Pope Anacletus known as Cletus, was the third Bishop of Rome, following Saint Peter and Pope Linus. Anacletus served as pope between c. 79 and his death, c. 92. Cletus was a Roman, who during his tenure as Pope, is known to have ordained a number of priests and is traditionally credited with setting up about twenty-five parishes in Rome. Although the precise dates of his pontificate are uncertain, he "...died a martyr about 91". Cletus is mentioned in the Roman Canon of the mass; the name "Cletus" in Ancient Greek means "one, called," and "Anacletus" means "one, called back." "Anencletus" means "unimpeachable." The Roman Martyrology mentions the Pope in question only under the name of "Cletus." The Annuario Pontificio gives both forms as alternatives. Eusebius, Saint Irenaeus, Saint Augustine and Optatus all suggest that both names refer to the same individual. St. Cletus/Anacletus was traditionally understood to have been a Roman who served as pope for twelve years; the Annuario Pontificio states, "For the first two centuries, the dates of the start and the end of the pontificate are uncertain."
It gives the years 80 to 92 as the reign of Pope Cletus/Anacletus. Other sources give the years 77 to 88. According to tradition, Pope Anacletus divided Rome into twenty-five parishes. One of the few surviving records concerning his papacy mentions him as having ordained an uncertain number of priests, he died and was buried next to his predecessor, Saint Linus, near the grave of St. Peter's, in what is now Vatican City, his name is included in the Roman Canon of the Mass. The Tridentine Calendar reserved 26 April as the feast day of Saint Cletus, who the church honoured jointly with Saint Marcellinus, 13 July for Saint Anacletus. In 1960, Pope John XXIII, while keeping the 26 April feast, which mentions the saint under the name given to him in the Canon of the Mass, removed 13 July as a feast day for Saint Anacletus; the 14 February 1961 Instruction of the Congregation for Rites on the application to local calendars of Pope John XXIII's motu proprio Rubricarum instructum of 25 July 1960, decreed that "the feast of'Saint Anacletus,' on whatever ground and in whatever grade it is celebrated, is transferred to 26 April, under its right name,'Saint Cletus.'"
Use of this calendar, included in the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal, continues to be authorized under the conditions indicated in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. Although the day of his death is unknown, Saint Cletus continues to be listed in the Roman Martyrology among the saints of 26 April. List of popes Donald Attwater and Catherine Rachel John, The Penguin Dictionary of Saints, 3rd edition, New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0-14-051312-4. Louise Ropes Loomis, The Book of Popes. Merchantville, NJ: Evolution Publishing. ISBN 1-889758-86-8 (Reprint of the 1916 edition.. Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes. ISBN 0-06-065304-3 Writings attributed to Pope Anacletus/Cletus The Society of Pope Saint Anacletus, an Independent Catholic association in the United States
A papal renunciation occurs when the reigning pope of the Catholic Church voluntarily steps down from his position. As the reign of the pope has conventionally been from election until death, papal renunciation is an uncommon event. Before the 21st century, only five popes unambiguously resigned with historical certainty, all between the 10th and 15th centuries. Additionally, there are disputed claims of four popes having resigned, dating from the 3rd to the 11th centuries. Additionally, a few popes during the saeculum obscurum were "deposed", meaning driven from office by force; the history and canonical question here is complicated. The development of canon law has been in favor of papal supremacy, leaving no recourse to the removal of a pope involuntarily; the most recent pope to resign was Benedict XVI, who vacated the Holy See on 28 February 2013 at 19:00 UTC. He was the first pope to do so since Gregory XII in 1415. Despite its common usage in discussion of papal renunciations, the term abdication is not used in the official documents of the church for renunciation by a pope.
