The Byzantine Emperors

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The Byzantine Emperors

Post by I Like The Holocaust on Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:41 pm

This thread will put information about every Byzantine emperor from Zeno to Constantine XI Palaiologos. Each day information about the next emperor will be put into the thread. This will only include the emperors from the fall of the Western Roman Empire to the fall of Constantinople it will not include emperors from the Eastern Roman Empire.
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Re: The Byzantine Emperors

Post by I Like The Holocaust on Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:00 pm

Zeno the Isaurian (425-491) Reigned (9 February 474 – 9 January 475
August 476 – 9 April 491)

Zeno's original name was Tarasis, and more accurately Tarasikodissa in his native Isaurian language. Tarasis was born in Isauria, at Rusumblada, later renamed Zenonopolis in Zeno's honour. His father was called Kodisa (as attested by his patronimic "Tarasicodissa"), his mother Lallis, his brother Longinus. Tarasis had a wife, Arcadia, whose name indicates a relationship with the Constantinopolitan aristocracy, and whose statue was erected near the Baths of Arcadius, along the steps that led to Topoi. The emperor Leo called him to Constantinople as the leader of a force of Isaurians in order to counter the ever-growing German influence over the empire. Also a special imperial guard was set up, made up entirely of Isaurians, and Zeno was granted command of this highly important force. In 466, he exposed the treachery of Ardabur, the son of the Alans eastern magister militum Aspar and made himself even more indispensable. By 468, when Leo's incompetent generals led the Byzantine fleet to disaster in a campaign against the Vandals, was considered Leo's best general. It was only at that stage that he assumed the name Zeno. Apparently it was the name of a dignitary of high standing back in Isauria, and Zeno thought it more befitting of his new high office to have a name less common than Tarasicodissa. To further increase the bond with his new Isaurian guardsmen, Leo married his elder daughter Aelia Ariadne to Zeno. Although designed by Leo to secure the Isaurian support against the aforementioned ambitious minister Aspar, this political arrangement brought them a son, who was a boy to became the emperor Leo II upon the death of his grandfather in 473. In AD 467-8 Zeno was given the powerful position of 'Master of Soldiers' in Thrace to repel an assault by the Huns under the son of Attila, Denzig.  While on a campaign in Thrace he narrowly escaped assassination instigated by Aspar. On Tarasicodissa's return to the capital, Aspar was killed on Leo's orders and Tarasicodissa became magister militum in his own right. Next, in AD 473 Zeno was made 'Master of Soldiers' of the eastern empire, taking Aspar's place. In October AD 473 Leo elevated his five year-old grandson, who was the son of Zeno and Aelia Ariadne, to be co-emperor Leo II. When Leo became ill and died on November 17, Zeno became sole emperor. He continued to be unpopular with the people and senate because of his "foreign" origins. A revolt fomented by Verina in favour of her brother Basiliscus in January of 475 and the antipathy to his Isaurian soldiers and administrators in Constantinople forced him to flee the capital for the city of Antioch. Zeno was compelled to shut himself up in a fortress and spent the next 20 months raising an army, largely made up of fellow Isaurians, and marched on Constantinople in August 476. The growing misgovernment and unpopularity of Basiliscus ultimately enabled Zeno to re-enter Constantinople unopposed in 476 after an army led by the general Illus defected to Zeno. His rival was banished to Phrygia, where he soon afterwards died. Restored to rule of the entire empire, Zeno was within two months forced to make a momentous decision when Odoacer deposed the last emperor in the west and asked for Zeno's recognition as a patrician officer of Zeno's court, intending to rule without an emperor.



Zeno granted this, and thus in theory became the first emperor of a united Roman Empire since 395. In reality, he all but wrote off the west until several years later, when Odoacer began to violate the terms of his agreement with Zeno. At the same time, Zeno sent a mission to Carthage with the intent of making a permanent peace settlement with Geiseric, who was still making constant raids on eastern cities and merchant shipping. By recognizing Geiseric as an independent king and with the full extent of his conquests, Zeno was able to hammer out a peace which ended the Vandal attacks in the east, brought freedom of religion to the Catholics under Vandal rule, and which lasted for more than 50 years. Since 472 the aggressions of the two Ostrogoth leaders Theodoric had been a constant source of danger. Though Zeno at times contrived to play them off against each other, they in turn were able to profit by his dynastic rivalries, and it was only by offering them pay and high command that he kept them from attacking Constantinople itself. Zeno survived another revolt in 478, when his mother-in-law Verina attempted to kill Illus for turning against Basiliscus, her brother. The revolt was led by her son-in-law Marcian and the Ostrogoth warlord Theoderic Strabo, but Illus again proved his loyalty to Zeno by quashing the revolt. However, Illus and Zeno had a falling out by 484, and once again Zeno had to put down a bloody revolt in the east. In 487 he induced Theodoric, son of Theodemir, to invade Italy and establish his new kingdom. After Theodoric Strabo died in 481, the future Theodoric the Great became king of the entire Ostrogothic nation and began to become a trouble in the Balkan peninsula. Zeno got rid of the problem by sending him to Italy to fight Odoacer, all but eliminating the German presence in the east. He died on April 9, 491, after ruling for 17 years and 2 months. Because he and Ariadne had no other children, his widow chose a favored member of the imperial court, Anastasius, to succeed him.
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Re: The Byzantine Emperors

Post by I Like The Holocaust on Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:44 pm

Anastasius I Dicorus (431 – 518) Reigned ( 491 – 518)

Anastasius was born at Dyrrachium 431. He was born into an Illyrian family, the son of Pompeius, nobleman of Dyrrachium, and wife Anastasia Constantina. His mother was an Arian, sister of Clearchus, also an Arian, and a paternal granddaughter of Gallus, son of Anastasia and husband, in turn daughter of Flavius Claudius Constantius Gallus and wife and cousin Constantina. Before becoming emperor, Anastasius was a particularly successful administrator in the department of finance.
After Zeno's death, his brother Longinus had hoped to become Emperor. Anastasius exiled him to the Thebaid in Egypt and expelled other Isaurians from Constantinople. Other non-Isaurian officials were also removed. These actions provoked an Isaurian revolt. Although the main rebel army, led by Longinus of Cardala, was rapidly defeated in 491 at Cotyaeum in Phrygia, it was not until 498 that all the rebels were mopped up from their Isaurian strongholds. In the Balkans, Bulgar raids across the Danube from as early as 493 prompted construction of the Long Walls between the Propontis and the Black Sea, as well as renewed work on Danubian defenses. These defensive efforts had been made possible once Theoderic's Goths had left the Balkans for Italy. Anastasius also faced minor problems along the eastern frontier in the first decade of his reign. The long-awaited war with Persia broke out in 502. Despite early setbacks, the Romans finally prevailed and peace was made in 506, followed by intense work on eastern defenses, especially at Dara. Anastasius recognized Theoderic as king in Italy in 497, though conflict briefly ensued over Pannonia in 505-510, before peace was made. Anastasius' religious beliefs were strongly Monophysite, though at his accession he had made professions of Chalcedonianism. The increasing displays of Monophysitism led to tension with the strongly Chalcedonian Patriarch of Constantinople, Euphemius. Anastasius exiled Euphemius in 496 and replaced him as patriarch with the Chalcedonian Macedonius. In 511 Anastasius replaced Macedonius with a Monophysite patriarch and in Antioch in 512 appointed the Monophysite Severus as patriarch there. The replacement of Macedonius in 511 provoked riots in Constantinople and the revolt of Vitalian in Thrace. Vitalian was the magister militum per Thracias who used his army in an attempt to force Chalcedonian orthodoxy on Anastasius, not to replace him. Anastasius was prepared to discuss Chalcedon with Pope Hormisdas, but Hormisdas' attitude to Acacius, the patriarch of Constantinople who had been excommunicated in Zeno's reign, and his insistence that the emperor and eastern bishops approve Chalcedon without qualification sabotaged negotiations. Vitalian was defeated in Thrace in 515 and went into hiding. Attempts to replace the Patriarch of Jerusalem with a Monophysite in 516 provoked riots and Anastasius did not force the issue. Anastasius, with the assistance of the Praetorian Prefect, Marinus, reformed finances by abolishing the chrysargyron. In 494 he reformed the coinage, issuing a much wider range of bronze coins, which had previously been in short supply. In 498 the collatio lustralis, a tax on craftsmen, was also abolished, while successful efforts were made to increase the efficiency of tax collection and even to reduce the rates of land taxation. At his death he was able to leave a large surplus of 320,000 lbs. gold. . He died 8/10 July, 518 and was succeeded by Justin. He was buried with Ariadne in the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople.
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Re: The Byzantine Emperors

Post by I Like The Holocaust on Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:10 pm

Justin I (450 – 527) Reigned (518 – 527)



