Slike stranica

claim on the Caliph's forces, that it was obviously to the interest of Theophilus to make an effort to support it, when it seemed likely to be crushed. On grounds of policy, it must be admitted that he was justified in reopening hostilities in A.D. 837. In choosing the direction of his attack he was probably influenced by the hope of coming into touch with the insurgents of Armenia and Adarbiyan.2 He invaded the regions of the Upper Euphrates with a large army.3 He captured and burned the fortress of Zapetra, putting to death the male population and carrying off the women and children. He appeared before Melitene, threatening it with the fate of Zapetra if it did not surrender. The chief men of the place, however, induced him to spare it; they came forth, offered him gifts, and restored to liberty Roman prisoners who were in the town. He crossed the Euphrates, and besieged and burned Arsamosata.* But of all his achievements, the conquest of Zapetra was regarded by both the Moslems and the Christians as the principal result of the campaign.

The expedition of Theophilus into western Armenia deserves particular notice, for, though the Greek writers

1 Michael Syr. 88 (Ann. Sel. 1148 =A.D. 836-837). Tabari and Yakubi erroneously place this expedition in the following year. A.D. 837 had already been adopted by Weil and Vasil'ev.

2 Michael, ib., says that he sent into Great Armenia, demanding tribute, and threatening to devastate it in case of refusal. The tribute was paid.

3 Tabari, 29, says, "100,000 according to some; while others say that the fighting men exceeded 70,000."

Michael, 89. (Yakubi and Baladhuri mention only Zapetra; Tabari mentions Melitene also.) Simeon (Add. Georg. 798, vers. Slav. 96) names rýv τε Ζάπετρον καὶ τὸ Σαμόσατον, confounding Arsamosata with Samosata. That Arsamosata is meant is shown by Michael's statement that the invaders entered Hanazit, i.e. Anzitene. The position of the town is discussed by Gelzer in Georgius Cyprius, 171-172. It lay on the road leading eastward from Melitene to Aklat on Lake Van; east of Kharput and near the left bank of the Murad - Chai (Arsanias).


corresponds to the modern Shimshat. Melitene was attacked when the Emperor returned from the excursion into Armenia. Cont. Th. is here well informed; Zapetra is mentioned &λλas τε δύο πόλεις (124).

Having taken Arsamosata the Romans passed into Armenia and This ravaged there (Michael, ib.). probably means Little Sophene, north of Anzitene and the Murad-Chai; for the Armenian historians relate that he took the fort of Chozan (Stephen of Taron, 108; Samuel of Ani, 707). For the district of Chozan, cp. Constantine, De adm. imp. 226; Gelzer, ib. 173; Adonts, Armeniia v opokhu Iustiniana (1908), 38, where the distinction be tween Little Sophone to the northwest, and Great Sophene to the southcast, of Anzitene, is clearly explained. Samuel (ib.) says that, having taken Zapetra, Theophilus went to Armenia and took Palin (a fort in Paline, which lies east of Chozan), Mezkert (in Sophene, on the Murad-Su), and Ankl (in Degik Digisene, which lay be tween Sophene and Sophanene).


betray no consciousness of this side of his policy, there is some evidence that the situation in the Armenian highlands and the Caucasian region constantly engaged his attention and that his endeavours to strengthen the Empire on its north-eastern frontier met with considerable success. In A.D. 830 he had sent an expedition under Theophobos and Bardas against Abasgia, which had proclaimed itself independent of the Empire, but this enterprise ended in failure.' He was more fortunate elsewhere. We may surmise that it is to the campaign of A.D. 837 that an Armenian historian 2 refers who narrates that Theophilus went to Pontic Chaldea, captured many Armenian prisoners, took tribute from Theodosiopolis, and conferred the proconsular patriciate on Ashot, its ruler. It was probably in connexion with this expedition that the Emperor separated eastern Pontus from the Armeniac province, and constituted it an independent Theme, under a strategos who resided at Trapezus. The Theme of Chaldia reached southward to the Euphrates, included Keltzene and part of Little Sophene, while to the north-east, on the Boas (Chorok-Su), it embraced the district of Sper. It is at least evident that the Imperial conquests of A.D. 837 in Little Armenia would have furnished a motive for the creation of a new military province.


The triumph with which Theophilus celebrated the devastation which he had wrought within the borders of his foe was a repetition of the pageants and ceremonial

1 Cont. Th. 137.

2 Stephen of Taron, 107. Cp. Marquart, Streifzüge, 421, who connects this notice with the disastrous Abasgian expedition of 830. But Theophilus did not accompany that expedition.

