1. Medieval Greek – From the 7th century onwards, Greek was the only language of administration and government in the Byzantine Empire. This stage of language is described as Byzantine Greek. The study of the Medieval Greek language and literature is a branch of Byzantine Studies, or Byzantinology, however, this approach is rather arbitrary as it is more an assumption of political as opposed to cultural and linguistic developments. Indeed, by time the spoken language, particularly pronunciation, had already shifted towards modern forms. Medieval Greek is the link between this vernacular, known as Koine Greek, and the Modern Greek language. With the transfer of the Roman imperial court to Byzantium between 324 and 330, the centre of the Roman Empire was moved into an area where Greek was the dominant language. At first, Latin remained the language of both the court and the army and it was used for documents, but its influence soon waned. From the beginning of the 6th century, amendments to the law were written in Greek. Furthermore, parts of the Roman Corpus Iuris Civilis were gradually translated into Greek, under the rule of Emperor Heraclius, who also assumed the Greek title Basileus in 629, Greek became the official language of the Eastern Roman Empire. This was in spite of the fact that the inhabitants of the empire still considered themselves Romaioi until its end in 1453, the number of those who were able to communicate in Greek may have been far higher. In any case, all cities of the Eastern Roman Empire were strongly influenced by the Greek language, alexandria, a center of Greek culture and language, fell to the Arabs in 642. During the seventh and eighth centuries, Greek was replaced by Arabic as a language in conquered territories such as Egypt. Thus, the use of Greek declined early on in Syria, Egypt, from the late 11th century onwards, the interior of Anatolia was invaded by Seljuq Turks, who advanced westwards. Language varieties after 1453 are referred to as Modern Greek, as early as in the Hellenistic period, there was a tendency towards a state of diglossia between the Attic literary language and the constantly developing vernacular Koiné. By late antiquity, the gap had become impossible to ignore, written literature reflecting this demotic Greek begins to appear around 1100. Among the preserved literature in the Attic literary language, various forms of historiography take a prominent place and they comprise chronicles as well as classicist, contemporary works of historiography, theological documents, and saints lives. Poetry can be found in the form of hymns and ecclesiastical poetry, many of the Byzantine emperors were active writers themselves and wrote chronicles or works on the running of the Byzantine state and strategic or philological works. Furthermore, letters, legal texts, and numerous registers and lists in Medieval Greek exist and these are influenced by the vernacular language of their time in choice of words and idiom, but largely follow the models of written Koine in their morphology and syntaxMedieval Greek – Manuscript of the Anthology of Planudes (c.1300)
2. Late Antiquity – Late antiquity is a periodization used by historians to describe the time of transition from classical antiquity to the Middle Ages in mainland Europe, the Mediterranean world, and the Near East. The development of the periodization has generally been accredited to historian Peter Brown, precise boundaries for the period are a continuing matter of debate, but Brown proposes a period between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Generally, it can be thought of as from the end of the Roman Empires Crisis of the Third Century to, in the East, the early Islamic period, following the Muslim conquests in the mid–7th century. In the West the end was earlier, with the start of the Early Medieval period typically placed in the 6th century, beginning with Constantine the Great, Christianity was made legal in the Empire, and a new capital was founded at Constantinople. The resultant cultural fusion of Greco-Roman, Germanic and Christian traditions formed the foundations of the subsequent culture of Europe, the term Spätantike, literally late antiquity, has been used by German-speaking historians since its popularization by Alois Riegl in the early 20th century. Concurrently, some migrating Germanic tribes such as the Ostrogoths and Visigoths saw themselves as perpetuating the Roman tradition, Constantine confirmed the legalization of the religion through the so-called Edict of Milan in 313, jointly issued with his rival in the East, Licinius. Monasticism was not the only new Christian movement to appear in Late Antiquity, notable in this regard is the topic of the Fifty Bibles of Constantine. Within the recently legitimized Christian community of the 4th century, a division could be distinctly seen between the laity and an increasingly celibate male leadership. Celibate and detached, the clergy became an elite equal in prestige to urban notables. The Late Antique period also saw a transformation of the political and social basis of life in. The later Roman Empire was in a sense a network of cities, archaeology now supplements literary sources to document the transformation followed by collapse of cities in the Mediterranean basin. Burials within the urban precincts mark another stage in dissolution of traditional urbanistic discipline, overpowered by the attraction of saintly shrines, in Roman Britain, the typical 4th- and 5th-century layer of black earth within cities seems to be a result of increased gardening in formerly urban spaces. A similar though less marked decline in population occurred later in Constantinople. In Europe there was also a decline in urban populations. As a whole, the period of antiquity was accompanied by an overall population decline in almost all Europe. Long-distance markets disappeared, and there was a reversion to a degree of local production and consumption, rather than webs of commerce. The degree and extent of discontinuity in the cities of the Greek East is a moot subject among historians. In the western Mediterranean, the new cities known to be founded in Europe between the 5th and 8th centuries were the four or five Visigothic victory citiesLate Antiquity – The Barberini ivory, a late Leonid / Justinian Byzantine ivory leaf from an imperial diptych, from an imperial workshop in Constantinople in the first half of the sixth century (Louvre Museum)
3. Fall of Constantinople – The Fall of Constantinople was the capture of the capital of the Byzantine Empire by an invading army of the Ottoman Empire on 29 May 1453. The Ottomans were commanded by the then 21-year-old Mehmed the Conqueror, the sultan of the Ottoman Empire. The conquest of Constantinople followed a 53-day siege that had begun on 6 April 1453, the capture of Constantinople marked the end of the Roman Empire, an imperial state that had lasted for nearly 1,500 years. The Ottoman conquest of Constantinople also dealt a blow to Christendom. After the conquest, Sultan Mehmed II transferred the capital of the Ottoman Empire from Edirne to Constantinople. The conquest of the city of Constantinople and the end of the Byzantine Empire was a key event in the Late Middle Ages, which also marks, for some historians, Constantinople had been an imperial capital since its consecration in 330 under Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great. In the following centuries, the city had been besieged many times but was captured only once. The crusaders established an unstable Latin state in and around Constantinople while the remaining empire splintered into a number of Byzantine successor states, notably Nicaea, Epirus and they fought as allies against the Latin establishments, but also fought among themselves for the Byzantine throne. The Nicaeans eventually reconquered Constantinople from the Latins in 1261, thereafter there was little peace for the much-weakened empire as it fended off successive attacks by the Latins, the Serbians, the Bulgarians, and, most importantly, the Ottoman Turks. The Black Plague between 1346 and 1349 killed almost half of the inhabitants of Constantinople, the Empire of Trebizond, an independent successor state that formed in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade, also survived on the coast of the Black Sea. This optimism was reinforced by friendly assurances made by Mehmed to envoys sent to his new court, but Mehmeds actions spoke far louder than his mild words. Since the mutual excommunications of 1054, the Pope in Rome was committed to establishing authority over the eastern church, nominal union had been negotiated in 1274, at the Second Council of Lyon, and indeed, some Palaiologoi emperors had since been received into the Latin church. Emperor John VIII Palaiologos had also recently negotiated union with Pope Eugene IV, finally, the attempted Union failed, greatly annoying Pope Nicholas V and the hierarchy of the Roman church. Although some troops did arrive from the city states in the north of Italy. Some Western individuals, however, came to defend the city on their own account. One of these was a soldier from Genoa, Giovanni Giustiniani. A specialist in defending walled cities, he was given the overall command of the defense of the land walls by the emperor. In Venice, meanwhile, deliberations were taking place concerning the kind of assistance the Republic would lend to ConstantinopleFall of Constantinople – The last siege of Constantinople, contemporary 15th century French miniature
4. Ancient Greek – Ancient Greek includes the forms of Greek used in ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BC to the 6th century AD. It is often divided into the Archaic period, Classical period. It is antedated in the second millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek, the language of the Hellenistic phase is known as Koine. Koine is regarded as a historical stage of its own, although in its earliest form it closely resembled Attic Greek. Prior to the Koine period, Greek of the classic and earlier periods included several regional dialects, Ancient Greek was the language of Homer and of fifth-century Athenian historians, playwrights, and philosophers. It has contributed many words to English vocabulary and has been a subject of study in educational institutions of the Western world since the Renaissance. This article primarily contains information about the Epic and Classical phases of the language, Ancient Greek was a pluricentric language, divided into many dialects. The main dialect groups are Attic and Ionic, Aeolic, Arcadocypriot, some dialects are found in standardized literary forms used in literature, while others are attested only in inscriptions. There are also several historical forms, homeric Greek is a literary form of Archaic Greek used in the epic poems, the Iliad and Odyssey, and in later poems by other authors. Homeric Greek had significant differences in grammar and pronunciation from Classical Attic, the origins, early form and development of the Hellenic language family are not well understood because of a lack of contemporaneous evidence. Several theories exist about what Hellenic dialect groups may have existed between the divergence of early Greek-like speech from the common Proto-Indo-European language and the Classical period and they have the same general outline, but differ in some of the detail. The invasion would not be Dorian unless the invaders had some relationship to the historical Dorians. The invasion is known to have displaced population to the later Attic-Ionic regions, the Greeks of this period believed there were three major divisions of all Greek people—Dorians, Aeolians, and Ionians, each with their own defining and distinctive dialects. Often non-west is called East Greek, Arcadocypriot apparently descended more closely from the Mycenaean Greek of the Bronze Age. Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Greek influence, and can in some respects be considered a transitional dialect, thessalian likewise had come under Northwest Greek influence, though to a lesser degree. Most of the dialect sub-groups listed above had further subdivisions, generally equivalent to a city-state and its surrounding territory, Doric notably had several intermediate divisions as well, into Island Doric, Southern Peloponnesus Doric, and Northern Peloponnesus Doric. The Lesbian dialect was Aeolic Greek and this dialect slowly replaced most of the older dialects, although Doric dialect has survived in the Tsakonian language, which is spoken in the region of modern Sparta. Doric has also passed down its aorist terminations into most verbs of Demotic Greek, by about the 6th century AD, the Koine had slowly metamorphosized into Medieval GreekAncient Greek – Inscription about the construction of the statue of Athena Parthenos in the Parthenon, 440/439 BC
5. Partition of the Roman Empire – It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, cultural, several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empires Greek East and Latin West divided. Constantine I reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empires official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed. Finally, under the reign of Heraclius, the Empires military, the borders of the Empire evolved significantly over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Maurice, the Empires eastern frontier was expanded, in a matter of years the Empire lost its richest provinces, Egypt and Syria, to the Arabs. This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia, the Empire recovered again during the Komnenian restoration, such that by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city. Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire remained only one of several small states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence. Its remaining territories were annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 finally ended the Byzantine Empire, the term comes from Byzantium, the name of the city of Constantinople before it became Constantines capital. This older name of the city would rarely be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts. The publication in 1648 of the Byzantine du Louvre, and in 1680 of Du Canges Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of Byzantine among French authors, however, it was not until the mid-19th century that the term came into general use in the Western world. The Byzantine Empire was known to its inhabitants as the Roman Empire, the Empire of the Romans, Romania, the Roman Republic, Graikia, and also as Rhōmais. The inhabitants called themselves Romaioi and Graikoi, and even as late as the 19th century Greeks typically referred to modern Greek as Romaika and Graikika. The authority of the Byzantine emperor as the legitimate Roman emperor was challenged by the coronation of Charlemagne as Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III in the year 800. No such distinction existed in the Islamic and Slavic worlds, where the Empire was more seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. In the Islamic world, the Roman Empire was known primarily as Rûm, the Roman army succeeded in conquering many territories covering the entire Mediterranean region and coastal regions in southwestern Europe and north Africa. These territories were home to different cultural groups, both urban populations and rural populations. The West also suffered heavily from the instability of the 3rd century ADPartition of the Roman Empire – Tremissis with the image of Justinian the Great (r. 527–565) (see Byzantine insignia)
6. Theodosius I – Theodosius I, also known as Theodosius the Great, was Roman Emperor from AD379 to AD395. Theodosius was the last emperor to rule both the eastern and the western halves of the Roman Empire. On accepting his elevation, he campaigned against Goths and other barbarians who had invaded the empire. He failed to kill, expel, or entirely subjugate them and he fought two destructive civil wars, in which he defeated the usurpers Magnus Maximus and Eugenius at great cost to the power of the empire. He also issued decrees that effectively made Orthodox Nicene Christianity the official church of the Roman Empire. He neither prevented nor punished the destruction of prominent Hellenistic temples of antiquity, including the Temple of Apollo in Delphi. He dissolved the order of the Vestal Virgins in Rome, in 393, he banned the pagan rituals of the Olympics in Ancient Greece. Theodosius was born in Cauca, Gallaecia, Hispania or Italica, Baetica, Hispania, to a military officer. Theodosius learned his lessons by campaigning with his fathers staff in Britannia where he went to help quell the Great Conspiracy in 368. In about 373, he became governor of Upper Moesia and oversaw hostilities against the Sarmatians and he was military commander of Moesia, a Roman province on the lower Danube, in 374. However, shortly thereafter, and at about the time as the sudden disgrace and execution of his father. The reason for his retirement, and the relationship between it and his fathers death is unclear and it is possible that he was dismissed from his command by the emperor Valentinian I after the loss of two of Theodosius legions to the Sarmatians in late 374. The death of Valentinian I in 375 created political pandemonium, fearing further persecution on account of his family ties, Theodosius abruptly retired to his family estates in the province of Gallaecia where he adopted the life of a provincial aristocrat. In 378, after the disastrous Battle of Adrianople where Valens was killed, as Valens had no successor, Gratians appointment of Theodosius amounted to a de facto invitation for Theodosius to become co-Augustus of the East Roman Empire. After Gratian was killed in a rebellion in 383, Theodosius appointed his own son, Arcadius. By his first wife, the probably Spanish Aelia Flaccilla Augusta, he had two sons, Arcadius and Honorius and a daughter, Aelia Pulcheria, Arcadius was his heir in the East, both Aelia Flaccilla and Pulcheria died in 385. His second wife was Galla, daughter of the emperor Valentinian I, Theodosius and Galla had a son Gratian, born in 388 and who died young, and a daughter Aelia Galla Placidia. Placidia was the child who survived to adulthood and later became an EmpressTheodosius I – Theodosius
7. Justinian I – Justinian I, traditionally known as Justinian the Great and also Saint Justinian the Great in the Eastern Orthodox Church, was a Byzantine emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the empires greatness, because of his restoration activities, Justinian has sometimes been called the last Roman in modern historiography. This ambition was expressed by the recovery of the territories of the defunct western Roman Empire. His general, Belisarius, swiftly conquered the Vandal kingdom in North Africa, the prefect Liberius reclaimed the south of the Iberian peninsula, establishing the province of Spania. These campaigns re-established Roman control over the western Mediterranean, increasing the Empires annual revenue by over a million solidi, during his reign Justinian also subdued the Tzani, a people on the east coast of the Black Sea that had never been under Roman rule before. A still more resonant aspect of his legacy was the rewriting of Roman law, the Corpus Juris Civilis. His reign also marked a blossoming of Byzantine culture, and his building program yielded such masterpieces as the church of Hagia Sophia, a devastating outbreak of bubonic plague in the early 540s marked the end of an age of splendour. Justinian was born in Tauresium around 482, a native speaker of Latin, he came from a peasant family believed to have been of Illyro-Roman or Thraco-Roman origins. The cognomen Iustinianus, which he later, is indicative of adoption by his uncle Justin. During his reign, he founded Justiniana Prima not far from his birthplace and his mother was Vigilantia, the sister of Justin. Justin, who was in the guard before he became emperor, adopted Justinian, brought him to Constantinople. As a result, Justinian was well educated in jurisprudence, theology, Justinian served for some time with the Excubitors but the details of his early career are unknown. Chronicler John Malalas, who lived during the reign of Justinian, tells of his appearance that he was short, fair skinned, curly haired, round faced, another contemporary chronicler, Procopius, compares Justinians appearance to that of tyrannical Emperor Domitian, although this is probably slander. When Emperor Anastasius died in 518, Justin was proclaimed the new emperor, during Justins reign, Justinian was the emperors close confidant. As Justin became senile near the end of his reign, Justinian became the de facto ruler, Justinian was appointed consul in 521 and later commander of the army of the east. Upon Justins death on 1 August 527, Justinian became the sole sovereign, as a ruler, Justinian showed great energy. He was known as the emperor who never sleeps on account of his work habits, nevertheless, he seems to have been amiable and easy to approach. Around 525, he married his mistress, Theodora, in Constantinople and she was by profession a courtesan and some twenty years his juniorJustinian I – Detail of a contemporary portrait mosaic in the Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna.
8. Maurice (emperor) – Maurice was Eastern Roman Emperor from 582 to 602. A prominent general in his youth, Maurice fought with success against the Sassanid Persians, Maurice campaigned extensively in the Balkans against the Avars – pushing them back across the Danube by 599. He also conducted campaigns across the Danube, the first Roman Emperor to do so in two centuries. In the West, he established two large provinces called exarchates, ruled by exarchs, or viceroys, of the emperor. In Italy, Maurice established the Exarchate of Ravenna in 584, with the creation of the Exarchate of Africa in 590, he further solidified the power of Constantinople in the western Mediterranean. His reign was troubled by financial difficulties and almost constant warfare, in 602, a dissatisfied general named Phocas usurped the throne, having Maurice and his six sons executed. This event would prove cataclysmic for the Empire, sparking a twenty-six year war with Sassanid Persia which would leave both empires devastated prior to the Muslim conquests and his reign is a relatively accurately documented era of Late Antiquity, in particular by the historian Theophylact Simocatta. The Strategikon, a manual of war which influenced European and Middle Eastern military traditions for well over a millennium, is attributed to Maurice. Maurice was born in Arabissus in Cappadocia in 539, the son of a certain Paul and he had one brother, Peter, and two sisters, Theoctista and Gordia, later the wife of the general Philippicus. He is recorded to have been a native Greek speaker, unlike previous emperors since Anastasius I Dicorus and he may have been a Cappadocian Greek, or a Hellenized Armenian. This issue cannot be determined in any way, the historian Evagrius Scholasticus records a descent from old Rome. Maurice first came to Constantinople as a notarius, and came to serve as a secretary to the comes excubitorum Tiberius, when Tiberius was named Caesar in 574, Maurice was appointed to succeed him as comes excubitorum. At about the time, he was raised to the rank of patricius. He scored a victory against the Persians in 581. A year later, he married Constantina, the Emperors daughter, on 13 August, he succeeded his father-in-law as Emperor. Upon his ascension he ruled a bankrupt Empire, at war with Persia, paying extremely high tribute to the Avars, and the Balkan provinces thoroughly devastated by the Slavs, the situation was tumultuous at best. Maurice had to continue the war against the Persians, in 586, his troops defeated them at the Battle of Solachon south of Dara. Despite a serious mutiny in 588, the managed to continue the warMaurice (emperor) – Follis with Maurice in consular uniform.
9. Muslim conquests – The early Muslim conquests also referred to as the Arab conquests and early Islamic conquests began with the Islamic Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun, the resulting empire stretched from the borders of China and the Indian subcontinent, across Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Sicily, and the Iberian Peninsula, to the Pyrenees. The Muslim conquests brought about the collapse of the Sassanid Empire, the reasons for the Muslim success are hard to reconstruct in hindsight, primarily because only fragmentary sources from the period have survived. Most historians agree that the Sassanid Persian and Byzantine Roman empires were militarily and economically exhausted from decades of fighting one another, in the case of Byzantine Egypt, Palestine and Syria, these lands had only a few years before being reclaimed from the Persians. The estimates for the size of the Islamic Caliphate suggest it was more than thirteen million square kilometers, the last of these wars ended with victory for the Byzantines, Emperor Heraclius regained all lost territories, and restored the True Cross to Jerusalem in 629. According to George Liska, the unnecessarily prolonged Byzantine–Persian conflict opened the way for Islam, in late 620s Muhammad had already managed to conquer and unify much of Arabia under Muslim rule, and it was under his leadership that the first Muslim-Byzantine skirmishes took place. The province of Syria was the first to be wrested from Byzantine control, on the heels of their victory, the Arab armies took Damascus in 636, with Baalbek, Homs, and Hama to follow soon afterwards. However, other fortified towns continued to resist despite the rout of the army and had to be conquered individually. Jerusalem fell in 638, Caesarea in 640, while others held out until 641, the Byzantine province of Egypt held strategic importance for its grain production, naval yards, and as a base for further conquests in Africa. The Muslim general Amr ibn al-As began the conquest of the province on his own initiative in 639, nevertheless, the province was scarcely urbanized and the defenders lost hope of receiving reinforcements from Constantinople when the emperor Heraclius died in 641. The last major center to fall into Arab hands was Alexandria, according to Hugh Kennedy, Of all the early Muslim conquests, that of Egypt was the swiftest and most complete. Seldom in history can so massive a political change have happened so swiftly, after an Arab incursion into Sasanian territories, the energetic king Yazdgerd III, who had just ascended the Persian throne, raised an army to resist the invasion. However, the Persians suffered a defeat at the Battle of al-Qadisiyyah in 636. As a result, the Arab-Muslims gained control over the whole of Iraq, including Ctesiphon, the Persian forces withdrew over the Zagros mountains and the Arab army pursued them across the Iranian plateau, where the fate of the Sasanian empire was sealed at the Battle of Nahavand. In the aftermath of their victory over the army, the invaders still had to contend with a collection of militarily weak. It took decades to bring all under control of the caliphate. The rapidity of the early conquests has received various explanations, contemporary Christian writers conceived them as Gods punishment visited on their fellow Christians for their sins. Early Muslim historians viewed them as a reflection of religious zeal of the conquerors, according to Chase F. Robinson, it is likely that Muslim forces were often outnumbered, but, unlike their opponents, they were fast, well coordinated and highly motivatedMuslim conquests – Expansion from 622-750, with modern borders overlaid
10. Romanos IV Diogenes – While still captive he was overthrown in a palace coup, and when released he was quickly defeated and detained by members of the Doukas family. In 1072, he was blinded and sent to a monastery, Romanos Diogenes was the son of Constantine Diogenes and a member of a prominent and powerful Cappadocian family, connected by birth to most of the great aristocratic nobles in Asia Minor. His mother was a daughter of Basil Argyros, brother of the emperor Romanos III, courageous and generous, but also impetuous, Romanos rose with distinction in the army due to his military talents, and he served on the Danubian frontier. However, he was convicted of attempting to usurp the throne of the sons of Constantine X Doukas in 1067. The problem Romanos and Eudokia had in executing this plan was that Eudokias deceased husband, the Senate agreed, and on January 1,1068 Romanos married the empress and was crowned Emperor of the Romans. Romanos IV was now the emperor and guardian of his stepsons and junior co-emperors, Michael VII, Konstantios Doukas. By 1067, the Turks had been making incursions at will into Mesopotamia, Melitene, Syria, Cilicia, and Cappadocia, culminating with the sack of Caesarea and that winter they camped on the frontiers of the empire and waited for the next years campaigning season. Romanos was confident of Byzantine superiority on the field of battle and he did not take into account the degraded state of the Byzantine forces, which had suffered years of neglect from his predecessors, in particular Constantine X. It was soon evident that while Romanos possessed military talent, his impetuosity was a serious flaw, the first military operations of Romanos did achieve a measure of success, reinforcing his opinions about the outcome of the war. Antioch was exposed to the Saracens of Aleppo who, with help from Turkish troops, returning south, Romanos rejoined the main army, and they continued their advance through the passes of Mount Taurus to the north of Germanicia and proceeded to invade the Emirate of Aleppo. Romanos captured Hierapolis, which he fortified to provide protection against further incursions into the provinces of the empire. He then engaged in fighting against the Saracens of Aleppo. With the campaigning season reaching its end, Romanos returned north via Alexandretta, here he was advised of another Seljuk raid into Asia Minor in which they sacked Amorium but returned to their base so fast that Romanos was in no position to give chase. He eventually reached Constantinople by January 1069, possibly due to Romanos not paying them on time, they began plundering the countryside near where they were stationed at Edessa, and attacking the imperial tax collectors. Although Crispin was captured and exiled to Abydos, the Franks continued to ravage the Armeniac Theme for some time, in the meantime, the land around Caesarea was again overrun by the Turks, forcing Romanos to spend precious time and energy in expelling the Turks from Cappadocia. Desperate to begin his campaign proper, he ordered the execution of all prisoners, philaretos was soon defeated by the Turks, whose sack of Iconium forced Romanos to abandon his plans and return to Sebaste. He sent orders to the Dux of Antioch to secure the passes at Mopsuestia, the Turks were soon hemmed in in the mountains of Cilicia, but they managed to escape to Aleppo after abandoning their plunder. Romanos once again returned to Constantinople without the great victory he was hoping for, Romanos was detained at Constantinople in 1070, while he dealt with many outstanding administrative issues, including the imminent fall of Bari into Norman handsRomanos IV Diogenes – Diptych of the boy Emperor Romanus II and his child wife Bertha-Eudokia, the daughter of Hugh of Italy, c. 944-946. This Diptych is often used erroneously to show Emperor Romanus IV (Bibliothèque nationale de France).
11. Battle of Manzikert – The Battle of Manzikert was fought between the Byzantine Empire and the Seljuk Turks on August 26,1071 near Manzikert. Many of the Turks, who had been, during the 11th century, travelling westward, the brunt of the battle was borne by the professional soldiers from the eastern and western tagmata, as large numbers of mercenaries and Anatolian levies fled early and survived the battle. This led to the movement of Turks into central Anatolia—by 1080. It took three decades of internal strife before Alexius I restored stability to Byzantium and it was the first time in history a Byzantine Emperor had become the prisoner of a Muslim commander. Under Constantine IX the Byzantines first came into contact with the Seljuk Turks when they attempted to annex Ani, Constantine made a truce with the Seljuks that lasted until 1064, but they then took Ani, and in 1067 the rest of Armenia, followed by Caesarea. In 1068 Romanos IV took power, and after some speedy military reforms entrusted Manuel Comnenus to lead an expedition against the Seljuks. Manuel captured Hierapolis Bambyce in Syria, next thwarted a Turkish attack against Iconium with a counter-attack, in February 1071, Romanos sent envoys to Alp Arslan to renew the 1069 treaty, and keen to secure his northern flank against attack, Alp Arslan happily agreed. Abandoning the siege of Edessa, he led his army to attack Fatimid-held Aleppo. However, the treaty had been a deliberate distraction, Romanos now led a large army into Armenia to recover the lost fortresses before the Seljuks had time to respond. Accompanying Romanos was Andronicus Ducas, son of his rival, John Ducas, the expedition rested at Sebasteia on the river Halys, reaching Theodosiopolis in June 1071. There, some of his generals suggested continuing the march into Seljuk territory, others, including Nicephorus Bryennius, suggested they wait and fortify their position. It was decided to continue the march, Alp Arslan was already in the area, however, with allies and 30,000 cavalry from Aleppo and Mosul. Alp Arslans scouts knew exactly where Romanos was, while Romanos was completely unaware of his opponents movements and this split the forces in half, each taking about 20,000 men. Either way, Romanos army was reduced to less than half his planned 40,000 to 70,000 men, Alp Arslan summoned his army and delivered a speech by appearing in a white robe, as in an Islamic funeral shroud, in the morning of the battle. This was a message that he was ready to die in battle. Romanos was unaware of the loss of Tarchaneiotes and continued to Manzikert, which he captured on August 23. The next day some foraging parties under Bryennios discovered the Seljuk army and were forced to back to Manzikert. The Armenian general Basilakes was sent out some cavalry, as Romanos did not believe this was Alp Arslans full armyBattle of Manzikert – In this 15th-century French miniature depicting the Battle of Manzikert, the combatants are clad in contemporary Western European armour.
12. Komnenian restoration – At the onset of the reign of Alexios I, the empire was reeling from its defeat by the Seljuk Turks at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. The empire was also being threatened by the Normans of Robert Guiscard, all this occurred as the empires military institution was in disarray and had grown increasingly reliant on mercenaries. Previous emperors had also squandered the large deposits of Constantinople, so the defense of the empire had broken down. The Komnenoi nevertheless managed to reassert Byzantine pre-eminence in the Mediterranean world, relations between the Byzantine East and Western Europe flourished, epitomized by the collaboration of Alexios I and later emperors with the Crusaders. The scattered and disorganized Byzantine army was restructured into a competent fighting force that became known as the Komnenian Byzantine army, meanwhile, on the Anatolian front, Byzantine frontier defenses fell into decay as successive emperors disbanded the large standing armies of previous eras in order to save money. Instead of an army, they relied on mercenaries and aging conscripts to defend the tenuous frontier. After his capture the empire descended into war as many grappled for the Imperial purple in Constantinople. The reign of Alexios is well-documented due to the survival of the Alexiad, written by his daughter Anna Komnene, upon ascension, Alexios inherited a much-weakened empire that was almost immediately beset by a serious invasion from the Normans of Southern Italy. The Normans used the deposition of the previous emperor Michael as the casus belli to invade the Balkans, the Normans took Dyrrhachium in February 1082 and advanced inland, capturing most of Macedonia and Thessaly. Robert was then forced to leave Greece to deal with an attack on his ally, Robert left his son Bohemond in charge of the army in Greece. Bohemond was initially successful, defeating Alexios in several battles, forced to retreat to Italy, Bohemond lost all the territory gained by the Normans in the campaign. This victory began the Komnenian restoration, shortly after the death of Robert in 1085, the Pechenegs, a nomadic group from north of the Danube, invaded the empire with a force 80,000 strong. Alexios I soon took perhaps his most important action as Emperor when he called on Pope Urban II for help in combating the Muslims of Anatolia, Alexios particularly hoped to recover Syria and other areas that had been part of the Byzantine Empire in previous centuries. Between 1097 and 1101 Alexios managed to recover Nicaea, Rhodes and this brought the Empire to its largest extent since before Manzikert in 1071. In order to achieve these important military victories, however, Alexios had to resort to drastic measures in order to keep the empire financially afloat amidst so many military expeditions. He did this by melting down many Church artifacts and selling Church lands and this led to a diminution of his popularity, but he was nonetheless successful in resurrecting the Byzantine Empire by the time of his death in 1118. Instead, he methodically retook fortresses throughout Anatolia during his reign, progress was slow and gradual, however, because the Turks in the area were strong and the Byzantine military was not yet at its former heights. Nevertheless, John made steady progress throughout his reign on the Anatolian front, on the Balkan front John achieved a crushing victory over the Pechenegs at the Battle of Beroia in 1122Komnenian restoration – The Byzantine Empire before the First Crusade.
13. Komnenoi – Through intermarriages with other noble clans, notably the Doukai, Angeloi, and Palaiologoi, the Komnenos name appears among most of the major noble houses of the late Byzantine world. The first known member of the family, Manuel Erotikos Komnenos, acquired estates at Kastamon in Paphlagonia. The family thereby quickly became associated with the powerful and prestigious military aristocracy of Asia Minor, the Romanian historian George Murnu suggested in 1924 that the Komnenoi were of Aromanian descent, but this view too is now rejected. Modern scholars consider the family to have been entirely of Greek origin, Manuel Erotikos Komnenos was the father of Isaac I Komnenos and grandfather, through Isaacs younger brother John Komnenos, of Alexios I Komnenos. Isaac I Komnenos, a Stratopedarch of the East under Michael VI, in 1057 Isaac led a coup against Michael and was proclaimed emperor. Although his reign lasted only till 1059, when his courtiers pressured him to abdicate and become a monk, the dynasty returned to the throne with the accession of Alexios I Komnenos, Isaac Is nephew, in 1081. By this time, descendants of all the dynasties of Byzantium seem to have disappeared from the realm. Thereafter the combined clan often was referred as Komnenodoukai and several individuals used both surnames together, several families descended from the Komnenodoukai, such as Palaiologos, Angelos, Vatatzes and Laskaris. Alexios and Irenes youngest daughter Theodora ensured the success of the Angelos family by marrying into it. Under Alexios I and his successors the Empire was fairly prosperous, Alexios moved the imperial palace to the Blachernae section of Constantinople. Much of Anatolia was recovered from the Seljuk Turks, who had captured it just prior to Alexios reign, Alexios also saw the First Crusade pass through Byzantine territory, leading to the establishment of the Crusader states in the east. Remarkably, Alexios ruled for 37 years, and his son John II ruled for 25, after uncovering a conspiracy against him by his sister, the chronicler Anna Komnene, johns son Manuel ruled for another 37 years. The Komnenos dynasty produced a number of branches, the Angeloi were overthrown during the Fourth Crusade in 1204, by Alexios Doukas, a relative from the Doukas family. Their first emperor, named Alexios I, was the grandson of Emperor Andronikos I and these emperors – the Grand Komnenoi as they were known – ruled in Trebizond for over 250 years, until 1461, when David Komnenos was defeated and executed by the Ottoman sultan Mehmed II. Mehmed himself claimed descent from the Komnenos family via John Tzelepes Komnenos, the Trapezutine branch of the Komnenos dynasty also held the name of Axouchos as descendants of John Axouch, a Byzantine nobleman and minister to the Byzantine Komnenian Dynasty. A princess of the Trebizond branch is said to have been the mother of prince Yahya, another branch of the family founded the Despotate of Epirus in 1204, under Michael I Komnenos Doukas, great-grandson of Emperor Alexios I. When the eastern Empire was restored in 1261 at Constantinople, it was ruled by a closely related to the Komnenoi. The Palaiologoi ruled until the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 and his claims to descent from the imperial dynasty of Trebizond, however, are most likely a fabricationKomnenoi – Alexios I Komnenos.
14. Massacre of the Latins – The Roman Catholics of Constantinople at that time dominated the citys maritime trade and financial sector. Although precise numbers are unavailable, the bulk of the Latin community, the Genoese and Pisan communities especially were decimated, and some 4,000 survivors were sold as slaves to the Sultanate of Rum. The massacre further worsened relations and increased enmity between the Western and Eastern Christian churches, and a sequence of hostilities between the two followed. Since the late 11th century, Western merchants, primarily from the Italian city-states of Venice, Genoa, the first had been the Venetians, who had secured large-scale trading concessions from Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos. Subsequent extensions of these privileges and Byzantiums own naval impotence at the time resulted in a virtual maritime monopoly and stranglehold over the Empire by the Venetians. Alexios grandson, Manuel I Komnenos, wishing to reduce their influence, began to reduce the privileges of Venice while concluding agreements with her rivals, Pisa, Genoa and Amalfi. Gradually, all four Italian cities were allowed to establish their own quarters in the northern part of Constantinople itself. Together with the arrogance of the Italians, it fueled popular resentment amongst the middle. The religious differences between the two sides, who viewed each other as schismatics, further exacerbated the problem, the Italians proved uncontrollable by imperial authority, in 1162, for instance, the Pisans together with a few Venetians raided the Genoese quarter in Constantinople, causing much damage. Emperor Manuel subsequently expelled most of the Genoese and Pisans from the city, as talks dragged on through the winter, the Venetian fleet waited at Chios, until an outbreak of the plague forced them to withdraw. Relations were only gradually normalized, there is evidence of a treaty in 1179, meanwhile, the Genoese and Pisans profited from the dispute with Venice, and by 1180, it is estimated that up to 60,000 Latins lived in Constantinople. Following the death of Manuel I in 1180, his widow, almost immediately, the celebrations spilled over into violence towards the hated Latins, and after entering the citys Latin quarter a mob began attacking the inhabitants. Many had anticipated the events and escaped by sea, the ensuing massacre was indiscriminate, neither women nor children were spared, and Latin patients lying in hospital beds were murdered. Houses, churches, and charities were looted, Latin clergymen received special attention, and Cardinal John, the papal legate, was beheaded and his head was dragged through the streets at the tail of a dog. Although Andronikos himself had no particular anti-Latin attitude, he allowed the massacre to proceed unchecked, a few years later, Andronikos I himself was deposed and handed over to the mob of Constantinople citizenry, and was tortured and summarily executed in the Hippodrome by Latin soldiers. The worsening relationship culminated with the sack of the city of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade in 1204. Rarely if ever mention the massacre of the Westerners inMassacre of the Latins – Map of Constantinople in the Byzantine period. The Latin quarters are captioned in purple.
15. Byzantine Empire under the Palaiologos dynasty – From the start, the régime faced numerous problems. The Turks of Asia Minor had since 1263 been raiding and expanding into Byzantine territory in Asia Minor, Anatolia, which had formed the very heart of the shrinking empire, was systematically lost to numerous Turkic ghazis, whose raids evolved into conquering expeditions inspired by Islamic zeal. By 1380, the Byzantine Empire consisted of the capital Constantinople and a few other isolated exclaves, the last remnants of the Byzantine Empire, the Despotate of the Morea and the Empire of Trebizond, fell shortly afterwards. However, the Palaiologan period witnessed a flourishing in art. The migration of Byzantine scholars to the West also helped to spark the Renaissance in Italy, in addition, the disintegration of the Byzantine Empire allowed the Bulgarians, the Serbs and the various Turcoman emirates of Anatolia to make gains. Although Epirus was initially the strongest of the three Greek states, the Nicaeans were the ones who succeeded in taking back the city of Constantinople from the Latin Empire, the Nicaean Empire was successful in holding its own against its Latin and Seljuk opponents. At the Battle of Meander Valley, a Turkic force was repelled, in the west, the Latins were unable to expand into Anatolia, consolidating Thrace against Bulgaria was a challenge that kept the Latins occupied for the duration of the Latin Empire. In 1261, the Empire of Nicaea was ruled by John IV Laskaris, however, John IV was overshadowed by his co-emperor, Michael VIII Palaiologos. In 1261, while the bulk of the Latin Empires military forces were absent from Constantinople, Thrace, Macedonia and Thessalonica had already been taken by Nicaea in 1246. Following the capture of Constantinople, Michael ordered the blinding of John IV in December 1261, as a result, Patriarch Arsenios excommunicated Michael, but he was deposed and replaced by Joseph I. The Fourth Crusade and their successors, the Latin Empire, had much to reduce Byzantiums finest city to an underpopulated wreck. Michael VIII began the task of restoring many monasteries, public buildings, the Hagia Sophia, horribly looted in the Crusade of 1204, was refurbished to Greek Orthodox tradition. The Kontoskalion harbour and the walls of Constantinople were all strengthened against a new expedition by the Latin West. Many hospitals, hospices, markets, baths, streets and churches were built, even a new Mosque was built to compensate for the one burnt during the Fourth Crusade. These attempts were costly and crippling taxes were placed on the peasantry, nonetheless, the city grew new cultural and diplomatic contacts, notably with the Mamelukes. Both had common enemies, Latin aggression, and later on, the Sultanate of Rum was in chaos and decentralized ever since the Mongol invasions in ca. The situation became worse when Charles of Anjou, brother of the King of France, in 1267, Pope Clement IV arranged a pact, whereby Charles would receive land in the East in return for assisting a new military expedition to Constantinople. Unfortunately for Michael VIII, the new union was seen as a fake by the Clements successor, the Greek Church was excommunicated, and Charles was given renewed Papal support for the invasion of ConstantinopleByzantine Empire under the Palaiologos dynasty – The Byzantine Empire ca. 1265
16. Constantine VII – Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos or Porphyrogenitus, the Purple-born, was the fourth Emperor of the Macedonian dynasty of the Byzantine Empire, reigning from 913 to 959. He was the son of the emperor Leo VI and his wife, Zoe Karbonopsina, and the nephew of his predecessor. Constantine VII is best known for his four books, De Administrando Imperio, De Ceremoniis, De Thematibus and his nickname alludes to the Purple Room of the imperial palace, decorated with porphyry, where legitimate children of reigning emperors were normally born. Constantine was also born in this room, although his mother Zoe had not been married to Leo at that time, nevertheless, the epithet allowed him to underline his position as the legitimized son, as opposed to all others who claimed the throne during his lifetime. Sons born to a reigning Emperor held precedence in the Eastern Roman line of succession over elder sons not born in the purple, Constantine was born at Constantinople, an illegitimate son born before an uncanonical fourth marriage. To help legitimize him, his mother gave birth to him in the Purple Room of the palace, hence his nickname Porphyrogennetos. He was symbolically elevated to the throne as a child by his father. In June 913, as his uncle Alexander lay dying, he appointed a regency council for Constantine. Following Alexanders death, the new and shaky regime survived the attempted usurpation of Constantine Doukas, Patriarch Nicholas was presently forced to make peace with Tsar Simeon of Bulgaria, whom he reluctantly recognized as Bulgarian emperor. Because of this concession, Patriarch Nicholas was driven out of the regency by Constantines mother Zoe. She was no more successful with the Bulgarians, who defeated her main supporter, in 919 she was replaced as regent by the admiral Romanos Lekapenos, who married his daughter Helena Lekapene to Constantine. Romanos used his position to advance to the ranks of basileopatōr in May 919, to kaisar in September 920, thus, just short of reaching nominal majority, Constantine was eclipsed by a senior emperor. Nevertheless, he was an intelligent young man with a large range of interests. Romanos kept and maintained power until 944, when he was deposed by his sons, Romanos spent the last years of his life in exile on the Island of Prote as a monk and died on June 15,948. With the help of his wife, Constantine VII succeeded in removing his brothers-in-law, several months later, Constantine VII crowned his own son Romanos II co-emperor. In 949 Constantine launched a new fleet of 100 ships against the Arab corsairs hiding in Crete, but like his fathers attempt to retake the island in 911, on the Eastern frontier things went better, even if with alternate success. In 949 the Byzantines conquered Germanicea, repeatedly defeated the enemy armies, but in 953 the Hamdanid amir Sayf al-Daula retook Germanicea and entered the imperial territory. An Arab fleet was destroyed by Greek fire in 957Constantine VII – Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos
17. Patriarch of Constantinople – The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is one of the most enduring institutions in the world and has had a prominent part in world history. The ecumenical patriarchs in ancient times helped in the spread of Christianity, in the Middle Ages they played a major role in the affairs of the Eastern Orthodox Church, as well as in the politics of the Orthodox world, and in spreading Christianity among the Slavs. Within the five sees of the Pentarchy, the Ecumenical Patriarch is regarded as the successor of Andrew the Apostle. The current holder of the office is Bartholomew I, the 270th holder of the title, in his role as head of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, he also holds the title Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome. The see of Byzantium, whose foundation was ascribed to Andrew the Apostle, was originally a common bishopric. It gained importance when Emperor Constantine elevated Byzantium to a second capital alongside Rome, the sees ecclesiastical status as the second of five Patriarchates were developed by the Ecumenical Councils of Constantinople in 381 and Chalcedon in 451. The Turkish government recognizes him as the leader of the Greek minority in Turkey. The Patriarch was subject to the authority of the Ottoman Empire after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, today, according to Turkish law, he is subject to the authority of the state of Turkey and is required to be a citizen of Turkey to be Patriarch. The Patriarch of Constantinople has been dubbed the Ecumenical Patriarch since the 6th century, the monastic communities of Mount Athos are stauropegic and are directly under the jurisdiction of Ecumenical Patriarch, who is the only bishop with jurisdiction thereover. The Ecumenical Patriarch has a role among Orthodox bishops, though it is not without its controversy. He is primus inter pares, as he is senior among all Orthodox bishops and this primacy, expressed in canonical literature as presbeia, grants to the Ecumenical Patriarch the right to preside at pan-Orthodox synods. Additionally, the literature of the Orthodox Church grants to the Ecumenical Patriarch the right to hear appeals in cases of dispute between bishops. Historically, the Ecumenical Patriarch has heard such appeals and sometimes was invited to intervene in other disputes and difficulties. Even as early as the 4th century, Constantinople was instrumental in the deposition of multiple bishops outside its traditional jurisdiction. This still occurs today, as when in 2006 the patriarchate was invited to assist in declaring the archbishop of the Church of Cyprus incompetent due to his having Alzheimers disease. Additionally, in 2005, the Ecumenical Patriarchate convoked a synod to express the Orthodox worlds confirmation of the deposition of Patriarch Irenaios of Jerusalem. That is, his role is one of promoting and sustaining Church unity. Such a title is acceptable if it refers to this unique role, the five patriarchs of the ancient Pentarchy are to be given seniority of honour, but have no actual power over other bishops other than the power of the synod they are chairingPatriarch of Constantinople
18. Artabanes (general) – Artabanes was an East Roman general of Armenian origin who served under Justinian I. Initially a rebel against Byzantine authority, he fled to the Sassanid Persians and he served in Africa, where he won great fame by killing the rebel general Guntharic and restoring the province to imperial allegiance. He became engaged to Justinians niece Praejecta, but did not eventually marry her due to the opposition of the Empress Theodora, recalled to Constantinople, he became involved in a failed conspiracy against Justinian in 548/549, but was not severely punished after its revelation. He was soon pardoned and sent to Italy to fight in the Gothic War, Artabanes was a descendant of the royal Armenian Arsacid line, a branch of which at the time was recognized as autonomous local princes in the eastern fringes of the Eastern Roman Empire. His father was named John, and he had a brother also named John, shortly after, in a skirmish between the rebels and the Byzantine army at Oenochalacon, Artabanes may have killed the Byzantine general Sittas, sent by Justinian to quell the rebellion. Artabaness father tried to negotiate a settlement with Sittas successor, Bouzes and this act forced Artabanes and his followers to seek the aid of the Sassanid Persian ruler, Khosrau I. Crossing over to Persian territory, over the few years Artabanes. At some time around 544, perhaps as early as 542, Artabanes, his brother John, along with his brother, Artabanes was placed in command of a small Armenian contingent and sent to Africa in spring 545 under the senator Areobindus. There, the Byzantines were engaged in a war with the rebellious Moorish tribes. Shortly after their arrival, John died in battle at Sicca Veneria with the forces of the renegade Stotzas. Artabanes and his men remained loyal to Areobindus during the rebellion of the dux Numidiae Guntharic in late 545, Guntharic, allied with the Moorish chieftain Antalas, marched on Carthage and seized the city gates. At the urging of Artabanes and others, Areobindus decided to confront the rebel, the two armies appeared evenly matched, until Areobindus took fright and fled to a monastery seeking sanctuary. Thereupon the troops loyal to him also fled, and the city fell to Guntharic, Areobindus was murdered by Guntharic, but Artabanes secured guarantees of his safety and pledged himself to Guntharics service. In secret, however, he began planning to overthrow him, soon after, Artabanes was entrusted, alongside John and Ulitheus, with an expedition against Antalass Moors. He marched south, along with an allied Moorish contingent under Cutzinas, Antalass men fled before him, but Artabanes did not pursue them and turned back. Upon his return to Carthage, he justified his decision to back by insisting that the entire army was needed to quell the insurgents. At the same time, he conspired with his nephew, Gregory, on the eve of the armys departure in early May, Guntharic hosted a great banquet, and invited Artabanes and Athanasius to share the same couch, a mark of honour. Suddenly, during the banquet, Artabanes Armenians fell upon Guntharics bodyguards, despite being already married to a relative of his, Artabanes eventually became engaged with PraejectaArtabanes (general) – Africa, with the provinces of Byzacena, Zeugitana and Numidia.
