Slike stranica

The Asiatic suburbs of

palace of Hieria, built by Justinian. Constantinople not only included Chrysopolis and Chalcedon, but extended south-eastward along the charming shore which looks to the Prince's Islands, as far as Kartalimen. Proceeding in this direction from Chalcedon, one came first to the peninsula of Hieria (Phanaráki), where Justinian had chosen the site of his suburban residence. Passing by Rufinianae (Jadi-Bostan), one reached Satyros, once noted for a temple, soon to be famous for a monastery. The spot chosen by Theophilus for his new palace was at Bryas, which lay between Satyros and Kartalimen (Kartal), and probably corresponds to the modern village of Mal-tépé.1 The palace of Bryas resembled those of Baghdad in shape and in the schemes of decoration.2 only deviations from the plan of the original were additions required in the residence of a Christian ruler, a chapel of the Virgin adjoining the Imperial bedroom, and in the court a church of the triconch shape dedicated to Michael the archangel and two female saints. The buildings stood in a park irrigated by watercourses.


Arabian splendour in his material surroundings meant modernity for Theophilus, and his love of novel curiosities was shown in the mechanical contrivances which he installed in the audience chamber of the palace of Magnaura.1 A golden plane-tree overshadowed the throne; birds sat on its branches and on the throne itself. Golden griffins couched at the sides, golden lions at the foot; and there was a gold

1 For these identifications, and the Bithynian poάoтela, see Pargoire's admirable Hiéria. Cp. also his Rufinianes, 467; he would seek the site of the palace in ruins to the east of the hill of Drakos-tépé.

2 ἐν σχήμασι καὶ ποικιλίᾳ, Cont. Th. 98, cp. Simeon (Add. Georg.) 798. The later source says that John the Synkellos brought the plans from Baghdad and superintended the construction; there is nothing of this in Simeon, but it is possible that John visited Baghdad (see below, p. 256). The ruins of an old temple near the neighbouring Satyros supplied some of the building material for the palace of Bryas. The declension of this name is both Βρύου and Βρύαντος. Some modern writers erroneously suppose that the nominative is Bpúos.

3 It is to be noticed that he renewed all the Imperial wardrobe (Simeon, ib.).

4 The triklinos, or main hall, of the Magnaura (built by Constantine) was in form a basilica with two aisles, and probably an apse in the east end, where the elevated throne stood railed off from the rest of the building. See Ebersolt, 70. There were chambers off the main hall, especially the nuptial chamber (of apse-shape: κόγχη τοῦ παστοῦ), used on the occasion of an Imperial wedding. The situation of the Magnaura was east of the Augusteon; on the north-west it was close to St. Sophia; on the south-west there was a descent, and a gate led into the grounds of the Great Palace, close to the Church of the Lord and the Consistorion.

organ in the room.1 When a foreign ambassador was introduced to the Emperor's presence, he was amazed and perhaps alarmed at seeing the animals rise up and hearing the lions roar and the birds burst into melodious song. At the sound of the organ these noises ceased, but when the audience was over and the ambassador was withdrawing, the mechanism was again set in motion.2


One of the most remarkable sights in the throne room of the Magnaura was the Pentapyrgion, or cabinet of Five Towers, a piece of furniture which was constructed by Theophilus.3 Four towers were grouped round a central and doubtless higher tower; each tower had several, probably four, storeys; and in the chambers, which were visible to the eye, were exhibited various precious objects, mostly of sacred interest. At the celebration of an Imperial marriage, it was the usage to deposit the nuptial wreaths in the Pentapyrgion. On special occasions, for instance at the Easter festival, it was removed from the Magnaura to adorn the Chrysotriklinos.5

If the Emperor's love of magnificence and taste for art impelled him to spend immense sums on his palaces, he did not neglect works of public utility. One of the most important duties of the government was to maintain the fortifications of the city in repair. Theophilus did not add new defences, like Heraclius and Leo, but no Emperor did more than he to strengthen and improve the existing walls. The experiences of the siege conducted by Thomas seem to have shown that the sea-walls were not high enough to be impregnable. It was decided to raise them in height, and this work, though commenced by his father on the side of the Golden Horn,7 was mainly the work of Theophilus. Numerous inscriptions

1 Two gold organs were made for Theophilus, but only one of them seems to have been kept in the Magnaura. Simeon (Add. Georg.), 793.