Justin was born in the province of Dardania belonging to the diocese of Dacia, which along with Macedonia made up the prefecture of Illyricum. It was an area which had suffered severely from barbarian attacks: in 447 a devastating raid of the Huns, which reached as far south as Thermopylae, left a wake of destruction through Illyricum and forced the praetorian prefect to flee from Sirmium to Thessaloniki. Then it was the turn of the Ostrogoths who ravaged the land until the emperor Leo I made peace in 461. It must have been about this time that Justin and two companions with Thracian names, Zimarchus and Dityvistus, all of them young men with good physiques, set out for Constantinople with only the clothes they had on their backs and a little bread in their pockets, trying to escape the grinding poverty of their homeland. The emperor Leo was organizing a new corps of palace guards, the excubitors, 300 in number, who were intended to counterbalance German predominance at court. These three young Thracians were enrolled.[[2]] We hear no more of Justin's companions, but Justin himself was evidently a competent soldier who rose through the ranks, and in 518, when the emperor Anastasius died, he was commander of the excubitors, the only effective troops on the scene. The death took place on the night of 8 July, and the silentarii (gentlemen ushers at court) immediately summoned the master of offices, Celer, and Justin. Celer commanded the scholarians, but they were ornamental soldiers; Justin, whose palace guard could fight if necessary, was in a pivotal position. In the morning of 9 July, the people assembled in the Hippodrome, and the high officials, including the patriarch, met in the Great Palace to choose a successor. Anastasius had no immediate heir though he had nephews, one of whom, Hypatius, an experienced soldier of mediocre accomplishment, might have been an obvious candidate for the throne. But he held the office of master of soldiers in the east and was probably in Antioch when his uncle died. Justin was not considered at first. We may be certain that his nephew Justinian, a lowly candidatus at the time, was not considered at all, although a later tradition claimed that some put him forward. But the people in the Hippodrome grew impatient, and the high officials, becoming a little panicky, eventually put forward Justin. He was taken to the imperial loge in the Hippodrome and invested there with the imperial robes. The donative he offered the troops on his inauguration was exactly the same as that offered by Leo I in 457 and Anastasius I in 491: 5 nomismata and one pound of silver to each soldier. On 1 August, Justin wrote to Pope Hormisdas in Rome, announcing his elevation and saying that he had been chosen against his will. In fact, John Malalas preserves a tradition that Justin was more willing than he claimed. The chamberlain Amantius had a candidate of his own for the throne, Theocritus, the count of his Domestics, and he gave Justin money with which he was to buy support. But Justin used the money to purchase support for himself. On the ninth day after his acclamation, he put Amantius and Theocritus to death. Justin broke sharply with the Monophysitism of his predecessor, Anastasius. Vitalian, the champion of the Chalcedonians, who was still lurking in the Dobrudja after his defeat by the imperial army, was recalled. Until his murder in July, 520, he overshadowed the emperor's nephew, Justinian. Justinian was given the rank of patrician on his uncle's accession and appointed Count of the Domestics, but Vitalian was consul for 520; Justinian's first consulship took place the year following.  In the east, the Monophysites suffered a vigorous persecution which is well documented by John of Ephesus, who was born in Amida (modern Diyarbakir in Turkey) and knew the Monophysite monasteries and holy men in Syria at first hand. Severus, the patriarch of Antioch and the leading theologian of the Monophysites, escaped to Egypt where the patriarch of Alexandria Timothy III gave him refuge. Monophysitism had become almost a national religion in Egypt since the Council of Chalcedon in 451, and Justin never extended his persecution there. Elsewhere the new regime moved swiftly to restore orthodoxy as defined by the Creed of Chalcedon. On 20 July, 518, a synod was held in Constantinople of the bishops in the region. It pronounced anathema against Severus of Antioch, and the patriarch John of Constantinople sent letters to all bishops of importance with copies of the synodal decrees. Upon receipt of his letter, the patriarch John of Jerusalem summoned a synod, attended by Mar Saba, the archimandrite of the lauras in Palestine and a strong Chalcedonian, which followed the examples of Constantinople. In the province of Syria Secunda, a synod was also held which excommunicated Severus of Antioch who narrowly escaped arrest. Letters were dispatched from Constantinople to Pope Hormisdas: one from Justin, another, more peremptory in tone, from Justinian, and a third from the patriarch. The letters took more than three months to reach Rome and Hormisdas' reply was not returned until the new year. The pope declined the invitation to come to Constantinople in person, but he sent a delegation to set forth Rome's non-negotiable position. The papal legates were forbidden to discuss the issues, but they took with them as interpreter and observer a deacon named Dioscorus, a Greek from Alexandria. When it was necessary to explain the guilt of Acacius, the patriarch of Alexandria who was author of the Henotikon which had led to the so-called 'Acacian schism' in the reign of Zeno, Dioscorus, who was not an official legate, was free to speak and put forth the papal position that Hormisdas suggested that Justin make him patriarch of Alexandria: advice which Justin ignored. The pope demanded surrender: the condemnation of Acacius, his heretical successors on the patriarchal throne, all prelates who had remained in communion with them, and the emperors Zeno and Anastasius as well. The patriarch John of Constantinople was unhappy, but under pressure he signed the papal libellus on Maundy Thursday (28 March, 519) in the presence of Justin, the senate and clergy. The pope had gone too far. Excommunicating the prelates who had remained in communion with Acacius and his successors meant the excommunication of all the bishops in the east after 484 when the emperor Zeno's Henotikon was issued. The first sign of resistance came from Thessaloniki where the bishop refused to sign the papal libellus. Justin was soon aware of grassroots dissatisfaction elsewhere, and he became more flexible. Justin was a stout defender of the creed of Chalcedon but we may suppose that his years as an army officer had taught him the advantages of a reasonable approach. At the beginning of the year 519, a delegation of monks arrived in the capital from Scythia Minor (Dobrudja) with a new solution. They won Vitalian's support, for Vitalian himself came from that province and one of the delegation was a relative of his. What the monks prescribed was the formula stating that 'one of the Holy Trinity had suffered in the flesh'. It was a nearly identical formula, added to the Trisagion in the liturgy of Hagia Sophia, which had nearly cost the emperor Anastasius his throne in 512. When the Scythian monks proposed it, they were denounced immediately by the 'Sleepless Monks', the watchdogs of Chalcedonianism who were eventually to become more orthodox than the pope and were excommunicated. However, repackaged by the Scythian monks, the formula became known as the 'Theopaschite doctrine' and it interested Justinian. He sent the monks off to Rome where they tried to propagate their doctrine, but Hormisdas was unmoved and eventually sent them packing. Yet his victory of 519 solved nothing; if anything it proved the futility of Rome's policy of intransigence in the face of the Monophysite problem. When Hormisdas died in 523, his son Silverius who was eventually to become a pope himself, wrote his epitaph, one line of which reads, "Greece, vanquished by pious power, has yielded to you." The Monophysite persecution in the east continued until 520, when Vitalian was assassinated. Orthodoxy extended even to the army: soldiers were ordered to subscribe to the creed of Chalcedon or be deprived of their rations. After 520, Justin followed a more tolerant policy until the end of his life, when he was old and ill and no longer in control. In the last four months of his reign, when Justinian was co-emperor, imperial policy reverted to coercion. Yet, if Justin's application of the regulations against heresy was pragmatic, his devotion to orthodoxy remained the same. There is some irony to the fact that Pope Hormisdas' successor John did visit Constantinople to solicit for tolerance of heresy: Theodoric the Ostrogoth, who ruled Italy with a firm hand, was disquieted at the anti-heretical policies of the new regime in Constantinople and dispatched John to plead on behalf of Arianism, which was the faith of the Ostrogoths. Justin gave the pope a warm welcome, so warm that it roused Theodoric's suspicions. But the pope's efforts on behalf of the persecuted Arians had little result. When he arrived back in Ravenna, Theodoric made his disappointment clear. Theodoric's coldness may have contributed to the pope's death soon afterwards. The accession of an orthodox emperor anxious to repair relations with the papacy must have roused some disquiet in the Ostrogothic court. With the old emperor Anastasius Ostrogothic Italy had an amicable arrangement which had been regularized in 497: Italy was still part of the empire, and Theodoric ruled the Romans as the emperor's deputy and the Ostrogoths as their hereditary king. Greek distinguished between emperors and kings such as Theodoric: for the latter the title was rex, borrowed from the Latin, whereas for the former the title was  . As long as the emperor in Constantinople was Monophysite, religious schism drove a wedge between him and his Roman subjects, who were firm Chalcedonians. But once the emperor was Chalcedonian and the Acacian schism was healed, the situation changed. The Romans returned to their old allegiance and Theodoric grew suspicious of their loyalty. The Ostrogoths lived in Italy as an immigrant ruling class, maintained by property appropriated from the Roman landowners - one-third of their estates, it is reported - but separated from the Romans by their religion, for the Goths were Arians, and worshipped in separate Arian churches. The situation was unstable and Theodoric was aware of it, all the more so since he had no able son to succeed him. Theodoric was anxious for good relations with the new emperor, and Justin responded positively. In 519, Justin nominated Theodoric's son-in-law Eutharic as consul to serve as Justin's colleague. Eutharic who had married Theodoric's daughter Amalasuintha, was an uncouth man who disliked Catholics, but Justin made him the first Goth to become a consul and adopted him according to Gothic customs, thereby recognizing him as Theodoric's heir. But in 522, Eutharic died, leaving a young son Athalaric, born in 518. Meanwhile Justin's anti-heretical policies bore more heavily against Arianism. After 523, Arians in the east suffered active persecution. In 524, Theodoric executed his Master of Offices, Boethius who was suspected of treasonable correspondence with the imperial court in Constantinople. While in prison he wrote the book which was the favorite of the Latin Middle Ages, the Consolation of Philosophy. There can be no doubt that Boethius was a Christian, but the Consolation could have been written by a pagan: the "Philosophia" who comforts Boethius owes more to Neoplatonism than she does to Christianity. Some scholars have suggested that in his final months, Boethius turned to the solace offered by the older religion, but the truth is probably that Boethius never recognized the antithesis between pagan philosophy and Christian theology which modern academics do. Yet we should not imagine that his attitude was shared by many: Boethius belonged to an educated upper crust which had become very thin indeed. In 525 the severe measures taken against the Arians in the east became known in Italy. Theodoric dispatched Pope John to Constantinople to remonstrate and report Theodoric's threat to persecute Italian Catholics in reprisal. John was received cordially. While in Constantinople, he performed a coronation ceremony for Justin, thereby making clear his recognition of Justin as his sovereign. But his actions fueled Theodoric's paranoia and John got a cold reception when he returned to Ravenna. He died soon after (May 18, 526). His successor, Felix IV, chosen after two months of contention, was a prelate who met Theodoric's approval. Shortly afterwards, on 30 August, Theodoric himself died, leaving the boy Athalaric as his heir. Theodoric's relations with Constantinople were not the only ones to turn sour in his last years. He had built up a network of marriage alliances in the western Mediterranean: his own second wife was a Frankish princess, a daughter had married a Burgundian prince, another had married Alaric II, the king of Visigothic Spain, and in 500 he had given his sister Amalfrida as his wife to the Vandal king Trasamund. Relations between these two Arian kingdoms were close as long as Trasamund was alive, but his successor Hilderic favored the Catholics. Trasamund's widow Amalfrida protested, and Hilderic retorted by throwing her into prison and killing her Gothic entourage. When he died, Theodoric was planning an attack on Africa that would have further clouded relations with Constantinople, which looked on Hilderic as a friend of orhodoxy. At the eastern end of the Black Sea, Lazica, the ancient Colchis between the Rioni and Chorokhi rivers was a bone of contention between the Roman empire and Persia. Persia regarded it as a satellite and yet it was Christian in religion. In 522, Tzath, the Lazic king broke with the custom of going to Persia for coronation and instead went to Constantinople, where he asked Justin to proclaim him king and baptize him. Childhood baptism, it should be remembered, was not yet universally practised: emperors in earlier centuries such as Constantine I and his son Constantius II waited until just before their deaths before being baptized. Thus Tzath, though a Christian, had probably not yet been baptized and his trip to Constantinople to receive the rite conveyed a message to Persia. Justin welcomed Tzath cordially and found him a Roman lady for his wife. The king of Persia Kawad was incensed but for the moment could not take direct action. However he got in touch with the Sabiric Huns in the northern Caucasus and negotiated an alliance with their king Zilgibi to attack the empire. But Zilbigi was too clever; he negotiated with both sides. Justin made a point of disclosing Zilgibi's treachery to Kawad. It was, he pretended, a friendly gesture: a word to the wise. Kawad confronted Zilbigi with his perfidy and when Zilbigi admitted it, Kawad slew him and most of the 20,000 Huns in the force he had brought with him. Impressed, it seems, with Justin's transparency, Kawad sought his help in a domestic problem. He had four sons and ordinarily the eldest should have succeeded him. But Kawad did not want him, probably because he had favored the Mazdakites, followers of a religious leader Mazdak who had tried to impose a radical social system on Persia; Kawad earlier in his reign had suppressed them by force. Kawad's second son had lost an eye which made him ineligible, but the Persian nobles admired his military ability and some favored him, his physical disability notwithstanding. Kawad wanted his third (or fourth?) son Khusro to succeed him and to secure the succession, he asked Justin to adopt him. Justin was willing, but it was pointed out to him by an advisor that if Khusro were adopted according to Roman law, it would give him a claim to the imperial throne. Thus Justin offered adoption according to barbarian custom: the same adoption which he had accorded Theodoric's son-in-law. The Persians found the proposal insupportable. It should also be added that negotiations to settle the differences between Persia and the empire did not go well. The opportunity for peace was lost. Kawad then moved against Iberia, modern Georgia, a Christian kingdom on the borders of the Sassanid empire: he demanded that they adopt the rites of Zororastrianism, the religion of Persia. Justin retorted by sending Probus, a nephew of the old emperor Anastasius to Bosporus (classical Panticapaeum) in the Crimea to bribe the Huns, who controlled Bosporus at that time, to help the Iberians. But the Huns were too occupied by their own internal problems to assist. Justin did, however, send a small force of Hun troops under a Byzantine officer to defend the Iberian king, Gurgenes, but the force was too weak, and the Iberian royal family was forced to flee. Iberia lost its independence and Justin lost prestige. In 526, the empire opened hostilities by launching two unsuccessful raids into Persarmenia, the part of Armenia under Persian control. By this time Justin was feeble with age and the pain of an old wound: the author of this move was certainly his nephew Justinian. The young officers leading the expeditions were members of Justinian's entourage, Sittas and Belisarius. At the same time an army was dispatched into Mesopotamia near Nisibis which probed the frontier and then pulled back, achieving nothing. It may be that Justinian thought the time was ripe to take the measure of Persia. But Justin was not the author of this change in policy, if that is what it was. Himyar, modern Yemen was an area where Christianity, Judaism and paganism competed for religious allegiance and where Ethiopia, Persia and the eastern Roman Empire competed for political advantage. In October of 523, the Christians were massacred in Najran, the center of Christianity in south Arabia. The author of the massacre was a Jew (or Jewish convert) Dhu Nuwas who had seized power in Himyar, and undertook a campaign against Christianity there. The events were to give birth to a rich martyr literature; Vasiliev notes that a thousand years later, a sixteenth-century Russian source, the Stepennaya Kniga relates the story of Najran's capture by "Dunas the Zhidovin (Jew)" and compares "Dunas" to the Tartar khan Takhtamysh who captured Moscow by cunning. The multiplicity of traditions make it difficult to discern what actually happened, and the cast of characters have names that vary: Dhu Nuwas is also known as Masruq, and the king of Abyssinia whose name in Ethiopic was Ela Atzheba is known as Elesboas (in Malalas), Hellesthaeus (in Procopius) and sometimes as Kaleb which may have been his Christian name. It appears that a Christian from Najran escaped and brought news of the massacre to Ela Atzheba along with a half-burnt copy of the Gospel. Ela Atzheba had troops with which to intervene but no ship transports; he got in touch with Justin through the patriarch of Alexandria, Timothy III. It should be noted that both Ela Atzheba and Timothy were Monophysite Christians whereas Justin was a devout Chalcedonian, but where the interests of Christianity outside the borders of the empire were concerned, theological differences did not matter. Justin mustered transport ships for the Ethiopian army. In two campaigns Ela Atzheba took the Himyarite capital, killed Dhu Nuwas and set up a Christian king as an Ethiopian client. One tradition had it that Dhu Nuwas, facing defeat, rode his horse into the sea and was never seen again. The situation in Yemen, however, remained volatile and in 570-72, after Justinian's death, Persia succeeded in occupying it. The society of sixth-century Byzantium was a fluid one, but by every standard of the time, Theodora was an unsuitable consort for Justin's nephew, Justinian. Justin's other nephew Germanus made a "society" marriage into the noble family of the Anicii, a Roman family which had moved to Constantinople, but Justinian's marriage was quite the reverse. Theodora had a background in popular theatre, which specialized in pornographic mimes. This was, in fact, the only type of theatre which allowed women on stage. Actresses were on the level of prostitutes, denied the rites of the church except after a deathbed repentance. Theodora had left the stage, however, by the time Justinian met her. She had become a devout Christian during a stay in Alexandria: there is a tradition that she met and received much kindness from the patriarch, Timothy III. However her creed was Monophysite which cannot have made her a more suitable consort for Justin's heir, Justinian. Justinian's hunger for power, mingled with a certain insecurity, was barely concealed during the early years of Justin's reign. At first, Vitalian was a competitor, but assassination had removed him in 520. Perhaps Justinian was responsible. Germanus and his brother Boraides, two other nephews whom Justin had brought to Constantinople, seem never to have been rivals. However during these early years of Justin's reign, without the knowledge of his uncle, Justinian seems to have encouraged street violence. The rivalry between the fans of the Blues and the Greens in the Hippodrome spilled out into the avenues and alleys of Constantinople. The young men who supported the Blue and Green factions affected Hunnic dress and hair-styles, and their gangs made life dangerous for the solid citizens of the capital. Justinian was a strong supporter of the Blues, as was Theodora. Procopius accuses Justinian of instigating the street violence and although his Anekdota is not a completely reliable witness where Justinian is concerned, it was true that aficionados of the Blues who committed outrages could count on Justinian's support to help them evade punishment. The more numerous Greens, who had no such patron, harbored a sense of injustice. It is hard to make sense out of this. At one time, scholars considered the Greens supporters of Monophysitism and the Blues supporters of Chalcedonian orthodoxy,[[16]] but the evidence for that has been effectively disputed by Alan Cameron: the general view now is that the Blue and Green fans were high-spirited youth who had few other outlets for their energy. In any case, Justinian's partisanship fueled the disorder until 524 or 525 when Justinian fell ill. During his illness Justin was informed of the dangers on the streets and the cause, which apparently had been kept from him until this time, and he ordered the urban prefect Theodotus Colocynthius (the 'Pumpkin') to restore order. Theodotus acted vigorously; some Blues were hanged or burned alive. When Justinian recovered, he took revenge on Theodotus who was deprived of his office and sent to Jerusalem, but his support for the Blues became more circumspect. About the same time, in 525, he married Theodora, no doubt in the Great Church of Hagia Sophia. There is probably no connection. But Justinian had to overcome opposition in order to wed Theodora. First, Justin's wife Euphemia would not accept Theodora although she was fond of Justinian and opposed him in nothing else as far as we know. Euphemia had been a former slave of Justin's named Lupicina, whom he had married. Once she became empress, however, she became respectable. She changed her name Lupicina for Euphemia which better fitted her altered station, and she refused to have a woman with Theodora's past as the wife of Justin's heir. The second problem was that Roman law forbade a senator to marry a woman from the theater. The first obstacle was removed by Euphemia's death in 524. Then, at Justinian's urging, Justin promulgated a law which removed all disabilities from actresses who repented of their past lives. The way was cleared for Theodora's marriage and not only for her: about the same time, the army officer Sittas married Theodora's older sister Comito who had also been a mime actress. A little later, Justinian received the rank of nobilissimus, and on 1 April, 527, Justin proclaimed Justinian co-emperor. Three days later, in Hagia Sophia, the patriarch crowned Justinian and Theodora emperor and empress. The ex-actress had come a long way. Four months later, Justin died, and the future of the empire devolved into the eager hands of Theodora and Justinian. On August 1, 527 AD Justin died in Constantinople and was succeeded by his son Justinian I.

