Michael of Synnada or Michael the Confessor (Greek : Μιχαὴλ ὁ ὁμολογητής; died 818) was a metropolitan bishop of Synnada from 784/7 to 815. He represented Byzantium in diplomatic missions to Harun al-Rashid and Charlemagne. He was exiled by Emperor Leo V the Armenian because of his opposition to iconoclasm, and died on 23 May 826. He is honoured as a saint by the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, his feast day is May 23.
Nothing is known about Michael's early life. He was much influenced by Tarasios (Patriarch of Constantinople in 784–806), who tonsured him. Tarasios sent Michael, along with Theophylact of Nicomedia, to him to a monastery that Tarasios himself had founded on the shores of the Bosporus.By 787, when he attended the Second Council of Nicaea, Michael was already metropolitan bishop of Synnada, having been named to the position by Tarasios. Michael is recorded in all sessions of the council.
He is commonly identified with the Michahel episcopus who was one of the leaders (along with Petrus abbas, identified with Peter of Goulaion) of an embassy sent by Emperor Nikephoros I to Charlemagne in 802/3, to ratify the peace treaty between the two.Nikephoros used Michael and Peter, along with Gregory, the steward of Amastris, again as peace envoys in 806, when the Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid launched a large-scale invasion of Asia Minor by the Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid.
In 811/2 he led another embassy to Charlemagne, along with the protospatharioi Arsaphios and Theognostos, on behalf of Michael I Rangabe, in order to renew the peace treaty and negotiate a possible marriage of Michael's son Theophylact and one of Charlemagne's daughters. Despite a warm reception at Aachen and the ratification of a peace treaty between the two realms, Charlemagne, perhaps wary after the repeated failures of successive efforts to that effect over the previous decades, hesitated to agree to such a match.On their way to Charlemagne's court, the embassy passed through Rome, where Michael handed over the synodika (enthronement letter) of Tarasios' successor, Patriarch Nikephoros I, to Pope Leo III.
He clashed with the Emperor Leo V the Armenian over Leo's re-adoption of iconoclasm in 815. He was arrested and exiled to Eudokias.He died there on 23 May 826.
He is praised in the Synodikon of Orthodoxy of 843, and is venerated as a saint by the Orthodox and Catholic Churches on 23 May.He is invoked for protection of crops from pests.
The 800s decade ran from January 1, 800, to December 31, 809.
The 810s decade ran from January 1, 810, to December 31, 819.
Year 804 (DCCCIV) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar.
Year 811 (DCCCXI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar.
Year 807 (DCCCVII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar.
Year 806 (DCCCVI) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar.
Nikephoros I, or Nicephorus I, was Byzantine Emperor from 802 to 811, when he was killed in the Battle of Pliska. Prior to his accession, he had served as genikos logothetēs, whence he is sometimes surnamed "the Logothete" and "Genikos" or "Genicus".
Irene of Athens, also known as Irene Sarantapechaina, was Byzantine empress consort by marriage to Leo IV from 775 to 780, regent during the minority of her son Constantine VI from 780 until 790, co-regent from 792 until 797, and finally sole ruler and first empress regnant of the Byzantine Empire from 797 to 802. A member of the politically prominent Sarantapechos family, she was selected as Leo IV's bride for unknown reasons in 768. Even though her husband was an iconoclast, she harbored iconophile sympathies. During her rule as regent, she called the Second Council of Nicaea in 787, which condemned iconoclasm as heretical and brought an end to the first iconoclast period (730–787).
Harun al-Rashid was the fifth Abbasid Caliph. His birth date is debated, with various sources giving dates from 763 to 766. His epithet "al-Rashid" translates to "the Orthodox", "the Just", "the Upright", or "the Rightly-Guided". Al-Rashid ruled from 786 to 809, during the peak of the Islamic Golden Age. He established the legendary library Bayt al-Hikma in Baghdad in present-day Iraq, and during his rule Baghdad began to flourish as a center of knowledge, culture and trade. During his rule, the family of Barmakids, which played a deciding role in establishing the Abbasid Caliphate, declined gradually. In 796, he moved his court and government to Raqqa in present-day Syria.
