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Nikephoros II Phokas

Nikephoros II Phokas



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Byzantine Empire (Ages in Chaos Map Game)

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The Byzantine Empire (Greek: Βασιλεία Βυζαντινή), officially known as the Roman Empire (Greek: Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων), is a major Eastern European nation that controls Anatolia and Greece, as well as parts of Italy and the Balkans. At its apex under Emperor Justinian, the nation formerly spanned from southern Spain across north Africa to Egypt, east to Syria, and included all of Italy and the Balkans.

The current Emperor is Nikephoros II Phokas, a successful general who married into the ruling Macedonian Dynasty. He has reigned since 963.

Among the notable neighbors are the Hamdanid Emirate of Mosul to the southeast and the Bulgarian Empire to the northwest.


Biography [ edit | edit source ]

Eustathios was the son of Constantine Maleinos, a senior general and long-time governor of the theme of Cappadocia. The Maleinos family had by that time, chiefly through their close association with the Phokas clan, become one of the most important and influential clans in the land-holding aristocracy of Asia Minor (Anatolia), which provided Byzantium with most of its generals. Ώ] Thus, Eustathios could count both on his family's considerable authority and its expertise in military matters to secure high office. He became strategos of the theme of Lykandos, before his cousin, Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas (r. 963–969) appointed him, alongside his original post, as the first Byzantine governor (doux) of Antioch after the city fell to the Byzantine Empire in October 969. ΐ] Α] About a year after the murder of Nikephoros II in December 969, Maleinos was transferred by his successor, John I Tzimiskes (r. 969–976) to the governorship of Tarsos in Cilicia, a post which he still held in 976, when the young Basil II became senior emperor. Β]

Gold histamenon coin depicting Nikephoros II Phokas and his son-in-law and junior co-emperor Basil II.

Basil's assumption of control over the imperial government did not go unchallenged by the military aristocracy, whose members, supported by the army, their large estates, and their extensive network of clients, had dominated it during the previous thirteen years, when Nikephoros Phokas and John Tzimiskes had ruled as nominal protectors of Basil and his younger brother, Constantine VIII. Γ] Thus, soon after Tzimiskes's death in January 976, his principal supporter, the Domestic of the East Bardas Skleros, was declared emperor. Maleinos, a Phokas adherent and hence opponent of Tzimiskes's supporters, remained loyal to Basil. Although he failed to prevent the rebel's outbreak from his original base around Melitene across the Anti-Taurus Mountains into Anatolia proper and suffered a heavy defeat at his hands in late summer 976, Maleinos continued to serve as a loyalist general until the revolt's final suppression in 979. ΐ] Δ]

In order to successfully counter the rebel, however, Basil and his leading minister, the parakoimomenos Basil Lekapenos, had been forced to recall the general Bardas Phokas the Younger, the nephew of Emperor Nikephoros II, from exile in 978 and appoint him in command of the eastern armies. After his victory over Skleros, Phokas and his adherents now began plotting to overthrow the emperor. The conflict did not break out immediately, but both sides settled in what the historian Mark Whittow terms a "cold war". Ε] In 985, the emperor moved first by sacking or demoting a number of eastern generals loyal to the Phokas clan: Bardas Phokas himself was demoted to doux of Antioch and Eustathios Maleinos was discharged from the army. In 986, however, after the humiliating defeat of Basil himself by the Bulgarians at the Gates of Trajan and the return of Skleros from exile in Baghdad, the emperor was forced to re-appoint Bardas Phokas as commander-in-chief of the East. Phokas soon tricked Skleros into a meeting and placed him under arrest, but now the decisive conflict over the throne was inevitable: on 15 August or 14 September 987, in Maleinos's house in the Charsianon theme, the assembled leading aristocratic families proclaimed Phokas as emperor. ΐ] Ζ]

