
  • Compared himself to Jonas in his speech to citizens and senators, and asked to be thrown into the sea, admitting that the troubles and difficulties of the Roman empire (following Roussel 61's rebellion) were caused by his own actions (:) λοιπὸν ἄρατέ με καὶ βάλετε εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν Attaleiates: History 187.1-4 / 138.10-12
  • Although his words (after the rebellion of Roussel 61) spoke of regret for bad decisions, his actions suggested the opposite and there was no attempt to correct previous mistakes, for he was voluntarily subjecting himself to the worst advice (:) ὡς ἀκυβέρνητος καταδουλούμενος ἑαυτόν Attaleiates: History 187.4-8 / 138.13-15
  • Was much concerned when he heard of the defeat and capture of Ioannes 62 by Roussel 61 (at Zompos) and of the rebel's advance towards Constantinople, and suspected that it was all the result of a conspiracy from within (Constantinople) (:) ὑπόπτιον ἐξ ἐπιβουλῆς ἔνδον οἰομένου τοῦ βασιλεύοντος Attaleiates: History 186.16-19 / 138.3-6
  • Suspecting a conspiracy and greatly upset, he sat on the imperial throne and addressed the citizens and senators saying that he was close to death after hearing the bad news (of Roussel 61's advance after his victory over Ioannes 62) (:) καθίσας εἰς τὸν βασίλειον δίφρον Attaleiates: History 186.19-187.1 / 138.6-10
Nikephoritzes (Nikephoros 63)
  • Not satisfied with what he had, and although bribed by all the officials, military, customs and tax collectors, and master of many and great estates and houses, he still did not refrain from making money from blackmail and from the distress of others (:) τὴν κοσμικὴν ἔνδειαν οἰκείαν ποιεῖσθαι φιλοκερδείας ὑπόθεσιν Attaleiates: History 201.12-19 / 148.10-16
  • Devised ways of showing to the emperor (Michael 7) his dedication and fulfilled all his wishes, but cut him off from his mother (Eudokia 1), his brothers (Andronikos 62, Konstantios 61) and other family, accusing them of aiming at the throne (:) ἀπετείχιζε δὲ τῆς τοῦ βασιλέως ἀγάπης τήν τε μητέρα Attaleiates: History 200.12-18 / 147.19-24
  • Pretended that he alone cared for the emperor (Michael 7), became powerful and managed all the affairs of the empire advising the emperor on what action to take, and granted whatever honours and pronoiai he wished in exchange for much money (:) προνοίας οἷς ἐβούλετο χαριζόμενος διὰ λημμάτων οὐχὶ μικρῶν Attaleiates: History 200.18-201.1 / 147.24-148.2
Roussel de Bailleul (Roussel 61)
  • Was sent an embassy from Michael 7 Doukas offering him the rank of kouropalates and precious gifts, provided that he abandons his rebellion and subjects himself to the emperor, but he did not listen and advanced even more hastily to Constantinople (:) μηδενὸς τῶν λεγομένων ἀνήκοος γεγονώς Attaleiates: History 187.8-13 / 138.15-19