Slike stranica

was sent without time for repentance to the tribunal in another world. The Patriarch owed his position to Bardas, and if he knew his weaknesses, must have appreciated his merits. We can detect in the phraseology of his epistle, and especially in one ambiguous sentence, the mixture of his feelings. “The virtue and clemency of your Majesty forbid me to suspect that the letter was fabricated or that the circumstances of the fall of Bardas were otherwise than it alleges circumstances by which he (Bardas) is crowned and others will suffer." ] These words intimate suspicion as clearly as it could decently be intimated in such a case. It was impossible not to accept the sovran's assurance of the Caesar's guilt, if it were indeed his own assurance, yet Photius allows it to be seen that he suspects that the Imperial letter was dictated by Basil and that there was foul play. But perhaps the most interesting passage in this composition of Photius—in which we can feel his deep agitation under the rhetorical figures of his style-is his brief characterization of the Caesar as one who was "to many a terror, to many a warning, to many a cause of pity, but to more a riddle.” ?

Photius concluded his letter with an urgent prayer that the Emperor should instantly return to the capital, professing that this was the unanimous desire of the Senate and the citizens; and shortly afterwards he dispatched another brief but importunate request to the same effect.8 It is absurd to suppose that this solicitude was unreal, or dictated by motives of vulgar flattery. We cannot doubt the genuine concern of the Patriarch ; but in our ignorance of the details of the situation we can only conjecture that he and his friends entertained the fear thut Michael might share the fate of his uncle. The intrigues of Basil were, of course, known well to all who were initiated in Court affairs; and modern partisan writers of the Roman Church, who detest Photius and all his works,“ do not pause to consider, when they scorufully animadvert upon these “time-serving” letters, that to have

1 δι' ών εκείνος μεν στέφεται άλλοι * Jager, ib. 115. Hergenröther, i. 8 kby ortal. The paraphrase of the δε .

589. Valettas, in his apology for Abbé Jager (Hist. de Photius, 116) Photius (note to Ep. 221, p. 536), says entirely omits this.

that Ph. calls Basil év tone. Anotnu, ? Mistranslated by Jager, ib. 117.

otc., in Ep. 190 ; but Basil, Prefect of

the City, to whom this lotter is ad. Ep. 222.

dressed, is a different person.


addressed to Michnel holy words of condemnation or reproof would have been to fling away every chance of rescuing him froin the influence of his High Chamberlain. We know not whether the Emperor was influenced by the pressing messages of the Patriarch, but at all events the Cretan expedition was abandoned, and he returned with Basil to Constantinople.

§ 3. The Elevation of Basil and the Murder of Michael

The High Chamberlain promptly reaped the duo reward of his craft and audacity. He was adopted as a son by the childless Emperor, and invested with the order of Magister.' A fow weeks later, Michael suddenly decided to elevate him to the throne. We can casily understand that this step seemed the ensiest way out of his perplexities to the Emperor, who felt himself utterly lost when Bardas was removed from the helm. Basil, firm and self-confident, was a tower of strength, and at this moment he could exert unlimited influence over the weak inind of his master. The Court and the city were kept in the dark till the last moment. On the eve of l'entecost, the Chief of the Private Wardrobe waited on the Patriarch and informed him that on the morrow he would bo required to take part in the inauguration of Basil as Basileus and Augustus.

On Whitsunday (May 26), it was observed with surprise that two Imperial seats were placed side by side in St. Sophia. In the procession from the Palnce, Busil walked bohind tho Emperor, in the usual guise of the Iligh Chamberlain; but Michael on entering the church did not remove the crown from his head 118 Wile usual. as

lle ascended the ambo. wearing the diadem, Basil stood on a lower step, and below him Leo Kastor, a secretary, with a document in his hand, while the Praepositus, the demarchs, and the demes stood around. Leo then read out an Imperial declaration : "The Caesar Bardas plotted against mne to slay me, and for this reason induced me to leave the city. If I had not been informed of the plot by Symbatios and Basil, I should not have been alive

The Caesar died through his own guilt. It is my will 1 Cont. Th. 238.

