Pages in category "Byzantine diplomats"
The following 41 pages are in this category, out of 41 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 41 pages are in this category, out of 41 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Marianos Argyros – Marianos Argyros was a Byzantine aristocrat and member of the Argyros family. A monk, in 944 he supported the assumption of rule by Constantine VII. He held a succession of military commands, fighting in southern Italy against local rebels and the Fatimids. In 963, he tried to oppose the takeover of the throne by the general Nikephoros Phokas by assuming control over Constantinople and arresting his father. During the ensuing clashes, he was hit on the head by a platter, Marianos was the eldest son of the general Leo Argyros, active in the first decades of the 10th century. He had a brother, Romanos Argyros, who in 921 married Agathe, the Argyroi therefore were counted among the firmest supporters of the Lekapenos regime. Romanos Lekapenos had risen to power in 919 as regent over the young Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos, by December 920, his position had become so unassailable that he was crowned senior emperor. However, in 943, the elderly Romanos drafted a will which would leave Constantine VII as the emperor following his death. This greatly upset his two sons, who started planning to seize power through a coup détat, with Stephen apparently the ringleader and it is in this context that Marianos Argyros is first mentioned in December 944. At the time, he was a monk, and a confidant of Stephen Lekapenos, a few weeks later, however, with the support of the populace, Constantine VII managed to sideline the Lekapenoi, who joined their father in exile. It appears that Marianos had changed sides in time, for he participated in the arrest of the Lekapenoi. As a reward, Constantine VII, now sole ruler, freed him of his vows and raised him to the rank of patrikios. His abandonment of the monastic habit earned him the nickname Apambas or Apabbas, Marianos then disappears from the scene until he was sent at the head of troops from the themes of Macedonia and Thrace in an expedition to southern Italy, dated by modern scholars to 955. A rebellion that had broken out in the local Byzantine themes of Langobardia and Calabria, the Byzantine expeditionary force encircled and besieged Naples, until the city surrendered. At about the time, following a Fatimid raid on Almeria. Fatimid sources report that the Umayyads proposed joint action with Byzantium, Byzantine envoys even went to the Fatimid caliph, al-Muizz, and offered to renew and extend the existing truce. Al-Muizz however, determined to expose the Umayyads collaboration with the enemy and emulate the achievements of his father. The Caliph dispatched new forces to Sicily under Ammar ibn Ali al-Kalbi, in spring/summer 956, the Fatimid fleet clashed with and defeated the Byzantine fleet in two battles in the Straits of Messina, followed by Fatimid raids on the Calabrian coastMarianos Argyros – Gold solidus of Romanos I with Constantine VII
2. Manuel Boutoumites – Manuel Boutoumites or Butumites was a leading Byzantine general and diplomat during the reign of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, and one of the emperors most trusted aides. He was instrumental in the Byzantine recovery of Nicaea from the Seljuk Turks, in the reconquest of Cilicia, Abul Qasim was preparing to launch a fleet into the Sea of Marmara to challenge the Byzantine navy. Alexios, determined to prevent this, sent against him Boutoumites with the fleet, the two generals successfully destroyed the Seljuk fleet and forced Abul Qasim to withdraw to Nicaea, whence he concluded a truce with Byzantium. Soon after, Doukas and Boutoumites were sent against the rebellions of Karykes at Crete, after subduing Karykess revolt, they headed to Cyprus, where Kyrenia fell quickly. Rhapsomates came out to