Diocletian, born Diocles, was a Roman emperor from 284 to 305. Born to a family of low status in Dalmatia, Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become Roman cavalry commander to the Emperor Carus. After the deaths of Carus and his son Numerian on campaign in Persia, Diocletian was proclaimed emperor; the title was claimed by Carus' surviving son, but Diocletian defeated him in the Battle of the Margus. Diocletian's reign marks the end of the Crisis of the Third Century, he appointed fellow officer Maximian as Augustus, co-emperor, in 286. Diocletian reigned in the Eastern Empire, Maximian reigned in the Western Empire. Diocletian delegated further on 1 March 293, appointing Galerius and Constantius as Caesars, junior co-emperors, under himself and Maximian respectively. Under this'tetrarchy', or "rule of four", each emperor would rule over a quarter-division of the empire. Diocletian purged it of all threats to his power, he defeated the Sarmatians and Carpi during several campaigns between 285 and 299, the Alamanni in 288, usurpers in Egypt between 297 and 298.
Galerius, aided by Diocletian, campaigned against Sassanid Persia, the empire's traditional enemy. In 299 he sacked Ctesiphon. Diocletian achieved a lasting and favourable peace. Diocletian separated and enlarged the empire's civil and military services and reorganized the empire's provincial divisions, establishing the largest and most bureaucratic government in the history of the empire, he established new administrative centres in Nicomedia, Mediolanum and Trevorum, closer to the empire's frontiers than the traditional capital at Rome. Building on third-century trends towards absolutism, he styled himself an autocrat, elevating himself above the empire's masses with imposing forms of court ceremonies and architecture. Bureaucratic and military growth, constant campaigning, construction projects increased the state's expenditures and necessitated a comprehensive tax reform. From at least 297 on, imperial taxation was standardized, made more equitable, levied at higher rates. Not all of Diocletian's plans were successful: the Edict on Maximum Prices, his attempt to curb inflation via price controls, was counterproductive and ignored.
Although effective while he ruled, Diocletian's tetrarchic system collapsed after his abdication under the competing dynastic claims of Maxentius and Constantine, sons of Maximian and Constantius respectively. The Diocletianic Persecution, the empire's last and bloodiest official persecution of Christianity, failed to eliminate Christianity in the empire. Despite these failures and challenges, Diocletian's reforms fundamentally changed the structure of Roman imperial government and helped stabilize the empire economically and militarily, enabling the empire to remain intact for another 150 years despite being near the brink of collapse in Diocletian's youth. Weakened by illness, Diocletian left the imperial office on 1 May 305, became the first Roman emperor to abdicate the position voluntarily, he lived out his retirement in his palace on the Dalmatian coast. His palace became the core of the modern-day city of Split in Croatia. Diocletian was born near Salona in Dalmatia, some time around 244.
His parents gave him the Greek name Diocles, or Diocles Valerius. The modern historian Timothy Barnes takes his official birthday, 22 December, as his actual birthdate. Other historians are not so certain, his parents were of low status. The first forty years of his life are obscure; the Byzantine chronicler Joannes Zonaras states that he was Dux Moesiae, a commander of forces on the lower Danube. The often-unreliable Historia Augusta states that he served in Gaul, but this account is not corroborated by other sources and is ignored by modern historians of the period; the first time Diocletian's whereabouts are established, in 282, the Emperor Carus made him commander of the Protectores domestici, the elite cavalry force directly attached to the Imperial household – a post that earned him the honour of a consulship in 283. As such, he took part in Carus' subsequent Persian campaign. Carus's death, amid a successful war with Persia and in mysterious circumstances – he was believed to have been struck by lightning or killed by Persian soldiers – left his sons Numerian and Carinus as the new Augusti.
