Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
Theophano, wife of Leo VI
Theophano was a Byzantine Empress by marriage to Leo VI the Wise. She is venerated as a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church. Born in c. 866/67, she was a daughter of Constantine Anna. Her family, the Martinakioi, were related to the Amorian dynasty, which ruled the Byzantine Empire from 820–867. Theophanes Continuatus, a continuation of the chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor by writers active during the reign of Constantine VII, records the story of a possible ancestor during the reign of Theophilos. According to said story, there was an elder Martinakios related by marriage to Theophilos. A prophecy circulated at the time predicted that the family of Martinakios would come to rule the Byzantine Empire. In reaction Theophilos forced his kinsman to become a monk and convert his personal house into a monastery. Christian Settipani has suggested the Martinakioi family could share common ancestry with the Phrygian Dynasty, allowing descendants some claim to the throne, he has suggested the relation may be through one of the sisters of dynasty founder Michael II.
The origins of the dynasty are poorly recorded. The chronicle of Symeon Metaphrastes places the marriage of Leo VI and Theophano in the sixteenth year of the reign of Basil I. Basil was the official father of Leo VI by Eudokia Ingerina; however Eudokia was the mistress of his predecessor Michael III, suspected to be the natural father of the prince. In any case the marriage was arranged by Basil I and forced on Leo VI; the poor relation of father and son may have played a part in the eventual failure of this marriage. Basil died on 29 August, 886. Leo succeeded him to the throne and Theophano became his empress, she was an educated and religious woman. According to the Byzantine tradition of hagiography about her, Theophano devoted most of her days to prayers and hymns to God, she was the builder or patron of the Monastery of Saint Anastasia the Protector from Potions in Chalkidiki. Symeon records Leo falling in love with Zoe Zaoutzaina in the third year of his reign, placing their meeting c. 889.
Zoe replaced Theophano in his affections. In the seventh year of his reign, Theophano retired to a monastery in the Blachernae suburb of Constantinople. Theophano is considered devoted to the church throughout her life. Whether her retirement was voluntary is left vague by both Theophanes and Symeon. Zoe replaced her in the court life. There is a contradiction on her particular status from c. 893 to 897. According to Symeon, the marriage of Leo VI to Theophano was void. Allowing Leo and Zoe to marry within the year. According to Theophanes, the original marriage was still valid and Zoe remained the royal mistress. Theophano died in her monastery on 10 November, 897. According to Theophanes and Zoe proceeded to marry at this point. Both Symeon and Theophanes agree that Zoe was only crowned Augusta following the death of her predecessor. Theophano was glorified by the Orthodox Church following her death, her feast day is 16 December of the Eastern Orthodox Church calendar. After her death, her husband built a church.
When he was forbidden to do so, he decided to dedicate it to "All Saints," so that if his wife were in fact one of the righteous, she would be honored whenever its feast day was celebrated. According to tradition, it was Leo who expanded the celebration on the Sunday following Pentecost from a commemoration of All Martyrs to a general commemoration of All Saints, whether martyrs or not. According to De Ceremoniis by Constantine VII, Leo VI and Theophano only had one daughter, considered to have died young. Eudokia is buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles along with her mother. Lilie, Ralph-Johannes. Prosopographie der mittelbyzantinischen Zeit Online. Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Nach Vorarbeiten F. Winkelmanns erstellt. Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter. Cawley, Charles, "Leo VI", Medieval Lands database, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy in Charles Cawley's "Medlands" Listing and brief biography among other Orthodox saints by the Dailyreadings Listserver of the Greek Orthodox Archiochese of America
Heraclius was the Emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 610 to 641. He was responsible for introducing Greek as the Byzantine Empire's official language, his rise to power began in 608, when he and his father, Heraclius the Elder, the exarch of Africa, led a revolt against the unpopular usurper Phocas. Heraclius's reign was marked by several military campaigns; the year Heraclius came to power, the empire was threatened on multiple frontiers. Heraclius took charge of the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628; the first battles of the campaign ended in defeat for the Byzantines. Soon after, he initiated reforms to strengthen the military. Heraclius drove the Persians out of Asia Minor and pushed deep into their territory, defeating them decisively in 627 at the Battle of Nineveh; the Persian king Khosrow II was overthrown and executed by his son Kavadh II, who soon sued for a peace treaty, agreeing to withdraw from all occupied territory. This way peaceful relations were restored to the two strained empires.