The Byzantine Empire at the time of is death in 527.

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Re: The Byzantine Emperors

Post by I Like The Holocaust on Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:38 pm

Justinian The Great (482 - 565) Reigned (527 - 565)



Justin's family came from an area of the empire where Latin rather than Greek was spoken: Justin himself was a native of the town of Bederiana near Nish and his sister's son, Justinian, was born at the village of Tauresium, near Scupi, ca. 482. He was to rebuild his native village eight years after his own assumption of the purple and rename it Justiniana Prima, modern Caricin Grad. Justin had risen through the ranks of the army until he was commander of the Excubitors when the emperor Anastasius died on 9 July, 518 and moved from there unexpectedly to become emperor. He moved quickly to consolidate his position. The patrician Apion, a member of a famous family that held extensive lands in Egypt, who had been exiled and ordained a priest in 510, was recalled and appointed prefect. Anastasius' old enemy, Vitalian, who had rebelled against his Monophysite policies, was made magister militum praesentalis, which placed him in charge of the military forces in the capital and put him in a better position than Justinian to succeed old Justin. Vitalian became consul in 520, but, in the same year, he was brutally murdered. Justinian, who succeeded Vitalian as magister militum praesentalis, was suspected, rightly or wrongly. In any case, the murder removed a dangerous rival. In 521, Justinian himself became consul, and his inauguration was a blatantly lavish affair, designed to make his mark. In that year, too, we find Justinian writing to the pope in Rome and speaking of the empire as "our state", implying thereby that he was Justin's mouthpiece. It must have been not long after that he married Theodora, whose earlier life is described vividly by Procopius in his Secret History, where he provided additions to his History of the Wars of Justinian which were too lurid to publish. Theodora had been one of three daughters of the bearkeeper employed by the Green faction in the Hippodrome, and her mother was a professional dancer and actress. When Theodora's father died, her mother remarried and hoped that the Greens would appoint her new husband bearkeeper, for in the bearkeepers' guild positions usually passed from father to son, but the decision belonged to the lead pantomime dancer to make and he was bribed to appoint someone else. Destitute, the mother and her daughters presented their petition in the Hippodrome, where the Greens rejected them, but the Blues, who had lost their bearkeeper, gave Theodora's stepfather the job. Theodora herself became a mime actress as soon as she was old enough. Theodora and Justinian were to remain Blue aficionados; indeed, up until the "Nika" revolt of 532, Justinian showed open favoritism towards the Blues. According to Procopius, Justin's wife Euphemia objected to the marriage of Justinian and Theodora even though she was fond of her nephew, for actresses and prostitutes were virtually synonymous; even the church denied them the sacraments. Theodora already had a bastard daughter and Procopius reports that she also had a son, saved from infanticide by his father, but Procopius' story sounds like malicious gossip. But after Euphemia's death, Justin was willing to clear the way. He passed a constitution which said that a contrite actress who abandoned her profession should recover her pristine condition, and marry whomsoever she chose, even a senator. Her children would be legitimate. Justinian and Theodora hoped for children; indeed years later Theodora was to ask for the prayers of Mar Saba that she might conceive, but the saint refused to beseech God on behalf of a Monophysite. For Theodora left no doubt about where her religious sympathies lay. It may be that she was converted in the Monophysite stronghold, Alexandria, by the patriarch Timothy III (517-535), who ventured to shelter the patriarch of Antioch, Severus, the chief Monophysite spokesman during his lifetime, when he was driven from his see on Justin I's accession. Procopius relates that before she met Justinian, she had accompanied the governor of Libya, Hecebolus, to his province and when he abandoned her, she made her way to Alexandria and thence to the capital, and a late seventh-century Egyptian text reports that in Alexandria she met Timothy. Procopius charged that the theological differences of the imperial couple were intended simply to stir up trouble, but both were devoted to their doctrinal tenets and both were able to defend them in debate. Justinian respected his wife's beliefs; he promised her when she was on her deathbed in 548 that he would continue to protect the Monophysite heretics whom she sheltered in the palace of Hormisdas in Constantinople. He kept his promise. At the same time, neither Justinian nor Theodora could have been unaware of the civil advantages of their private theological "quarrel": as long as the Monophysites felt that they had a champion at court, their allegiance to the emperor and the empire would remain secure. There was, however, one consequence of the lowly origins of the emperor and empress. Both placed great emphasis on court ceremonial. The old ruling classes in Constantinople, who were proud and snobbish even though their pedigrees were often rather short, had looked down at these new dynasts sprung from peasants and actors. Justinian and Theodora paraded their power. Theodora in particular took pleasure in her new status. Even Justinian's most conspicuous achievement in architecture, Hagia Sophia, made a statement. Before its construction, the largest church in Constantinople was the church of St. Polyeuktos, built at the end of Justin's reign by Anicia Juliana, the wealthy scion of one of Constantinople's "old" families which boasted imperial blood. Justinian succeeded his uncle on 1 August, 527. He had already been made co-emperor four months earlier, and coins were minted showing the two emperors seated beside each other. Old Justin may have been less willing to yield power to his nephew than later contemporaries believed, for when pope John visited Constantinople in 526, he favored Justin with a coronation ceremony, but did not include Justinian. But Justin was failing. On August 1, he died of complications arising from an old war wound in a foot, and Justinian's succession was smooth. Justinian's first years as emperor were full of action. There was a spate of legislation, directed against Manichaeans, pagans and Samaritans. Pagans were barred from the civil service, baptized Christians who lapsed into paganism were to be put to death, as were any persons caught making secret sacrifice to the gods; pagan teachers were denied stipends from the imperial treasury and if they would not accept baptism, they were to lose their property and be banished into exile. It was probably this last law which put an end to the Neoplatonic Academy in Athens, which was still a pagan stronghold. The head of the Academy, Damaskios, and six other philosophers emigrated to Persia, looking for a place with the new king of Persia, Khusro I, but they returned, disappointed, within less than a year. Some of them may have settled at Harran (Carrhae) and founded a school there which lasted into the Islamic period. However Khusro saw to it that one clause in the so-called "Endless Peace" of 532 between Persia and Justinian promised these philosophers the right to practice their religion unmolested within the empire, and the promise seems to have been kept. The Samaritans, who claim descent from the tribes of Ephraim and Manassah, are now reduced to a corporal's guard, but in the early sixth century they seem to have made up a large number of the farmers in First and Second Palestine. Their center was Neapolis, Biblical Shechem, and their sacred mountain was nearby Mt. Gerizim. They were disliked both by Christians and Jews. A law of Justinian's dating before 529 ordered their synagogues destroyed and took away their right to bequeath property to the non-orthodox: a favorite method of persecuting persons outside correct Christian belief. (The right was restored in 551, with the proviso that if a Samaritan had both Samaritan and Christian heirs, the latter should have sole title to the legacy). The Samaritans revolted in the summer of 529, coordinating their uprising with a raid into Syria by al-Mundhir, the sheikh of the Arab Lakhmid tribe which was a formidable ally of Persia. After some initial success the Samaritans were defeated; their leader Julian was beheaded and the head sent to the emperor, and some 20,000 Samaritans were sold into slavery. The agricultural economy of First and Second Palestine was devastated. Procopius, writing two decades later in his Secret History complains about deserted farms. In midsummer, 556, the Samaritans rose again, this time in Caesarea, and with some Jewish allies. The revolt was crushed without mercy. After Justinian's death, his successor Justin II in 572 renewed Justinian's restrictions on Samaritan legacies and banned them again from public office. The result was a last revolt and a last suppression which effectively extinguished the Samaritan problem. Judaism was still a religio licita under Roman law and the emperor's hand was relatively light. The rabbinical school at Tiberias was headed by a chief rabbi, called the archipherecite by the Greeks, who in Justinian's reign was Mar Zutra, the son of the head of the Jewish community in Babylon, and he exercised many of the powers once enjoyed by the Jewish patriarch, the Nasi, whose office had come to an end with the extinction of the House of Hillel in 425. Archaeology shows that in Galilee and the Golan Heights there was a building boom in synagogues in the fourth and fifth centuries, which continued into Justinian's reign. Jews had more to fear from fanatical monks than from the law. Nonetheless in mid-535 we find Justinian issuing a constitution targeting heretics, pagans and Jews in the newly-conquered prefecture of Africa: their places of worship were to be turned into Catholic churches. What was new in this law was that Jews were lumped together with heretics and pagans. The law seems not to have been enforced as far as Jews were concerned. Nonetheless, we sense a growing feeling of insecurity among Jews which grew into antagonism: when the Persians captured Jerusalem in 614, the Jews were to assist actively in the massacre of the Christians. On the eastern front, at Justinian's accession the magister militum was a nephew of the emperor Anastasius, Hypatius, an experienced officer of no great ability. The commander of Armenia was Sittas, and the duke of Mesopotamia was Belisarius, both former members of Justinian's bodyguard where they had come to his notice. In 529, Justinian replaced Hypatius with Belisarius, whose staff included the historian Procopius, who served as Belisarius' legal advisor (adsessor). Procopius' account of the war with Persia at this point in time is biased in favor of his commander, although later his disillusion was to be bitter. Belisarius had married a crony of the empress, Antonina, and he rapidly acquired a military reputation: in June, 530, he won a major victory over a Persian invasion force at Daras, the fortress which Anastasius had built on the Persian frontier in violation of treaty obligations. The following year, however, he suffered a defeat at Callinicum on the Euphrates River and was recalled to Constantinople. Procopius does his best to shift blame for the defeat from Belisarius onto the Ghassanid (Arab) allies of the empire, but the account of John Malalas serves as a corrective: Belisarius' leadership had been barely competent, and al-Harith, the Ghassanid phylarch, and his tribesmen had given a good account of themselves. But in September, the shah of Persia, Kavadh, died and his successor Khusro I wanted peace until he could consolidate his position, for he was not his father's eldest son. In 532, the empire and Persia agreed upon the "Endless Peace". Justinian paid handsomely for this peace: 11,000 gold pounds, but if it had been really "endless" or at least of considerable duration, it would have been worth the price. As it was, Persia attacked again in 540. The following year, in 533, Justinian launched an expedition led by Belisarius against the Vandal kingdom in Africa and Procopius suggests that he already had this expedition in mind when he recalled Belisarius from the eastern front. However, there is an ad hoc quality about Justinian's campaigns in the west. Justinian felt the appeal of renovatio, and as the native son of a Latin-speaking area of the empire, he probably felt an emotional involvement in Italy. But he never forgot the importance of the eastern provinces and the revenues they brought to the treasury. Yet with the "Endless Peace", he imagined that the Persian frontier was safe and that his hands were free to grab whatever opportunities there were for recovering the lost provinces in the west. As for Belisarius, the "Nika Revolt" was to restore his standing at court as a loyal, valuable retainer. The 'Nika' Revolt which broke out in January, 532, in Constantinople, was an outburst of street violence which went far beyond the norms even in a society where a great deal of street violence was accepted. Every city worth notice had its chariot-racing factions which took their names from their racing colors: Reds, Whites, Blues and Greens. These were professional organizations initially responsible for fielding chariot-racing teams in the hippodromes, though by Justinian's time they were in charge of other shows as well. The Blues and the Greens were dominant, but the Reds and Whites attracted some supporters: the emperor Anastasius was a fan of the Reds. The aficionados of the factions were assigned their own blocs of seats in the Hippodrome in Constantinople, opposite the imperial loge, and the Blue and Green "demes" provided an outlet for the energies of the city's young males. G. M. Manojlovic in an influential article originally published in Serbo-Croat in 1904, argued that the "demes" were organized divisions of a city militia, and thus played an important role in the imperial defense structure. His thesis is now generally disregarded and the dominant view is that of Alan Cameron,[[14]] that demos, whether used in the singular or plural, means simply "people" and the rioting of the "demes", the "fury of the Hippodrome", as Edward Gibbon called it, was hooliganism, which was also Gibbon's view. Efforts to make the Greens into supporters of Monophysitism and the Blues of Orthodoxy founder on lack of evidence. However, in support of Manojlovic's thesis, it must be said that, although we cannot show that the Blue and Green "demes" were an organized city militia, we hear of "Young Greens" both in Constantinople and Alexandria who bore arms, and in 540, when Antioch fell to the Persians, Blue and Green street-fighters continued to defend the city after the regular troops had fled. Justinian and Theodora were known Blue supporters, and when street violence escalated under Justin I, Procopius claims that they encouraged it. But since Justinian became emperor he had taken a firmer, more even-handed stand. On Saturday, January 10, 532, the city prefect Eudaemon who had arrested some hooligans and found seven guilty of murder, had them hanged outside the city at Sycae, across the Golden Horn, but the scaffold broke and saved two of them from death, a Blue and a Green. Some monks from St. Conon's monastery nearby took the two men to sanctuary at the church of St Lawrence where the prefect set troops to watch. The following Tuesday while the two malefactors were still trapped in the church, the Blues and Greens begged Justinian to show mercy. He ignored the plea and made no reply. The Blues and Green continued their appeals until the twenty-second race (out of twenty-four) when they suddenly united and raised the watchword 'Nika'. Riots started and the court took refuge in the palace. That evening the mob burned the city prefect's praetorium. Justinian tried to continue the games next day but only provoked more riot and arson. The rioting and destruction continued throughout the week; even the arrival of loyal troops from Thrace failed to restore order. On Sunday before sunrise, Justinian appeared in the Hippodrome where he repented publicly and promised an amnesty. The mob turned hostile, and Justinian retreated. The evening before Justinian had dismissed two nephews of the old emperor Anastasius, Hypatius and Pompey, against their will, from the palace and sent them home, and now the mob found Hypatius and proclaimed him emperor in the Hippodrome. Justinian was now ready to flee, and perhaps would have done so except for Theodora, who did not frighten easily. Instead Justinian decided to strike ruthlessly. Belisarius and Mundo made their separate ways into the Hippodrome where they fell on Hypatius' supporters who were crowded there, and the 'Nika' riot ended with a bloodbath. A recent study of the riot by Geoffrey Greatrex has made the point that what was unique about it was not the actions of the mob so much as Justinian's attempts to deal with it. His first reaction was to placate: when the mob demanded that three of his ministers must go, the praetorian prefect of the East, John the Cappadocian, the Quaestor of the Sacred Palace Tribonian and the urban prefect Eudaemon, Justinian replaced them immediately. He hesitated when he should have been firm and aggravated the situation. It may well have been Theodora who emboldened him for the final act of repression. Procopius imagines Theodora on the last day engaging in formal debate about what should be done, and misquoting a famous maxim that was once offered the tyrant of Syracuse, Dionysius the Elder "Tyranny is a good shroud." Theodora emends it to "Kingship is