2 Constantine, Cer. 568-569; Vita Bas. 257 Cont. Th. 173. For such contrivances at Baghdad see Gibbon, vi. 126.

3 Simeon, ib. (cp. Pseudo-Simeon, 627); it was made by a goldsmith related to the Patriarch Antonius. If not of solid gold, it was doubtless richly decorated with gold. The same


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—of which many are still to be seen, many others have disappeared in recent times-recorded his name, which appears more frequently on the walls and towers than that of any other Emperor.1 The restoration of the seaward defences facing Chrysopolis may specially be noticed at the ancient gate of St. Barbara (Top-kapussi, close to Seraglio Point),2 and on the walls and towers to the south, on either side of the gate of unknown name (now Deïrmen-kapussi) near the Kynegion.3 Just north of this entrance is a long inscription, in six iambic trimeters, praying that the wall which Theophilus "raised on new foundations" may stand fast and unshaken for ever. may possibly be a general dedication of all his new fortifications. But the work was not quite completed when Theophilus died.5 South of the Kynegion and close to the Mangana, a portion of the circuit remained in disrepair, and it was reserved for Bardas, the able minister of Michael III., to restore it some twenty years later.

§ 3. Iconoclasm


It was not perhaps in the nature of Theophilus to adopt the passive attitude of his father in the matter of imageworship, or to refrain from making a resolute attempt to terminate the schism which divided the Church. But he appears for some years (perhaps till A.D. 834) to have continued the tolerant policy of Michael, and there may be some reason for believing, as many believe, that the influence of his friend. John the Grammarian, who became Patriarch in A.D. 832,6 was chiefly responsible for his resolution to suppress icons. He did

1 Gen. ib. notes the inscriptions as a feature.

2 Van Millingen, 184. Hammer, Constantinopolis, i. Appendix, gives copies of inscriptions which have disappeared.

Van Millingen, 250, 183.

4 Van Millingen's conjecture. The inscription is in one line 60 feet long. The last verse should be restored

ἄσειστον ἀκλόνητον ἐστ[ηριγμένον]. 5 I infer this from the Bardas inscription, which, with the restorations of Mordtmann and van Millingen (op. cit. 185-186), runs as follows: πολλ]ῶν κραταιῶς δεσποσάντων σ[άλου]

ἀλλ ̓ οὐ]δενὸς πρὸς ὕψος ἢ εὐκοσμίαν


τὸ [βλ]ηθὲν εἰς γῆν τεῖχος ἐξηγερκότος
[τανῦν ἀκάμ]πτως Μιχαὴλ ὁ δεσπότης
διὰ Βάρ[δα τοῦ τ]ῶν σχολῶν δομεστίκου
ἤγειρε τερ[π]νὸν ὡράεισμα τῇ πόλει.
Some of these supplements can hardly
be right. In 1. 1 I would read
θ[ρόνου]; in 2 καὶ μηδενὸς, for there
is an upright stroke before devòs; in
4 åκáμπтws is inappropriate, perhaps
νῦν ἀκλονήτως. The slabs bearing the
legend were in the wall close to Injili
Kiosk, once the Church of St. Saviour
(ib. 253 sqq.).

6 Cont. Th. 121, see Vasil'ev, Viz. i Ar., Pril. 147 sqq. Before his elevation he held the office of Synkellos. For his work under Leo V. see above, p. 60 sq.

not summon a new council, and perhaps he did not issue any new edict; but he endeavoured, by severe measures, to ensure the permanence of the iconoclastic principles which had been established under Leo the Armenian. The lack of contemporary evidence renders it difficult to determine the scope and extent of the persecution of Theophilus; but a careful examination of such evidence as exists shows that modern historians have exaggerated its compass, if not its severity.1 So far as we can see, his repressive measures were twofold. He endeavoured to check the propagation of the false doctrine by punishing some leading monks who were actively preaching it; and he sought to abolish religious pictures from Constantinople by forbidding them to be painted at all.2

Of the cases of corporal chastisement inflicted on ecclesiastics for pertinacity in the cause of image-worship, the most famous and genuine is the punishment of the two Palestinian brothers, Theodore and Theophanes, who had already endured persecution under Leo V. On Leo's death they returned to Constantinople and did their utmost in the cause of pictures, Theodore by his books and Theophanes by his hymns. But Michael II. treated them like other leaders of the cause; he did not permit them to remain in the city. Under Theophilus they were imprisoned and scourged, then exiled to Aphusia, one of the

