Damian is the first attested member of the distinguished Dalassenos clan. As a holder of the high title of magistros, he became governor of Antioch in 995/6, succeeding Michael Bourtzes following the latter's defeat in the Battle of the Orontes. This post was one of the most important military positions in the Byzantine Empire, as its holder commanded the forces arrayed against the Fatimid Caliphate and the semi-autonomous Muslim rulers of Syria. Damian was engaged in operations against the amir Nazzal of Tripoli, and forced him to agree to terms. Soon, however, Nazzan was overthrown by the city's populace, forcing Dalassenos to resume operations along the northern Syrian coast. In June/July 998, he marched his troops to Apamea to seize the city after a catastrophic fire. There, he was killed while pursuing a force of Bedouins, and was succeeded as doux by Nikephoros Ouranos.
Damian Dalassenos had at least three sons:
- Constantine Dalassenos, doux of Antioch in 1025 and a favourite of Emperor Constantine VIII (r. 1025–1028).
- Theophylaktos Dalassenos, also a doux of Antioch.
- Romanos Dalassenos, katepano of Iberia.
- A further child was the parent of Adrianos Dalassenos, the maternal grandfather of Anna Dalassene, the mother of Alexios I Komnenos (r. 1081–1118).
- Holmes, Catherine (2005). Basil II and the Governance of Empire (976–1025). Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-927968-5.
- Kazhdan, Alexander Petrovich, ed. (1991). The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. New York, New York and Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6.
- Trombley, Frank (1997). "The Taktika of Nikephoros Ouranos and Military Encyclopaedism". In Binkley, Peter. Pre-Modern Encyclopaedic Texts: Proceedings of the Second COMERS Congress, Groningen, 1-4 July 1996. Leiden, The Netherlands and New York, New York: Brill. pp. 261–274. ISBN 978-90-04-10830-1.
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