a good shroud" and readers of Procopius may have thought wryly that the emendation was unnecessary. The 'Nika' revolt left Justinian firmly in charge. The mob was cowed and the senatorial opposition that surfaced during the revolt was forced underground. The damage to Constantinople was great, but it cleared the way for Justinian's own building program. Work in his new church of Hagia Sophia to replace the old Hagia Sophia that was destroyed in the rioting, started only forty-five days after the revolt was crushed. The two leaders of the Hippodrome massacre, Mundo and Belisarius, went on to new appointments: Mundo back to Illyricum as magister militum and Belisarius to make his reputation as the conqueror of the Vandals in Africa. The 530s were a decade of confidence and the 'Nika' riot was only a momentary crisis. The motive for attacking the Vandal Kingdom in Africa, which was a century old, was sound. King Hilderic (523-30) had fostered good relations with the Catholics; exiled bishops were recalled and Catholic churches reopened. But in 530 he was deposed by his cousin Gelimer and, from his prison, Hilderic appealed to Justinian. Even so, Constantinople was nervous: an earlier expedition dispatched in 468 had ended in a disaster which was still remembered. John the Cappadocian, dismissed as praetorian prefect during the 'Nika' riot but soon reinstated, advised against it. But Justinian decided upon the expedition nonetheless. There was an influential lobby of African merchants, churchmen and dispossessed landowners who urged him on, and the final argument may have been religious: to rescue Africa from their Arian Vandal rulers whose persecution of Catholics was notorious. The expedition set sail about the summer solstice in 533 under the command of Belisarius. The field army numbered about 18,000 men: 10,000 of them infantry and 5,000 cavalry, plus some barbarian federates. In Sicily, Belisarius got the welcome news that Gelimer was unaware of the offensive and had sent 5,000 men and 120 ships under his brother Tata to put down a rebellion in Sardinia. The expedition landed at Caput Vada, modern Ras Kaboudia in Tunisia, and the army marched along the coast towards Carthage while the fleet accompanied it offshore. Gelimer reacted by putting Hilderic to death and marched out to resist. But his tactics misfired and at the Tenth Milestone (Ad Decimum) outside Carthage he was routed. The next day, Belisarius entered Carthage. Gelimer fled westwards and joined his troops who had been recalled from Sardinia, but in mid-December he suffered another defeat at Tricamarum, probably not far from Carthage though the actual site is unknown. Gelimer fled and took refuge with the Berbers. After an uncomfortable winter besieged on "Mt. Papua", he surrendered. As for Belisarius, rumors circulated that he might make himself an independent king in Africa and, to quench them, he chose to return to Constantinople with the Vandal captives and the booty, although Justinian allowed him the option of remaining in Africa. To celebrate the victory, a version of a Roman triumph was held in the capital, where the procession ended in the Hippodrome, with Belisarius and Gelimer both prostrating themselves before the emperor and empress in the imperial loge. Gelimer was granted an estate in Galatia and some 2,000 Vandals were conscripted into the imperial army. The Byzantines had yet to face the Berbers, or "Moors" who in the last years of the Vandal kingdom had encroached on Vandal territory in the south. Belisarius' successor was his domesticus Solomon, a native of the eastern frontier near Daras and a eunuch, though his castration was the result of an accident rather than by design. Appointed both praetorian prefect of the new African prefecture (created April, 534) and military commander, initiated a campaign against the Berbers and in order to contain their razzias, he built a string of forts, some of which have survived. But in 536 a revolt broke out in the army, and Solomon had to flee to Sicily to get help from Belisarius who had begun his Ostrogothic campaign. Belisarius made a lightning trip to Africa and saved Carthage from the rebels but he could not stay, and to meet the growing crisis, Justinian appointed his cousin Germanus whose military abilities should have guaranteed him a great career had not he suffered from Theodora's prejudice. Germanus crushed the revolt and for two years Africa was calm. In 539, Solomon was reappointed, and came with fresh troops. Solomon first weeded out subversives in the army and then began a campaign against the Berbers which took him into the Aurès mountain range. Mauretania Prima was annexed and Solomon built defensive works to protect imperial territory. When rebellion broke out again in 543, the cause was the blundering of Solomon's nephew Sergius, a favorite of Theodora, who was appointed first duke of Tripolitania and then Solomon's successor after his death in 544. Sergius was disliked both by his soldiers and by civilians, and the Berbers despised him. In 545, Justinian appointed another officer, Areobindus, but he proved incompetent and was assassinated in 546. But later that year, Justinian appointed John Troglita, an experienced commander who was able to win a major victory in 548, after which Africa was at peace, and it seems to have been reasonably prosperous thereafter until the Arab conquest. John Troglita's achievement is memorialized by the Johannid, an epic written swiftly by an African schoolmaster, Corippus, who presumably got to Constantinople as a reward, for he was there to write a panegyric on the accession of Justin II when Justinian died. The Ostrogothic campaign did not end until 552, and it left Italy in ruinous condition. Yet it seems to have begun on a wave of optimism sparked by the successes in Africa. The force which Belisarius led to Sicily in 535 was less than half the size of the one he had taken against the Vandals. It must have seemed to Justinian that the Gothic regime was tottering and offering a ready opportunity for an easy victory. The great Theodoric had died one year before Justinian's accession. His grandson Athalaric was a minor and the regent, his mother Amalasuintha, was considered too Romanized for the taste of many of the Gothic nobles who were showing a degree of independence now that Theodoric's firm hand was gone. At one point, Amalasuintha felt so threatened that she contemplated flight and got the promise of refuge in Constantinople, but decided to remain where she was after she succeeded in disposing of three of her enemies. When Athalaric died (2 Oct., 534) Amalasuintha tried to strengthen her position by associating her cousin, Theodoric's nephew, Theodahad, on the throne, but it was an unfortunate move. Theodahad had her murdered. Justinian now had ample justification for war, and high hopes for success. The attack launched in 535 was two-pronged. One spearhead led by Mundo, the magister militum of Illyricum, led a force to Dalmatia where he was to lose his life in a skirmish with the Goths the next year, and the other, commanded by Belisarius landed in Sicily. Only at Palermo did Belisarius meet any resistance, and on December 31, he entered Syracuse, where he laid down the consulship which he had held for that year. Theodahad attempted negotiation: he sent pope Agapetus I to Constantinople, where he masterminded the deposition of the patriarch Anthimus, who was too friendly to Monophysitism, and consecrated a new patriarch, but he achieved nothing for the Goths. The following spring, Belisarius crossed to the mainland and had an easy advance until he reached Naples, which had a Gothic garrison. Naples was entered by an unguarded aqueduct after a twenty-day siege and sacked. Theodahad's failure to relieve Naples was the last straw as far as the Gothic rank and file were concerned and they chose a new king, Witigis, not of the Amal royal house, raising him on a shield according to German custom. Theodahad fled for Ravenna, but he was overtaken and killed. The Goths, in council with their new king, decided that the more pressing danger came from the Franks in the north whom Justinian had incited to invade Italy. Witigis made for Ravenna where he married Amalasuintha's daughter Matasuintha, who made an unwilling bride, and bought off the Franks. Belisarius advanced on Rome where Pope Silverius urged the Romans to invite him into the city. Silverius had been only recently elected with Theodahad's support, Agapetus having died in Constantinople, and Witigis had extracted a loyalty oath from him and the Romans, but Italian sympathies were with the imperial forces. Belisarius entered Rome on 9 December, and prepared for the Gothic counterattack. On hearing of the fall of Rome, Witigis raised an army which Procopius numbers at 150,000, mostly mailed cavalry, and made directly for Rome. The Gothic siege of Rome was to last one year and nine days, until mid-March, 537. Both the besiegers and the besieged began to suffer from hunger and disease and when Byzantine reinforcements and supplies started to arrive, the Goths sought a truce in order to send envoys to Constantinople to negotiate terms of peace. But Belisarius sent orders to John, the nephew of Vitalian who was wintering in Picenum, that if the Goths broke the truce, he was to plunder Gothic estates in the area, and when the Goths did, in fact, break the truce, John launched a campaign which brought him to Rimini, a day's march from Ravenna where Witigis' unhappy wife Matasuintha contacted him to offer marriage and betrayal. Alarmed at the threat to Ravenna, Witigis lifted the siege of Rome and retreated. As the Goths retreated northwards, they laid siege to Rimini, shutting in John, the nephew of Vitalian who had remained there in defiance of Belisarius' orders. Belisarius made no great haste to relieve him, until in mid-538 a new army arrived in Italy led by the eunuch Narses, praepositus sacri cubiculi and a friend of John. He argued that John, insubordinate though he might have been, could not be abandoned to the Goths, and a message arrived from John himself saying that Rimini could not last any longer than another week. Belisarius moved swiftly to relieve it, and John emerged, bitter and ready to ally himself with Narses against Belisarius. The rift between Belisarius and Narses grew to the extent that they operated independently and one result was the destruction of Milan in 539, which might have been saved if the Byzantine general staff had cooperated against the Goths. Learning of the fall of Milan, Justinian did not assign blame, but he did recall Narses. Early in 539, the Goths made a move which portended danger. They made contact with the king of Persia, Khusro, and urged him to set aside the "Endless Peace" and attack the empire. Khusro was receptive, but the Gothic position in Italy deteriorated too rapidly: Belisarius took Osimo, south of Ancona, and moved to invest Ravenna itself. Witigis had two options: one was to accept an offer from the Merovingian Franks to help in return for sharing the rule of Italy, and the other was to negotiate with the Romans. Justinian's envoys arrived with an offer to leave Italy north of the Po River, and half the Gothic treasure to the Goths, while the rest would go to the Romans. In the light of future events, this was a prudent settlement: it would have established an Ostrogothic kingdom as a buffer in the north of Italy, and freed Roman troops to deal with the Persian threat. But Belisarius, hoping for another triumph to match what he had won in the Vandal War, aborted this arrangement. The rumors that arose after his victory in Africa surfaced again: that he wanted to make himself king, independent of Constantinople, and the Goths believed them enough to make him an offer: they would proclaim him emperor in the west, reviving an office which had lapsed in 476 with the deposition of Romulus Augustulus. Belisarius accepted. Procopius indicates that it was a pretended acceptance, and that once Ravenna had surrendered, he would reveal himself as a loyal subject of the emperor. Thus in May, 540, the Romans entered Ravenna, but Justinian, hearing of the plot, ordered Belisarius to return. The emperor's motive may have been the danger on the eastern front as much as distrust of Belisarius, but in any case, Belisarius, with important Goths including Witigis and Matasuintha, and the Gothic treasure, made their way to the capital, where the emperor's greeting was cool and mistrustful. Belisarius was not allowed a second triumph. The Goths had already chosen a new leader, Ildibad, nephew of the king of the Visigoths in Spain, and when he was assassinated in 541, his nephew in turn, Totila (as Procopius names him) or Baduila (as the name appears on his coins) was chosen in his place. Totila was to prove a worthy adversary of the empire. The decade began with a renewed Persian offensive and the sack of Antioch. In 545 Justinian purchased peace on the eastern front but in the Caucasus kingdom of Lazica, the struggle continued. In 542, bubonic plague struck Europe for the first time that has been securely recorded. In Italy, the Ostrogoths recovered much of the ground they had lost, and the empire lacked the resources and the will to make an effective counterattack. In the all-important theological sector, the so-called "Three Chapters" dispute, which Justinian orchestrated along with Theodora until her death, was to prove a turning-point between the Orthodox and the Monophysites. Theodora died of cancer in 548 and her death left the regime less sensitive to the psyche of the dissidents and perhaps more high-handed in its search for solution to the endless contention between Chalcedonian and Monophysite. On the eastern frontier, Armenia, where Justinian was determined to apply Roman law in matters of marriage and inheritance, provided a casus belli. When trouble broke out, Justinian dispatched a general with experience in Armenia, Sittas, the husband of Theodora's sister Komito, and when he lost his life, his replacement was an officer whom the Armenians had reason to mistrust. A deputation of Armenians, led by members of the old Armenian royal house, the Arsacids, went to Persia and urged Khusro to make war on Justinian, who, they argued, had already broken the 'Endless Peace'. In early spring, 540, Khusro crossed into imperial territory and headed for Antioch, exacting money from various towns along the way. Justinian had dispatched his cousin Germanus with 300 men to Antioch but he could do little and he and the patriarch had already evacuated the city when Khusro took it. The sack of Antioch was a devastating blow to imperial prestige. In 541, Belisarius was sent to the Persian frontier with a force that included some Goths brought from Italy, but Khusro had turned his attention to Lazica where the Lazi, like the Armenians had sought an alliance. Khusro captured the Laz town of Petra on the Black Sea but when he learned that Belisarius was across the Persian frontier he cut short his campaign. The next year, Khusro advanced once again into Roman territory but Belisarius checkmated him. Then Belisarius was recalled under somewhat mysterious circumstances. The truth or something like it is probably to be found in Procopius' Secret History: word reached the front that Justinian was ill with the plague and some generals including Belisarius were guilty of loose talk about Justinian's successor, saying they would not put up with another emperor like him. Theodora heard of it, and recalled the officers. One of them was consigned to a dungeon for two years. The influence of Antonina, Belisarius' wife, saved him, but a year elapsed before he was appointed to another command, which took him back to Italy. Procopius gives us a good account of the plague, modelled on Thucydides. This was clearly bubonic rather than the more deadly pulmonary plague, for Procopius indicates that people who cared for the ill did not necessarily contract the plague themselves, and pulmonary plague is directly communicable to another person whereas the bubonic variety is carried by fleas which live on rodents, particularly the black rat. Nonetheless bubonic plague is deadly enough: without modern treatment it can result in death in 40 to 70 per cent of its victims. The plague moved from city to city in the empire. In 558 it returned to Constantinople for a new crop of victims. In fact, the number of natural disasters which befell the empire in Justinian's reign is remarkable: earthquakes, floods and plague. In the midst of the plague of 542, Constantinople was shaken by an earthquake. The plague brought a period of economic growth to an end. One estimate suggests that the population of the empire in 600 was only 60 per cent of what it was in 500. The loss of so many taxpayers hurt the treasury, though Justinian does not seem to have greatly curtailed his building program to take declining revenues into consideration. Recruits for the army became harder to find and Justinian had to rely more on barbarian troops. The army in Italy, where Belisarius was in command from 544 to 549 seems in particular to have suffered from lack of new resources to carry on the war against Totila and the Goths. Nonetheless, plague or not, in 543, the Romans fielded an enormous force of 30,000 troops commanded by the magister militum of the East, Martin, for an invasion of Persian-controlled Armenia. Anyone who cares to argue that Justinian directed his resources to the conquest of the western Mediterranean and neglected his eastern provinces should reflect on this campaign; the army, which Martin had at his disposal, equalled the force which Narses was to take to Italy in 551 to wind up the Ostrogothic war - and by that time, the empire had recovered somewhat from the immediate impact of the plague. But the great army which Martin led was routed by a small Persian force and the campaign came to nothing. Next year Khusro attacked Edessa, which