them and occupied the heights above the city, but Boutoumites enticed many of his men to desert. Boutoumites pursued and caught up with him at the church of the Holy Cross, promising to spare his life, he captured him and brought him back to Doukas. According to tradition, while in Cyprus, he founded the Kykkos Monastery there, Boutoumites was highly regarded and trusted by Alexios, Anna Komnene calls him Alexios sole confidant. The first great obstacle on the Crusaders path was Nicaea, the Seljuk capital, Boutoumites had been instructed by Alexios to secure the surrender of the city to imperial forces, and not to the Crusaders. The Turks had entered negotiations, allowing Boutoumites to enter the city, two days later, at the news of the approach of a relief force under Sultan Kilij Arslan I, they forced him to leave. Boutoumites, however, kept the deal a secret, and arranged with Tatikios for an assault by the Crusaders and Tatikioss men. Although by and large the Crusaders accepted the outcome, the event soured relations, in the aftermath of the citys fall, Boutoumites was named by Alexios as doux of Nicaea. He also persuaded some of the Crusaders to enroll in the Byzantine army and they were then employed in garrisoning Nicaea and repairing its walls. In 1099, he was sent by the Byzantine commanders at Cyprus as an envoy to Bohemond I of Antioch, but he was detained by him for a fortnight before being released. A few years later, Boutoumites was placed at the head of an army sent to secure Cilicia against Bohemund. After taking Attaleia, the Byzantines took Maraş and its surrounding region, Boutoumites left behind a large force under Monastras to garrison the province, and returned to Constantinople. From Cyprus, Boutoumites first sailed to Tripoli, next the Byzantine envoys set out to meet with the King of Jerusalem, Baldwin I, who was besieging Tyre. Baldwin, however, advised of the untruth of Boutoumitess claims and he feigned willingness to attack Tancred provided that he received the promised subsidies beforehand. Boutoumites, however, perceived the kings intentions, and refused to do so, thus the mission ended in failure, and Boutoumites left Jerusalem, returning to Constantinople via TripoliManuel Boutoumites – Miniature of the Emperor Alexios I Komnenos (r. 1081–1118).
3. Niketas Chalkoutzes – The patrikios Niketas Chalkoutzes was a Byzantine general, the first attested member of the Chalkoutzes family, and most notable for his recovery of Cyprus from the Arabs in 965. He is the first attested member of the Chalkoutzes or Chalkoutses family, whose members are mentioned sporadically until the 13th century. The event is briefly covered, and no details are given in the sources, while its date is commonly placed in the second half of 965. Chalkoutzes was likely the first Byzantine governor of the island after that, Προσωπογραφικό σημείωμα για τον απελευθερωτή της Κύπρου Νικήτα Χαλκούτζη και για τη χρονολογία ανακατάληψης της μεγαλονήσου. Επετηρίς Κέντρου Μελετών Ιεράς Μονής Κύκκου, wortley, John, ed. John Skylitzes, A Synopsis of Byzantine History, 811-1057Niketas Chalkoutzes – Chalkoutzes and his entourage escape during a battle between the Byzantines and the Arabs. Miniature from the Madrid Skylitzes
4. Leo Choirosphaktes – Choirosphaktes was also a well-educated and prominent scholar and writer, many of whose works and correspondence survive. The date of Choirosphaktess birth is not clear, George Kolias placed it between 845 and 850, while Hans Georg Beck circa 824, paul Magdalino, however, rejects a birth date in the 820s, for Choirosphaktes was still alive in 913 and probably died after 920. His family came from the Peloponnese and was established in aristocratic circles. Nothing is known of Choirosphaktess early life before circa 865, when he dedicated a major theological work, under Michaels successor, Basil I the Macedonian, Choirosphaktes rose to high state offices, being named