1 The contemporary chronicler George gives no facts, but indulges in vapid abuse. Simeon relates the treatment of the brothers Theodore and Theophanes, but otherwise only says that Theophilus pulled down pictures, and banished and tormented monks (Add. Georg. 791). Genesios (74-75) is amazingly brief:


Emperor disturbed the sea of piety; (1) he imprisoned Michael, synkellos of Jerusalem, with many monks; (2) branded Theodore and Theophanes ; (3) was assisted by John the Patriarch. The lurid description of the persecution, which has generally been adopted, is supplied by the biographer of Theophilus, Cont. Th. c. 10 sqq., who begins by stating that Th. sought to outdo his predecessors as a persecutor. The whole account is too rhetorical to be taken for sober history, and it is in marked contrast with that of Genesios, who was not disposed to spare the iconoclasts. (We can, indeed, prove the writer's inaccuracy

in his account of the affair of Theodore and Theophanes, for which we have a first-hand source in Theodore's own letter. Simeon made use of this source honestly; in Cont. Th. there are marked discrepancies.) Various tortures and cruelties are ascribed in general terms to Th. in Acta 42 Mart. Amor. (г 24, a document written not very long after his death).

2 This seems to be a genuine tradition, preserved in Cont. Th. (Vit. Theoph.) cc. 10 and 13. See below.

3 For the following account the source is the Vita Theodori Grapti (see Bibliography). See also Vit. Mich. Sync., and Vailhé, Saint Michel le Syncelle.


Op. cit. 201, where it is said that John (afterwards Patriarch) shut them up in prison, and having argued with them unsuccessfully, exiled them. This is probably untrue. They lived in the monastery of Sosthenes (which survives in the name Stenia), on the European bank of the Bosphorus.


Proconnesian islands.1 Theophilus was anxious to win them over; the severe treatment which he dealt out to them proves the influence they exerted; they had, in fact, succeeded Theodore of Studion as the principal champions of icons. Emperor hoped that after the experience of a protracted exile and imprisonment they would yield to his threats; their opposition seemed to him perhaps the chief obstacle to the unity of the Church. So they were brought to Constantinople and the story of their maltreatment may be told in their own words.2

The Imperial officer arrived at the isle of Aphusia and hurried us away to the City, affirming that he knew not the purpose of the command, only that he had been sent to execute it very urgently. We arrived in the City on the 8th of July. Our conductor reported our arrival to the Emperor, and was ordered to shut us up in the Praetorian prison, Six days later (on the 14th) we were summoned to the Imperial presence. Conducted by the Prefect of the City, we reached the door of the Chrysotriklinos, and saw the Emperor with a terribly stern countenance and a number of people standing round. It was the tenth hour.3 The Prefect retired and left us in the presence of the Emperor, who, when we had made obeisance, roughly ordered us to approach. He asked us "Where were ye born?" We replied, "In the land of Moab." "Why came ye here?” We did not answer, and he ordered our faces to be beaten. After many sore blows, we became dizzy and fell, and if I had not grasped the tunic of the man who smote me, I should have fallen on the Emperor's footstool. Holding by his dress I stood unmoved till the Emperor said " Enough" and repeated his former question. When we still said nothing he addressed the Prefect [who appears to have returned] in great wrath, "Take them and engrave on their faces these verses, and then hand them over to two Saracens to conduct them to their own country." One stood near- -his name was Christodulos-who held in his hand the iambic verses which he had composed. The Emperor bade him read them aloud, adding, "If they are not good, never mind." He said this because he knew how they would be ridiculed by us, since we are experts in poetical matters. The man who read them said, "Sir, these fellows are not worthy that the verses should be better."

They were then taken back to the Praetorium, and then once more to the Palace, where they received a flogging in the

1 See above, p. 41.

2 In their letter to John of Cyzicus, quoted in op. cit. 204 sqq.

3 Three o'clock in the afternoon.

4 Before they were admitted to the presence they were kept in the Thermastra. The writers on the Palace (Labarte, Bieliaev, Ebersolt,

etc.) are, I believe, wrong in their conception of the Thermastra. The evidence points, as I have tried to show, to its being north of the Lausiakos and forming the ground floor of the Eidikon. The scene of the scourging is represented in a miniature in the Madrid MS. of

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