Phokas's rebellion spread quickly to all of Anatolia. Eventually Basil, in dire need of loyal troops, concluded a marriage alliance with the Kievan Rus': in exchange for his sister Anna, Vladimir of Kiev dispatched 6,000 Varangians with whom Basil managed to subdue the revolt, with Phokas himself falling in battle. Η] With the exception of a few of the rebel's senior aides, Basil dealt relatively generously with the supporters of the Phokades. Thus, despite being one of Phokas's most prominent supporters, Maleinos was allowed to keep his court title of magistros and his extensive estates (Arab sources record that one of them stretched continuously from Claudiopolis in Bithynia to the Sangarios river, covering some 115 square kilometers). ΐ] ⎖] ⎗] In 995, however, as Emperor Basil II was returning from a campaign against the Fatimids in Syria, he stayed on Maleinos's estates. Maleinos lavishly provided for the needs of both the imperial retinue as well as the entire army from his own resources. Basil was greatly impressed and alarmed by this display of a subject's wealth and power he took Maleinos with him to Constantinople as a virtual hostage, and in January 996, he issued a new law against the unlawful appropriation of communal village lands by the land-holding aristocracy, the so-called dynatoi ("powerful ones"), in a bid to reduce their power. Confined henceforth to the capital, Maleinos was well catered for, but, in the words of the chronicler John Skylitzes, "supplying him plentifully with everything he needed, Basil detained Eustathios as if he were nourishing a wild beast in a cage". After his death, his estates and fortune were confiscated by the emperor. ⎖] ⎗] ⎘]


Civil administration

Due to the care he lavished upon the army, Nikephoros II was compelled to exercise rigid economy in other departments. He retrenched court largess and curtailed the immunities of the clergy, and while he had an ascetic disposition, he forbade the foundation of new monasteries. By his heavy imposts and the debasement of the coinage he forfeited his popularity with the people and gave rise to riots. Lastly, he was forsaken by his wife, and, in consequence of a conspiracy she headed with his nephew and her lover John Tzimiskes, he was assassinated in his sleeping apartment. Following his death, the Phokas family broke into insurrection under Nikephoros' nephew Bardas Phokas, but their revolt was promptly subdued.

Nikephoros was the author of extant treatises on military tactics, most famously the Praecepta Militaria, which contains valuable information concerning the art of war in his time, and the less-known On Skirmishing (Περὶ Παραδρομῆς Πολέμου in the original Greek), which concerned guerilla-like tactics for defence against a superior enemy invasion force — though it is likely that this latter work, at least, was not composed by the Emperor but rather for him: translator and editor George T. Denis suggests that it was perhaps written by his brother Leo Phokas, then Domestic of the West. [6] Nikephoros was a very devout man, and he helped his friend, the monk Athanasios, found the monastery of Great Lavra on Mount Athos.


Sunday, June 2, 2019

On Sieges and Warfare

I've been doing some thinking and what I want to do is discuss the topics broadly and stay tightly focussed to the narrative. This is like mixing custard and port, maybe a very good chef could make it work, but I don't think I'm up to it. You might be able to tell that this specifric blog will be more conversational, in an attempt to less conversational in the narrative blogs.

This blog will be a deeper dive into warfare and Nikephoros. How does one carry out a siege? There are a time-tested few methods to carry out a siege.

The first is to break in before the enemy know that the siege has started, which is effectively the optimised outcome and something that Nikephoros would pull off at least once, at Manbij/Hierapolis. This is sort of the finesse move and it requires aggressive officers, a fast-moving army, and to actually visit the city/fortress in question. That's a one trick pony and can hardly be relied upon, although it's never hurts much to try it.

