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THE ROME THAT ALMOST FELL: THE LONG SEVENTH CENTURY


An encyclopaedic chronology of the Christian Roman Empire of Constantinople, AD 578-718 THE END OF ANTIQUITY IN THE MEDITERRANEAN BASIN; AND IMPERIAL RESISTANCE TO THE FIRST JIHAD
FROM TIBERIUS II TO LEO III With extensive notes on the Byzantine army in the era of the emperors Maurice and Heraclius, AD 582641 by MICHAEL OROURKE mjor (at) velocitynet (dot) com.au Canberra Australia Revised version of a paper first posted under the title After Heraclius. Re-posted August 2011, with revisions and additions. The notes on the Byzantine army follow the entry for AD 641.

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Within a century of the death (AD 632) of Muhammad, Muslim armies swept across Roman North Africa and into Spain as far as the Pyrenees. In the East too the Arabs swallowed up Roman Palestine and Syria; but they failed to conquer Roman Asia Minor. Cilicia in SE Asia Minor was the decisive line where the first jihad was successfully resisted. The East Romans (Byzantines, Rhomaioi) were the only power in western Eurasia able to hold back, or decisively hold back, the elsewhere irresistible Islamic tide.* (*) The jihad ran out of steam in southern France (as it now is: held by the Franks) and on the Volga River (held by the Khazars) in 727-32; but as I read it, the ending of the jihad in those regions was by choice, not a result forced upon the Caliphate. This paper deals mainly with the usual battles between armies and the familiar political machinations of the ruling castes. But I have also inserted sometimes lengthy asides on those changes in material life that exemplify the End of Antiquity in the Mediterranean basin. For example, this was a period of urban decline, or at least an increased ruralisation of living patterns. Relatively more people are found in villages and hamlets and relatively few continue to live in large towns. And we enter, at least outside the larger towns, a world of home-made wooden bowls and thatched roofs, succeeding an earlier era in which professionally-crafted pottery and ceramic roof tiles were common even in rural areas. We also observespecifically in Byzantine Italya process by which open, undefended settlements gave way to the fortified hilltop sites that typify the early Middle Ages.

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LIST OF ROMAN (BYZANTINE) EMPERORS.................................................................................... 5 INTRODUCTION.......................................................................................................................................... 6 ITALY: CAMPAIGN BY THE LOMBARDS OF SPOLETO................................................................ 12 THE AVARO-SLAV INVASION OF THE BALKANS...........................................................................16 THE SETTLING OF THE SLAVS IN GREECE .................................................................................... 20 FROM POTTERY TO WOOD...............................................................................................................................23 THE REIGN OF MAURICE, 582-602....................................................................................................... 26 THE DESTRUCTION OF ATHENS........................................................................................................................ 28 PAGAN SLAVS OCCUPY CHRISTIAN GREECE........................................................................................................34 FOURTH VISIT OF THE PLAGUE TO CONSTANTINOPLE........................................................................................... 35 MESOPOTAMIA: THE BATTLE OF SOLACHON, 586.............................................................................................. 36 FROM OPEN TOWNS TO FORTRESS-VILLAGES, 555-598..................................................................................... 54 SLAVERY CONTINUES......................................................................................................................................55 ITALY: CONTEST FOR THE VIA AMERINA...................................................................................... 59 THE ECLIPSE OF TRADE IN THE WEST............................................................................................................... 74 THE REIGN OF PHOCAS, 602-610.......................................................................................................... 78 LOMBARD AND BYZANTINE ITALY IN 603..........................................................................................................81 THE END OF ANTIQUITY: FORTIFIED HILLTOP VILLAGES IN ITALY........................................................................ 82 URBAN POPULATION DECLINE SINCE 550.......................................................................................................... 96 THE REIGN OF HERACLIUS, 610-641................................................................................................. 100 COLLAPSE OF IMPERIAL RULE IN THE BALKANS................................................................................................105 THE REDUCTION OF ROMAN DALMATIA.......................................................................................................... 105 PUBLIC BATHS.............................................................................................................................................106 THE PERSIANS TAKE JERUSALEM, 614........................................................................................... 108 THE DEMISE OF ROMAN SPAIN......................................................................................................... 111 DARK AGES IN THE WEST.............................................................................................................................118 PERSIAN CONQUEST OF ROMAN EGYPT....................................................................................... 126 THE ROME-RAVENNA CORRIDOR................................................................................................................... 129 THE CHRONOLOGY OF HERACLIUSS EASTERN CAMPAIGNS................................................................................ 137 THE LAND AND SEA SIEGE OF CONSTANTINOPLE, 626...................................................................................... 149 FINAL DEFEAT OF THE PERSIANS.................................................................................................................... 153 BY 630: CONTRACTION OF THE STATE APPARATUS ......................................................................................... 159 BORDERS IN 633, ON THE EVE OF THE MUSLIM INVASIONS................................................................................. 162 FIRST MAJOR MUSLIM-CHRISTIAN BATTLE................................................................................163 MUTILATION: NOSE-SLITTING, BLINDING, CASTRATION.......................................................170 ROMAN JERUSALEM SURRENDERS TO THE MUSLIM ARABS, 637/38................................... 171

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THE NEW FRONTIER IN THE EAST...................................................................................................174 THE ARMY OF MAURICE AND HERACLIUS ..................................................................................185 TROOP TYPES, ARMAMENT, TACTICS............................................................................................ 185 BYZANTINE ARMS AND ARMOUR.....................................................................................................192 SCIENTIFIC WARFARE................................................................................................................................... 203 THE BATTLE OF YARMUK, 636 ..........................................................................................................204 THE 'END OF ANTIQUITY' AS A PROCESS OF RURALISATION................................................. 211 THE END OF LONG-DISTANCE TRADE: THE EVIDENCE OF POTTERY................................ 211 CITIES: GOING BACKWARDS.......................................................................................................................... 212 NUMBERS IN THE EAST ROMAN ARMY, 641-775............................................................................................ 214 THE REIGN OF CONSTANS II, 641-668............................................................................................... 219 ROMAN ALEXANDRIA FALLS TO THE MUSLIMS. END OF ANTIQUITY; BEGINNING OF THE "MIDDLE AGES"............................................................................................................................ 222 A SIMPLER LIFE: WOOD AND THATCH IN THE WEST............................................................... 226 FIRST MUSLIM NAVAL RAID AGAINST SICILY, 652.................................................................... 241 EAST ROMAN MARINES................................................................................................................................ 245 THE BYZANTINE DARK AGE: CONTRACTION OF TRADE AND A TRANSITION TO EXCHANGE IN KIND........................ 252 THE CREATION OF THE THEMES (THEMATA).............................................................................253 ROAD CONSTRUCTION...................................................................................................................................258 DAMASCUS REPLACES MEDINA AS THE CAPITAL OF THE CALIPHATE............................ 259 EMPEROR CONSTANS EXPEDITION TO HELLAS AND ITALY, 662-663................................................................. 261 THE DEEP DARK AGES, 650-850................................................................................................................. 277 THE REIGN OF CONSTANTINE IV, 668-685...................................................................................... 278 FURTHER LOSSES IN ITALY, 668-687.............................................................................................................282 SECURITY ONLY BEHIND WALLS................................................................................................................... 285 GREEK FIRE................................................................................................................................................ 287 CHRISTENDOMS DARKEST HOUR................................................................................................ 288 SLAVIC GREECE?......................................................................................................................................... 290 THE ARAB ASSAULT OF 677.................................................................................................................296 THE FOUNDING OF BULGARIA.......................................................................................................... 302 THE DEFENCE OF THRACE AGAINST THE BULGARS................................................................ 303 LOSSES IN THE BALKANS...............................................................................................................................304 ISLAM AND THE END OF CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY...................................................................... 308 FROM SANDALS AND TOGAS TO BOOTS, TROUSERS AND TUNICS: MENS COSTUME, AD

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150-600......................................................................................................................................................... 309 THE REIGN OF JUSTINIAN II: FIRST PERIOD, 685-695.................................................................312 REORGANISATION OF THE NAVY, 687-89....................................................................................... 321 MONOTHELITES AND MARONITES....................................................................................................................333 THE REIGN OF LEONTIUS, 695-698.................................................................................................... 340 THE LAST IMPERIAL EXPEDITION TO AFRICA....................................................................................................342 THE REIGN OF TIBERIUS III (APSIMAR), 698-705..........................................................................345 THE FALL OF BYZANTINE CARTHAGE, 698...................................................................................345 THE END OF ANTIQUITY: COINS, POTTERY AND TRADE.................................................................................... 348 MUSLIM NAVAL RAIDS IN THE WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN................................................357 JUSTINIAN IIS SECOND REIGN, 705-11............................................................................................ 359 THE REIGN OF PHILIPPICUS BARDANES, 711-13.......................................................................... 370 THE ARAB-BERBER INVASION OF SPAIN....................................................................................... 372 NO MORE BATH-TAKING, OR SIMPLY LESS?....................................................................................................... 375 REIGN OF ANASTASIUS II, 713-715.....................................................................................................377 THE REIGN OF THEODOSIUS III, 716-717.........................................................................................381 THE LAST GREAT ARAB ASSAULT................................................................................................... 384 THE REIGN OF LEO III, 718-741...........................................................................................................388 THE ARAB SIEGE OF 717-18........................................................................................................................ 390 SARDINIA AND CORSICA LOST TO THE EMPIRE.................................................................................................. 394 CODA......................................................................................................................................................... 396 ABOUT THE AUTHOR..................................................................................................................................... 397 SOURCES AND REFERENCES..............................................................................................................397

List of Roman (Byzantine) Emperors 578-82: 582-602: 602-10: 610-41: 641: 641-68: 668-85: Tiberios II Mavrikios (Maurice) Phokas the Tyrant Herakleios (Heraclius) Martina, empress-regent for Konstantinos III and Heraklonas Konstas II (Constans) the Bearded Konstantinos IV 5

6 685-95: 695-98: 698-705: 707-11: 711-13: 713-15: 71517: 717-41:

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Iustinianos (Justinian) II the Slit-Nosed Leontios (Leo) Tiberios III Apsimaros Justinian II (again) Philippikos Vardanes Anastasios II Artemios Theodosios III Leon (Leo) III the Syrian

Introduction

... the catastrophe of the seventh century is the central event of Byzantine history. Cyril Mango 1980: 4.

Without the inspired strategy of Heraclius or the prudent management of Constans II, Byzantium would probably have fallen in the seventh century. Warren Treadgold 1997: 847.

After God, we should place our hopes of safety in our weapons, not in our fortifications alone. - General instructions for the commander, in Maurices Strategikon (trans. Dennis p.82) The passion to go to heaven in the next life may have been operative with some [Muslims], but the desire for the comforts and luxuries of the civilized regions of the Fertile Crescent was just as strong in the case of many. Philip Hitti 1970: 144.

The Arabs benefitted enormously from the ruinous war in which the Byzantines and Persians had just worn each other out. The Byzantines wisely kept many of their troops in reserve (the Persians didn't), which allowed them to stop the Arabs at the first strong natural barrier - the Taurus Mountains in southeast Anatolia. Egypt, Syria, and North Africa were protected only by deserts, which weren't barriers for the Arabs.

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- Warren Treagold, interview 2005, at http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2005/12/10-questions-forwarren-treadgold.php# (accessed 2010). In late Sixth Century, the Christian Roman Empire of the Greeks, or Byzantium, as we moderns call, continued to rule nearly the whole of the Mediterranean littoral. If Constantinople was The Rome That Had Not Fallen, it nearly did go under during the late Seventh and early Eighth centuries, as we shall presently see. In AD 575, the only Mediterranean shores not controlled by the restored Roman Empire were in present-day Morocco, which was held by various Berber chiefdoms, and the Catalonia-Provence coast, which was divided between the Visigoths (present-day Catalonia) and the Franks (Provence). In the south-east of our Spain there was a Roman (Byzantine) province called Spania. It contended against the Visigothic kingdom that dominated most of Iberia. The majority population of Ibero-Romans, and (in the south-east) their Greek governors, differed in religion from the Visigoths: the former were Catholic Christians, while the Gothic ruling stratum were Arian* Christians. Or instead of Catholicism, we might speak of Athanasian Christianity, the forerunner of modern Latin Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. (*) Arianism, after the name of its formulator, Arius [d.336], was a Christological view held by many in the early Christian Church. It claimed that the created Jesus Christ and the uncreated God the Father were not always contemporary. God the Father comes first and is superior to Christ. Although the Son is a divine being, he was created by the Father (and thus inferior to Him) at some point in time, before which he did not exist. And the Holy Spirit in turn is a kind of superior angel. To that extent Arianism is non-trinitarian. The contrasting term is Catholic, the orthodox teaching that Christ the Son is both fully divine and fully human, at once distinct from and similar to God the Father - a mutual indwelling of three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This co-equal trinitarian doctrine became the orthodox or prevailing view. In North Africa, East Roman rule ran from our Algeria through Libya to Egypt. In Italy, the Empire still held about half the peninsula, Old Rome included, against a new and sometimes energetic set of Germanic invaders, the Lombards. The troops of one Lombard dux had already occupied the central-south (inland Campania) around Benevento. And here again the Latin-Italians and their Greek governors differed in religion from the Lombards: the former were Catholic Christians while, the Lombards, like the Visigoths, were Arian Christians. The whole Eastfrom the NW Balkans through Greece (Hellas) and Asia Minor to Syria, Palestine and Egyptremained Roman (Greek: Rhomaike) in 575. The two great powers opposing Byzantium were the Sassanian Persian empire 7

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[Pers. Eranshahr; the language was called Parsik or Persian] and the Avar Khanate. The Roman-Persian frontier cut north-south through Upper Mesopotamia to NW Arabia. Between the two empires, in the present-day Jordan-north Saudi-west Iraq region, there were two Christian Arab principalities: the Ghassanids and the Lakhmids. The Ghassanids were miaphysite Christians, whereas the Lakhmids (the populace*) were Nestorian Christians.** But religion was less decisive than location: the Ghassanids tended to ally with Byzantium, while the Lahkmids were usually supporters of the Iranians/Persians. In eastern Europe, the Danube River was the imperial border. To the north, a newly arrived group of pastoralist horse-warriors known as the Avars (either a Turkic-speaking people or an ethnically heterogenous grouping) controlled the whole Transdanubian region from present-day Austria to modern Ukraine. Most of the population under Avar suzerainty was German, Turkic (Hunno-Bulgar) or Slavic-speaking. (*) Unlike their subjects, the Lakhmid kings stayed pagan: all except the last king, Al-Nu'man III ibn al-Mundhir, 582-ca.602; he converted to the Nestorian faith of his people. (The kingdom was annexed by the Iranian shah in 602, and the dynasty ended.) (**) It is convenient to distinguish (before the 11th C) three branches of Christianity: 1. The so-called Nestorian Church or Church of the East broke with other Christians after the First Council of Ephesus in 431. They say Christ has two loosely joined natures, the divine Logos and the human Jesus. More specifically, in Christ there are two natures (dyophysite) (human and divine) and two hypostases (in the sense of "essence" or "person") that coexisted. Outsiders may see this as two persons living in the same body. Nestorians emphasise the disunion between the human and divine natures of Jesus; hence they reject the title Theotokos (' God-bearer, she through whom God is born: loosely rendered as Mother of God) for the Virgin Mary. The head of the church, the Catholicos, resided in the Persian/Mesopotamian capital of Seleucia-Ctesiphon in this period (under Muslim rule from the 630s). 2. Oriental Orthodoxy, Jacobites or (inaccurately) Monophysites the Eastern Christian Churches that recognise only three ecumenical councils: the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the First Council of Ephesus. Their opponents called them Jacobites, after their great Apologist, Jacob Baradeus, d. 578. They rejected the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon (451). Instead they hold that in the one person of Jesus Christ, Divinity and Humanity are united in one or single nature ("physis"), the two being united without separation, without confusion, and without alteration (God=man). 8

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Its critics called it monophysitism; adherents prefer miaphysitism. They accept Theotokos for the Virgin Mary. Today the communion comprises six groups: Coptic Orthodox [under the pope of Alexandria: the Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of all Africa]; *Ethiopian Orthodox; *Eritrean Orthodox; Syriac Orthodox [miaphysite patriarch of Antioch]; *Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (India); and the Armenian Apostolic church (under the Catholicus residing in this period at Dvin). The asterisked churches become autocephalous (self-headed) after the period dealt with in this chronology. In 638, the Armenian Apostolic Church began appointing its own bishop in Jerusalem. The office has continued, with some interruptions, down to this day. The bishops were later elevated in stature and came to be called patriarchs (but subordinate to the Catholicus). 3. Dyophysite Chalcedonians or Melkites: this term covers both Constantinopolitan (Eastern) Orthodoxy and Roman (Western) Catholicism (also most Protestants). These are the informal latter-day labels: Constantinople also called itself Catholic and Rome of course believed it was Orthodox. Their opponents called the Chalcedonians Melkites, meaning the emperors party. The name comes from the Syriac word malko, meaning "the king's [men]", or Royalist, so called because they supported the Byzantine Emperor by accepting the teachings of the Council of Chalcedon of 451. For this brand of Chstsianaly there are two natures in Christ (God and man); each retaining its own properties, and together united in one subsistence and in one single person. Or we can say the human and divine are exemplified in Christ as two natures but with one hypostasis of the Logos perfectly subsisting in His two natures. Because the two natures are fully united, they accept Theotokos (Godbearer, 'Mother of God) for the Virgin Mary: her son Jesus is one person who is both God and man, divine and human. In this period, before Rome broke with its peers, there were five patriarchs: the pope/patriarch of Rome; Constantinople; (Melkite) patriarch of Antioch; Jerusalem; and (Melkite) patriarch of Alexandria. The four eastern Sees acknowledged the primacy of the patriarch of Rome in an honorific sense only: first among equals; they did not (and do not) accept that he could instruct them. CHRONOLOGY BEGINS HERE: 570-71: Epidemic (cattle pestilence, perhaps smallpox) and bubonic plague (human deaths) in Italy and Gaul (Stathakopoulos p.314). 570-72: 9

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Spain/Portugal: The Visigoths ruled most of Iberia, with Byzantium holding a large enclave in the south-west, south and south-east called Spania. Hierocles' geographic text the Synecdemus defines Byzantine Spain as consisting of seven cities (distrcts): i. Sagontia/Gisgonza,* ii. Assidona (Medina-Sidonia in the far SSW)*, iii. Malacca/Malaga, iv. Corduba Patricia, v. Carthago Spartaria (Cartagena), vi. Basti (Baza in todays Granada province) and vii. another unstated centre which may be Seville. See map below. (*) Sagontia (Gigonza, Siguenza) was (is) on the road south from Seville and 15 km from Medina-Sidonia [ancient Asidona] (Thompson pp.320). The key source, John of Biclaro, relates that (1) king Leovigild*, 569-586, invaded Byzantiums Hispanic territory in 570 and devastated the regions of Baza and Malaga**; (2) in 571 he recovered from the Byzantines the town of Asidona; and (3) following an autochthonous rebellion by the Ibero-Romans of Cordoba, Leovigild occupied that town in 572 (NCMH, ed. Fouracre, p.184). Cf 582-83: Leovilgd takes Sevilel and Cordoba (*) Livvigildus on his coins. (**) A line drawn SW to NE from coastal Malaga runs through mountainous Granada to inland Baza.

Above: Byzantine Spania, showing the losses to king Leovigild, 56886. Toletum = Toledo. Emerita Augusta = Mrida. Hispalis = Seville. Asidona = Medina-Sidonia. Gades = Cadiz. Illberris = Granada.

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Several imperial strongholds in the Algarve (our lower Portugal) such as Ossobona and Lagos seem to have survived until they were captured in 624, so this map should probably give the empire a little more territory west of Seville. If we we follow Celine Martins careful analysis (2003: 286), the following twon were definitely still Byzantine at the start of the 600s. They were nearly all on or near the SE coast, no doubt reflecting the power of the Byzantine navy to come to their aid: Denia/Dianium [below Valencia]; Elche/Illici [near the coast above Cartagena]; Cartagena; El Chuce or El Ejido/Urci near Almeria in the province of Cartagena; Malaga; and in Baetica: Medina Sidonia/Assidona and Sagontia [both east of Cadiz]. One inland town was also Byzantine, namely Basti/Baza, NE of Granada. She believes that the Byzantines no longer held any towns west of Basti, ie the Visigoths held Gaudix/Acci [between Baza and Granada], Elvira/Iliberris [Granada] and Cabra/Egabrum [between Granada and Cordoba], along with Bigastrum [near Cehegin, in our NW Murcia: inland NW of Cartagena] and Elo/El Monastil [NW of Elche and Alicante]. The map above is broadly in agreement with this. 578-641: A series of four emperors, all without blood relation to their predecessors. 578-82: TIBERIUS II Constantine

Aged about 38 at accession. Of Thracian origin; protg of emperor Justin II and Justins wife Sophia. Tiberius had served first as Count of the Excubitors or commander of the palace regiment. In that position he was instrumental in having Justin elevated to emperor (565). Served as general of the armies. De facto ruler from 573 as adviser to the empress Sophia, and formally appointed "Caesar" or deputy emperor in 574. "Tiberius by the Arabs, and Maurice by the Italians, are distinguished as the first of the Greek Caesars", says Gibbon, citing the 13th century Christian Arab writer Abulpharagius (Abu-l-Faraj, Bar Hebraeus) and the Italian (Lombard) historian Paulus Diaconus, d.799. By this is meant having Greek as their mother-tongue: Justinian I's line, originating in Illyria, were by birth Latin-speaking. One imagines that Tiberius was a Thracian Greek-speaker. Maurice, emperor from 582, was an Armeno-Greek: a Cappadocian of (probably) Armenian ancestry; he would likely have spoken no Latin. Tiberiuss coins show him as beardless. Phocas, acc. 602, q.v.,was the first long-bearded emperor. 11

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578: 1. Having assumed the throne, Tiberius declines to marry the empress dowager, Sophia. 2. (Treadgold 1997: 373 prefers a date of ca 577:). Theophanes relates that Tiberius recruited 15,000 federates for the army in the East; they were barbarians recruited in the Balkans. Whitby 1988: 268 proposes that they were the same Germanic (Gothic) mercenaries that general Justinian had used in 574. Their formal enrolment enlarged the Army of the East to 35,000 men. The Federates (Greek: Phoideratoi) drew up in shallower formations than ordinary Roman (Byzantine) cavalry, indicating their superior quality; and Maurice in his Strategikon (cited here as SM) says that they were commonly deployed in the centre of the front line of the army. The new commander of the Army of the East, and Count of the Federates [Komes Phoideratoi], was the future emperor, Maurice, aged 39, hitherto Count of the Excubitors or palace guard commander (Whitby, preface p.xx). Italy: Campaign by the Lombards of Spoleto 3. NE Italy: Faroald of Spoletos* Lombards reduce the Byzantine fortresses of Castel Trosino and Murro, E of Spoleto, and they besiege Ascoli Piceno, inland S of Ancona, from several sides and plunder it (578). The Lombards strangle citizens, demolish towers, destroy churches and palaces, dismantle the town walls. (In Paul the Deacons History, Faroald first appears as duke of Spoleto in 579, but we assume he actually took the title some years earlier.) [Byzantine] Strategy was centred on the control of fortified places, both towns and castella, controlling the routeways, passes, river crossings and ports; key towns with strong garrisons and dukes as commanders generally formed the focal point for defensive zones. Larger forts appear to have had dependent territories to allow for closer defensive controls (Christie p.371). (*) A town, SE of Assisi, in the highlands about midway between Rome and the Rimini-Ancona sector of the Adriatic coast. The ancient highway known as the Via Flaminia, connecting Rome to the Adriatic coast, divided into two legs at Narni, just inside modern Umbria. The newer and slightly longer eastern leg, the Via Flaminia Nova, ran northwards through Terni and Spoleto to Foligno. Whoever controlled Spoleto could potentially cut communications between Ravenna, the political capital of Byzantine Italy, and Rome, the seat of the Papacy. And being inland, Spoleto could not be surprised by an imperial fleet arriving unannounced. 4. (578-80:) Slavs flood into the Balkans. In the year 578, when Tiberius Constantine was in his fourth year as Caesar and co-ruler with Justin II, a horde of some 100,000 Slavs, according to the historian Menander the Guardsman, fl. 582, gathered in Thrace and ravaged it, together with many other places (Curta 2001: 91). Presumably they entered Macedonia in 579. They apparently 12

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forced the pass of Thermopylae, because they plundered Greece [Hellas] in 580/81. Two coin hoards from Kenchreai, Corinths port of the Saronic Gulf, are dated to 578-80 (Whitby, Maurice p.88) Meanwhile (in 578) the Rhomaniyans transported 60,000 allied Avar horsemen and their khagan (monarch) Bayan6,000 would be more credible down the middle Danube. These allies disembarked in what is now sother Moldavia, repulsed the Slavs and freed thousands of Byzantine prisoners (Curta p.92). See 579, 582. Wrting around AD 550, Procopius described the Slavs thus: "They live in pitiful hovels which they set up far apart from one another, but, as a general thing, every man is constantly changing his place of abode. When they enter battle, the majority of them go against their enemy on foot carrying little shields and javelins in their hands, but they never wear corselets. Indeed, some of them do not wear even a shirt or a cloak, but gathering their trews up as far as to their private parts they enter into battle with their opponents. And both the two peoples [the Sclaveni and the Antae*] have also the same language, an utterly barbarous tongue. Nay further, they do not differ at all from one another in appearance. For they are all exceptionally tall and stalwart men, while their bodies and hair are neither very fair or blond, nor indeed do they incline entirely to the dark type, but they are all slightly ruddy in colour. And they live a hard life, giving no heed to bodily comforts...". -Procopius, History of the Wars, VII. 14. 2230. (*) Apparently, the Sklavenoi group were based along the middle Danube, whereas the Antes were on the lower Danube, in Scythia Minor. 5. NW Africa: In 569, the Romano-Berbers or Mauri (Moors) of Algeria under king Garmules had broken with Byzantium, and their army defeated and in 57071 killed in turn an imperial governor and two imperial duces (generals: magistri militum). The new emperor, Tiberius II Constantine, re-appointed Thomas (he had served previously in the 560s) as praetorian prefect at Carthage, and the able general Gennadius was posted as magister militum with the clear aim of reducing Garmul/Garmules' Romano-Berber kingdom. Preparations were lengthy and careful, but the campaign itself, launched in 57778, was brief and effective, with Gennadius using ruthless tactics against Garmul's subjects. Garmules was defeated and killed (578), and the coastal corridor between Tingitana (our Morocco) and Caesariensis (Algeria) secured (579). Susan Raven, Rome in Africa, Routledge, 1993. c. 578 or 579: Campania (the greater Naples region): The future Pope Saint Gregory the Great, or whoever it was who wrote them, relates in the Dialogues [3.27-28] two episodes in a persecution of Catholic Italians by the Lombards. In one case, 40 imprisoned Italian peasants (husbandmen) were executed for refusing to eat from meat sacrificed by the Lombards to their idols. The killers were either a pagan minority element among the mainly Arian Christian 13

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Lombards or more likely pagan allies of the Lombards such as the Gepids. In a second incident, 400 prisoners were ordered to participate in the satanic worship that the Lombards were conducting in sacrificing a goats head to the devil. The Lombards demanded that the prisoners bow in adoration to the goats head, but most refused to do so. The historicity of all this is queried by Clark 2003: 130. 578-80: 1a. NE Italy: Lombards carved out a duchy [Greek doukaton] of Spoleto in the sector between Rome and Ancona. Spoleto is nearly half-way along a line drawn north-east from Ancona on the Adriatic (western) coast to Rome; it is a little nearer to the latter. The term doux (Latin dux) was originally (around AD 300) Roman and Byzantine, the title of a combat leader, later a regional commander. His command was called a doukaton (Latin ducatus); in due course this term came to denote also the region that he governed (English duchy). The Lombards not unnaturally appropriated this terminology. Faroald of Spoleto strengthened and extended the duchy with the aim of isolating the other imperial territories from Rome (Paul the Deacon, Historia Langobardorum, III. 13). In 578-579 his Lombards besieged the imperial provincial capital Ravenna, occupied the port of Classis, and burned the fortresses of Petra Pertusa and Foro Cornelio (Imola: on the Via Aemilia, west of Ravenna). Then in 580 he and his troops advanced into the Marche and Abruzzo occupying a number of fortress-towns, namely Pontiano (Norcia: just east of Spoleto), Fermo [NE of Spoleto, almost on the Adriatic coast], Ascoli Piceno (further east of Spoleto), Castel Trosino, Pens, Marsi (Rieti: S of Spoleto), Furcona (modern l'Aquila: SE of Spoleto*), Valva [Sulmona: further SE from lAquila], Teramo [SE of Spoleto], Camerino [NW of Spoleto], cutting off Frasassi [further NW, in the direction of Ancona] and Rossa, and occupying the stronghold of Pierosara [also NW of Spoleto, inland from Ancona]. See next. (*) Rome, Spoleto and lAquila are points on an equilateral triangle. 1b. Rome: In 578 and again in 580, the restored Senate, in its last recorded acts, had to ask for the support of emperor Tiberius against the approaching Lombard dukes, Faroald I of Spoleto and Zotto of Benevento.* In 580 a full-scale embassy comprising representatives of both the senate and the pope went from Italy to Constantinople (Menander Protector, cited by Hendy 1985: 409; Haldon 1990: 36; and Wikipedia, 2010, Roman Senate). See 579 attempt on Rome. Also 582: The Franks are subsidised to attack the Lombards. (*) Inland Benevento was strategically located on the ancient highway that ran from Capua across the spine of the peninsula to Brindisi on the heel of Italy. The Appian Way divides at Benevento. The upper leg or Appia Traiana 14

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goes east into north Apulia (Puglia): to Canosa and then SE to the coast at Bari and thence down the calf to Brindisi. The other leg, the older Via Appia proper, ran from Benevento SE through the middle of S Italy to Venosa, across the inland border of Puglia to Gravina, and on to the south coast at Taranto and thence across the heel to Brindisi. 578-82:(or 579-85:) Gregory, aged 38-42: the future patriarch of Rome served as Pope Pelagiuss permanent envoy in Constantinople; probably his main mission was to persuade the emperor to send aid to Italy against the Lombards. Cf 579.

Above: Avars as imagined by a modern illustrator. The Romans (Byzantines) borrowed elements of military equipment and tactics from the Avars, notably the use of stirrups. The Avars flexible battle-array was regarded as superior to the single line (or line plus rearguard) traditionally favoured by the Romans, and their bows, tents, and armour for body and horse [leather or felt lamellar: not shown here] were extolled by emperor Maurice (SM, ii.1, i.2; Haldon 1999: 130). The Avarsevidently a heterogeneous, polyethnic people many of whom were Turkic-speakingarrived in Europe from the Ukrainian steppe in 558. They settled (568) the Carpathian plain [presnt-day Hungaray], west of the main Slavic settlements. During an embassy to Byzantium from the Gk Turks, from whose vassalage the Avars had fled, the Gk enovy stated that the Avars numbered 20,000 (Menander 10.1.80-83). If this was just a count of grown males, it perhaps represents a population of some 100,000 people.

15

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The Avars crushed (567-68) the Gothic/Germanic Gepid Kingdom and pushed (568) the Lombards into Italy, essentially opening up the western Balkans. They asserted their authority over many Slavs, who were divided into numerous petty tribes. Many Slavs were relocated to the Avar base in the Carpathian basin and were used as an effective infantry force supporting the Avar cavalry. Other Slavic tribes continued to raid independently, sometime coordinating attacks as allies of the Avars. Others still spilt into the Empire as they fled from the Avars. The Avaro-Slav invasion of the Balkans 578-88: Greece: The Avaro-Slav invasions of, or raids into, the Balkan peninsula and Greece (noted earlier) in the years 578-588 are recorded by several late sources: Michael Syrus (the Jacobite patriarch, d. 1199) and the Chronicle of Monemvasia. Haldon 1990: 44 proposes that the raids began before 577. Madgearu (2006) brackets 577-87 as a first period of the ousting of the Byzantines from the Danube, at least in the Moesia-Scythia sector (todays Bulgarian-Romanian border). It is unclear whether, on any one occasion, the invaders were Slavs, Avars or a combination (see discussion in Curta, Making of the Slavs pp.49-50). Archaeology shows that other factors were also at work in the ruralisation of the empire. In the case of Peloponnesian Olympia, the ancient city* was apparently suddenly buried by a deep deposit of riverine alluvium. This may have resulted from the blocking of the river by the earthquakes of 522 and 557. The towns* life may have largely ended in 557; but we also have evidence of a small Justinianic [pre AD 565] fortress at Olympia in which coins of 567 and 575 were found (Hodges & Whitehouse p.57). So perhaps all that remained for the Slavs to capture was a small fort. A presumed Slavic cremation cemetery with urns of a type closely allied to Prague- type pottery has been excavated at Olympia and generally dated to the sixth- or seventh- century (Kobylinski, in NCMH ed. Fouracre, p.542, citing Vryonis; but queried by Curta, Making of the Slavs pp.234, 308: he proposes after AD 700). (*) City has an odd meaning in the writings of the historians. It does not mean (as we use it) a large urban centre but rather any urban settlement, however small, that also governed the region around it. I have frequently substituted the word town as a reminder that there were few large centres . . . The pagan Slavs (if they were Slavs), says Michael Syrus, took many prisoners and carried away many objects from the churches, for example the ciborium or large chalice-like vessel of the church of Corinth which their king, or qagan (as Michael calls him) used as a throne to sit on. The Chronicle of Monemvasia says* that the invasions of the Peloponnesus by the Avars and Slavs prompted many of the Peloponnesians to emigrate, the Corinthians going to the island of Aegina, which, of course, is not very far from 16

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Corinth (offshore in the Aegean). The people of Argos went to the island of Orob (in the Argolic Gulf), the Spartans to the coastal fortress of Monemvasia, the inhabitants of Patras to Calabria and the Lacedaemonians to Sicily. This was a token of the permanent colonisation of Greece by Slavs. Some have argued that Corinth and the eastern Peloponnese always remained in imperial hands, and it was in the west, centre and south that the Slavs settled. Athens too continued into the 600s (Hodges & Whitehouse 1983: 60; Fine 1991: 61, citing Charanis). If so, then we must imagine that not all the Corinthians fled to Aegina and/or that they returned thence to Corinth. As Curta 2005: 111 remarks, the relatively large number of coins from Justin II to Phokas (d. 610) now in the collection of the Patras museum demonstrates that one cannot take the Chronicle of Monemvasia very seriously, since it is precisely during that period of time that, according to the Chronicle, the inhabitants of Patras had moved to Reggio di Calabria. (*) Quote: In another incursion they [the Avars and Slavs] placed under their control all of Thessaly and Greece, Old Epirus, Attica and Euboia. They attacked and forcibly subjugated the Peloponnesus, expelling and destroying the noble and Hellenic peoples, and they themselves settled there. Those Greeks who were able to flee from the blood-stained hands of the Avars scattered themselves in various places: the inhabitants of the city of Patras resettled in the area of Rhegium [Reggio] Calabria, the Argives on that island called Orobe, and the Corinthians came to dwell on the island named Aegina. 579: 1. The East: Spring: Death of the Persian shah Khusrau/Khusro I, and accession of his son Hormisdas or Hormizd IV, r. 579-590. Protracted peace negotiations (spring/summer 579). When negotiations fail, the Byzantines prepare to renew the war (autumn/winter). See 580. Negotiations are deliberately protracted by the Sassanians, preventing a major campaign in 579. The 50,000 Byzantine troops in the East were becoming difficult to pay and threatened mutiny when their pay was overdue (John of Ephesus, VI. 28; Treadgold, 1997: 226). 2. First major Lombard attempt to take Byzantine Rome. Lombard soldiers under duke Faroald of Spoleto besiege Rome. Emperor Tiberius sends resources - men, money and materiel - to aid the local generals in Italy (and also Spain: see 3 below). This included grain sent from Egypt, a nice illustration of the enduring power of the empire (Maxwell-Stuart p.46). Also c.579: The duke of Spoleto takes Classis, the port located alongside the Byzantine provincial seat Ravenna (Paul the Deacon, History III.13, cited by Collins 1991: 190). The taking of Classis, the port of Ravenna, by Faroalds Lombards probably occurred about 579, while Longinus was still prefect. The city (port-town) was afterwards (in the 580s: perhaps in 585) recovered from the Langobards by Droctulf, a barbarian (a Suevian raised among the Lombards) formerly in Lombard service but now in imperial service: With the support of this Droctulf, 17

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the soldiers of the Ravenna people often fought against the Langobards, and after a fleet was built, they drove out with his aid the Langobards who were holding the city of Classis (Paulus Diaconus III, 19). Jones et al. 1971:426 think this naval battle, at the river Badrinus [?Paderano*], was fought (Paulus: in tiny ships*) in 584 or 585. A truce was then struck and Droctulf was transferred to duty in Thrace. (*) Paulus records his epitaph in Ravenna, no longer extant: Puppibus (in vessels, ships) exiguis (small, meagre) decertans (fighting) amne (on/at the river) Badrino (Badrinus). Lombardo-Byzantine Coins An exceptional issue - an early, rare half-siliquae imitative of the coins of Tiberius II is best attributed, due to its monogram, to Duke Farwald/Faroald of Spoleto. He occupied Classis, the port of Ravenna, and held it for some years (c. AD 579590? Or until 585 or 588). This was no doubt the occasion for the issuing of coins, although the mint was in the city proper (Paulus D. XIII; Grierson & Blackburn 2007: 63). 3. The West: To relieve the pressure in Spain, Tiberius concludes an alliance with the Gothic prince Hermenegild (aged about 15) who has converted [or will covert in about 582?] to orthodoxy or Catholicism and was rebelling against his Arian father king Liuvigild or Leovigild.* See 579-85. The year 582 for Hermenegilds conversion is preferred by Roger Collins, Early medieval Spain: unity in diversity, 400-1000, Palgrave Macmillan, 1995, p.46. Contemporary sources vary in their portrayal of Hermenegild, with most painting him as a traitor who rebelled against his father for political gain (Collins, loc.cit. p.47). Gregory the Great [aged about 39 in 579] as pope, 590-604, championed Hermenegild, killed in 586, as an exemplary martyr who had died in defence of the orthodox Faith. (*) Isidore of Seville says that Leovigild, 569-586, was the first to sit upon an elevated throne and wear royal (Byzantine-style) robes; hitherto the Gothic kings had preferred to wear the same everyday dress as their nobles. Wolfram 1997: 269. From 579 the prince ruled the province of Baetica as his fathers deputy. In the same year he married the Merovingian (Frankish) princess Ingund (Barbero and Loring in NCMH ed. Fouracre p.186). He renounced Arianism in 579 or in 582, was confirmed in the othodox faith by Leander, the Catholic metropolitan of Seville, and took the name of Joannes or John (Cath. Encyc., citing Greg. Tur. v. 39; Greg. Magn. Dial. iii. 31; Paul. Diac. iii. 21). Leander was first a Benedictine monk, and then from 579 Bishop of Seville. In the meantime he founded a celebrated school, which soon became a centre of learning and orthodoxy. He assisted the 12 years old (others offer 13 and 16) princess Ingunthis or Ingund, a Frank, to convert (ca. 579? 582?) her 15 years old 18

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husband prince Hermenegild, the eldest son of Leovigild; and Leander defended the convert against his father's reprisals. See 586. 4. Tunisia: As noted earlier, Gennadius, the 'Master of Soldiers' or military governor in Africa, defeats the 'Moors' [Romano-Berbers] under their king Gurmul or Garmul. Peace resumes in Africa. Byzantium ruled the littoral while the Moors dominated the interior. 5. The middle Danube: Seeing the emperor distracted in Persia [cf below: 58081], the Avars of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, i.e. the Danube-Black Sea region hitherto Byzantine allies - seek to extort control of Sirmium [west of Belgrade]; when this is refused they attack and capture the city (581; or siege 580-82). In their wake come the Slavs, who will penetrate, in a form of permanent migration, down into the Balkan peninsula as far as Greece (see 581-82) (Whitby, Maurice pp.175-76). 579-85: Visigothic Spain is divided between Leovigild (at Toledo) and his elder son Hermenigild (rival throne at Seville). The latter cooperated with the Byzantine governors controlling the imperial enclave in the south. Cf 621-31. The struggle (at least after 582) shaped itself as a conflict of confessions and nationalities, of Arianism and Catholicism, of Goth and Roman, although Leovigild had adherents among the provincials, and Hermenigild counted some Gothic partisans. In 579, soon after his marriage to the Frankish princess Ingund (Clovis, the king of the Franks, had converted to Catholicism around the beginning of the sixth century), Hermenigild declared himself the independent monarch over the southern part of the peninsula. For three years, Leovigild seems to have accepted the situation, making no attempt to regain control, while Hermenigild, for his part, did not seek to expand the territory under his rule. Then, some time around 582, Hermenigild converted to Catholicism (trinitarian Christianity), under the influence of Isidores brother Leander, or according to pope Gregory, acc. 590,, he was converted by a friend of Leander. His father now attacked Mrida, beginning a civil war. 579-90: Pope Pelagius II, an ethnic Goth, i.e. Italo-Goth, born in Rome, presumably before 540.* His fathers name was Unigild or Winigild (Richards 1979: 166). He sent Gregory, the future patriarch of Rome, to be his representative in Constantinople. See 584. (*) The Goths had ruled Italy until the Byzantine reconquest, begun by general Belisarius in 536. Rome changed hands several times until Byzntine troops under Belisariuss successor, Narses, took it for good in 552. 580-81: 1. The East: Maurices 2nd campaign: To prevent mutiny, the army general Maurice orders an advance against Persia, and raids beyond the Tigris. See 581. 19

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The Settling of the Slavs in Greece 2. The NW Balkans: In 580 Bayan revealed his true colours, and his Avars mounted a large-scale attack against Sirmium. As Byzantine forces tried to turn back his assault, the Sklaveni descended into the Balkans en masse. The Slavs sometimes acted in concert with the Avars, sometimes against them, and sometimes independently. Indeed in some cases they came south precisely to escape Avar domination (Whitby, Maurice p.176). An army, or perhaps better: a large conglomeration of bands, comprising according to Menander - 100,000 "Slavonians" poured, ca. 581, into Thrace and Illyricum. The Avars too, probably separately, were operating in Greece. By 586 the Slavs had penetrated as far south as the Peloponnesus. For the next ten years, Byzantine forces appeared unable to dislodge either the Avars or the Slavs. From this time dates the arrival in Greece of Slav settlers in large numbers - as distinct from the earlier raiding expeditions. Thus says Heurtley p. 39; also Kobylinski in CNMH ed. Fouracre vol 1, p.541. See 581-82, 597 and 609. John of Ephesus specifically dates this to three years after the death of Justin II, i.e. AD 581 (quoted in Fine 1991: 31). The Slavic takeover can also be seen in the disappearance of coinage. The latest coins in coin hoards in Macedonia date to the reign of Justin II, d. 578, and the latest in the Peloponnese to that of Constans II, acc. 641 (Kobylinski loc.cit.). At Delphi in our central Greece, by around 580590 the abandonment of patrician villas becomes evident; pottery kilns were then installed within their walls and functioned until 610620 (Morrisson & Sodini, Sixth Century in Laiou ed., 2002). This may reflect the departure of the Byzantine ruling caste and a takeover by Greek or Slav peasants. How many Slavs were able to remain behind, after about 580, in permanent settlements in Greece? This has been a much-disputed question since the early 19th century, but the numbers must have been reasonably large. Evagrius Scholasticus, fl. 593, writes thus: The Avars, having twice made inroads as far as the so-called Long Wall [inner Thrace*], besieged and enslaved Singidunum (Belgrade), which Justinian had restored and heavily fortified, Anchialus [on the Black Sea coast: modern Bulgarian Pomorie], and indeed all Greece [kai thn 'Ellada pasan], together with other cities and garrisons, destroying and burning everything, while most of the armed forces were engaged in the East. Kenneth Setton, 1950: The Bulgars in the Balkans and the Occupation of Corinth in the Seventh Century, Speculum, 25, 4, 1950, 502543. +See below under 581-82. (*) The long wall in rural Thrace; not to be confused with the outer walls of Constantinople. Also called the Long Walls or the Wall of Anastasios 20

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I, a system of fortifications erected 65 km west of Constantinople and extending a distance of two days journey (55 km). With a thickness of 3.3 metres and a height over five metres, these walls were over 45 km long and extend from Selymbria on the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea. The wall is made of hard pinkish mortar with nodules of brick. The wall has towers (rectangular and polygonal), forts with gateways and an outer moat. Originally constructed by Anastasios, the wall proved ineffective and was many times penetrated by invaders. It was no longer maintained after about this time and became just another ruin in the countryside. c. 580: 1. Italy: The Lombards briefly captured Classis or Classe, the coastal town and port, on the doorstep of Ravenna itself. Or earlier, in 578. Cf 582. 2. Spain: fl. the chronicler, John of Biclaro, ca 540-after 621. He was an ethnic Visigoth born at Santarem in Lusitania (modern Portugal) who must have been from a Catholic family, to judge from his name. He was educated at Constantinople, where he devoted between seven and 17 years to the study of Latin and Greek. As a Catholic cleric he was arrested by the Arian Gothic government on his return (c. 576) to Spain, where the Byzantine-ruled enclave on the south-east was already some 24 years old. After Leovigild's death in 586, John was released and founded a Benedictine monastery at Biclaro (the exact site is undetermined), where he presided as abbot and finished his Chronicle (in 590). He was thereafter (before 592) appointed Catholic Bishop of Gerona in Catalonia under the new episcopal government. Wikipedia, 2009, John of Biclaro; the text of his Chronicle can be found in Wolf 1999. For John, in theory, the emperor still united all Christians under one monarchy on earth, just as they would be in heaven. The great change of his Chronicle is that Leovigild is portrayed as a legitimate ruler inside the kingdom of the Goths, which is effectively Spain. There was now a second legitimate monarchy under God, that of the Visigoths in the West. In his writings, conflict with the Byzantines was minimised, so that the two legitimate authorities were not seen to be in conflict. John mentions that Leovigild recaptured all or some of the territory around Baza, Malaga, Sidonia, and Cordoba (Cordoba [572] and Sidonia were retaken by the Visigoths but Malaga itself remained in imperial hands). All of these places were part of the Byzantine Empire, with the possible exception of Cordoba, which may have been independent. But John does not mention that Leovigild took this territory from the Byzantine Empire, so that Leovigild does not appear to be an enemy of the Greco-Romans. Map at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spania; accessed 2009; and discussion by Johnson, online 2009. 581: 1. The East: Summer: The army general Maurice and the Ghassanid Arab ruler al-Mundhir campaign along the Euphrates supported by supply-ships accompanying them on the river. The Sasanians ravage Upper Mesopotamia and 21

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defeat the Byzantines in Armenia. Winter: Tiberius attempts to negotiate with shah Hormizd. Iraq: Maurice and his Arab ally Alamundarus [al-Mundhir] advance down the Euphrates almost as far as the Persian winter capital Ctesiphon: Persian Tisfun, on the Tigris south of modern-day Baghdad. A Persian flanking movement forces Maurice to retire. He quarrels with al-Mundhir and disavows the longstanding alliance with the Ghassanid Arabs, which leaves the Eastern frontier exposed (Whitby, Maurice 1988). 2. According to Norwich, 1988: 273, this was the year that Tiberius created a new elite corps of 15,000 barbarian feoderati (Federates); they were recruited in the Balkans. Others prefer 578: see there. Source: Theophanes AM 6074; Bury LRE II: 80. c. 581; between 577 and 584: Italy: The Lombards of Benevento destroy the Benedictine abbey of Monte Cassino [founded ca 529]. All the monks escaped to Rome. It would be more than a century before they returned to M0nte Cassino. Italy: The End of Antiquity and the Opening of the Dark Ages While the Lombards did settle parts of the peninsula intensely, they spent the first generation - 570-600 at least - in unremitted plunder. This had irreversible consequences in ecological terms for Italy and southern Gaul. In Gaul, inland cities reverted to towns because they were cut off both from denuded countryside as well as from the Mediterranean coast, its trade and culture. In Italy, remaining landowners fled in large numbers for coastal areas, depriving cities [read: towns] of wealth and vitality. The old Roman administrative structure and personnel were eliminated permanently, with only Byzantine outposts, Lombard duchies, and Papal possessions remaining. The countryside was often abandoned by defenceless peasants, who fled to the mountain villages. It is from this time that the ancient terrace system of agriculture was perforce abandoned, both in Italy and the Balkan areas afflicted by Slavs and Bulgars. In the ensuing generations, terraces left untended due to Lombard ravaging or plague-related mortality could not stop rains from causing continued erosion. On the interaction of human and natural factors, see Squatriti 199. Alluvial deposits today called younger fill swept down from mountains and corrupted previously fertile soil (or so it used to be argued). See next. From the 580s-620s, then, we can locate the onset of the Dark Ages throughout the Mediterranean. Source: www.sparknotes.com/history/european/middle1/section1. - accessed 2004. McCormick, Origins p.113, proposes, based on a count of shipwrecks, that in 22

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the western Mediterranean, sea trade dropped by about two-thirds between the sixth and seventh centuries (550-650) and continued to decline after that. Naval (military) activity, however, probably increased, notably after 650, counting Muslim as well as Christian warships. Others would argue that, at least in the West, the onset came earlier. Wickham, for example, sees the fatal weakening of the Western Empire taking place in the fifth century*, specifically in the half-century after the loss of Africa to the Vandals in the 430s (Early Middle Ages 2005: 730). This broke the fiscal spine of trade and taxation between Roman Africa and Roman Italy. But if trade declined, it did continue in the West until the 600s. (*) Rome (which in 402 was replaced by Ravenna as the capital of the West) is believed to have lost nine-tenths of its population during the 400s: Bertrand Lanon, Rome in Late Antiquity: everyday life and urban change, AD 312-609, Routledge, 2000 p.14. If so, perhaps we can best date the End of Antiquity, in the West at least, to the period 350-550. From Pottery to Wood The literary evidence confirms a marked economic decline. In the 600s pottery was replaced by wood. In Italy there is a sharp fall in the number of surviving inscriptions and the disappearance of high quality glazed pottery (African Red Slip* Ware). The late 500s see the appearance of wooden dishes, plates and cups. Fired-clay amphorae [giant pitchers commonly of 39 litres] gave way to wooden barrels in the 600s (Brown 1984: 7; also Hodges & Whitehouse 1983: 25 ff). Or at least this was the case in the West; amphorae contained to be manufactured at Ganos on the Thracian (western) shore of the Sea of Marmara for regional trading until the end of the empire (Jeffreys et al. 2008: 434). (*) Slipped means colour-coated. Slip is the slurry formed when water is mixed with clay; the moulded vessel was immersed in the slip to form its outer coat. African Red Slip Ware was a type of decorated tableware produced from the late first century AD until the mid seventh century in the area of modern Tunisia and exported around all of the Mediterranean, reaching even to Scotland in the north and Ethiopia in the south at the peak of its distribution. Other red slips were produced at Phocaea on the Aegean coast of Asia Minor and near Paphos in Cyprus (Cypriot Slip Ware). In the East many productions of both amphorae (those used for long-distacne trade in oil and wine) and fine table wares were to end in the later seventh century; this was a systemic collapse. For example, it is now definite that Phocaean RS (PRS: sophisticated red slip ceramics from Phocaea in the west Aegean), once traded across the whole Mediterranean, ceased to be produced in the period 670-700, somewhat later than used to be thought. This is clear from excavations at Emporio on Chios, Gortyn on Crete, and in the Crimea. Trade in 23

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PRS had been contracting since the 500s, but the local RS [local types of less sophisticated red slipware] productions did not replace it, for they ceased as well. They were replaced by coarser types (Wickham 2005: 784 ff). As we have said, however, amphorae continued to be manufactured at Ganos on the Thracian (western) shore of the Sea of Marmara until the end of the empire; in this period they were used for localized trade in the north-AegeanMarmara region (Jeffreys et al. 2008: 434). 581-82: 1. The middle Danube: As noted, after a siege of two years, the Avars took (581) Sirmium, the major Roman fortress in the north-west, upstream from our Belgrade. The following year Tiberius cedes the Sirmium district officially (582) and agrees to pay outstanding payments to the Avars, namely 100,000 silver pieces. Meanwhile the Slavs have pushed as far south as Athens, which apparently they sacked. The disintegration of Athens, which began from neglect and migration from the town to the country, was completed by an invasion by a band of Slavs and Avars, which took place probably in 582. Most probably it was now that most of the basilicas outside the walls and the Tetraconch [four-apse] church (Megale Panaghia) in the courtyard of Hadrian's Library wewre destroyed. Gian Pietro Brogiolo, Bryan Ward-Perkins, The Idea and Ideal of the Town between late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages, Brill, 1999: 222-23; Goette 2001: 76. Cf 582, 586, 592. Massive attack on the Balkans: Slavs and Avars invade the region around Athens, c.582. John of Ephesus, also called John of Amida, reported that the Slavs plundered all of Hellas and the regions around Thessalonica, taking many towns and forts in the early 580s. The "city" (town) of Athens itself, although much reduced, remained in imperial hands. But by 588, except for Corinth, all the antique cities (towns) of the Peloponnesus were "wiped out" (Mangos phrase: pp.24, 70; also Cameron p.160). It might be better to say: the already faded Roman towns were now finally abandoned. It is debated how much the few surviving urban centres contracted. Recent studies of Arykanda [SW Asia Minor], Athens, Corinth and other sites suggest that the reduced wall circuits so common in late antiquity and the early Middle Ages often bear little or no relationship to the inhabited extent and general vitality of their associated urban centres. In many instances, such reduced enceintes (walled refuges, fortified spaces) served as military strongholds and places of refuge in times of invasion and strife, to be occupied only on an occasional basis by often much larger populations which continued to live and work (often in some style) in extensive residential and commercial neighbourhoods outside the fortified circuits (see C. Kirilov, 'The reduction of the fortified city area in late antiquity, in Henning ed. 2007). Browning, p.91, proposes that, in the north Balkans, the old classical cities had already ceased to function effectively as cities before they were captured; and sometimes the Slavs even found the city sites abandoned. 24

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Slav settlers filled the vacuum left when the Avar army proceeded elsewhere. Coin hoards and other evidence show that Slavs had settledthey were no longer just raidingas far as Hellas, east-central Greece as we know it, by 608-09 (Haldon 1984: 44).

2. d. Agathias, lawyer, historian and poet, aged about 46. His unfinished History of the reign of Justinian starts where Procopius stopped, in 552, and goes on to 558, dealing mainly with the military operations of Narses and others against the Ostrogoths, Vandals and Persians. In addition, about 100 of his poems, many of them love poems, survive in the famous Greek Anthology. The history of Menander Protector or Guardsman covers the period to 582: ed. and English trans. The History of Menander the Guardsman, trans. R.C. Blockley, Liverpool 1985. 582: 1. Famines (581-82) in various parts of the empire during to a shortage of grain, caused probably by the wrong sort of weather. This was accompanied by an epidemic in Syria. When bread was imported to the capital from Egypt, famine struck in Egypt too. Good harvests of tuna, fruit and vegetables saved many (Stathakopoulos pp.317-18). 2. The East: Summer: The Persian marzban (general, frontier commander) Tamkhusro invades, but is defeated by general Maurices army and killed at Constantina, NE of Edessa (modern Viransyehir: Whitby 1988: 272). Defeated Sassanian troops camp further east near Dara. Death of Tiberius in Constantinople. Return and accession of Maurice, r. 582-602. Autumn: John Mystacon is appointed commander in the East. Campaign in Arzanene or eastern Armenia: N of modern Diyabakir. A Persian advance is defeated: defeat and death of Tamchosro at Constantina (June). But Maurice cannot follow up, having to retire to the capital, where Tiberius is dying. Maurice is crowned Augustus (emperor) the day before Tiberius dies, 13 Aug 582. Prior to Tiberius' death in 582, it was Sophia who was consulted as to a possible successor. Her recommendation of the general Maurice was adopted. If she planned to marry Maurice, as Gregory of Tours states, then she was outmanoeuvred. Maurice chose Tiberius' daughter Constantina. Autumn: campaign in Arzamene. 3. Constantinople pays the Franks to attack the Lombards: [T]he emperor Maurice sent by his ambassadors to Childepert, king of the Franks, 50,000 solidi to make an attack with his army upon the Langobards and drive them from Italy, and Childepert suddenly entered Italy with a countless multitude of Franks. The Langobards indeed entrenched themselves in their towns and when messengers had passed between the parties and gifts had been offered they made peace with Childepert. When he had returned to Gaul, the 25

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emperor Maurice, having learned that he had made a treaty with the Langobards, asked for the return of the solidi he had given in consideration of the overthrow of the Langobards. But Childepert, relying upon the strength of his resources, would not give an answer in this matter (Paulus, Hist. Lang.. III.17). Circa 582, as noted, there was temporary but devastating Slavic and Avar attack on Athens. For over 200 years, from 587 to 805, the Slavs will control much of the Peloponnesus. From 582: The Franks begin to dominate the Lombards of northern Italy. * * * To recap. The Rhomaioi reorganised their domains in Europe to resist the invaders. Although the Lombards seized parts of the south of Italy, the imperial governor was able for several decades to maintain a Byzantine corridor between Rome and Ravenna. All the Balkans, however, except for some coastal cities, were lost to the Avars, a powerful group of Eurasian nomads, and the Slavs who came with them. Descending from the Danube River under the Khagan Bajan (acc. 565), the Avars entered the empire in about 573, when the emperor [Justin II 565-78] was preoccupied by his wars with Persia (572, 576-78 and 589). The Avars besieged the key city of Sirmium and captured it in 582. The Avars The Avars fled westward after their Turkish vassals destroyed their great Mongolia-based empire (AD 552). They moved to what we know as the Russian steppes, where the East Roman emperor Justinian paid them (574) to subjugate the Huns and Slavs who had been raiding Roman provinces in the Balkans. The empire of the Avars peaked at the end of the 6th century when it extended from the upper Danube to the the Volga. They were partly responsible for the southward migration of the Serbs and Croats. The Avar state, weakened by internal dissent, was later to be destroyed by a combined Frankish and Bulgarian attack in 796. The status of the Avars as barbarians was confirmed for the Romanic/Byzantine writers by their dress: the Avars wore long kaftans of leather or fur descending to the knees, trousers, and moccasin-like soft-soled boots (Browning 1975 p.189). The Slavs, Greek: Sklavenoi, had occupied the whole northern side of the Danube since as early as AD 400. In the next two centuries they formed part of many mixed raiding parties that pressed into the empire. The first Slav siege of Thessaloniki or Salonica dates to 586 (or perhaps 597) and another probably took place in about 604, during the reign of Phocas. The Reign of Maurice, 582-602

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Above: The drawing at top, taken from a 15th Century miniature, may look as if Maurice was bearded. In truth, as the coin shows, Maurice was clean shaven. The letters DN MAVRC on the left of the coin +TIU on the right represent the Latin text Dominus Noster (our lord) Mavricius. =MAVR(i)C+TIU(s). Then PP AUG = perpetuus Augustus, perpetual Augustus/emperor/sovereign. 582602: MAURICE. Greek: Mavrikios In full: Flavius Mauricius Tiberius. General of the army and son-in-law of the late emperor. Aged about 43 27

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at accession. Wife: Constantina, dau. of Tiberius II. Son: Theodosius, co-emperor with his father ca. 589-602. The name itself comes from a possibly fictitious St Maurice, a black (Sudanese) soldier believed to have been martyred in ca. AD 287. The saint served in the empires Theban (Egyptian) Legion. The name first occurs BC, in Ptolemaic (Greek) Egypt: cf Greek mauros, dark, black [Azia S. Atiya, ed., The Coptic Encyclopedia, volume 5, p. 1572. New York, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1991]. As noted earlier, Lombard (Italian) and Syrian historians called the Emperor Maurikios the first "Greek" emperor.* Cf 584. Born in Cappadocia, but perhaps of either Armenian or Italian descent, this would mean that Maurice spoke Greek as his native tongue (Treadgold 1997: 227). (His predecessor was of Thracian descent, and presumably spoke Latin as his mother tongue, i.e. as well as Greek.) Redgate 2000: 237 queries his Armenian ancestry, as this is asserted only by much later writers. Evagrius says he was of Latin lineage: quoted by Whitby, preface p.xx. (*) The Lombard writer Paulus Diaconus, l. iii. c. 15 said: primus ex Graecorum genere in Imperio constitutus, the first one from (out of) the Greeks by birth/descent appointed [constitutus] to the Supreme Power. Maurice was a successful general when his father-in-law Tiberius II on his deathbed proclaimed him emperor. He failed to halt the Lombards in Italy but ended (591) the war with Persia, restored Khosru II to the throne, and defeated the Avars. Maurice obtained Armenia in 591 in return for restoring Chosroes II [Khusrau Parviz] (590-628) to the Persian-Sassanian throne, stolen by a usurper. Maurice and his generals eventually crushed the Avars in a series of sometimes poorly-managed military campaigns from 591/593 to 601, and briefly restored imperial control as far as the Danube. They then lost everything in a mutiny which placed the incompetent Phocas, r. 602-10, on the throne. See generally Michael Whitby 1988. His strict discipline and miserliness caused mutiny in the Danubian army and he was obliged to flee. He was killed (602) by order of the usurper Phocas, who was deposed (610), in turn, by Heraclius I. The Destruction of Athens ca. 582: Greece: A raid by the Slavs, dated to 580 or 582, struck yet another blow at Athens. 28

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The evidence for this raid consists of a layer of destruction in the ancient Agora (market-square) in conjunction with the hoards of coins found in the stratum and also outside the Agora, at the Dipylon Gate and on the Acropolis. During the two centuries that followed, we have little historical testimony to the fate of Athens, and excavations have yielded only scanty finds. Kazanki-Lappa, Medieval Athens, in Laiou, ed. 2002. The earliest Christian graffito epitaph existing in the Parthenon mentions a certain bishop John who died probably in 595. Our next substantial reference to Hellas in this chonology comes in 653: see there. It is not known if the empire lost control of eastern Greece after 595; if it did, some kind of rule had been reestablished by 653. 582-83: Gothic Spain: As we noted earlier, Leander, an Ibero-Roman who was Catholic bishop of Seville, together with the Catholic Frankish princess Ingunthis or Ingund, aged 13 or 16, convinced (ca 582) her husband, prince Hermenegild, the eldest son of king Liuvigild, to convert to Catholic (Trinitarian) Christianity. Or so says pope Gregory (Collins 1995: 47). Leander defended the convert in an uprising (583-584) that occasioned his father's reprisals. The revolt was variously interpreted at the time, and so also by modern historians, as either a religious war, with Hermenigild as a Catholic martyr, or as simply an illegitimate usurpation by force, with religious conversion a convenient tactic. Barbero and Loring in The NCMH (p.187) draw attention to the mingling of three factors: internal dissension by a faction organised around Hermenigilds mother; the hostility of the Catholic Ibero-Roman towns of Baetica (the greater Seville-Cordoba region: our Andalusia) to Visigoth rule; and the intervention of the Byzantines on the Catholic side. For an Arian monarch Catholicism was the religion of his Roman subjects and Arianism was a rallying-point to counter his Byzantine enemies in the south; thus conversion was a preamble to treason. Collins loc. cit. argues against the revolt being a Catholic reaction against Arian tyranny; he proposes it was just a power grab by the prince. But in any case the conversion of some of the principal Goths certainly began at this time. Liuvigild or Leovigild took the field against his son in 582 or 583; prevailed on the Byzantines to betray Hermenigild for a sum of 30,000 gold solidi; besieged the latter in Seville in 583; and captured the city after a siege of nearly two years [584 or 585]. Or if we follow the NCMH, the siege began and ended in 583. The Sevillans surrended after Leovigild blockaded the Baetis [Guadalquivir] River. Hermenigild was captured and exiled to Valencia. His wife and son were taken East by the Byzantines but Ingund died en route and her sons future is lost to history. NCMH ed. Fouracre p.187; Cath. Encyc., Hermenigild; John of Biclaro in Wolf 1999: 70. In the south-west, Gisgonza - also Gigonza, ancient Sagontia - was held by Byzantium until the reign of Witteric, AD 603610. If we follow Thompsons Goths in Spain (1969: 329 ff), Sagontia (Gigonza, Giguenza) was (is) on the road south from Seville and close to Medina Sidonia [ancient Asidona]. This may indicate that the whole south-west of the province of Baetica was still Byzantine 29

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in 600, from Mlaga west to the Atlantic at the mouth of the Guadalete River near Cadiz [ancient Gades]. Perhaps Asidona [Medina Sidonia], supposedly taken by the Visigoths already in 572 (571 according to the NCMH), was surrounded by Byzantine territory? Or was Gigonza an imperial outpost in Visigothadministered territory? (I can find no website that discusses this point.) 582-95: John the Faster, patriarch of Constantinople. See 595. 583: 1. NW and NE Balkans: The Avars demand (May 583) an increase in the tribute paid to them. Then (summer) they invade the Balkans. After capturing Singidunum/Belgrade, they proceed as far as Anchialus (midway down the Black Sea coast). Autumn: embassy of Comentiolus and Elpidius to the Avar Chagan at Anchialus (Whitby p.90). 2. The East: Summer: A new imperial campaign in Arzanene [SE Armenia]. The Greek Romanics capture Akbas (John Eph., HE, VI.36). The Persians attacked

the fort of Aphumon, but arranged that their garrison at nearby Akbas should signal them by fire if they were attacked by the Rhomaniyans. When the latter did so, the Persians from Aphumon quickly responded to the signal and returned, trapping the besiegers and forcing them to flee down a mountainside with heavy casualties (Whitby p. 277; Theoph. Sim., I.12,17.).
Winter: The Sasanians open negotiations. 583-84: Gothic Spain: Catholics vs Arians. As we have noted, Hermenigild, the eldest son of Leovigild, converted (579 or 582) to Catholic Christianity. Bishop Leander of Seville, newly returned from Constantinople, defended the convert in an uprising, 583-584, that occasioned Leovigilds reprisals (Roger Collins, Early medieval Spain: unity in diversity, 400-1000, Palgrave Macmillan, 1995 p.48). After besieging and taking Byzantine Seville, Liuvigild took his son prisoner in Crdoba and banished him safely north to Valencia, where he was soon murdered, probably by Liuvigild's agents (585). While facing this rebellion in southern Spain (AD 583-584) Leovigild struck an issue of tremisses (coins) with a cross on steps on the reverse, a design which had been introduced for the very first time on Byzantine solidi by emperor Tiberius II, AD 578-582. The mint was at Mrida, well north of Seville. 583-89: The Balkans and Spain: Comentiolus was a Thracian officer who first appears in 583 on an embassy to the khan of the Avars. In the next year, he commands the forces attempting to drive the Slavs from Thrace, and for the following five years [cf below 584], he was active in the Balkans: the sources hereto are Byzantine historians like Theophylact Simocatta and Theophanes. He then turns up in

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Spain in 589 as patrikios and magister militum (military governor), where an inscription from CIL (Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum) records his workor that of another of the same namestrengthening the fortifications at Carthago Nova or Cartagena (see discussion in Whitby 1988: 289-90). See under 589 for the whole text of the inscription. c.584 (perhaps as early as 582): Italy and Africa were raised to the status of Exarchates, or rather the governors of these super-provinces were now termed exarchs.* Significantly, 'Exarch' was a Greek term, preferred to the Latin title 'Prefect'. The title is recorded for the first time for Italy in 584; and for Africa in 591. Cf 592. In his Strategikon, ca 600, emperor Maurice distinguishes between Latin, which he calls Roman [Rhomaiesti, in Latin] and Greek which he calls Hellenic [Elleniesti, in Greek]. The Greek language did not start to be called the Roman or Romaic [Rhomaike] tongue until after his time. (*) Brown, Gentlemen 1984: 49, notes that no source employs the term exarchatus (the realm governed by the exarch) until after the collapse of Byzantine power in 751; and even then it is applied only to the immediate area around Ravenna, i.e. not to the rest of Italy or Africa. Continuation of a (reduced) Money Economy in the Inner West Changes were made in the coinage around this time. In 581-82 the Byzantine mints at Carthage and Ravenna began to issue gold coins with dates on them; and in 582-83 a new mint was opened at Catania in Sicily producing copper and possibly also gold coins (Haldon 1990: 211). The regular issuing of small change in the form of copper coins is, as distinct from gold coinage, a token of a mercantile economy. In the outer West this had ceased already during the 400s, i.e. in the parts of the western Roman empire that were taken over by the Saxons, Franks, Burgundians and others. Barter became the order of the day in most of what is today England, Germany, France and northern Spain. The new regimes in Vandal Africa and Ostrogothic Italy, however, continued to produce Roman-style coins in copper until after 500. Copper coins were also briefly issued in two other areas where we have reason to suppose that a somewhat more sophisticated economy survived until about 525, namely in south-central Spain (Andalusia), at the heart of the Visigoth kingdom; and at Marseilles, the Ostrogoth-ruled gateway-port of the Frankish kingdoms. Byzantium defeated the Vandals and Ostrogoths in the mid-550s and new copper coins continued to be produced, now by imperial authority, at the mints in Ravenna, Rome, Sicily and Carthage. But coins are rarely found in excavations, no doubt because they had only a limited production and circulation. Vandal coins issued at Carthage until 533 had circulated widely around the Mediterranean, but after Justinian re-established the mint at Carthage, coins from other mints in the eastern Mediterranean are a tiny fraction of the coinage 31

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found in the West; this of course was a reflection of the continuing decline of the East-West trade across the Mediterranean that took place in the sixth century, i.e. before the Arab invasions (Hodges & Whitehouse 1983: 28). Meanwhile minting had ceased in Gothic Andalusia and Marseilles. (Eventually even barter-trade from the Mediterranean to the northern lands ceased, namely during the early 600s: Hodges & Whitehouse p.91). Only one city in the West, Byzantine Rome, shows evidence of an abundant copper coinage after 600 (Ward-Perkins 2005: 113, 117). 584: 1. The Balkans: Spring: Second embassy of Elpidius; conclusion of peace with the Avars. - Maurice agrees to raise the tribute to the Avars to 100,000 gold pieces. Spring/summer: In Mesopotamia Philippicus replaces John Mystacon as commander against the Persians and prepares to campaign. Autumn: Philippicuss troops ravage Beth Arabaye, the area west of our Mosul. Summer: Slav invasions reach the Long Walls (in Thrace)*; Comentioluss victory near the river Erginia/Ergene (Agrianes) which is the lowest northern tributary of the Evros/Maritsa, i.e. near Arcadiopolis (Simocatta i.7.1-4; Whitby 1988: 90). (*) Not to be confused with the city walls of Constantinople. The Long Wall(s) were in inner Thrace. They ran for 56 km NNE across the isthmus of Europe 65 km west of Constantinople. Their southern endpoint, on the Sea of Marmara, lay six km west of Selymbria, modern Silivri. 2a. Italy: Failed Frankish invasion of Lombard Italy, subsidised by Constantinople. The Lombards now decided that it was wise to reinstate a central kingship and elected Authari/s, r. 584-90. The Pope appeals in vain to Constantinople for help. Cf 585, 586. The assumption of the title "king" in Italy by the Lombard Authari in 584 made it clear that an organised power, with which Byzantium had to reckon, was developing in Italy. The dukes ceded him not only the capital of Pavia, but half of their ducal domains as a demesne. Pope Pelagius dispatched letter after letter urging Gregory, his legate in Constantinople, to increase his exertions to persuade the emperor to send help. Pelagius also implored (October 584) the imperial governor Decius, the patrikios probably the first Byzantine governor at Ravenna to bear the title Exarchto come to Romes aid (Jones et al. III: 391). The pope was told that Decius was unable to protect the exarchate proper, still less Rome: being (writes Pelagius) unable himself to defend the region around Ravenna. - Pelagius writes that he has sent envoys to Constantinople to beseech the aid of the emperor before the Lombards seize the few places that are left to the imperial government. "The district [territory] about Rome is," he says, "in the main destitute of any defenders [completely undefended] and the Exarch writes [exarchus scribit] that he can provide no remedy": Et Exarchus scribit, nullum nobis posse remedium facere, quippe qui net ad ilias partes custodiendas se testatur posse 32

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sufficere (quoted by Loomis 1916; also Richards 1980: 12 and A Jones et al. 1992: 391: variant translations in brackets). 2b. Ravenna: Pelagiuss letter [above] contains the first surviving use of the Greek term Exarch* or supreme governor of Italy, replacing the old Latin terms Prefect and Magister Militum. An Exarch of Africa is first mentioned in 591. (*) Gk. xarkhos leader, chief, f. exrkhein to take the lead, to lead off. Intensification of Lombard rule in N and C Italy The native Romano-Italian landowners had hitherto been taxed by the Lombards only by payments in kind, and kept their estates. Now, however, they were obliged to subdivide their land with their barbarian guests and so lost the rents of many of their serfs. The Lombard dukes too lost the rents from various lands, as some of these rents were now appropriated by the restored Lombard monarchy (or so Goffart pp.187 ff proposes; also Collins 1991: 192 ff). Others says that the Lombards may have used a version of the Roman land-tax system when they first came into Italy, but only for a period. But what you cannot collect you will also not want. For the Lombard army was supported directly from the land (in kind) rather that receiving money from the king that had earlier been collected from landowners (Moorhead in NCMH p.157). All free Lombards warriors were obliged to serve in the army under their local dukes in return for the land on which they had been settled. Put simply: larger Lombard landowners served in the cavalry, while Lombard peasant-farmers were the infantry. The only money raised by the Lombard state was judicial fines and tolls, and of course inkind resources such as free (forced) labour. Thus the 7th and 8th century Lombards are . . . the first clear example of a fully post-tax state in the West [the second such example bring the Carolingian Franks] (Wickham p.116-17, citing Pohl). In the Exarchate, of course, the arrangement was quite different. Soldiers were paid from taxes. For example, pope Gregory, 590-604, had to step in on several occasions and find the pay for the Byzantine troops in Rome. Dissatisfaction over pay arrears for the army was a factor in an uprising in Ravenna in 616 (see there) which led to the death of the exarch John I. Arrears in army pay again becomes an issue in 640. In 668 the emperor Constans was killed in Sicily in what seems to have been a tax revolt. There was a further tax revolt in 727. 4. Spain: The Visigoths retake the important town of Crdoba from the Romaniyans. The chronicler John of Biclaro places the gathering of Leovigild's forces in 582, the close siege of Seville and death of the Suevi king Miro in 583, and the fortification of Italica [todays Santiponce, 9 km NW of Seville], and fall of Seville and capture of Hermenegild at Cordova in 584.

