|Emperor of the Romans|
|Reign||September 668 – September 685|
|Coronation||c. 13 April 654|
|Died||September 685 (aged 33) |
Constantine the New
|Holy and Right-Believing Emperor of the Romans|
|Venerated in||Eastern Orthodoxy|
|Major shrine||Church of the Holy Apostles|
Constantine IV (Greek : Κωνσταντῖνος, romanized: Kōnstantinos; died 685), called the Younger (Greek: ὁ νέος, ho neos) and sometimes incorrectly Pogonatos (Greek: Πωγωνάτος, "the Bearded") out of confusion with his father, was Byzantine Emperor from 668 to 685. His reign saw the first serious check to nearly 50 years of uninterrupted Islamic expansion, while his calling of the Sixth Ecumenical Council saw the end of the monothelitism controversy in the Byzantine Empire; for this, he is venerated as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church, with his feast day on September 3.
The eldest son of Constans II, Constantine IV had been named a co-emperor with his father in 654. [ citation needed ] and became senior Emperor when Constans was assassinated in 668. His mother was Fausta, daughter of patrician Valentinus.He had been given the responsibility of managing the affairs at Constantinople during his father's extended absence in Italy
The first task before the new Emperor was the suppression of the military revolt in Sicily under Mezezius which had led to his father's death.Within seven months of his accession, Constantine IV had dealt with the insurgency with the support of Pope Vitalian, but this success was overshadowed by troubles in the east.
As early as 668 the Caliph Muawiyah I received an invitation from Saborios, the commander of the troops in Armenia, to help overthrow the Emperor at Constantinople.He sent an army under his son Yazid against the Byzantine Empire. Yazid reached Chalcedon and took the important Byzantine center Amorion. While the city was quickly recovered, the Arabs next attacked Carthage and Sicily in 669. In 670 the Arabs captured Cyzicus and set up a base from which to launch further attacks into the heart of the Empire. Their fleet captured Smyrna and other coastal cities in 672. Finally, in 672, the Arabs sent a large fleet to attack Constantinople by sea. While Constantine was distracted by this, the Slavs laid siege to Thessalonica.
Commencing in 674, the Arabs launched the long-awaited siege of Constantinople. The great fleet that had been assembled set sail under the command of Abdu'l-Rahman ibn Abu Bakrbefore the end of the year; during the winter months some of the ships anchored at Smyrna, the rest off the coast of Cilicia. Additional squadrons reinforced the forces of Abd ar-Rahman before they proceeded to the Hellespont, into which they sailed in about April 674. From April to September 674 the fleet lay moored from the promontory of Hebdomon, on the Propontis, as far as the promontory of Kyklobion, near the Golden Gate, and throughout those months continued to engage with the Byzantine fleet which defended the harbour from morning to evening.
Knowing that it was only a matter of time before Constantinople was under siege, Constantine had ensured that the city was well provisioned.He also constructed a large number of fireships and fast-sailing boats provided with tubes or siphons for squirting fire. This is the first known use of Greek fire in combat, which was one of the key advantages that the Byzantines possessed. In September the Arabs, having failed in their attempts to take the city, sailed to Cyzicus, which they made their winter quarters. Over the following five years, the Arabs returned each spring to continue the siege of Constantinople, but with the same results. The city survived, and finally in 678 the Arabs were forced to raise the siege. The Arabs withdrew and were almost simultaneously defeated on land in Lycia in Anatolia. This unexpected reverse forced Muawiyah I to seek a truce with Constantine. The terms of the concluded truce required the Arabs to evacuate the islands they had seized in the Aegean, and to pay an annual tribute to the Emperor consisting of fifty slaves, fifty horses, and 300,000 nomismata. The raising of the siege allowed Constantine to go to the relief of Thessalonica, still under siege from the Sclaveni.
With the temporary passing of the Arab threat, Constantine turned his attention to the Church, which was torn between Monothelitism and Orthodoxy. [ citation needed ] This solved the controversy over monothelitism; conveniently for the Empire, most monothelites were now under the control of the Umayyad Caliphate. The council closed in September 681.In November 680 Constantine convened the Sixth Ecumenical Council (also known as the Third Council of Constantinople). Constantine presided in person during the formal aspects of the proceedings (the first eleven sittings and then the eighteenth), surrounded by his court officials, but he took no active role in the theological discussions. The Council reaffirmed the Orthodox doctrines of the Council of Chalcedon in 451.
