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about ten years (A.D. 803-813). We saw how he received a military command from his old follow-oflicer, Lco the Armenian, ind ho rose in arms shortly before that Emperor's death.'

If he wus tempted to rise against Leo, much more was he tempted to dispute the crown with Michael, with whom he scems to have had a rivalry of old standing. Thomas was much the elder of the two; at the time of his rising he was an old man. One of his legs was maimed; but his age and lameness did not impair his activity. The lame man was personally more popular than the lisper; for, while Michael's manners were coarse and brusque, Thomas was courteous and urbane. His Slavonic origin hardly counted against him;" men were by this time becoming familiar with Romaeized Slavs.

But Thomas did not come forward as himself; and this is a strange feature of the rebellion which it is difficult to understand. He did not offer himself to the inhabitants of Asia Minor as Thomas of Gaziura, but he pretended that he was really one who was generally supposed to be dead, a crowned Augustus, no other than Constantine the Sixth, son of Irene. That unfortunate Emperor, blinded by the orders of his mother, had died, if not before her dethronement, at all cvents in the first years of Nicephorus. The operation of blinding had not been performed in public, and a pretender might construct a tale that another had been substituted, and that the true Constantine had escaped. But it is hard to see how the fraud could have been successful even for a time in the case of Thomas. He might easily enough have palmed himself off among barbarian neighbours as the deposed Emperor. Or if he had produced an obscure stranger and given out that this was Constantine who for more than twenty years had lurked in some safe hiding-place, we could understand that the fiction might have imposed on the Themes of Asia. But we cannot easily conceive how one who had been recently before the eye of the world as Thomas, Coinmander | Sec above, p. 46 and p. 48.

filled the Patriarchal chair seventy 2 Gen. 32 ανέκαθεν γαρ αλλήλοις

years back-Nicetas, in the reign of αντιπεπονθότως διίσταντο.

Constantine V.

3 Before the ycar A.D. 806, as is :: Cont. Th. 53.

proved by Theodore Stud. Em. i. 31 4 But olserve the ει και σκυθίζων τω (and cp. Gen. 35); see Brooks, B.Z. ix. gével of Gercsios, :32. A Slav had

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of the Federates, and whose earlier career must have been moru or less known by his contemporaries, could suddenly persuade people that all this time he wils not himself. One almost suspects that some link in the chain of events is lost which might have explained the feasibility of the deceit. If Thomas had withdrawn for some years to Syria, he inight have returned in the new character of an Augustus who was supposed to be dead. And indeed in one account of the rebellion it is implied that he started froin Syria, perhaps with some Saracen support at his back.'

The pretender was not content with keing Constantine, sou of Irene; he resolved, like Constantine the Great, to have a son named Constantius. Accordingly he adopted a man of mongrel race, whose true name is unknown, and called him Constantius. Our record describes this adopted son in terms of the utmost contempt,—as a base and ugly mannikin.” But he inust have had some ability, for his “father" trusted hiin with the command of armies.

It is impossible to distinguish with certainty the early stages of the insurrection of Thomas, or to determine how far it had spread at the tinic of Michael'succession. He established his power by winning the district of Chaldia, in eastern Pontus. He also secured some strong places in the Armeniac Theme, in which Gaziura, his native town, was situated, but the soldiers of this Theme did not espouse his cause. It was to the castern provinces that he chiefly looked for support ‘at first, but his power presently extended to the west. The false Constantine and his son could soon reckon the greater part of Asia Minor, from the borders of Armenia to the shores of the Aegean, as their dominion. The l'aulician heretics, who were persecuted by Leo, tlocked to their standard. They intercepted the taxes which should have been conveyed to Constantinople and used the money for winning adherents to their cause.

I Gen. 36; Conil, Ti, 51 ; detu dir. Harun, who treated him with honour 232. There is a confusion in this as an Emperor's son, to give him an tradition letween the lueginning of the army to overthrow the Emperor rebellion and the alliance of Thomas (Nicephorus). Mamun, however, gave with the Saracens in A.1). 821. him an army..“ soit pour s'emparer Accoriling to Michael Syr. 37, Thomas, de l'empire des Romains et le lui whose father's name was Müsmir, was livrer (ensuito), soit pour les Troubler with the Saracens lafure the death of par la guerra, Cji. Birollaborateurs, llarun, itul fine tendeed to love the son of

1:0. Constantine il. lle tried to furstille :! llo,

1

The cities which would not voluntarily have acknowledged them were constrained by fear. Soon they could boast that only two armies in Asia had not joined them, the Opsikian and the Armeniac. The patrician Katakylas, Count of Opsikion, was a nephew of Michael, and remained true to his uncle. Olbianos, stratêgos of the Armeniacs, espoused the sunno cause. But the meayre and disorderly accounts of the war which have reached us do not inform us what Olbianos and Katakylas did, or whether they did anything, to stem the torrent of rebellion. No dates are given, and even the order of events is obscure.

But if Michael and his supporters made no signal effort to oppose the progress of the danger, the attention of Thomas was diverted to another enemy.

The civil war in the Empire was an opportunity for the Caliph, and the Saracens began to make excursions in the Roman lands which were left insufficiently protected, as the regular defenders had abandoned their posts to swell the army of Thomas. Perhaps the murmurs of his soldiers' convinced Thomas that he must relinquish for a time his war against his countrymen to repel the common foe. But if he was yielding to the wishes of his followers, in taking measures to protect their homes, he made a skilful use of the danger and turned it completely to his own advantage. His long sojourns among the Moslems stood him in good stead now.