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King Leovigild was constantly at war with the Byzantines in S Spain and the Suevi in the north-west. When these enemies supported the revolt of his son Hermenegild, who had converted from Arianism to Catholicism, he finally annexed (58485) the kingdom of the Suevi. Meanwhile, after besieging and taking (evidently by surrender) Byzantine Seville in 584, Leovigild took his son prisoner in Crdoba, and banished him safely north to Valencia, where he was soon murdered by Leovigild's agents (585: John Bicl. 383-4; Gregory of Tours v. 39, vi. 43). Leovigild paid the Byzantine commander of Cordoba 30,000 nomismata (gold coins) to hand over the Cordoba and Hermenegild with it (Gregory of Tours; Frassato 2003: 203). At the end of Leovigilds reign, the Byzantine Empire retained only the southern littoral, from lower Portugal (the Algarve) around to Cartagena and, across the Strait of Gibraltar, the Tangier-Ceuta section of what is now Morocco. In 584 the Byzantines lost Cordoba definitively, probably by a change of loyalty on the part of the local authorities. The Visigoths under Leovigild took over. Cordoba would have dominated a good part of the formerly imperial territory including probably the town of Ecija and the towns of Iliberis (Granada), Acci (Guadix, near Granada) and Basti (Trick). It is not clear whether these towns were always independent or were subordinated to the authority of Cordoba. With the definitive change of loyalty of this important city in 584, the Visigoth border was extended towards the coastal towns like Malaca (Malaga), Abdera [between Malaga and Cartagena] and Urci [Aguilas, on the coast nearer Cartagena]. That is to say, Malaga, Urci [on the coast SW of Cartegena] and Cartagena were the only significant towns still controlled by the Byzantines, whose domain was now limited to the SE littoral from Gibraltar and Malaga round to Cartagena (also the N African shore opposite Gibraltar, where the key imperial towns were Tingis and Septem). Pagan Slavs occupy Christian Greece John of Ephesus writes: That same year [581] . . . was famous also for the invasion of an accursed people, called Slavonians, who overran the whole of Greece, and the country of the Thessalonians [i.e. Macedonia: cf 586], and all Thrace [cf below under 585], and captured the cities [read: towns], and took numerous forts, and devastated and burnt, and reduced the people to slavery, and made themselves masters of the whole country, and settled in it by main force, and dwelt in it as though it had been their own >>as if it belonged to them<< without fear . They still [John was writing in 584] encamp and dwell there, and live in peace in the Roman [Byzantine] territories, free from anxiety and fear, and lead captive and slay and burn: and they have grown rich in gold and silver, and herds of horses, and arms, and have learnt to fight better than the Romans [Greeks/Byzantines], though at first they were but rude savages, who did not venture to show themselves outside the woods and the coverts of the trees; and as for arms, they did not even know what they were, with the exception of two or three javelins or darts (John of Ephesus, 432-33; Curta 2001: 94. Words bracketed >>/<<: a different translation). Cf below, under 586: siege

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585: 1. Thrace: The junior general Comentiolus leads one of the Praesental armies against the pagan Slavs: victory at the fortress of Ansinon north-west of Adrianople [near the present-day Bulgarian-Turkish border]. The barbarians are briefly expelled from Thrace. See 587. The general tenor of the historian's account of these Slavonic depredations in 584 or 585 implies that the depredators were not Slavs who lived beyond the Danube and returned thither after the invasion, but Slavs who were already settled in Roman territory. Comentiolus' work consisted in clearing Astica [the region between Philippopolis and Adrianople] of these lawless settlers. Bury LRE, II: 19. 2. Italy: The Franks, as allies subsidised by Byzantium, raid into Lombard N Italy. The Exarch then reaches an accommodative truce with the Lombard leaders under king Authari, r. 584-90 (Treadgold 1997: 229). Cf 586-87: further battles. 3. The year 585 is the last date in the Ecclesiastical History of the Monophysite bishop John of Ephesus, written in Syriac. Much of it has not survived. The third part, which opens with the beginning of the persecution under Justin II (571), has come down to us, though not without some important gaps. Fourth Visit of the Plague to Constantinople 585-86: Fourth visit of the plague to Constantinople. It was said that 400,000 died in the city: Stathakopoulos p.319, citing the 10th C cleric Agapios of Menbidj [Histoire Universale, tr. by AA Vasiliev, Patrologia Orientalis, viii (Paris, 1912), p. 439]. Since that number is more than the entire population of the city, we might remove a zero: 40,000. Hard as it may be to credit, Chris Wickham doubts that plague had a dramatic demographic impact in the medium term; he calls its visits a marginal event in this period! Per contra, he detects demographic stabilisation in the archaeological record in the eastern half of the Mediterranean basin in the late 500s, which in due course formed the basis for future slow demographic rises (from about AD 700). And the impact of plague is invisible in the papyrus documentation of Egypt (Early Middle Ages p.548). Similar doubts have been raised by Cameron and Ward-Perkins, 2000: 22324, although they are cautious about drawing conclusions from archeology. They suggest that the perhaps misnamed seventh century pandemic may well have been more like the localised and contained outbreaks of plague in the 16th and 17th centuries (e.g. in London in 1665), a period in which the population overall continued to grow strongly, and possibly not like the catastrophe of the Black Death of 1348-49, which was a great hammer blow to the whole western Eurasian 35

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world (Averil Cameron & Bryan Ward-Perkins, The Cambridge ancient history: Late antiquity : empire and successors, A.D. 425-600, Volume 14, Cambridge University Press, 2000). 586: 1a. Mesopotamia: Spring: The Persians renew peace negotiations. Then: the allcavalry battle of Solachon, near Dara/Daras, against the Persians in 586. The commander was Philippicus. Heraclius senior, father of the future emperor, was second in command; he replaced Philippicus the following year. See 3 below. The Roman fortress-town of Dara or Justiniana Nova had been in Persian hands since the early 570s. It lies 18 km west of Nusaybin/Nisibis on the Turkish side of the todays Turkish-Syrian border. The battle is described by John Haldon as an illustration of what a well-led Byzantine army could do, against the odds, for they beat a larger Persian army in (he proposes) around half an hour. Agathias states that the role of Byzantine dismounted cavalry was vital; indeed the army on this occasion seems to have involved no infantry (Haldon 2001, reviewed by Cornwell, 2003: www.deremilitari.org/reviews/haldon_byzwar.htm; accessed 2005). See next. Mesopotamia: The Battle of Solachon, 586 (Haldons account: 2001, pp. 52 ff) The armies that clashed at Solachon, west of Dara, seem both to have consisted wholly of cavalry. The smaller Byzantine army of Philippicus (brother in law of the emperor) a few of his troops were Hun mercenaries (salaried professionals) - comprised units of mixed lancers and horse-archers, together with a force of allied Arab troops under their tribal chieftains. The larger Persian army under Kardarigan was similarly composed of units of lancers and horsearchers. Both sides may also have included heavily armoured cataphract units (the Persians had long used horse-armour, and Byzantine horse armour is mentioned in Maurices Strategikon, dating to shortly after this time). Philippicuss divisional commanders were Heraclius [father of the future emperor], Elifreda*, Vitalius and Apsich (a Hun). On the Persian side, Kardarigans subordinate generals were his nephew Aphraates and Mebod. (*) Presumably a rendering of the Gothic or Lombard name Alifreda. Rejecting proposals for peace negotiations, Philippicus advanced south from Amida as far as Bibas (Tel Besh) on the Arzamon (Zergan) River. Having crossed the river, the imperial army encamped in the plain below Mardin (Gk Mardes), on the Turkish side of todays Syrian-Turkish border. Location: Mardin, Dara and Nisibis lie on a notional line running from NW to SE. Mardin and Solachon form the western side of an equilateral triangle whose eastern point is Dara or Daras, 12 Roman miles [18 km] from Solachon. Nisibis (Turkish Nusaybin) is located to the SE of this triangle. The Persian army under Kardarigana title that translates as the Black 36

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Falconcame forward from Dara. With them they had a substantial camel-train bearing water-skins, as there was little or no water between the major watercourses. Arab irregulars serving on the Byzantine side captured some Persian scouts. So Philippicus knew of Kardarigans approach. Hoping to surprise his Christian enemies at rest on the Sabbath, Kardarigan came forward on a Sunday. He very unwisely ordered his troops to dump their water-bags before combat began, expecting that this would encourage them to fight well, knowing that plentiful water lay ahead in the Arzamon River, 15 km behind the Byzantine line. The Persians found the Byzantines already formed up on rising ground on the plain of Solachon, looking down a slight incline up which the Persians would have to advance. Philippicuss left flank was well covered by the broken and hilly ground at the foot of a mountain. The Byzantines were deployed in three large divisions. Heraclius senior, father of the future emperor of the same name, commanded the central division. As Haldon maps it, there was a small unit of Huns under Apsich placed forward, in front of the Byzantine left wing; when the battle opened, Apsichs men moved off to become the extreme left wing. Philippicus himself was stationed at the rear in charge of a small reserve; the inclined ground meant that he could see over the main line and thus observe the course of the battle. (There was no second line as such, as there would be in later centuries.) The Persians too formed into three large divisions, with Kardarigan commanding the central division. He ordered a general advance and the Persians pushed ahead straight toward the Byzantine line, firing arrows as they rode. The Byzantines returned the arrow-barrage and made a counter-charge that brought both armies to a halt except on the Byzantine right. There the heavy cavalry in Vitaliuss division succeeded in smashing into the Persian left division and broke its formation. The Persian left was pushed back and around behind the Persian central division. Seeing some of Vitaliuss men begin to disengage towards the Persian baggage-train, seeking plunder, Philippicus sent a herald to call them back under threat of punishment. Meanwhile, in the centre, the Persians were able to rally, their former left becoming part of an augmented central division. They began to force back Heracliuss central division. To prevent his centre collapsing, Philippicus now ordered Heraclius to dismount his men. The central division formed a wall of shields with spears projected forward, hedgehog-like. This was followed by an order to fire at the Persians horses, a tactic that turned the tide of battle in the favour of the Byzantines. With the Persian centre now halted and in trouble, the Byzantine left under Elifreda was able to mount a successful counter-charge and pushed back the Persian right under Mebod. Presumably (this is not stated by Haldon), Apsichs Hun horse-archers played an important role here. Soon the Persian right broke up, and, when the now rallied Byzantine right came back into the battle, a general rout ensued. The surviving Persians all fled towards Dara, except for a small remnant of about 1,500 men under Kardarigan; they fell back to a nearby ridge or hillock and 37

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resisted fiercely. After three or four days of harassment, the Byzantineswho did not realise the Persian commander in chief was in charge of the survivors on the ridgesimply left them to die of thirst. In the event, Kardarigan was able to escape alive but with only a few hundred companions. 1b. Summer: Philippicus resumed campaigning in Arzanene (the region of Armenia that adjoins Lake Van on the west) and besieged Chlomaron (Arzan, modern Erzerum). 2. Autumn: Heraclius senior - father (as we have said) of the future emperor ravages Persian territory. In Europe, after ravaging along the Danube, the Avars invade the empire and sack several towns, including probably Thessalonica see below. 586-87: N Italy: Local imperial forces battle the army of Lombard king Authari. He won a major victory in 586 but was defeated by the Exarch in 587 (Collins 1991: 194; Treadgold 1997: 229). Duke Euin of Trent (Tridentum) commanded the army of Lombards sent (?587 or 589?) by Authari into Istria. Conflagration and pillage of Istria marked his steps, and (writes Hodgkin) after concluding a peace with the Imperialists for one year, he returned to his king at Pavia. c. 586/87 Greece: Or 597: the chronology is unclear; most scholars including Treadgold 1997: 229 prefer 586.* An Avar-led army of supposedly 100,000 Slavs and others unsuccessfully besieges (in September) Thessalonica, which was already suffering from both plague and famine (source: Anastasius, trans., Anon.: Miracles of St. Demetrius** - 100,000 is the figure given by Archbishop John). This was to be the first of several sieges of Thessalonica in this period. Cf 591. (*) John, Archbishop of Thessaloniki, was an eyewitness to the siege, and he tells us that the pending arrival of the Avaro-Slavic army was announced to the city's inhabitants on a Sunday, 22 September, in the reign of Maurice "of blessed memory". A reckoning has shown that September 22 in the reign of Maurice could have fallen on a Sunday only in 586 or in 597. (**) Book I = John; Book II = anonymous author. The first section or book was written ca. 615 by John, Archbishop of Thessalonica, and the second section, by anon., dates from ca. 695 (Greek text). Anastasius, fl. 872, the papal librarian, was the translator into Latin. - Miracula S. Demetrii, ed. P. Lemerle, Les plus anciens recueils des miracles de saint Demitrius et la penetration des slaves dans les Balkans. Paris: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1979. The Defence of Thessaloniki, 586 38

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The main source, John, Archbishop of Thessaloniki, states that the Avaro-Slavic army was the largest army seen in his times, i.e. since the Justinianic plague of the 540s, and he gives a graphic description of the desolation that the barbarians wreaked in their attempt to find provisions in the environs of the city (Vryonis 1981). It was also the first time that the city's inhabitants had seen the armies of the barbarians. This may imply that earlier barbarian incursions had gone more directly south into Thessaly, i.e, bypassing eastern Macedonia. The inhabitants despaired of their salvation, for not only was the barbarian army large but the numbers of the inhabitants of Thessaloniki had greatly diminished as a result of an outbreak of plague which had lasted until the previous July; many of the Thessalonians were outside the city's walls tending their fields, and the army and officials were for the most part away. Of particular interest is the ability of the Avaro-Slavs to build and equip themselves with siege machinery traditionally belonging to Byzantine military science and tactics. They deployed 1,000 tortoises*, an unspecified number of battering rams, and a comparatively large number of petroboloi [or ballistae** -sic] - 50 were placed below the city's eastern walls. The text is specific about the fact that these were built after the arrival of the barbarian army in front of the walls of Thessaloniki and so were built by the barbarians themselves (Vryonis 1981). (*) Tortoises were mobile sheds inside which battering rams were suspended. (**) In Latin: ballista without the r (the original Greek form is ballistra with an r). The term is ordinarily used for artillery pieces in the form of large crossbows. But as noted below, they may in fact have been slingcatapults, i.e. trestle-framed rope-pulled trebuchets. Bachrach p.330 notes that the text says petrobolos (stone-thrower), ballistrae being Vryoniss misleading translation (see reference below). Miracles of St Demetrius: knowing that the aforementioned metropolis lies in the heart of the emperor because it shines forth through its virtues, and knowing that if it should suffer something unexpected, he [the Avar khagan] would afflict the crowned emperor no less than would the slaughter of children; he therefore summoned to himself the entire beastly nation of the Sklavenoi, for the entire nation was subject to him, also adding to them certain other barbarians, and ordered them all to march against Thessaloniki, guarded by God. . on the following day, they prepared siege machines, iron battering rams, catapults for throwing stones of enormous size, and the so-called tortoises, onto which, along with the catapults, they placed dry skins, again having devised so that they might not be harmed by fire or boiling pitch. They nailed bloodied hides of newly slain oxen and camels onto these machines and they thus brought them up near to the wall. From the third day, and thereafter, they hurled stones, or 39

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rather mountains as they were in size, and the archers shot further, imitating the winter snowflakes, with the result that no one on the wall was able to emerge without danger and thus to see something outside. The tortoises were joined to the wall outside and without restraint were digging up the foundations with levers and axe-heads. I think that these [?diggers] numbered more than 1,000 [M. Saint Demetrius, pp. 148-149: quoted in Speros Vryonis, The evolution of Slavic society and the Slavic invasions in Greece: the first major Slavic attack on Thessaloniki, . . . , Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Vol. 50, No. 4, Oct. - Dec., 1981. Bracketed text: alternative translation in Luttwak p.369]. In the following passage it may seem that an onager is being described. It had only one large torsion-skein placed horizontally within the frame with a short vertical arm, usually with a short sling attached at its upper end. But more likely it is a rope-pulled traction trebuchet***, which has a long arm and a long sling; this is suggested by the phrase pulling down. If it were an onager, one might expect the phrase pulling back to be used. It has been proposed that catapults were used for their curved trajectory, while the crossbow-like ballista were used for direct trajectory. (***) One view is that large trebuchets are not seen until 626 or later (see there; also AD 663). In the later 500s there were two types of rope-pulled trebuchets: the lighter pole-framed trebuchet or mangana, and the heavier trestle-framed trebuchet or petrobolos (Paul Chevedden, Donald Kagay & P. G. Padilla, Iberia and the Mediterranean World of the Middle Ages, BRILL, 1997 p.65). [The siege engines] were tetragonal [had quarilateral frames], says The Miracles, and rested on broader bases, tapering to narrower extremities. Attached to them were thick cylinders [axles] well clad [plated] in iron at the ends, and there were nailed to them timbers [i.e. arms] like beams from a large house. These timbers had the slings hung from the back side and from the front strong ropes, by which, pulling down and releasing the sling, they propel the stones up high and with a loud noise. And on being fired [discharged] they sent up many great stones so that neither earth nor human constructions could bear the impacts. They also covered those tetragonal ballistrae [sic! petroboloi] with boards [planks] on three sides [only], so that those inside firing [launching] them might not be wounded with arrows [shot] by those on the walls. And since one of these, with its boards, had been burned to a char [consumed] by a flaming arrow, they [the enemy] returned, carrying away the machines. On the following day they again brought these ballistrae [sic!: petroboloi/trebuchets] covered with freshly skinned hides [to prevent fire arrows setting them on fire] and with the boards [planks], and placing them closer to the walls, shooting, they hurled mountains and hills against us. For what else might one term these extremely large stones? Saint Demetrius text, p. 154; brackets = alternative translation in Luttwak. There were some 50 of these catapults/trebuchets below the eastern walls and 40

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12 siege towers along the western walls of the city. Byzantine Artillery The author of the Strategikon (ca. 600), who was probably the empoer Maurice, does not tell us when the new kind of artillery was introduced into the Byzantine Empire, but the historian of Maurice's reign, Theophylaktos Simokatta, does say when it came into use and what name the Byzantines gave the new weapon. Bousas, a Byzantine soldier captured by the Avars, taught them how to construct a siege machine, for they were ignorant of such machines . And so he prepared the helepolis to shoot missiles: (. . .) (Strategikon 2.16.10). With this fearsome and skillful device . . . the Avars attacked many Byzantine cities, levelling the fortress of Appiareia [Danube region: present-day N Bulgaria] in 587 and 10 years later [or at about the same time]* attacking Thessaloniki, which successfully resisted (2.16.11, 2.17.2). Bousas, and other Byzantine artillerymen, therefore, must have learned how to build and operate these weapons some years before 586-87. Dennis 1998: 101. (*) Most historians date the siege of Thessalonica to 586 rather than 597. When the Slavs and Avars first appear in the Balkans decades earlier they do not possess the technology of advanced siege warfare. This is clear from both Procopius and the Strategicon of Maurice. Theophylactus confirms this in an unexpected but decisive manner. He pinpoints the moment in time and place when they acquired this technology: in 587*, before the gates of Appiareia (a town on the lower Danube: see earlier). From that time the Avaro-Slavic threat to urban centres and fortresses became much greater and no such establishment could henceforth rely exclusively on the strength of its walls for security. Vryonis 1981. (*) Vryonis would date the siege of Thessaloniki, described above, to 597 rather than 586. 586-601: Gothic Spain: Reign of king Reccared. The new king was Arian at the time of his succession, but quickly announced (587) his conversion to the imperial orthodoxy of trinitarian Catholicism, adding to his own the Roman-style imperial praenom Flavius, the family name of the first Christian emperor Constantine I. This was continued by all Visigoth kings from then on (NCMH, Fouracre ed. 2005: 348). On the second anniversary of his older brother Hermenegild's death, he had the main Arian church in Toledo reconsecrated as a Catholic cathedral. See 589: Council of Toledo. In January 587 Reccared renounced Arianism for Catholicism, the single great event of his reign. Most Arian nobles and ecclesiastics followed his example, certainly those around him at Toledo, but there were Arian uprisings, notably in Septimania, his northernmost province beyond the Pyrenees (Wikipedia, 2009, under Reccared). 41

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587: 1. The Balkans: The first priority for Byzantium remained the Persian frontier; hence there were no strong forces in the Balkans able to prevent continued advances by Slav tribes. See below: loss of lower Greece, 587-88. Spring: Lower Danube: General Comentiolus leads 10,000 troops against the Avars in the Dobrudja (delta region); after some success, he is forced back (see the extended discussion in Liebeschuetz 2007). The Avars pushed onwards south into Thrace. A further Byzantine army under John Mystacon, with his second in charge, Droctulf/Drocton, comes to his rescue, and the Avar counter-attack is halted near Adrianople. Spring/summer: The Avars attack towns in Thrace; Droctons victory at Adrianople (see next) persuades them to withdraw. The Slavs, however, ravage into Greece (Whitby, Maurice p.90). Theophylact, describing the siege of Appiaria on the lower Danube [NNE of modern Veliko Tarnovo] in 587, says that this was the first occasion on which the Avars used siege machinery, and that a Byzantine deserter, Bousas, had passed on this knowledge. Or the second occasion, if the siege of Thessalonica preceded that of Appiaria. This was the first appearance of the trebuchet or traction-powered (ropepulled) sling-catapult. (The much more powerful counterweight or gravitypowered trebuchet does not appear until the 12 Century.) 2. The East: Summer: Rhomaniyans besiege Persian forts. In spring 587, Philippicus again ill, and unable to campaign in person. He assigned two thirds of his army to Heraclius and the remainder to generals Theodore and Andreas, and sent them to raid Persian territory. Heraclius besieged an unnamed strong fort, relentlessly using his siege engines day and night until it fell. 587-88: S Greece: This is the date given by a late source, the Chronicle of Monemvasia, for the first penetration of Slavs into the Peloponnesus (Kobylinski, The Slavs, in NCMH I, 2006, p.539). The archaeological record (presumed Slavic cooking pots) seems to confirm that the Peloponnese was severely troubled by invasions in the 580s and that, of the places specifically mentioned in the Chronicle, Corinth and Argos were ravaged by Slavs (Whitby, Maurice p.125) As we noted earlier, it is said that various Greek towns responded by evacuating their populations to new sites offshore: the population of Patras, the town at the western mouth of the Gulf of Corinth, transferred to Italy; that of Argos, the town in NE Peloponnese, to the east-side island called Orove; and the Corinthians, briefly at least, also went to a nearby eastern island, namely Aegina. Only the east coast of Hellas remained untouched (Mango 1980: 24, citing the Chronicle). But as noted earlier under 582, there is archaeological evidence of some destruction at Athens during the reign of Tiberius (d. 582). There was 42

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probably more than one attack on Athens during the 580s (Metcalf, cited in Whitby, Maurice p.88). Cf 608-10. Monemvasia itself, the south-eastern town on a fortified rocky outcrop joined to the Peloponnesian coast by a causeway, had been founded in 584 (Herrin 2007: 93).

The invasion represented a major upheaval: archaeologists have found no pre-7th century building intact in the Peloponnesus (Fine p. 62). As we noted, all the antique cities of the Peloponnesus were, in Mangos words, "wiped out" by 588, except for Corinth (Mango pp.24, 70; also Cameron p.160; Fine 1991: 61). Loss of lower Greece We are told by a late source, the Chronicle of Monemvasia, that 'having taken and settled in the Peloponnesus, the Avars [meaning Slavs initially under Avar leadership] lasted in it for [over] 218 years, from 587 to 805'. But not in Corinth, for Corinth, with the eastern part of the Peloponnesus, remained in the hands of the Byzantines. And yet, according to the same chronicle, the Avars had also taken Corinth as well as the Argolis, the region south of Corinth. This apparent contradiction probably meant that Corinth, together with the Argolis, was recovered by the Byzantines and that this recovery took place shortly before 587. Certainly Corinth was in imperial hands by ca.600 when a governor was sent there (Fine 1991: 60 ff). Emperor Constans II wintered there with his army in 662-63, q.v.. Fine (p.63) argues that the Slavs remained a minority in the Peloponnesus, even if they did settle in large numbers. Some fortified coastal towns remained in Byzantine hands, while the ethnic Greek Christians living in the hinterland came under the rule of pagan Slavic chiefs. The Slavs in Central Greece Pope Gregorys correspondence confirms that by no means all of Greece was in Slav hands before 600. He wrote letters to three Thessalian bishops: those of Larissa, Thebes, and Demetrias, the modern port of Volos. Larisa ( - two ss in the Latin name, one s in the Greek) had a bishop from at least 592 to 599, when he was invited to a Council at Constantinople. Thebes and Demetrias are also mentioned in 592. The bishop of Justiniana Prima, in present-day Kosovo/NW FYROM (SE of Nish, north of Skopje), acted in a disciplinary dispute between the bishops of Thebes and Larisa in 592, which means that communications between the major centres were possible. And baptisms were carried out normally at Demetrias around 592. The fact that in Thessaly only the capital of the province and its two porttowns were represented may be indicative of the more troublesome position of the remaining, inland Thessalian bishoprics, to which (we may infer) regular ecclesiastical administration no longer extended. That is to say, the other bishoprics had been abandoned, presumably in the 580s. Karagiorgou, Late 43

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Antique Thessaly, 2001, Oxford University thesis, on line at www.amoriumexcavations.org/ olga/volume%201%20-%20text; accessed 2007. See 615-16. The density of Slav settlements in Greece was far from even; studies of Slav placenames suggest that the western parts both of peninsular Greece and of the Peloponnesus received or retained a denser Slav population than the eastern. Over 500 Slav place names are still identifiable in the western sector, EpirusAcarnania-Aetolia, but only some 300 in the larger eastern sector of ThessalyAttica. Similarly in the Peloponnese there are about three times as many Slav place names in the western as in the eastern half (Argolis, Laconia). Today in the Peloponnese, one cannot go three miles [five km] in any direction without encountering a Slavonic place-name. Vlasto 1970: 8; excerpt online at Serbianna (sic) website, 2010; John Shea, Macedonia and Greece: The Struggle to Define a New Balkan Nation, McFarland, 2008, p.86.

For a discussion of genetic evidence concerning the size of the Slav invasion, see below, after 674. 587-89: The West: The Visigothic kingdom in Spain begins to switch from Arian to Trinitarian (Catholic) Christianity. The significance of this was that Arianism could no longer be used as a Gothic rallying cry against the Greek Romanics; conversely the Greeks could no longer draw on the Catholic loyalties of their Hispano-Roman subjects. The announcement of Reccareds conversion (587) was followed by the Council of Toledo (589). This was, however, only the conversion of the monarchy and nobility: local areas remained Arian for many years. In January 587 (as we have seen) Reccared I renounced Arianism for Catholicism, the single great event of his reign and a turning point for Visigothic Hispania. Most Arian nobles and ecclesiastics followed his example, certainly those around him at Toledo, but there were Arian uprisings, notably in Septimania, his northernmost province, beyond the Pyrenees. The leader of the opposition there was the Arian bishop Athaloc, who had the reputation among his Catholic enemies of being virtually a second Arius (Wikipedia, 2009, under Reccared). The Visigoth kings now added the imperial praenomen (personal name) Flavius to their names, the first being Reccared when he signed the acts of the council of 589. This was to imitate Constantine I, the first Christian emperor (Barbero & Loring in NCMH: ed Fouracre et al. p.348). Cf 589 below Visigoths called barbarians in Comentioluss inscription.

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588: MID-POINT OF BYZANTINE RULE IN SOUTHERN SPAIN - where Constantinople now governed only the SE littoral. The chief administrative official in Byzantine Spania was the magister militum Spaniae, meaning "master of the soldiers (generalissimo) of Spain" (Bury, LRE II, chap. 19; NCMH ed. Fouracre et al. 2005: 349). The office, although it only appears in records (an inscription) for the first time in 589, was probably a creation of Justinian, d.565, as was the mint, which issued provincial currency until the end of the province (c. 625).

587-91: NW Balkans: The Slavic-Avar progress towards the Eastern Alps* is traceable on the basis of synodal records of the Aquileian metropolitan church which reveal the decline of ancient dioceses. In what is now Slovenais, the Slavs reached the region of todays Ljubljana by 587/88: Celeia (today Celje) and Emona (Ljubljana) in the Sava valley fell before 588; and some time before 591 so too did Teurnia and Aguntum in what is now Austria (Kobylinski in NCMH p.538). 587-92: The upper Danube: The Byzantines reoccupied and repaired some of the destroyed forts or fortresses around the Iron Gates (also known as the Cataracts: the 125 km stretch of the Danube below Belgrade; above the intersection point of todays Bulgarian-Romanian-Serbian borders). This was important because the Gates gave access to the seat of Avar power in Pannonia (our western Hungary) (Madgearu 2006). Cf 588: campaign by Priscus. 588: 1. Syria: Massive earthquake (29 October) in Antioch kills many thousands. According to Evagrius, an eyewitness, it killed as many as 60,000 people, and thus inflicted a further financial and demographic blow to the largest city of the Roman East. (This will be followed by a Persian conquest in 611/613, and then the Arab/Muslim conquest in 636.) 2. The East: Winter/spring: Priscus is appointed (late 587) to replace Philippicus as commander in the East. He arrives at Monocarton [Monocartum: Tiberiopolis] near Edessa at Easter 588; mutiny of the army. Seeking restoration of their pay, the troops stoned Priscus who had to flee for his life. Philippicus is restored and Priscus transferred (May 588) to the Balkans; the troops appoint Germanus as their field commander (Treadgold 1997: 229; Soward n.d.). Mesopotamia: serious mutiny 588-89. Maurice orders military pay reduced by a quarter in 588; this causes a revolt by unpaid troops of the Eastern army: the mutiny ends when pay is restored in 589. Cf 594. Maurice was at once miserly and a high taxer; for this he was hated by civilians in the capital and the provinces as well as by his troops (Olster 1993: 50-51). Interestingly, the army maintained its discipline and cohesion, and was able to 45

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go on to win a battle (see next) with the Persians. Summer: Germanuss successes against the Persians. Germanus defends Constantina; Byzantine victory near Martyropolis in the border region of medieval Armenia-Mesopotamia; NE of present-day Diyarbakir (Soward n.d.). 3. The Balkans: Spring: Avars demand an increase in imperial tribute payments and prepare to invade. Priscuss first campaign (summer); the Avars capture Anchialus and besieges Priscus in Tzurullus (inner Thrace, south of Arcadipolis). The Avars return (autumn) to Sirmium on rumours of a Gk Turk* attack, and after receiving payment from Maurice (Whitby p.90). (*) At this time, the Gk Turks (including the forebears of the future Khazars) were pushing west into what is now Ukraine. 4. (or perhaps as early as 585:) Italy: Smaragdus and Droctulf recapture Classis, the port of Ravenna, from the Lombards of Faraold of Spoleto (held by them since 579). Paulus says that the soldiers of the Ravenna people built a fleet, and with the support of Droctulf, who presumably led the land forces, drove the Lombards out of Classis (Paulus Diaconus III.19; Richards 1980: 12). Droctulf was a Sueve raised among the Lombards and had served them as a dux before going over to the Byzantine side. For a time he had charge of the imperial garrison at Brixellum [todays Brescello, near Parma in the central Po Valley], until the Byzantines were forced out by king Autharis troops, c.584. Droctulf later served the empire in Thrace. He died and was buried c.606 in Ravenna (Jones et al. Prosopography p.426). 5. NE Italy.far NW Balkans: The dispute continues over the Three Chapters (tria kephalaia).* The bishops of Istria (the north-east) in the 560s had refused to condemn the Three Chapters and so remained in schism from Rome and Ravenna. Acting in support of pope Pelagius II, the Exarch Smaragdus seized Severus, bishop of Grado (Aquileia)**, and, by threats, compelled him to enter into communion with the orthodox bishop, John of Ravenna (588). Smaragdus went in person (by sea) to Grado, seized Severus, who had succeeded Elias in the see, together with three other bishops, in the church, carried them to Ravenna, and forced them, for the moment, to deal with the loyal bishop John. They were imprisoned until they agreed to condemn the Three Chapters. When the four bishops went home a year later, however, they all reverted to the the schismatic side (F Hamilton Jackson, The Shores of the Adriatic, Echo Library, 2010 [originally 1908] , p.58; Cath. Encyc., Pelagius II). (*) A set of writings that, from 544, loyal bishops were expected to condemn. There was in fact no doctrinal difference among the bishops; just that the NE Italian bishops wished to not be closely supervised by Rome. (**) Grado is on the Italian side of todays Italo-Slovenian border. The 46

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archbishop of Aquileia (10 km inland) had removed (568) his seat from Aquileia to Grado (then more distinctly an island) in the face of the Lombard threat. The Lombards destroyed Aquileia in 590. Grado, which could be provisioned and reinforced from the sea, remained in Byzantine hands. 6. Old Rome vs New Rome: When John the patriarch of Constantinople assumes the title Oikoumeniks Patrirches or "Ecumenical Patriarch", Pelagius the Bishop of Rome objects: see discussion below under 595. In 588 John the Faster held a synod at Constantinople to examine certain charges against Gregory, Patriarch of Antioch ( - in this fact already one sees a sign of the growing ambition of Constantinople: by what right could Constantinople discuss the affairs of Antioch?). The Acts of this synod appear to have been sent to Rome; and Pope Pelagius II (579-590) saw in them that John was described as archbishop and cumenical patriarch. It may be that this was the first time that the use of the title was noticed at Rome; it appears, in any case, to be the first time it was used officially as a title claimed not merely a vague compliment (thus Encyc. Cath.). Gregory I of Rome, 590-604, seems to have already claimed for the Apostolic See, and for himself as patriarch of Rome, a primacy not just of honour, but of supreme authority over the Church Universal or so the Cath. Encyc. author reads it. In his lettersEpp., XIII, l and Epp., V, clivGregory speaks of the Apostolic See, which is the head of all Churches and says: I, albeit unworthy, have been set up in command of the Church. As successor of St. Peter, the patriarch of Rome had received from God, so he believed, a primacy over all Churches (Epp., II, xlvi; III, xxx; V, xxxvii; VII, xxxvii). His approval it was that [in his view] gave force to the decrees of councils or synods (Epp., IX, clvi), and his authority could annul them (Epp., V, xxxix, xli, xliv). To him appeals might be made even against other patriarchs, and by him bishops were judged and corrected if need be (Epp., II, l; III, lii, lxiii; IX, xxvi, xxvii). This position naturally made it impossible for him to permit the use of the title Ecumenical Bishop assumed by the Patriarch of Constantinople, John the Faster, at a synod held in 588 (ibid.). See further under 595. 589: 1. The East: Easter: End of mutiny by the Byzantine Eastern army. Summer/autumn: Campaign in Suania, part of Lazica, present-day Georgia. Autumn: The patrikios Comentiolus (recently the governor of Byzantine Spain) replaces Philippicus as magister militum per Orientum or commander in the East; Byzantine victory at Sisarbarnon near Nisibis/modern Nusaybin.* The Persian noble Baram or Vahram revolts against shah Hormisdas and marches to the Zab River in Upper Mesopotamia. Winter: Comentiolus lays siege to Martyopolis [modern Silvan: on a tributary of the upper Tigris WSW of Lake Van] (a Byzantine town recently taken by the Persians) and captures the nearby fort of Akbas, also in Upper Mesopotamia (Theoph. Simocatta, books iii and iv; Whitby, Maurice p.290; Jones et al. Prosopography p.323).

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(*) Heraclius senior appears under the command of Comentiolus in the Battle of Sisarbanon (autumn 589), in the vicinity of Nisibis. According to the account of Theophylact, Comentiolus supposedly fled towards Theodosiopolis (modern Ra's al-'Ayn) while the battle was still ongoing. Heraclius took charge of the remaining troops and led them to victory. But the contemporary Evagrius Scholasticus credits Comentiolus with being in the thick of combat, and does not mention Heraclius the Elder at all. 2. The Balkans: Spring/summer: Slavs ravage the Balkans. 3a. As far as is known, the Longobards or Lombards raided Byzantine Sardinia only once (589), but did not obtain control of it. See 594. 3b. S Italy: Lombards under Zotto, Duke of Beneventum, in a night attacked stormed and annihilated the fortified monastery of Monte Cassino. It would not be rebuilt until the 700s. 4a. N Italy: The exarch Smaragdus went in person to Grado in Istria where he seized Bishop Severus of Aquileia and three of his fellow bishops, upholders of the Three Chapters. Taken (589) by force to Ravenna, they were kept there for a whole year and were forced to submit to Roman (papal) ecclesiastical authority and to condemn the Three Chapters (Richards, Consul of God p.41). 4b. Italy: Romanus, 589-596 or 597, lately commander in the East, was Exarch of Ravenna, replacing Smaragdus who went insane. The emperor sent fresh troops from the East to serve with Romanus (Richards 1980: 12). In 589 Romanus became exarch in place of the discredited Smaragdus. In alliance with the Franks, who attacked across the Alps, the new commander launched (590: see more below) an offensive in which the towns of Modena, Reggio, Parma, Piacenza, Altinum, and Mantua were (briefly) recovered from the Lombards (source: the Liber Pontificalis,* Raymond Davis, trans., 1989: 61; Richards loc. cit.) The direction of this offensive followed the route of the ancient Via Amelia. This took place during a year of plague (see entry 589.4c). The Franks reached Verona but failed to break through to join up with the Byzantines, and, with the Lombards holed up in their fortified towns, the northerners soon withdrew. In 590 Romanus advanced as far as Pavia (the Lombard capital south of Milan) but he too withdrew, i.e. to the Parma-Bologna region. But see 603. (*) The Liber Pontificalis is a series of books edited throughout the Middle Ages listing the bishops of Rome and their principal accomplishments. Several of the Exarchs letters to the pope have survived, quoted thus by Thomas Hodgkin in Italy and Her Invaders: Even before their [the Franks] arrival God gave us [the Byzantines], in answer to your prayers, the cities of Modena, Altino and Mantua, which we 48

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won in fight and beat down their walls, hastening as we did to prevent the unspeakable ones [the Lombards] from attacking the Franks before our arrival . . . we saw [imagined] ourselves on the point of joining the Roman army to the 20,000 of Chedin [Chedinus, the Frankish general], supporting them by our cutters [military river-boats: dromonea] on the river, besieging Ticinum [the Lombard capital Pavia] and taking captive king Authari . . .. (In Antiquity, as we know from Pliny, the Po was navigable as far as Turin: cited by Peter Garnsey & Walter Scheidel, Cities, Peasants and Food in Cclassical Antiquity: essays in social and economic history, Cambridge University Press, 2004, p.50). For ourselves (besides the previously mentioned successes) Parma, Rhegium [Reggio] and Placentia [Piacenza] were promptly surrendered by their dukes to the Holy Roman Republic [sancta res publica, holy commonwelath, i.e. the Empire], when we marched to besiege these cities. We received their sons as hostages, returned to Ravenna, and marched into the province of Istria against our enemy Grasulf. His son, the magnificent Duke, Gisulf [Gisulf I of Friuli], wishing to show himself a better man than his father, came with his nobles and his entire army, and submitted himself to the Holy Republic. As Hodgkin notes, a hundred miles [160 km] of the great Aemilian way had been (briefly as it turned out) cleared from the presence of the invader; the frontier of the Empire had been pushed up to within twenty miles of the Lombard capital, and the delusive hope of once more extending the dominions of the Republic from the Adriatic to the Gulf of Genoa, floated before the eyes of the Imperial governor. From west to east, the major towns in this region were/are: Pavia, on a N tributary of the Po; Piacenza on the Po River; and, on the south side of the Po River: Parma, Modena and Bologna. Mantua, on the north side, is about halfway from Pavia towards the delta of the Po. From Milan (the then Lombard capital), the Via Emilia or Aemilia ran SSE, crossing the Po at Piacenza. From there it ran in a straight line SE away from the Po via Parma and Modena to Bologna and thence to the coast at Rimini. The Byzantine capital Ravenna lay on the coast north of Rimini, joined to the Aemilia by a branch road. Parma changed hands several times during 590-603 before being recovered definitively by the Lombards. But the Byzantines still held Bologna as late as 700; indeed it did not fall until 727-28. Thus the Parma-Modena-Bologna region became a stable border for over a century after 603. Cf below under 643.

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4c. Italy: Flood followed by plague (Lester Little, Plague and the End of Antiquity: the pandemic of 541-750, Cambridge University Press, 2007 p.11). Pope Pelagius fell a victim (8 February 590) to a terrible plague that began to devastate Italy at the very end of 589 (i.e. in winter: plague more commonly struck during the warmer months). The Lombard king Autharis too succumbed: 5 September 590 at Pavia. It reached Ravenna in 592-93 (Richards 1980: 13-15). The year 589 was one of widespread disaster throughout all the empire [in Italy]. In Italy there was an unprecedented inundation. Farms and houses were carried away by the floods. The Tiber overflowed its banks, destroying numerous buildings, among them the granaries of the Church with all the store of corn [read: wheat and other grains]. Pestilence followed on the floods, and Rome became a very city of the dead. Business was at a standstill, and the streets were deserted save for the wagons which bore forth countless corpses for burial in common pits beyond the city walls. Cath. Encyc. under Gregory I. See also under 589-93. Gregory I, writing five years later, says that the waters flowed in over the walls of the city and flooded most of it: Dialogi, HI, 19; Migne, Pat. Lat., vol. 77, cols. 268, 269. This is surprising given that in the 5th century remodelling had doubled the height of the walls to 16 metres (52 ft) [see Amanda Claridge, 1998: Rome: An Oxford Archaeological Guide, First, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1998: 332-335]. Perhaps the waters broke through some decayed segments? - But cf Aldretes estimate of 15 metres above seas level for the exceptional flood at Rome in 44 BC (Gregory Aldrete, Floods of the Tiber in ancient Rome, JHU Press, 2007 p.83). Gregory of Tours also relates the story. "Now in the 15th year of King Childebert (590), our deacon came from the city of Rome with relics of the saints and reported that in the ninth month (November) of the previous year the waters of the Tiber had overspread Rome in such a flood that the ancient buildings had been destroyed and the storehouses of the church wrecked, within which some thousands of measures of wheat had been lost. . . . Thereupon followed a pestilence, which they call 'inguinaria' [inguinal or groin plague]; it broke out in the middle of the eleventh month (January 590) and first of all it attacked Pelagius, the pope, and speedily he died [8 February 590]; and after his death there was great mortality among the people by reason of this plague." Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks, quoted in Loomis p. 167; also Richards 1980: 41. 5a. Spain: The Visigoths switch from Arian to Catholic Christianity: first church council at Toledo 589. Or in January 587, if we follow Grant, p.112: the date of the new king Reccared's own conversion (following the example of his older brother Hermenegild, d. 585). 5b. Spain: An inscription of New Carthage, of AD 589, records that Comentiolus, sent by the Emperor Maurice to defend the small imperial province against the Visigoths, bore the title of magister militum Spaniae (Master of the Soldiers of Spania: in CIL ii.3420). Comentiolus repaired the gates of Cartagena/Carthago 50

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Nova in lieu of the "barbarians" (i.e. the Visigoths)* and left an inscription** dated 1 September 589 in the town to this day. It has since been removed to a museum. (*) Until the 580s the Visigoths were Arian Christians; once they converted to the Catholic variant, the Byzantines used more courteous language (J M WallaceHadrill, The barbarian West, 400-1000, Wiley-Blackwell, 1996 p.122). (**) The text reads: (Crux) quisquis ardua turrium miraris culmina The high cross at the top of the towers that you, whosoever, admire [quisquis: whoever it be; miraris: you are being amazed at it, i.e. you (singular) who are reading this] vestibulumq(ue) urbis duplici porta firmatum, and the twofold gates of the entrance to the city (that are) strengthened /reinforced dextra levaq(ue) binos porticos arcos, and the right (one) lifts/raises the pair of arched colonnades (porticos) quibus superum ponitur camera curva convexaq(ue): that is/are set higher (with a) curved dome ceiling Commenciolus sic haec iussit patricius Comentiolus the Patrikios has ordered it thus missus a Mauricio Aug. contra hostes barbaros, (he who was) sent by Maurice Augustus [the emperor] against the barbarian enemies magnus virtute magister mil. (hedera) Spaniae. with great power/courage (and) with ivy (hedera: crowned with ivy) [as] the commander and governor (magister militum: master of the soldiers) of Spania sic semper Hispania tali rectore laetetur, thus for always may Spain with such a leader be gladdened dum poli rotantur dumq. [dumque] (Hedera) sol circuit orbem. as long as the poles [the stars] (are being) turned and while-ever, with [a crown of] ivy, the sun circles the sphere [world]. My translation, MOR. 589-93: Flood, famine and plague in Italy (as noted above). Christie 2006: 40, 500 describes the flood episodes along the Po valley in 589-90 as disastrous. Paulus Diaconus: There was a deluge of water in the territories of Venetia and Liguria [the region around Genoa], and in other regions of Italy such as is believed not to have existed since the time of Noah. Ruins were made of estates and country seats, and at the same time a great destruction of men and animals. The paths were obliterated, the highways demolished, and the river Athesis (Adige)* [Italys second longest river] then rose so high that around the church of the blessed martyr Zeno, which is situated outside the walls of the city of Verona, the water reached the upper windows. This flood occurred on 17 October 589. And, following this flood came [Jan-25 April AD 590] a virulent plague called inguinaria [inguinal or groin plague: swollen lymph nodes or buboes in the 51

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armpit and groin]. This so devastated the population that out of a vast multitude very few survived (Paulus D., Hist. Long., III.23-24; dating in Stathakopoulos p.321). See 590 and 590-92 below. (*) The Adige runs first SSE out of the Alps, through Trento, before turning to the SE above Verona; it enters the Adriatic south of Venice. A Roman road ran north-south from the former Alpine province of Raetia (western Austria, also Bavaria: divided between the Franks and Avars at this time) through Trento and Verona to join the Via Aemilia at Modena. Llewellyn 1993: 97 has noted that the lower-lying parts in and around Rome turned into unhealthy malaria-prone marshes as the drainage systems were neglected and the Tiber's embankments fell into disrepair in the course of the latter half of the sixth century. Ostia, the port of Rom at the mouth of the Tiber was abandoned to the mosquitoes in the seventh century (Karen Carr, Vandals to Visigoths: rural settlement patterns in early Medieval Spain, University of Michigan Press, 2002, p.150). By this time Italy was divided about half between the three Lombard rulers and Byzantium; the latter still ruled about a third of the Italian peninsula as well as Sicily. 590: 1. The East: Jan-March: Coup dtat in Persia: civil war follows; shah Hurmazd or Hormidas is killed and his son Chosroes or Khusrau II flees to Byzantium. The leading general takes the throne as shah Bahram VI. See 591. Thus Sebeos, the Armenian historian: - Chosrou sent men bearing costly gifts to emperor Maurice, and he [Chosrou] wrote to him the following: "Give me the throne and place of rule [which belonged] to my fathers and ancestors: dispatch an army to assist me defeat my enemy; establish my reign and I shall be your son. I shall give you the areas of the Syrians, Aruastan [Mesopotamia] in its entirety as far as the city of Nisibis and from the country of the Armenians, the land of Tanuterakan rule [zyerkren Hayots' zashxarhn Tanuterakan ishxanut'ean] [extending] as far as Ararat, and to the city of Dwin [Dvin], and as far as the shore of the Sea of Bznunik' [Lake Van] and to Arhestawan [I shall also give] a large part of the land of Iberia, as far as the city of Tiflis. Let there be an oath of peace between the two of us, lasting until our deaths, and between our sons who rule after us". Thus http://rbedrosian.com/seb4.htm; accessed 2010. 2. October: The European Black Sea coast: Maurice leads an expedition to Anchialus to inspect damage caused by the Avars (Whitby 1988). 3a. PLAGUE in Italy. One of its victims was the pope or archbishop of Rome, Pelagius. See 591. 3b. Italy: Brogiolos second phase of the Alpine War (as he calls it, in Towns and their territories between late antiquity and the early Middle Ages, ed. Gian 52

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Pietro Brogiolo, Nancy Gauthier, Neil Christie, Brill, 2000 p.303): Failure of a combined Frankish-Byzantine attack on the northern Lombard kingdom. This was a large-scale Frankish invasion which received aid from the Exarch. As noted above under 589-90, the Byzantines took Mantua in the east [north of the midddle-lower Po], but in the west Pavia, Milan - the Lombard capital - and other towns held out until disease forced the Franks to withdraw. In the course of the military operations led by the exarch Romanus against the Lombards in 590, ending with the reconquista of some towns in northern Italy, the imperial army was escorted by a certain number of dromons [warships] sailing [i.e. being rowed] up the Po (letter sent by emperor Maurice to Chilperich king of the Franks, in MGH [Monumenta Germaniae Historica], III, E Austr., no.40: p.146; also Pryor & Jeffreys Dromon p.164). 3c. d. Authari, Lombard king. His widely respected widow, the Bavarian-born Catholic Theodolinda, marries [November 590] and thereby elevates duke Agilulf of Turin to the kingship. The diadem from her crown has survived: a circular band of metal (gold?) inlaid with Gothic-style jewel-work (Cathedral Treasury of Monza [near Milan]: illustrated in Rice 1965 p.165). It was not until May 591 that Agilulf was formally crowned , at Milan (Jones et al., Prosop. p.28). In Frankish Gaul: fl. Gregory of Tours, Latin writer, bishop of Tours from 578. Author of the Historia Francorum. + First of the Irish traveller-monks, Columbanus, reaches the continent . Columbanus was active in the Frankish Empire from 590, establishing monasteries until his death at Bobbio in Lombbard N Italy in 615. He arrived on the continent with twelve companions and founded Annegray, Luxeuil, and Fontaines in France and Bobbio in Italy. Plague, 590-92 The fourth wave of the plague (counted thus by Stathkopoulos) broke out in Rome in 590 and remained in the city for four months, January to April. The sources are pope Gregory and Gregory of Tours. It reached Narni, NE of Rome, in summer 590 and then - moving north via the imperial highway - Ravenna, Grado and Istria in 591-92. Alternatively, if we follow Stathakopoulos, it may have come via ships from the East through the Adriatic to Istria, Grado and Ravenna. And in 592, as reported by Evagrius, it arrived (?back) in Antioch. Dionysios Stathakopoulos, Famine and Pestilence, 2004, p.118. Evagrius, a lawyer and honorary prefect living in the city of Antioch, wrote his Historia Ecclesiastica covering the years 431-594 at the end of the sixth century. His is the most personal of the accounts of the plague, having contracted the disease himself in 542 while still young. Although he eventually recovered, later recurrences of the plague would deprive him of his first wife, several children, a grandchild, and many servants of the family. It returned four times to Antioch in the period 542-594 (Evagrius, trans. Walford). Little wonder, perhaps, that 53

54 Syria fell so easily to the Persians see 608.

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590-604: Gregory I the Great, Patriarch of Rome, sometimes called "last of the Latin Fathers" and "the first Pope". He was the first monk to assume the chair of St Peter. Cf 595. One of Gregorys first acts was to banish all the lay attendants, pages, etc., from the Lateran palace, and substitute clerics in their place. There was now no magister militum (senior military commander) living in Rome, so the control even of military matters seesm to have fallen to the patriarch of Rome.* The inroads of the Lombards had filled the city with a multitude of indigent refugees, for whose support Gregory made provision, using for this purpose the existing machinery of the ecclesiastical districts, each of which had its deaconry or office of alms. The corn [read: wheat and other grains] thus distributed came chiefly from Sicily and was supplied by the estates of the Church (Cath. Encyc. 1913). (*) The governance arrangements of the ducatus Romae (duchy of Rome) in the seventh century are still a matter of dispute; some authors maintain that after Gregory I the popes were substantially in charge of the urban administration; others believe in the existence of a Byzantine dux as leader of temporal affairs. A difficulty is that the earliest reference to a dux Romae (duke of Rome) comes in 711 (see in Donald A. Bullough, Julia M. H. Smith, Early medieval Rome and the Christian West: essays in honour of Donald A. Bullough, Boston, 2000). From Open Towns to Fortress-Villages, 555-598 The Gothic and Lombard wars as the End of Antiquity Moorhead, in NCMH vol 1, p.158, notes that in Cassiodoruss works - floruit before AD 535 - there are many references to open cities, while forts (castra, castella) are barely mentioned. In pope Gregorys [acc. 590] works, however, the narrative is all forts. At the end of the Gothic wars in 555, the ageing ex-senator and scholar Cassiodorus founded his (open and undefended) monastery on his estate at Squillace-Vivarium on the east coast of Bruttium (our Calabria, the sole of Italys front foot). By 598, however, just 30 years after the arrival of the Lombards in N Italy, it had been transformed into what pope Gregory describes as the castrum quod Scillacium dicitur, the fortress that is called Squillace. It is represented today by remains on the mons Castellum or castle mount beside the church of S. Maria del Mare (Christie p.462). De-population and Contraction of town life in Italy, AD 540-687 In his Archaeology, Christie 2006: 60 notes that during the Gothic and Lombard wars many urban centres were decimated and the survivors forced to flee to, or encouraged to migrate to, alternative, better fortified and equipped seats. Fully 42 bishoprics went out of existence. Perhaps surprisingly, southern Italy for 54

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the south is sometimes viewed as partly cushioned from the warfare was the most badly hit: thus no bishoprics appear in Lucania, the lower-middle section of the Italian boot, under pope Gregory (d. 604); and, of the 15 previously attested in Apulia*, just one is recorded, namely at Sipontum (Manfredonia). The formerly important see of Canosa/Canusium had no clergy at all in 591. While this may have been due in part to the Lombards, it is argued by others that the disappearance of the majority of bishoprics took place before the Lombard conquest; the change is linked to the broader process by which cities and towns were abandoned during the two centuries 400-600 (Valerie Ramseyer, The transformation of a religious landscape: medieval southern Italy, 850-1150, Cornell University Press, 2006 p.39, citing recent work by the Italian scholars Bognetti, Fonseca, etc). (*) Modern Puglia. The Lombards will push down to Taranto and Brindisi by 687. Slavery Continues The papacy owned slaves, and the pope was their master. Some worked in domestic settings, others on the papacy's vast landholdings. Of course free lessees and coloni (serfs of various kinds) also worked on church land It is impossible to know how many slaves the papacy owned, or how much of its property was farmed by slaves. But, while there may have been growth in tied tenancy [serfdom] during the period, there is a growing consensus that there was not a precipitous decline in the slave population. Papal slaves were not a rarity. Adam Serfass, Slavery and Pope Gregory, Journal of Early Christian Studies, Volume 14, Number 1, Spring 2006. In 598 we have a report of Jewish merchants buying pagan and Christian slaves in Gaul and bringing them, at the behest of imperial officials, to Naples for sale. As non-Christians, Jews were not subject to the decrees of the Church (McCormick 2001: 625 note 29; William Phillips, Slavery from Roman times to the early transatlantic trade, Manchester University Press ND, 1985, pp.61-63). Cf 593 above. The great slave market of the West in the 600s was at Marseilles in the Frankish kingdom; The Vita of St. Eligius, fl. 638, Bishop of Noyon (in what is now N France) in the seventh century, makes it clear that ships bearing more than 100 slaves were not unusual at this time: there were Romans, Gauls [? Gallo-Romans and Franks], and Britons [? = Welsh] also, and men of Marseilles, but they [the slaves] were chiefly men of Saxony [i.e. pagan north Germans] (www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/630Eligius; Inge Hansen & Chris Wickham, The Long 8th century, Brill, 2000 p.177). Reccared, acc. 586, the king of Visigothic Spain, eliminated the death penalty for Jews convicted of proselytising among Christians and ignored the pope or archbishop of Rome Gregory's request that the trade in Christian slaves at Narbonne, in Visigoth Septimania, be forbidden to Jews (cf below, 593). Reccared himself took many slaves in several raids into Frankish territory. 55

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Map: A map of Italy at the turn of the sixth century can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Agilulf%27s_Italy.gif. On the peninsula, the Lombards held significantly more territory than the empire. 590-616: or 591-615: r. Agilulf, Lombard king with his seat at Milan. Formerly duke of Milan, he was of Thuringian (German) origin. - A gilded bronze helmet or visor inscribed with his name has survived: the earliest known portrait of a Germanic ruler seated on a throne. As against Milan, the other kings before and after him preferred smaller centres in which the Lombards would not be a minority. The most important royal residences were at Verona and Pavia [medieval Ticinum]. There were others at Brescia (west of Verona) and Cividale (near the present-day Italian-Slovenian border). Liebeschuetz 2000. 591: 1. Persian civil war: With Byzantine help, Khusrau/Chosroes seeks to recover his throne. The Byzantine force aiding Khusrau is said to have numbered 40,000. Khusrau advances to Dara, and restores the town to Byzantium. Spring/summer: he advances to the Tigris; Mebodes or Mebod captures various Persian royal palaces. Summer: The Persians under shah Vahram or Baram manoeuvre against Chosroes in Azerbaijan. The combined Byzantine-Persian army of Chosroes [Khosrau] defeats Baram (Chronicle of Seert, in Patrologia Orientalis XIII/4, p. 466). Byzantium acquires western Armenia, as a gift for restoring the Persian shah. 2a. The West: Pope Gregory orders his rector in Sicily to send grain worth 50 pounds of gold to Rome, which is affected by famine, drought and plague (Richards 19080: 89; Stathakopoulos p.322). 2b. Gregory and the Exarch disagree over military policy. Gregory wanted Rome garrisoned, while the Exarch, Romanus, an experienced general, wanted to concentrate troops along the Ravenna-Rome corridor. Gregory took charge of the strategy for the troops allocated to Rome, specifying (see text below) that whether the Lombards of Spoleto marched against Ravenna or Rome they were to be attacked in either case from the rear. He also issued orders to the troops at Naples (Richards p.182). Writing in September 591, he thus addresses Velox, a general (magister militum) stationed on the Rome side of the Flaminian road to watch the movements of Ariulf, the second duke of Spoleto: "I told Your Glory some time ago that I had soldiers to come to you at your present quarters; but as your letter informed me that the enemy were 56

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assembled and were making inroads in this direction, I decided to keep them back. Now, however, it seems expedient to send some of them to you, praying Your Glory to give them suitable exhortations, that they may be ready to undertake the labour which falls upon them. And do you, finding a convenient opportunity, have a conference with our glorious sons Martius (or Maurice? [probably Maurisio*]) and Vitalian; and whatever, by Gods help, you shall jointly decide on for the benefit of the Republic [the state], that do. And if you shall discover that the unutterable Ariulf is breaking forth either towards Ravenna or in our direction, do you fall upon his rear and exert your selves as becomes brave men." (in Mann, Lives of the Popes, 1902). (*) Richards, Consul p.182 says Martius was probably a mis-writing of Maurisio (spelt thus by Paulus Diaconus: see 593), the name of the dux of Perugia, a Lombard serving with the imperial army. Vitalian was a further magister militum. See next. Pragmatic Relations in Italy Brown, in Gentlemen and Officers, 1984: 73, notes that there was an imperial policy of winning over dissident or greedy Lombards. And it was broadly successful. No less than 14 or 54% of the 26 dukes and magistri militum senior military commanders - serving Byzantium in Italy between the Lombard invasions and the death (604) of Gregory I were Germans (ethnic Lombards) by birth. The readiness of the Lombard dukes to transfer allegiance to the Empire demonstrates the shakiness of the early Lombard kings authority. From 591: The middle Danube: With peace in the East, Maurice is able to turn his full attention to his north-west. His army successfully campaigns against the Avars in the NW Balkans and (in 593) recovers Sirmium, a one-time imperial capital, NW of our Belgrade (Fine 1991: 32). Cf 593, 596. Although the Avars could operate at close range with lance and sword, like all steppes-people their preferred method was long-range (horse) archery, retreats and sudden returns. If an enemy fled, he was harried until completely destroyed (Hyland 1994: 32, citing Maurice's Strategikon). 592-93: 1. Sixth return of the plague to Constantinople and the East, as related, e.g. by Evagrius of Antioch (Stathakopoulos p.118). 2a. Italy: Duke Ariulf of Spoleto continually threatened the Via Amerina*, the communication route between Rome and Ravenna, and captured a number of other places belonging to the empire; while in the south Arichis, duke of Benevento, co-operating with Ariulf, pressed hard upon Naples. About the end of July, Pope Gregory concluded a separate peace with Ariulf which aroused great indignation at Ravenna and Constantinople because it 57

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was beyond the authority of the Roman patriarch to make such peace with an independent power. It would seem that it was this action which stirred the exarch Romanus to a campaign (see 593). (*) See after 619-20 below for details of the route of the Amerina. Ariulf of Spoleto attempts to take Rome. He succeeded only in taking several forts on the highway from Ravenna to Rome, but this briefly divided the imperialByzantine ("Greek") realm and momentarily united the Lombard realms. In 592 the Roman patriarch Gregory received a threatening letter from Ariulf of Spoleto, which was followed almost immediately by the appearance of that chief before the walls of Rome [July 592]. At the same time Arichis [Latin Arogis] of Benevento advanced on Naples, which happened at the moment to have no bishop nor any officer of high rank in command of the garrison. Gregory at once took the surprising step of appointing a tribune [i.e. an officer commanding a numerus of around 350 troops: by name Constantius] on his own authority to take command of the city (Epp., II, xxxiv), and, when no notice of this strong action was taken by the imperial authorities, the pope conceived the idea of himself arranging a separate peace with the Lombards (Epp., II, xlv). Cath Encyc., online, under St Gregory; also Richards 1979: 172. Subsequently (see 593) the northern Lombards under King Agilulf will push south and besiege Rome. The exarch was at Ravenna, so the defence of Rome was managed by the local Byzantine commander (magister militum) and the pope or archbishop of Rome, Gregory. Agilulf was paid money to withdraw (593). 2b. Italy: Pope Gregory I - the term is anachronistic, so better: the patriarch of Rome - appealed to the exarch Romanus at Ravenna for help in assisting Naples, then under Lombard attack. Romanus evidently thought it more prudent to remain in NE Italy. Gregory then made peace with the Duchy of Spoleto, in order to relieve Naples which was threatened by the Lombards of Benevento. 592-93: FIFTY YEARS SINCE THE FIRST GREAT PLAGUE OF 542. We may imagine there was no real recovery as yet in the number of people; on the contrary, the many revisitations of the plague no doubt continued to drive down the size of the population. On the other hand, the economic effect should have been positive, at least for non-landowners. In the second half of the 14th century, the depopulation caused by the Black Death led in western Europe to much higher wages for those who survived, mainly because of the reduced supply of labour. The resulting jump in prosperity is one of the paradoxes of the Malthusian Trap. In northern and central Italy around AD 1425 the effect was dramatic: real wages reached their pre-modern peak; in England the effect was less pronounced but still very significant. Real wages began to decline about a century after the plague, and did not return to the long run average until around 1500 in the case of Italy or 1600 58

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in the case of a less urbanised England (Clark 2007: 47). We would expect to see a similar outcome in Byzantium, and it should have been visible at least by 590. There is evidence for such an effect in the immediate aftermath the first plague of 542. But is it observable after 575? See the entry below for 594: perhaps evidence that the effect was washed out by then. Hard as it may be to credit, Chris Wickham doubts that plague had a dramatic demographic impact in the medium term; he calls its visits a marginal event in this period! Per contra, he detects demographic stabilisation in the archaeological record in the eastern half of the Mediterranean basin in the late 500s, which in due course formed the basis for future slow demographic rises (from about AD 700). And the impact of plague is invisible in the papyrus documentation of Egypt (Early Middle Ages p.548). Similar doubts have been raised by Cameron and Ward-Perkins, 2000: 22324, although they are cautious about drawing conclusions from archaeology. They suggest that the perhaps misnamed seventh century pandemic may well have been more like the localised and contained outbreaks of plague in the 16th and 17th centuries (e.g. in London in 1665), a period in which the population overall continued to grow strongly. In other words, the seventh century visitation was possibly quite unlike the catastrophe of the Black Death of 1348-49, which was a great hammer blow to the whole western Eurasian world (Averil Cameron & Bryan Ward-Perkins, The Cambridge Ancient History: Late antiquity : empire and successors, A.D. 425-600, Volume 14, Cambridge University Press, 2000). 593: 1. Emperor Maurice issued an edict forbidding any serving soldiers to resign from the army to enter monastic life. Cf 594. The Patriarch of Rome, Gregory, circulates the edict but bitterly criticises it in correspondence with the emperor (Duffy p.51). 2. Thrace and Illyria: Priscuss 2nd Balkan campaign: in autumn, the Byzantine army returns to Thrace to winter there; the Slavs ravage widely in the Balkans, plundering Aquis, Scupi [Skopje] and Zaldapa [near Abrit, in todays NE Bulgaria]. The Avars besiege Belgrade [ancient Singidunum] but fail to take it. The ODB remarks that in two or three decades the Avars had transformed the bands of Slavic frontiersmen into shipbuilders and formidable amphibious troops. Already in 593, the Pannonian Sklavenoi (around modern Belgrade) built ships or boats for the Avars as well as a bridge over the Sava River in present-day Serbia. ODB ed. Pritsak 1991: III, 1916. Italy: Contest for the Via Amerina 3a. Italy: The Exarch reasserts imperial authority along the Via Cassia and the Via Amerina, key roads leading into Rome from the NE and north respectively. In all, 10 towns and villages were recaptured (late 592-early 593) from the Lombards. 59

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This was essential if communications between Rome and Ravenna were to be restored. Romanus the exarch . . . wholly ignoring the papal peace, . . . gathered all his troops, attacked and regained Perugia [on the Via Amerina - from the Spoletan Lombards] (592), and then marched to Rome, where he was received with imperial honours. The next spring, however, he quitted (593) the city and took away its garrison with him, so that both pope and citizens were now more exasperated against him than before.* Moreover, the exarch's campaign had roused the Northern Lombards, and King Agilulf marched on Rome, arriving there probably some time in June 593. Cath. Encyc. (*) Gregory [Ep. v.36] accused Romanus of abandoning Rome so that Perugia might be held. Romanus, the patrician [patrikios, a court title] and Exarch of Ravenna, proceeded to Rome. During his return (593) to Ravenna [via the Cassian and Amerinan Ways*], he re-occupied the cities [read: fortress-villages] that were [had been] held by the Langobards, of which the names are as follows: 1 Sutrium [modern Sutri,** on the Via Cassia NNW of Rome], 2 Polimartium [Bomarzo, NE of Viterbo],*** 3 Horta [Orte on the Via Amerina], 4 Tuder [Todi, west of Spoleto], 5 Ameria [Amelia, NW of Narni]****, 6 Perusia (Perugia), 7 Luceolis [Cantiano, NE of Perugia], and some other cities. Paulus D., 4.8. (*) The Via Amerina ran from from Rome north to Orte, where it crossed the upper Tiber, thence to Amelia and on to Todi, Perugia and, after rejoining the Via Flaminia, Cantiano. There was a link road from the Amerina at Perugia that ran via Gubbio to the Flaminian at Scheggia. The line of the Via Flaminia north from Spoleto was to Gualdo Tadino [Tadinum] and Sigillo and then to Scheggia-Cantiano-Cagli (Diehl, Etudes byzantines 1905: 70**, citing the Anonymous of Ravenna). (**) The Via Cassia was one of several highways that ran from Tuscany SE to Rome. Sutri was a key point on the Rome side (south-east) of Viterbo. (***) Evidently Romanuss troops proceeded up the Via Cassia beyond Sutri about as far as our Viterbo and then left it, crossing east via Bomarzo to the Via Amerina at Orte. The other towns mentioned are all on the Via Amerina. (****) Both Orte and Amelia lay on the Via Amerina. Location: Bomarzo, Orte and Amelia constitute a triangle NE of Viterbo, straddling the upper Tiber valley and todays A1 highway, on the Rome side of Orvieto. The Tiber runs through Orte. Narni, SE of Amelia, was the nodal point where the Via Flaminia divided into a western and an eastern leg. Lombard Spoleto lay on the eastern leg. 3b. Latium: Attempt by the new Lombard king, Agilulf, to take Rome: a 60

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protracted siege of the city ensued. As noted, the Exarch Romanus had left the city and taken most of its garrison with him. The Exarch's campaign had roused Agilulf, who marched from Pavia to re-take Perugia (and kill the dux Maurisio). The Lombard army must simply have marched past Romanus in Ravenna, ignoring him. They then marched on Rome, arriving there probably some time in June 593; or perhaps a little later: there is a pause in the Popes correspondence between December 593 and March 594. The only professional troops in Rome were the Theodosiac regiment [Latin: numerus Theodosiacus], originally recruited in the Crimea, whose pay was in arrears. So the church paid them (Richards 1979: 173; Theodosiacus: Diehl p.198). Also Pope Gregory knew that the citys grain store was too small to hold out for very long. And, from the battlements of the city, he could see the captive Latins driven from the Campagna - the valley of the lower Tiber, - roped together with halters around their necks, on their way to slavery: "Romans tied by the neck [with ropes around their necks] like dogs - "and led off to be sold as slaves to the Franks (Letter V.40: brackets = variant translations). The siege of the city was soon abandoned, however, and Agilulf retired to Milan, so presumably via Tuscany (Jones et al., Prosopography, I:28. Ignoring the Exarch in Ravenna, the patriarch of Rome, Gregory, used a large gift of silver to obtain a treaty with Agilulf: the first stirrings of political independence by the papacy. Although Rome eluded him, Agilulf at this time, as we have said, took control of Perugia, a key fortress town (Collins 1991: 197). Diehl (1905: 69) says, or seems to say, that the Lombard held Perugia through to 598. In a letter (V, xxxix) Gregory calls himself as "the paymaster of the Lombards", and apparently silver was the chief inducement to raise the siege (Barry 2003: 50; also Wikipedia, 2011, under Gregory: relying heavily on the Cath. Encyc.). "The emperor has a paymaster for his troops in Ravenna [i.e. the Exarch]," he wrote to the empress, "but he leaves me to be the paymaster of the Lombards in Rome." The silver paid was equivalent to 500 Roman pounds of gold or 36,000 nomismata (gold coins) (Richards 1979: 173 and 1980: 186). By this time, some Lombard notables had switched to Catholic Christianity, but their kings remained resolutely Arian (although Agilulfs own son was baptised as a Catholic in about 604). In the Lombard kingdom, some towns had Catholic bishops, although most were Arian (Richards p.40; also Collins p.197). Cf 661-62. 4. Sicily: Slavery is the topic of a letter from pope Gregory to the Byzantine praetor (civil governor) of Sicily. The patriarch protests the sale of Christian slaves to Jewish merchants (among other routes, they operated along the route from Narbonne and Marseilles to Antioch). He offers no protest about nonChristian slaves such as those traded from the Slavic lands (Rotman 2009: 7374). Indeed, as we have seen [above: after 690], Gregory himself, or the church he headed, was itself a major slave-owner. (On the churchs justification of slavery in the first millennium AD, see Rotman 2009: 135 ff.) 593-94: 61

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The Balkans: Priscus took an army to the Danube in spring 593; after attacking the Slavs they returned (autumn) to winter in Thrace. The Slavs attack Aquis, Skupi/Scopje and Zaldapa [near Abrit, in todays NE Bulgaria] (Whitby p.90). See next. Maurice moved Byzantine military action onto Slavic territory: the first crossing of the Danube was made by Peter, Priscuss replacement, in 594. 593-602: NW Balkans: This is Madgearus (2006: 153) second period in the loosening and eventual loss (by 615) of imperial control over the Danubian limes or fortified border. Using the evidence of dated coin finds, he argues that the years 593-98 saw the definitive abandonment of the imperial fortresses on the middle Danube below Belgrade. The Avars took control of three major crossing points, namely 1. the Iron Gates [upstream from Vidin: the present-day Rumanian-Serbian border], and the fords at 2. Bononia [Vidin in modern Bulgaria] and 3. SucidavaOescus [north of Pleven], although the Byzantines managed to hold 4. Novae (below Sucidava-Oescus: NE of Pleven, near modern Svishtov: nearly deadcentre on what is now the Bulgarian stretch of the Danube). This gave the Avars and their allies or subjects a choice of entry-points into the empire in the northwest (Byzantine Illyricum). Cf 595: imperial excursion to Belgrade. 594: 1a. Balkan campaign led by Maurices brother Peter, appointed to replace Priscus. As it appears, not much was achieved (Curta, Making p.105). Maurice tried to avoid paying the troops in cash on the payday in 594 (payments were made annually at Easter) by directing Peter to offer free uniforms and arms in lieu of cash. To avoid a mutiny, Peter had to rescind the proposal (Treadgold 1997: 233; Theophylact VII.1.1.9). 1b. Imperial edict allowing sons to inherit their fathers' jobs as soldiers in the field army: this was strongly welcomed. Evidently opportunities outside the army were far less attractive (Treadgold 1997: 283). The average annual pay of a soldier was 20 nomismata (gold coins) (Treadgold Army 1995: 196). 2. Italy: The Lombard king Agilulf appoints Arichis I (a.k.a. Arigisus, Arechi) to be duke of Benevento (alt. date: 591). During Arichis term he often found himself at war with his neighbours, the Byzantine exarchate and the small city-states of southern Italy. Capua came under his control and he annexed considerable parts of Campania and southern Abruzzo to his duchy. His long rule lasted until 641. See 596: Crotone. 3. Byzantine Sardinia: While Christianity had been adopted by the majority of the population, the region of Barbagia (the east-central sector: its pole were call Barbaricini) was largely pagan.* In Barbagia towards the end of the 6th century, a short-lived independent principality established itself, returning to the local traditional religions. One of its Princes, the last pagan Prince or dux, was 62

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Ospitone [or Hospito], who conducted raids upon the neighbouring Christian communities governed by the Byzantine dux Zabardas. In 594 Ospitone, newly converted to the imperial religion, was convinced by pope Gregory, and likely by the circumstances of his conflict with Zabarda, to press on with converting his realm to Christianity. Hospito (who was slow in persuading his people to convert) was reprimanded by the pope in these words: "Dum enim Barbaricini omnes ut insensata animalia vivant, deum verum nesciant, ligna autem et lapides adorent: Meanwhile the Barabaricini are living, all like irrational animals, ignorant of the true God and worshipping wood and stone. His followers, however, were not immediately convinced and ostracized their prince for a short time before they themselves converted (Wikipedia 2011 under Sardinia, citing Charles Edwardes, Sardinia and the Sardes, R. Bentley and Son, London, 1889, p. 249). Possibly as a result of Zabardass victories, a substantial number of Barbaracini came on to the slave market, and Gregory purchased them to serve as workers in his hospitals (Horace Mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages, Wildside Press LLC, 2007 reprint, p.173). (*) According to Procopius (d. 565), the Barbaricini were Moorish (Berber) pagans long since (in the 400s) exiled to Sardinia by the Vandals; in his time they were able to deploy 3,000 fighters (Bellum Vandalicum 13. 41-5). More likely they were originally part of the Vandal army that had occupied the island in the 400s (Andrew Merrills & Richard Miles, The Vandals, John Wiley and Sons, 2010, p.137). From the Italian Wikipedia (English trans. follows -) Dalle lettere del Pontefice emerge l'esistenza di due Sardegne diverse: una romanizzata, cristianizzata e bizantina (quella dei Provinciales), ed una interna, costituita da aggregati cantonali, con popolazioni idolatre e pagane, la Gens Barbaricina governata da un "dux" Hospiton. Facendo seguito ad una costante e tenace azione diplomatica (testimoniata nelle lettere succitate), nell'estate del 594 si concluse un patto tra Bizantini e Barbaricini e, tra i vari accordi, Hospiton accett la conversione al Cristianesimo del suo popolo. Per evangelizzare a fondo la Corsica e la Sardegna, Gregorio Magno affid le due isole ai Benedettini delle isole toscane, che vi rimasero per tutto il Medioevo, anche se la cristianizzazione avvenne anche ad opera degli ordini monastici greci-bizantini: studiti (Studites), basiliani ecc. I Benedettini costruirono piccoli monasteri, detti abbadie e curarono la costruzione delle pievi, delle vie e la tenuta dei fondi agricoli. My translation, MOR: From letters of the Pontiff it appears that there were two distinct Sardinias: one Romanised, Christianised and Byzantine (that of the Provinciales/small Provinces), and an inland one, constituted from a group of cantons, with an idolatrous and pagan population, the Gens Barbaricina, who were governed by a "dux" named Ospitone/Hospiton. Following a lengthy and tenacious diplomatic initiative (testified to in the popes letters), in the summer of 594 a pact was concluded between the Byzantines and the Barbaricini, and, in line with the several agreements, Hospiton accepted the conversion of his people 63

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to Christianity. In order to fully evangelise [evangelizzare a fondo] Corsica and Sardinia, [pope] Gregory the Great entrusted the two islands to the Benedictines of the Tuscan islands, who remained throughout the Middle Ages, although Christianisation was also the work of the Greek-Byzantine monastic orders: the Studites, the Basilians etc. The Benedictines constructed little monasteries, the aforementioned (detti) abbeys, and saw to the construction of churches, roads and the laying out of agricultural estates. Gaul, realm of the Franks: d. Gregory of Tours, author of the Historiae Francorum: The Post-Antique West: Gregory's attitude toward pagan literature was the conventional one of his age, namely fear of the demonic influences embodied in it. He expresses it thus: "We ought not to relate their lying fables lest we fall under sentence of eternal death." And we hear of bishops who were illiterate. It is plain that the trend of the evidence is all in one direction, namely that in Gaul by this time the liberal arts had disappeared from education. Gregory knew he could not write the literary language but in spite of this he made the attempt, and the result is what we have: a sort of hybrid, halfway between the popular speech and the formally correct literary language of Antiquity. Thus Ernest Brehaut, introduction to his 1916 translation. 594-95: Italy: Gregory, the patriarch of Rome, seeks to broker peace between the Exarch and the northern Lombards, but fails (Richards, Popes p.173 and Consul p.187). Gregory began once again to mediate a private treaty even without the consent of the Exarch Romanus. This threat was speedily reported to Constantinople and the emperor Maurice responded with a violent letter, now lost, received in June 595. Luckily, Gregory's scathing reply has been preserved (Epistles V, xxxvi). Still, Gregory seems to have realised that independent action could not secure what he wished, and we hear no more about a separate peace (Wikipedia, 2011, under Gregory). Cf 595.3a below. 595: 1. Spain: A letter addressed by Licinianus of Cartagena to bishop Vincent of Ebusus (Ibiza) proves that the Balearics were to be found under the jurisdiction of Byzantine Cartagena, and thus still within the imperial domain (Martin 2003: 288) 2a. Then Balkans: Spring/summer: Priscuss 3rd Balkan campaign; the Avars ravage Dalmatia. Priscus sent the taxiarch or dux Guduin (Goudouin, Godwin: possibly an ethnic Goth or Lombard from Italy) to recover Singidunum (Belgrade) from the Avars; his Byzantine troops recaptured it and repaired the walls. Later in the year Priscus sent him with 2,000 troops to spy on the khans forces in Dalmatia; they ambushed and annihilated an Avar force guarding the khans booty (Jones et al. 64

65 p.561). p. See 598.

