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Loo to be Count of the Federates, and each of them received the gift of a house in Constantinople. When Bardanes

? found it impracticable to establish on the Asiatic shore ? a basis of operations against the capital, of which the inhabitants showed no inclination to welcome him, he concluded that his wisest course would be to sue for grace while there was yet time, and he retired to Malagina. The Emperor

” readily sent him a written assurance of his personal safety," which was signed by the Patriurch Tarasius and all the patricians; and the promise was confirmed by the pledge of a little gold cross which the Emperor was in the habit of wearing. The tyranny had lasted about seven wecks, when Bardanes secretly left the camp at midnight (September 8) and travelling doubtless by the road which passes Nicaea and skirts the southern shores of Lake: Ascanias, escaped to the monastery of Heraclius at Kios, the inodern town of Ceumlek.” There he was tonsured and arrayed in the lowly garment of a monk. The Emperor's bark, which was in waiting at the shore, carried him to the island of Prôtê, where he had built a private monastery, which he was now permitted to select as his retreat. Under the name of Sabbas, he devoted himself to ascetic exercises. But Nicephorus, it would seem, did not yet feel assured that the x-tyrant was innocuous; for we can hardly doubt the assertion of our sources that it was with the Emperor's knowledge that a band of Lycaonians? landed on the island by night and deprived the exiled monk of his eyesight. Nicephorus, however, professed to be sorely distressed at the occurrence; he shed the tears which were

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1 The details are recorded in Gen., Inore fully in Cont. Th. The house of Kurianos was assigned to Michael, tho palace of Lono and a house called Dagistheus (Tov Aayola) to Leo.

? He waited at Chrysopolis for eight days (Theoph. 479).

3 Tho great cavalry depot, about twenty miles cast of Nicaea on the road to Dorylajon. See Ramsay, Asia Minor, 204-205.

15. Cont. Th. (c. Gen. 10) men tions the gold cross; it was probably

; an enkolpion (worn on the breast). A cross was regularly usod as a pledge of Imperial fuith in such cases. Com.

pare the story of Theophilus and
Manuel, below, p. 258, and the assur.
unce given to Igautius, below, p. 198.

• Theoph. ib.
o Cont. Th. 10.

7 Theoph. 480 Λυκάονάς τινας A
λυκανθρώπους, ομογνώμονας και ομό-
φρονας αποστείλας κτλ. I would not,
with some historians, quote this ex-
pression of Theophanes as a proof of
the character of the Lycaonians.
Theophanes is a partisan of Bardanes,
and neither he nor any of his con-
temporaries could resist tho tempta.
tion of playing on proper names.
Besidus Lycaouia was infected with
the Pauliciuu heresy.

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always ut his disposal, and did not leuve the Imperial bed. chamber for seven days. He even threutoned to put to death some Lycaonian nobles; and the Senate and the Patriarch could hardly venture to doubt the sincerity of his indignution. As for the rebellious army, it was punished by receiving no pay; several officers und lunded owners were banished; tho property of the chief insurgent was confiscated.

Such was the fate of Bardunes Tureus and his revolt.

In February 808 a plot was formed to dethrone Nicephorus by a large number of discontented senators and ecclesiastical dignitaries. It is signitiuunt thut the man who wils designated by the conspirators to be the new Emperor was on this occasion also an Armenian. The patrician Arsaber held the oflice of Quaestor; and the chronicler, who regarded with filvour any antngonist of Nicephorils, describes him als pious. The plot wils detected; Arsuber wus punished by ytripes, muile it monk und. binished to Bithynin; tho uccomplices, not excepting the bishops, wero benten und exiled."

Nicephorus had two children, a daughter and a son. l'rocopia had married Michael Rangabé," who was created Curopulutes; and one of their song, Nicetus (destined hereafter to occupy the Patriarchal throne), was appointed, as a child, to be the Domestic or commander of the Ilikunatoi, a new corps of guards which his granılfuther hnd institutod. Stauracius wus doubtless younger than l'rocopin, and was crowned Augustus in Doceinber 803, a year after his father's Buccession." Theoplanes, perhaps inalevolently, describes him as "physically and intellectually untit for the position."

3

Among the conspirators woro the have taken place much later than 794. Synkellos, and the sakellarioy and Assuming lior to havo boen married chartophylax of St. Sophia (Theoph. carly, sho might have been born in 778; 483). Finlay justly remarks that the and assuuing that her father married conspiracies formed against Nicophorus carly, he might have been born in 768. are no evidence of l.is unpopularity, Thus Nicopliorns must have been 45 "for the best Byzantine monarchis at least when he asconded the throne, were as often disturbed by secret plots und was probably older. Stauracius as the worst" (ii. p. 99).

was childless. ? From Nicetas, Vita Ignatii (Mansi, 3 During his sole reign the coinage xvi. 210 599.), we learn that Michael and of Nicephorus reverted to the old Procopia had five children-(1) Gorgo, fashion of exhibiting a cross on the (2) Theophylactus, (3) Stauracius, (4)

After the association of his Nicetus, . (5) Theophano. Nicetas son ho adopted the device (introduced (whose monastic naine was Ignatius) by Constantine V.) of representing was 14 years old in 813, and therefore the head of his colleague. Se Wrotli, was born in 799. From this we may Imp. Byz. Coins, 1. xl. juler that Procopia's marriage cannot

reverse.

