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Those are the dates with which we have to work. It is clear, of course, that the three years of the war correspond to 821, 822, and 823. The rebellion against Michael Logan with his accession and lastod till the end of 823.
The first year was occupied with the movements in Asia Minor, the visit to Syria, and the crossing to Thraco. In December 821 (3) the tyrant apperired at Constantinople and made the first grand assault. Then he retired until March or April--till spring was well advanced (4)--and made the second grand assault. Then came the revolt of Gregory Pterolos, iind later the arrival of the ships from Greece. During the later part of the year nothing striking seems to have occurred.
From l'eduling the Lottei of Michael, or putting (-2) and (3) together, it would be natural to conclude that the siege was raised in December 822.
In that case
we must suppose that the negotiations with the Bulgarians belong to the end of 822, and that the battle of laluktos was fonght either in December 822 or Jannatry 823; for it is clear from the story that it followed haril upon the departure of Thomas from the city.
The vague date of Genesios does not help us here. Assuming that the tretty of Leo with the Bulgarians wits concluded as early is the middle of 815, the first decade had not elapsed until the middlo of 825. If, then, the date of Genosios refers to December 822, the first decule haul still two iud in half ycar's to ruin.
llis (rycoór must be tiken in it wide sonso.
But such an early date ils January 823 for the battle of Kisuktos involves 11s in some dificulties. Our next positive date is that of the death of Thomis in the middle of October 823. Ilis death followed immediately on the surrender of Arcadiopolis. Therefore the siege of Arcadiopolis, which lastcil five months (7), probably began in the first half of the month of May. The battle of Diabasis immediately preceded the siege—the interval cannot have been longer than it fow days -- and therefore took place in the first day's of Maly or ilt the very end of April.
The question then is: how long an interval may we assumo between the battle of leluktus and the battle of Diabasis. If the tirst battle wils fonght in the first half of Jimmary and the second in the latter half of April, Thomis was allowed to ravage the neighbourhood of Constantinoplo for more than three months. This seems improbable, and is not suggested by thu accounts of Ciencsios and t!ic Continuer. Wo cannot believe that Michael would have been so impolitic as to leave a foe, who had been proliyatus by the Bulgariens, to gather new strength in such close proximity to the city during such a long space of time. Promptitude was certainly Michael's policy in the circumstances.
I therefore believe that the battle of Koduktos was fought in
April or at earliest in the last days of March. I hold that we should count the yra of the sicye from the spring of 822, and not from December 821. For it was in sprinig 822 that the continuous blockade really began. During the months which intervened between Docember 821 and spring 822 tho city was not formally besieged. It is true that the Letter of Michael does not convey this impression; but, on the other hand, it doos not really contraulict my interpretation. Michael is only giving a rough outlino of the events, and omits the details of the siego. It is quito intelligible that he should have formally mentioned the date of the first appe:trance of the tyrant before the walls; that he should have omitted to mention his second appearance and the beginning of the regular siege; and that then he should have stated the length of the sieno as a year, without explaining that he counted from it later date than December.
This postponement of the Bulgarian episode lightens, though but slightly, the burden that has to be laid on yedór in Genesios (see above, Ch. XI. p. 360).
THE FAMILY OF THEOPHILUS
THERE is considerable difficulty in reconciling the evidence of coins with the statements of the chronicles as to the children of Theophilus and Theodora. There were two sons and five daughters. The elder son, Constantine, is ignored by the chroniclers, but is mentioned in the enumeration 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 marriago), was born c. 839, for at the timo of his father's death, Jan. 842, he was tpitov Tos Surówr (Cont. Th. 148). The five danghters 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 elsewhere described as “the youngest of all” (riiv coxúriju Tivtuv) ind her father's favouritu, in Cont. Th. 107, but Simcon does not designate her as the youngest (Cont. Georg. 794). She married Alexios Musele and diod in her father's lifetime (locc. cit.). Simeon (ib. 823) mentions the four surviving daughters in the order Thecla, Anastasia, Anna, Pulcheria, and adds that Pulcheria was her mother's favourite.