In the Catholic Church, in the Latin Rite, the official laws on all matters are codified in the Latin edition of the 1983 Code of Canon Law which regulates papal renunciations in Canon 332 §2, where it states:Si contingat ut Romanus Pontifex muneri suo renuntiet, ad validitatem requiritur ut renuntiatio libere fiat et rite manifestetur, non vero ut a quopiam acceptetur. Which in English, would be:If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that the resignation is made and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone; this corresponds to Canon 221 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law, which in Latin is: Si contingat ut Romanus Pontifex renuntiet, ad eiusdem renuntiationis validitatem non est necessaria Cardinalium aliorumve acceptatio. And in English, would be:If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is not required for validity that the resignation is accepted by the Cardinals or by anyone else. Both the 1983 Code and the 1917 Code make explicit that there is no particular individual or body of people to whom the pope must manifest his renunciation.
This addresses a concern raised in earlier centuries by 18th-century canonist Lucius Ferraris, who held that the College of Cardinals or at least its Dean must be informed, since the cardinals must be certain that the pope has renounced the dignity before they can validly proceed to elect a successor. In 1996, Pope John Paul II, in his Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici gregis, anticipated the possibility of resignation when he specified that the procedures he set out in that document should be observed "even if the vacancy of the Apostolic See should occur as a result of the resignation of the Supreme Pontiff"; the Catholic Encyclopedia notes the obscure renunciations of Pontian and Marcellinus, the postulated renunciation of Liberius, that one catalogue of popes lists John XVIII as resigning office in 1009 and finishing his life as a monk. During the saeculum obscurum several popes were "deposed" or coerced into renunciation by political and military force. John X is considered to have been deposed by some, but he seems to have died in prison before his successor Leo VI was elected anyway.
As another example, consider the story of John XII, Leo VIII, Benedict V. John XII had been invalidly deposed by the Emperor Otto in 963. Leo VIII was set up as an antipope by Otto at this time. However, John XII won back his rightful place in 964; when John XII died in 964, Benedict V was elected. However, Otto wanted Leo VIII put back on the papal throne and, using military might, forced Benedict to abdicate that same summer. Leo VIII is considered the legitimate pope until his death in 965, thus having been both an antipope and a valid pope. Benedict V never again attempted to claim the papacy, did not contest the election of John XIII after Leo VIII, so his abdication is considered valid though some treated him as the valid pope until his death; the first unquestionable papal renunciation is that of Benedict IX in 1045. Benedict had previously been deposed by Sylvester III in 1044, though he returned to take up the office again the next year, the Vatican considers Sylvester III to have been a legitimate pope in the intervening months.
In 1045, having regained the papacy for a few months, in order to rid the church of the scandalous Benedict, Gregory VI gave Benedict "valuable possessions" to resign the papacy in his favour. Gregory himself resigned in 1046 because the arrangement he had entered into with Benedict could have been considered simony. Gregory was followed by Clement II, when Clement died, Benedict IX returned to be elected to the papacy for a third time, only to resign yet again before dying in a monastery, he thus reigned as pope for three non-consecutive terms, resigned three separate times. A well-known renunciation of a pope is that of Celestine V, in 1294. After only five months of pontificate, he issued a solemn decree declaring it permissible for a pope to resign, did so himself, he lived two more years as a hermit and priso
Muslim conquest of the Levant
The Muslim conquest of the Levant known as the Arab conquest of the Levant occurred in the first half of the 7th century, refers to the conquest of the region known as the Levant or Shaam to become the Islamic Province of Bilad al-Sham, as part of the Islamic conquests. Arab Muslim forces had appeared on the southern borders before the death of prophet Muhammad in 632, resulting in the Battle of Mu'tah in 629, but the real invasion began in 634 under his successors, the Rashidun Caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar ibn Khattab, with Khalid ibn al-Walid as their most important military leader. Syria had been under Roman rule for seven centuries prior to the Arab Muslim conquest and had been invaded by the Sassanid Persians on a number of occasions during the 3rd, 6th and 7th centuries. During the Roman period, beginning after the fall of Jerusalem in the year 70, the entire region was renamed Palaestina, subdivided into Diocese I and II; the Romans renamed an area of land including the Negev and the west coast of the Arabian Peninsula as Palaestina Salutaris, sometimes called Palaestina III or Palaestina Tertia.
