« PrethodnaNastavi »
who grovelled at the Imperial feet, he overwhelmed him with reprouches for the murderous deed. The Emperor merely said, "I know the greatness of your sorrow and the ocean of your distress," but two days later he banished this fearless kinsman of his predecessor to the island of Skyros.' Gregory was not unwilling to attach himself to the rival of him who had banished himself and dethroned his uncle, and he was speedily entrusted with the command of ten thousand men and sent on to open the assiult on the Imperial city.
It was already winter, and the first year of Michael's reign was drawing to a close, when Gregory took up his station on the north-west of the city, in the suburbs outsido Blachernae, while the fleet, under another unnamed commandler, reached the same quarter by sailing up the inlet of the Golden llorn, having evidently unfastened the Iron Chain whero it was attached to the Castle of Galata? On the banks of the Barbyses,' u stream which flows into the Horn, the leaders of the sen forces and the land forces could concert their plans together. No action, however, was taken until Constantius and Anastasius arrived with their mighty host. The leaders seem to have imagined that when this vast array spread out before the walls of the city, and their ships filled the Golden Horn and threatened the harbours on the l'ropontis, the inhabitants would be so utterly dismayed by the sight of the overwhelming numbers that they would throw open their gutes in despair. But it soon became clear that the city and its masters were resolved to withstand even such il vast force; they trusted in their impregnable walls. the first business of Thomas, when he saw that a siege was inevitable, to reduce the suburbs and villages which lay north
| The details about this Gregory Sweet Waters of Europe. It flows (his kinship with Loo, the causo of into the Horn closo to the Cosmidion his oxilo, and his name Pterðtos) aro (Church of SS. Cosmas and Damian, rocordod in Cont. Th. 67, but not by now the Eyub mosque), which is not Genosios.
far to the west of Blachernao. Suo ? This is an inference, but I think van Millingen, Walls, 175-176. There ovident. Thomas controllod the a bridge across the Barlyses northern shore of the Horn. In ox. (Niceph. Patr. ed. de Boor, 14 und actly the sumo way tho Venetians, 26), which must have been quite having captured the Galata Tower, re- distinct from the bridge across the moved the chain in A.D. 1203 (Nicctas, Golden Horn, of which the southern ed. Bonn. 718-719).
point wils in Aivan Serai; though :: Gon. 38. The Barbysos (or Bur. Ducango (Const. Christ. iv. 125) and byssus) is now callou the kint.hanch van Millingen seem to connect the Su, one of tho stroanis known as the two bridges.
of the city along the shores of the Bosphorus. These places
' coull not resist. The inhabitants were doubtless glad to submit als speeddily as possible to any one engaged in besieging.. the city, remeinbering too well how but a few years ago they had been hurried by another and more terrible enemy, the Bulgarian Krum."
The siege began in the month of December. The course of events from this point to the end of the war may be conveniently divided into five stages.'
1. December 831 to February or March 822.-Thomas spent some days in disposing his forces and preparing his engines. le pitched his own tent in the suburbs beyond Blachernae, not far from the noble building which lose towards heaven like it palace, the church of St. Cosmas and St. Damian, the physicians who take no fee for their Services to' mnen. Until the reign of Heraclius the northwestern corner of the city between the Palace of Blachernae and the Golden Horn inust have been defended by a fortification of which no traces survive." Heraclius, whether before or after the siege of the Avars (A:1). 626)," had connected the Palace with the seaward fortifications by a wall which is Hanked by three admirably built hexagonal towers. But the asistults of the Bulgarians in A.1). 813 seem to have proved that this “ Single Wall of Blachernae," as it was called, was an insuflicient defence, and Leo V., in expectation of a second Bulgarian siege;" constructed a second outer wall, parallel to thrill of lleraclius, ind forming with it a sort of citudel which Wiis known as the Brachionion.''
I Gal. 39.