fought back hard and saved itself; and Khusro had to be satisfied with the relatively small indemnity of 500 gold pounds. The following year, 545, Justinian paid Khusro 5000 gold pounds for a 5-year peace. It was an uneasy peace but it held. However, in Lazica at the eastern end of the Black Sea, war between the Romans and the Persians continued with various vicissitudes but in general, the Romans had the upper hand and in 557 Khusro dispatched his envoy Izedh Gushnap to Constantinople to negotiate a truce. Khusro now had other enemies to deal with: the Ephthalites, or "White Huns", old enemies of Persia, who were now assailed by a new wave of Turkish nomads who offered Khusro an alliance against the Ephthalites. In 561, Justinian's envoy, Peter the Patrician, and Izedh Gushnap put together a 50-year peace. The Persians agreed to evacuate Lazica, and received an annual subsidy of 420 gold pounds, which was less than the 500 gold pounds a year which the emperor Anastasius had agreed to pay Khusro's father. Taken altogether, the Romans could claim a modest success. Belisarius in Italy was left starved for troops. In December, 545, Totila laid siege to Rome, which held out for about a year. Belisarius could not relieve it, and it fell in December 546. Totila considered destroying the city, but Belisarius wrote him to protest, pointing out how it would damage his reputation if he destroyed a city of such beauty, and Totila gave up his plan and instead evacuated Rome, taking with him the senators and sending the rest of the populace into Campania. Rome was left empty. Then Belisarius took over the city, repaired its walls and re-populated it, and Totila to his chagrin found that he could not recapture it. In 548, Belisarius' wife Antonina went to Constantinople to attempt to use her influence with Theodora to secure reinforcements for Italy, but when she arrived, she found Theodora already dead, and believing that Belisarius could do no more in Italy, she sought his recall. After Belisarius' departure, Totila took Rome once again and plundered Sicily. But now Italy had some eloquent advocates in Constantinople. Pope Vigilius was there, embroiled in the "Three Chapters" dispute but very aware of the agonies of Rome, and with him were various Roman nobles who had fled the city. In 550 Justinian took action. He put his cousin Germanus in charge of a large expedition to Italy. Theodora had always regarded Germanus and his family as rivals and Germanus' career no doubt suffered as a result, but now Theodora was dead. In preparation for the campaign, Germanus married Matasuintha, the granddaughter of Theodoric, but while he was organizing his army, he took sick and died in the autumn of 550. We can only speculate whether or not his marriage portended a change of policy towards the Ostrogoths, which would seek to win the support of the Romanized elements among them for the reintegration of Italy into the empire. Matasuintha gave birth to a posthumous son named Germanus after his father, but whatever plans for the settlement of the Gothic War Germanus had in mind, they died with him. To replace Germanus, Justinian turned to the Armenian eunuch Narses who took with him an army of some 30,000 men, quite beyond the power of the Ostrogoths to resist. Narses was also clearly a leader of great ability who, in contrast with Belisarius, seems to have had no great problem with insubordination among his troops. In June or July, 552, a decisive battle was fought at Busta Gallorum in the Apennines. The Goths were defeated and Totila died of wounds received in the battle. At the end of October, another battle was fought at Mons Lactarius, not far from Naples. After that it was only a matter of mopping up. Nothing illustrates Justinian's opportunism in the west quite as much as the fact that at this same time, he had an army campaigning in Visigothic Spain. In 551, a Visigothic noble, Athanagild, sought Justinian's help in a rebellion against the king, and next year, Justinian dispatched a force under the octogenarian Liberius, a native of Italy who had served in succession Odoacer, Theodoric, Athalaric, Amalasuintha, Theodohad, and Justinian and now at a great age proved himself a successful military commander. In 555 Athanagild became king and asked the Romans to withdraw, which they declined to do. Thus the Byzantine empire held on to a small slice of the Spanish coast until the reign of Heraclius. There was a strategic reason for the Spanish campaign: in 546 the Visigoths had crossed the Strait of Gibraltar to take Septem and, though the Romans routed them with a surprise attack on a Sunday while they were at a church service, they still posed a potential danger. But the overriding reason was that Justinian could not resist what must have seemed a golden opportunity. The theological battlefield, where no one won a victory, left results that were to last longer than the military campaigns of Justinian's reign. At the start of the reign both the Orthodox and the Monophysites resisted the idea of a split in Christendom but by its end, there was a Monophysite hierarchy in place and though there was still no permanent schism de iure, one did exist de facto. When Justin I became emperor in 518, the 'Acacian Schism' still existed and Vitalian, who had raised rebellion twice against the Monophysite emperor Anastasius, driven by a combination of orthodox zeal and ambition, was still lurking in his native province of Scythia Minor with the remains of his military force. Justin immediately sent a letter to Pope Hormisdas inviting him to send legates to Constantinople to discuss healing the breach, and Justinian sent a letter as well, summoning Hormisdas in person. (Hormisdas did not come.) The breach was healed; on Holy Thursday, 519, the patriarch of Constantinople accepted Rome's conditions. Severus, patriarch of Antioch, the theological luminary of the Monophysites, escaped to Egypt where the patriarch of Alexandria gave him refuge. Vitalian returned to Constantinople where he became Master of the Soldiers in the capital, consul in 520, and then was murdered, probably at Justinian's instigation. But the settlement was illusive, as Justinian soon realized, and within months he was advocating a compromise put forward by a group of monks from Scythia Minor which got the support of Vitalian, who came from there himself. Hormisdas himself did not reject this so-called "Theopaschite Doctrine" out of hand, though in the end, he did. But it was vigorously denounced by ardent watchdogs of orthodoxy in Constantinople, the 'Sleepless Monks', so called because they kept up an endless doxology with teamwork day and night in their monastery on the eastern side of the Bosporus. In Syria, the concordat between the Pope andJustin unleashed a wave of persecution against the Monophysite monasteries. The monks in the northern Syro-Arab areas had the choice of accepting Chalcedon or expulsion; most chose the latter. Egypt remained a fortress of Monophysitism but outside it there was no refuge. The persecution was aimed at the Monophysite monks and the clergy who supported Monophysite doctrine, not at the laity and it had the unintended result of spreading Monophysite teaching, for it forced many of the monks to mingle with the general populace. The persecution continued into the early 530s when Theodora used her influence to promote dialogue. In 531 a Monophysite delegation came to Constantinople where the imperial couple gave them quarters in the Palace of Hormisdas. There Theodora visited them every two or three days, sometimes bringing Justinian with her, and in the spring, 532, he sponsored a three-day conference between five Chalcedonian bishops and five followers of Severus. Severus himself came from Egypt in the winter of 534/5 along with Theodosius, who became patriarch of Alexandria in early 535, and these two came to an agreement with Anthimus, the new patriarch of Constantinople. This was an opportunity to rally the moderates on both sides of the schism and, unfortunately, it came to nothing. In 536 Pope Agapetus arrived from Rome on a mission of the Gothic king Theodahad and won Justinian back to Chalcedonian doctrine. In Dante's Divine Comedy Justinian pays tribute to Agapetus for his intervention, but in the light of history, papal intransigence has a great deal to answer for. Having abandoned compromise to satisfy the pope, Justinian returned to force as the chosen weapon of Chalcedonian belief. Anthimus, who was replaced by a patriarch consecrated by Agapetus, disappeared into the Palace of Hormisdas where he remained, outliving his protector Theodora. All this happened on the eve of Belisarius' invasion of Italy and Justinian may have had strategic reasons for wanting to keep the pope on his side. But when Agapetus died shortly after consecrating a successor to Anthimus, Theodora, apparently with Justinian's support, plotted to have elected as the next pope Vigilius, a deacon who had come to Constantinople with Agapetus and promised flexibility. But before Vigilius could return to Rome, a new pope, Silverius, the son of Pope Hormisdas, had been chosen with Theodahad's backing. However, during the one year and nine day siege of Rome by the Goths, Silverius was deposed by Belisarius and Antonina at Theodora's behest and replaced by Vigilius. Thus it was Vigilius who represented Rome and Catholicism during the 'Three Chapters' dispute. This dispute arose from an edict issued by Justinian in 544 condemning the teachings of Theodoret of Cyrrhus, Ibas of Edessa and Theodore of Mopsuestia. The last of these was one of the theologians whose teachings fathered Nestorianism and Theodoret and Ibas had been friends and supporters of Nestorius. By condemning these three theologians of the previous century, Justinian hoped to make it clear that the orthodox position differed sharply from Nestorianism and to give the lie to those Monophysites who argued that the theology of the Nestorians and that of the Chalcedonians on the nature of the Trinity was essentially the same. However the Council of Chalcedon had brought Theodoret and Ibas back into communion with the Church and Theodore, who had died before the council took place, was held in respect by the Chalcedonians. It was Justinian's theological adviser of the moment, Theodore Askidas, who suggested that a condemnation of the Three 'Chapters' would make for harmony between the Catholics and the Monophysites. Additionally, he was probably motivated in part by animosity towards the papal nuncio in Constantinople, Pelagius, later to become pope himself. In fact, the condemnation was irrelevant as far as the Monophysites were concerned and it aroused hostility in the west, particularly in Africa. Sentiment among Catholics in the west was such that Vigilius had little choice but to refuse to accept the condemnation. Justinian had his way in the end, but Vigilius did not give up the fight until February 554 when at last he anathematized the 'Three Chapters'. By then he was a sick man and he died on his way back to Rome, where his body was refused interment in St. Peter's basilica. As his successor Justinian chose the papal nuncio Pelagius who had vigorously defended the 'Three Chapters' while the dispute was raging, but, now that he was offered the papal throne on condition that he accept the condemnation, he accepted. The Roman populace was hostile, but Narses and his troops maintained firm control and Pelagius was ordained by two bishops and a presbyter, for the usual compliment of three bishops could not be mustered. Little by little Pelagius won acceptance in Italy south of the Po River, though Italy north of the Po remained hostile until the Lombard invasion made unity seem more essential. Meanwhile the Monophysites had been establishing their own hierarchy. In 541, al-Harith, the sheikh of the Ghassanid tribe of Arabs on the borders of southern Syria, whose loyalty it was important to maintain, was in Constantinople, and took the opportunity to ask Theodora for Monophysite bishops for his tribe. He got two, consecrated by Theodosius, the exiled Monophysite patriarch of Alexandria who was living under Theodora's protection in the palace of Hormisdas in Constantinople. The two were Theodore, metropolitan of Bostra, and Jacob Baradaeus, metropolitan of Edessa. Neither lived in his metropolis. Both were roving bishops. By Baradaeus' death in 578, he had consecrated 27 metropolitan bishops and some 100,000 clergy. Justinian tried at first to have him arrested, but he was never caught and in the end, Justinian let him be, tolerated in fact if not in law. By Justinian's death there was an organized Monophysite church. Roman law in Late Antiquity was in a state of confusion. Emperors issued new constitutions and rescripts which had the force of law, but they were not systematically published and even the imperial archives did not always keep copies of new laws. The situation was muddied further by the great number of legal opinions offered by legal experts (iurisconsulti) of the second and third centuries. The emperor Theodosius II had set up commissions in 427 and again in 434 to prepare a collection of laws issued since 312, and this resulted in the Theodosian Code issued in 438. Justinian had not been on the throne a year before he set up a ten-man commission chaired by John the Cappadocian to produce a new code of imperial law. The commission produced the Codex Justinianus (Codex vetus) on 7 April, 529. Next Justinian turned to the enormous task of ordering and codifying the legal opinions of the Roman iurisconsulti. On 15 December 530 he set a commission to work at it: sixteen lawyers from the legal fraternities of Constantinople and Beirut, men headed by Tribonian, who had already been a member of the commission that produced the Codex Justinianus. The result of their labor was published on 16 December, 533. It is the Digest, or to give it its Greek name, the Pandects. At the same time, a committee also headed by Tribonian was working on a textbook for law students. Entitled the Institutes, it was published less than a month before the Digest, on 16 November. One byproduct of all this labor was to make the Codex vetus obsolete, and hence a new edition was published on 16 November, 534 and the first edition has failed to survive. This body of legal achievement has been known since the sixteenth century as the Corpus Iuris Civilis and it was intended as a unified body of law. Justinian forbade commentaries on the Digest and probably the rule applied to the whole Corpus. Justinian's final legislative achievement was the Novels, new laws which he issued after the Corpus was published and unlike the laws in the Corpus, most of these were issued in Greek. The Novels were not collected until after the emperor's death, for though he intended a collection, his plan was never carried out. The Novels, taken together with Justinian's earlier laws which were included in the Codex, reveal an emperor full of reforming zeal. Not surprisingly, over half the Novels were issued in the 530's; in the latter part of his reign, Justinian's energies were increasingly directed toward theology. The impression that emerges from the Justinian's laws is ambivalent. On matters of religion he strikes us as bigoted and at the same time remarkably self-confident. On other matters such as provincial administration, the status of women and slavery he is zealous for improvement. The disabilities of women in matters of guardianship and the right to conduct business in their own right were finally removed completely. Yet we may doubt how effective Justinian's efforts were, taken as a whole. Justinian's laws reveal his intentions but we should not suppose that they mirror reality. Misfortune crowded into the final years of Justinian's reign. There was another Samaritan revolt in midsummer, 556. Next year, in December, a great earthquake shook Constantinople and in May of the following year, the dome of Justinian's new Hagia Sophia collapsed, and had to be rebuilt with a new design. About the same time, the plague returned to the capital. Then in early 559 a horde of Kutrigur 'Huns' (proto-Bulgars) crossed the frozen Danube and advanced into the Balkans. It split into three columns: one pushed into Greece but got no further than Thermopylae, another advanced into the Gallipoli peninsula but got no further than the Long Wall, which was defended by a young officer from Justinian's native city, while the third, most dangerous spearhead led by the 'Hun' khan, Zabergan himself, made for Constantinople. Faced with this attack and without any forces for defense, Justinian called Belisarius out of retirement, and Belisarius, using a scratch force, the core of which was 300 of his veterans, ambushed the Kutrigur horde and routed it. Once the immediate danger was over, however, Justinian recalled Belisarius and took charge himself. The news that Justinian was reinforcing his Danube fleet made the Kutrigurs anxious and they agreed to a treaty which gave them a subsidy and safe passage back across the river. But as soon as they were north of the Danube, they were attacked by their rivals the Utigurs who were incited by Justinian to relieve them of their booty. The Kutrigurs raided Thrace again in 562, but they and the Utigurs were soon to fall prey to the Avars who swept out of the Asian steppes in the early 560s. There was discontent in the capital. Street violence was on the increase again. There were bread shortages and water shortages. In late 562, there was a conspiracy which almost succeeded in killing the emperor. The chief conspirator was Marcellus, an argyroprates, a goldsmith and banker, and the conspiracy probably reflected the dissatisfaction of the business community. But Justinian was too old to learn to be frugal. He resorted to forced loans and requisitions and his successor found the treasury deeply in debt. Justinian the Great died on November 14, 565 and was succeeded by Justin II.

