|Tiberius II Constantine|
Solidus of Emperor Tiberius II Constantine
|Emperor of the Byzantine Empire|
|Died||14 August 582 (aged 62)|
Tiberius II Constantine (Latin : Tiberius Constantinus; Byzantine Greek : Τιβέριος Κωνσταντῖνος; 520 – 14 August 582) was Eastern Roman Emperor from 574 to 582. Tiberius rose to power in 574 when Justin II, prior to a mental breakdown, proclaimed Tiberius Caesar and adopted him as his own son. In 578, Justin II, before he died, gave him the title of Augustus, under which title he reigned until his death on 14 August 582.
Born in Thrace in the mid-6th century,Tiberius was appointed to the post of Notarius. There, sometime after 552, he was introduced by the Patriarch Eutychius to the future emperor, Justin II, with whom he became firm friends. Under Justin's patronage, Tiberius was promoted to the position of Comes excubitorum , which he held from approximately 565 through to 574. He was present during Justin's imperial accession on 14 November 565 and also attended his inauguration as consul on 1 January 566.
Justin ceased making payments to the Avars, which had been implemented by his predecessor, Justinian. In 569, he appointed Tiberius to the post of Magister utriusque militiae , with instructions to deal with the Avars and their demands. After a series of negotiations, Tiberius agreed to allow the Avars to settle on Roman territory in the Balkans, in exchange for male hostages taken from various Avar chiefs. [ citation needed ]Justin, however, rejected the agreement, insisting on taking hostages from the family of the Avar Khan himself. That condition was rejected by the Avars and so Tiberius mobilized for war.
In 570, he defeated an Avar army in Thrace and returned to Constantinople.While attempting to follow up that victory in late 570 or early 571, Tiberius was defeated in a battle in which he narrowly escaped death, as his army was fleeing the battlefield. Agreeing to a truce, Tiberius provided an escort to the Avar envoys to discuss the terms of a treaty with Justin. On their return, the Avar envoys were attacked and robbed by local tribesmen, prompting them to appeal to Tiberius for help. He tracked down the group responsible and returned the stolen goods.
In 574, Justin had a mental breakdown, forcing Empress Sophia to turn to Tiberius to manage the empire, which was fighting the Persians to the east and dealing with the internal crisis of the plague.To achieve a measure of breathing space, Tiberius and Sophia agreed to a one-year truce with the Persians, at the cost of 45,000 nomismata. On 7 December 574, Justin, in one of his more lucid moments, had Tiberius proclaimed Caesar and adopted him as his own son. Tiberius added the name Constantine to his own. Although his position was now official, he was still subordinate to Justin. Sophia was determined to remain in power and kept Tiberius tightly controlled until Justin died, in 578.
The day after his appointment as Caesar, the plague abated, giving Tiberius more freedom of movement than Justin had been able to achieve. Tiberius also charted a very different course from his predecessor and proceeded to spend the money that Justin had doggedly saved in order to defend the imperial frontiers and win over the populace who had turned against him.According to Paul the Deacon, Tiberius found two treasures: the treasure of Narses and 1,000 centenaria: 100,000 pounds of gold or 7,200,000 solidi (nomismata), under a slab. The treasures were given away to the poor, to the consternation of Sophia.
Alongside generous donations, he also proceeded to reduce state revenue by removing taxes on wine and bread instituted by Justinian I. He continued the official ban on the sale of governorships, which was highly popular. He also negotiated a truce with the Avars, paying them 80,000 nomismata per year for which the Avars agreed to defend the Danube frontier, thereby allowing Tiberius to transfer troops across to the east for a planned renewal of the conflict against the Persians.