Descr. Ambonis, 60 319. (ed. Bonn, ? There were two flights of steps up p. 51). to the ambo, described by Paul Silent.,


that Basil, the High Chamberlain, since he is faithful to me and protects my sovranty and delivered me from my enemy and has much affection for me, should be the guardian and manager of my Empire and should be proclaimed by all as Emperor.” Then Michael gave his crown to the Patriarch, who placed it on the holy table and recited a prayer over it. Basil was arrayed by the eunuchs in the Imperial dress (the divêtêsion and the red boots), and knelt before the Emperor. The Patriarch then crowned Michael, and Michael crowned Basil.'

On the following day (Whitmonday) Symbation, the Logothetc of the Course, deeply incensed at the trick that Basil had played on him and disappointed in his hopes of proinotion to the rank of Caesar, requested Michael to confer upon him the post of a stratêgos. He was mude Stratêgos of the Thrakesiun Theme, und his friend George Pêganês was appointed Count of the Opsikian Theme. These two conia spired and marched through the provinces, ravaging the crops, declaring their allegiance to Michael and disowning Basil. The Emperors ordered the other stratégoi to suppress them, and Nicephorus Maleinos, by distributing a tlyshect, induced their soldiers to abandon them. When Pêganês was caught, his eyes were put out and he was placed at the Milestone in the Augusteon, with a plate in his hand, into which the passers - by might fling alms—a form of public degradation which gave rise to the fable that the great general Belisarius

· The description of the coronation is Constitution of the later Roman Empire, given by Simeon (Cont. Geory. 832-833). p. 10. To the official description in This tuxt (op. also od. Muralt, 744) C'er, the text of Simeon adds the fact is in orror whion it is said that l'hotius that tho oknarpa woro lowered just

took tho crown from the Emperor's boforo tho act of crowning (ok. Toox. hond and placed it on Busil's"; thu Tww, ws 10os). Tho skôpitrn, skeur, writor mouilt to mily, “ gavo it to the and binda woro arrayed on both sides Emperor, "au tyo Bao delw is obviously of the ambo, and tho demes did obej. an error for τη βασιλεί.

Tho sanie

sanco to them (Cor. ib.). The coronamistako is found in the vcrs. Sluv. tion' of Endocia Ingerina as Augusta 108, but Leo Gr. 216 étéSWKOY aútd must havo soon followed thut of Basil, TV Baoilea, and Theol. Mol. 172 as a quatter of course. απέδωκεν αυτώ βασιλεϊ are closer liera ? Sinicon, ib. 833, Cont. Th. 238, to the original text. The ceremony

240. Hirsch (238) observes an apo is described in Constantino, C'er. 194 puront contradiction between theso πρώτον μεν στέφει ο πατρ. τον μέγαν sources : Cont. Th. assigns tho Thrak. βασιλέα, είτα επιδίδωσι τω μεγ. βασιλεί Themo to Symbatios, the Opsikian το στέμμα και στέφει ο βασιλεύς τον to Pêganês, " whereas according to νεοχειροτόνητον βασιλέα. Tlie Benior the other account Symbatios receives Emperor always crowned the colleague the latter province." But κακείνος whom die created, unless he were un. Kóuns Toû 'Oy. in Simeon refers to able to be present; then he assigned Péganês more naturally than to the oflice to the Patriurch. See Bury, Symbatios.


ended his days as a beggar. A month later Symbatios, who had fled across Asia Minor, was caught in an inn in Keltzênê.” His right hand was cut off and he was blinded of one eye,' and placed outside the palace of Lausos in Middle Street, to beg like his comrade. At the end of three days, the two offenders were restored to their abodes, where they were kept under arrest.

The joint reign of Michael and Basil lasted for less than a year and a half.

Michael continued to pursue his amusements, but we may suspect that in this latest period of his life his frivolous character underwent a change. He became more reckless in his extravagance, more iminoderate in his cups, and cruel in his acts. The horror of his uncle's murder may have cast its shadow, and Basil, for whom he had not the same respect, was unable to exert the same kind of ascendency als Bardas. We cannot suppose that all the essential facts of the situation are disclosed to us in the meagre reports of our chronicles. The following incident can only have marked the beginning of the final stage of intensely strained relations."