The evidence of the coins is thus classified by Wroth (Imp. By. Coins, i. xlii-xliii):
1. Coins of Theophilus, Theodora, Thecla, Anna, and Anastasia.
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 clasz 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 the head of Leo III. Thus
classes 2 and 3 were issued not oarlier than tho ond of 829, not litor than the beginning of 839.
Class 1 obviously belong to some time during the period of ten years in which neither Constantine nor Michael existod. Wroth dates them to the first yours of the reign of Theophilus. lle suggests that Constantino was born some years after his father's accession (say A.1), 832).
But the difficulty connected with the marriage of Maria (which Wroth has not taken into account) bears on tho interpretation of thu mumismatic data, It has been disculinod by E. W. Brooks (1.2. X. 514) and Melioranski (Viz. Irem. viii. 1-37).
As Theophilus married in spring 821, the earliest date for tho birth of his oldest child would be about Jani, 822. If Maria Wils the fifth daughter, her birth could hardly lo carlior than 826, or, if we take into account the possibility of twins, 825. She would not have reached the extrliest possiblo ilge for marriago till after the birth of her brother in 839. But such a dato is incompatiblu with the narrative and the probabilities. Her marriage was eviilently prior to the birth of Michael and intended to provide for what seemed the probable eventuality of the Emperor's death without it son to succeed him.
This argument forces us to reject the statement of Cont. Th. that Marit Wils the youngest daughter. For we cannot entertain the suggestion that Maria was not married, but only betrothed to Alexios; the evidence that she was his wifo (Cont. Th. 107, 108) is quite clear. Nor can wo admit, except is the last resort of despair, the hypothesis thit Theodora was the second wife of Theophilus, and that some or all of his daughters were the progeny of at first wife, of whoso existence there is no evidence.
Meliorunski, who contemplated the notion that Miuria might by the danghter of a former marriage, put forward the alternativo suggestion that she was his youngest sister (thus accepting the εγάτη, erytor, but rejecting the Oryutépu of ('out. Th.). Thero is nothing to be said for this hypothesis in itself; and as it was unquestionably the purpose of Theophilus to provido for the succession to the throno, it is impossible to suppose that he would have chosen a sister when he had daughters.
That Maria wils 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 its early as 1.1. 831; for in that year he is already Caesar, as appears from the description of the triumph of Theophilus in ('onistantine Porph. llepi Tut. 505,4
This result compels us to modify Wroth's chronology for the
coins. If class 1 belonged to the boginning of the reign of Theophilus, thu eldest dunghter, Marin, would huvo appeared on those coins. We are lod to the conclusion that Constantino was born just before or just after the accession of Theophilus, that he died before the betrothal of his eldest sister, that she died before the birth of Michael (839), and that class 1, representing Thecla, Anna, and Anastasia, belong to the short interval between her death and their brother Michael's birth. Thus wo got the chronology :
A.D), 829-830. Constantino born.
. Marriage of Maria with Alexios Muselo.
Michael (III.) born.
Against this interpretation of the evidence can only be set the statement in Coul. Th, that Maria was the youngest daughter. But this statement is admitted by modern critics to be incompatible with the facts, except on the hypothesis that all the daughters were the issue of a former marriage. Such a hypothesis, however, saves the authority of Cont. Th. in this ono point, only to destroy it in another and gravor matter. For Cont. Th. unmistakably regards the fivu daughtors ils the children of Thcodora and the grandchildren of Thuoktisto (906). Wo can, moreover, conceive how the mistake
Maria haul died in her father's lifetime; the other four long survived him, and Thecla (who appeared on coins with her mother and brother) wils always known as the eldest ; so that we can understand how it chronicler, wanting to place Maria in the series, and finding in his source only the statement that she wils her father's filvourite, and taking it for granted that Thecla Wils the eldest, for the insutlicient reason that sho Was ihe eldest in the following reign, tacked Maria on at the end.
The ilccoints in Simcon, milu. Cicory. 794, and Cont. T!, 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, was punished. According to the latter, the suspicions of his disloyalty were subsequent to his command in the west (Longobardia, 1.6. Sonth 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 Theophilus have come under consideration,