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2b. Italy and Slovenia: The ancestors of the Slovenes, still of course pagan, first appear in the historical record in the Alps and on the Adriatic as vassals and/or allies of the Avars after the departure of the Lombards for Italy. The Slavic-Avar progress towards the Eastern Alps* is traceable on the basis of synodal records of the Aquileian metropolitan church which reveal the decline of ancient dioceses by about 591: Emona [Ljubljana, Latin Labacum], Celeia [Celye in Slovenia], Poetovio [Ptuj in far NE Slovenia], Aguntum [near Linz in N Austria], Teurnia [St Peter im Holtz near Lendorf in south-central Austria]; the old capital of Roman Noricum, Virunum [in southern Austria near the Slovene border]; and Scarabantia [Odenburg/Sopron on the Hungarian-Austrian border south of Vienna]. Specifically, Poetovio (Ptuj) and Virnum/Vuriunum were destroyed by 579. The Slavs reached the region of todays Ljubljana by 587/88: Celeia (today Celje) and Emona (Ljubljana) in the Sava valley fell before 588; and some time before 591 so too did Teurnia and Aguntum in what is now Austria (Kobylinski in NCMH p.538). The first specifically dated event in Slovene history is 595, when the protoSlovenes fought an unsuccessful battle with the Bavarian duke or king (rex) Tassilo I at Toblach (Dobbiaco), SE of Innsbruck, just west of todays ItaloAustrian border (Cath. Encyc. under Slavs). Cf 600. (*) A line drawn from SW to NE, from Ljubljana to Vienna, cuts through the edge of the Eastern Alps. 3. Rome vs Constantinople: In 588 Patriarch John IV the Faster had taken the title of Ecumenical Patriarch - Oikoumeniks: "world-wide", universal or a better translation: "imperial" patriarch. It was apparently meant to convey only that John was supreme within his own patriarchate or that he was the central patriarch among the five, located where the emperor lived. But Old Romes protest against the term was renewed by Pope Gregory in 595 (Richards pp.11, 175). cf 607. The Council of Chalcedon, 451, had established Constantinople as a patriarchate with jurisdiction over Asia Minor and Thrace and gave it the second place after Rome (canon xxviii). The pope or archbishop of Rome Leo I, 440-61, had declined to admit this canon, which was made in the absence of his legates; and for centuries Rome would refuse to give the second place to Constantinople. The Patriarch of Rome, Gregory, misinterpreted (595) 'ecumenical' as meaning 'universal'. Richards p.11 attributes this to Rome's hyper-sensitivity about its status. Gregory protested vehemently against it in a long correspondence addressed first to John himself, then to the Emperor Maurice, and the Empress Constantina and others. Rome argued that "if one patriarch is called universal the title is thereby taken from the others" (Epp., V, xviii, 740). To oppose it, Gregory assumed a title borne since then by his successors. "He refuted (sic) the name 'universal' and first of all began to write himself 'servant of the servants of God' at the beginning of his 65

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letters, with sufficient humility, leaving to all his successors this hereditary evidence of his meekness" (or so the Catholic Encyclopedia saw it: citing Johannes Diaconus, "Vita S. Gregorii"). What the Cath. Encyc. did not point out was that universal was adopted by the Roman patriarchs later years. Cf: the Roman pontiff alone can with right be called universal: Gregory VII (1073-1085): Dictatus Papae. And: the authority of the Roman Pontiff is supreme, universal, independent; that of the [other] bishops limited, and dependent. - Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter, Satis Cognitum (Enough (is) Known- On the Unity of the Church), 29 June 1896. 3a. Poor relations between Romanus the Exarch of Italy in Ravenna and Pope Gregory in Rome. Writes Gregory: "I will only say that his [Romanus's] malice towards us is worse than the swords of the Lombards. The enemies who kill us outright are kinder than the State officials [judges, magistrates of the commonwealth/res publica], who wear us out with their malice, their robberies [plundering, piracy] and their frauds [deceits]" (quoted in Richards p.171; in brackets: variant translations). The finances of the Byzantine regime in Italy were so critical in 595 that they depended on the transfer of revenues from the less pressed islands of Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily and subventions from the emperor himself. The reason, presumably, was that, because of warfare with the Lombards, conditions on the peninsula were so disturbed that few taxes were able to be generated or collected (Brown 1984: 7). Cf below under 596-606 and 599. Some scholars believe that fiscal pressure was felt as particularly unbearable by the populations of Italian and African exarchates because their taxes were not reinvested in the local economy, but sent to Constantinople. This process would have involved a progressive impoverishment of the local societies of the empire. This is possibly true, but it is worth noting that in a letter sent by pope Gregory to the Augusta or empress Constantina in 595, it is clearly stated that the taxation which was levied from Italy was used to cope with the military needs of the Italian exarchate itself (thus Consentina, Byzantine Sardinia). 3b. Patriarch vs Emperor: In relation to the Lombards, the Cath. Encyc. proposes that Gregory placed all his hopes on their queen Theodelinda, a Catholic and a personal friend. The exarch, however, looked at the whole affair in another light, and, when a whole year was passed in fruitless negotiations, Gregory began once again to mediate a private treaty. Accordingly, in May 595, the pope wrote to a friend at Ravenna a letter (Epp., V, xxxiv) threatening to make peace with Agilulf even without the consent of the Exarch Romanus. This threat was speedily reported to Constantinople, where the exarch was in high favour, and the Emperor Maurice at once sent off to Gregory a violent letter, now lost, accusing him of being both a traitor and a fool. This letter Gregory received in June 595. Luckily, the pope's answer has been preserved to us (Epp., V, xxxvi) . . . . Still, in spite of his scathing reply, Gregory seems to have realised that independent action could not secure what he wished, and we hear no more about a separate 66

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Of paganism in Sicily we find no trace, save that pagan slaves, doubtless not natives of the island, were held by Jews. Herein is a contrast between Sicily and Sardinia, where, according to a letter from [pope] Gregory to the empress Constantina, wife of the emperor Maurice (594-595), praying for a lightening of taxation in both islands, paganism still lingered. Encyc. Brit. 1911 edn, under Sicily. 596: 1. (Or 595:) Priscus recaptures Belgrade. See 599. 2. Italy: The Beneventan Lombards under Arichis briefly take Crotone in Bruttium (now Calabria). The following year gifts of money by the imperial family were used to ransom captives (Richards, Consul of God p.99). 3. Italy: First historical mention of Amalfi as a Byzantine port; it was a castrum [fortified village] already with its own bishop. This is also its last mention for a further 200 years. It came under the Byzantine duke of Naples until 839 (Kreutz 1996: 80, citing pope Gregory). A "castrum of Amalfi" is also mentioned by the geographer George of Cyprus in a work written between 591 and 603. The castrum (garrison town) was probably a base for a detachment of the Byzantine fleet and/or a point of refuge from the Lombards (Brown in NCMH ed. McKitterick p.343). 596-606: Italy: Lombards vs the Empire in the Po valley. Romanus was replaced as exarch by Callinicus in 597 or 598 (Treadgold 1997: 687 prefers 596). The contest took place along the axis of the old Via Aemilia which ran SE-NW to Milan. In Christies words, pp.40-41, the local towns faltered almost fatally and the lands (were) forcibly abandoned; a military frontier may well have been imposed by the Byzantine armies, whose forces exploited the walled centres as military camps and depots. There are clear indications of islands of Italian-Byzantine resistance, either battered by the Lombards or ignored until time was available to deal with these stragglers. . . . By the time truces were drawn up between the Byzantine governor-general or exarch and the Lombard king in 603, 604 and confirmed in 605, pope Gregory lamented that now the cities have been depopulated, fortresses razed, churches burned down, monasteries and nunneries destroyed, the fields abandoned by mankind and, destitute of any cultivator of the land, lies empty and solitary. No landholder lives on it; wild beasts occupy places once held by a multitude of men. Cf 599. The archaeology of Brescia (between Milan and Verona) around 600 has been described as follows. We may be tempted to ascribe the towns ravaged condition 67

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to the Lombard-Byzantine war, but only some of it can be attributed to the struggles of AD 696-706; much of the decay and devastation dated from the earlier Gothic-Byzantine wars of the 540s and 550s. What is significant is not so much the damage, as the socio-political feebleness revealed by the failure to repair it: ... Roman buildings destroyed by fire, collapsed masonry left in situ to encumber streets and private places, blocked drains, ... makeshift houses in wood or the requisition of abandoned rooms [in classical style buildings] ... burials scattered haphazardly amid the houses, and the reduction to cultivation of large areas of the urban fabric. Quoted in Muhlberger; cf Broglios book Brescia, cited in Wickham 2005. In 603, Parma was re-taken definitively by the Lombards, while the imperials retained Bologna. The Parma-Bologna region, centred on Modena, will remain the borderland for over a century. Italian Wikipedia under Parma, 2009, citing Marzio Dall'Acqua and Marzio Lucchesi, Parma citt d'oro, Parma: Albertelli, 1979. The next entry for Modena is 643: see there. 597: 1a. Dalmatia: The Avars sent a massive raid through Byzantine Illyria (Bosnia and Dalmatia) which destroyed some 40 fortresses (Fine 1991: 32). Or in 598. 1b. The Avar khan passed along the south bank of the Danube and reached the Black Sea, where he besieged Priscus in the port of Tomi. The Avars invested Tomi [Constanta] on the Black Sea (597/98) but failed to take it (Whitby, Maurice p.173). 2. The Balkans: Slav siege of Byzantine Thessalonica, which fails, conducted by the Slav tribes settled in the surrounding region of Macedonia. Or more probably in 586: see there. See 609. Most historians prefer 586, but the case for the year 597 is put thus by Vryonis 1981: The first major Avaro-Slavic attack on Thessaloniki: The Miracula of St. Demetrius date the appearance of this army to Sunday, September 22, in the reign of Maurice, i.e. either in September of 586 or in September of 597. the army besieging Thessaloniki on Sunday, September 22, in the reign of Maurice, was fully possessed of a highly developed siege technology. According to Theophylactus, they began to apply this technology only in 587; therefore the evidence for dating the first major Avaro-Slavic attack on Thessaloniki in 597 rather than 586 is now much stronger. It is evident that by 600 all the country north of Thessaloniki was virtually lost to the Empire and that the penetration of lower Greece followed at once. 597: (1) d. Columba, Irish missionary to pagan (polytheistic) Pictish 68

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Scotland. (2) The prelate Augustine, sent from Rome, arrives in England to convert the pagan Anglo-Saxons. First archbishop of Canterbury. thelberht of Kent was the first king to accept baptism, circa 601. He was followed by Rdwald of East Anglia and Saebert of Essex in 604. In the west, the Romano-Britons of Powys and the other Welsh principalities and the Irish were long since Christian, but the AngloSaxons and Picts remained pagan into the 600s. 597-98: Italy: The emperor was preoccupied with wars on the Eastern borders and, with the various succeeding exarchs unable to secure Rome from invasion, the patriarch of Rome Gregory took a personal initiative of starting (597) negotiations for a peace treaty with the Lombards. It was completed during the autumn of 598, when Callinicus [597-602/03] was Exarch, and was only afterwards recognised by Maurice. But it would last, or at least it remained in place, till the end of Gregorys reign (604). Cf 601-02: Callinicus captures Agilufs daughter. Callinicus completed the negotiations with Agilulf during 598, and in the following year (599), after all parties had signed, a formal peace of two years' time was recognised, where the Lombards were finally acknowledged as sovereign rulers of their holdings. A Jones et al. 1992: 264. Diehl 1905: 69 argues that it was the treaty of 598 that restored Perugia to the empire, and thereby the Byzantine corridor was re-opened along the Via Amerina from Rome via Perugia to Ravenna. The empire would hold the corridor for another 100+ years. 597-602/03: Callinicus was exarch of Italy: he is first mentioned in 597 but may have been appointed in late 596 (A Jones et al. 1992: 264). 598: 1. Balkan campaign renewed: The Avars invaded (597) Lower (or Thracian) Moesia and Scythia, and Priscus, learning that they intended to besiege the maritime town of Tomi, hastened to occupy it (598). Priscus is blockaded at Tomi, north of the Danube on the Black Sea: modern Constantja in Romania; truce with the Avars. Comentiolus leads an infantry expedition to relieve Priscus; but is routed (spring). He flees to Constantinople, and the Avars advance to Drizipera in Thrace (Martindale et al. p.324). Maurice leads an expedition out to the Long Walls (in Thrace); Avar-Byzantine treaty: the Danube is agreed as again the border Complaints by the army against Comentiolus. Illyricum: The khan of the Avars with a mixed Avar-Slav army advanced from Sirmium through Roman (Byzantine) Bosnia, devastated Dalmatia, and demolished 40 cities (read: towns and villages). Francis Preveden, A history of the Croatian people . . ., Volume 2, Philosophical Library, 1962, p.66. Cf 599. 2. Walled monasteries: At the end of the Gothic-Byzantine wars in 555, the 69

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ageing ex-senator and scholar Cassiodorus founded his open and undefended monastery on his estate at Squillace-Vivarium in Calabria; by 598, however, 30 years after the arrival of the Lombards* in N Italy, it had been transformed into the castrum quod Scillacium dicitur - the fortress that is called Squillace which has been identified with remains on the mons Castellum (castle mount) beside the church of S. Maria del Mare (Christie p.462). Cf above, 596: attack on Crotone. (*) Paulus Diaconus (4.18) inserts in his history the text of a letter to Arechis of Benevento (acc. 591) from the pope or archbishop of Rome Gregory, d. 604. The Roman patriarch asks that the Lombard sub-commanders in Bruttium (our Calabria) be directed to help with the transport of timber beams from that province for the repair of churches in Rome. The Lombards were to supply oxen to bring the beams to the coast whence they would be transported to Rome by sea. But evidently Byzantium retained control of most of Calabria at the end of Arechiss long reign (d. 641). 3. Byzantine Malta: Soldiers are mentioned in a letter concerning the Maltese group of islands that Pope Gregory the Great addressed to the Bishop of Syracuse in October 598. This would suggest, says Buhagiar, that the islands had some sort of military garrison. They might in fact have been governed by a military giunta of the type found in Italy and Sicily. This is suggested by a couple of seals, one of which (of unknown provenance) commemorated the archon and droungarios [lord and senior officer/colonel] of Malta. Mario Buhagiar 1997. A drungary typically commanded 1,000 men; but is seem unlikely in that Malta would have warranted that many troops. 598-601: 1. Italy: Leontius, fl. late 6th/early 7th centuries: Byzantine official. After serving as quaestor [army quarter-master] with the title of consul* in Sicily, he remained an important figure. He received a number of letters from Pope Gregory I between AD 598 and 601. (*) Greek hypatos. An honorary rank rather than an office with a unique or specific function. Typically it was a title borne by people in mid-level administrative and fiscal posts (ODB 1991: 963-64). 2. Plague again in the East, Africa and Italy: The earliest date given is Macedonia, 598. It broke out at Constantinople in 599 and moved thence into Asia Minor. This was its seventh visit to Constantinople. The same year, 599, it was reported in Syria. It was in North Africa and Italy in 599-600; at Ravenna in 600 [the date given by Stathakopoulos 2004: 333] and Verona in 601. Or Ravenna in 598: the date given by Richards 1980: 16, and Rome 599. 599:

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1a. Balkans: Joint campaign by Priscus and Comentiolus on the upper Danube: joining forces at Singidunum [Belgrade], they lead (summer) a major expedition via Sirmium into the heartland of the Avars north of the Danube. There they defeat the Avars in four battles. Or rather, while Comentiolus, who was ill, protected the expedition's rear at Singidunum, Priscus won four great victories. It is said that 17,000 Avar prisoners were taken (Treadgold 1997: 234). 1b. Maurice refused ransom for Byzantine prisoners held by the Avars: 12,000 Byzantine men are executed. 2a. The West: The exarch Callinicus fought in person against the Slav invaders of Istria, the peninsula south of Trieste, today the western-most part of Slovenia and Croatia near Italy. He took some troops from Ravenna and also took into his command the local Byzantine garrsion, the exercitus Histriae (the so-called army of Istria). The Slavs were defeated and ousted (Brown 1984: 91, Bileta p.67). 2b. Italy: A treaty (it was confirmed in 605) was struck between Byzantium and the Lombards: the Exarch Callinicus, ruling in Ravenna, agrees with king Agilulf (ruling from Milan) to formally partition northern Italy. But no extra troops were sent from Constantinople; evidently the Avar war had depleted the treasury. Cf 602. Diehl, Etudes Byzantines p.69, notes that Perugia was returned to the empire by this treaty, restoring the corridor from Rome to Ravenna. The grave economic malaise that afflicted Italy is indicated by the difficulty the authorities had in raising relatively minor sums. In 599 the exarch was compelled to borrow 600 pounds or litrai of gold [43,200 nomismata] from the archbishop of Ravenna, and in the early years of the following century the authorities had difficulties in meeting the demands of the Lombards for tribute payments ranging from 12,000 to 36,000 solidi ( = up to 500 pounds) (Brown 1984: 7). Cf above: AD 561. Wickham says that in Italy the local state was weaker [than in other parts of the Empire] . . .; tax-raising slowly broke down even in Byzantine areas, as it had done in the Lombard kingdom by 600 (Framing the Early Middle Ages). 3. Spain: During the rule of Reccared, 586-601, the Byzantines again took the offensive and probably even regained, or gained, some ground. Reccared recognised the legitimacy of the Byzantine frontier and wrote to Pope Gregory requesting that a copy of the earliest treaty with the empire be obtained from the Emperor Maurice, i.e. from the archives in Constantinople. Gregory simply replied (August 599) that the text of the treaty had been lost in a fire before Justinians death and warned Reccared that he would not want it found because it would have granted the Rhomaniyans more territory than they actually then possessed. NCMH: New Cambridge Medieval History, ed. Rosamund McKetterick et al., 1995: 349. 71

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New Technology in the West: the Plough The light sole-ard or scratch plough or atratum [Gk arotron] is being replaced or complemented by the heavy mouldboard (slicing) plough or plovus. Lynn White dates the first indisputable appearance of the plovus or mouldboard plough to after the Roman period, namely 643 AD, in a northern Italian (Lombard) document, namely the Edict of Rothari: White, Medieval Technology, Oxford 1962, p.50. On the other hand, White also describes the linguistic researches of B. Bratanic, who showed that 26 technical terms connected with the heavy plough and its use "are to be found in all three of the great Slavic linguistic groups, the eastern, western and southern", pointing to its adoption by these people before their division in the later sixth century, and indicating that the mouldboard plough was invented by 600, then introduced to western Europe. Despite this, "Bratanic does not claim the invention of the heavy plough for the Slavs, but for 'some northern peasant culture' as yet unidentified: White, Medieval Technology, pp. 49f. The view today is that it is not clear when the mouldboard plough became important, beyond a conclusion that it was some time after BC 200 (sic!) (Robert Fox, Technological change: methods and themes in the history of technology, Routledge, 1996 p.98). But McNeill claims that in north-western Europe and the Po Valley mouldboard agriculture had become general by the 10th century (William McNeill, History of Western civilization: a handbook, University of Chicago Press, 1986 p.250. The mouldboard plough was never adopted by Byzantium, which continued to use the scratch-plough it inherited from Antiquity: Harvey 1989: 122. One of the major reasons that the asymmetrical, heavy mouldboard plough developed in medieval (western) Europe failed to reach Byzantium was undoubtedly its lack of general necessity in the Mediterranean sphere (see discussion in Jeffreys et al., Handbook 2008: 398-400). 600: 1. Peace treaty with the Avars: Maurice agrees to pay 120,000 nomismata (gold coins) to the Khagan. The treaty did not hold (Fine 1991: 32; Hendy p.262). See 601. 2. (or 598:) An army delegation goes from the Balkans to Maurice to complain about their misuse by the general Comentiolus. Among the party was one Phocas, a centurion, who for his troubles was publicly humiliated (but later will be elevated to emperor: see 602). By 600, Phocas was a non-commissioned officer or subaltern (junior commissioned officer) in the Roman army that served in the NE Balkans, and apparently was viewed as a leader by his fellow soldiers (Treadgold 1997: 235). We may guess that he was the commander of a bandon (arithmos, numerus, 72

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tagma) of 300 men, i.e. in our terms a rank similar to Major. He was a member of a delegation sent by the army in that year to Constantinople to submit grievances to the government about Comentiolus, the army's commander. The delegation's complaints were rejected, and, according to several sources, Phocas himself was mistreated (beard pulled, slapped etc) by prominent court officials at this time (Olster 1993: 51). 3. The NW: Dalmatia was threatened by the Slavs, and Gregory, the pope or archbishop of Rome, wrote in July 600 to Bishop Maximus of Salona, near Split, of the anxiety he felt for the local bishop and his flock. Gregory also mentioned that the Slavs were now finding their way into Italy: "Et de Slavorum gente, qu vobis valde imminet, affligor vehementer et conturbor. Affligor in his, qu iam in vobis patior; conturbor quia per Istri aditum iam Italiam intrare coeperunt". - And by the people of the Slavs, who greatly threaten you [plural, ie Dalmatia], you [singular, ie Maximus] are vigorously ruined/afflicted and disquieted. You are afflicted by this, that already you suffer (in vobis patior: in you suffers); you are disquieted because (it) having been attacked (aditum) through Istria already, they [the Slavs] have begun to enter into Italy. Quoted in the Cath. Encyc. under Dalmatia, also Vlasto p.187: my translation: MOR. Coupled with the other disasters of the reign of Justinian, d.565, the plague may have reduced the population of the Mediterranean world by the year 600 to no more than 60 percent of its count a century earlier, says Josiah Russell, "That Earlier Plague", Demography 5 (1968) 174-184. This is contested by Whittow, Making p.66, who proposes that the economy of the Near East shows business as usual in the later 500s. Some victims in the mid 500s (as Procopius reports) broke out with black blisters the size of a lentil, which may be severe smallpox that struck at the same time. The first description of smallpox in Western Europe comes from Bishop Gregory of Tours, Francia, in AD 581. He writes that the disease spread across southern France and northern Italy. c. 600: 1. Italy: Taxation and slavery are covered in a letter from the patriarch of Rome, Gregory, to Constantinople: The island of Corsica is burdened with such an excess of exactions and burdens [imperial taxation] that those who live in it are barely able to pay what is demanded by selling their children. Hence it happens that, abandoning their own dear country, the inhabitants of that land are forced to flee to that most cruel nation, the Lombards. For what can they suffer from the barbarians that is more burdensome and cruel than that they should be so reduced and straitened as to be compelled to sell their own children? [sold in order to afford their taxes]. Text in Cave & Coulson 1965: 356-357.

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2. Italy: 73 fortresses and towns. A list attributed to George of Cyprus named 40 imperial castra or strong-holds and 33 other centres on the Italian mainland (not including Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica). Territory In 600 "New Rome" (Byzantium) still dominated the whole Mediterranean basin, from the Straits of Gibraltar to Egypt and Palestine. Only Italy had seen serious losses to the imperium: the Lombards dominated north and north-west Italy and in the centre and south there were two independent Lombard dukedoms or "duchies" (Spoleto and Benevento) separating Byzantine Ravenna and Rome from the Byzantine "boot" of Italy. In addition the Balkans, although being raided by the Avars and Slavs, still remained mostly under the control of Constantinople. Cf 603, 605. The Eclipse of Trade in the West By AD 600 pottery imports to Northern Italy were rare; ARS (African red slipware: fine table-ware from Roman/Byzantine Tunisia) is only occasional by now, except in Lombard Friuli at the top of the Adriatic traded via the Byzantine-controlled port of Grado. Wickham notes that ARS even reached what is now southern Austria, via Aquilea or Grado and thence over the Alps, until the early seventh century. But for the most part Lombard and Byzantine N Italy relied after 600 almost wholly on local production of ceramics: as seen for example in the archaeology of Modena (Wickham, Early Middle Ages, 2005: 731). One of the very last long-distance trade-ships still operating in the West was a grain transport wrecked off St Gervais [Fos-sur-Mer near Marseilles] in southern France between 600 and 625 (Kingsley 2009: 33). Likewise in south Italy, most ceramics were now domestically produced, although Lombard Benevento, well inland, was still receiving some ARS into the late seventh century. Pottery production in the South, e.g. at Byzantine Naples, was overall of higher quality than in the North (ibid, pp.736 ff). Troop Numbers and Total Population in Italy Not all of the 73 centres noted earlier under c.600 can have been garrisoned with troops. T S Brown guesses - there is no literary evidence - that the total enrolled strength of the imperial army in Italy was 15,000. He deducts an estimated 5,000 men at Ravenna and 2,000 each in Naples Rome and Grado [west of Trieste at the top of the Adriatic: the island port-capital of Byzantine Istria]. That leaves only 4,000 for all the other castra such as Rimini and Genoa. Allowing, say, 300 men - one numerus or bandon - per castrum, the 4,000 would be enough to garrison just 13 minor strongholds; or 17 in all if we include the four major centres (cf discussion in Brown 1984: 84). Christie p.355 guesses that Grado may have had as few as 1,200 soldiers; but proposes that certain strategic bases were garrisoned with much grander forces, 74

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such as the 4,000 troops at Osimo, south of Ravenna near Ancona. He even proposes that Liguria alone - the littoral province around Genoa - had 13,000 troops, arguing that each main centre was garrisoned by at least one numerus or regiment of 500 men (p.372; a numerous was normally 300 to 400 men). This is not at all plausible when we note that major expeditionary armies could number as few as 15,000 men. Cf later after the entry for 641: Treadgold and others suggest that 10,000 is more probable for the total troop numbers in Italy. One has to guess, but again this might have have been enough to garrison about 17 centres (say four major centres with an average of 1,500 men plus 13 towns with about 300 men each) . Another way to approach this question is via the size of the total population, noting that over the Byzantine millennium troop numbers (see Treadgold, Army pp. 161-63) fluctuated around the level of 1.2 to 2.4% of the population. Stathakopoulos 2008 offers conservative figures for a population density, empire-wide, in the whole Byzantine millennium of nine people per km2 in tough times, rising to 15 per km2 in fair to good times. Italy today is 301,338 sq km in area. On Stathakopouloss figures the total population would have been from 2,700,000 to 4,500,000 in the Byzantine era. For comparison, McEvedy & Jones, Population History, propose that in 600 Italy had about 3.5 million people, about half that of the heyday of the undivided empire around AD 150. (There is good data for around AD 150, and certainly a fall of 50% by 600 is credible.) Allowing for the fact that some regions, e.g. Sicily and the Po Valley, were more intensively settled than some others, e.g. the mainly upland Lombard duchy of Spoleto, we can say very generally that in 600 about half the population Italy was ruled by Byzantines (1.75 M) and half lived in the Lombard realms (1.75 M). Now 1.5% (a typical military-to-civilian ratio for this era) of 1.75 M is 26,250. That would represent the upper limit of the number of the semi-professional troops able to be afforded by the empire in Italy. Thus Browns guess of 15,000 is sensible; and Christies figures for Liguria look doubtful. Estimates for the population of the city of old Rome in AD 600 range from as low as 5,000 people to as high as 50,000 (Christie p.61). Holmes 2001: 26 proposes that in the late 500s Rome might have had 30,000 people, and so perhaps the same around 600. 600-603: Severe famines (Stathakapoulos p.337). 601-02: Illyria: In a campaign against the Avars and their Slav and Gepid subjects or allies, Byzantine armies under Priscus and Petrus (Peter) cross the Danube and proceed to the region of modern Belgrade: the Morava and Tisza valleys. The Avars are ejected from the Danube Cataracts or Iron Gates, vital so that the Roman Danube fleet could maintain access to the towns of Sirmium and 75

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Singidunum/Belgrade (Fine 1991: 33). The army of emperor Maurice now turns the tide against the Avars. Sirmium (NW of present-day Belgrade) was relieved and the Avar khan Bayan was forced to retreat back across the Danube. The East Romans followed and he was soundly defeated: "not since the days of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius had Roman power asserted itself so effectively north of the Danube", says Obolensky 1971; also in Smith, www.oglethorpe.edu/faculty/~b_smith/ou/bs_foundations_chapter5; accessed 2009. The Avars were defeated in a series of clashes as the imperialists advanced. In one encounter, the Byzantines killed 9,000 Avars. In a further encounter, Priscus divided his force into three divisions, while the Avars formed just one large body with their back to a swamp; this allowed the Byzantines to attack their flanks, aided by a wind and a charge from higher ground: many of the Avars were pushed into the swamp and drowned. Presumably the wind aided the Byzantine arrow barrage (Luttwak p.60, citing Theophylact). To frustrate the Avar tactics of attacking from all sides, Priscus divided his army into three large squares. At other times he formed three large crescents or split wings to enclose the Avars when they were attacking frontally. The wings moved aside or split so that the Avars were admitted into the middle of the Byzantine forces and cooped up (Theophylact 8.2.10-3.15; Heath 1976: 50; Luttwak p.60). Let us imagine that he commanded 15,000 men, i.e. 5,000 in each of three squares. If formed five men deep and hollow, a square would be quite large: 1,275 men wide (or say 600 metres x 600 metres: see diagram 1). Alternatively we might imagine squares composed of 2,000 horse surrounded by 3,000 foot. If literally square, the formation would have been 775 men or about 400 m wide: diagram 2. Perhaps impossible, as the 2,000 cavalry would be crushed together! Presumably the crescents could have been a kilometre wide (5,000 men x five deep x one metre per man = 1,000 metres) . . . Dioagram 1: 5x5 1225 x 5 men (hollow) 25 Diagram 2:
25 725 x 5 infantry 25

5x5

2,450 men

25

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(2,000 cavalry inside: 45 x 45) 25 725 x 5 25

601-03: N Italy: In 601 an aggressive act on the part of the exarch Callinicushe took prisoner the daughter of the Lombard king Agilulf and her husbandled (602) to war with Agilulf (A Jones et al. 1992: 264). (Cf below under 602-03.) Callinicuss successor, Smaragdus, from 603, will again made a peace with the Lombards that endures until after pope Gregory's death in 604. 602: 1. Constantinople: Famine and riots in the capital, which Maurice managed to put down with difficulty (Treadgold 1997: 235). See next. 2a: The Danube: Avaric power seemed reduced to the point of dissolution when the victorious general Priscus was once more relieved of his command by the Emperor Maurice, early in 602. - It was probably at this time that Priscus (Priskos) was made Count of the Excubitors, head of the palace regiment. 2b: A disastrous decree: Maurice orders the army to winter beyond the Danube and live off the land, i.e. by requisitioning food from the local Slavs. Orders were sent that the troops were not to return, but should winter beyond the Danube. The army heard the news with consternation: barbarian tribes were ranging over the country on the further side of the river, the cavalry was worn out with the marches of the summer, their booty would purchase them the pleasures of civilised life. The Roman forces mutinied and, disobeying their superiors, crossed the river and reached Palastolum (Palatiolum: NW of modern Pleven, Bulgaria). Whitby 1988: 165 proposed that the Byzantines may already have collected enough supplies and the plan may have been to continue campaigning as winter was the time the Slavs were most vulnerable to defeat. At any rate the Balkan army mutinied and there was a revolt in the capital, 22 November: execution beheading - of Maurice. His five sons also were beheaded. Also killed was the general Comentiolus. Accession, 27 November 602, of the centurion Phocas, r. 602-610. + Outbreak of a further Persian-Byzantine war: Chosroes or Khusrau II invades Roman Mesopotamia. Maurice was the first Eastern emperor to lose his crown since the foundation of Constantinople. What seems to have tipped the army into revolt was a report, or a rumour, that Maurice refused to ransom prisoners held by the Avars (Olster 1993: 51). Olster proposes, p.53, that the army may have only wished to protest and it may not have decided to depose Maurice before it reached the city. The 77

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issue was decided by the Excubitors, the imperial guard: they refused to defend Maurice or to obey Comentiolus their commander. The history of Theophylakt Simokatta covers AD 582-602 and the reign of Maurice: English trans. as The History of Theophylact of Simocatta: An English Translation with Introduction and Notes, trans. Michael Whitby and Mary Whitby, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986. An Egyptian Greek by birth, Theophylact held high judicial office in Constantinople: reliable but not profound, say Dudley & Lang, p. 209. The term Sklavinia (a tribal district inhabited by Slavs) is first attested in the History of Theophylact Simocatta, but the word was used especially by early ninth-century authors, such as Theophanes Confessor. Theophylacts was the last of the series of classicising Greek histories that stretched back to the third century. For the next few centuries, history would be recorded only in uneducated chronicles. Cf 627. More specifically, there are just two chronicles that cover the next few centuries. The chronicle of patriarch Nicholas, written at the end of the 8th century, covers the years 602-769, and the rather fuller Chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor devotes 213 pages to the period 602-813. Mango, in Rice 1965, writes thus: It would be futile to pretend that an adequate history of the Byzantine empire in the 7th and 8th centuries can ever be written; all we have is a chronological skeleton, a meagre outline of the doings of emperors, of wars and battles, mentions of earthquakes and other portents, and much verbiage on theological disputes. And yet it was precisely during these two centuries that witnessed the transformation of the Later Roman Empire into a medieval state (p.106). The historian A.H.M. Jones (1964) concluded the final era of classical antiquity with Maurices death, reasoning that the turmoil which shattered the Byzantine Empire in the next four decades brought a permanent and thorough change in society and politics.

The Reign of Phocas, 602-610

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602-610: PHOCAS, afterwards called 'the Tyrant' Age unknown; Treadgold 1997: 236 says 55 (following Cedrenus). He was an illiterate centurion or junior officer of Greek-speaking Thracian origin, raised to the throne by the mutinous Balkan army. Wife: Leontia. Daughter: Domentzia, who was wed, probably in 605, to the general and patrikios Priscus. Phocas was the first post-Antique emperor to wear a beard, a custom that remained until the end of the empire (Constance Head, 1980, Physical descriptions of the emperors, Byzantion 50). A bronze follis minted at Nicomedia in 603-4 bears a carefully drawn portrait of him, showing that his beard was trimmed except at the chin where it was pointed. His hair is medium to long, i.e. to below the ears. The illustration at top above is a steelyard weight (British Museum: Treadgold 1997: 237) believed to depict Phocas; as will be seen, his hair there is quite long and, again, the beard is pointed. Gibbon, chap. xlvi, citing the 11th century Byzantine writer Cedrenus, gives us an image of his diminutive and deformed person, 79

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the closeness of his shaggy eye-brows [Gibbon means that his thick eyebrows met], his red hair, his beardless chin [sic!] and his cheek disfigured and discoloured by a formidable scar. Or rather, if we follow Iohannes Spatharakis, The portrait in Byzantine illuminated manuscripts, Volume 6 of Byzantina Neerlandica, Brill Archive, 1976: 16, what Cedrenus actually said was that Phocas was a man of middle height with a short beard! 602: Constantinople: City-wide riots started due to a famine, the Green chariot racing faction turned against Maurice, and a mutinous army under Phocas arrived outside the gates. Olster (1993) downplays the role of the Blue and Green demes in Phocas' seizure of power, rejecting Theophylact's account. He prefers John of Antioch's account, which places greater emphasis on the role of the Balkan army, located just outside the walls of Constantinople. In any event the imperial family fled the city on 22 November; Phocas was proclaimed emperor the following day. Maurice and his sons were soon captured and, on 27 November, all were executed. The patriarch Cyriacus appears to have shared in the unpopularity of the emperor Maurice that caused the latters deposition and death. Cyriacus still, however, had influence enough to exact from Phocas at his coronation a confession of the orthodox faith and a pledge not to disturb the church (Theophanes, Chronicle, A.M. 6094; Niceph. Callis. H. E. xviii. 40; Theophylact. Hist. viii. 9). 602-03: 1. Gothic Spain: In the spring of 602, Witteric, one of the conspirators with bishop Sunna of Mrida to reestablish Arianism in 589, was given command of the army to repulse the Byzantines. From his position of power at the head of the army, he surrounded himself with people in his confidence. When it came time to expel the Byzantines, however, Witteric instead used his troops to strike at and depose the young king Liuva II (Spring 603) (Collins, p.73). 2. Italy: Around the year 602 (or in 601: the date preferred by Jones et al.) the exarch Callinicus attempted to renew the peace, at the same time kidnapping the Lombard king Agilulf's daughter and her husband in order to gain greater negotiating leverage. Paulus Diaconus: In these days the daughter of king Agilulf was taken from the city of Parma, together with her husband named Gudescalc (Gottschalk), by the army of the patrician [patrikios] Gallicinus [sic: Callinicus/Kallinikos], and they were brought to the city of Ravenna. Agilulf responded by invading (602) Imperial Italy, ravaging Istria, destroying the border town of Padua, west of our Venice, and capturing nearby Monselice [ancient Mons Silicis], SE of Padua. Paduas Byzantine garrison was allowed to leave for Ravenna; the the town was then levelled (Fanning 1970: 34; Richards, Popes p. 174). The End of Antiquity: Beginning of the Middle Ages: Padua, sacked in 80

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603, was rebuilt in later years on an irregular pattern. Greenhalgh 1989, ch 4. 602-05: The Balkans: The army returned to the Danube and contained to hold the frontier until 605, when a treaty was struck with the Avars. This allowed troops to be transferred to the East. The limes held until the reign of Heraclius (Curta, Making p.106). Lombard and Byzantine Italy in 603 If we follow LaRocca 2002, the Italian peninsula was divided thus between the Lombards and Byzantium: Most of the far north, from Turin across to modern-day Slovenia, was held by the Lombard king; but not the middle section of the Po Valley below Cremona. Cf entry below for 603. Byzantium held the coastal strip from Nice through Genoa (ancient Liguria: lost in 640-643), to the edge of Tuscany. The latter, from Lucca to Viterbo, was ruled by the Lombards. According to LaRocca, disagreeing with Brown, the Lombards held a tongue of country at the top of the Adriatic, including Aquilea, and thus there was no land traffic from Byzantine Venetia (the mainland opposite our Venice) to Byzantine Istria (Trieste). The Cambridge Ancient History, 1970 p.537, concurs with LaRocca. In other words, the Lombard Duchy of Friuli included part of the coast between Venice and Grado. More specifically, inland Aquileia was held by the Lombards, while coastal Grado was under Byzantine control. The Lombards will take Concordia, between Oderzo and Aquilea, in 615, increasing their hold on the region between Venice and Grado; the Roman population of Concordia fled thence to the islands of the Venetian lagoon (Nicol B&V p.4). Oderzo itself, inland NNE of Venice, remained a Byzantine outpost, and formal capital of Byzantine Venetia/Veneto, until 640 (Bury, HLRE p.321). Ruling from Ravenna, the Exarchate controlled the middle and lower Po Valley from Cremona and Parma (until 603) down to the Pentapolis. Ancona, however, was held by the Lombard duke of Spoleto. See next entry under 603: loss of Cremona. Tracking north from Rome, the Via Flaminia divides at Narni (Narnia); Spoleto lies on the eastern leg known as the Flaminia Nova. The two legs rejoin as one highway near modern Foligno - SE of Perugia and Assisi - before proceeding NE to the Adriatic coast in the Pentapolis, namely at Fanum Fortunae (modern Fano) between Ancona and Rimini. The Exarchate controlled a narrow corridor that ran south along a different and nearly parallel road, the Via Amerina, through Gubbio, Perugia and Todi to Rome (Cameron et al., Late Antiquity p.537 with map). Much of the eastern leg of the Flaminia (Flaminia Nova), however, including Spoleto itself, was held by the Lombards. The Amerina of the Byzantines lay a little west of the Lombard Flaminia. 81

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North-west of Rome, the Lombards held Viterbo, while the fortress at Sutri to its SE was garrisoned by imperial troops. Rome and the whole of Latium down to Gaeta were Byzantine. The territories of Spoleto, the Exarchate and Benevento met at a point east of Rome just east of the Liri valley (upper Garigliano) or about half-way across the peninsula. The Liri valley fell to the Lombards only in 702 (see there). In the south, the Lombard duke of Benevento held a tongue of coastal territory the whole Volturno valley - south of the Garigliano River. This included Capua. In other words, there was no overland traffic from Rome to Byzantine Naples except by permission from Benevento. This was probably no great disability: it was always faster and cheaper to send heavy goods, including soldiers, by ship. The Rhomaniyans held about half of Campania including Naples and Amalfi. Salerno, however, came under Lombardic Benevento. There was a further imperial outpost around Paestum [south of Salerno: towards Calabria/Bruttium]. Benevento ruled south as far as Cassano in northern Calabria/Bruttium and Lucania, the top of the Gulf of Taranto between Cassano and Taranto. (Cf above: 596, Crotone.) In other words, there was only sea traffic between Byzantine lower Calabria and Byzantine Puglia. All of Puglia, from the Ofanto River (Canosa) to Taranto and on to the point of the heel, was Byzantine. The End of Antiquity: Fortified Hilltop Villages in Italy Archaeologists have used pottery fragments to date the transition from the Classical settlement patternlarge villas and small holdings in open or exposed areasto the Medieval pattern of walled villages located mostly on naturally defensible hilltops. This process is called incastellamento. (a) North of Rome South Etruria is the name given to the region north of Rome to the right or west of the Tiber river, including the Via Flaminia, and extending NW to the lakes region around Nepi and Sutri. Hodges & Whitehouse note that the size of the population here, as in Italy at large, had been falling since as early as the second century, i.e. since well before the barbarian incursions. A long secular decline continued over the succeeding centuries into the Late Imperial and then Gothic eras. In the case of South Etruria, the decline in the population reflected in part a migration to Rome, but there was definitely an overall reduction in the population in Italy (and indeed in North Africa). Rome itself actually saw periods of growth, notwithstanding the overall fall in the background rural population. Several ancient highways ran through South Etruria to converge on Rome. On the west, the Via Amerina fortified against the Spoletan Lombards by the Byzantines - came south through Nepi. Further along it joined the Via Cassia, running from Sutri. Nearer the Tiber, the Via Flaminia ran almost straight and 82

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nearly exactly north-south into Rome. In the Umbrian highlands it was under Lombard control. Pottery fragments show that the earliest hilltop settlements in this region appeared precisely when we might expect, i.e. at the time of the Lombard invasion. Presumably the exact date would be c.570-84: during the rule of the first Lombard duke of Spoleto. At the 30-40 km mark from Rome, a zone of fortified hilltop sites was established, east of Sutri and Nepi, between the lower Via Amerina and lower Via Flaminia. These sites were strategic hamlets that constituted a defence in depth. Behind this protective screen, i.e. in the lowland zone immediately north of Rome: within 25 km, many of the open, undefended settlements continued in use (Hodges & Whitehouse pp.44 ff). Another view is that the shrinkage and simplification of urban centres, and the emergence of fortified hill-top towns, had at least begun well before arrival of the Lombards, which was not the cause but the consequence of these changes (Valerie Ramseyer, The transformation of a religious landscape: medieval southern Italy, 850-1150, Cornell University Press, 2006, p.18) (b) Central Italy The province of Molise, whose capital town is Campobasso, west of Foggia, is located in south-central Italy, in the interior, north and NE of Naples, and extends to the Adriatic coast. Its southern border is the border with Campania and Apulia. In Molise the large and open classical sites were abandoned in favour of much smaller hilltop locations at about the same time, i.e. in the 500s or perhaps the early 600s. Cf first Lombard duke at Benevento: Zotto, from ca. 571. Probably the Great Plaque of 542 was significant in reducing the population, or perhaps better: speeding its continuing decline. If the key factor preventing recovery after the plague was the levying of higher taxes by Justinian, then we should expect to see the effects by around 580. It would not be a coincidence that the troops of Zotto, the first Lombard dux of Benevento, were active in the 570s and 580s. One may guess that the Benevantan Lombards stood in the way of military aid coming from Byzantine Naples and Rome to Molise, meaning that the locals had to defend themselves. Marauding bands - whether Lombards or fellow Latins - could be more effectively resisted if the now smaller population retreated to fortified hilltop hamlets. But it took several centuries - not until about AD 950 - for the hilltop pattern to become almost universal in central and south Italy; the process called incastellamento was complete by that time (Hodges & Whitehouse pp. 46 ff). (c) Calabria At the end of the Gothic wars in 555, the ageing ex-senator and scholar 83

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Cassiodorus set up hisopen and undefendedmonastery on his estate at Squillace-Vivarium on the front sole of the Italian boot. By 598, however, 30 years after the arrival of the Lombards in N Italy, it had been transformed into the castrum quod Scillacium dicitur, the fortress that is called Squillace. It is represented today by remains on the mons Castellum (castle mount) beside the church of S. Maria del Mare (Christie 2006: 462). 603: 1a. N Italy: Agilulfs Lombards, with assistance from Slav allies sent by the Avar khan, captured the Byzantine fortress-towns of Cremona (21 August); and Volturnia: Vulturina or Valdoria, on the north bank of the Po near Parma; and Mantua, modern Mantova (13 September) (Paulus, Hist Lang. IV.25). Cremona was destroyed, being razed to the ground. These towns had resisted the invaders for 33 years. The Byzantine garrison of Mantua was allowed to leave for Ravenna. A truce was struck, and Agilulfs daugher and son-in-law were returned. In other words, the Lombards now seized the whole middle section of the huge Po Valley. The imperialists retained Bologna, and the Parma-Bologna region (centred on Modena) will remain the borderland for over a century. This seems to be reflected in archaeology: many pozzi-deposito (wells containing hoards or hidden stashes of farmers belongings such as ceramics and metal objects, apparently buried for later recovery) have been found in the Modena region dated to the period 580-620. Italian Wikipedia under Parma, 2009, citing Marzio Dall'Acqua and Marzio Lucchesi, Parma citt d'oro, Parma: Albertelli, 1979. Archaeology: Christie, p.6; Wickham 2006: 209. From west to east, the major towns in this region were /are/: (a) Pavia, on a N tributary of the Po; (b) Piacenza on the Po River; (c) Cremona; and, on the south side of the Po: (d) Parma, (e) Modena, and (f) Bologna, inland from Ravenna. Mantova lies north of the Po, almost on the same longitude as Modena. Measured from Milan, Mantova [Mantua] is about halfway towards the east coast. Paul the Deacon, 4.28: Agilulf departed from [his capital] Mediolanum (Milan) in the month of July, besieged the city of Cremona with the Slavs whom the Cagan [khagan], king of the Avars, had sent to his assistance, and took it on the 12th day before the calends of September [21 August 603] and razed it to the ground. In like manner he also assaulted Mantua, and having broken through its walls with battering-rams, he entered it on the ides (13th day) of September, and granted the soldiers who were in it [i.e. the Byzantine garrison] the privilege of returning to Ravenna. Then also the fortress which is called Vulturina [Valdoria near Parma] surrendered to the Langobards; the [Roman/Byzantine] soldiers 84

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indeed fled, setting fire to the town of Brexillum [modern Brescello: NE of Parma].

Slavs were present at the successful sieges of Cremona and Mantua as allies of the Lombards, who had requested help from the Avar Khagan in their struggle with the Byzantines, under the terms of the everlasting alliance concluded between these two parties and the Franks. At Mantua, battering rams were employed, their first recorded use by the Lombards. It is tempting, says McCotter (2003), to believe they were brought by the Slav contingent. While frequently violent, the Lombard invasions were perhaps not allconsuming: the upper class Romans were neither wiped out nor reduced to servitude. Only their tax exemption, if present, was terminated, says Goffart p.184. Or such is one view. Others, eg Wickham, Early Medieval Italy p.66, contend that (as one might expect) ownership of much of the land did in fact go to the Lombards. See Wickhams chapter in Rosswein et al. 1998. 1b. Italy: Following these reverses, Callinicus is dismissed, and Smaragdus is reappointed Exarch. A Jones et al 1992: 264. 2. Convenient date for the EARLY LOWPOINT OF THE DARK AGES IN THE WEST: Midpoint between the death of the last important Latin philosopher, Boethius, c.525, and the revival of Latin learning under Charlemagne. In 782 Alcuin will found a palace school in Charlemagne's capital. 603-05: 1. Italy: A treaty having been signed in November 603, these were years of peace between Pavia and Ravenna. The treaty was renewed in 605 and again in 606 (running to 609) (Jones et al. Prosop. p.29). 2. The East: Revolt by Narses, the local Byzantine general, who captured Edessa. Phokas sent general Germanos against him. Invited by Narses, the Persians invade (603). They defeated Germanos, who was wounded and died. Then, having reaffirmed his treaty with the Avars, Phokas transferred extra troops from Europe to Asia and sent (604) them under Leontios, a eunuch general, towards Edessa. Narses fled. Then at Arxamoun Leontios came up against a Persian army led by shah Khosroes that included elephants. The Byzantines were defeated. The Persians captured (605) Daras and all Mesopotamia and Syria, taking innumerable prisoners (TCOT: 2-4). See 605. Guilland: Having revolted against the usurper Phocas (602-610) Narses seized Edessa; he relied on the support of the King of Persia, Khosroes, in fighting against Phocas. The latter sent an army under the command of the eunuch Leontius to fight against the Persians and suppress Narses's uprising. Leontius was defeated by Khosroes. Replaced by Domentziolus, the latter persuaded Narses to surrender and promised to preserve his life. After being sent to Byzantium, Narses was burned alive [in the hippodrome] in 604 in spite of the 85

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promises made to him. Narses was a valiant general, and his name alone spread terror among the ranks of his enemies (Theoph. Simocc. 112, 208, 213, 219; Theoph. 451 f.). Rodolphe Guilland 1943. Popular riots in 603 and 605, a revolt in Edessa, and an alliance between Narses, the rebel commander, and the Persians, bear witness to the immediate antagonism to Phokas. But the new ruler commanded enough loyalty to uncover and repress these plots, writes Judith Herrin, 1987: 193. 603-610: Spain: Witteric or Wittiric was king of the Visigoths in Hispania. He spent time fighting the Byzantines during his reign, and one of his generals occupied the unimportant town of Sagontia (Gisgonza), probably in 605 (Thompson, Goths in Spain 1969: 158). Gisgonza or Gigonza, ancient Sagontia, was located inland from Cadiz. This perhaps suggests that the south-west quadrant of the province of Baetica the Cadiz-Malaga sector] was still completely Byzantine in 600, from Mlaga west to the Atlantic at the mouth of the Guadalete near Cadiz [Gades]. It was probably during his reign as well that Bigastrum or Begastrinear Cehegin, in our NW Murcia: inland NE of Cartagenawas taken, for its bishop appears at a council of Toledo in 610 (Wikipedia, 2009, under Witteric). If we we follow Celine Martins careful analysis (2003: 286), the following towns were definitely still Byzantine at the start of Witterics rule. They were nearly all on or near the south and SE coast, no doubt reflecting the power of the Byzantine navy to come to their aid: (tracking southwards from the tip of eastern Spain that points to the Balearics:) Denia/Dianium [below Valencia]; Elche/Illici [near the coast above Cartagena]; Cartagena; El Chuce or El Ejido/Urci near Almeria in the province of Cartagena; Malaga; and in Baetica: Medina Sidonia/Assidona and Sagontia [both east of Cadiz]. One inland town was also Byzantine, namely Basti/Baza, NE of Granada. She believes that the Byzantines no longer held any towns west of Basti, ie the Visigoths held Gaudix/Acci [between Baza and Granada], Elvira/Iliberris [Granada] and Cabra/Egabrum [between Granada and Cordoba], along with Bigastrum [near Cehegin, in our NW Murcia: inland NW of Cartagena] and Elo/El Monastil [inland NW of Elche and Alicante]. 603-656: The Balkans were left in Slav hands. In the half-century from 602 to 657, the Byzantine government made no serious efforts to reconquer the region. Indeed troops were actually withdrawn from the Balkans in ca. 620 to augment the Anatolian army. Italy too was left to its own devices. Cf entries for 615 and 616; also 625-43 exarch Isaac. Of course there was much danger in the East, but the main reason that nothing substantial was undertaken in the near west, even after the defeat of Persia, was no doubt a lack of resources: money and trained manpower. Plainly the economy

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was in very poor shape by 610. And, as we note below, the plague of 608-10 was its eighth visit to the empire since the mid 500s; and in the 620s seven of 11 mints had ceased operating or were closed (see there). Such trained manpower as was available was devoted either to civil war - see 608: army of Africa - or to holding back the Persians (cf 612 - Syria), and then the Arabs (cf 644).

604: d. Pope Gregory I. 604-18: Macedonia: The Slavs besieged Thessaloniki three times: in 604, 615 and 618. The first siege, by 5,000 Slavs, probably in October 604, broke a longstanding peace in the region (Treadgold 1997: 931, citing Lemerle). 605: 1. The East: The army under the magister militum per Orientem, Phocass relative (nephew?) Dom[n]entziolus, ends Narses revolt and stems the Persian advance. Here our chronology follows Olster, 1993: Domentziolus persuaded Narses, who was based at Edessa, to surrender and promised to preserve his life. After being sent to Byzantium, Narses was burned alive in 604 or 605 in spite of the promises made to him. Narses was an effective general, and his name alone had spread terror among the ranks of his enemies (says Theoph. Simoc. 112, 208, 213, 219; Theoph. 451 f.; TCOT: 3). 2. Aged about 60, Priscus/Priskos, formerly Maurices general and still serving as Count of the Excubitors, marries Phocass daughter, Domentzia. But due probably to a misunderstanding, Phocas decided Priscus saw himself as his heir, and was ready to kill him until the famous general was saved by the mob (spectators in the hippodrome) (Olster 1993; Theophanes places this in 606-07). 3. Spain: As noted earlier, one of Witterics generals captured Sagontia or Gisgonza, the Byzantine outpost in the west, inland from Cadiz, probably in 605. It was probably during his reign, 603-10, as well, that Bigastrum near Cartago Nova (Cartagena) was taken, as its bishop appears in a council of Toledo in 610. See 612. Already by the year 600 Byzantine Spania had dwindled to little more than Mlaga and Cartagena. It extended no further north than the Sierra Nevada, the range of mountains where Granada is located. 4a. W Umbria/N Lazio: The Lombards capture imperial Balneus Regis (Bagnoregio), near Orvieto, and Urbs Vetus itself, which is our Orvieto: W of

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Spoleto, SW of Perugia (Fanning 1970: 37; Paulus 4.32). 4b. N Italy: King Agilulf concluded a new treaty with the Byzantines in November 605 that established quasi-permanent borders with the exarchate, which at least in the Po Valley scarcely changed over the next century (elsewhere the Lombards conquered Genoa and the Ligurian coast in the early 640s and much of Apulia by 675). Encyclopaedia Britannica, current edition 2009, online, under Lombards and Byzantines. The price of peace was the return of Agilulfs daughter and son-in-law and the payment by the exarch Smaragdus of 12,000 gold coins. A further truce operated in 607-10 (Paul the Deacon, 4.32; Fanning 1970: 37). Cf 608 and 631: tribute. Italy in AD 605 In the north, the Lombard-imperial boundary lay in the lower-middle Po Valley about half-way between Lombard Pavia (near Milan) and Byzantine Ravenna. All of Tuscany was Lombard. Byzantium ruled the Ligurian coast west and east of Genoa; and the Venetian coastal strip; and a solid belt of territory in central Italy running SW from Ravenna and Ancona to Rome; and small areas in the far south and south-east on the peninsula. As we noted earlier, the Exarchate controlled a narrow corridor that ran south from Ravenna along the Via Amerina through Gubbio, Perugia and Todi to Rome. Much of the eastern leg of the Via Flaminia, however, including Spoleto itself, was held by the Lombards. The Amerina of the Rhomaniyans lay a little to the west of the Lombard Flaminia. On the NW and west, all of Tuscany was ruled by the Lombards of Pavia. Under the Exarch, there were three patricians [patrikioi, senior officials], based at Rome, Naples* and in Sicily. If we imagine that each commanded 2,000 troops, we will not be far wrong. A smaller fifth force, commanded by a dux, was based at Rimini further down the Adriatic coast, while at the northern end of the Adriatic another magister militum at Grado had a few troops with which to defend Istria [present-day far-west Croatia] and Byzantiums remaining foothold around Venice. Thus we have, say, 4,000 troops in Ravenna, a total of say 6,000 in Rome-Naples-Sicily (2,000 each); 1,250 in Rimini and 750 at Grado. We might allow several garrisons totalling 2,000 at various points on the Rome-Ravenna corridor (the Via Amerina), for a grand total of (say) 15,000 troops. (Christie p.355 has up to 5,000 each at Ravenna and Rome; 4,000 /sic/ at Osimo; 1,200 at Grado; garrisons of 500 at differing times at Tivoli [30 km NNE of Rome], Todi [on the Via Amerina] and Cesena [at the NE end of the Amerina-Flaminian corridor]; and smaller garrisons elsewhere: Naples is not mentioned. His total presumably exceeds 20,000: not including Sicily.) (*) In the Letters of pope Gregory the Great (590-604), we read that the aqueduct at Naples, which had been cut by Belisarius in 536, was again in working order by 598, and the port continued to serve as a centre of commerce. Drinking water commonly came from wells and cisterns; aqueducts were almost universally used 88

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solely for bringing water to the baths and, to that extent, were just an urban refinement (Ward-Perkins 1984: 122-25). A small land corridor along the Via Amerina connected Byzantine Ravenna to Byzantine Rome (map in Brown 1984: 38). The large Lombard duchy of Benevento sat between the three southern imperial duchies so-called: Byzantine Naples, old Calabria ( = our Apulia or Puglia) and Bruttium ( = our Calabria). Brown 1984: 49 remarks that in the 600s ducatus simply meant ducal authority; it was only in the course of the 700s that it came to be applied to the region administered by a dux. LaRocca, 2002: Map 1, has the whole of the heel as far as Hydruntus, modern Otranto, being lost to the Lombards between 604 and 616. If so, it was restored to the empire thereafter (presumably in 663 by Constans: see there). This may well be correct, for Placanica says Crotone in Calabria fell into the hands of the Lombards of Benevento as early as 596 and the larger part of the entire Mezziogiorno had been taken over by the time of Arechis Is death (AD 641). Augusto Placanica, Storia della Calabria: dall'antichit ai giorni nostri, Donzelli Editore, 1999 p.77. Sicily does not appear in the annals of war and famine, probably because this was, for its people, an age of peace and prosperity. See 615-23. 605 or 606: Informed of plots or alleged plots, Phokas has the dowager empress Constantina tortured. She names two patricians/patrikioi, Romanos and her brother-in-law Germanos, and a third person Elpidios/Elphidios. The emperor orders Constantina and her three daughters and Germanos executed (put to the sword). Romanos is decapitated. Elpidios hands and feet are cut off and he is burnt alive (TCOT: 5, misdated; Garland 1999; 7 June 605 in the Chron. Pasch., 696. 5 697.). There is probably a distinction to be drawn between those mutilated ahead of being killed and those who were mutilated in order to live as a living demonstration of perfidy. For examples of mutilation in later reigns, see under 637-38. 607: Phocas issues an edict to comfort Pope Boniface III, re-confirming Rome's primacy among the patriarchs: "the See of Blessed Peter the Apostle should be the head of all churches" (caput omnium ecclesiarum). This was an attempt to heal the "Gregorian quarrel" (above: 595) (Brand p.11). Boniface was an ethnic Greek born in Rome. He had known Phocas while serving as papal representative in Constantinople. On one view, the first Patriarch of Rome to bear the title of "Pope" [Papa, Pappas]but of course there is no such titlewas Pope Boniface III in 607 (who died before serving for one year as patriarch). It is said, wrongly, that he assumed the title of "universal Bishop" [itself a mistranslation of Gk oikoumeniks patrirches, patriarch of the imperium] by decree of 89

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Emperor Phocas. In fact, by recognising the primacy of Rome, Phocas was only saying, in effect, that such a title should no longer be used by the archbishop of Constantinople (who nevertheless did continue to use it: Richards, Consul p. 221). After all, papa simply means father. It is better to look to after 641, when three of the four eastern patriarchates were submerged by Islam, for a first pope. Or earlier, e.g. when Gregory I began acting independently of the secular governor of Italy, the Exarch at Ravenna. Or later still, e.g. 800, when the Roman archbishop crowned the king of the Franks as Emperor. Or earlier yet, in the pontificate of Leo I (d. 461), perhaps the first to assert the universal jurisdiction of the Roman bishop. . . . 607-10: The East: Four years campaigning by Khosrau IIs Persians, in which they reduce all the fortresses of East-Roman Mesopotamia. They raided (607) into Syria, Palestine and Phoenicia and afterwards (608-09) push deep into Asia Minor before retiring (TCOT: 6). Antioch held out. In 609, they conquered Mardin and Amida (near the source of the Tigris) in northern Mesopotamia; in 610, they conquered Edessa in NE Mesopotamia (Kaegi, Heraclius, 320). See 608 below. A Rhomaioi field army was headquartered thereafter in Cappadocia in eastcentral Anatolia (until 621). From 607: In Italy the Lombard dukes switch from Arian to Catholic Christianity. 608: 1. The East: The Persians again cross the Euphrates and briefly re-capture Byzantine Syria before (as noted) proceeding into Phoenicia and Palestine. But some key fortresses and towns held out, e.g. Edessa and Apamea in Mesopotamia (until 611), Antioch in Syria (also until 611), and Jerusalem until 614. The Romaniyans recovered much of the Syrian and Mesoptomian hinterland, although not the major fortress-towns of Dara [Gk: Daras, Mesopotamian Anastasiopolis, west of Nisibis, modern Nusaybin] and Hesna* [Syriac: Hesna de Kepha, Turkish: Hasankeyf, on the upper Tigris], and the year ended in stalemate (or so Olster 1993: 96 reads it). Nehemiah ben Hushiel was the son of the Jewish Exilarch, placed as the symbolic leader of Jewish troops within the Sassanid army in 608 CE, according to Jewish sources. (*) Hesna is in todays Turkish Syria: between Diyabakir in Turkey and Mosul in Iraq; nearer the former. 2. Rome: The Column of Phocas was the last monument to be built in the Roman Forum. The inscription (quoted below) on the pedestal of the column indicates that the gilded statue on top was dedicated on 1 August 608 by Smaragdus, the exarch (governor) of Italy, to the Byzantine emperor Phocas. The 90

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emperor had earlier been persuaded by the pope or archbishop of Rome, Boniface IV, to give the great Pantheon temple to the church. It became (possibly as late as 613) the church of Santa Maria ad Martyres (Bede, Ecclesiastical History, I.4). The Latin inscription reads: To the best, most clement and pious ruler, our lord Phocas the perpetual emperor, crowned by God, the forever august triumphator [triumphatori semper Augusto], did Smaragdusformer praepositus sacri palatii [provost of the holy palace or head chamberlain*] and patrikios and Exarch of Italy, devoted to His Clemency for the innumerable benefactions of His Piousness and for the peace (quiete) acquired for Italy** and its freedom preserved, this statue of His Majesty, blinking [sic! - fulgentum, gleaming] from the splendour of gold here on this tallest [sic: sublimi, lofty] column for his eternal glorydid erect and dedicate, on the first day of the month of August, in the eleventh indiction in the fifth year after the consulate of His Piousness (Wikipedia 2011, Column of Phocas; also quoted in Bury, HLRE II: 206). (*) Like the great general Narses (d. ca. 586), and a later exarch Eleutherius (acc. 615), Smaragdus was a eunuch who had served as high chamberlain (Averil Cameron, Bryan Ward-Perkins, Michael Whitby, The Cambridge Ancient History, 2001: 200). (**) Phocas had ratified the treaties Smaragdus had made with king Agilulf (Cameron et al. Cambridge Ancient History XIV: 550). Treaties: see above, under AD 605.4b. 3. Africa: Together the father and son, the two Heracliuses,* as self-proclaimed consuls, launched a rebellion against Phocas in 608. The older Heraclius had earlier served with Maurice in the East. They began by stopping the regular grain shipments from Carthage to Constantinople (TCOT: 6; Olster 1993; Treadgold, State 1997 p.239). (*) Heraclius senior, Exarch of Africa, had served as a general in Persia the 580s, and had been second in command to Philippicus; in the 590s he was a general in Armenia. The senior Heraclius bribes the garrison commander in Libya to his side and dispatches an army under his nephew Nicetas east to invade Egypt in the spring or early summer of 608; Alexandria and most of lower (northern) Egypt were quickly taken (see 609). The first Heraclian coins minted at Alexandria date from before September 608 (Olster 1993: 121). John of Nikiu says, in his ch. 109.24, quoted by Olster 1993: 124, that the vanguard of the army dispatched from Carthage numbered 3,000 men. If so, then possibly the whole provincial army of Africa (15,000 men) was sent to Egypt (15 91

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K = Treadgolds guesstimate: Army 1995 p.63). The Heraclian revolt would mark, according to Olster, a crucial turning point in Byzantine history. Lasting over two years and costing many thousands of lives, the revolt sapped Byzantine manpower and finances and left the frontiers largely undefended. This would facilitate the loss of Syria, Palestine and Egypt to the Persians. Cf 609: Bonosus vs. Nicetas. 608-09: Civil war between the Heraclii and Phocass generals. Its disruptive effects, argues Olster, were such as to facilitate the massive Persian conquests of the next decade, which (he proposes) ended Roman/Byzantine hegemony in the Mediterranean basin. In that sense, he argues, Phocass reign closed . . . the history of the Roman Empire (1993: 21). Cf next: end of the wheat supply from Egypt. Cf Foss: The Persian war may be seen as the first stage in the process which marked the end of Antiquity in Asia Minor. The Arabs continued the work: Clive Foss, quoted in Hodges & Whitehouse p.61. 608-10: 1. PLAGUE and famine in Constantinople (608-09) (Theophanes, TCOT: 6). Or 607-08, becuase Theophanes anno mundi 6100 corresponds to 1 Sept 607-31 August 608. This was the eighth visit of the plague since the middle 500s (Stathakopoulos p.338). 2. The Balkans: Coin hoards and other evidence confirm that the Slavs had by now penetrated as far as Hellas or east-central Greece, as we know it. Likewise the last coins from Olympia in the western Peloponnesus date from this time (Haldon 1984: 44; Whitby 1988: 8; Fine 1991: 62). Haldon 1990: 45 would date the permanent occupation of most the Peloponnesus by the Slavs to after 609/10. Parts remained in Byzantine hands, the youngest coins found there being from the time of Constans II, i.e. after 641 (Kobylinski, in NCMH ed. Fouracre p.542). Cf 625. 3. Renewed attacks by the Persians (609-10): a large Romanic/Byzantine army is routed. The Persians capture much of Asia Minor and (609 or later: see below) reach Chalcedon, present-day Turkish Kadikoy, on the Bosphorus opposite the capital. (Theophanes dates this to 608: TCOT: 6; Olster puts it in 616.)

THE END OF ANTIQUITY: The wheat supply from Egypt to the East Roman capital was first temporarily interrupted in 608 during the Heraclian revolt; by the Persians again in 619: see there; and finally terminated by the Arabs in 641.

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The culmination of the development of cavalry in Iran can be seen in the famous relief of Khusrau II, r. 591-628, at Taq-i Bustan near Kermanshah* in western Iran. The sculpture shows a fully armoured knight, very close in appearance to the medieval knights of Europe, and yet still without the stirrup - which it seems was already in use in Byzantine armies. The horses head is protected with a chamfron (head armour) and below its head wears a double-layered front bard of body protection, the top layer made of lamellar armour (linked platelets). The bard covers only the front: most of the horses body is not protected by armour.**- The evidence in Iran seems to contradict Lynn White's assertion that the stirrup was an essential precursor of the heavily armoured knight, even though in Western Europe it appears that White's thesis may hold true. (*) Location: Kirkuk and Baghdad in Iraq, and Kermanshah in Iran, are the points of an equilateral triangle. (**) Horse armour is not reported by the Byzantine sources in Justinians time; but emperor Maurices Strategikon. c.600, does mention it. "The horses, he writes, especially those of officers and the other special troops [key NCOs], in particular those in the front ranks of the battle line should have protective pieces of iron about their heads and breast plates of iron or felt, or else breast and neck coverings such as the Avars use." (Emphasis added: Whether the phrase or else implies that Avar horse armour was different or simpler is unclear; quite possibly Avar horse-armour was made from leather of felt.) It seems that Byzantium adopted or re-adopted horse-armour after 580 in imitation of the Avars. In the battle of 622 (see there) emperor Heracliuss horse wore barding of thick felt. And in 627 (see there) he rode a horse protected by armour of sinew, presumably boiled leather. 608-15: Boniface IV, patriarch of Rome. He sought and gained permission from Phocas to turn the large Pantheon temple in Rome into a church. It was dedicated to St Maria ad martyres and lavishly endowed by the emperor (Richards p.177). 608-616: The Exarch of Italy was John Lemigios Thrax (Treadgold 1997: 687). 609: 1. Greece: Thessalonica holds out against another assault by the surrounding Slavic tribes in Macedonia (Haldon 1990: 44). See 584, 586, 620, and 622 AD for the other attacks on the city.) 2. Decisive year of the Persian War (opening phase). In the East, the war turned irrevocably in the Persians' favour when Phocas was forced, or chose, to 93

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withdraw most of the army from the frontiers in Armenia and Syria in order to deal with a dangerous rebellion under Heraclius that had spread from the province of Africa to Egypt. Olster notes that Phocass general Bonosus, bearing the title count of the East, proceeded by sea from Asia Minor to Egypt to face the Heraclian forces under Nicetas and his deputy Bonakis. Travelling by ship, Bonosus was probably able to bring few troops with him; and Olster rightly supposes that the rebel Heraclians outnumbered him. Cf above: 608. Even so, Bonosuss Phocaeans troops from the Asia Minor town of Phocaea - defeated the Heraclians and killed Bonakis at Manuf [al-Minufiyah/Monufia]; the latters beaten army retreated to safety behind the walls of Alexandria. Next Nicetas (cousin of Heraclius jnr) counter-attacked and destroyed Bonosuss army. Olster argues that the struggle was very bitter and Bonosuss expedition represented a vast drain on imperial resources at a critical moment (1993: 120, 125). The defence of the eastern borders in Mesopotamia and Syria was entrusted to the unreliable demes or urban militia, and now Persian armies captured all of the Byzantines' key fortresses along their frontier and drove the Rhomaniyans from Armenia. Edessa fell to Khosrow II Parvez [parvez, the ever victorious] in his sweep across Mesopotamia in 609 (Chronicon, p. 699; Olster prefers 611). Then, according to some, the Persian general Shahin, having sacked the main Cappadocian city Caesarea, raided all the way to Chalcedon, across the straits from Constantinople. But there is no mention of this in one of the key sources, The Life of Theodore. Olster, 1993: 90, therefore prefers to date the capture of Anatolian Caesaraea to 611 and the raid to Chalcedon to after Theodores death, i.e. in 616. Byzantine Antioch: The Jewish community revolted (609) and, says Theophanes, lynched Patriarch Anastasios II. Alternatively, if we follow the more contemporary Chronicon Paschale, Anastasius was kiiled by (Christian) soldiers. The revolt was provoked, says Herrin 1987, as much by Phokas's efforts to convert the Jews as by the proximity of the Persians, who did not succeed in capturing the city until 611. The East: Caesarea as a Nodal Point Nicolle 1993: 20 notes that there were only three passes large enough to take an invading army into or out of eastern Anatolia: [1] south-north from/to Ciliciathe part of Asia Minor nearest to Cyprusnorth through the Taurus Mountains via the Cilician Gates (see map below) and thence to/from Caesarea (present-day Kayseri) and Iconium (Konya); [2] north-east from Adana in Cilicia via the Seyhan River and through the Anti-Taurus Mountains and thence to Kayseri/Caesarea; and [3] westwards from Malatya (Melitene), through a further pass in the Anti-Taurus Mountains. Routes 2 and 3 joined at a point about midway between Caesarea and 94

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Melitene. One might add a fourth: an ancient Roman road ran north-west from Germanicia, present-day Marash or Karamanmanash, into the Anti-Taurus range; this road too met the routes to/from Melitene and Adana at a point about midway between Caesarea and Melitene.

Above: Map of Cilicia and the NE corner of the Mediterranean. 609-10: 1. The East: A large infantry force under Gregoras marches overland from Egypt towards the capital, and later troops under the command of Herakleios the younger sail to Constantinople from Africa in towered ships (TCOT: 8). Only when Alexandria had been taken after fierce fighting with Phokas's general Bonosos, and the Egyptian fleet brought under control (November 609), was it possible for Herakleios (junior) the consul to embark for the capital [i.e. in 610]. He commanded the fleets of Mauretania and Africa manned by Mauroi, local Berbers, and protected by the Virgin, whose icon was displayed on their mastheads. Constantinople had not only been deprived of grain from Africa and Egypt after 609, but the winter of 608-609 had been unusually harsh, causing bad harvests, famine, and even freezing the sea (thus Herrin 1987; Theophanes, TCOT: 8, writes of a large army from Africa and Mauretania, i.e. the Maghreb). 2. The Levant: The allies of Heraclius minted coins at Cyprus and Alexandretta in Syria; September 609 is the earliest possible date, 1 September being the start of the Byzantine year (Olster 1993). Coin: Bronze follis of Alexandretta, Syria, AD 610, officina A, 8.75 g, 30 mm, 185.- Obverse: mN ER(ACLI)OCONSULII [ = our lords, the Heracliuses, 95

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consuls]; facing busts [looking forward] of Heraclius, on left, and his father, the Exarch Heraclius, on right; both are bearded and bare-headed wearing consular robes; between their heads, a cross. Reverse: Large M* between A / N / N / O and X / IIII; above, cross; beneath A; in ex, (AXA)N . [ = Alexand+retta] DOC 16, MIB 16a. (*) The Greek symbol for 40, i.e. the coin had a value of 40 nummi. 610: 1. The capital: Heracliuss fleet sailed from Abydos to the capital at the start of October 610. Phocas prepared a fleet to contest Heracliuss entry to Constantinople. A botched naval battle, fought [4 October] in the city, i.e. in Sophia Harbour [Harbour of Julian] on the citys southern shore*, was followed by a clash on land. The decisive point was that the imperial guard, the Excubitors, or rather their commander, the old survivor Priscus, switched from Phocass to Heracliuss side. (*) The harbour nearest the Great Palace. According to Theophanes, Phokas was seized by the mob (the circus factions) and burned to death in the Forum of the Ox, or else his corpse was burnt there (TCOT: 9; Olster 1993: 136). As against this, John of Antioch, cited by Kevin Crow [http://www.roman-emperors.org/phocas.htm#N_20_ ] says that Phocas was taken by the Excubitors and handed to Heraclius who personally killed him. After cursing the fallen emperor, his self-appointed successor kicked Phocas and beheaded him on the spot (Treadgold 1997: 241). Phocas's right arm and hand were then cut off and his corpse was disembowelled, thrown into a skiff and burned. Heraclius was aged about 35 when he assumed the throne on 5 October 610. The Chronicon Paschale describes his arrival in the harbour of the capital in 610, his golden hair and white armour seeming to promise a return to the great days of Rome. His golden hair also appears in Leo Grammatikos, a tenthcentury Byzantine historian. (As Vasiliev remarks, p. 143, light hair seems odd for a family of Armenian ancestry; but perhaps his mother Epiphania was a nonArmenian. She was from Carthage but her racial background is not known; it is quite possible that she was of Germanic, i.e. Vandal, blood. Kaegi per contra, Heraclius p.36, says she may have been Cappadocian.) 2. fl. Isidore, bishop of Seville, in Visigothic Spain, author of an important encyclopaedia and chronicle. Written after 615, his statement, "the Slavs took Greece from the Romans", although a simplification, was fundamentally correct (Curta 2001: 107; Ekonomou 2007: 52). Cf 615. Urban Population Decline since 550 Treadgold 1997: 279 puts the population of the capital at slightly over 200,000 in 96

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AD 610, much down from perhaps 375,000 in 540, but higher than the immediate post-plague size of perhaps 150,000 around 550. In 610 Alexandria probably had over 100,000 people; and Antioch, following the earthquake of 588, perhaps 50,000. All the cities in Greece (those not abandoned) were under 10,000 except Thessaloniki. Rome at this time still had about 50,000 people (according to Encyc. Brit. 15th edn; also Christie p.61), or, more likely, far fewer than that. According to Olster, the cost of the (Heraclian) revolt, the mercenary [sic*] army of Heraclius and its supply, the subsidies to the barbarians in Africa, and the loss of the revenue of the eastern provinces (including Egypt where Nicetas had given a three-year remission of taxes to gain the support of the inhabitants) had bankrupted the Empire. Even George of Pisidia, Heracliuss court poet, was forced to admit that the money, the nerves of war, was exhausted and the coffers empty (1993: 137). Cf 616 salaries halved. (*) Olster must have had in mind the Berbers he recruited (see earlier under 609-110). All soldiers were paid; evidently for Olster and some others, a soldier who does not speak Greek ipso facto becomes a mercenary! * * * To recap: The pagan Slavs entered the empire with and behind the Avars during Bayan's wars with the emperor Maurice and settled permanently. This was the period of the 'de-hellenisation', or rather the de-Christianisation, of the Balkans and Greece. "During some 30 years [582-612], the ethnic composition of the Balkan peninsula was completely changed", writes Browning p.38. This conclusion, however, is not supported by genetics: see the discussion below after AD 674. The murder of Maurice in 602 provided the Persian shah Chosros or Khusraw with a very useful pretext for war with his patrons successor. The Sassanian 'King of Kings' [shahanshah] would now come closer to success than any other Persian monarch in trying to destroy the Roman state. He invaded Asia Minor and Mesopotamia each year for four years (607-10), and then, in an unprecedented success, captured and sacked the great metropolis of Antioch (611), Damascus (614) and the holy city Jerusalem (614/5). Chosroes removed the relic of the True Cross from Jerusalem. He also advanced again into Asia Minor (612) and took Byzantine Egypt (616/619). In 617 the Persians threatened Constantinople itself. See there. The End of Antiquity in the Balkans Urban life collapsed, or faded away, in most of the Balkan peninsula in the half-century from 580 to 630. In part this reflected the devastation wrought by successive waves of the plague (Soltysiak 2006). Sirmium, west of just upstream from - Belgrade, once an imperial capital, was completely deserted after its surrender to the Avars in 582. (Belgrade seems to have held out for 97

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several decades more: Constantine Porphyrogenitus mentions an imperial governor of Belgrade negotiating with the Slavs in about 630: Fine 1991: 36.) Thereafter practically the entire peninsula passed out of imperial control for nearly two centuries. "Cities did not survive in the conquered areas", says Browning (p.43). Cyril Mango, 1980, argues that in Greece proper the Peloponnesian cities (towns) were "wiped out". The last coins from Olympia in the western Peloponnesus, for example, are from the reign of Phocas, 602-10 (Fine 1991: 62). Browning, however, will say only that "many" of the smaller inland cities were "probably" abandoned by their inhabitants and their walls allowed to fall into ruin (1975: 44, 91). The Rhomaioi held only the Aegean coast and parts of central Greece, as it now is, together with coastal cities elsewhere. Further archaeological work will be required before we can judge whether the literary sources are exaggerating. But certainly the pagan invaders devastated the Balkans. Except in Salonica [Thessaloniki], besieged by the Slavs in 586, and the island of Paros in the S Aegean, the central island of the Cyclades or Kikladhes group, "not a single Early Christian church remained standing in all of Greece"* by 625, writes Mango 1980: 69-70; also Fine 1991: 62. Better to say: none has survived until today from before 625. (*) By 604, four of the five remaining bishops of Epirus Vetus (lower Epirus: west-central Greece) were refugees on Corfu/Kerkyra; while Bishop John of Lissus (Lezhe, near Durres in Albania: upper Epirus) was in Squillace in s. Italy, as his see had been in the hands of the barbarians since before 592 (Gregory, Ep. xxxvii, cited in Bowden, Post-Roman Albania, in Luke Lavan, William Bowden, Theory and practice in late antique archaeology, Brill, 2003; also Whitby, Maurice p.114). In Italy a similar process had occurred somewhat earlier, during the period 540590, as a result first of the long wars between Byzantium and the Goths and then the Lombard invasion. One imagines also that the plague was an important factor. Thus Pope Gregory wrote in 590: "Our cities are destroyed, our fortress are overthrown; our fields laid waste; the land is become a desert" (Richards p.47). It was also in this period that the old Roman senatorial families were destroyed or dispersed (ibid, p.247). Nothing could be done, in the short term, to restore the lost prosperity of the destroyed, or superseded, city system. In the political domain, however, the empire's fortunes were eventually, for a moment, restored by the new emperor Herakleios (610-641). He crushed the Persians in one of the great epic campaigns of history, 622-29.

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Above: This drawing purports to be a depiction of Heraclius but is clearly copied from the famous 4th Century statue of the Tetrarchs. The felt cap was called a pileus; the low, strapped shoes were called campagi(a). The sword drawn here is actually much shorter than the longish slashing swords or spathia in the 4th C statue (which appear to be over 90 cm long). There is a better image of Heraclius in Rafaele DAmatos Roman Military Clothing AD 400-640 (Osprey 2005). The Reign of Heraclius, 610-641

Above: Grierson has suggested that Heraclius (left) let his beard grow on campaign during the 620s and preferred it to stay huge: Philip Grierson, Byzantine coins, Taylor & Francis, 1982, p.94. The style was afterwards copied by his grandson, Constans II: see at 641. 610-641: HERACLIUS or Herakleios. English pronunciation: herr-a-kleye-us. In full: Flavius Heraclius Augustus. Arabic: Hiraql. Heraclius junior, aged about 35 or 36, came to the throne in 610 by overthrowing the emperor Phocas. He was the son of Heraclius senior, the Exarch of Carthage. Wife: (1) Fabia-Eudocia, d. 612; and (2) Martina his niece, m. 614,

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the most detested empress of all time (says Garland). Sons: Constantine [III] and Heracleonas. Grandson: Constans [Konstas], born 630, son of Constantine. A solidus from about 640 depicts Heraclius with his son Heraclius Constantine. The senior emperor has a large pointed beard with a very wide moustache, possibly twirled or shaped. Robust, with a broad chest, beautiful blue eyes, golden hair, a fair complexion, and a wide thick beard." Leo Grammatikos description of Heraclius in his Historia. The Chronicon Paschale, whose author was a contemporary, likewise mentions his golden hair. Presumably it means light brown. (His mother Epiphania was Carthage-born, so perhaps of Germanic, Vandal descent. Or Berber.) Heraclius tried unsuccessfully to win the Monophysite Christians back to the Byzantine church by offering them a doctrinal compromise known as Monothelitism: Christ might have two Natures and Persons but only one Will or Energy. The one-enrgy variety id called monoenergism. Heraclius drove the invading Persians from Asia Minor, Egypt and Syria, and forced the Avars back into central Europe. He recovered the Christian relic regarded as the True Cross from the Persians and returned it to Jerusalem. Gibbon: Since the days of Scipio and Hannibal, no bolder enterprise has been attempted than that which Heraclius achieved for the deliverance of the empire. But before the end of his reign, Syria, Palestine and Egypt fell to the newly Muslimised Arabs (Gk Sarakenoi: "Saracens"). Heraclius has a curiously good press even now, thanks to the events of 627-8 [his crushing victory against Persia], but his reign was, taken as a whole, the most disastrous in a thousand years of Roman history. Wickham 2009: 259. ... the catastrophe of the seventh century is the central event of Byzantine history. Cyril Mango 1980: 4. 610-611: 1a. The East: Chosroes/Khusraw directs successful Persian attacks on the Syria and eastern Anatolian cities. Having taken the Roman outposts of Edessa and Apamea in Mesopotamia (610), the Persians advanced to the walls of Antioch where they defeated an East Roman army (May 611: TCOT: 9). Late in 611, according to some sources, the Persians proceeded into Armenia and Asia Minor. They captured Nicopolis; Theodosiopolis which is modern Erzurum in old w. Armenia: present-day NE Turkey; and Anatolian Caesarea: Byz. Kaisareia, modern Kayseri. Theophanes 101

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says tens of thousands of Byzantines were taken prisoner at Cappadocian Caesarea, most of them no doubt refugees from the wider region (TCOT: 10). When Caesarea was recovered by the East Romans in 612, it had been reduced to ruins. The Persians retained Syria and Armenia (see next). Outmarching the Anatolian army of Priscus, [general] Shahin seized (611) Cappadocian Caesarea for the second time in two years. And well ahead of Nicetass army in the south-east, Shahrvaraz [lit. Imperial Boar]* reached Antioch, where the Blues and Greens** [Sebeos: the youths of the city] and Jews were running riot, and captured [in 611 or 613] the great city as well. Having cut the Prefecture of the East in two, from Antioch he turned south and took Apamea and Emesa. Priscus, who seems to have had a much larger army than Nicetas, contrived to besiege Shahin in Caesarea over the winter. The capture of the Persians in Caesarea would have been a decisive counterblow; but Shahin broke out in the spring of 612 (Treadgold 1997). (*) The Persian general Khuriam or Farrokhan (Farrox) Shahrwaraz. His name was Farrokhan; shahrbaraz was an honorific meaning Imperial Boar: (Great) Boar (i.e. the most fearless) [waraz, varaz or baraz] of the City or Empire [shahr, imperial]. (**) See after the entry for 695 for an explanation of the curcus factions. 1b. The East: Heraclius offers peace, but Khusrau/Chosroes rejects his offer. Heraclius then (611) dispatches a presumably small army under Priscus* against the Persian garrison in Caesarea. Priscus besieged the Persians for some months but they defeated the East Roman besiegers and escaped (612). At about the same time, on the Syrian side the Persians captured the important fortress of Melitene or Malatya (Olster 1993: 85). (*) The great survivor: he had served successive emperors since before 588. 2. Famine in the empire. Its date and location are uncertain. The best date seems to be autumn of 611 (after September) (Stathakopoulos p.340). 3. Spain: Gundemar, the Visigoth king, 610-612, by edict (610) moved the primatial see of Carthaginiensis [the east-central fifth of Hispania] from Byzantine Cartagena to Visigothic Toledo. He campaigned against Spania, the Byzantine enclave, in 611; but to no effect (NCMH p.351). Cf 612-21 and 614-19. 611-15: From 611: GENERAL CRISIS. The Persians capture the great East Roman metropolis of Syrian Antioch in 611 or perhaps 613: the date is disputed and then Damascus, 613/14. An East Roman counter-offensive fails, 612 or 613. As noted earlier, Tarsus in Cilicia and Melitene or Malatyah in Mesopotamia were also lost. Meanwhile the 102

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In Europe, the Avars and Slavs swept into the Balkans in all directions. As we know from Isidore of Seville and the Miracles of St. Demetrius, they raided Thessaly, Hellas, the Aegean Islands, Epirus and Achaia, which was the N part of the Peloponnese. Isidore of Seville, in his Chronicon (Patrologia Latina 83, col. 1056), says that in the "5th year" of the emperor Heraclius [=?615] "the Slavs took Greece from the Romans".* (*) Isidore of Seville, s.120: Heraclius has completed five years of his imperial rule. At the beginning, the Slavs took Greece from the Romans [Byzantines]; the Persians took Syria, Egypt, and many provinces. Also in Spain, Sisebut [612-21], king of the Goths [Visigoths], took certain cities from the same Roman [Byzantine] militia and converted the Jews subject to his kingdom to the faith of Christ. 611-618: Central Asia: Gktrk Empire: The Turkish Khagan, Shih Kuei or Shekuei we know him only by his Chinese name - re-established centralised rule in the western Turkic regions. He maintained good relations with the Byzantines in the west and the Chinese in the east. (The Gktrks had first appeared in the Crimea in 581; the lands of the Western Khaganate were centred on the Aral Sea, with the capital further east in what is now Kyrgyzstan.) 612: 1. The East: Nicetas, Heracliuss cousin, leads a counter-attack from Egypt into Persian-controlled Syria. This ends in a battle that supposedly claimed 20,000 lives presumably a Pyrrhic victory for the Persians (Olster 1993: 85, citing Agapius of Menbidj). Cf 613. Nicetas took part in the conquest of Egypt from Phocas, had been governor of Egypt, and was famed for bringing the Holy Sponge and Holy Lance (Lance of Longinus), or the point of the lance, to Constantinople from Palestine in 612 (others say in 615). From 619 to 628/9 he appears to have been exarch of Africa. Lynda Garland, Gregoria, citing the Chronicon Paschale, 703; Nicephorus, Short History, 2; and Theophanes, Chronographia, AM 6102 [AD 609/10]. Alternatively (but this is a minority view) the Sponge and the Lance were sent to Constantinople by a quite different Nicetas, namely the Greek-named son of the Persian general Shahrbaraz, in 629. This was a token of Sharbarazs alliance with Heraclius, as the general intrigued to take the Persian crown. Persian troops at that time still occupied Jerusalem (Kaegi, Heraclius p.189, following Klein). 2. The empress Eudocia dies. Heraclius privately marries his niece Martina. The marriage is not acknowledged until 614. 612 or 614: At the invitation of the Langobardic (Lombard) king Agilulf, the Irish monk Columbanus establishes a monastery at Bobbio on the Trebbia River NE of Genoa, south of Milan. The scriptorium there will 103

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become a flourishing centre for the copying and illumination of sacred texts. The earliest extant manuscripts with decorated initial letters come from Bobbio, where the tradition may have originated. 612-21: Visigoths end Byzantine rule in SE Spain. See 615. 613: 1. Palestine: Date of a coin hoard of 264 gold coins found in the western wall of old Jerusalem in 2008. The coins were minted at the beginning of Heraclius reign: between the years AD 610-613, i.e. one year before the Persians conquered Byzantine Jerusalem (AD 614). One may imagine they were hidden away when the Persian army was approaching in 614. Details at www.antiquities.org.il. Cf 613-14 below. 2. The East: When Shahin took Melitene, general Philippicus responded by invading Persian-held Armenia, forcing Shahin to follow him over rugged terrain and suffer heavy losses. Meanwhile, in the main campaign, a larger army under the personal command of Heraclius* fought a bloody but inconclusive battle with the Persians outside Antioch. They regrouped, defeated him, and forced him to abandon Cilicia [the region of Asia Minor opposite Cyprus] (Treadgold 1997: 289, citing ps. Sebeos, 114. 2937). (*) It was almost unknown for Roman emperors after about AD 400 to command armies in person; but this was an exceptional crisis. Further counter-attack in Syria: A detachment of the Byzantine army, under Philippicus, brother-in-law of the late Maurice, made a raid on Armenia, diverting the Persians attention, while Heraclius leads the main army against Antioch. In a major battle beneath its walls, Heraclius was decisively beaten; and retreating into Asia Minor, he was caught and defeated once more by the pursuing Persians (or so says the source called Pseudo-Sebeos: in Olster 1993: 85). Sebeos: Together with his brother Theodosius, he [the emperor] assumed the military command, assembled a multitude of troops, and crossed into Asorestan [Syria] by way of Antioch. A great battle took place in the area of Asia, and the blood of the generals coursed violently to the city of Antioch. The groupings and clashings were severe and the slaughter was great in the agitation. Both sides were worn and wearied in the fight. However, the Iranians grew stronger and pursued the fleeing [Byzantines], receiving the victory, in addition to [the renown of] bravery. Yet another battle took place close to the defile leading to Cilicia. The Byzantines struck the Iranians in a front of 8,000 armed men. And they [the Byzantines] turned and fled. The Iranians grew stronger, went and took the city of Tarsus and all the inhabitants in the district of Cilicia: Chronicle of Sebeos, at http://rbedrosian.com/seb8.htm; accessed 2009.

