The Emperor John II Komnenos (1118-1143) has been overshadowed by both his father Alexios I and his son Manuel I. Written sources have not left us much evidence regarding his reign, although authors agree that he was an excellent emperor. However, the period witnessed territorial expansion in Asia Minor as well as the construction of the most important monastic complex of twelfth-century Constantinople. What else do we know about John's rule and its period? This volume opens up new perspectives on John's reign and clearly demonstrates that many innovations generally attributed to the genius of Manuel Komnenos had already been fostered during the reign of the second great Komnenos. Leading experts on twelfth-century Byzantium (Jeffreys, Magdalino, Ousterhout) are joined by representatives of a new generation of Byzantinists to produce a timely and invaluable study of the unjustly neglected figure of John Komnenos.