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have suffered this," said the weeping Emperor in a council of his patricians, "on account of my sins. God hates the Empire of my father-in-law and his race. For we were more than the enemy, and yet none had heart, but all fled."1
advice of the Patriarch Nicephorus did not coincide with the counsels of the patricians. He was inclined to approve Michael's first intention; he saw that the present reign could not last, and thought that, if Michael himself proposed a successor, that successor might deal mercifully with him and his children.
Meanwhile the soldiers were pressing Leo to assume the Imperial title without delay. The general of the Anatolics at first resisted, and pretended to be loyal to the Emperor at such a dangerous crisis, when the enemy were in the land. But when he saw that the Bulgarians intended to advance on Constantinople, he no longer hesitated to seize the prize which had been placed within his reach. He did not intend to enter the Imperial city in any other guise than as an Emperor accepted by the army; and the defence of Constantinople could not be left in the hands of Michael. It may be asked why Leo did not attempt to hinder Krum from advancing, by forcing him to fight another battle, in which there should be no feigned panic. The answer is that it was almost impossible to inveigle the Bulgarians into a pitched battle when they did not wish. Their prince could not fail to have perceived the true cause of his victory, and he was not likely to be willing to risk another combat.
July had already begun when Leo at length took the step of writing a letter to the Patriarch. In it he affirmed his own orthodoxy; he set forth his new hopes, and asked the blessing and consent of the head of the Church. Immediately after this he arrived at Hebdomon, and was proclaimed in the Tribunal legitimate Emperor of the Romans by the
This is related by Ser. Incert. 339-340. It is stated in Cont. Th. that Michael secretly sent by a trusty servant the Imperial insignia (the diadem, the purple robe, and the red shoes) to Leo; hence the anger of Procopia, mentioned in the last note but one. Theophanes does not mention this. In the richly illus trated Madrid MS. of Skylitzes (14th
cent.)-in which older pictures are reproduced-Michael is represented as crowning Leo; both are standing on a raised shield. See Diehl, L'Art byzantin, 778. For another story of the resignation see Michael Syr. 70.
2 This moment in the situation is mentioned by Theophanes, ib.
3 évVOμúτаTOS, ib. For the Palace of Hebdomon (which van Millingen
assembled army. On Monday, July 11, at mid-day, he entered by the Gate of Charisios and proceeded to the Palace; on Tuesday he was crowned in the ambo of St. Sophia by the Patriarch.
When the tidings came that Leo had been proclaimed, the fallen Emperor with his wife and children hastened to assume monastic garb and take refuge in the Church of the Virgin of the Pharos. Thus they might hope to avert the suspicions of him who was entering into their place; thus they might hope to secure at least their lives and an obscure retreat. The lives of all were spared; the father, the mother, and the daughters escaped without any bodily harm, but the sons were not so lucky. Leo anticipated the possibility of future conspiracies in favour of his predecessor's male children by mutilating them. In eunuchs he would have no rivals to fear. The mutilation which excluded from the most exalted position in the State did not debar, however, from the most exalted position in the Church; and Nicetas, who was just fourteen years old when he underwent the penalty of being an Emperor's son, will meet us again as the Patriarch Ignatius." Parents and children were not allowed to have the solace of living together; they were transported to different islands. Procopia was immured in the monastery dedicated to her namesake St. Procopia."
proved to be situated at Makri-Keui on the Marmora) and the Tribunal, see Bieliaev, iii. 57 sqq. The Tribunal was evidently a large paved place, close to the Palace, with a tribunal or tribunals. Theodosius II., Constantine V., and others had been proclaimed Emperors in the same place.
This gate (also called the Gate of Polyandrion) was on the north side of the river Lycus and identical with Edirne Kapu, as van Millingen has proved (83 sqq.). The street from this gate led directly to the Church of the Apostles, and Leo must have followed this route.