19. Armenians – Armenians are an ethnic group native to the Armenian Highlands. Armenians constitute the population of Armenia and the de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. There is a diaspora of around 5 million people of full or partial Armenian ancestry living outside of modern Armenia. The largest Armenian populations today exist in Russia, the United States, France, Georgia, Iran, Germany, Ukraine, Lebanon, Brazil and Syria. With the exceptions of Iran and the former Soviet states, the present-day Armenian diaspora was formed mainly as a result of the Armenian Genocide, most Armenians adhere to the Armenian Apostolic Church, a non-Chalcedonian church, which is also the worlds oldest national church. Christianity began to spread in Armenia soon after Jesus death, due to the efforts of two of his apostles, St. Thaddeus and St. Bartholomew, in the early 4th century, the Kingdom of Armenia became the first state to adopt Christianity as a state religion. The unique Armenian alphabet was invented in 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots, historically, the name Armenian has come to internationally designate this group of people. It was first used by neighbouring countries of ancient Armenia, the earliest attestations of the exonym Armenia date around the 6th century BC. In his trilingual Behistun Inscription dated to 517 BC, Darius I the Great of Persia refers to Urashtu as Armina (in Old Persian, Armina and Harminuya. In Greek, Αρμένιοι Armenians is attested from about the same time, xenophon, a Greek general serving in some of the Persian expeditions, describes many aspects of Armenian village life and hospitality in around 401 BC. He relates that the people spoke a language that to his ear sounded like the language of the Persians and it is also further postulated that the name Hay comes from one of the two confederated, Hittite vassal states—the Ḫayaša-Azzi. Movses Khorenatsi, the important early medieval Armenian historian, wrote that the word Armenian originated from the name Armenak or Aram, the Armenian Highland lies in the highlands surrounding Mount Ararat, the highest peak of the region. In the Bronze Age, several states flourished in the area of Greater Armenia, including the Hittite Empire, Mitanni, soon after Hayasa-Azzi were Arme-Shupria, the Nairi and the Kingdom of Urartu, who successively established their sovereignty over the Armenian Highland. Each of the nations and tribes participated in the ethnogenesis of the Armenian people. Under Ashurbanipal, the Assyrian empire reached the Caucasus Mountains, yerevan, the modern capital of Armenia, was founded in 782 BC by king Argishti I. T. Gamkrelidze and V. Ivanov proposed the Indo-European homeland around the Armenian Highland, eric P. Hamp in his 2012 Indo-European family tree, groups the Armenian language along with Greek and Ancient Macedonian in the Pontic Indo-European subgroup. In Hamps view the homeland of this subgroup is the northeast coast of the Black Sea and he assumes that they migrated from there southeast through the Caucasus with the Armenians remaining after Batumi while the pre-Greeks proceeded westwards along the southern coast of the Black Sea. However, fresh genetics studies explain Armenian diversity by several mixtures of Eurasian populations that occurred between ~3,000 and ~2,000 b. cArmenians
20. Zoe Karbonopsina – Zoe Karbonopsina, also Karvounopsina or Carbonopsina, i. e. with the Coal-Black Eyes, was an empress consort and regent of the Byzantine empire. She was the wife of the Byzantine Emperor Leo VI the Wise. Zoe Karbonopsina was a relative of the chronicler Theophanes the Confessor, desperate to sire a son, Leo VI married his mistress Zoe on 9 January 906, only after she had given birth to the future Constantine VII at the end of 905. Although the Patriarch Nicholas Mystikos reluctantly baptised Constantine, he forbade the emperor from marrying for the fourth time. Leo VI married Zoe with the assistance of a cooperative priest, Thomas, the new patriarch attempted a compromise by defrocking the offending priest but recognizing the marriage. When Leo died in 912, he was succeeded by his younger brother Alexander, shortly before his death Alexander provoked a war with Bulgaria. However, Nicholas unpopular concessions to the Bulgarians later in the same year weakened his position and in 914 Zoe was able to overthrow Nicholas, Nicholas was allowed to remain patriarch after reluctantly recognizing her as empress. Zoe governed with the support of imperial bureaucrats and the influential general Leo Phokas the Elder, Zoes first order of business was to revoke the concessions to Simeon I of Bulgaria, including the recognition of his imperial title and the arranged marriage between his daughter and Constantine VII. This renewed the war with Bulgaria, which began badly for the Byzantines who were distracted by military operations in Southern Italy, in 915 Zoes troops defeated an Arab invasion of Armenia, and made peace with the Arabs. This freed her hands to organize an expedition against the Bulgarians. The campaign was planned on a scale, and intended the bribing. However, the Pecheneg alliance failed, and Leo Phokas was crushingly defeated in the Battle of Anchialus, Zoe tried to ally with Serbia and the Magyars against Simeon. This also failed to any concrete results, and the Arabs, encouraged by the empires weakness. A humiliating treaty with the Arabs of Sicily, who were asked to help subdue revolts in Italy, did little to improve the position of Zoe, the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press,1991Zoe Karbonopsina – Zoe and her son, emperor Constantine VII. Follis minted during Zoe's regency, 914–919
21. Political mutilation in Byzantine culture – Mutilation in the Byzantine Empire was a common method of punishment for criminals of the era but it also had a role in the empires political life. Some disfigurements practised bore a secondary practical rationale as well, by blinding a rival, one would not only restrict their mobility but make it almost impossible for them to lead an army into battle, then an important part of taking control of the empire. Castration was also used to eliminate potential opponents, in the Byzantine Empire, for a man to be castrated meant that he was no longer a man—half-dead, life that was half death. Castration also eliminated any chance of heirs being born to either the emperor or the emperors childrens place at the throne. Other mutilations were the severing of the nose or the amputating of limbs, the mutilation of political rivals by the emperor was deemed an effective way of side-lining from the line of succession a person who was seen as a threat. In Byzantine culture, the emperor was a reflection of heavenly authority, since God was perfect, the emperor also had to be unblemished, any mutilation, especially facial wounds, would disqualify an individual from taking the throne. An exception was Justinian II, who had his nose cut off when he was overthrown in 695 but was able to become emperor again, in 705. Castration as a punishment for political rivals did not come into use until much later, an example is that of Basil Lekapenos, the illegitimate son of Emperor Romanos I Lekapenos, who was castrated when young. He gained enough power to become parakoimomenos and effective prime minister for three emperors, but could not assume the throne himself. The last to use this method voluntarily was Michael VIII Palaiologos, although some of his successors were forced to use it again by the Ottoman SultansPolitical mutilation in Byzantine culture – Depiction of the blinding of Leo Phokas the Elder after his unsuccessful rebellion against Romanos Lekapenos, from the Madrid Skylitzes chronicle
22. Vatatzes – The feminine form of the name is Vatatzina. According to the Greek scholar Konstantinos Amantos, the name Βατάτζης is a form of βάτος, bramble, briar. Another possible origin is βατάκι, ray fish, the first member of the family, known simply by his surname, is attested around the year 1000. Over the next centuries, the family remained associated with Adrianople and the surrounding region, likewise the 13th-century chronicler Ephraim the Monk mentions Didymoteichon/Orestias as the familys native city. Michael Psellos records that in 1047, a John Vatatzes, relative of Emperor Constantine IX Monomachos, the family became prominent in the 12th century, when several members rose to high offices. Theodore Vatatzes married Eudokia, the sister of Emperor Manuel I Komnenos and was named despotes, his sons were Andronikos, Alexios, and John Komnenos Vatatzes and this is most likely the result of a confusion by the hagiographer. Another Basil Vatatzes, a man of undistinguished birth according to Choniates, married into the Angelos family and it is possibly due to this connection that the 14th-century Chronicle of the Morea calls Isaac II Sakes Vatatzes. Modern scholars consider Basil as the father of John III Doukas Vatatzes, Basil had two further sons, the sebastokrator Isaac and an anonymous third son. Isaac had a son named John and a daughter who married Constantine Strategopoulos. 1192, John married Irene, daughter of the founder of the Empire of Nicaea, Theodore I Laskaris, John proved a capable ruler, defeating the Latin Empire at the Battle of Poimanenon, and expanding his realm into Europe, where he captured Thessalonica in 1246. Remembered for his kindness as well a shis ability, he was venerated as a saint after his death by the Greeks of Asia Minor, John III was succeeded as Emperor of Nicaea by his only son Theodore II, who however preferred his mothers surname, Laskaris. With his wife Helena, he had five children, the last prominent member was John Vatatzes, who occupied a succession of high offices in 1333–1345. Finally, in the 17th century, Vasileios Vatatzes from Adrianople, a variant of the family name, Diplovatatzes, was used from the mid-13th century on for family members who descended from the Vatatzai on both sides. They too ranked among the nobility of the late Byzantine Empire. New York and Oxford, Oxford University Press, the Doukai, A Contribution to Byzantine Prosopography. Vienna, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Thessaloniki, Centre for Byzantine Studies, University of Thessaloniki. Wortley, John, ed. John Skylitzes, A Synopsis of Byzantine History, 811-1057Vatatzes – 15th-century miniature portrait of Emperor John III Doukas Vatatzes
23. Megas archon – The title of megas archon was a Byzantine court title during the 13th–14th centuries. It was established as a court rank under the Nicaean emperor Theodore II Laskaris. By the time wrote his Book of Offices in the mid-14th century, however. 191 places him in 34th in the hierarchy, while in the list of office given in the 15th-century manuscript Paris and he bore no staff of office. The Late Byzantine Army, Arms and Society 1204-1453, Études sur lhistoire administrative de lempire byzantin, les commandants de la garde impériale, lἐπὶ τοῦ στρατοῦ et le juge de larmée. Vienna, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, verpeaux, Jean, ed. Pseudo-Kodinos, Traité des Offices. Centre National de la Recherche ScientifiqueMegas archon – Depiction from the east frieze of the Parthenon, of an assumed Archon Basileus, a remnant title of the Greek monarchy
24. Battle of Andrassos – Taking advantage of the absence of much of the Byzantine army on campaign against the Emirate of Crete, the Hamdanid prince invaded Asia Minor and raided widely. On his return, however, his army was ambushed by Leo Phokas at the pass of Andrassos, Sayf al-Dawla himself barely escaped, but his army was annihilated. Following a series of Byzantine defeats in the years, this battle finally broke the power of the Hamdanid emirate. In 945, Sayf al-Dawla made Aleppo his capital and soon established his authority across northern Syria, much of the Jazira, after his establishment in Aleppo, in winter 945–946, Sayf al-Dawla resumed the old Muslim custom of launching annual raids into Byzantine territory. This first operation was of limited scope and was followed by a prisoner exchange, warfare on Byzantiums eastern frontiers then subsided for a couple of years, and recommenced only in 948. In 948–950 the Byzantines scored a few successes, sacking the border fortresses of Hadath, Sayf al-Dawla nevertheless rejected offers of peace from the Byzantines, and continued his raids. More importantly, he set about restoring his frontier fortresses in Cilicia and northern Syria, including at Marash, Bardas Phokas repeatedly tried to hinder him, but was defeated each time, even losing his youngest son, Constantine, to Hamdanid captivity. In 955, Bardas failures led to his replacement by his eldest son, under the capable leadership of Nikephoros, Leo, and their nephew John Tzimiskes, the tide began to turn against the Hamdanid. The city of Hadath was sacked again in 957, and Samosata in 958, in 959, Leo Phokas raided through Cilicia to Diyar Bakr and back to Syria, leaving a trail of destruction behind him. There he and his army sacked the fortress and massacred the garrison, they pillaged and torched surrounding region and its settlements, towards the end of autumn, Sayf al-Dawla finally began the journey home, taking his booty and prisoners. In the meantime Leo Phokas, heavily outnumbered by the Arab army, decided to once more on his proven ambuscade tactics. The Byzantine troops occupied the fort, and hid themselves along the steep sides of the pass. Once the entire Arab force, including their train and their captives, was in the pass, with the vanguard already nearing the southern exit, Leo Phokas gave the signal for the attack. With the trumpets blaring, the Byzantine soldiers raised cries and charged the Arab columns, or threw rocks, the ensuing battle was a complete rout. All Christian captives were liberated and the booty recovered, while the treasure, according to the 13th-century Syriac chronicler Bar Hebraeus, of the great expedition he had mustered, Sayf al-Dawla returned to Aleppo with only 300 horsemen. Several of the most distinguished Hamdanid leaders fell or became captive at this battle, some Arab sources mention the capture of Sayf al-Dawlas cousins Abul-Ashair and Abu Firas al-Hamdani, but most chroniclers and modern scholars place these events on different occasions. Leo Phokas released the Byzantine prisoners after providing them provisions, and took the booty and Arab prisoners back to Constantinople. Following this disaster, Sayf al-Dawla needed time to recover his strength, the Byzantines captured Anazarbus in Cilicia, and followed a deliberate policy of devastation and massacre to drive the Muslim population awayBattle of Andrassos – Depiction of the battle in the Madrid Skylitzes
25. Al-Muktafi – Abū Muḥammad ʿAlī ibn Aḥmad, better known by his regnal name al-Muktafī bi-llāh, was the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad from 902 to 908. His reign saw the defeat of the Qarmatians of the Syrian Desert, and the reincorporation of Egypt, the war with the Byzantine Empire continued with alternating success, although the Arabs scored a major victory in the Sack of Thessalonica in 904. His death in 908 opened the way for the installation of a ruler, al-Muqtadir, by the palace bureaucracy. Ali ibn Ahmad was born in 877/8, the son of Ahmad ibn Talha, real power, however, lay with al-Mutamids brother, al-Muwaffaq, Alis paternal grandfather. Al-Muwaffaq enjoyed the loyalty of the military, and by 877 had established himself as the de facto ruler of the state, most of the Arabian peninsula was likewise lost to local potentates, while in Tabaristan a radical Zaydi Shia dynasty took power. In Iraq, the rebellion of the Zanj slaves threatened Baghdad itself, following his rise to the throne, al-Mutadid continued his fathers policies, and restored caliphal authority in the Jazira, northern Syria, and parts of western Iran. Nevertheless, al-Mutadid managed to accumulate a considerable surplus in his ten-year reign, at the same time the bureaucracy grew in power, it also saw a growth in factionalism, with two rival clans emerging, the Banul-Furat and the Banul-Jarrah. 894/5, and in 899 over the Jazira and the frontier areas, the future al-Muktafi took up residence at Raqqa. When al-Mutadid died on 5 April 892, al-Muktafi succeeded him unopposed, the new caliph was 25 years old. The historian al-Tabari, who lived during his reign, describes him as of medium size, handsome, of a delicate complexion, with beautiful hair, on the other hand, he was not as steadfast as his father, and was easily swayed by the officials at court. The early period of his caliphate was dominated by the vizier al-Qasim ibn Ubayd Allah, a very able man, he was also ambitious, he had plotted to assassinate al-Mutadid shortly before the latters death, and now ruthlessly eliminated any rivals for influence over the new caliph. Shortly after, the managed to discredit al-Mutadids loyal commander-in-chief. Badr was forced to flee Baghdad but surrendered after being promised a pardon by the viziers agents, in the bureaucratic struggles of the period, al-Qasim ibn Ubayd Allah favoured the Banul-Jarrah and resisted the pro-Shiite leanings of the Banul-Furat. The leading representative of the Banul-Furat, Abul-Hasan Ali ibn al-Furat, al-Muktafis brief reign was dominated by warfare, but he was unlike his father, the ghazī caliph par excellence. Al-Mutadid had actively participated in campaigns, setting an example and allowing for the formation of ties of loyalty, reinforced by patronage. During the 9th century, however, a range of new movements emerged on the basis of Shiite doctrines and their missionary efforts soon spread, in 899, the Qarmatians seized Bahrayn, while another base was established in the area around Palmyra. From there the Qarmatians began launching raids against the Abbasid and Tulunid provinces of Syria, in 902, the Qarmatians defeated the increasingly feeble Tulunids and laid siege to Damascus. Although the city withstood the siege, the Qarmatians proceeded to ravage other Syrian towns, at the same time, a Kufan Ismaili missionary, Abu Abdallah al-Shii, made contact with the Kutama BerbersAl-Muktafi – Gold dinar of al-Muktafî
26. Basiliscus – Basiliscus was Byzantine Emperor from 475 to 476. A member of the House of Leo, he came to power when Emperor Zeno had been forced out of Constantinople by a revolt, Basiliscus was the brother of Empress Aelia Verina, who was the wife of Emperor Leo I. Basiliscus succeeded in seizing power in 475, exploiting the unpopularity of Emperor Zeno, the successor to Leo. Also, his policy of securing his power through the appointment of men to key roles antagonised many important figures in the imperial court. So, when Zeno tried to regain his empire, he found no opposition, triumphantly entering Constantinople. The struggle between Basiliscus and Zeno impeded the Eastern Roman Empires ability to intervene in the fall of the Western Roman Empire, likely of Balkan origin, Basiliscus was the brother of Aelia Verina, wife of Leo I. It has been argued that Basiliscus was uncle to the chieftain of the Heruli and this link is based on the interpretation of a fragment by John of Antioch, which states that Odoacer and Armatus, Basiliscus nephew, were brothers. However, not all accept this interpretation, since sources do not say anything about the foreign origin of Basiliscus. It is known that Basiliscus had a wife, Zenonis, and at least one son, Basiliscus military career started under Leo I. The Emperor conferred upon his brother-in-law the dignities of dux, or commander-in-chief, in this country Basiliscus led a successful military campaign against the Bulgars in 463. He succeeded Rusticius as magister militum per Thracias, and had several successes against the Goths, basiliscuss value rose in Leos consideration. Verinas intercession in favour of her brother helped Basiliscus military and political career, with the conferral of the consulship in 465, however, his rise was soon to meet a serious reversal. In 468, Leo chose Basiliscus as leader of the military expedition against Carthage. The plan was concerted between Eastern Emperor Leo, Western Emperor Anthemius, and General Marcellinus, who enjoyed independence in Illyricum and it appears that the combined forces met in Sicily, whence the three fleets moved at different periods. Ancient and modern historians provided different estimations for the number of ships and troops under the command of Basiliscus, the most conservative estimation for expedition expenses is of 64,000 pounds of gold, a sum that exceeded a whole years revenue. Sardinia and Libya were already conquered by Marcellinus and Heraclius, when Basiliscus cast anchor off the Promontorium Mercurii, now Cap Bon, opposite Sicily, Geiseric requested Basiliscus to allow him five days to draw up the conditions of a peace. During the negotiations, Geiseric gathered his ships and suddenly attacked the Roman fleet, the Vandals had filled many vessels with combustible materials. During the night, these ships were propelled against the unguardedBasiliscus – Solidus of Emperor Basiliscus.
27. Battle of Kalavrye – The Battle of Kalavrye was fought in 1078 between the Byzantine imperial forces of general Alexios Komnenos and the rebellious governor of Dyrrhachium, Nikephoros Bryennios the Elder. Bryennios had rebelled against Michael VII Doukas and had won over the allegiance of the Byzantine armys regular regiments in the Balkans, even after Doukass overthrow by Nikephoros III Botaneiates, Bryennios continued his revolt, and threatened Constantinople. After failed negotiations, Botaneiates sent the young general Alexios Komnenos with whatever forces he could gather to confront him, the two armies clashed at Kalavrye on the Halmyros river in what is now European Turkey. Alexios Komnenos, whose army was smaller and far less experienced, tried to ambush Bryennioss army. The ambush failed, and the wings of his own army were back by the rebels. Alexios barely managed to break through with his retinue. At the same time, and despite having won the battle. Reinforced by Turkish mercenaries, Alexios lured the troops of Bryennios into another ambush through a feigned retreat, the rebel army broke and Bryennios was captured. The battle is known through two detailed accounts, Anna Komnenes Alexiad, and her husband Nikephoros Bryennios the Youngers Material for History, on which Annas own account relies to a large degree. It is one of the few Byzantine battles described in detail, the constant warfare depleted the Empires armies, devastated Asia Minor and left it defenceless against the increasing encroachment of the Turks. In the Balkans, invasions by the Pechenegs and the Cumans devastated Bulgaria, the government of Michael VII Doukas failed to deal with the situation effectively, and rapidly lost support among the military aristocracy. Bryennios set out from Dyrrhachium towards the imperial capital Constantinople, winning widespread support along the way and he preferred to negotiate at first, but his offers were rebuffed by Michael VII. Bryennios then sent his brother John to lay siege to Constantinople, unable to overcome its fortifications, the rebel forces soon retired. Botaneiates sent an embassy under the proedros Constantine Choirosphaktes, a veteran diplomat, at the same time he appointed the young Alexios Komnenos as his Domestic of the Schools, and sought aid from the Seljuk Sultan Suleyman, who sent 2,000 warriors and promised even more. In his message to Bryennios, the aged Botaneiates offered him the rank of Caesar, Bryennios agreed in principle, but added a few conditions of his own, and sent the ambassadors back to Constantinople for confirmation. Botaneiates, who likely had initiated negotiations only to time, rejected Bryennioss conditions. Bryennios had camped at the plain of Kedoktos on the road to Constantinople and his army comprised 12,000 mostly seasoned men from the regiments of Thessaly, Macedonia and Thrace, as well as Frankish mercenaries and the elite tagma of the Hetaireia. Alexioss forces set forth from Constantinople and camped on the shore of the river Halmyros—a small stream between Herakleia and Selymbria, modern Kalivri Dere—near the fort of KalavryeBattle of Kalavrye – Miniature of Alexios Komnenos, the victor of Kalavrye, as emperor
28. Byzantine navy – The Byzantine navy was the naval force of the East Roman or Byzantine Empire. Like the empire it served, it was a continuation from its Imperial Roman predecessor. The first threat to Roman hegemony in the Mediterranean was posed by the Vandals in the 5th century and this process would be furthered with the onset of the Muslim conquests in the 7th century. Following the loss of the Levant and later Africa, the Mediterranean Sea was transformed from a Roman lake into a battleground between Byzantines and Arabs, initially, the defence of the Byzantine coasts and the approaches to Constantinople was borne by the great fleet of the Karabisianoi. Progressively however it was split up into several regional fleets, while a central Imperial Fleet was maintained at Constantinople, guarding the city, by the late 8th century, the Byzantine navy, a well-organized and maintained force, was again the dominant maritime power in the Mediterranean. The antagonism with the Muslim navies continued with alternating success, but in the 10th century, during the 11th century, the navy, like the Empire itself, began to decline. A period of recovery under the Komnenians was followed by period of decline. After the Empire was restored in 1261, several emperors of the Palaiologan dynasty tried to revive the navy, the diminished navy, however, continued to be active until the fall of the Byzantine Empire to the Ottomans in 1453. The Byzantine navy, like the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire itself, was a continuation of the Roman Empire, after the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, in the absence of any external threat in the Mediterranean, the Roman navy performed mostly policing and escort duties. Massive sea battles, like those fought in the Punic Wars, no longer occurred, the civil wars of the 4th and early 5th centuries, however, did spur a revival of naval activity, with fleets mostly employed to transport armies. The new Vandalic Kingdom of Carthage, under the capable king Geiseric, immediately launched raids against the coasts of Italy and Greece, the Vandal raids continued unabated over the next two decades, despite repeated Roman attempts to defeat them. The Western Empire was impotent, its navy having dwindled to almost nothing, a first Eastern expedition in 448, however, went no further than Sicily, and in 460, the Vandals attacked and destroyed a Western Roman invasion fleet at Cartagena in Spain. Finally, in 468, a huge Eastern expedition was assembled under Basiliscus, reputedly numbering 1,113 ships and 100,000 men, but it failed disastrously. About 600 ships were lost to ships, and the financial cost of 130,000 pounds of gold and 700000 pounds of silver nearly bankrupted the Empire. This forced the Romans to come to terms with Geiseric and sign a peace treaty, after Geiserics death in 477, however, the Vandal threat receded. The 6th century marked the rebirth of Roman naval power, in 508, as antagonism with the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Theodoric flared up, the Emperor Anastasius I is reported to have sent a fleet of 100 warships to raid the coasts of Italy. In 513, the general Vitalian revolted against Anastasius, the rebels assembled a fleet of 200 ships which, despite some initial successes, were destroyed by admiral Marinus, who employed a sulphur-based incendiary substance to defeat them. This fact was not lost on the Byzantines enemies, already in the 520s, Theodoric had planned to build a massive fleet directed against the Byzantines and the Vandals, but his death in 526 limited the extent to which these plans were realizedByzantine navy – By the late 5th century, the Western Mediterranean had fallen into the hands of barbarian kingdoms. The conquests of Justinian I restored Roman control over the entire sea, which would last until the Muslim conquests in the latter half of the 7th century.
29. Chariot racing – Chariot racing was one of the most popular ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine sports. Chariot racing was dangerous to drivers and horses as they often suffered serious injury and even death, but these dangers added to the excitement. Chariot races could be watched by women, who were barred from watching other sports. In the Roman form of racing, teams represented different groups of financial backers. As in modern sports like soccer, spectators generally chose to support a team, identifying themselves strongly with its fortunes. The rivalries were sometimes politicized, when teams became associated with competing social or religious ideas and this helps explain why Roman and later Byzantine emperors took control of the teams and appointed many officials to oversee them. The sport faded in importance in the West after the fall of Rome and it survived for a time in the Byzantine Empire, where the traditional Roman factions continued to play a prominent role for several centuries, gaining influence in political matters. Their rivalry culminated in the Nika riots, which marked the decline of the sport. It is unknown exactly when chariot racing began, but it may have been as old as chariots themselves, the participants in this race were Diomedes, Eumelus, Antilochus, Menelaus, and Meriones. The race, which was one lap around the stump of a tree, was won by Diomedes, who received a slave woman and a cauldron as his prize. In the ancient Olympic Games, as well as the other Panhellenic Games, the chariot racing event was first added to the Olympics in 680 BC with the games expanding from a one-day to a two-day event to accommodate the new event. The races themselves were held in the hippodrome, which held both chariot races and riding races, the single horse race was known as the keles. The hippodrome was situated at the south-east corner of the sanctuary of Olympia, on the flat area south of the stadium. Until recently, its location was unknown, since it is buried by several meters of sedimentary material from the Alfeios River. In 2008, however, Annie Muller and staff of the German Archeological Institute used radar to locate a large, rectangular structure similar to Pausaniass description. Pausanias, who visited Olympia in the second century AD, describes the monument as a large, elongated, flat space, the elongated racecourse was divided longitudinally into two tracks by a stone or wooden barrier, the embolon. All the horses or chariots ran on one track toward the east, then turned around the embolon, distances varied according to the event. The racecourse was surrounded by natural and artificial banks for the spectators, the race was begun by a procession into the hippodrome, while a herald announced the names of the drivers and ownersChariot racing – A modern recreation of chariot racing in Puy du Fou
30. Gregory of Nazianzus – Gregory of Nazianzus, also known as Gregory the Theologian or Gregory Nazianzen, was a 4th-century Archbishop of Constantinople, and theologian. He is widely considered the most accomplished rhetorical stylist of the patristic age, as a classically trained orator and philosopher he infused Hellenism into the early church, establishing the paradigm of Byzantine theologians and church officials. Gregory made a significant impact on the shape of Trinitarian theology among both Greek- and Latin-speaking theologians, and he is remembered as the Trinitarian Theologian, much of his theological work continues to influence modern theologians, especially in regard to the relationship among the three Persons of the Trinity. Along with the brothers Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory is a saint in both Eastern and Western Christianity. Gregory was born of Greek parentage in the estate of Karbala outside the village of Arianzus, near Nazianzus. His parents, Gregory and Nonna, were wealthy land-owners, in AD325 Nonna converted her husband, a Hypsistarian, to Christianity, he was subsequently ordained as bishop of Nazianzus in 328 or 329. The young Gregory and his brother, Caesarius, first studied at home with their uncle Amphylokhios, Gregory went on to study advanced rhetoric and philosophy in Nazianzus, Caesarea, Alexandria and Athens. On the way to Athens his ship encountered a violent storm, in Athens, Gregory studied under the famous rhetoricians Himerius and Proaeresius. Upon finishing his education, he taught rhetoric in Athens for a short time, in 361 Gregory returned to Nazianzus and was ordained a presbyter by his father, who wanted him to assist with caring for local Christians. Leaving home after a few days, he met his friend Basil at Annesoi, however, Basil urged him to return home to assist his father, which he did for the next year. Arriving at Nazianzus, Gregory found the local Christian community split by theological differences, Gregory helped to heal the division through a combination of personal diplomacy and oratory. By this time Emperor Julian had publicly declared himself in opposition to Christianity, in response to the emperors rejection of the Christian faith, Gregory composed his Invectives Against Julian between 362 and 363. Invectives asserts that Christianity will overcome imperfect rulers such as Julian through love and this process as described by Gregory is the public manifestation of the process of deification, which leads to a spiritual elevation and mystical union with God. Julian resolved, in late 362, to vigorously prosecute Gregory and his other Christian critics, however, the emperor perished the following year during a campaign against the Persians. With the death of the emperor, Gregory and the Eastern churches were no longer under the threat of persecution, as the new emperor Jovian was an avowed Christian, Gregory spent the next few years combating Arianism, which threatened to divide the region of Cappadocia. In this tense environment, Gregory interceded on behalf of his friend Basil with Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea, in the subsequent public debates, presided over by agents of the Emperor Valens, Gregory and Basil emerged triumphant. This success confirmed for both Gregory and Basil that their futures lay in administration of the Church, Basil, who had long displayed inclinations to the episcopacy, was elected bishop of the see of Caesarea in Cappadocia in 370. Gregory was ordained Bishop of Sasima in 372 by Basil, Basil created this see in order to strengthen his position in his dispute with Anthimus, bishop of TyanaGregory of Nazianzus – Icon of St. Gregory the Theologian Fresco from Kariye Camii, Istanbul, Turkey
31. Paul Palaiologos Tagaris – Paul Palaiologos Tagaris was a Byzantine Greek monk and impostor. A scion of the Tagaris family, Paul also claimed a—somewhat dubious—connection with the Palaiologos dynasty that ruled the Byzantine Empire at the time and he fled his marriage as a teenager and became a monk, but soon his fraudulent practices embroiled him in scandal. Fleeing Constantinople, he travelled widely, from Palestine to Persia and Georgia and eventually, via Ukraine and Hungary to Italy, Latin Greece, Cyprus and France. In the end, his deceptions unmasked, he returned to Constantinople, the main source on Pauls life is the document of his confession before the patriarchal synod in Constantinople, which is undated, but included among documents of the years 1394–95. It was published in modern times by Franz Ritter von Miklosich and Joseph Muller, Acta et Diplomata Graeca medii aevi sacra et profana, Vol. II, Acta Patriarchatus Constantinopolitanae, Vienna 1860. Paul Tagaris was apparently a scion of the Tagaris family, a lineage which first appears in the early 14th century, Tagaris himself also claimed to be related to the ruling imperial dynasty of the Palaiologoi and adopted the surname for himself. His parents arranged his marriage at the age of 14 or 15 and this affair scandalized his family, but Patriarch Kallistos I declined to take action against him. It was not until the patriarch went on a visit to Serbia in July 1363 that his locum tenens, in Palestine, Paul was able to secure his ordination as a deacon by the Patriarch of Jerusalem Lazaros, who took him under his protection. Shortly after, Lazaros left for Constantinople, and his locum tenens Damianos brought charges against Paul and it was not long before Paul began abusing his authority, he sacked serving bishops and put their sees up for sale, threatening to report those who complained to the Turkish authorities. Soon he claimed the title of Patriarch of Jerusalem for himself and began to ordain bishops, Paul accepted, and was apparently consecrated by the Bishop of Tyre and Sidon. Reluctant to face the Patriarchs wrath, Paul once more decided to flee, to avoid passing near Constantinople, Paul was forced to make a broad detour. He took ship, probably from Trebizond, to the Crimea, in exchange, he received an escort through the Horde lands to the Kingdom of Hungary, and thence to Rome. There he secured an audience with Pope Urban VI, claiming to be the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Paul presented himself to the Pope as a penitent, offered a confession, and embraced the Catholic faith. Urban also named Paul apostolic legate for all countries east of Durazzo, since Constantinople had been recovered by the Byzantines in 1261, the seat of the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople had been since 1314 at Negroponte, which still remained in Latin hands. Soon after his investment, Paul stopped in Ancona on his way to Greece, as Nicol comments, one may be tempted to question the authenticity, and still more the provenance, of his donation. From 1380 until 1384, Paul remained at his see in Negroponte, a relative of his, George Tagaris—probably a different person than Manuel Tagaris son—was called in to help with the administration of the patriarchal domains. Paul had apparently left his diocese before his denunciation, and resumed his wanderings, in 1388 he returned to Rome, possibly hoping that the accusations against him had been forgotten in the meanwhile. He was arrested, tried and imprisoned, but was released after Urban VIs death in October 1389, leaving Rome, Paul went to the court of Amadeus VII of SavoyPaul Palaiologos Tagaris – Pope Urban VI
32. Sack of Amorium – The Sack of Amorium by the Abbasid Caliphate in mid-August 838 was one of the major events in the long history of the Arab–Byzantine Wars. Mutasim targeted Amorium, a Byzantine city in western Asia Minor, because it was the birthplace of the ruling Byzantine dynasty and, at the time, the caliph gathered an exceptionally large army, which he divided in two parts, which invaded from the northeast and the south. After sacking the city, they turned south to Amorium, where arrived on 1 August. Faced with intrigues at Constantinople and the rebellion of the large Khurramite contingent of his army, Amorium was strongly fortified and garrisoned, but a traitor revealed a weak spot in the wall, where the Abbasids concentrated their attack, effecting a breach. Unable to break through the army, Boiditzes, the commander of the breached section privately attempted to negotiate with the Caliph without notifying his superiors. He concluded a truce and left his post, which allowed the Arabs to take advantage, enter the city. Amorium was systematically destroyed, never to recover its former prosperity, many of its inhabitants were slaughtered, and the remainder driven off as slaves. The conquest of Amorium was not only a military disaster and a heavy personal blow for Theophilos. As Iconoclasm relied heavily on military success for its legitimization, the fall of Amorium contributed decisively to its abandonment shortly after Theophiloss death in 842. By 829, when the young emperor Theophilos ascended the Byzantine throne, Theophilos was an ambitious man and also a convinced adherent of Byzantine Iconoclasm, which prohibited the depiction of divine figures and the veneration of icons. He sought to bolster his regime and support his religious policies by military success against the Abbasid Caliphate, the Empires major antagonist. He assembled a large army, some 70,000 fighting men and 100,000 in total according to al-Tabari. Theophiloss campaign was unable, however, to save Babak and his followers, Babak fled to Armenia, but was betrayed to the Abbasids and died of torture. With the Khurramite threat over, the caliph began marshalling his forces for a campaign against Byzantium. A huge Arab army gathered at Tarsus, according to the most reliable account, other writers give far larger numbers, ranging from 200,000 to 500,000 according to al-Masudi. Unlike earlier campaigns, which did not go far beyond attacking the forts of the frontier zone, the great city of Amorium in particular was the intended prize. It is the eye and foundation of Christendom, among the Byzantines, according to Byzantine sources, the caliph had the citys name written on the shields and banners of his soldiers. The capital of the powerful Anatolic Theme, the city was located at the western edge of the Anatolian plateauSack of Amorium – Follis of a new type, minted in large quantities in celebration of Theophilos's victories against the Arabs from ca. 835 on. On the obverse, he is represented in triumphal attire, wearing the toupha, and on the reverse the traditional acclamation "Theophilos Augustus, you conquer".
33. Theodore Komnenos Doukas – Theodore Komnenos Doukas was ruler of Epirus and Thessaly from 1215 to 1230 and of Thessalonica and most of the rest of Macedonia and western Thrace from 1224 to 1230. He was also the power behind the rule of his sons John, Theodore was the scion of a distinguished Byzantine aristocratic family related to the imperial Komnenos, Doukas, and Angelos dynasties. Nevertheless, nothing is known about Theodores life before the conquest of Constantinople, when Michael died in 1215, Theodore sidelined his brothers underage and illegitimate son Michael II and assumed the governance of the Epirote state. Theodore continued his brothers policy of territorial expansion, allied with Serbia, he expanded into Macedonia, threatening the Latin Kingdom of Thessalonica. The capture of the Latin Emperor Peter II of Courtenay in 1217 opened the way to the envelopment of Thessalonica. As ruler of Thessalonica, Theodore quickly declared himself emperor, challenging the Nicaean emperor John III Vatatzess claims to the Byzantine imperial throne. In 1225, he advanced to the outskirts of Constantinople, in that year, Theodore amassed an army to besiege Constantinople, but then diverted it against Bulgaria, an ambivalent ally which threatened his northern flank. Theodore was defeated and captured at the Battle of Klokotnitsa, in the meantime, he was succeeded by his brother Manuel. Manuel quickly lost Thrace, most of Macedonia, and Albania to the Bulgarian Tsar John II Asen, Thessalonica itself became a Bulgarian vassal, while in Epirus proper power was seized by Michael II, returning from exile. Theodore was released in 1237 when his daughter Irene married John Asen, having been blinded during his captivity and thus disqualified from occupying the throne again, he installed his eldest son John as emperor, but remained the de facto regent of the state. Manuel tried to regain Thessalonica with Nicaean support, but a settlement was reached which gave him Thessaly and left Thessalonica and its environs to Theodore. In 1241, John III Vatatzes invited Theodore to visit Nicaea and he was welcomed and treated with great honour, but was effectively detained there until the spring of next year, when Vatatzes marched on Thessalonica with Theodore in tow. Theodore was sent in to negotiate with his son and convince him to accept demotion to the rank of Despot, John died in 1244 and was succeeded by Theodores younger son Demetrios. In 1246, Vatatzes overthrew the unpopular Demetrios and annexed Thessalonica, Theodore influenced his nephew Michael II to launch an attack on Thessalonica in 1251, but in 1252, Vatatzes campaigned against them and forced Michael to come to terms. Theodore was taken prisoner and sent into exile in Nicaea, where he died around 1253, born between 1180 and 1185, Theodore was a son of the sebastokrator John Doukas and of Zoe Doukaina. His paternal grandparents were Constantine Angelos and Theodora, a daughter of the Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos, Theodores uncle, Andronikos, was the father of the emperors Isaac II Angelos and Alexios III Angelos, who were Theodores first cousins. He followed Theodore Laskaris to Asia Minor after the Fourth Crusade captured Constantinople in 1204, Theodores service under Laskaris is relatively unknown except for a brief reference in a letter written by the Metropolitan of Corfu, George Bardanes, one of Theodores apologists. Around 1210, Theodore was invited by his half-brother Michael I Komnenos Doukas to Epirus, Michael wanted Theodores aid, as his only son, the future Michael II Komnenos Doukas, was underage and illegitimate, while Michaels other half-brothers were considered to lack the ability to ruleTheodore Komnenos Doukas – Silver coin with Theodore (left) blessed by Thessalonica's patron, St. Demetrius
34. Jovan Vladimir – Jovan Vladimir or John Vladimir was the ruler of Duklja, the most powerful Serbian principality of the time, from around 1000 to 1016. He ruled during the war between the Byzantine Empire and the First Bulgarian Empire. Vladimir was acknowledged as a pious, just, and peaceful ruler and he is recognized as a martyr and saint, with his feast day being celebrated on 22 May. A medieval chronicle asserts that Samuels daughter, Theodora Kosara, fell in love with Vladimir, the tsar allowed the marriage and returned Duklja to Vladimir, who ruled as his vassal. Vladimir took no part in his father-in-laws war efforts, the warfare culminated with Tsar Samuels defeat by the Byzantines in 1014 and death soon after. In 1016, Vladimir fell victim to a plot by Ivan Vladislav and he was beheaded in front of a church in Prespa, the empires capital, and was buried there. He was soon recognized as a martyr and saint and his widow, Kosara, reburied him in the Prečista Krajinska Church, near his court in southeastern Duklja. In 1381, his remains were preserved in the Church of St Jovan Vladimir near Elbasan, the saints remains are considered Christian relics, and attract many believers, especially on his feast day, when the relics are taken to the church near Elbasan for a celebration. The cross Vladimir held when he was beheaded is also regarded as a relic, Jovan Vladimir is regarded as the first Serbian saint and the patron saint of the town of Bar in Montenegro. His earliest, lost hagiography was written sometime between 1075 and 1089, a shortened version, written in Latin, is preserved in the Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja. His hagiographies in Greek and Church Slavonic were first published, respectively, the saint is classically depicted in icons as a monarch wearing a crown and regal clothes, with a cross in his right hand and his own head in his left hand. He is fabled to have carried his head to his place of burial. Duklja was an early medieval Serbian principality whose borders coincided for the most part with those of present-day Montenegro, the state rose greatly in power after the disintegration of Serbia that followed the death of its ruler, Prince Časlav, around 943. Though the extent of Časlavs Serbia is uncertain, it is known that it included at least Raška, Raška had subsequently come under Dukljas political dominance, along with the neighboring Serbian principalities of Travunia and Zachlumia. The Byzantines often referred to Duklja as Serbia, around 1000, Vladimir, still a boy, succeeded his father Petrislav as the ruler of Duklja. Petrislav is regarded as the earliest ruler of Duklja whose existence can be confirmed by primary sources, the principality consisted of two provinces, Zenta in the south and Podgoria in the north. A local tradition has it that Vladimirs court was situated on the hillock called Kraljič, at the village of Koštanjica near Lake Skadar, near Kraljič lie the ruins of the Prečista Krajinska Church, which already existed in Vladimirs time. According to Daniele Farlati, an 18th-century ecclesiastical historian, the court, Vladimirs reign is recounted in Chapter 36 of the Chronicle of the Priest of Duklja, completed between 1299 and 1301, Chapters 34 and 35 deal with his father and unclesJovan Vladimir – A Serbian Orthodox icon of Prince Jovan Vladimir, who was recognized as a saint shortly after his death
35. Al-Mundhir III ibn al-Harith – Al-Mundhir ibn al-Ḥārith, known in Greek sources as Alamoundaros, was the king of the Ghassanid Arabs from 569 to circa 581. A son of Al-Harith ibn Jabalah, he succeeded his father both in the kingship over his tribe and as the chief of the Byzantine Empires Arab clients and allies in the East, with the rank of patricius. Despite his victories over the rival Persian-backed Lakhmids, throughout Mundhirs reign his relations with Byzantium were lukewarm due to his staunch Monophysitism and this led to a complete breakdown of the alliance in 572, after Mundhir discovered Byzantine plans to assassinate him. Relations were restored in 575 and Mundhir secured from the Byzantine emperor both recognition of his status and a pledge of tolerance towards the Monophysite Church. In 580 or 581, Mundhir participated in a campaign against the Persian capital, Ctesiphon. The failure of the led to a quarrel between the two and Maurice accused Mundhir of treason. Byzantine agents captured Mundhir, who was brought to Constantinople but never faced trial and his arrest provoked an uprising among the Ghassanids under Mundhirs son al-Numan VI. When Maurice ascended the throne in 582, Mundhir was exiled to Sicily although, according to one source, Mundhir was the last important Ghassanid ruler, in 584, the Byzantines would break up the Ghassanid federation. A capable and successful leader, his rule also saw the strengthening of Monophysitism. Mundhir was the son of al-Harith ibn Jabalah, ruler of the Ghassanid tribe, harith had been raised to the kingship and to the position of supreme phylarch by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I, who wished thereby to create a strong counterpart to the Lakhmid rulers. Mundhir had been confirmed as his fathers heir as early as 563, during the visit to Constantinople. Soon after Hariths death, Ghassanid territory was attacked by Qabus ibn al-Mundhir, the new Lakhmid ruler, qabuss forces were repulsed and Mundhir invaded Lakhmid territory in turn, seizing much plunder. As he turned back, the Lakhmids again confronted the Ghassanid army, after this success, Mundhir wrote to the Byzantine emperor Justin II asking for gold for his men. This request reportedly angered Justin, who sent instructions to his commander to lure the Ghassanid ruler into a trap and have him killed. But the letter fell into Mundhirs hands, who severed his relations with the Empire. The city was sacked, plundered, and put to the torch, according to John of Ephesus, Mundhir donated much of his booty from this expedition to monasteries and the poor. The same year, Mundhir visited Constantinople, where he was awarded a crown or diadem, the war with Persia was interrupted by a three-year truce agreed in 575. In 578, hostilities were renewed, but the sources on the period, fragmentary as they are, in 580, Mundhir was invited by Emperor Tiberius II to visit the capital againAl-Mundhir III ibn al-Harith – The Byzantine Diocese of the East, where the Ghassanids were active.
36. Bardanes Tourkos – Bardanes, nicknamed Tourkos, the Turk, was a Byzantine general of Armenian origin who launched an unsuccessful rebellion against Emperor Nikephoros I in 803. Although a major supporter of Byzantine empress Irene of Athens, soon after her overthrow he was appointed by Nikephoros as commander-in-chief of the Anatolian armies, from this position, he launched a revolt in July 803, probably in opposition to Nikephoross economic and religious policies. His troops marched towards Constantinople, but failed to win popular support, at this point, some of his major supporters deserted him and, reluctant to engage the loyalist forces in battle, Bardanes gave up and chose to surrender himself. He retired as a monk to a monastery he had founded, there he was blinded, possibly on Nikephoross orders. Nothing is known of the life of Bardanes. Bardanes is probably identical with the patrikios Bardanios who appears in the Chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor in the mid-790s. In 795, he was Domestic of the Schools, and was dispatched to arrest the monk Plato of Sakkoudion for his opposition to the second marriage of Emperor Constantine VI to Platos niece Theodote. In 797, as strategos of the Thracesian Theme, this same Bardanios supported the Empress-mother Irene of Athens when she usurped the throne from her son, Irene herself was overthrown and exiled by the logothetes tou genikou Nikephoros on 31 October 802. At the time, Bardanes was still patrikios and strategos of the Thracesians, however, this appointment is by no means certain, he is mentioned as monostrategos only by later sources, while near-contemporary ones mention him only as strategos of the Anatolics. It is possible that later sources misinterpreted his title to mean general of all the East, in July 803, an Abbasid army under al-Qasim, a son of the Caliph Harun al-Rashid, began advancing towards the Byzantine frontier. As Nikephoros had broken his foot in early May, it fell to Bardanes to lead the Byzantine army against the Arabs and he therefore ordered the thematic armies of Anatolia assembled in the Anatolic Theme. In mid-July 803, Bardanes was proclaimed emperor by the troops of the Anatolic. Crucially, the Armeniac Theme, either because of its rivalry with the Anatolics, or because it had not yet joined up with the rest of the army. It has also hypothesized that Bardanes may have participated in the suppression of the Armeniacs revolt in 793. Nikephoros had initiated a strict policy to shore up the Empires finances. The Emperor had revoked the exemption on inheritance tax for the soldiers, Bardanes, on the other hand, had a good reputation in this regard, fairly dividing the booty won from the campaigns against the Arabs amongst the soldiers. For the motives of Bardanes himself, the situation is less clear, according to the Byzantine chroniclers, he accepted the acclamation only reluctantly, after vainly entreating the soldiers to allow him to leave. The monk correctly prophesied that his rebellion would fail, that Thomas too would begin a revolt, although possibly a later invention, this story may suggest that Bardanes planned his revolt beforehandBardanes Tourkos – Gold solidus of Empress Irene, during the period of her sole rule (797–802).
37. Sviatoslav's invasion of Bulgaria – Sviatoslavs invasion of Bulgaria refers to a conflict beginning in 967/968 and ending in 971, carried out in the eastern Balkans, and involving the Kievan Rus, Bulgaria, and the Byzantine Empire. The allies then turned against each other, and the military confrontation ended with a Byzantine victory. The Rus withdrew and eastern Bulgaria was incorporated into the Byzantine Empire, in 927, a peace treaty had been signed between Bulgaria and Byzantium, ending many years of warfare and establishing forty years of peace. By 965/966, the warlike new Byzantine emperor Nikephoros II Phokas refused to renew the annual tribute that was part of the peace agreement, preoccupied with his campaigns in the East, Nikephoros resolved to fight the war by proxy and invited the Rus ruler Sviatoslav to invade Bulgaria. Sviatoslavs subsequent campaign greatly exceeded the expectations of the Byzantines, who had regarded him only as a means to diplomatic pressure on the Bulgarians. The Rus prince conquered the regions of the Bulgarian state in the northeastern Balkans in 967–969, seized the Bulgarian tsar Boris II. Sviatoslav intended to continue his drive south against Byzantium itself, which in turn regarded the establishment of a new and powerful Russo-Bulgarian state in the Balkans with great concern. After stopping a Rus advance through Thrace at the Battle of Arcadiopolis in 970, the Byzantine emperor John I Tzimiskes led an army north into Bulgaria in 971 and captured Preslav, the capital. After a three-month siege of the fortress of Dorostolon, Sviatoslav agreed to terms with the Byzantines, Tzimiskes formally annexed Eastern Bulgaria to the Byzantine Empire. The early decades of the century were dominated by Tsar Simeon, Simeons death in May 927 was soon followed by a rapprochement between the two powers, formalized with a treaty and a marriage alliance later that same year. Simeons second son and successor, Peter I, married Maria, the granddaughter of the Byzantine emperor Romanos I Lekapenos, an annual tribute was agreed to be paid to the Bulgarian ruler in exchange for peace. The agreement was kept for almost forty years as peaceful relations suited both sides, Bulgaria, despite the barrier formed by the Danube, was still menaced in its northern reaches by steppe peoples, the Magyars and the Pechenegs. They launched raids throughout Bulgaria, occasionally reaching Byzantine territory as well, the Byzantine–Bulgarian peace nevertheless meant less trouble from the north, as many Pecheneg raids had been sponsored by the Byzantines. Peters reign, although lacking the military splendour of Simeons, was still a golden age for Bulgaria, with a flourishing economy, at the same time, military reforms created a much more effective and offensively-oriented army. The Byzantines did not neglect the Balkans, working steadily to improve their contacts with the peoples of central and eastern Europe, upon the sudden death of Emperor Romanos II in 963, Nikephoros Phokas usurped the throne from Romanos infant sons and became senior emperor as Nikephoros II. Nikephoros, a prominent member of the Anatolian military aristocracy, also focused mostly on the East, leading his army personally in campaigns that recovered Cyprus, thus things stood when a Bulgarian embassy visited Nikephoros in late 965 or early 966 to collect the tribute owed. He had the envoys beaten and sent them home with threats and insults and he proceeded with his troops to Thrace, where he staged an elaborate parade as a display of military strength and sacked a few Bulgarian border forts. Nikephoros decision to effect a breach of relations with Bulgaria was also in response to the recent treaty that Peter I had signed with the MagyarsSviatoslav's invasion of Bulgaria – The Byzantines pursuing the Rus' at Dorostolon, from the Madrid Skylitzes
38. Vitalian (general) – Vitalian was a general of the East Roman Empire. A native of Moesia in the northern Balkans, and probably of mixed Roman and barbarian descent, he followed his father into the imperial army, and by 513 had become a senior commander in Thrace. After scoring a series of victories over loyalist armies, Vitalian came to threaten Constantinople itself, soon after, however, as Anastasius failed to honour some of the terms of the agreement, Vitalian marched on Constantinople, only to be decisively defeated by Anastasius admiral, Marinus. Vitalian fled to his native Thrace and remained in hiding until Anastasiuss death in 518, as a staunch promoter of Chalcedonian orthodoxy, he was pardoned by the new emperor Justin I and was engaged in the negotiations with the Pope to end the Acacian Schism. He was named consul for the year 520, but was murdered shortly after, probably on the orders of Justins nephew and heir-apparent, Justinian and his sons also became generals in the East Roman army. Vitalian was born in Zaldapa in Lower Moesia and he is called a Goth or a Scythian in the Byzantine sources. Since Vitalians mother was a sister of Macedonius II, Patriarch of Constantinople in 496–511, this points to a mixed marriage, on the other hand, the assertion that he was a Goth is based on a single Syriac source, and is today considered dubious. Whatever Patricioluss origin, his name was Latin, while of Vitalians own sons and his nephew, John, later also became a distinguished general in the wars against the Ostrogoths of Italy. According to the descriptions, Vitalian was short of stature and stammered. Vitalian is first mentioned in 503, when he accompanied his father in the Anastasian War against the Persians, by 513, he had risen to the rank of comes in Thrace, possibly comes foederatorum, count of the foederati, barbarian soldiers serving in the East Roman army. From this post, he rebelled against Emperor Anastasius I, taking advantage of widespread resentment over the military, religious. Hypatiuss subordinate commanders were killed or joined the rebellion. At the same time, posing as a champion of Chalcedonian orthodoxy, Vitalian was able to gain the support of the local people, who flocked to join his force. Indeed, it appears that Vitalians revolt was primarily motivated by religious reasons, to counter Vitalians propaganda, Anastasius ordered bronze crosses to be set up on the city walls inscribed with his own version of events. The emperor also reduced taxes in the provinces of Bithynia and Asia to prevent them joining the rebellion. When Vitalians forces reached the capital, they encamped at the suburb of Hebdomon, Anastasius opted for negotiations, and sent out Vitalians former patron, the former consul and magister militum praesentalis Patricius, as ambassador. To him, Vitalian declared his aims, the restoration of Chalcedonian orthodoxy, Patricius then invited him and his officers in the city itself for negotiations. Vitalian refused for himself, but allowed his officers to go on the next dayVitalian (general) – Gold semissis of Emperor Anastasius I (r. 491–518).
39. Abdallah al-Battal – Abdallah al-Battal was a Muslim commander in the Arab–Byzantine Wars of the early 8th century, participating in several of the campaigns launched by the Umayyad Caliphate against the Byzantine Empire. Nothing is known of Abdallah al-Battals origin or early life, much later accounts claim that he hailed from Antioch or Damascus, and that he was a mawla of the Umayyad family. He is also given various kunya, Abu Muhammad, Abu Yahya, or Abu l-Husayn, in reliable historical sources, al-Battal first appears in 727, in one of the annual raids against Byzantine Asia Minor. This campaign was commanded by Muawiya ibn Hisham, the son of the reigning Caliph Hisham. Al-Battal led the vanguard, with which he penetrated as far as the city of Gangra in Paphlagonia, al-Battal himself commanded another raid in 731–732, of which little is known. It most probably was a failure, and is remembered only for the death in battle of another Arab hero, in the next year, AH115, al-Battal campaigned again alongside Muawiya ibn Hisham, raiding as far as Akroinon in Phrygia. A Byzantine army under a certain Constantine tried to confront the Muslims, al-Battals next and last appearance is in 740, when a major campaign involving several tens of thousands of men was launched by the Umayyads against Byzantium. Along with Malik ibn Shuayb, deputy governor of Malatya, al-Battal commanded a 20, al-Battal and Maliks force reached as far as Akroinon, but there they were confronted and defeated by the Byzantines under Emperor Leo III the Isaurian in person. Both Arab generals and two thirds of their army perished, in the 10th–12th centuries his alleged role in the siege of Constantinople was embellished by the Persian historian Balami and the Andalusian mystic Ibn Arabi. Ibn Kathir in particular regarded it as poor and confused material suitable only for the unsophisticated, al-Battals exploits became the subject of two romances, the Arabic-language Tale of Delhemma and al-Battal and the Turkish epic tradition of Sayyid Baṭṭāl Ghāzī. In the Delhemma, his own role in the Umayyad wars with Byzantium is taken over by the Kilabite hero al-Sahsah, in these tales al-Battal is presented as an Islamic analogue to Ulysses, to the extent that his name became a byword for cunning. His stories were reworked throughout the Seljuk and Ottoman periods, in Fleet, Kate, Krämer, Gudrun, Matringe, Denis, Nawas, John, Rowson, Everett. The End of the Jihâd State, The Reign of Hishām ibn ʻAbd al-Malik, State University of New York Press. Les principaux personnages du roman de chevalerie arabe Ḏāt al-Himma wa-l-baṭṭāl, the Encyclopedia of Islam, New Edition, Volume I, A–B. The Battalname, an Ottoman Turkish Frontier Epic Wondertale, Introduction, Turkish Transcription, English Translation, sources of Oriental Languages and Literatures. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University, Department of Near Eastern languages and Literatures, the Encyclopedia of Islam, New Edition, Volume I, A–B. Winkelmann, Friedhelm, Lilie, Ralph-Johannes, et al, berlin, Germany and New York, New York, Walter de Gruyter. Studien zur Geschichte Westkleinasiens im 13. -15Abdallah al-Battal – Map of Byzantine Asia Minor and the Arab–Byzantine frontier zone in the early 8th century
40. Alexios Apokaukos – Alexios Apokaukos was a leading Byzantine statesman and high-ranking military officer during the reigns of emperors Andronikos III Palaiologos and John V Palaiologos. Apokaukos died when he was lynched by political prisoners during an inspection of a new prison, alexios was of humble origin, and was born in the late 13th century somewhere in Bithynia. He nevertheless studied under the scholar Theodore Hyrtakenos, and became a tax official, by 1320 he was director of the salt pans, from which he later advanced to the position of domestikos of the themes of the West. He rose in the hierarchy until, in 1321, he was appointed the imperial parakoimōmenos. Under the threat of war, the Emperor surrendered Thrace and some districts in Macedonia to the rule of his grandson, in early 1341, shortly before Andronikoss death, he was rewarded with the high office of megas doux, giving him the high command over the Byzantine navy. He re-equipped the fleet, paying from his own pocket 100,000 hyperpyra, Kantakouzenos did not claim the throne for himself, but demanded the regency, based on his close association with the deceased emperor, and with the support of the capitals troops secured it. As soon as Kantakouzenos left Constantinople in July 1341 to campaign against the Empires enemies who were assaulting it, Apokaukos also tried to kidnap the young John V, but failed and was forced to flee to his house at Epibatai. However, when Kantakouzenos returned victorious to the capital, instead of depriving Apokaukos of his offices, Apokaukos put on an exaggerated display of deference to Kantakouzenos, who allowed him to resume his offices and return to Constantinople, while Kantakouzenos left on yet another campaign. Once back in the city, however, the Patriarch and Apokaukos seized power, Kantakouzenoss family and friends were imprisoned, the Patriarch was declared regent, while Anna named Apokaukos as urban prefect of Constantinople. Kantakouzenos responded by having himself declared emperor at Didymoteicho in October 1341, the two coronations finalized the split, and ushered in a civil war that would embroil the Byzantine Empire and all of its neighbours until 1347 with Kantakouzenoss victory. In a similar development in 1342, Thessalonica, the Empires second-largest city, was seized by a known as the Zealots. Their anti-aristocratic beliefs made them enemies of Kantakouzenism, and earned them the support of the regency, Apokaukos himself arrived with a fleet of 70 ships to aid them, and appointed his elder son John Apokaukos as the citys governor, although the latters authority would remain only nominal. In the first years of the war, the tide was in favour of the regency, until, in the summer of 1342, however, from 1343 onwards, with the aid of his friend, Umur Beg of Aydin, Kantakouzenos began to reverse the situation. Gradually, Apokaukoss supporters abandoned him, including his son Manuel, in early 1345, Apokaukos and Kalekas rejected offers of reconciliation conveyed by two Franciscan monks. Trying to bolster his power, Apokaukos began a series of proscriptions in the capital. On 11 June 1345, Apokaukos suddenly decided to inspect the new prison, the prisoners immediately rose up and lynched him, and his head was severed and stuck on a pole. The prisoners believed that by getting rid of the hated Apokaukos, as a result, all prisoners, some 200 in total, were massacred, even though some attempted to seek refuge in a nearby monastery. As such, it marked the beginning of the wars end, alexios Apokaukos had two brothers, John and Nikephoros, of whom very little is knownAlexios Apokaukos – Donor portrait of the megas doux Alexios Apokaukos, from a collection of the "Works of Hippocrates " commissioned by him in the early 1340s. Alexios is depicted in the garb of his office, wearing a richly decorated kabbadion and the skaranikon, a ceremonial headdress depicting the reigning emperor.