Here is the Byzantine Empire at the time of his death:
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Re: The Byzantine Emperors

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Re: The Byzantine Emperors

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Re: The Byzantine Emperors

Post by I Like The Holocaust on Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:36 pm

Justin II (520 - 578) Reigned (565 - 574)



'During the last years of Justinian, his infirm mind was devoted to heavenly contemplation, and he neglected the business of the lower world. His subjects were impatient of the long continuance of his life and reign: yet all who were capable of reflection apprehended the moment of his death, which might involve the capital in tumult, and the empire in civil war. Seven nephews of the childless monarch, the sons and grandsons of his brother and sister, had been educated in the splendour of a princely fortune; their characters were known, their followers were zealous, and as the jealousy of age postponed the declaration of a successor, they might expect with equal hopes the inheritance of their uncle'(The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter 45). The picture is exaggerated, although it reflects a sentiment among historians that with Justinian's death in 565, an epoch had ended and what lay in the future was decline. There were, in fact, two men who had a good claim to succeed Justinian. Both were named Justin. The first of these, and probably the better man, was Justin the son of Justinian's cousin Germanus. He had inherited his father's military ability. Germanus had suffered from the empress Theodora's dislike, and having no child by Justinian (she did have a bastard daughter, and possibly a bastard son too, if we can believe the dubious testimony of Procopius' Secret History), she faced the distasteful possibility that one of Germanus' children might inherit the throne. She did what she could to prevent it. Theodora had been dead for seventeen years when Justinian died; yet it was perhaps his memory of her which prevented Justinian from naming Germanus' son as his successor. The other Justin was the son of Justinian's sister Vigilantia, and his wife Sophia was probably Theodora's niece, the daughter of one of her sisters, either Comito or Anastasia. In 552, Justinian had named him to the office of cura palatii, which in the 5th century had usually been held by an official with the rank of spectabilis, who was in charge of day-to-day affairs and business in the palace. But with Justin's appointment, the office took on new significance. Thus Justin the son of Vigilantia was in Constantinople at Justinian's death and could count on the support of the patriarch, John of Sirimis a.k.a John Scholasticus, as well as that of the Count of the Excubitors, Tiberius, who would eventually succeed him to the throne. Justin the son of Germanus was Master of the Soldiers in Illyricum and was guarding the Danube frontier. His supporters in the Capital were outmaneuvered by the speed and smooth efficiency with which his rival's cabal engineered the succession. When Justinian breathed his last, the only official present was the praepositus of the Sacred Bedchamber, and he claimed that before his death, Justinian had named Justin, the son of Vigilantia, his successor. There was no one in a position to gainsay it. Evagrius, who disliked Justin II, reported that the two Justins had made a gentleman's agreement before Justinian's death that whoever became emperor assign his namesake second place in honor. Thus when Justin, the son of Vigilantia, became emperor, he recalled the other Justin and received him affably, but then he withdrew his bodyguard, refused him access to himself and finally sent him to Alexandria, where he was murdered in his bed. The report continued that Justin II and empress Sophia wanted to see the head of Justin, son of Germanus, after his murder and when it was brought to them, they kicked it. Sophia was blamed: John of Biclaro who was in Constantinople at the time and would have known the rumors of the day, reported that Justin was killed in Alexandria by a faction loyal to Sophia. This much is true: Justin II had his rival murdered. However Justin II continued to use the services of Germanus' other son, Justinian, who like his brother was a highly competent military commander. The empire which Justin II inherited had expanded greatly as a result of Justinian's policy of reconquest. In the east, Byzantium held the western part of Armenia and the frontier with Persia ran between the imperial fortress of Daras and Nisibis, which was under Persian control. It embraced the Negev desert, the Sinai peninsula, Egypt south to Philae at the First Cataract, and North Africa as far west as Mauretania. Septimum (Tangiers) was Byzantine and across the Strait of Gibraltar in Spain, the area around Malaga and Cartagena was under imperial control, as well as the Balearic Islands, Sardinia and Corsica, Malta and Sicily, and nearly all of present-day Italy. In the Balkans there were still no permanent Slavic settlements south of the Danube. The Byzantine grip on the Danube frontier was still firm, but north of it were Slavs, Gepids and Lombards, and in 558, the Avars, newly arrived from the Russian steppe whence they had been ousted by their former subjects, the Turks. They had sent envoys to Justinian and concluded an alliance which included a subsidy. The eastern frontier was relatively peaceful. In 562, Persia had concluded a fifty-year peace which required a yearly subsidy; the subsidy for the first seven years had been paid right away, and in the eighth year, the subsidy for the next three years would fall due. With the eleventh year, the subsidy was to become an annual payment. Justinian's policy of paying potential enemies to stay outside the frontiers and keep the peace was bitterly criticized, as any reader of Procopius' Secret History will realize, but judged from a purely fiscal standpoint, it made sense. Wars were more expensive than subsidies, and some of the gold sent to these potential enemies would find its way back across the frontier, for it would be used to buy the products of the empire. However Justinian left a host of unpaid debts behind him. One of Justin II's first moves was to pay off Justinian's IOUs, for Justinian in his last years had raised money by forced loans; moreover, his focus on religious dogma had left no room for attention to the impending financial crisis. Justin's parsimony, and the reputation for avarice to which it gave rise, was mandated by his predecessor's financial policies. Imperial unity also depended upon theological peace, and here Justinian left a darker legacy. He died just as he was about to enforce a decree making the heresy of aphthartodocetism, an extreme form of Monophysitism, the official belief of the empire. The patriarch of Constantinople, Eutychius, had been hustled off into exile for opposing Justinian's decree. His place was taken by John of Sirimis, or John Scholasticus, whose theology was Chalcedonian, though he managed to postpone a collision with Justinian long enough for death to claim the old emperor. Justinian died just in time to abort a potentially disastrous church crisis. However, the division between the Chalcedonians and the Monophysites was as wide as ever, and now that the Monophysites had priests and bishops of their own, it was less likely that the schism would ever be healed. The empress Sophia, like her aunt, had been openly Monophysite, and Justin II had possibly leaned in the same direction, but realizing that Monophysite sympathies would be a political liability for an ambitious emperor-in-waiting, both had become solidly orthodox. Sophia's conversion took place just three years before Justinian's death. For Justin's accession we have the account of Corippus, who loses no opportunity to present Justin in a good light; nonetheless it is clear that the affair was stage-managed by an inside group of palace officials. Justinian died suddenly in the night of November 14/15, probably in his sleep. However, the chamberlain Callinicus claimed that, with his last breath, he had designated Justin, the son of Vigilantia, as his heir. Callinicus and a group of senators who had been roused from their beds hurried to Justin's palace where Justin and Vigilantia met them, and reported Justinian's death and his dying behest. Justin made the customary show of reluctance, but he yielded speedily enough to the entreaties of the senators, and, escorted by them, he and Sophia went to the Great Palace. The Excubitors, commanded by Tiberius, who was Justin's supporter and his eventual successor, blocked the palace doors. Before Justinian's death was reported in the city, Justin had been crowned by the patriarch. By morning, the coronation was a fait accompli. Justin appeared, wearing the crown, in the imperial box, the kathisma in the Hippodrome, where he received the acclamations of the people and addressed them. The day after his inauguration, Justin crowned his wife Sophia as Augusta. Then he moved quickly to win popular support. Justinian's debts were repaid; taxation arrears were cancelled. The consulship which had lapsed in 541 was restored, which opened a window of opportunity for the kind of largess that won plaudits. All went well. Assassination speedily removed the other Justin, the son of Germanus. Contemporaries blamed Sophia. At any rate, it may have been the murder of the other Justin which sparked a conspiracy in the second year of Justin's reign. Two senators, Aetherios and Addaios, were involved. Aetherios' nephew had been involved in the so-called 'Bankers' Plot' against Justinian in 562 but Aetherios himself and Addaios had a clear record of loyalty and service; in Justinian's last year, on his orders they had taken a detachment of troops into the church of SS. Sergius and Bacchus where a service was going on, and seized the patriarch Eutychius who had resisted the emperor's aphthartodocetist decree. Now they evidently planned to poison Justin. Aetherios confessed and named Addaeus as his accomplice. Both were executed. 'Proud, arrogant, unshakeable in his self-confidence, (Justin) believed implicitly that with wisdom and determination, those enemies (of the empire) would be scattered - and that he was the man to do it.' Thus John Julius Norwich in his popular Byzantium. The Early Centuries. Norwich has neatly summed up the attitude which Justin assumed at his accession. Within a week, he had received envoys from the Avars and refused them the subsidies which his predecessor had paid them. Justin was to be disappointed and his disillusion led to madness. But that was in the future. Sirmium, modern Sremska Mitrovica, was a bone of contention. It had been briefly the seat of the praetorian prefect of Illyricum until the Huns forced the prefect to relocate swiftly to Thessolonika. After the Hun conquest (440/1), Justinian regained it briefly in 535, but lost it within a year to the Gepids. In 549, however, the Gepids were at war with the Lombards, who sought an alliance with Justinian, pointing out that they were orthodox Christians whereas the Gepids were Arians. Whether Justinian was deceived by this claim or not, he sent 15,000 troops to aid the Lombards, which by the standards of the day was an exceptionally large force, and it seems to have frightened the Gepid king into a truce with the Lombards. Once the imperial army had left the scene, however, the Gepid-Lombard truce broke up, but now the Gepid king Thorison and the Lombard, Audoin, found that the rank and file of their armies were unwilling to fight each other. Once again they made a truce. The Gepids still held Sirmium, though they had to cede control of some parts of Dacia Ripensis and Upper Moesia to Byzantium. War between the Gepids and Lombards started again in 565, the year of Justin II's accession. The Lombards got the upper hand and the Gepid king Cunimund sought Justin II's help, promising Sirmium in return. In the second round of battle the Gepids were victorious with imperial help, but Cunimund broke his promise and kept Sirmium. The Lombards then turned to the Avars for assistance. Faced with a Lombard-Avar alliance, Cunimund came once more to Justin, offering Sirmium again in return for help. Justin allowed the Gepids to believe he would send aid, but meanwhile he promised the Lombards that he would remain neutral. The Gepid garrison in Sirmium, thinking Justin was an ally, handed over the city to a Byzantine force and went off to join their army against the Lombard-Avar alliance. In the battle that followed, the Gepid kingdom was utterly destroyed. The Lombard king, Alboin, who had succeeded Audoin, slew Cunimund, severed his head and made it into a drinking cup: a savage act which roused the hatred of Cunimund's daughter, Rosemunda. Alboin took Rosemunda as one of the spoils of victory, and married her. It was an unwise union: Rosemunda eventually avenged her father. The Avars arrived too late to take part in the Gepid defeat, but they were in time to share the spoils: they acquired the Gepid lands east of the Danube. Justin II kept Sirmium, though the Avars coveted it.The Lombards acquired the Avars as neighbours. They were prickly neighbours. In 568, the Lombards, finding their new situation too uncomfortable, left for Italy led by Alboin. Paul the Deacon, writing a couple centuries later, records that Alboin invited his old friends, the Saxons, to join him, and 20,000 men with their women and children answered the invitation. The horde contained others as well: Gepids, Bulgars, Sarmatians, Noricans and Pannonians (presumably inhabitants of the old Roman provinces of Noricum and Pannonia) and Suevi, who still lived in their separate villages in Italy in Paul's day. They occupied most of Venetia on their arrival, and the next year, in 569, most of Liguria. The Byzantine forces were ill-prepared, and Italy was exhausted by a recent outbreak of plague. The year before the invasion, Narses, who had won the final victory over the Ostrogoths which had eluded Belisarius, had been dismissed from his command. The Liber Pontificalis ecords that the citizens of Rome, weary of Narses' autocracy, had petitioned Justin and Sophia to have him removed; otherwise they would go over to the barbarians. Narses, learning of the petition, left Rome for Naples,where Pope John III followed him and begged him to come back to Rome. Thus Narses remained in Rome until his death, watching the Byzantine defences in Italy crumble. He died in 574, old and wealthy, and his body was put in a lead coffin and taken back to Constantinople. Sophia is supposed to have been his enemy and to have exchanged insults with him when he was dismissed, but the evidence is not above suspicion. The Avars then turned their attention to Justin, whom they accused of giving asylum to some fugitive Gepids. The Avar khan Baian waited until the Byzantines had suffered a defeat at the hands of the Persians. Then in 573 or the start of 574, the Avars crossed the Danube and defeated an army which Tiberius, the Count of the Excubitors, led out against them. By this time, Justin's sanity had snapped at the news of the capture of Daras by the Persians in November of 573, and the empress Sophia promoted Tiberius as co-ruler, cajoling her husband into raising him to the rank of Caesar on 7 December, 574. Tiberius made peace. Sirmium remained Byzantine: the Avars did not take it until 582, by which time it was largely depopulated, but they did get 60,000 gold solidi and were well positioned to extort more. Justin's defiant Avar policy had ended in complete failure. Yet the Danube frontier still held. The remains of ancient forts along the Lower Danube indicate a Byzantine presence there to the end of the sixth century and even later. Yet early in the reign of Justin's successor Tiberius II, a horde of Avars and Slavs swept south. Circa 582 there