Carinus made his way to Rome from his post in Gaul as imperial commissioner and arrived there by January 284, becoming legitimate Emperor in the West. Numerian lingered in the East; the Roman withdrawal from Persia was unopposed. The Sassanid king Bahram II could not field an army against them as he was still struggling to establish his authority. By March 284, Numerian had only reached Emesa in Syria. In Emesa he was still alive and in good health: he issued the only extant rescript in his name there, but after he left the city, his staff, including the prefect Aper, reported that he suffered from an inflammation of the eyes, he travelled in a closed coach from on. When the army reached Bithynia, some of the soldiers smelled an odor emanating from the coach, they opened its curtains and inside
Principality of Theodoro
The Principality of Theodoro known as Gothia or the Principality of Theodoro-Mangup, was a Greek-speaking principality in the south-west of Crimea. It represented both the final rump-state of the Eastern Roman Empire and the last territorial vestige of the Crimean Goths until its conquest by the Ottoman Turks in 1475, its capital was Doros sometimes called Theodoro and now known as Mangup. The state was allied with the Empire of Trebizond. In the late 12th century the Crimean peninsula had seceded from the Byzantine Empire, but soon after the sack of Constantinople in 1204 parts of it were included in the Trebizondian Gazarian Perateia; this dependence was never strong and was replaced by the invading Mongols, who in 1238 poured into the peninsula, occupied its east and enforced a tribute on the western half, including Gothia. Apart of said tribute their influence was limited; the Principality of Gothia is first mentioned in the early 14th century, with the earliest date offered by the post-Byzantine historian Theodore Spandounes, who records the existence of a "Prince of Gothia" in the reign of Andronikos III Palaiologos.
Further references occur over the course of the 14th century, with several scholars identifying the "Dmitry", one of the three Tartar princes in the Battle of Blue Waters, with a Prince of Gothia. The name, in this case, may be the baptismal name of a Tartar lord of Mangup, named Khuitani; the name "Theodoro" appears for the first time in a Greek inscription dated to c. 1361/2, again as "Theodoro Mangop" in a Genoese document of 1374. It was suggested by A. Mercati that the form is a corruption of the Greek plural "Theodoroi", "the Theodores", meaning Saints Theodore Stratelates and Theodore Tiro, but N. Bănescu proposed the alternative explanation that it resulted from the definitive Greek name τὸ Δόρος or τὸ Δόρυ, after the early medieval name of the region. Whatever its provenance, the name stuck: by the 1420s the official titelature of the prince read "Lord of the city of Theodoro and the Maritime Region", while colloquially it was called "Theodoritsi" by its inhabitants. In 1395 the warlord Tamerlane invaded the Crimean peninsula, destroying several towns including Gothia's capital Theodoro.
After his death in 1404 Gothia grew to become one of the most significant powers of the Black Sea, profiting from a period of Genoese instability and its neglect of its Black Sea colonies, but the rise of the Crimean Khanate. In 1432 Gothia sided with Venice against Genoa due to the latter's promise to grant Gothia access to the sea; the principality had peaceful relations with the Golden Horde to its north, paying an annual tribute as vassals, but was in constant strife with Genoese Gazaria colonies to the south over access to the coasts and the trade that went through the Crimean harbours. A narrow strip of the coastal land from Yamboli in the west to Aluston in the east part of the principality soon fell under Genoese control. Local Greeks called this region Parathalassia, while under Genoese rule it was known as Captainship of Gothia. After they had lost harbours on the southern coast Theodorites built a new port called Avlita at the mouth of the Chernaya River and fortified it with the fortress of Kalamita.
On 6 June 1475, the Ottoman commander Gedik Ahmet Pasha conquered Caffa and at the end of the year, after six months of besieging Mangup, the city fell to the assailants. While much of the rest of Crimea remained part of the Crimean Khanate, now an Ottoman vassal, the former lands of Theodoro and southern Crimea were administered directly by the Sublime Porte; the historian Alexander Vasiliev identifies the first prince as Demetrios, attested at the Battle of Blue Waters in c. 1362/3. According to Vasiliev, he is to be identified with the hekatontarches Khuitani, who erected the stone inscription mentioning the name "Theodoro" on the walls of Mangup at about the same time; the princes following after Demetrios are known through Russian sources. The prince Stephen, emigrated to Moscow in 1402 along with his son Gregory, his patronymic implies the existence of a father named Basil, who preceded him as prince. Stephen and Gregory became monks, Gregory founded the Simonov Monastery in Moscow; the Russian noble families of Khovrin and Golovin claimed descent from them.