His father took pains to choose a suitable wife for him. On December 20, 807, a company of young girls from all parts of the Empire was assembled in the Palace, to select a consort for Stauracius.' For a third time in the history of Now Roine an Athenian lady was chosen to be the bride of a Roman Augustus. The choice of Nicephorus now fell on Theophano, even as Constantino V. had selected Irene for his son Leo, and nearly four centuries before Pulcheria hud discovered Athenuis for her brother Theodosius. Theophano

. had two advantages: she wus « kinswoman of the late Empress Ireno; and she lind alrendy (report snid) enjoyed the embraces of a man to whom she was betrothed. The second circumstance yuve Nicephorus an opportunity of asserting the principlo thut thu Emporor was not bound by the canonicul Inws which interdicted such a union.'

If n stutement of Theophanes is true, which we have no means of disproving and no reason to doubt, the beauty of the maidens who had presented themselves us possible brides for the son, tempted the desires of the futher; and two, who

; were more lovely than the successful Athenian, were consoled for their disuppointment by the gallantries of Nicephorus himself on the night of his son's inarriage. The monk who records this scandal of the Imperiul Paluce makes no other comment thun "the ruscal wus ridiculed by all."

The frontiers of the Empire were maintained intuct in the reign of Nicephorus, but his campaigns were not crowned by militury glory. The death of the Caliph Harun (809 A.D.) delivered him from a persevering foe against whom he had been generally unsuccessful, and to whom he had been forced to make some humiliating concessions; but the Bulgarian war brought deeper disgruce upon Roman arms and was fatal to Nicephorus himself. In an expedition which, accompanied by his son and his son-in-law, he led across the Haemus, he suffered himself to be entrapped, and his life paid the penalty for his want of caution (July 26, A.D. 811).*

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i For these bride show's see below,

1 81.

2

μεμνηστευμένην ανδρί και πολλάκις αυτώ συγκοιτασθείσαν, χωρίσας αυτήν απ' αυτού το άθλίω Σταυρακίω συνέζευξεν

(Theoph. 483).

3 Cj. below, p. 34.

+ The Saracen and Bulgarian wars of Nicephorus are described below in Chaps. VIII. and XI.

§ 3. Stauracius The young Emperor Stauracius had been severely wounded in the battle, but he succeeded in escaping to the shelter of Hadrianople. His sister's husband, Michael Rangabé, had come off unhurt; and two other high dignitaries, the magister Theoktistos,' and Stephanos the Domestic of the Schools, reached the city of refuge along with the surviving Augustus. But although Stauracius was still living, it was a question whether he could live long. His spine had been seriously injured, and the nobles who stood at his bedside despaired of his life. They could hardly avoid considering the question whether it would be wise at such a crisis to leave the sole Imperial power in the hands of one who had never shown any marked ability and who was now incapacitated by a wound, seemingly at the door of death. On the other hand, it inight be said that the unanimity and prompt action which the emergency demanded would be better secured by acknowledging the legitimate Emperor, however feeble he might be. So at least it seemed to the Domestic of the Schools, who lost no time in proclaiming Stauracius autokrator.? Stauracius himself, notwithstanding his weak condition, appeared in the presence of the troops who had collected at Hadrianople after the disaster, and spoke to them. The soldiers had been disgusted by the unskilfulness of the late Emperor in the art of war, and it is said that the new Emperor sought to please them by indulging in criticisms on his father.

But the magister Theoktistos, although he was present on this occasion, would have preferred another in the place of

3

| Theoktistos is undoubtedly the It is worth uoticing that Muralt and same person as the quaestor who sup. Hirsch (190) adduce from Theophanes ported Nicephorus in his conspiracy July 25 as the date of the death of against Irene ; he was rewarded by Nicephorus. This is due to a wrong the high order of magister.

reading, corrected in de Boor's edition, ? The reign of Stauracius, reckoned 491. In Cont. Th. 11 the date is also from the date of his father's death, given as July 26, but the death of July 26, to the day of his resignation, Stauracius is wrongly placed on tho Oct. 2, lasted 2 months and 8 days day of his resignation (Oct. 2). He (Cunt. Th. 11). Theophanes gives 2 survived till Jan. 11, 812 (Theoph. months and 6 days (495), but he 495). teckons perhaps from the date of his 3 The divergent views of Stephanos proclamation at Hadrianople, which and Theoktistos are expressly noted might have been made on July 28. by Theophanes, 492.

Stauracius. And there was one who had a certain eventual claim to the crown, and might be supposed not unequal to its burdens, Michael Rangabé, the Curopalates and husband of the princess Procopia. It would not have been a violent measure if, in view of the precarious condition of her brother, Procopia's husband had been immediately invested with the insignia of empire. Such a course could have been abundantly justified by the necessity of having an Emperor capable of meeting the dungers to be apprehended from the triumphant Bulgarian foe. Theoktistos and others pressed Michael . to assume the diadem, and if he had been willing Stauracius would not have reigned a week. But Michael declined at this juncture, and the orthodox historian, who admires and lauds him, attributes his refusal to a regard for his oath of allegiance "to Nicephorus and Stauracius." I

The wounded Emperor was removed in a litter from Hadrianople to Byzantium. The description of the consequence of his hurt? shows that he must have suffered inuch physical agony, and the chances of his recovery were diminished by his mental anxieties. He had no children, and the question was, who was to succeed him. On the one hand, his sister Procopia held that the Imperial power rightly devolved upon her husband and her children. On the other hand, there was another lady, perhaps even more ambitious than Procopia, and dearer to Stauracius. The Athenian Theophano might hope to play the part of her kinswoman Irene, and reign as sole mistress of the Roman Empire.

Concerning the intrigues which were spun round the bedside of the young Emperor in the autumn months (August and September) of 811, our contemporary chror icle gives only a slight indication. The intluence of Theophano caused her husband to show marked displeasure to the ministers Stephanos and Theoktistos, and to his brother-in-law Michael, and also to regard with aversion his sister Procopia, whom he suspected of conspiring against his life.* As his condition

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