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The dates given by Michael Syr. would go to support this conclusion. He places (74) the flight in the Seleucid year 1141 = October 1, 829, to September 30, 830. This is consistent with the date of the Arabic chroniclers, since A.H. 215 and Ann. Sel. 1141 overlap; and thus the flight would be fixed to July-September 830.
Manuel's return to Theophilus is placed by Michael in 1143 = October 1, 831, to September 30, 832. The Arabic chroniclers do not mention it; the Greek bring it into connexion with the embassy of John the Grammarian. This embassy was prior to April 21, A.D. 832, the date of John's elevation to the Patriarchal throne; and it must have been prior to February, as Mamun had left Syria and reached Egypt by February 16. It would follow that it belongs to October 831-January 832.
Another solution of the difficulties, which has a great deal to be said for it, has been propounded by E. W. Brooks, in B.Z. x. 297 sq. He suggests that Manuel fled before the accession of Theophilus; that he prompted Mamun (as Michael states) to invade Romania in 830; that he was with the Caliph's son at Resaina (Tabari) and then escaped (the Greek sources say that he was with Abbas when he escaped ; so that his defence of Koron was subsequent to his return). Brooks argues that, having been stratêgos of the Armeniacs under Leo V., he seems to have held no post under Michael II., and suggests that “his recall should be connected with the execution of Leo's assassins by Theophilus; it is, in fact, hardly credible that he should trust to the good faith of an Emperor from whose jealousy he had fled.” In supposing that he held no post under Michael II., Brooks overlooks the words of Gen. 68 rîs apò rîs pvyns otpatnyńoews, which naturally suggest that Manuel was a stratêgos when he fled.
The details of the intrigue which led to Manuel's flight, as given in the Greek sources, might easily be transferred to Michael's reign. The chief objection to the solution of Brooks is that Michael Syr. agrees with the Greek tradition in representing the flight as a revolt against Theophilus. It must be observed, however, that there is a chronological confusion in the passage of Michael (cp. above, p. 473, n. 1).
Brooks would also transfer the embassy of John the Grammarian to A.D. 829-830, just after the accession of Theophilus. This dating would save the statement of Cont. Th. that John went to Baghdad. In support of this Brooks cites the words of Cont. Τh. 95, that Τheophilus παλαιο έθει επόμενος έβούλετο τοίς της "Αγαρ τα της αυτοκρατορίας ποιήσαι κατάδηλα (and therefore sent John), interpreting the sentence to mean, “in accordance with old usage wished to announce his accession to the Saracens.” It appears to me that this explanation is unquestionably right, and as it is probable there is some foundation for the story that John
helped to prepare for the return of Manuel, it supplies a considerable support for the view of Brooks as to the date of that officer's flight and return. John
have afterwards acted as envoy to Mamun when he was in Syria, and the two missions may
have been confounded.
I have assumed throughout that this Manuel is identical with the uncle of Theodora, though some modern writers distinguish them. Manuel the general was protostrator under Michael I., and stratêgos of the Armeniacs under Leo V. (Cont. Th. 24). He was of Armenian race (ib. 110), and so was Manuel, Theodora's uncle (ib. 148). The latter, at the death of Theophilus, had the rank of magister; and Simeon, Cont. Georg. 798, states that the former was created magister and Domestic of the Schools after his return. These coincidences point clearly to identification. The difficulty lies in another statement of Simeon (803), that Manuel was wounded in saving the life of Theophilus and died. This must be rejected, and we may set against it the statement of Michael Syr. (113) that after the death of Theophilus Manuel was appointed general-in-chief of the army. Brooks also contends for the identity (B.Z. x. 543, n. 4).
Three other embassies from Theophilus to Mamun in A.D. 831-832 are mentioned by the Arabic historians. (1) The embassy, referred to above, which found Mamun at Adana, before his summer campaign in A.D. 831. (2) An embassy towards the close of this campaign, while Mamun was still in Cappadocia; see above, p. 473. The envoy was a bishop. Vasilev thinks he was John the Grammarian (who was not a bishop yet), and that this embassy to Mamun's camp was the historical basis for the Greek tradition. This cannot be the complete explanation ; but it is possible that John was the envoy, and a confusion between this and his former embassy might have helped to lead to the chronological errors in the Greek sources. (3) The third embassy was in A.H. 217 = February 7, 832, to January 26, 833, according to Tabari, and this harmonises with the date of Michael, who, clearly meaning the same negotiation, refers it to 1143 = October 831 to September 832. It was after the fall of Lulon, probably a consequence of that event; and if Vasil'ev is right in calculating that Lulon did not surrender before September 1,3 the embassy must fall in September.
1 των 'Ανατολικών, ib. 110, in the text, is a mistake for των 'Αρμενιακών.
2 Michael, if we take the order of his narrative as chronological here, would imply that it was earlier than September, for after noticing the embassy he records that Mamun took several fortresses and in September retired to Kasin. But the
order cannot be pressed.