Part of the area was ruled by the Arab vassal state of the Ghassanids' symmachos. During the last of the Roman-Persian Wars, beginning in 603, the Persians under Khosrau II had succeeded in occupying Syria and Egypt for over a decade before being forced by the victories of Heraclius to conclude the peace of 628. Thus, on the eve of the Muslim conquests the Romans were still in the process of rebuilding their authority in these territories, which in some areas had been lost to them for twenty years. Politically, the Syrian region consisted of two provinces: Syria proper stretched from Antioch and Aleppo in the north to the top of the Dead Sea. To the west and south of the Dead Sea lay the province of Palestine. Syria was a Syriac and Hellenized land with some Jewish presence and with a Arab population in its eastern and southern parts; the Syriac Christians and Arabs had been there since pre-Roman times, some had embraced Christianity since Constantine I legalized it in the fourth century and moved the capital from Italy to Byzantium, from which the name Byzantine is derived.
The Arabs of Syria were people of no consequence until the migration of the powerful Ghassan tribe from Yemen to Syria, who thereafter ruled a semi-autonomous state with their own king under the Romans. The Ghassan Dynasty became one of the honoured princely dynasties of the Empire, with the Ghassan king ruling over the Arabs in Jordan and Southern Syria from his capital at Bosra; the last of the Ghassan kings, who ruled at the time of the Muslim invasion, was Jabla bin Al Aiham. The Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, after re-capturing Syria from the Sassanians, set up new defense lines from Gaza to the south end of the Dead Sea; these lines were only designed to protect communications from bandits, the bulk of the Byzantine defenses were concentrated in Northern Syria facing the traditional foes, the Sassanid Persians. The drawback of this defense line was that it enabled the Muslims, advancing from the desert in the south, to reach as far north as Gaza before meeting regular Byzantine troops; the 7th century was a time of rapid military change in the Byzantine Empire.
The empire was not in a state of collapse when it faced the new challenge from Arabia after being exhausted by recent Roman–Persian Wars, but utterly failed to tackle the challenge effectively. Muhammad died in June 632, Abu Bakr was appointed Caliph and political successor at Medina. Soon after Abu Bakr's succession, several Arab tribes revolted against him in the Ridda wars; the Campaign of the Apostasy was completed during the eleventh year of the Hijri. The year 12 Hijri dawned, on 18 March 633, with Arabia united under the central authority of the Caliph at Medina. Whether Abu Bakr intended a full-out imperial conquest or not is hard to say. After successful campaigns against the Sassanids and the ensuing conquest of Iraq, Khalid established his stronghold in Iraq. While engaged with Sassanid forces, he confronted the Ghassanids, Arab clients of the Byzantines. Medina soon recruited tribal contingents from all over the Arabian peninsula. Only those who had rebelled during the Ridda wars were excluded from the summons and remained excluded from Rashidun armies until 636, when Caliph Umar fell short of manpower for the Battle of Yarmouk and the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah.
The tradition of raising armies from tribal contingents remained in use until 636, when Caliph Umar organised the army as a state department. Abu Bakr organised the army into each with its own commander and objective. Amr ibn al-A'as: Objective Palestine. Move on Elat route across Valley of Arabah. Yazid ibn Abu Sufyan: Objective Damascus. Move on Tabuk route. Shurahbil ibn Hasana: Objective Jordan. Move on Tabuk route after Yazid. Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah: Objective Emesa. Move on Tabuk route after Shurahbil. Not knowing the precise position of the Byzantine army, Abu Bakr ordered that all corps should remain in touch with each other so that they could render assist
The pope known as the supreme pontiff, is the Bishop of Rome and ex officio leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. Since 1929, the pope has been head of state of Vatican City, a city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy; the current pope is Francis, elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI. While his office is called the papacy, the episcopal see and ecclesiastical jurisdiction is called the Holy See, it is the Holy See, the sovereign entity of international law headquartered in the distinctively independent Vatican City State, established by the Lateran Treaty in 1929 between Italy and the Holy See to ensure its temporal and spiritual independence. The primacy of the Bishop of Rome is derived from his role as the apostolic successor to Saint Peter, to whom primacy was conferred by Jesus, giving him the Keys of Heaven and the powers of "binding and loosing", naming him as the "rock" upon which the church would be built; the apostolic see of Rome was founded by Saint Peter and Saint Paul in 1st century, according to Catholic tradition.