Due to the ongoing conflicts with the Arabs during the 670s, Constantine had been forced to conclude treaties in the west with the Lombards, who had captured Brindisi and Taranto.Also in 680, the Bulgars under Khan Asparukh crossed the Danube into nominally Imperial territory and began to subjugate the local communities and Slavic tribes. In 680, Constantine IV led a combined land and sea operation against the invaders and besieged their fortified camp in Dobruja. Suffering from bad health, the Emperor had to leave the army, which panicked and was defeated by the Bulgars. In 681, Constantine was forced to acknowledge the Bulgar state in Moesia and to pay tribute/protection money to avoid further inroads into Byzantine Thrace. Consequently, Constantine created the Theme of Thrace.
His brothers Heraclius and Tiberius had been crowned with him as Augusti during the reign of their father,and this was confirmed by the demand of the populace, but in 681 Constantine had them mutilated by slitting their noses so they would be considered ineligible to rule. At the same time he associated on the throne his own young son Justinian II. Constantine died of dysentery in September 685.
By his wife Anastasia, Constantine IV had at least two sons:
The 680s decade ran from January 1, 680, to December 31, 689.
Year 681 (DCLXXXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 681 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
The Third Council of Constantinople, counted as the Sixth Ecumenical Council by the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches, as well by certain other Western Churches, met in 680–681 and condemned monoenergism and monothelitism as heretical and defined Jesus Christ as having two energies and two wills.
Monothelitism, or monotheletism, is a theological doctrine in Christianity, that holds Christ as having only one will. The doctrine is thus contrary to dyothelitism, a Christological doctrine that holds Christ as having two wills. Historically, monothelitism was closely related to monoenergism, a theological doctrine that holds Jesus Christ as having only one energy. Both doctrines were at the very center of Christological disputes during the 7th century.
Justinian II, surnamed Rhinotmetos or Rhinotmetus, was the last Byzantine emperor of the Heraclian dynasty, reigning from 685 to 695 and again from 705 to 711. Like Justinian I, Justinian II was an ambitious and passionate ruler who was keen to restore the Roman Empire to its former glories, but he responded brutally to any opposition to his will and lacked the finesse of his father, Constantine IV. Consequently, he generated enormous opposition to his reign, resulting in his deposition in 695 in a popular uprising, and he only returned to the throne in 705 with the help of a Bulgar and Slav army. His second reign was even more despotic than the first, and it too saw his eventual overthrow in 711, abandoned by his army who turned on him before killing him.
Constans II, nicknamed "the Bearded", was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 641 to 668. He was the last emperor to serve as consul, in 642. Constans is a nickname given to the Emperor, who had been baptized Flavius Heraclius and reigned officially as "Constantine". The nickname established itself in Byzantine texts and has become standard in modern historiography.
Leontios or Leontius, sometimes enumerated as Leontius II, was Byzantine emperor from 695 to 698. Little is known of his early life, other than that he was born in Isauria in Asia Minor. He was given the title of patrikios, and made strategos of the Anatolic Theme under Emperor Constantine IV. He led forces against the Umayyads during the early years of Justinian II's reign, securing victory and forcing the Umayyad caliph, Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, to sue for peace.
Tiberius III was Byzantine emperor from 15 February 698 to 10 July or 21 August 705 AD. Little is known about his early life, other than that he was droungarios, a mid-level commander, of the Cibyrrhaeots, and that his birth name was Apsimar. In 696, Tiberius was part of an army led by John the Patrician sent by Byzantine Emperor Leontios to retake the city of Carthage in the Exarchate of Africa, which had been captured by the Arab Umayyads. After seizing the city, this army was pushed back by Umayyad reinforcements and retreated to the island of Crete; some of the officers, fearing the wrath of Leontios, killed John and declared Tiberius emperor. Tiberius swiftly gathered a fleet, sailed for Constantinople, and deposed Leontios. Tiberius did not attempt to retake Byzantine Africa from the Umayyads, but campaigned against them along the eastern border with some success. In 705 former Emperor Justinian II, who had been deposed by Leontios, led an army of Slavs and Bulgars to Constantinople, and after entering the city secretly, deposed Tiberius. Tiberius fled to Bithynia, but was captured several months later and beheaded between August 705 and February 706. His body was initially thrown into the sea, but was later recovered and buried in a church on the island of Prote.