was temporary but devastating Slavic and Avar attack on Athens. From 587 to 805, the Slavs controlled the eastern Peloponnesus. When the new museum at Olympia was being built, a Slav burial was discovered and a Slav burial dating to this period has also been recognized at Corinth. Justin II did not live to see the failure of his policy in Illyricum. In the rest of Europe, Justinian's policy of reconquista was not quite completely in ruins, but the limitations of Byzantine power became painfully evident. In Spain, the Visigothic king Leovigild (568-586) undertook the political unification of the peninsula, and founded a royal capital at Toledo in imitation of Constantinople. This was a period of strong Byzantine influence: Leovigild and the Gothic kings who succeeded him adopted Byzantine court ceremonial and imperial regalia and took the empire as their model. But cultural and political dominance did not go hand-in-hand. Between 569 and 572, Leovigild attempted to reduce the Byzantine enclave in Spain, and captured Asidona and Corduba, but in 572 he made peace with Justin on the basis of mutual recognition of each other's territory. Not until ca. 624 did a Visigothic king (Suinthila) dislodge the empire from Cartagena and Malaga. In Africa there was a poorly-documented war with the Berbers who rose in rebellion under a king named Garmul and killed the praetorian prefect Theodore in 569. In the following two years, two successive 'Masters of the Soldiers' also met their deaths, and it took several years before peace returned. n Italy, Byzantium regarded its setbacks as temporary and continued to hope for a recovery. In the countryside, there was a network of castra manned by imperial and locally-recruited troops, where the rural population could take refuge, and the Byzantines held the walled cities. But these strongholds could be starved out; it was famine, for instance, that forced the surrender of Pavia (Roman Ticinum) after a siege of more than three years. Alboin was murdered in 573 in an abortive coup d'état in which his wife Rosamunda was the leading spirit, though it is not unlikely that there was Byzantine involvement, for Rosamunda and her accomplice fled to Ravenna. The next year a similar fate befell Alboin's successor, Cleph, and for the next ten years, the Lombard horde fragmented into thirty groups led by dukes, one of whom made his headquarters at Spoleto and another at Benevento. The imperial forces did attempt a counter-offensive in 576, under Justin's son-in-law Baduarius, but he was defeated and died in Italy. Tiberius' coronation took place two years later, in 578, and the envoys of the Roman senate carried with them an urgent appeal for military aid to the new emperor, but the empire had no military assistance to offer. It was busy with the Balkans and the East, and in Italy it relied on diplomacy backed by gold to subvert Lombard dukes or buy help from the Merovingian Franks. Nonetheless, the empire did not give up and continued to try to win Frankish support against the Lombards. What ended imperial resistance finally was the coup d'état of Phocas and the murder of the emperor Maurice. Yet Rome, Naples, Genoa and Ravenna held firm. Genoa and Naples were defended by their inhabitants, Rome's defense was directed by the popes and Ravenna, safe behind its swamps, was the imperial headquarters. Under Maurice, emperor from 582 to 602, the Exarchate of Ravenna was organized with the Exarch given entire control over civil and military affairs. Until Ravenna finally fell to the Lombards in 751, the Exarch maintained the remnants of Justinian's reconquest. The peace treaty of 562 between Byzantium and Persia did not settle everything. The question of Suania was unresolved. The Byzantines wanted it, for if they secured its passes, they could prevent Persian raids on the border areas of Lazica. Justin II just after his accession sent John Komentiolus (or Domentiolus) to king Khusro of Persia to negotiate, but to Justin's annoyance, John allowed himself to be outmaneuvered. The negotiations dragged on until 572, when Justin repudiated the treaty. When the subsidy that was to be paid Persia under the terms of the treaty came due, Justin refused to pay. Suania was only one factor. The Lakhmids, Arab allies of Persia, led by their sheikh 'Amr, continued to make raids across the imperial frontier in violation of a clause in the treaty which forbade the Lakhmids and their adversaries, the Ghassanids, who were Byzantine allies, from warring with each other. 'Amr was killed in 569, and the Ghassanids under their sheikh Mundhir, defeated his brother and successor Kabus in battle ca. 570. But in the same year Khusro sent a Persian force to Himyar (Yemen) to help a Himyarite prince oust the Ethiopian garrisons, and bring Himyar within the Persian orbit. Himyar lost its independence and was put under a Persian governor. There was another factor as well motivating Justin's repudiation of the fifty-year peace treaty with Persia. Persarmenia, the portion of Armenia under Persian control, revolted and the marzpan (the Persian governor) Chihor-Vshnasp was killed. The cause of the revolt was the Persian attempt to erect a Zororastrian fire-temple at Duin, the seat not only of the marzpan but also of the Armenian patriarch or katholikos. Evagrius (5.7) reports that the Persarmenians wanted to be Roman subjects so as to practice their religion in safety, and they sent a secret mission to Justin II and Justin came to an agreement with them. When Khusro complained, Justin replied that he could not reject the pleas of fellow Christians, and in any case, the peace treaty had expired. Nonetheless, Evagrius adds with disapproval, Justin did not prepare properly for war. For his part, the Persian king Khusro was not unhappy at the prospect of renewed hostilities. In 569 an embassy from the Turks of central Asia had reached Constantinople, bringing with it a proposal for opening a silk route which would bypass Persia. The Turks were the cause of the Avar migration westwards, for the Avars had been their overlords. Once the Turks had cast off Avar domination, they pursued a group of them across the steppe, building up as they did, an empire of their own which stretched from Mongolia to Turkestan and was now expanding towards the Caspian Sea. They had already helped the Persians eliminate the Ephthalites or 'White Huns" in 557, but the Persians recognized the Turks as potential enemies and abhorred their proposed silk route. Justin II, on the other hand, was very interested, and concluded an alliance which lasted until 576, when the Turkish khan broke it off abruptly. The alliance with the Turks increased Justin's confidence and annoyed Persia. The war started out well enough. The Master of Soldiers, Marcian, who was Justinian's nephew, won some initial skirmishes, and laid siege to Nisibis. But the siege dragged on and Justin, becoming impatient, replaced Marcian with a commander whom the army refused to accept, and the mutiny ended the siege of Nisibis. It was during the siege, however, that Justin picked a quarrel with his Ghassanid allies. The Ghassanid sheikh Mundhir had defeated the Lakhmids in 569 and 570, but he had suffered losses in manpower and he asked Justin for gold with which to recruit more fighting men. Justin was prone to explosions of anger, and Mundhir's request infuriated him. He sent a dispatch to Marcian instructing him to kill Mundhir, and it fell into Mundhir's hands (autumn, 572). Deeply offended and probably a little frightened, Mundhir rode off with his tribesmen into the desert, and it was not until the spring of 575 that he decided to return to his old loyalties. The Ghassanid withdrawal opened the way for a raid by the Lakhmids into Syria in 573, and for a two-pronged Persian attack, with one spearhead under Khusro advancing to relieve Nisibis while the other ravaged Syria, took Apamea and sacked it, and then joined Khusro in laying siege to the great fortress of Daras. After five months, Daras fell in November, 573. Evagrius reported rumors that the commander had been negligent, or that he had betrayed the city. The news was too much for Justin. He went mad. The empire was in crisis, and as if the emperor's insanity and the defeat on the eastern frontier were not calamities enough, there was another outbreak of bubonic plague in Constantinople. It was the empress Sophia who stepped into the breach. She turned for help to the Count of the Excubitors, Tiberius,who was a loyal retainer with a military reputation which his recent defeat by the Avars had not tarnished. He was also a handsome, affable man, though a little too prodigal with money for Sophia's liking, and she thought she could dominate him. She probably would have preferred to rule herself, but the empire was not ready for a woman as sole regent, and on 7 December, 574, when Justin had a moment of lucidity, she persuaded him to appoint Tiberius Caesar. To deal with the immediate crisis on the Persian frontier, she dispatched a letter to Khusro, bewailing her fate and reproaching him for trampling on a defenseless woman. She reminded him that when he had fallen sick, Constantinople had sent its best doctors to him, and they had healed him. Khusro was moved, and allowed Sophia to buy a first a one-year and then a three-year truce, which, however, excluded Armenia. It provided a breathing space used to build up the army, spending money lavishly, and Tiberius put it under the command of Justinian, the son of Germanos and brother of the Justin who had been Justin II's rival. In 575, Justinian won a major victory at Melitene, the metropolis of Armenia II, though he failed to save Melitene itself from destruction. In 578, the three-year truce expired and war flared up again along the Persian frontier. Sophia was determined to maintain her own position, and as long as Justin was alive and she was still Augusta, she refused to let Tiberius bring his wife, Ino, into the palace. Theophanes[[47]] reports that Sophia wanted to marry Tiberius herself, and she forced him to install his family in the palace of Hormisdas where Justinian and Theodora had lived before Justinian became emperor. Her tactics finally succeeded in making Ino move away from Constantinople itself. But Tiberius showed no inclination to abandon his wife and even before Justin died 578, Sophia was conspiring with Justinian, the son of Germanus, to replace Tiberius. Gregory of Tours reports a plot to kill Tiberius in the Hippodrome immediately after his coronation, and when that plan failed, and Justinian bought pardon with 1,500 gold pounds, Sophia continued to scheme. But once Tiberius became emperor, Sophia had eventually to accept defeat, however reluctant she might be. 'The factions of the Hippodrome' wrote Edward Gibbon, referring to Tiberius' coronation, 'demanded, with some impatience, the name of their new empress; both the people and Sophia were astonished by the proclamation of Anastasia, the secret, though lawful wife of the emperor Tiberius. Gibbon erred on one point: Ino, renamed Anastasia once she became empress, cannot have been a secret wife. But her coronation as Augusta must have been a bitter blow to Sophia, who clung to her prerogatives as long as she could, though finally, much against her better judgment, she moved into the Sophianae palace across the Bosporus, which had been built by Justin. The general tenor is clear. On becoming emperor, Justin rescinded Justinian's aphthartodocetist decree and tried to steer a middle course between the Chalcedonians and the Monophysites. Imprisoned Monophysite churchmen were released and exiled bishops allowed to return. Leading Monophysites including Jacob Baradaeus himself were invited to Constantinople and interminable discussions ensued which produced nothing. So Justin produced a new Henotikon, in imitation of the emperor Zeno's Henotikon, which had triggered the Acacian Schism. It had been Justin I's abandonment of the Henotikon and his persecution of the Monophysites which sowed the seeds of a separate Monophysite hierarchy. By the time Justin II became emperor, there already existed a Monophysite church which took its name, 'Jacobite' from Jacob Baradaeus. An imperial emissary presented Justin's new compromise to the Monophysite clergy and monks assembled at Callinicum. It was an accomodating document: it went so far as to rehabilitate Severus, the Monophysite patriarch of Antioch in the latter years of the emperor Anastasius. Jacob Baradaeus himself and the clergy were favorably inclined, but the monks would have nothing to do with it. The meeting ended with a violent spat within the Monophysite ranks, between the moderates and the extremists. Justin tried again with a new edict which recognized the One Nature of the Logos, while asserting at the same time, the distinction between the natures of Christ, but without mentioning Chalcedon. Yet the Monophysites were obdurate, whereupon Justin turned to persecution, seconded by his Chalcedonian patriarch, John Scholasticus. The persecution continued until Justin lapsed into madness and Tiberius took over. Tiberius lacked the instincts of a persecutor, and in any case, he wanted to maintain good relations with the Monophysite Ghassanids, whose friendship was necessary for the security of the eastern provinces. But finally under the influence of Maurice, who was to succeed him as emperor, Tiberius too turned to persecution. That is a general sketch of what happened. It is more difficult to time the sequence of events with accuracy. Justin and Sophia moved first after Justinian's death to reassure the Chalcedonians on the one hand, while at the same time making conciliatory gestures towards the Monophysites. Justin cancelled 'those things which had been approved in contradiction to the synod of Chalcedon', thereby abrogating Justinian's lapse into aphthartodocetism, and ordered the creed approved by the First Council of Constantinople of 381 to be read in all Catholic churches before the Lord's Prayer. John of Biclaro, who records this, puts it in Justin's first year, which he misdates to 567. But his report, once the date is corrected, shows that Justin's first concern was to distance himself from the heresy which Justinian had adopted in the final months of his life. At the same time, Justin received the aged Monophysite leader Theodosius with honor, and sponsored a series of meetings of the Monophysite bishops in Constantinople. The chair was the strongly Chalcedonian patriarch of Constantinople, John Scholasticus. The meetings themselves were inconclusive, but Justin recognized their tenor and formulated his first Henotikon, which was presented to the Monophysite clergy and monks who assembled at the monastery of Mar Zakai at Callinicum. It caused a riot. But negotiations continued and a second Henotikon emerged which is recorded in Evagrius' Ecclesiastical History, though Evagrius confuses it with the first Henotikon. This second confession of faith was perhaps a little more hard-nosed than the first. It omitted any mention of the controversial Chalcedonian Creed, the name of which no Monophysite could hear without reacting with rage. Its definition of the nature of Christ was careful. 'While considering His (Christ's) ineffable union we rightly confess one nature, that of the Divine Word, to have become incarnate, by flesh animated with a reasonable and intelligent soul; and on the other hand, while contemplating the difference of natures, we affirm that they are two, without, however, introducing any division…' The credo confessed one and the same Christ, God and man together. All who thought differently were anathematized. The Monophysites were not impressed and Justin used force. The last chance for reconciliation was lost. But perhaps it had never really existed. In 574 Justin II abdicated and was succeeded by Tiberius II Constantine.
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Re: The Byzantine Emperors