In Gothia, Stephen was succeeded by another son, Alexios I, who ruled until his death in 1444–45 or 1447. Alexios' heir was his eldest son John, married to Maria Asanina, a lady connected to the Byzantine imperial dynasty of the Palaiologoi and the noble lines of Asanes and Tzamplakon; the couple had a son named Alexios, who died young c. 1446/7 at Trebizond. His epitaph, titled "To the Prince's son", was composed by John Eugenikos and offers unique genealogical data on the family. John's reign appears to have been short, or he may indeed not have reigned at all – A. Vasiliev speculates that he left Gothia for Trebizond as soon as Alexios I died – so another son of Alexios I, succeeded as prince in c. 1447 and ruled until c. 1458. A daughter of Alexios I, Maria of Gothia, became in 1426 the first wife of the last Trapezuntine emperor, David. Olubei is no longer mentioned. 1458, no princes are known by name for some while.
Byzantine Empire under the Doukas dynasty
The Byzantine Empire was ruled by emperors of the Doukas dynasty between 1059 and 1081. There are six emperors and co-emperors of this period: the dynasty's founder, Emperor Constantine X Doukas, his brother John Doukas and Caesar, Romanos IV Diogenes, Constantine's son Michael VII Doukas, Michael's son and co-emperor Constantine Doukas, Nikephoros III Botaneiates, who claimed descent from the Phokas family. Under the rule of the Doukids, Byzantium was fighting a losing battle against the Seljuk Turks, losing most of its remaining possessions in Asia Minor following the catastrophic defeat at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. Byzantium incurred substantial loss of territory in the Balkans, to the Serbs, as well as losing its final foothold in Italy, to the Normans. Although the Crusades gave the empire a temporary respite during the 12th century, it never recovered and entered its period of fragmentation and terminal decline under the pressure of the Ottomans in the late medieval period. In 1077, Alexios Komnenos a general, married Irene Doukaina, the great-niece of Constantine X.
His marriage to a Doukaina made him senior to his elder brother Isaac, it was Doukai financial and political support that facilitated the successful and bloodless coup that brought him to the throne. The Doukai of the 11th century provided governors, they seem to have come from Paphlagonia, were exceedingly wealthy, possessing extensive estates in Anatolia. The relationship of this group with the Doukai of the 9th and 10th centuries is unclear. Before becoming emperor, Constantine X had married into the powerful Dalassenoi family, took as a second wife Eudokia Makrembolitissa, niece of the Patriarch Michael Keroularios. Further dynastic matches were made with the clans of the Anatolian military aristocracy, including the Palaiologoi and the Pegonitai. Constantine Doukas gained influence after he married, as his second wife, Eudokia Makrembolitissa, a niece of Patriarch Michael Keroularios. In 1057, Constantine supported the usurpation of Isaac I Komnenos siding with the court bureaucracy against the new emperor's reforms.
In spite of this tacit opposition, Constantine was chosen as successor by the ailing Isaac in November 1059, under the influence of Michael Psellos. Isaac abdicated, on November 24, 1059, Constantine X Doukas was crowned emperor; the new emperor associated two of his young sons in power, Michael VII Doukas and Konstantios Doukas, appointed his brother John Doukas as kaisar, embarked on a policy favorable to the interests of the court bureaucracy and the church. Undercutting the training and financial support for the armed forces, Constantine X fatally weakened Byzantine defences by disbanding the Armenian local militia of 50,000 men at a crucial point of time, coinciding with the westward advance of the Seljuk Turks and their Turcoman allies. Undoing many of the necessary reforms of Isaac I, he bloated the military bureaucracy with paid court officials and crowded the Senate with his supporters. Constantine lost most of Byzantine Italy to the Normans under Robert Guiscard, except for the territory around Bari, though a resurgence of interest in retaining Apulia occurred under his reign, he appointed at least four catepans of Italy: Miriarch, Maruli and Mabrica.
