NICEPHORUS III. (Botaniates), emperor 1078-1081, belonged to a family which claimed descent from the Roman Fabii and rose to be commander of the troops in Asia. He revolted in 1078 from Michael VII., and with the connivance of the Turks marched upon Nicaea, where he assumed the purple. In face of another rebellious general, Nicephorus Bryennius, his election was ratified by the aristocracy and clergy. With the help of Alexius Comnenus he drove out of the field Bryennius and other rivals, but failed to clear the invading Turks out of Asia Minor. Nicephorus ultimately quarrelled with Alexius, who used his influence with the army to depose the emperor and banish him to a monastery. In the years of his reign he had entirely given himself over to debauchery.
See Gibbon, Decline and Fall (ed. Bury, 1896); Finlay, Hist. of Greece; G. Schlumberger, Nicephore Phocas (Paris, 1890); K. Leonardt, Kaiser Nicephorus II. (Halle, 1887).
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