mystikos and kanikleios, both confidential positions in close proximity to the emperor. Choirosphaktes continued to be favoured by Basils son and successor, Leo VI, who awarded him the high dignities of anthypatos, magistros, and patrikios by 896. In 895–896, Emperor Leo sent Choirosphaktes in a series of embassies to the Bulgarian ruler Symeon and his surviving diplomatic correspondence is a valuable source for these events. The Bulgarians had been hard pressed due to the raids of the Magyars, allies of Byzantium. These Symeon dragged out until his own allies, the Pechenegs, after the Magyars were defeated, the Bulgarian ruler issued an ultimatum demanding the release of all Bulgarian prisoners as a precondition of peace. Emperor Leo, pressed at the time by the Arabs in the East. Choirosphaktes returned to Constantinople with the Bulgarian envoy Theodore, and the prisoners were released, soon, however, hostilities resumed, and after a severe Byzantine defeat at the Battle of Bulgarophygon in summer 896, Choirosphaktes was again dispatched to Symeon. Choirosphaktes again was the Byzantine ambassador sent to negotiate with him, Symeon secured much territory in Macedonia and Thrace, although Choirosphaktes also managed to recover a belt of about 30 fortresses around the Byzantine Empires Adriatic stronghold of Dyrrhachium. During this period of disgrace, he sent repeated letters to the emperor pleading his case and he was also the subject of a vehement attack by the bishop Arethas of Caesarea in the latters work Choirosphaktes or Wizard-hater, where he was accused of being a Hellene. Following the coups suppression, Choirosphaktes sought sanctuary in the Hagia Sophia, there he was captured, tonsured, and then confined to the Monastery of Stoudios, where he died shortly after 919. Alongside his letters, Choirosphaktes also composed works, hymns. The attribution of some of the works, however, is disputed, léon Choerosphactès, magistre, proconsul et patrice, biographie, correspondance, text and French translation by Georgios Kolias, Athens 1939. Chiliostichos Theologia, editio princeps, text, commentary and German translation by Ioannis Vassis, Supplementa Byzantina 6, Berlin, lanacreontica De thermis di Leone Magistro, ed. by C. Gallavotti, Accademia nazionale dei Lincei, Bollettino dei classici, 3rd series,11, cinque poeti bizantini, Anacreontee dal Barberiniano greco 310, text, commentary and Italian translation by Federica Ciccolella, Amsterdam 2003Leo Choirosphaktes – Basil I (left) and the young Leo VI (right), miniature from the Madrid Skylitzes.
5. Constantine (consul 457) – Flavius Constantinus was a politician of the Eastern Roman Empire, consul and three times praetorian prefect of the East. A bilingual inscription was erected to celebrate the works, while in office, he received a letter by Theodoret of Cyrrhus, asking for a reduction of the taxation on his city, while another was received after he left office. After leaving his office in 451, he participated in sessions of the Council of Chalcedon. In 456 he was appointed prefect for the second time, Constantinus was appointed consul in 457, with Rufus as his colleague, then prefect of the East for the third time in 459. He received the title of patricius after 457, in 464/465 he was sent as an envoy to the Sassanid Persian king Peroz I. He waited at Edessa, then was received at Perozs court, the Persians had several complaints, and asked for Roman financial contributions for the defence of Caspian Gates, but the Romans refused and Constantinus was dismissed without achieving anything. Jones, Arnold Hugh Martin, John Robert Martindale, John Morris, Constantinus 22, Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, Volume 2, Cambridge University Press,1992, ISBN 0-521-20159-4, pp. 317–318Constantine (consul 457) – Portion of the Walls of Constantinople, damaged by an earthquake in January 447 and restored by Constantinus in sixty days.
