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to swear to a written undertaking that he would introduce no novelty into the Church.
Nicephorus obtained from Michael an autograph assurance —and the sign of the cross was doubtless affixed to the signature—in which he pledged himself to preserve the orthodox faith, not to stain his hands with the blood of Christians, and not to scourge ecclesiastics, whether priests or monks.
The Patriarch now showed that, if there had been no persecutions during his tenure of office, he at least would not have been lacking in zeal. At his instance the penalty of capital punishment was enacted against the Paulicians and the Athingani, who were regarded as better than Manichaeans and altogether outside the pale of Christianity. The persecution began; not a few were decapitated; but influential men, to whose advice the Emperor could not close his ears, intervened, and the bloody work was stayed. The monk, to whom we owe most of our knowledge of the events of these years, deeply laments the successful interference of these evil counsellors. But the penalty of death was only commuted; the Athingani were condemned to confiscation and banishment.
The Emperor had more excuse for proceeding against the iconoclasts, who were still numerous in the army and the Imperial city. They were by no means contented at the rule of the orthodox Rangabé. Their discontent burst out after Michael's fruitless Bulgarian expedition in June, A.D. 812. We shall have to return to the dealings of Michael with the Bulgarians; here we have only to observe how this June expedition led to a conspiracy. When the iconoclasts saw Thrace and Macedonia at the mercy of the heathen of the north, they thought they had good grounds for grumbling at the iconodulic sovran. When the admirers of the great Leo and the great Constantine, who had ruled in the days of their fathers and grandfathers, saw the enemy harrying the land at will and possessing the cities of the Empire, they might bitterly
1 The Athingani, if not simply a Zigeuner (gipsy) is derived from the sect of the Paulicians, were closely Athingani; since å Olyyavos means related to them. The name is supposed gipsy in Modern Greek. to be derived from å-Ocvrávelv, referring to the doctrine that the touch
2 Theoph. 495. of many things defiled (cp. St. Paul, 3 It may be noted that Michael Coloss. ii. 21 undè Olyns). "They seem made no changes, significant of orthoto have chiefly flourished in Phrygia. doxy, in the types of the coinage ; It has been supposed by some that cp. Wroth, I. xli.
remember how heavy the arm of Constantine had been on the Bulgarians and how well he had defended the frontier of Thrace; they might plausibly ascribe the difference in military success to the difference in religious doctrine. It was a good opportunity for the bold to conspire; the difficulty was to discover a successor to Michael, who would support iconoclasm and who had some show of legitimate claim to the throne. The choice of the conspirators fell on the blind sons of Constantine V., who still survived in Panormos, or as it was also, and is still, called Antigoni, one of the Prince's Islands. These princes had been prominent in the reign of Constantine VI. and Irene, as repeatedly conspiring against their nephew and sister-in-law. The movement was easily suppressed, the revolutionaries escaped with a few stripes, and the blind princes were removed to the more distant island of Aphusia. But though the iconoclasts might be disaffected, they do not seem to have provoked persecution by openly showing flagrant disrespect to holy pictures ? in the reigns of Nicephorus and Michael. Michael, however, would not suffer the iconoclastic propaganda which his father-in-law had allowed. He edified the people of Constantinople by forcing the iconoclastic lecturer Nicolas to make a public recantation of his error.
The Emperor and the Patriarch lost no time in annulling the decisions of those assemblies which the Studite monks stigmatised as "synods of adulterers." " The notorious Joseph, who had celebrated the “adulterous"
“adulterous” marriage, was again suspended; the Studites were recalled from exile; and the schism was healed. It might now be alleged that Nicephorus had not been in sympathy with the late Emperor's policy, and had only co-operated with him from considerations of economy.”3 But the dissensions of the Studite monks, first
Theoph. 496. Aphusia, still so aktos) hermit scraped and insulted a called, is one of the Proconnesian picture of the Mother of God, and was islands, apparently not the same as punished by the excision of his tongue. Ophiusa, for Diogenes of Cyzicus 3 It is not known whether the (Müller, F.H.G. iv. 392) distinguishes Emperor or the Patriarch was the Φυσία και Οφιόεσσα. The other chief prime mover. It is interesting to islands of the group are Proconnesus, note that the Emperor Nicephorus Aulonia, and Kutalis; the four are had given the brothers of the Empress described in Gedeon, Προικόννησος, Theodote quarters in the Palace, thus 1895. Cp. Hasluck, J.H.S. xxix. 17. emphasizing his approbation of her
2 The fact that Theophanes only marriage, and that Michael I. exrecords one case in Michael's reign pelled them (Scr. Incert. 336). (ib). is significant. A vagabond (èutrepl
with Tarasius and then with Nicephorus, were
more than passing episodes. They were symptomatic of an opposition or discord between the hierarchy of the Church and a portion of the monastic world. The heads of the Church were more liberal and more practical in their views ; they realized the importance of the State, on which the Church depended; and they deemed it bad policy, unless a fundamental principle
at stake, to oppose the supreme authority of the Emperor. The monks were no politicians; they regarded the world from a purely ecclesiastical point of view; they looked upon the Church as infinitely superior to the State ; and they were prepared to take extreme measures for the sake of maintaining a canon. The “ third party” and the monks were united, after the death of Michael I., in a common struggle against iconoclasm, but as soon as the enemy was routed, the disagreement between these two powers in the Church broke out, as we shall see, anew.