41. Alexios Strategopoulos – Alexios Komnenos Strategopoulos was a Byzantine general during the reign of Michael VIII Palaiologos, rising to the rank of megas domestikos and Caesar. Of noble descent, he appears in the sources already at an age in the early 1250s. He participated in the Pelagonia campaign in 1259, going on to capture Epirus, released after a few months, he led the unexpected reconquest of Constantinople from the Latin Empire in July 1261, restoring the Byzantine Empire. He was captured again by the Epirotes in the year and spent several years in captivity in Italy. He retired from public affairs and died in the early 1270s,1216, although his relation with Alexios is unknown. Strategopoulos was apparently related to the illustrious Komnenos line, as a seal dated to ca.1255 has been bearing the inscription Alexios Strategopoulos from the Komnenos family. The date of his birth is unknown, but as he is called an old man in 1258. The campaign failed with heavy losses, due, according to George Akropolites and they failed to reconnoitre properly the Bulgarian forces opposing them, and instead their army broke and fled leaving behind their equipment and horses to the Bulgarian shepherds and swineherds. This failure enraged the Emperor Theodore II Laskaris, who removed both from their offices, Strategopoulos was probably released from prison immediately after the death of Theodore II Laskaris in August 1258. In the same year he accompanied the army that was sent, under Michaels brother, when Michael Palaiologos was proclaimed emperor in early 1259, John Palaiologos was promoted to sebastokrator, and Strategopoulos succeeded him as megas domestikos. After the Nicaean victory, John Palaiologos invaded Thessaly, while Alexios Strategopoulos, at Arta they found and released many Nicaean prisoners, including the historian George Akropolites. For this success, he was raised to the rank of Caesar, in the next year, however, the Nicaean successes were largely undone, Despot Michael with his sons and an Italian mercenary army landed at Arta, and the Epirote population rallied to his cause. The Epirote army clashed with Alexios forces at the Trikorfon pass near Nafpaktos, the Nicaean army was routed, on the night of July 24/25,1261, Strategopoulos and his men approached the city walls and hid at a monastery near the Gate of the Spring. Strategopoulos sent a detachment of his men, who, led by some of the thelematarioi and they attacked the walls from the inside, surprised the guards and opened the gate, allowing the Nicaean force entry into the city. The Latins were taken completely unaware, and after a short struggle, as news of this spread across the city, the Latin inhabitants, from Emperor Baldwin II downwards, hurriedly rushed to the harbours of the Golden Horn, hoping to escape by ship. At the same time, Strategopoulos men set fire to the Venetian buildings, thanks to the timely arrival of the returning Venetian fleet, many of the Latins managed to evacuate to the Latin-held parts of Greece, but the city was lost for good. The rights of John IV Laskaris were brushed aside, and the man was blinded and imprisoned. Alexios was honoured by Michael with a procession through the city, and by allowing his name to be commemorated in the church services for a year alongside the EmperorAlexios Strategopoulos – Emperor John III Doukas Vatatzes, under whom Strategopoulos began his military career, and whose niece married his own son, Constantine
42. Bardas – Bardas was a Byzantine noble and high-ranking minister. As the brother of Empress Theodora, he rose to office under Theophilos. Although sidelined after Theophiloss death by Theodora and Theoktistos, in 855 he engineered Theoktistoss murder and became the de facto regent for his nephew, Michael III. Bardas was born to the droungarios Marinos and Theoktiste, and was the brother of Empress Theodora, the wife of Emperor Theophilos. Three other sisters, Maria, Sophia, and Irene, are recorded by Theophanes Continuatus, the family was of Armenian origin and had settled in Paphlagonia. Some modern genealogists, including Cyril Toumanoff and Nicholas Adontz, have suggested a link of Bardas family with the Armenian noble clan of the Mamikonian. According to Nina Garsoïan in the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, however, ttractive though it is, in 837, Theophilos raised him to the rank of patrikios and sent him together with the general Theophobos in a campaign against the Abasgians, but the Byzantines were defeated. With the death of Theophilos, the young Michael III ascended the throne, as he was only two years old, a regency council was set up headed by Theodora. Bardas and his brother Petronas, as well as their relative Sergios Niketiates, were also members, following Bardass exile and the death of Sergios, Theoktistos ruled supreme alongside Theodora for a decade. In 855, Michael III turned fifteen and thus came nominally of age and his mother and Theoktistos arranged a bride show and selected Eudokia Dekapolitissa as his bride, disregarding Michaels attachment to his mistress, Eudokia Ingerina. Bardas used Michaels resentment for the manner in which he was treated. With Michaels backing, Bardas was allowed to return to the capital and this was possibly done at the emperors behest, for Bardas is said to have favoured a more elegant removal of his rival. With the death of Theoktistos, the regency was at an end, in early 856, Michael proclaimed his assumption of imperial power. Nevertheless, as Michael was more interested in his pleasures and his affair with Eudokia Ingerina. Petronas also emerged from obscurity at the time, becoming strategos of the Thracesian Theme. Although later sources are critical of his character, describing him as vain, avaricious and power-hungry and he also scored a number of successes against the Arabs in the East, culminating in the decisive Battle of Lalakaon in 863, and enforced the Christianization of Bulgaria by Byzantine missionaries. In 858, Bardas deposed patriarch Ignatios and appointed Photios, well-educated but a layman, the irregular elevation of Photios, however, riled with Pope Nicholas I, who refused to recognize it. Coupled with competition between Rome and Constantinople over their activities in and jurisdiction over Moravia and Bulgaria, relations with the papacy remained tenseBardas – The assassination of Bardas, with Michael looking on, from the Madrid Skylitzes
43. Battle of Akroinon – The Battle of Akroinon was fought at Akroinon or Akroinos in Phrygia, on the western edge of the Anatolian plateau, in 740 between an Umayyad Arab army and the Byzantine forces. The Arabs had been conducting raids into Anatolia for the past century. The battle resulted in a decisive Byzantine victory, since the beginning of the Muslim conquests, the Byzantine Empire, as the largest, richest and militarily strongest state bordering the expanding Caliphate, had been the Muslims primary enemy. Following their failure to capture the Byzantine capital, Constantinople, in 717–718 and these were no longer aimed at permanent conquest but rather large-scale raids, plundering and devastating the countryside and only occasionally attacking forts or major settlements. The raids of this period were largely confined to the central Anatolian plateau. Gradually, however, the Muslim successes became fewer, especially as their resources were drawn into the conflict with the Khazars in the Caucasus. The raids continued, but the Arab and Byzantine chroniclers mention fewer successful captures of forts or towns, nevertheless, in 737 a major victory over the Khazars allowed the Arabs to shift their focus and intensify their campaigns against Byzantium. Thus in 738 and 739 Maslamah ibn Hisham led successful raids, for the year 740, Hisham assembled the largest expedition of his reign, placing it under his son Sulayman. According to the chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor, the invading Umayyad force totalled 90,000 men, the Emperor Leo confronted the second force at Akroinon. Details of the battle are not known, but the Emperor secured a crushing victory, the rest of the Arab troops managed to conduct an orderly retreat to Synnada, where they joined Sulayman. The other two Arab forces devastated the countryside unopposed, but failed to any towns or forts. Akroinon was a success for the Byzantines, as it was the first large-scale victory they had scored in a pitched battle against the Arabs. Seeing it as evidence of Gods renewed favour, the victory also served to strengthen Leos belief in the policy of iconoclasm that he had adopted some years before. In the immediate aftermath, this opened up the way for a more aggressive stance by the Byzantines. The Arab defeat at Akroinon has traditionally seen as a decisive battle. Other historians however, from the early 20th-century Syriac scholar E. W, as a result, the Arab attacks against the Byzantine Empire in the 740s were rather ineffectual and soon ceased completely. The End of the Jihâd State, The Reign of Hishām ibn ʻAbd al-Malik, albany, New York, State University of New York Press. New York and Oxford, Oxford University Press, papers given at the Ninth Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, University of Birmingham, March 1975Battle of Akroinon – Map of Anatolia (Asia Minor) in 740 AD. Akroinon is located at the center of the western edge of the central Anatolian plateau
44. Battle of Mauropotamos – The Battle of Mauropotamos was fought in 844, between the armies of the Byzantine Empire and the Abbasid Caliphate, at Mauropotamos. After a failed Byzantine attempt to recover the Emirate of Crete in the previous year, the Byzantine regent, Theoktistos, headed the army that went to meet the invasion but was heavily defeated, and many of his officers defected to the Arabs. Internal unrest prevented the Abbasids from exploiting their victory, however, a truce and a prisoner exchange were consequently agreed in 845, followed by a six-year cessation of hostilities, as both powers focused their attention elsewhere. The first such campaign, an attempted reconquest of the Emirate of Crete led by Theoktistos in person, made initial gains, after scoring a victory over the Arabs in Crete, Theoktistos learned of a rumour that Theodora intended to name a new emperor, possibly her brother Bardas. Theoktistos hurried back to Constantinople, where he discovered that the rumour was false, but in his absence, the Byzantine army in Crete was routed by the Arabs. In 844, according to Byzantine sources, Theoktistos learned of an Arab invasion of Byzantine Asia Minor, led by a certain Amr, probably the semi-autonomous emir of Malatya, the Arab sources do not make explicit mention of this campaign. Umar al-Aqtas participation is likely, as he aided the Abbasids in their raids against the Byzantines. According to Arab accounts, the led by Abu Said comprised men from the border emirates of Qaliqala. The Arab forces united at Ardandun before raiding through the Byzantine themes of Cappadocia, Anatolikon, Boukellarion, saids troops sacked Dorylaion and even reached the shore of the Bosporus. Theoktistos led the Byzantine army in against the invaders, but was defeated at Mauropotamos. The location of the latter, if indeed it is a river and not a simple toponym, is disputed, not only did the Byzantines suffer heavy casualties, but many senior Byzantine officials defected to the Arabs. Theoktistos returned to Constantinople, where he blamed Bardas for the recent defeats and had him exiled from the capital, the Abbasids were unable to exploit their success due to the internal instability of the Caliphate. Likewise, the Byzantines preferred to focus their strength against the ongoing conquest of Sicily by the Aghlabids, thus, a Byzantine embassy was sent to Baghdad in 845, which was warmly received. The Abbasids reciprocated with an embassy to Constantinople, where the two agreed on a truce and a prisoner exchange, which was held at the river Lamos on 16 September 845. A winter raid by the Arab governor of Tarsus shortly after failed disastrously, after which the Arab-Byzantine frontier remained quiet for six yearsBattle of Mauropotamos – Map of Byzantine Asia Minor and the Byzantine-Arab frontier region ca. 842
45. Battle of the Gates of Trajan – The Battle of the Gates of Trajan was a battle between Byzantine and Bulgarian forces in the year 986. It took place in the pass of the name, modern Trayanovi Vrata, in Sofia Province. It was the largest defeat of the Byzantines under Emperor Basil II, after the unsuccessful siege of Sofia he retreated to Thrace, but was surrounded by the Bulgarian army under the command of Samuil in the Sredna Gora mountains. The Byzantine army was annihilated and Basil himself barely escaped, fifteen years after the fall of the Bulgarian capital Preslav, the victory at the Gates of Trajan extended the Bulgarian successes achieved since 976. Later on Tsar Samuil moved the capital from Preslav in the northeast to Ohrid in the southwest, the memory of the great victory over Basil II was preserved thirty years later in the Bitola inscription of Ivan Vladislav, the son of Aron. In addition to the Bitola inscription where the victory of Samuil, commander of the Bulgarian army, is mentioned in summary form, several medieval historians have written accounts for the battle. Not only Byzantine historians wrote accounts for the battle, it was recorded by the Arab chronicler Yahaya of Antioch. More details can be found in the sermon of Saint Photius of Thessaly. In 971, the Byzantine emperor John Tzimiskes forced the captured Bulgarian emperor Boris II to abdicate, the Byzantines had occupied only the eastern parts of Bulgaria, to the west, the four sons of the count of Sredets Nikola continued to rule western Bulgaria. They ruled the territories in a tetrarchy residing in four separate cities in order to fight the Byzantines with higher efficiency. The war against Bulgaria was the first major undertaking carried out by Basil II after his ascension to the throne in 976, although the Bulgarian attacks had begun in that year. One of the reasons for the ten years of inaction was the policy of one of the strongest nobles in Byzantium, Basil, who de facto ruled the Byzantine Empire in the first years of his namesake. During that time, the objective of the government in Constantinople was to crush the rebellion of the military commander Bardas Skleros in Asia Minor between 976 and 979. The local Byzantine governors were left alone to cope with the Bulgarian threat, for one decade in offensive after 976 the Bulgarians achieved major successes. Samuil managed to liberate north-eastern Bulgaria, between 982 and 986 the Bulgarians occupied the main city of Thessaly, Larissa. The constant Bulgarian attacks forced Basil II to take serious actions, in 986, Basil II led a campaign with 30,000 soldiers. The commanders of the armies did not take part in the campaign because they were fighting with the Arabs. The Byzantines marched from Odrin via Plovdiv to reach Sredets, according to Leo Diaconus the objective of their Emperor was to subdue the Bulgarians with one strikeBattle of the Gates of Trajan – Ruins of the fortress Gates of Trajan
46. Battle of the Olive Grove of Koundouros – In 1204, Constantinople, the capital city of the Byzantine Empire was taken by the Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade and the Republic of Venice. This led to the collapse of the Byzantine Empire and the establishment of the Latin Empire, meanwhile, a Crusader force of between 500 and 700 knights under the command of William of Champlitte and Geoffrey I of Villehardouin advanced into the Peloponnese to deal with Byzantine resistance. In the Olive Grove of Kountouras in Messenia, they confronted an army of around 5,000 Peloponnesian Greeks under the command of a certain Michael, in the ensuing battle, the Crusaders emerged victorious, forcing the Byzantines to retreat and crushing resistance in the Peloponnese. This battle paved the way for the foundation of the Principality of Achaea, the army of the Fourth Crusade conquered Constantinople on 12 April 1204. One of the leaders of the crusade, Boniface of Montferrat, having lost the opportunity to become Emperor. That autumn, William of Champlitte followed him to Thessalonica but then continued south until he reached the Morea, there he was joined by Geoffrey I of Villehardouin, who had sailed to Modon on his way back from Palestine. There Geoffrey of Villehardouin had entered the service of a local Greek magnate against his rivals, Boniface finally sanctioned their undertaking, and in charge of around a hundred knights and several soldiers, Champlitte and Villehardouin set out together to conquer the Morea. The towns of Patras and Andravida fell without struggle, and at the latter Champlitte received the homage of the magnates and people of the Skorta. From there the Franks moved south along the coast, accompanied by a fleet, easily taking the fortress of Pontikon and they bypassed the strong fortress of Arkadia, and passing through Navarino, arrived at Modon. At this point, the Greeks of Laconia and Arcadia, under the leadership of a certain Michael, tried to stop the Franks at the olive grove of Kountouras in northeastern Messenia. The events of the conquest are narrated by two sources, the versions of the Chronicle of the Morea, and On the Conquest of Constantinople. According to the Chronicle, the Franks had between 700 men, while the Greeks had 4,000, mounted and on foot, the elder Villehardouin states that the army of Michael numbered 5,000 men and that of the Franks 500. The two sources differ in the exact chronology of events, with the Chronicle placing the battle after the Frankish capture of Kalamata. In any case, despite being outnumbered, the Franks, after a march of a day, confronted the Greeks and won the battle. And when they tell that he was coming, they refortified Modon, where the defences had long since been pulled down, and there left their baggage. Then they rode out a days march, and ordered their array with as many people as they had, but the odds seemed too great, for they had no more than five hundred men mounted, whereas on the other part there were well over five thousand. But events happen as God pleases, for our people fought with the Greeks and discomfited and conquered them. And the Greeks lost very heavily, while those on our side gained horses and arms enough, and other goods in very great plenty, and so returned very happy, / where they name it the olive grove of KountourasἮσαν χιλιάδες τέσσαρες, πεζοὶ καὶ καβαλλάροιBattle of the Olive Grove of Koundouros – Battle of the Olive Grove of Kountouras
47. Battle of Yarmouk – The Battle of Yarmouk was a major battle between the army of the Byzantine Empire and the Muslim Arab forces of the Rashidun Caliphate. The result of the battle was a complete Muslim victory which ended Byzantine rule in Syria, in order to check the Arab advance and to recover lost territory, Emperor Heraclius had sent a massive expedition to the Levant in May 636. The battle is considered to be one of Khalid ibn al-Walids greatest military victories and it cemented his reputation as one of the greatest tacticians and cavalry commanders in history. During the last Byzantine–Sassanid Wars in 610, Heraclius became the emperor of the Byzantine Empire, meanwhile, the Sassanid Persians conquered Mesopotamia and in 611 they overran Syria and entered Anatolia, occupying Caesarea Mazaca. Heraclius, in 612, managed to expel the Persians from Anatolia, over the following decade the Persians were able to conquer Palestine and Egypt. Meanwhile, Heraclius prepared for a counterattack and rebuilt his army, nine years later in 622, Heraclius finally launched his offensive. Heraclius restored the True Cross to Jerusalem with a ceremony in 629. Meanwhile, there had been rapid development in Arabia, where Muhammad had been preaching Islam and by 630. When Muhammad died in June 632, Abu Bakr was elected Caliph, troubles emerged soon after Abu Bakrs succession, when several Arab tribes openly revolted against Abu Bakr, who declared war against the rebels. In what became known as the Ridda wars, Abu Bakr managed to unite Arabia under the authority of the Caliph at Medina. Once the rebels had been subdued, Abu Bakr began a war of conquest, sending his most brilliant general, Khalid ibn al-Walid, Iraq was conquered in a series of successful campaigns against the Sassanid Persians. Abu Bakrs confidence grew, and once Khalid established his stronghold in Iraq, the Muslim invasion of Syria was a series of carefully planned and well coordinated military operations that employed strategy instead of pure strength to deal with Byzantine defensive measures. The Muslim armies, however proved to be too small to handle the Byzantine response. Khalid was sent by Abu Bakr from Iraq to Syria with reinforcements, in July 634, the Byzantines were decisively defeated at Ajnadayn. Damascus fell in September 634, followed by the Battle of Fahl where the last significant garrison of Palestine was defeated and routed, Caliph Abu Bakr died in 634. His successor, Umar, was determined to continue the Caliphate Empires expansion deeper into Syria, though previous campaigns led by Khalid were successful, he was replaced by Abu Ubaidah. Having secured southern Palestine, Muslim forces now advanced up the route, where Tiberias and Baalbek fell without much struggle. From thereon, the Muslims continued their conquest across the Levant, having seized Emesa, the Muslims were just a march away from Aleppo, a Byzantine stronghold, and Antioch, where Heraclius residedBattle of Yarmouk – Across the ravines lies the battlefield of Yarmouk, this picture taken about 8 miles away, from Jordan.
48. Constantine Diogenes – Constantine Diogenes was a prominent Byzantine general of the early 11th century, active in the Balkans. Imprisoned and forced to enter a monastery, he committed suicide in 1032 during an inquest on a further conspiracy and he was the father of Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes. Constantine Diogenes is the first notable member of the noble Cappadocian Diogenes family, Diogenes began his career as a commander of one of the western tagmata during the reign of Basil II, in the latters campaigns against Bulgaria. Following the death of Tsar Samuel of Bulgaria in October, Diogenes and Nikephoros Xiphias were dispatched to the region of Moglena as the vanguard of the emperor, during this campaign, Diogenes constructed the fortress of Mylobos, as attested in a founders inscription. The conquest of Moglena was completed in 1015 or 1016, in 1017, Diogenes and David Arianites led troops to plunder the fertile plain of Pelagonia, where they captured many prisoners and livestock. Soon after, Basil II placed Diogenes in charge of the tagmata of the Scholai of the West and of Thessalonica, and tasked him with pursuing Tsar Ivan Vladislav. The Bulgarian ruler set up an ambush for his pursuers, but Basil was informed in time, after Ivan Vladislavs death in February 1018, Diogenes was charged with mopping up the last remaining centres of Bulgarian resistance. He took Sirmium and was named its commander, his authority extended over the vassal Serbian statelets of Raška and his title was possibly that of strategos of Serbia, which is attested in a seal attributed to him. Diogenes was ordered by Basil II to subdue Sermon, the ruler of Sirmium, consequently, Diogenes invited Sermon to a meeting at the estuary of the river Sava in the Danube, where each would only be accompanied by three attendants. Diogenes had hidden his sword in the folds of his clothes and he then marched his army into Sirmium, taking possession of the town. Sermons wife was sent as a captive to Constantinople, around 1022 or 1025, Diogenes succeeded Arianites as overall Byzantine commander of conquered Bulgaria. In this capacity, he repelled a large Pecheneg invasion in 1027 and he was transferred east as strategos of the Thracesian Theme but, as soon as his complicity in the affair was confirmed, was recalled to Constantinople. There he was imprisoned, beaten and publicly paraded in the Mese along with the other conspirators, the plot was leaked to Romanos by Theophanes, metropolitan of Thessalonica, and the conspirators were arrested. Constantines son Romanos Diogenes became a general and eventually rose to become emperor in 1068–71. Byzantine Empresses, Women and Power in Byzantium, AD 527–1204, recherches sur les Institutions Byzantines, Tome I. Basil II and the Governance of Empire, new York and Oxford, Oxford University Press. Lilie, Ralph-Johannes, Ludwig, Claudia, Zielke, Beate, Pratsch, Thomas, byzantiums Balkan Frontier, A Political Study of the Northern Balkans, 900-1204. The Legend of Basil the Bulgar-SlayerConstantine Diogenes – Map of the Byzantine–Bulgarian wars in the time of Emperor Basil II and Tsar Samuel of Bulgaria
49. Constantine Lekapenos – Constantine Lekapenos or Lecapenus was the third son of the Byzantine emperor Romanos I Lekapenos, and co-emperor from 924 to 945. With his elder brother Stephen, he deposed Romanos I in December 944, Constantine was exiled to the island of Samothrace, where he was killed while attempting to escape sometime between 946 and 948. Constantine was one of the youngest sons of Romanos I and his wife Theodora, theophanes Continuatus mentions him as the youngest son of the imperial couple, while the 11th-century chronicler George Kedrenos mentions him as the third of four known sons. His older brothers were Christopher Lekapenos and Stephen Lekapenos and it is unclear if Theophylact was his younger brother or slightly older than he was. His sisters included Helena, who married Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos, and Agatha and he probably also had at least two unnamed sisters, known only because of their marriages to the magistroi Romanos Mosele and Romanos Saronites. Romanos Lekapenos had risen to power in 919, when he had managed to appoint himself regent over the young Constantine VII, within a year, he successively rose from basileopator to Caesar, and was eventually crowned senior emperor on 17 December 920. In 939, Constantine married his first wife Helena, a daughter of the patrikios Adrian, symeon Magister records the death of Helena on 14 January 940, and on 2 February of the same year, Constantine married his second wife, Theophano Mamas. Constantine had a son, named Romanos, but it is not recorded by which of his two wives and this Romanos was castrated in 945, after the Lekapenoi lost power, to prevent him from claiming the Byzantine throne. He nevertheless pursued a career in the court, eventually reaching the rank of patrikios, Stephen and Constantine Lekapenos came to the fore in 943, when they opposed a dynastic marriage for their nephew, Romanos II. Their father wanted to have his eldest surviving grandson married to Euphrosyne, predictably, Stephen and Constantine opposed this decision, and prevailed upon their father, who was by this time ill and old, to dismiss Kourkouas in the autumn of 944. Romanos II instead married Bertha, a daughter of Hugh of Arles, King of Italy. With Romanos I approaching the end of his life, the matter of his succession became urgent, in 943, Romanos drafted a will which would leave Constantine VII as the senior emperor following his death. This greatly upset his two sons, who feared that their brother-in-law would have them deposed and force them to take monastic vows and their fellow conspirators included Marianos Argyros, the protospatharios Basil Peteinos, Manuel Kourtikes, the strategos Diogenes, Clado, and Philip. Kedrenos, however, considers Peteinos to have served as an agent of Constantine VII among the conspirators, on 20 December 944, the conspirators set their plans in motion. The two brothers smuggled their supporters in the Great Palace of Constantinople during the break in palace activities. They then led their men into the chamber of Romanos I and they were able to transport him to the nearest harbour and from there to Prote, one of the Princes Islands and a popular place of exile. There, Romanos agreed to take vows and retire from the throne. Having managed to depose their father, the brothers now had to deal with Constantine VIIConstantine Lekapenos – Miliaresion from 931–944, showing Romanos I 's bust on a cross on the obverse and listing the names of Romanos and his co-emperors, Constantine VII, Stephen Lekapenos and Constantine Lekapenos, on the reverse.
50. Cutzinas – A staunch Byzantine ally during the latter stages of the Berber rebellion, he remained an imperial vassal until his murder in 563 by the new Byzantine governor. Cutzinas was of mixed stock, his father was a Berber, following the reconquest of North Africa by the East Roman Empire in the Vandalic War, several uprisings by the native Berber tribes occurred in the North African provinces. Cutzinas is mentioned by the eyewitness historian Procopius of Caesarea as one of the leaders of the rebellion in the province of Byzacena, alongside Esdilasas, Medisinissas and Iourphouthes. This time, Cutzinas opposed the revolt, and brought his own people, in 544, Solomon was killed in battle, and over the next year the Byzantine position in Africa crumbled before the rebels. In late 545, Cutzinas and Iaudas joined Antalas in a march against Carthage, after his plans were revealed by Guntharis to Antalas, Cutzinas changed sides once more and allied himself with Guntharis, giving his mother and son as hostages. Along with the Armenian commander Artabanes, he was sent to pursue Antalas, shortly after, Cutzinas received the supreme Roman military rank of magister militum from Troglita. In the summer of 547 Cutzinas accompanied Troglita in his campaign against the Tripolitanian tribes under Carcasan, before the Battle of Marta he advocated attacking the rebel forces, but the Byzantine army was heavily defeated by Carcasan and Antalas, who had once more risen in revolt. In the same winter, Cutzinas quarreled with another pro-Byzantine Berber leader and their dispute threatened to spill over into open armed conflict, but the intervention of Troglita prevented this and the official John effected a reconciliation between the two. In spring 548, he participated once more in Troglitas campaign, according to Corippus at the head of no less than 30,000 men and this number possibly also includes Byzantine troops placed under Cutzinas command as well. During the campaign, Cutzinas and the other Berber leaders were crucial in suppressing a near-mutiny of the Byzantine troops due to Antalas scorched earth strategy, the Berbers steadfast support enabled Troglita to overcome the crisis and lead his army against the forces of Carcasan and Antalas. After this, Cutzinas remained as a chieftain, receiving regular pay from the Byzantine authorities. In January 563, however, the new prefect of Africa, John Rogathinus, refused to hand over the money and had Cutzinas murdered, history of the Later Roman Empire, From the Death of Theodosius I to the Death of Justinian, Volume 2. Mineola, New York, Dover Publications, Inc, martindale, John Robert, Jones, Arnold Hugh Martin, Morris, J. eds. The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, Volume III, A. D. 527–641Cutzinas – Roman and Byzantine Africa, with the provinces of Byzacena, Zeugitana and Numidia
51. David III of Tao – Kuropalates was a Byzantine courtier title bestowed upon him in 978 and again in 990. Between 987 and 989, David joined his friend Bardas Phocas in a revolt against the Byzantine emperor Basil II, yet he was able to secure for his heir, Bagrat III, an opportunity to become the first ruler of a unified Georgian kingdom. He succeeded his brother, Bagrat II, as a duke of Tao in 966, in order to enact his ambitious plans, David had to secure his independence from the Byzantine Empire, which would reach its greatest height under the emperor Basil II. However, the integrity of the empire itself was serious threat after a full-scale rebellion, led by Bardas Skleros. Following a series of battles the rebels swept across Asia Minor. On this occasion, he was granted the high Byzantine court title of kouropalates, Basil II also rewarded the valor of David’s commander Tornikios by funding a Georgian Orthodox monastery on Mount Athos. Although populated now chiefly with Greek monks, it is to this day known as Iviron and these formidable acquisitions made David the most influential ruler in the Caucasus, enabling him to interfere in and arbitrate dynastic disputes in both Georgia and Armenia. David invested these revenues in extensive building projects, constructing towns, forts and churches, having no children of his own, David adopted his kinsman, the young prince Bagrat, heir to the Bagratid throne of Kartli. He did so at the request of the energetic Georgian nobleman Iovane Marushis-dze, through his fortunate bloodlines Bagrat was destined to sit upon two thrones. Furthermore, through his mother Gurandukht, sister of the childless Abkhazian king Theodosius III, two years later, in 978, David and Marushis-dze secured the crown of Abkhazia for Bagrat by displacing Theodosius III. Once the rebels were defeated by the Byzantine-Rus forces in 989, Basil dispatched a force under John of Chaldea to punish the Georgians. Reconciled with the emperor, he was granted, in c,990, the title of kuropalates again in return for his promise that upon his death the lands previously placed under his sovereignty would revert to the Byzantine Empire. Another problem arose around the year, when Bagrat of Abkhazia planned a punitive expedition against the non-submissive duke Rati of Kldekari in Lower Kartli. Persuaded that his intended to attack Tao and kill him. As a medieval Georgian chronicler relates, After the reconciliation with the emperor and his kinsmen, mamlan, the Rawadid emir of Azerbaijan, was also twice defeated, the second time decisively, in 998, near Archesh. David was murdered by his nobles early in 1000, according to Aristakes, Although the Georgian Chronicles maintain that David died in 1001, several Armenian and Muslim accounts suggest he may have died in 1000. e. Yet another Armenian, Samuel Anetsi, also puts the date as 1000, Basil II was at that time in the eastern provinces of his empire, wintering on the plain of Tarsus following his campaign against the Fatimid dynasty in Syria. On hearing of David’s death he marched north-eastward to claim the lands David had promised to the emperor, the local Georgian and Armenian nobility submitted without any serious resistanceDavid III of Tao – David III the Great as depicted on a bas-relief from the Oshki Monastery. It was David’s use of Byzantine imagery that influenced the appearance of royal power of Georgia in the following two centuries.
52. Domestic of the Schools – The office of the Domestic of the Schools was a senior military post of the Byzantine Empire, extant from the 8th century until at least the early 14th century. The office was eclipsed in the 12th century by that of the Grand Domestic, the first holder of the office of Domestic of the Schools first appears in the sources for the year 767, shortly after the creation of the tagmata. The Schools was the senior tagma, tracing their origin to the Scholae Palatinae established by Constantine the Great, as the magister officiorum was gradually deprived of some of his functions in the 7th and 8th centuries, the Domestic apparently became an independent official. In the 9th century, the office of the Domestic, or Domesticate, of the Schools rose in importance and its holder was often appointed as the head of the army in the absence of the emperor. However, this role was not yet enshrined, it depended rather on the abilities of the current Domestic, from the time of Michael III on, the Domestic ranked in the imperial hierarchy above all other military commanders except for the stratēgos of the Anatolic Theme. In the reign of Romanos II the post was split, with a Domestic of the West, the ceremony for the Domestics appointment is described in the De Ceremoniis, the same work describes his duties and role in court ceremonies. With some exceptions, most notably the unparalleled 22-year tenure of John Kourkouas, or in times of domestic instability, during the 10th century, the Domesticate of the Schools was dominated by members of the Phokas family, which produced six holders of the office. In the words of the mid-14th century Book of Offices of Pseudo-Kodinos, the Domestic of the Schools once had a similar to that of the Grand Domestic currently. In Pseudo-Kodinos work, the Domestic of the Schools ranks 31st in the imperial hierarchy, between the mystikos and the Grand Drungary of the Fleet. The Domestics distinctive court dress, as reported by Pseudo-Kodinos, consisted of a hat, a plain silk kabbadion tunic. Note, the list does not include holders known only through their seals, the Imperial Administrative System of the Ninth Century - With a Revised Text of the Kletorologion of Philotheos. Byzantine empresses, women and power in Byzantium, AD 527-1204, recherches sur les institutions byzantines, Tome I. Recherches sur les institutions byzantines, Tome I, Oxford and New York, Oxford University Press. The Decline of the Opsikian Domesticates and the Rise of the Domesticate of the Scholae, athens, Institute for Byzantine Research, 27–36. Les listes de préséance byzantines des IXe et Xe siècles, paris, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. The Perfect Servant, Eunuchs and the Social Construction of Gender in Byzantium, the Reign of Leo VI, Politics and People. Verpeaux, Jean, ed. Pseudo-Kodinos, Traité des Offices, paris, Centre National de la Recherche ScientifiqueDomestic of the Schools – Lead seal of Alexios I Komnenos as "Grand Domestic of the West"
53. Emirate of Crete – The Emirate of Crete was a Muslim state that existed on the Mediterranean island of Crete from the late 820s to the Byzantine reconquest of the island in 961. Although the emirate recognized the suzerainty of the Abbasid Caliphate and maintained ties with Tulunid Egypt. A group of Andalusian exiles conquered Crete in c.824 or in 827/828, the Byzantines launched a campaign that took most of the island back in 842 and 843 under Theoktistos, but the reconquest was not completed and was soon reversed. Later attempts by the Byzantine Empire to recover the island failed, and for the approximately 135 years of its existence, the emirate was one of the major foes of Byzantium. Crete commanded the sea lanes of the Eastern Mediterranean and functioned as a forward base, the emirates internal history is less well-known, but all accounts point to considerable prosperity deriving not only from piracy but also from extensive trade and agriculture. The emirate was brought to an end by Nikephoros Phokas, who launched a campaign against it in 960–961. Crete had been the target of Muslim attacks since the first wave of the Muslim conquests in the mid-7th century and it had suffered a first raid in 654 and again in 674/675, and parts of the island were temporarily occupied during the reign of the Umayyad Caliph al-Walid I. At some point in the half of the reign of Byzantine Emperor Michael II. These exiles had a history of wanderings behind them. Traditionally they have described as the survivors of a failed revolt against the emir al-Hakam I of Córdoba in 818. In the aftermath of its suppression, the citizens of the Córdoban suburb of al-Rabad were exiled en masse, the exact chronology of the Andalusians landing in Crete is uncertain. Following the Muslim sources, it is dated to 827 or 828. Byzantine sources however seem to contradict this, placing their landing soon after the suppression of the revolt of Thomas the Slav. Under the terms of their agreement with Ibn Tahir, the Andalusians, historian Warren Treadgold estimates them at some 12,000 people, of whom about 3,000 would be fighting men. According to Byzantine historians, the Andalusians were already familiar with Crete and they also claim that the Muslim landing was initially intended as a raid, and was transformed into a bid for conquest when Abu Hafs himself set fire to their ships. However, as the Andalusian exiles had brought their families along, the first expedition, under Photeinos, strategos of the Anatolic Theme, and Damian, Count of the Stable, was defeated in open battle, where Damian was killed. The next expedition was sent a year later and comprised 70 ships under the strategos of the Cibyrrhaeots Krateros and it was initially victorious, but the overconfident Byzantines were then routed in a night attack. Krateros managed to flee to Kos, but there he was captured by the Arabs, makrypoulias suggests that these campaigns must have taken place before the Andalusians completed their construction of Chandax, where they transferred the capital from the inland site of GortynEmirate of Crete – The Saracen fleet sails towards Crete. Miniature from the Madrid Skylitzes manuscript.
54. Eustathios Argyros (general under Leo VI) – Eustathios Argyros was a Byzantine aristocrat and one of the most prominent generals under Emperor Leo VI the Wise. The first member of the Argyros family to rise to high posts, he fought with distinction against the Arabs in the east,907, possibly in connection with the flight of Andronikos Doukas to the Arabs. Rehabilitated soon after, he was appointed as strategos of Charsianon, promoted to commander of the imperial bodyguard in late 908, he again fell into disgrace shortly after and died of poison on his way to his estates. Eustathios Argyros was the son of the tourmarches Leo Argyros, the founder of the noble Argyros family. The Byzantine historians praise Eustathios Argyros as an intelligent, valiant, prudent and just man, the historians Jean-Claude Cheynet and Jean-François Vannier, experts on Byzantine prosopography, consider him the true founder of the familys glory. Although he is identified with an admiral active in ca. 902–904, his life is only securely attested after 904, at this time, evidently after a succession of—unknown—military commands, Eustathios had reached, according to Theophanes Continuatus, the rank of patrikios and hypostrategos of the Anatolic Theme. He then fell into disgrace and was exiled, Eustathios was then appointed as strategos of the border theme of Charsianon, a position notably inferior in rank to that of the Anatolics that he had held previously. The Argyros family, however, had connections with Charsianon. Of them, Melias in particular would go on to become the founder of the theme of Lykandos, about a year later, he fell again under Leos suspicion, and was ordered to return to his familys estates at Charsianon. On the way, he died after taking poison by one of his servants, and was buried on Spynin, while historian Romilly James Heald Jenkins has suggested that Argyros poisoning was done through an agent of the powerful and scheming court eunuch Samonas, it more likely was suicide. Eustathios sons Pothos and Leo would go on to senior military commands. Another son, Romanos, is only from his participation in the Battle of Achelous in 917. Leo Argyros married a daughter of Emperor Romanos I Lekapenos, and was probably the grandfather or great-grandfather of Emperor Romanos III Argyros, some modern scholars like R. J. H. Jenkins, R. H. This identification is rejected by scholars like J. -F. Furthermore, the admiral is given the surname Argyros in some works that distinguish him from the general. Archived from the original on 2011-07-23, les patrices byzantins sous le règne de Constantin VII Porphyrogénète. Le Drongaire et le Grand drongaire de la Veille, recherches sur les institutions byzantines, Tome IEustathios Argyros (general under Leo VI) – Map of the Arab–Byzantine frontier zone
55. Eustathios Daphnomeles – Eustathios Daphnomeles was a Byzantine strategos and patrician who distinguished himself in the Byzantine conquest of Bulgaria. Daphnomeles came from the aristocracy of Asia Minor, which for centuries provided the Byzantine military elite. Daphnomeles, at the head of a fleet, took possession of the city, given the chronologically unclear narrative of Skylitzes, however, it is possible that this episode reflects his later appointment as strategos of the city. Following the defeat at the Battle of Kleidion in 1015, Bulgarian resistance began to collapse and he rejected both bribes and threats from the Byzantines, and for 55 days, the Byzantine army under Emperor Basil II remained encamped at Deabolis nearby, waiting for his surrender. At that point, and as local crowds gathered to Ibatzess palace for the feast of the Dormition, Daphnomeles, now strategos of nearby Achrida, on his own initiative, with only two escorts, he climbed the way to the estate, and announced himself to Ibatzes. When the Bulgarians recovered, they gathered underneath the building crying for revenge, Daphnomeles, however, addressed them and managed to convince them of the futility of further resistance, and to lay down their arms and seek the emperors pardon. Following his feat, Daphnomeles was appointed strategos of the thema of Dyrrhachium by a grateful emperor, in 1029, however, he was accused of conspiring with other prominent governors of the Balkans to overthrow Emperor Romanos III Argyros in favour of doux Constantine Diogenes. The accused were then recalled to Constantinople, beaten, paraded through the Mese, nothing further is known of him. Basil II and the Governance of Empire, lilie, Ralph-Johannes, Ludwig, Claudia, Zielke, Beate, Pratsch, Thomas, eds. The Legend of Basil the Bulgar-Slayer, wortley, John, ed. John Skylitzes, A Synopsis of Byzantine History, 811-1057Eustathios Daphnomeles – Map of the Byzantine–Bulgarian wars in the time of Emperor Basil II and Tsar Samuel of Bulgaria
56. Eutharic – Eutharic Cilliga was an Ostrogothic prince from Iberia who, during the early 6th century, served as Roman Consul and son in arms alongside the Byzantine emperor Justin I. He was the son-in-law and presumptive heir of the Ostrogoth king Theoderic the Great, during his year of consulship in 519 relations with the East Roman Empire flourished and the Acacian schism between the Eastern and Western Christian churches was ended. Some time after the death of Eutharic, his son Athalaric briefly held the Ostrogothic throne, after Athalarics death, Eutharics widow moved to Constantinople where further attempts at establishing a dynasty failed. Eutharic was born around AD480 to a noble family of the Amali line. Eutharics ancestry has been traced back through his father Veteric, son of Berismund, son of Thorismund, son of Hunimund, son of Hermanaric, Eutharic grew up in Iberia where he had a reputation for being a young man strong in wisdom and valor and health of body. He was later to become the son in arms to the Byzantine emperor Justin I, Eutharics status in both the Gothic and Roman world was elevated by the attentions of Theoderic the Great who he was related to distantly through their mutual connection with Hermanric. Hermanric was an Ostrogoth chief who ruled much of the north of the Black Sea. Eutharic was descended through five generations from Hermanric, whilst Theoderic was a descendant of Hermanrics older brother Vultwulf, by the late 5th century Theoderic was king of the Ostrogoths, ruling from Ravenna in Italy and a close ally of the Roman Emperor Zeno. Following the death of a rival, Theodoric Strabo, Theoderic the Great received the titles of patricius and magister militum from Zeno, having worked throughout his life to establish a kingdom and strengthen relations with both the church and Rome, Theoderic was keen to establish a dynasty. His marriage to Audofleda however had produced only a daughter, Amalasuintha, therefore, to achieve his ambitions Theoderic would have to ensure he chose a son-in-law with an ancestry equal in strength to his own. His investigations into the Gothic royal lines, which were by this time widely distributed across Europe, here he discovered Eutharic, the last heir of a related branch of the Amali, who had recently assumed the regency of Spain. More recent studies however suggest that Eutharics Amali ancestry may have been an invention on the part of Theoderic to aid his ambitions of establishing dynastic credibility. According to Gesta Theoderici Eutharic belonged to the Gothic house of Alan rather than the house of Amal. Whilst Jordanes, in his history of the Goths, does make reference to Eutharics prudentia et virtus, or pride and valour and those qualities were recognised as requirements of Gothic ethnographic ideology, expressed in their code of civilitas. It would have been beneficial for Theoderics chosen son-in-law to possess them. In AD515 Eutharic answered a summons by Theoderic the Great, here he was given in marriage Amalasuintha, the daughter of the king. It was Theoderics intention that this union would create a long-lasting dynastic connection between the previously sundered Ostrogoths and Visigoths, Theoderic also named Eutharic his presumptive heir. Whilst in Italy, Eutharic played an important political role within Theoderics kingdom, with a court background he had the ability to serve in government and he was respected by the Romans, who admired his liberality and magnificenceEutharic – Cassiodorus (Woodcut from the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493).
57. Heraclius the Elder – Heraclius the Elder was an East Roman general and the father of Byzantine emperor Heraclius. Of possible Armenian origin, Heraclius the Elder distinguished himself in the war against the Sassanid Persians in the 580s, as a subordinate general, Heraclius served under the command of Philippicus during the Battle of Solachon and possibly served under Comentiolus during the Battle of Sisarbanon. In circa 595, Heraclius the Elder is mentioned as a magister militum per Armeniam sent by Emperor Maurice to quell an Armenian rebellion led by Samuel Vahewuni and Atat Khorkhoruni. In circa 600, he was appointed as the Exarch of Africa and in 608, using North Africa as a base, the younger Heraclius managed to overthrow Phocas, beginning the Heraclian dynasty, which would rule Byzantium for a century. Heraclius the Elder died soon after receiving news of his sons accession to the Byzantine throne, Heraclius the Elder was possibly of Armenian origin and presumably bilingual at an early age. His origin is deduced by a passage of Theophylact Simocatta, which him a native of Byzantine Armenia. Heraclius the Elders own city is not specifically mentioned, mary and Michael Whitby suggest that Heraclius the Elder was at the time the magister militum per Armeniam. If so, his city was Theodosiopolis, the headquarters of the Roman forces in Armenia, as the chief military stronghold along the northeastern border of the empire, Theodosiopolis held an important strategic location that was contested in wars between the Byzantines and Persians. Emperors Anastasius I and Justinian I both refortified the city and built new defenses during their reigns, nothing is known of the specific ancestry of Heraclius the Elder, but this has not prevented modern historians from speculating on the matter. Cyril Mango has supported a theory which suggests that he was a descendant of Heraclius of Edessa. A passage from Sebeoss History has been understood to suggest an Arsacid origin of Heraclius the Elder and this theory was strongly supported by Cyril Toumanoff, while considered likely by Alexander Vasiliev and Irfan Shahîd. John of Nikiû and Constantine Manasses seem to consider his son, Heraclius the Younger, to be a Cappadocian, the Historia syntomos of Patriarch Nikephoros I of Constantinople mentions a single brother of Heraclius the Elder, named Gregoras, who was the father of Nicetas. Theophanes the Confessor mentions Epiphania as the mother of Emperor Heraclius, thus wife of Heraclius the Elder, in contrast, there is no source mentioning him in the same sentence as the siblings of Emperor Heraclius. That he was their father can be assumed though. The best attested sibling of Heraclius the Younger was arguably Theodore, maria, sister of Heraclius the Younger, is mentioned by Nikephoros I and identified as mother of Martina, whom Heraclius the Younger would go on to marry. Finally, Theophanes briefly mentions another Gregoras as a brother of Heraclius the Younger on the occasion of the death at Heliopolis circa 652/653. This is the mention of this sibling. Theophanes, however, might have misunderstood the relation between Gregoras and the emperor, Heraclius the Elder is first mentioned in 586 as a general serving under Philippicus during the Roman–Persian War of 572–591Heraclius the Elder – Gold solidus struck during the revolt of the Heraclii, depicting them both wearing the consular robes
58. Martino Zaccaria – Martino Zaccaria was the Lord of Chios from 1314 to 1329, ruler of several other Aegean islands, and baron of Veligosti–Damala and Chalandritsa in the Principality of Achaea. He distinguished himself in the fight against Turkish corsairs in the Aegean Sea and he was deposed from his rule of Chios by a Byzantine expedition in 1329, and imprisoned in Constantinople until 1337. Martino then returned to Italy, where he was named the Genoese ambassador to the Holy See. In 1343 he was named commander of the Papal squadron in the Smyrniote crusade against Umur Bey, ruler of the Emirate of Aydin and he was killed, along with several other of the crusades leaders, in a Turkish attack on 17 January 1345. Martino Zaccaria was a scion of the Genoese Zaccaria family, through his father, Nicolino Zaccaria, he was a nephew to Benedetto I Zaccaria, lord of Chios and of Phocaea on the Anatolian coast. Benedetto I had captured Chios from the Byzantine Empire in 1304 and his occupation was acknowledged by the impotent Byzantine emperor, Andronikos II Palaiologos, initially for a period of 10 years, but which was then renewed at five-year intervals. Benedetto died in 1307 and was succeeded in Chios by his son, when he died childless in 1314, the island passed to Martino and his brother, Benedetto II. Chios was a small but wealthy domain, with an income of 120,000 gold hyperpyra. Over the next few years, Martino made it the core of a small realm encompassing several islands off the shore of Asia Minor, including Samos and Kos. As lord of Chios, Martino and Benedetto fought with distinction against the Turkish pirates, in 1304, the capture of Ephesus by the emirate of Menteshe had sparked the Genoese occupation of Chios, and raids against the Aegean islands intensified over the next years. The Zaccaria are reported to have maintained an infantry, a hundred horsemen. In 1317, they lost the citadel of Smyrna on the Anatolian coast to the Aydinids, but continued to hold on to the city until 1329. In 1319, however, Martino Zaccaria participated with seven ships in a Hospitaller fleet that scored a victory over an Aydinid fleet from Ephesus. By the end of his rule on Chios, Martino is said to have taken captive or slain more than 10,000 Turks, Martino also intervened to stop the slave trade carried out by the Genoese of Alexandria, for which he was praised by Pope John XXII. Martinos prestige rose further when he became one of the most important feudatories in the Principality of Achaea. Martino added to his domains when he married Jacqueline de la Roche, related to the De la Roche dukes of Athens and heiress of the Barony of Veligosti–Damala. This award was mostly symbolic, as except for the first three, which the Zaccaria already controlled, the others were in the hands of the Byzantines or the Turks. In exchange, Martino promised to aid with 500 horsemen in Philips hoped-for, at the same time, however, Martinos behaviour became increasingly assertive, ca.1325 he ousted his brother as co-ruler of Chios and began minting coins in his own nameMartino Zaccaria – Silver grosso minted by Martino Zaccaria
59. Michael I Komnenos Doukas – 1170, Michael was a descendant of Alexios I Komnenos and a cousin of emperors Isaac II Angelos and Alexios III Angelos. He began his career in 1190, as a hostage to the Third Crusade. During the latter tenure he rebelled against Alexios III but was defeated and forced to flee to the Seljuk Turks, in the aftermath of the sack of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade in 1204, he attached himself to Boniface of Montferrat. Soon, however, he abandoned the Crusader leader and went to Epirus, Michaels domain in Epirus became a refuge and centre of resistance of the Greeks against the Latin Crusaders. In the meantime, his rule received a boost in legitimacy when he ransomed the deposed Alexios III from captivity, according to later chroniclers, Alexios III conferred the hereditary rule of Epirus to Michael and his descendants. By 1210, Michael was secure enough to launch an attack against the Latin Kingdom of Thessalonica, repelled by the intervention of the Latin Emperor Henry of Flanders, Michael quickly switched sides and joined the Latins to prevent the city from falling into Bulgarian hands. In 1212, he conquered most of Thessaly from the Lombard lords of Thessalonica, at about the same time, his troops briefly took over the Lordship of Salona. He then went on to recover Dyrrhachium and the island of Corfu from the Venetians in 1213–14 and he was assassinated soon after in his sleep, and was succeeded by his half-brother Theodore Komnenos Doukas. Michael was the son of the sebastokrator John Doukas. His paternal grandparents were Constantine Angelos and Theodora, a daughter of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, Michaels uncle, Andronikos, was the father of the future emperors Isaac II Angelos and Alexios III Angelos, who were thus Michaels first cousins. Despite this kinship, he never used the surname Angelos, which has been applied by modern scholars to Michael. The only medieval sources to use the surname Angelos to refer to Michael were later pro-Palaiologos historians hostile to him and it is unknown when Michael was born, the only relevant information is the statement of Niketas Choniates that he was a young man in 1201. The Greek scholar Konstantinos Varzos places his birth approximately in 1170 and he then went on to serve as governor of the theme of Mylasa and Melanoudion in Asia Minor during the last years of Isaac IIs first reign, with the rank of pansebastos sebastos. Alexios III re-appointed him to the province, probably in 1200. Demetrios Polemis, in his study on the Doukas family, reports that he was reappointed to the post by Alexios IV, but as Varzos remarks, in early 1201, for unknown reasons, Michael rose in revolt against the emperor. Alexios III campaigned against him in the summer 1201 and defeated him, forcing Michael to seek refuge at the court of the Seljuk Turk Sultan of Rûm, in his service he led Turkish raids into Byzantine territory around the Maeander River valley. The process of Michaels establishment in Epirus is obscure, when the local inhabitants rose in revolt against him, Senachereim called upon Michael for aid. Michael rushed to Nicopolis, but not before the locals had killed Senachereim, after that, Michael, himself widowed, took Senachereims widow as his wife and succeeded him as governorMichael I Komnenos Doukas – Early 14th-century miniature depicting the Crusader attack on Constantinople
60. Michael Bourtzes – Michael Bourtzes was a leading Byzantine general of the latter 10th century. He became notable for his capture of Antioch from the Arabs in 969, resentful at the slight, Bourtzes joined forces with the conspirators who assassinated Phokas a few weeks later. Bourtzes re-appears in a prominent role in the war between Emperor Basil II and the rebel Bardas Skleros, switching his allegiance from the emperor to the rebel. Nevertheless, he was re-appointed as doux of Antioch by Basil, a post he held until 995, the name has been proposed as deriving either from the Arabic burdj, tower, or from the placename Bourtzo or Soterioupolis near Trebizond. The date of Michael Bourtzess birth is unknown, but must be placed sometime between 930 and 935, with his base on the newly built fortress of Pagras, Bourtzes and his thousand men were tasked with controlling the northern approaches to the Arab-held city of Antioch. He then defended this post against repeated attacks of the defenders for three days, until the reinforcements led by the stratopedarches Peter arrived and secured the city for the Byzantines. Angered by this treatment, Bourtzes joined a conspiracy involving a number of prominent generals who were discontent at Nikephoros. Despite his prominent role in the assassination of Nikephoros II, the historical sources barely mention Bourtzes for the duration of Tzimiskess reign. Rather, at the time of Tzimiskess death in January 976, at the point of Tzimiskess death, imperial power reverted to the legitimate emperors, the young brothers Basil II and Constantine VIII. In view of their youth and inexperience, however, government essentially continued to be exercised by the powerful parakoimomenos, a general reshuffle of the most important army posts in the East followed, interpreted by later historians like Skylitzes as a move to weaken the position of over-powerful strategoi. At this point, Bourtzes was appointed commander of the troops in northern Syria, with his seat at Antioch, indeed, almost immediately after his appointment, Bourtzes set out in a deep raid into Fatimid-controlled Syria, reaching Tripolis and returning with much booty. In spring, however, Bardas Skleros, now appointed doux of Mesopotamia, rose in revolt, Bourtzes was commanded by Constantinople to lead his force north, join the army of Eustathios Maleinos, now governor of Cilicia, and block the rebel from crossing the Antitaurus Mountains. Leaving his son in control of Antioch, Bourtzes complied and marched north, in the ensuing battle at the fortress of Lapara in the province of Lykandos, however, the combined loyalist force was routed, with Bourtzes being the first to retreat according to the chroniclers. As Skylitzes pointedly comments, Bourtzes conduct during the battle was attributed either to cowardice or to malice, certainly soon after, he deserted the imperial camp and joined Skleros. According to the contemporary Yahya of Antioch, Bourtzes at first fled to a fortress in the Anatolic Theme, but was followed by Skleros and persuaded to come over to his side. In the summer of 977, Boutzes was deployed, along with Romanos Taronites, the presence of the tribute caravan from Aleppo entangled the two forces in an impromptu fight at Oxylithos, which ended in a bloody defeat for the rebels. After this, Bourtzes again switched sides and rejoined the imperial army, nothing is known of Bourtzess career for the next twelve years. In November 989, Bourtzes took the city over from Leo Phokas, the son of Bardas, who himself had submitted to the emperor only months earlierMichael Bourtzes – Emperor Basil II (r. 976–1025) with his younger brother and co-emperor, Constantine VIII.