Heraclius soon experienced the Muslim conquests. Emerging from the Arabian Peninsula, the Muslims conquered the Sasanian Empire. In 634 the Muslims marched into Roman Syria. Within a short period of time, the Arabs conquered Mesopotamia and Egypt. Heraclius entered diplomatic relations with the Serbs in the Balkans, he tried to repair the schism in the Christian church in regard to the Monophysites, by promoting a compromise doctrine called Monothelitism. The Church of the East was involved in the process; this project of unity was rejected by all sides of the dispute. Heraclius was the eldest son of Heraclius the Elder and Epiphania, of a family of possible Armenian origin from Cappadocia, with speculative Arsacid descent. Beyond that, there is little specific information known about his ancestry, his father was a key general during Emperor Maurice's war with Bahram Chobin, usurper of the Sasanian Empire, during 590. After the war, Maurice appointed Heraclius the Elder to the position of Exarch of Africa.
In 608, Heraclius the Elder renounced his loyalty to the Emperor Phocas, who had overthrown Maurice six years earlier. The rebels issued coins showing both Heraclii dressed as consuls, though neither of them explicitly claimed the imperial title at this time. Heraclius's younger cousin Nicetas launched an overland invasion of Egypt. Meanwhile, the younger Heraclius sailed eastward with another force via Cyprus; as he approached Constantinople, he made contact with prominent leaders and planned an attack to overthrow aristocrats in the city, soon arranged a ceremony where he was crowned and acclaimed as Emperor. When he reached the capital, the Excubitors, an elite Imperial Guard unit led by Phocas's son-in-law Priscus, deserted to Heraclius, he entered the city without serious resistance; when Heraclius captured Phocas, he asked him "Is this how you have ruled, wretch?" Phocas's reply—"And will you rule better?"—so enraged Heraclius that he beheaded Phocas on the spot. He had the genitalia removed from the body because Phocas had raped the wife of Photius, a powerful politician in the city.
On October 5, 610, Heraclius was crowned for a second time, this time in the Chapel of St. Stephen within the Great Palace. After her death in 612, he married his niece Martina in 613. In the reign of Heraclius's two sons, the divisive Martina was to become the center of power and political intrigue. Despite widespread hatred for Martina in Constantinople, Heraclius took her on campaigns with him and refused attempts by Patriarch Sergius to prevent and dissolve the marriage. During his Balkan Campaigns, Emperor Maurice and his family were murdered by Phocas in November 602 after a mutiny. Khosrau II of the Sasanian Empire had been restored to his throne by Maurice, they had remained allies until the latter's death. Thereafter, Khosrau seized the opportunity to attack the Byzantine reconquer Mesopotamia. Khosrau had at his court a man who claimed to be Maurice's son Theodosius, Khosrau demanded that the Byzantines accept this Theodosius as Emperor; the war went the Persians' way because of Phocas's brutal repression and the succession crisis that ensued as the general Heraclius sent his nephew Nicetas to attack Egypt, enabling his son Heraclius the younger to claim the throne in 610.
Phocas, an unpopular ruler, invariably described in historical sources as a "tyrant", was deposed by Heraclius, who sailed to Constantinople from Carthage with an icon affixed to the prow of his ship. By this time, the Persians had conquered Mesopotamia and the Caucasus, in 611 they overran Syria and entered Anatolia. A major counter-attack led by Heraclius two years was decisively defeated outside Antioch by Shahrbaraz and Shahin, the Roman position collapsed. Over the following decade the Persians were able to conquer Palestine and Egypt and to devastate Anatolia, while the Avars and Slavs took advantage of the situation to overrun th
Church of the Holy Apostles
The Church of the Holy Apostles known as the Imperial Polyándreion, was a Greek Eastern Orthodox church in Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. The first structure dates to the 4th century, though future emperors would add to and improve on the space, it was second in size and importance only to the Hagia Sophia among the great churches of the capital. When Constantinople fell to the Ottomans in 1453, the Holy Apostles became the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church. Three years the edifice, in a dilapidated state, was abandoned by the Patriarch, in 1461 it was demolished by the Ottomans to make way for the Fatih Mosque; the original church of the Holy Apostles was dedicated in about 330 by Constantine the Great, the founder of Constantinople, the new capital of the Roman Empire. The church was unfinished when Constantine died in 337, it was brought to completion by his son and successor Constantius II, who buried his father's remains there; the church was dedicated to the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, it was the Emperor's intention to gather relics of all the Apostles in the church.