3" Ashot the son of Shapuh," presumably the nephew of Ashot who founded Kamakh, as the historian Vardan records. Seo Marquart, ib. 401. Stephen's Theodosiopolis may be Kamakh (in Daranalis), not Erzerum. The dignity bestowed Ashot is described as 66 the Consulate, i.c. the Patriciate apuhiupat" (áæð TáTwv): this may mean the title Hypatos (patriciato being a mistake of Stephen) or the proconsular patriciate, ἀνθύπατος καὶ πατρίκιος, for which


[blocks in formation]

which had attended his return, six years before, from the achievement of similar though less destructive victories. Troops of children with garlands of flowers went out to meet the Emperor as he entered the capital.1 In the Hippodrome he competed himself in the first race, driving a white chariot and in the costume of a Blue charioteer; and when he was crowned as winner, the spectators greeted him with the allusive cry, "Welcome, incomparable champion!

» 2



In the autumn of the same year, Babek was at last captured and executed, and the Caliph Mutasim was free1 to prepare a scheme of revenge for the destruction of Zapetra and the barbarities which had been committed. He resolved to deal a crushing blow which would appear as a special insult and injury to the present wearer of the Imperial crown. Amorion was the original home of the family of Theophilus," and he resolved that it should be blotted out from the number of inhabited cities. But apart from this consideration, which may have stimulated his purpose, the choice of Amorion was natural on account of its importance. The Saracens considered its capture the great step to an advance on Constantinople. In the seventh century they took it, but only for a moment; in the eighth they attempted it three times in vain. In the year of his death, Mamun is said to have intended to besiege it. An Arabic chronicler describes it as the eye of

1 Constantine, wepi raş. 508. The triumph is also mentioned in one text of the Acta 42 Mart. Amor. (40-42).

2 Simeon (Add. Georg.) 799 kaλws ἦλθες, ἀσύγκριτε φακτιονάρη.

Michael Syr. 90; he fled to Armenia, on his way to the Empire, and was betrayed by “a patrician named Stephanos," in whose house he found a lodging. Cp. Weil. ii. 301.

Michael, 89, records some minor hostilities of Mutasim in the winter of 837-838.

5 That these barbarities were chiefly committed by the orientals who had joined Theophilus (cp. Weil, ii. 310) may possibly be inferred from an incidental remark of Michael Syr. 96, "Nasr who had devastated Zapetra,' but this may relate to an act during Nasr's earlier rebellion. Masudi says that Theophilus had with him Burjans, Bulgarians, and Slavs (67). From


the same writer we learn that a certain Ibrahim declaimed a poem before the Caliph, exciting him to revenge.

• Greek writers say that the region of Zapetra was the home of the ancestors of the reigning Caliph. This is stated in Gen. 64, Cont. Th. 124. Simeon (Add. Georg. 798) ascribes this honour to Σαμόσατον. A work composed soon after A.D. 845 (Acta 42 Mart. Amor. 40) leaves it open: περιφανεῖς πόλεις ἔνθα κτλ. There seems to be no foundation for this; the motive of the myth was to balance the destruction of the cradle of the Emperor by that of the cradle of the Caliph. Cp. Vasil'ev, 116. Nikitin (Acta citt. 191) attempts an explana tion of the fable. Apart from its connexion with the reigning dynasty, the selection of Amorion can be, explained by its importance.

7 Theoph. 351, 386, 452, 470.
See above, p. 256.

Christendom,' and a Greek contemporary writer ranks it next to the capital.2


Mutasim left his palace at Samarra in April (A.D. 838), and the banners of his immense army 3 were inscribed with the name of Amorion. The Caliph was a warrior of indisputable bravery, but we know not whether it was he or his generals who designed the strategical plan of the invasion. The two most eminent generals who served in this campaign were Ashnas and Afshin. The former was a Turk, and his prominence is significant of the confidence which Mutasim reposed in his new corps of Turkish guards. Afshin had distinguished himself by suppressing rebellion in Egypt, and he had done much to terminate the war against Babek which had been so long drawn out.

The city of Ancyra was fixed upon as the first objective of the invasion. An army of the east, under the command of Afshin, advanced by way of Germanicia, and crossed the frontier by the Pass of Hadath on a day which was so fixed as to allow him time to meet the army of the west in the plains of Ancyra.