Asparuh was а ruler of Bulgars in the second half of the 7th century and is credited with the establishment of the First Bulgarian Empire in 681.
The first Arab siege of Constantinople in 674–678 was a major conflict of the Arab–Byzantine wars, and the first culmination of the Umayyad Caliphate's expansionist strategy towards the Byzantine Empire, led by Caliph Mu'awiya I. Mu'awiya, who had emerged in 661 as the ruler of the Muslim Arab empire following a civil war, renewed aggressive warfare against Byzantium after a lapse of some years and hoped to deliver a lethal blow by capturing the Byzantine capital, Constantinople.
The Ecthesis is a letter published in 638 CE by the Byzantine emperor Heraclius which defined monotheletism as the official imperial form of Christianity.
The Byzantine Empire was ruled by emperors of the dynasty of Heraclius between 610 and 711. The Heraclians presided over a period of cataclysmic events that were a watershed in the history of the Empire and the world.
The Byzantine Empire was ruled by the Isaurian or Syrian dynasty from 717 to 802. The Isaurian emperors were successful in defending and consolidating the Empire against the Caliphate after the onslaught of the early Muslim conquests, but were less successful in Europe, where they suffered setbacks against the Bulgars, had to give up the Exarchate of Ravenna, and lost influence over Italy and the Papacy to the growing power of the Franks.
The Typos of Constans was an edict issued by eastern Roman emperor Constans II in 648 in an attempt to defuse the confusion and arguments over the Christological doctrine of Monotheletism. For over two centuries, there had been a bitter debate regarding the nature of Christ: the orthodox Chalcedonian position defined Christ as having two natures in one person, whereas Monophysite opponents contended that Jesus Christ possessed but a single nature. At the time, the Byzantine Empire had been at near constant war for fifty years and had lost large territories. It was under great pressure to establish domestic unity. This was hampered by the large number of Byzantines who rejected the Council of Chalcedon in favour of Monophysitism.
Saborios or Saborius was a Byzantine general who rose in revolt against Emperor Constans II in 667–668. He sought and obtained the aid of the Caliph Muawiyah I, but was killed in a horse accident before confronting the imperial troops.
Heraclius was Byzantine co-emperor from 659 to 681. He was the son of Emperor Constans II and Fausta, who was elevated in 659, before his father departed for Italy. After the death of Constans, Heraclius' brother Constantine IV ascended the throne as senior emperor. Constantine attempted to have both Heraclius and Tiberius removed as co-emperors. However, this sparked a popular revolt in 681. Constantine ended the revolt by promising to accede to the demands of the rebels, sending them home, but bringing their leaders into Constantinople. Once there, Constantine had them executed, then imprisoned Tiberius and Heraclius and had their noses slit, after which point they disappear from history.
Tiberius was Byzantine co-emperor from 659 to 681. He was the son of Constans II and Fausta, who was elevated in 659, before his father departed for Italy. After the death of Constans, Tiberius' brother Constantine IV, ascended the throne as senior emperor. Constantine attempted to have both Tiberius and Heraclius removed as co-emperors, which sparked a popular revolt, in 681. Constantine ended the revolt by promising to accede to the demands of the rebels, sending them home, but bringing their leaders into Constantinople. Once there, Constantine had them executed, then imprisoned Tiberius and Heraclius and had them mutilated, after which point they disappear from history.
Tiberius, sometimes enumerated as Tiberius IV, was the son of Emperor Justinian II and Theodora of Khazaria. He served as co-emperor of the Byzantine Empire with his father Justinian II, from 706–711. Both were killed in 711, when Bardanes led a rebellion which marched on Constantinople. After Tiberius' death, two different individuals impersonated him, with one, named Bashir, going on to be hosted by Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik, the Umayyad caliph, before his lie was discovered and he was crucified.
The history of the Eastern Roman Empire (324–1453) is generally considered to fall into three distinct eras:
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Constantine IVBorn: 652 Died: 685
| Byzantine Emperor |
15 September 668 – September 685
with Constans II, 654–668
Heraclius and Tiberius, 659–681