He suffered invasions by Alp Arslan in Asia Minor in 1064, resulting in the loss of the Armenian capital, by the Oghuz Turks in the Balkans in 1065, while Belgrade was lost to the Hungarians. Old and unhealthy when he came to power, Constantine died on May 22, 1067, his final act was to demand that only his sons succeed him, forcing his wife Eudokia Makrembolitissa to take a vow not to remarry. Romanos Diogenes was convicted of attempting to usurp the throne of the sons of Constantine X Doukas in 1067, but he was pardoned by the regent Eudokia Makrembolitissa, who chose him to be her husband and the guardian of her sons as emperor. Eudokia's decision was approved of by Patriarch John Xiphilinos, as due to the Seljuk threat, the army needed to be placed under the command of an able and energetic general; the Senate agreed, on January 1, 1068 Romanos married the empress and was crowned Emperor of the Romans. Romanos IV was now the senior emperor and guardian of his stepsons and junior co-emperors, Michael VII, Konstantios Doukas, Andronikos Doukas.
The first military operations of Romanos took place in 1068 and did achieve a measure of success, although the Byzantine province of Syria came under threat by the Saracens of Aleppo who established themselves at Antioch. Plans for the campaign season of 1069 were thrown into chaos by a rebellion by one of Romanos' Norman mercenaries, Robert Crispin, whose Frankish troops ravaged the Armeniac Theme after Cripsin was captured and exiled to Abydos. At the same time, the land around Caesarea was again overrun by the Turks, forcing Romanos to spend precious time and energy in expelling the Turks from Cappadocia. Romanos managed to pacify the province, marched towards the Euphrates via Melitene, crossing at Romanopolis, in the hope of retaking Akhlat on Lake Van to protect the Armenian frontier; the Turks were hemmed in within the mountains of Cilicia, but they managed to escape to Aleppo after abandoning their plunder. Romanos returned to Constantinople without the great victory. In 1070, Romanos was detained in Constantinople by administrative issues, was unable to go on campaign himself.
General Manuel Komnenos, nephew of the former emperor Isaac I, elder brother to
Medieval Greek known as Byzantine Greek, is the stage of the Greek language between the end of Classical antiquity in the 5th–6th centuries and the end of the Middle Ages, conventionally dated to the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453. From the 7th century onwards, Greek was the only language of administration and government in the Byzantine Empire; this stage of language is thus described as Byzantine Greek. The study of the Medieval Greek language and literature is a branch of Byzantine studies, the study of the history and culture of the Byzantine Empire; the beginning of Medieval Greek is dated back to as early as the 4th century, either to 330 AD, when the political centre of the Roman Empire was moved to Constantinople, or to 395 AD, the division of the Empire. However, this approach is rather arbitrary as it is more an assumption of political, as opposed to cultural and linguistic, developments. Indeed, by this time the spoken language pronunciation, had shifted towards modern forms.
The conquests of Alexander the Great, the ensuing Hellenistic period, had caused Greek to spread to peoples throughout Anatolia and the Eastern Mediterranean, altering the spoken language's pronunciation and structure. Medieval Greek is the link between this vernacular, known as Koine Greek, Modern Greek. Though Byzantine Greek literature was still influenced by Attic Greek, it was influenced by vernacular Koine Greek, the language of the New Testament and the liturgical language of the Greek Orthodox Church. Constantine moved to Byzantium in 330; the city, though a major imperial residence like other cities such as Trier and Sirmium, was not a capital until 359. Nonetheless the imperial court resided there and the city was the political centre of the eastern parts of the Roman Empire where Greek was the dominant language. At first, Latin remained the language of the army, it was used for official documents. From the beginning of the 6th century, amendments to the law were written in Greek. Furthermore, parts of the Roman Corpus Iuris Civilis were translated into Greek.