The second approach is probably Nikephoros' favourite strategy I jokingly think of it as the "one-week-wonder" take your army and rock up to a city, spend a week patrolling around the walls and look for weak spots, and, if you find a weak spot, take the city with an assault (e.g. Aleppo 962). But this is where it gets clever in the horrifyingly awesome way that medieval warfare often is. If you fail to take the city, you loot and burn the suburbs (the city outside the walls), displace the citizenry, cause mayhem, but you take measurements of the walls, notes on specific equipment that you may not have, but could the next time. The sources somewhat suggest that this happened at Mopsuestia from 964 to 965, but as, William Garrood writes about the conquest of Cilicia, the sources become confused by the intensity of Byzantine activity so there are also vagueries. Regardless, the next time that you come back, the city should be a bit easier to take to some extent, sieges can be split over multiple seasons or even years. I suggest looking into the 1148 Siege of Damascus for an example of where one week of prior scouting would have changed the course of events. If you're interested in the "short-format" siege, the fortified hillside city of Carcasonne was impenetrable I've been there and those walls simply could not be stormed by anything other than tens of thousands. During the Albigensian Crusade, the city lasted no more than two weeks because their internal water source was incapable of sustaining them.


Implicitly, cities are tough nuts to crack and not all cities are created equal the best commanders in history still took many months to resolve some sieges. Occasionally, the best action to take when besieging is to sit there for months and to starve out the defenders. Simultaneously, the attacker can use this time to prepare siege works - Nikephoros Ouranos describes tunneling under walls as the most effective way to take cities, which is how the histories describe Nikephoros Phokas' actions. The prolonged siege isn't a disaster for an attacker, as long as they take the city. If one spends five months and fails to take the city, then that sets up a much poorer situation.


Accordingly, what's the most important aspect of a protracted siege in pre-modern times? I argue that it's the season the siege starts in because you want to have access to the surrounding harvest to feed your army and deny your opponents their ability to store their harvest inside walls. The Siege of Chandax started in July 960 and harvest season is roughly Autumn, which sounds like appropriately good planning.

The final method for sieges works better during civil wars, due to the similar cultures and/or languages, which is bribing locals/defenders to open gates.

Let's flip this, what does a defender see. A defender sees that they have soldiers, morale, water, food, and let's call it the strength of the barrier between them and the attackers. If any one of those five hit zero, the city will surrender or be taken (the attackers usually heavily outnumber the defenders so when the walls are breached then the attackers take the city almost every time). The reverse is true though. If the attacker's morale, water, food hit zero (or the number of soldiers drop to below the level of the defenders), then they will abandon the siege. This explains why defenders sally during sieges, as usually there comes a point where there's an excess of defenders for the quantity of (usually, but not exclusively) food in the city and lives are risked to sure up one of the city's failings. It's obviously why sallies are taken and siege towers/trebuchets are burnt because it's more valuable to risk lives than it is to allow the walls to be overcome.

Sometimes, cities surrender earlier. At Tarsos 965, Nikephoros crushed the undoubtedly smaller army the Tarsiots put on the field to prevent him from besieging the city. Nikephoros then attempted to storm the walls, but was repelled. Only after that did the city sue for peace on not unreasonable terms, which was that the citizenry could choose to leave with their belongings. What essentially happened here was that the morale of the city dropped to zero - they could have held out for a month or two more probably, but to what end? For the record, I don't hold it against a general for attempting to storm the walls and failing once, I will begin to hold it against them if they continue to dripfeed their forces into unfavourable situations, such as Witiges early during the 537-538 Siege of Rome.

Leo the Deacon, if I'm not mistaken, claims that he had taken sixty cities and fortresses by the time he became emperor in 963. John Skylitzes claims that, by the time Nikephoros died in 969, he had taken one hundred. It was a lot of grueling work to invert the border region, but one that Nikephoros shined at. The Caliphal border region were known as the "thughur" and the Caliphate, before the start of its collapse had fortified those border cities far beyond the resources of the individual cities - Tarsus is describe as having a double-wall.

To put it simply why I think Nikephoros Phokas was the best commander of his age is because he trained and equipped the armies to a much higher standard than any of his recent predecessors and appropriately selected aggressive and competent officers who he could work with. Whether he was present or not, he set up a system that drew out the forces of Sayf al-Dawla or the Tarsiots or any number of other small emirates and cities and eliminated them at a low cost to his armies. His aggressive year-round multi-year campaigns turned a semi-professional force into a crack military that was unrivalled even after his time for some thirty years. He could wield this incredible army, in a landscape where the enemy forces had been wiped out, to start cracking cities and fortresses open, a task that so many commanders struggled at, but one that Nikephoros had the mindset for.


