« PrethodnaNastavi »
agreed not only to surrender ccrtuin border territories which are not specified, 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 cvent. We cannot imagine that Thomas was accompanied thither by his iirmy; but doubtless the Greek Christians of the place tlocked 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. lle had borrowed the name and identity of the Emperor Constantine VI.; he had therefore, according to his own claim, 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 might be interpreted as it tacit confession that there was some flaw in the title of the re-arisen Con
1 ('out. Τh. 51 υπισχνούμενος τα not mention this, but it may explain "Ρωμαίων τε προδούναι όρια και την αυτών (see below) the coronation at Antioch. αυτοις υπό χείρας ποιήσαι αρχήν. ΤΙιε The author of the Actu Darilis says last chause must be interpreteil to (232) that Thomas promised to sul). mean that Thomis uniertook to pay s ject the Empire to the Saracens. This tribute to the Caliplı. Cenesios cives doubtless was generally believed.
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 emblem of sovranty at the hands of a Patriarch, who was the subject of the Caliph, may have been intended as a syinbolical 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 standardsSlavs, 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 foc. The
| The disliculty about the coronation
tions Saraccns, Persians, Iberians, Armenians, Abasgians (Avassis), and speaks as if all these had been in the rebel army at the very beginning of the rovolt against Lco V. Besides these, Genosios (33) mentions Alans, Zichs, Colchians, Indians (that is, negroes), Kabeiroi, Slavs, Huns, Van: . dals, and Getae. The Kabeiroi arc probably the Turkish Knbars of the Khazar Empire (see below, p. 426). For the Alans (Ossetians), see below, p. 408 sq. The Getae may be the Gothis of the Crimea, the Huns may be Mag. yars or Tuner Bulgarians, or something clse. It is dillicult to discover ninth. century Vandals (Wends do not come into rango).
? Micliael, Ep.cul Luul. 417.118, mene
thousands of Michael were swallowed up by the tens of thousands of Thomas. As no formidable resistance was offered to the tyrant's progress in Asia Minor, he prepared to attack the city itself. For this enterprise, in which so many had failed before him, it was judged indispensable to possess a fleet. The City of the Bosphorus had over and over again defied a joint attack by land and sea; it was naturally inferred that ill attack by land alone would have no chances of success.? The pretender therefore set himself to gather a fleet, and it would seem that he had no dilliculty in scizing the fleets of the Accrean und the Kibyrrhacot Themes, which together formed the Thematic or provincial nuvy: Thus all the
. warships stationed in the eastern parts of the Empire were in liis hands, except the Imperial fleet itself, which lay at the Imperial city. In addition to these, he built new warships ind new ships of transport. When all was ready, he caused his naval forces to assemble at Lesbos and await his orders, while he himself advanced to the Hellespont and secured Abylos. And now he inet his first reverse. All had yielded to him as he swept on through the Asiatic Themes, except one place, whose name our historians do not mention. He did not think it worth while to delay himself, but he left a considerable part of his army under the command of Constantius, to reduce this stubborn fortress. It sceins probable too that this dividing of his forces formed part of a further design. Wo may guess that while Constantine Wils to cross by the western gute of the Propontis and advance on the city from the west, Constantius was to approach the eastern strait and attack the city on the south. But if this was the plan of operations, Constantius was not destined to fulfil his part of it. Olbianos, the general of the Armeniac Themo, was widling his time and watching for an opportunity. His army
" This engagement is recorded only the foeble spirit of the defenders. by the Continuer, who alsoy the ex- llo remarks that currents of the Mar.
ressive metallor ώσπερ τι ποτών διψών mora, and “the violent storms to aveppoonoer (55). Part of Michael's which the waters around the city are army, however, escapeil.
liable," were natural allies of the • It is, however, well remarked by besiegedl. van Millingen (li'ulls, 179) that in 3 εντεύθεν και του θεματικού στόλου Byzantine liistory "there is only one giverai igapatns (ib.); non td vautikdy instance of a successful naval assault άπαν το υπό 'Ρωμαίους όν, πλήν του upon Constantinople, the gallant cap- βασιλικού κληθέντος υποποιείται (tel. ture of the city in 120+ ly the Veste- 337). Lans," and that was largely due 10
was not large enough to try an issue with the united forces of
but his chance came when those forces were divided. He set an umbush to waylay the younger tyrant, who, as he advanced securely, supposing that the way was clear, allowed his men to march in disorder. Constantius was slain and his head was sent to Constantine. This was the first check in the triumphant course of the war, though the death of the “son” may have caused little grief to the “father.”