His first movement was to invade Syria ? and display his immense forces to the astonished eyes of the Saracens. Perhaps such a large Roman army had seldom passed the Taurus since Syria had become a Saracen possession. But the object of this invasion was not to harry or harın the invaded lands, but rather to frighten the enemy into making a treaty with such a powerful commander. The design was crowned with success. The Caliph Mamun empowered persons in authority to meet the pretender, and a compact of alliance was arranged. Thomas or Constantine Wils recognised as Emperor of the Romans by the Commander of the Faithful, who undertook to help him to dethrone his rival. In return for this service, Thomas is said to have

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ayned not only to surrender certain border territories which are not specifice, but to become a tributary of the Caliph.'

After the conclusion of this treaty, which turned a foe into a friend, we expect to find the Emperor Constantine hastening back to recover the throne of the Isaurians. But before he left Syria he took a strange step.

With the consent or at the instance of his new allies he proceeded to Antioch, in order to be crowned by the Patriarch Job as Basileus of the Romans. The coronation of a Roman Emperor in Antioch in the ninth century was a singular event. We cannot imagine that Thomas was accompanied thither by his army; but doubtless the Greek Christians of the place focked to see the unaccustomed sight, and when the Patriarch Job placed the crown on the head of the Basileus they may have joined his attendants in acclaiming him. We have to go back to the fifth century for a like scene. in Syrian Antioch that Leontius, the tyrant who rose against Zeno, was crowned and proclaimed Augustus. The scale and gravity of the rebellion of the Isaurian Leontius render it not unfit to be compared with the rebellion of the later pretender, who also professed to be of Isaurian stock.

But when we consider the circumstances more closely the coronation assumes a puzzling aspect. If Thomas had been simply Thomas, we can understand that he might have grasped at a chance, which was rare for a rebel in his day, to be crowned by a Patriarch out of Constantinople, even though that l'atriarch was not a Roman subject. But Thomas, according to the story, gave out that he was an Emperor already. He had borrowed the name and identity of the Emperor Constantine VI.; he had therefore, according to his own claiin, been crowned augustus by the Patriarch of Constantinople forty years before. What then is the meaning of his coronation at Antioch? One would think that such a ceremony would weaken rather than strengthen his position. It night. be interpreted as a tacit confession that there was some flaw in the title of the re-arisen Con

1 Cont. Τh. 54 τισχνούμενος τα pot mention this, but it may explain "Ρωμαίων τε τροδούναι δρια και την αυτών (see below) the coronation at Antioch. αυτοίς υπό χείρας ποιήσαι αρχήν. Τις The author of the actre Duriilis says last clause must be interpreted to (2:32) that Thomas promised to sul.. mean that Thomas unvlertook to giay a ject the Empire to the Saracens. This tribute to the Caliplı. Gencsios dues loubtless was generally believed.

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stantine. It would have been requisite for an Emperor who had been first crowned at Antioch to repeat the ceremony when he had established himself on the Bosphorus; but it is strange that one who had declared that he had been formally consecrated at Constantinople by the chief Patriarch should come to Antioch to receive an irregular consecration from a lesser prelate. It does not appear that the tyrant had abandoned his claim to be another than himself, and, having won his first followers by an imposture, now threw off the cloak and came forward as Thomas of Gaziura. It may be suggested that the coronation was not contrived by the wish of the pretender, but by the policy of Mamun. The reception of the embleni of sovranty at the hands of a Patriarch, who was the 'subject of the Caliph, may have been intended a symbolical acknowledgment of the Caliph's overlordship and a pledge of his future submission as a tributary

The prospect of the tyrants looked brighter than ever when they returned to the lands of the Empire. Men of all sorts and races and regions had flocked to their standards Slavs, Persians, Armenians, Iberians, and many from the regions of the Caucasus and the eastern shores of the Euxine.? The total number of the forces is estimated at eighty thousand. Reports meanwhile reached Constantinople of the gathering of this large host. But Michael took it for granted that rumour outran the truth, and deemed it enough to send into the field a small army, totally insufficient to cope with the foe. The

"The dificulty about the coronation tions Saracens, Persians, Iberians, at Antioch has not been noticed, so Arnicnians, Abasgians (Avassis), and far as I know, by any historian. If speaks as if all these had been in the Thomas had pretended to be a son of rebel army at the very beginning of Constantine (as Michael Syr. alleges, the revolt against Leo V. Besides scc above, p. 86, n. 1), all would be these, Genesios (33) mentions Alans, clear. It is curious that Michael Syr. Zichs, Colchians, Indians (that is (75) states that in A.1). 831-832 a Roman, negroes), Kabeiroi, Slavs, Huns, Van. pretending to be of Imperial lincage, dals, and Getae. The Kabeiroi are came to Mamun in Cilicia and asked probably the Turkish Kabars of the him to help him to the throne; Mamun Khazar Empire (see below, p. 426). caused him to be crowned by the For the Alans (Ossetians), see below, Patriarch Job; the impostor after. p. 408 sq. The Getae may be the Goths wards became a Mohanımadlan. When of the Crimca, the Huns may be Mag. the news reached Constantinople, the yars or Inner Bulgarians, or something bishops met and excommunicated Job. else. It is ditlicult to discover ninthThe Greek sources give no support to century Vandals (Wenils do not come

into range). ? Michael, Epaul Luil. 417-418, men.

this story.

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