6. Hermogenes (magister officiorum) – Hermogenes was probably from Scythia Minor, as he is called the Scythian in Byzantine chronicles. In the 510s, he served as an assessor to the general Vitalian, by May 529, he had risen to the post of magister officiorum, head of the imperial secretariat. In April 529, he was sent as an envoy with gifts to the Persian shah Kavadh I to formally announce Justinians accession to the Byzantine throne. He arrived before Kavadh in July and returned bearing his reply for a one-year truce, in response, Emperor Justinian sent him again as an envoy, along with Rufinus, who had led repeated embassies to the Persian court in the past. The two arrived at Antioch in March 530, and then set out for Hierapolis, from where they sent notice of their arrival to Kavadh, Kavadh, however, had prepared an invasion army and postponed meeting them. While Rufinus remained at Hierapolis, Hermogenes joined the Byzantine army commanded by Belisarius, newly promoted to magister militum per Orientem, as Hermogenes had been instructed by Emperor Justinian to aid Belisarius in forming his army, he came to share command of the Byzantine forces with the latter. When the Persian army under Mihran advanced across the border to Ammodius, Belisarius and Hermogenes attempted to resume negotiations the day before the battle, but the Persian commander refused. Hermogenes shared command with Belisarius during the subsequent Battle of Dara, after the battle, Kavadh accepted a new embassy, but without Hermogenes, who returned to Constantinople in late 530 or early 531. In the meantime, Kavadh had sent Rufinus back to Emperor Justinian with terms acceptable to the latter, when Rufinus returned to the shah bearing Justinians agreement, the Persian ruler had changed his mind and resolved to renew the war. In spring 531, as news arrived of another Persian invasion and he joined Belisarius, who had been following the Persians, at Barbalissus. There, Hermogenes mediated and resolved a dispute between Belisarius and one of his commanders, Sunicas. At this point the Persians, confronted by the Byzantine army, Hermogenes agreed with Belisariuss opinion that, their invasion having failed, they should be allowed to do so, but his subordinate commanders advocated battle. The two armies met near Callinicum, but the battle resulted in a heavy Byzantine defeat. In the aftermath of the battle, Hermogenes visited Kavadh as an envoy and he returned to Constantinople, from where he was again sent as an envoy in late summer of 531. There, he attached himself to the army of Sittas, and was with Sittas when he relieved the city of Martyropolis from a Persian siege, whilst at the city, news arrived of Kavadhs death and the succession of his son, Khosrau I. Khosrau wrote to Emperor Justinian through Hermogenes for a renewal of talks, but the Byzantine emperor forbade his envoys, Rufinus and Strategius, Emperor Justinian instructed Hermogenes to accept the truce, and after an exchange of hostages, the Persian army withdrew from Byzantine territory. Hermogenes was then one of the four Byzantine envoys sent to negotiate with Khosrau himself, the talks broke down, but a renewed embassy by Hermogenes and Rufinus succeeded in concluding the so-called Eternal Peace in September 532. Hermogenes was dismissed as magister officiorum after November 533, being replaced by Tribonian and he held the post again in 535, shortly before his death, which occurred sometime before March 18,536Hermogenes (magister officiorum) – Map of the Byzantine-Persian frontier area.
7. John VII of Constantinople – John VII, surnamed Grammatikos or Grammaticus, i. e. the Grammarian, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from January 21,837 to March 4,843, died before 867. He is not to be confused with the earlier philosopher John Philoponos. John was born to a family of Armenian origin. His father was Pankratios Morocharzanios and he had a brother, Arsaber, warren Treadgold identifies the latter with the Arsaber who married a sister of the Empress Theodora. Johns sister was the mother of the later Patriarch Photios, beginning his clerical career in c. 811, John was also an painter of icons and a correspondent of Theodore of Stoudios, John was rewarded for his troubles by being appointed abbot of the prestigious Sergios and Bakchos monastery, where recalcitrant Iconodules were being re-educated. John was renowned for his learning, and for his rhetoric in the endless debates that are a favorite subject of hagiographic sources reflecting the second period of Iconoclasm. John was also charged with tutoring the future Emperor Theophilos during the reign of his father Michael II, on the accession of Theophilos, John was appointed synkellos, a position that made him a likely heir to the patriarchate. 