The purposes of the Caliph were not kept secret. The dispositions of the Emperor show that he was aware of the designs on Ancyra and Amorion. He left Constantinople probably in May; and from Dorylaion, the first great military station on the road to the Saracen frontier, he made provisions for the strengthening of the walls and the garrison of Amorion. The duty of defending the city naturally devolved upon Aetius, the stratêgos of the Anatolic Theme, for Amorion was his official residence. The plan of the Emperor was to attack the forces of the enemy on their northward march to Ancyra. Knowing nothing of the eastern army under Afshin, he crossed the Halys and encamped with his army not far from the river's bank in the extreme south of the Charsian district,

"And more valued by the Greeks than Constantinople" (Tabari, 30); cp. Masudi, 74.

2 Acta citt. 425 (cp. 1113).

According to Michael Syr. 95, Mutasim's army numbered 50,000, Afshin's 30,000. He mentions also 30,000 merchants and providers, 50,000 camels, 20,000 mules. BarHebraeus (159) says that Mutasim led 220,000 men. The Armenian version of Michael (274) mentions 30,000

negroes. Masudi (68) says that the numbers were exaggerated by some to 500,000 and reduced by others to 200,000. Tabari (30) says that no Caliph had ever made preparations for war on such a gigantic scale. These statements illustrate the value of numbers in medieval writers. We can only trust intelligent contemporaries. Here the numbers of the combatants given by Michael, i.e. Dionysios, are moderate and credible.

probably near Zoropassos, where there was a bridge. He calculated that the enemy would march from the Cilician Gates to Ancyra by the most direct road, which from Soandos to Parnassos followed the course of the river, and he hoped to attack them on the flank.' The Caliph's western army advanced northward from Tyana in two divisions, and Ashnas, who was in front, was already near the Halys before the Emperor's proximity was suspected. The Caliph ordered a halt till the position and movements of the Romans should be discovered. But in the meantime Theophilus had been informed of the advance of the eastern army, and the news disconcerted his plans. He was now obliged to divide his forces. Taking, probably, the greater portion with him, he marched himself to oppose Afshin, and left the rest, under the command of a kinsman, to check or harass the progress of the Caliph. Afshin had already passed Sebastea (Sivas), and was in the district of Dazimon, when he was forced to give battle to the Emperor. Dazimon, the modern Tokat, commands the great eastern road from Constantinople to Sebastea, at the point where another road runs northward to Neo-Caesarea. The town lies at the foot of a hill, at one extremity of which the ruins of the ancient fortress are still to be seen. Situated near the southern bank of the Iris, it marks the eastern end of a fertile plain stretching to Gaziura (now Turkhal), which in the ancient and middle ages was known as Dazimonitis; the Turks call it Kaz-Ova. It was probably in this plain that the Saracens encamped. The Emperor, who may have




For details of the march of Mutasim and Ashnas, see Bury, Mutasim's March. Tabari's account of the campaign is fuller than any other.

2 30,000 (Michael Syr. 95, who gives no topographical indications). Afshin is evidently meant by Simeon's curious Sudeê (Sundei, rers. Slav. 97; Zovden, Add. Georg. ed. Mur. 712; Zoudép, Leo Gr. 224).

Gen. 67 of (the Saracen commanders) κατὰ τὸν Δαξιμῶνα συνήχθησαν σтратожεdevσάμevo. Tabari's date (45) for the battle, July 22, can hardly be right. A longer time must surely have elapsed before the beginning of the siege of Anorion (Aug. 1). Moreover, Tabari refutes himself. His date

is 66
'Thursday, Shaban 25." But
Shaban 25 July 22 fell on Monday.

For the plain of Dazimon, which seems to have been once part of an Imperial estate, see Anderson, Stud. Pont. i. 68; for Tokat itself and the fortress, Cumont, ib. ii. 240-243.


5 Afshin had been reinforced by the forces of Armenia led by Bagarat, lord (ishkhan) of Vaspurakan, the 'prince of princes." This title was rendered in Greek by ἄρχων τῶν ἀρχόν· Twv (Constantine, Cer. 687). Genesios has split him into two persons (67) αὑτοῦ τοῦ ἄρχ. ἀρχ. καὶ τοῦ Βεσπαρακανίτου (I am not quite sure whether Marquart follows him, op. cit. 463). Cont. Th. 127 rightly mentions only one person. Bagarat was a son of

« PrethodnaNastavi »