LEO V. (THE ARMENIAN) AND THE REVIVAL OF ICONOCLASM
1. Reign and Administration of Leo V. LEO V. was not the first Armenian who occupied the Imperial throne. Among the Emperors who reigned briefly and in rapid succession after the decline of the Heraclian dynasty, the Armenian Bardanes who took the name of Philippicus, had been chiefly noted for luxury and delicate living. The distinctions of Leo were of a very different order. If he had “sown his wild oats” in earlier days, he proved an active and austere prince, and he presented a marked contrast to his immediate predecessor. Born in lowly station and poor circumstances, Leo had made his way up by his own ability to the loftiest pinnacle in the Empire ; Michael enjoyed the advantages of rank and birth, and had won the throne through the accident of his marriage with an Emperor's daughter. Michael had no will of his own; Leo's temper was as firm as that of his namesake, the Isaurian. Michael was in the hands of the Patriarch; Leo was determined that the Patriarch should be in the hands of the Emperor. Even those who sympathized with the religious policy of Michael were compelled to confess that he was a feeble, incompetent ruler; while even those who hated Leo most bitterly could not refuse to own that in civil administration he was an able sovran. A short description of Leo's
1 On one side his parentage was
The statements are vague. Assyrian,” which presumably means ents (one or both ?) are said to have Syrian (Gen. 28 ; Cont. Th. 6 katà slain their (?) parents and been exiled συζυγίαν εξ 'Ασσυρίων και 'Αρμενίων). for that reason to Armenia.
personal appearance has been preserved. He was of small stature and had curling hair; he wore a full beard ; his bair was thick; his voice loud.
On the very day of his entry into Constantinople as an Augustus proclaimed by the army, an incident is related to have occurred which seemed an allegorical intimation as to the ultimate destiny of the new Emperor. It is one of those stories based perhaps upon some actual incident, but improved and embellished in the light of later events, so as to bear the appearance of a mysterious augury. It belongs to the general atmosphere of mystery that seemed to envelop the careers of the three young squires of Bardanes, whose destinies had been so closely interwoven. The prophecy of the hermit of Philomelion, the raving of the slave-girl of Michael Rangabe, and the incident now to be related, mark stages in the development of the drama.
Since Michael the Amorian had been rewarded by Nicephorus for his desertion of the rebel Bardanes, we lose sight of his career. He seems to have remained an officer in the Anatolic Theme, of which he had been appointed Count of the tent, and when Leo the Armenian became the stratêgos of that province the old comrades renewed their friendship. Leo acted as sponsor to Michael's son ;5 and Michael played some part in bringing about Leo's elevation. The latter is said to have shrunk from taking the great step,
1 Pseudo-Simeon, 603. This is one at Constantinople (Panchenko, Kat. of the notices peculiar this Mol. viii. 234). chronicle and not found in our other
2 Constantine Porphyrogennetos was authorities. I have conjectured that conscious of this dramatic developthe source was the Scriptor Incertus, ment. We may trace his hand in the of whose work we possess the valuable
comment (in Cont. Th. 23) that the fragment frequently cited in these
prophecy of Philomelion was the first notes. See Bury, A Source of Symeon
vague sketch, and the words of the Magister B.Z. i. 572 (1892). Note de
slave-girl “second colours ”-deútepá Boor's emendation σγυράν for όγυράν τινα χρώματα ως εν ζωγραφία ταϊς (kóunv) in this passage, and cp. above,
προτεραις έμμορφωθέντα σκιαϊς. p. 22, n. 2. On most of the coins of Leo, which are of the ordinary type of
3 Told by Genesios, 7, and in Cont.
Th. 19 (after Genesios). this period, his son Constantine appears beardless on the reverse. A seal,
4 Cont. Th. 1211. See above, p. 12. which
to belong to these It is not clear whether Michael's office Emperors, with a cross potent on the was still that of κόμης της κόρτης of obverse, and closely resembling one
the Anatolic Theme. Gen. 7 describes type of the silver coinage of these him as των αυτού ιπποκόμων πρωτάρχω Emperors and of their predecessors (cp. Cont. Th. 19), which seems to Michael and Theophylactus (see
mean that he was the private protoWroth, Pl. xlvii. 4, 11, 12), is pre
strator of Leo as stratêgos. served in the Russian Arch. Institute
5 Gen. 1215