Under the rule of Emperor Heraclius, who 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 Rhomaioi until its end in 1453, as they saw their State as the perpetuation of Roman rule. Despite the absence of reliable demographic figures, it has been estimated that less than one third of the inhabitants of the Eastern Roman Empire, around eight million people, were native speakers of Greek; the number of those who were able to communicate in Greek may have been far higher. The native Greek speakers consisted of many of the inhabitants of the southern Balkan Peninsula, south of the Jireček Line, all of the inhabitants of Asia Minor, where the native tongues, except Armenian in the east, had become extinct, replaced by Greek, by the 5th century. In any case, all cities of the Eastern Roman Empire were influenced by the Greek language. In the period between 603 and 619, the southern and eastern parts of the empire were occupied by Persian Sassanids and, after being recaptured by Heraclius in the years 622 to 628, they were conquered by the Arabs in the course of the Muslim conquests a few years later.
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 an official language in conquered territories such as Egypt; as more people gained a knowledge of Arabic. Thus, the use of Greek declined early on in Egypt; the invasion of the Slavs into the Balkan peninsula reduced the area where Greek was spoken and Latin. Sicily and parts of Magna Graecia, Asia Minor and more Anatolia, parts of the Crimean Peninsula remained Greek-speaking; the southern Balkans which would henceforth be contested between Byzantium and various Slavic kingdoms or empires. The Greek language spoken by one-third of the population of Sicily at the time of the Norman conquest 1060-90 remained vibrant for more than a century, but died out to a deliberate policy of Latinization in language and religion from the mid-1160s. From the late 11th century onwards, the interior of Anatolia was invaded by Seljuq Turks, who advanced westwards.
With the Ottoman conquests of Constantinople in 1453, the Peloponnese in 1459/1460, the Empire of Trebizond in 1461, Athens in 1465, two centuries the Duchy of Candia in 1669, the Greek language lost its status as a national language until the emergence of modern Greece in the year 1821. 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 developing vernacular Koiné. By late antiquity, the gap had become impossible to ignore. In the Byzantine era, written Greek manifested itself in a whole spectrum of divergent registers, all of which were consciously archaic in comparison with the contemporary spoken vernacular, but in different degrees, they ranged from a moderately archaic style employed for most every-day writing and based on the written Koiné of the Bible and early Christian literature, to a artificial learned style, employed by authors with higher literary ambitions and imitating the model of classical Attic, in continuation of the movement of Atticism
In trade, barter is a system of exchange where participants in a transaction directly exchange goods or services for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money. Economists distinguish barter from gift economies in many ways. Barter takes place on a bilateral basis, but may be multilateral. In most developed countries, barter only exists parallel to monetary systems to a limited extent. Market actors use barter as a replacement for money as the method of exchange in times of monetary crisis, such as when currency becomes unstable or unavailable for conducting commerce. Economists since the times of Adam Smith, looking at non-specific pre-modern societies as examples, have used the inefficiency of barter to explain the emergence of money, of "the" economy, hence of the discipline of economics itself. However, ethnographic studies have shown that no present or past society has used barter without any other medium of exchange or measurement, nor have anthropologists found evidence that money emerged from barter, instead finding that gift-giving was the most usual means of exchange of goods and services.
Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, sought to demonstrate that markets pre-existed the state, hence should be free of government regulation. He argued. Markets emerged, in his view, out of the division of labour, by which individuals began to specialize in specific crafts and hence had to depend on others for subsistence goods; these goods were first exchanged by barter. Specialization depended on trade, but was hindered by the "double coincidence of wants" which barter requires, i.e. for the exchange to occur, each participant must want what the other has. To complete this hypothetical history, craftsmen would stockpile one particular good, be it salt or metal, that they thought no one would refuse; this is the origin of money according to Smith. Money, as a universally desired medium of exchange, allows each half of the transaction to be separated. Barter is characterized in Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations" by a disparaging vocabulary: "higgling, swapping, dickering." It has been characterized as negative reciprocity, or "selfish profiteering."Anthropologists have argued, in contrast, "that when something resembling barter does occur in stateless societies it is always between strangers."
