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the districts north and west of Melitene;1 new fugitives continually arrived; and in their three principal cities, Argaûs, Tephrike, and Amara,2 these martial heretics proved a formidable enemy to the State of which their hardy valour had hitherto been a valuable defence.
Seeing that even iconoclasts sought to suppress a religion with which they had important points in common, the Paulicians could expect little mercy after the triumph of image-worship. It was a foregone conclusion that Theodora, under the influence of orthodox ecclesiastical advisers, would pursue her husband's policy with more insistent zeal, and endeavour to extirpate the "Manichaean" abomination. A fiat went forth that the Paulicians should abandon their errors or be abolished from the earth which they defiled. An expedition was sent under several commanders to carry out this decree, and a wholesale massacre was enacted.3 Victims were slain by the sword, crucified, and drowned in thousands; those who escaped sought shelter across the frontier. The property of the Paulicians was appropriated by the State-a poor compensation for the loss of such a firm bulwark as the persecuted communities had approved themselves.
It is just after the fall of the Empress Theodora from power that we find the Paulicians effectively co-operating with the enemies of the Empire. Her brother Petronas, who was then stratêgos of the Thrakesian Theme, was entrusted with the supreme command of the army, and in the late summer
and he was presently taken to Samarra by the Caliph's orders and associated with the Amorians (see above). It follows that the flight of Karbeas must be dated in the reign of Theophilus, or else in the time of Michael I.-Leo V.
1 Cp. Karapet, Die Paulikianer, 117-118.
2 Argaûs Argovan, about 20 miles north of Melitene; see Anderson, Road-system, 27. Tephrike is Devrik, much further north, and about 60 miles south-east of Sebastea. (Cp. Le Strange, Journal of R. Asiatic Society, 1896, p. 733 sqq.) Anderson (ib. 32) has made it probable that Amara or Abara lay near the modern Manjilik, about 25 miles north of Gurun, on the road from Sebastea to
Arabissos and Germanicia. See his
3 We have a good source here in Cont. Th. 165 (cp. Hirsch, 214), but the chronology is left vague. Our text seems to be incomplete, for the names of the commanders are given more fully in Skylitzes (Cedrenus), ii. 154 ὁ τοῦ ̓Αργύρου (δὲ ἦν Λέων) καὶ ὁ τοῦ Δούκα (δουκδς Cont. Th.) ('Ανδρόνικος) καὶ ὁ Σούδαλις. The names in brackets are omitted in Cont Th., of which otherwise the text of Skylitzes is no more than a transcript.
100,000, Cont. Th., a number which, of course, has no value.
5 Cont. Th. 167.
(A.D. 856), having made successful raids into the districts of Samosata and Amida, he proceeded against Tephrike, the headquarters of Karbeas, who had been actively helping the Emir of Melitene and the governor of Tarsus to waste the Roman borders. In this year begins a short period of incessant hostility, marked on one hand by the constant incursions of the commanders of Melitene and Tarsus, in co-operation with Karbeas, and on the other by the appearance in the field of the Emperor Michael himself, as well as his uncles Bardas and Petronas. The first expedition of Michael, who had now reached the age of twenty years, was directed against Samosata, under the guidance of Bardas.1 His army was at first successful, and the town was besieged. But the garrison made a sudden sally on a Sunday, choosing the hour at which the Emperor was engaged in the ceremonies of his religion. He escaped with difficulty, and the whole camp fell into the hands of the Saracens (A.D. 859). It was said that Karbeas performed prodigies of valour and captured a large number of Greek officers.3
In the ensuing winter negotiations were opened for the exchange of captives, and the Saracen envoy, Nasr, came to Constantinople. He wrote an interesting account of his mission. As soon as he arrived, he presented himself at the Palace, in a black dress and wearing a turban and a sword. Petronas (but it is not improbable that Bardas is meant)' informed him that he could not appear in the Emperor's presence with a sword or dressed in black. "Then," said Nasr, "I will go away." But before he had gone far he was recalled, and as soon as the Emperor, who was then receiving a Bulgarian embassy, was disengaged, he was admitted to the hall of audience. Michael sat on a throne which was raised on another throne, and his patricians were standing around him. When Nasr had paid his respects, he took his place on a large chair which had been set for him, and the gifts which he had
1 Bardas was now curopalates (see above, p. 161).
2 Gen. 91 records the disaster; Tabari, 55, only the (initial) success. Cp. Vasil'ev, 185, n. 4.
3 Cont. Th. 176-177 (otherwise a reproduction of Genesios). The presence of Karbeas at Samosata suggests that
the Greeks had met the forces of the Emir of Melitene, with whom Karbeas used to act, and had driven them into Samosata.