In 575, Tiberius began moving the armies of Thrace and Illyricum to the eastern provinces. Buying time to make the necessary preparations, he agreed to a three-year truce with the Persians, paying 30,000 nomismata, though the truce excluded action in the region around Armenia.Not content with making preparations, Tiberius also used this period to send reinforcements to Italy under the command of Baduarius with orders to stem the Lombard invasion. He saved Rome from the Lombards and allied the Empire with Childebert II, the King of the Franks, to defeat them. Unfortunately, Baduarius was defeated and killed in 576, allowing even more imperial territory in Italy to slip away. Tiberius was unable to respond as the Sassanid Emperor Khosrau I struck at the empire's Armenian provinces in 576, sacking Melitene and Sebastea. Shifting his attention eastward, Tiberius sent his general Justinian with the eastern armies to push the Persians back across the Euphrates. The Byzantines followed, and pushed deep into Persian territory, culminating in a raid on Atropatene. In 577, however, Justinian was defeated in Persian Armenia, forcing a Byzantine withdrawal. In response to that defeat, Tiberius replaced Justinian with the future emperor Maurice. During the truce that Tiberius concluded with Khosrau, he busily enhanced the army of the east not only with transfers from his western armies but also through barbarian recruits, which he formed into a new foederati unit, amounting to some 15,000 troops by the end of his reign.
Throughout 577 and into 578, Tiberius avoided all other entanglements that would have distracted him from the approaching Persian conflict. He appeased, quite successfully, both Chalcedonian and Monophysite Christians by the use of strategic appointments and the easing of persecutions.He paid the Lombard tribal chieftains some 200,000 nomismata in an attempt to keep them divided and to prevent the election of a king. When the Slavs invaded Illyricum, he transported Avar armies to attack them and force their retreat. Consequently, when Khosrau invaded Roman Mesopotamia in 578, his general, Maurice, was able to invade Persian Arzanene and Mesopotamia, sacking a number of key towns and forcing the Persians to abandon their advance and defend their own territory. It was during that period that the ailing emperor, Justin, finally died in early October 578.
On 26 September 578, Tiberius was made Augustus by the rapidly-failing Justin.He used that opportunity to give away 7,200 pounds of gold, a practice that he continued annually throughout the four years of his reign.
Sophia, Justin's widow, tried to maintain her power and influence by marrying the new emperor, but he refused her proposal because he was already married to Ino. When Tiberius had first been raised to the rank of Caesar, Sophia had refused the request for Ino and her children to move into the Imperial palace with her husband, forcing them to reside in a small residence nearby and prohibiting them from entering the palace.Once Tiberius was elevated to the rank of Augustus, however, he had his family moved into the palace and renamed Ino as Anastasia, much to Sophia's resentment. Therefore, Sophia sought revenge, and a secret pact was made between the dowager empress and General Justinian, whom Tiberius had replaced the year before. They conspired to overthrow the emperor and seat Justinian in his place. The conspiracy failed, however, and Sophia was reduced to a modest allowance; Justinian was forgiven by Tiberius.
The ongoing success against the Persians in the East once again allowed Tiberius to turn his gaze westward. In 579, he again extended his military activities into the remnants of the Western Roman Empire. He sent money and troops to Italy to reinforce Ravenna and to retake the port of Classis.He formed an alliance with one of the Visigothic princes in Spain, who was fomenting rebellion, and his generals defeated the rebellious Berbers under their king Garmul in North Africa. He also intervened in Frankish affairs in the former province of Gaul, which had been largely free of imperial contacts for close to a century. Consequently, he might have been the basis for the fictional emperor Lucius Tiberius of Arthurian legend, who sent envoys to former Roman provinces after a long period without an imperial presence.
The reality, however, was that the empire was seriously overextended. In 579, with Tiberius occupied elsewhere, the Avars decided to take advantage of the lack of troops in the Balkans by besieging Sirmium.At the same time, the Slavs began to migrate into Thrace, Macedonia and Greece, which Tiberius was unable to halt as the Persians refused to agree to a peace in the east, which remained the emperor's main priority. Furthermore, the army of the East was beginning to become restless, as it had not been paid, and it threatened to mutiny.