For this undertaking, only relics of Saint Andrew, Saint Luke and Saint Timothy were acquired, in centuries it came to be assumed that the church was dedicated to these three only. By the reign of the Emperor Justinian I, the church was no longer considered grand enough, a new Church of the Holy Apostles was built on the same site; the historian Procopius attributes the rebuilding to Justinian, while the writer known as Pseudo-Codinus attributes it to the Empress Theodora. The new church was designed and built by the architects Anthemius of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus, the same architects of the Hagia Sophia, was consecrated on 28 June 550; the relics of Constantine and the three saints were re-installed in the new church, a mausoleum for Justinian and his family was built at the end of its northern arm. For more than 700 years, the church of the Holy Apostles was the second-most important church in Constantinople, after that of the Holy Wisdom, but whereas the church of the Holy Wisdom was in the city's oldest part, that of the Holy Apostles stood in the centre of the newer part of the much expanded imperial capital, on the great thoroughfare called Mese Odós, was the city's busiest church.
Most emperors and many patriarchs and bishops were buried in the church, their relics were venerated by the faithful for centuries. The church's most treasured possessions were the skulls of Saints Andrew and Timothy, but the church held what was believed to be part of the "Column of Flagellation", to which Jesus had been bound and flogged, its treasury held relics of Saint John Chrysostom and other Church Fathers and martyrs. Over the years the church acquired huge amounts of gold and gems donated by the faithful. Emperor Basil I renovated and enlarged the church, in 874 the remains of the historian and patriarch Nikephoros I, who had died earlier in the century, were reinterred in the popular and rebuilt church, where they became the site of annual imperial devotion. In the 10th century Constantine of Rhodes composed a Description of the building of the Apostles in verse, which he dedicated to Constantine VII; the basilica was looted during the Fourth Crusade in 1204. The historian Nicetas Choniates records that the Crusaders plundered the imperial tombs and robbed them of gold and gems.
Not Justinian's tomb was spared. The tomb of Emperor Heraclius was opened and his golden crown was stolen along with the late Emperor's hairs still attached on it; some of these treasures were taken to Venice, where they can still be seen in St Mark's Basilica, while the body of St. Gregory was brought to Rome; when Michael VIII Palaeologus recaptured the city from the Crusaders, he erected a statue of the Archangel Michael at the church to commemorate the event, himself. The church was restored again by Andronicus II Palaeologus in the early 14th century, but thereafter fell into disrepair as the Empire declined and Constantinople's population fell; the Florentine Cristoforo Buondelmonti saw the dilapidated church in 1420. In 1453 Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks; the cathedral church of Hagia Sophia was seized and turned into a mosque, the Sultan Mehmed II re-assigned to the Greek Patriarch Gennadius Scholarius the church of the Holy Apostles, which thus temporarily became the new administrative centre of the Greek Orthodox Church.
But the Church was in a dilapidated state, the area around the church was inappropriate and soon settled by Turks. After the killing of a Turk by a Greek, the Turkish dwellers became hostile to the Christians, so that in 1456 Gennadius therefore decided to move the Patriarchate to the Church of St Mary Pammakaristos in the Çarşamba neighbourhood. After the demolition of the dilapidated church in 1462, from 1463 to 1470 the Sultan built on the 11 hectare site a mosque complex of comparable magnificence; the result was the Fatih Cami, which—although rebuilt after its destruction because of the earthquake of 1766—still occupies the site and houses Mehmed's tomb. The grounds of the first church of the Holy Apostles contained both a rotunda mausoleum built by Constantine and a church built soon afterward by his successor Constantius. Little is known of the appearance of this original church except that it was cross-shaped, but the historian Eusebius gives the following description of Constantine's mausoleum and the surrounding grounds before Constantius' church was built: This building he carried to a vast h
Michael II, surnamed the Amorian or the Stammerer, reigned as Byzantine Emperor from 25 December 820 to his death on 2 October 829, the first ruler of the Phrygian or Amorian dynasty. Born in Amorium, Michael was a soldier, rising to high rank along with his colleague Leo V the Armenian, he helped Leo take the place of Emperor Michael I Rangabe. However, after they fell out Leo sentenced Michael to death. Michael masterminded a conspiracy which resulted in Leo's assassination at Christmas in 820, he faced the long revolt of Thomas the Slav, which cost him his throne and was not quelled until spring 824. The years of his reign were marked by two major military disasters that had long-term effects: the beginning of the Muslim conquest of Sicily, the loss of Crete to the Saracens. Domestically, he supported and strengthened the resumption of official iconoclasm, which had begun again under Leo V. Michael was born in 770 in Amorium, in Phrygia, into a family of professional peasant-soldiers who received land from the government for their military service.