830, John was dispatched on an embassy to the Caliph al-Mamun and he did, however, bring back a plan of the Abbasid palace at Baghdad for the amusement of his emperor and supervised the building of a similar structure in Bithynia. The circumstances of John VIIs patriarchate are obscure and he was appointed patriarch, in 837, by his student Theophilos and may have been responsible for the slight intensification of the persecution of Iconodules. He was deposed by Theophilos widow Theodora as a preliminary towards the ending of Iconoclasm in 843, the deposed patriarch survived into the 860s. The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press,1991, J. B. Bury, A History of the Eastern Roman Empire from the Fall of Irene to the Accession of Basil I, London,1912. Smith, Jason Domonick John Grammatikos, An Oblique History of a Damned Patriarch, Thesis, California State University, Sacramento,2010John VII of Constantinople
8. John Mystikos – John Mystikos was a Byzantine official, who served as the chief minister of the empire in the early reign of Romanos I Lekapenos. After being suspected of designs on the throne, he was deposed and he is last mentioned as leading an embassy to Muhammad ibn Tughj al-Ikhshid in 946. Nothing is known of his origin or early life, John was raised to the high court rank of patrikios kai anthypatos on 19 April 924 or 925, which reportedly caused envy towards him by various courtiers. Although he was trusted and valued by Emperor Romanos I, in October 925, he was accused to the emperor of having designs on the throne, aided by his father-in-law, the chamberlain Theophanes succeeded him as paradynasteuon. Johns career thereafter is recorded in twelve letters exchanged between 927/8 and 945 with Niketas Magistros, likewise a disgraced former high official. Niketas consistently addresses John with the title of patrikios and mystikos, from these letters it emerges that John eventually re-entered imperial service, abandoning the monastery and re-enrolling in the imperial court as oikonomos. He was sent by Romanos I on a mission as an envoy to unspecified barbarians. John used his rank to successfully lobby for Niketas, securing him an annual stipend. On the occasion, al-Masudi describes John as anthypatos and patrikios, mystikos, John met al-Ikhshid at Damascus shortly before the latters death in July 946. The negotiations were continued by Abu al-Misk Kafur, who returned to Egypt, John accompanied him up to Palestine with al-Adani, where he gave them 30,000 gold dinars for the purpose of ransoming prisoners. John and his Arab counterpart then took ship from Tarsus to Constantinople, the exchange took place in September/October 946 at the Lamos River in Cilicia, in the presence of John and the magistros Kosmas. On the occasion, al-Masudi lauds Johns erudition and knowledge of the ancient Greek, nothing further is known of him. Lilie, Ralph-Johannes, Ludwig, Claudia, Zielke, Beate, Pratsch, Thomas, the Emperor Romanus Lecapenus and His Reign, A Study of Tenth-Century Byzantium. Cambridge, United Kingdom, Cambridge University PressJohn Mystikos – Gold solidus of Romanos I with Constantine VII
9. John the Rhaiktor – John the Rhaiktor was a Byzantine official, who served as the chief minister of the empire in the early reign of Romanos I Lekapenos. Facing accusations, he left his office and retired to a monastery and he is likely to be identified as one of the conspirators who in 947 intended to depose Constantine VII and restore Romanos Is son Stephen Lekapenos to the throne. John is first mentioned in 922, in the aftermath of a conspiracy against emperor Romanos I Lekapenos. At the time, he was a presbyter, held the title of rhaiktor, in the aftermath of the conspiracys revelation by the servant of one of the conspirators, he took the servant into the imperial household. In spring of 922 he was sent, along with the admiral Alexios Mosele, the Domestic of the Schools Pothos Argyros, shortly afterwards, unspecified charges were brought against him before Emperor