Post by I Like The Holocaust on Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:04 pm

Tiberius II Constantine (520-582) Reigned ( 574–582)



Tiberius was born in a Latin speaking region of Thrace sometime during the middle of the 6th century AD. Tiberius was appointed to the post of Notarius where sometime after 552 he was introduced by the Patriarch Eutychius to the future emperor Justin II. Under Justin’s patronage, Tiberius was promoted to the position of Comes excubitorum, which he held from approximately 565 through to 574. He was present during Justin’s Imperial accession on 14 November 565 and also attended the Emperor’s inauguration as Consul on 1 January 566. Justin ceased making payments to the Avars implemented by his predecessor Justinian. In 569, he appointed Tiberius to the post of Magister utriusque militiae with instructions to deal with the Avars and their demands. After a series of negotiations, Tiberius agreed to allow the Avars to settle on Roman territory in the Balkans in exchange for male hostages taken from various Avar chiefs. Justin, however, rejected this agreement, insisting on taking hostages from the family of the Avar Khan himself. This condition was rejected by the Avars, so Tiberius mobilized for war. In 570 he defeated an Avar army in Thrace and returned to Constantinople. While attempting to follow up this victory, however, in late 570 or early 571 Tiberius was defeated in a subsequent battle where he narrowly escaped death as the army was fleeing the battlefield. Agreeing to a truce, Tiberius provided an escort to the Avar envoys to discuss the terms of a treaty with Justin. On their return, the Avar envoys were attacked and robbed by local tribesmen, prompting them to appeal to Tiberius for help. He tracked down the group responsible and returned the stolen goods. In 574 Justin had a mental breakdown, forcing the empress Sophia to turn to Tiberius to manage the empire, which was fighting the Persians to the east and dealing with the internal crisis of the plague. To achieve a measure of breathing space, Tiberius and Sophia agreed to a one-year truce with the Persians, at the cost of 45,000 nomismata. On December 7, 574, Justin had Tiberius proclaimed Caesar and adopted him as his own son when Justin II suffered a mental breakdown after learning of the Persian army's invasion of Syria. Tiberius added the name Constantine to his own. Although his position was now official, he was still subordinate to Justin. Sophia was determined to remain in power and kept Tiberius tightly controlled until Justin died in 578. The day after his appointment as Caesar, the plague abated, giving Tiberius more freedom of movement than Justin was able to achieve. Tiberius also charted a very different course from his predecessor, and proceeded to spend the money which Justin had doggedly saved in order to defend the imperial frontiers and win over the populace who had turned against Justin. Alongside generous donations, he also proceeded to reduce state revenue by removing taxes on wine and bread instituted by Justinian I. He continued the official ban on the sale of governorships, which was highly popular. He also negotiated a truce with the Avars, paying them 80,000 nomismata per year, for which the Avars agreed to defend the Danube frontier, thereby allowing Tiberius to transfer troops across to the east for a planned renewal of the conflict against the Persians. In 575 Tiberius began moving the armies of Thrace and Illyricum to the eastern provinces. Buying time to make the necessary preparations, he agreed to a three-year truce with the Persians, paying 30,000 nomismata, though the truce excluded action in the region around Armenia. Not content with making preparations, Tiberius also used this period to send reinforcements to Italy under the command of Baduarius with orders to stem the Lombard invasion. He saved Rome from the Lombards and allied the Empire with Childebert II, the King of the Franks, in order to defeat them. Unfortunately, Baduarius was defeated and killed in 576, allowing even more imperial territory in Italy to slip away. Tiberius was unable to respond as the Persian Sassanid Emperor Khosrau I struck at the Empire’s Armenian provinces in 576, sacking Melitene and Sebastea. Shifting his attention eastward, Tiberius sent his general Justinian with the eastern armies to push the Persians back across the Euphrates. The Byzantines followed, and pushed deep into Persian territory, culminating in a raid on Atropatene. In 577, however, Justinian was defeated in Persian Armenia, forcing a Byzantine withdrawal. In response to this defeat, Tiberius replaced Justinian with the future emperor Maurice. During the truce which Tiberius concluded with Khosrau, he busily enhanced the army of the east, not only with transfers from his western armies but also through barbarian recruits, which he formed into a new Foederati unit, amounting to some 15,000 troops by the end of his reign. Throughout 577 and into 578, Tiberius avoided all other entanglements which would have distracted him from the approaching Persian conflict. He appeased, quite successfully, both Chalcedonian and Monophysite Christians by the use of strategic appointments and the easing of persecutions. He paid the Lombard tribal chieftains some 200,000 nomismata in an attempt to keep them divided and prevent the election of a king. When the Slavs invaded Illyricum, he transported Avar armies to attack them and force their retreat. Consequently, when Khosrau invaded Roman Mesopotamia in 578, his general Maurice was able to invade Persian Arzanene and Mesopotamia, sacking a number of key towns and forcing the Persians to abandon their advance and defend their own territory. It was during this period that the ailing Emperor Justin finally died in early October 578. Late in the year of 578, Justin II died leaving Tiberius as sole ruler.  To celebrate the event, Tiberius remitted 25% of the taxes for the next 4 years. Justin II's widow, Sophia, soon began to pressure Tiberius to divorce his wife Ino (Anastasia) and marry her.  Tiberius was able to avoid becoming entangled in Sophia's intrigues and her influence waned as Tiberius' popularity grew.  Maurice's successes in the East allowed Tiberius to once again send troops to Italy, as well as become involved in Spain and North Africa.  Unfortunately, the situation in the eastern half of the empire soon demanded Tiberius' attention again.  In 580 the Avars, noticing the lack of troops in the Balkan regions, demanded that Tiberius relinquish control of the city of Sirmium to them.  When Tiberius refused, they attacked the city.  While the Avars laid siege to the city, the Slavs also began to invade the Balkans in ever increasing numbers.  The new Persian king, Hormizd II, was quick to take advantage of the Byzantine problems in the Balkans and refused to agree to a peace treaty.  Maurice immediately conducted a series of successful raids over the next few years into Persian controlled Armenia.  Forced to focus his military efforts on the Persians, Tiberius gave into the Avars' demands and relinquished control of Sirmium in 582.  In order to be allowed to evacuate the city's citizens safely, Tiberius was forced to agree to pay the Avars the unpaid subsidies that they were owed for the last 3 years, a sum of 240,000 solidi. Late in 582 Tiberius became gravely ill.  He appointed Maurice and Germanus as his heirs and each was engaged to one of Tiberius' daughters and elevated to the rank of Caesar.  Some historians feel that Tiberius initially intended to divide the empire into two, with Germanus controlling the West while Maurice controlled the East.  On the 13th of August, however, Tiberius crowned only Maurice as Augustus.  The next day Tiberius died and Maurice became sole emperor.
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