4 Tabari has preserved it (57).
5 Petronas was general of the Thrakesians from 860 to 863. I suspect that Nasr wrote "his uncle" and that Tabari added Petronas.
brought from the Caliph-silk robes, about a thousand bottles of musk, saffron, and jewels-were presented.1 Three interpreters came forward, and Nasr charged them to add nothing to what he said. The Emperor accepted the gifts, and Nasr noticed that he did not bestow any of them on the interpreters. Then he desired that the envoy should approach, graciously caressed him, and gave orders that a lodging should be found for him in or near the Palace.2 But the business on which Nasr had come did not progress rapidly. He mentions that a message arrived from the garrison of Lulon, which consisted of Mohammadan Slavs, signifying their desire to embrace Christianity and sending two hostages. It will be remembered that this important fortress had been captured by Mamun in A.D. 832,3 and the opportunity for recovering it was welcome. For four months Nasr was detained at Constantinople. Then new tidings arrived from Lulon, which prompted Michael to settle the question of the captives without delay. He had sent a patrician, who promised the garrison a handsome largess; but they repented of their treachery, and handed over both the place and the patrician to a Saracen captain. The patrician was carried into captivity and threatened with death if he did not renounce his religion. It would seem that the Emperor was seriously concerned for his fate, for, as soon as the news came, the exchange of captives was promptly arranged with Nasr. It was agreed that both sides should surrender all the prisoners who were in their hands. Nasr and Michael's uncle confirmed the agreement by oath in the Imperial presence. Then Nasr said: "O Emperor, your uncle has sworn. Is the oath binding for you?" He inclined his head in token of assent. And, adds the envoy, "I did not hear a single word from his lips from the time of my arrival till my departure. The interpreter alone spoke, and the Emperor listened and expressed his assent or dissent by motions of his
1 Cp. Bar-Hebr. 169.
2 Not far from himself." It is not clear whether this means in the Palace, not far from the Chrysotriklinos, or not far from the Palace.
3 There is no reason for supposing (with Vasil'ev, 186), that it was in the hands of the Greeks in A.D. 857.
4 December 859 to March 860.
5 Tabari, 56, says he was a logothete (perhaps Logothete of the Course).
6 A thousand dinars each, according to Tabari. This can hardly be true. A thousand nomismata for all seems more probable, but we do not know the number of the garrison.
7 Evidently Bardas.
head. His uncle managed all his affairs." The Emperor received 1000 Greek captives in return for 2000 subjects of the Caliph, but the balance was redressed by the release of the patrician whom he was so anxious to recover.1
Not many weeks later, committing the charge and defence of his capital to Ooryphas, the Prefect, Michael again set forth to invade the Caliph's dominions. But even, as it would seem, before he reached the frontier, he was recalled (in June) by the alarming news that the Russians had attacked Constantinople. When the danger had passed, he started again for the East, to encounter Omar, the Emir of Melitene, who had in the meantime taken the field. Michael marched along the great high-road which leads to the Upper Euphrates by Ancyra and Sebastea. Having passed Gaziura,5 he encamped in the plain of Dazimon, where Afshin had inflicted on his father an overwhelming defeat." Here he awaited the approach of the Emir, who was near at hand, advancing, as we may with certainty assume, from Sebastea. An enemy marching by this road, against Amasea, had the choice of two ways. He might proceed northward to Dazimon
1 This is not explained in the narrative of Nasr, but follows from the statement of Tabari elsewhere (56), that the Emperor wrote offering 1000 Moslems as a ransom.
2 The exchange was effected on the banks of the Lamos in April to May. Michael must have left Constantinople about the beginning of June.
3 Simeon (Add. Georg.) 826. above, p. 144. At the time of Michael's death Ooryphas seems to have been drungarios of the Imperial fleet (see the addition to Simeon's text in the Vatican MS. of Cont. Georg. ed. Muralt, 752-Pseudo-Simeon, 687), but it does not follow that, as de Boor (Der Angriff der Rhos, 456) assumes, he held this post in 860. Had he been drungarios he would have been absent with the fleet in the west.
4 He had reached Mauropotamon (Simeon, vers. Slav. 106, and Cont. Georg. ed. Mur. 736). The other published Greek texts have a corrupt reading which implies that the Russians were at Mauropotamon : τὴν τῶν ἀθέων Ῥὼς ἐμήνυσεν ἄφιξιν γεγενημένους ἤδη Kатà TÒν [leg. Tò] M. (Cont. Georg. ed.
