Nikephoros Bryennios (Νικηφόρος Βρυέννιος, Latinized as Nicephorus Bryennius, 1062–1137) was a Byzantine general, statesman and historian. Distinguished for his learning, personal beauty, and engaging qualities, Bryennios gained the favor of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos and the hand of his daughter Anna Komnene, receiving the titles of Caesar and panhypersebastos (one of the new dignities introduced by Alexios). Bryennios was on very friendly terms with Alexios' heir, John II Komnenos, and refused to join an 1118 cabal that sought to disinherit John from the crown.
Nikephoros Bryennios, husband of Princess Anna Komnene, was regarded by her as having no political skill, despite his strength. In the harsh, guttural language of Constantinople'sEnglish mercenaries, Nikephoros was "feckless," whatever a "feck" was. Thus, he was the ideal puppet whom Anna intended to install as Emperor under her supervision.
As her father Emperor Alexios was in his final illness in 1118, Anna made her move, using a witching spell to control Alexios' mind and cause him to disinherit his son Prince John in favor of Nikephoros. This she began after a terrible love making session, during which Anna concluded that if women truly knew their husbands on the wedding day, they would all flee to convents and let the human race die out.
Anna's mind control ritual was thwarted by an outside force, which was later revealed to be John's wife Princess Irene of Hungary. When Anna awoke from her ordeal in the spirit world, Nikephoros informed her that John had been confirmed as the new Emperor. All the couple could do was file into the transfer of power ceremony and hail the new ruler. Nikephoros looked as tame as a lapdog during this event.