His family belonged to the Judeo-Christian sect of the Athinganoi, whose members were Cappadocians and had adopted the Jewish faith and rituals. The Athinganoi were numerous in Anatolia and together with the Greeks and Armenians formed the backbone of the Byzantine army of that era. Michael first rose to prominence as a close aide to the general Bardanes Tourkos, alongside his future antagonists Leo the Armenian and Thomas the Slav, he married Bardanes' daughter Thekla. Michael and Leo abandoned Bardanes shortly after he rebelled against Emperor Nikephoros I in 803, they were rewarded with higher military commands: Michael was named the Emperor's Count of the Tent. Michael was instrumental in Leo's overthrow of Michael I Rangabe in 813, after Rangabe’s repeated military defeats against the Bulgarians. Under Leo V, Michael was appointed to command the elite tagma of the Excubitors, he became disgruntled with Leo V, when the Emperor divorced Michael's sister-in-law. On Christmas Eve 820, Leo V accused him of conspiracy, jailed him, sentenced him to death, although he postponed the execution until after Christmas.
Michael sent messages to his co-conspirators threatening to reveal their identity, whereupon his partisans freed him and murdered Leo V during the Christmas mass in the palace chapel of St. Stephen. Michael was proclaimed Emperor, while still wearing prison chains on his legs; the same day, he was crowned by Patriarch Theodotos I of Constantinople. In his internal policy, Michael II supported iconoclasm, but he tacitly encouraged reconciliation with the iconodules, whom he stopped persecuting and allowed to return from exile; these included the former Patriarch Nikephoros and Theodore of Stoudios, who failed, however, to persuade the emperor to abandon iconoclasm. One of the few victims of the Emperor's policy was the future patriarch Methodios I. Michael's accession whetted the appetite of his former comrade-in-arms Thomas the Slav, who set himself up as rival emperor in Anatolia and transferred his forces into Thrace besieging the capital in December 821. Although Thomas did not win over all the Anatolian themes, he secured the support of the naval theme and their ships, allowing him to tighten his grip on Constantinople.
In his quest for support, Thomas presented himself as a champion of the poor, reduced taxation, concluded an alliance with Al-Ma'mun of the Abbasid Caliphate, having himself crowned Emperor by the Patriarch of Antioch Job. With the support of Omurtag of Bulgaria, Michael II forced Thomas to lift his siege of Constantinople in the spring of 823. Michael forced his surrender in October. Michael inherited a weakened military and was unable to prevent the conquest of Crete in 824 by 10,000 Arabs, or to recover the island with an expedition in 826. In 827 the Arabs invaded Sicily, taking advantage of local infighting, besieged Syracuse. Thekla and Michael had only one known the Emperor Theophilos; the existence of a daughter called Helena is possible but there is a contradiction between different sources. Helena is known as the wife of Theophobos, a patrician executed in 842 for conspiring to gain the throne for himself. George Hamartolus and Theophanes report him marrying the sister of the Empress Theodora.
Joseph Genesius records Theophobos marrying the sister of the Emperor Theophilos. Whether Helena was sister or sister-in-law to Theophilos is thus unclear. After the death of Thekla, in c. 823, Michael II married Euphrosyne, a daughter of Constantine VI and Maria of Amnia. This marriage was intended to strengthen Michael's position as Emperor, but it incurred the opposition of the clergy, as Euphrosyne had become a nun. Michael II died on October 2, 829; because of his Judeo-Christian origin and iconoclasm, Michael II was not popular among Orthodox clergy, who depicted him as an ignorant and poorly educated peasant, but Michael II was a competent statesman and administrator. Though the civil war his accession precipitated gravely weakened the imperial government, by the end of his reign he had begun a restoration of the Byzantine military; the system of government and military built by Michael II enabled the Empire under his grandson Michael III to gain the ascendancy in their struggles with the Abbasids and to withstand all the vicissitudes of Byzantine palace life.