3 Thedinte comes from Michael, F.p. un lun. 118, where we also learli tliet the blockiule lasted for the spice of it year.
+ There has been no full and critical relation of the singe by modern his. turialis See Leball, xiii. 50 $94. ; Sichlosser, 140 $14. ; Finlay, ii. 131 (very brief). Much the best is that of lisilov, l'iz. i. di. 33 819.
5 The suburb between Cosmillion and Blachernang was known as Tè. Hlav livov (and is so designated here in Cont. Th. 59), from landimis (famous for his love-atlair with Athenis, the wife of Thcolosius II.), who founded
the Cosmilion. Cp. Ducange, Const. Chr. 127.
* Extending, I conjecture, from the north-wilst corner of the Palace to the SW'-wall. C. van Millingen, Walls, 120. The outer walls of the l'alaco itself formed the fortification as far as the northern extremity of tho Thco. dosian Walls.
? Pernice (L'Imperatore Eraclio, 141) lias given some reasons for thinking that the wall was built after the Avar attack in A.D. 619. Cp. my note in Gilibon, v. 92.
* Van Millingen, Walls, 164 399. ! See below, p. 359.
10 Van Millingen, Walls, 168: “The Wall of J.co stands 77 feet to the west
The troops on whom it devolved to attack the long western walls of Theodosius, from the Palace of Blachernae to the Golden Gate, were assigued to the subordinate tyrant Anastasius, to whose dignity a high command was due, but others were at hand to keep the inexperienced monk from blundering. The main attack was to be directed against the quarter of Blachernae. Here were gathered all the resources of the engineer's art, rams and tortoises, catapults and citytakers; and over these operations Thomas presided himself.
In the city meanwhile the aid of Heaven and the inventions of men were summoned to defend the walls. On the lofty roof of the church of the Mother of God in Blachernae, the Emperor solemnly fixed the Roman standard, in the sight of the enemy, and prayed for succour against them. Presently the besiegers beheld the young Exuperor Theophilus walking at the head of a priestly procession round the walls of the city, and bearing with him the life-giving fragments of the holy Cross, and raiment of the mother of Christ.”
But, if he employed superstitious spells, Michael did not neglect human precautions. He too, like his opponent, called to his service all the resources of the art of the engineer, and the machines of the besieged proved in the end more effectual than those of the besieger. Simultaneous attacks by land and sea were frustrated, and on land at least the repulse of the assailants was wholly due to the superior machines of the assailed. The missiles which were shot from the city carried farther than those of Thomns, and great courage was required to veriture near enough to scale or butter the walls. Ladders and battering-rams were casily foiled by the skilful handling of engines mounted on the battlements, and at last the attacking host retired from the volleys of well-aimed missiles within the shelter of their camp. At sca, too, the assailants were discomfited, but the discomfiture was perhaps chiefly caused by the rising of an adverse wind. The ships of Thomas wero of the Wall of Heraclius, running whilo the lower portion was pierced parallol to it for some 260 feet, after by numerous loopholes.” which it turns to join the walls along | This is recorded in Cont. Th., not the Golden Horn. Its purapet walk by Genesios. Wils supported upon arches which * The clothes of the Virgin were served in the same time to buttress "discovered"in a collin at Blachernae the wall itsell, a conparatively slight in A.D. 619 (see my note in Gibbon, structure about 8 foct thick. . . . It v. 81). Wo shall meet this precious was flanked by four small towers, relic again in A.D. 800 (below, p. 420). provided both with “liquid fire" und with four-legged citylikors, from whose lofty storeys flaming missiles might be hurled upon and over the sea-walls of the city. But the violent wind rendered it impossiblo to make an effective use of these contrivances, and it was soon clear that the attack on the seasiile had failed.
Foileıl ill every point, Thomas was convinced that he had no chance of succeeiling until the severity of winter had pitsseil, ind lie retired from his position to await the coming of spring, whether in the cities of Thrace or on the opposite coasts of Asia."