The papacy is one of the most enduring institutions in the world and has had a prominent part in world history. In ancient times the popes helped spread Christianity, intervened to find resolutions in various doctrinal disputes. In the Middle Ages, they played a role of secular importance in Western Europe acting as arbitrators between Christian monarchs. In addition to the expansion of the Christian faith and doctrine, the popes are involved in ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, charitable work, the defense of human rights. In some periods of history, the papacy, which had no temporal powers, accrued wide secular powers rivaling those of temporal rulers. However, in recent centuries the temporal authority of the papacy has declined and the office is now exclusively focused on religious matters. By contrast, papal claims of spiritual authority have been firmly expressed over time, culminating in 1870 with the proclamation of the dogma of papal infallibility for rare occasions when the pope speaks ex cathedra—literally "from the chair"—to issue a formal definition of faith or morals.
Still, the Pope is considered one of the world's most powerful people because of his extensive diplomatic and spiritual influence on 1.3 billion Catholics and beyond, as well as the official representative of the Catholic Church being the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world, with a vast international network of charities. The word pope derives from Greek πάππας meaning "father". In the early centuries of Christianity, this title was applied in the east, to all bishops and other senior clergy, became reserved in the west to the Bishop of Rome, a reservation made official only in the 11th century; the earliest record of the use of this title was in regard to the by deceased Patriarch of Alexandria, Pope Heraclas of Alexandria. The earliest recorded use of the title "pope" in English dates to the mid-10th century, when it was used in reference to the 7th century Roman Pope Vitalian in an Old English translation of Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum.
The Catholic Church teaches that the pastoral office, the office of shepherding the Church, held by the apostles, as a group or "college" with Saint Peter as their head, is now held by their successors, the bishops, with the bishop of Rome as their head. Thus, is derived another title by which the pope is known, that of "Supreme Pontiff"; the Catholic Church teaches that Jesus appointed Peter as leader of the Church, the Catholic Church's dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium makes a clear distinction between apostles and bishops, presenting the latter as the successors of the former, with the pope as successor of Peter, in that he is head of the bishops as Peter was head of the apostles. Some historians argue against the notion that Peter was the first bishop of Rome, noting that the episcopal see in Rome can be traced back no earlier than the 3rd century; the writings of the Church Father Irenaeus who wrote around AD 180 reflect a belief that Peter "founded and organized" the Church at Rome.
Moreover, Irenaeus was not the first to write of Peter's presence in the early Roman Church. Clement of Rome wrote in a letter to the Corinthians, c. 96, about the persecution of Christians in Rome as the "struggles in our time" and presented to the Corinthians its heroes, "first, the greatest and most just columns", the "good apostles" Peter and Paul. St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote shortly after Clement and in his letter from the city of Smyrna to the Romans he said he would not command them as Peter and Paul did. Given this and other evidence, such as Emperor Constantine's erection of the "Old St. Peter's Basilica" on the location of St. Peter's tomb, as held and given to him by Rome's Christian community, many scholars agree that Peter was martyred in Rome under Nero, although some scholars argue that he may have been martyred in Palestine. First-century Christian communities would have had a group of presbyter-bishops functioning as leaders of their local churches. Episcopacies were established in metropolitan areas.