Michael II's direct descendants, the Amorian dynasty followed by the so-called Macedonian dynasty, ruled the Empire for more than two centurie
Theoktistos was a leading Byzantine official during the second quarter of the 9th century and the de facto head of the regency for the underage Michael III from 842 until his dismissal and murder in 855. A eunuch, he assisted in the ascent of Michael II to the throne in 822, was rewarded with the titles of patrikios and magistros, he held the high posts of chartoularios tou kanikleiou and logothetēs tou dromou under Michael and his son Theophilos. After Theophilos' death in 842, Theoktistos became member of the regency council, but soon managed to sideline the other members and establish himself as the virtual ruler of the Empire. Noted for his administrative and political competence, Theoktistos played a major role in ending the Byzantine Iconoclasm, fostered the ongoing renaissance in education within the Empire, he continued the persecution of the Paulicians, but had mixed success in the wars against the Arabs. When Michael III came of age in 855, his uncle Bardas persuaded him to throw off the tutelage of Theoktistos and his mother, the Empress Theodora, on 20 November 855, Theoktistos was assassinated by Bardas and his followers.
Nothing is known of Theoktistos' early life. He is called a eunuch in Theophanes Continuatus and al-Tabari and is accepted as such by modern scholars, although an accusation by his rival Bardas of wanting to marry Empress Theodora or one of her daughters appears incompatible with this. By 820 he held an unspecified position at the court of Emperor Leo V the Armenian as a member of the imperial guard. Theoktistos played a major role in the plot to assassinate Leo, was rewarded by the new emperor, Michael II the Amorian, with the rank of patrikios, the confidential court post of chartoularios tou kanikleiou. Under Michael's son and successor, Theophilos, he continued to be a trusted advisor, as he rose to the rank of magistros, was appointed logothetēs tou dromou the Empire's foreign minister. A further mark of imperial confidence was Theophilos appointing Theoktistos as a member of the regency council for his two-year-old son Michael III shortly before his death in January 842, alongside the empress-dowager Theodora, the magistros Manuel the Armenian.
Following Theophilos' death, the regency council took over the conduct of affairs of state. Theodora's brothers Bardas and Petronas and her relative Sergios Niketiates played an important role in the early days of the regency; the regency moved to end Byzantine Iconoclasm, which had dominated Byzantine religious and political life for over a century with deleterious effects. In early 843, an assembly of selected officials and clerics convened in the house of Theoktistos; the synod repudiated iconoclasm, re-affirmed the decisions of the 787 Second Council of Nicaea, deposed the pro-iconoclast patriarch John the Grammarian. In his stead was elected Methodios I, imprisoned by Theophilos for his iconophile beliefs; this event is commemorated as the "Triumph of Orthodoxy" by the Eastern Orthodox Church since. Theoktistos played a major role in these events, he is credited by all sources—Theophanes Continuatus, John Skylitzes, Zonaras—as a driving force behind the restoration of the icons, behind the deposition of John the Grammarian.
He is commemorated as a saint by the Orthodox Church on 20 November. A week after that and Sergios Niketiates were sent on a campaign to recover Crete, conquered in the 820s by Andalusian exiles; the expedition at first went well, as the Byzantine army landed and took control over most of the island, confining the Andalusians to their capital, Chandax. At this juncture, Theoktistos heard a rumour that in his absence, Theodora intended to raise her brother Bardas to the imperial throne, he hastily abandoned the army under Niketiates and returned to Constantinople, only to find the rumours false. Once in Constantinople, news arrived of an invasion of Asia Minor by emir of Malatya. Theoktistos was sent at the head of an army to confront him, but the resulting Battle of Mauropotamos ended in a Byzantine defeat. At the same time, the expeditionary corps left in Crete was defeated and annihilated by the Andalusians, who killed Niketiates. Despite his personal involvement in these military disasters, Theoktistos was able to use them to sideline his competitors: Bardas was blamed for the desertions that plagued the Byzantines at Mauropotamos and exiled from Constantinople, while the magistros Manuel was slandered and forced to retire.