This church had been built by Constantine V. It was easily accessible from the Chrysotriklinos, being situated apparently between this building and the Pharos, which was close to the seashore. There is a description of the church in Mesarites (29 sqq. in Heisenberg's Programm,
Michael, under the name of
Nikolaos Mesarites, Die Palastrevolu
3 On the fate of Michael and his family, the most important records are Cont. Th. 19-20, and Nicetas, Vit. Iyn. 212-213. Genesios is not so well informed as Cont. Th., and speaks as if Ignatius alone suffered mutilation.
The eldest son, Theophylactus, his father's colleague, was less distinguished. He also became a monk and changed his name, but Eustratios did not rival the fame of Ignatius. Of the third, Stauracius, called perhaps after his uncle, we only hear that ho died before his father. It was
The site is unknown. founded by Justin I., who was buried there (cp. Ducange, Const. Christ. Bk. iv. p. 112), and is to be distinguished from the monastery of Procopius, which the Empress Procopia is said to have founded (ib.).
Athanasius, eked out the remainder of his life in the rocky islet of Plate, making atonement for his sins, and the new Emperor provided him with a yearly allowance for his sustenance. By one of those strange coincidences, which in those days might seem to men something more than chance, the death of Michael occurred on an anniversary of the death of the rival whom he had deposed. The 11th day of January, which had relieved Stauracius from his sufferings, relieved Michael from the regrets of fallen greatness. He was buried on the right
side of the altar in the church of the island where he died. Opposite, on the left, was placed, five years later, the body of the monk Eustratios,, who had once been the Augustus Theophylactus. This, however, was not destined to be the final resting-place of Michael Rangabé. Many years after, the Patriarch Ignatius remembered the grave of his Imperial father, and having exhumed the remains, transferred them to a new monastery which he had himself erected and dedicated to the archangel Michael at Satyros, on the Bithynian mainland, opposite to the Prince's islands. This monastery of Satyros was also called by the name of Anatellon or the Riser, an epithet of the archangel. The story was that the Emperor Nicephorus was hunting in the neighbourhood, where there was good cover for game, and a large stag was pulled down by the hounds. On this spot was found an old table, supported by a pillar, with an inscription on this wise: "This is the altar of the Arch-Captain (apxíτpaτýyov) Michael, the Rising Star, which the apostle Andrew set up."S
1 Oxeia and Plate are the two most westerly islands of the Prince's group. Cont. Th. states (20) that Michael went to Plate, Nicetas (l'it. Ign. 211) says vaguely πρὸς τὰς πριγκιπείους voous (and that Procopia went with him). Some modern historians follow Skylitzes (Cedrenus, ii. 48; Zonaras, iii. 319) in stating that he was banished to the large island of Prote, the most northerly of the group (Finlay, ii. 112; Schlumberger, Les Iles des Princes, 36; Marin, 33). For a description of Plate see Schlumberger, ib. 296 sqq.
2 Cont. Th. 20, A.M. 6332=A.D. 839-840 (reckoning by the Alexandrine era); ep. Muralt, sub 840. Theo
steriktos, writing in the latter years of Michael II., speaks of Michael I. as alive (Vit. Nicet. xxix. ỏ vÛV ÉTI ÉV μοναδικῷ διαπρέπων ἀξιώματι).
The anecdote is told in Cont. Th. 21. Hirsch (178) referred the anecdote to Nicephorus II., and drew conclusions as to the revision of Cont. Th. But Nicephorus I. is unquestionably meant. Cp. Brooks, B.2. x. 416417. Pargoire has shown that Igna tius did not found this monastery till his second Patriarchate in the reign of Basil I. (Les Mon. de Saint Iyn. 71 sqq.), and has proved the approximate position of the monastery. For the topography of the coast, see below, p. 133.
§ 5. Ecclesiastical Policies of Nicephorus I. and Michael I.