In 580, General Maurice launched a new offensive, raiding well beyond the Tigris. The following year, he again invaded Persian Armenia and almost succeeded in reaching the Persian capital, Ctesiphon, before a Persian counterinvasion of Byzantine Mesopotamia forced him to withdraw in order to deal with that threat.By 582, with no apparent end to the Persian war in sight, Tiberius was forced to come to terms with the Avars, and he agreed to pay an indemnity and to hand over the vital city of Sirmium, which the Avars then looted. The migration of the Slavs continued, with their incursions reaching as far south as Athens. Although a new Persian invasion was halted with a significant defeat at Constantina in June 582, by now, Tiberius was dying, apparently having eaten some poorly-prepared or possibly-deliberately poisoned food.
In his state, Tiberius initially named two heirs, each of whom married one of his daughters. Maurice was betrothed to Constantina, and Germanus, related through blood to the great emperor Justinian, was married to Charito.It appears that his plan was to divide the empire in two, with Maurice receiving the eastern provinces and Germanus the western provinces. This plan was never implemented, and on 13 August 582, he elevated Maurice to the rank of Augustus.
Tiberius died on the following day, 14 August 582, and his last words were spoken to his successor:
Let my sovereignty be delivered to thee with this girl. Be happy in the use of it, mindful always to love equity and justice.
A native of the Latin-speaking part of Thrace,Tiberius was nonetheless distinguished as the first of the "Greek[-speaking] Caesars" by Edward Gibbon, who cited the 13th-century Syriac Orthodox patriarch and writer Bar Hebraeus. Tiberius reportedly was tall and handsome, with a regal bearing. He was gentle and humane, both as a man and a ruler, with a reputation for generosity. Unlike his predecessor, he largely refrained from persecuting his Monophysite subjects, but his Arian subjects in the west did not fare as well. He also spent a good deal of money on building projects, most notably the continued expansion of the Great Palace of Constantinople.
According to Gibbon, Tiberius II was a good emperor:
With the odious name of Tiberius, he assumed the more popular appellation of Constantine, and imitated the purer virtues of the Antonines. After recording the vice or folly of so many Roman princes, it is pleasing to repose, for a moment, on a character conspicuous by the qualities of humanity, justice, temperance, and fortitude; to contemplate a sovereign affable in his palace, pious in the church, impartial on the seat of judgment, and victorious, at least by his generals, in the Persian war. The most glorious trophy of his victory consisted in a multitude of captives, whom Tiberius entertained, redeemed, and dismissed to their native homes with the charitable spirit of a Christian hero. The merit or misfortunes of his own subjects had a dearer claim to his beneficence, and he measured his bounty not so much by their expectations as by his own dignity. This maxim, however dangerous in a trustee of the public wealth, was balanced by a principle of humanity and justice, which taught him to abhor, as of the basest alloy, the gold that was extracted from the tears of the people. For their relief, as often as they had suffered by natural or hostile calamities, he was impatient to remit the arrears of the past, or the demands of future taxes: he sternly rejected the servile offerings of his ministers, which were compensated by tenfold oppression; and the wise and equitable laws of Tiberius excited the praise and regret of succeeding times. Constantinople believed that the emperor had discovered a treasure: but his genuine treasure consisted in the practice of liberal economy, and the contempt of all vain and superfluous expense. The Romans of the East would have been happy, if the best gift of Heaven, a patriot king, had been confirmed as a proper and permanent blessing. But in less than four years after the death of Justin, his worthy successor sunk into a mortal disease, which left him only sufficient time to restore the diadem, according to the tenure by which he held it, to the most deserving of his fellow-citizens.
That opinion was not shared by John Bagnall Bury, who commented:
But though he might have made a very good minister of war, Tiberius did not make a good Emperor. It was natural that his first acts should be reactionary, as Justin's government had been extremely unpopular. He removed the duty on the "political bread," and remitted a fourth part of the taxes throughout the Empire. Had he been contented with this he might deserve praise, but he began a system of most injudicious extravagance. He gratified the soldiers with large and frequent Augustatica, and he granted donations to members of all the professions scholastics or jurists ("a very numerous profession"), physicians, silversmiths, bankers. This liberality soon emptied the treasury of its wealth. The result was that by the end of the first year of his reign he had spent 7200 pounds of gold, beside silver and silk in abundance; and before he died he was obliged to have recourse to the reserve fund which the prudent economy of Anastasius had laid by, to be used in the case of an extreme emergency. And, notwithstanding these financial difficulties, he laid out money on new buildings in the palace. The consequence of this recklessness was that when Maurice came to the throne he found the exchequer empty and the State bankrupt. There is considerable reason, I think, to remove Tiberius from his pedestal.