Antioch may have developed such a structure before Rome. In Rome, there were many who claimed to be the rightful bishop, though again Irenaeus stressed the validity of one line of bishops from the time of St. Peter up to his contemporary Pope Victor I and listed them; some writers claim that the emergence of a single bishop in Rome did not occur until the middle of the 2nd century. In their view, Linus and Clement were prominent presbyter-bishops
Old St. Peter's Basilica
Old St. Peter's Basilica was the building that stood, from the 4th to 16th centuries, where the new St. Peter's Basilica stands today in Vatican City. Construction of the basilica, built over the historical site of the Circus of Nero, began during the reign of Emperor Constantine I; the name "old St. Peter's Basilica" has been used since the construction of the current basilica to distinguish the two buildings. Construction began by orders of the Roman Emperor Constantine I between 318 and 322, took about 40 years to complete. Over the next twelve centuries, the church gained importance becoming a major place of pilgrimage in Rome. Papal coronations were held at the basilica, in 800, Charlemagne was crowned emperor of the Holy Roman Empire there. In 846, Saracens damaged the basilica; the raiders seem to have known about Rome's extraordinary treasures. Some holy – and impressive – basilicas, such as St. Peter's Basilica, were outside the Aurelian walls, thus easy targets, they were "filled to overflowing with rich liturgical vessels and with jeweled reliquaries housing all of the relics amassed".
As a result, the raiders pillaged the holy shrine. In response Pope Leo IV built the Leonine wall and rebuilt the parts of St. Peter's, damaged. In 1099, Urban II convened a council including St Anselm. Among other topics, it repeated the bans on lay investiture and on clergy's paying homage to secular lords. By the 15th century the church was falling into ruin. Discussions on repairing parts of the structure commenced upon the pope's return from Avignon. Two people involved in this reconstruction were Leon Battista Alberti and Bernardo Rossellino, who improved the apse and added a multi-story benediction loggia to the atrium facade, on which construction continued intermittently until the new basilica was begun. Alberti pronounced the basilica a structural abomination: I have noticed in the basilica of St. Peter's in Rome a crass feature: an long and high wall has been constructed over a continuous series of openings, with no curves to give it strength, no buttresses to lend it support... The whole stretch of wall has been pierced by too many openings and built too high...
As a result, the continual force of the wind has displaced the wall more than six feet from the vertical. At first Pope Julius II had every intention of preserving the old building, but his attention soon turned toward tearing it down and building a new structure. Many people of the time were shocked by the proposal, as the building represented papal continuity going back to Peter; the original altar was to be preserved in the new structure. The design was a typical basilica form with the plan and elevation resembling those of Roman basilicas and audience halls, such as the Basilica Ulpia in Trajan's Forum and Constantine's own Aula Palatina at Trier, rather than the design of any Greco-Roman temple. Constantine went to great pains to build the basilica on the site of Saint Peter's grave, this fact influenced the layout of the building; the Vatican Hill, on the west bank of the Tiber River, was leveled. Notably, since the site was outside the boundaries of the ancient city, the apse with the altar was located in the west so that the basilica's façade could be approached from Rome itself to the east.
The exterior however, unlike earlier pagan temples, was not lavishly decorated. The church was capable of housing from 3,000 to 4,000 worshipers at one time, it consisted of five aisles, a wide central nave and two smaller aisles to each side, which were each divided by 21 marble columns, taken from earlier pagan buildings. It was over 350 feet long, built in the shape of a Latin cross, had a gabled roof, timbered on the interior and which stood at over 100 feet at the center. An atrium, known as the "Garden of Paradise", stood at the entrance and had five doors which led to the body of the church; the altar of Old St. Peter's Basilica used several Solomonic columns. According to tradition, Constantine took these columns from the Temple of Solomon and gave them to the church; when Gian Lorenzo Bernini built his baldacchino to cover the new St. Peter's altar, he drew from the twisted design of the old columns. Eight of the original columns were moved to the piers of the new St. Peter's; the great Navicella mosaic in the atrium is attributed to Giotto di Bondone.