61. Momchil – Momchil was a 14th-century Bulgarian brigand and local ruler. Initially a member of a gang in the borderlands of Bulgaria, Byzantium and Serbia. Momchil achieved initial successes against Turks and Byzantines alike, setting Turkish ships on fire and almost managing to kill one of his opponents at the time. Despite this, he was defeated and killed by a joint Byzantine–Turkish army in 1345, due to his opposition to the Turks, he is remembered in popular South Slavic legend as a fighter against the Turkish invasion of the Balkans. Contemporary and near-contemporary accounts describe Momchil physically as imposing in appearance, according to a contemporary source, Momchil was a native of the border area of Bulgarians and Serbs, which at the time straddled the Rhodopes and the Pirin mountains. The claim that Momchil was born in that region may be reinforced by 15th-century Ottoman registers, there exist at least a few legends which tie his birth to a particular place, for example the village of Fakia in Strandzha, though evidence is nonexistent. In any case, Momchil was born of humble origin and this was a main factor in his decision to join a band of brigands which was active in the scarcely governed border areas between Bulgaria, Byzantium and Serbia. Persecuted by the Bulgarian authorities, some time before 1341 Momchil fled to Byzantium and he was accepted into the service of Emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos as a mercenary and tasked with the protection of the territories he previously plundered. However, his activities did not cease. Momchil regularly raided Bulgarian lands, which negatively impacted Byzantine–Bulgarian relations, undesired by the Byzantines and detestable to the Bulgarians, he deserted the Byzantine army and fled to Serbia to serve its ruler Stephen Dušan. In Serbia, he formed a company of 2,000 trusted men, during the Byzantine civil war of 1341–1347, Momchil joined the forces of John VI Kantakouzenos, who had perhaps known Momchil during his flight to Serbia in 1342, at the beginning of the war. In 1343, as per the wishes of the population, Kantakouzenos gave Momchil governance of the region of Merope in the Rhodope Mountains. As the governor of Merope, Momchil gathered of an army of 300 cavalry and 5,000 infantry from different nationalities. Though he considered himself able to set against any side in the Byzantine war, at the time, Momchil was approached by agents of Kantakouzenos opponents, the Constantinopolitan regency, and persuaded to turn against him. Thinking that Kantakouzenos and his Turkish allies from the Emirate of Aydin were far away in eastern Thrace, he attacked a Turkish fleet of 15 ships near Portolagos and sank three of them. He then overcame another Turkish force that arrived to exact retribution near the fortress of Peritheorion, afterwards, Momchil along with 1,000 horsemen attacked Kantakouzenos, who had set camp near Komotini with only 60 horsemen to protect him. The Byzantines were thoroughly routed, Kantakouzenos horse was killed and he received a hit to the head. Momchil captured many of Kantakouzenos men, but the claimant to the throne himself managed to escape in the turmoil, soon, however, Momchil sent messages to Kantakouzenos asking for forgivenessMomchil – Pirot Fortress from 3rd century, renovated in the 14th century by Momchil
62. Nikephoros Phokas Barytrachelos – Nikephoros Phokas, surnamed Barytrachelos, was a Byzantine aristocrat and magnate, the last major member of the Phokas family to try and claim the imperial throne. He was a son of the general Bardas Phokas the Younger and great-nephew of Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas, after the death of his father, he sought and received Basils pardon. Nothing further is known of him until 1022 when, along with the general Nikephoros Xiphias, the revolt gathered widespread support, but mistrust between the two leaders led to Phokas assassination by Xiphias on 15 August 1022. The rebellion collapsed quickly after that, Nikephoros Phokas Barytrachelos was a son of the general Bardas Phokas the Younger, and had one older brother, Leo. Tzimiskes dispatched his lieutenant Bardas Skleros against Bardas Phokas, Skleros was able to lure away many of Phokas supporters, until he was forced to surrender. Although not explicitly mentioned in the sources, Nikephoros probably shared his fathers fortune, after early reverses, the loyalist forces under Phokas proved victorious in spring 979, forcing Skleros to flee to Byzantiums eastern Muslim neighbours, finding refuge in the Buyid court at Baghdad. In 987, however, Bardas Skleros was released from Baghdad, Nikephoros secured 1,000 Georgian soldiers from David and defeated Taronites, but soon after that news reached him of the death of his father at the Battle of Abydos on 13 April 989. Bardas Phokas demise led to the collapse of the rebellion, the Georgians returned to their country. Nikephoros fled to the fortress of Tyropoion, where his mother resided, along with his brother Leo, Nikephoros now supported Skleros candidacy as emperor, but the latter, old and weary, preferred to give up the struggle and submit to the emperor in exchange for leniency. Like Bardas Skleros, Nikephoros received a pardon, and was allowed to retain his privileges, Leo on the other hand tried to resist from his base at Antioch, but the citys inhabitants surrendered him to Basil. The two conspirators aimed to overthrow Basil and have one of them replace him, but the issue of who would have precedence was unresolved, and would lead to the rebellions quick downfall. The rebellion of the two men was particularly threatening to the emperor, as it took control over Cappadocia and threatened to cut off his rear, indeed, the conspirators are said to have been in contact with George I for that purpose. Whether the envoy accomplished his task is unknown, but on 15 August 1022, Xiphias arranged a meeting with Phokas, where the latter was murdered by one of Xiphias servants. Armenian sources however report, rather dubiously, that Phokas was killed by the king of Vaspurakan, Senekerim-Hovhannes, or his son David. The severed head was sent to Basil, who mounted it on a stake, following the death of Phokas, the rebellion collapsed, and Xiphias was arrested and forced to become a monk. Released from the threat to his rear, Basil II swiftly and decisively defeated George I, the other supporters of the uprising were imprisoned and released in 1025, after the death of Basil II and the succession of his younger brother, Constantine VIII. In 1026, however, Constantine VIII accused the last surviving member of the great family, Bardas Phokas, of plotting against the throne. Lilie, Ralph-Johannes, Ludwig, Claudia, Zielke, Beate, Pratsch, Thomas, a History of the Byzantine State and SocietyNikephoros Phokas Barytrachelos – Clash between the armies of Skleros and Phokas, miniature from the Madrid Skylitzes
63. Nikephoros Xiphias – Nikephoros Xiphias was a Byzantine military commander during the reign of Emperor Basil II. He played a role in the Byzantine conquest of Bulgaria. In 1022 he led a rebellion against Basil II, and was disgraced, tonsured and exiled. He is last mentioned in 1028, when he was recalled from exile, Nikephoros Xiphias was born probably some time around or before 980, and was most likely the son of Alexios Xiphias, who served as the Catepan of Italy in 1006–08. Nikephoros appears for the first time in Emperor Basil IIs Bulgarian wars, in 999/1000, 1000/1 or 1002, at the time he was a protospatharios, and along with the patrikios Theodorokanos, he commanded a campaign deep into Bulgarian lands. Setting out from Mosynopolis, the two crossed the Balkan Mountains and captured the old Bulgarian capitals of Pliska and Great Preslav. They then plundered the Dobruja, left behind garrisons and returned to their base, Xiphias, still strategos of Philippopolis, suggested to the Emperor to bypass the Bulgarian positions and strike them from the rear. For this feat, which resulted in one of the most decisive victories in the long Bulgarian war, in early 1015, Xiphias, along with Constantine Diogenes, subdued the region of Moglena, which had rebelled against imperial rule. Towards the end of the year he campaigned from Mosynopolis to the region of Triaditza, razing its environs. Finally, in the last year of the Bulgarian war, in 1018, Xiphias allied himself against the Emperor with the magnate Nikephoros Phokas Barytrachelos, whose father had risen in revolt in the early years of Basil IIs reign. The two men planned to kill Basil, and that one of them should take his place, who it would be remained undecided, the conspiracy was apparently also known and supported by King George I of Georgia, who thus hoped to force Basil to abandon his invasion. When the emperor learned of the plot, however, he did not turn back, Basils ploy bore fruit very soon, for on 15 August 1022, Xiphias assassinated Phokas. The latters supporters dispersed, and the nascent rebellion collapsed, Xiphias was then forced to surrender to the Emperors envoy, Theophylact Dalassenos, who became the new strategos of the Anatolics. Brought to Constantinople, Xiphias was tonsured and banished to Antigone, one of the Princes Islands, following his return to the capital after his Georgian expedition, Basil II had most of his co-conspirators imprisoned and their estates confiscated. The patrikios Pherses the Iberian was executed, while two imperial chamberlains were also killed, one by Basils own hand, and the other, Xiphias, however, was by now too old and weary, and soon retired to the Stoudios Monastery. Nothing further is known of him, savvides, Alexis G. K. Προσωπογραφικό σημείωμα για τον Βυζαντινό στρατηλάτη Νικηφόρο Ξιφία. Βυζαντινή προσωπογραφία, τοπική ιστορία και βυζαντινοτουρκικές σχέσειςNikephoros Xiphias – Map of the Byzantine–Bulgarian wars in the time of Emperor Basil II and Tsar Samuel of Bulgaria
64. 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.
65. Sayf al-Dawla – After the failure of these endeavours, the ambitious Sayf al-Dawla turned towards Syria, where he confronted the ambitions of the Ikhshidids of Egypt to control the province. After two wars with them, his authority over northern Syria, centred at Aleppo, and the western Jazira, centred at Mayyafariqin, was recognized by the Ikhshidids and the Caliph. A series of tribal rebellions plagued his realm until 955, but he was successful in overcoming them and maintaining the allegiance of the most important Arab tribes. Sayf al-Dawlas court at Aleppo became the centre of a vibrant cultural life, Sayf al-Dawla was widely celebrated for his role in the Arab–Byzantine Wars, facing a resurgent Byzantine Empire that in the early 10th century had begun to reconquer Muslim territories. In this struggle against a superior enemy, he launched raids deep into Byzantine territory and managed to score a few successes. After that, the new Byzantine commander, Nikephoros Phokas, the Byzantines annexed Cilicia, and even occupied Aleppo itself briefly in 962. Sayf al-Dawlas final years were marked by military defeats, his own growing disability as a result of disease, and he died in early 967, leaving a much weakened realm, which by 969 had lost Antioch and the Syrian littoral to the Byzantines and become a Byzantine tributary. Sayf al-Dawla was born Ali ibn Abdallah, the son of Abdallah Abul-Hayja ibn Hamdan, son of Hamdan ibn Hamdun ibn al-Harith. The Hamdanids were a branch of the Banu Taghlib, an Arab tribe resident in the area of the Jazira since pre-Islamic times, the Taghlibs had traditionally controlled Mosul and its region until the late 9th century, when the Abbasid government tried to impose firmer control over the province. Hamdan ibn Hamdun was one of the most determined Taghlibi leaders in opposing this move, family members intermarried with Kurds, who were also prominent in the Hamdanid military. Hamdan was defeated in 895 and imprisoned with his relatives, and it was this strong local base which allowed the family to survive its often strained relationship with the central Abbasid government in Baghdad during the early 10th century. Husayn was a general, distinguishing himself against the Kharijites and the Tulunids. His younger brother Ibrahim was governor of Diyar Rabia in 919 and after his death in the year he was succeeded by another brother. Sayf al-Dawlas father Abdallah served as emir of Mosul in 905/6–913/4, was disgraced and rehabilitated. Despite the coups failure and his death, Abdallah had been able to consolidate his control over Mosul, during his long absences in Baghdad in his final years, Abdallah relegated authority over Mosul to his eldest son, al-Hasan, the future Nasir al-Dawla. The young Ali ibn Abdallah began his career under his brother, in 936, Hasan invited his younger brother to his service, promising him the governorship of Diyar Bakr in exchange for his help against Ali ibn Jafar, the rebellious governor of Mayyafariqin. In the meantime, Hasan became involved in the intrigues of the Abbasid court, the Caliph al-Radi was reduced to a figurehead role, while the extensive old civil bureaucracy was drastically reduced both in size and power. Hasan initially supported Ibn Raiq, but in 942 he had him assassinated and secured for himself the post of amir al-umara, receiving the honorific laqab of Nasir al-DawlaSayf al-Dawla – Gold dinar minted at Baghdad in the names of Nasir al-Dawla and Sayf al-Dawla, 943/944 CE
66. Siege of Damascus (634) – The Siege of Damascus lasted from 21 August to 19 September 634 AD before the city fell to the Rashidun Caliphate. Damascus was the first major city of the Byzantine empire to fall in the Muslim conquest of Syria, the last of the Roman-Persian Wars ended in 627, when Heraclius concluded a successful campaign against the Persians in Mesopotamia. At the same time, Mohammad united the Arabs under the banner of Islam, after his death in 632, Abu Bakr succeeded him as the first Rashidun Caliph. Suppressing several internal revolts, Abu Bakr sought to expand the empire beyond the confines of the Arabian Peninsula, in April 634, Abu Bakr invaded the Byzantine Empire in the Levant and decisively defeated a Byzantine army at the Battle of Ajnadayn. The Muslim armies marched north and laid siege to Damascus, after the surrender of the city, the commanders disputed the terms of the peace agreement. The commanders finally agreed that the terms given by Abu Ubaidah would be met. The peace terms included an assurance that no pursuit will be undertaken by Muslims against the departing Roman convoy for three days, in 610, during the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628, Heraclius became the emperor of the Byzantine Empire after overthrowing Phocas. While Heraclius focused his attention on the affairs of his empire, the Sassanid Persians conquered Mesopotamia, overran Syria in 611. In 612, Heraclius expelled the Persians from Anatolia, in 613, he launched a counter offensive against Syria, but was decisively defeated. Over the next decade, the Persians conquered Palestine and Egypt and Heraclius rebuilt his army, preparing for a new offensive and he achieved substantial victories over the Persians and their allies in the Caucasus and Armenia. In 627, he launched a winter offensive against Persia in Mesopotamia. This victory threatened the Persian capital city of Ctesiphon, Heraclius restored the True Cross to Jerusalem with an elaborate ceremony in 629. In Arabia, the Prophet Mohammad had united most of Arabia under a single religious, when Mohammed died in June 632, Abu Bakr was elected to the newly formed office of Caliph, becoming Mohammads political and religious successor. Several Arabic tribes revolted against Abu Bakr, in the Ridda wars, Abu Bakr quelled the revolt. By 633, Arabia was firmly united under the authority of the Caliph in Medina. In 633, Abu Bakr initiated a war of conquest against the neighboring Sassanian, after a successful conquest of the Persian province of Iraq, Abu Bakrs confidence grew and in April 634 his armies invaded the Byzantine Levant from four different routes. He attacked and overthrew the Byzantine defenses of Levant and quickly captured the Ghassanid capital city of Bosra, in July 634, the Muslim army under Khalids command defeated another Byzantine army in the Battle of Ajnadayn. After clearing their southern flank, the Muslims laid siege to Damascus, strategically located, Damascus attracted merchants from all over the worldSiege of Damascus (634) – Kisan Gate, one of the six ancient gates of Damascus.
67. Siege of Kamacha (766) – Both enterprises failed, with the siege dragging on into winter before being abandoned and the raiding force being surrounded and heavily defeated by the Byzantines. Among the fortresses captured by the Byzantines, in 754/755, was Kamacha, after the overthrow of the Umayyads, the new Abbasid regime quickly resumed their predecessors attacks on the Byzantine Empire, the first being recorded in 756. In early 766 a prisoner exchange took place between the two states in western Cilicia, followed by a resumption of large-scale hostilities, the Abbasid force met no resistance as they pillaged their way to the fortress. Once there, they began constructing siege engines and trying to fill its moat, the siege continued through the autumn, and the Arabs, who customarily did not take along many provisions, began suffering from lack of supplies. To solve their problems, they established a market for merchants from Mesopotamia. In the end, with winter approaching, Abbas was forced to raise the siege and retreat south, after looting the area, they turned south and made for Syria. On their way, they were encountered by a Byzantine force of 12,000, the Byzantines then attacked at night, defeating the Abbasid army and recovering its loot. The surviving Abbasid troops scattered, with some following one of their leaders, Radad, to Malatya and it was from the latter group that the Zuqnin chronicler drew his information. The campaign is one of the few such border raids to be known in detail, despite this failure, Arab pressure gradually began to mount, especially after the sack of Laodicea Combusta in 770. Kamacha itself was surrendered to the Arabs by its Armenian garrison in 793 and it fell again in Muslim hands in 822, and was not finally taken by the Byzantines until 851Siege of Kamacha (766) – The Arab–Byzantine frontier zone along the eastern fringes of Asia Minor
68. Siege of Nicaea (727) – The Siege of Nicaea of 727 was an unsuccessful attempt by the Umayyad Caliphate to capture the Byzantine city of Nicaea, the capital of the Opsician Theme. Ever since its failure to capture the Byzantine Empires capital, Constantinople, in 717–718, in 727, the Arab army, led by one of the Caliphs sons, penetrated deep into Asia Minor, sacked two Byzantine fortresses and in late July arrived before Nicaea. Despite constant attacks for 40 days, the city held firm, when warfare on the Arab–Byzantine frontier recommenced in 720, the strategic focus of the Caliphate had shifted away from outright conquest. Byzantine reaction during these years was passive, as the Empire still nursed its strength against the superior resources of the Caliphate. The Byzantines did not obstruct or confront the raiding Arab armies, after the accession of Caliph Hisham, the scale and ambition of the Muslim raids grew. One of the most prominent Umayyad leaders in these campaigns was Hishams son Muawiya, who led expeditions in 725 and 726, in summer 727, another large-scale invasion was led by Muawiya, with Abdallah al-Battal heading the vanguard of the army. The Byzantine chronicler Theophanes the Confessor claims that the vanguard alone numbered 15,000 men, Theophanes also records a certain Amr as Muawiyas second-in-command, but Arab sources are unambiguous in this regard. Gangra was razed to the ground, but during the attack on Tabya the Arabs, from there, the Arabs turned west towards Nicaea, the chief city of Bithynia and capital of the powerful Opsician Theme. The Arabs arrived before the city in late July, with al-Battals vanguard preceding the main army, the Byzantines, probably under the command of the Count of the Opsicians, Artabasdos, did not meet them in the field, but instead retreated behind the citys walls. The Arabs assaulted the city for forty days, employing siege engines which destroyed a part of the walls, in late August, they raised the siege and departed, taking along many captives and much booty. The repulsion of the Arab assault on Nicaea was an important success for the Byzantines, emperor Leo III the Isaurian regarded the citys survival as a sign of divine favour towards his newly instituted iconoclastic policies, and was encouraged to drive them further. The soldier was killed the day by a catapult, a fact which Theophanes reports as evidence of divine vengeance. However, this passage shows strong signs of tampering by the fervently anti-iconoclast Theophanes, militarily, the siege of Nicaea was the high-water-mark of the post-718 Umayyad raids, never again would Umayyad armies penetrate as deeply into Asia Minor. Over the next few years, while Byzantine strength revived, the Muslim military situation on all fronts of the over-extended Caliphate deteriorated, consequently, in the 730s, Arab raids were mostly limited to the immediate frontier regions and their successes became fewer. By 740, when the Umayyads assembled the largest invasion force fielded after 718, the End of the Jihâd State, The Reign of Hishām ibn ʻAbd al-Malik and the Collapse of the Umayyads. Albany, New York, State University of New York Press, die byzantinische Reaktion auf die Ausbreitung der Araber. Studien zur Strukturwandlung des byzantinischen Staates im 7, munich, Institut für Byzantinistik und Neugriechische Philologie der Universität München. Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Asia Minor, Byzantine and Near Eastern History, AD 284–813Siege of Nicaea (727) – Map of Anatolia (Asia Minor) in 740 AD. Nicaea is located at the northwestern corner of the Anatolian peninsula
69. Siege of Patras (805 or 807) – The Siege of Patras in 805 or 807 was undertaken by the local Slavic tribes of the Peloponnese, reportedly with aid from an Arab fleet. It also marked the beginning of the ascendancy of the Metropolis of Patras in the ecclesiastical affairs. The Slavs raided as far as southern Greece and the coasts of Asia Minor, most of the regions cities were sacked or abandoned and only a few, including Thessalonica, remained occupied and in imperial hands. In Greece, the coasts of the Peloponnese and Central Greece remained in Byzantine hands as the theme of Hellas, while in the interior. A large native Greek population probably also remained in the land, as elsewhere, a mostly peaceful modus vivendi soon emerged between the Slavs and the remaining Byzantine strongholds, with the mainly agricultural Slavs trading with the Byzantine-held coastal towns. 587/8 as a result of the Slavic depredations, its population fleeing to Rhegion in Calabria and this was followed by 218 years of independent Slavic rule in the Peloponnese, until around 804/5. The archaeological record on the hand shows Patras to have remained in Byzantine control throughout the period. The city held out for a while, but as food began growing short, first, however, they dispatched a rider to the direction of Corinth, the seat of the military governor, to find out whether he was coming to their aid or not. The envoy had been instructed on his return to give a signal through a flag he carried, if help was on its way, he was to dip the flag, otherwise to hold it erect. The inhabitants of Patras interpreted this as a sign that aid was near, the Slavs panicked at the sudden assault and fled, abandoning the siege. As a punishment, Constantine VII records that the Slavs were thereafter obligated to maintain at their own cost all officials or envoys passing through Patras, the Chronicle of Monemvasia on the other hand does not mention any siege of the city. Nikephoros resettlement program at least is also confirmed by the chronicler Theophanes the Confessor, according to this interpretation, the Slavic revolt and attack on Patras followed as a reaction a few years later, between 807 and 811. According to Constantine VII, the Slavs rose up again in the early 840s, in the south, the two tribes of the Ezeritai and Melingoi held out longer. They were eventually subdued and forced to pay tribute. These two tribes rose up again a later, in 921. Again they were subdued, this time by the strategos Krenites Arotras. Henceforth the metropolitan of Patras rivalled with his superior in Corinth over control of the other sees of the Peloponnese. Η Πελοπόννησος από τον 4ο ως τον 8ο αιώνα, Αλλαγές και συνέχεια, athens, National Bank of Greece Cultural FoundationSiege of Patras (805 or 807) – Byzantine Greece in the 9th/10th centuries
70. Solomon (Byzantine general) – Solomon was an East Roman general from northern Mesopotamia, who distinguished himself as a commander in the Vandalic War and the reconquest of North Africa in 533–534. He spent most of the decade in Africa as its governor general. Solomon successfully confronted the large-scale Moorish rebellion, but was forced to flee following a mutiny in spring of 536. His second tenure in Africa began in 539 and it was marked by victories over the Moors, a few years of prosperity followed, but were cut short by the rekindled Moorish revolt and Solomons defeat and death at the Battle of Cillium in 544. Solomon was born, probably circa 480/490, in the fortress of Idriphthon in the district of Solachon and he was a eunuch as a result of an accident during his infancy, not from deliberate castration. Solomon had a brother, Bacchus, who became a priest, Bacchus fathered three sons, Cyrus, Sergius and Solomon, who later became military officers in Africa under their uncle, Sergius also succeeded Solomon as governor of Africa after the latters death. Little is known of Solomons early career, except that he served under the dux Mesopotamiae Felicissimus, certainly by 527, when he came to the service of General Belisarius, Solomon was considered an experienced officer. Before the expedition sailed from Constantinople, Solomon was named as one of the nine commanders of the foederati regiments, following the capture of Carthage, Belisarius sent Solomon back to Constantinople to inform Emperor Justinian I of the campaigns progress. Solomon remained in the capital until the spring of 534, when Justinian sent him back to Africa to recall Belisarius, belisariuss departure coincided with a general uprising of the Moorish tribes of the interior, before the Byzantines had time to strengthen their hold on the province. As a result, Belisarius left most of his privately raised bucellarii behind, soon Emperor Justinian also invested Solomon with the civil office of praetorian prefect as well, replacing the aged Archelaus. In the meantime, the Moors had invaded Byzacena and defeated the local Byzantine garrison, killing its commanders, Gainas and Rufinus. After diplomatic entreaties over the failed, and with his forces bolstered to some 18,000 men following the arrival of reinforcements. The Moors, under their chiefs Cutzinas, Esdilasas, Iourphouthes, Solomon attacked them there and defeated them. The Byzantine army returned to Carthage, but there came that the Moors, reinforced, had again attacked. Solomon immediately marched out and met them at Mount Bourgaon, where the Moors had erected a fortified camp, Solomon divided his forces and sent 1,000 men to attack the Moors from behind, scoring a decisive victory, the Moors broke and scattered, suffering great casualties. Those who survived fled to Numidia, where joined the forces of Iaudas. With Byzacena secured, and urged by his own Moorish allies Massonas and Ortaias and he cautiously advanced to Aurasium and challenged Iaudas to battle, but after three days, distrusting the loyalty of his allies, Solomon returned his army to the plains. He left part of the army to keep watch on the Moors, Solomon then spent the winter preparing a new expedition against Aurasium and also against the Moors of Sardinia, but his designs were interrupted by a major army mutiny in spring 536Solomon (Byzantine general) – Roman Africa, with the provinces of Byzacena, Zeugitana and Numidia.
71. Stephen Lekapenos – Stephen Lekapenos or Lecapenus was the second son of the Byzantine emperor Romanos I Lekapenos, and co-emperor from 924 to 945. With his younger brother Constantine, he deposed Romanos I in December 944, Stephen lived out his life in exile on the island of Lesbos, where he died on Easter 963. Stephen was the son of Romanos I and his wife Theodora. His older siblings were Christopher and his sisters Helena, who married Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos, and Agatha and his younger brothers were Constantine and Theophylact. He probably also had at least two unnamed sisters, known only because of their marriages to the magistroi Romanos Mosele. Romanos Lekapenos had risen to power in 919, when he had managed to appoint himself regent over the young Constantine VII, within a year, he successively rose from basileopator to Caesar, and was eventually crowned senior emperor on 17 December 920. In 933, Stephen was married to Anna, the daughter of a certain Gabalas, the couple had one known son, Romanos. According to the 11th-century chronicler George Kedrenos, he was castrated in 945, Stephen and Constantine Lekapenos came to the fore in 943, when they opposed a dynastic marriage for their nephew, Romanos II. Their father wanted to have his eldest surviving grandson married to Euphrosyne, predictably, Stephen and Constantine opposed this decision, and prevailed upon their father, who was by this time ill and old, to dismiss Kourkouas in the autumn of 944. Romanos II instead married Bertha, a daughter of Hugh of Arles, King of Italy. With Romanos I approaching the end of his life, the matter of his succession became urgent, in 943, Romanos drafted a will which would leave Constantine VII as the senior emperor following his death. This greatly upset his two sons, who feared that their brother-in-law would have them deposed and force them to take monastic vows and their fellow conspirators included Marianos Argyros, the protospatharios Basil Peteinos, Manuel Kourtikes, the strategos Diogenes, Clado, and Philip. Kedrenos, however, considers Peteinos to have served as an agent of Constantine VII among the conspirators, on 20 December 944, the conspirators set their plans in motion. The two brothers smuggled their supporters in the Great Palace of Constantinople during the break in palace activities. They then led their men into the chamber of Romanos I and they were able to transport him to the nearest harbour and from there to Prote, one of the Princes Islands and a popular place of exile. There, Romanos agreed to take vows and retire from the throne. Having managed to depose their father, the brothers now had to deal with Constantine VII. Unfortunately for them, rumours spread around Constantinople, to the effect that, following Romanoss depositionStephen Lekapenos – Miliaresion from 931–944, showing Romanos I 's bust on a cross on the obverse and listing the names of Romanos and his co-emperors, Constantine VII, Stephen Lekapenos and Constantine Lekapenos on the reverse.
72. Stylianos Zaoutzes – Stylianos Zaoutzes was a high Byzantine official of Armenian origin. Stylianos Zaoutzes was Leos leading minister during the first half of his reign and his standing and influence declined after 895, but in 898, he became Leos father-in-law when the Byzantine emperor married Zoe. He died in 899, in the year as Zoe. Following an attempted coup by his relatives, the Zaoutzes clan was deprived of the power it had amassed under Stylianoss tutelage. Zaoutzes was of Armenian descent, and was born in the thema of Macedonia, according to Steven Runciman, the surname Zaoutzes derives from the Armenian word Zaoutch, negro, reflecting Zaoutzess particularly dark complexion. In the same vein, Zaoutzes was known among Byzantines as the Ethiopian, in late 882, the young Leo, Basils second son and heir after the death of his elder brother Constantine in 879, was wedded to Theophano, a member of the Martinakes family. The bride was the choice of empress Eudokia Ingerina, and did not please Leo, who preferred the company of Zoe Zaoutzaina. Whether Zoe was actually his mistress is uncertain, Leo himself strenuously denied this in later accounts, at that point, Zaoutzes held the post of mikros hetaireiarches, i. e. commander of the junior regiment of the Byzantine emperors mercenary bodyguard, the hetaireia. Furthermore, in 883, Leo was denounced as plotting against Basil and was imprisoned and this affair does not seem to have hurt Zaoutzess own standing with Basil or his career, for by the end of Basils reign he was protospatharios and megas hetaireiarches. Leo spent three years in prison, until released and restored to his rank in late July 886, here too Zaoutzes played a major role, as he personally pleaded with the Byzantine emperor to secure Leos release. By that time, Basil was ailing, and on August 12,886, Zaoutzess participation in the hunt raised suspicions of a conspiracy, but his complicity is generally rejected, as Basil survived for nine days, during which he did not punish Zaoutzes. One tradition, based on the Vita Euthymii, holds that Basil himself appointed Zaoutzes as regent, but other sources indicate that his ascent to power was more gradual. It is indicative of his authority that most of Leos ordinances are directed to him in person, in the same period, Emperor Leo VI himself delivered a homily on a church built on Zaoutzess orders in Constantinople. Zaoutzess rise to prominence was consolidated in 891–893, when he was given the newly created title of basileopator and his promotion to this new and enigmatic title has been a subject of controversy, as neither the reasons for the creation of the title nor its exact functions are known. The early date of his elevation precludes a relation to the rise of his daughter Zoe to the imperial throne as Leos empress. Gratitude for Zaoutzess support against Basil may have played a role, the office certainly confirmed Zaoutzes as the senior secular official of the Byzantine Empire. An assessment of his record as the Byzantine Empires first minister is difficult, the account of the Vita is further colored by the fierce rivalry between Zaoutzes and Euthymios, then a synkellos and Leos spiritual father, over influence on the Byzantine emperor. When Leo, at the behest of Zaoutzes, rejected the merchants protests, nevertheless, all this has led to the enduring image of an ineffectual leadership in foreign and military affairs under ZaoutzesStylianos Zaoutzes – Basil I and Leo. Illumination from the Madrid Skylitzes manuscript.
73. Syrgiannes Palaiologos – Loyal only to himself and his own ambitions, he switched sides several times, and ended up conquering much of Macedonia for the Serbian ruler Stefan Dušan before being assassinated by the Byzantines. He was named after his father or possibly grandfather, a Cuman leader who became Megas Domestikos under Emperor Andronikos II, at the time there were many Cumans in the Empire, who settled during the reign of John III Doukas Vatatzes. The elder Syrgianness original name was Sytzigan, it was Hellenized to Syrgiannes when he was baptized, the elder Syrgiannes rose in the hierarchy of the Byzantine army, eventually reaching the supreme rank of megas domestikos. The younger Syrgianness mother was Eugenia Palaiologina, a member of the ruling Palaiologos family, conscious of the prestige of his mothers family name, young Syrgiannes chose to use that in order to advance himself in the imperial hierarchy. Syrgiannes also had a sister, Theodora, who married Guy de Lusignan, Syrgiannes makes his appearance in history in 1315, when he was placed as military governor of a Macedonian province near the Serbian border. Despite the existing treaties, and against his instructions, he resolved to attack both Serbia and Epirus, relieved of his post, he rebelled, was captured and imprisoned. Sometime before 1320, however, he was pardoned and appointed to a command in Thrace. In 1320, following the death of Michael IX Palaiologos, his son Andronikos III was crowned as co-emperor by Andronikos II, together with Alexios Apokaukos and Theodore Synadenos, they prepared to overthrow the aged Andronikos II in favour of his grandson. In Easter 1321, the younger Andronikos came to Adrianople, Syrgiannes led a large army towards the capital, forcing the old emperor to negotiate. Consequently, on 6 June 1321, an agreement was reached which partitioned the empire, Syrgiannes was dissatisfied with the new arrangements, feeling that he had not been sufficiently rewarded for his support of Andronikos III. He also resented the favour shown by the young emperor to Kantakouzenos. Furthermore, chroniclers also report a story whereby Andronikos III attempted to seduce Syrgianness wife, in December 1321, Syrgiannes switched sides, fleeing to Constantinople. Rewarded with the lofty title of doux, he convinced Andronikos II to resume the war against his grandson. In July 1322, however, another agreement was reached between the two Andronikoi, which left Syrgiannes in an awkward position and his own schemes having failed, he began plotting to murder the aged Andronikos II and seize the throne for himself. The plot was foiled, however, and Syrgiannes was sentenced to life imprisonment, in 1328, Andronikos III finally overthrew his grandfather and established himself as sole emperor. There, he was suspected of plotting against Kantakouzenos, this time with the emperors mother. She lived in Thessalonica, and was supposed to keep an eye on Syrgiannes, instead, following the death of the Empress in late 1333, the plot was uncovered and Syrgiannes was arrested and brought to Constantinople to face charges of treason. Syrgiannes, however, managed to escape and flee to the court of the Serbian ruler Stefan Dušan, Dušan put Syrgiannes at the head of a large Serbian force, with which he invaded Byzantine Macedonia in 1334Syrgiannes Palaiologos – Emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos (r. 1328–1341). In his turbulent career, Syrgiannes went from being one of his principal supporters to his foe.
74. Turahan Bey – Turahan Bey or Turakhan Beg was a prominent Ottoman military commander and governor of Thessaly from 1423 until his death in 1456. He participated in many Ottoman campaigns of the quarter of the 15th century. His repeated raids into the Morea transformed the local Byzantine despotate into an Ottoman dependency and opened the way for its conquest. Nothing is known of his birth date or early life, except that he was the son of Pasha Yiğit Bey and he is first mentioned in 1413 as governor of Vidin, and then again in 1422, when he fought against the Byzantine governor of Lamia, Kantakouzenos Strabomytes. He was one of the supporters of Mustafa Çelebi during the struggle against Mehmed I. He became governor of Thessaly in early 1423, and led his first major expedition in May–June of the same year and his cavalry breached the recently rebuilt Hexamilion wall on 21/22 May and ravaged the interior of the peninsula unopposed. He attacked some Byzantine towns and settlements like Mystras, Leontari, Gardiki, soon after, the Byzantine historian Doukas reports Turahans presence on the shores of the Black Sea. At about the time, he also campaigned in Epirus, defeated local Albanian tribes. In the 1430s along with Ali Bey and Ishak Bey he participated in the campaigns that suppressed an Albanian revolt, led by Gjergj Arianiti and Andrew Thopia. In 1431 however Turahan again breached and destroyed the Hexamilion and took Thebes in 1435, the Despotate of the Morea, under the constant threat of renewed Turkish invasion clung on to a precarious independence only through continuous gifts and tribute to Turahan. In November 1443 Turahan participated in the Battle of Niš against John Hunyadi, during their retreat from Niš, Turahan Bey and Kasim Pasha burned all villages between Niš and Sofia. Turahan persuaded Sultan Murad II to abandon Sofia as well, Turahan fell from favour as a result and was banished by the Sultan to a prison in Tokat. Nevertheless, he was restored to his position, as he was present in Murads 1446 campaign against the Morea. Murad was reportedly disheartened by the strength of the Hexamilion, aided by an artillery bombardment, the Ottomans again breached the Byzantine defences and ravaged the Peloponnese at will. As a result, the Morea was now reduced to an Ottoman vassal state. In early October 1452, Turahan and his sons Ahmed and Ömer led a force into the Peloponnese. Turahan again stormed the Hexamilion and penetrated into the Morea, raiding from Corinth through the Argolid, the Byzantines put up little resistance after Hexamilion, although Turahans son Ahmed was captured in an ambush at Dervenakia and imprisoned in Mystras. The fall of Constantinople on 29 May 1453 had great repercussions in the Morea, the two despots, the brothers Demetrios and Thomas, heartily detested each other and were unpopular among their own subjectsTurahan Bey – Map of southeastern Europe ca. 1444
75. Tzachas – Tzachas, also known as Chaka Bey was an 11th-century Seljuk Turkish military commander who ruled an independent state based in Smyrna. Originally in Byzantine service, he rebelled and seized Smyrna, much of the Aegean coastlands of Asia Minor, at the peak of his power, he even declared himself Byzantine emperor, and sought to assault Constantinople in conjunction with the Pechenegs. In 1092, a Byzantine naval expedition under John Doukas inflicted a defeat on him and retook Lesbos. Smyrna and the rest of Tzachas former domain were recovered by the Byzantines a few years later, very little is known about his life, and that mostly from only one source, the Alexiad of the Byzantine princess Anna Komnene, daughter of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos. He is also mentioned in the 13th-century Danishmendname, but it is not a reliable source due to the semi-legendary nature of its material. According to the Alexiad, Tzachas was originally a raider, who was taken as a prisoner by the Byzantines during the reign of Nikephoros III Botaneiates, Tzachas entered Byzantine service and advanced rapidly through imperial favour, receiving the title of protonobilissimus and rich gifts. However, when Alexios I Komnenos deposed Botaneiates in 1081, Tzachas lost his position, from ca.1088 on, he used his base at Smyrna to wage war against the Byzantines. Employing Christian craftsmen, he built a fleet, with which he captured Phocaea, a Byzantine fleet under Niketas Kastamonites was sent against him, but Tzachas defeated it in battle. In 1090/91, the Byzantines under Constantine Dalassenos recovered Chios, in 1092, Dalassenos and the new megas doux, John Doukas, were sent against Tzachas, and attacked the fortress of Mytilene on Lesbos. Tzachas resisted for three months, but finally had to negotiate a surrender of the fortress, during his return to Smyrna, Dalassenos attacked the Turkish fleet, which was almost destroyed. In spring 1093, Tzachas attacked the port of Abydos in the Sea of Marmara, Alexios I called upon the Sultan of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum Kilij Arslan I, who was married to Tzachass daughter and was thus his son-in-law, to attack Tzachas from the rear. The Sultan advanced to Abydos, where, at the pretext of inviting Tzachas to a banquet, however, in ca.1097 a Tzachas—possibly the original Tzachas son—is reported as still holding Smyrna when the Byzantine army under John Doukas recaptured the city. Seljuk campaigns in the Aegean Brand, Charles M. Tzachas, Oxford and New York, Oxford University Press. London, England, Routledge & Kegan Paul, in Fleet, Kate, Krämer, Gudrun, Matringe, Denis, Nawas, John, Rowson, EverettTzachas – Modern representation of Tzachas in the Istanbul Naval Museum
76. Uprising of Ivaylo – The Uprising of Ivaylo was a rebellion of the Bulgarian peasantry against the incompetent rule of Emperor Constantine Tikh and the Bulgarian nobility. The revolt was fuelled mainly by the failure of the authorities to confront the Mongol menace in north-eastern Bulgaria. The Mongols had looted and ravaged the Bulgarian population for decades, the weakness of the state institutions was a result of the accelerating process of feudalisation of the Bulgarian Empire. The peasants leader Ivaylo, said to had been a swineherd by the contemporary Byzantine chroniclers, proved to be a successful general, in the first months of the rebellion, he defeated the Mongols and the Tsars armies, personally slaying Constantine Tikh in battle. Later, he made a triumphant entry in the capital Tarnovo, married Maria, the emperors widow, the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos tried to exploit this situation to his favour and intervened in Bulgaria. He sent Ivan Asen III, son of the former Emperor Mitso Asen, simultaneously, Michael VIII incited the Mongols to attack from the north, forcing Ivaylo to fight on two fronts. Ivaylo was defeated by the Mongols and besieged in important fortress of Drastar, in his absence the nobility in Tarnovo opened the gates to Ivan Asen III. However, Ivaylo managed to break the siege and Ivan Asen III fled back to the Byzantine Empire, Michael VIII sent two large armies in an attempt to turn the fortunes of the war, but they were both defeated by the Bulgarian rebels in the Balkan mountains. In the meantime, the nobility in the capital had proclaimed as one of their own. Surrounded by enemies and with diminishing support due to the constant warfare, Ivaylo fled to the court of the Mongol warlord Nogai Khan to seek aid, the legacy of the rebellion endured both in Bulgaria and in Byzantium. Years after the demise of the peasant emperor, two Pseudo-Ivaylos appeared in the Byzantine Empire and enjoyed support by the populace. Following the demise of Ivan Asen II, the large Bulgarian Empire began to decline as a result of a succession of infant emperors, to the north the country faced constant Mongol invasions after the 1240s. Although Ivan Asen II defeated the Mongols shortly before his death, the Mongol invasion led to the collapse of the loosely held Cuman confederation in the western part of the Eurasian Steppe and the foundation of the Mongol Golden Horde. To the south, Bulgaria lost large portions of Thrace and Macedonia to the Nicaean Empire, the lands to the north-west, including Belgrade, Braničevo and Severin Banat, were conquered by the Kingdom of Hungary. That same year Michael VIII Palaiologos seized Constantinople and restored the Byzantine Empire as an adversary of Bulgaria to the south. In the 1260s Constantine Tikh broke his leg in an incident and was paralysed from the waist down. Later, he left the affairs to his third wife. The internal political development and feudalisation of Bulgaria in the 13th century resulted in a number of serfsUprising of Ivaylo – Left: Emperor Constantine Tikh and his second wife Irene, fresco from the Boyana Church. Right: Constantine Tikh's third wife Maria, a modern fresco
77. Byzantine art – Byzantine art is the name for the artistic products of the Eastern Roman Empire, as well as the nations and states that inherited culturally from the empire. A number of states contemporary with the Byzantine Empire were culturally influenced by it, after the fall of the Byzantine capital of Constantinople in 1453, art produced by Eastern Orthodox Christians living in the Ottoman Empire was often called post-Byzantine. Byzantine art never lost sight of this classical heritage, the Byzantine capital, Constantinople, was adorned with a large number of classical sculptures, although they eventually became an object of some puzzlement for its inhabitants. And indeed, the art produced during the Byzantine Empire, although marked by periodic revivals of an aesthetic, was above all marked by the development of a new aesthetic. The most salient feature of new aesthetic was its abstract. The nature and causes of this transformation, which took place during late antiquity, have been a subject of scholarly debate for centuries. Giorgio Vasari attributed it to a decline in skills and standards. Although this point of view has been revived, most notably by Bernard Berenson. Alois Riegl and Josef Strzygowski, writing in the early 20th century, were all responsible for the revaluation of late antique art. Riegl saw it as a development of pre-existing tendencies in Roman art. In any case, the debate is purely modern, it is clear that most Byzantine viewers did not consider their art to be abstract or unnaturalistic, religious art was not, however, limited to the monumental decoration of church interiors. One of the most important genres of Byzantine art was the icon, an image of Christ, the illumination of manuscripts was another major genre of Byzantine art. The most commonly illustrated texts were religious, both scripture itself and devotional or theological texts, secular texts were also illuminated, important examples include the Alexander Romance and the history of John Skylitzes. Small ivories were also mostly in relief, Byzantine ceramics were relatively crude, as pottery was never used at the tables of the rich, who ate off silver. Two events were of importance to the development of a unique. First, the Edict of Milan, issued by the emperors Constantine I and Licinius in 313, allowed for public Christian worship, second, the dedication of Constantinople in 330 created a great new artistic centre for the eastern half of the Empire, and a specifically Christian one. Major Constantinopolitan churches built under Constantine and his son, Constantius II, included the foundations of Hagia Sophia. The next major building campaign in Constantinople was sponsored by Theodosius I, the most important surviving monument of this period is the obelisk and base erected by Theodosius in the HippodromeByzantine art – The most famous of the surviving Byzantine mosaics of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople – the image of Christ Pantocrator on the walls of the upper southern gallery. Christ is flanked by the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist. The mosaics were made in the 12th century.
78. List of Roman emperors – Roman Emperors were rulers of the Roman Empire, wielding power over its citizens and military. The empire was developed as the Roman Republic invaded and occupied most of Europe and portions of northern Africa, under the republic, regions of the empire were ruled by provincial governors answerable to and authorised by the Senate and People of Rome. Rome and its senate were ruled by a variety of magistrates – of whom the consuls were the most powerful, the republic ended, and the emperors were created, when these magistrates became legally and practically subservient to one citizen with power over all other magistrates. Augustus, the first emperor, was careful to maintain the facade of republican rule, taking no specific title for his position and this style of government lasted for 300 years, and is thus called the Principate era. The modern word derives from the title imperator, which was granted by an army to a successful general, during the initial phase of the empire. This was characterised by the increase of authority in the person of the Emperor. For nearly two centuries there was often more than one emperor at a time, frequently dividing the administration of the vast territories between them. As Henry Moss warned, Yet it is important to remember that in the eyes of contemporaries the Empire was still one, the Empire and chain of emperors continued until the death of Constantine XI and the capture of Constantinople by the Ottoman Empire in 1453. The emperors listed in this article are those generally agreed to have been legitimate emperors, the word legitimate is used by most authors, but usually without clear definition, perhaps not surprisingly, since the emperorship was itself rather vaguely defined legally. In Augustus original formulation, the princeps was selected by either the Senate or the people of Rome, a person could be proclaimed as emperor by their troops or by the mob in the street, but in theory needed to be confirmed by the Senate. The coercion that frequently resulted was implied in this formulation, by the medieval period, the very definition of the Senate became vague as well, adding to the complication. Lists of legitimate emperors are therefore influenced by the subjective views of those compiling them. Many of the emperors listed here acceded to the position by usurpation. Historically, the criteria have been used to derive emperor lists, Any individual who undisputedly ruled the whole Empire. Any individual who was nominated as heir or co-emperor by an emperor. Where there were multiple claimants, and none were legitimate heirs, so for instance, Aurelian, though acceding to the throne by usurpation, was the sole and undisputed monarch between 270–275 AD, and thus was a legitimate emperor. Gallienus, though not in control of the whole Empire, claudius Gothicus, though acceding illegally, and not in control of the whole Empire, was the only claimant accepted by the Senate, and thus, for his reign, was the legitimate emperor. The situation in the West is more complex, throughout the final years of the Western Empire the Eastern emperor was considered the senior emperor, and a Western emperor was only legitimate if recognized as such by the Eastern emperorList of Roman emperors – Augustus (Octavian), the first Roman Emperor of the Principate Era whose ascension ended republic rule at Rome.
79. Augustus – Augustus was the founder of the Roman Principate and considered the first Roman emperor, controlling the Roman Empire from 27 BC until his death in AD14. He was born Gaius Octavius into an old and wealthy equestrian branch of the plebeian gens Octavia and his maternal great-uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, and Octavius was named in Caesars will as his adopted son and heir, then known as Octavianus. He, Mark Antony, and Marcus Lepidus formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of Caesar, following their victory at the Battle of Philippi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators. The Triumvate was eventually torn apart by the ambitions of its members. Lepidus was driven into exile and stripped of his position, in reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator. By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including supreme military command, and it took several years for Augustus to develop the framework within which a formally republican state could be led under his sole rule. He rejected monarchical titles, and instead called himself Princeps Civitatis, the resulting constitutional framework became known as the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire. The reign of Augustus initiated an era of peace known as the Pax Romana. Augustus dramatically enlarged the Empire, annexing Egypt, Dalmatia, Pannonia, Noricum, and Raetia, expanding possessions in Africa, expanding into Germania, beyond the frontiers, he secured the Empire with a buffer region of client states and made peace with the Parthian Empire through diplomacy. Augustus died in AD14 at the age of 75 and he probably died from natural causes, although there were unconfirmed rumors that his wife Livia poisoned him. He was succeeded as Emperor by his adopted son Tiberius, Augustus was known by many names throughout his life, At birth, he was named Gaius Octavius after his biological father. Historians typically refer to him simply as Octavius between his birth in 63 until his adoption by Julius Caesar in 44 BC, upon his adoption, he took Caesars name and became Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus in accordance with Roman adoption naming standards. He quickly dropped Octavianus from his name, and his contemporaries referred to him as Caesar during this period, historians. In 27 BC, following his defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra and it is the events of 27 BC from which he obtained his traditional name of Augustus, which historians use in reference to him from 27 BC until his death in AD14. While his paternal family was from the town of Velletri, approximately 40 kilometres from Rome and he was born at Ox Head, a small property on the Palatine Hill, very close to the Roman Forum. He was given the name Gaius Octavius Thurinus, his cognomen possibly commemorating his fathers victory at Thurii over a band of slaves. Due to the nature of Rome at the time, Octavius was taken to his fathers home village at Velletri to be raised. Octavius only mentions his fathers equestrian family briefly in his memoirs and his paternal great-grandfather Gaius Octavius was a military tribune in Sicily during the Second Punic WarAugustus – The statue known as the Augustus of Prima Porta, 1st century
80. Vitellius – Vitellius was Roman Emperor for eight months, from 16 April to 22 December AD69. Vitellius was proclaimed emperor following the succession of the previous emperors Galba and Otho. His claim to the throne was challenged by legions stationed in the eastern provinces. War ensued, leading to a defeat for Vitellius at the Second Battle of Bedriacum in northern Italy. Once he realised his support was wavering, Vitellius prepared to abdicate in favor of Vespasian but was executed in Rome by Vespasians soldiers on 22 December 69 and he was the son of Lucius Vitellius Veteris and his wife Sextilia, and had one brother, Lucius Vitellius the Younger. Suetonius recorded two different accounts of the origins of the Vitellia, one making them descendants of past rulers of Latium, Suetonius makes the sensible remark that both accounts might have been made by either flatterers or enemies of Vitellius—except that both were in circulation before Vitellius became emperor. Suetonius also recorded that when Vitellius was born his horoscope so horrified his parents that his father tried to prevent Aulus from becoming a consul. He married secondly, around the year 50, a woman named Galeria Fundana, perhaps the granddaughter of Gaius Galerius, Prefect of Egypt in 23. They had two children, a son called Aulus Vitellius Germanicus or Novis, the Younger, and a daughter, Vitellia, who married the Legatus Decimus Valerius Asiaticus. He was Consul in 48, and assumed Proconsul of Africa in either 60 or 61 and he owed his elevation to the throne to Caecina and Fabius Valens, commanders of two legions on the Rhine. More accurately, he was proclaimed Emperor of the armies of Germania Inferior and Superior, the armies of Gaul, Brittania and Raetia sided with them shortly afterwards. By the time that they marched on Rome, however, it was Otho, and not Galba, in fact, he was never acknowledged as Emperor by the entire Roman world, though at Rome the Senate accepted him and decreed to him the usual Imperial honours. He advanced into Italy at the head of a licentious and rough soldiery, to reward his victorious legionaries, Vitellius disbanded the existing Praetorian Guard and installed his own men instead. For these banquets, he had himself invited over to a different nobles house for each one, other writers, namely Tacitus and Cassius Dio, disagree with some of Suetonius assertions, even though their own accounts of Vitellius are scarcely positive ones. Despite his short reign he made two important contributions to Roman government which outlasted him and he also expanded the offices of the Imperial Administration beyond the imperial pool of Freedmen allowing those of the Equites to take up positions in the Imperial Civil Service. Vitellius also banned astrologers from Rome and Italy on 1 October,69, some astrologers responded to his decree by anonymously publishing a decree of their own, Decreed by all astrologers in blessing on our State Vitellius will be no more on the appointed date. In response, Vitellius executed any astrologers he came across, in July 69, Vitellius learned that the armies of the eastern provinces had proclaimed a rival emperor, their commander, Titus Flavius Vespasianus. As soon as it was known that the armies of the East, Dalmatia, Tacitus Histories state that Vitellius awaited Vespasians army at MevaniaVitellius – Pseudo-bust of Emperor Vitellius, Louvre
81. Titus – Titus was Roman emperor from 79 to 81. A member of the Flavian dynasty, Titus succeeded his father Vespasian upon his death, prior to becoming Emperor, Titus gained renown as a military commander, serving under his father in Judea during the First Jewish–Roman War. The campaign came to a halt with the death of emperor Nero in 68. When Vespasian was declared Emperor on 1 July 69, Titus was left in charge of ending the Jewish rebellion, in 70, he besieged and captured Jerusalem, and destroyed the city and the Second Temple. For this achievement Titus was awarded a triumph, the Arch of Titus commemorates his victory to this day. Under the rule of his father, Titus gained notoriety in Rome serving as prefect of the Praetorian Guard, despite concerns over his character, Titus ruled to great acclaim following the death of Vespasian in 79, and was considered a good emperor by Suetonius and other contemporary historians. As emperor, he is best known for completing the Colosseum, after barely two years in office, Titus died of a fever on 13 September 81. He was deified by the Roman Senate and succeeded by his younger brother Domitian, Titus was born in Rome, probably on 30 December 39 AD, as the eldest son of Titus Flavius Vespasianus—commonly known as Vespasian—and Domitilla the Elder. He had one sister, Domitilla the Younger, and one younger brother, Titus Flavius Domitianus. One such family was the gens Flavia, which rose from obscurity to prominence in just four generations, acquiring wealth. Tituss great-grandfather, Titus Flavius Petro, had served as a centurion under Pompey during Caesars civil war and his military career ended in disgrace when he fled the battlefield at the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC. Nevertheless, Petro managed to improve his status by marrying the extremely wealthy Tertulla, whose fortune guaranteed the upwards mobility of Petros son Titus Flavius Sabinus I, Sabinus himself amassed further wealth and possible equestrian status through his services as tax collector in Asia and banker in Helvetia. By marrying Vespasia Polla he allied himself to the prestigious patrician gens Vespasia, ensuring the elevation of his sons Titus Flavius Sabinus II. The political career of Vespasian included the offices of quaestor, aedile and praetor, and culminated with a consulship in 51, as a military commander, he gained early renown by participating in the Roman invasion of Britain in 43. The story was told that Titus was reclining next to Britannicus, the night he was murdered. Further details on his education are scarce, but it seems he showed promise in the military arts and was a skilled poet. From c.57 to 59 he was a tribune in Germania. He also served in Britannia, perhaps arriving c.60 with reinforcements needed after the revolt of Boudica, in c.63 he returned to Rome and married Arrecina Tertulla, daughter of a former Prefect of the Praetorian GuardTitus – Bust of Emperor Titus, in the Capitoline Museum, Rome.
