« PrethodnaNastavi »
TIIE FAMILY OF TIIEOPHILUS
THERE is considerable difficulty in reconciling the evidence of coins with the statoments of tho chronicles 18 to the children of Thcophilus and Thcodora. There were two sons and five daughters. The eldor son, Constantino, is ignored by the chroniclers, but is mentioned in the enumcration of the tombs in the Church of the Apostles, in Const. Porph. Cer. 645, and his head appears on coins. The younger, Michael III. (who was the youngest child of the marriage), was born c. 839, for at the time of his father's death, Jan. 842, he was apítov ēros deurówv (Cont. Th. 148). The five daughters were. Thecla, Anna, Anastasia, Pulcheria, Maria, named in this order in Cont. Th. 90 (though the story here rather suggests that Pulcheria was the youngest). Maria is clsewhere described
“the youngest of all” (rijv éo xuryv TÚVTWV) and her father's favourite, in Cont. Th, 107, brit Simcon does not designate her as the youngest (Cont. Georg. 794). She married Alexios Musele and died in her father's lifetime (locc, citt.). Simeon (ib. 823) mentions the four surviving daughters in the order Thecla, Anastasia, Anna, Pulcheria, and adds that Pulcheria was her mother's favourito.
The evidence of the coins is thus classified by Wroth (Imp. Byz. Coins, i. xlii-xliii):
1. Coins of Theophilus, Theodora, Thecla, Anna, and Anastilsia.
Class 4 evidently belong to A.D. 839-842, the infancy of Michael, and prove
that Constantine had died before Michael's birth. As to class 2 the difficulty which these coins present has been satisfactorily cleared up by Wroth's solution, which is undoubtedly right, that the bearded Michael is a memorial effigy of Michael II.; such a commemoration occurs in coins of the Isaurian Emperors, e.g. coins of Constantine V. retain tho head of Leo III. Thus
classes 2 and 3 were issued not earlier than the end of 829, not later than the beginning of 839.
Class 1 obviously belong to some time during the period of tch ycilrs in which neither Constantine' nor Michael existul. Wroth dates them to the first yenrs of tho reign of Theophilus. lle suggests that constientine was born some years after his father's acccssion (Bay A.D). 832).
But the difficulty connected with the marriage of Maria (which Wroth has not taken into account) bears on the interpretation of the numismatic dati. It has been discussed by E. W. Brooks (B.Z. x. 544) and Melioranski (Viz. Vrem. viii. 1-37).
As Theophilus married in spring 821, the earliest date for the birth of his eldest child would be about Jan. 822. If Maria was the fifth daughter, her birth could hardly be earlier than 826, or, if we take into account the possibility of twins, 825. She would not have reached the earliest possible age for marriage till after the birth of her lorother in 839. But such a dato is incompatible with the narrative and the probabilities. Her marriage wils evidently prior to the birth of Michael and intended to providlo for what seemed the probable eventuality of the Emperor's denth without it son to succeed hini.
This argument forces is to reject the statement of Cont. Th. that Maria was the youngest daughter. For we cannot entertain the suggestion that Mariit was not married, but only betrothed to Alexios; the evidence that shc was his wife (Cont. Th. 107, 108) is quite clear. Nor car
Nor can wo admit, except is the last resort of clempir, the hypothesis that Thcolor. Wilt the accond wife of Theophilus, and that some or all of his daughters were tho progeny of a first wife, of whoso existence there is no evidence.
Melioranski, who contemplated the notion that Maria might be the daughter of a former marriage, put forward the alternative suggestion that she was his youngest sister (thus accepting the évrxutyu, but rejecting the Ovqatépu of l'ont. Tli.). There is nothing to be said for this hypothesis in itself; and as it was unquestionably the purpose of Thcophilus to provide for the succession to the throne, it is impossible to suppose that he would have chosen it sister when he had daughters.
That Maria was the eldest daughter of Theophilus (so Brooks, op. cit.) is the only reasonable solution and it renders unnecessary the hypothesis of a first marriage). Born, say, in January or February 8:22, she would have been fourteen in 836, and we could assign her marriage to that year. But she was probably betrothed to Alexios as early as A.D. 831; for in that year he is already Caesar, as appeurs from the lescription of the triumph of Theophilus in Constantine Porph. llepi mus 505,4
This result compels 118 to modify Wroth's chronology for the
coing. If class 1 helonged to the beginning of the reign of Theophilus, the eldest daughter, Marin, would have appoared on theso coins. Wo are led to the conclusion that Constantine was born just before or just after the accession of Theophilus, that he died beforo tho betrothal of his oldest sister, that she died beforo the birth of Michael (839), and that class 1, representing Thecla, Annn, and Anastasia, belong to the short interval between her death and their brother Michael's birth. Thus we get the chronology:
A.D, 829-830. Constantine born.