Originally betrothed as a young man to the daughter of Ino, Tiberius eventually married Ino after her daughter and husband died. She took on the name Anastasia in 578 after his accession to the throne.
They had three children together, one of whom died before Tiberius was created Caesar in 574.Of his other two, both daughters, Constantina was married to Tiberius's successor, Maurice, and Charito was married to Germanus. His wife and two daughters all outlived him.
The 570s decade ran from January 1, 570, to December 31, 579.
Year 582 (DLXXXII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 582 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.
Maurice was Byzantine Emperor from 582 to 602. A prominent general, Maurice fought with success against the Sasanian Empire. After he became Emperor, he brought the war with Sasanian Persia to a victorious conclusion. Under him the Empire's eastern border in the South Caucasus was vastly expanded and, for the first time in nearly two centuries, the Romans were no longer obliged to pay the Persians thousands of pounds of gold annually for peace.
Justin II was Eastern Roman Emperor from 565 to 574. He was the nephew of Justinian I and the husband of Sophia, the niece of the Empress Theodora, and was therefore a member of the Justinian Dynasty. His reign was marked by war with the Sassanid Empire, and the loss of the greater part of Italy. He presented the Cross of Justin II to Saint Peter's, Rome.
Germanus was an East Roman (Byzantine) general, one of the leading commanders of Emperor Justinian I. Germanus was Emperor Justinian's cousin, and a member of the ruling dynasty. He held commands in Thrace, North Africa, and the East against Persia, and was slated to command the final Byzantine expedition against the Ostrogoths. Having married into the Gothic Amal royal line through his second wife Matasuntha and a distinguished service record, at the time of his sudden death, he was considered the probable heir to Emperor Justinian.
The Excubitors were founded in c. 460 as the imperial guards of the early Byzantine emperors. Their commanders soon acquired great influence and provided a series of emperors in the 6th century. The Excubitors fade from the record in the late 7th century, but in the mid-8th century, they were reformed into one of the elite tagmatic units, the professional core of the middle Byzantine army. The Excubitors are last attested in the Battle of Dyrrhachium in 1081.
The Byzantine–Sasanian War of 572–591 was a war fought between the Sasanian Empire of Persia and the Eastern Roman Empire, termed by modern historians as the Byzantine Empire. It was triggered by pro-Byzantine revolts in areas of the Caucasus under Persian hegemony, although other events contributed to its outbreak. The fighting was largely confined to the southern Caucasus and Mesopotamia, although it also extended into eastern Anatolia, Syria, and northern Iran. It was part of an intense sequence of wars between these two empires which occupied the majority of the 6th and early 7th centuries. It was also the last of the many wars between them to follow a pattern in which fighting was largely confined to frontier provinces and neither side achieved any lasting occupation of enemy territory beyond this border zone. It preceded a much more wide-ranging and dramatic final conflict in the early 7th century.
Constantina was the Empress consort of Maurice of the Byzantine Empire. She was a daughter of Tiberius II Constantine and Ino Anastasia. Her parentage was recorded in the chronicles of Theophylact Simocatta, Paul the Deacon and John of Biclaro.
Ino, renamed Aelia Anastasia was the Empress consort of Tiberius II Constantine of the Byzantine Empire, and Augusta from 578 until her death.
Aelia Sophia was the Empress consort of Justin II of the Byzantine Empire, and regent during the incapacity of her spouse from 573 until 578. She was specifically interested in economic matters and was involved in financial matters during Justin's reign.