Romanos. Feigning illness, he left the palace and retired to a monastery he had founded. He was succeeded as paradynasteuon by John Mystikos, despite the accusations and his becoming a monk, John seems to have retained Romanos confidence, for probably in 929 he was sent on a diplomatic mission to Bulgaria. As soon as Ivan was in Constantinople, he abandoned his monastic habit, John and Romanos eldest son and co-emperor Christopher Lekapenos were witnesses at the ceremony. The conspirators were variously blinded, their ears and noses cut, publicly humiliated through the streets of the capital, lilie, Ralph-Johannes, Ludwig, Claudia, Zielke, Beate, Pratsch, Thomas, eds. The Emperor Romanus Lecapenus and His Reign, A Study of Tenth-Century Byzantium, Cambridge, United Kingdom, Cambridge University PressJohn the Rhaiktor – Gold solidus of Romanos I with Constantine VII
10. Maximinus (diplomat) – Maximinus was a 5th-century East Roman official, serving as ambassador to Attila the Hun and as a senior minister at Constantinople. Maximinus was lieutenant of Ardaburius in the Roman–Persian war in 422, in 448, Theodosius II sent him to Attila, Orestes and Edeko, the Hunnic ambassadors at Constantinople, returned with him to Pannonia. Edeko had been bribed by the chief minister, Chrysaphius, to murder Attila. This embassy of Maximinus is described by his secretary, Priscus, to whom is owed nearly all modern knowledge of Attilas person and he is invariably represented as a virtuous, firm, and highly talented man. This article incorporates text from the Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, a publication now in the public domainMaximinus (diplomat) – Priscus (left) with the Roman embassy at the court of Attila
11. Theodore Metochites – Theodore Metochites was a Byzantine statesman, author, gentleman philosopher, and patron of the arts. From c.1305 to 1328 he held the position of personal adviser to emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos, Metochites was born in Constantinople as the son of the archdeacon George Metochites, a fervent supporter of the union of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches. After the Council of Blachernae, his father was condemned and exiled and he devoted himself to studies of both secular and religious authors. When Andronicus II visited Nicaea in 1290/1291, Metochites made such an impression on him that he was called to the court. Little more than a later, he was appointed a Senator. Besides carrying out his duties, Metochites continued to study. In 1312/1313, he started learning astronomy from Manuel Bryennios, later he became the teacher of Nicephorus Gregoras. He was married with five sons and one daughter, Irene, metochites’ political career culminated in 1321, when he was invested as Grand Logothete. He was then at the summit of his power, and also one of the richest men of his age, metochites’ fortunes were, however, linked with his emperor’s. After a few years of intermittent civil war, Andronicus II was overthrown in 1328 by his own grandson and he was deprived of his possessions and forced into exile in Didymoteichon. In 1330, he was allowed to return to Constantinople and he then withdrew to Chora, where he died on 13 March 1332, having adopted the monastic name Theoleptos. Many of these works are still unedited, Editions with English translations, Featherstone, J. M.2000. ISBN 3-7001-2853-3 Reviewed by Lazaris, S.2002, jeffrey Michael Featherstone, Theodore Metochites’s poems ‘to Himself’, Wien, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften,2000, Scriptorium 56, p. 328*-330* Hult, K.2002. Theodore Metochites on Ancient Authors and Philosophy, Semeioseis gnomikai 1–26 &71, a Critical Edition with Introduction, Translation, Notes, and Indexes. Studia Graeca et Latina Gothoburgensia 65, Theodore Metochites on the Human Condition and the Decline of Rome. A Critical Edition with Introduction, Translation, Notes, and Indexes, studia Graeca et Latina Gothoburgensia 70. ISBN 978-91-7346-889-3, Editions without translation, Polemis, I. D.2015, Theodore Metochites Stoicheiosis astronomike and the study of natural philosophy and mathematics in early Palaiologan Byzantium. 2nd rev. ed. Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, studia Graeca et Latina Gothoburgensia 66Theodore Metochites – Theodore Metochites presenting the model of the renovated Chora Church to Christ Pantocrator.