Barter occurred between strangers, not fellow villagers, hence cannot be used to naturalistically explain the origin of money without the state. Since most people engaged in trade knew each other, exchange was fostered through the extension of credit. Marcel Mauss, author of'The Gift', argued that the first economic contracts were to not act in one's economic self-interest, that before money, exchange was fostered through the processes of reciprocity and redistribution, not barter. Everyday exchange relations in such societies are characterized by generalized reciprocity, or a non-calculative familial "communism" where each takes according to their needs, gives as they have. Since direct barter does not require payment in money, it can be utilized when money is in short supply, when there is little information about the credit worthiness of trade partners, or when there is a lack of trust between those trading. Barter is an option to those who cannot afford to store their small supply of wealth in money in hyperinflation situations where money devalues quickly.
The limitations of barter are explained in terms of its inefficiencies in facilitating exchange in comparison to money. It is said that barter is'inefficient' because: There needs to be a'double coincidence of wants' For barter to occur between two parties, both parties need to have what the other wants. There is no common measure of value In a monetary economy, money plays the role of a measure of value of all goods, so their values can be assessed against each other. Indivisibility of certain goods If a person wants to buy a certain amount of another's goods, but only has for payment one indivisible unit of another good, worth more than what the person wants to obtain, a barter transaction cannot occur. Lack of standards for deferred payments This is related to the absence of a common measure of value, although if the debt is denominated in units of the good that will be used in payment, it is not a problem. Difficulty in storing wealth If a society relies on perishable goods, storing wealth for the future may be impractical.
However, some barter economies rely on durable goods like sheep or cattle for this purpose. Other anthropologists have questioned whether barter is between "total" strangers, a form of barter known as "silent trade". Silent trade called silent barter, dumb barter, or depot trade, is a method by which traders who cannot speak each other's language can trade without talking. However, Benjamin Orlove has shown that while barter occurs through "silent trade", it occurs in commercial markets as well. "Because barter is a difficult way of conducting trade, it will occur only where there are strong institutional constraints on the use of money or where the barter symbolically denotes a special social relationship and is used in well-defined conditions. To sum up, multipurpose money in markets is like lubrication for machines - necessary for the
Byzantine Empire under the Heraclian dynasty
The Byzantine Empire was ruled by emperors of the dynasty of Heraclius between 610 and 711. The Heraclians presided over a period of cataclysmic events that were a watershed in the history of the Empire and the world in general. At the beginning of the dynasty, the Empire's culture was still Ancient Roman, dominating the Mediterranean and harbouring a prosperous Late Antique urban civilization; this world was shattered by successive invasions, which resulted in extensive territorial losses, financial collapse and plagues that depopulated the cities, while religious controversies and rebellions further weakened the Empire. By the dynasty's end, the Empire had evolved a different state structure: now known in historiography as medieval Byzantium, a chiefly agrarian, military-dominated society, engaged in a lengthy struggle with the Muslim Caliphate. However, the Empire during this period was far more homogeneous, being reduced to its Greek-speaking and Chalcedonian core territories, which enabled it to weather these storms and enter a period of stability under the successor Isaurian Dynasty.
The Heraclian dynasty was named after the general Heraclius the Younger, who, in 610, sailed from Carthage, overthrew the usurper Phocas, was crowned Emperor. At the time, the Empire was embroiled in a war with the Sassanid Persian Empire, which in the next decade conquered the Empire's eastern provinces. After a long and exhausting struggle, Heraclius managed to defeat the Persians and restore the Empire, only to lose these provinces again shortly after to the sudden eruption of the Muslim conquests, his successors struggled to contain the Arab tide. The Levant and North Africa were lost, while in 674–678, a large Arab army besieged Constantinople itself; the state survived and the establishment of the Theme system allowed the imperial heartland of Asia Minor to be retained. Under Justinian II and Tiberios III the imperial frontier in the East was stabilized, although incursions continued on both sides; the latter 7th century saw the first conflicts with the Bulgars and the establishment of a Bulgarian state in Byzantine lands south of the Danube, which would be the Empire's chief antagonist in the West until the 11th century.