Issues of coins classes 2 and 3.
· Michael (III.) born.
Against this interpretation of the evidence can only be set the statement in Cont. Th, that Maria was the youngest daughter. But this stitoment is admittoi by moclorn critics to be incompatible · with the facts, except on thu hypothesis that all tho daughters were the issue of a former marriage. Such a hypothesis, however, saves the authority of Cont. Th, in this one point, only to destroy it in another and graver matter. For Cont. Th. unmistakably regards the five daughters as the children of Thcodora and the grandchildren of Theoktisto (900). Wo can, morcover, conceivo how the mistako Ll'oxc). Marin hul died in hor futhor's lifetime; the other four long survived him, and Thceli (who appeared on coins with her mother and brother) - Wils always known as the cldest; so that wo can understand how it chronicler, wanting to place Marin in the series, and finding in his source only the statement that she was her father's favourite, and taking it for granted that Thecla Wils the oldest, for the insuflicient reason that she was the eldest in the following reign, tacked Maria on at the end.
The accounts in Simcon, Alld. Cicorg. 794, and Cont. Th, 108, of the sending of Alexios Muscle to the west, are inconsistent. According to the former, he was sent to Sicily on account of the Emperor's suspicions of his ambitious designs; Maria died during his absence; and Alexios, induced to return by promises of immunity, wils punished. According to the latter, the suspicions of his disloyalty were subsequent to his command in the west (Longobardia, i.c. South Italy), where he accomplished what he had to do to the Emperor's satisfaction. It is impossible to draw any certain conclusion.
As the coins of Thcophilus have come under consideration,
some changes which he made in the types may be mentioned here. They are thus described by Wroth (xliii.): “Ho restored the cross (now the patriarchal cross)' on some specimens, and on the folles an inscription--in this case OEOFILE AVCOVSTE SV NICAS-takes the place of the familiar mark of value M. He also introduces on coins the legend Kúpe Bonel To Body 80 familiar on Byzantine seals and other monuments. On some of his coins Theophilus describes himself and his son Constantine as the wide of Christ: Justinian II., un his solidi, had called himself Serrus Chrisli."
*, not the cross procent of which appeareil on the olıler coinage.
MICHAEL III. came to the throne January 21, 842, and died September 23, 867, so that his wholo reign lasted twenty-five years, cight months. For the last year and four months, Basil. was his colleague (from May 26, 866), so that the rest of his reign, including both the period of his minority and his sole reign after Theodora's fall, lasted twenty-four years, four months. Now, according to the contemporary chronicler George the Monk (801), he reigned fourteen years with Theodora, ten years and three months by himself. There is an error of a month, but here we are helped by the Anonymi Chron. Synt., ed. Bauer, p. 68 (cr. also an addition to the Chronography of Nicephorus, ed. de Boor, p. 101), where the joint reign is given as fourteen ycai's, one month, twenty-two diys. These figures are probably correct,' and so we can fix the meeting of the Senate which signalised the formal deposition of Thcoclora to March 15, 856. In any cilge, these data scem to be independent, ind they show that the deposition fell, not in 857 as Schlosser and Finlay supposed, but early in 856. This is the conclusion rightly supported by Hirsch (61). It bears out the narrative of the chroniclers (Simeon andGen.) who connect Thcodora's fall from power immediately with the murder of Thcoktistos, who was still alive at thc tinic of Michael's marriage, to which we cannot assign illl carlier date than 8:55. The two events must thus have been in chronological proximity.
But a serious difficulty has arisen through the connexion of the deposition of Ignatius from the Patriarchate and the expulsion of Thcoclora from the Palace. This connexion rests on good authority, tho Libellus of Ignatius (composed by Thcognostos) addressed to
| The other figures given by this mava a here is omitteil. The error source here are incorrect : Michael is may have arisen in the additions to the said to have reignul alone eleven years, Chron. of Nicephorus from a repetition one month, nine days. Thus the total of uñva a' in the preceiling notice. The reign woulil lie twenty-five years, three list stops with Basil I., so that the com. mouthis, instead of twenty-five years, pilor must have written soon after A.D. riylit nontlis. In the Cod. Matritensis 886.