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Collapse of Imperial Rule in the Balkans 613-15: The Danubian limes [Latin: limit, boundary] or defended border, reestablished around the year 600 by Maurices generals, gave way for good around 613-615, as the evidence of coin finds shows. The last fortified points behind it succumbed to the Avars and Slavs: Naissus/Nish and Justiniana Prima in present-day southern Serbia, and Sardica: modern Sofia in todays Bulgaria. Thessaloniki alone resisted the numerous Avaro-Slavian sieges (in 586, 615, 618). Treadgold 1997: 290; Bouras in Laiou 2002; Whitty, Theophylact p.186. It has been proposed that the 15,000 strong Army of Illyricum was entirely destroyed around 615, but Treadgold (1995: 73 and 1997: 374) suggestsan educated guessthat while it mostly disintegrated enough of it survived (perhaps 4,000 men) to later morph into the marines called Carabisians based in the lower Aegean and SW Asia Minor; presumably the survivors had retreated to somewhere in the lower Balkans by about 620. Madgearu (2006) has argued that after 598, at least in the Dobrudja (Danube delta) and alsong the lower Danube, the process was peaceful rather than violent, emphasizing that there was a treaty with the Avars in force from 604/05. He also stresses that the Byzantines continued to use their naval power to influence events along the (navigable) lower Danube. He proposes (2006: 156) that the Byzantines abandoned the Danubian towns as inter-regional trade continued to decline and the regular troops were withdrawn (initially by Phocas in 603-04) to fight in the East. The population left, he says, to find subsistence in the countryside. Thus the fortified towns, which once supported a militia and were a focus for trade, were replaced by undefended villages. In other words, the fortresses of the limes suffered a gradual extinction (p.155). This may be controverted, at least for the middle and upper Danube, by the fact that we find refugees from Serdica (Sofia) and Naissus (Nish) at Thessalonica when the latter was besieged by the Avars in 618 (Whittow p.268; Liebeschuetz 2003: 285). But the fact (as it appears) that 8,000 men of the original 20,000 in the Army of Thrace survived in 621 (Treadgold, Army 1995: 74) may fit the picture of less violence in the loss or abandonment of the lower Danube, Moesia (the future Bulgaria) and northern Thrace to the Slavs. Some 400 years would elapse before Constantinople would again assert its rule as far as the Danube.

The Reduction of Roman Dalmatia The Avars and Slavs were also in action further west. Imperial rule in Dalmatia was reduced (612-615) to just seven or eight Romance-speaking coastal or island towns. From NW to SE, they were: 1 Osero/Osor, 2 Veglia/Bekla (modern Krk island), 3 Arba/Arbe (Rab island), 4 Zara/Zadar, 5 Trau (Trogir), 6 Spalato or Aspalaton (Split); 7 Ragusa or Dubrovnik and 8 Kotor (Stephenson, Balkan Frontier p.28, quoting Constantine VIIs list of eight). These Romance-speaking 105

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urban centres remained loyal to Greek-speaking Byzantium for a further 500 years. Cf 613, 615. 613-14: The East: The army of the Persian general Farrokhan, whose title was Shahrbaraz, Gk: Sarbaros, meaning Boar of the Realm, took Damascus and Jerusalem (April 614) from the Byzantine Empire in 613 and 614. The Holy Cross, or a large fragment of it, was carried away in triumph (614). Theophanes (TCOT: 11) says that 90,000 Christians were killed by the Persians and by the Jews who helped them to take Jordan, Palestine and its holy city. It is not clear if this means the number who died in Palestine or just in Jerusalem. See discussion below under 614. 613-19: The East: According to Judith Herrin, 1987, it was during the long campaign of 613-19 that many of the oldest urban centres [in Asia Minor] were overrun. The classical way of life was brought to an abrupt end*; survivors took refuge in citadels and new mountain settlements more like fortified villages than ancient cities. (*) See mentions below under 614 of Sardis and Ephesus (also Salona in Dalmatia). But in general the end of the classical way of life in the sense of ruralisation was a slow process over the period 550-650, or even better: 450700. See the discussion in Wickham 2005: 625-29 and passim in the present paper. The Balkans had already been large de-urbanised by this time [AD 610], a long-drawn-out process lasting through the fifth and sixth centuries [i.e. 425575]. In contrast, Byzantine Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine were able to preserve a high degree of urban continuity up to the Arab conquest. Towns also persisted up to the second half of the seventh century [ie. the later 600s] in Crete, Cherson, southern Italy and Sicily. The cities of north Africa suffered an accelerating decline in the course of the seventh century (Brandes and Haldon, Towns, Tax and Transformation; in Gian Pietro Brogiolo, Nancy Gauthier, Neil Christie, eds., Towns and their territories between late antiquity and the early Middle Ages, Brill, 2000 p.147). Note that the decline in Africa preceded rather than followed the Arab conquest. Public Baths Public baths seem to have gradually gone out of use in the period 600-800 in most of the cities which survived in their original locations. Those towns that were rebuilt or moved to a new location usually had none at all. But as late as 691, the Quinisextum Council (canon 11) forbade priests to take a bath in company with a Jew, indicating that baths were still in use, at least in Constantinople. Evidently the major centres maintained the custom. Thus Theophanes mentions bath-houses in Constantinople lacking water during the drought of 766-67, 106

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implying that they were still in use. And we find references to upper class women taking baths in the 9th and 10th centuries. Also the main bath at Thessalonica continued in use into the second millennium (K. Dark in Harris 2005: 128). In Lombard Italy the very form of ancient baths impressed king Liutprand, 712744, so much that he declared (in a lost inscription: Calderini 1975, 179) that he was going to build one with beautiful marbles and columns for his summer palace in the countryside at Corteolona [Corte Olona, east of Pavia] (c. 729) - but he then decided to build a church instead. At Rome in the late eighth century, it was recorded that pope Hadrian, 772795, made deaconries and then processed from them to the bath. This was probably the one in the atrium of St Peter's, where the poor could bathe; it was evidently still in use, and Hadrian is recorded as restoring it (2.506, 510). Needless to say, he also restored pipelines and aqueducts* which fed water to the City. Greenhalgh 1989. (*) As we remarked earlier, drinking water came from wells and cisterns; aqueducts were almost universally used solely for bringing water to the baths and, to that extent, were just an urban refinement (Ward-Perkins 1984: 125). 614: 1. Dalmatia: (or in 615:) Raiders, probably Avars rather than Slavs, sacked and destroyed the provincial capital Salona, modern Solin, near Split; alternatively the attackers were mainly Slavs but under Avar command (Fine 1991: 34). When Salona was destroyed by an invasion of Avars, and possibly Slavs, shortly after AD 612, some of the survivors took refuge in nearby Split. According to a 13th century writer, only the richer refugees built houses. The others took up residence (by 639) in the towers and substructures of the old imperial palace (of Diocletian, d. 305 AD).* The palace walls enclosed an area of 38,000 m2, ie 195 m x 195 m. The survivors, led by the local Romano-Illyrian secular and religious authorities, fled to Diocletians old walled palace at nearby Split, some five km south-west, which was able to hold out (Fine loc.cit.; Harris 2003: 25 others prefer to date the abandonment of Salona to 639: see there).* Indeed Split would endure as one of several Romance-speaking islands, loyal to the emperor, in what became a Slavic sea.** The pagan Slavs, in the shape of the future Croats and Serbs, may have arrived a little later, as part of an aggressive migration, in the 620s, of peoples from north of the Carpathians (thus Harris). (*) Thus: from Roman palace to Roman ruin in three centuries. The sources are scanty: the date of 614 links to the last recorded burial at Salona, while 639 is linked to the ransoming of prisoners by the pope in 640-42. (**) Romance (Dalmatian) speakers lived in the coastal towns: Zadar/Jadera, Trogira/Tragur, Spalato, today Split, Ragusa, today 107

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Dubrovnik, and Kotor/Cattaro, each of these towns having a local dialect, and on the northern islands of Krk, Cres and Rab (Vikla, Crepsa and Arba). 2. The East: Having taken Damascus (613), the Persians under general Farrokhan, called Shahr-Baraz, Gk: Sarbaros, invade Palestine and sack Jerusalem (April/May 614). To please his Christian wife, Chosroes removes the True Cross of Christ, or at least a fragment of it, to Persia. Defeat meant Christ had failed to protect his faithful, and at least some Christians concluded that weakness was the reason. Thus, we should not be surprised to hear from Antiochus (an eyewitness) that "a few weak-minded" Christians renounced Christ. The sack of Jerusalem by the Persians (614) as narrated by a Byzantine monk (The Persians) fought for 20 days. And they struck so hard with their ballistas [large crossbow-like artillery pieces] that on the 21st day they razed the city walls.* Afterwards, the evil enemies entered the city in a fury, like frenzied wild animals and angered snakes. Like rabid dogs they tore the flesh of the faithful with their teeth, and they spared no-one, neither man nor woman, neither young nor old, neither child nor baby, neither priest nor monk, neither virgin [i.e. nuns] nor widow ..." Antiochos Strategos, in Conybeare 1910. (*) Sebeos explains that the walls were razed by being undermined, i.e. not by the ballistae. The Persians Take Jerusalem, 614 The Persian army under general Shahrbaraz marched on and took (613) Damascus, and then (614) it was Jerusalem's turn. After a brief but sharp resistance - a three-week siege - the Christian (and Jewish) holy city fell on 22 May 614 or in April (Greenwood p.207 argues for 1719 May; Antiochos says the sirge began on 15 April). There followed a massacre of the Christian inhabitants in which the Jews in the Persian army took the lead (Horowitz 1998). The monk Antiochos Strategos, cited by Armstrong 1996: 212, says that more than "67,000" people were slaughtered (also Conybeare 1910). For this to be credible we must believe that the towns basic population had been much augmented by a major influx of refugees from the countryside. As noted below, another acount, that of Sebeos, says that only 17,00 were killed. Khusrow's army, aided by 24,000 Jews [the figure in the Chronicon Paschale] from Tiberias, Nazareth and the mountains of Galilee, besieged Jerusalem for several weeks, capturing it in May or June 614. The conquest was a bloody affair in which Parthians [sic: Sassanian Persians] and Jews massacred anywhere from 60,000 to 90,000 Christian inhabitants of the city (90,000 according to 108

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Theophanes, TCOT: 11; Modestus says up to 65,000). A more likely estimate is 17,000 (Sebeoss figure: see below); and the accounts of Jewish participation in the slaughter of Christians are found exclusively in Christian sources, and thus perhaps suspect (but accepted by Horowitz 1998). Another 35,000-37,000 Christians were enslaved and exiled to Persia. The town itself was sacked, including nearly all churches. When the people were carried into Persia, and the Jews were left in Jerusalem, they began with their own hands to demolish and burn such of the holy churches as were left standing.... (Antiochous). This is possibly controverted by the archaeological evidence, which seems to contradict the narratives of Strategius and Sebeos: see Gideon Avni, The Persian Conquest of Jerusalem (614 CE) An Archaeological Assessment, at www.bibleinterp.com/articles/pers357904: unlike the dramatic historical descriptions, the archaeological evidence for the Persian conquest of Jerusalem, while reinforcing the evidence of the massacre of its Christian population, seems to be less conclusive on large scale damages to Christian churches and monasteries. The archaeological record provides evidence for several mass burials around the city but bears no evidence for large scale damage or destruction in residential areas and ecclesiastical compounds. On the contrary, a clear pattern of continuity throughout the seventh century was observed in almost all the sites excavated in and around Jerusalem. This is endorsed by Edward Lipinski, Itineraria Phoenicia, Peeters Publishers, 2004, p.543, citing Magnesss 1992 archaeological report in BASOR (Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research). In order to find the relics of the True Cross of Jesus, or a portion of it, the Persians had to torture and decapitate a number of the Christian clergy (Sebeos ed. Howard-Johnston and Greenwood, II: 69). The Cross was taken away to Persia as a gift for the shahs Christian wife. Incredibly large numbers in Strategoss and Sebeoss accounts: As the Persians began to drive them away from the Mount of Olives, where this sermon was given, Zacharias bade farewell to Jerusalem: 'Peace to you, Sion, bride of Christ, peace to you, Jerusalem, holy city; peace to you, Holy Anastasis, illuminated by the Lord . . . this is the last peace and my final greeting to you; may I have hope and length of days that I may eventually gain your vision again?' "Then the column of prisoners moved off, 35,000 according to the Armenian bishop Sebeos, leaving behind many thousands of dead. Sebeos says 57,000* died; Strategikos, relying on Thomas, one of the unfortunate survivors who had to bury the bodies, claims 66,509, and gives a detailed breakdown of the figures by location. To contemporaries, the capture of the holy places by the pagan [sic] Zoroastrians was an unparalleled disaster. Judith Herrin, at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/med/herrin.html. The loss of Jerusalem was the subject of a poem by George of Pisidia. (*) A corruption of 17,000 (Greenwood, 1999: 207; also HowardJohnston 2006: 142).

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For some, the sack of Jerusalem in 614 was the central event in the destruction of Christian Syria, from which the province was never to recover. Even today, the ruins of the churches destroyed by the Persians in 614 litter the Syrian countryside (Geoffrey Regan, The First Crusader, ch. 4). (This means only that they were not repaired or reconstructed; which is hardly surprising since there was only a moment of time when the Empire reoccupied Syria between the Sassanian and Muslim conquests . . . )

2a. Asia Minor: The Persians may well have destroyed ancient Sardis [Gk Sardeis], present-day Sart, inland east of Izmir-Smyrna (or in 616). This is deduced from the sudden ending of coin finds: coins dated 615/16 were found sealed in the destruction layer. One of many classical Roman roads ran from Smyrna (Izmir) on the coast eastward to Sardes and Philadelphia, thence across the upper Meander River to Laodicea. At Apamea, the road divided into a northern route running NE to Amorium and Ancyra. There the road divided again, the upper branch running north-east to Sinope on the Black Sea coast. The other branch went SE to Caesarea. 2b. SW Asia Minor: Destruction of Ephesus, south of Izmir/Smyrna, probably by earthquake (614; but possibly by fire and/or the Persian sack of 616). The city survived, but on a lesser scale. In the late 600s, probably before 660, the surviving population largely abandoned the classical site* and relocated to the nearby hill-top citadel of Ayasuluk. Others remained in the western part of old city by the edge of the harbour, where they lived in a walled site about one km square, i.e. about 310 m x 310 m (Clive Foss, Ephesus After Antiquity: A Late Antique, Byzantine and Turkish City, Cambridge University Press, 2010, pp.103, 106-08). Thus in about 50 years Ephesus was reduced from a city to a town and then from a town to two villages. Treadgold 1997: 317 dates the building of new walls around the villages (as they had become) of Ephesus, Pergamum, Sardis and Ancyra to the years 659-662, as part of the creation of the Theme system. Manfred Klinkott, Altertumer von Pergamon. XVI.l Die Stadtmauer, Berlin 2001, prefers a date of 672-8 for the walls at Pergamum. For discussion, see J H. W. G. Liebeschuetz, Decline and fall of the Roman city, Oxford University Press, 2003 pp.50-52. (*) Ancient Ephesus, today one of Turkeys most famous tourist attractions, is considered by many the countrys most impressive archaeological site. The Lonely Planet guide describes it as "the best-preserved classical city in the east Mediterranean, and among the best places in the world to get a feel for what life was like in [classical] Roman times".

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3. Rome and the East: fl. John Moschus [Ioannes Moskhos], an ethnic GrecoSyrian monk and theologian, author of the Spiritual Meadow, stories of famous monks and hermits. He lived most of his life in the East before coming to Rome in 614-15. His compilation in Greek, the Leimn ho Leimnon, Latin: Pratum spirituale, Spiritual Meadow, is one of the earliest hagiological works. In it he narrates his personal experiences with the many great ascetics he met during his extensive travels in the East, and repeats the edifying stories which these ascetics related to him. The text acquaints us with the numerous heresies that threatened to disrupt the Church in the East (thus Cath. Encyc.). One story has a monk ascribing his infection with leprosy to his having lapsed into fornication. He immediately returned to being a chaste monk. 614-16: The Aegean: Rowing in their small boats, several Slavic tribes raid along the coast of Thessaly, western Asia Minor and various Aegean islands. They launch a combined sea and land attack against Thessaloniki (Fine 1991: 41). See discussion under 615. The Miracles specifically refers to refugees in Thessalonica from Nish and Serdica (Sofia in modern Bulgaria), indicating that those towns had already fallen to the Slavs. The Demise of Roman Spain 614-24: Spain/Portugal: King Sisebut, 612-620/21, was a highly literate monarch; a number of his writings have survived. He was also an outstanding warrior. More than any Gothic king before him, he became the scourge of the Byzantines in Spania. Fouracre & McKitterick, eds, New Cambridge Medieval History pp.351 ff. In 614 and 615, presumably having learnt of Heracliuss preoccupation with the Persians and Avars, Sisebut launched two major expeditions against the Greeks and conquered the major town of Mlaga and the lesser centre of Assido [Assidone: Medina-Sidonia] in ca. 615: certainly before 619, when their bishops appear at the Second Council of Seville (thus Isidore and Fredegarius, cited in Kaegi 2003: 89). The Gotho-Hispanics conquered as far as the Mediterranean coast and razed many centres to the ground. Sisebut possibly also razed the Byzantine capital Cartagena, which was so completely desolated that it never reappeared in Visigothic Spain (but if we follow the NCMH, ed. Fouracre et al., this did not occur until the 620s under king Suinthila). - This effectively ended the life of Byzantine Spania. During his short reign king Gondomar/Gundemar, 610-12, struggled without success against the Byzantines. Then, in about 614 or 615, in two campaigns, the troops of his successor Sisebut conquered the larger eastern part the remaining Byzantine Spania, the part that extended from Gibraltar to the river El Suero (Jucar) [south of Valencia]. Sisebut defeated the Byzantine governor, the 111

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patrikios Caesarius, in two major battles. After his victory, without seeking ransoms, Sisebut returned the Greek soldiers who had been captured, and Caesarius in return released bishop Cicilius of Mentesa [Villanueva de la Fuente in east-central Spain], and undertook to mediate with Heraclius. In other words, peace was offered. The peace agreement was duly ratified by the emperor in 615 or 616. Goubert (1944) says it was agreed that the empire would cede the whole south-east including the capital Cartagena*, but keep several coastal towns in the Algarve (lower Portugal). The Frankish chronicler Fredegar noted that the empire of the Goths in Spain was thus established from the shores of the sea to the Pyrenees. (*) Others say Cartagena was not taken by the Goths until the next reign, that of Suinthila. A naval attack was also conducted, but not against the Greeks, possibly against the Moors (the Berbers of Morocco). As Goubert (1944) notes, the mention of Gothic, Frankish and even Berber ships operating in the Atlantic shows that Byzantium was not the uncontested mistress of the sea and ocean. He quotes a poem by Sisebut himself: Ferrataeque premunt, milleno milite curae/ Legi crepae tundunt, latrant fora, classica turbant / Et trans Oceanum ferimur porro usque nivosus / Cum teneat Vasco nec parcat Cantaber horrens: French translation by Fontaine: Et psant les soucis de nos milliers de soldats bards de fer. Hurleurs de lois assourdisssants; aboiements des tribunaux, alerte des trompettes, et nous voil emports tout l-bas par-del lOcean, tant que nous retiendra le Vascon dans ses neiges, que le Cantabre affrreux ne nous fera point trve.(my English version:) . . . And weighing/pressing [premunt: overwhelming] the concerns for our thousands of soldiers barded with iron [ferratae: covered in iron]. Howlers [crepae: bleaters] of deafening [tundunt: bruising, crushing] laws; the barkings of the tribunals (courts), agitated by trumpets, and we are carried here all the way across the Ocean, so will we retain snowy Vasconia [the Basque country], and frightful Cantabria [the duchy in N Spain] will make no truce with us. The towns retained by the Byzantine included Ossonoba (Faro: near the centrepoint of the Algarve coast) and Lacobriga (Lagos: near the far SW point of modern Portugal). Goubert proposes that the absence of the bishop of Ossonoba from the Visigoth church councils from 589 to 653 indicates that the town remained Byzantine for some time. The towns around Cadiz too were held by the Greeks until 615 or 624. It would seem that the Greek presence in the Algarve ended in 624; but some writers have suggested the Greeks kept a number of towns or villages in the Algarve even until the Arab conquest a century later (Goubert 1944 pp.69 ff, citing Isidore). See also 621 below Suinthila. 112

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In 621, the Rhomaniyans still held a few lesser towns, but Suinthila recovered them shortly, and by 624 or 625 probably the entire province of Spania was in Visigothic hands, save the Balearic Islands, which were an economic backwater in the seventh century (Wikipedia, 2011, Spania). _____________________________ c. 615: 1. Constantinople: The chronicler Nicephorus [Nic. Brev. 9] says between 614-16 an equestrian statue was erected to Niketas/Nicetas, the emperors cousin, in the capital. Nicetas was at this time dux et [praefectus] augustalis Alexandriae, leader and imperial administrator of Alexandria, which is to say: Prefect of Egypt. Alan Cameron proposes that the statue in question was erected by Nicetas to Heraclius (Alan Cameron, Porphyrius the charioteer, Clarendon Press, 1973, p.224). But his namesake Averil Cameron accepts that it was Heraclius who directed it to be erected, specifically on a tetrakionion or four-columned monument in Constantine's Forum [todays emberlitas, in the east-central sector of the city, immediately NW of the hippodrome]: an equestrian portrait of the patrician/patrikios Nicetas that became the last recorded honorific statue (Cameron et al., Late Antiquity 2000: 928; also Sarah Bassett, The Urban Image of Late Antique Constantinople, Cambridge University Press, 2004). And Kaegi, Heraclius p.78, quotes two other statements saying it was of Nicetas and erected (a) by the emperor, the army, the cities and the people on account of Nicetas great exploits in slaying the Persians and/or (b) by the Green Faction [epigrams collected in the famous Palatine or Greek Anthology, 16.46 and 16.47]. The Greek texts are printed, untranslated, in Jones et al. Prosopography p.942. The casting of bronze statues was no longer practised after this time, no doubt because of opportunity cost. The Greens, in Alexandria, had helped Nicetas defeat emperor Phocass generals. As for the Persians, Nicetass troops had beaten them near Emesa (Hims) and at Anatolian Caesarea in 614. 2. The far West: As noted, the Visigotho-Spanish overran most of the remaining Imperial territories in Spain (Treadgold 1997: 290, citing Thompsons Goths in Spain). See 616, 621. 3a. The Balkans: Although the Slavs belonged to different tribes, several of them united, probably in 615 (or 618), in an unsuccessful attempt to storm Thessalonica by land and sea (see account below under 618). And around the same time, the Avars opened a general offensive in the empire's north-west, taking Salona [see 614 above], just N of modern Split in Dalmatia [ca. 614], Naissus (Nish), and Serdica (modern Sofia). Not long afterward, they deported many of the local Byzantines to Avar territory near Sirmium (Treadgold 1997: 113

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3b. Greece: After 610: As stated, Slavs from Thessaly and from the area around Thessalonica attempted to storm Thessalonica by land and sea but they failed. The Slavic boats were destroyed by a forceful wind which, of course, was believed to be due to the citys protector St Demetrius (Treadgold, State and Society 1997: 290). Cf 618. This is said to have been the first time that the Slavs took to the sea using their monoxyla which were single or multi-log dug-out sailing canoes. Greek: mono (single) + xylon (tree). They would have rigged their dug-out boats with sails and probably also added planks to the boat sides to increase the freeboard and put on some kind of outrigger [rowing platform] to make the boat more seaworthy (The Rus Project, accessed 2009, at www.qnet.fi/rusproject/monoxyla). Cf 624, 626. The date of 615 is approximate. Others propose 618: see there. Of the date of the first Slavic attack on Thessalonica, recorded in Miracles, book 2, we are told only that it occurred under the episcopate of John, the author of book 1. As Florin Curta has explained, the description of the territories that the Slavs ravaged before turning against Thessalonica is viewed by many as fitting into the picture of Heracliuss early regnal years, snapshots of which are given by Isidore of Seville and George of Pisidia. In particular, the fact that the author of book 2 specifically refers to maritime raids by canoe (2.1.179; see also 2.4.253, 254) is reminiscent of George of Pisidias reference to the Sclavene wolves (in his Bellum Avaricum 197201). Historians agree, therefore, in dating this attack to the first decade of Heracliuss reign. This time the Sclavenes had brought with them their families, for they had promised to establish them in the city [of Thessalonica] after its conquest (Miracles 2.1.180). Curta 2001 and 2005. 615: 1. Veneto, Italy: In 614, if one drew a line from Lombard Treviso (inland north of Venice) eastward to Lombard Aquileia in Istria, it bisected the upper region of Byzantine Venetia, centred on the triangle formed by the imperial towns of Oderzo (the capital village of Byzantine Venetia), Eraclea and Concordia. The Lombards took Concordia, east of Oderzo, in 615, increasing their hold on the region between Byzantine Ravenna and Byzantine Grado; the Roman population of Concordia fled thence to the islands of the Venetian lagoon itself. But some parts of the mainland Venetian plain, including Oderzo itself, remained under Byzantine control until 640. The seat of the Byzantine governor or magister militum was transferred to Eraclea in 640 (Brown in NCMH, ed. McKitterick p.338; Nicol B&V p.4; Bury, From the Fall of Irene, p.321). 2. Italy: d. Agilulf, Lombard king. Part of his funerary crown survives: an attractive gold cross with large gems and pendants in barbarian style, illustrated in Rice 1965, p.164 (collection of 114

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The net effect of Agilulfs efforts was the conquest of the middle third of the Po Valley downstream towards imperial Ravenna, and a parcel of territory in SE Tuscany (map in Brown 1984: 38). From the Lombard side, this might be seen as a modest, even disappointing, achievement. But Brown 1984: 83 has suggested that the Lombards did not yet have a decisive military advantage. Just 50 years after deaths of emperor Justinian and his great general Belisarius, the Byzantines probably retained a superiority over the barbarians in weaponry, armour and discipline. The mobility with which local units moved to different areas suggests, says Brown, that the imperial army in Italy continued to consist mainly of cavalry. A letter of Pope Martin, acc. 649, mentions that the Byzantino-Roman troops were equipped with lance, sword, bow and shield, which is what one would expect given the terms of best practice as set out in Maurices handbook or Strategikon, c.600. Thus, says Brown 1984: 83, 92, the imperial forces in Italy probably retained much of the discipline and sophisticated equipment and tactics exemplified by Belisarius and Narses armies in the previous century. If so, it did not endure much longer. On the Lombard side all males were available for military service (Christie p.356). We will therefore guess that Lombard fighters normally outnumbered the more professsional Byzantines, but equally they included many men of lesser military quality. Maurices Strategikon, ca. 600, also notes the weakness of the Lombard temperament and their mode of fighting. They fought with no discipline (impetuous and undisciplined), little to no battle order (they despise good order, especially on horseback) and generally had few if any of their horsemen performing reconnaissance ahead of the army. Because they [did] not concern themselves at all with scouts, they were easily ambushed along the flanks and rear of their battle-line. They also failed to fortify their camps at night. Their skill at fighting with the cavalry lance could be nullified by the use of feints, ambushes, false negotiations and the choice of a difficult terrain or fortified sites for battle (SM, trans. Dennis p.119).

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Above: The Mediterranean during and after the reign of Heraclius. The Sassanid Persians took Antioch in 611, Jerusalem in 614 and Alexandria in 619. The Visigoths eliminated the Byzantine enclave in SE Spain by 624. The map should show the Slavs as ruling further down in Greece, i.e. into the western Peloponnesus. Also the Danube was under Slav and Avar rule until the late 680s: the Danube Bulgars do not appear there until the 670s. 615/616: 1. Asia Minor: Sassanid armies under Shahin overrun Anatolia, sacking Ancyra and Chalcedon, and and a lesser force is sent SW into Lydia to sack Sardis: Persian occupation of Chalcedon, the town on the Asian shore opposite Constantinople (616) (Treadgold 1997: 291). The walls of Smyrna, however, having been refurbished in the Justinianic period, proved strong enough to withstand the Persian onslaught (Hodges & Whitehouse p.67). At Sardis, most of the city was abandoned thereafter (before 700); only a hilltop fortress continued into the Middle Ages. Moreover, in archaeology, bronze coins, the small change of the economy, practically disappear after this time (Mango, New Rome 1980: 72-73). This reflected the near demonetarisation of the economy by 700. The End of Antiquity The effect of the Persian invasions is shown by coin finds at Sardis in W Asia Minor: bronze coins are plentiful until 616; but very few thereafter, and almost none dating from the 8th and 9th centuries (Mango loc.cit., citing Foss). But this evidence is not by itself decisive, as after Constans II (d. 668) coin issues were small until the 9th century. Deurbanisation at Sardis certainly begins in the 610s, i.e. in the Persian period, but (as against Foss) most archaeologists prefer to locate deurbanisation within a

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longer period of disruption, i.e. over many decades or even a century. The Greek islands, alone of all the sub-regions of the Byzantine heartland, were relatively safe from attack, and there alone do we find significant seventh-century monumental constructions. Thus it is fairly clear that in Asia Minor endemic warfare and raiding was the major factor the Sassanian (Persian) and then Muslim (Arab) incursions. At most classical sites after 650 building work is only occasional and then only in the form of fortifications and defences. The population had become ruralised and the centres of settlement were in fact simply refuges, staging points or garrison centres. Examples include Sardis, Ankara, Amorium, Prousa (Bursa), Pergamon, and Myra [in S Asia Minor: east of Rhodes] (Wickham 2005: 628 ff). Myra was the burial place of St Nicholas and had become a pilgrimage centre. 2. The Persians attack Egypt, 616-19. Cf 617-19. When the enemy invaded the Delta (616), the refugees were driven into Alexandria. The city was thus crowded with a great multitude of people wholly dependent for their support on charity. The difficulty of feeding them fell chiefly upon the patriarch John V the Merciful or the Almsgiver, whose ritual brother* was the prefect and governor, the patrikios and doux (and cousin of the emperor) Nicetas. Soon feeding them became an impossibility, through a failure of the harvest. John then fled (619) to Cyprus with Niketas and left the province of Egypt to the Persians (Milne 1898; Kaegi, Heraclius pp.59, 91). Kaegi p.92 remarks that the fall of Egypt involved a dramatic blow to the imperial budget, to the supply of natural resources and to the prestige of the dynasty (or expected dynasty, Heraclius being its founder). (*) Christian blood brotherhood, a sort of mutual adoption: Greek adelphopoiesis. 3. (or 616:) New style of silver coin, the miliarison or hexagram. It was the emperor Heraclius who in 615, or a little later: see 616 and 619-21, revived an effective silver coinage, drawing the metal for his abundant issues mostly from the secularization of church plate during the crisis of the Persian war. The new coins were known as hexagrams, since they weighed six grammata (6.84 grams), a weight higher than any used for regular coinage during the entire period of the Roman Empire. Diameter: around 23 mm. For comparion, an Australian $2 coin weighs 6.6 g (diameter 20.5 mm) and a US quarter is 5.67 g (diameter 24 mm). 4. Military reform: A new fighting force called THE OPSIKION, literally retinue, was created by a regrouping of palatine soldiers. Or the Opsikion may have been formed by combining the two praesental armies that had for long been based in and around the capital (Treadgold 1995: 74). The regrouping seems to have been effective by 615, when a count [comes] of the Opsikion is recorded in the position previously held by the comes domesticorum or count of the domestics.* The Opsikion troops evidently 117

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accompanied the emperor on his military campaigns in the East and formed the nucleus of a new force that was later to be based in Thrace and Bithynia, the north-western-most region of Asia Minor, opposite Constantinople (thus Judith Herrin 1987). See 659. (*) Head of the imperial bodyguard: comes companion, count domesticorum of (from) the household (troops). Dark Ages in the West Two Irish dates are useful in marking out the Dark Ages in the Latin West: the death of Columbanus, d. 615, and the birth of John Scotus Erigena, b. ca 810. In the West very few manuscripts were copied between 550 and 750. Literary culture slid into a deep decline and was replaced with a primarily oral culture. The fact that more than half of the few biblical commentaries surviving from the period 650-850 were written by Irishmen shows how "dark" the times were in "Latin" (Lombard) Italy and Merovingian Francia. Mid 6th century: Very unusually for a Westerner, Columbanus knew a little Greek, having been tutored in it at the monastery of Bangor in Ulster by Comgall. Columbanus reputedly knew Sappho's writings, as well as those of the Latins: Virgil, Ovid etc; but it must be doubted that he had enough Greek to easily read Sappho.* - Born in Leinster, SW Ireland, Columbanus was aged 20 in about 560/563. He proceeded to Frankish Gaul in 585 or 590, aged about 45/50 - with the aim of converting the remaining Arian Christian Suevians of NW Spain to Catholic Christianity. He went to newly-Catholic Lombard Northern Italy in 612, where he founded the monastery of Bobbio, south of Milan. 9th century: Another Irishman, Erigena (aged 50 in about 860), was made head of the palace school in Paris by Charles the Bald. He too is said to have studied Greek; it is claimed that the only other Westerner with any real knowledge of Greek was the papal librarian Anastasius. The Christian East also experienced a dark age, albeit less dark this is discussed later: see before the chronology for 641 ff. (*) Greek in Ireland - On their green island and in the monasteries of Irish character on the northern English coasts, they did not read Homer or Plato, but rather learned [only] the Greek alphabet wholly or in part, excerpted Greek words from late antique sources - Jerome, Macrobius, Boethius, Priscian, Isidore, and others - and probably even participated in the transmission of glossaries; as for complete texts, only short liturgical pieces were evidently known. With a knowledge of Greek acquired in this manner, they could not understand or translate longer Greek texts with which they were unacquainted. Berschin 1988. 615-16: Greece: Coin hoards concealed at various places on the E side of Greece Solomos, Athens, Chalkida, modern-day Nea Anchialos [in Thessaly: on the coast opposite the tip of Evvia/Euboea], Thessalonica, and Thasos in the north Aegean 118

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may indicate that these coastal areas came under threat from the Slavs in 615-6 or a little later (Metcalf 1962). This threat has been connected to sea-raids by the pagan Slavs around the time of the siege/s of Thessalonica, as recorded in the Miracles of St. Dmtrios. See below: 615-23. 615-18: Pope Deusdedit. - This period in Italy saw two uprisings against imperial rule, which was financially burdensome and militarily inadequate. The Exarch was killed in Ravenna, and a local military commander in the south declared himself emperor and seized Naples. Constantinople quickly dispatched a new Exarch who crushed the rebellion. See 616. 615-23: Pagan Slavs ravage through Christian Greece. And the Avars and Slavs take almost all of imperial Illyricum, our north-west Balkans. Cf 618. As noted earlier, Mango 1980: 69-70 says that "not a single Early Christian church remained standing in all of Greece" by 625, except in Salonika [Thessaloniki] and the island of Paros. To quote the much later Chronicle of Monemvasia [ca. 1000], "In another invasion they (the Avars) subjugated all of Thessaly and Greece . . . they made also an incursion into Peloponnesus, conquered it by war, driving out the noble and Hellenic nations. Those among the Greeks who succeeded in escaping dispersed themselves here and there. The city of Patras [south side of the Gulf of Corinth] emigrated to the territory of Rhegium [Reggio in Calabria] [and] some sailed to the island of Sicily and they are still there in a place called Demena, call themselves Demenitae instead of Lacedaemonitae [Spartans] and preserve their own Laconian [south Peloponnesian] dialect". Quoted by Mathews, Naples. 615/6-25/26: N Italy: Reigning Dowager Queen Theodelinda, Bavarian-born queen of the Lombards, 615-25. Co-ruler with her husbands, first king Autharis, 584-90, and then Agilulf, 591-615. From 615, aged about 45, she ruled as regent for her son king Adaloald or Adololdo [acc. 616, aged 14], who was deposed (626) by her sonin-law, Arioald. She was instrumental in commencing the restoration of Athanasian Christianity - the ancestor of modern Latin Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy to a position of primacy in Italy against its rival, Arian Christianity. Cf 636-52 king Rothari. 615-21: The End of Antiquity delayed on Crete, AD 620. Unlike many other parts of the empire, Crete thrived at this time, partly because it was never occupied by the Slavs (although raided in 623). Inscriptions dating to the reign of Herakleios, around 615, have long focussed 119

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attention on the later stages of the Cretan city or town of Gortyna. The town was substantially rebuilt following an earthquake that occurred between 618 and 621. The praetorium [square in front of the governors residence] was reconstructed with a superb dedication to the emperors; the judiciary basilica was reconstructed as a hypaethral (open, unroofed) chamber, with a raised apse at the back. Herakleioss officials also rebuilt the towns water supply, creating an aqueduct that ran alongside the praetorium from the south, culminating in a castellum divisiorum [central pond, tank or tower for water distribution: endpoint of an aqueduct], a splendid nymphaeum [artificial grotto or open rotunda with a water shrine], and numerous fountains. Two colonnaded streets crossed at the praetorium. Following another earthquake around 666670, however, the porticoes and the main church collapsed. Now the town became a modest village: street paving was covered with beaten earth, the rebuilt houses now sheltered the potters who revived their production, and a church and several houses with their own oil presses sprang up within the praetorium [town square] (Morrisson & Sodini, Sixth Century, in Laiou ed., 2002). As with Ephesus [see below under ca. 650], but for different reasons, in about 50 years Gortnya declined from a small city to a village. 616: 1a. Or in 615 [Kaegi 1993: 89]: Beginnings of a Byzantine retreat in Spain: the Visigoths capture most of the remaining Byzantine enclave in the south. Then by 617, peace was agreed. See 624. 1b. Spain: Heraclius has completed [616] five years of his imperial rule. At the beginning [see above under 608-10], the Slavs took Greece [Graecia*] from the Romans; the Persians took Syria, Egypt [617-19: see there], and many provinces. Also in Spain, Sisebut [d. 621: see 620], king of the Goths, took certain cities from the same Roman militia and converted the Jews subject to his kingdom to the faith of Christ. Isidore of Seville, Chronica Maiora. There are two redactions; hence the squashing together of many dates. (*) The text called Miracles of St Demetrius mention that the Slavs devastated Epirus and Achaia, i.e. the western Peloponnesus, so we can be certain this meant Greece proper and not just Illyricum (the NW Balkans) (Curta 2001: 107). 2. To deal with the crisis, Heraclius halved the salaries of soldiers and the civilian bureaucracy (Paschal Chronicle, 706, cited by Treadgold 1995: 147; also 1997: 380; and Haldon, Transformation, p.225). The basic annual pay, probably 20 nomismata, was reduced to 10. In the case of soldiers, probably arms and uniforms were provided free as a substitute for the reduced cash allowances. A new silver coin, the hexagram, was minted for this purpose: the new coins were inscribed God help the Romans! (Treadgold 1997: 120

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290). About two-thirds of the Eastern field armies that Heraclius inherited when he took over in 610 were maintained. "This was not only a remarkable achievement but one vital to the empire's future survival", says Treadgold 1995: 207. See 622. Heraclius halved his outlays from perhaps two million nomismata in 610 to one M by about 620 (rising to 1.5 M by 641). Over the longer term, the outlay from the treasury fell from about four million nomismata in 565 to only about 1.5 million by 641 (Treadgold 1995: 196).

3. Italy: In the Exarchate of Italy, unpaid soldiers had already assassinated the exarch John, and at Naples a rebel, John of Conza*, had proclaimed himself emperor. After the reform of salaries had restored the treasury's solvency, Heraclius was able to send (616) the new exarch, the patrikios and cubicularius (eunuch chamberlain)** Eleutherius [616-619], with the pay that was overdue. Eleutherius soon restored a measure of order to Italy, and executed John of Conza (Treadgold 1997; Paulus Diaconus ch 34). Leaving Rome, he came to Naples which was held by the rebel John of Compsa. Eleutherius fought his way against him into Naples and killed that upstart <and many others with him>. He returned to Ravenna, gave the soldiers their stipend, and <great> peace was achieved throughout Italy (Liber Pont.). (*) Named for his birthplace, Conza, in the far east of Campania, NE of Eboli, near the Lucania-Apulia border. (**) Cubicularii were eunuchs who undertook the duties that in other households were undertaken by women: managing finances, writing letters, tending the wardrobe, serving meals and cooking (Rautman p.88). But by the 7th century it had become a tile of honour; the holder was not a body servant (Davis notes to Liber Pontificalis, p.120). In 616, the Neapolitan dux Cousinus [Giovanni Consino or John of Conza: Paul the Deacons Consia] attempted to establish his independence, but the new exarch Eleutherius defeated and killed him in the following year (or in 618: A Jones et al. 1992: 436). The exarch Eleutherius, a eunuch, led his troops from Ravenna to Rome and then on to Naples to defeat the rebel John of Conza (Paul the Deacon, 4.34). Brown 1984: 91 cites this as evidence of the continuing mobility of the army in Italy, which may indicate that it was a mainly cavalry force. Liber Pontificalis, trans David p.61: At that time the patrician [patrikios] and chamberlain Eleutherius came [616] to Ravenna and killed all who had been implicated in the death of the Exarch John and the judges of the State. He came to Rome and was excellently received by the holy pope Deusdedit. Leaving Rome he came to Naples which was held by the rebel 121

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John of Compsa. Eleutherius fought his way against him into Naples and killed that upstart <and many others with him>. He returned to Ravenna, gave the soldiers their stipend, and <great> peace was achieved throughout Italy. Meanwhile, the Lombard dux Sondrar or Sundrarius had defeated Eleutherius, and peace was gained only by the exarch agreeing to pay 500 Roman pounds (litrai) of gold annually (ibid.) Now 500 litrai was 36,000 gold coins. How this could be afforded on top of his troops pay is unclear, but in any event one imagines that it was peace with the Lombards that allowed Eleutherius to take his troops south against John of Conzas rebels. 4. The end of Antiquity: The town of Sardis in western Asia Minor, a provincial capital (Gk: metropolis) during the 500s, was abandoned for a hilltop castle or acropolis after 616, the date of the Persian invasion of the region. In the shops coins dated to 616 and earlier are present in the burned levels. Thus the burn-layers found by archaeologists are presumed to show that the Persians sacked the town. It also seems there had been an earthquake in 614. Of the coins excavated at Sardis, 1,011 derive from the years 491-616: eight for each year elapsed; 90 coins from the yrs 616-700 or about one per year; and just nine coins from yrs 700-900. Thus http://www.sp.uconn.edu/~dcaner/hist217/laworld-facts.html; accessed 2003.

[Western Asia Minor:] One of the richest lands of classical civilisation was now dominated by villages and fortresses. Foss, Ephesus after Antiquity, 1979, quoted in Hodges & Whitehouse p.63. The Case of Sardis During [the] late antique period, writes Greenhalgh, new building in Sardis was either ecclesiastical or private: public building, the very backbone of the classical city, disappears. Indeed, the excavators have guessed that, after the Persian attack of 616 AD - and comparing what they found before this date with what remained after it, - the population must have declined by about 90 per cent. In spite of this, Hanfmann, 1983: 214, remarks on the continuity and the recurrent civic activity, with vigorous rebuilding and renovation - right up to the destruction of 616 AD. Michael Greenhalgh, The Greek & Roman Cities of Western Turkey. Foss and Scott (2002) note that the entire nature of the town of Sardis changed after 616. The remains attest extensive destruction, followed by a total lack of evidence for almost a half century. In addition, some time in the seventh century an earthquake loosed a landslide from the acropolis that fell onto the lower town (already abandoned) and covered part of the temple of Artemis [NW of the 122

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acropolis] and caused the collapse of the old gymnasium [about one km from the acropolis] and other public buildings. When evidence is again available [from 660], the city was fundamentally different: the ancient metropolis (on the plain) had become a field for ruins, while the new city, or village, was focused on a castle on the ancient acropolis (on the hill). The distance from the agora (ancient market square) to the acropolis is about 700 metres. The first evidence for a medieval town at Sardis dates from the mid-seventh century*, when the main east-west road was rebuilt (cobblestones in a lime mortar). The large fortress (whose exact extent cannot be determined because of subsequent erosion of the hill) became and remained the centre of medieval Sardis. Its walls sheltered a substantial settlement, much of it obliterated by later construction. Rebuilding of the road shows that the place was not isolated but still stood on a major route of communication between the coast and the interior of Asia Minor, i.e. from Smyrna to Philadelphia. Foss & Scott 2002. See 716 sacked by Arabs. (*) See entry for 660. 616: From Vandals to East-Romans to Saracens: MIDPOINT IN THE PERIOD OF BYZANTINE RULE IN NORTH AFRICA 616-20: 1. The East: The Persians re-take Syria, invade Egypt (617-19), and control most of Asia Minor. The Patriarch of Alexandria at this time was Cyprus-born John the Almsgiver; his biography was afterwards written by the his friend Bishop Leontius (see under 650). 2a. Italy: The new exarch, the eunuch Eleutherius, 616-620, seems to have found the now fragmentary imperial state in Italy in utter confusion, and indeed (says Hutton 1913) on the verge of dissolution. In about 616, as we noted earlier, the Lombard dux Sundrarius (Sondrar) defeated him and forced a treaty. Eleutherius bought peace by consenting (c. 617) to pay the yearly tribute of 500 or 550 pounds of gold (i.e. five kentenaria* Hendy p.262) which perhaps pope Gregory had promised when he made a separate peace with the Lombards in 593, when Rome had been practically in the hands of the barbarians. 2b. As noted earlier, Naples had been usurped by a certain Joannes of Compsa or John of Conza. Ancient Compsa, modern Conza, was/is a town in the highlands of eastern Campania, NE of Eboli, near the Lucania-Apulia border. Hutton calls 123

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him "a wealthy Samnite landowner". He proclaimed himself lord in Naples, and it is obvious that even in Ravenna there was grave discontent. But Eleutherius soon disposed (ca. 618) of the usurper of Naples (Paul the Deacon 4.36; A Jones et al. 1992: 436; also Hutton 1913: my chronology follows that of Jones et al.). (*) A centenarium was a large leather bag containing 100 Roman pounds (litrai) of gold, which could be made up of coins, ingots and/or plate. One pound was equivalent to 72 standard gold coins or nomismata; thus, if paid in coin, five centenaria represented 36,000 nomismata. The bag was weighed so as not to have to count the coins . . . 616-26: Italy: By this time the power of the Exarchs of Ravenna had so declined that they were moving from an offensive policy in external affairs seeking the recovery of territory from the Lombards to a defensive policy: preserving the empires existing possessions (Brown 1984: 52). Cf 625-43 below. 616-40: Eadbald, Anglo-Saxon king ruler of Kent. He reverted to paganism, before coming back to Christianity. 617: The NW Balkans: According to the Miracula Sancti Demetrii or Miracles of St Demetrius, written during these decades, entire provinces of Illyria were horribly ravaged. In 617, according to the Miracula, a new wave of Slavs settled further down, i.e. in what is now Serbia, and from there undertook incursions in most of Prevalitania [Montenegro], Dardania [present-day Kosovo/north of Skopje], New and Old Epirus and Greek Macedonia, and making the majority of towns and provinces uninhabitable. The text reads thus: they devastated almost all Illyricum, namely its provinces: the two Pannonias, also the two Dacias,* Dardania, Moesia [presentday north Bulgaria], Praevalitana, Rhodopa [western Thrace] and all other provinces (Miracula Sancti Demetrii, ed. Byeus: AASS, octobris IV, p. 179 C 180). Cf 618: siege of Thessaloniki. (*) Dacia Ripensus, on the Danube [NW Bulgaria], and Dacia Mediterranea, between present-day Skopje and Sofia. 617-19: The East: The Persian general Shahrvaraz completed his devastating campaign by capturing Egypt, the richest of the Byzantine provinces and the bread-basket of Constantinople, along with its capital Alexandria, between 617 and 619. The chronicles say that Shahrvaraz invaded Egypt and, with much bloodshed, subjected it with Alexandria to the Persians (text in Palmer et al. 1993). No real details of how Nicetas lost Egypt have survived; but Olster 1993: 12021 is doubtless right in proposing that Egyptor at least the local troops that he commandedhad not recovered from the ravages of the earlier civil war of 609. Gibbon, Decline and Fall: Pelusium, the key of that impervious country [Egypt], 124

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was surprised by the cavalry of the Persians: they passed, with impunity, the innumerable channels of the Delta, and explored the long valley of the Nile, from the pyramids of Memphis to the confines of Aethiopia. Alexandria might have been relieved by a naval force, but the archbishop [John] and the praefect [Nicetas] embarked for Cyprus; and Chosroes entered the second city of the empire, which still preserved a wealthy remnant of industry and commerce. His western trophy was erected, not on the walls of Carthage, but in the neighbourhood of Tripoli [Libya]; the Greek colonies of Cyrene [Cyrenaica] were finally extirpated [an exaggeration*]; and the conqueror, treading in the footsteps of Alexander**, returned in triumph through the sands of the Libyan desert. (*) In fact, Greeks ruled in Cyrenaica until the Arab conquests of the 640s. (**) Some 950 years earlier, in 331 BC, the original conquering Greek, Alexander of Macedon, had made an excursion west to the great Siwa Oasis in the Libyan desert, just inside the modern Egyptian border. 618: 1. Macedonia: In 618 or perhaps around 620, a large Avaro-Slav army besieged Thessalonica by land, but not by sea. Curta 2006: 73 says in 617 or, at the latest, 618. The assailants belonged to various Slavic tribes already resident in Macedonia and Thessalythe Droguvitai (Drogubites), Sagudatai, Velegeztai (Belegezites), Vaiountai (Baiunetes, Vajunetes), Verzertai (Berzetes). They agreed unanimously to besiege Thessalonica under the leadership of a certain chief (Gk: exarchos) called Chatzn, who is called the leader of the foreigners living outside the city in the Miracles. When he was captured and killed, the Slavs sent to the chagan (qagan) of the Avars for aid. Their intentions were so clear that their wives and children camped in front of the walls of the city, ready to occupy it as soon as it fell. With the sea free, provisioning was assured. Moreover the Byzantines had learnt how to neutralise the Avars siege engines. The siege was lifted after little more than a month (33 days). This was to be the last serious threat to Thessaloniki for some centuries (Fine 1991: 42; Burke and Scott 2000: 3). Cf 619, 621. The siege must have taken place in 617 or 618 at the latest, and appears to have lasted just over a month. In the end, however, the Qagan (chagan) could not take the city. Instead, he opened negotiations with the besieged to obtain monetary compensation for withdrawing his troops (Miracles 2.2.215). The truce struck between Byzantium and the Avars allowed the emperor to transfer troops from Europe to Asia Minor. Thereafter (622) Heraclius was able to launch a campaign against the Persians (Haldon, Transformation p.45). 2. The bubonic plague returns to Constantinople its ninth visit (others say sixth) since the mid 500s (Stathakopoulos p.342). Evidently it was preceded by famine, which was itself the result of the cutting off of the grain-supply from 125

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3. Morocco: The Spanish Visigoths captured Septem (Ceuta) on the African side of the Gibraltar strait from Byzantium in 618 (thus the 1911 ed of the Encyc Brit.). As against this, we know from Nicephorus that in 641 the regent empress Martina exiled the treasurer Philagrius to Septem (Kaegi, Expansion p.155; McCormick, Origins p.853), indicating, that it was still, or again, under imperial control at that time. 618-19: 1. PLAGUE again in New Rome (Constantinople), its sixth visit in 80 years: Heraclius considers (618) removing the court to Carthage (Angold 2001: 43; also Stathakopoulos 2004). Persian Conquest of Roman Egypt 2. As the Persians advanced from Palestine, the imperial government decided to end the free handouts of bread - made from Egyptian wheat - to residents of Constantinople. After 619 grain supplies came from Thrace and elsewhere, but now people had to pay for their bread (Fossier p.283; Treadgold State 1997 p.292; Herrin 2007: 26). In the 400s, 80,000 loaves had been distributed daily in Constantinople: Socrates Scholasticus, ii.13. 618-48: THE END OF ANTIQUITY AND THE ORIGINS OF A BYZANTINE STATE Under Justinian (d. 565), Egypt had supplied eight million artabae* of wheat or enough to feed a population of one million (much of the grain was re-exported from Constantinople, eg to Thessalonica). Grain sailing season from Alexandria to Constantinople: September-October. Stock station at Tenedos, the small island at the mouth of the Hellespont. Last grain shipment: 619. Erdkamp 2005: 229; Curta, Slavs 2001: 138. (*) About 30 litres. An artabe or artaba of size 38 litres contained 30 litres of wheat. Abandoning the traditional free distributions of bread was a highly unpopular measure. After the loss of Egypt in 618-19, the price of a loaf was set at three folleis (bronze coins: 420 folleis per nomisma or gold coin). When the official in charge of the new system, John, nicknamed "the Earthquake", tried to more than double the price to eight folleis, a crowd of protesters, led by some of the palace guards (Scholai: who in this period were ceremonial guardsmen, not real fighters), advanced to St. Sophia in riotous ill humour (Herrin 1987). In 600 Constantinople was still principally fed from Egypt, by far the empires richest province. Justinians reconquests had also restored to the empire the 126

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other two great grain provinces, Sicily and Africa (Algeria-Tunisia-Libya). It is not clear what proportion of grain was being transported from the West to the East, but enough for Heraclius senior to be able, in 608, to blackmail Phocas, i.e. by withholding the grain supply from Carthage. Even so, as Wickham explains, 2005: 124 ff, Egypt must have been of paramount importance to the Eastern capital. This is the background to an understanding of the Persian and then Arab conquests of the period 613-642. The East Roman empire lost on two occasions two-thirds of its land area and three-quarters of its wealth (Hendys remark, cited by Wickham p.125). It managed once, but not twice, to defend itself, feed Constantinople, and reconquer the lost lands. The first loss of Egypt to the Persians in 618-19 was immediate in its impact (people had to pay for their bread and the capitals population must have declined quickly), but Wickham thinks, disagreeing with Olster, that the impact was not catastrophic. Probably Africa and Sicily increased in importance in the three decades 618-48. The Arabs threatened Africa from the 640s, but did not succeed in taking the grain-lands of Proconsularis (northern Tunisia) until the 690s. But the loss of Egypt forced, or it encouraged, the rulers of New Rome to make fundamental adjustments to the way the army and state were run. Thus by 660 we may now properly speak of a Byzantine state (Wickham p.125). 619: 50 YEARS SINCE THE LOSS OF MILAN TO THE LOMBARDS 619: Thrace: Avar campaign in Thrace in which it is said that they took an impossible 270,000 Christian captives* (Fine 1991: 42, citing Nicephorus). Even 27,000 sounds unlikely.* (*) Todays Turkey in Europe is 23,764 sq km. For the purposes of a thought-experiment, let us stipulate that the Christians of 7th century Thrace occupied twice that area, i.e. 47,529. Next we apply Stathakopouloss (2008) conservative density estimate for the whole Byzantine millennium, namely nine people per km2 in tough times. This yields a population of 427,761. An Avar detachment rides on to Constantinople and threatens the capital, but the walls defeat them. Gibbon, citing the Paschal Chronicle and Nicephorus: The chagan [the Avar monarch: from Turkic khayan, leader] was encamped in the plains of Thrace [Kaegi 2003; 118 places this in 623: see there]; but he dissembled his perfidious designs, and solicited an interview with the emperor near the town of Heraclea. Their reconciliation was celebrated with equestrian games; the senate and people, in their gayest apparel, resorted to the festival of peace; and the Avars beheld, with envy and desire, the spectacle of Roman luxury. On a sudden the hippodrome [of Heraclea] was encompassed by the Scythian [Avar] cavalry, who had pressed their secret and nocturnal march: the tremendous sound of the chagan's whip gave the signal of the assault, and Heraclius, wrapping his diadem 127

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round his arm, was saved with extreme hazard by the fleetness of his horse. So rapid was the pursuit that the Avars almost entered the Golden Gate of Constantinople with the flying crowds: but the plunder of the suburbs rewarded their treason, and they transported beyond the Danube 270,000 captives. Thus the Avars raided the extramural suburbs of Constantinople, causing great terror and panic among the local population. The patriarch Sergios agreed to a loan of church plate to provide silver for a new coin. Some say this was struck to buy a peace treaty with the Chagan. At this time supplies of other metals, even bronze in the form of antique statues, were collected and melted down to be minted as coin. But normally the gold and silver in church liturgical vessels was only sold to ransom Christian prisoners, and Sergios's innovation clearly represented an unusual measure of support for secular matters (Herrin loc. cit.). Others propose that he offered the emperor the wealth of the Church to equip a holy army to take the war into Persia. At any rate, the emperor arranges a truce with the Avars, and transfers troops from Europe to Asia. See 621-22.3. The far north-east: Treaty with the Onogur Turks, living in the north Caucasus: Heraclius secures an ally against the Avars and protects at the same time the empire's northern flank against Persia (Obolensky p.89). Cf 627. 619-20: Italy: Revolt by the Exarch. Finding the situation in Italy to be unsatisfactory, and taking advantage of Heraclius' preoccupation with the Sassanids, the eunuch exarch Eleutherius proclaimed himself emperor at Ravenna in 619, with the intent of setting up his capital in Rome. On the way from Ravenna to Rome in 620, however, while still deciding how to convince the new patriarch of Rome, Boniface V, to grant him a crown, he was murdered by his own soldiers. They were apparently still loyal to Heraclius. They sent his head to the emperor in Constantinople (Liber Pont.: A Jones et al. 1992: 436). The pretender was killed on the northern sector of the Via Flaminia* between Cagli and Gubbio, i.e. south of Urbino and north of Perugia; specifically, the Liber Pontificalis [papal chronicle] says at the castrum called Lucioli or Luceoli, which is modern Cantiano, NE of Gubbio (Lib. Pont. 71.2, trans. Davis p.65; Paul the Deacon 4.34). (*) Coming from Ravenna, a traveller would find the the link-road to the Via Amerina branching (to the SW) off the Flaminian at Scheggia, NE of Gubbio. The section of the Flaminian continuing from Scheggia via Nocera Umbra to Spoleto was controlled by the Lombards, while the Amerina, running from Perugia south to Todi and Rome, was Byzantine. See the map and text below for details of the route.

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The Rome-Ravenna Corridor When the incursions of Faroald (d. 584), the first Lombard Duke of Spoleto, had originally cut the Via Flaminia, the lifeline between Rome and Ravenna, another road, the Via Amerina a little to the west - was improved and fortified at intervals, works that represented some of the last road-building carried out in Italy in Late Antiquity/the Early Middle Ages. As the new military and strategic route, the Via Amerina "became the communications core of Imperial Italy and the chief support to the claim that imperial Italy was still extant". Hallenbeck 1982: 8. The Via Amerina was a highway that ran north to Perugia. The better known Via Flaminiaor Viae: the old Flaminia Vetus and the new Flaminia Nova 129

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diverged at Narni. These roads ran on the east, broadly parallel with the Amerina. Spoleto was located on the eastern leg, the Nova. Tracking from Rome, one first took the Via Cassia, the ancient road via Viterbo to Florence. The Amerina commenced as a branch road diverging from the Cassia near Baccanae (Baccano), SE of modern Sutri (east of Lake Bracciano). It ran thence NE through Nepi/Nepete and Falerii Novi west of present-day Civita Castellana: 65 km directly north of Rome. (The Amerina and the Flaminia almost touched at Civita Castellana; the latter ran from Rome just to the eastern edge of Civita Castellana and onward to Otricoli.) The Amerina continued directly north from Falerii Novi (via Vasanello) to Orte on the Tiber and thence via Ameila to Tuder [present-day Todi: west of Spoleto]. A detailed map of this sector (in Lazio) can be found at: http://www.penisolabella.it/wordpress/wpcontent/uploads/2009/05/amerina-map.jpg. If one draws a line west-east through Todi to Spoleto, a distance of about 25 km, it crosses three south-north roads in sucession: the Amerina at Todi (Byzantine), the Flaminia Vetus at Masa Martana (Lombard) and the Flaminia Nova near Spoleto (Lombard). From Todi the Amerina continued on through the valley of the Upper Tiber to Bettona and Perusia [modern Perugia], and then a link road went NNE to Gubbio: it joined Perugia to the Flaminian at Scheggia, NNE of Gubbio (Italian Wikipedia 2011 under Via Amerina(*); Diehl, Etudes byzantines 1905: 70**, citing the Anonymous of Ravenna). From Todi to Perugia, the line of the highway was approximately that of the modern E45 autostrada. (*) Italian Wikipedia: Dopo Perugia, i Bizantini entrati nel territorio della Pentapoli montana (o annonaria) [ = Italia Annonaria], passando per Gubbio, come detto prima al Passo della Scheggia, riprendevano la via Flaminia, ponendo il loro primo caposaldo in Luceoli nei pressi dell'odierna Cantiano, che li avrebbe condotti, attraverso la gola del Furlo, negli altri luoghi della Pentapoli: Cagli, Fossombrone, Jesi My translation, MOR: After Perugia, the Byzantines entered the territory of the Pentapolis highlands (or the Annonarian Pentapolis = Gk: Eparchia Annonaria or Lat. Italia Annonaria, another name for the greater Ravenna region; the province consisted of the lower Po Valley plus the region east of the Apennines and south of Ravenna), passing through Gubbio, to the aforementioned Scheggia Pass [Note 1], [and having there] rejoined [Note 3] the Via Flaminia, their [the Byzantines] first stronghold being located in Luceoli near today's Cantiano, there would have been/were tunnels through the Gorge of Furlo [Note 2], to the other sites/places in the [Byzantine] Pentapolis: Cagli, Fossombrone, . . .. See the map below. Note 1: The Scheggia Pass, NE of Gubbio, marks the division between the Central and Northern Apennines. It is in northern Umbria and lies between Gubbio and Cagli at 575 metres (1,886 feet). Note 2: Near Acqualagna, between Cagli and Fossombrone. In the narrowest point of the Furlo gorge (hence the name, from the Latin forulum, meaning 130

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"small hole"), the early Roman builders cut (in AD 77) a tunnel 38 metres long through rock to allow the the Flaminian Way through. Note 3: The line northwards from the Amerina is Gubbio-Scheggia-CantianoCagli-Furlo-Fossombrone. The line of the Flaminian is Nocera-Gualdo Tadino [med. Tadinum] via Sigillo to Scheggia-Cantiano-Cagli. (**) Diehl: An English translation of his French text follows below - De l [sc. Prouse/Perugia], elle rejoignait par deux routes la voie Flaminienne, soit en gagnant, par Gubbio, le poste de ad Ensem (Scheggia), soit en aboutissant a la place de Tadinum, reconquise par les Byzantins en juillet 599. De l par Lucioli, Callium, Petra Pertusa, elle gagnait la Pentapole. - cest surtout dans la partie vraiment dangereuse, entre Perouse [Perusia/Perugia] et Fossombrone, quaucune precaution navait t pargn pour assurer le passage des montagnes. Dans letroite passage, long de quarante kilometres, veritable clisoura, comme disaient les Byzantins, qui conduit de Scheggia au defile de Furlo, nul ne pouvait se soustraire a la surveillance des garnisons Byzantines. A lendroit ou le route se rtrcit, Gualdo-Tadino en commandait lentre; au point culminant du passage (750 m), le castrum de Lucioli (prs de Cantiano) fermait letroite gorge, longue de dix kilometres, o, entre deux hautes parois rocheuses, la route seule et la riviere trouvent place; ou point ou la vallee slargit un peu, Cagli defendait le passage; enfin au point le plus resserr, a la sortie des montagnges, le chateau de Petre-Pertusa barrait ltroit col de Furlo. Grace cette serie de postes, les communications etaient assur entre Rome et Ravenne My translation, MOR: From there [Perugia], it [the Amerina] rejoined, via two routes, the Flaminian Way, either [= NNE] by reaching, via Gubbio, the post/station of ad Ensem (Scheggia), or [= turning back SE] by proceeding to the site of Tadinum, reconquered by the Byzantines in July 599. From there [Scheggia], by Lucioli [Cantiano], Callium [Cagli], [and] Petra Pertusa [Furlo], it [the Flaminian] reached the Pentapolis. - it was especially in the really dangerous part, between Perugia and Fossombrone, that no precaution was spared/stinted [pargn] to secure the passage of the mountains. In the narrow passage, 40 kilometres long, a true clisoura [Greek for mountain pass], as the Byzantines would say, that led from Scheggia to the Furlo pass, no one could subtract themselves from [se soustraire: avoid/escape, withdraw oneself from] the watching Byzantine garrisons. At the point where the road [i.e. the Flaminian] narrows, Gualdo-Tadino commanded the entrance; at the culminating point of the pass/passage (750 m), the castrum [Latin for fort] of Lucioli (close to Cantiano) closed the narrow gorge, 10 kilometres long [Note 4], where, between two high rock faces/walls, the only route and the river find their way; at the point where the valley widens a little, Cagli defended the passage [Note 5]; finally at the tightest point, at the exit from the mountains, the castle of Petra-Pertusa barred the narrow neck/defile of Furlo [Note 6]. Thanks to this series of stations, communications were assured between Rome and Ravenna 131

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Note 4: From Cantiano to Cagli, the distance is 10 km, all through high mountains: the route today of the SP3 autostrada. Note 5: Coming south from the Pentapolis, it is at Cagli that one first encounters the highest country. Thus Diehl is saying that Cagli defended the northern entrance to the pass. Note 6: The 1911 edn of the Encyc. Brit. under Cagli proposes that the castle was outside the southern entrance to the tunnel.

Italian Wikipedia 2011: . un sistema di torri e castelli posti nei luoghi ritenuti
pi idonei dal punto di vista strategico tra le principali citt, nonostante i ripetuti attacchi da parte dei Longobardi ed il mutamento continuo delle linee di confine. Questo insieme di citt, fortificazioni e territorio posto tra i ducati longobardi della Tuscia e di Spoleto, venne denominato "Corridoio Bizantino". Nel medioevo , con la nascita dei castelli, spesso sul luogo di antiche torri di difesa costruite al tempo del Corridoio Bizantino, venne gradualmente abbandonato il percorso di fondovalle e sostituito da un nuovo tracciato di crinale, parallelo a quello pi antico, che univa gli insediamenti [settlements] sorti nel frattempo [meanwhile]: Avigliano, Dunarobba, Sismano, Pesciano, Montenero, Vasciano, oppure sul lato opposto Sambucetole, Lacuscello, Collicello, Canale, Frattuccia, Castel dellAquila, Camerata, Torre Gentile, Fiore e Torre Olivola, che rappresenta la pi imponente e strategica fortificazione posta a vigilare sulla valle dellArnata tra Castel dellAquila e Todi. [they maintained] a system of towers and fortified points [castelli posti] in places thought more suitable from the strategic point of view between the main towns, notwithstanding repeated attacks by the Lombards and a continuous change of boundaries. This system of towns, fortifications and territory, placed between the Lombard duchies of Tuscany and Spoleto, came to be called [by historians] the Byzantine corridor. In the Middle Ages [ = after the Byzantine era] . . . , with the establishment of fortresses, often on the site of the ancient defence-towers constructed at the time of the Byzantine Corridor, it [the Amerina] gradually came to be abandoned along the valley floor and was replaced by a new line of ridge-ways/crests [crinale], parallel to the older one, that joined up the intervening newly built (sorti, risen) settlements: Avigliano [between Amelia and Todi], Dunarobba, Sismano, Pesciano, Montenero, Vasciano, or on the opposite side Sambucetole, Lacuscello, Collicello, Canale, Frattuccia, Castel dellAquila, Camerata [near Todi], Torre Gentile, Fiore and Torre Olivola, which represented more imposing and strategic fortification watch-points to surveil the Arnata valley between Castel dellAquila and Todi.

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Above: Yellow = Umbria, green = Le Marche. The line Foligno-Nocera-Cantiano-Cagli is the Flaminian. The Amerina at Perugia was joined via a link-road through Gubbio to the Flaminian at Scheggia [not labelled on this map], just SE of Cantiano. The Flaminian reached the Adriatic Sea at Fano and followed the coast thence to Rimini. Diehl (quoted above) calls the Perugia-Fossombrone sector the really dangerous part of the Rome-Ravenna corridor. That is because for most of this period the Byzantine-Lombard (Spoletan) border lay on the Flaminian east of Gubbio and west of Fabriano. Local historians say that Fossato di Vico, west of Fabriano, took its name from the fortified ditch (fossato) that marked the boundary (cited in Wikipedia 2011, under Fossato di Vico). 2. The End of Antiquity in Asia Minor: Morrisson & Sodini, Sixth Century Economy, in Laiou ed. 2002, note that archaeologists have documented the decline of many coastal cities or urban centres, such as Ephesos, and even of towns that were at some remove from the sea, such as Sardis and Ankyra. The Persian attacks accelerated, or at least they coincided with, the end of the city of Antiquity and the transformation of towns into ruralised villages. The fate of other towns and cities is comparable: Byzantine Stauropolis, ancient Aphrodisias in south-west Asia Minor, survived the plague of 541542, 133

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but suffered severe depredations around 619620 [or perhaps earlier: see 616], and died away thereafter, without having been conquered. By the mid 600s it became almost* a ghost town, peopled only by its marbled statues (ibid. p.190; Ward-Perkins, Fall p.126). Silt from a nearby river eventually covered and protected what remained until the archaeologists arrived. (*) Evidently a village-size population continued in residence: - As the traditional institutions of the Roman empire declined and disappeared in the seventh century, so did Aphrodisias. The Byzantine community of Stauropolis, of which we know little, continued to occupy the site and maintain buildings. - In the early seventh century, when buildings had fallen, perhaps through earthquake damage, the community appears to have been incapable of undertaking any sort of restoration [of the city proper]; the materials from the dbris were eventually used in the early seventh century or later, to build a fortification wall round the Acropolis and the Theatre. - In or after the seventh century an inner fortification wall was built round the Theatre and the Acropoli. - The change of name of the metropolis [ie chief dioscesan seat] of Caria from the pagan Aphrodisias to the Christian Stauropolis, city of the Cross, is attested in ecclesiastical documents, and can be dated roughly to the middle decades of the seventh century. + The first dated mention of the name Stauropolis is in the Acts of the Sixth Ecumenical Council of 680, which was attended by the bishop of Stauropolis. - Under a new name, Caria, it was still the seat of a metropolitan (senior archbishop) as late as 787 and continued thus into the new millenium. thus Charlotte Rouechs online site about Aphrodisias: http://insaph.kcl.ac.uk/ala2004/narrative/sec-VI.html#backVI.note120; also Charlotte Rouech, Joyce Reynolds, Aphrodisias in late antiquity: the late Roman and Byzantine inscriptions, Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies, 1989 p.149. 620: 1. A bearded emperor: Image on a bronze dekanummium coin, from the mint at Catania, Sicily, 619-620 AD: obverse D N HERACLIVS PP AVG, i.e. Latin dominus nostrum Heraclius perpetuus Augustus: Our master Heraclius perpetual-eternal Augustus-emperor. The coin shows him crowned, draped and with a cuirassed bust facing with short beard holding a globus cruciger or globe topped with a cross in his right hand. By 630, however, his beard was huge with a large moustache. His predecessor Phocas seems to have been the first emperor to wear a beard. Maurice, who Phocas had deposed, was clean-shaven. (Already in the mid 500s Procopius had remarked that large untrimmed Persian-style beards were favoured by the leaders of the circus factions while most men still went clean shaven.) 2. Italy: Lombard coinage was initiated in Tuscany, probably c. AD 620, with the 134

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issuing of imitative tremisses of Herakleios and later of Constans II, acc. 641, with a cross potent reverse (NCMH: 541) . 620-21: 1. (or in 619:) Being short of funds [for war], he [the emperor] took on loan the moneys of religious establishments [the pious houses] and he also took the candelabra and other vessels of the holy ministry from the Great Church, which he minted into a great quantity of gold and silver coin (Theophanes). 2. Asia: Sarbaros [Shahbaraz, a title meaning "the Great Boar of the Empire"], the Persian commander, . . . took his forces and came to Cilicia that he might turn the emperor round by his attack on Roman territory. Fearing, however, lest the emperor invade Persia by way of Armenia and cause disturbance therein, he could not make up his mind what to do (ibid.) The Chronicle of Theophanes, trans. Cyril Mango and Roger Scott 1997. 3. Spain: King Sisebut, in a great campaign in perhaps 620 or 621, managed to capture Carthago Spartaria (Cartagena), the Byzantine provincial capital, known to the Rhomaniyans as Justina, the most important town of all the province. The Spanish Wikipedia (2009) prefers to date this to 622. The two versions of Isidores History allow various dates for this event: 615, 621, 622 and 625, the latter version suggesting that Sisebuts successor Suintila, acc. 621, captured the town. It fell by the treason of some of its inhabitants who opened the gates of the surrounded town to the Visigoths. The town was then razed. After the fall of Carthago Spartaria several other towns fell to Sisebut, and following his death in 621 [or earlier in 619], Malaga and the remaining coastal towns of the Straits fell into the hands of his successor Suintila, i.e. by 624/25. So far was Sisebut from being an illiterate barbarian that he tried his hand at Latin poetry and wrote a life of St Desiderius of Vienne [France]. His Latin poem in hexameters on the eclipses of the moon, Carmen de Luna or Praefatio de Libro Rotarum, is dedicated to a friend, thought to be Isidore of Seville (Riche, Occident Barbare, Paris 1962 pp. 268, 304). 620-23: The Balkans undefended: In ca. 620 (or perhaps 621-22), Heraclius moved all troops from the Balkans to the Eastern front. This action seems to have allowed the Avars a wider range of raiding and of control in the Balkans. In 623, or earlier, they ambushed the emperor himself near the Long Wall in inner Thrace (Theophanes dates this ambush to 619: TCOT: 12). Cf 623: Slav raid on Crete. Among the troops brought to Anatolia were the 8,000 or so survivors of the old Army of Thrace; they will in due course form the fighting force of a new Thracesian province or theme (Treadgold, State p.374). On the themes [themata], see below under 659-62.

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621-22: The East: After the peace treaty with the Avars (620 or 621), the emperor transferred (621 or 622) what remained of the imperial troops in Europe (his European armies as Theophanes says) to Asia, despite evident Slav activity (TCOT: 13). New recruits were enrolled in the lists, armed, trained, instructed as to their Christian role, and prepared for serious action. In other words, Heraclius rebuilt the Byzantine army. He then sails from the capital [4 or 5 April 622] initially to Cilicia to prepare for his counteroffensive against Sassanian Persia (June-July 622: Chronicle of Theophanes 1997: 437). He was the first emperor since Theodosius I to personally lead an expedition (says Norwich 1988: 189). The Expedition to E Anatolia, 621-22 Heraclius drilled his troops on the parade grounds of Bithynia in NW Asia Minor in late 621, combining new tactics with spiritual indoctrination. Thence he sent them to central Anatolia: a single large army of possibly over 30,000* men is brought together at or near Caesarea, and it trains for the coming offensive. Since he sailed (galleys were mainly rowed) to Cilicia, he would have travelled from there by land to meet up with the army near Caesarea. (*) Noting that the entire army reached 70,000 in 627 (see there), Treadgold State p.294 proposes 50,000 for 621-22. But the 70,000 of 627 included a large number of Khazars; so the number of Byzantines who came together in 621-22 may have been nearer 30,000. (The Khazars resided in the region north of the Caucasus.) After further training, the army proceeded (622) into Armenia before wintering in the vicinity of the Black Sea coast. From there Heraclius invaded Persian territory in the spring of 622. Others place this in 623. After much skirmishing he defeated the Persians under Sarbaros [Shahvaraz]. It is not stated where, but, because Theophanes mentions Sarbaros coming back out of the (Anti-Taurus) mountains, presumably the battle took place in the western sector of upper Mesopotamia. The training seems to have paid off: the victory was won using a feigned retreat (TCOT: 14-15). Treadgold 1997: Heraclius made a truce with the Avars, promising them tribute in order to free himself for a campaign against the Persians. In July [622**] the emperor led his reorganized army to Cappadocia, where he found the Persian army under Shahrvaraz. The Persian general occupied the Cilician Gates to keep the emperor out of Syria; but when the Byzantines turned toward Armenia and threatened to outflank Shahrvaraz, he followed them. After some indecisive manoeuvres, the armies came to a battle [in 622, probably at the start of August**], in which Heraclius defeated Shahrvaraz. Although the victory was not a crushing one, the Persians left Anatolia, and the effect on both sides' morale was considerable. It was the Byzantines' first defeat of the Persians in years.

