After clever tactics & heroic deeds by Manuel, Kerkyra eventually surrendered

Summary:
Manuel used skilful tactics in the capture of Kerkyra, first tightening the blockade till it was fully effective, then showing amazing stamina in allowing the besieged no respite from his attacks. Finally the garrison lost heart and surrendered 
Dates:
1149 
Eirene (Bertha of Sulzbach), first wife of Manuel I (Eirene 66)
  • Once said in a full senate-meeting that she was descended from a great and warlike race, but had never heard of anyone achieving more exploits in one year than Manuel 1 (:) Kinnamos 99.21-100.3
Emperor Manuel I Komnenos (Manuel 1)
  • He had assaulted Kerkyra with great skill, beginning with a naval blockade, then attacking constantly and giving the defenders no rest; by superhuman feats of endurance he broke the enemy morale, captured the city, but then showed mercy (:) Prodromos, Historische Gedichte XXX.47-119
  • Bravely pulled off a ship in grave danger under the walls of Kerkyra, making its governor (Theodoros 246) forbid his men to fire ‘at such a physique’; he finally captured Kerkyra by famine and siege (:) σώματι τηλικούτῳ Kinnamos 100.3-101.22
  • Sent Chouroup 17001 against a diversionary Sicilian raid; pressing the attack on Kerkyra with siege-ladders despite the losses, he captured the city but not its citadel; he was stopped from repeating a 16-year-old’'s bravado, but won the praise of his wife Eirene 66 (:) Kinnamos 98.19-100.3
  • He wanted to punish the Venetians, but feared the consequences of war with them, so he sent members of his family to promise them an amnesty; the two forces were reconciled, but his anger waited for an opportunity to break out (:) Niketas Choniates, Historia 86.87-87.95
  • After reconciliation with the Venetians, he led new attacks on the city with redoubled energy, to storm it or force its surrender, attacking from more directions with more and heavier missiles; but effective resistance continued from high on the walls (:) Niketas Choniates, Historia 87.1-14
  • He realised he could not capture Kerkyra; but after so much time and effort he could not leave without great loss of prestige, nor could he maintain a pirate nest and shipyard on a Byzantine island; so he persisted (:) Niketas Choniates, Historia 87.15-88.26
  • His persistence paid off; a little later the garrison, growing hungry and despondent, asked for terms, encouraged by Theodoros 246; Manuel offered each the choice of employment or repatriation; some (including Theodoros) chose the former, the rest the latter (:) Niketas Choniates, Historia 88.27-48
  • When he entered the captured citadel of Kerkyra, he was amazed how impregnable it was; he left a strong garrison of German troops and moved his camp to Avlona on the way to Italy, thinking that his enemies had been pacified (:) Niketas Choniates, Historia 88.49-89.61
Theodoros, governor of Kerkyra under Roger II (Theodoros 246)
  • Seeing Manuel 1 saving a Byzantine ship, he forbade his troops from firing ‘at such a physique’, offering to take upon himself any resultant blame (:) σώματι τηλικούτῳ Kinnamos 100.21-101.5
  • He encouraged the garrison of Kerkyra to seek terms from Manuel 1; when offered the choice of imperial employment or repatriation, he chose the former, and later showed friendship to the Byzantines (:) Niketas Choniates, Historia 88.32-48