82. Antoninus Pius – Antoninus Pius, also known as Antoninus, was Roman Emperor from 138 to 161. He was one of the Five Good Emperors in the Nerva–Antonine dynasty and he died of illness in 161 and was succeeded by his adopted sons Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus as co-emperors. He was born as the child of Titus Aurelius Fulvus. The Aurelii Fulvii were therefore a new senatorial family from Gallia Narbonensis whose rise to prominence was supported by the Flavians. The link between Antoninus family and their home province explains the importance of the post of Proconsul of Gallia Narbonensis during the late Second Century. Antoninus was born near Lanuvium and his mother was Arria Fadilla, the Arrii Antoninii were an older senatorial family from Italy, very influential during Nervas reign. Arria Fadilla, Antoninus mother, married afterwards Publius Julius Lupus, a man of rank, suffect consul in 98. Some time between 110 and 115, Antoninus married Annia Galeria Faustina the Elder and they are believed to have enjoyed a happy marriage. Faustina was the daughter of consul Marcus Annius Verus and Rupilia Faustina, Faustina was a beautiful woman, and despite rumours about her character, it is clear that Antoninus cared for her deeply. Faustina bore Antoninus four children, two sons and two daughters and they were, Marcus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus, his sepulchral inscription has been found at the Mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome. Marcus Galerius Aurelius Antoninus, his sepulchral inscription has been found at the Mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome and his name appears on a Greek Imperial coin. Aurelia Fadilla, she married Lucius Lamia Silvanus, consul 145 and she appeared to have no children with her husband and her sepulchral inscription has been found in Italy. Annia Galeria Faustina Minor or Faustina the Younger, a future Roman Empress, married her maternal cousin, when Faustina died in 141, Antoninus was greatly distressed. In honour of her memory, he asked the Senate to deify her as a goddess and he had various coins with her portrait struck in her honor. These coins were scripted ‘DIVA FAUSTINA’ and were elaborately decorated and he further created a charity which he founded and called it Puellae Faustinianae or Girls of Faustina, which assisted destitute girls of good family. Finally, Antoninus created a new alimenta, instead, he lived with Galena Lysistrata, one of Faustinas freed women. Concubinage was a form of female companionship sometimes chosen by powerful men in Ancient Rome, especially widowers like Vespasian and their union could not produce any legitimate offspring who could threaten any heirs, such as those of Antoninus. Also, as one could not have a wife and a concubine at the same timeAntoninus Pius – Bust of Antoninus Pius, at Glyptothek, Munich.
83. Commodus – Commodus, born Lucius Aurelius Commodus and died Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus, was Roman Emperor from AD180 to 192. He also ruled as co-emperor with his father Marcus Aurelius from 177 until his fathers death in 180 and his accession as emperor was the first time a son had succeeded his biological father since Titus succeeded Vespasian in 79. He was also the first emperor to have both a father and grandfather as the two preceding emperors, Commodus was the first emperor born in the purple, i. e. during his fathers reign. Commodus was assassinated in 192, succeeded by Pertinax whose reign did not last long during the tumultuous Year of the Five Emperors, Commodus was born on 31 August AD161, as Commodus, in Lanuvium, near Rome. He was the son of the emperor, Marcus Aurelius, and Aurelius first cousin, Faustina the Younger, the youngest daughter of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius. Commodus had a twin brother, Titus Aurelius Fulvus Antoninus. On 12 October 166, Commodus was made Caesar together with his younger brother, the latter died in 169 having failed to recover from an operation, which left Commodus as Marcus Aurelius sole surviving son. He was looked after by his fathers physician, Galen, in order to keep Commodus healthy, Galen treated many of Commodus common illnesses. Commodus received extensive tutoring by a multitude of teachers with a focus on intellectual education, among his teachers Onesicrates, Antistius Capella, Titus Aius Sanctus, and Pitholaus are mentioned. Commodus is known to have been at Carnuntum, the headquarters of Marcus Aurelius during the Marcomannic Wars and it was presumably there that, on 15 October 172, he was given the victory title Germanicus, in the presence of the army. The title suggests that Commodus was present at his fathers victory over the Marcomanni, on 20 January 175, Commodus entered the College of Pontiffs, the starting point of a career in public life. In April 175, Avidius Cassius, Governor of Syria, declared himself Emperor following rumours that Marcus Aurelius had died, having been accepted as Emperor by Syria, Judea and Egypt, Cassius carried on his rebellion even after it had become obvious that Marcus was still alive. During the preparations for the campaign against Cassius, the Prince assumed his toga virilis on the Danubian front on 7 July 175, Cassius, however, was killed by one of his centurions before the campaign against him could begin. Commodus subsequently accompanied his father on a trip to the Eastern provinces. The Emperor and his son traveled to Athens, where they were initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries. They then returned to Rome in the Autumn of 176, on 27 November 176, Marcus Aurelius granted Commodus the rank of Imperator and, in the middle of 177, the title Augustus, giving his son the same status as his own and formally sharing power. On 23 December of the year, the two Augusti celebrated a joint triumph, and Commodus was given tribunician power. On 1 January 177, Commodus became consul for the first time, which him, aged 15Commodus – Commodus as Hercules, Capitoline Museums
84. Didius Julianus – Didius Julianus was Roman emperor for nine weeks during the year 193. Julianus ascended the throne after buying it from the Praetorian Guard and this led to the Roman Civil War of 193–197. Julianus was ousted and sentenced to death by his successor, Septimius Severus, Julianus was born to Quintus Petronius Didius Severus and Aemilia Clara. Julianuss father came from a prominent family in Mediolanum and his mother was a north African woman of Roman descent and his brothers were Didius Proculus and Didius Nummius Albinus. His date of birth is given as 30 January 133 by Cassius Dio and 2 February 137 by the Historia Augusta, Didius Julianus was raised by Domitia Lucilla, mother of Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. With Domitias help, he was appointed at an early age to the vigintivirate. He married a Roman woman named Manlia Scantilla, and sometime around 153, Scantilla bore him a daughter, in succession Julianus held the offices of Quaestor and Aedile, and then, around 162, was named as Praetor. He was nominated to the command of the Legio XXII Primigenia in Mogontiacum, in 170, he became praefectus of Gallia Belgica and served for five years. He further distinguished himself in a campaign against the Chatti, governed Dalmatia and Germania Inferior, and then was made prefect charged with distributing money to the poor of Italy. It was around this time that he was charged with having conspired against the life of Commodus and he governed Bithynia and succeeded Pertinax as the proconsul of Africa. After the murder of Pertinax, the Praetorian assassins announced that the throne was to be sold to the man who would pay the highest price. As the bidding went on, the reported to each of the two competitors, the one within the fortifications, the other outside the rampart, the sum offered by his rival. Eventually Sulpicianus promised 20,000 sesterces to every soldier, Julianus, fearing that Sulpicianus would gain the throne, the guards immediately closed with the offer of Julianus, threw open the gates, saluted him by the name of Caesar, and proclaimed him emperor. Threatened by the military, the senate declared him emperor and his wife and his daughter both received the title Augusta. After the initial confusion had subsided, the population did not tamely submit to the dishonour brought upon Rome, whenever Julianus appeared in public he was saluted with groans, imprecations, and shouts of robber and parricide. The mob tried to obstruct his progress to the Capitol, Julianus declared Severus a public enemy because he was the nearest of the three and, therefore, the most dangerous foe. Deputies were sent from the senate to persuade the soldiers to him, a new general was nominated to supersede him. The Praetorian Guard, long strangers to active operations, were marched into the Campus Martius, regularly drilledDidius Julianus – Coin of Didius Julianus
85. Pescennius Niger – Pescennius Niger was Roman Emperor from 193 to 194 during the Year of the Five Emperors. Although Niger was born into an old Italian equestrian family, around the year 135, not much is known of his early career, it is possible that he held an administrative position in Egypt, and that he served in a military campaign in Dacia early in Commodus’ reign. During the late 180s, Niger was elected as a Suffect consul and he was still serving in Syria when news came through firstly of the murder of Pertinax, followed by the auctioning off of the imperial title to Didius Julianus. As a consequence, it is alleged that Julianus dispatched a centurion to the east with orders to assassinate Niger at Antioch, the result of the unrest in Rome saw Niger proclaimed Emperor by the eastern legions by the end of April 193. On his accession, Niger took the additional cognomen Justus, or the Just, although Niger sent envoys to Rome to announce his elevation to the imperial throne, his messengers were intercepted by Severus. As Niger began bolstering his support in the provinces, Severus marched on Rome which he entered in early June 193 after Julianus had been murdered. Severus wasted no time consolidating his hold on Rome, and ordered his newly appointed prefect of the watch, Gaius Fulvius Plautianus to capture Niger’s children, although these lands contained great wealth, his military resources were inferior to Severus’. While Severus had the sixteen Danubian legions at his disposal, Niger possessed only six, Niger therefore decided to act aggressively, and sent a force into Thrace where it defeated a part of Severus’ army under Lucius Fabius Cilo at Perinthus. Severus now marched from Rome to the east, sending his general Tiberius Claudius Candidus ahead of him, Niger, having made Byzantium his headquarters, gave Asellius Aemilianus the task of defending the southern shore of the Sea of Marmara. As Severus approached, he offered Niger the opportunity to surrender and go into exile, in the fall of 193, Candidus met Aemilianus in battle at Cyzicus, resulting in Niger’s forces being defeated as well as the capture and death of Aemilianus. Byzantium was now placed under siege, forcing Niger to abandon the city, the city remained loyal to Niger, and it would take Severus until the end of 195 to finally capture Byzantium. Another battle took place outside of Nicea in later December 193, nevertheless, he was able to withdraw the bulk of his army intact to the Taurus Mountains, where he was able to hold the passes for a few months as Niger returned to Antioch. However, the problem now for Niger was that his support in Asia was falling, some cities previously loyal to him decided that it was time to change their allegiance, in particular Laodicea and Tyre. By February 13,194, Egypt had declared for Severus, as had the imperial legate of Arabia, forced to retreat to Antioch, Niger was captured while attempting to flee to Parthia. He was beheaded, and his head was taken to Byzantium. Eventually, Severus stormed and completely destroyed Byzantium before he had it rebuilt, Niger’s head eventually found its way to Rome where it was displayed. After his victory in the east, Severus punished all of Niger’s supporters and he also had Niger’s wife and children put to death, while his estates were confiscated. The name Niger means black, which incidentally, contrasts him with one of his rivals for the throne in 194, Clodius Albinus, according to the notoriously unreliable Historia Augusta, his cognomen of Niger was given due to the fact that his neck was blackPescennius Niger – Coin of Pescennius Niger, bearing the inscription (IMPERATOR CAESAR GAIVS PESCENNIVS NIGER IVSTVS AVGVSTVS CONSVL II)
86. Clodius Albinus – For others with this cognomen, see Albinus. Albinus was born in Hadrumetum, Africa Province to an aristocratic Roman family of Ceionia origin and his father, Ceionius, said his son received the name of Albinus because of the extraordinary whiteness of his complexion. Showing a disposition for military life, he entered the army when young and served with distinction. The Emperor likewise declared that without Albinus the legions would have gone over to Avidius Cassius, the Emperor Commodus gave Albinus a command in Gallia Belgica and afterwards in Britain. The Senate was very pleased with these sentiments, but not so the Emperor, despite this, Albinus kept his command until after the murders of Commodus and his successor Pertinax in 193. Immediately afterwards, Pescennius Niger was proclaimed Emperor by the legions in Syria, Septimius Severus by the troops in Illyricum and Pannonia, in the civil war that followed, Albinus was initially allied with Septimius Severus, who had captured Rome. Albinus added the name Septimius to his own, and accepted the title of Caesar from him, Albinus remained effective ruler of much of the western part of the Empire, with support from three British legions and one Spanish. When Didius Julianus was put to death by order of the Senate, who dreaded the power of Septimius Severus, Albinus, seeing the danger of his position, prepared for resistance. He narrowly escaped being assassinated by a messenger of Severus, after which he put himself at the head of his army, in autumn 196, Albinus proclaimed himself Emperor and crossed from Britain to Gaul, bringing a large part of the British garrison with him. On 19 February 197 Albinus met Severus army at the Battle of Lugdunum, after a hard-fought battle, with 150,000 troops on each side according to Dio Cassius, Albinus was defeated and killed himself, or was captured and executed on the orders of Severus. Severus had his body laid out on the ground before him, so that he could ride his horse over it. If Albinus wife and sons were pardoned by Severus, he appeared to change his mind almost immediately afterwards, for as the dead Albinus was beheaded. Albinus headless body was thrown into the Rhône, together with the corpses of his murdered family, Severus sent his head to Rome as a warning to his supporters, with it he sent an insolent letter, in which he mocked the senate for their loyalty to Albinus. The town of Lugdunum was plundered, and the adherents of Albinus were cruelly persecuted by Severus, Albinus was a severe and often cruel commander, and he has been called the Catiline of his time. He had one son, or perhaps two, who were executed with their mother by order of Severus and it is said that he wrote a treatise on agriculture and a collection of Milesian tales. Livius. org, Decimus Clodius Albinus James Grout, D. Clodius Albinus, part of the Encyclopædia Romana Albinus coinageClodius Albinus – Cast in the Pushkin Museum of a marble bust in the Louvre
87. Caracalla – Caracalla, formally Marcus Aurelius Severus Antoninus Augustus, was Roman emperor from AD198 to 217. A member of the Severan Dynasty, he was the eldest son of Septimius Severus, Caracalla reigned jointly with his father from 198 until Severus death in 211. Caracalla then ruled jointly with his younger brother Geta, with whom he had a fraught relationship, Caracallas reign was marked by domestic instability and external invasions from the Germanic people. Caracallas reign was notable for the Antonine Constitution, also known as the Edict of Caracalla, the edict gave all the enfranchised men Caracallas adopted praenomen and nomen, Marcus Aurelius. Towards the end of his rule, Caracalla began a campaign against the Parthian Empire and he did not see this campaign through to completion due to his assassination by a disaffected soldier in 217. He was succeeded as emperor by Macrinus after three days, Caracalla is presented in ancient sources as a tyrant and cruel leader, an image that has survived into modernity. Dio Cassius and Herodian present Caracalla as a soldier first and emperor second, in the 12th century, Geoffrey of Monmouth started the legend of Caracallas role as the king of Britain. Later, in the 18th century, Caracallas memory was revived in the works of French artists due to the parallels between Caracallas apparent tyranny and that of King Louis XVI, Modern works continue to portray Caracalla as a psychopathic and evil ruler. His rule is remembered as being one of the most tyrannical of all Roman emperors, Caracalla was born Lucius Septimius Bassianus. He was renamed Marcus Aurelius Antoninus at the age of seven as part of his fathers attempt at union with the families of Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. According to Aurelius Victor in his Epitome de Caesaribus, he became known by the agnomen Caracalla after a Gallic hooded tunic that he habitually wore and he may have begun wearing it during his campaigns on the Rhine and Danube. Dio generally referred to him as Tarautas, after a famously diminutive, Caracalla was born in Lugdunum, Gaul, on 4 April 188 to Septimius Severus and Julia Domna. He had a younger brother, Geta, who would briefly rule as co-emperor alongside him. Caracallas father, Septimius Severus, appointed Caracalla joint Augustus and full emperor from the year 198 onwards and his brother Geta was granted the same title in 210. In 202 Caracalla was forced to marry the daughter of Gaius Fulvius Plautianus, Fulvia Plautilla, by 205 Caracalla had succeeded in having Plautianus executed for treason, though he had probably fabricated the evidence of the plot himself. It was then that he banished his wife, whose later killing might have carried out under Caracallas orders. Caracallas father, Septimius Severus, died on 4 February 211 at Eboracum while on campaign in Caledonia, Caracalla and his brother, Publius Septimius Antoninus Geta, jointly inherited the throne upon their fathers death. Caracalla and Geta ended the campaign in Caledonia after concluding a peace with the Caledonians that returned the border of Roman Britain to the line demarcated by Hadrians WallCaracalla – Caracalla
88. Gordian II – Gordian II was Roman Emperor for one month with his father Gordian I in 238, the Year of the Six Emperors. Seeking to overthrow the Emperor Maximinus Thrax, he died in battle outside of Carthage,192, Gordian II was the only known son of Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus the Elder. His family were of Equestrian rank, who were modest and very wealthy, Gordian was said to be related to prominent senators. His praenomen and nomen Marcus Antonius suggest that his paternal ancestors received Roman citizenship under the Triumvir Mark Antony, or one of his daughters, gordian’s cognomen ‘Gordianus’ suggests that his family origins were from Anatolia, especially Galatia and Cappadocia. Modern historians have dismissed this name and her information as false, there is some evidence to suggest that Gordians mother might have been the granddaughter of Greek Sophist, consul and tutor Herodes Atticus. His younger sister was Antonia Gordiana, who was the mother of Emperor Gordian III, according to this source, Gordian served as quaestor in Elagabalus reign and as praetor and consul suffect with Emperor Alexander Severus. In 237, Gordian went to the Africa Proconsularis as a legatus under his fathers command as a proconsular governor, early in 235, Emperor Alexander Severus and his mother Julia Avita Mamaea were assassinated by mutinous troops at Moguntiacum in Germania Inferior. The leader of the rebellion, Maximinus Thrax, became Emperor, despite his low-born background, confronted by a local elite that had just killed Maximinuss procurator, Gordians father was forced to participate in a full-scale revolt against Maximinus in 238 and became Augustus on March 22. Due to Gordian Is advanced age, the younger Gordian was attached to the imperial throne, like his father, he too was awarded the cognomen Africanus. Father and son saw their claim to the throne ratified both by the Senate and most of the provinces, due to Maximinus unpopularity. Opposition would come from the province of Numidia. Gordian II, at the head of an army of untrained soldiers. According to the Historia Augusta, his body was never recovered, hearing the news, his father took his own life. This first rebellion against Maximinus Thrax was unsuccessful, but by the end of 238 Gordian IIs nephew would be recognised emperor by the whole Roman world as Gordian III, Gordian II, De Imperatoribus Romanis Gibbon. Edward Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire Gordian II coinageGordian II – Denarius featuring Gordian II
89. Balbinus – Balbinus, was Roman Emperor with Pupienus for three months in 238, the Year of the Six Emperors. Not much is known about Balbinus before his elevation to emperor and it has been conjectured that he descended from Publius Coelius Balbinus Vibullius Pius, the consul ordinarius of 136 or 137, and wife Aquilia. If this were true, he was related to the family of Q. He was a patrician from birth, and was the son of Caelius Calvinus and he was one of the Salii priests of Mars. His birth was noble, his fortune affluent, his manners liberal, in him, the love of pleasure was corrected by a sense of dignity, nor had the habits of ease deprived him of a capacity for business. When the Gordians were proclaimed Emperors in Africa, the Senate appointed a committee of twenty men, including Balbinus, to co-ordinate operations against Maximinus Thrax. On the news of the Gordians defeat, the Senate voted Pupienus and Balbinus as co-emperors on 22 April 238, unlike the situation in 161, both emperors were elected as pontifices maximi, chief priests of the official cults. This would be unthinkable in Republican times, Balbinus was probably in his early seventies, his qualifications for rule are unknown, except presumably that he was a senior senator, rich and well-connected. While Pupienus marched to Ravenna, where he oversaw the campaign against Maximinus, Balbinus remained in Rome, the sarcophagus of Balbinus has earned this Emperor a niche in the history of Roman Imperial art. Presumably while holding the title of Emperor, Balbinus had a sarcophagus made for himself. Discovered in fragments near the Via Appia and restored, this is the example of a Roman Imperial sarcophagus of this type to have survived. On the lid are reclining figures of Balbinus and his wife, the sarcophagus is held in collection at the Museo di Pretastato in the Park of the Caffarella near the Appian Way at Rome. Although in accounts of their joint reign Balbinus is emphasized as the civilian as against Pupienus the military man, media related to Balbinus at Wikimedia Commons good portrait bust portrait head from the sarcophagus as an example of Roman pathetic style Livius. org, BalbinusBalbinus – Bust of Balbinus
90. Valerian (emperor) – Valerian, also known as Valerian the Elder, was Roman Emperor from 253 to 260 AD. He was taken captive by Sassanian Persian king Shapur I after the Battle of Edessa, becoming the first Roman Emperor to be captured as a prisoner of war, causing instability in the Empire. Unlike many of the emperors and rebels who bid for Imperial Power during the Crisis of the Third Century of the Roman Empire, Valerian was of a noble. Details of his life are elusive, but for his marriage to Egnatia Mariniana. He was Consul for the first time either before 238 AD as a Suffectus or in 238 as an Ordinarius, in 238 he was princeps senatus, and Gordian I negotiated through him for Senatorial acknowledgement for his claim as emperor. During the reign of Decius he was left in charge of affairs in Rome when that prince left for his ill-fated last campaign in Illyricum. Under Trebonianus Gallus he was appointed dux of an army drawn from the garrisons of the German provinces which seems to have been ultimately intended for use in a war against the Persians. However, when Trebonianus Gallus had to deal with the rebellion of Aemilianus in 253 AD it was to Valerian he turned for assistance in crushing the attempted usurpation. Valerian headed south but was too late, Gallus was killed by his own troops, the Raetian soldiers then proclaimed Valerian emperor and continued their march towards Rome. Upon his arrival in late September, Aemilianuss legions defected, killing Aemilianus, in Rome, the Senate quickly acknowledged Valerian, not only for fear of reprisals but also because he was one of their own. Valerians first act as emperor on 22 October 253 was to make his son Gallienus his Caesar, early in his reign, affairs in Europe went from bad to worse, and the whole West fell into disorder. In the East, Antioch had fallen into the hands of a Sassanid vassal, Valerian and Gallienus split the problems of the empire between them, with the son taking the West, and the father heading East to face the Persian threat. In 254,255, and 257, Valerian again became Consul Ordinarius, by 257, he had recovered Antioch and returned the province of Syria to Roman control. The following year, the Goths ravaged Asia Minor, in 259, Valerian moved on to Edessa, but an outbreak of plague killed a critical number of legionaries, weakening the Roman position, and the town was besieged by the Persians. At the beginning of 260, Valerian was decisively defeated in the Battle of Edessa, the truce was betrayed by Shapur, who seized Valerian and held him prisoner for the remainder of his life. Valerians capture was a defeat for the Romans. Valerian, while fighting the Persians, sent two letters to the Senate, ordering steps to be taken against Christians, the first, sent in 257, commanded Christian clergy to perform sacrifices to the Roman gods or face banishment. This shows that Christians were prevalent at this time in high positionsValerian (emperor) – Coin of Egnatia Mariniana, wife of Valerian and mother of Gallienus.
91. Gallienus – Gallienus was Roman Emperor with his father Valerian from 253 to 260 and alone from 260 to 268. He ruled during the Crisis of the Third Century that nearly caused the collapse of the empire, while he won a number of military victories, he was unable to prevent the secession of important provinces. The exact birth date of Gallienus is unknown, the Greek chronicler John Malalas and the Epitome de Caesaribus report that he was about 50 years old at the time of his death, meaning he was born around 218. He was the son of emperor Valerian and Mariniana, who may have been of senatorial rank, possibly the daughter of Egnatius Victor Marinianus, and his brother was Valerianus Minor. Inscriptions on coins connect him with Falerii in Etruria, which may have been his birthplace, it has yielded many inscriptions relating to his mothers family, Gallienus married Cornelia Salonina about ten years before his accession to the throne. When Valerian was proclaimed Emperor on 22 October 253, he asked the Senate to ratify the elevation of Gallienus to Caesar and he was also designated Consul Ordinarius for 254. As Marcus Aurelius and his adopted brother Lucius Verus had done an earlier, Gallienus. Valerian left for the East to stem the Persian threat, and Gallienus remained in Italy to repel the Germanic tribes on the Rhine and Danube. Gallienus spent most of his time in the provinces of the Rhine area, though he almost certainly visited the Danube area, according to numismatic evidence, he seems to have won many victories there, and a victory in Roman Dacia might also be dated to that period. Even the hostile Latin tradition attributes success to him at this time, in 255 or 257, Gallienus was made Consul again, suggesting that he briefly visited Rome on those occasions, although no record survives. Valerian II had apparently died on the Danube, most likely in 258, Ingenuus may have been responsible for that calamity. Alternatively, the defeat and capture of Valerian at the battle of Edessa may have been the trigger for the subsequent revolts of Ingenuus, Regalianus, in any case, Gallienus reacted with great speed. He left his son Saloninus as Caesar at Cologne, under the supervision of Albanus and he then hastily crossed the Balkans, taking with him the new cavalry corps under the command of Aureolus and defeated Ingenuus at Mursa or Sirmium. The victory must be attributed mainly to the cavalry and its brilliant commander, Ingenuus was killed by his own guards or committed suicide by drowning himself after the fall of his capital, Sirmium. Franks broke through the lower Rhine, invading Gaul, some reaching as far as southern Spain, the Alamanni invaded, probably through Agri Decumates, likely followed by the Juthungi. After devastating Germania Superior and Raetia, they entered Italy, the first invasion of the Italian peninsula, aside from its most remote northern regions, since Hannibal 500 years before. When invaders reached the outskirts of Rome, they were repelled by an army assembled by the Senate, consisting of local troops. The battle of Mediolanum was decisive, and the Alamanni did not bother the empire for the ten yearsGallienus – Bust of Gallienus
92. Saloninus – Publius Licinius Cornelius Saloninus Valerianus was Roman Emperor in 260. Saloninus was born around the year 242 and his father was the later emperor Gallienus, his mother Cornelia Salonina, a Greek from Bithynia. In 258 Saloninus was appointed Caesar by his father and sent to Gaul to make sure his fathers authority was respected there, bray suggests that Valerians motive in making these appointments was securing the succession and establishing a lasting imperial dynasty. We do not know how Valerian envisaged his grandson interacting with the existing governors, there is no reason to suppose that he ever thought the thing through as systematically as Diocletian when he established the Tetrarchy some thirty years later. However, Silvanus must have been a soldier and administrator. This was demonstrated by the circumstances in which he fell out with the usurper Postumus, in 260 Silvanus ordered Postumus to hand over some booty that Postumuss troops had seized from a German warband which had been on its way home from a successful raid into Gaul. However, Postumuss men took violent exception to this attempt to enforce the rights of the representative of a distant emperor who was failing in his duty to protect the Gallic provinces. Asserting what was probably the prevailing custom of the frontier, they turned on Saloninus and Silvanus and it was probably at this time that Postumus was acclaimed emperor by his army. Riding the tiger of military discontent which he could barely control, Gallienus, who was fully engaged elsewhere – probably campaigning on the middle Danube – could do nothing to save his son. Postumus was then unable to prevent his army from murdering them, whether or not Gallienus ever concurred with Valerians dynastic experiment is not known. Certainly the murder of Saloninus, so soon after the death of Valerian IISaloninus – Antoninianus of Saloninus.
93. Valerian II – Shortly after his acclamation as Emperor Valerian made Gallienus his co-Emperor and his grandson, Valerian, Caesar, in 256. It is reported that Salonina was not happy with this arrangement, despite this precaution, Valerian died in late 257-early 258 in circumstances sufficiently suspicious for Gallienus to attempt to demote Ingenuus. It was this action that sparked the attempted usurpation of the Empire by Ingenuus, who had support among the Illyrian garrisons. It seems to show that the presence of a member of the Imperial House in a troubled region was not sufficient to assuage local fears of being neglected by the distant Emperor. The local Caesar had to wield undisputed authority in his region and command the resources, diocletian and Maximian seem to have understood this when they set up Constantius Chlorus and Galerius as Caesars in Gaul and Illyria respectively some thirty-five years later. Media related to Valerianus Caesar at Wikimedia CommonsValerian II – Antoninianus with a young Valerian II.
94. Carinus – Carinus was Roman Emperor from 283 to 285. The elder son of emperor Carus, he was first appointed Caesar, official accounts of his character and career have been filtered through the propaganda of his successful opponent, Diocletian. More certainly, he celebrated the annual ludi Romani on a scale of unexampled magnificence, after the death of Carus, the army in the east demanded to return to Europe, and Numerian, the younger son of Carus, was forced to comply. During a halt at Chalcedon, Numerian was found dead, Diocletian, commander of the body-guards, claimed that Numerian had been assassinated, and he was proclaimed emperor by the soldiers. Carinus left Rome at once and set out for the east to meet Diocletian, on his way through Pannonia he put down the usurper Sabinus Julianus and in July 285 he encountered the army of Diocletian at the Margus River in Moesia. Historians differ on what then ensued, at the Battle of the Margus River, according to one account, the valour of his troops had gained the day, but Carinus was assassinated by a tribune whose wife he had seduced. Another account represents the battle as resulting in a victory for Diocletian. This account may be confirmed by the fact that Diocletian kept in service Carinus Praetorian Guard commander, Carinus has a reputation as one of the worst Roman emperors. This infamy may have been supported by Diocletian himself, for example, the Historia Augusta has Carinus marrying nine wives, while neglecting to mention his only real wife, Magnia Urbica, by whom he had a son, Marcus Aurelius Nigrinianus. After his death, Carinus memory was condemned in the Roman proceeding known as Damnatio Memoriae. His name, along with that of his wife, was erased from inscriptions, mor Jokais A Christian but a Roman is set in Carinus Rome Media related to Carinus at Wikimedia Commons Media related to Magnia Urbica at Wikimedia CommonsCarinus – Bust of Carinus.
95. Victorinus – Marcus Piavonius Victorinus was emperor in the Gallic provinces from 268 to 270 or 269 to 271, following the brief reign of Marius. He was murdered by a husband whose wife he tried to seduce. Hailing from Gaul, Victorinus was born to a family of wealth, and was a soldier under Postumus. He showed considerable ability, as he held the title of tribunus praetorianorum in 266/267 and it is also possible that Postumus then elevated him to the post of praetorian prefect. After engineering the death of Marius, Victorinus was declared emperor by the troops located at Augusta Treverorum in the fall of 269, hispania deserted the Gallic Empire and declared its loyalty to Claudius Gothicus. Claudius then sent his trusted general Placidianus to south-east Gaul with instructions to bring over as many of the cities as he could. Very quickly Placidianus captured Cularo, but did not proceed any further, the presence of Placidianus inspired the city of Augustodunum Haeduorum to abandon Victorinus and declare its intention to declare for Claudius Gothicus. This forced Victorinus to march south and besiege it, where it fell after seven months, Victorinus returned to Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium in triumph. There is evidence to suggest that Claudius was having difficulties in the East. Victorinus was murdered at Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium in early 271 by Attitianus, one of his officers, another military commander appears to have been proclaimed as the emperor Domitianus II, but was soon eliminated. Victorinus is listed among the Thirty Tyrants in the Historia Augusta, the Historia Augusta also says that both father and son were buried near Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium in marble tombs. Aurelius Victor, Epitome de Caesaribus Aurelius Victor, Liber de Caesaribus Eutropius, Brevarium, Book 9 Historia Augusta, The Thirty Tyrants Southern, the Roman Empire from Severus to Constantine. The Roman Empire at Bay, AD 180-395, the Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, Vol. I, AD260-395. Triumph & Tragedy, The Rise and Fall of Romes Immortal Emperors, J. F. Drinkwater, The Gallic Empire, Separatism and Continuity in the North-western Provinces of the Roman Empire A. D. 260–274 Media related to Victorinus at Wikimedia CommonsVictorinus – Ancient coin featuring Victorinus.
96. Dominate – The Dominate or late Roman Empire was the despotic later phase of imperial government, following the earlier period known as the Principate, in the ancient Roman Empire. In form, the Dominate is considered to have been more authoritarian, less collegiate, the term Dominate is derived from the Latin dominus, which translates into English as lord or master. Augustus actively discouraged the practice, and Tiberius in particular is said to have reviled it as sycophancy, the Dominate system of government emerged as a response to the 50 years of chaos that is referred to as the Crisis of the Third Century. Further, not all the changes resulted in the Dominate were complete by the time of Diocletian’s abdication in AD305. Consequently, just as the Principate emerged over the period 31 BC through to 14 AD and these bureaucratic machines worked moderately well, and their success might have been extraordinary if the monarchs who directed them had always been men of superior ability. Blots of course and defects there were, especially in the fields of economy, the political creation of the Illyrian Emperors was not unworthy of the genius of Rome. Under the Principate, the position of emperor saw the concentration of various civil and this role was almost always filled by a single individual, and the date that the Potestas tribunicia was conferred onto that person was the point when imperial authority could be exercised. Over the course of the Principate, it common for the emperor to nominate an heir. Further, it was their absence which caused usurpations to occur in response to a local or provincial crisis that traditionally would have dealt with by the emperor. Under the Dominate, the burden of the position was increasingly shared between colleagues, referred to as the Consortium imperii. This original power sharing model lasted from AD289 through to AD324, with Constantine I’s death in AD337, the empire was again shared between multiple augusti, lasting until AD350. The model became a permanent feature of the empire in AD364 with the accession of Valentinian I, barring the 3-year period of solitary rule by Theodosius I from AD 392–395, this approach would last until the overthrow of the last western emperor in AD476. While each augustus was autonomous within each portion of the empire they managed, during the Roman Republic, the office of Consul was the highest elected magistry in the Roman state, with two consuls elected annually. It was a post that would be occupied by a man halfway through his career, in his early thirties for a patrician, if they were especially skilled or valued, they may even have achieved a second consulate. Prior to achieving the consulate, these already had a significant career behind them. This had the effect of seeing a suffect consulship granted at an age, to the point that by the 4th century, it was being held by men in their early twenties. As time progressed, second consulates, usually ordinary, became far more common than had been the case during the first two centuries, while the first consulship was usually a suffect consulate, II when they were later granted an ordinary consulship by the emperor. One of the key changes in the management of the empire during the Dominate was the large scale removal of old-style senatorial participation in administrative, the process began with the reforms of Gallienus, who removed senators from military commands, placing them in the hands of the EquitesDominate – Ancient Rome
97. Galerius – Galerius was Roman Emperor from 305 to 311. During his reign he campaigned, aided by Diocletian, against the Sassanid Empire and he also campaigned across the Danube against the Carpi, defeating them in 297 and 300. Although he was an opponent of Christianity, Galerius ended the Diocletianic Persecution when he issued an edict of toleration in 311. Galerius was born in Serdica, though modern scholars consider the strategic site where he later built his palace named after his mother – Felix Romuliana – his birth. His father was a Thracian and his mother Romula was a Dacian woman and he originally followed his fathers occupation, that of a herdsman, where he got his surname of Armentarius. After a few years campaigning against Sarmatians and Goths on the Danube, soon after his appointment, Galerius would be dispatched to Egypt to fight the rebellious cities Busiris and Coptos. In 294, Narseh, a son of Shapur I who had passed over for the Sassanid succession. Narseh probably moved to eliminate Bahram III, a man installed by a noble named Vahunam in the wake of Bahram IIs death in 293. In early 294, Narseh sent Diocletian the customary package of gifts and he sought to identify himself with the warlike reigns of Ardashir and Shapur, who had sacked Roman Antioch and captured Emperor Valerian. In 295 or 296, Narseh declared war on Rome and he appears to have first invaded western Armenia, retaking the lands delivered to Tiridates in the peace of 287. He would occupy the lands there until the following year, the late historian Ammianus Marcellinus is the only source detailing the initial invasion of Armenia. Narseh then moved south into Roman Mesopotamia, where he inflicted a defeat on Galerius, then commander of the Eastern forces. In Antioch, Diocletian forced Galerius to walk a mile in advance of his imperial cart while still clad in the robes of an emperor. The message conveyed was clear, the loss at Carrhae was not due to the failings of the soldiers, but due to the failings of their commander. It is also possible that Galerius position at the head of the caravan was merely the conventional organization of an imperial progression, Galerius had been reinforced, probably in the spring of 298, by a new contingent collected from the empires Danubian holdings. Narseh did not advance from Armenia and Mesopotamia, leaving Galerius to lead the offensive in 298 with an attack on northern Mesopotamia via Armenia, Diocletian may or may not have been present to assist the campaign. Narseh retreated to Armenia to fight Galerius force, to Narsehs disadvantage, the rugged Armenian terrain was favorable to Roman infantry, local aid gave Galerius the advantage of surprise over the Persian forces, and, in two successive battles, Galerius secured victories over Narseh. During the second encounter, the Battle of Satala in 298, Roman forces seized Narsehs camp, his treasury, his harem, and his wifeGalerius – Porphyry bust of Galerius
98. Constantius Chlorus – Constantius I was Roman Emperor from 293 to 306, commonly known as Constantius Chlorus. He was the father of Constantine the Great and founder of the Constantinian dynasty, as Caesar, he defeated the usurper Allectus in Britain and campaigned extensively along the Rhine frontier, defeating the Alamanni and Franks. Upon becoming Augustus in 305, Constantius launched a punitive campaign against the Picts beyond the Antonine Wall. However, Constantius died suddenly in Eboracum the following year and his death sparked the collapse of the tetrarchic system of government inaugurated by the Emperor Diocletian. Constantius was a member of the Protectores Augusti Nostri under the emperor Aurelian, by 288, his period as governor now over, Constantius had been made Praetorian Prefect in the west under Maximian. To strengthen the ties between the emperor and his powerful military servant, in 289 Constantius divorced his wife Helena, and married the emperor Maximian’s daughter, Theodora. By 293, Diocletian, conscious of the ambitions of his co-emperor for his new son-in-law, Diocletian divided the administration of the Roman Empire into two halves, a Western and an Eastern portion. Each would be ruled by an Augustus, supported by a Caesar, both Caesars had the right of succession once the ruling Augustus died. At Milan on March 1,293, Constantius was formally appointed as Maximian’s Caesar and he adopted the names Flavius Valerius and was given command of Gaul, Britannia and possibly Hispania. Diocletian, the eastern Augustus, in order to keep the balance of power in the imperium elevated Galerius as his Caesar, Constantius was the more senior of the two Caesars, and on official documents he always took precedence, being mentioned before Galerius. Constantius’ capital was to be located at Augusta Treverorum, Constantius’ first task on becoming Caesar was to deal with the Roman usurper Carausius who had declared himself emperor in Britannia and northern Gaul in 286. In late 293, Constantius defeated the forces of Carausius in Gaul and this precipitated the assassination of Carausius by his rationalis Allectus, who assumed command of the British provinces until his death in 296. Constantius spent the two years neutralising the threat of the Franks who were the allies of Allectus, as northern Gaul remained under the control of the British usurper until at least 295. He also battled against the Alamanni, achieving victories at the mouth of the Rhine in 295. Administrative concerns meant he made at least one trip to Italy during this time as well, only when he felt ready did he assemble two invasion fleets with the intent of crossing the English Channel. The fleet under Asclepiodotus landed near the Isle of Wight, and his army encountered the forces of Allectus, resulting in the defeat, Constantius in the meantime occupied London, saving the city from an attack by Frankish mercenaries who were now roaming the province without a paymaster. The result was the division of Upper Britannia into Maxima Caesariensis and Britannia Prima, while Flavia Caesariensis and he also restored Hadrian’s Wall and its forts. Later in 298, Constantius fought in the Battle of Lingones against the Alamanni and he was shut up in the city, but was relieved by his army after six hours and defeated the enemyConstantius Chlorus – Constantius I Chlorus
99. Flavius Valerius Severus – Severus II, was a Western Roman Emperor from 306 to 307. After failing to besiege Rome, he fled to Ravenna and it is thought that he was killed there or executed near Rome. Severus was of humble birth, born in Northern Illyria around the middle of the third century AD and he thus served as deputy-emperor to Constantius I, Augustus of the western half of empire. On the death of Constantius I in Britain in the summer of 306, Severus was promoted to Augustus by Galerius, when Maxentius, the son of the retired emperor Maximian, revolted at Rome, Galerius sent Severus to suppress the rebellion. Severus moved towards Rome from his capital, Mediolanum, at the head of an army commanded by Maximian. Fearing the arrival of Severus, Maxentius offered Maximian the co-rule of the empire, Maximian accepted, and when Severus arrived under the walls of Rome and besieged it, his men deserted to Maximian, their old commander. Severus fled to Ravenna, an impregnable position, Maximian offered to spare his life and treat him humanely if he surrendered peaceably, which he did in March or April 307. Despite Maximians assurance, Severus was nonetheless displayed as a captive, another belief is that Severus II was killed in Ravenna. Severus was survived by his son Flavius Severianus, works related to The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1, Chapter XIV at Wikisource Media related to Flavius Valerius Severus at Wikimedia CommonsFlavius Valerius Severus – Flavius Valerius Severus as Caesar (305–306)
100. Maximinus II (Daia) – Maximinus II, also known as Maximinus Daia or Maximinus Daza, was Roman Emperor from 308 to 313. He became embroiled in the Civil wars of the Tetrarchy between rival claimants for control of the empire, in which he was defeated by Licinius, a committed pagan, he engaged in one of the last persecutions of Christians. He was born of Dacian peasant stock to the sister of the emperor Galerius near their lands around Felix Romuliana. He rose to high distinction after joining the army, in 305, his maternal uncle Galerius became the eastern Augustus and adopted Maximinus, raising him to the rank of caesar, and granting him the government of Syria and Egypt. On the death of Galerius in 311, Maximinus divided the Eastern Empire between Licinius and himself, when Licinius and Constantine began to make common cause, Maximinus entered into a secret alliance with the usurper Caesar Maxentius, who controlled Italy. He came to a rupture with Licinius in 313, he summoned an army of 70,000 men. He fled, first to Nicomedia and afterwards to Tarsus, where he died the following August and his death was variously ascribed to despair, to poison, and to the divine justice. The Christian writer Eusebius claims that Maximinus was consumed by avarice and he suffered no one to surpass him in debauchery and profligacy, but made himself an instructor in wickedness to those about him, both rulers and subjects. Why need we relate the licentious, shameless deeds of the man, for he could not pass through a city without continually corrupting women and ravishing virgins. According to Eusebius, only Christians resisted him, in all they showed patience in behalf of religion rather than transfer to idols the reverence due to God. And the women were not less manly than the men in behalf of the teaching of the Divine Word, as they endured conflicts with the men, and when they were dragged away for corrupt purposes, they surrendered their lives to death rather than their bodies to impurity. He refers to one high-born Christian woman who rejected his advances and he exiled her and seized all of her wealth and assets. Eusebius does not give the girl a name, but Tyrannius Rufinus calls her Dorothea and this story may have evolved into the legend of Dorothea of Alexandria. Caesar Baronius identified the girl in Eusebius account with Catherine of Alexandria, Civil Wars of the Tetrarchy This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, Chisholm, Hugh, ed. article name needed. Media related to Maximinus II at Wikimedia Commons DiMaio, Michael, Maximinus Daia, De Imperatoribus Romanis Herbermann, Charles, ed. Caius Valerius Daja MaximinusMaximinus II (Daia) – Maximinus Daia
101. Licinius II – Licinius II or Licinius the Younger was the son of Roman emperor Licinius. He nominally served as Caesar in the empire from 317 to 324 AD while his father was Augustus. His mother was Licinius wife Flavia Julia Constantia, who was also the half-sister of Constantine I, after his defeat by Constantine at the Battle of Chrysopolis, Licinius the elder was initially spared and placed in captivity at Thessalonica. However, within a year Constantine seems to have regretted his leniency, the younger Licinius, who was Constantines nephew, also fell victim to the emperors suspicions and was killed, probably in the context of the execution of Crispus in 326. Other reports relate that Licinius the younger was forced into slavery in the textile factories in Africa. However, the rescript of 336 makes it clear that the son of Licinianus referred to was not Licinius II as it directs that he be reduced to the slave status of his birth. No son of Constantines sister would have referred to in this manner. Auflage, Darmstadt 2004, S.296, ISBN 3-534-18240-5Licinius II – Licinius II. The inscription "LICINIUS IUN NOB C" translates as 'Licinius Junior Most Noble Caesar'
102. Constantine II (emperor) – Constantine II was Roman Emperor from 337 to 340. Son of Constantine the Great and co-emperor alongside his brothers, his attempt to exert his perceived rights of primogeniture led to his death in an invasion of Italy in 340. The eldest son of Constantine the Great and Fausta, after the death of his half-brother Crispus, Constantine II was born in Arles in February 316, on 1 March 317, he was made Caesar. In 323, at the age of seven, he took part in his fathers campaign against the Sarmatians, at age ten, he became commander of Gaul, following the death of Crispus. An inscription dating to 330 records the title of Alamannicus, so it is probable that his generals won a victory over the Alamanni and his military career continued when Constantine I made him field commander during the 332 campaign against the Goths. This arrangement barely survived Constantine I’s death, as his sons arranged the slaughter of most of the rest of the family by the army, as a result, the three brothers gathered together in Pannonia and there, on 9 September 337, divided the Roman world between themselves. Constantine, proclaimed Augustus by the troops received Gaul, Britannia and Hispania and he was soon involved in the struggle between factions rupturing the unity of the Christian Church. This action aggravated Constantius II, who was a supporter of Arianism. Constantine was initially the guardian of his younger brother Constans, whose portion of the empire was Italia, Africa, Constantine soon complained that he had not received the amount of territory that was his due as the eldest son. Soon, however, they began quarreling over which parts of the African provinces belonged to Carthage, and thus Constantine, and which belonged to Italy, and therefore Constans. Further complications arose when Constans came of age and Constantine, who had grown accustomed to dominating his younger brother, in 340 Constantine marched into Italy at the head of his troops. Constans, at time in Dacia, detached and sent a select and disciplined body of his Illyrian troops. Constantine was engaged in operations and was killed in an ambush outside Aquileia. Constans then took control of his brothers realm. I. R. Edward Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire Media related to Constantine II at Wikimedia CommonsConstantine II (emperor) – Statue of Emperor Constantine II as caesar on top of the Cordonata (the monumental ladder climbing up to Piazza del Campidoglio), in Rome.
103. Caesar (title) – Caesar is a title of imperial character. It derives from the cognomen of Julius Caesar, the Roman dictator, the change from being a familial name to a title adopted by the Roman Emperors can be dated to about AD 68/69, the so-called Year of the Four Emperors. For political and personal reasons Octavian chose to emphasize his relationship with Caesar by styling himself simply Imperator Caesar, without any of the other elements of his full name. His successor as emperor, his stepson Tiberius, also bore the name as a matter of course, born Tiberius Claudius Nero, he was adopted by Caesar Augustus on June 26,4 AD, as Tiberius Julius Caesar. The precedent was set, the Emperor designated his successor by adopting him, Claudius in turn adopted his stepson and grand-nephew Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, giving him the name Caesar in the traditional way, his stepson would rule as the Emperor Nero. Galba helped solidify Caesar as the title of the heir by giving it to his own adopted heir. Galbas reign did not last long and he was deposed by Marcus Otho. Otho did not at first use the title Caesar and occasionally used the title Nero as emperor, Otho was then defeated by Aulus Vitellius who acceded with the name Aulus Vitellius Germanicus Imperator Augustus. Vitellius did not adopt the cognomen Caesar as part of his name, vespasians son, Titus Flavius Vespasianus became Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus. By this point the status of Caesar had been regularised into that of a given to the Emperor-designate. After some variation among the earliest emperors, the style of the Emperor-designate on coins was usually Nobilissimus Caesar Most Noble Caesar, on March 1,293, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus established the Tetrarchy, a system of rule by two senior Emperors and two junior sub-Emperors. The two coequal senior emperors were styled identically to previous Emperors, as Imperator Caesar NN, pius Felix Invictus Augustus, and were called the Augusti, while the two junior sub-Emperors were styled identically to previous Emperors-designate, as Nobilissimus Caesar. Likewise, the junior sub-Emperors retained the title Caesar upon accession to the senior position, an exceptional case was the conferment of the dignity and its insignia to the Bulgarian khan Tervel by Justinian II who had helped him regain his throne in 705. The title was awarded to the brother of Empress Maria of Alania, according to the Klētorologion of 899, the Byzantine Caesars insignia were a crown without a cross, and the ceremony of a Caesars creation, is included in De Ceremoniis I.43. The title remained the highest in the hierarchy until the introduction of the sebastokratōr by Alexios I Komnenos. The title remained in existence through the last centuries of the Empire, in the late Byzantine hierarchy, as recorded in the mid-14th century Book of Offices of pseudo-Kodinos, the rank continued to come after the sebastokratōr. Pseudo-Kodinos writes that the forms of another form of hat, the domed skaranikon, and of the mantle. In the Middle East, the Persians and the Arabs continued to refer to the Roman and Byzantine emperors as CaesarCaesar (title) – Bust of Julius Caesar from the Naples National Archaeological Museum.
104. Constans – Constans or Constans I was Roman Emperor from 337 to 350. Constans was the third and youngest son of Constantine the Great and Fausta and he was educated at the court of his father at Constantinople under the tutelage of the poet Aemilius Magnus Arborius. On 25 December 333, Constantine I elevated Constans to the rank of Caesar at Constantinople, Constans became engaged to Olympias, the daughter of the Praetorian Prefect Ablabius, but the marriage never came to pass. The army proclaimed them Augusti on September 9,337, almost immediately, Constans was required to deal with a Sarmatian invasion in late 337, over whom he won a resounding victory. Constans was initially under the guardianship of Constantine II, the original settlement assigned Constans the praetorian prefectures of Italy and Africa. Constans was unhappy with this division, so the brothers met at Viminacium in 338 to revise the boundaries, Constantine II soon complained that he had not received the amount of territory that was his due as the eldest son. Soon, however, they began quarreling over which parts of the African provinces belonged to Carthage, and thus Constantine, and which belonged to Italy, and therefore Constans. This led to growing tensions between the two brothers, which were heightened by Constans finally coming of age and Constantine refusing to give up his guardianship. In 340 Constantine II invaded Italy, Constans, at that time in Dacia, detached and sent a select and disciplined body of his Illyrian troops, stating that he would follow them in person with the remainder of his forces. Constantine was eventually trapped at Aquileia, where he died, leaving Constans to inherit all of his brother’s former territories – Hispania, Britannia, Constans began his reign in an energetic fashion. In 341-42, he led a campaign against the Franks. Regarding religion, Constans was tolerant of Judaism and promulgated an edict banning pagan sacrifices in 341 and he suppressed Donatism in Africa and supported Nicene orthodoxy against Arianism, which was championed by his brother Constantius. Although Constans called the Council of Sardica in 343 to settle the conflict, it was a complete failure, the conflict was only resolved by an interim agreement which allowed each emperor to support their preferred clergy within their own spheres of influence. Nevertheless, Constans did sponsor a decree alongside Constantius II that ruled that based on unnatural sex should be punished meticulously. However, Boswell believed the decree outlawed homosexual marriages only and it may also be that Constans was not expressing his own feeling when promulgating the legislation but was rather trying to placate public outrage at his own perceived indecencies. In the final years of his reign, Constans developed a reputation for cruelty, dominated by favourites and openly preferring his select bodyguard, he lost the support of the legions. In 350, the general Magnentius declared himself emperor at Augustodunum with the support of the troops on the Rhine frontier and, later, Constans was enjoying himself nearby when he was notified of the elevation of Magnentius. Lacking any support beyond his immediate household, he was forced to flee for his life, a prophecy at his birth had said Constans would die in the arms of his grandmotherConstans – Bust of Constans
105. Valentinian II – Valentinian II, was Roman Emperor from AD375 to 392. Flavius Valentinianus was born to Emperor Valentinian I and his second wife and he was the half-brother of Valentinian’s other son, Gratian, who had shared the imperial title with his father since 367. He had three sisters Galla, Grata and Justa, the elder Valentinian died on campaign in Pannonia in 375. Neither Gratian nor his uncle Valens were consulted by the commanders on the scene. Instead of merely acknowledging Gratian as his father’s successor, Valentinian I’s generals acclaimed the four-year-old Valentinian augustus on 22 November 375. The army, and its Frankish general Merobaudes, may have been uneasy about Gratians lack of military ability, and so raised a boy who would not immediately aspire to military command. Gratian, forced to accommodate the generals who supported his half-brother, governed the provinces, while Italy, part of Illyricum. In 378, their uncle, the Emperor Valens, was killed in battle with the Goths at Adrianople, and Gratian invited the general Theodosius to be emperor in the East. As a child, Valentinian II was under the influence of his Arian mother, the Empress Justina, and the court at Milan. Justina used her influence over her son to oppose the Nicean party which was championed by Ambrose. In 385 Ambrose, backed by Milans populace, refused an imperial request to hand over the Portian basilica for the use of Arian troops. In 386 Justina and Valentinian received the Arian bishop Auxentius, Ambrose and his congregation barricaded themselves inside the church, and the imperial order was rescinded. Magnus Maximus used the emperor’s heterodoxy against him, and even his eventual protector, Theodosius, Valentinian also tried to restrain the despoiling of pagan temples in Rome. Valentinian, at the insistence of Ambrose, refused the request and, in so doing, rejected the traditions, in 383, Magnus Maximus, commander of the armies in Britain, declared himself Emperor and established himself in Gaul and Hispania. For a time the court of Valentinian, through the mediation of Ambrose, came to an accommodation with the usurper, in 386 or 387, Maximus crossed the Alps into the Po valley and threatened Milan. Valentinian II and Justina fled to Theodosius in Thessalonica, the latter came to an agreement, cemented by his marriage to Valentinian’s sister Galla, to restore the young emperor in the West. In 388, Theodosius marched west and defeated Maximus, although he was to appoint both of his sons emperor, Theodosius remained loyal to the dynasty of Valentinian I. After the defeat of Maximus, Theodosius remained in Milan until 391, Valentinian took no part in Theodosiuss triumphal celebrations over MaximusValentinian II – Bust of Valentinian II.
106. Joannes – Ioannes, known in English as Joannes or even John, was a Roman usurper against Valentinian III. On the death of the Emperor Honorius, Theodosius II, the ruler of the House of Theodosius hesitated in announcing his uncles death. In the interregnum, Honoriuss patrician at the time of his death, Castinus, Joannes was a primicerius notariorum or senior civil servant at the time of his elevation. Procopius praised him as gentle and well-endowed with sagacity and thoroughly capable of valorous deeds. Unlike the Theodosian emperors, he tolerated all Christian sects, from the beginning, his control over the empire was insecure. In Gaul, his praetorian prefect was slain at Arles in an uprising of the soldiery there, and Bonifacius, Comes of the Diocese of Africa, held back the grain fleet destined to Rome. The events of Johannes reign are as shadowy as its origins, writes John Matthews, Joannes was proclaimed at Rome and praetorian games were provided at the expense of a member of the gens Anicia. Johannes then moved his base of operations to Ravenna, knowing well that the Eastern Empire would strike from that direction. There is a mention of an expedition against Africa, but its fate, in Gaul, he appears to have caused offense by submitting clerics to secular courts. Late in 424, he gave to one of his younger and most promising followers, Aëtius, Aëtius, Governor of the Palace at the time, was sent to the Huns, with whom he had lived as a hostage earlier, to seek military help. While Aëtius was away, the army of the Eastern Empire left Thessalonica for Italy, three days after Joanness death, Aëtius returned at the head of a substantial Hunnic army. After some skirmishing, Placidia, regent to her son, the Huns were paid off and sent home, while Aetius received the position of magister militum. The historian Adrian Goldsworthy writes that it took a hard-fought campaign by elements of the East Roman army and navy, in addition to a fair dose of betrayal. Hugh Elton, Ioannes, from De Imperatoribus RomanisJoannes – Joannes on a solidus.