Saint Tarasios was Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 25 December 784 until his death on 25 February 806.
An Abbasid–Carolingian alliance was attempted during the 8th to 9th century through a series of embassies, rapprochements and combined military operations between the Frankish Carolingian Empire and the Abbasid Caliphate and pro-Abbasid rulers in Al Andalus.
The Battle of Krasos was a battle in the Arab–Byzantine Wars that took place in August 804, between the Byzantines under Emperor Nikephoros I and an Abbasid army under Ibrahim ibn Jibril. Nikephoros' accession in 802 resulted in a resumption of warfare between Byzantium and the Abbasid Caliphate. In late summer 804, the Abbasids had invaded Byzantine Asia Minor for one of their customary raids, and Nikephoros set out to meet them. He was surprised, however, at Krasos and heavily defeated, barely escaping with his own life. A truce and prisoner exchange were afterwards arranged. Despite his defeat, and a massive Abbasid invasion the next year, Nikephoros persevered until troubles in the eastern provinces of the Caliphate forced the Abbasids to conclude a peace.
Bardanes, nicknamed Tourkos, "the Turk", was a Byzantine general of Armenian origin who launched an unsuccessful rebellion against Emperor Nikephoros I in 803. Although a major supporter of Byzantine empress Irene of Athens, soon after her overthrow he was appointed by Nikephoros as commander-in-chief of the Anatolian armies. From this position, he launched a revolt in July 803, probably in opposition to Nikephoros's economic and religious policies. His troops marched towards Constantinople, but failed to win popular support. At this point, some of his major supporters deserted him and, reluctant to engage the loyalist forces in battle, Bardanes gave up and chose to surrender himself. He retired as a monk to a monastery he had founded. There he was blinded, possibly on Nikephoros's orders.
Tatzates or Tatzatios was a prominent Byzantine general of Armenian descent, who in 782 defected to the Abbasids and was appointed governor of Arminiya.
The Abbasid invasion of Asia Minor in 782 was one of the largest operations launched by the Abbasid Caliphate against the Byzantine Empire. The invasion was launched as a display of Abbasid military might in the aftermath of a series of Byzantine successes. Commanded by the Abbasid heir-apparent, the future Harun al-Rashid, the Abbasid army reached as far as Chrysopolis, across the Bosporus from the Byzantine capital, Constantinople, while secondary forces raided western Asia Minor and defeated the Byzantine forces there. As Harun did not intend to assault Constantinople and lacked ships to do so, he turned back.
The Abbasid invasion of Asia Minor in 806 CE was the largest of a long series of military operations launched by the Abbasid Caliphate against the Byzantine Empire. The expedition took place in southeastern and central Asia Minor, where the Abbasid and Byzantine empires shared a long land border.
Theophylact or Theophylaktos was the eldest son of the Byzantine emperor Michael I Rhangabe and grandson, on his mother's side, of Nikephoros I. He was junior co-emperor alongside his father for the duration of the latter's reign, and was tonsured, castrated, and exiled to Plate Island after his overthrow, under the monastic name Eustratius.
Euthymius of Sardis was metropolitan bishop of Sardis between ca. 785 and ca. 804, and a leading iconophile during the period of Byzantine Iconoclasm. Martyred in 831, he is a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church, celebrated on 26 December.
The Byzantine Empire was ruled by the Amorian or Phrygiandynasty from 820 to 867. The Amorian dynasty continued the policy of restored iconoclasm started by the previous non-dynastic emperor Leo V in 813, until its abolishment by Empress Theodora with the help of Patriarch Methodios in 842. The continued iconoclasm further worsened relations between the East and the West, which were already bad following the papal coronations of a rival line of "Roman Emperors" beginning with Charlemagne in 800. Relations worsened even further during the so-called Photian Schism, when Pope Nicholas I challenged Photios' elevation to the patriarchate.
Peter of Goulaion was a Byzantine abbot of the early 9th century, who was used by Emperor Nikephoros I as envoy.