With Niketiates dead, Theoktistos was now the undisputed head of the regency, a position described by the Byzantine chroniclers, like Symeon Logothetes and Georgios Monachos, as "paradynasteuon of the Augusta". Theoktistos continued the persecution of the Paulicians, initiated by Theodora in 843. Many fled to Arab territory, where with Umar al-Aqta's aid they established a state of their own at Tephrike under their leader Karbeas. Theoktistos concluded a truce with the Abbasid Caliphate and arranged an exchange of prisoners that took place on 16 September 845. In the same year, the execution of the surviving Byzantine prisoners from the Arab Sack of Amorium in 842 took place in the Abbasid capital, Samarra. After 845, the Arab raids in the east died down for a few years after a winter raid launched by Ahmad al-Bahili, the Abbasid emir of Tarsus, was defeated by the strategos of Cappadocia, they did not recommence until 851, when the new emir of Tarsus, Ali al-Armani, launched summer raids for three successive years, albeit with little apparent impact.
The Byzantines responded with a naval expedition in 853 that sacked the port
Michael III was Byzantine Emperor from 842 to 867. Michael III was the third and traditionally last member of the Amorian dynasty, he was given the disparaging epithet the Drunkard by the hostile historians of the succeeding Macedonian dynasty, but modern historical research has rehabilitated his reputation to some extent, demonstrating the vital role his reign played in the resurgence of Byzantine power in the 9th century. Michael was the youngest child of his empress Theodora. Crowned co-ruler by his father in his infancy in 840, Michael had just turned two years old when his father died and Michael succeeded him as sole emperor on January 20, 842. During his minority, the empire was governed by a regency headed by his mother Theodora, her uncle Sergios, the minister Theoktistos; the empress had iconodule sympathies and deposed Patriarch John VII of Constantinople, replacing him with the iconodule Patriarch Methodius I of Constantinople in 843. This put an end to the second spell of iconoclasm.
As the emperor was growing up, the courtiers around him fought for influence. 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 successful general named Petronas, Michael III overthrew the regency on March 15, 856 and relegated his mother and sisters to a monastery in 857; the internal stabilization of the state was not matched along the frontiers. Byzantine forces were defeated by the Abbasids in Pamphylia, on the border with Syria, but a Byzantine fleet of 85 ships did score a victory over the Arabs in 853. There were many operations around the Aegean and off the Syrian coast by at least three more fleets, numbering 300 ships total. Following an expedition led by Michael's uncle and general, against the Paulicians from the eastern frontier and the Arab borderlands in 856, the imperial government resettled them in Thrace, thus cutting them off from their coreligionists and populating another border region.
Michael was 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. Byzantine forces, led by the emperor and the caesar Bardas, were successful in reconquering a number of cities – Philippopolis, Develtus and Mesembria among them – as well as the region of Zagora. At the time of this campaign the Bulgarians were distracted by a war with the Franks under Louis the German and the Croatians. In 853 Boris had allied himself to Rastislav of Moravia against the Franks; the Bulgarians were defeated by the Franks, following this the Moravians changed sides and the Bulgarians faced threats from Moravia. Michael III took an active part in the wars against the Abbasids and their vassals on the eastern frontier from 856 to 863, in 857 when he sent an army of 50,000 men against Emir Umar al-Aqta of Melitene.
In 859, he 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, celebrated a triumph in the capital. Bardas justified his usurpation of the regency by introducing various internal reforms. Under the influence of both Bardas and Photios, Michael presided over the reconstruction of ruined cities and structures, the reopening of closed monasteries, the reorganization of the imperial university at the Maganaura palace under Leo the Mathematician. Photios 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 Council of Constantinople in 861 confirmed Photios as patriarch, Ignatios appealed to Pope Nicholas I, who declared Photios illegitimate in 863. Michael presided over a synod in 867 in which Photios and the three other eastern patriarchs excommunicated Pope Nicholas and condemned the Latin filioque clause concerning the procession of the Holy Spirit.
The conflict over the patriarchal 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 and Methodios to the Khazar Khagan in an effort to stop the expansion of Judaism among the Khazars. Although this mission was a failure, their next mission in 863 secured the conversion of Great Moravia and devised the Glagolitic alphabet for writing in Slavonic thus allowing Slavic-speaking peoples to approach conversion to Orthodox Christianity through their own rather than an alien tongue. Fearing the potential conversion of Boris I of Bulgaria to Christianity under Frankish influence, Michael III and the Caesar Bardas invaded Bulgaria, imposing the conversion of Boris according to the Byzantine rite as part of the peace settlement in 864. Michael III stood by proxy, for Boris at his baptism. Boris took the additional name of Michael at the ceremony.
The Byzantines 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 Empire. Michael III's marriage with Eudokia Dekapolitissa was childless, but the emperor did not want to risk a