107. Petronius Maximus – Petronius Maximus was Western Roman Emperor for two and a half months in 455. A wealthy senator and a prominent aristocrat, he was instrumental in the murders of the Western Roman magister militum, Flavius Aëtius, Maximus was killed during the events culminating in the sack of Rome by the Vandals in 455. Petronius Maximus was born in about 396, although he was of obscure origin, it is now believed that he belonged to the Anicii family. Maximus achieved a remarkable career early in life, from January/February 420 to August/September 421 he was praefectus urbi of Rome, an office he held again sometime before 439, as praefectus he restored the Old St. Peters Basilica. He was also appointed praetorian prefect sometime between 421 and 439, it was either while holding this post or during his second urban prefecture that he was appointed consul for the year 433. From August 439 to February 441 he held the prefecture of Italy. Between 443 and 445 Maximus built a forum in Rome, on the Caelian Hill between via Labicana and the Basilica di San Clemente. During this year, he was briefly the most honored of all non-Imperial Romans, until the consulate of Flavius Aëtius, generalissimo of the Western empire. The enmity between Petronius Maximus and the powerful Patricius and magister militum of the West Aëtius clearly led to the events that brought down the Western Roman Empire. Initially however, the beneficiary of this was Maximus, who came to the throne as a result of the murders of Aëtius in 454. According to the historian John of Antioch, Maximus poisoned the mind of the Emperor against Aëtius, john’s account has it that Valentinian and Maximus placed a wager on a game that Maximus ended up losing. As he did not have the available, Maximus left his ring as a guarantee of his debt. Valentinian then used the ring to summon to court Lucina, the chaste and beautiful wife of Maximus, Lucina went to the court, believing she had been summoned by her husband, but instead found herself at dinner with Valentinian. Although initially resisting his advances, the Emperor managed to wear her down, returning home and meeting Maximus, she accused him of betrayal, believing that he had handed her over to the Emperor. Although Maximus swore revenge, he was motivated by ambition to supplant a detested and despicable rival. According to John of Antioch, Maximus was acutely aware that while Aëtius was alive he could not exact vengeance on Valentinian, so Aëtius had to be removed. He therefore allied himself with a eunuch of Valentinians, the primicerius sacri cubiculi Heraclius, according to John of Antioch, Maximus was so irritated by Valentinian’s refusal to appoint him as his magister militum that he decided to have Valentinian assassinated as well. He chose as accomplices Optilia and Thraustila, two Scythians who had fought under the command of Aetius and who, after the death of their general, had appointed as Valentinian’s escortPetronius Maximus – Solidus of Emperor Petronius Maximus.
108. Avitus – Marcus Maecilius Flavius Eparchius Avitus c. 380/395 – after 17 October 456 or in 457) was Western Roman Emperor from 8 or 9 July 455 to 17 October 456 and he was a senator and a high-ranking officer both in the civil and military administration, as well as Bishop of Piacenza. A Gallo-Roman aristocrat, he opposed the reduction of the Western Roman Empire to Italy alone, Avitus had a good relationship with the Visigoths, in particular with their king Theodoric II, who was a friend of his and who acclaimed Avitus Emperor. Avitus was born in Clermont to a family of the Gallo-Roman nobility and his father was possibly Flavius Julius Agricola, consul in 421. Avitus had two sons, Agricola and Ecdicius Avitus and a daughter Papianilla, she married Sidonius Apollinaris, whose letters and panegyrics remain an important source for Avitus life, Avitus followed a course of study typical for a young man of his rank, including law. Before 421 he was sent to the powerful patricius Flavius Constantius to ask for a tax reduction for his own country and his relative Theodorus was hostage at the court of the King of Visigoths, Theodoric I. In 425/426 Avitus went and met him and the King, who let Avitus enter his own court, here, around 439, Avitus met the son of Theodoric, Theodoric II, who later became King. Avitus inspired the young Theodoric to study Latin poets and he then started a military career serving under the magister militum Aetius in his campaign against the Juthungi and the Norics and against the Burgundians. In 437, after being elevated to the rank of vir illustris, he returned to Avernia, in the same year he defeated a group of Hunnic raiders near Clermont and obliged Theodoric to lift the siege of Narbonne. In 439 he became Praetorian prefect of Gaul and renewed the treaty with the Visigoths. Before the summer of 440, he retired to life at his estate, Avitacum. This embassy probably confirmed to the new king and his people the condition of foederati of the Empire, while Avitus was at Theodorics court, news came of the death of Petronius Maximus and of the sack of Rome by the Vandals of Gaiseric. Avitus stayed in Gaul for three months, to consolidate his power in the region that was the center of his support, on 21 September, finally, he entered Rome. The effective power of Avitus depended on the support of all the players in the Western Roman Empire in the mid-5th century. The new Emperor needed the support of both the institutions, the Roman senate and the Eastern Roman Emperor Marcian, as well as that of the army and its commanders. On 1 January 456, Avitus took the consulate, as traditionally the Emperors held the consulate in the first year upon assuming the purple, however, his consulate sine collega was not recognised by the Eastern court, which nominated two consuls, Iohannes and Varanes. Treaties under Marcian and a treaty of 442 between emperor Valentinian III and the Vandal king Gaiseric had failed to reduce Vandal incursions and raids along the Italian coast, Avitus own efforts secured a temporary winter truce with them, but in March 456, Vandals destroyed Capua. Avitus sent Ricimer to defend Sicily, and the Romans defeated the Vandals twice, once in a battle near AgrigentoAvitus – Tremissis of Emperor Avitus.
109. Anthemius – Anthemius was Western Roman Emperor from 467 to 472. Anthemius was killed by Ricimer, his own general of Gothic descent, Anthemius belonged to a noble family, the gens Procopia, which gave several high officers, both civil and military, to the Eastern Roman Empire. 400, descended from Flavius Philippus, Praetorian prefect of the East in 346, in 454 he was recalled to Constantinople, where he received the title of patricius in 454 or 455 and became one of the two magistri militum or magister utriusque militiae of the East. In 455 he received the honour of holding the consulate with the Western Emperor Valentinian III as colleague. Therefore, both empires had no Emperor, and the power was in the hands of the Western generals, Ricimer and Majorian, and of the Eastern Magister militum, the Alan Aspar. Anthemius stayed in service under the new Emperor, as magister militum, around 460, he defeated the Ostrogoths of Valamir in Illyricum. During the winter of 466/467 he defeated a group of Huns, led by Hormidac, the newly elected Eastern Roman Emperor, Leo I the Thracian, had a major foreign affairs problem, the Vandals of King Geiseric and their raids on the Italian coasts. After the death of Libius Severus in 465, the Western Empire had no Emperor, Gaiseric had his own candidate, Olybrius, who was related to Gaiseric because both Olybrius and a son of Gaiserics had married the two daughters of Emperor Valentinian III. With Olybrius on the throne, Gaiseric would become the power behind the throne of the Western Empire. Leo, on the hand, wanted to keep Gaiseric as far as possible from the imperial court at Ravenna. On 25 March 467, Leo I, with the consent of Ricimer, designated Anthemius Western Emperor as Caesar, on April 12, Anthemius was proclaimed Emperor at the third or twelfth mile from Rome. Anthemius election was celebrated in Constantinople with a panegyric by Dioscorus, the reign of Anthemius was characterised by a good diplomatic relationship with the Eastern Empire, for example, Anthemius is the last Western Emperor to be recorded in an Eastern law. Both courts collaborated in the choice of the consuls, as each court chose a consul. Anthemius had the honour of holding the consulate sine collega in 468, the following year the two consuls were Anthemius son, Marcian, and Leos son-in-law, Flavius Zeno. In 470 the consuls were Messius Phoebus Severus, Anthemius old friend and fellow student at Proclus school, Anthemius matrimonial policy also included the marriage of his only daughter, Alypia, and the powerful Magister militum Ricimer. The Vandals were the problem of the Western Empire. In 468, Leo the Thracian, Anthemius and Marcellinus organised an operation against the Vandal kingdom in Africa. The commander-in-chief of the operation was Leos brother-in-law Basiliscus, the fleet was defeated in the Battle of Cape Bon, however, with Marcellinus killed at Roman hands in its wakeAnthemius – Tremissis of Emperor Anthemius. His title is Our Lord, Anthemius, Pious, Fortunate, Augustus.
110. Theodosius II – There were also a Theodosius II of Abkhazia, a Patriarch Theodosius II of Alexandria and a Theodosius II of Constantinople. Additionally, Pope Theodoros I of Alexandria is also known as Theodosius II in Coptic history, Theodosius II, commonly surnamed Theodosius the Younger, or Theodosius the Calligrapher, was Eastern Roman Emperor from 408 to 450. He is mostly known for promulgating the Theodosian law code, and he also presided over the outbreak of two great christological controversies, Nestorianism and Eutychianism. Theodosius was born in 401 as the son of Emperor Arcadius. Already in January AD402 he was proclaimed co-Augustus by his father, in 408, his father died and the seven-year-old boy became Emperor of the Eastern half of the Roman Empire. Government was at first by the Praetorian Prefect Anthemius, under supervision the Theodosian land walls of Constantinople were constructed. In 414, Theodosius older sister Pulcheria was proclaimed Augusta and assumed the regency, by 416 Theodosius was declared Augustus in his own right and the regency ended, but his sister remained a strong influence on him. In June 421, Theodosius married Aelia Eudocia, a woman of Greek origin, the two had a daughter named Licinia Eudoxia. In 423, the Western Emperor Honorius, Theodosius uncle, died, Honorius sister Galla Placidia and her young son Valentinian fled to Constantinople to seek Eastern assistance and after some deliberation in 424 Theodosius opened the war against Joannes. On 23 October 425, Valentinian III was installed as Emperor of the West with the assistance of the magister officiorum Helion, to strengthen the ties between the two parts of the Empire, Theodosius daughter Licinia Eudoxia was betrothed to Valentinian. In 425, Theodosius founded the University of Constantinople with 31 chairs, among subjects were law, philosophy, medicine, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, music and rhetoric. In 429, Theodosius appointed a commission to collect all of the laws since the reign of Constantine I, and create a fully formalized system of law. The law code of Theodosius II, summarizing edicts promulgated since Constantine, formed a basis for the law code of Emperor Justinian I, the war with Persia proved indecisive, and a peace was arranged in 422 without changes to the status quo. The later wars of Theodosius were generally less successful, the Eastern Empire was plagued by raids by the Huns. Early in Theodosius IIs reign Romans used internal Hun discord to overcome Uldins invasion of the Balkans, the Romans strengthened their fortifications and in 424 agreed to pay 350 pounds of gold to encourage the Huns to remain at peace with the Romans. In 433 with the rise of Attila and Bleda to unify the Huns, when Roman Africa fell to the Vandals in 439, both Eastern and Western Emperors sent forces to Sicily, intending to launch an attack on the Vandals at Carthage, but this project failed. Seeing the Imperial borders without significant forces, the Huns and Sassanid Persia both attacked and the force had to be recalled. During 443 two Roman armies were defeated and destroyed by the Huns, anatolius negotiated a peace agreement, the Huns withdrew in exchange for humiliating concessions, including an annual tribute of 2,100 Roman pounds of goldTheodosius II – Bust of Theodosius II
111. Leo I the Thracian – Leo I was an Eastern Roman Emperor from 457 to 474. A native of Dacia Aureliana near historic Thrace, he was known as Leo the Thracian, ruling the Eastern Empire for nearly 20 years, Leo proved to be a capable ruler. He oversaw many ambitious political and military plans, aimed mostly for the aid of the faltering Western Roman Empire and he is notable for being the first Eastern Emperor to legislate in Greek rather than Latin. He is commemorated as a Saint in the Orthodox Church, with his feast day on January 20 and he was born Leo Marcellus in Thracia or in Dacia Aureliana province in the year 401 to a Thraco-Roman family. His Dacian origin is mentioned by Candidus Isaurus, while John Malalas believes that he was of Bessian stock and he served in the Roman army, rising to the rank of comes. Leo was the last of a series of emperors placed on the throne by Aspar, the Alan serving as commander-in-chief of the army, instead, Leo became more and more independent from Aspar, causing tension that would culminate in the assassination of the latter. Leos coronation as emperor on 7 February 457, was the first known to involve the Patriarch of Constantinople, Leo I made an alliance with the Isaurians and was thus able to eliminate Aspar. The price of the alliance was the marriage of Leos daughter to Tarasicodissa, leader of the Isaurians who, as Zeno, in 469, Aspar attempted to assassinate Zeno and very nearly succeeded. Finally, in 471, Aspars son Ardabur was implicated in a plot against Leo, Leo overestimated his capacities and he made some errors that menaced the internal order of the Empire. There were also some raids by the Huns, Leos reign was also noteworthy for his influence in the Western Roman Empire, marked by his appointment of Anthemius as Western Roman Emperor in 467. He attempted to build on this achievement with an expedition against the Vandals in 468. This disaster drained the Empire of men and money, the expedition, which cost 130,000 pounds of gold and 700 pounds of silver, consisted of 1,113 ships carrying 100,000 men, but in the end lost 600 ships. After this defeat, Vandals raided Greek coasts until a peace agreement was signed between Leo and Genseric. Leo became very unpopular in his last days as Emperor for abolishing any non-religious celebration or event on Sundays, Leo died of dysentery at the age of 73 on 18 January 474. Leo and Verina had three children and their eldest daughter Ariadne was born prior to the death of Marcian. Ariadne had a sister, Leontia. Leontia was first betrothed to Patricius, a son of Aspar, Leontia then married Marcian, a son of Emperor Anthemius and Marcia Euphemia. The couple led a revolt against Zeno in 478–479Leo I the Thracian – Imperial portrait of Leo I at the Louvre Museum
112. Justin II – Justin II was Eastern Roman Emperor from 565 to 574. He was the husband of Sophia, nephew of Justinian I and the Empress Theodora and his reign is marked by war with Sasanian Iran and the loss of the greater part of Italy. He presented the Cross of Justin II to Saint Peters, Rome and he was a son of Vigilantia and Dulcidio, respectively the sister and brother-in-law of Justinian. His siblings included Marcellus and Praejecta, Justinian I died on the night of 14 to 15 November 565. The clarification was needed because there was another nephew and candidate for the throne, Justin, modern historians suspect Callinicus may have fabricated the last words of Justinian to secure the succession for his political ally. As Robert Browning observed, Did Justinian really bring himself in the end to make a choice, in any case, Callinicus started alerting those most interested in the succession, originally various members of the Byzantine Senate. Then they jointly informed Justin and Vigilantia, offering the throne, Justin accepted after the traditional token show of reluctance, and with his wife Sophia, he was escorted to the Great Palace of Constantinople. The Excubitors blocked the palace entrances during the night, and early in the morning, John Scholasticus, Patriarch of Constantinople, only then was the death of Justinian and the succession of Justin publicly announced in the Hippodrome of Constantinople. Both the Patriarch and Tiberius, commander of the Excubitors, had recently appointed, with Justin having played a part in their respective appointments. Their willingness to elevate their patron and ally to the throne was hardly surprising, in the first few days of his reign Justin paid his uncles debts, administered justice in person, and proclaimed universal religious toleration. Contrary to his uncle, Justin relied completely on the support of the aristocratic party, proud of character, and faced with an empty treasury, he discontinued Justinians practice of buying off potential enemies. Immediately after his accession, Justin halted the payment of subsidies to the Avars and they quickly overran the Po valley, and within a few years they had made themselves masters of nearly the entire country. The Avars themselves crossed the Danube in 573 or 574, when the Empires attention was distracted by troubles on the Persian frontier and they were only placated by the payment of a subsidy of 60,000 silver pieces by Justins successor Tiberius. The North and East frontiers were the focus of Justins attention. In 572 his refusal to pay tribute to the Persians in combination with overtures to the Turks led to a war with the Sassanid Empire, after two disastrous campaigns, in which the Persians overran Syria and captured the strategically important fortress of Dara, Justin reportedly lost his mind. Istämi refused the first request, but when he sanctioned the second one and had the Sogdian embassy sent to the Sassanid king, Justin agreed and sent an embassy to the Turkic Khaganate, ensuring the direct silk trade desired by the Sogdians. Previte-Orton continues, In foreign affairs he took the attitude of the invincible, unbending Roman, the temporary fits of insanity into which Justin fell warned him to name a colleague. Passing over his own relatives, he raised, on the advice of Sophia, the general Tiberius to be Caesar in December 574, adopting him as his son, in 574, Sophia paid 45,000 solidi to Chosroes in return for a years truceJustin II – Solidus of Justin II
113. Tiberius II Constantine – Tiberius II Constantine was Eastern Roman Emperor from 574 to 582. Under Justin’s patronage, Tiberius was promoted to the position of Comes excubitorum and he was present during Justin’s Imperial accession on 14 November 565 and also attended the Emperor’s inauguration as Consul on 1 January 566. Justin ceased making payments to the Avars implemented by his predecessor Justinian, in 569, he appointed Tiberius to the post of Magister utriusque militiae with instructions to deal with the Avars and their demands. After a series of negotiations, Tiberius agreed to allow the Avars to settle on Roman territory in the Balkans in exchange for hostages taken from various Avar chiefs. Justin, however, rejected this agreement, insisting on taking hostages from the family of the Avar Khan himself and this condition was rejected by the Avars, so Tiberius mobilized for war. In 570 he defeated an Avar army in Thrace and returned to Constantinople, while attempting to follow up this victory, however, in late 570 or early 571 Tiberius was defeated in a subsequent battle where he narrowly escaped death as the army was fleeing the battlefield. Agreeing to a truce, Tiberius provided an escort to the Avar envoys to discuss the terms of a treaty with Justin, on their return, the Avar envoys were attacked and robbed by local tribesmen, prompting them to appeal to Tiberius for help. He tracked down the responsible and returned the stolen goods. To achieve a measure of breathing space, Tiberius and Sophia agreed to a truce with the Persians. On December 7,574, Justin, in one of his lucid moments, had Tiberius proclaimed Caesar. Tiberius added the name Constantine to his own, although his position was now official, he was still subordinate to Justin. Sophia was determined to remain in power and kept Tiberius tightly controlled until Justin died in 578, the day after his appointment as Caesar, the plague abated, giving Tiberius more freedom of movement than Justin was able to achieve. According to Paul the Deacon, Tiberius found two treasures, the treasure of Narses and 1,000 centenaria, that is 100,000 pounds of gold or 7,200,000 solidi and these treasures were given away to the poor, to the consternation of Sophia. Alongside generous donations, he proceeded to reduce state revenue by removing taxes on wine. He continued the ban on the sale of governorships, which was highly popular. In 575 Tiberius began moving the armies of Thrace and Illyricum to the eastern provinces, buying time to make the necessary preparations, he agreed to a three-year truce with the Persians, paying 30,000 nomismata, though the truce excluded action in the region around Armenia. Not content with making preparations, Tiberius also used this period to send reinforcements to Italy under the command of Baduarius with orders to stem the Lombard invasion. He saved Rome from the Lombards and allied the Empire with Childebert II, unfortunately, Baduarius was defeated and killed in 576, allowing even more imperial territory in Italy to slip awayTiberius II Constantine – Solidus of Tiberius II Constantine in consular uniform.
114. Heraklonas – Heraklonas was probably born at Lazica while his father was on campaign against Khosrau II of the Sassanid Empire. He was probably the son of Martina and Herakleios, but the first one born free of physical deformity. The premature death of Constantine III, in May 641, left Heraklonas sole ruler, but a suspicion that he and Martina had murdered Constantine led soon after to a revolt under the general Valentinus, who forced Heraklonas to accept his young nephew Constans II as co-ruler. Martina intended to balance this setback with the coronation of her son the Caesar David as emperor. But this merely irritated the supporters of Constans II, and Valentinus spread rumors that Martina and Heraklonas intended to eliminate Constans, the revolt which ensued toppled Heraklonas and his mother, who were subjected to mutilation and banishment. This was the first time an emperor had been subjected to mutilation. Nothing further is known about Heraklonas after his removal and exile to Rhodes and he is presumed to have died later that year. Constans II, the son of Constantine III, became sole emperor, list of Byzantine emperors This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, Chisholm, Hugh, ed. article name needed. The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press,1991, media related to Heraclonas at Wikimedia CommonsHeraklonas – Heraklonas with his father, Heraclius and brother, Constantine III
115. Constans II – Constans II,7 November 630 –15 September 668), also called Constantine the Bearded, was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 641 to 668. He was the last emperor to serve as consul, in 642, Constans is a diminutive nickname given to the Emperor, who had been baptized Herakleios and reigned officially as Constantine. The nickname established itself in Byzantine texts and has become standard in modern historiography, Constans was the son of Constantine III and Gregoria. Due to the rumours that Heraklonas and Martina had poisoned Constantine III, later that same year his uncle was deposed, and Constans II was left as sole emperor. Constans owed his rise to the throne to a reaction against his uncle. In 644 Valentinus attempted to power for himself but failed. Under Constans, the Byzantines completely withdrew from Egypt in 642, a Byzantine fleet under the admiral Manuel occupied Alexandria again in 645, but after a Muslim victory the following year this had to be abandoned. The situation was complicated by the violent opposition to Monothelitism by the clergy in the west, the latter fell in battle against the army of Caliph Uthman, and the region remained a vassal state under the Caliphate until civil war broke out and imperial rule was again restored. Naturally, this compromise satisfied few passionate participants in the dispute. Meanwhile, the advance of the Caliphate continued unabated, in 647 they had entered Armenia and Cappadocia and sacked Caesarea Mazaca. In the same year, they raided Africa and killed Gregory, in 648 the Arabs raided into Phrygia, and in 649 they launched their first maritime expedition against Crete. A major Arab offensive into Cilicia and Isauria in 650–651 forced the Emperor to enter negotiations with Caliph Uthmans governor of Syria. The truce that followed allowed a respite and made it possible for Constans to hold on to the western portions of Armenia. In 654, however, Muawiyah renewed his raids by sea, Caliph Uthman was preparing to attack Constantinople, but he did not carry out the plan when the first Fitna broke out in 656. In 659 he campaigned far to the east, taking advantage of a rebellion against the Caliphate in Media, the same year he concluded peace with the Arabs. Now Constans could turn to church once again. Pope Martin I had condemned both Monothelitism and Constans attempt to halt debates over it in the Lateran Council of 649, now the Emperor ordered his Exarch of Ravenna to arrest the Pope. Exarch Olympius excused himself from this task, but his successor, Theodore I Calliopas, Pope Martin was brought to Constantinople and condemned as a criminal, ultimately being exiled to Cherson, where he died in 655Constans II – Hexagram of Constans II
116. Constantine IV – Constantine IV, sometimes incorrectly called Pogonatos, the Bearded, out of confusion with his father, was Byzantine Emperor from 668 to 685. The eldest son of Constans II, Constantine IV had been named a co-emperor with his father in 654 and he had been given the responsibility of managing the affairs at Constantinople during his father’s extended absence in Italy and became senior Emperor when Constans was assassinated in 668. His mother was Fausta, daughter of patrician Valentinus, the first task before the new Emperor was the suppression of the military revolt in Sicily under Mezezius which had led to his fathers death. Within seven months of his accession, Constantine IV had dealt with the insurgency with the support of Pope Vitalian, but this success was overshadowed by troubles in the east. As early as 668 the Caliph Muawiyah I received an invitation from Saborios and he sent an army under his son Yazid against the Eastern Roman Empire. Yazid reached Chalcedon and took the important Byzantine center Amorion, while the city was quickly recovered, the Arabs next attacked Carthage and Sicily in 669. In 670 the Arabs captured Cyzicus and set up a base from which to further attacks into the heart of the Empire. Their fleet captured Smyrna and other cities in 672. Finally, in 672, the Arabs sent a fleet to attack Constantinople by sea. While Constantine was distracted by this, the Slavs unsuccessfully attacked Thessalonika, commencing in 674, the Arabs launched the long-awaited siege of Constantinople. Additional squadrons reinforced the forces of Abd ar-Rahman before they proceeded to the Hellespont, knowing that it was only a matter of time before Constantinople was under siege, Constantine had ensured that the city was well provisioned. He also constructed a number of fireships and fast-sailing boats provided with tubes or siphons for squirting fire. This is the first known use of Greek fire in combat, in September the Arabs, having failed in their attempts to take the city, sailed to Cyzicus, which they made their winter quarters. Over the following five years, the Arabs would return spring to continue the siege of Constantinople. The city survived, and finally in 678 the Arabs were forced to raise the siege, the Arabs withdrew and were almost simultaneously defeated on land in Lycia in Anatolia. This unexpected reverse forced Muawiyah I to seek a truce with Constantine, the raising of the siege allowed Constantine to go to the relief of Thessalonika, still under siege from the Slavs. With the temporary passing of the Arab threat, Constantine turned his attention to the Church, in November 680 Constantine convened the Sixth Ecumenical Council. Constantine presided in person during the formal aspects of the proceedings, surrounded by his court officials, the Council reaffirmed the Orthodox doctrines of the Council of Chalcedon in 451Constantine IV – Constantine IV and his retinue, mosaic in basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe (Ravenna)
117. Justinian II – Justinian II, surnamed the Rhinotmetos or Rhinotmetus, was the last Byzantine Emperor of the Heraclian Dynasty, reigning from 685 to 695 and again from 705 to 711. His second reign was even more despotic than the first, and it too saw his eventual overthrow in 711, Justinian II was eldest son of Emperor Constantine IV and Anastasia. His father raised him to the throne as joint emperor in 681 on the fall of his uncles Heraclius and Tiberius, in 685, at the age of sixteen, Justinian II succeeded his father as sole emperor. Due to Constantine IVs victories, the situation in the Eastern provinces of the Empire was stable when Justinian ascended the throne. After a preliminary strike against the Arabs in Armenia, Justinian managed to augment the sum paid by the Umayyad Caliphs as an annual tribute, the incomes of the provinces of Armenia and Iberia were divided among the two empires. In 687, as part of his agreements with the Caliphate, Justinian removed from their native Lebanon 12,000 Christian Maronites, additional resettlement efforts, aimed at the Mardaites and inhabitants of Cyprus allowed Justinian to reinforce naval forces depleted by earlier conflicts. Justinian took advantage of the peace in the East to regain possession of the Balkans, in 687 Justinian transferred cavalry troops from Anatolia to Thrace. With a great campaign in 688–689, Justinian defeated the Bulgars of Macedonia and was finally able to enter Thessalonica. The subdued Slavs were resettled in Anatolia, where they were to provide a force of 30,000 men. Emboldened by the increase of his forces in Anatolia, Justinian now renewed the war against the Arabs, with the help of his new troops, Justinian won a battle against the enemy in Armenia in 693, but they were soon bribed to revolt by the Arabs. The result was that Justinian was comprehensively defeated at the Battle of Sebastopolis, caused by the defection of most of his Slavic troops, while he himself was forced to flee to the Propontis. There, according to Theophanes, he took out his frustration by slaughtering as many of the Slavs in and around Opsikion as he could lay his hands on. In the meantime, a Patrician by the name of Symbatius proceeded to rebel in Armenia, and opened up the province to the Arabs, meanwhile, the Emperors bloody persecution of the Manichaeans and suppression of popular traditions of non-Orthodox origin caused dissension within the Church. In 692 Justinian convened the so-called Quinisext Council at Constantinople to put his religious policies into effect, the emperor ordered Pope Sergius I arrested, but the militias of Rome and Ravenna rebelled and took the Popes side. If his land policies threatened the aristocracy, his tax policy was no more popular with the common people, through his agents Stephen and Theodotos, the emperor raised the funds to gratify his sumptuous tastes and his mania for erecting costly buildings. This, ongoing religious discontent, conflicts with the aristocracy, in 695 the population rose under Leontios, the strategos of Hellas, and proclaimed him Emperor. Justinian was deposed and his nose was cut off to prevent his again seeking the throne and he was exiled to Cherson in the Crimea. Leontius, after a reign of three years, was in turn dethroned and imprisoned by Tiberius Apsimarus, who assumed the throneJustinian II – Justinian, on the reverse of this coin struck during his second reign, is holding a patriarchal globe with PAX, "peace"
118. Leo IV the Khazar – Leo IV the Khazar was Byzantine Emperor from 775 to 780 AD. Leo was the son of Emperor Constantine V by his first wife, Irene of Khazaria and he was crowned co-emperor by his father in 751. Leo was betrothed to Gisela, daughter of Pepin the Short, Leo then married Irene, an Athenian from a noble family, in December 769. In 775 Constantine V died, leaving Leo as sole emperor, on 24 April 776 Leo, following the precedent set by his father and grandfather, appointed his son, Constantine VI, co-emperor. This led to an uprising of Leo’s five half-brothers, including Caesar Nikephoros, the uprising was put down quickly, with the conspirators being beaten, tonsured, and exiled to Cherson under guard. Leo IV was raised as an iconoclast under his father but was married to Irene, realizing the division in his realm he pursued a path of conciliation towards the iconodules, previously declared heretical under imperial policy. In addition to the concessionary actions Leo also appointed an iconophile sympathizer, Paul of Cyprus, at the end of his reign, Leo reversed his stance of toleration. Leo himself set out with his army against the Bulgars but died of fever while on campaign, Leo’s death on 8 September 780 resulted in the accession of his wife, Irene, to the throne. Constantine VI was the son of Leo IV and succeeded him as emperor, ruling jointly with his mother. List of Byzantine emperors Ostrogorsky, George, Garland, Lynda, Irene of Athens, at roman-emperors. org Garland, Lynda, Leo IV, at roman-emperors. org Jenkins, Romilly, Byzantium, The Imperial Centuries, Weidenfeld and Nicoloson,1966. Treadgold, Warren, The Byzantine Revival, Stanford University Press,1988, the Chronicle of Theophanes Anni Mundi 6095–6305, Tr. Harry Turtledove University of Pennsylvania Press,1982Leo IV the Khazar – Gold solidus of Leo IV and his son Constantine VI (obverse), with busts of his grandfather Leo III the Isaurian and his father Constantine V in the reverse
119. Irene of Athens – Irene of Athens, also known as Irene Sarantapechaina, was Byzantine empress from 797 to 802. Before that, Irene was empress consort from 775 to 780 and she is best known for ending Iconoclasm. Irene was related to the noble Greek Sarantapechos family of Athens, although she was an orphan, her uncle or cousin Constantine Sarantapechos was a patrician and was possibly strategos of the theme of Hellas at the end of the 8th century. She was brought to Constantinople by Emperor Constantine V on 1 November 768 and was married to his son Leo IV on 17 December, on 14 January 771, Irene gave birth to a son, the future Constantine VI. When Constantine V died in September 775, Leo succeeded to the throne at the age of twenty-five years. Leo, though an iconoclast, pursued a policy of moderation towards iconodules, but his policies became much harsher in August 780, according to tradition, he discovered icons concealed among Irenes possessions and refused to share the marriage bed with her thereafter. Nevertheless, when Leo died on 8 September 780, Irene became regent for their nine-year-old son Constantine, Irene was almost immediately confronted with a conspiracy that tried to raise Caesar Nikephoros, a half-brother of Leo IV, to the throne. To overcome this challenge, she had Nikephoros and his co-conspirators ordained as priests, as early as 781, Irene began to seek a closer relationship with the Carolingian dynasty and the Papacy in Rome. She negotiated a marriage between her son Constantine and Rotrude, a daughter of Charlemagne by his third wife Hildegard, during this time Charlemagne was at war with the Saxons, and would later become the new king of the Franks. Irene went as far as to send an official to instruct the Frankish princess in Greek, however, Irene herself broke off the engagement in 787, Irene next had to subdue a rebellion led by Elpidius, the strategos of Sicily. Irene sent a fleet, which succeeded in defeating the Sicilians, Elpidius fled to Africa, where he defected to the Abbasid Caliphate. After the success of Constantine Vs general, Michael Lachanodrakon, who foiled an Abbasid attack on the eastern frontiers, Irenes most notable act was the restoration of the veneration of icons. Having chosen Tarasios, one of her partisans and her secretary, as Patriarch of Constantinople in 784. The first of these, held in 786 at Constantinople, was frustrated by the opposition of the iconoclast soldiers, the second, convened at Nicaea in 787, formally revived the veneration of icons and reunited the Eastern church with that of Rome. While this greatly improved relations with the Papacy, it did not prevent the outbreak of a war with the Franks, nevertheless, Irene was constantly harried by the Abbasids, and in 782 and 798 had to accept the terms of the respective Caliphs Al-Mahdi and Harun al-Rashid. As Constantine approached maturity he began to grow restless under her autocratic sway, an attempt to free himself by force was met and crushed by the Empress, who demanded that the oath of fidelity should thenceforward be taken in her name alone. The discontent which this occasioned swelled in 790 into open resistance, Constantine could only flee for aid to the provinces, but even there participants in the plot surrounded him. Seized by his attendants on the Asiatic shore of the Bosphorus and his eyes were gouged out, and he died from his wounds several days laterIrene of Athens – Image from "Pala d'Oro", Venice, c. 10th century
120. Michael III – Michael III was Byzantine Emperor from 842 to 867. Michael III was the third and traditionally last member of the Amorian dynasty, Michael was the youngest child of the emperor Theophilos and his empress Theodora. Already crowned co-ruler by his father in his infancy in 840, during his minority, the empire was governed by a regency headed by his mother Theodora, her uncle Sergios, and the minister Theoktistos. The empress had iconodule sympathies and deposed Patriarch John VII of Constantinople and this put an end to the second spell of iconoclasm. As the emperor was growing up, the courtiers around him fought for influence, increasingly fond of his uncle Bardas, Michael invested him with the title kaisar and allowed him to murder Theoktistos in November 855. With the support of Bardas and another uncle, a general named Petronas, Michael III overthrew the regency on March 15,856 and relegated his mother. The internal stabilization of the state was not entirely matched along the frontiers, Byzantine forces were defeated by the Abbasids in Pamphylia, Crete, and on the border with Syria, but a Byzantine fleet of 85 ships did score a victory over the Arabs in 853. There were also many operations around the Aegean and off the Syrian coast by at least three more fleets, numbering 300 ships total, Michael was also responsible, as per the writings of Constantine VII, for the subjugation of the Slavs settled in the Peloponnese. A conflict between the Byzantines and Bulgarian Empire occurred during 855 and 856, the Byzantine Empire wanted to regain its control over some areas of Thrace, including Philippopolis and the ports around the Gulf of Burgas on the Black Sea. At the time of this campaign the Bulgarians were distracted by a war with the Franks under Louis the German, in 853 Boris had allied himself to Rastislav of Moravia against the Franks. The Bulgarians were heavily defeated by the Franks, following this the Moravians changed sides, in 859, he personally led a siege on Samosata, but in 860 had to abandon the expedition to repel an attack by the Rus on Constantinople. In 863, Petronas defeated and killed the emir of Melitene at the battle of Lalakaon, Bardas justified his usurpation of the regency by introducing various internal reforms. Photios, originally a layman, had entered holy orders and was promoted to the position of patriarch on the dismissal of the troublesome Ignatios in 858. This created a schism within the Church and, although a Constantinopolitan synod in 861 confirmed Photios as patriarch, Ignatios appealed to Pope Nicholas I, who declared Photios illegitimate in 863. The conflict over the throne and supreme authority within the church was exacerbated by the success of the active missionary efforts launched by Photios. Under the guidance of Patriarch Photios, Michael sponsored the mission of Saints Cyril, Michael III stood as sponsor, by proxy, for Boris at his baptism. Boris took the name of Michael at the ceremony. The Byzantines also allowed the Bulgarians to reclaim the contested border region of Zagora, the conversion of the Bulgarians has been evaluated as one of the greatest cultural and political achievements of the Byzantine EmpireMichael III – Michael III
121. Christopher Lekapenos – Christopher Lekapenos or Lecapenus was the eldest son of Emperor Romanos I Lekapenos and co-emperor from 921 until his death in 931. Christopher was the oldest son of Romanos Lekapenos, and the second-oldest child after his sister Helena, younger siblings were Agatha, who married Romanos Argyros, Stephen and Constantine, Theophylact, and two unnamed younger sisters. Nothing is known of Christophers early life and he was certainly an adult by 919–920, and had a daughter of marriageable age in 927, hence he was probably born around 890–895. Already before his fathers rise to power, he had married to Sophia, the daughter of the wealthy patrikios Niketas. Romanos soon crowned emperor, and eventually advanced himself before the young Constantine in precedence. To further cement his position, and planning to advance his own family over the legitimate Macedonian line, furthermore, when Christophers mother, the Augusta Theodora died in February 922, his wife Sophia was raised to the dignity of Augusta alongside Helena Lekapene. In 927, as part of an agreement, Christophers daughter Maria. Romanos used the occasion to advance Christopher before Constantine Porphyrogennetos, making him first among the large group of co-emperors. In 928, his father-in-law, the patrikios Niketas, unsuccessfully tried to incite Christopher to depose his father, the motive behind this was perhaps Christophers poor health, and fears by his wife and her father that, should he die prematurely, they would lose their status. In the event, Christopher died in August 931, much mourned by his father, soon after Christophers death, Sophia too retired from the court and entered a monastery, where she died. Through his marriage to Sophia, Christopher had three children, Maria-Eirene, the Empress-consort of Peter I of Bulgaria, Romanos, still a child at the time of Christophers death. According to Zonaras he was favoured by his grandfather, who thought about promoting him to his fathers place as senior co-emperor, michael, an infant at the time of Christophers death, he was made a cleric at the time of the familys fall from power in 945. He eventually reached the high dignities of magistros and rhaiktor, grierson, Philip, Bellinger, Alfred Raymond, eds. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection,3, Leo III to Nicephorus III, 717–1081, Dumbarton Oaks, ISBN 978-0-88402-045-5 Kazhdan, Alexander, edChristopher Lekapenos – Gold solidus of Romanos I with Christopher
122. John I Tzimiskes – John I Tzimiskes was the senior Byzantine Emperor from 11 December 969 to 10 January 976. An intuitive and successful general, he strengthened the Empire and expanded its borders during his short reign, John I Tzimiskes was born into the Kourkouas clan, a family of Armenian origin. Scholars have speculated that his nickname Tzimiskes was derived either from the Armenian Chmushkik, meaning red boot, or from an Armenian word for short stature. A more favorable explanation is offered by the medieval Armenian historian Matthew of Edessa, Khozan was located in the region of Paghnatun, in the Byzantine province of Fourth Armenia. Tzimiskes was born sometime in 925 to a member of the Kourkouas family. Both the Kourkouai and the Phokadai were distinguished Cappadocian families, several of their members had served as prominent army generals, most notably the great John Kourkouas, who conquered Melitene and much of Armenia. Contemporary sources describe Tzimiskes as a short but well-built man, with reddish blonde hair and beard. He seems to have joined the army at an early age, the latter is also considered his instructor in the art of war. Partly because of his connections and partly because of his personal abilities, Tzimiskes quickly rose through the ranks. He was given the political and military command of the theme of Armenia before he turned twenty-five years old and his marriage to Maria Skleraina, daughter of Pantherios Skleros and sister of Bardas Skleros, linked him to the influential family of the Skleroi. Little is known about her, she died before his rise to the throne, the contemporary historian Leo the Deacon remarks that she excelled in both beauty and wisdom. The Byzantine Empire was at war with its neighbors, the various autonomous and semi-autonomous emirates emerging from the break-up of the Abbasid Caliphate. The most prominent among them was the Hamdanid Emirate of Aleppo, Armenia served as the borderland between the two Empires, and Tzimiskes successfully defended his province. He and his troops joined the part of the army. Nikephoros justified his name with a series of victories, moving the borders further east with the capture of about 60 border cities including Aleppo, by 962 the Hamdanids had sued for peace with favorable terms for the Byzantines, securing the eastern border of the Empire for some years. Tzimiskes distinguished himself during the war both at the side of his uncle and at leading parts of the army to battle under his personal command and he was rather popular with his troops and gained a reputation for taking the initiative during battles, turning their course. On the death of Emperor Romanos II in 963, Tzimiskes urged his uncle to seize the throne, to solidify his position, Tzimiskes married Theodora, a daughter of Emperor Constantine VII. He proceeded to justify his usurpation by repelling the invaders of the EmpireJohn I Tzimiskes – Gold histamenon of John Tzimiskes, showing him crowned by the Virgin Mary.
123. Constantine VIII – Constantine VIII was reigning Byzantine Emperor from 15 December 1025 until his death in 1028. He was the son of the Emperor Romanos II and Theophano, and the brother of the eminent Basil II. As a youth, Constantine VIII had been engaged to a daughter of Emperor Boris II of Bulgaria, by her he had three daughters, Eudokia, who became a nun, Zoe and Theodora of Byzantium. Constantine VIII had been crowned with his brother by their father in 962, however, for some 63 out of the 68 years of his life he was eclipsed by other emperors, including Nikephoros II Phokas, John I Tzimiskes, and Basil II. Even when his brother became senior emperor, Constantine was perfectly content to enjoy all the privileges of Imperial status without concerning himself with state affairs. On occasion Constantine participated in his brothers campaigns against rebel nobles, in 989, he acted as mediator between Basil II and Bardas Skleros. Otherwise he spent his life in the search of pleasure and entertainment, including spectator sports at the Hippodrome of Constantinople, when Basil II died on 15 December 1025, Constantine finally became sole emperor, ruling for less than three years before his own death on 11 November 1028. Physically Constantine was tall and graceful, where Basil had been short, by the time he became emperor, he had chronic gout and could hardly walk. His reign was a disaster because he lacked courage and political savvy and he reacted to every challenge with impulsive cruelty, persecuting uppity nobles and allegedly ordering the execution or mutilation of hundreds of innocent men. Constantine carried on as he always had – hunting, feasting and he was poor at appointing officials. Within months, the laws of Basil II were dropped under pressure from the Anatolian aristocracy. Like his brother, Constantine died without a male heir, the Empire thus passed to his daughter Zoe, whom he had married to Romanos Argyros. List of Byzantine emperors Michael Psellus, Chronographia, the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press,1991Constantine VIII – Constantine VIII on the reverse of this histamenon coin, with crown, pelled labarum and akakia.
124. Zoe Porphyrogenita – Zoë reigned as Byzantine Empress alongside her sister Theodora from April 19 to June 11,1042. She was also enthroned as the Empress Consort to a series of co-rulers beginning with Romanos III in 1028 until her death in 1050 while married to Constantine IX, Zoë was one of the few Byzantine empresses who was Porphyrogenita, or born into the purple. She was the daughter of Constantine VIII and Helena, daughter of Alypius. Her father had become co-emperor in 962 and sole emperor in 1025 and his reign as sole emperor lasted less than three years, from December 15,1025 to November 15,1028. As an eligible imperial princess she was considered as a bride for the Holy Roman Emperor. A second embassy sent in 1001, headed by Arnulf, Archbishop of Milan, was tasked with selecting Otto’s bride from among Constantine’s three daughters, the eldest, Eudocia, was disfigured by smallpox, while the youngest, Theodora, was a very plain girl. Arnulf therefore selected the attractive 23-year-old Zoë, to which her uncle Basil II agreed, in January 1002 she accompanied Arnulf back to Italy, only to discover when the ship reached Bari that Otto III had died, forcing her to return home. Another opportunity arose in 1028, when an embassy from the Holy Roman Empire arrived in Constantinople with a proposal for an imperial marriage. Constantine VIII and the fifty-year-old Zoë rejected the idea out of hand when it was revealed that the intended groom Henry, the son of Conrad II, was only ten years old. Worried by the prospect of associating another man with the imperial house, consequently, Zoë lived a life of virtual obscurity in the imperial gynaeceum until circumstances forced her into the centre of imperial politics. The first potential match for Zoë was the distinguished noble Constantine Dalassenos and he was eventually overlooked for Romanos III Argyros, the urban prefect of Constantinople. They married on November 10,1028 in the chapel of the palace. Spending years in the same quarters with her sister, Zoë came to loathe Theodora. Shortly afterwards, Theodora was accused of plotting to usurp the throne, first with Presian of Bulgaria, followed by Constantine Diogenes, Zoë accused her of being part of the conspiracy, and Theodora was forcibly confined in the monastery of Petrion. Zoë later visited her sister and forced her to take religious vows, Zoë was similarly obsessed with continuing the Macedonian dynasty. Almost immediately upon marrying Romanos, the fifty-year-old Zoë tried desperately to become pregnant and she tried using magic charms, amulets, and potions, all without effect. This failure to conceive helped alienate the couple, and soon Romanos refused to share the bed with her, Romanos incurred his wifes animosity by paying little attention to her and limiting her spending, while he tolerated her various affairs. Eventually however, in 1033, Zoë became enamoured of her courtier Michael, flaunted her lover openly, hearing the rumours, Romanos was concerned and confronted Michael, but he denied the accusationsZoe Porphyrogenita – Empress Zoe as depicted in a mosaic from the Hagia Sophia
125. Romanos III Argyros – Romanos III Argyros, or Romanus III Argyrus, was Byzantine emperor from 15 November 1028 until his death. Romanos father was the son of another Romanos Argyros, who had married Agatha, Romanos served as krites in Opsikion, with the rank of protospatharios. In this capacity he persecuted heretics at Akmoneia and he was then promoted to the post of quaestor, and became one of the judges of the Hippodrome. In this role he is mentioned in the Peira, a compendium of legal decisions compiled by the notable jurist Eustathios Rhomaios and he was promoted further to the rank of patrikios and the post of oikonomos of the Great Church, while continuing to preside over a tribunal. At the time of the death of Basil IIs successor, Emperor Constantine VIII, in 1028, Romanos attracted the attention of Constantine VIII, who forced him to divorce his wife and to marry the emperors daughter Zoe Porphyrogenita. The marriage took place on 12 November 1028, and three days later Constantine VIII died, leaving Romanos III as emperor, the new emperor showed great eagerness to make his mark as a ruler, but was mostly unfortunate in his enterprises. He spent large sums upon new buildings and in endowing the monks and his endeavour to relieve the pressure of taxation disorganized the finances of the state. Idealizing Marcus Aurelius, Romanos aspired to be a new philosopher king, in a vain attempt to reduce expenditure, Romanos limited his wifes expenses, which merely exacerbated the alienation between the two. At home Romanos III faced several conspiracies, mostly centered on his sister-in-law Theodora and he was buried in the Church of St. Mary Peribleptos, which he built. By his first wife Helena, Romanos III Argyros had a daughter and he had no children by his second wife Zoe. List of Byzantine emperors Michael Psellus, Chronographia, the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press,1991. This article incorporates text from a now in the public domain, Chisholm, Hugh. The Miliaresion Poet, the inscription on a silver coin of Romanos III Argyros. Media related to Romanos III Argyros at Wikimedia Commons Romanus coinageRomanos III Argyros – Silver miliaresion of Romanos III
126. Michael IV the Paphlagonian – Michael IV the Paphlagonian was Byzantine Emperor from 11 April 1034 to his death on 10 December 1041. He owed his elevation to Empress Zoe, daughter of Emperor Constantine VIII, Michael came from a family of Paphlagonian peasants, one of whom, the parakoimomenos John the Orphanotrophos, had come to preside over the womans quarters at the imperial palace. John brought his brothers into the court and there the empress Zoe became enamoured of the youngest, Michael. Prior to his appointment, Michael was originally a money-changer. Zoe flaunted Michael openly, and spoke about making him emperor, hearing the rumours, Romanos was concerned and confronted Michael, but he denied the accusations, swearing his innocence on some holy relics. Then, on April 11,1034, Zoe’s husband, Romanos III was found dead in his bath, rumours soon began circulating that Zoe and Michael had decided to use a slow poison to kill him. However, becoming impatient with the poison Michael had had him strangled or drowned, adding weight to the rumours was the speed with which Zoe and Michael were married, on the very day that Romanos III died. The next day, April 12,1034, the couple summoned the Patriarch Alexios I to officiate in the coronation of the new emperor, although he initially refused to co-operate, the payment of 50 pounds of gold helped change his mind. He proceeded to crown Michael IV as the new emperor of the Romans, Michael IV was handsome, clever, and generous, but he was uneducated and suffered from epileptic fits. Michael IV was concerned about Zoe turning on him the way she had turned on Romanos, Zoe was confined to the palace gynaeceum, and kept under strict surveillance, while Michael’s visits grew more and more infrequent. Johns reforms of the army and financial system revived for a while the strength of the Empire, but the increase in taxation caused discontent among both nobles and commoners. Johns monopoly of the government, and his policies, such as the introduction of the Aerikon tax, led to several failed conspiracies against him, there were local revolts at Antioch, Nicopolis and Bulgaria. In 1034, Constantine Dalassenos was arrested by Michael on suspicion of treason, in 1037, Zoe was involved in a conspiracy to have John the Eunuch poisoned. In 1038, there was an uprising in the armies in Anatolia, in 1040, there was a conspiracy involving the patrician Michael Keroularios, who became a monk to save his life and was later elected as Patriarch of Constantinople. Finally, during the Bulgarian uprising of 1040, John the Eunuch was forced to arrest suspected plotters in Anatolia and he was unable to capture the Strategos of Theodosiopolis, who joined the rebellion and attempted to capture Thessalonica. In military affairs, Michaels reign began badly, the Arabs sacked Myra, the Serbs had thrown off Byzantine authority, and the Pechenegs were raiding almost at will up to the gates of Thessalonica. On the western front, in Sicily, Michael and John ordered the general George Maniakes to drive the Arabs out of the island, beginning in 1038, Maniakes landed in southern Italy and soon had captured Messina. He then began defeating the scattered Arab forces and taking towns in the west and south of the island, by 1040, he had stormed and taken SyracuseMichael IV the Paphlagonian – Histamenon from the reign of Michael IV. Facing bust of Christ Pantokrator (obverse) and facing bust of Michael, wearing crown and loros, holding labarum and globus cruciger (reverse).
127. Michael VII Doukas – Michael VII Doukas or Dukas/Ducas, nicknamed Parapinakēs, was Byzantine emperor from 1071 to 1078. Michael VII was born c.1050 in Constantinople, the eldest son of Constantine X Doukas and he was associated with his father on the throne late in 1059, together with or shortly before his newly born brother Konstantios Doukas. When Constantine X died in 1067, Michael VII was 17 years old and should have been able to rule by himself and he exhibited little interest in politics, however, and his mother Eudokia and uncle John Doukas governed the empire as effective regents. On January 1,1068, Eudokia married the general Romanos Diogenes, who now became senior co-emperor alongside Michael VII, Konstantios, and another brother, Andronikos. They conspired to keep Romanos from regaining power after his release from captivity, after the dispatch of Eudokia to a monastery, Michael VII was crowned again on October 24,1071 as senior emperor. Although still advised by Michael Psellos and John Doukas, Michael VII became increasingly reliant on his finance minister Nikephoritzes, the emperors chief interests, shaped by Psellos, were in academic pursuits, and he allowed Nikephoritzes to increase both taxation and luxury spending without properly financing the army. As an emperor he was incompetent, surrounded by sycophantic court officials, in dire straits, imperial officials resorted to property confiscations and even expropriated some of the wealth of the church. The underpaid army tended to mutiny, and the Byzantines lost Bari, their last possession in Italy, simultaneously, they faced a serious revolt in the Balkans, where they faced an attempt for the restoration of the Bulgarian state. Although this revolt was suppressed by the general Nikephoros Bryennios, the Byzantine Empire was unable to recover its losses in Asia Minor. The problem was made worse by the desertion of the Byzantines western mercenaries and this campaign also ended in failure, and its commander was likewise captured by the enemy. The victorious mercenaries now forced John Doukas to stand as pretender to the throne, the government of Michael VII was forced to recognize the conquests of the Seljuks in Asia Minor in 1074, and to seek their support. A new army under Alexios Komnenos, reinforced by Seljuk troops sent by Malik Shah I, finally defeated the mercenaries and these misfortunes caused widespread dissatisfaction, exacerbated by the devaluation of the currency, which gave the emperor his nickname Parapinakēs, minus a quarter. In 1078 two generals, Nikephoros Bryennios and Nikephoros Botaneiates, simultaneously revolted in the Balkans and Anatolia, Botaneiates gained the support of the Seljuk Turks, and he reached Constantinople first. Michael VII resigned the throne with hardly a struggle on March 31,1078 and he later became metropolitan of Ephesus and died in Constantinople in c. Before his resignation from the throne, Michael VII may have sent an embassy to Song China, the History of Song mentions how the Byzantine diplomat and official named Ni-si-tu-ling-si-meng-pan offered saddled horses, sword-blades, and real pearls as tributary gifts to the Song court. Various usurpers attempted to overthrow Michael VII or rule parts of the empire and these included, Nestor – A former slave of Constantine X, Nestor had been promoted to become the dux of Paradounavon, a region bordering the Danube. The troops were eager to plunder the Bulgarians, and Nestor obtained the assistance of one of the chiefs of the Patzinaks before marching onto Constantinople, defeated by Alexios Komnenos in 1078, Nestor remained with the Patzinaks, and retreated with them back to Paradunavum. Philaretos Brachamios Caesar John Doukas Nikephoros Bryennios Nikephoros Botaneiates Michael VII Doukas married Maria of Alania, by her he had at least one son, Constantine Doukas, co-emperor from c.1075 to 1078 and from 1081 to 1087/8Michael VII Doukas – Nomisma histamenon of Michael VII Doukas. Emperor with attributes.