The giant mosaic, commissioned by Cardinal Jacopo Stefaneschi, occupied the whole wall above the entrance arcade facing the courtyard. It depicted St. Peter walking on the waters; this extraordinary work was destroyed during the construction of the new St. Peter's in the 16th century, but fragments were preserved. Navicella means "little ship" referring to the large boat which dominated the scene, whose sail, filled by the storm, loomed over the horizon; such a natural representation of a seascape was known only from ancient works of art. The nave ended with an arch, which held a mosaic of Constantine and Saint Peter, who presented a model of the church to Christ. On the walls, each having 11 windows, were frescoes of various people and scenes from both the Old and New Testament; the fragment of an eighth-century mosaic, the Epiphany, is one of the rare remaining bits of the medieval decoration of Old St. Peter's Basilica; the precious fragment is kept in the sacristy of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.
It proves the high artistic quality of the destroyed mosaics. Another one, a standing madonna, is on a side altar in the Basilica of San Marco in Florence. Since the crucifixion and burial of Saint Peter in
Pope Alexander I
Pope Alexander I was the Bishop of Rome from c. 107 to his death c. 115. The Holy See's Annuario Pontificio identifies him as a Roman who reigned from 108 or 109 to 116 or 119; some believe he suffered martyrdom under the Roman Emperor Trajan or Hadrian, but this is improbable. According to the Liber Pontificalis, it was Alexander I who inserted the narration of the Last Supper into the liturgy of the Mass. However, the article on Saint Alexander I in the 1907 Catholic Encyclopedia, written by Thomas Shahan, judges this tradition to be inaccurate, a view shared by both Catholic and non-Catholic experts, it is viewed as a product of the agenda of Liber Pontificalis—this section of the book was written in the late 5th century—to show an ancient pattern of the earliest bishops of Rome ruling the church by papal decree. The introduction of the customs of using blessed water mixed with salt for the purification of Christian homes from evil influences, as well as that of mixing water with the sacramental wine, are attributed to Pope Alexander I.
Some sources consider these attributions unlikely. It is possible, that Alexander played an important part in the early development of the Church of Rome's emerging liturgical and administrative traditions. A tradition holds that in the reign of Emperor Hadrian, Alexander I converted the Roman governor Hermes by miraculous means, together with his entire household of 1,500 people. Saint Quirinus of Neuss, Alexander's supposed jailer, Quirinus' daughter Saint Balbina were among his converts. Alexander is said to have seen a vision of the infant Jesus, his remains are said to have been transferred to Freising in Bavaria, Germany in AD 834. Some editions of the Roman Missal identified with Pope Alexander I the Saint Alexander that they give as commemorated, together with Saints Eventius and Theodulus, on 3 May. See, for instance, the General Roman Calendar of 1954, but nothing is known of these three saints other than their names, together with the fact that they were martyred and were buried at the seventh milestone of the Via Nomentana on 3 May of some year.