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(**) There was an eclipse of the moon on 28 July 622 which serves to correct Theophanes chronology. He places the battle soon after the eclipse, meaning that the true date is 622 (Theophanes Chronicle 1997 edn: 437). Horse armour The Persians, defeated in a skirmish probably in Cappadocia (or perhaps Armenia), withdraw from Asia Minor. Describing this battle, Theophanes mentions Heracliuss horse-armour. The emperors horse took a lance-thrust in the flank and received many sword-blows to the face [but], because he [the horse] was wearing armour of layered felt, he was unharmed, nor did the sword have any effect (quoted in McGeer). In 627 (see there) the emperor rode a horse protected by armour of sinew, presumably boiled (hardened, dried) leather, cuir bouilli. Not literally boiled but softened by soaking in water or wax, then shaped and let dry. 621-31: Spania: Reign of Suinthila or Swintila, Visigoth king of Spain, a seasoned dux provinciae [provincial governor] and an experienced general (NCMH ed. Fouracre et al., pp.352-53). The Visigoths finally take the last Byzantine footholds in south-east Spain. Suinthilas troops eliminated the Byzantine enclave in the period 621-25. Collins 2004: 77 suggests that Cartagena fell around 625; Martin 2003: 285 concurs; Barbero and Loring in the NCMH loc.cit. accept a date of between 623 and 625. Quoting Isidore, Goubert (1944: 74-75) says that Swinthila [sic: Isidores spelling] subjugated (perdomuit) the fortress-towns of the Romans (castra Romana). And again, he took the remaining towns [urbes] that the Roman army still possessed in Spain. Of the two Byzantine patrikioi still serving in Spain, Suinthila captured one using a ruse and defeated the other in a decisive encounter. Goubert proposed (citing Leclercq) that the surviving imperial strongholds in the Algarve (our lower Portugal) such as Ossobona and Lagos were captured in 624. He notes that others have suggested in 625 or 629. Post-Antique Latin: The historian and scholar Isidore, bishop of Seville, wrote his encyclopaedic Etymologiae during Suinthilas reign. He quotes from 154 authors, both Christian and pagan. Many of the Christian authors he had read in the originals; of the pagans, many he consulted only in current compilations. The Chronology of Heracliuss Eastern Campaigns Here we contrast the chronology proposed by Treadgold, 1997: 294 ff, with that of Nicolle 1994 who closely follows Theophanes. 621: The Army of Thrace is transferred to Asia, to bolster the troops already there. Heraclius drills his forces to a high state of readiness. 137

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622, July: From Cilicia, the emperor leads his army into Cappadocia, against Shahrvaraz. When the Byzantines turn towards Armenia, the Persian army follows. In September Heraclius defeats Shahrvaraz (the date can be fixed absolutely from an eclipse two months earlier mentioned by Theophanes). Then Heraclius returns to Constantinople, apparently leaving the army in or near Armenia. Nicolle concurs. Winter 622-23: Armenia. 623: Heraclius was in the West, dealing with the Avars. Winter 623-24: The Byzantine army wintered in Azerbaijan (ancient Albania). 624: Heraclius retakes Theodosiopolis in what had been Byzantine Armenia. Then he proceeds against Dvin, the capital of Persian Armenia, which he sacked. (Nicolle, following Theophanes, puts this in 623.) Next, he invaded the Persian province of Atropatene, which is our southern Azerbaijan and N Iran. By summer, his army was over halfway to Ctesiphon. The Persians came against him but pulled back. Continuing on, the emperor stopped in N Iran to sack Ganzaca and destroy its fire temples. Nicolle, following Theophanes, puts this in 623. Next he took the shahs summer palace in the mountains. By now it was autumn. Heraclius decided to turn around and proceed to Caucasian Albania, formerly a Persian protectorate, and go into winter quarters there. Winter 624-25: Albania (Azerbaijan). 625, spring: Heraclius marches SW from Albania into Suinia [NE of Lake Van], a district of Persian Armenia. There he was threatened by three separate Persian armies, and routed them all. He decided to winter in Byzantine Armenia, and, as he withdrew past Lake Van, the Persians followed. Another Byzantine victory followed, and Heraclius took winter quarters beside Lake Van. Winter 625-26: Armenia (Lake Van). 626: Heraclius takes Amida in what had been Byzantine Mesopotamia. Learning that the Persians are marching away from him towards Constantinople, he turned to intercept Sharvaraz in Cappadocia. Nicolle appears to place this in 625. After an 138

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inclusive clash, the emperor now divided his forces. One corps he led to the Caucasus. A second corps (12,000 men) was sent to aid Constantinople and a third, larger corps went into eastern Anatolia to check another Persian army proceeding westwards. In June Shahrvarazs army reached the Sea of Marmara opposite Constantinople. There a combined Avar-Slav siege was defeated. A large part of the Persian corps perished. Winter 626-27: The three Byzantine corps wintered separately. Heraclius was in Iberia (modernday Georgia). 627, summer: The bulk of the Byzantine forces in Anatolia marched to join the emperor in Iberia. Meanwhile Heraclius own corps defeated and killed the Persian commander Sharaplakan. Late summer: With Iberian and Lazican* allies, Heraclius led a large combined army deep into Persian territory. Nicolle puts this in 626. December, in Assyria: At Nineveh, near modern Mosul, the Byzantines and their northern allies crushed the Persians in a major battle. (*) From east and west Georgia respectively. Iberia lay inland; Lazica bordered the Black Sea. Winter 627-28: The winter campaign continues. The Rhomaniyans capture Dastigerd, the shahs favourite palace. An offer of peace was rejected, so Heraclius proceeded towards the enemy capital Ctesiphon. It was protected by a canal in high flood, so the Byzantines turned back to Atropatene [i.e., NNE to northern Iran]. Khusrau was rapidly overthrown. (622:) Muhammad and Abu Bakr flee Mecca for Medina: the Muslim "Hegira" or hijra, 'emigration'. This will become the base year for the Islamic calendar. Cf 624. 622-23: NE Asia Minor: In this year Chosroes, emperor of the Persians, appointed as his commander Sarablangas [Pers. Sharaplakan], an energetic man filled with great vanity; and having entrusted him with the contingents of the so-called Khosroegetai and Perozitai [elite regiments], sent him against Herakleios in Albania [modern Georgia]. Theophanes, online at www.deremilitari.org; accessed 2009. In late 622 when Heraclius moved further eastprobably on the Satala*Theodosiopolis roadthe Persian army had no other choice but to follow. In February 623, after several failed attempts to come to grips with the Romans and intense skirmishing, Shahrbaraz decided to attack. Defeated by Heraclius, he retreated. The Optimates, an elite Byzantine regiment of lancers or horse139

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spearmen, played a key role in this battle (Kaegi, Heraclius p.115). The cleric and poet George of Pisidia was taken along as chaplain on this expedition, expecting (as indeed happened) that George would glorify the emperor in verse. A J Butler 1902: 123, perhaps unkindly called his poems tedious. Tastes differ: Michael Psellus, fl. AD 1067, compares him with, and even prefers him to, Euripides; but the later may not have been known in detail to Psellus (Both the poets used iambic trimeters.) (*) Satala was near todays Gumushane, which is south of Trabzon. Theodosiopolis is todays Erzerum. In other words, the battle was fought somewhere NW of Erzerum. 623: Winter 622-23: Heraclius with the army in Armenia. 623: Heraclius was in the West, dealing with the Avars. Winter 623-24: The Byzantine army wintered in Azerbaijan (ancient Albania). 1. Thrace, June: Aborted summit meeting at Heraclea between Heraclius and the Avar khagan. The Avars attempted to seize Heraclius. The emperor managed to escape in disguise, but an Avar force crossed through the Long Wall and ravaged inner Thrace (Howard-Johnston, East Rome, Sasanian Persia and the end of antiquity: historiographical and historical studies, Ashgate Publishing, 2006, p.15). 2. Anatolia: The Persians again briefly occupy Caesarea* and sack Ancyra. The sequel exemplifies the >>THE END OF ANTIQUITY<<. When Ancyra was reoccupied by the East Romans, they left most of the town empty, and it was reconstituted thereafter as a hilltop fortress-village (Mango p.72). (*) At about this time, Chosroes wrote thus to Heraclius: Noblest of the gods, king and master of the whole earth, son of the great Oromazes [Hormisdas], Chosroes, to Heraclius his vile and insensate slave: . . . Have I not destroyed you Romans? You say you trust in God; why then has he not delivered out of my hand Caesarea, Jerusalem, Alexandria? Could I not also destroy Constantinople? (quoted in Norwich 1988: 284; full text in Bury HLRE II: 220). Cf version below, under 624. Indeed the attack on Constantinople was attempted in 626: see there. 3. The East: Heraclius sails to Trebizond and from there joins the army in Asia Minor: the Persians withdraw. Theophanes says the Persian army numbered 40,000. Theophanes says that the emperor wintered (623-24) in Caucasian Albania which is modern eastern Georgia-Azerbaijan. 4. Pagan Slav raiders attack Christian Crete. Source: Thomas of Emesa, also the Book of the Caliphs: text in Palmer et al. 1993: 18; Obolensky, p.79. Whether they came from the NW (via Cythera) or the north (via the Cyclades), it was a long way across open ocean in the dug-out mono-hulls typically deployed 140

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by the Slavs. Conceivably, of course, they could have commandeered some Greek galleys and their crews. At a guess, via Cythera seems more likely, as the Byzantines still controlled the Cyclades 623-24: Winter 623-24: The Byzantine army wintered in Azerbaijan (ancient Albania). 624: Herclius leads a campaign in southern Azerbaijan and N Iran. Winter 62425: The army winters in Albania (N Azerbaijan). The East: Heraclius again invaded Armenia, defeated the Persians, and, as noted, ravaged Azerbaijan (62324 or more likely 624-25). Theophanes chronology runs thus: March 623 to Armenia; 20 April: Heraclius invades Persian territory and proceeds in pursuit of Khosroes towards Gazakon or Ganzaka, modern-day Takab or Takt-e Solayman, and then Thebarmais (Thebarmes). Takab is in the far NW of present-day Iran. Treadgold dates this to 624. End of summer: Heraclius withdraws to Albania (the eastern Caucasus) for the winter. Late 623: Persian troops under Sarablangas follow as the Byzantine army retires to Albania but do not attack. Spring 624: Heraclius again invades Persian territory, his Byzantine army now strengthened by Lazikan, Abasgian and Iberian allies. Two Persian armies came against him, but Heraclius pushed past them, only to be faced with a third Persian army. All three were defeated. This seems to have taken place in the borderlands between Persarmenia or eastern Armenia and Mesopotamia (TCOT: 19). Treadgold prefers to date this to 625. The army under Khosroes that withdrew from Gazakon or Ganzaca in 623/24 numbered 40,000 (TCOT: 16). Theophanes: On 20 April [623 according to him] the emperor invaded Persia. When Chosroes learnt of this, he ordered Sarbarazas [Sarbaros, Shahrvaraz] to turn back; and, having gathered his armies from all of Persia, he entrusted them to Sain [Shahin], whom he commanded to join Sarbarazas with all speed and so proceed against the emperor. 624: Muhammad designates Mecca, replacing Jerusalem, as the correct direction in which to kneel for prayer. c. 624: 1. The East: According to Sebeos, Chosroes wrote thus to Heraclius: You claim confidence in your God, yet how was it that your troops did not save Caesarea, Jerusalem and great Antioch from my hands? And could it be that even now you do not know that land and sea has been made obedient to me? Now it is only Constantinople which I have been unable to dig up. Yet, I will forgive all your faults. Bring your wife and children and come here, and I shall give you fields, vineyards and olive-trees by which you may live; and we shall look upon you affectionately. Do not deceive yourself with your vain hopes, for how can that Christ who was unable to save himself from the Jews (but was crucified instead) save you from me? For [even] if you descend to the bottom of the sea, I shall 141

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stretch forth my hands and seize you. At http://rbedrosian.com/seb8.htm; accessed 2005. 2. Macedonia: Further pagan Slavs enter the Aegean region in numbers. Thessalonica is briefly invested, but a storm destroys the Slav dug-out boats or 'sail-canoes' (Browning p.38). 3. End of East Roman rule in Spain: Not until ca. 624 [or ?621] did a Visigothic king (Suinthila) finally dislodge the empire from Cartagena and Malaga. Martin 2003: 285 prefers 625. 625-825: THE BYZANTINE DARK AGE Browning 1992: 70 and Rautman p.49 note that in this period public baths seem to have gradually gone out of use in those towns which survived in their original locations. If we follow Squatriti 2002: 64, this was a decline, not a fall: semi-public, collective baths did not wholly disappear until after AD 1000, at least in Italy. And archaeology has shown that the bathhouse at Amorium, the seat of the Anatolikon Theme, continued in use from the seventh through early ninth centuries, i.e. until it was sacked by the Arabs in 838 (Henning p.46). But, says Magdalino, after about 550 the Byzantine towns that were rebuilt or moved to a new location usually had none at all. The major exception was in the Capital, where the public baths continued, a further example of the gulf that was growing between the urban population and the people of the provinces. Magdalino 1990; also Yegl 2008 (in Caraher et al., pp.171-73). Payment in cash for entry to the baths in Constantinople in the later 600s is mentioned in the Life of St Andrew the Fool (Haldon, Transformation p.116). In the East we see some new constructions on a large scale. For example, on Cyprus Heraclius ordered built (in about 629) a massive, 35 mile: 55 km, aqueduct that ran to the provincial capital Constantia (near modern Famagusta). But this was exceptional, a special reward for an island that had heavily contributed to the expenses of his wars: Derek Krueger 1996, Symeon the holy fool: Leontius's Life and the late antique city, University of California Press, p.10. Elsewhere, baths were often dispensable. Grado in NE Italy was an important town or castrum and port in the Byzantine period, but when it was augmented and re-fortified before 600, the water supply came from cisterns; no aqueducts or public baths were constructed (Christie, Archaeology p.264). At Ravenna, on the other hand, new public baths were built by the bishop in the sixth century and, says Deliyannis, they continued to be used until the ninth century. The aqueduct was repaired in the early seventh century. Presumably this too was exceptional, Ravenna being the provincial political capital until 751. Deborah Deliyannis, Ravenna in Late Antiquity, Cambridge University Press, 2009, p.201. At Rome, four or more aqueducts were maintained at least until the end of the ninth century: the Traiana [from the west: terminus on the Janiculum Hill, just 142

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inside the citys west wall], the Virgo [from the north: terminus at the baths of Agrippa in Campus Martius, in the centre of the NW sector of the city], the Alexandriana [from the east, terminus just inside the eastern wall] and the Claudia [from the SE: terminus on the Caelian Hill, in the centre of the citys SE quarter]. They served, among other things, several baths (Hendrik Dey, The Aurelian Wall and the Refashioning of Imperial Rome, AD 271-855, Cambridge University Press, 2011 p.197). There were still (or again) baths operating in Lombard Benevento (S Italy) around AD 810; but again they may have been used just by the ruling caste (see Skinner 1997: 40).

624: Major campaign against Persia. Proceeding from Caesarea, Heracliuss army ousts (624) the Persians from Armenia and proceeds south into present-day Azerbaijan and N Iran. As we noted, his troops systematically destroyed the fire temples of the Persian cities while campaigning in this region, in revenge for the Persian desecration of Christian Jerusalem. Notably they destroyed the temple at Thebarmes [Thebarmais], the reputed birthplace* of Zoroaster. Thebarmes is usually considered the same as, or near, Takht-i Sulaiman (Farsi: Takht-e Soleymn) about 30 km NNE of Takb in todays West Azarbaijan province of Iran (HowardJohnston, East Rome, Sasanian Persia and the end of antiquity: historiographical and historical studies, Ashgate Publishing, 2006, p.17). Takab lies west of the southern point of the Caspian Sea and SSE of Tabriz. (*) Textual evidence conflicts in regard to the actual birthplace of Zoroaster and so the location is much debated. Yasnas 9 & 17 cite the Ditya River in Airyanem Vaejah (Pahlavi Eran Wej), or "Homeland of the Aryans," as his home and the scene of his first appearance, indicating broadly somewhere between the Caucasus and south Asia. On the other hand, the Bundasisn or "Creation" (20, 32 and 24, 15) places his birth and his fathers home near the Dhraja River. This same text identifies Eran Wej, the Iranian expanse, with the district of Aran on the river Aras (Araxes), close by the north-western frontier of the Medes. This refers to the borderland between ancient Armenia and ancient Azerbaijan. According to Yasna 59, 18, the zarathustrotema or supreme head of the Zoroastrian priesthood, at a later time, namely during the Sassanid dynasty, resided in Ragha (Rai), the Iranian city of Rayy, nowadays a suburb of Tehran. The Persian Muslim writer Shahrastani has endeavoured to solve the conflict by arguing that Zoroasters father was from Atropatene or southern Azerbaijan, while his mother was from Rayy. Thus Theophanes: Setting out from Gazakos, the emperor reached Thebarmais, which he entered and burnt down the temple of Fire as well as the entire city; and he pursued Chosroes in the defiles of the land of the Medes. Chosroes went from place to place in this difficult terrain, whilst Herakleios, as he was pursuing him, 143

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captured many towns and lands. at http://www.deremilitari.org/resources/sources/theophanes.htm. Alliance with the Khazars: Following the East Roman campaign against Persia (589), the Turkish Khazars had reappeared in Armenia, though it was not till 625 that this people, long known to Persians and Armenians as Khazirs and to the Romans as Akatzirs, take their place as Khazars in the Romanic annals. Theophanes refers to the Turks from the east called Khazars (Shapira, Sources in Peter Golden et al., eds, The World of the Khazars: New Perspectives Brill 2007, p.332). The khan or khakan, enticed by the promise of an imperial princess, furnished (625 or 626) Heraclius with (says Theophanes) 40,000 men for his Persian war, and a few shared in the victory over Chosroes at Nineveh in todays N Iraq. (Many deserted, or at least they left before the the battle of Nineveh.) Others, namely Mango in his Oxord History p.57 and Wickham 2009: 258, call them Gk Turks, presumably because Khazar is a latter-day name. The Khazar qaganate was the successor to the Gok Turk empire. c. 625: 1. The West: The Maltese islands receive a separate mention in the Descriptio orbis Romani, the civil-geographical list of George of Cyprus, dated to around 600. He places Melite [Malta] and Gaudos [Gozo] in the section of Sicily, thereby implying a political dependence. On the other hand, another early seventh century text, the Istoria Suntomos of Patriarch Nicephorus, makes reference to the dux of the island of Gaudo-melete. Gaudo-melete is obviously a compound word formed of the respective Byzantine names of the two islands, though the fact that Gaudos precedes Melite may not be without significance. The relevant passage in the Istoria projects a picture of the Maltese Islands as an outpost of the Empire to which political dissidents were banished. Mario Buhagiar 1997. 2. Italy: Romanisation of Longobard dress after 600: Formerly they had their hair parted on either side of their forehead, hanging down their face as far as the mouth. Paul the Deacons description of paintings in Theodolindas (d. 628) palace at Monza, near Milan. It is implied that by Pauls own time (fl. 770) the Lombards, including of course himself, no longer dressed differently from other Italians. In full, Paul 4.22: They [formerly] shaved the neck, and left it bare up to the back of the head, having their hair hanging down on the face as far as the mouth and parting it on either side by a part in the forehead. Their garments [this would refer to long tunics] were loose and mostly linen, such as the Anglo-Saxons are wont to wear, ornamented with broad borders woven in various colours. Their shoes, indeed, were open almost up to the tip of the great toe, and were held on by shoe latchets interlacing alternately. But later [?after Theodolindas time*] they began to wear trousers, over which they put (?) leggings [and?] shaggy woollen cloth [tubrugos birreos] when they rode. But they had taken that from a custom of the Romans. Or: Later they began to use leggings (osae), over 144

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which they put tubrugos [and?] birreos when riding. Postea vero coeperunt osis uti, super quas equitantes tubrugos [et?] birreos mittebant. The word osis/hosis/osae could mean trousers, leggings or gaiters. One writer speaks of Gothic-style linen hosa as close-fitting leg-bags. Christie, Lombards, has even translated it as thigh boots. Tubrucus means legging(s) that cover trousers and shins in Isidore of Seville (Etym. 19: 22: 30). But the exact meaning of tubrugos birreos remains uncertain. Cf Latin birrus, birri woollen raincloak(s). Presumably the top half of the body was clothed by a shirt or short tunic. (*) The monk of Salerno in the Chronicum Salernitanum says that Theodolindas son, king Adaloald, AD 616-626, was the first who wore trousers or leggings (osa). Iste primum calcavit [sic: ?calciavit**] osam part[h]icam. That one (he) first put on Parthian trousers. Latin text in Walter Pohl & Helmut Reimitz 1998: 44; my translation, MOR. (**) Calciavit: he has put his feet in (something) vs calcavit he has trod under foot. 625: Winter 624-25: The army winters in Albania (Azerbaijan). 625, spring: In Persian Armenia Heraclius is threatened by three separate Persian armies, but routs them all. Winter 625-26: The army winters in Armenia (Lake Van). The East: Three Persian armies converge on Persian Armenia, but Heraclius defeats them all (Treadgold 1997: 296). Cf 627. The majority view would place the outmanoeuvring by Heraclius of the three Persian generals sent to defeat him in 625, rather than 624. A new chronology of Heraclius' movements put forward by Constantin Zuckerman, "Heraclius in 625," Revue des tudes byzantines 60 [2002], 189-97, compresses events normally placed in 624 and 625 into the one year, 624. Khusro raised three separate armies to trap the Greek Romanics, but, in one of the most remarkable campaigns of the ancient world, Heraclius outmanoeuvred all three, defeating each of them in turn - a feat the American military historians Ernest and Trevor Dupuy have argued places the East Roman emperor among the great captains of history, alongside Alexander, Hannibal and Julius Caesar. http://www.thehistorian.co.uk/crusader_samp2a.html. Treadgold 1997: By the spring of 625 Khusrau had brought his chief generals and many of his soldiers from the west. The king sent them against Heraclius in three army groups, led by Shahrvaraz, Shahin, and a third general, Shahraplakan. The emperor marched south from Albania into Suinia, a district of Persian Armenia, while the enemy armies converged upon him. But he outmaneuvered them. He managed to defeat Shahraplakan just before Shahin arrived, then to rout Shahin's army and capture its camp. The remnants of the defeated Persian forces took refuge with Shahrvaraz. 145

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The Campaign of 625 The sequence of events as related in Theophanes and with his chronology: March 625: From Syria Heraclius leads his army to the Tigris River and the fortresstowns of Martryopolis and Amida. Meanwhile Sarabaros (Shahrvaraz) has assembled a Persian army east of the Euphrates. Heraclius raids across the Euphrates before returning to Germaniceia. The two armies came at each other on the opposite side of the Saraos River. After an inconclusive clash, the Byzantines retire to Sebasteia before wintering in the upper Halys valley (TCOT: 21). Theophanes under 625: As for Sarbaros, he collected his scattered army and went after him. The emperor picked a band of soldiers and sent them to guard the passes leading to his position; and sallying forth to the eastward passages, he moved to confront Sarbaros. He crossed the Nymphios river and reached the Euphrates, where there was a pontoon bridge made of rope and boats. The End of Antiquity By 625: The Slavic invasions and plague had already brought about urban collapse in the Balkans (Soltysiak 2006). Except for a number of towns whose garrisons were maintained from the sea, and the east coast of the Peloponnesus, the whole Greek peninsula was lost to Rhomaniya-Byzantium for nearly two centuries. As noted above, except in Salonika [Thessaloniki] and the island of Paros, "not a single Early Christian church remained standing in all of Greece" (Obolensky p.80; Mango 1980: 70). East Britain, or better Anglo-Saxonia: Ethelburga, died c. 647, was the second wife of the pagan king Edwin of Northumbria, the northernmost Anglo-Saxon realm. She was the daughter of Ethelbert of Kent, a pagan, and his Christian wife Bertha, herself daughter of the Frankish (Merovingian) king of Paris. Ethelburgas marriage to Edwin in 625 triggered the conversion of the north of England to Christianity. Edwin converted to the Roman religion in 627; but this was not decisive: his successor reverted to paganism (or the True Faith of polytheism as of course most saw it). It was not until the reign of Ethelburgas son Oswald, d.642, that the whole ruling caste in Northumbria finally went over to Christianity (Wikipedia, 2011, under Oswald). Christianity had endured since late Roman times among the enemies of the Anglo-Saxons in the west and north-west: the post-imperial Celts or Britons of Wales and Strathclyde, or at least among their ruling stratum. A letter written by St Patrick, d. 493, to king Coroticusif the latter was indeed a king in Celtic Strathclydeindicates that the Christianisation of southern Scotland had made considerable progress already by that time. 625/26: b. Heracleonas, future emperor, son of Heraclius and Martina. 146

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625-43: The Exarch of Byzantine Italy was Isaac. According the Greek inscription in verse on his funerary urn at Ravenna, he was an Armenian of an illustrious family, companion of kings in battle, and commanded the army of the east and of the west (translated in Cadells Journey in Cariniola, 1820 p.34; Isaacs earlier military career had been in the East with Heraclius). Overall, according to Richards p.35, his governorship was a notable period of imperial consolidation and military success against the Lombards. Cf 630. Hutton, in his Ravenna, 1913, took a different view: Isaac the Armenian was appointed and he ruled, as his epitaph tells us, for 18 years, 625-643. Isaac's rule [or its final year] was not fortunate for the imperialists. He is probably to be acquitted of the murder [in 630/31] of Taso, Lombard duke of Tuscia, but it is certain that Rothari [acc. 636: see there], the Lombard king in his time, [here Hutton quotes Paulus Diaconus:] "took all the cities of the Romans which are situated on the sea-coast from Luna in Tuscany to the boundary of the Franks [= the greater Genoa region]; also he took and destroyed [in about 640] Opitergium [Oderzo capital of Byzantine Venetia], a city between Treviso and Friuli [i.e. NNE of our Venice], and with the Romans of Ravenna he fought [AD 643] at the river of Aemilia which is called Scultenna (our Panaro River) [= the ModenaBologna region]. In this fight 8,000 fell on the Roman [Byzantine] side, the rest fleeing away." Cf 636. A different translation of Paulus 4.45 reads thus: King Rothari [acc. 636] then captured all the cities of the Romans [Byzantines] which were situated upon the shore of the sea from the city of Luna (the port of Luni) in Tuscany up to the boundaries of the Franks. Also he captured and destroyed Opitergium (Oderzo) a city placed between Tarvisium (Treviso) and Forum Julii (Friuli: Cividale). He waged war [in 643] with the Romans of Ravenna [led by the exarch Isaac] near the river of Emilia [a tributary of the Po: near Modena] which is called the Scultenna (Panaro). In this war 8,000 fell on the side of the Romans and the remainder took to flight. (Isaac was probably killed in this battle.) The seat of the governor or magister militum of Byzantine Venetia was transferred thence to Eraclea in 640 (Brown in NCMH, ed. McKitterick p.338; Nicol B&V p.4; Bury, From the Fall of Irene, p.321).

Territory In 626 Byzantium still ruled most of the Mediterranean basin, from North Africa and Sicily to Asia Minor. The Eastern provinces - Syria, Palestine and Egypt were in the hands of the Persian shah, but as we know from hindsight, only temporarily. Slavic tribes had irrupted into, and settled in, the Balkans. Peninsular Italy was divided between the Lombards and the Empire. And in present-day Spain, the Visigoths now had full control, having recently ousted the Byzantines from their former south-eastern enclave.

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626: 1. Food riots in Constantinople, May 626: A rise in the price of bread, that is: a reduction of the state subsidy, led to the removal of the official John the Earthquake who was probably prefect of the city (Stathakopoulos p.347), This was before the Avar-Slav siege (see below) which began in late June/early July. Persians, Avars and Slavs besiege Constantinople, 626 2. Siege of Constantinople: While the emperor is in the East with the army, two armies - first a Persian and then an Avar-Slav army - approach the capital (JuneJuly) (Louth, in NCMH ed. Fouracre p.295). The Avar-Slav vanguard crossed the Long Walls (Anastasian Wall) in Thrace as early as 29 June but the main body under the Khan did not arrive at Constantinople until 29 July (J D Howard-Johnston, East Rome, Sasanian Persia and the end of antiquity: historiographical and historical studies, Ashgate Publishing, 2006 p.68). Evidently some of the Slavs came overland with the Avars while many others sailed (rowed) down via the Black Sea coast from the mouth of the Danube in their dug-outs (Gk monoxyla). And dug-outs were carried overland on wagons as part of the siege train (Chronicon Paschale, quoted in Luttwak p.404). The Avar-Slav army, says George of Pisidia, comprised 80,000 men altogether. We might think that 18,000 would be more credible, given the logistics, even if logistics played a large part in the decision to withdraw after just 10 days [29 July to 7 August]. On the other hand, a very large number seems confirmed by the statement in another contemporary source, the Chronicon Paschale, that the Avar-Slav vanguard alone was 30,000 strong. HowardJohnston, loc.cit. p. 83, says the huge host was assembled by mobilising all the peoples subject to Avar authority: men from among the Slavs, Huns, Scythians, Bulgars and Gepids, and even some women. The non-Avars were the majority (Curta 2006: 109). Among other things, the Avars tore down the great aqueduct of Valens, i.e. part o the section that carried in the water from Thrace. (The water came from two lines, from the northeast and from the northwest, which joined together outside the northerly section of the walls, near the Gate of Charisius or Adrianople Gate [Edirnekap]). It was to be left unrepaired until AD 767 (TCOT: 128). Just before the final attack of the Avars, the patriarch Sergius led a litany to the monastery of the Panagia Odigitria or Hodegetria: an icon, believed to have been painted by St Luke, of the All-holy (panagia) Guide (odigitria), i.e. Our Lady of the Sign: so-called because she points to the Redeemer], and very soon a huge storm crushed the enemy fleet, and so eventually saved Constantinople. The storm was of course credited as a miracle of the Virgin Mary. Sequence of events according to Theophanes (TCOT: 22ff): Khosroes recruited more troops and gave an army each to his generals Sain or 148

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Shahin and Sarbaros [Pers. Shahvaraz]. The larger force under Sain was apparently as big as 75,000 men. Sarbaros is sent (before June 626) west to attack Constantinople. Learning of this, the emperor divided his army into three divisions. One was sent to aid Constantinople. Another, under his brother Theodore, was sent against Sains army. Heraclius himself took the third to Lazika to negotiate an alliance with the Khazars. Theodore defeated Sains army. Heraclius meanwhile joined up with a large Khazar force of 40,000 men west or NW of Tiflis (Lazica: modern Georgia), and the combined Khazar-imperial army proceeded south into Persian territory. Meanwhile (June 626) Sarabaros reached Chalcedon and the Avars came (29 June through early July) overland through Thrace to Constantinople while their, or rather the Slavs, dug-out boats came through the Bosporus and into the Golden Horn. After a 10-day siege the Avars withdrew but the Persians wintered around Chalcedon. If we follow the Chronicon Paschale (cited by Kaegi, Heraclius, p.136), the Avars and Slavs were present from 29 July to 7 August. Theophanes, AD 626: As for Sarbaros, he [the shah] dispatched him [Sarbaros] with his remaining army against Constantinople with a view to establishing an alliance between the western Huns who are called Avars, and the Bulgars, Slavs, and Gepids, and so advancing on the City and laying siege to it. When the emperor learnt of this, he divided his army into three contingents: the first he sent to protect the City; the second he entrusted to his own brother Theodore, whom he ordered to fight Sain; the third part he took himself and advanced to Lazica. Meanwhile, perhaps in September 626: but most modern scholars say 627, Heraclius led his Rhomaniyans and Khazars into Persian territory, or rather some of the Khazars: many deserted when they learnt the campaigning would continue into winter. Khosroes dispatched an army under Rhazates [Persian Eroch or Roch Vehan] against Heraclius. From Gazakon, Rhazates army followed that of Heraclius south toward Nineveh (modern Iraq) which the emperor reached on 1 December 627. There on 12 December he crushed Rhazates in battle. 23 Dec: Khosroes withdraws from Dastigard to Ctesiphon. The East: Even when pregnant, the empress Martina accompanied Heraclius. Heraclonas, perhaps her fourth child, was born at Lazica in 626 while Heraclius was on campaign against the Persians, and she was with him at Antioch (with a child) when the news was received of the serious defeat by the Arabs at the river Yarmuk in August 636 (Garland, Martina, 1999). The Land and Sea Siege of Constantinople, 626

The Chronicon Paschale, a Byzantine chronicle, says that Shahr-Waraz, in Gk: Sarbaros, arrived to take over the command of the Persians at Chalcedon in late June 626, a few days before the arrival before Byzantium of the Avars and Slavs led by the Khakn or khan* on 29 June 626. Or at least that was the date the vanguard arrived; the main force arrived a month later, namely on 29 July. The first assault was the walls was launched on 31 July (HowardJohnston loc.cit.) 149

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The Slavs are described as all on foot and lacking armour (Fine 1991: 43). The Avars by contrast were of course a well-equipped cavalry force. As already remarked, some of the Slavs came overland with the Avars while many others sailed (rowed) down via the Black Sea coast from the mouth of the Danube in their dug-outs (Gk monoxyla) (Chronicon Paschale, quoted in Luttwak p.404). (*) The name of this khan, unlike his predecessor Bayan II and his successor Kubrat, has not survived in the written record. The siege failed owing to the fact that the Rhomaniyan galleys and skiffs (kymbe, literally bowls, cups: small sail-boats) retained their command of the sea and so prevented the planned co-operation between the Avars and the Persians. Thereupon the Khakn sullenly retired with his baffled and starving troops. See next: The term manganon was used to cover siege engines, but the more technical term manganikon emerged in the seventh century. The word is first used in the Chronicon Paschale describing the Avar machines at the siege of Constantinople in 626. This itself is an early work, further reinforcing the belief that the Avars were the people who introduced the traction (rope-pulled) trebuchet to the East Romans. Stephen McCotter 2003. See earlier under AD 597: used by the Avars at Thessalonica. Theophanes Confessor: As for Sarbaros, he attacked Chalcedon while the Avars approached the City by way of Thrace with a view to capturing it. They set in motion many engines against it and filled the gulf of the Horn with an immense multitude [of men], beyond all number, whom they had brought from the Danube in carved boats. After investing the City by land and sea for 10 days, they were vanquished by God's might and help and by the intercession of the immaculate Virgin, the Mother of God. Having lost great numbers, both on land and on sea, they shamefully returned to their country. The Chronicle of Theophanes Confessor, Byzantine and Near Eastern History AD 284-813, translated by Cyril Mango and Roger Scott (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997). Gibbon: Sarbar, the general of the third [Persian] army, penetrated through the provinces of Asia to the well-known camp of Chalcedon [the Persians had come this way before], and amused himself with the destruction of the sacred and profane buildings of the Asiatic suburbs, while he impatiently waited the arrival of his Scythian friends [the Avars] on the opposite side of the Bosphorus. On the 29th of June, 30,000 barbarians, the vanguard of the Avars, forced the Long Wall* [in inner Thrace], and drove into the capital a promiscuous crowd of peasants, citizens and soldiers. Four-score thousand [80,000] of his native subjects, and of the vassal tribes of Gepidae, Russians, Bulgarians, and Sclavonians, advanced under the standard of the Chagan [the khan of the Avars]; a month was spent in marches and negotiations, but the whole city was invested on the 31st of July, from the suburbs of Pera and Galata to the Blachernae and seven towers; and the inhabitants descried with terror the flaming signals of the 150

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(*) The long wall in rural Thrace; not to be confused with the outer walls of Constantinople. Also called the Long Walls or the Wall of Anastasios I, a system of fortifications erected 65 km west of Constantinople and extending a distance of two days journey (55 km). With a thickness of 3.3 metres and a height over five metres, these walls were over 45 km long and extend from Selymbria on the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea. The wall is made of hard pinkish mortar with nodules of brick. The wall has towers (rectangular and polygonal), forts with gateways and an outer moat. Originally constructed by Anastasios, the wall proved ineffective and was many times penetrated by invaders. It was no longer maintained after about this time and became just another ruin in the countryside. More prosaically we can say that as the Persians arrived via Chalcedon a twosided siege ensued (29 July-7 August). On 3 August the pagan Slavs in their canoes and transport rafts crossed to the eastern shore of the Bosporus. There they picked up thousands of Persian troops, but the Byzantine navy intercepted and sank them on their way back. Especially effective were the Byzantine skiffs, 70 in number, which seem to have been sail-boats manned with archers. The Persians lost 4,000 men in this sea-battle (Luttwak p.402, quoting the Chronicon Paschale and Sebeos). Meanwhile on the west, the Avars deployed 12 siege-towers; they failed to breach the walls (31 July through 7 August 626). On the night of 7-8 August the khagan gave the order to withdraw. Seeing the Avars fail to gain the surrender of the City, the Persians too decided after a few days to withdraw (Howard-Johnston p.87, citing Theodore Syncellus). That is, the Persians briefly remained encamped on the Bosphoros, within sight of their objective but unable to cross over to it (thus Theophanes). Gibbon: During 10 successive days, the capital was assaulted by the Avars, who had made some progress in the science of attack; they advanced to sap or batter the wall, under the cover of the impenetrable tortoise [infantry in a closedshield formation]; their engines discharged a perpetual volley of stones and darts; and 12 lofty towers of wood exalted the combatants to the height of the neighbouring ramparts. But the senate and people were animated by the spirit of Heraclius, who had detached to their relief a body of 12,000 cuirassiers [armoured cavalry]; the powers of fire and mechanics were used with superior art and success in the defence of Constantinople; and the galleys, with two and three ranks of oars, commanded the Bosphorus, and rendered the Persians the idle spectators of the defeat of their allies. The Avars were repulsed; a fleet of Sclavonian canoes was destroyed in the harbour; the vassals of the Chagan [khagan, Avar monarch] threatened to desert, his provisions were exhausted, and, after burning his engines, he gave the signal of a slow and formidable retreat. The available Byzantine soldiers for the defence of the city, including the lastminute reinforcements, numbered about 12,000 men, perhaps more.* The walls had been strengthened, and ample provisions had been made. Grain, now that Egypt was lost, came from the rich, or perhaps better: least poor, province of 151

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(*) According to the Chron. Pasch., 718.18-22, there were some 12,000 cavalry soldiers in the city in 626, some of whom were Armenians (ibid. 724.11; cf. G. Pisid., Bell. Av. 280f). These must have been mostly those troops sent by Heraclius. There is no report of their arrival, but they are described as elite troops (Chron. Pasch., loc.cit.); while Heraclius' brother Theodore arrived later, as the siege was raised (Chron. Pasch. 726.4-10), having encountered and defeated the army of the Persian general Sahin in the East (cf. Theophanes, 315.17-22). The empire's naval forces, or those available at the capital, comprised 70 dromons or large oared war-galleys: or at least 70 is the number of skiffs mentioned in the Chronicon Paschale. On 7 August they prevented the Persians linking up with the Avars. The fleet was strong enough to intercept every attempt to cross the Bosphorus, thereby cutting off the Persians from their comrades-in-arms, for the latter had not brought with them (say from Syria or Egypt) any naval equipment or boats, a fact that gives some strength to the conclusion that they did not really intend to capture Constantinople themselves, but had made the move out of strategic considerations, i.e. to compel Heraclius to withdraw his main force from Armenia.

626-28: 1. Seventh visit of the plague since 542. It hit Palestine in 626-27 and Persia in 628. Stathakopoulos 2004: 120. 2. fl. the poet George of Pisidia. His works include, to cite the Latin titles of the Greek originals: i: "De expeditione Heraclii imperatoris contra Persas, libri tres", Concerning the expedition of the emperor Heraclius against the Persians in three books, an account of the Persian war, which shows him to have been an eyewitness of it; ii: "Bellum Avaricum" (or Avarica: The Avar War), describing the defeat of the Avars who attacked Constantinople in 626, and were defeated, during the absence of the emperor and his army; and iii: the "Heraclias" or "De extremo Chosroae Persarum regis excidio" (Concerning the final/distant defeat/military ruin of king Chosroes of the Persians) - written after the death of Chosroes, who was assassinated by his mutinous soldiery at Ctesiphon, in 628. The latter poem deals mainly with the deeds of the emperor and does not contain very much about Chosroes; it is valued today not so much for any literary merit (here modern tastes differ from medieval), as for being a principal source for the history of the reign of Heraclius. 627: 1a. The East: Twenty years of war had depleted Persias warrior class; in 627 Khosrow had to raise an army of slaves and foreigners (thus Theophanes, p. 152

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263 A; and see detailed discussion and sources in Baynes, 1904, and Gerland, 1894 pp. 330ff). Final Defeat of the Persians 1b. N Iraq: The Byzantine army left the vicinity of Tiflis in September 627 and surprised Chosroes with a winter campaign (it was then united again with the forces returned from Asia Minor). Heraclius proceeds slowly down into Sassanid Persia, present-day northern Iraq, and wins the Battle of Nineveh near present-day Mosul (NB: in winter: December 627). The Byzantine forces numbered 70,000 on this campaign according to Tabari, and Theophanes puts the allied Khazars at 40,000 men (cited by Treadgold 1997: 934). We may prefer to believe that the combined ByzantineKhazar army was initially perhaps as large as 70,000: say 35,000 Romans and 35,000 Khazars. Counting both sides, well over 100,000 soldiers may have been engaged in the battle at Nineveh. On the other hand, Heraclius was worried by just 4,000 reinforcements that were coming to join the Persians, which he saw as a very substantial addition; this may imply that there were as few as around 20,000 on either side. Howard-Johnston even proposes that the Byzantine force was a small as 15,000 (J. D. Howard-Johnston, Heracliuss Persian Campaigns in his East Rome, Sasanian Persia and the end of antiquity: historiographical and historical studies, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006 pp.119, 141). On 12 December 627, the main armies of Heraclius, in personal command, and Khosrau's, commanded by the general Rahzadh or Rhahzadh [Roch Vehan, Gk: Rhazates], met at Nineveh. Sebeos: Heraclius drew them along as far as the plain of Nineveh and then suddenly turned back upon them with intense might. Now there was a fog over the plain, and so the Iranians were unaware that Heraclius had turned upon them until the two armies merged. The battle, it is said, began with a personal combat between the emperor (about 52 years old) and the Persian general, Rhazates, in which the latter was killed, and ended with the destruction of the Persian army (Kaegi 2003: 167f). At the height of the battle, or before it began, Rhahzadh suddenly challenged Heraclius to single combat with the hope of forcing the Greeks to flee. Although aged over 50, Heraclius accepted the challenge and, spurring his horse forward, with a single blow struck off Rhahzadh's head, taking from the dead Persian his shield of 120 gold plates and gold breastplate as trophies. Or so says one tradition. Long-range Archery and Stirrups Mark-Anthony Karantabias has proposed that at Nineveh Herakleios used an ambush tactic, drawing the Persians onto the plain and taking advantage of the mist to use the encirclement maneouvre that Maurice (AD 600) describes in his 153

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Strategikon. Kantabias stresses, I believe rightly, that the imperial army probably used its advantage in archery for long range attacks, as also mentioned in Maurice. But we may query the writers claim that the stirrup-clad Byzantines prevailed over the Persians only because the latter lacked stirrups. Karantabias 2006. Horse-Armour At Nineveh the emperors horse wore armour: The emperor's tawny [or roan: white-sprinkled, phalion] horse called Dorkon [Antelope-like, Gazelle <dorkas>, Deer-swift: diminutive dorkion] was wounded in the thigh by some infantryman who struck it with a spear. It [the horse] also received several blows of the sword on the face, but, wearing as it did a cataphract made of sinew [?leather], it was not hurt, nor were the blows effective (thus Theophanes). Harry Turtledove translates this passage thus: There were also many sword strokes at its (the horses) face but as it was wearing leather armour it was not harmed nor were the blows effective (TCOT: 24). The armour probably covered just the head and front of the horse. In the 7th century Life of St John the Almsgiver, ch. 10, a dorkon is a type of fast transport ship, connoting (swift as) a gazelle. Gibbon, ch. 46, gives the name of the emperors horse as Phallus (sic!) or Phallas. This is a misreading of what Bury, HLRE II: 242 (note 1) gives as Phalbas or Phalios or Phalion, Gk: white or clear-shining, white-faced, with white spot/s, bald, bald-faced. Cf Latin fulvus, tawny, deep-yellow. It seems clear that phalios is simply an adjective, and not the horses name. Cf Procopius, De Bell. Goth. i.18: he has Belisarius at Rome fighting the Goths on a grey horse with a white face, and he remarks that such a horse is called Phalion by the Byzantines. But in myth Phalios (Balios) was the name of a piebald or dappled horse ridden by Achilles; also by a son of Theseus [Strabo 14.6.3]. And there was Phalius of Corinth, a descendant from Hercules, who Thucydides says was the founder of Epidamnus (Durres in Albania). 2. Approximate date of the anonymous Paschal Chronicle, a tabular history of the world, written in non-literary Greek [which the Byzantines knew as From 600 to 627, that is, for the last years of the Emperor Maurice, the reign of Phocas, and the first 17 years of the reign of Heraclius, the author of the Paschal Chronicle is a contemporary historian, and his narrative is "in every way quite interesting" (says the Catholic Encyclopaedia). 628: 1. January: Dastagerd, the Sassanian royal residence, falls to the Byzantines. Then: evacuation of the Persian capital Ctesiphon, Persian Tisfun, on the Tigris south of modern Baghdad, and overthrow of Chosroes/Khusrau II. Heraclius imposes peace on Persia (Treadgold 1997: 298 f). Cf 635.

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The East Romans entered Dastagerd, the Kings residence, on 4 or 6 January 628 [NB: during winter], where many Roman prisoners (and banners) were liberated and much booty was taken. But not even now was Chosroes in a mood to accept the peace proposals of Heraclius. He had fled to his capital, Ctesiphon, assembling there his troops for a last-ditch stand. Theophanes: In his palace of Dastagerd the Roman army found 300 Roman standards which the Persians had captured at different times. They also found the goods that had been left behind, namely a great quantity of aloes and big pieces of aloes wood, each weighing 70 or 80 lbs, much silk and pepper, more linen shirts than one could count, sugar, ginger, and many other goods. Others found silver, silken garments, woollen rugs, and woven carpets - a great quantity of them and very beautiful, but on account of their weight they burnt them all. They also burnt the tents of Chosroes and the porticoes he set up whenever he encamped in a plain, and many of his statues. They also found in this palace an infinite number of ostriches, gazelles, wild asses, peacocks, and pheasant, and in the hunting park huge live lions and tigers (emphasis added). Chosroes was killed with the connivance of his son Shiroe [Gk: Siroes] at the end of February 628. Shiroe took the name Kavad and ascended the throne as Kavad II. He at once began peace negotiations with Heraclius and the status quo before the war was restored with prisoners exchanged, relics and booty restored, and Sassanian troops evacuated from all East Roman possessions. Cf 628-29: Shahrbaraz usurps the throne. Heraclius left Persia (8 April 628) and returned to Constantinople in triumph (14 Sept 628). The True Cross was ceremonially presented in Hagia Sophia. See 630. 2. Syria: Muhammad's legendary Letter to Heraclius: It was delivered, according to pious legend, by Dihyah ibn Khalifah al Kalbi to the Byzantine governor of Bostra, a town south of Damascus, and forwarded thence to Jerusalem. This incident, if it were true, would have occurred in AD 628 when Heraclius was returning victorious after defeating Chosroes II of Persia. He was at that time in Homs [Emesa, Hims], from which (according to some) he made a pilgrimage on foot to the Holy City [the preferred date for this is actually 630] in thanks to God for the recovery of the Cross and other sacred items that had been lost. We are told that Muhammad sent a letter to Heraclius inviting him to Islam and that Heraclius responded. In summary, this pious tradition story tells of Heraclius recognising, through his questioning of Abu Sufyan, Muhammad as God's messenger and that he wanted to become a Muslim. However, faced with pressure from his subjects, he changed his mind. The story is, of course, not credible. See discussion in El Cheik 2004: 43-44. Despite the final victory in 628, when the Byzantine forces marched back to Constantinople, they traversed areas of the empire that had been permanently and severely affected by the Persian campaign of 613-19. In particular, the spacious classical cities of antiquity had been destroyed and abandoned, marking the beginning, or culmination, of a complete change in living patterns.

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Modern-day explanations for the Byzantine defeat of Persia tend to emphasise Heracliuss inspiring leadership, the quasi-crusading mentality of the campaign, the economic support of the church, the harnessing of allies and the strategy he pursued. Howard-Johnson, 1999. 628: Edict by the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius that all Jews will convert. This was one of many such demands that were made periodically by emperors and other rulers in Europe and the East. The very fact that demands such as these appear time and again in the statute books means that they were more ineffective than effective. Nevertheless, any such demand would mean difficult times for many of the Jews who lived in the lands in question. 628-29/30: Persia: The general Shahrbaraz, Gk: Sarbaros, usurps the throne and kills (April or June 629 or April 630) the young son of Kavad, Ardashir III, Gk: Ardaser, r. 628629. But after two months he was himself murdered (9 June 629 or 630), and the nobles raised Khosroes daughter Bornae, Boran or Puran-dokht to the throne (in 629 according to Kaegi 2003: 185 but most scholars give 630). Heraclius meets Shahrvaraz at Arabissus in southern Cappadocia; the peace treaty was renewed (July 629) (Treadgold 1997: 299). Armenia, Syria, Palestine, Roman Mesopotamia and Egypt were restored to the empire. The Holy Cross had already been handed over (628) to the Roman emissaries. Heraclius himself brought it back to Jerusalem (March 630) after an enthusiastic welcome in Constantinople (629-30). The war was over, won at last. 629: 1. Caucasia: When Heraclius had come to Iberia in 626, Stephen I refused to abandon the Iranian alliance; but he was killed during the siege of Tiflis in 627, and the Emperor, departing for Iran, conferred the principate upon Adarnase of Kakhetia, son of the last king. With the aid of the Emperor's Khazar allies, Adarnase finally took Tiflis. Another Iberian ally of Iran, Vahram-Arshusha V of Gogarene, was captured in December 627 (see there), when the Iranians were defeated by Heraclius. Chosroes/Khusrau was overthrown and in June 629 his successor accepted the Byzantine terms of peace. In Armenia, accordingly, the frontier of 591 was re-established, ie along a line from Lake Van to Lake Sevan. Each moiety was placed under a local prince: Varaz-Tirots' II Bagratuni as viceroy for the Persian Great King and Mezezius Gnuni as commander-in-chief for the Roman Emperor. - Cyril Toumanoff Armenia and Georgia: Chapter XIV in The Cambridge Medieval History, vol. IV The Byzantine Empire part I (Cambridge, 1966) pp. 593-637.

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Bearded Greeks: Heraclius replaced Latin imperial titles such as Augustus with the Greek pistos en Christi Basileus, "faithful in Christ, Sovereign" (strictly speaking, sovereigns in the plural: pistoi en Khristo Basileis, to include Heracliuss son). Basileus appears earlier in some official documents, but now on 21 March 629 for the first time it appears in a novel (legal edict). Kaegi 2003: 186. The word basileus (pronounced vuss-i-lefs) meant king in Greek, and had been commonly used to designate foreign rulers such as the king of the Persians, or even Attila. Afterwards, however, Basileus came to mean more specifically the ruler of the Roman (Byzantine) empire, and corresponded to the term sovereign - until the late 1100s when any king might be called thus. The term basileus Rhomaion first appears on seals in the period 654-68 but not on coins until the time of Leo III, acc. 717 (ODB under basileus). Browning 1992: 38 notes that Heraclius was also the first legitimate emperor for a long time to wear a beard: Justinians three successors, Justin II, Tiberius and Maurice were depicted on their coins as clean-shaven. The usurper Phocas was bearded, and beards were normal after Phocass and Heracliuss time. 2a. Heraclius departs for Palestine with the fragment of the True Cross and with an army marches into Jerusalem: probably on 21 March 629; some say in 630 (Kaegi, Heraclius p. 206; Treadgold 1997: 119; discussion in Grumel 1966). According to one tradition (found in Arabic sources), the 54 years old emperor walked the last stage, 200 Roman miles, into Jerusalem; another tradition has him entering the town on horseback in imperial splendour. A third version says he arrived in full imperial regalia, but dismounted, stripped down to a shirt or plain tunic and, barefoot, carried the cross into the town through the Golden or eastern gate, where Jesus had entered on Palm Sunday (G. J. Reinink & Bernard Stolte, The reign of Heracles, 610-641: crisis and confrontation, Peeters Publishers, 2000, p.186) The court poet George of Pisidia claimed that the Cross was superior to the Ark of the Covenant, thereby declaring the superiority of Heraclius, the restorer of the Cross, to David, who installed the Ark in the Temple at Jerusalem. Jerusalems Jewish inhabitants supported him after a promise of amnesty. But upon his entry into Jerusalem the local priests convince him that killing Jews is a good deed. Hundreds of Jews are massacred, thousands flee to Egypt. The Frankish King Dagobert I, encouraged by Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, expels all Jews from Francia. 2b. The Persian garrison withdraws from Syria. 2c. The East: Pro-Byzantine Arab tribes defeat a Muslim raiding force at Mutah, east of the Dead Sea, in modern Jordan. One of the Muslim soldiers was Khalid b. al-Walid, who would afterwards distinguish himself as the conqueror of the 157

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Levant; he would became known as the Sword of God (died 642: Kennedy 2008: 71, 76). In Lombard Italy: d. Columbanus, first of the great Irish teacher-monks. 629/30: Heraclius and the True Cross - the latter implausibly unharmed, as Mango notes - are received in Jerusalem on 21 March 630: or 629 according to some (e.g. Mango in Rice 1965). As Haldon notes, this was seen as the crowning achievement of the reign (Transformation p.46). Muhammad is received in Mecca: unification of Arabia under the Muslims. See 634. 629-34: 1. PEACE! 2. Macedonia: Following a fire, the Church of St Demetrius in Thessaloniki was almost entirely rebuilt. Its fine mosaics presumably date from the half-century 630-680. The style of dress depicted in the mosaic (c.640?) of St Demetrius, flanked by the church's restorer Bishop John and its original founder, Leontius, is late classical or Justinianic rather than medieval Byzantine (Rice pp.65-66). 629-38: 1. Armenia: When Heraclius had conquered the country and thus deprived the Persians of their control for the second time (629), he obtained from the Catholicos Ezr* the condemnation of Nestorius and all heretics, without any mention being made of the canons of Chalcedon. The union with the 'Greeks' thus effected lasted during the lifetime of Heraclius (Kaegi 2003: 214). But at the Synod of Tvin (Dvin, 645), Chalcedon would again be condemned. See next. 2. Present-day Dagestan/Azerbaijan: The vassal state of Caucasian Albania (Persian: Arran), also a Christian [miaphysite oriental orthodox] state* was brought under Byzantine domination by Heraclius. Some time in the 630s, however, Albania passed from Roman (Byzantine) back to Iranian (Sassanian) allegiance, and its ethnic-Persian prince or shah Varaz-Grigor [Gregory] was replaced by his son Javanshir (636-680). He supported the Sassanians against the Arabs. In 628, during the Third Perso-Turkic War, the Khazars had invaded Albania, and their leader Ziebel had declared himself lord of Albania; most of Transcaucasia incuding northern Albania was under Khazar domination at the time of the arrival of the Arabs (644). Albania later (in 654) re-allied with Byzantium against the Arabs. (*) The Albanian church had broken with the Armenian church in 590 and established itself as autocephalous, i.e. as its own patriarchate. The Catholicos of Albania had his seat at Partaw (Barda in todays central 158

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Azerbaijan): Viroy was Catholicos, 596-629. But following an antiSassanian revolt, he and other Albanian leaders were detained from about 603 at the Sassanian court at Cteisphon, and not liberated until Khusrau died in 628. (See M. L. Chaumont Albania, at http://rbedrosian.com/chaualb.htm.) By 630: Contraction of the State Apparatus General financial reorganisation, with centralisation of coin production: seven of the lesser provincial mints originally founded in the previous century were closed or left inactive, namely, from west to east: Catania in Sicily [created in 582-83], Thessalonica, Cyzicus near modern Erdek on the southern side of the Sea of Marmara, Nicomedia, Cherson (the Crimea), Cyprus and Antioch. Just two in the West and two in the East were maintained: Carthage and Ravenna, Constantinople and Alexandria (Haldon 1990: 186, 211, citing Hendy). Nicomedia ceased to function after 627 or 629; Cyzicus and Thessalonica after 629. Not only did minting cease at Cyzicus; the town was to be, like many others, abandoned later in the century, being superseded by a small settlement at Erdek (Artak) (probably in the 670s: see there) (Mango 1980: 71, 73; Morris in Laiou ed., 2002). The mints that were closed had specialised in the lesser currency of copper coins, the medium of daily commerce. Silver had rarely been struck outside Ravenna and Carthage, and gold had normally been limited to these mints and to Constantinople, whose output far exceeded that of the Western mints. 630: Maximus: Some time after the accession of the emperor Heraclius in 610, Maximus was made his private secretary. In 630, aged 50, he abandoned the secular life and entered the monastery of Chrysopolis (Scutari), actuated, it was believed, less by any longing for the life of a recluse than by the dissatisfaction he felt with the Monothelite leanings of his master. The date of his promotion to the abbacy is uncertain. In 633 he was one of the party of Sophronius of Jerusalem, the chief original opponent of the Monothelites, at the council of Alexandria; and in 645 he was again in Africa, when he held in the presence of the governor and a number of bishops a disputation with Pyrrhus, the deposed and banished patriarch of Constantinople, which resulted in the (temporary) conversion of his interlocutor to the orthodox Dyothelite view (Encyc. Brit. 1911 edn, under Maximus). See 653. Gwent in modern SE Wales: Christian Britons beat back invading pagan Anglo-Saxons. The Saxons under so-called King Ceolwulfbetter called the leading chief of the West Saxonscrossed the Severn River around the year 630 and pressed hard upon the young king of Gwent, Mouric/Meurig or Maurikios (Maurice). (Others have Coelwulf already dead by 611 and Cynegils as leader ca. 611-643). The local monasteries were particularly badly hit by their raids and the old retired king Tewdrig

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or Theodoric, until now a hermit monk, decided to come out of retirement to defend the church and help his son. Under his leadership the men of Gwent repelled the Saxons in a battle at Pont y Saeson or Bridge of the Saxons, near Tintern (west of the Bristol Channel: on what is now the Welsh side of the Wales-England border). Modern historians question whether there was in fact a battle at Tintern, and suggest instead that Tewdrig may have fought the Saxons near Bath, on the eastern side of the Severn, and died on his way back to south Wales. 630-32: 1. Patriarch Sergius of Constantinople opens discussion with other archbishops about a new doctrine called Monoenergism, designed to unite the church. See 632. 2. Iran: Khusraw's daughter Buran or Borandukht/Purandokht (630631) ruled for a year. She reduced the taxes and rebuilt the infrastructure which had considerbly weakened. She was largely unsuccessful in her attempts to restore the power of the central authority which was weakened considerably by civil wars. She died in 631 due to natural causes and was succeeded by her sister Azarmidokht. On her death there was anarchy that seriously undermined the central authority of the monarchy (631632). Queen Boran ascended the throne without challenge from Heraclius. She managed this by sending (630) an embassy to extend the peace treaty with Heraclius, who was then at Aleppo. The embassy was headed by the Nestorian Catholicos Isho'yahb II, who also discussed doctrinal differences with the emperor, who was promoting the compromise doctrine of Christs single energy (monoenergism) which he hoped would reunite Christianity (Kaegi, Heraclius p.213). 631: 1. Heraclius celebrates a triumph in Constantinople. Four elephants were paraded in the Hippodrome and largesse distributed to the people (Kaegi 2003: 215). 2. Egypt: Cyrus [Gk Kyros], the Chalcedonian (non-Coptic)* bishop of Phasis, was appointed by Heraclius as both the Melkite (imperial or Greek) patriarch of Egypt and as the prefect in command of the military forces of that province of the empire. As military commander, his duties included curbing religious separatism in the province, by persuasion if possible but by arms if necessary. The Coptic pope or patriarch, Benjamin, who was Cyrus's rival in the see of Alexandria, fled the area, going from one isolated desert monastery to another to avoid capture. When persuasion failed, Cyrus began to use force. The Copts were persecuted ruthlessly and systematically (Kennedy 2008: 145). Benjamins brother Mennas is known for having been tortured with fire and, eventually, being drowned in the Nile by the Byzantine Patriarch Cyrus of Alexandria for refusing to take the Chalcedonian profession of faith and refusing 160

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(*) Chalcedonian or dyophysite Christianity holds that Jesus Christ was or is one person with two natures. Coptic or monophysite Christianity holds that in Jesus Christ the divine and the human are combined in one nature. Cyrus later (after 634) helped develop the compromise doctrine of monothelitism, in which the two natures of Christ (divine and human) are combined in one will. Cf next: 632.1. 3. Italy: (Or in 630:) The Lombard king Arioald or Ariwald negotiated with the exarch Isaac to have Isaac kill Taso, duke of Friuli, a rival or suspected rival for the throne. The quid pro quo was a promise by Ariwald to reduce by one-third the annual tribute paid to him by the empire. Taso was lured to Ravenna and there he was assassinated (A Jones et al. 1992: 720; also Fanning 1970: 44). How much or how little the lower tribute (from three centenaria* to two) may have contributed if at all - to the largely successful tenure of Isaac, we do not know; but the peace endured. (*) A centenarium was a large leather bag containing 100 Roman pounds (litrai) of gold, which could be made up of coins, ingots and/or plate. One pound was equivalent to 72 standard gold coins or nomismata; thus, if paid in coin, three centenaria represented 21,600 nomismata. The bag was weighed so as not to have to count the coins . . . At this time the annual pay of a soldier was 10 nomismata. So in principle one centenarium would meet the salaries of just 720 soldiers (7,200 / 5). But arms and equipment were extra. Moreover the army of Italy, including Sicily, might still have been as large as 16,000 . . . (Treadgold 1995: 147 and passim). 632: 1. Publication of the Monenergian or one-energy doctrine: the emperor attempts to mediate between orthodoxy (Dyophysitism) and the Monophysites. Later he abandons monoergianism in favour of monothelitism. Cf 634, 638. Death of Muhammad, 8 June 632. His father-in-law, Abu Bakr [Abdullah ibn Abi Quhafa]* is elected Khalifah or caliph: representative, successor, i.e. Muslim monarch (632-34). Succeeded by Umar I, Caliph 634-644. According to dubious tradition, the Quran was edited and arranged, at the direction of Abu Bakr, by Muhammad's secretary Zaid ibn Thabit. [Umar] sought to make the whole nation a great host of God; the Arabs were to be soldiers and nothing else. They were forbidden to acquire landed estates in the conquered countries; all land was either made state property or was restored to the old owners subject to a perpetual tribute which provided pay on a splendid scale to the army (1911 edn of Encyc. Brit. under Caliphate). (*) "Abu Bakr" was a childhood nickname meaning father of the foal of the 161

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Borders in 633, on the eve of the Muslim invasions From map in Treadgold 1997: 302. The border between Muslim Arabia and the Christian Roman or Byzantine empire ran through what is now Jordan. Palestine and Syria were Roman: Jerusalem, Bostra [Bosra, Busra, on the Syrian side of todays Jordan-Syria border] and Damascus were Christian towns. Bosra was the seat of the Ghassanid (Christian Arab) princedom, an imperial vassal or ally. Cf 633-34: Gaza. The border between the Muhammadan Arab empire or Caliphate and the Persian (Sassanian) Empire ran broadly in parallel with the lower Euphrates River. The Iraqi stretch of the Euphrates was all Persian or controlled by Christian Arab allies or subjects of Persia. The former Lakhmid (Christian Bedouin-Arab) princedomlargely annexed by Persia after 605occupied or had occupied part of the Euphrates in what is now western Iraq. See 635. The border between the Persians and Romans ran broadly south-north through upper Mesopotamia: Persian Nisibis/Nusaybin faced East Roman Dara [just west of Nusaybin]. Cf 637 Marash. Evidently todays Syrian-Iraq border was somewhat east of the the Roman-Sassanian frontier, since according to alTabari the Muslim invaders in the early 630s found the most westerly Persian garrison to be located near where the Euphrates leaves Syria and enters modern Iraq (633: Battle of al-Firad/Firaz/Firadz, the Roman/Greek Dura Europos, on the Euphrates about 25 km inside modern Syria: Blankinship [1993], notes to Tabari, p.47; also Saul Friedman, A history of the Middle East, McFarland, 2006 p.138). In other words, the Roman-Persian frontier ran north-south through our eastern Syria. To the north, 1 Eastern Armenia, 2 Iberia with its capital at Tiflis, and 3 Lazica were all Byzantine protectorates; while Dvin was the capital of 4 Persarmenia, a Persian protectorate (our Azerbaijan). Cf 640. Asia Minor was the heart and trunk of the Christian Roman Empire of the Greeks. On the western Black Sea coast, Byzantium ruled north as far as Mesembria [modern Nessebar] and Odessa [Varna]. The lower Danube was a marchland contested between the Bulgars and the Slavs. So weak was the Empire, that it was not until 658 (see there) that Constantinople sought to reassert its authority in this region. Pagan Slav tribes occupied almost all of the Balkan interior - Illyricum, Epirus, Thessaly and Thrace - with only part of the Peloponnesus and the coastal areas in Byzantine hands. - The Slavs had been settled in Illyricum, modern-day Serbia-Albania, since before 578, when Byzantium paid the Avars to come across the Danube to punish them; the upshot of this ( - as we have seen) was the elimination of imperial rule in the northern Balkans. - In Thrace, imperial rule extended barely west of Arcadiopolis. Byzantium had been struggling with the Slavs in Thrace since before 580. It is not clear 162

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when Adrianople was abandoned by Byzantium, but the city was not to be recovered until after 744. Cf 751. - In Thessaly, Slav tribes controlled the whole coast. There was no overland connection from Byzantine Thessaloniki to Byzantine Athens. In the West, Byzantium ruled the Balearics, Corsica, Sardinia, the greater Carthage region, Sicily and small parts of the Italian peninsula including Naples, Rome and Ravenna. Most of the peninsula was ruled by the Lombard king and several Lombard dukes, notably those at Spoleto and Benevento. 633-34: 1. The East: The patriarchate of Jerusalem was held by Sophronius, the Damascus-born ethnic Arab Grecophone poet and historian, born ca. 560. He lived to see the capture of the town by the Muslim Arabs under Umar in 638. In Christian Palestine, antagonism to the one-energy doctrine (monoenergism) found a vociferous exponent in an elderly monk, Sophronios, who was popularly acclaimed as patriarch of Jerusalem by the clergy there, in late 633 or early in 634. He had already travelled to Alexandria and Constantinople in an effort to prevent the agreements reached by the other Melkite* patriarchs Kyros (Cyrus) and Sergios, who denounced him as a troublemaker. (*) The name Melkite comes from the Syrian word malko, meaning "the king's [men]", or Royalist, so called because they supported the Byzantine Emperor by accepting the teachings of the Council of Chalcedon of 451. 2. Muslim military expeditions: One Arab army drove the Persians from Bahrain and campaigned up the Euphrates as far as eastern Syria (633), while another penetrated into Palestine and occupied Byzantine Gaza (winter of 633-34). See next: 634.2. 634: 1. The patriarch of Jerusalem condemns the emperors new doctrine. Monoenergism soon had vocal opponents, among them the orthodox (dyophysite) monk Sophronius who became patriarch of Jerusalem in 634 AD. The opposition to monoenergism would lead the patriarch of Constantinople, Sergius, to propose a new doctrine, that of monotheletism, the belief in a single will in Christ. Heraclius supported the new doctrine of Sergius and put it forth in an edict known as the Ekthesis, and posted it in the narthex of Hagia Sophia in 638. This failed to settle the controversy as it was rejected by the Orthodox (dyophysites), the Monophysites, and even (after some hesitation) the Church of Rome. First Major Muslim-Christian Battle 2. Palestine and Syria: Muslim Arabs defeat the Romaics in a minor skirmish at Dathin in Gaza (on 4 or 7 Feb), and again (July) at Ajnadayn, SW of Jerusalem, in the first large scale Islamic-Christian battle (Kennedy 2008: 73ff). In the 163

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meantime (May 634) they captured the major town of Bostra/Busra in SE Syria (near todays Jordanian border), the first imperial/Christian stronghold to be taken. The Muslims then proceeded to occupy all of southern Palestine except for Jerusalem and Palestinian Caesarea. The clash at Dathin is described thus in a contemporary Syriac chronicle, In the year 945, indiction 7, on Friday 7 February ( = AD 634) at the ninth hour, there was a battle between the Romans and the Arabs of Muhammad (tayyaye dMhmt) in Palestine 12 miles east of Gaza. The Romans fled, leaving behind the patrician Bryrdn [Vardan], whom the Arabs killed. Some 4,000 poor villagers of Palestine were killed there, Christians, Jews and Samaritans. The Arabs ravaged the whole region. Thomas the Presbyter, Chronicle, pp. 147-148 [p. 120], quoted by Peter Kirby 2003. At Ajnadayn, Khalid ibn al Walid's 15-18,000 Muslims defeated some 910,000 Christians: East Romans, Armenians and Christian Arabs under Banes/Vahan and Theodore* (Nicolle 1994: 43). Or: nearly 20,000 Muslims versus about 10,000 Romans (says Jandora 1990: 58, 133; Kennedy too, 2008: 78, says 20,000 Muslims). The few Byzantine survivors withdrew to Jerusalem and other fortified sites. See 636: siege of Damascus. (*) It is not clear whether this was Heracliuss brother Theodore or the eunuch sacellarius [provincial treasurer] Theodore Trithyrius. The sources differ. Tabari says the Byzantine leader was a cubicularius, which suggests Trithyrius. For his part, Nicolle, Yarmuk, p.49, believes the emperors brother was in command, and that the sacellarius was given command only thereafter, when Heraclius ordered his brother back to Constantinople in disgrace. In his Christmas sermon of 634, the patriarch of Jerusalem Sophronius focuses on keeping the clergy in line with the Chalcedonian (dyophysite) view of God, giving only the most conventional of warnings of the Muslim-Arab advance on Palestine, commenting that the Arabs already controlled Bethlehem, just 10 km away. The Chrstmas sermon was normally delivered in Bethlehem but for that reason had to be read at Jerusalem. He says: As once that of the Philistines, so now the army of the godless Saracens has captured the divine Bethlehem and bars our passage there, threatening slaughter and destruction if we leave this holy city and dare to approach our beloved and sacred Bethlehem. Quoted by Kirby loc.cit.; also Kennedy 2008: 345. Battle of Ajnadyn Day 1: According to Muslim accounts, the battle of Ajnadyn, near Jerusalem, began with the action of the Roman (Byzantine) archers and slingers. The Roman archers, with their better bows, out-ranged the Muslim bows, and to the slingers the Muslims had no effective counter. Slings can launch small lead pellets and stones weighing 50 grams as far as 400 metres (Chris Harrison, The Sling in Medieval Europe, The Bulletin of Primitive Technology. Vol #31, Spring 164

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2006). The Muslims, unable to do anything to offset this Rhomaic advantage, became impatient to attack with sword and lance, but still their commander Khalid restrained them. It was then decided to issue a challenge to individual combat, the Arabs to be represented by a champion named Dhiraar, Dharar or Zarrar ibn al-Azwar. Because of the East Roman archers, Dhiraar kept on his coat of mail and helmet, and in his hand carried a shield made of elephant hide, which had once belonged to a Roman. Dhiraar killed several Romans, including two generals, one of whom was the governor of Amman and the other the governor of Tiberias. Now more champions came forward from both sides, some individually, others in groups. Gradually, the duelling increased in extent and intensity, and continued for about two hours, during which the Byzantine archers and slingers remained inactive (Akram 1970). The first day ended with an all-out clash that neither side won. Day 2: Again there was duelling between champions. When Dhiraar killed one of the imperial commanders, Theodore, the Muslims seized the opportunity to charge. The Romans held them for some time until Khalid sent in his final reserve. The Roman line soon collapsed under the weight of this final push. The survivors fled in three directions (towards Gaza, Jaffa and Jerusalem). More were killed during the subsequent pursuit than died in the main battle. Romania Diminished A tract aimed at coverting the Jews, dated to 634 or later, sees the waning of imperial power as the start of the End of Days: What do you think of the state of Romania? Does it stand as from the beginning, or has it been diminished? Caledonia, Britain, Spain, Egypt, and Africa; and those parts of Africa where the feet of the bronze and marble steles of the Roman emperors can be still observed, unquestionable signs of the domination the Romans at one time had imposed, through the will of God, over all of the races. But today we see the Romans humbled ... (a reference to the Muslim victories in the Levant). The land of Persia ... Cappadocia ... Sicily will become desolate and her inhabitants will meet slaughter and captivity. Hellas ... Romania [?Asia Minor] will undergo destruction and her inhabitants put to flight. The islands of the sea will become desolate and their inhabitants will perish through the sword and captivity. Egypt, the East, and Syria will be loaded with an immeasurable yoke of affliction. Thus the Doctrina Jacobi nuper baptizati, 634 AD, quoted in Jones 1986: 316 and various websites. The Doctrina Jacobi nuper baptizati, The Teachings of James [Jacob] the Newly Baptized, is a 7th century Greek Christian anti-Jewish polemical tract. Although set in Carthage in 634, it was written in Palestine sometime between 634 and 640 A.D. It contains a dialogue which purportedly took place on 13 July 634 between Jacob, a recent forced convert to Christianity, and several Jews. The mention of Syria may indicate that it was written after 636: see there.

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Medina: Death of Caliph Abu Bakr (July). He is succeeded by Umar. 635: Armenia: In 628, after the fall of Khosrow, the Persians appointed an Armenian noble, Varaztirotz Bagratuni, as governor of eastern Armenia. The Byzantine section was also entrusted to an Armenian governor, Mezhezh (Mjej or Mezezius) Gnouni. He quickly brought Armenia under Byzantine rule but was exiled for plotting against Heraclius (635) (Encyc. Brit. 2005 edn under Armenia). 635-36: Palestine-Syria: Several clashes (635) between Muslim and imperial forces; then, from 12 March 635, first Muslim siege of Roman Damascus: the town falls after perhaps six months but the Arabs soon withdraw when they hear news of a major Byzantine expedition coing into Syria - see 636 (Kennedy 2008: 78ff: the various sources say the siege of Damascus had lasted anything from four to 14 months). The Muslim commanders were Khalid b. al-Walid and Abu Ubayda ibn alJarrah. The latter was in overall command if we follow al-Baladhuri and the Chron. 1234* (Jones et al. p.8). Muslim sources tell us that as many as 30,000 troops were deployed in the Syrian campaign but these seldom came together and they operated for most of the time in smaller groups (Kennedy 2008: 57). (*) The Chronicle of 1234, Latin: Anonymi auctoris Chronicon ad annum Christi 1234 pertinens, compiled by an anonymous West Syriac writer or writers, is a universal history from Creation until AD 1234; hence the name. 636: 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BYZANTINE RE-CAPTURE OF OLD ROME 636: 1. Palestine and Syria: The Byzantines reinforce their army in the East (May). This included an expeditionary force sent from Thrace (Gellatin 1972: 143). In response the Muslims abandon recently captured Damascus. Then, on 20 August (final climactic day of a clash that began earlier): Battle of the river Yarmuk, the Arabic rendering of the Greek Hieromyax, near the present-day Israeli-Syrian border, east of the Sea of Galilee. The Yarmuk is a tributary wadi of the Jordan, entering it between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. The battle took place on what is now the Syrian side of the Israeli-Syrian border near the modern-day provincial centre of Nawa. This was a major Muslim-Arab victory that led quickly to the Greek (Byzantine) loss of Syria, including Antioch (638). See later, below, before the entry for 641, for a long description of the BATTLE OF THE YARMUK. December 636: In the wake of Yarmuk, Damascus falls again. At Yarmuk, some 15,000 (?) Muslims under Khalid severely defeated a larger Romanic force, perhaps 20,000 men, under Vahan, Gk: Banes [Ba-anes]. This was not an ethnic battle: there were Arabs on both sides. 166

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The lowest estimate for Muslim side is al-Baladhuris 24,000 soldiers, but even this is probably an overestimate. The more conservative modern estimates (Haldon 2001, Kaegi 2003, Kennedy 2008) cluster around 15,000 men. East Roman forces: The estimates in the most of the Muslim primary sources are wildly exaggerated: 40-80,000 are at the low end of the Arabs estimates, probably twice reality. Waqidi, d. AD 822, offers 30,000 Romans who used chains*, perhaps meaning infantry fighting in close order, not including cavalry. Among modern writers, Donner says 20-40,000 men (p.221), while Kaegi 2003: 131 says just 15,000 to 20,000 imperials; but all agree that the Byzantines outnumbered the Muslims. Ethnic composition: Ghassanid Arabs (say 3,000?) under Jabala b. al-Ayham; Armenians under Jarajis (Girgis = George): 12,000 Armenians in the army (alTabari 1: 2347); plus some ethnic Greek/Byzantines (say 5,000?). (*) Chains are also mentioned in various battles with the Persians. Kennedy 2008: 22 proposes that it simply is a topos (commonplace or traditional motif) to show how the Muslims were inspired by faith while their opponents were supposedly coerced by tyranny. The whole of Palestine, Lebanon and Syria was in Muslim hands by the end of 636 except for Jerusalem, Homs and Antioch. Nicolle comments that "Syria was lost less because of Yarmuk than as a result of the urban population failing to resist in the way they had previously resisted the Persians" (1994: 88). That is, the various Byzantine towns and forts quickly gave in. If not positively welcoming the invaders, many of the inhabitants [of the Levant] displayed sullen neutrality (Browning 1992:17). Unlike in Egypt (641), however, there is no record of the persecuted Monophysite Christians in the Levant actively aiding the Muslims (Kennedy 2008: 167). Cf 637-42. Heraclius' adieu to Syria. According to the later Arab historian al-Baladhuri, when the emperor received the news about al-Yarmuk and the destruction of his army by the Muslims, he retired via Antioch to the East Roman capital. As he passed ad-D'arb, the pass through the Taurus into Anatolia, he turned and said, "Peace unto thee, O Syria, and what an excellent country [or rich country] this is for the enemy!" - referring to the numerous pastures in Syria. It is actually not clear how prosperous or poor Syria and Palestine were at this time. On the one hand, writers like Hugh Kennedy imagine that when the Muslim conquerors entered the cities of the Levant in the 630s and 640s, they may have found a region debilitated after successive waves of the plague: they may have walked through streets where the grass and thorns grew high between the ancient columns and where the remaining inhabitants clustered in little groups, squatting in the ruins of the great palatial house their ancestors had enjoyed (Kennedy, 2008: 68). On the other hand, the archeologists tell us that, while Syria and Palestine were already going backwards in the period after 600, urban recession was still relatively contained until well after the Muslim conquest 167

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(Wickham 2005: 631). That is to say, the Levant showed the least signs of strain of any part of the empire in the 630s. 2. The East: A possibly contemporary account of the loss of Syria to the Muslims has been published in External References to Islam by Peter Kirby, 2003. The battle of Gabitha [Jabiya] was presumably Yarmuk: Jabiya was the main town in the region; Yarmuk was the name of the key wadi. "On the front fly-leaf of a sixth-century Syriac manuscript containing the Gospel according to Matthew and the Gospel according to Mark, writes Kirby, are scribbled a few lines about the Arab conquest, now very faint. The following entries are the most readable: In January {the people of} Hims [Homs] took the word for their lives and many villages were ravaged by the killing of {the Arabs of} Muhammad (Muhmd) and many people were slain and {taken} prisoner from Galilee as far as Beth. . . . On the tw{enty-six}th of May the Saq{ila}ra [sakellarioi: finance officials] went {. . .} from the vicinity of Hims and the Romans chased them {. . .}. On the 10th {of August} the Romans fled from the vicinity of Damascus {and there were killed} many {people}, some 10,000. And at the turn {of the ye}ar the Romans came. On the 20th of August in the year n{ine hundred and forty-}seven [= AD 636] there gathered in Gabitha [Gabot Ramta, al-Jbiya] {a multitude of} the Romans, and [Battle of Yarmuk] many people {of the R}omans were kil{led}, {s}ome 50,000. Kirby p. 117: "Beyond this only scattered words are discernible. Wright, the first to draw attention to the fragment, wrote that it seems to be a nearly contemporary notice, a view to which Nldeke also subscribed. Neither scholar produced evidence to corroborate his assertion, but in its favour is the occurrence of the words 'we saw' in l. 13, and the fact that it was a common practice to jot down notes for commemorative purposes on the blank pages of a Gospel. It is of some significance that the fragment accords with one of the dates given in Arabic sources for the battle at Gabitha (assuming this is to be identified with Yarmuk), namely 20 August AG 947 or 12 Rajab AH 15 (= AD 636), and bears resemblance to certain notices in Theophanes; but Donner is right to advise caution given the unknown provenance and frequent illegibility of the text" [Donner: in his Early Islamic Conquests, Princeton, 1981). 6 December 636, or 6 December 637: Sophronius, patriarch of Jerusalem, on the Muslims: Why is Christ, who is the dispenser of all good things and the provider of this joyousness of ours, blasphemed by pagan mouths (ethnikois tois stomasi) so that he justly cries out to us: Because of you my name is blasphemed among the pagans, and this is the worst of all the terrible things that are happening to us. That is why the vengeful and God-hating Saracens, the abomination of desolation clearly foretold to us by the prophets, overrun the places which are not allowed to them, plunder cities, devastate fields, burn down villages, set on fire the holy churches, overturn the sacred monasteries, oppose the Roman [Byzantine] armies arrayed against them, and in fighting raise up the trophies [of war] and add victory to victory. 168

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Moreover, they are raised up more and more against us and increase their blasphemy of Christ and the church, and utter wicked blasphemies against God. Quoted by Peter Kirby 2003. Late 636: Battle of al-Qadisiyyah, south of todays Baghdad: the Muslims defeat the Sassanian Persians. This leads (by 640) to the final collapse of the Sassanid Persian Empire. See below under 636-38. 636-37: Syria, winter of 636-37: Muslim siege of Byzantine Homs. An earthquake, interpreted as Gods will, prompted the inhabitants to surrender (Kennedy 2008: 86). 636-38: Iraq: The Muslim Arabs crush (probably in 636) the Persian army under the general Rustam [Rostam Farrokhzad] in a hard-fought four-day battle at Qadisiyyah, near al-Hilla in what is now south-central Iraq, south of present-day Baghdad (just SW of Kufa). Arab arrows and the strangeness of their camels nullified the war-elephants of the Sasanians. Rustam was killed. The forces on both sides were curiously modest. The Muslims under Sad b. Abi Waqqas numbered at most 12,000 and Rustams Persians perhaps 18,000 (Kennedys estimates: 2008: 108 ff). In 637, after a siege using siege machines, the armies of Islam occupied the capital Ctesiphon. Shah Yazdgirs (or Yazgard) appeal for Chinese aid went unanswered (638). By the end of 640 all of Iraq and western Persia (Khuzistan) would be under Muslim rule, with garrisons stationed at Kufa, Basra and Mosul (Kennedy p.137). 636-52: N Italy: r. Rothari, Lombard king. The kingdom was still officially Arian, although some of its towns had Catholic bishops. See 698. c. 637? Barbarous Muslims: Text by Maximus the Confessor, d. 662, from a letter to Peter, governor of Numidia, then in Alexandria, between 634 and 640: For indeed, what is more dire than the evils which today afflict the world? What is more terrible for the discerning than the unfolding events? What is more pitiable and frightening for those who endure them? To see a barbarous people of the desert [Muslim Arabs] overrunning another's lands as though they were their own; to see civilization itself being ravaged by wild and untamed beasts whose form alone is human (Maximus, Ep. 14, PG [Patrologica Graeca] 91, 533-44 [pp. 77-78]). 637: Heraclius issued a general order to the Roman forces in the East, directing that 169

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they maintain themselves in their quarters and bases; they were to defend their positions against the Arabs but were not to go over to the offensive or risk open battle. No major campaign was attempted (Gellatin p.139; Haldon, Transformation p. 219). But cf 638-40. Mutilation: Nose-slitting, Blinding, Castration 637-38: Early example of mutilation: A plot in 637 may have been influenced, writes Garland, by [empress Martinas] manoeuvres on behalf of her children. The plotters included Heraclius' illegitimate son Atalarichus and his (the emperors) nephew Theodore. The noses and hands of all conspirators were cut off. One of Theodore's legs was also amputated. After this, they were exiled to Prinkipo, the island in the Sea of Marmara,* (638). One of the consequences was that Martina's 12 years old son Heraclonas (officially Heraclius II) was crowned emperor in July 638, and his younger brother David made Caesar. Heraclius also had his daughters Augustina and Anastasia pronounced Augustae [empresses]. Lynda Garland, Martina, at http://www.roman-emperors.org/martina.htm; accessed 2006. (*) Patriarch Nicephorus account of the events of 637 says to the Maltese Islands. Emperor Heraclius exiled his brothers son Theodorus, who was accused of conspiracy, to the Maltese Islands after having his nose and hands cut off. Theodorus was accompanied with a letter to the dux, the local military commander on the island, who ordered one of his legs to be amputated upon his arrival. In Warren Treadgolds major work, History of the Byzantine State (1997), the earliest mentions of various types of mutilation are as follows: Slitting of the nose or tongue, 641: Following Heracliuss example, the rebel general Valentine ordered the ex-regent Martinas tongue slit or cut out (Theophanes says cut out) and the boy-emperor Heraclonass nose to be slit. Later in that century Emperor Justinian II was deposed and had his own nose slit (in 695). Blinding, 706 and 713: When Justinian II recovered the throne, he blinded (706) the patriarch Callinicus in punishment for having crowned the two successful interlopers Leontius and Tiberius. Then Justinians successor, Philippicus, was blinded (713) by rebel soldiers, inflicting a mutilation harder to ignore than slitting of the nose or tongue. Castration, 813: Leo V castrated the sons of the deposed Michael I to prevent their aspiring to the throne. (Herrin 2007: 164 seems mistaken in claiming Maurices sons were castrated in the coup of 602.) Norwich says that blindings began under Phocas (cf above: AD 605-06). Certainly from the 700s blinding became routine for defeated plotters. Nose amputation and blinding were meant to invalidate the victims claim to the 170

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throne since an emperor, in the Byzantine view, must be free of all obvious physical imperfections. Mutilation was also seen as less inhumane more Christian - than execution. And it had scriptural support: And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire (Matthew 18: 8-9). 637-42: 1. Arab conquest of Iraq, Armenia and Iran. First mention (637) of Germanicea: In N Syria, todays SE Turkey, the Byzantine ("Greek") border fortress of Germanicea or Marash (Turkish Kahraman-marash) fell by surrender in 637 or 638. This was the last succcsess by Khalid ibn Walid. Thus the Arabs gained contol of one of the main routes beyween Syria and Anatolia. A major road ran from Antioch NE to Marash. - To locate Marash go inland due NE from the corner-point of the Mediterrranean. 2. Jerusalem offers to surrender but only to the Caliph in person (Sept 637); it is said that Umar happily came and took the surrender in, probably, January or February 638 (Daniel Sahas, Sophronius and Umar, in Emmanouela Grypeou, Mark Swanson, David Thomas, eds., The Encounter of Eastern Christianity with early Islam, Brill, 2006 p.37). Roman Jerusalem surrenders to the Muslim Arabs, 637/38 638 (or 637): 1. Surrender of Jerusalem to the Muslim Arabs. Or 637: the precise date is uncertain. The Caliph Umar was possibly visiting present-day Jordan on other business when a delegation arrived from Roman Jerusalem offering the citys surrender. Armstrong 1996: 228 pictures him entering the town on a white camel in his usual shabby clothes, to be met by splendidly dressed Byzantines. Certainly he arrived clad in a filthy camel-hair garment, if we may believe Theophanes (TCOT: 39; discussion in Kennedy 2008: 91).* Sophronius and Umar signed the treaty of surrender at the Mount of Olives in February 638. Sophronius died soon thereafter (Sahas, loc. cit.) Antioch likewise was taken, in late 638. This left Caesarea on the coast of Palestine and Edessa in N Syria as the only remaining East Roman strongholds in the central Levant [see 640]. (*) If Umar really did visit Jerusalem, this is the only known occasion on which any of the first caliphs Abu Bakr, d.634; Umar, d.644; and Uthman, d.656 ever left Medina, the political capital of the new state. And none led Muslim armies in person (Kennedy 2008: 51).