Since the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Eastern Roman Empire continued to see Western Europe as rightfully Imperial territory. However, only Justinian I attempted to enforce this claim with military might. Temporary success in the West was achieved at the cost of Persian dominance in the East, where the Byzantines were forced to pay tribute to avert war. However, after Justinian's death, much of newly recovered Italy fell to the Lombards, the Visigoths soon reduced the imperial holdings in Spain. At the same time, wars with the Persian Empire brought no conclusive victory. In 591 however, the long war was ended with a treaty favorable to Byzantium. Thus, after the death of Justinian's successor Tiberius II, Maurice sought to restore the prestige of the Empire. Though the Empire had gained smaller successes over the Slavs and Avars in pitched battles across the Danube, both enthusiasm for the army and faith in the government had lessened considerably. Unrest had reared its head in Byzantine cities as social and religious differences manifested themselves into Blue and Green factions that fought each other in the streets.
The final blow to the government was a decision to cut the pay of its army in response to financial strains. The combined effect of an army revolt led by a junior officer named Phocas and major uprisings by the Greens and Blues forced Maurice to abdicate; the Senate approved Phocas as the new Emperor and Maurice, the last emperor of the Justinian Dynasty, was murdered along with his four sons. The Persian King Khosrau II responded by launching an assault on the Empire, ostensibly to avenge Maurice, who had earlier helped him to regain his throne. Phocas was alienating his supporters with his repressive rule, the Persians were able to capture Syria and Mesopotamia by 607. By 608, the Persians were camped outside Chalcedon, within sight of the imperial capital of Constantinople, while Anatolia was ravaged by Persian raids. Making matters worse was the advance of the Avars and Slavic tribes heading south across the Danube and into Imperial territory. While the Persians were making headway in their conquest of the eastern provinces, Phocas chose to divide his subjects rather than unite them against the threat of the Persians.
Seeing his defeats as divine retribution, Phocas initiated a savage and bloody campaign to forcibly convert the Jews to Christianity. Persecutions and alienation of the Jews, a frontline people in the war against the Persians helped drive them into aiding the Persian conquerors; as Jews and Christians began tearing each other apart, some fled the butchery into Persian territory. Meanwhile, it appears that the disasters befalling the Empire led the Emperor into a state of paranoia — although it must be said that there were numerous plots against his rule and execution followed execution. Among those individuals who were executed was the former empress Constantina and her three daughters. Due to the overwhelming crisis facing the Empire that had pitched it into chaos, Heraclius the Younger now attempted to seize power from Phocas in an effort to better Byzantium's fortunes; as the Empire was led into anarchy, the Exarchate of Carthage remained out of reach of Persian conquest. Far from the incompetent Imperial authority of the time, the Exarch of Carthage, with his brother Gregorius, began building up his forces to assault Constantinople.
After cutting off the grain supply to the capital from his territory, Heraclius led a substantial army and a fleet in 608
Byzantine Empire under the Isaurian dynasty
The Byzantine Empire was ruled by the Isaurian or Syrian dynasty from 717 to 802. The Isaurian emperors were successful in defending and consolidating the Empire against the Caliphate after the onslaught of the early Muslim conquests, but were less successful in Europe, where they suffered setbacks against the Bulgars, had to give up the Exarchate of Ravenna, lost influence over Italy and the Papacy to the growing power of the Franks; the Isaurian dynasty is chiefly associated with Byzantine Iconoclasm, an attempt to restore divine favour by purifying the Christian faith from excessive adoration of icons, which resulted in considerable internal turmoil. By the end of the Isaurian dynasty in 802, the Byzantines were continuing to fight the Arabs and the Bulgars for their existence, with matters made more complicated when Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne Imperator Romanorum, seen as an attempt at making the Carolingian Empire the successor to the Roman Empire; the Heraclian dynasty faced some of the greatest challenges in history.