Comentiolus was a prominent Eastern Roman (Byzantine) general at the close of the 6th century during the reign of Emperor Maurice. He played a major role in Maurice's Balkan campaigns, and fought also in the East against the Sassanid Persians. Comentiolus was ultimately executed in 602 after the Byzantine army rebelled against Maurice and Emperor Phocas usurped the throne.
The Byzantine Empire had its first golden age under the Justinian Dynasty, which began in 518 AD with the Accession of Justin I. Under the Justinian Dynasty, particularly the reign of Justinian I, the Empire reached its largest territorial point, reincorporating North Africa, southern Illyria, southern Spain, and Italy into the Empire. The Justinian Dynasty ended in 602 with the deposition of Maurice and the ascension of his successor, Phocas.
Flavius Mar Petrus Theodorus Valentinus Rusticius Boraides Germanus Iustinus, simply and commonly known as Justin, was an East Roman (Byzantine) aristocrat and general. A member of the Justinian Dynasty and nephew of Emperor Justinian I, he was appointed as one of the last Roman consuls in 540, before going on to assume senior military commands in the Balkans and in Lazica. He fought against the Slavs, the Sassanid Persians and supervised the Byzantine Empire's first contacts with the Avars. At the time of Justinian's death, he was seen as a probable successor, but was beaten to the throne by his cousin, Justin II, who exiled him to Egypt, where he was murdered.
Justinian was an East Roman (Byzantine) aristocrat and general, and a member of the ruling Justinian dynasty. As a soldier, he had a distinguished career in the Balkans and in the East against Sassanid Persia. In his later years, he plotted unsuccessfully against regent and later emperor Tiberius II.
Al-Mundhir ibn al-Ḥārith, known in Greek sources as (Flavios) Alamoundaros, was the king of the Ghassanid Arabs from 569 to circa 581. A son of Al-Harith ibn Jabalah, he succeeded his father both in the kingship over his tribe and as the chief of the Byzantine Empire's Arab clients and allies in the East, with the rank of patricius. Despite his victories over the rival Persian-backed Lakhmids, throughout Mundhir's reign his relations with Byzantium were lukewarm due to his staunch Miaphysitism. This led to a complete breakdown of the alliance in 572, after Mundhir discovered Byzantine plans to assassinate him. Relations were restored in 575 and Mundhir secured from the Byzantine emperor both recognition of his royal status and a pledge of tolerance towards the Miaphysite Church.
John, surnamed Mystacon, "the mustachioed",, was a prominent East Roman (Byzantine) general in the wars with Sassanid Persia during the reigns of Byzantine emperors Tiberius II and Maurice.
Priscus or Priskos was a leading East Roman (Byzantine) general during the reigns of the Byzantine emperors Maurice, Phocas and Heraclius. Priscus comes across as an effective and capable military leader, although the contemporary sources are markedly biased in his favour. Under Maurice, he distinguished himself in the campaigns against the Avars and their Slavic allies in the Balkans. Absent from the capital at the time of Maurice's overthrow and murder by Phocas, he was one of the few of Maurice's senior aides who were able to survive unharmed into the new regime, remaining in high office and even marrying the new emperor's daughter. Priscus, however, also negotiated with and assisted Heraclius in the overthrow of Phocas, and was entrusted with command against the Persians in 611–612. After the failure of this campaign, he was dismissed and tonsured. He died shortly after.
Marcellus was a brother of Byzantine emperor Justin II and general under his uncle, Emperor Justinian I.
Germanus was a Caesar of the Byzantine Empire. He married Charito, a daughter of Tiberius II Constantine and Ino Anastasia.
The history of the Eastern Roman Empire (324–1453) is generally considered to fall into three distinct eras:
Tiberius II ConstantineBorn: c. 520 Died: 14 August 582
| Byzantine Emperor |
with Justin II (574–578)
Imp. Caesar Flavius Iustinus Augustus in 566, then lapsed
| Consul of the Roman Empire |
Lapsed, Imp. Caesar Flavius Mauricius Tiberius Augustus in 583