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Muslim tradition holds that Umar went up to Jerusalem by horse. He stepped down from his steed and entered the holy city without any bloodshed. The document (if it be genuine) known as the Umari Treaty indicates that he called on every religious leader from Christianity and Judaism to meet him. The text says, in part: It is . . . required of them [the non-Byzantine people of Jerusalem] to remove [or expel] the Romans [i.e. the Greek-Byzantine governing caste] from the land; and whoever amongst the people of Illyaa [Aelia, as in Aelia Capitolina, i.e. Jerusalem] that wishes to depart with their selves and their money with the Romans, leaving their trading goods and children behind, then their selves, their trading goods and their children are secure until they reach their destination (Wikipedia, 2011, under Umariyya Covenant; text in Kennedy 2008: 93). Genuine? The text may be invented or imagined but it seems clear some assurance was given at the time. See discussion in Sahas, Sophronius and Umar in Emmanouela Grypeou, Mark Swanson, David Thomas, eds. The encounter of Eastern Christianity with early Islam, Brill, 2006); and Salma Khadra Jayyusi & Zafar Ishaq Ansari, My Jerusalem: essays, reminiscences, and poems, Interlink Books, 2005 pp 110ff. Patriarch Sophronius: The godless Saracens entered the holy city of Christ our Lord, Jerusalem, with the permission of God and in punishment for our negligence, which is considerable, and immediately proceeded in haste to the place which is called the Capitol. They took with them men, some by force, others by their own will, in order to clean that place [the Temple Mount: it had served as a rubbish tip] and to build that cursed thing, intended for their prayer and which they call a mosque (midzgitha). See discussion by Kennedy, 2008: 93; Sophronius in Pratum spirituale, 100-102, p. 63, text in Kirby 2003. 2. The East: The Byzantines invade Muslim-occupied Syria from three directions. (i) A great armada was employed to bring troops to the Syrian coast opposite Emesa, present-day Homs. Which is to say: where the present-day Lebanon-Syria border runs. (ii) The governor of Osrhoene (Mesopotamia), John Cuteus [Gk: Kataias], was to launch an attack into Syria from the east. (iii) Other armies were to descend through Cilicia into northern Syria. The attack was a failure. Antioch was recaptured and held briefly, but the expedition headed for Emesa apparently achieved nothing at all. And Kataias, the Byzantine governor of Mesopotamia, fearing Arab reprisal attacks, made peace instead of war and offered to pay tribute of 100,000 nomismata. Heraclius immediately recalled him and sent him into exile (TCOT: 40; Jacob of Edessa; Gellatin 1972: 139). See 639. 3a. Heraclius finally returns to his capital, crossing the Bosporus over a bridge of boats designed to allay his hydrophobia (Treadgold 1997: 305). 3b. Heraclius crowns his and Martinas 12 years old son Heraclonas as coemperor. Martina herself was aged about 40. 3c. Believing they are plotting against him, Heraclius orders that his nephew Theodore and his (Heracliuss) bastard son John or Athalric (Atalarichos)* be 172

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mutilated. As noted earlier, their noses and hands were cut off (Norwich 1988: 308. citing Nicephoros). (*) Presumably of a Vandal mother? 3d. Publication of Heracliuss Ecthesis: Proclamation of the new Monothelete Doctrine. The Ecthesis is a letter published in AD 638 by the Byzantine emperor Heraclius which defined monotheletism (discussed below) as the official imperial form of Christianity. It rejected the formula which the rivals Sophronius and Maximus the Confessor had published at the synod of Cyprus in 634. The emperor sent this as an edict to all four metropolitan sees. It was signed by Cyrus of Alexandria and Arkadios II of Cyprus. But during 638 in Rome, Pope Honorius I who had supported monothelitism died. His successor Pope Severinus, elected 638, held the dyophysite line and so was forbidden imperial confirmation of his appointment until 640, whereupon he condemned the Ecthesis ex cathedra [as a formal announcement]. Contending Christologies Many in the Eastern areas, particularly Armenia, Syria, and Egypt, believed in monophysitism (or miaphysitism), the teaching that Christ has one nature composed of both divine and human elements. For miaphysites, the incarnate Christ has one nature, but that nature is still of both a divine character and a human character, and retains all the characteristics of both. The other areas of the empire followed the orthodox view expressed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 where it was decreed that Christ has two natures united in one person (dyophysitism). According to this doctrone, Christ is one person in two natures, but the natures are "without confusion, without change, without division, without separation". In an effort to bridge the gap between the two views and bring them back together, the patriarch of Constantinople, Sergius, promoted (AD 632) the concept of 'monoenergism' which proposed that the two natures of Christ had one energy. This was received favourably at first, including by Rome, but monoenergism soon had vocal opponents, among them Sophronius the patriarch of Jerusalem. Moore, Heraclius, online (2010) at http://www.romanemperors.org/Heraclis.htm. The opposition to monoenergism led Sergius to propose a new doctrine, that of monothelitism, the belief in a single will in Christ. Heraclius supported the new doctrine of Sergius and put it forth in an edict known as the Ekthesis, and posted it in the narthex of Hagia Sophia or Santa Sophia, the great cathedral of Constantinople in 638. This failed to settle the controversy as it was rejected by the Orthodox East, the Monophysites, and even the See of Rome. 638-40: (12 Oct 638:) The pope or archbishop of Rome Honorius I dies. Severinus is elected to succeed him but Heraclius refuses to confirm him unless he signs the 173

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emperors Ecthesis, a document supporting Monothelitism. Maurice, a Byzantine official (chartularius), is sent (639) from Ravenna to Rome to negotiate with Severinus. Upon arriving, Maurice persuades the garrison of Rome (the Roman array) to seize control of the Lateran Palace (in the SE: the papal residence) and then sends word to his superior Isaac the Armenian, the Byzantine Exarch of Ravenna, to come to Rome (probably in 640). Partly in an effort to pressure Severinus, the two officials then sack the palace of its treasures (the Liber Pontificalis says plundered; Jones et al. prefer to say confiscated them), prudently sending some to the emperor in Constantinople. Another motive was to find a way to pay the local troops, for Isaac had let their pay get into arrears. Isaac (it is said) took the opportunity to acquire a vast fortune for himself (A Jones et al. 1992: 720; Richards 1979: 183; also Fanning 1970: 47). The two robber-lords later (643 or 644) had a falling out over another act of plunder, and Isaac had Maurice arrested, brought to Ravenna and executed (Jones et al. p.721; Fanning 1970: 48). The New Frontier in the East 638-40: Romaic withdrawal from Cilicia: Heraclius orders garrisons to be stationed in the Taurus mountains, which formed a new defensive line (Haldon, Transformation p.220). See 640. Haldon proposes that the ex-Thracian army was first stationed in eastern Asia Minor at this time (ibid: p.216); but the actual military province or Theme of the Thracesians in west Asia Minor was not established until over a decade later: see 659. Cf 644-46. 639: 1. Mesopotamia/Osrhoene [east of the central Euphrates]: The Byzantine general Ptolemaius, Cuteuss [Kataiass] replacement, surrendered Edessa to the advancing Arabs. He had with him only a small garrison force; they were allowed to depart. On this the Muslim sources accord with the Byzantine and Syriac chronicles. At Dara, however, where there was a larger garrison, it seems the Byzantines resisted and all the troops were killed; but not the Aramaic/Syriac populace. (Here, if both extreme accounts are discountedTheophanes story that many people were killed at Dara and al-Baladhuris chronicle that no one died anywherethen the other sources mostly agree.) Treadgold 1997: 305. 2. December: First Muslim raid into Byzantine Egypt. 3. Byzantine Dalmatia: In 639 and 656, the Avar-led Slavs destroyed the flourishing Illyro-Latin communities of Salona [present-say Solin, north of Split] and Epidaurum [modern Cavtat], a town near modern Dubrovnik. The islandrock of Ragusa, our Dubrovnik, was colonised by the survivors as a refuge. In 639 [or earlier: possibly in 614] Salona was destroyed by the pagan Slavs. Many fled to the islands and to fortified places on the coast such as Trogir. Nearby Spalato (Split), three km from Salona, formerly a satellite village 174

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(abandoned around 614), was re-founded in 647 as a new town within the walls of the massive 4th century imperial palace of Diocletian. Or if we follow Fine 1991: 34, 269, when Salona fell, in 614, its population fled to Diocletians palace at Split immediately (as well as to the islands). Curta 2006, SE Europe p.74, has contested this date (639), which derives from later sources such as Constantine Porphyrogenitus; Curta says Salona was more likely destroyed later in the 600s. The coastal parts of Dalmatia that the empire continued to control were governed by a proconsul based at Zadar (Harris 2003: 29). See 640-42: aid sent by the patriarch of Rome. Early Names for the Muslims The Nestorian or Syriac catholicus (patriarch) from 649-659 was Isho'yahb III of Adiabene [born in Adiamene in N Mesopotamia, south of Lake Van; Aramaic: Hidyab], formerly metropolitan of Mosul. The seat of the catholicus was at Muslim-ruled Seleucia/Ctesiphon. He writes thus The heretics [meaning Monophysite or Jacobite Christians] are deceiving you [when they say] there happens what happens by order of the Arabs, which is certainly not the case. For the Muslim Arabs (tayyaye mhaggre) do not aid those who say that God, Lord of all, suffered and died. And if by chance they do help them for whatever reason, you can inform the Muslims (mhaggre) and persuade them of this matter as it should be, if you care about it at all. So perform all things wisely, my brothers: give unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's (Isho'yahb III, Ep. 48B, 97 [p. 179]). Kirby: "The interest of this passage is twofold. Firstly, it is our earliest reference to Christian dealings with Muslims, and it is clear that the Monophysites and Nestorians vied for privileges from their new masters, much as they had done in Sasanian times. As far as what should be rendered to Caesar, bishops and monks alike sought tax concessions and other such favours for their people; in matters concerning God they simply requested the freedom to conduct their own affairs unmolested. Secondly, it gives us our earliest reference [as it dates before AD 640] to the (Syriac) term Mhaggre. The equivalent Greek form Magaritai is found in a bilingual papyrus of AH 22/643, which is a receipt from the commander of the Arab forces in Egypt to the local inhabitants for goods provided, and it was probably from such documents, or from the scribes that copied them, that the Christians learned the term. In turn, the Greek derives from the Arabic Muhajir*, which is the name by which the Arabs are designated on all official documents of the first century of Islam." Peter Kirby, External References to Islam, September 11, 2003; at http://www.christianorigins.com/islamrefs.html#maximus, accessed August 2006. Emphasis added. (*) Plural muhajirun. Literally migrant/s, i.e. alluding to the departure of Muhammad and his companions from Mecca to Medina in AD 622, the Muslim year zero. Cf hijra, migration, withdrawal.

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Kirby notes that a second reference to the Muslims occurs in a letter addressed to Simeon/Shemon of Rewardashir/Rev-Ardashir, who Isho'yahb desperately exhorts to remain within the fold of the church. He argues that the only possible explanation for the disasters which have been afflicting the Persian and East Arabian Christians under Simeon's authority, in particular the successes of some religious pretender, is their attempt at secession: You alone of all the peoples of the earth have become estranged from every one of them. And because of this estrangement from all these, the influence of the present error came to prevail with ease among you. For the one who has seduced you and uprooted your churches was first seen among us in the region of Radan, where the pagans (hanpe) are more numerous than the Christians. Yet, due to the praiseworthy conduct of the Christians, the pagans were not led astray by him. Rather he was driven out from there in disgrace; not only did he not uproot the churches, but he himself was extirpated. However, your region of Persia received him, pagans and Christians, and he did with them as he willed, the pagans consenting and obedient, the Christians inactive and silent. As for the Arabs, to whom God has at this time given rule (shultana) over the world, you know well how they act towards us. Not only do they not oppose Christianity, but they praise our faith, honour the priests and saints of our Lord, and give aid to the churches and monasteries. Why then do your Mrwnaye [inhabitants of a city in Iraq or Persia] reject their faith on a pretext of theirs? And this when the Mrwnaye themselves admit that the Arabs have not compelled them to abandon their faith, but only asked them to give up half of their possessions in order to keep their faith. Yet they forsook their faith, which is forever, and retained the half of their wealth, which is for a short time (Isho'yahb III, Ep. 14C, 251 [pp. 180-181]: emphasis added. MOR). 639-40: The Plague of Amwas. Plague appeared in Syria and spread to Palestine where it killed many among the Muslim armies based at Emmaus (Amwas), ENE of Jerusalem. It reached Iraq but did not penetrate into Byzantine Egypt. See next. Stathakopoulos 2004: 349-50. 639-41: Conquest of Egypt by the Muslims led by Amr ibn al-As. 12 Dec. 639: invasion of Egypt begins: Amr at al-Arsh (SW of Gaza: the formal border of Egypt). Jan. 640: capture of the border town of Pelusium (Farama), east of the delta. May 640: Amr's raid into the Fayym, the large oasis SW of Cairo. 6 June 640: arrival of reinforcements under Zubair. July 640: battle of Heliopolis and capture of Misr (ancient Memphis: the future Fustat, north of Babylon). 9 April 641: surrender of Egyptian Babylon under (second) treaty. 13 May 641: capture of Nikiou/Nikiu or Naqyus: about a third of the way from Babylon to Alexandria. End of June 641: Alexandria attacked. 14 Sept. 641: return of patriarch Cyrus to Egypt as imperial governor. 8 Nov. 641: capitulation treaty. On 12 December 639, Amr arrived with an army of only about 4,000 horsemen or fewer (Kennedy 2008: 57 says 3,500-4,000). They aimed to capture the 176

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Byzantine fortress of Babylon-in-Egypt (Bab al Yun), today part of northern Cairo, in order to advance safely up the Nile delta to the metropolis of Alexandria. Babylon was a choke-point and whoever held it could control movement into the delta from the south. John, Bishop of Nikiu, offers some unique information, saying in particular that the Ishmaelites or Arabs, paying no attention to the fortified cities, initially raided the Fayyum, an important agricultural oasis to the south-west of Babylon/Fustat. In contrast the later Muslim sources say the Arab commander Amr ibn al-'As advanced directly to Fustat. John's reconstruction, that the Arabs first took possession of the surrounding districts before proceeding to the urban centre with its defensive fortress, makes much more sense and also accords with what we know of Arab warfare from other sources. Peter Kirby, 2003, External References to Islam. 639-44: The precise chronology of the Arab conquests of Syria and Palestine is very uncertain. On the whole, it seems that the occupation of the coastal towns was more complicated and took more time for the newcomers than that of those of the inner lands. The capture of the capital of Byzantine Palestine, Caesarea Maritima, is placed in 18 AH / 639 AD, 19 AH / 640 AD or 20 AH / 641 AD by different Muslim traditions; the town suffered a heavy siege which probably lasted, because its defenders could be supplied from the sea, for seven years. Gaza was captured at more or less the same time. Acre/Akka, Beirut, Laodicaea, Sidon were perhaps occupied (or raided) at the beginning of the 640s, but Tripoli of Syria and Ascalon were not captured until 643/644. Cf Donner 1981: 153. Kaegi, 1992: 184, dates the capture of Caesarea to 640, but 641 is more generally preferred. Many scholars simply say 640 or 641. 640: 1. The Levant: Arabs reduce most of the Romanic/Byzantine outposts on the Palestine-Lebanon-Syrian coast (but Tripoli held out until 644). Then, Dec. 639: Muslim invasion of Egypt. Jan. 640: the Arabs capture Pelusium. May 640: Amr's raid into the Fayym. 6 June 640: arrival of 4,000 reinforcements under Zubair [al-Zubayr ibn al-'Awwam]. Mid July 640: Battle of Heliopolis. Late 640, possibly November: Cyrus recalled from Egypt. March 641: death of emperor Heraclius. 9 April 641: capture of Misr (Memphis: Egyptian Babylon or Fustat). Autumn 641: Cyrus arrives back in Alexandria. Battle of Heliopolis and the Fall of Egyptian Babylon, 640-641 Mid July 640: Arab forces clashed with the Byzantine (Romano-GreekEgyptian) army at Heliopolis near the southern apex of the Nile delta north of present-day Cairo. The Muslims numbered 15,000 or fewer - nearly all battlehardened cavalry - under the command of Amr ibn al-As. The Christian imperial forces under Theodore, military commander of all Egypt, perhaps numbered over 20,000 - mainly untested infantry, including foot-archers. (Patriarch Cyrus was the Viceroy, and Theodores role, although he bore the title Augustal 177

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Prefect or praefectus augustalis, was apparently limited to military command: thus Butler, online, p.330; Treadgold 1997: 305.) John of Nikiu refers to the imperialists variously as the Egyptian troops and the Roman troops. We may believe they were nearly all local Coptic-speakers, with only part of the officer caste being Grecophones. The Muslim armyon this occasion mainly Yemenis or south Arabians (Kennedy 2008: 26, 147)had been reinforced in June 640, bringing their number up to between 8,000 and 12,000. Treadgold 1997 and Kennedy 2008 say Amr commanded some 15,000 Arabs. But if we follow Jandora, 1990: 86 and 137-38, the Arabs had perhaps only 8,000 men or no more than 10,000 - and were only slightly outnumbered by the imperialists, say 10,000 or at most 13,000 men. The Arab and Egypto-Roman armies met on the plain of Heliopolis, Arabic Ayn [or Ain] Shams, north-east of Babylon. The site is now a suburb of Cairo. With the imperial army approaching, Amr split his army into three sections, with one detachment (500 men) under the command of a lieutenant, Kharija, heading east to nearby hills, and another detachment to the south. Once the imperial/Byzantine forces made contact with Amr's forces and attacked them, the detachment of Kharija fell on the Byzantine rear, causing turmoil among the imperialist ranks. As Theodore's troops attempted to flee southward, they were attacked by the third detachment, causing a final break-down and defeat of the forces (Wikipedia 2011; Kennedy 2008: 151). Jandora (1990) proposes that the Muslims had the advantage because they were better equipped and much more experienced, especially the battle-hardened troops from the Muslim army of Syria. An experienced professional Arab cavalry force met a largely infantry force of part-timers. The Muslim historiographical tradition stresses the cultural or human factors, all of which would appear to hold more than a kernel of truth. The RomanoEgyptians are depicted as wealthy and complacent, unused to the rigours of desert warfare. The heroic Arab - specifically he is a Yemeni - by contrast is presented as living a life of privation and austerity in his tent. Unlike his enemies, he is an excellent horseman. He is also, of course, a skilled and hardened spearman, with the implication that the Byzantine-Egyptians lacked skill and were not battle-hardened (Kennedy 2008: 26, citing al-Hakam: the Sassanian Persians are similarly seen as luxury-loving and immoral: ibid: 63). The imperialists were defeated and retreated back (south-west) to the ancient fortresstown of Babylon (our Old Cairo). Its defenders numbered perhaps 5,000-6,000 troops (Butler p.251; Kennedy 2008: 152). After a six month siege the massive fortressfive hectares [224 metres x 224 metres] with four towers of 30 metres diameterfell by surrender on 9 April 641. One reason for the surrender may have been the news, which reached the fortress in March, of the death of emperor Heraclius a month earlier. Next to fall was Nikiu in the delta, on 13 May 641; during the battle Amr lost his horse to a Byzantine arrow. The Muslims killed all the inhabitants of the town, as they did too in other towns. The Copts, or some of them, were now 178

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actively assisting the Muslims (with logistics) against the hated Greek Melkites or dyophysites; at other times, however, the Romans (imperial Greeks) and Copts put aside religious differences and cooperated to resist the Muslims.* Already by this time, a few Egyptians converted to Islam and joined in on the Arab side (John of Nikiu, cxiii.2 and cxiv.1; Kennedy 2008: 155, 166-68). The Arab army next proceeded NW to Alexandria which soon surrendered and a peace treaty was signed in November 641, giving the Muslims control over most of Egypt. See under 641 for further discussion of this. (*) Speaking generally about the Levant, Warren Treadgold has suggested that Monophysitism had nothing to do with the Muslim conquest; most Monophysites preferred Byzantine rule to Muslim rule, and they did nothing to help the conquests. The Arabs benefitted enormously from the ruinous war in which the Byzantines and Persians had just worn each other out. The Byzantines wisely kept many of their troops in reserve (the Persians did not), which allowed them to stop the Arabs at the first strong natural barrier - the Taurus Mountains in southeast Anatolia. Egypt, Syria, and North Africa were protected only by deserts, which were not barriers for the Arabs. Treadgold, Questions 2005; online 2010. Babylon, or rather a site adjoining Babylon on the north, became the Arab capital and was renamed Al Fustat, a name probably derived ultimately from Greek fossaton, camp: present-day Old Cairo. Misr al-Fustat in Arabic means "The Tented City of Egypt: Arabic fustat, tent, pavilion, encampment, probably from Latin/Greek fossaton, camp, plus Misr, an ancient Semitic name for Egypt (Biblical Misraim). The Arab invasion had been preceded by several years of vicious persecution of the monophysite Coptic Christians by Cyrus, the Chalcedonian or Melkite (imperialist) patriarch of Alexandria. The native Egyptian (Coptic) population was divided, some being loyal to Constantinople and others not. But all factions favoured peace; hence the decision to negotiate rather than fight to the end. By 14 September patriarch Cyrus, who had been recalled from Egypt 10 months earlier by the emperor Heraclius, was back with authority to conclude a peace. All factions welcomed him back. The Coptic-Egyptian bishop John of Niki - who wrote in both Greek and Coptic attributes the Muslim conquest "to the wickedness of the emperor Heraclius and his persecution of the orthodox [meaning his fellow monophysites] through the patriarch Cyrus" (Chronicle, 121.2). Writing probably before 650, John laments apostasy, saying, "And now many of the Egyptians who had been false Christians denied the holy orthodox faith and lifegiving baptism, and embraced the religion of the Muslim, the enemies of God, and accepted the detestable doctrine of the beast, this is, Muhammad, and they erred together with those idolaters, and took arms in their hands and fought against the Christians. And one of them, named John, the Chalcedonian of the Convent of Sinai, embraced the faith of Islam, and quitting his monk's habit he took up the sword, and persecuted the Christians who were faithful to 179

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our Lord Jesus Christ" (Chronicle, 121.10-11). The chronicle ends with the capture of Alexandria in 641. Hoyland suggests a date of composition in the 640s because there is no reference to any "monastic activities" such as would be expected from one who "entered the church hierarchy, probably ca. 650" (p.153). John claims in the prologue to have been an eyewitness to some of the more recent events in his chronicle; but not the conquest itself. Hoyland 1997. 2. First, unsuccessful Arab raid into East Roman Armenia. Cf 642. 3. (Early 641:) Heraclius orders forcible conversion of Jews. 4. fl. George of Pisidia, poet, deacon and archivist of Hagia Sophia, perfector of the Byzantine 12-syllable metre. His secular poems celebrate Heracliuss wars against the Persians. 5. Italy: Pope Severinus (640-?640): Elected in 638, he chose not to cooperate with the Byzantine emperor Heraclius and the latter ordered the pontifical treasury plundered for revenge. Heraclius initially refused (638-39) to consent to his appointment because Severinus would not sign the Ecthesis, the emperors Monothelite profession of faith. Isaac the Exarch plundered the Lateran. (See above under 638.) c. 640: Greece: Some of the very few mosaics and wall paintings that survive from the Byzantine dark ages are preserved in the churches of Ayios [Hagios] Demetrios and Ayia Sophia in Thessaloniki. Between 629 and 634, Ayios Demetrios was burnt down, and upon its ruins a new large, five-aisled basilica with transept was raised. Six of the new mosaics (perhaps dated to around 640) that adorned the new church have survived, principally depicting Saint Demetrios beside the new founders, clerics and children. In one, an unbearded Saint Demetrios stands between the two founders of the church, the eparch or provincial governor Leontios and bishop Ioannis (John), both with beards. The style reminds one of the Ravenna mosaics of the mid-500s more than the later Middle Ages. GO HERE for a large image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/image:meister_der_demetriuskirche_in_saloniki_002.jpg Britannnia: Baptism of the strongest West Saxon leader, Cynegils, by bishop Birinus. This took place at the end of the 630s, perhaps in 640. Birinus, himself a Frank from Genoa, was by then established as bishop of the West Saxons, with his seat at Dorchester-on-Thames, near Oxford. This was the first conversion to Christianity by a West Saxon king or better: leading chief, but it was not accompanied by the immediate conversion of all the West Saxons. Cynegils' successor (and probably his 180

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son), Cenwealh, who came to the throne in about 642, was still a pagan at his accession. By 640: Rome: Many Greek-speaking clerics have appeared in Rome: some were refugees from the East; some came from the old Greek-speaking regions of Italy; and some by ordinary transfer (Richards p.273). 640-42: NE Italy: Around this time, king Rotharis Lombards took Oderzo (Opitergium), seat of the Byzantine military governor (magister militum) of the province of Veneto/Venetia, and nearby Altino (Paulus Diac. 4.xlv). The governor, the bishop and the people fled to the then-island of Eraclea/Heracliana (Cittanova) (NE of our Venice: 19th century reclamation of marshland means that nowadays the town is about six km from the coast: Elisabeth Crouzet-Pavan & Lydia Cochrane, Venice Triumphant: The Horizons of a Myth, JHU Press, 2005, p.6). As to the date, Laura Pavan: Terre della Venezia orientale. Guida turistica e culturale. Ediz. Inglese, Ediciclo Editore, 2007, gives 639-40; Bury: From Irene p. and Nicol B&V suggest 640; while the Wikipedia authors under Rothari, and the online Encyc. Brit. prefer 641 ("Exarchate of Ravenna." Encyclopdia Britannica. Encyclopdia Britannica Online. Encyclopdia Britannica, 2011. Web. 05 Jun. 2011. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/492265/Exarchate-of-Ravenna). The name Heracliana first appeared in a bull issued by pope Severinus, who was elected in 638 but not confirmed by Heraclius because of a doctrinal dispute until 640; the pope died after just a few months on the throne of St Peter. Thus 639 looks probable as the date for the the governor and bishop of Oderzo to have left for the new city (Cittanova). 640-47: Syria: Upon the death of Yazid in 640, the 38 years old Muawiyah ibn al-Sufyan was appointed governor of Syria by the caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab. Muawiyah gradually gained mastery over the other areas of Syria, instilling a firm personal loyalty among his troops and the people of the region. By 647 he had built a Syrian army strong enough to repel a Byzantine attack. Poem by Cavafy [Kabaphes]: (note that the character is fictional) Aemilianus Monae, Alexandrian*, 628-655 A.D. With words, with countenance, and with manners I shall build an excellent panoply; and in this way I shall face evil men without having any fear or weakness. They will want to harm me. But of those who approach me 181

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none will know where my wounds are, my vulnerable parts, under all the lies that will cover me. -- Boastful words of Aemilianus Monae. Did he ever build this panoply? In any case, he did not wear it much. He died in Sicily, at the age of twenty-seven. (*) The Arabs captured Alexandria for a second and final time in 646. 641: 1. Death of Heraclius, 11 Feb: aged about 66, followed by succession difficulties. 2. The Muslims take Palestinian Caesarea. Theophanes, TCOT: 41, says 7,000 Byzantines were killed, which is possibly credible. 3. Egypt falls to the Arabs: the fortress-towns of Babylon and Nikiu and finally the capital Alexandria. Alexandria surrendered on 8 November 641. Foundation of the future city of Fustat, present-day Cairo, ancient Babylon-inEgypt. Chronology thus: 9 April 641: surrender of Babylon under (second) treaty; 13 May 641: capture of Nikiu; end of June 641: Alexandria attacked; 14 Sept. 641: return of patriarch Cyrus to Egypt; October: negotiations between Cyrus and Amr b. al-As; 8 Nov. 641: treaty signed for the capitulation of Alexandria. Cyrus [Gk Kyros] went back to Alexandria as Prefect (governor) with a large army in September 641. Treadgold (1997: 309) proposes that the expedition included most of the rest of the armies in the Emperor's Presence under their commander Constantine. Cyrus (according to Jones et al. p.378) had full authority from the new government of the teen-age emperor Heraclonas and the empress-mother Martina to negotiate a settlement with Amr. Butler, p.306, says Martina wanted peace at any price. And it seems Cyrus judged that the country was already lost. Now not only Cyrus the Chalcedonian patriarch desired peace with the Muslims, but all the people and the patricians [patrikioi: senior officials] and Domentianus [ex-governor of the Fayyum; also Cyruss brother in law], who had enjoyed the favour of the empress Martina (John of Nikiu). Butler suggests that the only way of understanding his mysterious betrayal is to conclude that Cyrus hoped to remain as patriarch under Arab rule, free of any political or ecclesiastical domination by Constantinople. In any event, he agreed (secret or at least discreet negotiations were opened at Babylon in October: the treaty was finally accepted on 8 November 641) to surrender Egypt to 'Amr by the next autumn. During the intervening year, the Arabs were to allow the Byzantine army, and any Egyptians who so wished, to evacuate Egypt undisturbed, taking their movable property with them. Some, perhaps most, of the Alexandrians were initially furious with Cyrus for his capitulation, and all were amazed, but perhaps they could not resist further 182

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without more help from Constantinople. None came. Indeed Constantinople seems to have ratified the treaty later in November 641. Left with no choice but to honour the Egyptian truce, on 17 September 642 Theodore, Constantine and the army evacuated Alexandria, where Cyrus had already died (in early 642*), and sailed for Cyprus. Amrs Muslims formally entered the city on 29 September 642, ending a thousand years of Graeco-Roman rule (Kennedy 2008: 160; Butler p.332). (*) On 21 March 642, according to John of Nikiu: Jones et al. 1971, I: 378; Carl F. Petry, The Cambridge history of Egypt, Cambridge University Press, 1998, p.55. 4. West-central Iran (halfway between Baghdad and Tehran): Muslim Arabs defeat the Sassanian Persians at the battle of Nahavand/Nihawand, near our Hamadan. Nahavand marked the total dissolution of the Sassanian Imperial army, with the fall of the last of the grand marshals of the army and the rise of warlordism among the Persians. The next yearly entry, for 642, lies ahead several pages. * * * To recap. When Heraclius came to the throne in 610, the Romanic Empire was being attacked from several sides. The Avars and Slavs were expanding into the northern Balkans. The Slavs controlled the Danube regions, Thrace, Macedonia, and were soon invading our Central Greece and the Peloponnese. In the East, meanwhile, the Persians under the rule of Chosroes had begun a series of successful attacks on the empire resulting in the loss of Damascus in 613, Jerusalem in 614 (destroying the church of the Holy Sepulchre and capturing the Holy Cross) and Egypt in 619. Recognising the difficulty in fighting on two opposing fronts at the same time, Heraclius signed a peace treaty with the Avars in 619, and concentrated on the eastern half of the empire. In the spring of 622, he left Constantinople for Asia Minor and began training his troops over the summer, focusing on a more involved role for the East Roman cavalry. In the autumn, Heraclius' army invaded Armenia and soon won several victories over the Persians. In the first phase of the campaign, he took his armies from Anatolia to Abasgia [modern Georgia] and Armenia and thence into the Persian heartland (622-23). Treadgold believes (1997: 294) that he had assembled a large unified army totalling perhaps 50,000 men. The Avars, in the meantime, became restless and Heraclius was forced to renegotiate the peace treaty with them at a much higher tribute level. He then returned to the army and for the next several years unsuccessfully attempted to break through the Persian army and into Persia. In August of 626 when Heraclius and his army were in Lazica far from Constantinople, a Persian army attacked the city from the east while an army of 183

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Avars, Slavs, and Bulgars attacked from the west and from the sea. It must not be thought that the Avars were ignorant barbarians; on the contrary they deployed a number of sophisticated siege engines and raised 12 assault towers to the height of the citys outer walls. But unsuccessfully: - when the Persians saw that the Avars could not breach the city's defences, they retired (627). On August 10, the Imperial navy was able to defeat the opposing fleet and then rout the combined Slav and Avar land force. With the defeat of their allies, the Persians retreated to Syria. Heraklios renewed the attack on the enemy's heartlands in the second phase of his Persian war (627-28). In the autumn of 627, the emperor began to work his way into Persian territory, winning an important battle in December at Nineveh during which most of the Persian army was destroyed. The Rhomaioi, with their allies the Turkish Khazars, won a great victory at Nineveh and captured Chosroes' new capital of Dastigerd (627). Then they advanced on the former Sassanian capital, Ctesiphon, near modern Baghdad. During the siege, Chosroes was killed by his nobles (628). As Heraclius continued to move further into Persian territory, Chosroes was deposed and succeeded by his son Kavadh-Siroe [Kavadh II], whose first act was to secure a treaty with Heraclius. The treaty was very favourable to the East Romans and returned all the former Byzantine territories to the empire. Within a few short months, Kavadh-Siroe fell ill and died, after naming Heraclius as guardian of his son, Chosroes III [Khusrau Parviz]. For all practical purposes, the Persian Empire no longer existed. In 630 Heraclius travelled to Jerusalem where he returned the Holy Cross to the city among much acclaim.

* *

Herakleios recovered the holy relic of the True Cross from the Persians. He restored Imperial rule in Syria, Palestine and Egypt. But he would live only to see his re-unified empire ruptured by the Muslim ARABS or "Saracens". The defeat of the Persians created a larger problem for the Romanic-Byzantine empire. The struggle between the two powers had worn down both sides, and the defeat of the Persians allowed the Muslim Arabs to quickly absorb what remained of the Persian empire. It also removed the buffer between the Arabs and the Rhomaioi, allowing the two powers to come into contact and conflict. In 634 the Arab armies invaded Syria and defeated Theodore, the emperor's brother, in a series of battles. Heraclius raised a large army that attacked the Arabs near the Yarmuk, a tributary of the Jordan [the present-day Israeli-Syrian border], in the autumn of 636: q.v.. After a successful beginning, the larger Romanic army was defeated, allowing the conquest of Syria. The Byzantine defeat also led to the Arabs quickly taking Mesopotamia, Armenia and eventually Egypt. * * *

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THE ARMY OF MAURICE AND HERACLIUS Troop Types, Armament, Tactics

The army of Byzantium as it appears in the Strategikon of the emperor Maurice (cited as SM) First as a general, and later as emperor, AD 582-602, Maurice, Gk Mavrikios, reorganised the East Roman army, using the stirrup-equipped Avar army as his model. His reforms, which increased the importance of cavalry, further downgraded the status of the infantry. Stirrups, Gk: skalai (lit. steps, stairs), are first mentioned in the Strategikon [hereafter: SM], the military manual drawn up towards the end of his reign: attached to the saddles should be two iron stirrups (SM: 12 = Strategikon of Maurice, ed. Dennis 1984, p.12). The first mention of stirrups in the Chinese world dates to AD 477, but they had almost certainly been in wide use for many years before that (Hyland 1994: 11). The first dependable representation of a rider with paired stirrups was found in China in a Jin Dynasty tomb of about AD 322 (Graf p.42). They were brought to Europe by the Avars in the late 500s. The Arabs and Franks too will adopt stirrups by about 750: cf 732, Charles Martels stirrupless troops defeated Spanish Muslim invaders. Nicolle, in Yarmuk 636 AD: The Muslim Conquest of Syria*, 1994, suggests that probably not all East Roman horsemen were using stirrups by 636; indeed he believes it possible that stirrups did not come into wide use until after Heracliuss reign. In 600, he believes, they were still limited to medical personnel who rode to the aid of wounded men (pp. 29, 31). But the Byzantines drew on the Avar model for both their equipment and tactics, so we must assume that stirrups had already been adopted, at least by the elite cavalry if not by all horsemen. Certainly Maurice mentions stirrups in a context where he is describing cavalry at large, implying that stirrups were standard equipment (SM: 13). (*) Referenced hereafter as Nicolle, Yarmuk; NY29 means page 29 in Nicolles book. Numbers In the whole army: Treadgold has offered estimates - see earlier - of: [1] about 150,000 men enrolled in the army at the end of Justinians reign, AD 565, and [2] 109,000 men for the total army under Heraclius in 641. Nicolle, Yarmuk p.32, broadly agrees, proposing that, at the end of Heracliuss Persian campaign (630), there were altogether some 100,000 troops in the East Roman army, distributed as set out 185

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below. It will be seen that the forces in the West were smaller than in 565, while those in the East have increased, except in Armenia, reflecting Heracliuss recent effort to defend and garrison the Asian side (against the Persians) at the expense of the European sphere, largely ignoring the Slavs and Avars, following the Avars failure of 626: see there. a. Byzantine Spain: 5 K (5,000) vs Visigoths in 565; nil in 630. (The Byzantines were pushed out of Spain in the 620s: no doubt a few troops were re-deployed to the Balearics/Sardinia etc: see below.) b. Africa 15 K (15,000) in 565; but probably only 5-10 K in 630: vs the Moors or Berber tribes. Our Morocco was entirely Berber, while Algeria was dived between the Berbers and Byzantium. c. Italy 20 K, falling to perhaps as few as 5-10,000 in 630*: vs remnants of the Goths; also the Franks and Bavarians in 565; vs the Lombards in 630. But in 630 there were also 5,000 troops in the Mediterranean islands (Balearics, Corsica and Sardinia), no doubt including the units previously stationed in Spain. (*) Treadgold 1995: 147 will entertain a force of as many as 16,000 men in Italy as late as 641. d. Illyricum: 15 K vs Lombards, Gepids, Avars and Slavs. Nil in 630. With the collapse of the Danube border after 610, the troops were withdrawn. The survivors, or at least their descendants, became by 700 the core of the new theme of the Cibyrrhaeots and Hellas (Treadgold 1997: 374). e. Thrace: 20 K vs Huns and Avars in 565; nil in 630. When the Themes were created in the 650s, the little that the empire still held in Thrace became part of the Opsikion Theme, itself a transmogrification of one the Praesental armies: see next. f. In and around Constantinople: Two praesental armies, each of 20 K, total 40 K, in the presence of the emperor. All were elite forces, of whom up to 17,000 were elite guards-cavalrymen. In 630: down to 10-20 K; also 1-2,000 men in Isauria* and Cilicia. (*) The inland region of south-central Asia Minor: the area between ancient Pisidia and Lycaonia. g. The East: 20,000 i.e. mostly in Syria, with detachments in Palestine and Egypt: vs Persia. In 630: 25 K second-rate troops in Egypt, according to Nicolle; also 5,000 first class troops in Palestine and Arabia; 5,000 in northern Syria; and 8,000 in Upper Mesopotamia, for a total of 43,000. The 5,000 men in Palestine-Arabia included a mobile unit of 200-300 men at 186

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Caesarea. A typical Byzantine garrison was fewer than 200. In the 630s Byzantium controlled only N Palestine; S Palestine was an ungoverned vacuum between the Muslim Arabia and Byzantine Egypt. The 5,000 troops in N Syria included a large garrison of 1,500 at Antioch and a small fixed garrison of perhaps 200 at Chalcis west of Antioch. h. Armenia: 15 K [12 K] also vs Persia. Total: 90-118,000 troops in 630. Size and composition of a field army For Emperor Maurice, a small field army was one under 5,000 men (SM: 26). Major expeditions could be as small as 15,000. At Yarmuk in 636: see there, the Armeno-Byzantine general Vahan/Baanes commanded probably 15-20,000 men. As presented in Haldons various books, a large field army at the start of the 7th century could number up to 24,000 troops. Nicolle likewise notes that 20-30,000 was exceptionally large for an expeditionary force in this period. For comparison, 5,000 was at the upper limit of the number of troops that the Merovingian Franks could put into the field (Wickham 2009: 214, citing Halsalls Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 2003 p.153). Cf 589: 20,000 Franks. In the Byzantine army overall, the commonest troop types were the spearinfantry, but a specially selected expeditionary army would have included a large proportion of specialist troops such as foot archers. The bulk of the troops in a field army would have consisted of ordinary troops: simple infantrymen, soldiers of the line, and what we might call the basic cavalry - say 17,000 men in a field army of 24,000. Added to this were (say) 7,000 men from elite units and specialised troops. The backbone of an expeditionary force would have come from the elite cavalry regiments that Maurice had formalised into guards divisions: the Optimates [Gk: Optimatoi], Federates [Phoideratoi] and Bucellarii [Voukellarioi]. There were two further elite troop units called the Vexillationes and the Illyrikianoi. The Optimates, Federates and Bucellarii had ceased to be mercenary units personally employed and paid by generals and become part of the state establishment, with their pay paid direct from the central treasury. Where once they had been all foreigners - Goths and Lombards etc, - many were now recruited from within the empire (Haldon 1990: 211, citing his earlier book Praetorians). In an expeditionary army these guards regiments may have contributed up to (say) 4,000 if the total enrolled was 10,000 men (Haldon's figures); or perhaps as many as 8,000 if we follow Treadgold: he believes that altogether 14,000 (or more)* served in the elite units (State, 1997). In battle they were commonly placed in the centre of the first line, with the Federates between the Vexillations and the Illyriciani. The Optimates were usually stationed in the second line (SM, Dennis p.28). It would appear that the Bucellarii, although paid by the state, 187

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functioned as the commanders personal guard (cf SM p.21) (*) In his earlier book Byzantium and Its Army (1995), Warren Treadgold proposed that there were perhaps 17,000 elite troops: the Optimates numbered possibly 2,000, i.e. fewer than 5,000 but more than 1,000; and there were at least 15,000 Federates, Illyriciani (equites Illyriciani) and Vexillationes (1995: 96). When the Themes or military provincial commands were created in the 650s (see there), the Optimates were posted to the Opsikion theme, and the Federates to the theme of the Anatolics (ibid., 99), Illyriciani in Palestine under Heraclius: Irfan Shahd, Byzantium and the Arabs, Dumbarton Oaks, 1989 p.467. At a guess, the ideal large field army of 24,000 men might have comprised: 4,000 or more: Elite heavy and medium-heavy cavalry, from the regiments headquartered in or near the capital: the Optimates, Federates, Vexillations, Bucellarii and Illyriciani. 7,000 or fewer: Ordinary cavalry, i.e. regular units of the line called Comitatenses. As in Justinians time, the composite bowman-lancer was the predominant cavalry type in the East Roman army. Or at least Maurice says that cavalrymen were expected to be able to use both bow and lance; it would appear that in battle they fought using whichever of the two they were more proficient with: with whatever weapon he can handle (SM 35). Units could be made up of three lancers for each five horse-archers; but not always in that proportion, evidently implying that 3:5 is the minimum proportion of lancers (SM 13 vs SM 27-29). If 7,000 in all, they made up about 23 bandons/banda [squadrons]. 5,000: Foot-archers. 8,000: Infantry spearmen. - Although body armour was generally worn by only a minority of the infantry, we may imagine that, in an expeditionary force, all of the spearmen would have been armoured. In troop types, this hypothetical army translates as follows: 1,000: Heavy lancer cavalry: the elite Optimates. 2,500: Pure horse-archers, brigaded alone. 5,000: Foot-archers. 7,500: Bow-and-lance capable cavalry, i.e. say 3,000 elite Federates and Bucellarii, and say 4,500 line cavalry. Or, as types, some 3,000 lance-specialists and some 4,500 lance-capable horse-archers. 8,000: Infantry spearmen. Importantly, at least half of this army (12,000 men) 188

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would have deployed bows. Troop Types Let us now look a little more closely at the various troop types. Main cavalry: The Federates and Bucellarii and cavalry officers in general were expected to wear hooded coats of mail reaching to their ankles (Maurice, SM: 12). The implication is that most cavalrymen wore lesser armour (just a corselet of mail) or even none at all. Ankle-length mail coats were also mentioned in the mid 500s by Agathias, II, 8.4. Barding or horse armour was used (or back in use) in AD 600, but only by a minority of the cavalry. It is not mentioned in the sources for Justinian Is reign (died 565). It was, however, known by the time of Maurice, having been copied or recopied from the Avars; but it seems that only a minority of cavalry rode armoured mounts. To quote Maurices Strategikon: The horses, especially those of the officers and other special troops [key NCOs], in particular those in the front ranks of the battle line, should have protective pieces of iron armour about their heads and breastplates of iron or felt or else breast and neck coverings such as the Avars use (in Dennis p.12). As noted earlier, emperor Heraclius in 622 rode a horse armoured in layered felt and another in 627 armoured in leather (sinew). Jeffreys et al., Handbook p.475, propose that Avar barding was lamellar of iron or leather. Presumably the ordinary breastplates of iron were of mail. Barding was to be worn by the horses ridden by officers, key NCOs and the front ranks of the battle line (SM: 13). In other words, the mounts of most cavalry were not armoured. The cavalry regiment of the Optimates ("Best Men") was composed of Byzantine subjects descended from the old Goths. They were elite heavy cavalry who fought only with lances, or better: long pikes, in Gothic style. They did not use bows. All other armoured cavalrythe elite Federates or Foideratoi [created by Tiberius in 578], the Bucellarii who were originally household or guards regiments, and the regular units of the line called Comitatenseswere medium cavalry: bowmen-spearmen in the late Roman style. Other than the Optimates, all main cavalry carried, or could carry, both the cavalry spear and a bow and a quiver with 30 or 40 arrows (SM: 12). Or at least (as noted above), Maurice says that cavalrymen were expected to be able to use both bow and lance; it would appear that in battle they fought using whichever of the two they were more proficient with (SM 13 vs SM 27-29). Units could be made up of three lancers for each five horse-archers; but not always in that proportion. Maurice says, SM 35, with whatever weapon he can handle. The method used by cavalry to carry arrows shows nomadic influence: held point upwards in a barrel or box quiver hung from the belt. Infantry quivers 189

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shown in manuscripts are round-bottomed cylinders which held the arrow point downwards and were slung from a shoulder-strap. As stated, in both cases a man normally carried 30 to 40 arrows at a time (SM: 139; Maurices Strategikon tr. Dennis, p.12). Cf Procopius describing Byzantine cavalrymen in the mid 500s: The bowmen [cavalry] of the present time go into battle wearing [mail] corselets and fitted out with greaves which extend up to the knee. From the right side hang their arrows, from the other the sword. And there are some who have a spear also attached to them and, at the shoulders, a sort of small shield without a grip [i.e. a buckler worn on the upper arm], such as to cover the region of the face and neck. They are expert horsemen, and are able without difficulty to direct their bows to either side while riding at full speed, and to shoot an opponent whether in pursuit or in flight. Armenians formed an important element in the Byzantine army, and under Vahan at Yarmuk in 636 they formed the centre of the Byzantine line (Nicolle, Yarmuk pp. 23, 66). Lombards and Persians were also used in small numbers. And there were many Arab troops as well as Greek-speakers (Arabic Rumi) in the army of the East. But this is just a point about their language or ethnicity: those enrolled in the Comitatenses fought in standard Byzantine equipment and style. Light cavalry: This means mainly horse-archers but could include some mounted javelinists. Nicolle, 1994: 22, notes that by Heracliuss time most of the light troops came from external allies or specialist warlike groups from within the empire: TurcoHun nomads from p.d. Ukraine, i.e. Avars, Slavs and Bulgars; Christian Arabs; the Isaurians of Byzantine south-central Asia Minor; and others. The Isaurians were famous as hardy light infantrymen. Infantry spearmen: Many infantry did not wear body armour. They relied on just a light helmet and a large shield, according to Nicolle: NY31. But the following text may imply that most did wear body armour: If everyone in the phalanx cannot be equipped with [metal] breastplates and shin guards [greaves], at least the men in the first, second and last ranks and those in the files on the flanks should certainly wear them. The rest of the troops may be provided with zabai (mail corselets) and thorakai (breastplates) and head coverings of felt or leather (Three Treatises, ed. Dennis 1985: 55). As we have said, moreover, even if generally only a lesser proportion of all infantry wore body armour, one would expect that most if not all of the spearmen in a pre-planned expeditionary force would have been armoured. Heavy infantry wearing armour of mail were called Skoutatoi, literally shield-carriers. The shield was large and round or oval - about 120 cm or four feet by 90 cm (three 190

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feet) (Heath 1976: 62). For comparison, the laerge round infantry shield or skutarion was 82 cm in diameter in the 10th Century (Parani 2003: 125). The main weapon was the spear, but sometimes axes were carried. See below for a discussion of the size of spears. Nicolle, 1994: 31, offers a reconstructed illustration of an elite guardsinfantryman with a large plumed helmet, wearing a short mail shirt to just below the waist. He carries a medium-large round shield, medium-size axe and a short spear or javelin. Foot archers: Maurice states specifically that foot-archers are to be trained in shooting rapidly while carrying a small shield (SM: 138-39). Their quivers were hung from the shoulder on a baldric rather than from the belt. They also used a solenarion (explained below) for firing darts with their bow. As noted earlier, the infantry quiver was a round-bottomed cylinder slung from a shoulder-strap (baldric) in which the arrows were stored point downwards. The Byzantines used the thumb to draw their bows, as did the steppes horsearchers. The fingers are curled-in, while the thumb pulls the string back, and the arrow rests on top of the thumb and against the side of the curled index finger. Cf Procopius, writing in the mid-500s: They [Byzantine archers] draw the bowstring along by the forehead about opposite the right ear, thereby charging the arrow with such an impetus as to kill whoever stands in the way, shield and corselet alike having no power to check its force (Wars, 2.1.1). By contrast, the Persians and Westerners (Franks etc) used the weaker twofinger draw: pulled with the two top fingers - index and adjacent with the arrow held in place by the thumb. Thus Persian archery was rapid although not powerful (SM: 114: George T. Dennis (tr.), Maurices Strategikon, Philadelphia, 1984, pp. 11, 139). Illustration of the various draw-styles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/image:bow_draw_en.svg; accessed 2009. Others: Byzantium also employed slingers and foot-javelinists, generically called Psiloi; it was normal for them to carry a small shield. Maurice seems to say that they each carried a sling, several javelins and throwing darts (SM: 138-39).

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Above: Byzantine soldiers of the 7th Century. Points to note: mail armour and round shields. The figure on the left is wearing what appears to be a ridge helmet (its two halves joined in the centre). The curved object on the thigh of the man on the right is a bow-case; his hand rests on his quiver. Byzantine Arms and Armour While soldiers dress was distinct from that of civilians, only the elite guards cavalry units wore actual uniforms, according to Nicolle (Yarmuk p.30). Armour Shields: Heavy infantrymen in AD 600 carried a medium-large circular shield of the order of 90 cm (three feet) in diameter. Light infantry carried a smaller shield. Dawson notes that, according to a manual of the 6th Century, a very large shield, as used by a first-rank infantryman, could exceed 109 cm in height [3 feet 7 inches] (Dawson, Fit for the Task, 2007: 2-5.) In the case of the cavalry, the illustrations in Nicolles Yarmuk [AD 636] are of a

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fairly large round shield, again presumably of about 90 cm in diameter (this, however, seems a little too large for cavalry). Artworks from the period AD 900-1000 depict round shields as apparently 5080 cm [20-32 inches] in diameter, which would seem suitable for cavalry. Parani 2003: 125 quotes the 10th C circular infantry shield as 82 cm in diameter; she offers (9.126) 94 cm [37 inches: 3 ft one inch] as the height of the oblong shield carried by both javelin-cavalry and light infantry in that period. The tear-drop shaped infantry long shield of the 10th C Syll. Tact., likewise is specified as 94 cm high or a little more (Dawson, loc.cit.); but this type did not appear until the 9th Century. Helmets: The preferred helmet for infantry was heavy and plumed: small plumes and tassels, the plumes commonly being stiffened horsehair. Maurice mentions that the helmets of front-line heavy infantry incorporated cheek-guards or cheek plates (SM: 139). But, if we follow Nicolle, a lighter and unplumed type of helmet was more common. Evidently the commonest type was the ridge helmet, a flattened hemisphere, constructed from two halves rivetted together along a central ridge; the cheekguards and neck-protectors (aventails) were attached with leather and/or cloth fabric (MacDowall 1994). Body: Horsemen wore helmets and what the Strategikon describes as "hooded coats of mail reaching to their ankles, which can be caught up by thongs and rings". The mail hauberk - lorikion or zaba - was the normal or ideal armour of a cavalryman. It was quite long in this era: typically knee-length, sometimes longer, and usually with short sleeves. It was worn over a felt shirt or doublet a finger thick (Dennis, Three Treatises, p.54, quoted in Boss et al. 1993: 50). Some foot-soldiers wore corselets of mail. An unknown proportion of infantry went without armour, or at least without metal armour; as we noted earlier, mail was primarily given to the first two ranks. The Strategikon does not mention lamellar armour (made from linked platelets). According to Nicolle (p.31), lamellar and scale armour were known but still little used in this period. Dating from Antiquity, these types became more important in the later Byzantine period. One example of early Byzantine lamellar, dated to the period 680-620, has been found at Cartagena in Spain. The iron platelets are rectangular: around 6-7 cm high and 2 cm wide, with six holes for thongs: four on the sides and two at the top (Sanchez 2008). Also used were leather, felt and quilt body-armours. We may guess, I suppose, that non-metallic armour was commonest among light cavalry and light infantry. As we have said, perhaps only a lesser proportion of infantry enrolled in the whole army wore mail body-armour; but we may imagine that, in an 193

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expeditionary force, all or most of the infantry spearmen would have been armoured. Other: Leg-defences - greaves or periknemides - were worn by only a few of the heavy infantry, i.e. those in the front rank (Nicolle, NY: 31), or as stated above, the first three ranks. Maurice says that iron or wooden greaves should be worn by, at a minimum, the first and last soldier in each file (SM: 139). Arm-guards or cheiromanika were worn only by the elite cavalry such as the Bucellarii. Horse armour The lancers in the two front ranks also carried shields, and their mounts wore barding, as we noted earlier: "The horses especially those of officers and the other special troops, in particular those in the front ranks of the battle line should have protective pieces of iron about their heads and breast plates of iron [ = ?mail] or felt, or else breast and neck coverings such as the Avars use" (Strategikon Book 1). The Avar-style horse-armour was probably lamellar iron. Horse-armour was not used in Justinians time, before 565, so again this was a major innovation. Arms Sword: Cavalry carried the spathion or long straight sword of Celtic or Persian origin first adopted centuries earlier. Nicolle says that the infantry swordspathion Erouliskion or Herulian (German-style) swordwas somewhat shorter, i.e. of medium length. Dawson (2007a, Fit for the task: 6) notes that the only literary reference to length occurs in the 10th Century Syll. Tact., and it specifies a maximum length for the cavalry spathion that translates as 80-96 cm or 32-38 inches. Parani (Reconstructing the Reality of Images, 2003: p.131) says, drawing on artwork, that cavalry swords could be quite long: up to 110 cm or 43 inches. Datum: For comparison: (1) US Major League baseball rules say a baseball bat may not exceeed 42 inches or 107 cm. (2) My Clifton brand Australian full-size umbrella is 103 cm from the top of its wooden handle to its metal point. (3) The Laws of Cricket say that a cricket bat

may be no longer than 38 in or 96.5 cm.

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One 11th Century depiction (in a soapstone carving), reproduced in Dawson 2007b, Infantryman: 19, allows the infantry spathion to be deduced as 85 cm long (33-34 inches) from the pommel to the tip of the blade. Parani, citing the Syll. Tact. (s.38) of the 10th Century, says that by that time infantry swords were 94 cm or 0.936 metres [sic: 36 inches: three feet] long from pommel to point. For comparison, Late Antique Roman spathae from the period AD 250-450 were 71-92 cm long: 28-36 inches (Kelly DeVries & Robert Smith, Medieval weapons: an illustrated history of their impact, ABC-CLIO, 2007 p.30). Lances, spears and javelins: The typical cavalry weapon was the kontarion, a very long, light wooden spear or lance. The best tag might be light pike, as it was used for thrusting and stabbing. In Maurices time infantrymen used shorter, i.e. medium length, spears; and/or javelins (berutta). Cf AD 900: By that time, the cavalry pike or kontarion was 12 feet or 3.7 metres long according to Heath 1979: 34, while the unarmoured horsemen called "trapezitoi" carried eight-foot [2.75 metre] javelins as well as a kontarion and sword (ibid. p.38). Parani 2003: 139, citing the 10th Century Syll. Tact., says that javelins were up to 2.81 m long [sic: just over nine feet] (Reconstructing the Reality of Images, 2003: 139), which is effectively the same as Heaths figure. Dawson 2007a, Fit for the Task, has examined the length of spears and pikes as stated in the war manuals of the period AD 900-1000. Figures for the shorter spearthe short kontarion of Leo VI, the doru of the Syll. Tact., and Ouranos menavlionall cluster around 2.5 metres (eight feet two inches), with a upper limit of 3.1 metres. The length specified for the pike or longer type of spear range from 3.9 to 5.0 metres, clustering around 4.4 metres or 14 feet 5 inches (ibid, p.9). Darts: In addition to their other weapons, heavy infantry carried lead-weighted darts (lead-pointed darts: SM: 138) commonly called Lat. martiobarbuli, Gk martzobrboula. Looking like a short arrow, they were about 15 cm long and weighed around 150 gm (cf 156-163 gm for a cricket ball). They were thrown by hand (MacDowall loc. cit.). In Vegetiuss time (fl. AD 380), each man carried five in the hollow of his shield. Bows: Nicolle, Yarmuk p.28, notes that the heavier Hunnic or Avar-style bow (toxarion) was in use by 600, i.e. heavier than the bows of Roman Antiquity. As noted, cavalrymen carried a 40-arrow quiver and often a separate bow-case. It is not exactly clear whether the infantry archers used a larger, heavier bow 195

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than horsemen; but it is a fair guess that they did. (Certainly this was true by AD 900: in his Taktika, Leo VI (d. 912) says expressly that the bow of the infantry archer is larger and carries further. That the infantry bow was larger than the cavalry bow is also stated in later 10th C sources, e.g. the Sylloge, cited by McGeer p.213.) The Byzantine heavy infantry bow of the the later 10th century was, says McGeer pp.68, 207, capable of sending an arrow over 300 metres, with a killing distance of perhaps 200 metres. See the table below for various estimates of bow ranges. According to Bivar, in Dumbarton Oaks Papers 1972, the range at which a Byzantine arrow could pierce armour was a very unlikely 90 metres; accurate target range 120 m, i.e. maximum for hitting a large stationary target;* effective or potential wounding range 230 m; and limit of flight distance 275 m (cited in Hyland 1994: 29). This would seem to refer to the smaller cavalry bow and arrow. According to John France 1994: 148, the effective, or killing, range of a Seljuq (Turkish) cavalry bow of the 11th century, was over 60 metres. See more on bow ranges below. (*) Erik Hildinger has suggested that the Asian (and Byzantine) composite recurve bow was only accurate at up to 80 yards (75m) when shot laterally from horseback; but "shooting in arcade" - aiming upwards at an angle of around 45 degrees - allowed for much greater ranges, while sacrificing accuracy. Erik Hildinger, 1997: Warriors of the Steppe: A Military History of Central Asia, 500 B.C. to 1700 A.D., Sarpedon Publishers. Modern champion archers likewise maintain that one cannot with any bow whatsoever guarantee a hit on an individual target at more than 80 yards (metres), but of course one could always hit an army of thousands of individuals in close-order formation. To repeat, McGeer, pp.68, 207, says that the Byzantine heavy infantry bow of AD 975 was capable of sending an arrow over 300 metres, with a killing distance of perhaps 200 metres. The smaller cavalry bows, he says, could shoot arrows as far as 130 metres, with a killing range of perhaps 80 metres. Size of bows: 140-130 cm, up to 55 inches/4 ft 7 inches: Hun bow: Hildinger 1997: 29. 140-120 cm: Avar-style cavalry bows: Coulston 1985. 127 cm or 50 inches, 4 ft 2 in: the length recommended by the medieval Egyptian (Mameluk) writer Taybugha (Paterson, Archers of Islam). 127-124 cm or 50-49 in median of the bows listed in Latham & Patersons Saracen Archery, London 1970. 125 cm or 49 in: typical Turkish war bows (Ozveri). 125-117 cm or under 49 inches: Byzantine cavalry bows, McGeer p.213 and Parani p.141, citing the 10th C Sylloge. 196

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122-114 cm or 48-45 inches: Byzantine: Haldon 1999: 132, also citing the Sylloge. Also Heath 1979: 10. 122-119 cm or 48-44 in: typical size of Indo-Persian bows, according to Latham & Paterson. Smallest known type of war bow. 104 cm or 41 in; 3 ft 5 in: smallest cited size for a Turkish non-military demonstration infantry bow maximized for distance competitions, conducted on foot (Ozveri). 100 cm: Byzantine infantry bow: about one metre [sic!] or just over 3 ft, according to Dawson 2007b: 24. This does not look at all credible. Range of bows:
Byzantine infantry bow, maximum distance, i.e. not its killing range (Sylloge T., cited by McGeer pp. 68, 207, 213): A specific Turkish bow shot by Payne-Gallwey: length 114 cm (small enough for cavalry) and pull of 118 lbs or 525 N: average range of 12 shots with very light half-ounce [14 gram] arrows: Limit of flight distance, Byzantine cavalry bow (Hyland 1994: 29, citing Bivar): Killing distance, Turkish infantry (Janissary) bow AD 1400: Hurley p.225. He claims, which is difficult to believe, that a man in armour could be killed at this range: English longbow; maximum range (Strickland & Hardy p.18) *330 m A modest figure, and for that reason credible.

*329 m

Very light arrow weight.

275 m

McGeer offers just 135 m.

250+ yards

Perhaps credible if the victim was unarmoured and hit in the head or abdomen.

*290 (250-330 m)

Experimental result. A heavy-pull 667 N (150 lb-f) 'Mary Rose' replica longbow was able to shoot a largish 53.6 g (1.9 oz) arrow 328 m

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Killing distance, Byzantine infantry bow (McGeer):

200 metres

Practice distance for Roman archers in the late 300s AD (Vegetius 2. 23, 2.3):

178 to 200 metres/ yards.

"600 Roman feet" x Rottlnder's '0.296 metres' = 177.6 metres. Cited as '200 metres/yards' by Erdkamp p.222, and Adrian Goldsworthy 1998: The Roman army at war: 100 BC-AD 200, p.184. Rottlnder: http://vormetrischelaengeneinheiten.de/index. html. Not plausible. As noted in the text, no sort of bow is really accurate beyond about 80 metres. In this table, estimates range from 50 m to 90 m for the killing distance of cavalry composite bows. Cf J Frances Seljuq estimate.

Accurate target range, Byzantine cavalry bow (Hyland 1994: 29, citing Bivar): Armour-piercing range, Byzantine cavalry bow (Hyland 1994: 29, citing Bivar): Killing distance, Byzantine cavalry bow (McGeer): Piercing range, Hun bow, according to Luttwak p.27: Medium-pull (82 lbs at full 33 inch draw) composite recurve bow, steel-hardened arrow point fails against

120

90

80

60 m

*20 m

Easier to kill the horse than the rider wearing lamellar! And at 20 m, if you are the enemy foot-archer, you are already dead.

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Byzantine lamellar armour (experiment by Dawson 1998):

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The Solenarion The solenarion or arrow-guide is first mentioned in Maurices textbook, the Strategikon, which was written towards the end of the sixth century. It recommended that light infantry be armed with bows and large quivers holding 30 or 40 arrows, small shields, and a wooden solenarion with small arrows and small quivers (SM: 139). A reconstruction is presented in Tim Dawsons Byzantine Infantryman (Osprey 2007): it was essentially an open wooden tube. Also D. Nishimura 1988. The Strategikon and later texts describe the solenarion as an archer's accessory, used with the normal bow to shoot short arrows or unweighted darts. Such darts have about double the range of a full sized arrow and are harder to see. They were used as harassing fire against approaching formations. A dart would rarely cause a fatal injury, but striking a man or horse in the face or eye would be a serious discouragement and helped to break up a formation. Modern experiments with reconstructions have demonstrated high launch speed and flat trajectory of the larger darts. Their effective range against massed targets has been estimated as some 366 metres (thus www.geocities.com/athens/ atrium/3696/archery/solenarion; accessed 2005; and http://www.geocities.com/svenskildbiter/Archery/solenarion.html; accessed December 2001). In the 10th century Sylloge and the Ambrosiana Paraphrase, the darts are called mice: their size of between one and three fingers (i.e., around 15 cm) in length is mentioned by Paul of Aegina in the seventh century. The earliest Arabic darts to be specifically described were as big as the little finger (6-7 cm) from tip to feathers, allowing them to be stacked in the arrow guide and shot four or five at a time (thus Wiley, The Solenarion [citing Nishimura 1988], at http://web.archive.org/web/20050328042804/http:/geocities.com/svenskildbit er/Archery/solenarion.html; accessed 2010). The lightness of the darts would have provided a higher initial velocity, while short range penetration must have been increased by the greater stiffness and their resistance to shattering and deflection. The treatises mention long range and speed but not penetration at long range. Their ability to surprise is mentioned, and that they were hard to spot and dodge because of their size and speed, which would have led to the name "mice" and "flies". The darts could be shot rapidly on the move, while when the need arose the solenarion could be set aside and the regular arrows used for faster and closer shooting. And finally the darts could not be re-used by an enemy who did not have the required equipment to fire them back.

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A field army was required to draw up for battle not just in one line, as before, but in two lines, the second line comprising "about a third" of the entire force. Or if the whole force were cavalry, there would be three lines, the third being a small reserve (SM: 25). The author of the Strategikon (SM) makes a forceful argument to justify this change. "To form the whole army simply in one line for a general cavalry battle and to hold nothing in reserve for various eventualities in case of a reverse is the mark of an inexperienced and absolutely reckless man", he writes. If the first line "retreats or is pushed back, then the second line is there as a support and a place of refuge. This makes it possible to rally the troops and get them to turn back on their attackers." In addition there were flankguards or detached units. "Two or three bandums" (sic: banda, up to 900 men: 3 x 300) were to be posted as flank guards to the left of the first line, "where hostile outflanking and encircling movements may naturally be expected" (against the weaponless left arms of the men on that side). A "bandum [bandon] or two of archers, known as outflankers", were to be deployed to the right side of the first line to turn the enemy's left flank, and an additional "three or four" bandums were to be placed in concealed positions on both sides, from where they could attack the enemy's rear (p.26 of Denniss translation). Cavalry Formations The basic cavalry unit was the bandon or tagma (regiment) of about 300 men (SM 17: it could range in size from 200 to 400). There were about 50 banda in a large all-cavalry expedition of 15,000, formed up in two, sometimes three, lines, with a distance between the lines of three to four bowshots (up to 800 metres: SM II.1.19-27, pages 31, 50 of Denniss translation; cited by Hyland p.29; cf McGeer p.281). Thus: first line 20 banda; second line line 20 banda; plus 10 banda in reserve or with the commander. Ordinarily the commanding general took his place in the centre of the second line (SM: 33). As the elite among the elite, the Optimates drew up usually seven men deep; but five was permissible as a minimum for the best troops (SM, trans. Dennis: 28). That is: in 43 files seven deep or in 60 files five deep = one bandon of 300 or 301. The Federates and the Vexillations, other elite units, drew up seven deep, while non-elite cavalry drew up eight or 10 deep (SM: 28). That is: one bandon drew up in 30 files 10 men deep. The maximum depth mentioned was 16 men but that was exceptional; the ordinary maximum depth was 10 men (Haldon 1984: 98 ff; Treadgold 1995: 94-96; SM: 28). Maurice says that in a cavalry unit 10 deep the first two lines bear lances; the next seven are archers without shields, and the last line again are lancers (SM: 29). That is: three lancers for each seven horse-archers. But we know that the 200

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ordinary cavalrymen commonly carried both lance and bow; presumably the archers without shield also carried lances but their main function within the unit, as it advanced into battle, was to provide missile fire. In his diagram of a cavalry bandon, however, Maurice actually has a man with bow and shield in the final line (SM: 36). Interestingly, by AD 900, in Leo's Taktika, it is the ordinary Thematic cavalry who commonly form up five deep, the first two ranks (rows) being lancers, then two rows of archers and finally another row of lancers. But other sources in the 10th C also speak of units four men deep (elite Tagmatic regiments) and eight deep (thematic troops). In AD 600, there were typically 300 men in a cavalry bandon. Thus a typical formation was 30 horsemen wide and 10 deep [say 45m x 20m]. - Thirty horsemen wide (close order: say 1.5 metres per man) = unit width of 45m x 20 banda = 900. Thst is, an armys front line extended for about a kilometre [if it was an all-cavalry army of 6,000 men] Infantry According to the Strategikon, infantry units were composed of both archers and spearmen, and formed up in a rectangular formation. The default formation was spearmen in front of foot-archers (SM: 143 ff). The manuals of the period AD 550-650 also mention files of eight men made up of six spearmen and, at the back, two foot-archers; the latter fired over the heads of the former (Boss 1993: 50). Maurice speaks of infantry formations 16 men deep as normal (SM: 141, 145). At times for example retreating in defence against encircling horsemen - an empty square or hollow rectangle-ring would be formed: the foot archers and slingers formed an outer ring or rectangle, with spearmen behind them and javelinists behind them (Nicolle, Yarmuk 28-29). Let us imagine an infantry bandon with 400 men - 300 spearmen and 100 archers - in a solid rectangle. This would represent eight ranks of 50 men or 16 ranks of 25 men. Tightly packed, the front of the formation would be just 25-30 metres wide. Or let us also imagine a unit of 1,000 infantrymen. Assume that the square or hollow rectangle is four men deep or thick (1,000/4 = 250). To allow for the four sides of the square, we divide by 4 = 62 men. If we allow half a metre per man (as in a shield-wall), this represents a square with a front/side of about 30 metres. Or, if more loosely formed one metre per man about 60 metres square. Phalanx with Shield-Wall The infantry fulcum, Gk: phoulkon, was a compact formation in which the overlapping shields of the front two or three ranks formed a shield-wall. The first two ranks locked shields if engaging infantry; three if engaged by cavalry (SM: 146 ff). The aim was to protect the front of the formation against missiles as the army advanced. This would have been particularly the case when fighting the Persians, whose archery remained a tactical problem throughout the late Roman 201

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period. It was not a new development: in an engagement during the Eastern wars in 556/57, well-armoured Byzantine troops advanced with linked shields to drive the enemy centre back (Haldon 2001: 26). Indeed Lendon, Soldiers p.285, says that the shield-wall became the usual drill for Roman infantry already during the 300s, as against the Alamanni at Strasbourg in AD 357 (Erdkamp p.263 concurs). Maurice explained that the fulcum could be used to attack enemy infantry and to defend against enemy cavalry: (1) Advancing to attack When within one bowshot 150-200 metres for the infantry bow - of the enemy line, the Byzantine light infantry (foot-archers) began shooting arrows from the rear at a high trajectory. If the heavy infantry at the front were armed with the lead-weighted darts (lead-pointed darts: SM: 138) commonly called martiobarbuli (martzobrboula) or other missiles, the formation briefly halted, while the front ranks, fixing their spears into the ground, showered the enemy with these projectiles. They advance in a fulcum, whenever - as the battle lines are coming close together, both ours and the enemys - the archery is about to commence and those arrayed in the front line are not wearing mail coats or greaves [Dennis: knee guards]. He [the herald] orders, ad fulcon. And those arrayed right at the very front mass their shields together until they come shield-boss to shield-boss, completely covering their stomachs almost to their shins [Dennis: almost to their ankles*]. The men standing just behind them [the second rank], raising their shields and resting them on the shield-bosses of those in front, cover their chests and faces, and in this way they engage [Dennis: move to attack]. Thus the shieldwall was high as well as wide. Maurice, quoted in Rance 2004 = page 146 in Denniss translation. (*) According to a manual of the 6th Century, a very large shield, as used by a firstrank infantryman, could exceed 109 cm in height [3 feet 7 inches] (Dawson, Fit for the Task, 2007: 2-5). That is: 60% of the height of a tall man. (2) Standing to defend Horses are too intelligent to commit suicide; so a disciplined phoulkon would ordinarily halt an enemy cavalry charge. Rance proposes that in this defensive formation the first and second ranks were lower than the thrid, probably kneeling and stooping respectively: If the enemy [cavalry], coming within a bow shot [under 100 metres in the case of the cavalry bow], attempts to break or dislodge the phalanx ... then the infantry close up in the regular manner. And the first, second and third man in each file are to form themselves into a fulcum, that is, one shield upon another, 202

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and having thrust their spears straight forward beyond their shields, fix them firmly in the ground, so that those who dare to come close to them will readily be impaled. They also lean their shoulders and put their weight against their shields so that they might easily endure the pressure from those outside. The third man, standing more upright, and the fourth, holding their spears like javelins either stab those coming close or hurl them and draw their swords. And the light infantry with the cavalry [in the rear ranks] shoot arrows. Scientific Warfare Nicolle NY28 says that the most important offensive tactic was the use of the bow, by both cavalry and infantry. If so, then tactics under Maurice were basically similar to those under Justinian, d. 565. Obolensky p.84 notes that Avar influence was especially noticeable in the harassing tactics adopted by the Roman (Byzantine) horse-archers. And a reliance on infantry archers of course goes back to before Narses (AD 552, the battle of Taginae). Varying tactics to the enemys strengths A foe superior in infantry, i.e. spear-infantry, is to be enticed into the open but not allowed to close, and hit from a safe distance with javelins. Enemy armies who rely on the spear, i.e. spear-cavalry, are to be led onto difficult terrain. Enemies who rely on the bow are to be confronted on open terrain and forced into close hand to hand fighting (Maurice, SM: 65). Infantry role Nicolle p.29 has suggested that the infantry archers provided the offensive power among the East Roman infantry, with the infantry spearmen generally serving as a defensive force. As we noted above, the archers fired from behind the protection of a shield-wall formed by the front ranks of spearmen. Cavalry tactics The cavalry were trained to fight both in extended (offensive) order and in close (defensive) order and to make rapid changes from one to the other as conditions required. During the charge, actually an advance at the trot* (SM, Dennis p.38), the cavalry unit - a bandon or tagma of about 300 men - advanced in close order, the horse-archers protected by the lancers ahead, and the lancers, in turn, by volleys of suppressive fire from the horse-archers behind (Petersen, Strategikon). (*) Horses trot at around 10 km/h; a canter is around 20 km/h; galloping is 40+ km/h.

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If we follow Nicolle, there were basically two kinds of cavalry tactic. (1:) The light cavalry - javelinists and horse-archers - would harass the enemy while the heavier cavalry stood off as a threat against a counter charge. And (2:) The heavy cavalry would go forward to attack the enemy formations, aiming to pin them down, and so allow the light cavalry to advance via the flanks to the enemys rear. Maurice: Well timed (cavalry) attacks against the enemy's flanks and rear are much more effective and decisive than direct frontal charges and attacks. . . . [If the enemy must be faced in open battle, therefore,] do not mass all your troops in front, and even if the enemy is superior in numbers, direct your operations against his rear or his flanks. For it is dangerous and uncertain under all conditions, and against any people [nation], to engage in purely frontal combat (SM: 27).