After overcoming the Sassanid Persians, the Emperor Heraclius and his exhausted realm were faced with the sudden onset of the Muslim expansion from Arabia into the Levant. Following the Muslim conquest of Syria, the rich province of Egypt, the Empire's chief source of grain and tax revenue, had fallen to the Arabs; the Byzantines faced Arab attacks through Libya against the Exarchate of Africa, against Cilicia, which controlled the southern passes into Asia Minor, now the Empire's last major contiguous territory, against the Armenian Highland, the Empire's chief source of manpower and a vital buffer between the now Arab-dominated Syrian Desert region and the northeastern passage into Asia Minor. These three areas would be the main fields of Byzantine-Arab contention during the next half-century; the Arabs continued to make headway, most notably constructing a navy that challenged Byzantine supremacy in the Mediterranean. The outbreak of the Muslim civil war in 656 bought the Byzantines time, emperor Constans II reinforced his position in the Balkans and Italy.
His successor, Constantine IV, was able to beat off the First Arab Siege of Constantinople, in its aftermath move into the counteroffensive, securing Asia Minor, recovering Cilicia and forcing the Caliphate to pay tribute. At the same time however, he was defeated by the Bulgar khan Asparukh, was forced to accept his people's settlement in Byzantine lands south of the Danube. With the first deposition of Constantine IV's son and heir Justinian II in 695 began a period of troubles that lasted a quarter-century and brought a succession of disasters that nearly brought about the downfall of the Byzantine state. Carthage fell in 697 and a Byzantine recovery attempt defeated next year. Cilicia was conquered by the Arabs and turned into a base for raiding expeditions that penetrated deep into Asia Minor, sacking its forts and cities, while the Caucasus brought under firm Muslim control; the Umayyad caliph Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik began preparing another huge expedition to conquer Constantinople.
At the same time, the disasters of the 7th century saw major changes in the society and nature of what remained of the Empire: the urbanized, cosmopolitan civilization of Late Antiquity came to an end, the Medieval era began. With the decline of most cities to a small, fortified urban cores that functioned as administrative centres, society became agrarian, while education and intellectual life vanished; the loss of the Empire's richest provinces, coupled with successive invasions, reduced the imperial economy to a impoverished state, compared to the resources available to the Caliphate. The monetary economy persisted. Administrative practice changed: alongside the continued existence of the late Roman provincial system, the surviving field armies were reorganised into the theme system as a means to preserve the remaining imperial territory, although the extensive power concentrated in the hands of the thematic commanders, the strategoi, made them prone to rebel. At the same time, the central bureaucracy in Constantinople rose in importance.
In the religious field, the loss of the Monophysite eastern provinces ended the need for the unsuccessful compromise doctrine of Monotheletism, abandoned at the Third Council of Constantinople in 680, while the Quinisext Council in 692 saw the promotion of the interests and views of the Patriarchate of Constantinople against the See of Rome. After Justinian II's second overthrow, the Byzantine Empire spiralled into another era of chaos matched only by Phocas' mishandling of the last Persian War. Philippikos Bardanes, the Crimean rebel who seized the throne proved to be incompetent for rule. Rather than face the looming threat of the Bulgars or the Arabs, he intended to reignite the religious controversies by imposing the much hated Heraclian Monothelitism; when King Tervel of Bulgaria invaded Thrace, Bardanes had no choice but to summon the troops of the Opsician Theme to combat the Bulgars. For the Emperor, the troops had no loyalty whatsoever to him and after the ritual blinding he was replaced in June 713 by the chief secretary of the Emperor, Artemios.
Artemios was crowned as Anastasios II. Anastasios gave the Empire a brief taste of good leadership, improving the walls of the capital and filling the granaries of the capital to bursting point, in order that the newly reported Arab invasion be dealt with; every citizen was told to gather enough food for three years for if the Arabs were to reach the straits it would undoub