128. Alexios I Komnenos – Alexios I Komnenos, was Byzantine emperor from 1081 to 1118. Although he was not the founder of the Komnenian dynasty, it was during his reign that the Komnenos family came to full power, the basis for this recovery were various reforms initiated by Alexios. His appeals to Western Europe for help against the Turks were also the catalyst that contributed to the convoking of the Crusades. Alexios was the son of the Domestic of the Schools John Komnenos and Anna Dalassena, Alexios father declined the throne on the abdication of Isaac, who was thus succeeded by four emperors of other families between 1059 and 1081. Under one of these emperors, Romanos IV Diogenes, Alexios served with distinction against the Seljuq Turks. Under Michael VII Doukas Parapinakes and Nikephoros III Botaneiates, he was employed, along with his elder brother Isaac, against rebels in Asia Minor, Thrace. In 1074, western mercenaries led by Roussel de Bailleul rebelled in Asia Minor, in 1078, he was appointed commander of the field army in the West by Nikephoros III. Alexios was ordered to march against his brother-in-law Nikephoros Melissenos in Asia Minor and this did not, however, lead to a demotion, as Alexios was needed to counter the expected invasion of the Normans of Southern Italy, led by Robert Guiscard. While Byzantine troops were assembling for the expedition, the Doukas faction at court approached Alexios, the mother of Alexios, Anna Dalassena, was to play a prominent role in this coup détat of 1081, along with the current empress, Maria of Alania. First married to Michael VII Doukas and secondly to Nikephoros III Botaneiates, she was preoccupied with the future of her son by Michael VII, furthermore, to aid the conspiracy Maria had adopted Alexios as her son, though she was only five years older than he. Maria was persuaded to do so on the advice of her own Alans and her eunuchs, given Annas tight hold on her family, Alexios must have been adopted with her implicit approval. As a result, Alexios and Constantine, Marias son, were now adoptive brothers, by secretly giving inside information to the Komnenoi, Maria was an invaluable ally. As stated in the Alexiad, Isaac and Alexios left Constantinople in mid-February 1081 to raise an army against Botaneiates, however, when the time came, Anna quickly and surreptitiously mobilized the remainder of the family and took refuge in the Hagia Sophia. From there she negotiated with the emperor for the safety of family members left in the capital, the tutor discovered they were missing and eventually found them on the palace grounds, but Anna was able to convince him that they would return to the palace shortly. However, before they were to gain entry into the sanctuary, Straboromanos and she refused to go with them and demanded that they allow her to pray to the Mother of God for protection. This request was granted and Anna then manifested her true theatrical and manipulative capabilities, Nikephoros III Botaneiates was forced into a public vow that he would grant protection to the family. Straboromanos tried to give Anna his cross, but for her it was not sufficiently enough for all bystanders to witness the oath. She also demanded that the cross be personally sent by Botaneiates as a vow of his good faith and he obliged, sending a complete assurance for the family with his own crossAlexios I Komnenos – Portrait of Emperor Alexios I, from a Greek manuscript
129. John II Komnenos – John II Komnenos or Comnenus was Byzantine Emperor from 1118 to 1143. John was a pious and dedicated monarch who was determined to undo the damage his empire had suffered following the battle of Manzikert, John has been assessed as the greatest of the Komnenian emperors. In the southeast, John extended Byzantine control from the Maeander in the west all the way to Cilicia, also under John, the empires population recovered to about 10 million people. Unfortunately, Johns reign is well recorded by contemporary or near-contemporary writers than those of either his father, Alexios I, or his son. In particular little is known of the history of Johns domestic rule or policies, the Latin historian William of Tyre described John as short and unusually ugly, with eyes, hair and complexion so dark he was known as the Moor. Yet despite his appearance, John was known as Kaloïōannēs. The epithet referred not to his body but to his character, both his parents had been unusually pious and John surpassed them. Members of his court were expected to restrict their conversation to serious subjects only, the food served at the emperors table was very frugal and John lectured courtiers who lived in excessive luxury. His speech was dignified, but he engaged in repartee on occasion, as a father he was affectionate, though he demanded high standards from his children, and he was a faithful husband to his wife. Despite his personal austerity, John had a conception of the imperial role. He was highly respected and honoured by his subjects, John was famed for his piety and his remarkably mild and just reign. He is an example of a moral ruler, at a time when cruelty was the norm. He is reputed never to have condemned anyone to death or mutilation, for this reason, he has been called the Byzantine Marcus Aurelius. By the example of his purity and piety he effected a notable improvement in the manners of his age. John II succeeded his father as ruling basileus in 1118, but had already been proclaimed co-emperor by Alexios I on September 1,1092, Niketas Choniates alone tells of the actions by which John II secured his own accession to power. Alexios I had favoured John to succeed him over his wife Irenes favourite, the Caesar Nikephoros Bryennios, Alexios resorted to dissimulation in order to avert Irenes criticism of his choice and her demands that Nikephoros should succeed. Then, taking up arms, he rode to the Great Palace, Irene was taken by surprise and was unable either to persuade her son to desist, or to induce Nikephoros to act against him. Although the palace guard at first refused to admit John without proof of his fathers wishes, John refused to join the funeral procession, in spite of his mothers urging, because his hold on power was so tenuousJohn II Komnenos – Mosaic of John II at the Hagia Sophia
130. Alexios Komnenos (co-emperor) – Alexios Komnenos, latinised as Alexius Comnenus, was the eldest son of the Byzantine emperor John II Komnenos and his wife Eirene of Hungary. He was born in February 1106 at Balabista in Macedonia, was made co-emperor with his father at 16 or 17 years of age and he was an elder brother of the emperor Manuel I Komnenos, and had a twin sister, Maria Komnene. Alexios was made co-emperor by his father in 1122, but died in 1142 and this was the year before his fathers death as the result of a hunting accident. The reign of John II is less well chronicled than those of his father, Alexios I, or successor, Manuel I, a panegyrical poem by Theodore Prodromos was addressed to John and his son on the occasion of the coronation of Alexios. His final illness is described. of the severest kind and of short duration, took the form of a rushing fever attacking the head as though it were an acropolis. The location of Alexios death, at Attalia, suggests that he was on campaign with his father, Alexios younger brother Andronikos was charged with escorting the body back to Constantinople, however, while discharging this duty, he too was taken ill and died. The identity of his wife is uncertain and it is possible he was married twice, the first wife being Dobrodjeja Mstislavna of Kiev, a daughter of Mstislav I of Kiev, and the second being Kata of Georgia, a daughter of David IV of Georgia. While both women are known to have married members of the Komnenoi family, several theories have suggested as to the identities of their husband or husbands. His daughter Maria Komnene married the pansebastos Alexios Axuch and he was the son of John Axuch, the megas domestikos, who was a close friend of John II. Alexios Axuch served as Duke of Cilicia and protostrator, however he eventually fell out of favor with Manuel I Komnenos in 1167. John Kinnamos and Niketas Choniates report that the accusations against him included practice of witchcraft and he and an unnamed Latin wizard were accused of causing the pregnancy of Maria of Antioch, the Empress consort, to result in a miscarriage. They supposedly managed to do so by providing drugs to Maria, Alexios ended his life as a monk. Maria Komnene, wife of Alexios the protostrator was mentioned in a seal and they were the parents of John Komnenos the Fat, a short-lived rival emperor to Alexios III Angelos. Theodora Axuchina, wife of Alexios I of Trebizond, is considered a daughter of John the Fat. O City of Byzantium, Annals of Niketas Choniates, the Empire of Manuel I Komnenos, 1143–1180. A. Thessaloniki, Centre for Byzantine Studies, University of ThessalonikiAlexios Komnenos (co-emperor) – Mosaic of Alexios Komnenos in Hagia Sophia. He is depicted as a beardless youth, probably at the time of his coronation at 16 or 17 years of age.
131. Andronikos I Komnenos – Andronikos I Komnenos, usually Latinized as Andronicus I Comnenus, was Byzantine Emperor from 1183 to 1185. He was the son of Isaac Komnenos and the grandson of the emperor Alexios I, Andronikos Komnenos was born around 1118. He was handsome and eloquent, active, hardy, courageous, a general and an able politician. His early years were spent alternately in pleasure and in military service, in 1141 he was taken captive by the Seljuq Turks and remained in their hands for a year. On being ransomed, he went to Constantinople, where he was held at the court of his cousin, here the charms of his niece, Eudoxia, attracted him and she became his mistress. In 1152, accompanied by Eudoxia, he set out for an important command in Cilicia, failing in his principal enterprise, an attack upon Mopsuestia, he returned but was again appointed to the command of a province. This second post he seems also to have left after an interval, for he appeared again in Constantinople. About 1153, a conspiracy against the Emperor in which Andronikos participated was discovered, after repeated unsuccessful attempts, he escaped in 1165. After passing through many dangers, including captivity in Vlach territory, he reached Kiev, Andronikos was removed from court but received the province of Cilicia. Still under the displeasure of the Emperor, Andronikos fled to the court of Raymond, while residing here he captivated and seduced the beautiful daughter of the Prince, Philippa, sister of the Empress Maria. The Emperor was again angered by this dishonour, and Andronikos was compelled to flee and he took refuge with King Amalric I of Jerusalem, whose favour he gained, and who invested him with the Lordship of Beirut. In Jerusalem he saw Theodora Komnene, the widow of King Baldwin III. Although Andronikos was at that time fifty-six years old, age had not diminished his charms, to avoid the vengeance of the Emperor, she fled with Andronikos to the court of Nur ad-Din, the Sultan of Damascus. Feeling unsafe there, they continued their perilous journey through the Caucasus and they were well received by King George III of Georgia, whose anonymous sister had probably been the first wife of Andronikos. Andronikos was granted estates in Kakhetia, in the east of Georgia, finally, Andronikos and Theodora settled in the ancestral lands of the Komnenoi at Oinaion, on the shores of the Black Sea, between Trebizond and Sinope. While Andronikos was on one of his incursions into Trebizond, his castle was surprised by the governor of that province, to obtain their release Andronikos in early 1180 made abject submission to the Emperor and, appearing in chains before him, besought pardon. This he obtained, and he was allowed to retire with Theodora into banishment at Oinaion, in 1180 the Emperor Manuel died and was succeeded by his ten-year-old son Alexios II, who was under the guardianship of his mother, Empress Maria. Her Latin origins and culture led to creeping resentment from her Greek subjects and they had felt insulted by the Western tastes of Manuel, and being ruled by his Western wife built tensions to an explosion of rioting that almost became a full civil warAndronikos I Komnenos – Billon trachy (a cup-shaped coin) of Andronikos I Komnenos
132. Alexios III Angelos – Alexios III Angelos was Byzantine Emperor from March 1195 to July 17/18,1203. A member of the imperial family, Alexios came to throne after deposing, blinding. The most significant event of his reign was the attack of the Fourth Crusade on Constantinople in 1203, Alexios III took over the defense of the city, which he mismanaged, then fled the city at night with one of his three daughters. From Adrianople, and then Mosynopolis, he attempted to rally his supporters. Alexios III Angelos was the son of Andronikos Doukas Angelos. Andronikos was himself a son of Theodora Komnene Angelina, the youngest daughter of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, thus Alexios Angelos was a member of the extended imperial family. Together with his father and brothers, Alexios had conspired against Emperor Andronikos I Komnenos and his younger brother Isaac was threatened with execution under orders of Andronikos I, their first-cousin once-removed, on September 11,1185. Isaac made an attack on the imperial agents and killed their leader Stephen Hagiochristophorites. He then took refuge in the church of Hagia Sophia and from there appealed to the populace and his actions provoked a riot, which resulted in the deposition of Andronikos I and the proclamation of Isaac as Emperor. Alexios was now closer to the throne than ever before. By 1190 Alexios had returned to the court of his younger brother, in March 1195 while Isaac II was away hunting in Thrace, Alexios was acclaimed as emperor by the troops with the covert support of Alexios wife Euphrosyne Doukaina Kamatera. These actions inevitably led to the ruin of the state. At Christmas 1196, Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI attempted to force Alexios to pay him a tribute of 5,000 pounds of gold or face invasion. Alexios gathered the money by plundering imperial tombs at the church of the Holy Apostles and taxing the people heavily, though Henrys death in September 1197 meant the gold was never dispatched. The able and forceful empress Euphrosyne tried in vain to sustain his credit and his court, Vatatzes, the Emperors attempts to bolster the empires defences by special concessions to pronoiars in the frontier zone backfired, as the latter increased their regional autonomy. Byzantine authority survived, but in a weakened state. Soon Alexios was threatened by a new and more formidable danger, in 1202, soldiers assembled at Venice to launch the Fourth Crusade. Alexios III took no measures to resist, and his attempts to bribe the crusaders failedAlexios III Angelos – Alexios III from Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum
133. Byzantine Senate – The Byzantine Senate or Eastern Roman Senate was the continuation of the Roman Senate, established in the 4th century by Constantine I. It survived for centuries, but even with its limited power that it theoretically possessed. Constantine offered free land and grain to any Roman Senators who were willing to move to the East, when Constantine founded the Eastern Senate in Byzantium, it initially resembled the councils of important cities like Antioch rather than the Roman Senate. His son Constantius II raised it from the position of a municipal to that of an Imperial body, Constantius II increased the number of Senators to 2,000 by including his friends, courtiers, and various provincial officials. The traditional principles that Senatorial rank was hereditary and that the way of becoming a member of the Senate itself was by holding a magistracy still remained in full force. By the time of the permanent division of the Roman Empire in 395 and their sole duty was to manage the spending of money on the exhibition of games or on public works. The Praetorship was a position to hold as Praetors were expected to possess a treasury from which they could draw funds for their municipal duties. There are known to have been eight Praetors in the Eastern Roman Empire who shared the burden between them. The Emperor or the Senate itself could also issue a decree to grant a man not born into the Senatorial order a seat in the Senate, exemption from the expensive position of praetor would also often be conferred on such persons that had become Senators in this way. The senatorial families in Constantinople tended to be less affluent and less distinguished than those in the West, some aristocrats attempted to become senators in order to escape the difficult conditions that were imposed on them by late Roman Emperors such as Diocletian. The Senate was led by the Prefect of the City, who conducted all of its communications with the Emperor and it was composed of three orders, the illustres, spectabiles and clarissimi. The members of the illustres were those who held the highest offices in Eastern Rome, such as the Master of Soldiers, the spectabiles formed the middle class of the Senate and consisted of important statesmen such as proconsuls, vicars and military governors of the provinces. The clarissimi was the class of the senate and was attached to the governors of the provinces. Members of the two orders were permitted to live anywhere within the Empire and were generally inactive Senators. The majority of members in the Senate were the illustres, whose important offices were usually based in Constantinople. By the end of the 5th century the two classes were completely excluded from sitting in the Senate. As a result, a new order, the gloriosi, was created to accommodate the highest ranking senators, whilst the powers of the Senate were limited, it could pass resolutions which the Emperor might adopt and issue in the form of edicts. It could thus suggest Imperial legislation, and it acted from time to time as a consultative body, some Imperial laws took the form of Orations to the Senate, and were read aloud before the bodyByzantine Senate – Personification of the Senate. From the consular diptych of Theodore Philoxenus, 525 AD
134. Empire of Nicaea – Founded by the Laskaris family, it lasted from 1204 to 1261, when the Nicaeans restored the Byzantine Empire in Constantinople. In 1204, Byzantine emperor Alexios V Ducas Murtzouphlos fled Constantinople after crusaders invaded the city. Theodore I Lascaris, the son-in-law of Emperor Alexios III Angelos, was proclaimed emperor but he too, realizing the situation in Constantinople was hopeless, fled to the city of Nicaea in Bithynia. The Latin Empire, established by the Crusaders in Constantinople, had control over former Byzantine territory, and Byzantine successor states sprang up in Epirus, Trebizond. Trebizond had broken away as an independent state a few weeks before the fall of Constantinople, Nicaea, however, was the closest to the Latin Empire and was in the best position to attempt to re-establish the Byzantine Empire. Theodore also defeated an army from Trebizond, as well as minor rivals. In 1206, Theodore proclaimed himself emperor at Nicaea, numerous truces and alliances were formed and broken over the next few years, as the Byzantine successor states, the Latin Empire, the Bulgarians, and the Seljuks of Iconium fought each other. In 1211, at Antioch on the Meander, Theodore defeated an invasion by the Seljuks. The Nicaeans were compensated for this loss when, in 1212. Theodore consolidated his claim to the throne by naming a new Patriarch of Constantinople in Nicaea. In 1219, he married the daughter of Latin Empress Yolanda of Flanders, the accession of Vatatzes was initially challenged by the Laskarids, with the sebastokratores Isaac and Alexios, brothers of Theodore I, seeking the aid of the Latin Empire. Vatatzes prevailed over their forces, however, in the Battle of Poimanenon, securing his throne. It proved short-lived, as it came under Bulgarian control after the Battle of Klokotnitsa in 1230, with Trebizond lacking any real power, Nicaea was the only Byzantine state left, and John III expanded his territory across the Aegean Sea. In 1235, he allied with Ivan Asen II of Bulgaria, allowing him to extend his influence over Thessalonica and Epirus. In 1242, the Mongols invaded Seljuk territory to the east of Nicaea, in 1245, John allied with the Holy Roman Empire by marrying Constance II of Hohenstaufen, daughter of Frederick II. In 1246, John attacked Bulgaria and recovered most of Thrace and Macedonia, by 1248, John had defeated the Bulgarians and surrounded the Latin Empire. He continued to land from the Latins until his death in 1254. Theodore II Lascaris, John IIIs son, faced invasions from the Bulgarians in Thrace, a conflict between Nicaea and Epirus broke out in 1257Empire of Nicaea – Nicaea city wall, Lefke gate; Iznik, Turkey
135. Theodore II Laskaris – Theodore II Doukas Laskaris or Ducas Lascaris was Emperor of Nicaea from 1254 to 1258. Theodore was born in late 1221 or early 1222, reportedly on the day his father ascended the throne. Theodore II received an education by George Akropolites and Nicephorus Blemmydes the latter who would become a tutor to him. In contrast with earlier practice, Theodore II was not crowned co-emperor with his father, the succession of Theodore was exploited by the Bulgarians, who invaded Thrace under the leadership of the young and inexperienced Michael Asen I of Bulgaria in 1255. In spite of his own scholarly predisposition, Theodore immediately marched against the Bulgarians, during his second expedition in 1256, he managed to conclude a favorable peace with Bulgaria, which may have plunged the latter into a crisis of leadership. Theodore followed up his victory against Bulgaria by expanding his control in the west, internally, Theodore favored bureaucrats from the middle classes instead of members of the great aristocratic families. Michael Angold explains this as in part, a matter of his temperament, He was happier in the company of a circle of friends. He clearly disliked what he considered the philistinism prevalent among a section of the men at his fathers court. The conflict led to the exile of one of the leaders of the faction, the future Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus. John IV Doukas Laskaris List of Byzantine emperors Rosser, John H, the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press,1991. Dimiter G. Angelov, The Moral Pieces by Theodore II Laskaris, Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 65/66, pp. 237–269Theodore II Laskaris – Portrait of Theodore II from a 15th-century manuscript
136. Michael IX Palaiologos – Michael IX Palaiologos or Palaeologus, (17 April 1277 –12 October 1320, Thessalonica, reigned as Byzantine co-emperor with full imperial style 1294/1295–1320. Michael IX was the eldest son of Andronikos II Palaiologos and Anna of Hungary, Michael IX Palaiologos was acclaimed co-emperor in 1281 and was crowned in 1294 or 1295. In 1300, he was sent at the head of Alanian mercenaries against the Turks in Asia Minor and he was also heavily injured during that battle, a Catalan soldier named Bernad Ferrer seized him, whipped him and slashed his face. Michael IX Palaiologos married Rita of Armenia, daughter of King Leo III of Armenia, by this marriage, Michael IX had several children, including, Andronikos III Palaiologos Manuel Palaiologos, despotēs Anna Palaiologina, who married Thomas I Komnenos Doukas and then Nicholas Orsini. Theodora Palaiologina, who married Theodore Svetoslav of Bulgaria and then Michael Asen III of Bulgaria, Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press,1991Michael IX Palaiologos – Michael IX Palaiologos
137. Andronikos III Palaiologos – Andronikos III Palaiologos, commonly Latinized as Andronicus III Palaeologus, was Byzantine emperor from 1328 to 1341. Born Andronikos Doukas Angelos Komnenos Palaiologos, he was the son of Michael IX Palaiologos and he was proclaimed co-emperor in his youth, before 1313, and in April 1321 he rebelled in opposition to his grandfather, Andronikos II Palaiologos. He was formally crowned co-emperor on February 1325, before ousting his grandfather outright and his early death left a power vacuum that resulted in the disastrous civil war between his Empress-dowager, Anna of Savoy, and his closest friend and supporter, John VI Kantakouzenos. Andronikos was born in Constantinople on 25 March 1297, the 38th birthday of his paternal grandfather and his father, Michael IX Palaiologos, began reigning in full imperial style as co-emperor circa 1295. In March 1318, Andronikos married Irene of Brunswick, daughter of Henry I, in circa 1321 she gave birth to a son, who died in infancy. In 1320, Andronikos accidentally caused the death of his brother Manuel, after which their father, co-emperor Michael IX Palaiologos, Emperor Andronikos II disowned his grandson Andronikos, who then fled the capital and rallied his supporters in Thrace and began to reign as rival emperor in 1321. Andronikos then waged the intermittent Byzantine civil war of 1321–28 against his reigning grandfather, empress Irene died on 16/17 August 1324 with no surviving child. Theodora Palaiologina, sister of Andronikos III, married the new tsar Michael Shishman of Bulgaria in 1324, Andronikos III, then a widower, married Anna of Savoy in October 1326. In 1327 she gave birth to Maria Palaiologina, Andronikos III concluded the Treaty of Chernomen of 1327, an alliance with tsar Michael Shishman of Bulgaria against Stephen Uroš III Dečanski of Serbia. The Byzantine civil war flared again and ultimately led to the deposition in 1328 of Emperor Andronikos II, Ottoman Turks besieged Nicaea in Asia Minor, historically the provisional capital of the Byzantine Empire from the Fourth Crusade until the Byzantine recapture of Constantinople. Andronikos III launched an attempt, which Ottoman sultan Orhan defeated at the Battle of Pelekanon on 10 or 15 June 1329. Nevertheless, Andronikos III effected the recovery of Lordship of Chios from Martino Zaccaria in a naval battle, an alliance with Bulgaria failed to secure any gains for the Byzantine empire. On 28 July 1330, the Serbians decisively defeated the Bulgarians in the Battle of Velbazhd without significant Byzantine participation, the Ottomans continued to advance in 1331, finally taking Nicaea. Andronikos III wanted Nicomedia and the other few Byzantine forts in Anatolia not to suffer the same fate, Andronikos III reorganized and attempted to strengthen the weakened Byzantine navy, which comprised only 10 ships by 1332, in emergencies, he still could muster a hundred extra merchant ships. The Muslim traveler Ibn Battuta visited Constantinople towards the end of 1332, Byzantine sources do not attest to the meeting. Stephen Gabrielopoulos, ruler over Thessaly, died circa 1333, taking advantage of the secession crisis, Syrgiannes Palaiologos, entrusted with the governorship of Thessalonica, deserted to the side of king Stephen Uroš IV Dušan of Serbia and aided their advance in Macedonia. He led the Serbians to take Kastoria, Ohrid, Prilep, Strumica, Byzantine general Sphrantzes Palaiologos, posing as a deserter, entered the Serbian camp and killed Syrgiannes Palaiologos, ending his advance and bringing the Serbian army into disarray. In August 1334, the king of Serbia made peace with Andronikos III, Andronikos III meanwhile effected the recovery of Phocaea in 1334 from the last Genoese governor, Domenico CattaneoAndronikos III Palaiologos – Andronikos III Palaiologos, 14th century miniature. Stuttgart, Württembergische Landesbibliothek
138. John V Palaiologos – John V Palaiologos or Palaeologus was a Byzantine emperor, who succeeded his father in 1341 at age eight. John V was the son of Emperor Andronikos III and his wife Anna and his long reign was marked by the gradual dissolution of imperial power amid numerous civil wars and the continuing ascendancy of the Ottoman Turks. John V came to the throne at age eight, during this civil war in 1343 Anna pawned the Byzantine crown jewels for 30,000 Venetian ducats. From 1346 to 1349, the Black Plague devastated Constantinople, victorious in 1347, John Kantakouzenos ruled as co-emperor until his son Matthew was attacked by John V in 1352, leading to a second civil war. John V asked the ruler of Serbia, Stefan Dušan for help, the Ottoman Empire thus acquired its first European territory, at Çimpe and Gallipoli. Able to retake Constantinople in 1354, John V removed and tonsured John VI, by 1357, he had deposed Matthew as well, the Ottomans, who had been allied with the Kantakouzenoi, continued to press John. Suleyman Paşa, the son of the Ottoman sultan, led their forces in Europe and was able to take Adrianople and Philippopolis and to exact tribute from the emperor. John V appealed to the West for help, proposing to end the schism between the Byzantine and Latin churches by submitting the patriarchate to the supremacy of Rome. In 1366, John V reached the Hungarian Kingdom, arriving at the Royal city of Buda to meet King Louis I of Hungary, however, the Byzantine emperor offended the king by staying on his horse, while Louis descended and approached him on foot. The Hungarian monarch then offered him help on the condition that John change his confession to the catholic, the Emperor left the court of Buda with empty hands and continued his trip throughout Europe searching for assistance against the Ottomans. Impoverished by war, he was detained as a debtor when he visited Venice in 1369 and was captured on his way back in Bulgarian territories. In 1371, he recognized the suzerainty of the Ottoman sultan Murad I, Murad later assisted him against his son Andronikos when the latter deposed him in 1376. In 1390, his grandson John VII briefly usurped the throne, the same year, John ordered the strengthening of the Golden Gate in Constantinople, utilizing marble from the decayed churches in and around the city. Upon completion of construction, Bayezid I demanded that John raze these new works, threatening war and the blinding of his son Manuel. John V filled the Sultans order but is said to have suffered from this humiliation, John V was finally succeeded to the imperial throne by his son Manuel. His younger son Theodore had already acceded to the Despotate of Morea in 1383, John V married Helena Kantakouzene, daughter of his co-emperor John VI Kantakouzenos and Irene Asanina, on 28 May 1347. They had at least six children -- four sons and at least two daughters and their known children include, Andronikos IV Palaiologos, Irene Palaiologina, who married her first cousin Prince Halil of Ottoman Empire, son of Orhan I and Helenas sister Theodora Kantakouzene. The couple had two sons, Princes Gunduz and Omer, list of Byzantine emperors Harris, Jonathan, The End of ByzantiumJohn V Palaiologos – John V Palaiologos
139. Andronikos IV Palaiologos – Andronikos IV Palaiologos was Byzantine Emperor from 1376 to 1379. Andronikos IV Palaiologos was the eldest son of Emperor John V Palaiologos by his wife Helena Kantakouzene and his maternal grandparents were John VI Kantakouzenos and Irene Asanina. Although associated as co-emperor with his father since the early 1350s, Andronikos IV had allied with Murads son Savcı Bey, who was rebelling against his own father, but both rebellions failed. Murad I blinded and executed his son and demanded that John V have Andronikos IV blinded as well, in July 1376, the Genoese helped Andronikos to escape from prison, whence he went straight to sultan Murad I, and agreed to return Gallipoli in return for his support. Gallipoli had been retaken by the Byzantines ten years before, with the assistance of Amadeus VI, the sultan duly provided a mixed force of cavalry and infantry and with these, Andronikos was able to take control of Constantinople. Here he was able to capture and imprison both John V and his son Manuel, however, he made the mistake of favouring the Genoese too highly by awarding it Tenedos. The governor there refused to hand it over, and passed it on to Venice, in the same year,1377, he crowned his young son John VII as co-emperor. However, in 1379 John and Manuel escaped to sultan Murad, the Venetians restored John V to the throne, and Manuel II. Andronikos fled to Galata, staying there until 1381, when he was again made co-emperor. Andronikos IV was also given the city of Selymbria as his personal domain, however, he predeceased his father there in 1385, never to rule as legitimate emperor. List of Byzantine emperors Harris, Jonathan, The End of Byzantium, cambridge University Press,1993, 2nd edition. ISBN 0-521-43991-4 Oxford Dictionary of ByzantiumAndronikos IV Palaiologos – Andronikos IV
140. Andronikos V Palaiologos – Andronikos V Palaiologos was co-emperor of the Byzantine Empire with his father John VII Palaiologos. Andronikos V Palaiologos was the only son of Emperor John VII Palaiologos and Irene Gattilusio. At the time of his birth John VII was Regent of the Byzantine Empire for his uncle Manuel II Palaiologos, at an unknown date, probably after his father settled in Thessalonica, Andronikos V was proclaimed nominal co-emperor, probably by 1403/1404. He predeceased his father, dying probably in 1407, the imperial status of both John VII and Andronikos V was purely honorary and they were not full-fledged co-emperorsAndronikos V Palaiologos – The coat of arms attributed to the Palaiologoi.
141. Nikephorian dynasty – The empire was in a weaker and more precarious position than it had been for a long time and its finances were problematic. Nikephoros I had been the finance minister and on Irenes deposition immediately embarked on a series of fiscal reforms. His administrative reforms included re-organisation of the themata and he survived a civil war in 803 and, like most of the Byzantine emperors, found himself at war on three fronts. He suffered a defeat at the Battle of Krasos in Phrygia in 805. Nikephoros was succeeeded by his son and co-emperor, Staurakios, michael I pursued more diplomatic than military solutions. However, he engaged the Bulgar Khan Krum, the same who claimed the lives of his two predecessors, and was defeated, severely weakening his position. Aware of a revolt he chose to abdicate given the grisly fate of so many prior overthrown emperorsNikephorian dynasty
142. Byzantium under the Amorian dynasty – This history of the Byzantine Empire covers the history of the Eastern Roman Empire from late antiquity until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 AD. Several events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period during which the Roman Empires east and west divided. In 285, the emperor Diocletian partitioned the Roman Empires administration into eastern and western halves, between 324 and 330, Constantine I transferred the main capital from Rome to Byzantium, later known as Constantinople and Nova Roma. Under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empires official state religion, and finally, under the reign of Heraclius, the Empires military and administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use instead of Latin. The borders of the Empire evolved significantly over its existence, as it went through cycles of decline. During the reign of Maurice, the Empires eastern frontier was expanded, in a matter of years the Empire lost its richest provinces, Egypt and Syria, to the Arabs. This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia as a homeland, the final centuries of the Empire exhibited a general trend of decline. Its remaining territories were annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 finally ended the Roman Empire, during the 3rd century, three crises threatened the Roman Empire, external invasions, internal civil wars and an economy riddled with weaknesses and problems. The city of Rome gradually became important as an administrative centre. The crisis of the 3rd century displayed the defects of the system of government that Augustus had established to administer his immense dominion. His successors had introduced some modifications, but events made it clearer that a new, more centralized, Diocletian was responsible for creating a new administrative system. He associated himself with a co-emperor, or Augustus, each Augustus was then to adopt a young colleague, or Caesar, to share in the rule and eventually to succeed the senior partner. After the abdication of Diocletian and Maximian, however, the tetrachy collapsed, Constantine moved the seat of the Empire, and introduced important changes into its civil and religious constitution. Constantine also began the building of the fortified walls, which were expanded. Constantine built upon the administrative reforms introduced by Diocletian and he stabilized the coinage, and made changes to the structure of the army. Under Constantine, the Empire had recovered much of its military strength and he also reconquered southern parts of Dacia, after defeating the Visigoths in 332, and he was planning a campaign against Sassanid Persia as well. In the course of the 4th century, four great sections emerged from these Constantinian beginnings, Constantine established the principle that emperors should not settle questions of doctrine, but should summon general ecclesiastical councils for that purposeByzantium under the Amorian dynasty – Map of the Roman Empire showing the four Tetrarchs' zones of influence after Diocletian's reforms.
143. Byzantine Empire under the Macedonian dynasty – The cities of the empire expanded, and affluence spread across the provinces because of the new-found security. The population rose, and production increased, stimulating new demand while also helping to encourage trade, culturally, there was considerable growth in education and learning. Ancient texts were preserved and patiently re-copied, Byzantine art flourished, and brilliant mosaics graced the interiors of the many new churches. The latter in particular favoured culture at the court, and, with a financial policy. The rise of the Macedonian dynasty coincided with developments which strengthened the religious unity of the empire. Despite occasional tactical defeats, the administrative, legislative, cultural and economic situation continued to improve under Basils successors, the theme system reached its definitive form in this period. These favourable conditions contributed to the ability of the emperors to wage war against the Arabs. The process of reconquest began with variable fortunes, the temporary reconquest of Crete was followed by a crushing Byzantine defeat on the Bosporus, while the emperors were unable to prevent the ongoing Muslim conquest of Sicily. The threat from the Arab Muslims was meanwhile reduced by inner struggles and it took several campaigns to subdue the Paulicians, who were eventually defeated by Basil I. In 904, disaster struck the empire when its second city, the Byzantines responded by destroying an Arab fleet in 908, and sacking the city of Laodicea in Syria two years later. The situation on the border with the Arab territories remained fluid, Kievan Rus, who appeared near Constantinople for the first time in 860, constituted another new challenge. The soldier emperors Nikephoros II Phokas and John I Tzimiskes expanded the empire well into Syria, defeating the emirs of north-west Iraq and reconquering Crete, at one point under John, the empires armies even threatened Jerusalem, far to the south. The emirate of Aleppo and its neighbours became vassals of the empire in the east, the traditional struggle with the See of Rome continued, spurred by the question of religious supremacy over the newly Christianized Bulgaria. This prompted an invasion by the powerful Tsar Simeon I in 894, but this was pushed back by the Byzantine diplomacy, the Byzantines were in turn defeated, however, at the Battle of Bulgarophygon, and obliged to pay annual subsidies to the Bulgarians. Later Simeon even had the Byzantines grant him the crown of basileus of Bulgaria and had the young emperor Constantine VII marry one of his daughters, when a revolt in Constantinople halted his dynastic project, he again invaded Thrace and conquered Adrianople. Adrianople was captured again in 923 and in 924 the Bulgarian army laid siege to Constantinople, pressure from the North was alleviated only after Simeons death in 927. Under the emperor Basil II, Bulgaria became target of campaigns by the Byzantine army. The war was to drag on for twenty yearsByzantine Empire under the Macedonian dynasty – Emperor Basil II the Bulgar Slayer (976–1025).
144. Despotate of Epirus – The Despotate of Epirus was one of the successor states of the Byzantine Empire established in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade in 1204 by a branch of the Angelos dynasty. It claimed to be the successor of the Byzantine Empire, along the Empire of Nicaea. The term Despotate of Epirus is, like Byzantine Empire itself, the Despotate was centred on the region of Epirus, encompassing also Albania and the western portion of Greek Macedonia and also included Thessaly and western Greece as far south as Nafpaktos. After that, the Epirote state contracted to its core in Epirus and Thessaly and it nevertheless managed to retain its autonomy until conquered by the restored Palaiologan Byzantine Empire in ca. His successor Theodore Komnenos Doukas did not use it either, earlier historians assumed that Michael I was indeed named Despot by the deposed emperor Alexios III Angelos after ransoming him from Latin captivity, this has been disproven by more modern research. Consequently, it was borne by the princes sent to govern semi-autonomous appanages. The term Despotate of Epirus is thus replaced by State of Epirus in more recent historiography. The Epirote realm itself did not have an official name, the Epirote state was founded in 1205 by Michael Komnenos Doukas, a cousin of the Byzantine emperors Isaac II Angelos and Alexios III Angelos. Epirus soon became the new home of refugees from Constantinople, Thessaly, and the Peloponnese. Henry of Flanders demanded that Michael submit to the Latin Empire, Michael did not honour this alliance, assuming that mountainous Epirus would be mostly impenetrable by any Latins with whom he made and broke alliances. Meanwhile, Bonifaces relatives from Montferrat made claims to Epirus as well, Michael was excessively cruel to his prisoners, in some cases crucifying Latin priests. Pope Innocent III excommunicated him in response, henry forced Michael into a renewed nominal alliance later that year. Michael turned his attention to capturing other strategically important Latin-held towns, including Larissa and he also took control of the ports on the Gulf of Corinth. In 1214 he captured Corcyra from Venice, but he was assassinated later that year and was succeeded by his half-brother Theodore, Theodore Komnenos Doukas immediately set out to attack Thessalonica, and he fought with the Bulgarians along the way. Henry of Flanders died on the way to counterattack, and in 1217 Theodore captured his successor Peter of Courtenay, the Latin Empire, however, became distracted by the growing power of Nicaea and could not stop Theodore from capturing Thessalonica in 1224. Theodore now challenged Nicaea for the title and crowned himself emperor. In 1225, after John III Doukas Vatatzes of Nicaea had taken Adrianople, Theodore arrived, Theodore also allied with the Bulgarians and drove the Latins out of Thrace. In 1227 Theodore crowned himself Byzantine emperor, although this was not recognized by most Greeks, in 1230 Theodore broke the truce with Bulgaria, hoping to remove Ivan Asen II, who had held him back from attacking ConstantinopleDespotate of Epirus – The Paregoretissa Church, the new cathedral of the Despotate's capital, Arta, built in the 13th century during the reign of Nikephoros I Komnenos Doukas.
145. Empire of Thessalonica – Thessalonicas ascendancy was brief, ending with the disastrous Battle of Klokotnitsa against Bulgaria in 1230, where Theodore Komnenos Doukas was captured. Theodore recovered Thessalonica in 1237, installing his son John Komnenos Doukas, the rulers of Thessalonica bore the imperial title from 1225/7 until 1242, when they were forced to renounce it and recognize the suzerainty of the rival Empire of Nicaea. The Komnenodoukai continued to rule as Despots of Thessalonica for four years after that. After the Fourth Crusade captured Constantinople in April 1204, the Byzantine Empire dissolved and was divided between the Crusader leaders and the Republic of Venice. The Latin Empire was set up in Constantinople itself, while most of northern and eastern mainland Greece went to the Kingdom of Thessalonica under Boniface of Montferrat, Michael I Komnenos Doukas soon extended his state into Thessaly, and his successor Theodore Komnenos Doukas captured Thessalonica in 1224. The capture of Thessalonica, traditionally the second city of the Byzantine Empire after Constantinople, with the support of the bishops of his domains, he was crowned emperor at Thessalonica by the Archbishop of Ohrid, Demetrios Chomatenos. The date is unknown, but has placed either in 1225 or in 1227/8. Having openly declared his imperial ambitions, Theodore turned his gaze onto Constantinople, only the Nicaean emperor John III Doukas Vatatzes, and the Bulgarian emperor John II Asen were strong enough to challenge him. In a bid to preempt Theodore, the Nicaeans seized Adrianople from the Latins in 1225, Theodore was free to assault Constantinople, but for unknown reasons delayed this attack. In 1230, Theodore finally marched against Constantinople, but unexpectedly turned his army north into Bulgaria instead, in the ensuing Battle of Klokotnitsa, Theodores army was destroyed and he himself taken captive and later blinded. This defeat abruptly diminished the power of Thessalonica, a state built upon rapid military expansion and relying on the ability of its ruler, its administration was unable to cope with defeat. Its territories in Thrace, as well as most of Macedonia and Albania rapidly fell to the Bulgarians, Theodore was succeeded by his brother Manuel Komnenos Doukas. He still controlled the environs of Thessalonica as well as the lands in Thessaly and Epirus. In the end Manuel was forced to accept the fait accompli, as sign of this, he conferred on Michael the title of Despot. From the start, Manuels suzerainty was rather theoretical, and by 1236–37 Michael was acting as an independent ruler, seizing Corfu, Manuels rule lasted until 1237, when he was deposed in a coup by Theodore. The latter had released from captivity and secretly returned to Thessalonica after John II Asen fell in love with. Having been blinded, Theodore could not claim the throne for himself and crowned his son John Komnenos Doukas, Manuel soon escaped and fled to Nicaea, where he pledged loyalty to Vatatzes. Thus in 1239 Manuel was allowed to sail to Thessaly, where he began assembling an army to march on Thessalonica, Manuel agreed and ruled Thessaly until his death in 1241, at which point it was quickly occupied by Michael II of EpirusEmpire of Thessalonica – Billon trachy coin of Theodore Komnenos Doukas as Emperor of Thessalonica
146. Autokrator – Autokratōr is a Greek epithet applied to an individual who exercises absolute power, unrestrained by superiors. In a historical context, it has applied to military commanders-in-chief. Its connection with Byzantine-style absolutism gave rise to the modern terms autocrat, in modern Greek, it means emperor, and the female form of the title is autokrateira. The title appeared in Classical Greece in the late 5th century BC and this was enacted when the general was expected to operate far from Athens, for instance during the Sicilian Expedition. Nevertheless, the generals remained accountable to the assembly for their conduct upon their return, similar practices were followed by other Greek states, such as Syracuse, where the post served as a power base for several of the citys tyrants. Stratēgoi autokratores were also appointed by various leagues of city-states to head their combined armies, thus Philip II of Macedon was declared as hēgemōn and stratēgos autokratōr of the southern Greek states by the League of Corinth, a position later given to his son Alexander the Great as well. The term was employed for envoys entrusted with plenipotentiary powers. Autokratōr became entrenched as the translation of the latter during the Roman Empire. As such it continued to be used in Greek translations from Latin until the adoption of the Greek title basileus by Emperor Heraclius in 629, in the Palaiologan period, this use was extended to include the designated heir. The title is evidenced in coins from 912, in imperial chrysobulls from the 11th century, the term stratēgos autokratōr continued to be used in the Byzantine period as well. The title is particularly prevalent in the 6th century, and re-appears in the 10th-11th centuries for senior military commanders, thus, for instance, Basil II installed David Arianites as stratēgos autokratōr of Bulgaria, implying powers of command over the other regional stratēgoi in the northern Balkans. The Byzantine imperial formula was imitated among the Balkan Slavic nations, and later, most notably, the emerging Tsardom of Russia. Deriving from this usage, the Russian tsars, from the establishment of the Russian Empire up to the fall of the Russian monarchy in 1917, used the formula Emperor, in the Slavic languages, the title was used in a translated formAutokrator – Ivory plaque with Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos being crowned by Christ. The legend reads: "Constantine, in God [faithful], autokratōr and basileus of the Romans.
147. Praetorian prefecture – The praetorian prefecture was the largest administrative division of the late Roman Empire, above the mid-level dioceses and the low-level provinces. Elements of the administrative apparatus however are documented to have survived in the Byzantine Empire until the first half of the 9th century. The exact process of transformation to the civilian administrator of a specific territorial circumscription is still unclear. During the Tetrarchy, when the number of holders of the imperial office multiplied, at that stage, the prefects power was still immense. Jones, he was a kind of grand vizier, the second in command, wielding a wide authority in almost every sphere of government, military. He was the chief of staff, adjutant-general, and quartermaster-general. In 317 a third prefect was added in Gaul for Constantines son Crispus, after his execution in 326 this prefect was retained. Following Constantines victory over Licinius and the unification of the Empire under his rule, the office of the prefect was consequently converted into a purely civilian administrative one, albeit retaining the highest position in the imperial hierarchy, immediately below the emperor himself. Another important departure from Tetrarchic practice was the increase in the number of holders and this development is likely related to Constantines giving his four sons specific territories to administer, envisioning a partition of imperial authority among them following his death. In this, the origins of the later territorial prefectures may be detected, after Constantines death in 337, his three surviving sons partitioned the Empire between them. Egypt was part of the diocese of Oriens until 370 or 381, the only major change was the removal of the diocese of Pannonia from the prefecture of Illyricum and its incorporation into the prefecture of Italy in 379. The diocese of Italy was in divided into two, of Italy in the north, and Suburbicarian Italy in the south including Sicily, Corsica. There were no vicars appointed to the dioceses of Gaul and Dacia, because the praetorian prefects of Gaul, in the course of the 5th century, the Western Empire was overrun by the invasions of Germanic tribes. The praetorian prefecture of Italy was also re-established after the end of the Gothic War, in the meantime, however, reforms under Heraclius had stripped the prefect from a number of his subordinate financial bureaux, which were set up as independent departments under logothetes. The last time the prefect of the East is directly attested comes from a law of 629, originally, the praetorian prefects were drawn from the equestrian class. The prefects held wide-ranging control over most aspects of the machinery of their provinces. In their capacity as judges, they had the right to pass judgment instead of the emperor and their departments were divided in two major categories, the schola excerptorum, which supervised administrative and judicial affairs, and the scriniarii, overseeing the financial sector. History of the Later Roman Empire, Volume I, Chapter II, haldon, John F. Byzantium in the Seventh Century, The Transformation of a CulturePraetorian prefecture – Map of the Roman Empire under the Tetrarchy, showing the dioceses and the four Tetrarchs' zones of control.
148. Magister officiorum – The magister officiorum was one of the most senior administrative officials in the late Roman Empire and the early centuries of the Byzantine Empire. In Byzantium, the office was transformed into a senior honorary rank. Although some scholars have supported its creation under Emperor Diocletian, the office can first be traced to the rule of Roman emperor Constantine I. Constantine probably created it in an effort to limit the power of the praetorian prefect, the first bureau handled imperial decisions called annotationes, because they were notes made by the emperor on documents presented to him, and also handled replies to petitions to the emperor. Especially this control of the feared agentes, or magistriani, as they were colloquially known, the office rose quickly in importance, initially ranked as a tribunus, by the end of Constantines reign the magister was a full comes. These last changes are reflected in the Notitia Dignitatum, a list of all offices compiled circa 400, sometime in the 5th century, the Eastern magister also assumed authority over the border guards or limitanei. One of the most important incumbents of this office was Peter the Patrician, the office was also retained in Ostrogothic Italy after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and was held by eminent Roman senators such as Boethius and Cassiodorus. The rank continued in existence thereafter, but lost increasingly in importance, in the late 10th and 11th centuries, it was often held in combination with the title of vestēs. From the late 11th century it was devalued, especially in the Komnenian period. The Imperial Administrative System of the Ninth Century - With a Revised Text of the Kletorologion of Philotheos, new York and Oxford, Oxford University Press. The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine, martindale, John Robert, Jones, Arnold Hugh Martin, Morris, J. eds. The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, Volume II, A. D. 395–527, the Reign of Leo VI, Politics and PeopleMagister officiorum – The insignia of the Eastern magister officiorum as displayed in the Notitia Dignitatum: the codicil of his office on a stand, shields with the emblems of the Scholae regiments, and assorted arms and armour attesting the office's control of the imperial arsenals.
149. Roman province – In Ancient Rome, a province was the basic, and, until the Tetrarchy, largest territorial and administrative unit of the empires territorial possessions outside of Italy. The word province in modern English has its origins in the used by the Romans. Provinces were generally governed by politicians of senatorial rank, usually former consuls or former praetors and this exception was unique, but not contrary to Roman law, as Egypt was considered Augustus personal property, following the tradition of earlier, Hellenistic kings. The territory of a people who were defeated in war might be brought under various forms of treaty, the formal annexation of a territory created a province in the modern sense of an administrative unit geographically defined. Republican provinces were administered in one-year terms by the consuls and praetors who had held office the previous year, Rome started expanding beyond Italy during the First Punic War. The first permanent provinces to be annexed were Sicily in 241 BC, militarized expansionism kept increasing the number of these administrative provinces, until there were no longer enough qualified individuals to fill the posts. The terms of provincial governors often had to be extended for multiple years,241 BC – Sicilia taken over from the Carthaginians and annexed at the end of the First Punic War. 237 BC – Corsica et Sardinia, these two islands were taken over from the Carthaginians and annexed soon after the Mercenary War, in 238 BC and 237 BC respectively. 197 BC – Hispania Citerior, along the east coast of the,197 BC - Hispania Ulterior, along the southern coast of the, part of the territories taken over from the Carthaginians in the Second Punic War. 147 BC – Macedonia, mainland Greece and it was annexed after a rebellion by the Achaean League. 146 BC – Africa, modern day Tunisia and western Libya, home territory of Carthage and it was annexed following attacks on the allied Greek city of Massalia. 67 BC – Creta et Cyrenae, Cyrenaica was bequeathed to Rome in 78 BC, however, it was not organised as a province. 58 BC – Cilicia et Cyprus, Cilicia was created as a province in the sense of area of command in 102 BC in a campaign against piracy. The Romans controlled only a small area, in 74 BC Lycia and Pamphylia were added to the smal Roman possessions in Cilicia. Cilicia came fully under Roman control towards the end of the Third Mithridatic War - 73-63 BC, the province was reorganised by Pompey in 63 BC. Gallia Cisalpina was a province in the sense of an area of military command, during Romes expansion in Italy the Romans assigned some areas as provinces in the sense of areas of military command assigned to consuls or praetors due to risks of rebellions or invasions. This was applied to Liguria because there was a series of rebellions, Bruttium, in the early days of Roman presence in Gallia Cisalpina the issue was rebellion. Later the issue was risk of invasions by warlike peoples east of Italy, the city of Aquileia was founded to protect northern Italy form invasionsRoman province – Roman Empire under Augustus (31 BC – AD 14). Yellow: 31BC. Dark Green 31–19 BC, Light Green 19–9 BC, Pale Green 9–6 BC. Mauve: Client states
150. Despot (court title) – Despot was a senior Byzantine court title that was bestowed on the sons or sons-in-law of reigning emperors, and initially denoted the heir-apparent. From Byzantium it spread throughout the late medieval Balkans, and was granted in the states under Byzantine influence, such as the Latin Empire, Bulgaria, Serbia. In English, the form of the title is despotess, which denoted the spouse of a despot. The term must not be confused with its usage, which refers to despotism. In colloquial Modern Greek, the word is used to refer to a bishop. The original Greek term δεσπότης meant simply lord and was synonymous with κύριος, as the Greek equivalent to the Latin dominus, despotēs was initially used as a form of address indicating respect. According to the contemporary Byzantine historian John Kinnamos, the title of despot was analogous to Belas Hungarian title of urum, or heir-apparent. From this time and until the end of the Byzantine Empire, the title of despot became the highest Byzantine dignity, in a similar manner, the holders of the two immediately junior titles of sebastokrator and Caesar could be addressed as despota. The despot shared with the Caesar another appelatory epithet, eutychestatos or paneutychestatos, during the last centuries of Byzantiums existence, the title was awarded to the younger sons of emperors as well as to the emperors sons-in-law. Like the junior titles of sebastokrator and Caesar however, the title of despot was strictly a courtly dignity, women could not hold a noble title, but bore the titles of their husbands. Thus the spouse of a despot, the despotissa, had the right to bear the insignia as he. Among the women of the court, the despotissai likewise took the first place after the empress, the use of the title spread also to the other countries of the Balkans. The Latin Empire used it to honour the Doge of Venice Enrico Dandolo, after ca.1219 it was regularly borne by the Venetian podestàs in Constantinople, as the Venetian support became crucial to the Empires survival. In 1279/80, it was introduced in Bulgaria to placate the powerful magnate George Terter in 1279/80, in the 15th century, the Venetian governors of Corfu were also styled as despots. Only John II of Trebizond and his son Alexios II, however, accepted the title, with the death of the last Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI on May 29,1453, the creation of a despot became irregular. The title was granted by Pope Paul II to Andreas Palaiologos, heir to the Byzantine throne in 1465, and by the king of Hungary to the heirs of the Serbian Despotate. It is important to stress that the term despotate is technically inaccurate, even in the so-called despotates, a son of a despot might succeed to his fathers territory but could not hold the title unless it was conferred anew by the emperor. In normal Byzantine usage, a distinction was drawn between the personal dignity of despot and any other offices or attributes of its holderDespot (court title) – Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos with his family: empress Helena Dragaš (right), and three of their sons, the co-emperor John VIII and the despotes Andronikos and Theodore
151. Byzantine army – The Byzantine army or Eastern Roman army was the primary military body of the Byzantine armed forces, serving alongside the Byzantine navy. A direct descendant of the Roman army, the Byzantine army maintained a level of discipline, strategic prowess. It was among the most effective armies of western Eurasia for much of the Middle Ages, over time the cavalry arm became more prominent in the Byzantine army as the legion system disappeared in the early 7th century. Since much of the Byzantine military focused on the strategy and skill of generals utilizing militia troops, heavy infantry were recruited from Frankish, restricted to a largely defensive role in the 7th to mid-9th centuries, the Byzantines developed the theme-system to counter the more powerful Caliphate. With one of the most powerful economies in the world at the time, after the collapse of the theme-system in the 11th century, the Byzantines grew increasingly reliant on professional Tagmata troops, including ever-increasing numbers of foreign mercenaries. The Komnenian emperors made great efforts to re-establish a native army, the Komnenian successes were undone by the subsequent Angeloi dynasty, leading to the dissolution of the Empire at the hands of the Fourth Crusade in 1204. The Emperors of Nicaea managed to form a small but effective force using the structure of light and heavily armed troops. It proved effective in defending what remained of Byzantine Anatolia and reclaiming much of the Balkans, another period of neglect of the military followed in the reign of Andronikos II Palaiologos, which allowed Anatolia to fall prey to an emerging power, the Ottoman emirate. In the period after the Muslim conquests, which saw the loss of Syria and Egypt, despite this unprecedented disaster, the internal structures of the army remained much the same, and there is a remarkable continuity in tactics and doctrine between the 6th and 11th centuries. The Eastern Empire dates from the creation of the Tetrarchy by the Emperor Diocletian in 293 and his plans for succession did not outlive his lifetime, but his reorganization of the army did by centuries. Rather than maintain the traditional infantry-heavy legions, Diocletian reformed it into limitanei, there was an expansion of the importance of the cavalry, though the infantry still remained the major component of the Roman armies, in contrast to common belief. In preparation for Justinians African campaign of 533-534 AD, the army assembled amounted to 10,000 foot soldiers and 5,000 mounted archers, the limitanei and ripenses were to occupy the limes, the Roman border fortifications. The field units, by contrast, were to stay well behind the border and move quickly where they were needed, whether for offensive or defensive roles, the field units were held to high standards and took precedence over Limitanei in pay and provisions. Cavalry formed about one-third of the units, but as a result of smaller units, about half the cavalry consisted of heavy cavalry. They were armed with spear or lance and sword and armored in mail, some had bows, but they were meant for supporting the charge instead of independent skirmishing. In the field there was a component of some 15% of cataphractarii or clibanarii. The light cavalry featured high amongst the limitanei, being very useful troops on patrol, the infantry of the comitatenses was organized in regiments of about 500–1,200 men. They were still the heavy infantry of old, with a spear or sword, shield, body armour, but now each regiment was supported by a detachment of light infantry skirmishersByzantine army – Byzantine lamellar armour klivanium (Κλιβάνιον) - a predecessor of Ottoman krug mirror armour
152. Byzantine battle tactics – The Byzantine army evolved from that of the late Roman Empire. The language of the army was still Latin but it became more sophisticated in terms of strategy, tactics. Unlike the Roman legions, its strength was in its armoured cavalry Cataphracts, Infantry were still used but mainly in support roles and as a base of maneuver for the cavalry. Most of the foot-soldiers of the empire were the armoured infantry Skutatoi and later on, Kontarioi, with the remainder being the light infantry, the Byzantines valued intelligence and discipline in their soldiers far more than bravery or brawn. The Ρωμαίοι στρατιώται were a force composed of citizens willing to fight to defend their homes and their state to the death. The training was much like that of the legionaries, with the soldiers taught close quarters. But as in the late Empire, archery was extensively practiced, over the course of its long history, the armies of Byzantium were reformed and reorganized many times. The only constants in its structure were its complexity and high levels of professionalism, however, the Empires military structure can be broadly divided into three periods, East Roman, Thematic and Tagmatic. At the fall of the Western Empire in 476, the Byzantine army was simply the surviving, though structurally very similar to its western counterpart, it differed in several important ways notably, It had more and heavier cavalry, more archers and other missile troops and fewer Foederati. These differences may have been contributing factors to the eastern empires survival and it was with this East Roman army, that much of the western empire was reconquered in the campaigns of the generals Belisarius and Narses. It was during time, under Emperor Justinian I, that the revitalized empire reached its greatest territorial extent. Later, under the general and Emperor Heraclius, the Sassanid Empire of Persia was finally defeated, Late in Heraclius reign, however, a major new threat suddenly arose to the empires security in the form of the Saracens. The result was the system, which served as both administrative and military divisions, each under the command of a military governor or strategos. The theme was a unit of around 9,600. It was under this new system that the Byzantine army is considered to have come into its own. The Thematic system proved to be highly resilient and flexible, serving the empire well from the mid-7th through the late 11th centuries. Not only did it back the Saracens, but some of Byzantiums lost lands were recaptured. The thematic armies also vanquished many other foes including the Bulgars, Avars, Slavs and Varangians, in addition to the themes, there was also the central imperial army stationed in and near Constantinople called the TagmataByzantine battle tactics – 12th-century fresco of Joshua from the monastery of Hosios Loukas. It accurately depicts the typical equipment of a heavily armed Byzantine infantryman of the 10th-12th centuries. He wears a helmet, lamellar klivanion with pteruges and is armed with a kontarion and a spathion.