The Battle of Yarmuk, 636 Here we follow Nicolle, Yarmuk, and the Wikipedia authors (2011) under Battle of Yarmouk. John Haldons analysis, 2001: 59 ff, is so different as to merit separate presentation see later below. All the primary sources, including the Byzantine chronicler Theophanes, draw their accounts from the Eastern - Arabic and Syriac traditions. There is no independent Byzantine/Greek tradition to provide a check on the Arabic narratives (Kennedy 2008: 28, 83). Location The site of the battle lay east of the northern tip of the Sea of Galilee, more specifically immediately east of the current Israeli-Syrian border, in present-day Syria. In other words: in the SE sector of the Golan Heights. The key reference point is the Syrian provincial centre of Nawa. According to Kaegis map (1995: 113), the advancing imperial army first encountered the Muslim army a few km NW of Nawa. A key feature in the ensuing series of clashes was the old Roman road and the bridge that crosses the Wadil Ruqqad about 12 km WSW of Nawa. The Wadil Ruqqad runs on SW to join the Wadil Yarmuk at a point about 30 km SW of Nawa or over 20 km SW of the Roman bridge. The road from Damascus to Palestine ran parallel with (west of) it. A further watercourse, the Wadil Allan, almost parallels the Wadil Yarmuk on the east. The Wadil Yarmuk itself runs in from the SE, i.e. from the direction of modern Dara; its gorges were where the defeated remnants of the imperial army fled, only to be caught and massacred. In Nicolles reconstruction (1994, map pp.74-75), the two armies faced each other on the second day with the Wadil Allan between them. The battle-front was over 10 km long (which seems unlikely but perhaps this reflected the terrain or else the formations were drawn up thinly). The central imperial division under Vahan was drawn up across the Roman road with the bridge behind it:

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(Jabiya) (Imperial left wing) Cavalry under Jabala b. al-Ayham; mainly Christian Arabs (Muslim right wing) Cavalry under Amr ibn al-As

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(Nawa)

Buccinator with Slavs and Greeks

Shurahbil: infantry

Cavalry under Qays ibn Hubayrah

(bridge)

Vahan with Armenians and Greeks

Abu Ubaida: infantry (road)

Cavalry under Khalid ibn alWalid

(road) (right) Gargis /George (Yaqusa) (Wadil Yarmuk)

(left) Yazid: infantry

Cavalry under Amir ibn Tufayl

The Battle The Muslims were under the overall command once again of Khalid ibn al Walid; or according to some, Abu Ubayda was in command. The latter was in overall command if we follow al-Baladhuri and the Chron. 1234 (Jones et al. p.8). Some say Abu Ubayda (Ubaida) ibn al Jarrah was the right divisional commander (or one of the central divisions if we follow Nicolle). The centre was led by Sharhabeel (Shurahbil) bin Hasana. Another contingent was led by Yazid b. Abi Sufyn. Amr ibn al-As led the cavalry. It seems that the Muslim army under Khalid was mainly infantry - say 8,000 foot - including many archers. The cavalry led by Amr ibn al-As were in a distinct minority and used as a mobile reserve: say 2,000 horse. This is a conservative estimate: the modern authors guesstimates for the number of troops under Khalid range from just 7,500 to as many as 40,000: median 20,000. Kennedy 2008: 83 offers 24,000. The conventional view is that the Muslim force was smaller than its opponent, but this is by no means certain; some modern scholars

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believe the armies were about the same size. Certainly the Muhammadans would have been less well equipped. Helmets and coats of mail were worn by some Muslims but quite possibly the majority wore no metal armour of any kind (cf Kennedy 2008: 59; also Hugh Kennedy, The Armies of the Caliphs: military and society in the early Islamic state, Routledge, 2001, p.168). The four Byzantine commanders were: 1. Far left: Jabala ibn al-Ayham, a Ghassanid Christian Arab; 2. Left: an unnamed ethnic Slav* officer called Ibn Qanatir or al-Qanatir, lit: arched bridges, in the Arabic sources, but almost certainly derived from the Roman title Buccinator.** Presumably this was his or his fathers nickname, from the old Latin title meaning herald or messenger, lit: the trumpeter. Haldon, following al-Tabari, says he held the rank of drungarius, i.e. equivalent to colonel; 3. Centre: Vahan or Baanes (or else the centre was led by a fifth commander, Theodore Trithurios, with Vahan serving as the overall commander: cf Kaegi, Conquests p.112); and 4. Right: Jurjah, Jarajis or George, a Byzantino-Armenian general: Tabari gives Jurjah. Armenian: Gevorg; Arabic: Jirjis, Jurj. (*) Treadgold has stated that most Byzantines seem not to have cared much about what we would call ethnicity. Byzantium was essentially a monocultural melting pot. That is to say, new arrivals learned Greek, called themselves "Romans" (we would call them "Byzantines"), married Byzantines, and practically forgot their origins in a generation or two. http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2005/12/10-questions-for-warrentreadgold.php. (**) Kaegi 1995: 120. One assumes that in this case Qanatir comes from the final syllables of buccinator (cf Palmer et al., Chronicles p.156: in Syriac, Qanatrys). The total number on the Byzantine side was perhaps 15-20,000 men, according to Walter E. Kaegi, Heraclius: Emperor of Byzantium, Cambridge, 2003. Haldon and Kennedy concur with this estimate. The imperial army was divided into four large groupings or divisions, or rather three large mixed infantry-cavalry divisions supported by a smaller all-cavalry force. Let us guess therefore that the numbers were perhaps as follows: a small all-cavalry force of 2,000 under Jabala on the far left; and three large divisions each of 5,000 combining both infantry and cavalry under Vahan or Theodore, the Buccinator, and Gargis. Total: say 17,000. Many were ethnic Armenians, Slavs and Arabs. Some poorly informed modern authors will allow up to 100,000 imperial troops, e.g. Moshe Gil and Ethel Broido, A History of Palestine, 634-1099, Cambridge University Press, 1997. This can be rejected out of hand: the entire enrolled imperial army was only about that big (see the careful analysis of Treadgold 1995; also Kennedy 2008: 83). Gargiss division, on the Byzantine right, was spearheaded by heavy infantrymen drawn up in close formation: they formed up as a shield-wall by interlocking their 206

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large shields. Nicolle, NY65, proposes that their role was that of anchor, allowing the Byzantine far-left (mainly Christian-Arab auxiliary cavalry) to manoeuvre. We assume that, if the East Romans overall outnumbered the Muslims, the imperial left extended well beyond the Muslim right. The Course of the Battle According to Nicolle, the fighting took six days. This is not impossible if we picture the fervour of the battle-hardened but light-armed Muslims being matched by the perhaps larger numbers, heavier arms and careful discipline of the imperial regulars. Haldon prefers to conclude, probably more credibly, that the battle lasted just two days, 19-20 August. See later for his account. In Nicolles account, the first day saw a slogging match on the Byzantine right ( = south) between infantrymen, the Byzantine divisional commander George or Gargis having commenced battle by sending forward just his infantry, covered in front by a shield wall (drawn up on the right = south). Many of the soldiers of the Imperial army were unused to battle and were unable to press the attack as well the Muslim veterans did. Although the sources do not say so, presumably heavy arrow-fire was exchanged by the foot archers on either side. But evidently Vahan did not or could not unleash his cavalry on the left (= north). The first day ended in stalemate. On the second day, according to Nicolle, the whole Byzantine line - all four divisions - attacked in a surprise dawn assault. Haldon puts this on the first day. The Byzantine left (cavalry) pushed back the Muslim infantry there, but the latter rallied. The same happened on the imperial right (made up of infantry); here again the battle-hardened Muslims rallied. On the left half of the Byzantine army, the Slavic prince Qanateer or the Buccinator, commanding a force of mainly Slavs, attacked and forced the Muslim infantry to retreat, after which Amr ibn al-A'as ordered his horsemen to counterattack, which checked the Byzantine advance and stabilised the battle line. Khalid deployed his cavalry as a strategic reserve: operating in many small squadrons (Arabic kardus, each of 35-40 men), they came up first to support the Muslim right, then switched to support the Muslim left (cf Kennedy 2008: 84). Following this, the Muslim centre counter-attacked. This day too ended in stalemate. Again, the Byzantine army had suffered slightly higher casualties than the Muslim army, but it seems that the death of Deirjan (a senior officer in the Byzantine central division) and the initial failure of Vahan's battle plan left the Imperial army relatively demoralised, whereas Khalid's successful counterattacks emboldened his troops. On the third day, the Byzantine leftmainly cavalryled the attack, and the Muslims were pushed back, until Khalids cavalry reserve again intervened to save the day. 207

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There was a famous flanking movement by the Muslim cavalry at some stage in the battle, and it may have occurred on this day: or more probably on Day 4. Again both sides withdrew to their original lines, the Muslims having suffered worse. The initial attacks were repulsed by the Muslims but soon the numerical advantage of the Byzantine army begin to tell and the Muslim right wing retreated toward their base camps, followed by the retreat of the right half of the Muslim centre under the command of Sharhabeel bin Hasana. Many on both sides fell in combat, but by dusk the Byzantines had been pushed back to their own position and the situation restored as at the beginning of the battle. On Day Four (for Haldon this is still Day One), the imperial cavalry on the left, the Armenians and allied Arabs, again made progress, partly because so many of the Muslim foot-archers had earlier been eliminated. Again, however, the Muslims rallied along their whole line (left, right and centre). The East Romans pulled back in the centre and south, having sustained serious losses. Meanwhile, on the northern side, the imperial cavalry seems to have advanced too quickly and got separated from the infantry: Jabalas cavalry - mainly Arab Christian allies - fled. This allowed Khalids main cavalry force to break through a weakened Byzantine northern line. Meanwhile a smaller Muslim cavalry detachment pursued the fleeing imperial-Arab horsemen. The net effect was that the Muslim cavalry got in behind the main Byzantine force, cutting it off from its base camp. As noted, for Haldon, this is only Phase Two of the battle, and still on Day One. Meanwhile in the centre and south ( = Byzantine centre and right), the imperials, particularly their archers, succeeded in doing serious damage to the Arab infantry. We may guess that the East Roman horse archers played a large part in this. The Arabs fell back, but then rallied. More than a few Muslim soldiers lost their sight to Byzantine arrows on this day, which thereafter came became famous by the name "Day of Lost Eyes". At the end of the day the main Byzantine force remained separated from its base camp. Day Five saw no action; but both sides reassembled all their cavalry into single large units. Probably on the night of day five, the Muslims stormed the base camp behind the main imperial line; its defenders fled. This caused alarm when it became known the following day. (For Haldon this night attack is the end of Day One.) On Day Six (or Day Two for Haldon), there was initial skirmishing on the south, and the Byzantine divisional commander Gargis was killed. Khalid then ordered a further all-out attack along the whole line. The effect was to push the northern imperial division under the Buccinator up against the Byzantine centre under 208

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Vahan. Soon the Byzantine cavalry broke contact and dispersed to the north, leaving the infantry to its fate. This also included the mounted corps of Jabala which now scattered towards Damascus. Khalid turned his attentions to the main body of the Imperial army - the mainly Armenian corps of Vahan - attacking them from the rear. The Armenians were effective fighters who had come closest to defeating the Muslim army when they broke through two days earlier, but under a three-pronged attack of Khalid's cavalry from the rear, Amrs infantry from the left and Shurhabeels infantry from the front, and with no support, and their ranks already disturbed by the retreating Slavs of Qanateer, they had no chance. The Armenian line broke and they fell back. The Byzantines now panicked, realising that their line of retreat (to the rear) had during the night been cut off. The only line of escape was into the deep gullies on the west and south, including that of the eponymous Yarmuk River. The panic and desperate escape ended the battle. Many imperial soldiers were cut down in and around the southern gullies. John Haldons Presentation of the Battle of the Yarmuk (Haldon 2001: 59 ff) John Haldon argues that the Byzantines suffered from two major disadvantages. First, the command of a composite army was fragmented by the discord and disagreement among the several generals. Coordination was poor, and the various divisions seem to have operated as separate commands during the battle. This weakness was exacerbated by the mobility and speed of movement of the Muslims, especially their cavalry; the Muslim foot and horse both managed to get between and behind the separated imperial divisions. The second disadvantage for the imperials was the broken and rugged terrain, which the Muhammadan commanders exploited by feigned retreats and ambushes. The imperials tried in vain to hold a unified single front. Moreover the Muslims were mainly seasoned veterans, while many of the Christian troops were raw recruits or otherwise poorly trained and unacclimatised to the East, the army having not yet fully recovered from the Persian wars of the 620s. Haldon proposes that the four Byzantine divisions were placed from left to right as follows. (1) Extreme left (north): Jabalas Ghassanids, formed up west or north of the road from Damascus; while (2) the left division under the unnamed drungarius (Buccinator) guarded a bridge by which the Damascus road passed over the wadi called Wadil Ruqqad. On Kaegis map (Early Conquests, 1995: 113), this is about 12 km ESE of the modern town of Nawa. These two divisions faced the Muslim right. (3) The central imperial division under Vahan was lined out along the road west of the wadi, the latter separating it from the Muslim centre. (4) The imperial right division under George was placed in the south, near where Wadil Ruqqad entered Wadil Yarmuk (not far from Yaqusa). The former ran between the Romanic and the Muslim lines. As we mentioned earlier, Georges division on the Byzantine right was spearheaded by heavy infantry drawn up in close formation: they formed a 209

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shield-wall by interlocking their large shields. The whole line extended for some 20 km, almost the whole way from Jabiya to Yaqusa. This would mean either (a) that there was about three or four km between each division or (b) each division was drawn up in very open order. (As a thought-experiment, imagine that every man was occupying a metre of lateral space, i.e. close to one another but not touching. Next, assume that all the units were formed in ranks five-deep, which is quite shallow by the standards prescribed in the war manuals. If there are four units of 5,000 men, each unit will take up just a one kilometre frontage. In this scenario, about three-quarters of the 20 km front would be empty . ). Phase One: Following Muslim sorties and missile attacks, a command was issued for a general advance by the whole Byzantine line. In the north the two divisions of the imperial left (Jabalas Ghassanids and the Drungariuss Byzantines and/or Slavs) advanced, variously along and across the Damascus road, to engage the Muhammadan right. Prominent in this push were Romanic infantry units. The Muslims pulled back in a feigned retreat, and in the pursuit the Byzantine cavalry were separated from their infantry. Phase Two: A joint attack by Muslim foot and Khalids cavalry reserve put the Drungariuss cavalry to flight. This exposed the imperial infantry to attack from the enemy horse on one side and enemy infantry in their rear. Now the Drungariuss infantrymen also broke and fled, along with Jabalas Ghassanid cavalry. Some of the Ghassanids fled; others defected to the Muslim side. This delivered control of the bridge to the Muslims; they also captured the Byzantines northern basecamp (there was another in the south). Meanwhile, in the south, the Byzantine right and centre advanced across the Wadil Ruqqad. They pushed back the Muhammadans but only for a short distance; the Romanics apparently stopped or regrouped after reaching the line of a lesser wadi, Wadil Alln, where the Muslims had originally stood. Perhaps news of the defeat of the northern divisions had reached Vahan and George. Thus ended Day One. During the night, the Muslim left division made a surprise attack down and across the Wadil Yarmuk, where it stormed and captured the southern basecamp of the Byzantines. This placed the Muslim left division behind the imperial divisions, while of course the line east of Wadil Allan was defended by the central Muhammadan division. Thus, when Day Two dawned, the Byzantine southern divisions were boxed in. Phase Three: In the final phase the victorious northern Muslim forces turned south to further box in the southern imperial forces. The surviving Byzantines were not far from 210

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being surrounded on all sides. And at about the same time as the imperials realised they were being surrounded, a sand-storm blew up. This caused them further dismay, and very soon a rout set in. Vahans and Georges men fled wherever they could, but in all directions lay broken country and sections of ravines along the several wadis. The Muslims pursued mercilessly, and very few imperials survived the rout. A few Byzantines managed to reach the environs of distant Damascus, but were pursued even there. The imperial army effectively ceased to exist (2001: 61). THE 'END OF ANTIQUITY' AS A PROCESS OF RURALISATION Archaeologists and historians tend to conjure up differing images of the end of Rome. Many of the former emphasise discontinuity, and argue that, at least in Italy, hill-top settlements (castelli, kastra) replaced classical patterns of (dispersed) settlement already in late Antiquity, i.e. during the 300s and 400s AD. The latter, by contrast, see continuity of dispersed settlement up to the 10th century, and date the incastellamento process - the replacement of cities by fortress villages - from that time. If we look at the region east of Rome itself, the region leading to the Sabine hills, the evidence, both literary and archeological, suggests that Roman settlement in the Farfa region of the Sabina (NE of Rome) peaked in the 1st- and 2nd-century AD. The end of the 2nd century, however, saw the beginning of a decline in the number of datable sites. Few, if any, sites could be dated to the Byzantine/Lombard period between 500 and 800, apparently confirming the discontinuity argument which says that, at least in Italy, the classical pattern of settlement had already collapsed, or largely collapsed, in late Antiquity. Thus Morland, Farfa. Also Wickham 2005. The End of Long-Distance Trade: the Evidence of Pottery Although long-distance trade was already seriously faltering by 600, its demise was not reached until just before 700. Many productions of both amphorae fine table wares ended in the later seventh century; this was a systemic collapse. For example, it is now definite that Phocaean RS (PRS: sophisticated red slip ceramics from Phocaea in the east Aegean) once traded across the whole Mediterranean - ceased to be produced in the period 670-700, somewhat later than used to be thought. This is clear from excavations at Emporio on Chios, Gortyn on Crete, and in the Crimea. Trade in PRS had been contracting since the 500s, but the local RS [local types of less sophisticated red slipware] productions did not replace it, for they ceased as well. They were replaced by coarser types (Wickham 2005: 784 ff). Thus by the 700s, just one important long-distance Mediterranean route is documented at all, namely the route from Rome, around the south of Italy, across the Aegean and up to Constantinople (Wickham, Inheritance p. 225, citing McCormick).

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With the creation of the Themes (Gk themata) the regionally based and locally recruited army units in the 650s, soldiers would have been supplied locally. Weapons, armour, horses, rations would have been obtained mostly from within each Theme (albeit with coordination from Constantinople whenever a large expedition was being organised). This no doubt hastened the end of the interregional exchange network of Antiquity. Cities: Going Backwards Morrisson and Sodini write thus: The progressive degradation of the cities is clearly perceptible through excavation and is characterised by a break with urban logic. Thoroughfares became dominated by shoddy and partitioned structures. The intent of public monuments became subverted: baths and buildings of importance did service as habitations or workshops: their marbles were torn out, and heating stoves were installed nearby. Refuse and spolia [re-used material] blocked certain areas of the sites or served as fill for floors of beaten earth. Sewers and aqueducts were abandoned, and simple trenches took up the functions of the former. Burials began to appear intra muros [inside the town walls], and the walls of the city were no longer maintained. Houses suffered a similar fate. This typology, corresponding to a state of crisis that the city could overcome only by transforming itself, finds confirmation throughout the Mediterranean world. . . . What remains clear is that this urban withdrawal began [in the East] in the course of the sixth century, with varying phases that may be tied to geographic areas (The Sixth Century Economy, in Laiou ed., 2002 p.189; emphasis added). Its culmination, of course, came in the 600s. * * * Cyril Mango, 1980: his chapter 3, has written at length on what he calls the "disappearance" of the classical Greco-Roman city system in the East. A more recent account can be found in Wickham 2005: 629 ff. The issue is much debated, some saying cities actually disappeared, others that many survived, albeit on a reduced scale (see Lightfoot 2010 for a summary of the debate on various sides). Mango for his part stresses that the great bubonic plague of 541-42, "the first of its kind attested in history", was followed by six further epidemics before 600. And plague and famine were followed, after 600, by the Persian and Avar-Slav invasions. As a result, in the century 550-650, cities such as Athens and Corinth, already small, further contracted, or were reduced, to lesser settlements around a central fort. In the Balkans, many of the ancient cities had simply disappeared by 650, the end-result of a century of war, plague and famine. Chris Wickham, 2005: 630-31, is less inclined to attribute the process to plague; but he agrees that there was major urban recession in mainland Greece, mainly after 600, notably at Athens, Corinth, Delphi and Butrint. Athens and Corinth at least survived, if only as large villages; most urban centres were wholly abandoned: a failure rate (says Wickham) of 80% in the wider Aegean region. 212

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He stresses, 2005: 626-27, that some regions, e.g. the outer Balkans, saw economic and urban decline from as early as 550, while in other areas, e.g. Asia Minor, there was little perceptible change up to the Persian attacks in the 610s. Partly the economic and urban decline in the Balkans was due to successive waves of the plague (Soltysiak 2006). Urban revival would begin slowly only in the ninth century, meaning that most of the empire was governed from fortress-outposts (Gk: kastra) in the two centuries from 650 to 850 (Wickham 2005: 631). We must imagine, I suppose, that small villages continued to flourish, while the larger towns and cities were left ruined and empty. Cf Haldon 1990: 120: What remained was instead a pattern of defended villages and fortresses, the strongest of which often came to serve as the administrative and military centres; and, on the coast of the Black Sea, the Aegean, the Adriatic and in south-west Asia Minor, there are a few isolated ports and emporia. Rautman p. 119 writes of market towns or fortified outposts of minor significance. Haldon, ibid: The evidence of texts, numismatics and archaeology all point uniformly in one direction: the effective disappearance of the late Antique urban economies which [in the East] had survived up to the reign of Heraclius [610-641]. When the Persians conquered Roman Alexandria in 619, New Rome (Constantinople) could no longer import Egyptian wheat and barley. This was only partly substituted for with new cereal fields in Thrace and, no doubt, by increased imports from Tunisia and Sicily (Browning pp.39, 82). In Asia Minor many of the cities, such as Pergamum and Sardis, Amorium and Ancyra, were either abandoned or much reduced in size after 622 as a result of the Persian invasion (Hodges & Whitehouse p.61). Browning p.93 says that only a few great cities retained the physical pattern of the ancient city, with a long and fully maintained perimeter-wall. The point is made more starkly by Mango, p.48: "Quite simply, the empire was ruralised". Or as Haldon 1990 pp.111, 121, puts it, the long-term decline of the classical city [for Haldon, beginning in the 300s] was completed during the seventh century. Two centuries would elapse before the economy revived, i.e. from around AD 825. But others have questioned the thesis that the cities and towns of Anatolia underwent catastrophic decline from the Sassanid raids of 611-628 (see, eg. in Byzantion 52, 1982, 429 ff) and that the resultant damage meant the extinction of the towns' corporate identity (see in Bvzantina kai Metabyzantina 4, 1985, 65ff). The majority view is that the Persian raids simply accelerated or punctuated a longer-term development that took up to a century [from AD 565 to 665]. Cf 647-53. Haldon summarises it well: Some [poleis] were abandoned or destroyed; those that survived shrank to insignificance, often surviving merely as defended villages; others owed their continued existence to and the existence of a limited degree of commercial activity to their function as military and administrative centres, of both Church and state; yet others to their geographical position in respect of trade routes and distance from enemy threat 213

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(1990: 113). What is crucial, and what indeed had actually occurred before the physical destruction of the seventh century, is the change in the function of cities or towns within the late Roman society and economy. They were quite simply no longer relevant to the state or to the greater part of the ruling elite. Where they survived, therefore, it was either because they could fulfill a function in respect to the institutions of the church or stateas an administrative base for exampleor in respect of genuine economic and social patterns of demand (Haldon 1990: 121, emphasis added). Rural Units The empires population was still some seven to 10 million. As a mental experiment, let us imagine that there was an average of (say) 300 inhabitants in the sometimes extensive monastic estates, some surviving larger estates, the multitudinous villages and military estates and various free peasant communes. This gives us, in 650, an empire stretching from North Africa to eastern Anatolia that was comprised of 23,000 to 33,000 dispersed rural units. Indeed the number of rural units was probably larger than that: as Mango 1980: 43 says, the large estates should visualized not so much as huge unbroken tracts as a great number of dispersed plots held by a single owner and worked by distinct sets of tenants. * * * Numbers in the East Roman Army, 641-775 According to Treadgold, Army 1995 and State 1997. In 622-23 Herakleios took his armies from Anatolia to Armenia and Abasgia, part of modern Georgia, and thence into the Persian heartland. Treadgold believes (1997: 294) that he had assembled an extremely large unified army of perhaps 50,000 men, but this was exceptional. As presented in Haldons books, a field army of about AD 600 numbered up to 24,000 troops but could be as small as 15,000 or smaller. The largest field army deployed after 641 was 20,000 (Treadgold 1982: 92). a. AD 641: Heraclius: Land troops 109,000 i.e. 21,800 cavalry and 87,200 infantry. Only about a third of the total under Justinian. b. 668: Constans: The same, i.e. 109,000. The navy had perhaps 19-20,000 oarsmen (Treadgold, Army pp. 75, 162), enough at 108 oarsmen per ship* to man up to 185 medium-sized dromons. After 655, there were 4,000 marines in the Caravisian theme; if (as in later centuries) 36 marines were allocated to a ship, 111 ships would have been required to transport them. 214

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(*) Hocker in Gardiner 2004: 94 notes that standard dromons had 100 or 108 oarsmen while the larger type (chelandion and dromon proper) had 200 rowers. Also Starr, Roman Imperial Navy p.53. c. 775: Constantine V: This time lies outside our chronology in this paper, but the reader may be interested to look forward. The elite cavalry of the Tagmata numbered 12,000.** + Perhaps 8,000 other cavalry? + Infantry perhaps 60,000 including 6,000 in the infantry Tagmata. Land troops total 80,000: the low-point in the military capability of early Byzantium (before AD 1071). Navy: 18,500 oarsmen including 2,000 each in the Themes of Cibyrrhaeots and Hellas, manning perhaps around 125 warships in all (small, medium and large types). This may be compared with 30,000 oarsmen in 540. (**) The Tagmata or central regiments were created by Constantine V in the 760s. In 1982 Treadgold (p.117) preferred a figure of 18,000 for the Tagmata, that is, 4,000 in each of the three cavalry Tagmata: the SCHOOLS or Scholai, EXCUBITORS and WATCH or Vigla; and 2,000 in each in the three infantry Tagmata: the NUMERA, OPTIMATES*** and WALLS [Greek: Teich or tagma ton Teikheon]. Haldon prefers a figure of 10,000 for the Tagmata. In 1997 (p.373) Treadgold evidently counts the Optimates (non-combat infantry support troops) among the Themes rather than as Tagmata. Certainly the Optimates functioned virtually like a theme, having their own lands in Bithynia, across the Bosphorus from the capital, i.e. around the Gulf of Nicomedia. (***) Not be confused with the earlier cavalry unit of the same name. The Optimates (the elite cavalry regiment of AD 600) seem to have been absorbed into the large Opsikion army that Heraclius and Constans II created from the old praesental armies in the period 615-659. The Opsikion was perhaps created as early as 615 but it did not become a Theme, holding land, until probably about 659, when Constans further reduced pay in favour of land grants. Later (from 681) the Opsikion theme was subdivided and its troops were split between new Themes: Thrace in about 681 and then the Buccellarion about 766 (or perhaps as early as 745: see in main text). The lands held by the new infantry Optimates, created presumably about 766/745, were in Bithynia. In short, the old cavalry Optimates had long disappeared when the new Optimates infantry were created in the 760s. But there may have been a continuity through the land: possibly the same estates in Bithynia held by the exOptimates (now Opsikion) cavalry from 659 were in about 766 given to the exOpsikion foot-soldiers who were enrolled in the (new) Optimates. Cf Treadgold Army pp.70 ff. The Watch 215

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Treadgold believes that the regiment of The Watch in Greek: Bigla or Vigla, from the Latin Vigilia - was created not under Irene, acc. 797, as Haldon argues, but earlier under Constantine V (Treadgold 1982: 138 note 314; Haldon 1984). The oldest surviving reference to the office of commander of the Watch, drungarios tes Vigles, dates to 791 (ODB: 663). On campaign, the Watch performed special duties, guarding the emperor's tent at night and conveying his orders; it was also responsible for prisoners of war. A NEW EMPIRE: THE EARLY BYZANTINE PERIOD, from 636 Dynasties: - Heraclian (from 610). - Syrian or 'Isaurian'. - Amorian (to 867). The restored empire of Herakleios was to enjoy a respite of only eight years of peace: 629-636. The Muslim Arabs would quickly pick up the pieces from the titanic struggle between New Rome and Persia. Arab expansion had begun under the prophet Muhammad (570-632), as for example in a victory against the Persians in 610. At Muhammad's death, his followers controlled the whole western half of the Arabian peninsula. Muslim armies subsequently advanced irresistibly in all directions (or rather, in all directions except one): through Palestine and Egypt (635-40) and thence across North Africa to Spain (642-711, Carthage 698); and east through Persia to what is now Afghanistan and southern Pakistan: Persia 637-49, Bukhara, Samarkand and Kabul 661-80; and then to present-day Pakistan 711. Only in one place did they fail to conquer, namely East Roman Anatolia. Three of the five great seats of Christianity fell to the infidel - Jerusalem [637 or 38], Antioch [638], and Alexandria [641]. This left Constantinople and Rome as the only Christian Patriarchates under Imperial rule.

CHRISTIAN TOTALITARIANISM AND THE "DARK AGES OF BYZANTIUM'' John Haldon comments that there is, after the late 620s and early 630s, and up until the later 8th or early 9th century [AD 630-820], a more or less complete disappearance of secular literary forms within the Empire . . . " "Similarly this period provides no examples of geographical, philosophical or philological literature . . . Interest in the secular, pre-Constantinian, much less the pre-Christian culture of the past, was for a century or so a rarity" (Haldon: quoted by Gutas p.177). 216

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It was likewise with other aspects of cultural life for several centuries. As Mango p.265 notes, "the history of Byzantine art [mosaics, icons etc] from about 650 until about 850 is pretty much of a blank". Certainly literacy contracted in depth and breadth, but it must not be thought that literacy ended. Rather, the tiny educated stratum among the Greek Romanics preferred new Christian styles of literature: the homily, the disputation, quaestiones, florilegia*, miracle stories and hagiography (idealised lives of the saints). See generally Margaret Mullett, Writing in Mediaeval Byzantium, in The Uses of Literacy in early mediaeval Europe, ed. Rosamond McKitterick, Cambridge University Press, 1992. (*) Florilegia - Lat. florilegium, an anthology - were systematic collections of excerpts, more or less copious, from the works of the Fathers and other ecclesiastical writers of the early period, compiled with a view to serving dogmatic or ethical purposes. These encyclopedic compilations Patristic anthologies as they may be styled - are a characteristic product of the later Romanic-Byzantine theological school. 641: - a year that saw four emperors on the throne: 1. Upon [1] Heraclius' death on 11 February 641, his will declared his two sons: [2] Heraclius Constantine or Constantine III, aged about 29, and [3] Heraclonas, aged 15, as co-emperors. It stipulated that the half-brothers should have equal status and rights in managing the government. The fourth emperor (September 641) was the late emperors grandson, Heraclius Constantine's youngest son, the 11 years old [4] Constans II. Constantine III during his brief reign from 12 February to 25 May appointed Valentine [Greek Balentinos or Oualentinos: Valentinus Arsacidus: Armenian Arshakuni], a Greco-Armenian general, as commander of the army of the East, or else he was Count of the Ospikion. 2. Heraclonas and Martina brought the army of Thrace to Constantinople to replace a praesental army or regiment under the command of general Constantine which was being sent (Aug-Sept 641) to Egypt as an escort for the returning Egyptian patriarch Cyrus. John of Nikiu, cited by Gellatin 1972: 143. 3. Heraclius Constantine [III] died aged 29 from consumption (pulmonary tuberculosis) only a few months after his father, in May 641. There were rumours that Martina, the unpopular dowager empress, mother of 15 years old Heraclonas, had brought about Heraclius Constantine's death by poison. This and resentment at the new Monothelete policies caused the people and the Senate to turn against Heraclonas and Martina. Valentinus Arsacidus, a general of Armenian descent, who had been appointed commander-in-chief of the East by Constantine, now fired the soldiery 217

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against Martina and her regime. With the assistance of the troops stationed in Asia Minor, Valentine, the protege of the late Heraclius Constantine, marched to Chalcedon on the Asian shore opposite the capital. The army he assembled may have numbered 44,000 based on the money gifts distributed to it (Mango, notes to his trans. of Nicephorus 1990: 192). This show of strength against him forced Heraclonas to name Heraclius Constantine's 11 year old son, also named Heraclius Constantine but better known as Constans II, as co-emperor in September 641. Constans was now married to Valentinuss daughter Fausta, also aged about 11. Haldon 1990 proposes that it was ideological (religious) motives that caused the troops to support Constans II. However that may be, following Constantine's instructions, Valentinus distributed the money sent by the imperial treasurer Philagrius and prevailed on the troops throughout the provinces to act against Martina and her sons and ignore the empress's orders, as well as orchestrating a march on Constantinople (thus Garland, Martina). This, however, failed to ease the discontent against young Heraclonas, and by the end of the month the Senate deposed him. Valentine ordered that Heraclonass nose be slit and Martina's tongue slit or cut out (Treadgold 1997: 310 says slit). Then Heraclonas and Martina were exiled to the island of Rhodes (Oct 641). Moore notes that this is believed to be the first time that the so-called "oriental" [read: Eastern?] practice of mutilation (Moores phrase, but probably borrowed from Ostrogorsky) was practised by the Greek Romanics.* But see above: 637-38. We must remember the East Romans were devout Christians: mutilation was seen as more humane, or at least less sinful, than execution. (*) Treadgold 1997: 350 sees the expanded use of mutilation as a punishment by around 700 as due to a relentlessly literal reading of the Bible. This seems more likely than simple imitation of the further East. After all, the Romans, West and East, had had already only about 1,000 years to learn from Persia** . . . An older kind of Western (and Eastern) mutilation, crucifixion, had already been outlawed by the Byzantines. And needless to say, mutilation happens everywhere: The Lombards deposed and blinded the anti-pope, Constantine II in 769; Charlemagne blinded rebels in 795; in 824 Pope Paschal had two high officials blinded; Louis the Pious, d. 840, blinded his nephew; Charles the Bald his own son; Charles the Fat his cousin, etc, etc. Genevieve Buhrer-Thierry, "Just Anger" or "Vengeful Anger"? The Punishment of Blinding in the Early Medieval West, in B. H. Rosenwein (ed.), Anger's Past: The Social Uses of an Emotion in the Middle Ages, Ithaca/London: Cornell U. Press, 1998. (**) The characteriation of mutilation as oriental no doubt alludes to the Persians. But the tradition is old. In their own surviving records, the Assyrians gloried in skinning their enemies alive; impaling them on stakes; cutting off ears, noses, and sex organs; and exhibiting mutilated victims in cities that had not yet surrendered. King Asshurnasirpal II (d. BC 859) wrote that he cut out tongues, gouged out eyes, cut off hands, arms, noses. Physical mutilation in early Persia as a punishment for serious crimes is 218

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frequently reported by classical writers. Herodotus' account of early Persia includes many examples of mutilation, castration, impaling, beheading, or flaying. To mention a few examples: In BC 518 Darius defeated and had the rebel Median king Phraortess ears, nose, and tongue cut off, before having him crucified. This was imitated early by Greeks at least on occasion: the admired Alexander ordered (BC 329) that Artaxerxes Vs (Bessus's) nose and ears be cut off, which was a Persian custom for those involved in rebellion and regicide. This was not typical for Alexander, but his successors made wide use of crucifixion. Even Jews sometimes mutilated their enemies: Josephus says, in Jewish War 1.97 and Jewish Antiquities 13.380, that the Jewish king Alexander Jannaeus crucified 800 of his Pharisaic enemies in BC 88; but again this was exceptional. In the Byzantine era, AD 591, we read of Khusraus cutting off the nose and ears of Byzakios, a rebel general.

The Reign of Constans II, 641-668

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641-668: Constantine Pogonatus, the bearded, known as CONSTANS II Son of Constantine III and grandson of Heracles. Aged 11 at accession, Constans was too young to rule: collegial rule 641-50 by the senate, which no doubt took advice from his mother the dowager empress Gregoria. Wife: Fausta, daughter of the army commander Valentine. Three sons, including the future emperor Constantine IV, born ca. 649. In the 19th century scholars believed that the nickname Pogonatos (bearded from pogon, beard) belonged to his son Constantine IV, but the current view is that it actually referred to Constans II. Thus Moore, Constantine IV at www.roman-emperors.org/Constiv, accessed 2009. Constans was a nickname meaning little Constantine. He is called Constantine in the Liber Pontificalis, Paulus Diaconus and in Constantine Porphyrogenituss De Ceremoniis. But although officially his name was Constantine, it is his father Constantine III and his son Constantine IV who are counted thus. Constans modelled his gold Byzantine coins after those of his grandfather, Heraclius. He changed his coin portrait as he aged from beardless to wearing a short beard, and finally to wearing a very 220

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long, very full beard. He also retained the potent cross on the steps on the reverse - an equilateral cross standing on a pyramid of steps. Massive beard: see image here from one of his coins: http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/byz/constans_ii/mib_x4cf-o.jpg. Greek words - complementing, not yet replacing, Latin inscriptions began to be used on coins in the seventh century, namely EN TOUTO NIKA [Gk: ]- "in this sign conquer"** - on the bronze folles of Constans II. (**) The slogan of Constantine the Great. If as a general Constans fell short of Heraclius's genius, in administrative insight he surpassed his grandfather. Between them, Constans and Heraclius had held off assaults that would easily have destroyed most states, and might well have overcome even Byzantium's reserves of strength. To those reserves Constans added soldiers who would fight hard to hold their land, and who would replace themselves indefinitely [see discussion under AD 659-62: the Themes]. As long as the Themes lasted, the empire was safe from a repetition of its rapid collapse before the Persians and Arabs earlier in the century (Treadgold 1997). 640-42: Pope John IV, a Dalmatian: Troubles in his native land, caused by invasions of pagan Slavs, directed John's attention there. To alleviate the distress of the inhabitants, John sent the abbot Martin into Istria [present-day SW Croatia opposite Italy] and Dalmatia with large sums of money for the redemption of captives. As the ruined churches could not be rebuilt, the relics of some of the more important Dalmatian saints were brought to Rome. Kobylinski, in McKetterick ed., Cambridge New Medieval History 1995: 542. 641: 1. Constantinople: During the period prior to 650, the boy-emperors mother Gregoria (widow of Constantine III) must have played an important role as regent for her son. She was not only the widow of Heraclius Constantine, and thus empress-dowager, but, as the daughter of Heraclius's cousin Niketas, a member of the Heraclean dynasty in her own right. As such she must have been involved in the conflicts between her husband and his step-mother and between the champions of her son Constans and those of his uncle Heraclonas (Lynda Garland, Gregoria, online 2009). Cf 644-45: killing of Valentinus. 2. The Muslim Arabs defeat the Persians. Al-Tabari claims that at Nihawand (641) the Persians advanced "... like mountains of steel ..." and "in units of seven, while al-Baladhuri says they were drawn up in "... in tens and fives ...". Whatever the case, a high degree of tactical organisation is indicated.

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Roman Alexandria Falls to the Muslims. End of antiquity; BEGINNING OF THE "MIDDLE AGES" 3. Egypt, 641-42: MUSLIM ARABS TAKE GRECO-ROMAN ALEXANDRIA, "symbol of Hellenism and empire": end of the grain supply from Egypt, and no more cheap papyrus. Papyrus is eventually superseded by expensive parchment, made from stretched and dried calf skin. Parchment had become more important than papyrus by about AD 250; and exports of papyrus from Egypt greatly declined. Oikonomides (2002) notes that the last chrysobull (imperial charter) written on papyrus dates from as late as 1083. Chronology thus: 11 Feb. 641: d. emperor Heraclius; 9 April 641: surrender of Babylon under (the second) treaty - 13 May 641: capture of Nikiou/Nikiu. - End of June 641: Alexandria attacked; 14 Sept. 641: return of Cyrus to Egypt; 8 Nov. 641: capitulation of Alexandria; 21 March 642: death of Cyrus; 17 Sept 642: the Greek-Melkite-Byzantine ruling caste departs, including the new Melkite patriarch Peter IV. Late 643/early 644: return of the figitive Coptic patriarch or pope Benjamin I. In June 640, reinforcements for the Arab army arrived in Egypt, increasing Amr's forces to between 8,000 and 12,000 men. As related earlier, in July 640 the Arab and Byzantine armies met on the plains of Heliopolis. Although the Byzantine army was routed, the results were inconclusive because the Byzantine troops were able to flee to the fortress of Babylon (Bab al Yun). After a six+ month siege, begun in Septemner or October 640, Babylon fell to the Arabs on 9 April 641. The Arab army then marched to Alexandria, which was not prepared to resist despite its well fortified condition. Consequently, the governor of Alexandria agreed to surrender, and a treaty was signed in November 641. The following year, the Byzantines broke the treaty and attempted unsuccessfully to retake the city. The East Romans evacuated Alexandria in September 642 in accordance with a treaty negotiated under Heraclonas' reign. The Arab leader Amr occupied the city and began to advance through North Africa (Libya), taking the Pentapolis and Tripolis in 643. The Romanics were able to retake Alexandria in 645, but they were able to hold the city only for a year and were soon expelled permanently from the region. (To be more exact, we could say that the Christian Greco-Coptic population went from being ruled by Greeks to being ruled by Muslim Arabs.) With Palestine and Syria already lost, the effect was a loss of many of the 15* Eastern imperial weapons factories, leaving only those at Cappadocian Caesarea, Sardis, Nicomedia, the Capital, Adrianople and Thessalonica (says Haldon 1990: 239).

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(*) Strictly, 15 was the total in around AD 400, in the Notitia Dignitatum. The Slavs had already ravaged through the Balkans, resulting in the loss of the factories at Marcianopolis (Thrace), Naissus, Ratiaria and Horreum Margi, in what is now Bulgaria. Adrianople was lost to, or abandoned among, the Slavs at some unknown date, perhaps even before 600. And it is most unlikely that arms were still able to be produced on a large scale at the much reduced fortress-town of Sardis either before or after its sack in 616. From Papyrus to Parchment The so-called four disappearances claimed by Pirennebetter: their near disappearance from the Latin Westin the transition from Antiquity to the Middle Ages were: 1 papyrus, 2 oriental luxury textiles and fabrics, 3 spices and 4 gold currency. In the Christian and Muslim East these things endured: see, for example under 687-92. And even in the West, there was some trade (see eg 715 below). Papyrus continued to be used by the Byzantines after the loss of Egypt in 641 but parchment became relatively more important. Reynolds & Wilson 1991: 59. With the end of the trade in papyrus to Western Europe, parchment and vellum [veal-skin] became the main material for books in the West. Brown, 1997: 217, notes that in the time of Pope Gregory, d. 604, it took the skins of over 500 calves to make just one major Bible. Gregorys own collected works took up 2,100 parchment folios in 11 volumes. 642: 1a. Armenia: Muslim Arabs attack Byzantine Armenia and pillage Dvin. 1b. (spring:) The emperors father-in-law General Valentine campaigns against the Arabs. This turned out badly. Overcome by fear in the face of the Arabs, his army retreated in such haste that the entire baggage train was lost to the enemy (Gellatin 1972: 152, citing the Syriac chronicle). 2. Italy: ca 642: Lombards capture Byzantine-held Genoa, which Epstein 2002:14 imagines was little more than a sleepy fishing village. The importance of the event was that it put an end to an imperial enclave hitherto surrounded by Lombard domains. 642/43: 1. Libya: The Muslim Arabs under the veteran general Amr ibn al-As occupy Byzantine Cyrenaica (late 642) and Tripolitania (643: modern Libya). See 647. A number Christian refugees fled from Tripoli to Sicily in a ship or ships (McCormick, Origins p.853, citing Amari). Cyrenaica is the eastern bump on the map of modern Libya. The first incursion took the Muslims past Tobruk into central Cyrenaica but not quite as far as Benghazi (classical Berenice). Then in 643 they pushed on along the coast of the Syrtic Gulf as far as Leptis Magna (modern Lebda or Labla) and Tripoli 223

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which they briefly took but failed to hold. They then retired to Egypt to sell the booty they had collected. A small garrison was left at Barca on the eastern side of the bump. Western Libya reverted to imperial or local administration. There will be another incursion in 645, but no further conquests are attempted until 647 (Kennedy 2008: 207). Byzantine control over Libya was restricted to a few lightly defended coastal strongholds. Thus the Arab horsemen who first crossed into the Pentapolis (Cyrenaica) in September 642 encountered little resistance. Under the command of Amr ibn al-As, the soldiers of Islam entered Cyrenaica, later renaming the Pentapolis region Burqa or Barqah (from the Latin Barca, name of the regions capital: modern Al Marj). The Byzantine garrison at Barca decamped without a fight, and the local Berbers agreed to pay tribute (Kennedy 2008: 206). It has been argued that the Arabs were able to neutralise the extraordinarily impressive defences of Byzantine Cyrenaica because they were welcomed by the local Copts [monophysite Christians], who naively expected Arab support against the orthodox, dyophysite Byzantines (Goodchild, quoted in Hodges & Whitehouse p.60). But Kaegi, Expansion p.109, notes that there is no contemporary reference to this. More likely, we may guess, the Arabs deployed forces that were larger and more mobile than the small imperial garrisons, and also battle-hardened. Africa proper, greater Tunisia as we know it, remained safe for so long as the empire controlled the sea. Soon, however, Byzantium would nearly lose that control . See 648-49 below. 2. First Arab raids against present-day Georgia and into Byzantine Asia Minor. Kaegi 1995: 192. 642-49: Theodore I, a Greek-speaking refugee from Palestine: born in Jerusalem, was Patriarch of Rome or "Pope". Richards p.184 proposes that already (just six years after Yarmuk) there were many monks and clerics in Rome who had fled from the Arab invasions. Theodore purported to excommunicate two Patriarchs of Constantinople for accepting the Ekthesis, Heracliuss monothelite formula of 638. Cf 648 the Typos. 642-51: The East: The Arab armies swept over the Iranian plateau and wiped out the imperial Sassanian army at Nihavand (642). The Persian shah Yazdgird fled to Merv in the far NE, where he was eventually murdered while hiding in a mill (651). 643: 1. The Armenian governor of Byzantine Armenia defeats an Arab invasion; Constans appoints him commander in chief of the local Byzantine-Armenian 224

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2a. Rome vs Ravenna: Internal revolt in Romanic/Byzantine Italy. Maurice the chartularius [custodian of charters, the senior military administrator] rebelled against the Exarch Isaac and prepared to set out for Ravenna with the assembled village garrisons of the Roman duchy (from all the walled towns around Rome). Isaac sent Donus the Magister Militum (his field commander) and his sakellarios or treasurer from Ravenna to Rome with an army, doubtless a considerable body of troops. This caused the Roman adherents of Maurice to abandon his cause; they sided with Donus. Maurice was captured and taken to Ravenna, or rather he was executed outside Ravenna and his head carried into the town and displayed on a pole in the hippodrome (Liber Pontificalis 75.2, trans. Davis p.69). 2b. N Italy: In the same year, imperial troops fought a pitched battle against an invading army of the Lombard king Rothari on the river Panaro near Modena,* NW of Bolognanearly two-thirds of the way from the Lombard capital Pavia to the imperialist capital Ravenna; the Exarch Isaac seems to have been killed in this battle. See 646. Rothari conquered all of the imperial possessions in Liguria (the coast around Genoa), as well as much of Emilia, in around 643: "Rothari . . . captured all the cities [civitates vel castra: townships and forts] of the Romans which were situated upon the shore of the sea from the city of Luna in Tuscany [and past Genoa] up to the boundaries of the Franks" (Paulus D., IV.xlv). A battle fought between the Lombards and troops of the Exarchate near the Panaro [a tributary of the Po: near Modena] ended in defeat for the East Romans, with several thousand soldiers killed (8,000 according to Paulus**). Isaac himself probably met his death fighting the Lombards, although the Liber P. says he died of a stroke (Fanning 1970: 46 vs Lib. Pont. loc.cit.). (*) The Panaro enters the Po from the south below Modena. (**) There may have been as many as 16,000 soldiers altogether in the Byzantine army of Italy at this time (Treadgold 1995: 147). But most of them would surely have been stationed away from Ravenna, i.e. along the corridor from Ravenna to Rome, in Rome, Naples, Apulia, Calabria and Sicily. One is therefore inclined to imagine that a zero should be dropped off the number of deaths in this battle, i.e. 800 killed rather than 8,000. As noted, the Lombards also took the Ligurian coast - west and east of presentday Genoa - from Luna in Tuscany to the Frankish border. Others, e.g. LaRocca 2002, would date this to 638. The chronicler Fredegar says the walls of the captured townships were demolished, or part of their walls were symbolically demolished, and they were thereafter re-labelled villages (vicus, vici) instead of cities (civitates) (Gian Pietro Brogiolo, Bryan Ward-Perkins, The idea and ideal of the town between late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages, Brill, 1999, p.111). The towns may not have been literally demolished but their status was changed, 225

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perhaps removing their role as governing each its own region. A Romanised Germanic minority in Italy The Lombard settlement seems to have been largely to the north of the Po River, the area with the majority of Lombard place-names and Germanic-style archaeological finds (mostly from cemetery sites). But even there Lombards must have been in a minority, and they must have been even more so farther south. There were probably few concentrations of Germanic settlers entirely immune to Roman cultural influence. The Lombard language seems to have disappeared by the 8th century [i.e. around 725], leaving few loanwords in the Italian language. The impression conveyed is of a gradual Romanisation of the society and culture of the Lombards, within the framework of their continuing political dominance. Italy (2006). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 2009 from Encyclopdia Britannica Premium Service: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-27627. A Simpler Life: Wood and Thatch in the West Gradual Romanisation of the Lombards did not mean any return to the prosperity of the period before AD 400, when it had been quite usual for a peasant in upland central Italy to eat off a fine pottery bowl manufactured in North Africa (Ward-Perkins 2006). Archaeology shows that in the high Roman times people had used many different types of ceramic vessels for cooking, serving and eating: jugs, plates, bowls, serving dishes, mixing and grinding bowls, casseroles, lids, amphorae and others. By the 7th century, however, the standard vessel of northern Italy was the metal (brass) olla, a simple bulbous cooking pot (Ward-Perkins 1984: 106). In the West, where in high Roman times even the poorer half of the rural population had had tiles on their roofs, there are virtually no surviving ceramic roof tiles already from the 400s, suggesting the use of wooden shingles or thatch, which can easily catch fire, leak and harbour insects (see the discussion in WardPerkins 2005: 95 ff; also Laoiu and Morrisson pp.39-41). The scale and quality of buildings, even of churches, shrank dramaticallyso that, for instance, tiled roofs, which were common in Roman times even in a peasant context, became a great rarity and luxury. In the 6th and 7th-century West the vast majority of people lived in tiny houses with beaten earth floors, drafty wooden walls, and insect-infested thatch roofs; whereas, in Roman times [sic: before AD 400], people from the same level of society might well have enjoyed the comfort of solid brick or stone floors, mortared walls, and tiled roofs (Ward-Perkins, interview 2006). In Italy, as was noted earlier, already in the late 500s we see a sharp fall in the number of surviving inscriptions and the disappearance of high quality glazed pottery (African Red Slip Ware). This appears to confirm the literary evidence for a marked economic decline. In the 600s even low-quality pottery was 226

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replaced by wooden dishes, plates and cups. The end of the trade in pottery meant that most household goods in the West were wooden by about 650. Amphorae gave way to wooden barrels, or rather they gave way entirely to barrels, for wooden casks had long been used for transporting wine in NW Europe (Brown 1984: 7). And so too vintage wines finally disappeared, as barrels were not airtight. In the East, the rich continued to use fine ceramics. Glazed white ware (GWW) pottery replaced red slipware in the period 625-750 but it was not much traded outside Constantinople. Glazed pottery (amphoras, basins and cooking vessels) also began to be produced at Corinth from before 700. Other glazed types have been found at various towns around the Aegean shore, but probably they were locally produced (Laiou and Morrisson 2007: 41 and 75; Davis & McCormick 2008: 102). The reasons for decline in the West are not hard to find: By the later sixth century [in Italy], the regular market was both a thing of the past and of the future. Clearly when towns declined the markets declined with them and the rurally based ceramic production sites became anti-economical for professional potters. Though their position had been based on primary resource location (clay, wood, water, etc.), this was with the guarantee that large markets were readily at hand through an efficient (Roman) communication network. However, the collapse of many pottery industries in the fifth and sixth centuries [i.e. 450-550] is probably not only to be explained by cessation in demand (although demand presumably diminished with diminishing population levels) or by rising marketing costs, but also by internal costs. As population levels dropped and intensive agriculture diminished, agricultural surplus became increasingly restricted and more highly valued as an exchange commodity. It would therefore be used primarily for exchange with money to pay taxes or for exchange with other basic goods. In this context we could expect the emergence of an economic system directed principally towards fundamental needs. Pottery could, instead, be made by the household or by a household industry for group use, and this seems to be a pattern that emerges with the development of the village community. P Arthur & H Patterson, 1994: Ceramics and early medieval central and southern Italy: "a potted history", in Francovich R., Noy G. (a cura di), La storia dell'alto-medioevo italiano (VI-X secolo) alla luce dell'archeologia, Florence 1994, pp. 409-441. 643/644: 1. Syria: The Byzantine navy had been very active in the struggle with the Muslims, especially in keeping supplies delivered to the threatened coastal cities (towns) of Palestine-Lebanon-Syria. It is reported by al-Baldhur and al-Athr that when Syrian Tripoli (Atrbulus) fell (644), its inhabitants were evacuated thanks to a fleet or flotilla sent by the emperor (Gil 1997: 58).

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2. Italy: The Edict of Rothari, the first written legal code of the Lombards. It shows some Roman influences, but is a largely Germanic code, although written in Latin. Physical injuries were all minutely catalogued, with a price (fine) for each tooth, finger or toe. Property was a key concern: many laws dealt specially with injuries to an aldius, the half-free, ex-slave, poor peasant villager; cf Latin colonus; or to a household slave (servi ministriales). A still lower class, according to their assigned values, were the agricultural slaves (rusticani or servi rustici). Roman slaves had lower value in regard to fines than Germanic slaves "of the nations". Lombard law governed Lombards solely. The Roman population expected to live under long-codified Roman law (based more often on the 5th C Theodosian Code than Justinians 6th C Corporis Juris Civilis: Katherine Drew, The Lombard laws, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1973, p.12). It was declared that foreigners who came to settle in Lombard territories were expected to live according to the laws of the Lombards unless they obtained from the king the right to live according to some other law. 644: 1. Two Byzantine campaigns in Syria/Upper Mesopotamia, under Valentine and under Procopius and Theodore. The patrikios Valentinus, general of the Romans, came to fight the Arabs. He was seized with fear in their presence and fled, leaving all the riches he had with him, which the Arabs seized. That same year, Procopius and Theodore made an impetuous excursion to Batna-Sarug [Batnae, Batra-in-Sarug: Tell-Batnan, present-day Suru in NW Mesopotamia].* They plundered and devastated the city [read: town] and, having taken possession of everything they wanted, they returned to their country (Chronicle of ps.Dionysius of Tell-Mahre, also known as the Chronicle of Zuqnin). In Andrew Palmer, Sebastian Brock, and Robert Hoyland, The seventh century in the west-Syrian chronicles, Liverpool University Press, 1993, p.68. (*) Near Edessa/Sanliurfa. Just on the Turkish side of the modern SyrianTurkish border. The town had first been taken by the Muslims in 639. 2. Asia Minor: First recorded Arab raid on Amorium - effectively the geographical centre-point of western Asia Minor. According to Nicolle, 1993: 8, the total armed forces of the Caliphate under Umar may have reached 50,000 men (regulars and irregulars) by 644. This was still only about half the size of the enrolment of the Byzantine army: see table above [before entry for 641]. Jandora 1990: 99 proposes that by this time the Arabs armaments had much improved. The light-armed troops of earlier years became less important, with the major role now given to heavy cavalry and heavy infantry (as in the Byzantine and Sassanian armies).

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3. Antioch/Homs: The earliest Syriac dispute text in the Islamic milieu may well be a report from the early eighth century. It purports to be an account of the interrogation of (Syriac) Patriarch John III (631-648) of Antioch by a Muslim emir, Umayr (Amr) ibn Sad al-Ansr, the governor of Homs, on Sunday, 9 May 644. The Syriac name for Muslims was Mhaggraye. Reinink 1993. 644-45: 1. Contest for the throne: Valentinus, father-in-law of the emperor and commander-in-chief of the East, if not of the entire army, retained an extremely influential position - perhaps too much so for the Constantinopolitans. At any rate, in 644 or 645 his soldiers' activities in the city, apparently relating to another bid by Valentinus for the throne, sparked off a riot which led to his being lynched by the mob (Garland, Fausta). He appeared at Constantinople with a contingent of troops, and demanded to be crowned emperor. His bid for the throne failed, however, since both the capital's populace and the leading men of the state, Patriarch Paul II foremost, rejected his claim. According to the chroniclers, the populace lynched his envoy Antoninos, before proceeding to kill Valentinus himself: they seized and beheaded him (Haldon 1990: 54; Chronicle of Sebeos, II: 106). 2a. Damascus: Assassination of Umar I, 644. Uthman is elected Caliph (644656). 2b. The governor of Syria and future caliph Mu'awiyah [Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, Uthman's second cousin] commences construction of an Arab fleet, i.e. with the caliphs Christian subjects supplying the oarsmen, and Muslims the marines and commanders. Evidently the first ships were built in the former Byzantine shipyards at Acre. The first squadron was formed at Syrian Tripoli/Tarabulus in 645; first action in 649 (Pryor & Jeffreys, Dromon, p.25) Cf 649, 655. 2c. Syria/Palestine: Baladhuri has it that the Byzantines attacked and took over the coastal cities again towards the end of 'Umar's caliphate, or at the beginning of 'Uthman's time, that is in 644; Muwiyah ordered, AH 24 / AD Nov. 644Oct. 645, a certain number of fortifications to be constructed on the Syrian littoral, undoubtedly to prevent Byzantine attacks from the sea (thus al-Baladhuri). 645: MIDPOINT THE THE GREAT PANDEMIC OF 541-750. Plague was a key factor in the waning of Antiquity and the beginning of the Middle Ages. A pandemic of plague engulfed the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea and eventually extended as far east as Persia and as far north as the British Isles. Its persisted sporadically, recurring from 541 to 750, the same period that witnessed the distinctive shaping of the Byzantine Empire, a new prominence of the Roman papacy and of monasticism, the beginnings of Islam and the meteoric expansion of the Arabic Empire, and the ascent of the Carolingian dynasty in Frankish Gaul. 229

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645: Africa: The Muslims under Amr re-invade Byzantine Cyrenaica with help from various Libyan tribes and an Egyptian (Christian) naval detachment under the Coptic duke [doux, commander] Sanutius [Sinoda, Coptic Shenute, Arabic Shenouda]. The duke may have aided the Muslims in return for a measure of tolerance or independence for the Monophysite (Jacobite, Coptic) church (Fage 1979: 499). c.645 (or 646-47): S Italy: The Lombards take Salerno, the coastal city or fortified village SE of Naples. 645-46: 1. The East: Further Arab campaigns in Armenia under Maslama and in Cappadocia under Muawiya. It is said that in 646 the Arabs penetrated into Asia Minor as far as Amorium in Phrygia and Pisidian Antioch (Gellatin 1972: 156). 2. [Or 644-46:] An East Roman fleet of 300 ships according to al-Baladhuri, under a eunuch Armenian commander named Manuel, sails (late 645) to Egypt and reoccupies Alexandria. Al-Tabari gives trhe date as AH 25, i.e. Oct 645 to Oct 646. The Muslim garrison, before they withdrew, destroyed, plundered, and burned a great part of Alexandria, including the Cathedral of Saint Mark. (It was rebuilt in 680.) Treadgold, 1997: 312, explains the welcome given to Manuel by noting that, as stated by the chronicler John of Nikiu, the caliphate levied higher taxes than the empire and showed even less respect to Monophysitism than had the empire. Indeed taxes were doubled (John of Nikiu, cited by Kennedy 2008: 353; Treadgold 1997: 312). Recapture and Final Loss of Alexandria Manuel advanced into the Nile delta towards the Muslim capital of Fustat, but the old Arab general Amr ib al-As, now aged about 73 - recalled to win Egypt a second time - at the head of 15,000 men defeats him and retakes Alexandria (646). The battle took place at the small fortified town of Nikiu, about two-thirds of the way from Alexandria to Fustat, with the Arab forces numbering around 15,000, against a larger Romanic force (some say smaller) (Treadgold 1997: 312). Despite a hard fight, with one of their champions being slain in single combat, the Arabs prevailed; and the Byzantine forces retreated in disarray back to Alexandria, pursued by the Arabs. Manuel re-embarked for Constantinople. The failure of Manuel's expedition, evidently a large and expensive one, left the imperial government on the defensive for several years. Cf al-Baladhuri, text online at 230

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http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/the_origins_of_the_islamic_state: The Greeks [of Egypt] wrote to Constantine, son [sic: grandson] of Heraclius, who was their king at that time, telling him how few the Muslims in Alexandria were, and how humiliating the Greeks' condition was, and how they had to pay poll-tax. Constantine sent one of his men, called Manuwil [Manuel], with 300 ships full of fighters. Manuwil entered Alexandria and killed all the [Muslim] guard that was in it, with the exception of a few who by the use of subtle means took to flight and escaped. This took place in the year 25 [AD 646-47]. Hearing the news, 'Amr set out at the head of 15,000 men and found the Greek fighters doing mischief in the Egyptian villages next to Alexandria. The Muslims met them and for one hour were subjected to a shower of arrows, during which they were covered by their shields. They then advanced boldly and the battle raged with great ferocity until the "polytheists" [Christians] were routed; and nothing could divert or stop them before they reached Alexandria. Here they fortified themselves and set mangonels [rope-pulled trebuchets]. 'Amr made a heavy assault, set the ballistae [crossbow-powered catapults firing relatively small stones or spear-like bolts] and destroyed [sic*] the walls of the city. He pressed the fight so hard until he entered the city by assault, killed the fighters and carried away the children as captives. Some of its Greek inhabitants left to join the Greeks somewhere else; and Allah's enemy, Manuwil, was killed [sic: an error]. Amr and the Muslims destroyed the wall of Alexandria in pursuance of a vow that 'Amr had made to that effect, in case he reduced the city. (*) It is generally considered that ancient and medieval war machines were incapable of demolishing large stone walls; they were basically anti-personnel weapons. Even the later gravity-propelled counterweight trebuchet could only break roofs, parapets and light masonry walls, not strong main walls of stone. Heavy masonry and thick stone walls afforded security until the age of the large cannons (after AD 1400): see discussion in Peter Purton, A History of the Early Medieval Siege, c.450-1200, Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 2009, pp.385-87. Walls were typically destroyed by undermining (digging and then collapsing tunnels). Ca. 645-ca. late 649: The Exarch of Italy was Plato. 646: Lombard southern Italy: Slavic plunderers landed near Siponto, on the Adriatic coast near Manfredonia. Aiulf of Benevento personally led his forces against the intruders, but his horse fell into a pit dug by the Slavs around their camp and he was surrounded and killed (Wikipedia, 2009, under Romuald). Because Byzantium dominated the Adriatic, Dzino has speculated that these Slavs wee mercenaries in Byzantine service (Becoming Slav, Becoming Croat: Identity Transformations in Post-Roman and Early Medieval Dalmatia, by Danijel Dzino, Brill, 2010 p.98, citing Goldstein). 646-47: 231

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1. Muslims attack western Libya. In late 646, the patrikios Gregory, Exarch of Carthage, with the support of the Orthodox population in the exarchate and the aid of nearby Moorish tribes, rebelled against Constans II, citing religious reasons. He moved the seat of government from Carthage to Sbeitla. Fortunately for the emperor, who was unprepared for this sudden challenge to his authority, Gregory was - according to al-Baladhuri, in his Kitab futuh al-Buldan - soon distracted (647) by an invading Arab army and killed. The Christian sources, e.g. Mich. Syr. II 440-441, say he survived and submitted to the emperor. If the Exarch was in fact killed it is perhaps puzzling that the Muslims should withdraw, albeit after levying tribute from the Christians. - Michael the Syrian; also TCOT: 43. See 647 below. In 647 the new governor of Egypt, Abdallah [Abd Allah b. Sad b. Abi Sarh], led some 7,500 Arabs (Yemenis and other southern Arabians) into Libya. They bypassed Byzantine Tripoli and marched along the coast towards what is now southern Tunisia. Hearing of this, Gregory proceeded to Sbeitla (Roman Sufetula) in todays north-central Tunisia with an army of Afro-Romans and Berbers. Gregory is said to have led 120,000 men, an impossibly large number; 12,000 troops would be credible. His best troops (says Kaegi) were probably Numidian (Berber) horsemen. In a battle fought outside the town, the imperials were definitely and decisively defeated and Gregory was possibly killed. As we have noted, the sources differ on whether he survived (Kennedy 2008: 207; cf Treadgold 1995: 147: perhaps 15,000 men in the Byzantine army of Africa in 641). After the combat at or near Sbeitla the Muslims occupied the town and pursued some fleeing Christians to the fortified points at and near Gafsa [almost the deadcentre of todays Tunisia], including fortified points outside Gafsa, and Thysdrus (modern El Djem with its huge and fortified Roman amphitheatre: east-central Tunisia) (Kaegi, Expansion pp. 127, 149, citing al-Athir). 2. S. Italy: The Lombards take (646) Byzantine Salerno, the port-town south-east of Naples, and annex it to the Duchy of Benevento. - Salerno @ www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/519074/Salerno. See 662. 647: 1. Arab incursion into Asia Minor, led by Caliph Uthman himself: they raided into Cappadocia and besiege Caesarea. Louth, in New Cambridge Medieval History [NCMH], 1995, ed. Rosamund McKetterick et al., p.298. 2. Africa: Muslims attack Romanic Tunisia. As noted, the Exarch of Carthage, Gregory, in a perhaps religiously tinged revolt, declares himself emperor (646); but as also noted, he was defeated and apparently killed (647) in battle with the Arabs. See 652. The support of his troops was probably genuinely motivated by religious concerns. By now pay and conditions were no longer a source of grievance, as soldiers were mainly self-supporting: cf Haldon 1990: 371. After successfully consolidating earlier Arab conquests in Egypt, in early 647 232

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an Arab army under the command of Abdallah ibn Sallah or ibn al Saad invaded western Tripolitania [Libya]. Gregory gathered an army and forced a battle, and was defeated and (perhaps) killed. The encounter took place on the plains near Sufetula, Arabic Sbeitla, in north-central Tunisia, SW of present-day Kairouan, well S of Tunis. Most of Tunisia was abandoned by the empire, and left for the Berbers and Arabs to contest. The surviving Byzantine soldiers withdrew behind the walls of Carthage (Kennedy 2008: 208). c.647 (or ?649): East Mediterranean and Aegean: First naval expedition by the Caliphate sent by Muawiyah, the governor of Syria, sailing from Acre to Cyprus and Crete, probably in 649 (Kennedy 2008: 326). There are sveeal possble dates: 647-8 or 648-9: McCormick, Origins p.845. The island of Cyprus, an important waystation for Mediterranean trade, is briefly occupied by Arab forces. The capital Constantia was taken by storm. Later Cyprus took on a neutral role, with neither imperial nor Arab forces based there. It reverted to Byzantine rule in 659 under a treaty between Constans and Muawiya but later again reverted to neutrality (Dromon p.25). See 649-50. In 648/49 ("in the year 960 of Alexander": Chron. of 1234*) the caliphate launched a naval attack on Cyprus with a large fleet1,700 ships according to Theophanes: 170 would be more credibledrawn from both Syria and Egypt. The Muslims captured and sacked Konstantia and much of the island (Theophanes says the whole island) before returning home when winter approached: Chron. of 1234, 131 (pp. 268-270) ("the emir Mu`wiya"), Theoph. AM 6140. When Romaic reinforcements approached under the chamberlain Kakorhizos (not mentioned in Chron. 1234), Mu`wiya withdrew. Then he laid siege to Arados, the island off the Syrian coast, trying to take the fortress Kastellon or Castellus; he failed and finally retired to Damascus as winter approached: Theoph. AM 6140, Chron. of 1234, 132, p. 273 (PBW under Muawiya). (*) The Chronicle of 1234, Latin: Anonymi auctoris Chronicon ad annum Christi 1234 pertinens, compiled by an anonymous West Syriac writer or writers, is a universal history from Creation until AD 1234; hence the name. 647-51: The East: In 647 the Arabs entered Armenia and Cappadocia, and sacked Anatolian Caesarea. In 648 they raided into Phrygia and in 649 launched their first maritime expedition (see next) against Cyprus. A major Arab offensive into Cilicia and Isauria in 650651 forced the emperor to enter into negotiations with the Caliphate's governor of Syria, Muawiyah. 647-52: 233

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Eastern Mediterranean: The Muslim governor of Egypt, 'Abd Allah or Abdullah ibn Sa'd ibn Abi Sarh, was the co-founder, with the Syrian governor and future caliph Mu'awiyah, of the first Muslim navy. Muawiyahs fleet seized Byzantine Cyprus or at least its capital Constantia [Salamis] (c. 647649: probably in 649), and later (654) Crete, Rhodes, and Cos or Kos, one of the Dodecanese Islands: NE of Rhodes, off the coast from modern Bodrum. And Abdullahs ships defeated a Byzantine fleet off Alexandria in 652 (NCMH, Fouracre et al. 2005: 298). See 655. The Disappearance and Survival of Cities and Towns, AD 575-675 In the case of S Asia Minor, Ken Dark, in Harris 2005: 173, nominates Anemourion as the best archaeologically analysed example of a city (township) that shows urban decline in the 7th century. It was located on the coast of southern Asia Minor directly north of the western end of Cyprus, about halfway between present-day Anatalya and Silfke. The failure of the inhabitants to repair or rebuild structures affected by the earthquake [in ca. 580] clearly reflects the citys impoverished state. This condition was perhaps exacerbated by a serious loss of population and by the increasingly turbulent conditions that attended the long Persian War (611628) and the subsequent depredations of marauders that plagued the Anatolian coast in the aftermath of the Arab invasions of Cyprus in 649 and 653/654. Russell: The marked break in the series of coin finds that occurs around 660, especially when associated with evidence for the abandonment of the various seventh-century houses explored, indicates that human activity on the site during the last decades of the seventh century [from 680] was much reduced and had probably ceased completely by the early eighth century [c. 710]. Compared to the flourishing city of the early Roman Empire or the Christian city of the fifth and early sixth centuries, the community of Anemourion in the final decades of its existence (ca. 580660) was a sadly diminished shadow of its predecessors (James Russell, in Laiou ed, 2002, Economic History of Byzantium; online at ww.doaks.org/econhist/ehb00: emphasis added). Cf below, c.650: Ephesus and 653-54. On the other hand, Frank Trombley has argued that evidence from Gortyna, the administrative capital of Crete; Soloi on Cyprus; and Druinopolis in Epirus Nova (western Greece) show that towns had not disappeared or at least not everywhere. In each instance, texts, epigraphy and/or site reports provide clear evidence of continuity and indeed re-building. For Gortyna, the capital of Byzantine Crete, ongoing excavations in the praetorium complex of the lower town match reports of considerable administrative and ecclesiastical facilities in 8th century sources, and their survival despite Arab sea raids. Similarly relevant are two inscriptions from Soloi on Cyprus dated 647/8 and 653/4 which record the consequences of an Arab sea raid which nearly depopulated the island and of an earthquake, after which many buildings, including the basilica, were rebuilt (Soloi, ed. J. des Gagniers). 234

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Neither at Gortyna nor Soloi were the lower cities abandoned in favour of akropoleis [hilltop forts] for the purpose of habitation, despite the proximity of the sites to Arab-infested seas. Trombley, 1988. 648: 1a. Africa and Cyprus: As we have seen (above: 646-47), the African exarch Gregory, son of Heraclius's cousin Nicetas, had been proclaimed emperor. In 648 the Egypt-based Arabs began a real invasion of Gregory's exarchate, while Mu'awiyah's fleet raided Cyprus (Treadgold 1997: 312: see below). Then Constans' fortunes improved somewhat. The imperial fleet drove the Arab raiders from Cyprus, and the Arab invaders of Africa defeated and killed the usurper Gregory without conquering the country. They withdrew after Gregory's successor Gennadius, 648-665, promised them an annual tribute of some 330,000 nomismata. (Gennadius was self-appointed, but formally he acknowledged Constans.) Treadgold 1997: 312. Cf 665. 1b. The East: Rhomaniya / Byzantium pays 330,000 nomismata [or 331,200: 4,600 Roman pounds] in tribute to the caliph Uthman. Treadgold 1997: 411 observes that, if the empire could afford this, then its annual budget must have been of the order of one million nomismata, rising to perhaps two million by the end of Constans' reign. See below: table near AD 668. 2. Following a theological disagreement between the Pope and the Patriarch, Constans issues his Typos, a religious edict forbidding all discussion of two wills or two energies. This would inaugurate a new phase in the theological battle. See 649-52 (Armenia). 648-49: End of the East Roman Lake: The Arabs create (before 648) a navy in order to break the Byzantine empires monopoly on sea-power: as noted, they raided East Roman Cyprus (or in 647). Buoyed by this initial success, the Arabs continued their naval efforts and were rewarded by successful attacks at Rhodes, Cos, and Crete. See 655. In 648/649 AD - probably in 649 - Arabs sailed against Cyprus with a large armada, said by Theophanes to number 1,700* ships and boats, under the leadership of Muawiyah, governor of Syria. The sailors and oarsmen were Christian Egyptians (Copts) and Syrians, while all the marines were Muslim soldiers (Jandora 1990: 98; Hocker in Gardiner 2004: 91). After a brief siege, they conquered and sacked the capital Salamis-Constantia, on the east coast opposite Lebanon, and pillaged the rest of the island. Cf 652. (*) The number of ships may seem impossibly large, but we also hear of an Arab fleet of 1,800 vessels in 717 (see there). Even so, a more credible figure would surely be just 170 major vessels.

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After sacking Cyprus for the first time in 649, the Muslim navy continued the journey but, according to Sebeos (trans. Howard 1999: 111112), was intercepted off the Lycian coasts (east of Rhodes) by a Byzantine squadron and destroyed. In 649/650 Muawiya again attacked Arados, Arabic Arwad, a Christian-held island just off the Syrian coast. This time the Christian defenders surrendered it on condition that the inhabitants could settle wherever they wished; he burnt the town, razed the walls and made the island uninhabitable: Chron. of 1234, 132 p. 273; Theoph. AM 6141 placed in the same year as the Council of Rome, i.e. 649 (PBW under Muawiya). 649: 1. Asia: It seems that the Army of Thrace was still serving in Cilicia in 649 (Gellatin 1972: 159); it was afterwards allocated land in western Asia Minor in the region that would become the Thrakesion theme see 659. 2. Italy: The anti-monothelite Martin I is consecrated as 'pope', i.e. patriarch of Rome, without first receiving the emperor's concurrence. Martin convenes a synod in Rome (Lateran synod), attended by 105 bishops, to denounce Monothelitism. Interestingly, the senior papal notaries at the synod were freely and fluently translating from Greek into Latin, a token of the influx of Greekeducated migr clergy since 600. See 653 (arrest of Martin). Before 649: The Greek-speaking monastery in Rome, San Saba, was established by refugees from Roman Palestine. It is first attested in the Acts of the Lateran Synod of 649, at which Monothelitism (which had the support of the emperor) was debated, with the patriarch of Rome, Martin, presiding (r. 649-53; d. 655 in exile at Chersonesus [Sevastopol] in the Crimea). 649-52: 1. The East: In 648 or 649 Constans issued an order that the Armenian Church should accept its subordination to the Church of Constantinople and the Chalcedonian creed. Then in 652, aged 21, the emperor personally led a large army to Armenia to re-impose orthodoxy and remove the country from the suzerainty of the Caliph. Iberia too was briefly subjugated. He and his army wintered at Dvin in 652-53; but when they left, the Armenians ejected the Byzantine garrison left behind and again recognised Muslim overlordship (Kaegi, Conquests p.196; Treadgold 1997: 313). See 654. 2. Revolt of the exarch Olympius in Italy; he served from late 649 to 652. Rome: At the Lateran council in 649, under the guidance of the pope or archbishop of Rome Martin, the assembled bishops condemned both the Ekthesis of Heraclius and the Typos of Constans, as well as the successive Constantinopolitan patriarchs Sergius, Pyrrhus and Paul. Constans ordered (649) Olympius to travel (from Ravenna) to Rome and arrest Pope Martin and force the bishops to accept and sign the Typos. Unable to coerce the bishops into accepting the Typos and unable, as it appears, to gain support from local (Roman) forces against the pope, Olympius sided with the patriarch of Rome Martin and soon declared himself emperor. A reconciliation took place between Exarch and 236

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Pope, so complete as to give some colour to the charge that Olympius aimed at making himself Emperor, and that Martin countenanced him in his treason (Hodgkin). Even if Olympius was a self-serving cynic (which we cannot know), probably the troops who did support him were genuinely motivated by religious discontent (cf Haldon 1990: 373). He soon gathered an army together from elsewhere in Italy and crossed into Sicily in 652, either to fight the Saracens or (more probably) the local Byzantine forces. It was apparently there that he declared himself emperor. His army was stricken by an unknown disease, possibly plague, which killed Olympius that same year. Richards, Papacy, p. 188; Liber Pontificalis, trans. Davis 1989: 69f. 649-752: Old Rome: This period saw many Easterners and Greek-speakers elevated to the papacy. The so-called Greek and Syrian popes were: Theodore I died 649; Agatho +681, Leo II +683, John V +687, Sergius I (701), Joannes/John VI +705, John VII +707, Sisinnius (708), Constantine I +715; Gregory III +732; and Zacharias +752. c.650: 1. Possible date of the first deportation (forced resettlement) of Slavs from the Balkan peninsula to Asia Minor (Bithynia), as reflected in a seal inscribed ton andras donton [or andrapodon, war captive, slave] ton Sklavoon tes Bithynon eparchias. The date on the seal (eighth indiction) indicates either 649/50 or 694/95. It is recorded that 5,000 Slavs deserted from the Byzantine side to the Arabs in 664/5, so the more likely date for the seal would be 649/50 (Toynbee p.90, citing Charanis). 2. SW Asia Minor: New city walls erected at Ephesus, but around a much smaller site than in Antiquity. Archaeologically, the sequence of coin-finds at Ephesus almost peters out by 650. Which is to say: not only did the city fail to recover properly from the Persian war of the early 600s, it actually went backwards. Greenhalgh: At Ephesus, as might be expected, the Byzantine walls took in much less ground than Lysimachus Hellenistic defences, and made great use of spolia [out-takes, removed material] from adjacent monuments, some of which might have been conveniently demolished by earthquake. At some later date, adds Greenhalgh, the (surely small) population moved about two km to the north, to the settlement now called Seljuk [Ayasuluk]. This was still strictly within the purlieu of Ephesus even if outside the walls, the most conspicuous monument being a Byzantine fortress containing the 7th century Basilica of St. John [on the slope of Ayasuluk hill]. The entrance to this fortress, perhaps of the mid-seventh century with a mid-eight century rebuild, is liberally decorated with spolia, as are walls adjacent to the basilica with columnae caelatae [carved or embossed columns] from the archaic and late classical builds of the Temple of Diana, in what is arguably an evocation of the grandeur of the past, while sculptures from the same location have been found in the fortress 237

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walls' backfill. On even higher ground is the citadel. At Ephesus and Seljuk, then, the newer settlement is built with spolia from the old. The town of Seljuk [neo-Ephesus] is entirely composed of materials from Ephesus, and the old castle and mosque walls have become in their turn our quarry for relics of antiquity. For Foss [the archaeologist], the walls of Seljuk [four metres thick] are seventh century, like those of Pergamum and Sardis, which he ascribes to the time of Constans II (641-668) (thus writes Greenhalgh, Survival of Roman Antiquities, online at rubens.anu.edu.au/new/books_and_papers/ survival.publish/chap6.html; emphasis added; also discussion in Hodges & Whitehouse p.62). There was a further inhabited site in the western part of old city by the edge of the harbour, where people lived in a walled enclave about one km square, i.e. about 310 m x 310 m (Clive Foss, Ephesus After Antiquity: A Late Antique, Byzantine and Turkish City, Cambridge University Press, 2010, pp.103, 106-08). Thus in about 50 years Ephesus was reduced from a city to a town and then from a town to two villages. Treadgold 1997: 317 dates the building of new walls around the villages (as they had become) of Ephesus, Pergamum, Sardis and Ancyra to the years 659-662, this being (he thinks) part of the creation of the Theme system. Manfred Klinkott, Altertumer von Pergamon. XVI.l Die Stadtmauer, Berlin 2001, prefers a date of 672-8 for the walls at Pergamum. For discussion, see J H. W. G. Liebeschuetz, Decline and fall of the Roman city, Oxford University Press, 2003 pp.50-52. 3. Greece: Minting at Thessalonica ceased under Constans II, acc. 641, or more likely: earlier under Heraclius [in 629: see there], and minting was not revived there during the Byzantine 'dark ages', when the Balkans and Greece were subjected to invasions and settlement by Slavs and Bulgars. Nevertheless, central Greece at least the coastal regions - remained under Byzantine control and continued to maintain an economy at least partly based on the circulation of money throughout the eighth and ninth centuries. St. Ghislenus, who died at Hainault in present-day Belgium, was an Athenian by birth; he tells us that he studied philosophy, meaning Christian patristics, in Athens as a young man, ca. 650 (Robert Browning, History, language and literacy in the Byzantine world, Variorum Reprints, 1989 p.229). And Theodore of Tarsus, who in 668 became archbishop of Canterbury, likewise may have studied in Athens, according to a letter of Pope Zacharias to Boniface (but queried by Michael Lapidge, Anglo-Latin literature, 600-899, Volume 1, Continuum International Publishing Group, 1996, p.141: he thinks the mention of Athens was simply a figure of speech implying some Greek literary training, not necessarily undertaken at Athens). This could suggest that Athens, however impoverished, was still operating as a town or large village in the mid 7th cent. Cf 662: visit by emperor Constans.