For this reason, the Pope John XXIII's 1960 revision of the calendar returned to the presentation, in the 1570 Tridentine Calendar of the three saints as "Saints Alexander and Theodulus Martyrs" with no suggestion that any of them was a pope. The Roman Martyrology lists them as Eventius and Theodulus, the order in which their names are given in historical documents. List of Catholic saints List of popes Benedict XIV; the Roman Martyrology. Gardners Books, 2007. ISBN 978-0-548-13374-3. Chapman, John. Studies on the Early Papacy. Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1971. ISBN 978-1-901157-60-4. Fortescue and Scott M. P. Reid; the Early Papacy: To the Synod of Chalcedon in 451. Southampton: Saint Austin Press, 1997. ISBN 978-1-901157-60-4. Jowett, George F; the Drama of the Lost Disciples. London: Covenant Pub. Co, 1968. OCLC 7181392 Loomis, Louise Ropes; the Book of Popes. Merchantville, NJ: Evolution Publishing. ISBN 1-889758-86-8Pope St. Alexander IEncyclopædia Britannica: Saint Alexander I
Constantine IV, sometimes incorrectly called Pogonatos, "the Bearded", out of confusion with his father, was Byzantine Emperor from 668 to 685. His reign saw the first serious check to nearly 50 years of uninterrupted Islamic expansion, while his calling of the Sixth Ecumenical Council saw the end of the monothelitism controversy in the Byzantine Empire; the eldest son of Constans II, Constantine IV had been named a co-emperor with his father in 654. 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 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 father's 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, the commander of the troops in Armenia, to help overthrow the Emperor at Constantinople. He sent an army under his son Yazid against the Byzantine Empire. Yazid took the important Byzantine center Amorion. While the city was recovered, the Arabs next attacked Carthage and Sicily in 669. In 670 the Arabs captured Cyzicus and set up a base from which to launch further attacks into the heart of the Empire, their fleet captured Smyrna and other coastal cities in 672. In 672, the Arabs sent a large fleet to attack Constantinople by sea. While Constantine was distracted by this, the Slavs laid siege to Thessalonica. Commencing in 674, the Arabs launched the long-awaited siege of Constantinople; the great fleet, assembled set sail under the command of Abdu'l-Rahman ibn Abu Bakr before the end of the year. Additional squadrons reinforced the forces of Abd ar-Rahman before they proceeded to the Hellespont, into which they sailed in about April 674.
From April to September 674 the fleet lay moored from the promontory of Hebdomon, on the Propontis, as far as the promontory of Kyklobion, near the Golden Gate, throughout those months continued to engage with the Byzantine fleet which defended the harbour from morning to evening. Knowing that it was only a matter of time before Constantinople was under siege, Constantine had ensured that the city was well provisioned, he constructed a large 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, one of the key advantages that the Byzantines possessed. 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 each spring to continue the siege of Constantinople, but with the same results; the city survived, in 678 the Arabs were forced to raise the siege. The Arabs withdrew and were simultaneously defeated on land in Lycia in Anatolia.
This unexpected reverse forced Muawiyah I to seek a truce with Constantine. The terms of the concluded truce required the Arabs to evacuate the islands they had seized in the Aegean, to pay an annual tribute to the Emperor consisting of fifty slaves, fifty horses, 3,000 pounds of gold; the raising of the siege allowed Constantine to go to the relief of Thessalonica, still under siege from the Slavs. With the temporary passing of the Arab threat, Constantine turned his attention to the Church, torn between Monothelitism and Orthodoxy. 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, but he took no active role in the theological discussions; the Council reaffirmed the Orthodox doctrines of the Council of Chalcedon in 451. This solved the controversy over monothelitism; the council closed in September 681. Due to the ongoing conflicts with the Arabs during the 670s, Constantine had been forced to conclude treaties in the west with the Lombards, who had captured Brindisi and Taranto.
In 680, the Bulgars under Khan Asparukh crossed the Danube into nominally Imperial territory and began to subjugate the local communities and Slavyanic tribes. In 680, Constantine IV led a combined land and sea operation against the invaders and besieged their fortified camp in Dobruja. Suffering from bad health, the Emperor had to leave the army, which panicked and was defeated by the Bulgars. In 681, Constantine was forced to acknowledge the Bulgar state in Moesia and to pay tribute/protection money to avoid further inroads into Byzantine Thrace. Constantine created the Theme of Thrace, his brothers Heraclius and Tiberius had been crowned with him as Augusti during the reign of their father, this was confirmed by the demand of the populace, but in 681 Constantine had them mutilated so they would be ineligible to rule. At the same time he associated on the throne his own young son Justinian II. Constantine died of dysentery in September 685. By his wife Anastasia, Constantine IV had at least two sons: Justinian II, who succeeded him as emperor Heraclius, known only from an episode in which his father sent locks of his and his brother's hair to Pope Benedict II.