Tho scene of operations now shifts from Asia to Europe. The Einporor, seeing that his adversary was preparing to cross the straits, had gone forth at the hend of a small army and visited some of the cities of Thrace in order to confirm them against the violence or seductions of the tyrant and assure himself of their stedfast faith. But his care availed little. On a dark moouless night Thomas transported his troops to various spots on the Thracian shore, starting from an obscure haven named Horkosion.' About the same time the fleet arrived from Lesbos and sailed into the waters of the Propontis. No resistance was offered by the inhabitants of Thrace when they saw the immense nunbers of the invading host. Michael seems to have lingered, perhaps somewhere on the shores of the Propontis, to observe what effect the appearance of his foc would produce on the cities which had yesterday pledged themselves to stand true, and when he learned that they were cowed into yielding, he returned to the city and set about making it ready to withstand it sieye. The garrison was recruited by loyal soldiers froin the Asiatic Themes, now free froin the presence of the pretender. The Imperial fleet, supplied with "Marine Fire," was stationed not in the Golden Horn, but in the three artificial harbours on the southern shore of the city,--the port of lformisdas, which was probably already known by its later name of Bucoleon ;? the Sophian harbour, further to the west ;' and beyond it the harbour of Kuisarios? The entrance to the Golden Horn was blocked
i Gon. 37 implies that Horkosion tho Marmora appears in the sequel. was on the Hellespontine coast, not Of the harbours along this shore the necessarily that it was close to Abydos. best account is in van Millingen, We may therefore identify it with Walls, 268 sqq. There were two other 'Opkós, which lay between Parion and harbours besiiles the three aboveLampsacus (Theod. Stud. Epp. i. 3, p. mentioned ; but there is no evidence 917), which is doubtluss the Lorco of that the kontoskalion (between the later times, placed with probability Sophian and the Kaisarian) existed by Tomaschek in the crescent bay a in the ninth century, while that of little N.E. of Lampsacus ( Top. v. Eleutherios or Theodosius, the most Kleinsion, 15).
westerly of all, had probably been filled ? The position of Michnol's lleet on up before this period (thio author of
, by the Iron Chain, which was stretched across the water from a point near the Gate of Eugenios to the Castle of Galata. In making these dispositions Michael was perhaps availing himself of the experience of previous sieges. When the Saracens attacked the city in the seventh century, Constantine IV. had disposed a portion of his naval forces in the harbour of Kaisarios. In the second attack of the same foe in the eighth century, Leo III, had stretched the Iron Chain, but he seems to have stationed his own ships outside the Horn.
The host of Thomas had been increased by new adherents from the European provinces, and Slavs from Macedonia flocked to the standard of the Slavonian pretender. But he needed il new general and a new son. To succeed the unlucky lender, whom he hu destined to be Constantius the fourth, he choso il monk, already benring an Imperial name, and worthy in the opinion of the lyrant to be Anastasius the Third ; not worthy, however, of such an exalted place, in the opinion of our historians, who describe him as an ugly man, with a face like an Ethiopian's from excessive wine-drinking, and of insane inind.? But the monk was not fitted to lead troops to battle, and for this oflice Thomas won the services of it banished general named Gregory, who had perhaps better cause than himself to hate the name of Michael. Gregory l'terôtos wus il nephew of Leo the Armenian, and, on the death of his uncle, whom he loved, fear had not held him back from entering tho presence of his successor, where, instead of falling among those
the llátpa, 181, 218, siys this hap. pened in the reign of Theodosius 1. ; but the alternative mame suggests rather that he repaired it). It may be noticed that the harlour's in which l'hocas expected lleraclius (1.11. 010) to liaud were those of kuisarios, Sophia, un llorinisdas (John Ant., in Miller, F.11.11. v. 1. 38).
1 Also called llarbour, of Julian and New llarbour.
Van Millingen has shown that it is almost certainly identical with the Neorion of llepitaskilon, and there is Archaeological evidence for placing it Dotween hum kapusand Yeni kap (310 y.).
3 From Thcoph. 396 we know that in A.1). 717 it was attached to the καστέλλιον των Ταλάτου (as in later limes). The southern and was fistoned, in later times, to the Kontenarioni tower close to the Porta Eugenii, and we know that this existed in the ninth century (Ilárpia 264, whero Con. stantino I. is said to have built the tower). Cp. van Millingen, 228.
7 (iell, 39.