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4. d. Leontius, theologian and bishop of Neapolis in Byzantine Cyprus. Author of two important hagiographies or Lives of the Saints. 5. Pagan Khazars, a Turkic nation, dominate the Caucasus. 650: Emperor Constans II is 20 years old. From c. 650: Eastern Anatolia: Underground villages or troglodyte cities were built or rather extended (some date from Hittite times or earlier) in Cappadocia, e.g. at Kaymakli, as refuges against Arab raiders. Kaymakli lies N of Nigde, S of Nevsehir. Territorial review The two great powers of western Eurasia were: (1) the Muslim Arab Caliphate, ruling from Medina and then - after 661 - Damascus; and (2) the Christian, New or East Roman Empire, ruling from Constantinople, the Byzantium of the laterday historians. The Caliphate controlled as far as what is now eastern Libya, while Cyprus was a co-dominion from which both the caliph and the emperor drew taxes. In the West, the Lombard king and several independent dukes ruled rather more of Italy than the Empire; and most of the Balkans was in the hands of Slavic tribes. On the other hand, viewed more widely, the imperial domains of N Italy, Corsica, Sardinia, N Africa, Sicily and the shoe of Italy were overall significantly larger than the Lombard realms. Lombard Spoleto and Lombard Benevento were surrounded on all sides by the Empire. The Empire comprised, from west to east: 1. Greater Tunisia: vs pagan and Christian Berbers; 2. Sardinia; 3. Sicily (see below: 652) and 4. the toe and just half the heel of Italy (vs the still mainly Arian Lombards: cf 652); and 5. part of central Italy: Latium and the Pentapolis (Rome-Ravenna) - also vs the Lombards; 6. the Dalmatian coast and 7. just small parts of present-day Greece (vs pagan Slavs); 8. Crete; 9. inner Thrace (vs Slavs and soon also the Danube Bulgars); 10. the tip of Crimea (vs pagan Khazars); 11. coastal Georgia (Lazica); and 12. the immense imperial heartland of Asia Minor, which extended to Armenia and Cilicia. In the NE sector of Asia Minor, the Empire faced the Christian Armenians; in the SE sector, the Muslim Caliphate. As noted, Slavic tribes controlled nearly the entire Balkan peninsula. But the empire still dominated nearly the whole Mediterranean Sea, from Sicily, Tunisia, Sardinia and the Balearics in the West to Cyprus in the East. See 652, 654. The longest continuous land axis was in Asia Minor: from Ephesus in the south-east to Trabzond [med. Trebizond] in the north-west.

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Above: Italy in AD 650. The bulbous peninsula in NE Italy is Istria, whose key town was Grado. The region south of Ravenna was called the Pentapolis. Ravenna, seat of the Byzantine govenor-general or Exarch, was connected with Rome by a corridor formed by the line of the Via Amerina. The Lombards (Longobardi) of Spoleto held most of the other highway in that region, the Via Flaminia. 650-51: 1. Future emperors: Fausta and Constans had three sons, Constantine (IV), Heraclius and Tiberius, of whom the eldest, Constantine, was born c. 650 and proclaimed co-emperor in April 654; in 659 his two younger brothers were also crowned. 2. Muslim conquest of Persia. Arab armies push east through NE Iran and into Central Asia. Death (651) of the last Persian shah, Yazdgard III. 651: (alt. date 652:) Sicily: According to some sources, the first-ever Saracen raid on

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Sicily (from the East) took place about this time. The commander was 'Abd-Allah ibn-Qais. Others say in 652: see there. Saracen armies and navies had been particularly active over the first half of the 7th Century in the eastern Mediterranean, seizing the provinces of the Eastern Roman Empire. Another line of assault was through North Africa, conquering Egypt and Tripoli. See next. 652: 1a. Internal revolt in Byzantine Italy. The Exarch of Italy, Olympius, 649-52, was unable to coerce the bishops into accepting the Typos/Type, the religious edict forbidding all discussion of two wills or two energies, and unable to gain support from local forces against Martin, the patriarch of Rome. So he took Martins side. As noted earlier, he soon (650) gathered an army together and according to just one source, the Liber pontificalis [papal chronicle], crossed into, or headed for, Sicily in 651/652 where he declared himself emperor, or more likely before departing from Rome. The Liber pontificalis reported that this movement towards Sicily was to attack the Saracens (see next: 652.1b) and that a mysterious disease (probably plague) attacked his army and eventually killed Olympius later the same year [652] (Richards, Popes p.188; Treadgold 1997: 313). Modern scholars have suggested that Arabs had not set up in Sicily and the attack on Sicily was more likely an attempt to drive off loyal Byzantine forces there and separate Italy from the control of Constans II. First Muslim naval raid against Sicily, 652 1b. Islamic fleets plundered the Sicilian coast for the first time. The governor of Syria Muawiya b. Abi-Sufyan sent his namesake Muawiya b. Khudayj to raid Sicily. A fleet of 200 ships originating from distant Syria commanded by the latter was the first to explore the possibilities that the great island offered. The expedition was a simple reconnaissance and, (says Ahmad) after facing the troops of the exarch of Ravenna Olympios, it retired undisturbed. An epidemic broke out in the Byzantine forces and killed Olympios; but the Arabs could not gain much success and returned to Syria with some booty and captives (Ahmad p.2; Kennedy 2008: 332). Others are sceptical, noting that the sole source for Olympius taking an army to Sicily against the Arabs is the Liber Pontificalis: A. Stratos, "The exarch Olympius and the supposed Arab invasion of Sicily in AD 652', Jahrbuch der Osterreichischen Byzantinistik 25 (1976), pp. 63-73. - See 667. 2. d. Lombard king Rothari, last Arian Christian king of N Italy, and one of the most energetic. From this time, all Lombard kings will be Catholic (Collins 1991: 198). After this time Byzantine officials could no longer use Catholic orthodoxy as a rallying cry against the heretic Lombards.

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652-53: 1a. Armenia: Constans was greatly attached to Armenia. He marshalled his forces and at the age of 21 led them (652) in person to the East. Neither a plot in the capital by the Armenian commander of the Army of Thrace nor a raid on Cilicia by Mu'awiyah distracted the emperor from his campaign. He subjugated both Armenia and Iberia before returning to the capital to punish the plotters. Even when Mu'awiyah sent an army to restore Theodore Rshtuni the next year, the Byzantine commander Maurianus kept a hold on much of Armenia (Treadgold 1997). 1b. Truce between Constans and the Muslim governor of Syria, Mu'awiyah. Armenia briefly passed to Arab suzerainty, but under a local governor. After a truce with Mu'awiyah, Constans voluntarily surrendered Armenia to the Arabs, who granted it virtual autonomy and appointed Theodore as governor (ostikan). 2. Italy: Olympius' rebellion fell apart after his death in Sicily in 652, and by June of 653 Theodore Calliopas, the new Exarch of Ravenna, serving a second term (653-666), arrived at Rome and fulfilled Olympius' original orders by arresting Pope Martin (Richards, Papacy p.188). See 653 below. 3. S Italy: The old classical name Calabria (Gk for pinetree land) originally meant the Salento peninsula, i.e. the heel or lower Puglia. It became a Byzantine province under that name in about 653, when Martin I Pope, 649-655, mentions it as well-defined political reality; but at this time it still meant both the heel (our Puglia) and the front foot (ancient Bruttium): see 677 concerning the transfer or delimiting of the name. By 653: Arabs control Armenia and Caucasian Iberia [modern Georgia]. 653: 1,000th anniversary of the death of the ancient philosopher Plato, first and greatest of Greek prose writers. 2. The new Exarch of Italy, Theodore Calliopas, descends with his troops from Ravenna to Rome (15 June), arrests the Roman patriarch Martin I, who is taken (18 June) via Messina and Naxos to Constantinople, where he is tried. This is notable for absence of any evidence that the garrison of Rome took the popes side (which in later years it would come to do). The aged and ill pope was almost dead when he arrived at Constantinople (17 September). The patriarch of Rome Martin I: Constans II, thwarted in his plans, sent as exarch Theodore Calliopas (who had earlier served in this office) with orders to bring Martin to Constantinople. Calliopas arrived in Rome on 15 June 653, and, entering the Lateran Basilica two days later, informed the clergy that Martin had been deposed as an unworthy intruder, that he must be brought to 242

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Constantinople and that another was to be chosen in his place. Martin was accused of having corresponded with the Saracens (doubtless the Saracen invaders of Sicily), an well as of being irregularly elected, of changing the faith delivered to the saints, and of showing insufficient reverence to the Virgin Mary (Hodgkin). The proceedings proved awkward because the pope spoke no Greek and his judges no Latin (Richards 1979: 188-90; Hodgkin vol 4). Perhaps influenced by the death of Paul, Patriarch of Constantinople, Constans did not sentence the pope to death, but to exile in the Crimea. He was put on board a ship, 26 March 654 (or 655) and arrived at his destination on 15 May. 3. Rome: Almost simultaneously, by Constans' order the orthodox theologian and critic of monothelitism, the venerable monk Maximus Confessor, aged 73, was arrested in Rome. Maximus has been called 'the last independent thinker in the Eastern church' (Daiches et al. 1969: 200) (presumably for his defiance of the emperor: the phrase Eastern church is an anachronism). The emperor was officially a 'Monothelite', believer in Christ with two dimensions but a single will. In practice he persecuted pope Martin and Maximus probably because they abetted rebellions in Italy and Africa, not because they were orthodox Chalcedonians (Mango, Oxford History 2002: 133). Maximus was possibly born in Palestine, the son of a Samaritan, a weaver by trade, and a one-time Persian slave. Others say he was born a Byzantine blueblood from the capital. He rose to become an aide or personal secretary to emperor Heracles, d. 641. Maximus was subsequently a monk in Carthage and Rome (645). He was brought from Rome to Constantinople, tried and banished to Thrace, then mutilated (654) and exiled to the East [Lazica] where he eventually died (662). (First his tongue was cut out; he continued to spread his opinions by writing letters and then his right hand was cut off and finally, when he persisted in writing with the other hand, his left also was cut off!!) In 645 or 649, after the accession of Martin I, Maximus had gone to Rome, and did much to fan the zeal of the new pope, who in October of that year held the (first) Lateran synod. The bishops anathematized not only the Monothelite doctrine but also the moderating ecthesis of Heraclius and typus of Constans II. About 653 Maximus, for the part he had taken against the latter document especially, was apprehended (together with the pope) by order of Constans and carried a prisoner to Constantinople. In 655, after repeated examinations, in which he strongly maintained his theological opinions, he was banished to Byzia in Thrace. In 662 he was again brought to Constantinople and was condemned by a synod to be scourged, to have his tongue cut out by the root, and to have his right hand chopped off. After this sentence had been carried out, he was again banished to Lazica (Georgia), where he died on 13 August 662 (Encyc. Brit. 1911 edn., vol. 17 p.927). 4. Greece: Lead seals (used to seal official letters): the earliest may be the seal of Constantine, possibly ca. 653/4, an official called apo eparchon [a middle-level court title] and genikos kommerkiarios of Hellas, i.e a state-licensed entreprenuer or official involved in levying taxes on foreign and interregional 243

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trade in the region that is now east-central Greece. Others prefer a date of 698/99 for this seal: Florin Curta, Byzantium in Dark-Age Greece (the numismatic evidence in its Balkan context), Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 29 (2005), at page 42. McEvedy & Jones, Population History, 1978: 113, put the population of Greece within its modern boundaries at some 750,000 people in about 650. Since Byzantium ruled no more than about one-quarter, Byzantine Hellas would have contained only of the order of 185,000 people. 5. Lombard Italians convert from Arian to Catholic Christianity. See below: king Aripert, 653-61. N England: Following the foundation of Lindisfarne in 635 by Saint Aidan, Hiberno-Scottish missionaries helped convert most Anglo-Saxon kings during the following decades; the last pagan Anglo-Saxon king, Arwald of the Isle of Wight, was killed in battle in 686. 653/54: 1. Caucasia: The Christian princes negotiate with the Muslims. In spite of Constans II's attempts to regain Armenia in 647, the local princes, aware of the uncertainty of the Byzantine position, of Byzantine bureaucratic highhandedness, and of their own religious separateness, turn, under the leadership of Theodore R'shtuni, to the Arab invaders. A peace was concluded by Theodore of Armenia and the future Caliph Mu'awiya in 653/4 that recognised Armenia as an autonomous tributary state. At the same time, Stephen II of Iberia accepted Saracen suzerainty, Tiflis becoming an Arab enclave, and so also did Juansher or Javanshir of Albania. The three Caucasian states now formed one viceroyalty of the Caliphate (designated as Arminiya), Dvin being the seat of the viceroys. Cyril Toumanoff Armenia and Georgia: Chapter XIV in The Cambridge Medieval History, vol. IV The Byzantine Empire part I (Cambridge, 1966) pp. 593-637. 2. The East: A second Arab invasion of Cyprus took place (654) that devastated the island again. This time, however, a large garrison or salaried occupation force of 12,000 men (or more likely: fewer than that) was left in Cyprus, and mosques were built, an indication of the Caliph Uthmans (or Muawiyahs) intention to incorporate it into the Muslim world. See 683. The Arabs re-conquer Cyprus, sack Rhodes [Gk Rodhos] and Kos (654) and pillage Crete. The Muslim fleet is said to have consisted of 500 ships and carried 12,000 regulars or professional soldiers [av. just 24 per ship: suggesting that most of the vessels were small galleys or boats] (Kennedy 2008: 326). The Arabs are supposed (the tradition is doubtful) to have broken up and removed the bronze remains of the already long-fallen Colossus of Rhodes (presumably after melting it down). Thus Theophanes, AM 6142, and the 10th C scholar-emperor Constantine VII state that Muawiyah destroyed the Colossus 244

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of Rhodes (but it had already fallen in BC 226), and led an expedition against Constantinople, and ravaged Ephesos, Halikarnassos and Smyrna with the rest of Ionia: Const. Porph., DAI 20; also Theophanes, TCOT: 44. According to the latter, the bronze of the fallen Colossus was taken away to Syria on 900 camels (one imagines via Asia Minor). Now camels can carry from 90 to 300 kg; and 150 kg may be considered a reasonable load for a long distance (sources and discussion in Colin Adams, Land transport in Roman Egypt: a study of economics and administration in a Roman province, Oxford University Press, 2007, p.80). Thus the bronze carried away represented some 900 x 150 or 135,000 kg, i.e. 135 metric tons. That is more than the weight of the copper in the very thin-skinned Statue of Liberty (27 or 28 metric tons; vs total weight including steel inner frame of 204 m.t.: www.nps.gov/stli/historyculture/statuestatistics). The Colossus was originally 32 or 33 metres high compared with 33.86 (heel to top of head) for Liberty. East Roman Marines 2. Asia Minor: John Haldon, 1984: 239, 253, would date the creation of the naval, or better maritime, Theme of Caravisians or Karabisianoi [ , with pronounced as v] to this time (Haldon, Praetorians; also his Transformation 1990: 217). Toynbee places it even earlier. Treadgold prefers a little later. See 659/662. The commander was the stratghs ton Karvon (commander of the ships) or ton Karavisiann (of the marines, lit. ship-men). The Karabisians were a force of Romanic/Byzantine marines based in S Asia Minor; according to Treadgold, they were transported in ships that were rowed by oarsmen of the central or imperial fleet. That is to say, there was no separate fleet dedicated to the Karabisians. Or it might be better to say that the navy was a unitary force at this time and in the 650s its marines, the Karabisians, received lands in Asia Minor. The oldest surviving text in which they are mentioned dates to 687, in a letter to the pope from the emperor (Toynbee 1973: 324; cf Treadgold 1995: 29, 72-73). 653-61: r. Lombard-Italian king Aripert I, first Catholic-baptised king of Pavia. He attempted to proscribe Arianism, which was still the majority faith among his subjects or at least among the ethnic Lombards among his subjects. Even the Arian bishop of the Lombard capital, Ticinum (Pavia), converted (Richards, Popes p.43). Catholicism would triumph fully by the end of the century. Cf next. 653-72: Recceswith, Visigothic king of Spain. His votive crown has survived, held today at Madrids Arch. Museum; illus. in Rice 1965: 181. The votive crown was one of three discovered in 1858 near Toledo. The Visigoths were converted to Catholic Christianity in this period (from Arian Christianity). 654: 245

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1. Tunisia: 1st Muslim naval raid on Byzantine North Africa (Ibn Abd alHakam, cited by Heck 206: 308). Or in 655, following the Battle of the Masts (below). 2a. Armenia: Constans II launched his second offensive (Treadgold 1997: 313). Supported by the Mamikonids and the Bagratids, he overran a great part of Armenia, while the Princes of Iberia, Albania and Siunia sided with Theodore R'shtuni. The Emperor marched (late 653) with a large army to Armenia and proceeded, somewhat forcibly, to re-establish religious unity. Mass was celebrated at Dvin using the Chalcedonian liturgy. The emperor then returned (probably early 654) to Constantinople leaving the army in Armenia under general Maurianus (see next: 2b). 2b. Asia Minor and Armenia: Muawiyah sends help to Theodore Rshtuni. In a wide-ranging campaign, an Arab army of 7,000 under Habib b. Maslama plundered Ancyra, took Trebizond and Theodosiopolis, and drove the forces of the Byzantine general Maurianus out of Armenia and into the Caucasus; or morely WNW to the Black Sea coast (Sebeos, ed. Greenwood p.272; vs Treadgold 1997: 313). Armenia remained under Muslim domination for a further 200 years. 2c. Present-day Georgia: The caliphate establishes a subordinate emirate at Tbilisi (Ar. al-Tefelis). See 655. The Armenian writer Sebeos, text online at http://rbedrosian.com/seb11.htm, records in detail a supposed Arab attack on the Byzantine capital in 654, which ended in disastrous failure. (Cf below: presumably, if it occurred at all, the attack took place in 655 in the aftermath of the Battle of the Masts.) No parallel accounts are known, and Sebeos' report has not been universally accepted. Yet Sebeos, otherwise known to be a reliable author, was writing only shortly after the supposed event. The event is plausible in its historical context. Allusions to it in several historical sources may well be remnants of written records, parallel to Sebeos' account, which disappeared after the condemnation of Monotheletism in 680-1. Indirect evidence of the attack from several other Christian sources and, to a lesser degree, from the Islamic tradition also perhaps confirms Sebeos' report. Cf next: Battle of the Masts. 654-55: 1. The deposed patriarch of Rome or Pope, Martin, is sent from Constantinople to exile in the Crimea, where he dies (655). 2. Arab attack fails to reach Constantinople: The combined Egyptian and Syrian fleets under Abd Allah ibn Sad (Egypt) and Busr ibn-abi Artah (Syria) sailed, or rowed, from Tripoli in Lebanon to the coast of Asia Minor and into the Aegean. As we have seen, Ephesus, Smyrna (modern Izmir) and Halicarnassus were then ravaged (654), and the islands of Rhodes and Cos taken, but the expedition proved abortive (Kennedy 2008: 326; Gregory, Byzantium p.183; 246

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Foss, Ephesus, p.105, citing Constantine Porphyrogenitus). Arab and Armenian forces (pursuing Maurianus) meanwhile sacked Trebizond, the imperial city on the NE Black Sea coast. Cf 657. Then, in 655, came the first serious defeat of the imperial navy, personally commanded by Constans, in a naval battle off Phoenix or Phoinikous*, southwest of Attaleia-Antalya. In Arabic it is "Dhat al-sawari", the "Battle of the Masts" [655]. Tabari, trans. Humphreys 1990: 74. This was the first and only time that a Byzantine emperor personally commanded the fleet (Cosentino 2008: 577). Although tactically a major Muslim victory, the result was that the Arabs failed to continue on to Constantinople; in that sense it was a strategic failure. Probably for that reason it receives an extended discussion in the Arabic sources (cf James Howard-Johnston Witnesses to a World Crisis: Historians and Histories of the Middle East in the Seventh Century, Oxford University Press, 2010 p.377). (*) In the gulf today called Finike Korfezi on the western bump of the southern Turkish coast, SSW of Antalya. Finike is also the name of a town on the western side of the gulf, between Rhodes and Antalya: nearer the latter. Not to be confused with the port of Phoinix in the Rhodian Peraia, i.e. modern Fenaket, or in other words on the mainland coast immediately north of Rhodes. Battle of the Masts, 655 (or possibly in the summer of 654) We have several detailed reports about the course of the battle, but it is difficult to interpret them (cf Kennedys discussion, 2008: 327). The main source, the Chronicle of Theophilus, was also re-used in the Kitb al-unwn by the Arabic Christian writer Agapius (Mahbub ibn Qustantin, ca. 950). Muslim tradition is different and depends on other sources than Theophilus. It counts against the Muslim accounts that none of authors handing down to us some account of the battle (al-Wkid, al-Kind, al-Baldhur, al-Tabar, al-Hakm) wrote before the second half of the ninth century or the beginning of the tenth. The battle was fought off southern Asia Minor. It was a decisive Muslim victory over the imperial navy and saw the near death-flight of Constans II. The name derives from the fact that the Arabs chained their ships together to prevent their line being broken (Tabari, ed. Humphreys p.74, says they yoked their spars to the enemy ships). This was the first real hammer-blow to the maritime integrity of the Mediterranean. It opened the central Sea to Muslim attack, even if the Muslims did suffer heavily in it and Cyprus reverted to Byzantine rule under a treaty in 659 (Dromon p.25). Battle of the Masts: Recognising the threat, Constans gathered a large fleet and attacked the smaller Muslim force of 200 ships commanded by the governor of 247

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Egypt, Ibn Abi Sarh [Abdullah bin Sa'ad bin Abi'l Sarh] at Phoenix - present-day Finike on the SW coast of Turkey - in 655. The Muslim ships were crewed mainly by Christian Egyptians (Copts); the fighting was done by the Muslim-Arab soldiers on board. Constans suffered a severe defeat and was forced to flee to Constantinople. Theophanes says that the Byzantines were defeated because the emperor did not arrange his fleet in proper battle order; but this may just reflect his hostility to Constans. Constans assembled a fleet of supposedly "500 or 600" ships (500 in Tabari; one Arab source even says 1,000) in the Sea of Marmara. The fleet then sailed down the Asia Minor coast and moored in Finike Bay. Whatever the number, and 50 would be more plausible*, it was the most powerful imperial fleet the Muslims had ever known (Kennedy 2008: 327-28). Evidently the emperor, still only 24 years old, commanded in person because of the seriousness of the threat: he knew (says Theophanes) that the Muslims were sailing to attack Constantinople itself; or, as others propose, he was seeking to frustrate the Muslim threat to North Africa [cf 662-63: Constans expedition to Sicily]. (*) Treadgold, Army 1995: 75, has proposed that in the mid seventh century the imperial navy comprised some 19,000 oarsmen and 4,000 dedicated marines in all. Now the standard bireme war-galley had a complement of 108 oarsmen.** If the entire navy was made up of this type, we would have 176 warships. Or, if we allow for some larger and smaller types, 19,000 men would have been sufficient to man (say) 15 large galleys, 88 biremes and 126 small monoreme galleys, for a total of 229 vessels. Or again, allocating a body of 36 marines to each ship (a standard number in later centuries***), we get only 111 ships . . . Even if many civilian craft were commandeered, we are still a very long way from 500. (**) Hocker in Gardiner 2004: 94 notes that standard dromons had 100 or 108 oarsmen while the larger type (chelandion and dromon proper) had 200 rowers. Also Starr, Roman Imperial Navy p.53. (***) John Morrison & Robert Gardiner, The age of the galley: Mediterranean oared vessels since pre-classical times, Conway, 1995, p.114. At Finike Bay the Romanic-Byzantine fleet had sheltered moorings, access to fresh water, food and communications, and here it awaited news of the Arab fleet. In due course the two fleets met off the port of Finike, in a battle called in the Muslim sources "Dhat al-Sawari" or the Battle of the Masts. The battle raged with bows and arrows, and then, when the Muslim fleet tied itself to the Christian one (or more likely: to itself), it was decided with spears and swords. The longest Arab account of the battle, that of al-Hakam [d. 871], implies that the Byzantines would have won if the Arabs had not managed to turn it into a hand-to-hand fight (Kennedy p.328). The Romaic fleet of 500 ships was 248

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all but destroyed, and the emperor, who was wounded, escaped by exchanging his imperial uniform with a common sailor who was subsequently killed. The Battle of the Masts in Finike Bay was, if we discount the clash off Alexandria in 652, the first naval victory in the history of Islam. Fortunately for Constans, civil war between Muawiyah and Ali broke out following the murder of Othman (656). The emperor was able to negotiate a tenuous treaty with Muawiya in 659 that lasted until 661/2. This allowed Constans to refocus his attention on the Balkans. 655: E Asia Minor: As vassals of the Caliph, the Armenians had to provide an army of 15,000 cavalrymen for the Arabs. T'oros R'atuni [Theodore Rshtuni] received (652) the office of >>marzban (governor) of Armenia, Georgia and Aghwank<<, as the first Armenian governor for the Arabs, and participated in an Arab offensive against Byzantine Theodosiopolis [Erzurum] in 655. They thoroughly sacked Byzantine Trebizond (Haldon 1990: 110). See 657 below. 655: Anglo-Saxon England: d. Penda, last pagan king of Mercia, the central-western realm. Christianity was first introduced into Mercia, through Irish and Northumbrian influence, in the 650s. (Ireland of course had been Christianised during the 400s; Northumbria during the early 600s.) From 655: Britain: Contest for dominance between the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of (already Christian) Northumbria and (post-pagan) Mercia eventually won by the latter, 679. The Romano-Celtic Christian kingdoms of Wales and Strathclyde, also the Christian Scots (the Irish of western Scotland, Dal Riata) and Christian Picts, generally succeeded in holding back the Anglo-Saxons in this period. 655-58: Byzantium paid "tribute" money to the Muslim Khalifate in return for peace. A formal treaty of peace was struck in 659. From 656: Caliph 'Uthman is killed, 17 June 656. This leads to a Muslim civil war or First Fitna until 661. The elected caliph Ali, the Prophets cousin and son-in-law, is challenged by Muhammads widow and the Umayyad clan under Muawiya ('Uthman's cousin). Cf 659. Ali ibn Abi Talib, aged about 57, was a cousin of the prophet, also son-in-law by virtue of his marriage to Muhammad's daughter, Fatima. Ali moved (January 657) the Muslim capital from Medina to Kufa in todays southern Iraq. His sons were Husayn (killed near Karbala in 680: a great martyr for the Shiites) and Hasan (who died in 669). 656: 249

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(or 658:) Thrace: Constans II began attacking the pagan Slavs, first in the hinterland of Constantinople in 656/7. The sources are Theophanes, Elias of Nisibis, and Agapios of Manbij. See 658. Constans is known to have made an expedition, in 657-658 according to Theophanes (Treadgold says in 658), into Sclavinia [meaning Thrace and perhaps NE Greece], and he took many prisoners, and subdued the land; or brought many people under his control (TCOT: 46: variant translations). A military expedition, possibly as far as the Greek peninsula, in 656/7 was directed perhaps against the Slavs living along the N Aegean coast and its hinterland, i.e. Thrace, and perhaps the sector of Macedonia to the north-east of Thessalonica. His aim seems to have been not to make conquests but to protect the empires remnant of southern Thrace by weakening the Slavs on its border (Treadgold 1997: 315). During this expedition, apart from outright military conquest, Constans II inaugurated a new imperial policy by transferring many of the subjugated Slavs to Asia Minor. See 687. Greece: Some even contend that Corinth was recovered - from the Onogur Bulgars - by Constans in 657-658. 656-61: Asia Minor: New fortress-villages, or the retreat to the acropolis. It was probably in this period, in the breathing space offered by the Muslim civil war, that a small new citadel was built at Ancyra (Ankara). It was erected within the old city walls using spolia - outtakes, removed material - robbed from the old city. At just 487,500 sq m: about 700 x 700 m, which is only 120 acres or 49 hectares, it could probably accommodate, if tightly packed in, only about 2,000 families. And yet Ancyra was one of the most important settlements in all of Byzantine Asia (Haldon 1990: 113, citing al-Tabari and Foss). When the Theme system came into place (see 659-62), Ancyra becomes the seat of the strategos [general-governor-commander] of the Opsikion theme; when the Opsikion was later broken up, Ancyra will become the capital of the new Bucellarion theme (Treadgold 1997: 321). Likewise in the later 600s at Sardis in east-central Asia Minor, a new fortress was built on the acropolis with spolia from the old city lower down. It was done professionally, so not constructed by private enterprise on the part of the local peasants but more probably by the state, using the army (Whittow, Making of Byz. pp.122-23). 657: a. The East: Taking advantage of the Muslim civil war, a Byzantine army (briefly) re-established imperial influence in Christian Armenia, which had hitherto been dominated by the Caliphate. Arab authority was restored by 661 (Whittow, The Making p.210). b. Pontus and Armenia: Constantine of Mananalis (a town near Samosata), an Armenian calling himself Silvanus, founded what appears to be the first Paulician (dualist) community at Kibossa, near Colonia in western Armenia [SW of Trebizond]. He began to teach in about 657. Having preached for 27 years and 250

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having spread his sect into the western part of Asia Minor, Constantine-Silvanus was arrested (684) by the Imperial authorities (by Symeon), tried for heresy and stoned to death. See 684. The doctrines of the Paulicians are summarised as follows in Adrian Fortescue, "Paulicians" in The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 7 Jun. 2009 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11583b.htm>. The cardinal point of the Paulician heresy is a distinction between the God who made and governs the material world and the God of heaven who created souls, who alone should be adored. . . . They rejected the Old Testament; there was no Incarnation, Christ was an angel sent into the world by God, his real mother was the heavenly Jerusalem. His work consisted only in his teaching; to believe in him saves men from judgment. The true baptism and Eucharist consist in hearing his word, as in John 4:10. . . . They rejected St. Peter's epistles because he had denied Christ. They referred always to the "Gospel and Apostle", apparently only St Luke and St. Paul. For the Paulicians (here we follow the Wikipedia editors) there are two principles, two kingdoms. The Evil Spirit is the author of, and lord of, the present visible world; the Good Spirit, of the future world. The Paulicians accepted the four Gospels; fourteen Epistles of Paul; the three Epistles of John; the epistles of James and Jude; and an Epistle to the Laodiceans, which they professed to have. They rejected the Tanakh, also known as the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament, as well as the Orthodox-Catholic title Theotokos ("Mother/birth-giver of God"), and refused all veneration of Mary Or at least that is one view. On another view, they are better distinguished by their rejection of paedobaptism (infant baptism), their rejection of ecclesiastical hierarchy, their opposition to the worship of idols and icons, and their emphasis on salvation by faith through grace. Muslim Civil War: Battle of Siffin, 657: fought by the armies of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the Prophets cousin and son-in-law, and Muawiyah, a brother-inlaw of the Prophet and Governor of Syria since 640, on the banks of the Euphrates river, in what is now Syria. Ali and Muawiyahs general, the elderly Amr ibn al-As (in his earlier and future career the conqueror of Egypt: see next), were fighting for control of the Caliphate, and the right to lead the growing Muslim empire. However, the battle was indecisive. See 661. 658: Amrs third conquest of Egypt. The ageing (ca. 85 years old) general Amr b. al-As, who had won, lost and re-won Roman Egypt for the Muslims in 641 and 645-46, was sent back by Muawiya to take the province from the supporters of Muawiyas rival Ali. 658-59: 1. (or 656:) Thrace: Taking advantage of the respite in war with the Caliphate, Constans leads the first serious campaign or punitive expedition against the Slavs 251

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in 50 years. The emperor invaded Sklavinia, meaning the regions occupied by Slavs including outer Thrace, and defeated numerous tribes (TCOT: 46). Large numbers of Slav captives were transported (probably in 659-60; certainly before 665: see there) to Asia Minor, evidently to serve in the imperial army. He forced or persuaded the conquered tribes to resettle in Asia Minor and probably began recruiting captive Slavs into his Asian forces. It is hard to see, as Somogyi notes, that resettlement could have happened without the Slavs cooperation, so many or all of the males presumably volunteered or agreed to become Thematic farmersoldiers (NCMH p.299; Peter Somogyi, Byzantine coins, in Florin Curta & Roman Kovalev, eds., The other Europe in the Middle Ages: Avars, Bulgars, Khazars, and Cumans, Brill, 2008 p.134;). 2. The East: Judging that the empire has recovered its strength a little and well aware of the Arab civil war, Constans aks for and receives payment of tribute from the Caliphate at 1,000 gold coins per day (TCOT: 46). Cf 659. 659: Peace treaty: The claimant caliph Muawiyah, embroiled in civil war with the Prophets nephew Ali, paid a large tribute of 1,000 gold coins a day to Byzantium to avoid an external war (TCOT: 46; Treadgold 1997: 315). Cyprus reverted to Byzantine rule. Cf 661. This allowed Constans to focus his efforts on Europe: see 662-63. It also gave him the opportunity to organise the several armies posted across Asia Minor into Themes or provinces with resident soldier-farmers holding tax-exempt land in return for military service: see below under 659-62. 659: Midpoint in the Lombard period of Italian history: halfway from their arrival in Italy to their final capture of the imperial capital, Ravenna. The Byzantine Dark Age: Contraction of trade and a transition to exchange in kind There was no radical break in trade, but the period 550-700 saw a relentless contraction of the economic networks inherited from Antiquity (Loseby in NCMH vol. 1, pp.616, 639). A feature of the seventh century was the constant decline in the weight of the standard copper coin called the follis, which decreased from an average 12 gm under Phokas (d. 610) to 3.60 gm* by ca. 660, while its value in carats slid from 120 to 140 in 621 and perhaps 196 by ca. 660. Each particular debasement of the weight and nominal value of the follis was related to political and military vicissitudes. (*) Cf weights of modern Australian coins: five cents, 2.83 gm; 10 cents, 5.65 gm; and 20 cents, 11.3 gm. Ccile Morrisson has noted that the fall in the purchasing power of low-value coinage can be followed with certainty, albeit too imperfectly, in the documents

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and is marked by the progressive disappearance of the subdivisions of the follis. The follis, the largest of the copper coins, was worth 40 nummi or 1/288 of a nomisma in Justinian Is time. (This is approximate since the actual weight and hence the relative values of coins fluctuated at different times.) There were no nummi after emperor Maurice, d. 602, and the last pentanoummia - coins worth five nummi* - were those of Constantine IV, d. 685. Morrisson, in Laiou ed. 2002. (*) Copper coinage varied considerably during different periods: one Nomisma or Solidus = 2 Semissis = 3 Tremissis = 7,200 Nummus = ~180 to ~300 Folles (depending on the period) = 12 Miliresia. The lesser copper coinage, used for trade, virtually disappears after 658 in archaeological sites, and copper coins do not reappear in Anatolian sites until the 800s (Haldon 1984: 226). The gold coinage continued: it was used mainly for paying state taxes and such state salaries as were still being paid. Morrisson: A few examples sum up the well-known and frequently commented-on monetary gap that reveals the process of decline and impoverishment whereby towns were reduced to the role of places of refuge: at Ankyra, no coins found that were minted between Constans II [d. 668] and a single follis of Leo IV [d. 780]; at Aphrodisias [inland SW Asia Minor] no coins between Constans II and Theophilos [acc. 829]; at Pergamon, none between 715 and 820; at Kenchreai [Corinth], nothing between Constans II and Leo VI [acc. 886]; and in the Albanian finds, no bronze pieces between 668 and 802. See next. Even in peaceful Carthage, where there was some limited new building after the Byzantine conquest (AD 534), the new quarters were filled with rubbish and huts already by the early seventh century. From the mid 600s the city suffered what has been described as a monumental meltdown: shacks clustered into the circus and the round harbour was abandoned (Wickham 2005: 641; Kennedy, Conquests p.203). The Creation of the Themes (Themata) 659-662: Probable date, following Haldon and Treadgold, of the re-organisation of the army and CREATION OF THE FIRST THEMES, Gk themata: literally emplacements: provincial armies organised around military land-holdings. Their commanders, called strategoi (singular strategos)* held civil power over the province as well as military command. Haldon 1990: 217 prefers a date of by the mid-650s, but he and Treadgold agree that this happened before Constans departure for Italy (661-62). The date is drawn partly from numismatic evidence: copper coins effectively disappear by 668, reflecting the near abolition of soldiers salaries (Haldon 1990: 226, citing Hendy). (*) The Opsikion commander was titled Komes (count). 253

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The first themes were those of: (1) the Opsician or Opsikion, extending from inner Thrace across to NW Asia Minor: HQ in Ancyra/Ankara in Asia Minor; (2) the Armeniac in NE Anatolia with its seat at Euchaita, todays Avkhat, S of Sinope; (3) Anatolics [Anatoliko, Anatolikon], HQ at Amorium; and (4) the Thracesians [Thraksioi] in SW Asia Minor, ruled from inland Chonae. And in the southern Aegean: (5) the naval or 'marine' theme of the ship troops or Karabisianoi or Caravisiani with its meropolis kai archon or command-post and leader situated probably at Samos in the eastern Aegean. Haldon 2001: 66 suggests that Rhodes was the first seat of the Karabisians. Somewhat later by 695 eastern Greece was separated from the administration of the Caravisian theme and constituted as the theme of Hellas (Toynbee p.260; Haldon, Transformation p.217; Treadgold 1997). The Carabisians were fighting men (marines), not unarmed oarsmen. They seem to have been transported by the central fleet until 687, when they received their own dedicated oarsmen. Karabis was the name of a type of ship; hence karabisianoi, ship-man, ship-borne soldiers. The marines held farmlands in eastern Greece, the Aegean islands and S Anatolia. Carabisian": from carabos or karabis, a type of ship (Baynes p.304; Treadgold Army p.23). In late Greek is pronounced as v, hence in Latin form the name becomes Caravisiani. The navy commander was the stratghs ton Karvon (general of the ships) or ton Karavisiann (of the shipmen). Also new walls were built or re-built at many Asian towns, including Ephesus, Pergamum, Sardis in the west: see 660, and Ancyra in the centre, the seat of the Opsikion: cf above, under 659. Often the new walls were built around a citadel or acropolis; thus these centres now became large fortress-villages. The Byzantine navy had bases in the lower Aegean (Samos, Kos and Rhodes) and in southwest Asia Minor. The seat of the senior Byzantine naval commander [strategia ton kara on*, command of the ships] was, as we have said, probably at Samos (Treadgold 1995: 73 and 1997: 935, citing Charanis). The Kara isianoi* (Greek for ship-men: marines) are first mentioned in the 680s, but a permanent fleet probably existed from about 656 (created following a heavy loss at sea to the Muslims in 655 in which Constans almost lost his life: see Cosentino 2008). (*) In medieval Greek the letter beta ( ) was pronounced as we pronounce v, so Karavisianoi. Basileus = vassilefs, etc. There were some 19,000 oarsmen and 4,000 marines in all (Treadgold 1995: 75). The largest known crew of a dromon (literally runner: war-galley) is 230 oarsmen and 70 marines; but this type was probably rare in the seventh century. An ordinary crew numbered 108 oarsmen (bireme galleys: 4 x 27 oars). There

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were also smaller monoreme types (galaia) with 2 x 25 oars. Thus 19,000 oarsmen were enough to man as many as 21 large types, 88 medium types and 95 small types, for a total of, say, 204 vessels. Alternatively, if we calculate using 36 marines per ship (a figure known from a later period*), we obtain 111 dromons as the core of the fleet (and 111 x 108 = 11,988 oarsmen: leaving some 7,000 for the other types, large and small). (*) John Morrison & Robert Gardiner, The Age of the Galley: Mediterranean oared vessels since pre-classical times, Conway, 1995, p.114. Island Fortresses Morrisson & Sodini, in Laiou ed. 2002, note that, unlike the continental regions and the Balkans in particular, certain islands demonstrated a considerable vitality during the seventh century. The clearest cases are Samos and Chios off the coast of western Asia Minor. In their opinion, the two undoubtedly functioned as places of refuge, as did the little islands of the Saronic Gulf on the other side of the Aegean: to the north-east of the Peloponnesus. But unlike these islands, Samos and Chios also played an important strategic role, as is demonstrated by the fortress of Emporio - Gk Emborios, at the southern tip - on Chios, built probably in the 640s. Military expenditures must have stimulated the regional economy, a conclusion for which there is evidence in the plentiful coinage and coin finds of Constans II. A maritime theme of Hellas, or theme of the Helladikoi: our east or SE Greece, was later formed by separation from the Carabisians. It is first mentioned in 695 but was probably formed in 689 (Fine 1991: 71; Treadgold 1995: 26). Others propose in 662: see below for the emperors visit to Athens and Corinth in that year. Administratively, Athens was part of the theme of Hellas whose capital was (probably) Thebes. However, it can perhaps be deduced from an inscription on one of the columns in the Parthenon and concerning the death of Leo, strategos [general-governor-commander] of the theme of Hellas, in August 848, that Athens may have become the seat of the theme during the first half of the ninth century. Soldier-Farmers, Military Lands, Salaries and Equipment The soldiers of the Themes, or marines in the case of the Carabisians, received extensive land grants and equipment. In return - and despite the windfall in Arab gold: see above, 659, - their cash pay was reduced by half. That is, military pay was halved again. Probably 20 nomismata until 616, it was then reduced to 10, and now to just five nomismata per year. This was offset by giving soldiers generous land grants (Treadgold Army p.145). Treadgold, 1997: 317, has proposed that as much as a fifth of all the arable land of Anatolia was granted to soldiers. As Haldon notes, 1990: 227, the size of the district allotted to each theme or 255

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army shows that land-grants were taken into account from the beginning. The forces occupying the more fertile regions, e.g. the Thrakesion, received smaller districts overall, while the Armeniakon and other less fertile regions were larger. (He thinks planning began in the 640s, with full implementation in the 650s.) The thmata or Themes were made up of stratites, farmer-soldiers assigned to the defence of their own military province, the Theme, but also called up as required for expeditionary forces. The advantages were that the State did not need to maintain a significant standing army, as the stratites provided or at least they maintained their own equipment, and horses for the cavalrymen. And these militiamen or semiprofessional soldiers would defend their own province, knowing why and for what they were fighting. Also, the army was in effect reproduced naturally, the themes supplying the Empire with a regular and constant flow of soldiers. Internally, this class of farmer-militiamen would serve to counterbalance the influence of the magnates, the large landowners, whose power and greed threatened the small-scale farming class while defying the central authority and its tax collectors. The stratites were, as Alain Ducellier says, "representatives of families who were exempted from military taxes but required to register their goods on a specific tax roll, known as the stratiotic, and created to ensure a cavalry and infantry force" (Byzantines, history and culture, p.109). The cavalrymen at least were far from being poor peasants. The land of an average thematic cavalryman would have supported many families; and required probably at least seven men to work it, perhaps up to 30 men (Treadgold, Army pp.174-75). The land-grant to a cavalryman was worth at least four pounds (Roman litrae) of gold or 288 nomismata in the 10th Century. This could buy 144 acres [58 hectares] of plough-land, enough to support a half-dozen families of relatives, tenants, hired hands or slaves.* It was they who produced the cavalrymen's food, horses and fodder (Treadgold State 1997: 381) As Treadgold remarks, a man with seven or more tenants, or relatives, and hired hands and slaves working for him was not needed constantly on his farm and could be called up for service at any time (Army 1995: 175). As Browning notes, p.83, the actual soldier might or might not be the owner of the military holding; often he was the owner's son. The holding of a cavalryman had to supply not just the soldier himself but also two horses and presumably a groom. (*) The sentimental but wholly false view is that Christianity abolished slavery. To the contrary, although the church sometimes discouraged it, slavery continued through the whole history of Byzantium. But there is no certain example known of a slave plantation in Italy after about 300. From that time nearly all rural workers were free or unfree tenants; chattel slaves and wage labourers were quite uncommon in the post-Antique era (Wickham 2005: 275-77; also Guglielmo: Cavallo, Byzantines, University of Chicago Press, 1997, p.63). 256

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References to wage labourers occur continuously from the seventh century to the end of the Byzantine period. The number is never specified, and their occupation only rarely; they can be woodcutters, shepherds, or millers and employed in agricultural work on a seasonal or permanent basis. But the greater part of the arable land, whether in the context of estate or village, was not cultivated by wage labourers but by the family head himself with the help of his wife and children, who constituted a hearth (Lefort in Laiou ed., 2002: 242). The stratites or farmer-soldiers seem to have been required to supply their own arms and equipment, but they may have done so by purchasing them from licensed dealers called commerciarii (Gk: kommerkiarioi). Constans seems to have relied on an expanded system of state warehouses (apothekai) that accepted goods as well as money in exchange (Treadgold 1997: 316, 381; maps in Ragia 2009). Thus thematic troops may have purchased their equipment by bartering farm goods or animals, not by spending money, for the commerciarii were middlemen who also dealt in silk, gold and slaves.* Alternatively** the kommerkiarioi may have levied weapons and clothing etc from local producers and craftsmen as a kind of tax. If the latter, then the weapons and clothing etc were probably issued at the regular musters of each themes troops (Hendy; also Treadgold, Army pp.182 ff vs Haldon, Transformation 1990: 240). (*) A correlation between the presence of seals and absence of coins has been noted by Archibald Dunn. He suggests that the presence of kommerkiarioi made sense only where and when taxes and payments to the army had not (yet) been converted into cash and were made largely in kind. Dunn, 1993: 14. (**) Efi Ragia (2009: 197) has identified four theories about the kommerkiaroi: 1. they were nodes in the silk trade, operated by business men as subcontractors to the state, who also collected taxes; or 2. they were supply points for the army: whence supplies, arms and weapons were distributed; or 3. (a variant of 2) they were exchange-points where the Thematic soldier-farmers could exchange agricultural produce for weapons; and 4. they were the bases used by state officials collecting taxes in kind, which were then used to to supply the army. We may add a fifth: 5. According to Rotman, the kommerkiarioi were officials or rather statelicensed entrepreneurs who collected the taxes on the circulation, not the sale, of goods, including slaves. He proposes that the kommerkion was the name of a tax or customs duty (at 10%) while the apothekai were special bonds levied on traders (Rotman p.69; also Jeffreys et al. 2008: 565, and Laiou & Morrisson 2007). Wickham: [The creation of the Themes] meant that equipment supply became much more cumbersome; and an entire government department, the eidikon, developed to ensure it, with local branches in every theme (Inheritance of Rome p.262; also Haldon, Logistics in Stephenson, ed. World p.52). The eidikon is 257

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often rendered as the treasury; but there were several departments with treasury-like roles. Louth in NCMH p.305 renders the title of the head of the eidikon, the epi ton eidikon, as State Secretary in charge of factories, i.e. supplies and equipment. Oikonomides has referenced two texts from the mid-eighth century, c.750a paragraph in the Ecloga of the Isaurians, and a court decision attributed to Leo III or Constantine V. They refer to soldiers who were owners or joint owners of land, who bought and maintained their armament from the money produced by their land, and who contributed the salary (roga or rhogai) that they earned when on campaign to the family budget. In other words, these men were soldiers from rural areas who relied on their landholdings to maintain themselves. Their status as soldiers may have secured them certain privileges, perhaps diversion of tenant-farmers taxes, to which we have no testimony for the period in question but which are known to us in later times (Oikonomides, Role of the state, in Laiou ed., Economic History of Byzantium 2002). In archaeology there are few coin hoards from this period, either gold or copper, and copper coinage virtually disappears after about 658. This signals a low-point in the empires monetary economy. Salaries for the lower ranks of the bureaucracy were largely discontinued by this time, and, as noted, the state was increasingly financing its military forces with payment in kind: produce, equipment and so on, in place of gold coins. Soldiers continued to be paid partly with gold coins but only every three years or so; there was a rotational payment among the themes (Mango 1980: 73; Haldon 1984: pp. 118, 119, 226; Haldon 1990: 226; also Treadgold 1995: 156). - Not until the 760s were full salaries reintroduced. Road Construction Roads and bridges were usually constructed for military purposes. The road at Sardis, inland from Smyrna in the valley of the Hermos, was constructed or rebuilt by the (thematic) troops of Constans II around 660; it was re-paved (cobblestones set in lime mortar) and had a width of some 15 m. The fortifications of Sardis its acropolis - were repaired at the same time. Anna Avramea, in Laiou et al. eds., Economic History of Byzantium, at www.doaks.org/econhist/ehb05.pdf; also J. Stephens Crawford, The Byzantine Shops at Sardis, Harvard University Press, 1990, p.3. 660: 1. 2nd Muslim naval raid on North Africa (Heck 2006: 308, citing Ibn Abd alHakam). 2. Italy: New permanent mint established at Byzantine Naples, perhaps created by direct order of Constans in 663 (see there); it sporadically issues imperial and post-imperial coinage until 842. Its mint-mark was NE (Neapolis). In 763 Naples will switch from the Eastern emperor as its suzerain to the Latin 258

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patriarch of Rome; the Roman pope first issued his own coins after 772, but Naples continued to use its own Byzantine-style currency. Then in the 820s the local duke began to place his own initials on the coins of Naples in place of the emperors, a clear signal of full independence from the empire. But back to the 600s . Naples is the only living city in southern Italy today which retains a substantial part of its Graeco-Roman street plan, suggesting that it remained a major urban centre throughout the Middle Ages but as a town rather than a city. Recent excavation of the Roman bath in Vico Carminiello ai Mannesi shows that coins and imported foodstuffs continued to arrive in Naples in the mid 7th century (Arthur 1985: 250-5). The foodolive oil and winearrived in amphorae from Byzantine North Africa (19-23% of the sample), distant Muslim-ruled Gaza (1415%) and other parts of the Mediterranean. Arthur 1985. As we shall later see, effectively all trade across the Mediterranean would cease by around 700. 2. Emperor Constans turns 30. 661: 1. Italy: Lombards briefly capture Taranto. Others say it was lost to the Lombards in 658 (Italian Wikipedia, 2009: Storia di Taranto). Cf 662-63: Constans Italian expedition. Damascus replaces Medina as the capital of the Caliphate 2. End of the Muslim civil war. The Kharijites assassinate the Prophet's son-inlaw Ali at Kufa in present-day Iraq; Muawiya is accepted as caliph. This creates the Umayyad dynasty, and the capital is moved from Medina to Damascus. See 663, 665. The Kharijites (seceders or dissenters, as their opponents called them) assassinated Ali, and the Muslim empire was reunited, with Muawiyah elected as Caliph. The Kharijites considered the caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar to be rightly guided but believed that Uthman ibn Affan had deviated from the path of justice and truth in the last days of his caliphate, and hence was liable to be killed or displaced. They also believed that Ali committed a grave sin when he agreed on arbitration to decide whether he or Muawiyah should be caliph. Today Ali is still the one true imam of the Shiites. He was murdered by the Kharijites in Kufa in 661 and buried in the nearby city of Najaf, a major shrine for Shiites. When Ali was assassinated in 661, Mu'awiyah, as commander of the largest force in the Muslim Empire, had the strongest claim to the Caliphate. Ali's son Hasan ibn Ali, after an initial six-month defiance of Mu'awiyah, signed a truce and retired to private life in Medina. According to Shia sources, the conditions of the truce were that after Mu'awiya's death, the Caliphate should return to the Prophet's family. But, on this view, Mu'awiyah violated the truce by ordering the poisoning of Hasan and appointing his own son Yazid [aged 16 in 661] as the next 259

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3. Arab suzerainty was re-established over Armenia. NW Spain, 661: dedication by Recceswith of the church of S. Juan de Banos or Banyos, at Banos de Cerrato, NE of Valladolid, NNW of Madrid, the finest surviving example of Visigothic architecture. 661-671: Italy: King Grimwald or Grimoald I - pinnacle of Lombard power in Italy. He had been duke of Benevento. When the sons of Aripert, d.661, fought among themselves, he intervened and took the throne. Aripert I had ended Arianism at the Pavia court. Monasteries were established at Monza, Milan and Pavia. Aripert divided the Lombard kingdom between his two sons; Pectarit made Milan his seat, while Godepert ruled from Pavia. The Beneventan duke Grimwald, r. 661/622-67, entered Pavia ostensibly to help Godebert but killed him, causing his older brother Perctarit at Milan to flee to the Avars. Under Grimwald the Lombards successfully fought the Franks and the East Romans, the latter personally in the shape of the emperor Constans. See 662-63. 661-80: Caliphate of Muawiyah. c. 662: Arab naval attack on Constantinople? - The Armenian chronicler Sebeos, fl. 662, lived through many of the events that he relates: he maintains that the account of the Arab conquests derives from fugitives 'who had been eyewitnesses thereof' and, speaking of happenings in 652, declares that the Armenian faith has prevailed 'until now'. Gero considers that Sebeos' notice on the launching of a fleet by Mu'awiya to attack Constantinople must refer to 'the great siege in 67478'. But the text describes a single assault rather than a long siege, and the event is clearly to be identified with that reported by a mid-eighth-century Syriac source. Both emphasise that a great force of ships was readied and that the expedition took place in the thirteenth year of Constans (654: or more likely in 655, after the Battle of the Masts). Sebeos concludes with Mu'awiya's ascendancy in the first Arab civil war (656-61), and the above points would suggest that the author was writing very soon after this date." Peter Kirby, External References to Islam (2003) at http://www.christianorigins.com/islamrefs.html#maximus, accessed August 2006. Heck p.308 likewise dates the first naval attack on Constantinople to this period; but gives 663. 662-63: 1. Syria: Mu'awiyah transfers some ex-Sassanian Persian asawira (armoured) cavalry to Antioch and attempts to repopulate the war-torn Amanus mountains, 260

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the borderland with Byzantium, to the north of Antioch (Nicolle, Muslim Conquest p.17). The Amanus range is a spur from the Taurus Mountains of present-day Turkey that extends toward the south, i.e. north of Antioch. Where the Amanus meets the Mediterranean Sea, the deep Bay of Iskenderun (Alexandretta) is formed along its west frontline. See next; also 667. 2. The West: Constans temporarily transfers his headquarters to Sicily, partly in order to shore up the crumbling structure of imperial rule there. Pryor & Jeffreys rightly call this a curious episode (Dromon p.25); certainly it was unique for an emperor to visit the West and stay there. See below for a full account. We may guess that he planned to subjugate the Lombards in Italy and reorganise the defence of Africa against the Arabs, or perhaps he meant just to issue a short, sharp reminder to the barbarians that the empire was still a force to be reckoned with (Richards p.195 vs Haldon 1990: 60). Chris Wickham has noted that Africa was under threat from the Arabs and its loss would leave Sicily as the only, or certainly the preeminent, grain province of the empire.* This may explain what otherwise looks like a quixotic decision to move his capital there (Wickham 2005: 125). Before long, at any rate, the emperor set up a court in Sicily, at Syracuse. Sicily had always (since pre-Roman times) been Greek-speaking; Latin remained the lesser language, especially in the eastern half of the island. Wickham, Italy p.43, had earlier noted that for most of the next 60 years (see 726) there was peace in the north between the Lombards and Byzantium. How much this can be attributed to Constans sojourn in Sicily is unclear. Certainly the struggle continued on the south see 664, Matera, and 668, Brindisi and Taranto. (*) An exceptional cluster of seven seventh-century wrecks off Syracuse would seem to echo the beleaguered Byzantine governments deepening reliance on Sicily to finance the desperate wars against the all-conquering Muslims in these dark decades. McCormick 1998. EMPEROR CONSTANS EXPEDITION TO HELLAS AND ITALY, 662663 The purpose of Constans visit to the West, according to Treadgold (1995: 25 and 1997: 318), was to create Themes there and if possible to defeat the Lombards and Arabs (the latter were encroaching on Byzantine Tunisia: Libyan Tripoli had been taken by the Arabs in 643). Cyril Mango, Oxford History p.133 concurs, saying the emperor wanted to stop the slide of Byzantine Africa and Italy to independence and to distribute land grants to the soldiers there. Louth in NCMH p.300 sees the move to the West as transferring the court nearer to the centre of the beleaguered empire and to create a base in Sicily for the reconquest of the lost regions of peninsular Italy. Richards 1979: 194 imagines Constans aims were 261

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more modest and negative: just to prevent further losses in the West. With troops drawn from the Opsikion army and (probably) the Anatolikon theme (thema)possibly 20,000* men in allConstans II proceeded from Constantinople to Greece and thence to Italy. The emperor was aged 32. (*) At Naples in 663 Constans had under him at least 20,000 armed men and perhaps as many as 30,000: see below. It is possible that the figure of 20,000 included originally unarmed rowers (naval oarsmen) who had been issued with weapons once they arrived in Italy. If so, then the number of specialist land-soldiers may have been as few as 6-7,000. (Which is not so modest: Cf Belisariuss maritime expedition of AD 533, which took place in a much more prosperous age: 30- or 32,000 rowers plus some 18- or 19,000 fighting men: about 50,000 men in all. Treadgold 1995: 90 and 1997: 183. Or the 11- or 12,000 men Henry V of England took across the English channel, ahead of the Battle of Agincourt in 1415: Curry pp.76-78). It would seem less likely that the emperor left Greece with such a large number as 20,000 fighting men. And we may imagine that once he reached Italy, a few local Greco-Italian (imperial) troops would have joined him (cf Brown 1984: 84). Treadgold, 1997: 319, quite reasonably guesses that Constans would have collected some Carabisian marines in Greece. So the numbers sailing to Italy may have been made up something like this: 500 Carabisians, 2,000 Opsikians and 5,000 troops from other themes including the Anatolics. We then add some 12,500+ armed oarsmen and Italian militiamen to reach the 20,000+ that he commanded at Naples. This is of course no better an educated guess. Andrew Ekonomou says that elements of the expeditionary force were drawn from all four themes: the Armeniakon, Anatolikon, Thrakesion and Opsikion (Ekonomou 2007: 169; also 210, 213). (There is partial indirect evidence for this: the father of Pope Conon, born ca. 630, r.686-87, was an officer of the Thrakesion who presumably came to Sicily with Constans in 663: Lib. Pont., trans Davis p.83; Ekonomou p.210.) On the other hand, Treadgold, 1997: 316 (no source referenced) says that the Armeniakon army stayed in the East, as indeed one might expect given the threat there (the first Muslim civil war having just ended). The army commander who accompanied the emperor was an ethnic Armenian named Mizizios or Mezezius, Mzhezh or Mjej in Armenian. He is variously called comes Obsequium or count [commander] of the Opsikion and commander of the Anatolikon (Gellatin 1972: 175; Pertusi, cited by Haldon, Praetorians p.450: the Latin spelling on his coins is Mezezius; Mezetius in Paulus Diaconus; Greek form Mizizios). Although 20,000 menif that truly was the number of troops who departed with Constanswas a very substantial force by the standards of the 7th century, it was not quite the bulk of the Eastern army as Angold 2001: 47 imagines. The

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Opsicians and the Anatolics did indeed, at that time, make up the bulk of the Eastern troops (Treadgold, Army p.74), but, logistics aside, the emperor can hardly have taken all of them (52,000) as the Arabs were constantly making incursions into Asia Minor. Some scholars propose that they sailed (661/62) from Constantinople to Thessalonica, bypassing Slav-controlled territory, while others suggest (relying on the Liber Pontificalis: see reference below to Michael McCormicks book) that the army marched overland to Macedonia. Treadgold believes that they sailed (were rowed): not bothering to clear the land route from Constantinople of Slavs (1997, Ch 9). All agree that the emperor next led his men overland from Thessalonica south to Athens and Corinth, and spent the winter of 662-63 in Athens, as recorded in the Liber Pontificalis and Paul the Deacon (cited by Cordi 1983: 111). The Liber Pontificalis says that the army travelled along the shore to reach Athens (venit de regia urbe per litoraria in Athenas: came from the royal city by the coastal parts to Athens). Also in Paulus Diaconus: Constantinopolym egressus, per littora (through the shores) iter habens Athenas venit. This phraseology does not rule out ship transport, as galleys always hugged the coast, but I think McCormick, 2001: 220, rightly interprets this as overland travel, all the way from Constantinople, via Thessalonica to Athens. One imagines that, as a large army, they just ignored the Slavs, having no need to clear them from their route. McCormick also proposes - I believe wrongly - that the statement means that already the ancient highway, the Via Egnatia, which ran initially from Constantinople to Thessalonica, had been eclipsed, i.e by a land route nearer the shore. This is difficult to follow. The Via Egnatia from Constantinople to Thessalonica (whence it turns west, inland) runs near enough to the coast of Thrace. And the coast would have been followed also, for the most part, through Macedonia and Thessaly, from Thessalonica to Athens; - after all, the usual route south from Thessalonica today, as in ancient times, is mostly coastal. The sojourn at Athens shows that not all of Greece had fallen to the Slavs. His longish stay in Greece may indicate that Constans IIs primary concern was the reconfirmation of Byzantine authority in the areas he visited and the subjugation - but not the expulsion - of the local Slavs. Alternatively the long stay may simply reflect the fact that in the age of the galley navigation during winter was almost always avoided. There is archaeological confirmation of the stay in coin finds. The troops accompanying the emperor left behind a relatively large number of half-folles [bronze coins: worth 1/840th of a gold coin], all minted in a single year (659/60), whereas, with just one exception (Catalogue no. 38), this denomination is not known from anywhere else in the Balkans. The evidence suggests that in Greece or at least in Athens, small change was suddenly put into circulation on the eve of the Italian campaign. The coins seem to cluster along the axis of the Panathenaic Waythe ancient street running NW-SE past the Agora to the Acropoliswhich may indicate the existence of a military or paramilitary encampment on or near the Areopagus [the hill S of the Agora, W of the Acropolis]. thus Curta 2005b. Ekonomou, p.169, has proposed that the maritime theme of Hellas, or theme 263

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of the Helladikoi, our east or SE Greece, was probably formed by Constans at this time, meaning the stationing there of an officer of the rank of strategos with a separate command. (Unlike land soldiers, marines seem not to have received land grants from the state.) This is a minority view. Hellas is first mentioned as a theme in 695, and most scholars think it was not formed until 687 or 689. If so, then in 662 Athens would have been an area of responsibility for the strategos of the Carabisians but with no marines or oarsmen as yet permanently based there (cf Fine 1991: 71; Treadgold 1995: 26, 72). The following year, 663, probably having added some of the Carabisian marines to his army, Constans sailed (rowed), says Paul the Deacon, from Athens. This probably meant from Corinth, or perhaps from Patras, out through the Gulf of Corinth and across the mouth of the Adriatic to Taranto (Treadgold 1997: 319; Haldon, Transformation p.60). There his forces began to attack the Lombards in the duchy of Benevento, under Grimualds son Romuald. King Grimuald himself was in the north, perhaps because he expected Constans to arrive at Ravenna (Ekonomou p.170). Evidence for Constans activity in Italy is meagre, and limited substantially to Paul the Deacon and the Life of Pope Vitalian (657672) preserved in the Liber Pontificalis. Curiously, neither Greek, nor Syriac, nor Arabic writers speak about this episode. Theophanes, the major Greek source for this period, says simply that Constans moved to Sicilian Syracuse, without relating any details.

Above: The Via Appia divides at Benevento: the Via Appia Traiana is the top route, the older Via Appia proper is the lower leg from

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As it appears, Constans led his army northwards into N Puglia (Apulia) and thence back again to S Puglia. The sources are limited, but it seems that the Byzantines assaulted Lombard-ruled Bari and reconquered it (Burman 1991: 109). Ekonomou, 2007: 170, guesses, no doubt rightly, that the Byzantines went first of all up the Via Traiana from Bari. In the north, they destroyed Lucera, NE of todays Foggia. They took Bovino too, south of Foggia; most of its ancient Roman works were destroyed in the assault. The Lombards of Sipontum, near modern Manfredonia, attributed a victory on 8 May 663 over the Byzantines to the dramatic intercession of St Michael, whose shrine was at Monte Gargano (inland north of Manfredonia). The archangel is said to have appeared with flaming sword atop the mountain in the midst of a storm on the eve of the battle. Evidently this refers not to a local event but to the battle of Forino, which was actually fought on the other side of the peninsula, on the road from Benevento to Naples (Holweck, 1911; see below for the battle). King Grimoald, himself lately dux of Benevento, had given the rule of Benevento to his son Romuald in 662 when he (Grimoald) made himself king of (all) the Lombards. Paul the Deacon says that Constans took by storm Luceria [Lucera], a rich city of Apulia, destroyed it and levelled it to the ground. Agerentia [our Acerenza: in the central-south], however, he could not at all take on account of the highly fortified position of the place. Thereupon he surrounded Beneventum with all his army and began to reduce it energetically. War-machines were deployed. Thus the Lombard chronicler Paulus, v.7: Beneventanorum fines invasit omnesque pene per quas venerat Langobardorum civitates cepit. Luceriam quoque, opulentam Apuliae civitatem, expugnatam (stormed, assaulted) fortius invadens diruit (he has pulled down), ad solum usque prostravit. Agerentia sane propter munitissimam loci positionem capere minime potuit. He invaded the lands of the Beneventans and those (?) through which he had come [i.e. in Puglia, MOR] he takes all the towns of the Lombards. [First phase:] Lucera likewise, a wealthy city of [north] Apulia, is strongly assaulted, (and) he takes and demolishes (has razed) it, laying it low (pulling it completely to the ground, ad solum). [Second phase:] Acerenza, however, on account of its fortifications and the position of the place, he is insufficiently (minime) able to capture. My translation, MOR. After some time, having returned to S Puglia, Constans led his army into the interior along, or across to, the Via Appia proper, beginning a second phase. (See map above.) The first inland town or fortress-village to be attacked during this second phase seems to have been Acerenza; it lies on the Via Appia west of Gravina-in-Puglia. The Byzantines then continued NW to Benevento itself, where Romuald awaited their attack. During the advance the Byzantine army destroyed Aeclanum, which is modern Mirabella Eclano, a town on the Appian Way, on the SE approach to Benevento; it survived thereafter in much reduced form as a poor village: called 265

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Quintodecimo because it was 15 Roman miles from Benevento (Cordi 1983: 130). Presumably Aecalamun was destroyed to prevent its serving as a refuge for any Lombards escaping from Benevento in that direction along the Via Appia proper. The main fortress-town of Benevento itself held out, and Constans preferred to strike a truce with Romuald, or perhaps the latter offered a treaty to buy time. Evidently the duke did not know until the last moment that reinforcements from the north under his father were quite close. This may explain why Romuald betrothed his sister Gisa or Gysa to the emperor; or more likely gave her as a hostage*: she died a little later in Sicily. Romuald's vigorous defence of the town was failing when his father Grimuald, or some of the latters troops, showed up and forced the Byzantine menace to depart. (*) Ekonomou loc.cit. Cf Paulus, v.8: Acceptaque obside Romualdi sororem, cui nomen Gisa fuit, cum eodem pacem fecit. - And pleased with the pledge of [or: it having been accepted] the sister of Romuald, whose name was Gisa, he [Constans] makes peace with them. Latin obside: as lesser hostage; with the pledge of; for security. St Barbatus, ca. 602/612-683: It is claimed that in AD 663, when the Byzantines were besieging Benevento, Barbatus correctly predicted that the assault would fail. Sent to Benevento as a missionary, Barbatus had made many converts among the still largely pagan population of the interior. The people of Benevento itself also indulged in many idolatrous behaviours, including veneration of a golden viper and a local tree, and also held games to which Barbatus strongly objected. They expressed a religious veneration to a golden viper, and prostrated themselves before it: they paid also a superstitious honour to a tree, on which they hung the skin [or carcass] of a wild beast, and these ceremonies were closed by public games, in which the skin served for a mark at which bowmen shot arrows [or threw javelins] over their shoulder (Butlers Lives of the Saints): Not far from the city walls of Benevento, as a festival, they worshipped a holy tree, in which they hung a piece of animal flesh [sic: corium, skin, leather, hide]. All who were present, turning their backs to the tree, rode quickly, bloodying their horses with spurs, so that each could go in advance of the others. While riding, they cast spears backwards (retroversis manibus corium iaculabant: they shot backwards at*), and they superstitiously took a small piece of the flesh hit by their spears (iaculato) to eat. Because they made their foolish votive offerings there, they named the place Votum [Latin dedicated, consecrated], after their practice, and it still retains the name (Anon., Vita Barbati Episcopi Beneventani, c. 900 AD?). (* Jaculare means to shoot at, cast, hurl, throw (a javelin); but can also be used for firing arrows at.) The viper was probably the uraeus, the sacred viper or asp or cobra of Isis, whose temple in Benevento was excavated in 1903. Isis and Osiris were occasionally depicted in the amphfisbaena shape, i.e. as crowned snakes with their tails 266

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entwined. According to some, the tree was the Germanic sacred walnut tree of the Lombards, the Noce di Benevento, sacred to Wotan; but also sacred to Jupiter, equivalent to Wotan, and to Diana, who was equated with Isis (see discussion in Martin 1974). As we have said, it is claimed that in AD 663, when the Byzantine emperor Constans II was besieging Benevento, Barbatus correctly predicted that the assault would fail. The people, in their fear, renounced the practices Barbatus had criticised. He then cut down the tree the locals had worshipped, and melted the viper into a chalice for use in the church. After the withdrawal of the Byzantines, or as others say, during the siege, the Beneventans elected Barbatus as their bishop: traditionally on 10 March 663. He lived to attend the Council of Constantinople in AD 680. From Benevento, Constans army retired south-westwards to Naples, or at least towards Naples. Romuald then re-took Taranto and Brindisi, much limiting the Byzantine influence in the region. Thus Paulus, Historia Langobardorum, v.10. But the imperialists held on to Bari until 668-69. Paulus Diaconus mentions two battles fought between Constans army and the Lombards in Campania. The first (if there were two clashes) took place near the Calore River, an affluent of the river Volturno, and the enemy commander was Mitola, count of Capua. Our Lombard historian calls it a Lombard victory but more likely it was just a skirmish, as Hodgkin (p.275) proposes. Paulus, V.9: The emperor, fearing the sudden approach of king Grimuald, broke up the siege of Beneventum and set out for Neapolis (Naples). Mitola, however, the Count of Capua, forcibly defeated his army near the river Calor (Calore), in the place which up to the present time is called Pugna (the fight). The Calore runs through Benevento and away (north-west) from it before turning south-east to join the Volturno which in turn runs down to Capua. Thus it seems highly likely that the battle took place quite near Benevento itself. It is only a guess, but Mitola possibly brought his troops up the western leg of the old Via Appia, which connects Benevento more directly with Capua. In the 1906 translation of Paulus by Foulke [1974 reprint p.222], the translator says, quoting Waitz [the 1878 editor of Paulus], that Pugna was actually a site on the Sabato river, the southern trubutary that joins the Calore at Benevento. If this is correct, then the battle, or more likely skirmish, was fought immediately south of Benevento. The Byzantine army then made its way to Naples. Andrew Ekonomou (p.191) has seen this, and the preceding truce or treaty, as the moment that the Eastern Empire admitted to itself that the Lombard presence on the Italian peninsula was permanent and irreversible. Next (if this was a different battle), part of the army under a senior commander called Saburrus was sent back from Naples to engage the Lombards of Benevento. One of his best men [optimati: nobles, patricians, aristocrats] whose name was Saburrus [possibly a Latin rendering of the Persian name Saborios or Shahpuhr]: unus ex eius optimatibus, cui nomen Saburrus erat, offered to lead 20,000 of the emperor's troops back inland against Romuald and defeat him. (The Lombards it seems broke the truce and came after the 267

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Byzantines.) The implication may be that the total force that Constans commanded was a good deal larger than 20,000. Saburrus took his men from Naples to Forinus where he made camp. This is our Forino, 40 km east of Naples, inland N of Salerno, S of Benevento. Romuald attacked him there on 8 May 663 with his own men and some of the troops of his father Grimoald, and inflicted a crushing defeat on Saburrus, who returned to the emperor at Naples in disgrace and with supposedly only a few of his troops surviving: thus Paul. Diac., Hist. Lang. V.10; Cordi 1983:140. The word few (cum paucis) is not credible, as Constans would surely have abandoned his plans to set up court in Sicily and returned to Constantinople if he really lost as many as (say) 15,000 men. Here is the battle described by Paulus: [Romuald] Qui priusquam bellum cum eo iniret, a quattuor partibus tubas [trumpets] insonare praecepit moxque super eos audenter inrupit. Cumque utraeque acies [each of the battle-lines] forti intentione pugnarent, tunc unus de regis exercitu nomine Amalongus, qui regium contum [pike, spear, pole], quem vulgo vandum [bandum, banner] regis dicimus, ferre erat solitus [was in the habit of], quendam Greculum eodem conto utrisque manibus fortiter percutiens, de sella super quam equitabat sustulit eumque in aera super caput suum levavit. Quod cernens [distinguished, picked] Grecorum exercitus, mox inmenso pavore perterritus in fugam convertitur, ultimaque pernicie caesus, sibi fugiens mortem, Romualdo et Langobardis victoriam peperit. Ita Saburrus, qui se imperatori suo [for his emperor] victoriae tropaeum de Langobardis promiserat patrare, ad eum cum paucis [with a few] remeans, ignominiam deportavit; Romuald vero, patrata de inimicis victoria, Beneventum triumphans reversus est patrique gaudium et cunctis securitatem, sublato hostium timore, convexit (Paulus, Hist. Lang. V.36). In English: [Romuald], before entering battle with him [Saburrus], ordered bugles [tubas, trumpets] to be sounded from four sides and then quickly and fearlessly charged the enemy. While both sides [utrae acies, each of the battlelines] were fighting with great purpose, one of the kings army, a man called Amalongus*, who was in the habit of carrying the contus [lance: Gk kontos] of the king which we generally (vulgo) call the kings bandum (banner) [ = he was the kings standard-bearer], used it with two hands to strike with force and lift a Greekling [Greculus] from the saddle on which he rode, raising him into the air over his head. Having seen this, the distinguished army [exercitus cernens] of the Greeks, from immense fear, was turned to flight, and fled as if from death, giving victory to Romuald and the Longobards. Thus Saburrus, who had promised to bring to his emperor the trophy of victory over the Longobards, returned with just a few [of his men], bringing only disgrace; Romuald instead obtained the victory over his enemies, and returned triumphant to Benevento and with joy to his land and safety for all, and so removed fear of the enemy host. My trans., MOR. (*) Amalongus was a Gothic name. The Goths in Italy had been subjugated by Byzantium during the previous century, but of course they did not all disappear or assimilate overnight. 268

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Ekonomou, p.170, regards this as all grossly exaggerated; he sees the Byzantine excursus across the peninsula as successful in achieving its limited aim of containing Lombard expansion. Next Constans went on to Rome: the last ever visit by a reigning emperor. (The transfer of the seat of the western empire to Milan and then Ravenna meant that before him the last to see Rome was Constantius II in AD 357: Dyson 2010: 36; Hodgkin p.276.) After about a month in Naples, Constans led his troops, or at least a large detachment of his army, towards Rome along the Via Appia as far as Terracina, on the coast about halfway from Naples to Rome (29 June). The Byzantine duke (dux: governor) of Rome, Georgios, had recently renovated and embellished the forum at Terracina in anticipation of the emperors arrival. As a symbol of his successes, or presumed successes, against the Lombards, a column had been erected bearing an inscription in Greek dedicated to Constans and his sons, for the emperor would probably not have been able to read Latin. The Greek text was orthodoxon kai nikiton Basileon: orthodox and victorious Sovereigns, and wished him a reign of many years. (The use of orthodox skated over the recently patched up Monothelite dispute: Pope Martin I, 649-653, had opposed Constans over church doctrine and been deposed and exiled by the emperor for it.) Lower on the column, a Latin inscription recorded Georgioss own contribution in having the forum refurbished. This was, says Ekonomou, 2007: 171, a nice touch of Eastern and Western symbiosis. A little later, as the emperor and his party approached Old Rome itself, at the sixth milestone (8.8 km), pope Vitalian (657-672) and his retinue of priests and a delegation of the laity (Paulus, V.11: cum . . . Romano populo) came out along the Via Appia to greet them on 5 July 663. This was, as Humphries p.56 remarks, the last adventus of a Roman emperor (not counting of course the many triumphal entries into Constantinople by later emperors). The pious emperor stayed just 12 days at Rome, hearing mass almost every second day and in a different church (described in detail by Ekonomou 2007: 173-75). Constans took up residence in the old imperial palaces on the Palatine Hill. There is no record of any hostility to the emperor who had persecuted pope Martin and the venerated monk Maximus the Confessor (died 652)a one-time aide to the emperors grandfatherwho Constans had put on trial, maimed and imprisoned: On Sunday the church of St. Peter's was filled with the Greek soldiers. All the clergy went forth with due pomp of lighted tapers to meet the master of that glittering host who was present at the celebration of Mass doubtless receiving the consecrated elements from St. Peter's successor and again offered his gift upon the altar; this time a pallium stiff with gold. On the next Saturday he visited in equal state the Lateran Church, the home of the great Western patriarchate; [there in the Lateran] he bathed in the porphyry font* which legend, then or at a later day, declared to have been used for the baptism of Constantine the Great, and he dined in the 269

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spacious banqueting-hall which was known as the Basilica of Vigilius (Hodgkin p.276-77). (*) This is most unlikely. In writing venit ad Lateranis [ = to the Laterani district] et lavit, the Lib. Pont. more likely meant that he bathed in the Lateran Baths, the Balneus Lateranensis, the private baths of the popes, which lay just to the west of the Lateran baptistery (see Fikret Yegl, Baths and bathing in classical antiquity, Architectural History Foundation, 1992 p.319; Fried & Brandes p.83; Ward-Perkins, Public Building p.146). One who did bathe in the Lateran font of Constantine was the populist rebel and tribune Cola di Rienzi in AD 1347, before his coronation. The emperors troops were ordered to strip antique buildings including the great Pantheon and latter-day churches of their roof-copper (or gilded bronze tiles*) and statuary, to raise or make money. Omnia quae erant in aere ad ornatum civitatis deposuit, sed e ecclesiam B. Mariae ad martyres quae de tegulis (rooftiles) aereis (copper/copper alloy/bronze/brass*) cooperta discooperuit (Lib. Pont.) - He pulled off everything that there was in bronze adorning the city, but [sic: and] he removed from the church of Mary ad Martyres [i.e., the converted Pantheon] its cover of bronze roof-tiles. Other sources tell us the bronze tiles were gilded; traces of gold remained until at least the 12th Century: Joost-Gaugier 2006: 310. (*) Bronze is principally an alloy of copper and tin, while brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. Roman copper-based alloys usually contained both tin and zinc (John Healy, Pliny the Elder on science and technology, Oxford University Press, 1999 p.313). For example, the sestertii of the High Roman era were struck in orichalcum, a mixture of 75% copper, 20% zinc and 5% tin, a bronzey brass (Kenneth W. Harl, Coinage in the Roman economy, 300 B.C. to A.D. 700, JHU Press, 1996, p.480). This was not mere vandalism or mindless greed, or even sacrilegious plunder, as has so often been asserted, beginning with Gibbon, Decline and Fall, chapter LXXI. Public buildings were a protected imperial preserve. The brass or bronze was later struck into coins (Ekonomou p.175; Barker 2004: 250). Evidently lead was also taken from roofs, to be moulded into pellets for military slings. Moreover, [h]ad there been any blood spilled or any sacred vessels abstracted during the Imperial visit to Rome, we should assuredly have heard of such atrocities (Hodgkin p.279). Then (17 July 663) Constans returned south to Naples by ship and led his army overland through Calabria to Reggio and thence across the straits of Messina to Sicily in September 663. He set up court at Syracuse (Paulus Diac. V.11; Cordi 1983: 156 ff; Ekonomou p.177). His rule became increasingly unpopular in Sicily, while the considerable opposition in Constantinople to his plan to transfer the government to Sicily on a permanent basis resulted in his wife and three sons being prevented from joining him by the demes (city factions) and government officials. 270

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He was assassinated at Syracuse in 668 [see there] and his son returned the seat of government to New Rome (Constantinople).

663-668: 1. The East: While the Byzantine court was in Sicily, Arab armies wintered each year deep inside East Roman Asia Minor. "Though the Themes won few battles, says Treadgold, State 1997: 382, their main accomplishment was to survive raids rather than to prevent them." Resistance by the Byzantine fortress-towns of west-central AsiaMinor McCotter notes that the introduction of the trebuchet meant that relatively simple weapons, capable of discharging ammunition heavy enough to batter through (some*) walls, could be constructed in situ during a siege. This was its real potential value. It is not clear when this was realised, nor is it clear when** these weapons entered service, but the siege of Synnada*** [in Phrygia, in central-western Anatolia: at a point where two major roads crossed] in 663 witnessed the deployment of heavy weapons by both the Byzantines and Arabs. McCotter 2003. (*) Others argue that the early trebuchet could not break stone or thick masonry walls and was a mainly anti-personnel weapon. (**) See discussion earlier under 586/97. (***) Modern-day Suhut, south of Afyon. 2. Sicily simmered under the exactions of the emperors tax collectors. Paulus Diaconus writes that Constans put such afflictions upon the people - the inhabitants and land owners of Calabria, Sicily, Africa [greater Tunisia], and Sardinia - as were never heard of before, so that even wives were separated from their husbands and children from their parents, i.e. they were sold into slavery to satisfy the demands of the tax gatherers. Text of Paulus online (2010) at www.northvegr.org/lore/langobard/032.php. 664: 1a. The West: Muslim raid on the island of Qaswarah or Kawsara [cf Arabic qaswara, lion, but actually a rendering of its ancient name Cossyra], off Sicily: modern Pantelleria (al-Bakri and other sources, cited by Heck 2006: 308). The distance to Pantelleria is about 150 km, sailing from Tunis around Tunisias NE cape, including an open-sea crossing of some 65 km. 1b. Sailing from Egypt: 2nd Muslim naval raid on Sicily: part of Sicily was captured, and, at their wish, its inhabitants were settled at Damascus 271

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(Theophanes TCOT p.47; also Arab sourc