The principle that the authority of the autocrat was supreme in ecclesiastical as well as secular administration had been fundamental in the Empire since the days of Constantine the Great, who took it for granted; and, in spite of sporadic attempts to assert the independence of the Church, it always prevailed at Byzantium. The affairs of the Church were virtually treated as a special department of the affairs of the State, and the Patriarch of Constantinople was the minister of religion and public worship. This theory of the State Church. was expressed in the fact that it was the function of the Emperor both to convoke and to preside at Church Councils, which, in the order of proceedings, were modelled on the Roman Senate,1 It was expressed in the fact that the canons. ordained by ecclesiastical assemblies were issued as laws by the Imperial legislator, and that he independently issued edicts relating to Church affairs. It is illustrated by those mixed synods which were often called to decide ecclesiastical questions and consisted of the dignitaries of the Court as well as the dignitaries of the Church.
The Seventh Ecumenical Council (A.D. 787) marks an epoch in the history of the relations between Church and State. On that occasion the right of presiding was transferred from the sovran to the Patriarch, but this concession to the Church was undoubtedly due to the fact that the Patriarch Tarasius had been a layman and Imperial minister, who had been elevated to the Patriarchal throne in defiance of the custom which had hitherto prevailed of preferring only monks. to such high ecclesiastical posts. The significance of the epoch of the Seventh Council is that a new principle was signalized the assertion of ecclesiastical independence in questions of dogma, and the assertion of the autocrat's will in all matters pertaining to ecclesiastical law and administration. This was the view which guided the policy of Tarasius, who represented what has been called "the third party," standing between the extreme theories of thorough-going absolutism,
1 Gelzer, Staat und Kirche, 198. See this able article for the whole history of the Imperial authority over the Church.
2 Gelzer, ib. 228 sqq. He compares it to the parti politique in France in the reigns of Henry III. and Henry IV.
which had been exercised by such monarchs as Justinian, Leo III. and Constantine V., and of complete ecclesiastical independence, of which the leading advocate at this time was Theodore, the abbot of Studion. The doctrine of the third party was ultimately, but not without opposition and protest, victorious; and the ecclesiastical interest of the reign of Nicephorus centres in this question.
Tarasius, who had submitted by turns to the opposite policies of Constantine VI. and Irene, was an ideal Patriarch in the eyes of Nicephorus. He died on February 25, A.D. 806, and the Emperor looked for a man of mild and complacent disposition to succeed him. The selection of a layman was suggested by the example of Tarasius; a layman would be more pliable than a priest or a monk, and more readily understand and fall in with the Emperor's views of ecclesiastical policy. His choice was judicious. He selected a learned man, who had recently retired from the post of First Secretary" to a monastery which he had built on the Bosphorus, but had not yet taken monastic vows. He was a man of gentle disposition, and conformed to the Imperial idea of a model Patriarch.
The celebrated Theodore, abbot of the monastery of Studion, now appears again upon the scene. No man contributed more than he to reorganize monastic life and render monastic opinion a force in the Empire. Nicephorus, the Emperor, knew that he would have to reckon with the influence of Theodore and the Studite monks, and accordingly he sought to disarm their opposition by writing to him and his uncle Plato before the selection of a successor to Tarasius, and asking their advice on the matter. The letter in which Theodore replied to the Imperial communication is extant, and is highly instructive. It permits us to divine that the abbot would have been prepared to fill the Patriarchal chair himself. He begins by flattering Nicephorus, ascribing his
Theoph. A.M. 6298, p. 48115. All the MSS. have ke' (i.c. the 25th). De Boor reads in', on the ground that the version of Anastasius, which has duodecimo Kalendas Martias (i.e. the 18th), represents an older and better text. This is not confirmed by Ignatius, Vit. Tar. 27 Pevpovuply
μηνὶ συντελουμένῳ πέμπτην φέροντι σὺν πενταπλῇ τετράδι.
2 See Ignatius, Vit. Nic. Patr. 149 sqq. His learning is also shown by his extant writings. 3 Protoasecrêtês. For his monasteries see below, p. 68. Epp. i. 16, p. 960.