B. 826 Leo Gr. 240=Th. Mel. 168); we must correct to γεγενημένου. Pseudo-Simeon (674 ròi bao xóa nôn τὸ Μ. καταλαβόντα) had a good text of the original before him. Mauropotamon is the unknown place on some road to the region of Melitene where Theoktistos was defeated (see above, p. 274). The true date of the campaign is determined by that of the Russian episode (see de Boor, op. cit. 458). Genesios wrongly implies the date 861 (91, two years after the campaign of 859). Tabari records that in A.D. 860 Omar made a summer raid and took 7000 captives (56), and does not mention a raid of Omar in the follow
ing year. According to Genesios, the Imperial army numbered 40,000 including Macedonian and Thracian troops, and that of the Emir 30,000.
5 This might be reached from Ancyra by (northern route) EuchaitaAmasea, or (southern) by Tavion, Verinopolis, and Zela. (Euchaita is Elwan-Chelebi: Anderson, Stud. Pont. i. 9.)
6 He reached Dazimon (Tokat) and encamped in the meadow of Kellarion (Gen. 92).
and then westward by Gaziura; or he might turn westward at Verisa (Bolous)1 and reach Amasea by Sebastopolis (Sulu-serai) and Zela. On this occasion the first route was barred by the Roman army, which lay near the strong fortress of Dazimon, and could not be advantageously attacked on this side. It would have been possible for Omar, following the second route, to have reached Gaziura from Zela, and entered the plain of Dazimon from the west. But he preferred a bolder course, which surprised the Greeks, who acknowledged his strategic ability. Leaving the Zela road, a little to the west of Verisa, he led his forces northward across the hills (AkDagh),2 and descending into the Dazimon plain occupied a favourable position at Chonarion, not far from the Greek camp. The battle which ensued resulted in a rout of the Imperial army, and Michael sought a refuge on the summit of the same steep hill of Anzên which marked the scene of his father's defeat.8 Here he was besieged for some hours, but want of water and pasture induced the Emir to withdraw his forces.
It is possible that the victorious general followed up his success by advancing as far as Sinope. But three years
1 For Verisa Bolous, see Anderson, ib. 37-38.
2 If we could identify Kellarin and Chonarion, there would be no difficulty in understanding the brief description in Gen. and Cont. Th. of the strategic movement of Omar. But I submit that the logical interpretation of their words is that on which I have ventured. Gen. 92 ò dè ̓́Αμερ στρατηγικῶς παρεκβατικώτερον διελθὼν τῆς ἀπαγούσης ὁδοῦ πρὸς τὴν Ζέλισαν (which unquestionably means Zela); Cont. Th. 177-178 ἄρτι δὴ ̓́Αμερ αὐτῷ καταστρατηγῶν πορρωτέρω τῆς τετριμμένης nel odoù; i.e. Omar left the high-road to Zela in order to reach a position close to the Roman army which was near Dazimon. The map seems to leave no alternative to the general course which I have indicated.
3 Cp. above, p. 265. The hill was six miles from the scene of the battle. Vasil'ev has the strange notion (194, n. 2) that Xwvápiov may be a shortened form of Strabo's Καινὸν Χωρίον (781, ed. Teubner), which he thinks suits the description of Anzên. On etymological grounds alone this is unacceptable; but in any case Chonarion is not
Anzên, and is probably on the south side of the Dazimonitis. Hamilton's identification of Καινὸν Χωρίον with Yildiz Dagh (Researches in Asia Minor, i. 348), which is east of Verisa, southeast of Tokat, cannot be maintained; see Cumont, Stud. Pont. ii. 231-223.
4 The notice of Omar reaching Sinope is in Simeon (Cont. Georg.) 824. Ramsay connected it with the expedition of 863; but it is noted by Simeon as a distinct expedition. The difficulty in connecting it with the expedition of 860 lies (1) in the words vπÉσтрEE μὴ καταληφθεὶς ὑπὸ τοῦ Ῥωμαικοῦ σтратоû (words which forbid its connection with 863), and (2) in the fact that the writer relates subsequently (out of chronological order) Michael's march to Mauropotamon and the Russian peril (826). Perhaps it is best to assign it to 861 or 862. In any case Amisus or Sinope was probably the goal of Omar in 860. This year was also marked by incursions of Karbeas and of Ali ibn Yahya, and by the capture of a maritime stronghold (the MS. text of Tabari has Antiochia, but probably Attalia is meant). Tabari, 56. See Vasil'ev, 195, n. 4.