153. Bucellarius – These units were generally quite small, but, especially during the many civil wars, they could grow to number several thousand men. In effect, the bucellarii were small private armies equipped and paid by wealthy influential people, as such they were quite often better trained and equipped, not to mention motivated, than the regular soldiers of the time. In the 6th century, Belisarius, during his wars on behalf of Justinian, by this time, the bucellarii were well integrated into the main Roman army, and soon the term came to be applied indiscriminately to well-equipped cavalry troops. Attribution This article incorporates text from a now in the public domain, Chambers, Ephraim. Cyclopædia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, james and John Knapton, et alBucellarius
154. Byzantine army (Komnenian era) – Alexios constructed a new army from the ground up, completely replacing previous forms of the Byzantine army. At the beginning of the Komnenian period in 1081, the Byzantine Empire had been reduced to the smallest territorial extent in its history, surrounded by enemies, and financially ruined by a long period of civil war, the empires prospects had looked grim. The state lay defenseless before internal and external threats, as the Byzantine army had reduced to a shadow of its former self. At Manzikert, units tracing their lineage for centuries back to the Roman Empire were wiped out, the Byzantine armys nadir was reached in 1091, when Alexios I could manage to field only 500 soldiers from the Empires professional forces. This process should not, however, at least in its earlier phases, the new force had a core of units which were both professional and disciplined. These provincial troops included kataphraktoi cavalry from Macedonia, Thessaly, Thrace, alongside troops raised and paid for directly by the state the Komnenian army included the armed followers of members of the wider imperial family and its extensive connections. In this can be seen the beginnings of the feudalisation of the Byzantine military, the granting of pronoia was beginning to become a notable element in the military infrastructure towards the end of the Komnenian period, though it became much more important subsequently. So, unlike in earlier periods, there are no detailed descriptions of Byzantine tactics, information on military matters in the Komnenian era must be gleaned from passing comments in contemporary historical and biographical literature, court panegyrics and from pictorial evidence. Other historians have, however, made attempts to estimate overall army size, during the reign of Alexios I, the field army may have numbered around 20,000 men. By 1143, the entire Byzantine army has been estimated to have numbered about 50,000 men and continued to remain about this size until the end of Manuels reign. During this period, the European provinces in the Balkans were able to more than 6,000 cavalry in total while the Eastern provinces of Asia Minor provided about the same number. This amounted to more than 12,000 cavalry for the entire Empire, Constantinople had a permanent garrison of 10,000 troops not including the 5,000 Varangians garrisoned in the two Imperial palaces. Modern historians have estimated the size of Komnenian armies on campaign at about 15,000 to 20,000 men and his military resources stretched to putting another, smaller, army in the field simultaneously. After the death of Manuel I, the Byzantine army seemed to have declined in numbers and this force of 2, 500+ managed to defeat Alexius Branas rebellion. The rebel army which could not have numbered more than 3-4,000 men had been the field force sent against the Bulgarians. Another force of about 3-4,000 was stationed at the city of Serres, under the emperor, the commander-in-chief of the army was the megas domestikos. The commander of the navy was the megas doux, who was also the commander for Crete, the Aegean Islands. A commander entrusted with an independent field force or one of the divisions of a large expeditionary army was termed a stratēgosByzantine army (Komnenian era) – Emperor John II Komnenos, the most successful commander of the Komnenian army.
155. Byzantine army (Palaiologan era) – The Palaiologan army refers to the military forces of the Byzantine Empire from the late thirteenth century to its final collapse in the mid-fifteenth century, under the House of the Palaiologoi. The army was a continuation of the forces of the Nicaean army. Due to the lack of land to support the army, the empire required the use of numbers of mercenaries. The Byzantine army continued to use the military terms with regards to numbers of troops. However, there were fewer territories to raise troops from, after 1261, the central army consisted of 6,000 men, while the number of total field troops never exceeded 10,000 men. The total number of troops under Michael VIII was about 20,000 men, however, under Andronicus II the more professional elements of the army was demobilized in favor of poorly trained and cheaper militia soldiers. The Emperor decreased the armys strength to 4,000 men by 1320. Even though the Empire had shrunk considerably by the time of Andronicus IIIs reign, by 1453, the Byzantine army had fallen to a regular garrison of 1,500 men in Constantinople. With a supreme effort, Constantine XI succeeded in assembling a garrison of 7,000 men to defend the city against the Ottoman army, Byzantine troops continued to consist of cavalry, infantry and archers. Since Trebizond had broken away, Cumans and Turks were used for cavalry, in the Palaiologan era, the main term for a standing regiment was the allagion. Palace and imperial guard units included the Varangian Guard, the obscure Paramonai, after Constantinople was retaken, Michael VIII armys continuous campaigning in Greece ensured that the Nicaean army, an offshoot of the expensive but effective Komnenian army remained in play. Under Andronicus II however, the army was reduced to low numbers – mercenary troops were disbanded to save money. Instead the use of poorly equipped and ill-disciplined militia soldiers saw the replacement of the vitally important expert soldiers, the results were obvious, Byzantine losses in Asia Minor occurred primarily under Andronicus II. Even so, mercenaries continued to be used after Andronicus IIs reign, ironically Andronicus successors policy of using many foreign fighters worsened Byzantiums fortunes in the same way that Andronicus had done so with their disbandment. The use of Serbs, Bulgarians and Turks of Aydin and of the Ottomans opened Byzantium up to foreign incursions. The deployment of up to 20,000 Turkish soldiers from the Ottoman realm to assist her nominal Greek ally only eased future conquests of the area. Since Byzantium became increasingly incapable in raising a loyal Greek army, foreigners such as the Knights of Rhodes, since the Imperial treasury was bankrupt after c 1350, these foreign fighters fought only for political reasons and often in civil wars, rather than to strengthen Byzantiums position. The Byzantine Empires main strategy aimed to make use of an often outnumbered armyByzantine army (Palaiologan era) – Catalan troops. Some 6,500 men went to fight for the Basileus in 1303
156. Greek fire – Greek fire was an incendiary weapon used by the Eastern Roman Empire. The Byzantines typically used it in battles to great effect. The impression made by Greek fire on the western European Crusaders was such that the name was applied to any sort of weapon, including those used by Arabs, the Chinese. These, however, were different mixtures and not the Byzantine formula, Byzantine use of incendiary mixtures was distinguished by the use of pressurized nozzles or siphōn to project the liquid onto the enemy. The composition of Greek fire is unknown and it remains a matter of speculation and debate, with various proposals including combinations of pine resin, naphtha, quicklime, calcium phosphide, sulfur, or niter. Incendiary and flaming weapons were used in warfare for centuries prior to the invention of Greek fire and they included a number of sulfur-, petroleum-, and bitumen-based mixtures. Incendiary arrows and pots containing combustible substances were used as early as the 9th century BC by the Assyrians and were used in the Greco-Roman world as well. Furthermore, Thucydides mentions that in the siege of Delium in 424 BC a long tube on wheels was used which blew flames forward using a large bellows, Greek fire proper, however, was developed in c. He had devised a sea fire which ignited the Arab ships, thus it was that the Romans returned with victory and discovered the sea fire. If this is not due to confusion of the events of the siege. Indeed, the 11th-century chronicler George Kedrenos records that Kallinikos came from Heliopolis in Egypt, within a generation, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt had fallen to the Arabs, who in c. 672 set out to conquer the imperial capital of Constantinople. Greek fire was used to great effect against the Muslim fleets, helping to repel the Muslims at the first and second Arab sieges of the city. Utilisation of the substance was prominent in Byzantine civil wars, chiefly the revolt of the fleets in 727. In both cases, the fleets were defeated by the Constantinopolitan Imperial Fleet through the use of Greek fire. The importance placed on Greek fire during the Empires struggle against the Arabs would lead to its discovery being ascribed to divine intervention. As a warning, he adds that one official, who was bribed into handing some of it over to the Empires enemies, was struck down by a flame from heaven as he was about to enter a church. This, however, was not enough to allow their enemies to copy it. Greek fire continued to be mentioned during the 12th century, however, although the use of hastily improvised fireships is mentioned during the 1203 siege of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade, no report confirms the use of the actual Greek fireGreek fire – Greek fire in use against another ship
157. Megas doux – The megas doux was one of the highest positions in the hierarchy of the later Byzantine Empire, denoting the commander-in-chief of the Byzantine navy. It is sometimes given in English by the half-Latinizations megaduke or megadux. The Greek word δούξ is the Hellenized form of the Latin term dux, the Emperors brother-in-law John Doukas is usually considered to have been the first to hold the title, being raised to it in 1092, when he was tasked with suppressing the Turkish emir Tzachas. There is however a document dated to December 1085, where a monk Niketas signs as supervisor of the estates of an unnamed megas doux. From this time the megas doux was also given control of the provinces of Hellas, the Peloponnese and Crete. With the virtual disappearance of the Byzantine fleet after the Fourth Crusade, Michael VIII Palaiologos assumed the title when he became regent for John IV Laskaris, before being raised to senior co-emperor. It was also used by the Latin Empire, where, in ca,1207, the Latin emperor awarded the island of Lemnos and the hereditary title of megadux to the Venetian Filocalo Navigajoso. His descendants inherited the title and the rule of Lemnos until evicted by the Byzantines in 1278, the mid-14th century Book of Offices of Pseudo-Kodinos lists the insignia of the megas doux as a golden-red skiadion hat decorated with embroideries in the klapoton style, without veil. Alternatively, a domed skaranikon hat could be worn, again in red and gold and decorated with golden wire, with a portrait of the standing in front. The megas doux also wore a rich silk tunic, the kabbadion and his staff of office featured carved knots and knobs in gold, bordered with silver braid. Pseudo-Kodinos also records that, while the other warships flew the usual imperial flag of the cross and the firesteels and his subordinate officials were the megas droungarios tou stolou, the amēralios, the prōtokomēs, the junior droungarioi, and the junior komētes. The Serbian Empire, established in 1346 by Tsar Stefan Dushan, adopted various Byzantine titles, among them that of megas doux, holders of the office included senior noblemen such as Jovan Uglješa and Jovan Oliver. In the 1490 Valencian epic romance Tirant lo Blanc, the valiant knight Tirant the White from Brittany travels to Constantinople and this story has no basis in actual history, though it may reflect the above-mentioned cases of the office being conferred upon foreigners. The Byzantine Empire, 1025–1204, A Political History, the Late Byzantine Army, Arms and Society 1204–1453. Emperor Michael Palaeologus and the West, 1258–1282, A Study in Byzantine-Latin Relations, le Drongaire de la flotte, le Grand drongaire de la flotte, le Duc de la flotte, le Mégaduc. Recherches sur les institutions byzantines, Tome I, haldon, John F. Warfare, state and society in the Byzantine world, 565–1204. Nicol, Donald M. Byzantium and Venice, A Study in Diplomatic, the Last Centuries of Byzantium, 1261–1453. The Empire of Manuel I Komnenos, 1143–1180, the Doukai, A Contribution to Byzantine ProsopographyMegas doux – The megas doux Alexios Apokaukos (1341-1345), in the garb of his office.
158. Ecumenical council – The word ecumenical derives from a Greek term which literally means the inhabited world, but which was also applied more narrowly in antiquity to refer to the Roman Empire. Starting with the ecumenical council, noteworthy schisms led to non-participation by some members of what had previously been considered a single Christian Church. Thus, some parts of Christianity did not attend later councils, or attended, Bishops belonging to what became known as the Church of the East only participated in the first two councils. Bishops belonging to what became known as Oriental Orthodoxy participated in the first four councils, acceptance of councils as ecumenical and authoritative varies between different Christian denominations. Disputes over christological and other questions have led certain branches to reject some councils that others accept, the Church of the East accepts as ecumenical only the first two councils. Oriental Orthodox Churches accept the first three, both the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church recognise as ecumenical the first seven councils, held from the 4th to the 9th century. In all, the Roman Catholic Church recognises twenty-one councils as ecumenical, anglicans and confessional Protestants accept either the first seven or the first four as ecumenical councils. Such decrees are often labeled as Canons and they often have an attached anathema, the doctrine does not claim that every aspect of every ecumenical council is infallible. Both the Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholic churches uphold versions of this doctrine, protestant churches would generally view ecumenical councils as fallible human institutions that have no more than a derived authority to the extent that they correctly expound Scripture. Church councils were, from the beginning, bureaucratic exercises, written documents were circulated, speeches made and responded to, votes taken, and final documents published and distributed. A large part of what is known about the beliefs of heresies comes from the documents quoted in councils in order to be refuted, most councils dealt not only with doctrinal but also with disciplinary matters, which were decided in canons. Study of the canons of councils is the foundation of the development of canon law. Canons consist of doctrinal statements and disciplinary measures – most Church councils, of the seven councils recognised in whole or in part by both the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox Church as ecumenical, all were called by a Roman Emperor. The emperor gave them legal status within the entire Roman Empire, all were held in the eastern part of the Roman Empire. The bishop of Rome did not attend, although he sent legates to some of them, Church councils were traditional and the ecumenical councils were a continuation of earlier councils held in the Empire before Christianity was made legal. The first seven councils recognised in both East and West as ecumenical and several others to such recognition is refused were called by the Byzantine emperors. This too ceased to be considered an ecumenical council, of the twenty-one ecumenical councils recognised by the Roman Catholic Church, some gained recognition as ecumenical only later. Thus the Eastern First Council of Constantinople became ecumenical only when its decrees were accepted in the West alsoEcumenical council – Ministry of Jesus & Apostolic Age
159. Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople – The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is one of the fourteen autocephalous churches that together compose the Eastern Orthodox Church. It is headed by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, currently Bartholomew I, from that time, the importance of the church there grew, along with the influence of its bishop. With the development of the structure of the Church, the bishop of Constantinople came to be styled as exarch. Constantinople was recognized as the patriarchate at the First Council of Constantinople in 381, after Antioch, Alexandria. The patriarch was usually appointed by Antioch, in turn, the affairs of the Constantinopolitan church were overseen not just by the patriarch, but also by synods held including visiting bishops. This pan-Orthodox synod came to be referred to as the ενδημουσα συνοδος, the resident synod not only governed the business of the patriarchate but also examined questions pertinent to the whole Church as well as the eastern half of the old empire. As the Roman Empire stabilized and grew, so did the influence of the patriarchate at its capital, the council resulted in a schism with the Patriarchate of Alexandria. The cathedral church of Constantinople, Hagia Sophia, was the center of life in the eastern Christian world. In history and in literature, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has been granted certain prerogatives which other autocephalous Orthodox churches do not have. Not all of these prerogatives are today universally acknowledged, though all do have precedents in history and canonical references. The emperor Leo III issued a decree in 726 against images, and ordered the destruction of an image of Christ over one of the doors of the Chalke, an act which was fiercely resisted by the citizens. Following the death of his son Leo IV in 780, the empress Irene restored the veneration of images through the agency of the Second Council of Nicaea in 787. The iconoclast controversy returned in the early 9th century, only to be resolved once more in 843 during the regency of Empress Theodora and these controversies contributed to the deterioration of relations between the Western and the Eastern Churches. Most of the causes of the Great Schism, however, are far less grandiose than the famous Filioque. The relations between the papacy and the Byzantine court were good in the leading up to 1054. The emperor Constantine IX and the Pope Leo IX were allied through the mediation of the Lombard catepan of Italy, Argyrus, who had spent years in Constantinople, originally as a political prisoner. Patriarch Michael I ordered a letter to be written to the bishop of Trani in which he attacked the Judaistic practices of the West, the letter was to be sent by John to all the bishops of the West, including the Pope. Although he was hot-headed, Michael was convinced to cool the debate, however, Humbert and the pope made no concessions and the former was sent with legatine powers to the imperial capital to solve the questions raised once and for allEcumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople – The Church of Hagia Irene, seat of the Patriarchate before Hagia Sophia was completed in 360
160. Paulicianism – Paulicians were a Christian sect, also accused by medieval sources of being Adoptionist, Gnostic, and quasi-Manichaean Christian. They flourished between 650 and 872 in Armenia and the eastern themata of the Byzantine Empire, according to medieval Byzantine sources, the groups name was derived from the 3rd century Bishop of Antioch, Paul of Samosata. The sources show that most Paulician leaders were Armenians, the founder of the sect is said to have been an Armenian by the name of Constantine, who hailed from Mananalis, a community near Samosata. He studied the Gospels and Epistles, combined dualistic and Christian doctrines and, upon the basis of the former, vigorously opposed the formalism of the church. Upon reading the same, he came to know about salvation in Christ, upon sharing said good news with others, he formed a group of sincere believers that became known as Paulicians. Regarding himself as called to restore the pure Christianity of Paul, he adopted the name Silvanus, twenty-seven years later, he was arrested by the Imperial authorities, tried for heresy and stoned to death. Simeon, the official who executed the order, was himself converted. He was burned to death in 690, the adherents of the sect fled, with Paul at their head, to Episparis. He died in 715, leaving two sons, Gegnaesius and Theodore, the latter, giving out that he had received the Holy Ghost, rose against Gegnaesius but was unsuccessful. Gegnaesius was taken to Constantinople, appeared before Leo the Isaurian, was declared innocent of heresy, returned to Episparis and his death was the occasion of a division in the sect, Zacharias and Joseph being the leaders of the two parties. The latter had the following and was succeeded by Baanies in 775. The sect grew in spite of persecution, receiving additions from some of the iconoclasts, the Paulicians were now divided into the Baanites and the Sergites. Sergius, as the leader, was a zealous and effective converter for his sect, he boasted that he had spread his Gospel from East to West. At the same time the Sergites fought against their rivals and nearly exterminated them, baanes was supplanted by Sergius-Tychicus in 801, who was very active for thirty-four years. His activity was the occasion of renewed persecutions on the part of Leo the Armenian, obliged to flee, Sergius and his followers settled at Argaun, in that part of Armenia which was under the control of the Saracens. At the death of Sergius, the control of the sect was divided between several leaders, Paulicians under their new leader, Karbeas, fled to new areas. They built two cities, Amara and Tephrike, by 844, at the height of its power, the Paulicians established a State of the Paulicians at Tephrike. In 856, Karbeas and his people took refuge with the Arabs in the territory around Tephrike and joined forces with Umar al-Aqta, Karbeas was killed in 863 in Michael IIIs campaign against the Paulicians and was possibly with Umar at Malakopea before the battle of LalakaonPaulicianism – The massacre of the Paulicians in 843/844, from the Madrid Skylitzes.
161. Mount Athos – Mount Athos is a mountain and peninsula in northeastern Greece and an important centre of Eastern Orthodox monasticism. It is governed as an autonomous polity within the Greek Republic under the official name Autonomous Monastic State of the Holy Mountain, Mount Athos is home to 20 monasteries under the direct jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Mount Athos is commonly referred to in Greek as the Holy Mountain, other languages of orthodox tradition also use names translating to Holy Mountain. In the classical era, while the mountain was called Athos, the free movement of people and goods in its territory is prohibited, unless formal permission is granted by the Monastic States authorities, and only males are allowed to enter.6 square kilometres. The actual Mount Athos has steep, densely forested slopes reaching up to 2,033 metres, the surrounding seas, especially at the end of the peninsula, can be dangerous. In ancient Greek history two fleet disasters in the area are recorded, In 492 BC Darius, the king of Persia, in 411 BC the Spartans lost a fleet of 50 ships under admiral Epicleas. Though land-linked, Mount Athos is practically only by ferry. The Agios Panteleimon and Axion Estin travel daily between Ouranoupolis and Dafni, with stops at some monasteries on the western coast, there is also a smaller speed boat, the Agia Anna, which travels the same route, but with no intermediate stops. It is possible to travel by ferry to and from Ierissos for direct access to monasteries along the eastern coast, the number of daily visitors to Mount Athos is restricted, and all are required to obtain a special entrance permit valid for a limited period. Only males are permitted to visit the territory, which is called the Garden of Virgin Mary by the monks, residents on the peninsula must be males aged 18 and over who are members of the Eastern Orthodox Church and also either monks or workers. Athos in Greek mythology is the name of one of the Gigantes that challenged the Greek gods during the Gigantomachia, Athos threw a massive rock against Poseidon which fell in the Aegean sea and became Mount Athos. According to another version of the story, Poseidon used the mountain to bury the defeated giant, homer mentions the mountain Athos in the Iliad. Herodotus mentions the peninsula, then called Acte, telling us that Pelasgians from the island of Lemnos populated it and naming five cities thereon, Sane, Cleonae, Thyssos, Olophyxos, Strabo also mentions the cities of Dion and Acrothoï. Eretria also established colonies on Acte, at least one other city was established in the Classical period, Acanthus. Some of these cities minted their own coins, the peninsula was on the invasion route of Xerxes I, who spent three years excavating a channel across the isthmus to allow the passage of his invasion fleet in 483 BC. After the death of Alexander the Great, the architect Dinocrates proposed carvingg the entire mountain into a statue of Alexander, the history of the peninsula during latter ages is shrouded by the lack of historical accounts. Archaeologists have not been able to determine the location of the cities reported by Strabo. It is believed that they must have been deserted when Athos new inhabitants, according to the Athonite tradition, the Blessed Virgin Mary was sailing accompanied by St John the Evangelist from Joppa to Cyprus to visit LazarusMount Athos – Mount Athos
162. Ecloga – Byzantine law was essentially a continuation of Roman law with increased Christian influence. Most sources define Byzantine law as the Roman legal traditions starting after the reign of Justinian I in the 6th century, the most important work of Byzantine law was the Ecloga, issued by Leo III, the first major Roman-Byzantine legal code issued in Greek rather than Latin. Soon after the Farmers Law was established regulating legal standards outside the cities, Byzantine law was effectively devolved into two spheres, Ecclesiastical law and secular law. Byzantium inherited its main political, cultural and social institutions from Rome, similarly, Roman law constituted the basis for the Byzantine legal system. For many centuries, the two great codifications of Roman law, carried out by Theodosius II and Justinian respectively, were the cornerstones of Byzantine legislation. Of course, over the years these Roman codes were adjusted to the current circumstances, however, the influence of Roman law persisted, and it is obvious in codifications, such as Basilika, which was based on Corpus Juris Civilis. In the 11th century, Michael Psellos prides himself for being acquainted with the Roman legal legacy, in accordance with the late Roman legal tradition, the main source of law in Byzantium remained the enactments of the emperors. The latter initiated some major codifications of the Roman law, but they issued their own new laws. In early Byzantine era the legislative interest of the emperors intensified, for example, Constantine I was the first to regulate divorce and Theodosius I intervened in faith issues, imposing a specific version of the Creed. From Diocletian to Theodosius I, namely during approximately 100 years, Justinian alone promulgated approximately 600 laws. Gradually, the legislative enthusiasm receded, but still some of the laws of later emperors, custom continued to play a limited role as a secondary source of law, but written legislation had a precedence. There is no established date for when the so-called Byzantine period of Roman history begins. During the 4th, 5th, and 6th centuries the Empire was split, but it was during this period that Constantinople was first established and the East gained its own identity administratively, thus, it is often considered the early Byzantine period. These developments, nevertheless, were key steps in the formation of Byzantine Law, in 438, Emperor Theodosius published the Codex Theodosianus, which consisted of 16 books, containing all standing laws from the age of Constantine I till then. Soon after his accession in 527, Justinian appointed a commission to collect, a second commission, headed by the jurist Tribonian, was appointed in 530 to select matter of permanent value from the works of the jurists, to edit it and to arrange it into 50 books. In 533 this commission produced the Digesta, although Law as practiced in Rome had grown up as a type of case law, this was not the Roman Law known to the Medieval, or modern world. Now Roman law claims to be based on principles of justice that were made into actual rules of law by legislative authority of the emperor or the Roman people. These ideas were transmitted to the Middle Ages in the codification of Roman law carried throughout by the emperor JustinianEcloga – Byzantine culture
163. History of Roman and Byzantine domes – The History of Roman and Byzantine domes traces the architecture of domes throughout the ancient Roman Empire and its medieval continuation, today called the Byzantine Empire. The domes were customarily hemispherical, although octagonal and segmented shapes are known, and they developed in form, use. Early examples rested directly on the walls of round rooms and featured a central oculus for ventilation. Pendentives became common in the Byzantine period, provided support for domes over square spaces, Nero introduced the dome into Roman palace architecture in the 1st century and such rooms served as state banqueting halls, audience rooms, or throne rooms. The Pantheons dome, the largest and most famous example, was built of concrete in the 2nd century, Imperial mausolea, such as the Mausoleum of Diocletian, were domed beginning in the 3rd century. Brick ribs allowed for a structure and facilitated the use of windows in the supporting walls. Christian baptisteries and shrines were domed in the 4th century, such as the Lateran Baptistery, Constantines octagonal palace church in Antioch may have been the precedent for similar buildings for centuries afterward. His Hagia Sophia and Church of the Holy Apostles inspired copies in later centuries, domes over windowed drums of cylindrical or polygonal shape were standard after the 9th century. In the empires later period, smaller churches were built with smaller domes, exceptions include the 11th century domed-octagons of Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni, and the 12th century Chora Church, among others. Rounded arches, vaults, and domes distinguish Roman architecture from that of Ancient Greece and were facilitated by the use of concrete and brick. By varying the weight of the material in the concrete. But concrete domes also required expensive wooden formwork, also called shuttering, to be built and kept in place during the curing process, formwork for brick domes need not be kept in place as long and could be more easily reused. Roman domes were used in baths, villas, palaces, and they were customarily hemispherical in shape and partially or totally concealed on the exterior. A variety of shapes, including shallow saucer domes, segmental domes. The audience halls of many imperial palaces were domed, domes were also very common over polygonal garden pavilions. Construction and development of domes declined in the west with the decline, in the Byzantine period, a supporting structure of four arches with pendentives between them allowed the spaces below domes to be opened up. Pendentives allowed for weight loads to be concentrated at just four points on a more practical square plan, domes were important elements of baptisteries, churches, and tombs. They were normally hemispherical and had, with exceptions, windowed drumsHistory of Roman and Byzantine domes – The circular oculus of the Pantheon, at the center of the domed ceiling
164. Great Palace of Constantinople – It served as the main royal residence of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine emperors from 330 to 1081 and was the center of imperial administration for over 690 years. Only a few remnants and fragments of its foundations have survived into the present day, when Constantine I moved the Roman capital to Constantinople in 330, he planned out a palace for himself and his heirs. The palace was located between the Hippodrome and Hagia Sophia and it was rebuilt and expanded several times during its history. Much of the complex was destroyed during the Nika riots of 532 and was rebuilt lavishly by the emperor Justinian I, further extensions and alterations were commissioned by Justinian II and Basil I. However, it had fallen into disrepair by the time of Constantine VII and it declined substantially during the following century when parts of the complex were demolished or filled with rubble. During the sack of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade, the Palace was plundered by the soldiers of Boniface of Montferrat, although the subsequent Latin emperors continued to use the Palace complex, they lacked money for its maintenance. The last Latin emperor, Baldwin II, went as far as removing the lead roofs of the Palace, consequently, when the city was retaken by the forces of Michael VIII Palaiologos in 1261, the Great Palace was in disrepair. The Palaiologos emperors largely abandoned it, ruling from Blachernae and using the vaults as a prison, when Mehmed II entered the city in 1453, he found the palace ruined and abandoned. Much of the palace was demolished in the rebuilding of Constantinople in the early years of the Ottoman era. The site of the Great Palace began to be investigated in the late 19th century, on this site prison cells, many large rooms, and possibly tombs were found. Initial excavations were carried out by French archaeologists at the Palace of Manganae between 1921-23, a much larger excavation was carried out by the University of St Andrews in 1935 to 1938. Further excavations took place under the directorship of David Talbot Rice from 1952 to 1954, the archaeologists discovered a spectacular series of wall and floor mosaics which have been conserved in the Great Palace Mosaic Museum. The Palace was located in the corner of the peninsula where Constantinople is situated, behind the Hippodrome. The Palace is considered by scholars to have been a series of pavilions, the total surface area of the Great Palace exceeded 200,000 square feet. It stood on a sloping hillside that descends nearly 33 metres from the Hippodrome to the shoreline. The palace complex occupied six distinct terraces descending to the shore, the main entrance to the Palace quarter was the Chalke gate at the Augustaion. The Augustaion was located on the side of the Hagia Sophia, and it was there that the citys main street. To the east of the lay the Senate house or Palace of Magnaura, where the University was later housed, and to the west the MilionGreat Palace of Constantinople – A scene from the scroll border of the Great Palace Mosaic, a mosaic floor of scenes from daily life and mythology in a hall of yet unidentified uses and controversial date.
165. Thessaloniki – Its nickname is η Συμπρωτεύουσα, literally the co-capital, a reference to its historical status as the Συμβασιλεύουσα or co-reigning city of the Eastern Roman Empire, alongside Constantinople. The city is renowned for its festivals, events and vibrant cultural life in general, Thessaloniki was the 2014 European Youth Capital. The city of Thessaloniki was founded in 315 BC by Cassander of Macedon, an important metropolis by the Roman period, Thessaloniki was the second largest and wealthiest city of the Byzantine Empire. It was conquered by the Ottomans in 1430, and passed from the Ottoman Empire to modern Greece on November 8,1912, the citys main university, Aristotle University, is the largest in Greece and the Balkans. Thessaloniki is a popular tourist destination in Greece, among street photographers, the center of Thessaloniki is also considered the most popular destination for street photography in Greece. All variations of the name derive from the original appellation in Ancient Greek, i. e. Θεσσαλονίκη. The alternative name Salonica derives from the variant form Σαλονίκη in colloquial Greek speech, in local speech, the citys name is typically pronounced with a dark and deep L characteristic of Macedonian Greek accent. The name often appears in writing in the abbreviated form Θεσ/νίκη, the city was founded around 315 BC by the King Cassander of Macedon, on or near the site of the ancient town of Therma and 26 other local villages. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a half-sister of Alexander the Great, under the kingdom of Macedon the city retained its own autonomy and parliament and evolved to become the most important city in Macedon. After the fall of the kingdom of Macedon in 168 BC, the city later became the capital of one of the four Roman districts of Macedonia. Later it became the capital of all the Greek provinces of the Roman Empire because of the importance in the Balkan peninsula. At the time of the Roman Empire, about 50 A. D. Later, Paul wrote two letters to the new church at Thessaloniki, preserved in the Biblical canon as First and Second Thessalonians. Some scholars hold that the First Epistle to the Thessalonians is the first written book of the New Testament, in 306 AD, Thessaloniki acquired a patron saint, St. Demetrius, a native of Thessalonica whom Galerius put to death. A basilical church was first built in the 5th century AD dedicated to St. Demetrius, in 379, when the Roman Prefecture of Illyricum was divided between the East and West Roman Empires, Thessaloniki became the capital of the new Prefecture of Illyricum. In 390, Gothic troops under the Roman Emperor Theodosius I, led a massacre against the inhabitants of Thessalonica, by the time of the Fall of Rome in 476, Thessaloniki was the second-largest city of the Eastern Roman Empire. From the first years of the Byzantine Empire, Thessaloniki was considered the city in the Empire after Constantinople. With a population of 150,000 in the mid-12th century, the city held this status until its transfer to Venetian control in 1423. In the 14th century, the population exceeded 100,000 to 150,000Thessaloniki – The 4th-century AD Rotunda of Galerius, one of several Roman monuments in the city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
166. Church of Panagia Chalkeon – The Church of Panagia Chalkeon is an 11th-century Byzantine church in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki. The church is located at Dikastirion Square, north of the Via Egnatia at the point where it crosses the Aristotelous Avenue, which leads to the Aristotelous Square. According to the inscription above the west entrance, the church was built in 1028 by the protospatharios Christopher, katepano of Longobardia, and his wife, son. Christophers tomb was located in an arcosolium on the churchs northern wall. The ground plan is that of a classic cross-in-square-form typical of Macedonian-period architecture, with four columns, the entire building is built of bricks, which gave it the popular nickname Red Church. The exterior is enlivened with a variety of arches and pilasters, the use of arches with several setbacks gives the building a sculpted appearance. A marble cornice runs around the church, giving the building distinctive upper and lower sections. The lower section is more spare, while the section is decoratively distinguished by half-columns between arches, and saw-tooth courses where the wall meets the roof. The interior of the church is divided into three sections, The narthex, the naos, and the sanctuary, the narthex is covered by three barrel vaults and has an upper gallery that was perhaps used as a sacristy. There was never, however, a stair leading up to it, Anna Tsitouridou speculates that it may have been accessed by a ladder through a now closed up arched window on the northwest corner of the church. In the naos, four light grey marble columns form a square, in the center of the square is the dome. Pendentives between the arches create a base for the dome above. The dome is 3. 8m wide and its height is 5. 3m and it is octagonal, containing sixteen windows in two rows, one atop the other. The arms of the cross can be seen on the exterior, with saddle back roofs over their great barrel vaults. Domical vaults cover the four bays between the arms of the cross, completing the square of the naos. Though founder’s tombs are placed in the narthex of their churches. The sanctuary is divided into three sections, The central main body of the sanctuary, the prothesis, and the diaconicon. The central section of the sanctuary has an apse, which is “semicircular within, and three-sided without. ”The other two bays have apses “semicircular inside and out. ”The church has some anomalies, the north wall is slightly longer than the south wallChurch of Panagia Chalkeon – The Church of Panagia Chalkeon
167. Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo – The Basilica of Sant Apollinare Nuovo is a basilica church in Ravenna, Italy. It was erected by Ostrogoth King Theodoric the Great as his palace chapel during the first quarter of the 6th century and this Arian church was originally dedicated in 504 AD to Christ the Redeemer. It was reconsecrated in 561 AD, under the rule of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I, suppressing the Arian cult, the church was dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours, a foe of Arianism. According to legend, Pope Gregory the Great ordered that the mosaics in the church be blackened, on some columns, images of arms and hands can be seen, which are parts of figures once representing praying Goths and Theodorics court, deleted in Byzantine times. Renovations were done to the mosaics in the century by Felice Kibel. The present apse is a reconstruction after being damaged during World War I, on the upper band of the left lateral wall are 13 small mosaics, depicting Jesus miracles and parables, and on the right wall are 13 mosaics depicting the Passion and Resurrection. However, the flagellation and crucifixion are lacking and they describe the parts of the Bible that were read aloud in the church during Lent under the rule of Theodoric the Great. On the left, Jesus is always depicted as young, beardless man, on the right, Jesus is depicted with a beard. For the Arians, this emphasized that Jesus grew older and became a man of sorrows and these mosaics are separated by decorative mosaic panels depicting a shell-shaped niche with a tapestry, cross, and two doves. These mosaics were executed by at least two artists, the next row of mosaics are a scheme of haloed saints, prophets and evangelists, sixteen on each side. The figures are executed in a Hellenistic-Roman tradition and show a certain individuality of expression as compared to the figures in the basilica. Each individual depicted holds a book, in either scroll or codex format and they were executed in the time of Theodoric. The row below contains large mosaics in Byzantine style, lacking any individuality and these were executed about 50 years after the time of bishop Agnellus, when the church had already become a Orthodox church. To the left is a procession of the 22 Virgins of the Byzantine period, led by the Three Magi, moving from the city of Classe towards the group of the Madonna and Child surrounded by four angels. In another part of the church there is a rough mosaic containing the portrait of the Emperor Justinian, the entrance of the church is preceded by a marble portico built in the 16th century. Next to the church, on the side of the portico. This is one of the most important buildings from the period of cultural significance in European religious art. Some art historians claim that one of the mosaics contains the first depiction of Satan in western art, in the mosaic, a blue angel appears to the left hand side of Jesus behind three goatsBasilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo – New Basilica of Saint Apollinaris Basilica di Sant'Apollinare Nuovo (Italian)
168. Byzantine economy – The Byzantine economy was among the most robust economies in the Mediterranean for many centuries. Constantinople was a hub in a trading network that at various times extended across nearly all of Eurasia. Some scholars argue that, up until the arrival of the Arabs in the 7th century, the Arab conquests, however, would represent a substantial reversal of fortunes contributing to a period of decline and stagnation. Constantine Vs reforms marked the beginning of a revival that continued until 1204, from the 10th century until the end of the 12th, the Byzantine Empire projected an image of luxury, and the travelers were impressed by the wealth accumulated in the capital. All this changed with the arrival of the Fourth Crusade, which was an economic catastrophe, the Palaiologoi tried to revive the economy, but the late Byzantine state would not gain full control of either the foreign or domestic economic forces. One of the foundations of the empire was trade. The state strictly controlled both the internal and the trade, and retained the monopoly of issuing coinage. The Eastern Roman economy suffered less from the Barbarian raids that plagued the Western Roman Empire. Under Diocletians reign, the Eastern Roman Empires annual revenue was at 9,400,000 solidi and these estimates can be compared to the AD150 annual revenue of 14,500,000 solidi and the AD215 of 22,000,000 solidi. By the end of Marcians reign, the revenue for the Eastern empire was 7,800,000 solidi. Warren Treadgold estimates that during the period from Diocletian to Marcian, the Eastern Empires population and agriculture declined a bit, actually, the few preserved figures show that the largest eastern cities grew somewhat between the 3rd and 5th centuries. By Marcians reign the Eastern Empires difficulties seem to have been easing, the wealth of Constantinople can be seen by how Justin I used 3,700 pounds of gold just for celebrating his own consulship. By the end of his reign, Anastasius I had managed to collect for the treasury an amount of 23,000,000 solidi or 320,000 pounds of gold. At the start of Justinian Is reign, the Emperor had inherited a surplus 28,800,000 from Anastasius I, before Justinian Is reconquests the state had an annual revenue of 5,000,000 solidi, which further increased after his reconquests in 550. Nevertheless, Justinian I had little money left towards the end of his reign partly because of the Justinian Plague, and the Roman–Persian Wars, in addition to these expenses, the rebuilding of Hagia Sophia cost 20,000 pounds of gold. Since Emperor Heraclius changed the official language from Latin to Greek in around 620, the solidus would thereafter be known by its Greek name. The Byzantine-Arab Wars reduced the territory of the Empire to a third in the 7th century, from the 8th century onward the Empires economy improved dramatically. This was a blessing for Byzantium in more than one way, the economy, the administration of gold coinage, even though the soldiers pay was minimal, large armies were a considerable strain on ByzantiumByzantine economy – Byzantine culture
169. Byzantine coinage – Byzantine currency, money used in the Eastern Roman Empire after the fall of the West, consisted of mainly two types of coins, the gold solidus and a variety of clearly valued bronze coins. By the end of the empire the currency was issued only in silver stavrata, the gold coins of Justinian II departed from these stable conventions by putting a bust of Christ on the obverse, and a half or full-length portrait of the Emperor on the reverse. This was then used on nearly all Islamic coinage until the modern period, the type of Justinian II was revived after the end of Iconoclasm, and with variations remained the norm until the end of the Empire. In the 10th century, so-called anonymous folles were struck instead of the coins depicting the emperor. Late Byzantine gold coins became thin wafers that could be bent by hand, the Byzantine coinage had a prestige that lasted until near the end of the Empire. European rulers, once again started issuing their own coins, tended to follow a simplified version of Byzantine patterns. New bronze coins, multiples of the nummus were introduced, such as the 40 nummi,20 nummi,10 nummi, and 5 nummi coins. The obverse of these featured a highly stylized portrait of the emperor while the reverse featured the value of the denomination represented according to the Greek numbering system. It was succeeded by the initially ceremonial miliaresion established by Leo III the Isaurian in ca,720, which became standard issue from ca.830 on and until the late 11th century, when it was discontinued after being severely debased. Small transactions were conducted with bronze coinage throughout this period, until that time, the fineness of the gold remained consistent at about 0. 955–0.980. The Byzantine monetary system changed during the 7th century when the 40 nummi, now significantly smaller, although Justinian II attempted a restoration of the follis size of Justinian I, the follis continued to slowly decrease in size. The 11⁄12 weight coin was called a tetarteron, and the full weight solidus was called the histamenon, the tetarteron was unpopular and was only sporadically reissued during the 10th century. The full weight solidus was struck at 72 to the Roman pound, there were also solidi of weight reduced by one siliqua issued for trade with the Near East. These reduced solidi, with a star both on obverse and reverse, weighed about 4.25 g, the Byzantine solidus was valued in Western Europe, where it became known as the bezant, a corruption of Byzantium. The term bezant then became the name for the symbol of a roundel. Former money changer Michael IV the Paphlagonian assumed the throne of Byzantium in 1034, the debasement was gradual at first, but then accelerated rapidly. Under Alexius I Comnenus the debased solidus was discontinued and a coinage of higher fineness was established. The hyperpyron was slightly smaller than the solidus, during Andronicus IIs reign he instituted a some new coinage based on the hyperpyronByzantine coinage – Solidus of Justinian II, second reign, after 705
170. Byzantine literature – Byzantine literature is the Greek literature of the Middle Ages, whether written in the territory of the Byzantine Empire or outside its borders. It forms the second period in the history of Greek literature, though popular Byzantine literature and early Modern Greek literature and this practice was perpetuated by a long-established system of Greek education where rhetoric was a leading subject. A typical product of this Byzantine education was the Greek Church Fathers, consequently, the vast Christian literature of the 3rd to 6th centuries established a synthesis of Hellenic and Christian thought. In addition, this style was also removed from the Koine Greek language of the New Testament, reaching back to Homer. In this manner, the culture of the Byzantine Empire was marked for over 1000 years by a diglossy between two different forms of the language, which were used for different purposes. However, the relations between the high and low forms of Greek changed over the centuries, the political recovery of the 9th century instigated a literary revival, in which a conscious attempt was made to recreate the Hellenic-Christian literary culture of late antiquity. Simple or popular Greek was avoided in literary use and many of the saints lives were rewritten in an archaizing style. By the 12th century the cultural confidence of the Byzantine Greeks led them to new literary genres, such as romantic fiction, in which adventure. Satire made occasional use of elements from spoken Greek, at the same time there was the beginning of a flourishing literature in an approximation to the vernacular Modern Greek. However the vernacular literature was limited to poetic romances and popular devotional writing, all serious literature continued to make use of the archaizing language of learned Greek tradition. Byzantine literature has two sources, Classical Greek and Orthodox Christian tradition, each of those sources provided a series of models and references for the Byzantine writer and his readers. The oldest of three civilizations is the Greek, centered not in Athens but in Alexandria and Hellenistic civilization. Alexandria through this period is the center of both Atticizing scholarship and of Graeco-Judaic social life, looking towards Athens as well as towards Jerusalem and this intellectual dualism between the culture of scholars and that of the people permeates the Byzantine period. Both tendencies persisted in Byzantium, but the first, as the one officially recognized, retained predominance and was not driven from the field until the fall of the empire, the reactionary linguistic movement known as Atticism supported and enforced this scholarly tendency. Alexandria, the center, is balanced by Rome, the center of government. It is as a Roman Empire that the Byzantine state first entered history, its citizens were known as Romans and its laws were Roman, so were its government, its army, and its official class, and at first also its language and its private and public life. The organization of the state was similar to that of the Roman imperial period, including its hierarchy. It was in Alexandria that Graeco-Oriental Christianity had its birth, on Egyptian soil monasticism began and thrivedByzantine literature – Byzantine culture
171. Acritic songs – The Acritic songs are the heroic or epic poetry that emerged in the Byzantine Empire probably around the 9th century. The songs celebrated the exploits of the Akrites, the guards defending the eastern borders of the Byzantine Empire. The historical background was the almost continuous Byzantine-Arab conflict between the 7th and 12th centuries, against this background several romances were produced, the most famous of which is that of Digenis Acritas, considered by some to signal the beginnings of modern Greek literature. Written in Medieval Greek, the Acritic songs deal with the deeds of ἀκρίτες, warriors that lived near the Arab frontiers. The fate of the local civilians — who after each invasion often had to face the loss of members as well as their own pain — is also a major theme. Most academics trace the origins of Byzantine Acritic romance to the epic poetry of the 9th and 10th centuries. Kougeas aptly observed that Arethas suggests a tradition developed at that time exactly in central Asia Minor which was the cradle of Acritic literature. The preservation of such important oral songs in Asia Minor up to 1922 and these folk singers may have been professionals, or semi-professionals that temporarily abandoned their jobs to sing their songs for pay. This tradition remains today in Cyprus with the ποιηταράδες that sing regularly in festivals and these had fled to the capital after the Turkish invasion in the mid-eleventh century. They made the songs to keep their culture alive, giving attention to skills in war, personal honour and courage, with the Arab expansion in the late 7th century came a life of warfare for the residents of the easternmost territories. Syria was occupied in 640 and from then on, every year, Saracens attempted invasions in Asia Minor and this continuous state of warfare set the stage for Acritic poetry. The hero of poems, the Ακρίτης, is the personification of all Byzantine soldiers that guarded those territories. As early as emperor Alexander Severus, soldiers were vested with land that would pass on to their sons in exchange for their service in the army, justinian consolidated these lands as tax-free, the owners of which Procopius names as λιμιτανέοι. With the creation of the Byzantine theme system the landowners were given further privileges, during the reign of Constantine Porphyrogenitus, acritic lands were not allowed to be sold, even with the consent of the owner. This was necessary for the preservation of cavalry which was important for dealing with thieves, besides its prose of popular idiom which went on to influence and shape modern Greek, the poems themselves were nationalistic enough in character that they became a symbol of Greek continuity. Byzantine nationalism during the formation of the Greek state and in the age of the new Greek Great Idea was widened and intensified, kostis Palamas, among the greatest of Greek poets, was preparing his own version of Digenis Acrites before his death. Its historical context would not be Byzantine, after antiquity, Greek language, myth, and metaphork. A history of modern Greek literature, exile and the poetics of loss in Greek traditionAcritic songs – Medieval plate depicting Acrites as inspired by literature
172. Alexander romance – The Romance of Alexander is any of several collections of legends concerning the mythical exploits of Alexander the Great. The earliest version is in the Greek language, dating to the 3rd century, several late manuscripts attribute the work to Alexanders court historian Callisthenes, but the historical person died before Alexander and could not have written a full account of his life. The unknown author is sometimes known as Pseudo-Callisthenes. The text was transformed into various versions between the 4th and the 16th centuries, in Medieval Greek, Latin, Armenian, Syriac, Hebrew, Alexander was a legend during his own time. In a now-lost history of the king, the historical Callisthenes described the sea in Cilicia as drawing back from him in proskynesis, writing after Alexanders death, another participant, Onesicritus, invented a tryst between Alexander and Thalestris, queen of the mythical Amazons. Throughout Antiquity and the Middle Ages, the Romance experienced numerous expansions and revisions exhibiting a variability unknown for more formal literary forms, Latin, Armenian, Georgian and Syriac translations were made in Late Antiquity. The Celticist Kuno Meyer received his doctorate for his thesis Eine irische Version der Alexandersage, the Latin Alexandreis of Walter of Châtillon was one of the most popular medieval romances. The Syriac version generated Middle Eastern recensions, including Arabic, Persian, Ethiopic, Hebrew, Ottoman Turkish, the story of Dhul-Qarnayn in the Quran matches the Gog and Magog episode of the Romance, which has caused some controversy among Islamic scholars. Islamic accounts of the Alexander legend, particularly in Persia, combined the Pseudo-Callisthenes material with indigenous Sasanian Middle Persian ideas about Alexander, the oldest version of the Greek text, the Historia Alexandri Magni, can be dated to the 3rd century. It was subjected to various revisions during the Byzantine Empire, some of them recasting it into poetical form in Medieval Greek vernacular, Recensio α is the source of a Latin version by Julius Valerius Alexander Polemius, and an Armenian version. Most of the content of the Romance is fantastical, including many miraculous tales, Recensio α sive Recensio vetusta, W. Kroll, Historia Alexandri Magni, vol. Berlin, Weidmann,1926 Recensio β, L. Bergson, stockholm, Almqvist & Wiksell,1965 Recensio β L. Bergson, Der griechische Alexanderroman. Stockholm, Almqvist & Wiksell,1965 Recensio β, L. Bergson, stockholm, Almqvist & Wiksell,1965 Recensio γ, U. von Lauenstein, Der griechische Alexanderroman. Recensio γ, H. Engelmann, Der griechische Alexanderroman, Recensio γ, F. Parthe, Der griechische Alexanderroman. Recensio δ, G. Trumpf, Anonymi Byzantini vita Alexandri regis Macedonum, konstantinopulos and A. C. Lolos, Ps. -Kallisthenes‑ Zwei mittelgriechische Prosa-Fassungen des Alexanderromans,2 vols Recensio φ, G. Veloudis, Ἡ φυλλάδα τοῦ Μεγαλέξαντρου. Διήγησις Ἀλεξάνδρου τοῦ Μακεδόνος Recensio Byzantina poetica, S. Reichmann, Das byzantinische Alexandergedicht nach dem codex Marcianus 408 herausgegeben Recensio E, vernacular, V. L. Konstantinopulos and A. C. Lolos, Ps. -Kallisthenes, Zwei mittelgriechische Prosa. Fassungen des Alexanderromans,2 vols Recensio V, K. Mitsakis, Der byzantinische Alexanderroman nach dem Codex Vind. The rhymed version There are several Old and Middle French and one Anglo-Norman Alexander romances, fuerre de Gadres by a certain Eustache, later used by Alexandre de Bernay and Thomas de Kent Decasyllabic Alexander, anonymous from 1160–70Alexander romance – 17th-century manuscript of an Alexandrine novel (Russia): Alexander exploring the depths of sea.
173. Byzantine dance – The art of Dance in the Byzantine Empire, developed during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, was centered in the capital city of Byzantium, later renamed Constantinople. Byzantine culture was oriented towards Greek culture and Christianity, rather than Roman paganism, the Byzantine Empire existed for more than a thousand years, from the 4th century CE to 1453. Ancient Greek dance in classical antiquity was originally held to have educational value, however, as Greek culture gradually conquered Rome, dancing had less educational value and was more for entertainment purposes. At this time dancers were given a social status than other artists. The influence of Christianity brought change too, first as the Eastern Roman Empire sought to ban dance, however, as Eastern Orthodox Church gradually began to grant concessions to the vast number of Greeks who had converted to Christianity, rendering dance acceptable by refining and spiritualizing it. This was similar to Christian reinterpretations of pre-Christian holidays, legends, there are also similarities between Byzantine dance and modern Greek dance. The dances that won the approval of the church were group dances, typically processions or circles in which men, separated from women, however, the information on dancing at this period is very scarce. Actually, since the Byzantine art is mainly ecclesiastical, the references to dance are rare, some images from the Byzantine and meta-Byzantine dances have been saved on sculptures, miniatures, and manuscripts - but mainly in church frescos amongst religious subjects. In his book Life and Culture of the Byzantines, Phaidon Koukoules assembled all known references to dance in texts of that time. From his writings, we learn that there were womens dances on Easter, nocturnal satirical dances in disguise on the Kalends, there were dances at weddings, in taverns, and at banquets. The wealthy invited professional harpists and youths and maidens to dance, being appreciated for their bodily agility. Dance spectacles staged in the theater in the accompaniment of flute, though we have so few descriptions of Byzantine dances, we know that they were often intertwined. The leader of the dance was called the koryphaios or chorolektes and it was he who began the song, efstathios of Thessaloniki mentions a dance which commenced in a circle and ended with the dancers facing one another. When not dancing in a circle the dancers held their hands high or waved them to left and they held cymbals or a kerchief in their hands and their movements were emphasized by their long sleeves. As they danced, they sang, either set songs or extemporized ones, sometimes in unison, sometimes in refrain, the onlookers joined in, clapping the rhythm or singing. Professional singers, often the musicians themselves, composed lyrics to suit the occasion, in Constantinople, important events were celebrated with large public dances. On the return of the victorious Byzantine army, for instance, there are instances recorded of people dancing inside the church, on Easter and Christmas, after Patriarch Theophylactos had granted his permission. Other times they danced and sang extemporized songs, making fun of the emperor, the soldiers danced as part of their drill and danced after maneuvers for amusementByzantine dance – Byzantine culture