Michael held a horse-race in the Palace of St Mamas. He drove himself as a Blue charioteer, Constantine the Armenian drove as a White, other courtiers as Green and Red. The Emperor won the race, and in the evening he dined with Basil and Eudocia Ingerina, and was complimented by the patrician Basiliskianos 6 on his admirable driving. Michael delighted by his flattery, ordered him to stand up, to take the

| Simeon, ib. 834. Keltzênê is the 3 In late writers, the Emperor is classical Akiliséné, called Ekelesênê designated as Michael the Drunkard by Procopius (B.P. i. 17); 'Exedevšívn, (ueduotńs), e.g. Glycas, ed. Bonn, 541, Mansi, xi. 613 ; Κελιτζηνή, Νοια 546. Cp. Gen. 113 olvoplulas, and Taction, ed. Gelzer, 78. It lies on the Cn. T. 251-252. loft bank of the Euphrates, north of • Our only useful source here is Sophene, east of Dardanalis; its chief

Simeon. Con, and Cont. T'h. slur town was Erem, now Erzinjan, north. over the murder of Michael, anıl cast of Ani (Theoclosiopolis). For a exonorato Brasil. According to Gon. geographical description nee Adlonts, 113, Basil's friondy advised him to Irmeniia v epokhu lustiniana, 48, slay Michael, but he declined, and 52 899. According to Cont. Th. 240, they did the deed themselves. Symbatios occupied the fort Tņs s In Cont. lh. 250, he is called πλατείας πέτρας ; we do not know Basilikinos, where we learn that he where this was. Simeon, ib., states was a brother of Constantino Kapthat when Symbatios arrived in the nogenes who was afterwards Prefect capital, Piganés was brought to meet of the City, and that he was one of him, holding a clay conser in his hand Michael's follows in his religious muni. with sulphur to fumigate him, --- meries, According to this sourco mysterious performance.

(Constantine Porph.), Michael arrayed According to Cont. Th. 211, of him in full Imperial dress and introboth

eyes, and according to this duced him to the Senate with somo solltee the nose of loganés was slit. doggrel verscs.

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red boots from his own feet and put them on. Basiliskianos hesitated and looked at Basil, who signed to him not to obey. The Emperor furiously commanded him to do as he was bidden, and turning on Basil cried with an oath, “The boots become him better than you. I made you Emperor, and have I not the power to create another Emperor if I will ?" Eudocia in tears, remonstrated : “The Imperial dignity is great, and we, unworthy as we are, have been honoured with it. It is not right that it should be brought into contempt.” Michael replied, “ Do not fear; I am perfectly serious; I am ready to make Basiliskianos Emperor.” This incident seriously alarmed Basil. Some time later when Michael was hunting, a monk met him and gave him a paper which purposed to reveal a plot of Basil against his life. He then began to harbour designs against his colleague.' He had small chance against such an antagonist.

Basil struck the blow on Sept. 24, A.D. 867. Michael had bidden him and Eudocia to dinner in the Palace of St. Mamas. When Michael had drunk deeply, Basil made an excuse to leave the room, and entering the Imperial bed. chamber tampered with the bolts of the door so that it could not be locked. He then returned to the table, and when the Emperor became drunk as usual, he conducted him to his bed and kissing his hand went out. The Keeper of the Private Wardrobe, who was accustomed to sleep in the Emperor's room, was absent on a commission, and Basiliskianos had been commanded to take his place. Michael sank on his bed in


Cont. Th. 249 (op. 209) asserts an actual attempt on Busil's life in the hunting-field.

? Ib. 210.

3 Tho Empress Theodorn (who was now at liberty, see above, p. 169) had invited her son to dinner in the house of Anthemios, and Michael had ordered Rentakios, Keeper of the Wardrobe, to kill somo game to send to his mother. Hirsch (66) hus znis. apprehended this, for de suys, " Theo. dora gieht ja im Palasto des Anthemios jenes Gastmahl, nach welchem Michael ermorilet wird.” It is clear that Theodora's dinner was to be held on a subscquent day; it is mentioued by Simeoni only to account for the absenco

of the Protovestiarios. Michael was
murdered in the Palace of St. Mamas.
That Theodora hud been restored to
liberty, though not to power, by A.!!.
800, is illustrated by the lotter which
Pope Nicolas addressed to her (Nov.
866). But we can fix the resumption
of her honours as Augusta to
earlier date, A.D. 863, for in triumphal
&kta in Constantino, Cor. 3:32, which
belong as I have shown to that year,
"the honourable Augustac
celebrated ; sco below, p. 284, n. 4.
The house of Anthemios (rd 'Avdeulov)
means perhaps not a "palace," but
(as Pargoire thinks, Burudion, 471)
the monastery founded by her son-in-
law Alexios in the suburban quarter
of Authentios (sce above, p. 127).



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