2. Spring, 52. A.1).---At the coming of spring Thomas reassembled his land forces and his ships at Constantinoplo illid prepireel for mother simultaneous attack on both elements. Michael Mcnwhile had made use of the respite from hostilities to reinforce his garrison considerably, and during this second siege he wils able to do more than defend the walls: he could venture to silly out against the enemy. It was also probably during the lull in the war that some rejairs were made in the Wall of leo, recorded by inscriptions which are still preserved.
We are told that when the day dawned on which a grand itssault wils to be made on the walls of Blachern, the Emperor ascended the wall limself and addressed the onemy, who were within bering. He urged them to desert the rebel and suck
1 τετρασκελείς έλι πόλεις.
Occurrell. Fragmentary inscriptions .: The words of our sourco (Cont. of' M. and T. have been found near ΤΗ. άλλως δε και η ώρα δριμύτερον the Charisian Gute in the Theodosian ιδείκνυ τον καιρόν άτι χειμώνος επιγενο. Wall (ib. 101). μένουν και της Θράκης των άλλων ούσης 4 Cat. Τh. 61 τείχος των Βλαχερνών δυσχειμέρου επί παραχειμασίαν ετράπη way to be the object of attack, i.e. και την του στρατον ανακομιδής) 11ay cliclly the Wall of Leo; then Michael merely mean that wintor in Thraco is said to have spoken K TOÛ TÛV Was 100 vere for military operations, THXwv metewpov, but it does not follow not that Thomas wintered elsewhere. that this also was the Wall of Leo.
* Those inscriptions are near the We may suspect that Michael stood s011th oud of Leo's Wall; both are on the battlements of the Palaco of selective. One recorils the lines of Blachernae, nearly opposite the point Michael and Theophilus ; the other where the wall which Manuel Comgives the date A.J. 6:330, which nenus, in the twelfth century, built corresponds to A.D. 822.
outside the Palace, was pierced by the Millingen, l'ulls, 168.. An inscrip- gate of Gyrolimine. This conjecture tion on one of the towers of the (which I owe to Mr. van Millingen) is Heraclian Wall is in honour of an suggested by (1) the fact that at Empor Michael; if this was Michael Gyrolime the younger Andronicus, II. (us van Millingen thinks, 100), the during his rebellion, more than once name of Theophilus just also have lield parley with his father's ministers;
pardon and safety in the city. His words were not received with favour, nor did he imagine that they would move those whom he addressed. But he achieved the effect which he desired, though not the effect at which his speech seemed to aim. The foe concluded that the besieged must needs be in great straits, when the Emperor held such parley from the walls. With confident spirits and in careless array they advanced to the assault, supposing that they would encounter but a weak resistance. Suddenly, to their amazement and consternation, miny gates opened, and soldiers, rushing forth from the city, were upon them before they had time to apprehend what had happened. The men of Michael won a brilliant victory, and Thomas was forced to abandon the 119Sitult on Blachernae. A bittle by ser seems to huve been fought on the same day, and it also resulted in disaster for the besiegers. The details are not recorded, but the marines of Thomas, seized by some unaccountable panic, retreated to the shore and absolutely refused to figlit.
Time wore on, and the taking of the city seemed no nearer. One of the generals in the longuer concluded that there was little chance of success, and weary of the delay he determined to change sides. This was Gregory, the exile of Skyros, and nephew of Leo the Armenian. llis resolve was doubtless quickened by the fact that his wife and children were in the power of Michael ;' he reckoned that their sutety would be ilssured if he deserted Thomas. Accordingly, at the head of his regiment, he left the camp and entrusted i Studitu monk with the task of bearing the news to the Emperor. But the approaches to the city were so strictly guarded by the blockader's that the messenger was unable to deliver his message, and Michael romained in ignoranco of the new accession to his cause. As it turned out, however, the act of Gregory proved of little profit to any one except, perhaps, to him, whom it was intendel to injure. Thomas anw that the