12. Michael of Synnada – Michael of Synnada was a bishop of Synnada from 784. He represented Byzantium in diplomatic missions to Harun al-Rashid and Charlemagne and he was exiled by Emperor Leo V the Armenian because of his opposition to iconoclasm. Honored by the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, his feast day is May 23, Michael was much influenced by Patriarch Tarasios of Constantinople, who sent him to a monastery on the coast of the Black Sea. An associate of Saint Theophylact of Nicomedia, once during a harvest in a time of drought, Patriarch Tarasius consecrated Michael Bishop of the city of Synnada. He was present at the Seventh Ecumenical Council at Nicea in 787, at the request of the Emperor, he visited Caliph Harun al-Rashid to conduct peace negotiations. He also carried out missions for Byzantium at the court of Charlemagne. He clashed with the Emperor Leo the Armenian over Leos policy of iconoclasm, and was exiled and he is an Orthodox and Roman Catholic saint. His feast day is celebrated on May 23 and he is invoked for protection of crops from pests. St. Michael is depicted with St. Athanasius in the Icon of the Mother of God “Economissa”, confessor List of Confessors List of Eastern Orthodox saint titlesMichael of Synnada – Virgin Mary
13. Peter the Patrician – Peter the Patrician was a senior East Roman or Byzantine official, diplomat, and historian. A well-educated and successful lawyer, he was sent as envoy to Ostrogothic Italy in the prelude to the Gothic War of 535–554. Despite his diplomatic skill, he was not able to avert war, upon his release, he was appointed to the post of magister officiorum, head of the imperial secretariat, which he held for an unparalleled 26 years. His historical writings survive only in fragments, but provide unique source material on early Byzantine ceremonies, after studying law, he embarked on a successful career as a lawyer in Constantinople, which brought him to the attention of Empress Theodora. In 534, on account of his skills, he was employed as an imperial envoy to the Ostrogothic court at Ravenna. At the time, a struggle was developing there between Queen Amalasuntha, regent to the young king Athalaric, and her cousin Theodahad. Following the death of Athalaric, Theodahad usurped the throne, imprisoned Amalasuntha, Peter met the envoys at Aulon, on his way to Italy, and notified Constantinople, seeking new instructions. Emperor Justinian ordered him to convey the message to Theodahad that Amalasuntha was under the Emperors protection, consequently, Peter returned to Italy in the summer of 535 conveying an ultimatum, only if Theodahad abdicated and returned Italy to imperial rule, could war be averted. A two-pronged Byzantine offensive followed soon thereafter, attacking the outlying possessions of the Ostrogothic kingdom, Belisarius took Sicily, in the event, Justinian rejected the first proposal, and was delighted to learn of the second one. Peter was sent back to Italy with Athanasius, bearing letters to Theodahad and the Gothic nobles and it was not to be, upon their arrival in Ravenna, the Byzantine envoys found Theodahad in a changed disposition. Supported by the Gothic nobility and buoyed up by a success against Mundus in Dalmatia, he resolved to resist and he would hold this post for 26 consecutive years, longer by a wide margin than any other before or after. At about the time or shortly thereafter, he was raised to the supreme title of patrician. He was also awarded an honorary consulship, Peter is also recorded as attending the Second Council of Constantinople in May 553. In 550, he was sent as envoy by Justinian to negotiate a treaty with Persia, a role he reprised in 561. The annual Roman subsidies to Persia would resume, but the amount was lowered from 500 to 420 pounds of gold. Further clauses regulated cross-border trade, which was to be limited to the two cities of Dara and Nisibis, the return of fugitives, and the protection of the religious minorities. As disagreements remained on two areas, Suania and Ambros, in spring 562, Peter travelled to Persia to negotiate directly with the Persian Shah, Chosroes I. He then returned to Constantinople, where he died sometime after March 565 and his son Theodore, nicknamed Kontocheres or Zetonoumios, would succeed him as magister officiorum in 566, after a brief interval where the post was held by the quaestor sacri palatii AnastasiusPeter the Patrician – Emperor Justinian I (r. 527–565) and his entourage, mosaic from the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna.