Mamun, leaving Egypt in April, can hardly have reached the Cilician gates before May 1; Mamun's siege lasted one hundred days, which brings us to c. August 1, and the blockade at least a month (according to Yakubi and Kitab al-Uyun ; but otherwise Tabari).
I must finally notice a clear contradiction between Michael and the Arabic chronicles as to the beginning of Mamun’s campaign in 831. Michael says that he invaded Romania in the month of May; Tabari says that he entered Roman territory on July 4. As Michael's source is of higher authority, we should accept it. We must therefore infer that the invasion of Cilicia by Theophilus was in April and early part of May.
The sources for this episode are
(1) Greek.—Theognostos, a contemporary writer. His historical work, of which we do not know the character or compass, is lost, but the story of Euphemios in Cont. Th. is based upon it: p. 82 δηλοί δε ταύτα σαφέστατα και πλατικώτερον η τότε γραφείσα θεογνώστη τα περί ορθογραφίας γεγραφότι και εις χείρας έλθούσα ημών <?ιστορία or χρονογραφία» ήν ο βουλόμενος μεταχειριζόμενος τα καθ' έκαστον åvadidaxonoetal. From this, the only notice of Theognostos as a historian, we infer that he gave a detailed account of the incidents, of which the passage in Cont. Th. is an abridgment. The work on Orthography, which we could well spare, is preserved, and has been published by Cramer (Anecd. Graec. ii. 1 sqq.). It is dedicated to the Emperor Leo—
το δεσπότη μου και σοφο στεφηφόρο
Λέοντι τω κρατούνται πάντων εν λόγοις, a tribute which seems distinctly more appropriate to Leo VI. than to Leo V. But, according to Cont. Th., the author was a contemporary of Euphemios and, if so, the Emperor can only be Leo V. (so Villoison, Krumbacher, Vasilev; Hirsch leans to Leo VI., p. 197). I am inclined to suspect that Theognostos the historian was a different person from Theognostos the grammarian, and that the Continuator of Theoph. confounded them. I find it hard to believe that Leo of the dedication is not Leo the Wise.
(2) Arabic.-Ibn al-Athir; Nuwairi.
(3) Latin.— Traditions preserved in South Italy : Chronicon Salernitanum ; Joannes diaconus Neapolitanus.
There are many difficulties in connexion with the revolt. The following points may be noticed.
(1) The data of the rebellion is given by Ibn al-Athir as A.H. 211 = A.D. 826, April 13, to 827, April 1. According to him, in this year the Emperor appointed the patrician Constantine governor of Sicily, and Constantine named Euphemios commander of the fleet. Euphemios made a successful descent on Africa, and then the
Emperor wrote to Constantine and ordered him to seize and punish Euphemios.
Nuwairi, under A.H. 212 ( = A.D. 827-828), states that in A.H. 201 ( = A.D. 816, July 30, to 817, July 19) the Emperor appointed the patrician Constantine Sudes. What follows is the same as in Ibn al-Athir, and it is evident that both accounts come from a
Vasil'ev (Pril. 116, note) says that 201 must be an error for 211.
(2) Photeinos, who was named stratêgos of Crete immediately after the Arabs seized that island (A.D. 825), was, after his unsuccessful attempt to recover it, appointed stratêgos of Sicily. Cont. Th. 77 την της Σικελίας στρατηγίδα αύθις της Κρήτης αλλάσσεται. This cannot have been later than A.D. 826, and therefore Amari (followed by Vasil'ev) identified Photeinos with the general who is called Constantine by the Arabs and who was defeated and slain by Euphemios. Caussin de Perceval (Novairi, p. 404) had called attention to variants of the name in the text of Nuwairi-Casantin, Phasantin, Phastin--and also proposed the identification. If we could suppose that A.H. 201 in Nuwairi is not a mere error, we might conclude that Constantine Sudes was the predecessor of Photeinos, but the parallel passage of Ibn al-Athir seems to exclude this solution.
The name of the stratêgos is not mentioned in the account of the rebellion which Cont. Th. has abridged from Theognostos (82). We can hardly doubt that Theognostos named him, and I conjecture that the Cretan portion of Cont. Th., where the appointment of Photeinos to Sicily is mentioned (76-77), was derived from Theognostos.
(3) From the notice of Joannes Neap. (429) that when Euphemios fled to Africa (i.e. in A.D. 826-827) he took with him his wife and sons (“cum uxore et filiis "), it has been inferred that his marriage cannot have been later than A.D. 824 (Gabotto, 30; Vasil'ev, 58). This would suggest a further consideration. The Emperor did not take any steps against Euphemios till A.D. 826. We should have then to suppose one of two things. Either the brothers of the bride waited for a considerable time after the marriage scandal to prefer their complaint; or the delay was on the side of the Emperor. The latter alternative would seem the more probable; and the point might be adduced by those who think it likely that in his action in regard to Euphemios Michael was influenced by political reasons and used the matrimonial delinquency as a pretext.
But it may be questioned whether the inference from the text of Joannes is certain. The filii might be sons of a former wife. According to Ibn al-Athir, it was the new stratêgos (Constantine = Photeinos) who appointed Euphemios commander of the fleet.