14. Priscus – Priscus of Panium was a 5th-century Roman diplomat and Greek historian and rhetorician. Priscus was born in Panion between 410-420 AD, in 448/449 AD, he accompanied Maximinus, the head of the Byzantine embassy representing Emperor Theodosius the Younger, on a diplomatic mission to the court of Attila the Hun. While there, he met and conversed with a Greek merchant, dressed in Scythian fashion, the trader explained to Priscus that after the sack of Viminacium, he was a slave of Onegesius, a Hunnic nobleman, but obtained his freedom and chose to settle among the Huns. Priscus ultimately engaged in a debate with the Greek defector regarding the qualities of life, after an interlude in Rome, Priscus traveled to Alexandria and the Thebaid in Egypt. He last appeared in the East, circa 456, attached to the staff of Euphemios as Emperor Marcians magister officiorum, Priscus was the author of an eight-volume historical work, written in Greek, entitled the History of Byzantium, which was probably not the original title name. The History probably covered the period from the accession of Attila the Hun to the accession of Emperor Zeno, priscuss work currently survives in fragments and was very influential in the Byzantine Empire. Priscuss writing style is straightforward and his work is regarded as a contemporary account of Attila the Hun, his court. Priscus recount of a dinner with Attila the Hun Priscus recount of a dinner with Attila the Hun was at, but this one was said to be supposedly greater than the rest. Made for celebration due to it being constructed of polished wood. Priscus entered the house the following day bearing gifts to Attilas wife and her name was Kreka who had three sons. The dinner was at three O’clock, Priscus and the embassy of Western Romans, were placed at the end of the table farthest from Attila but still in his presence, this was to show a means of Attila being greater than the Roman guest. That to Priscus, Attila considered his people were more important than Prius, as Priscus and the Western Roman embassy stood, they followed the cultural tradition of being given tea from the cupbearers. They were to pray and have a drink before having a seat at the table, Attila sat in the middle of the couch, with the seats being arranged linear to the walls. As the seating arrangement went on the side of Attila was held for the Chiefs in honor. With the everyone else including Priscus and the Roman embassies on the left, following the seating, everyone was to raise a glass to pledge one another with wine. Once the Cupbearers left another attendant came in with a plate of meat, followed by other items of food such as bread, all of the food was served on plates of silver and gold. Prius also notes that Attila didn’t use any silver or gold plates but instead used a cup made of wood, once the first round was finished, they stood and then drank again to the health of Attila. Once evening arrived torches were lite and songs that were composed of Attilas victories were sung, the remaining works of Priscus are currently published in four collections, Given, JohnPriscus – Priscus (left) with the Roman embassy at the court of Attila the Hun, holding his ΙΣΤΟΡΙΑ (History, which the painter has incorrectly spelled ΙΣΤ Ω ΡΙΑ). (Detail from Mór Than 's Feast of Attila.)
15. Theophanes (chamberlain) – Theophanes was a Byzantine palace official and the chief adviser of Emperor Romanos Lekapenos during most of his reign. He was also an active and able diplomat, and led the defense of Constantinople against the Rus invasion of 941. Nothing is known of Theophaness origin and early life, unlike Mystikos, Theophanes would prove both capable and loyal to his master, and remained the chief figure of the government for the remainder of Romanoss reign. At that time, the Byzantine Empire had been embroiled in a protracted, in 927, however, Simeon died, and his infant son, Peter, ascended the Bulgarian throne under the regency of his uncle George Sursubul. Despite its victories, Bulgaria was exhausted from decades of warfare, consequently, the Bulgarians decided to make peace with Constantinople. Theophanes played a role in the negotiations prior to the final signing of the treaty. Theophanes proved his diplomatic skills yet again in April 934, when a large Magyar raid descended into Thrace and he met the raiders in person and arranged terms for their withdrawal and for the release of their captives in exchange for sums of money. At that point, the Byzantine capital was well-nigh defenceless, for the army was fighting in the east under John Kourkouas. Fifteen old chelandia were discovered in one of Constantinoples harbours, put in order, outfitted with siphons for the discharge of Greek fire, the improvised squadron met the Rus at the entrance of the Bosporus, and through the use of Greek fire, turned them back. The bulk of the raiders then turned east and made landfall in Bithynia, as the local Byzantine forces rallied there and the army began to arrive from the East, the Rus found themselves increasingly constrained. Trying to evade the Byzantines and return to their homeland, one night in September they tried to cross over into Thrace, Theophanes, however, now placed in command of the entire navy, was vigilant, and the Rus fleet was annihilated. Theophanes returned in triumph to the Byzantine capital, where he was raised to the post of parakoimomenos as a reward and this triumph, however, was to be the last for Emperor Romanos. His eldest sons and co-emperors, Stephen and Constantine, overthrew him in December 944, shortly after, another palace coup deposed them as well, and restored power to the legitimate emperor, Constantine VII. The plot was uncovered sometime in 947, and Theophanes was deposed and exiled, the date and place of his death are unknownTheophanes (chamberlain) – Bronze follis of Emperor Romanos I Lekapenos (r. 920–944).