Sisällysluettelo

Nikeforos Fokas syntyi noin vuonna 912. Hän kuului kappadokialaiseen Fokasten maanomistaja- ja sotilassukuun, josta tuli 900-luvulla monta korkea-arvoista sotilaskomentajaa. Nikeforoksen isoisä Nikeforos Fokas vanhempi (k. noin 900), setä Leo Fokas vanhempi, isä Bardas Fokas (noin 878–968) [6] ja veli Leo Fokas nuorempi (s. noin 915, k. 970 jälkeen) toimivat kaikki valtakunnan johtavimpina sotapäälliköinä. [7] Nikeforos oli Bardaksen vanhin poika, ja hänellä oli ainakin kolme sisarusta: veljet Leo ja Konstantinos (k. noin 954) [8] sekä nimeltä tuntematon sisar, joka oli tulevan keisarin Johannes I Tzimiskesin (hallitsi 969–979) äiti. [9] Nikeforoksen äidin nimeä ei tiedetä, mutta tämä kuului Vähästä-Aasiasta kotoisin olleeseen rikkaaseen Maleinosten sukuun. [2]

Nikeforoksen varhaisista vaiheista ei tiedetä mitään, mutta luultavasti hän seurasi isänsä ja perheensä perinteitä liittymällä armeijaan jo nuorena ja palvelemalla Bysantin valtakunnan itärajalla arabeja vastaan. [2]

Noustuaan yksinvaltiaaksi vuonna 945 keisari Konstantinos VII alkoi suosimaan Fokasten sukua. Vähentääkseen edeltäjänsä keisari Romanos I:n tukeman Kourkouasten suvun vaikutusvaltaa Konstantinos nimitti monia Fokasten suvun jäseniä korkeisiin sotilasvirkoihin. Nikeforoksen isä Bardas nimitettiin armeijan ylipäälliköksi (domestikos ton skholon), ja Nikeforoksesta itsestä tuli Vähän-Aasian tärkeimmän sotilas- ja siviilihallintoalueen (thema) Anatolikonin käskynhaltija ja sotilaskomentaja (strategos). Nikeforoksen veljet Leo ja Konstantinos saivat puolestaan hallittavakseen Kappadokian ja Seleukeian themat. [8] [2]

Vuonna 953 Nikeforoksen isä Bardas haavoittui taistelussa Aleppon arabiemiiri Saif al-Daulaa vastaan, jonka jälkeen keisari Konstantinos VII nimitti Nikeforoksen hänen tilalleen armeijan ylipäälliköksi (domestikos ton skholon). [10] [6] [11] [1] Nikeforos sai tehtäväkseen johtaa hyökkäystä arabeja vastaan Pohjois-Syyriassa, ja vuonna 957 Nikeforos valloitti Kilikiassa sijainneen Adatan kaupungin. Kun al-Daula suunnitteli vastahyökkäystä bysanttilaisia vastaan, Nikeforos lahjoi joitakin hänen lähimpiä miehiään kidnappaamaan hänet. Suunnitelma epäonnistui, mutta al-Daula joutui perumaan aikeensa ja palasi takaisin Aleppoon rankaisemaan salaliittolaisia. [12]

Keisari Konstantinos VII kuoli marraskuussa 959, jonka jälkeen hänen seuraajakseen tuli hänen poikansa Romanos II. Helpottaakseen sotilasoperaatioita kahdella rintamalla Romanos jakoi domestikos ton skholon -sotilasarvon itäiseen ja läntiseen osaan. Idän domestikoksesta (kreik. δομέστικος τῆς ἀνατολῆς , domestikos tes anatoles) tuli valtakunnan itäisten eli Vähän-Aasian joukkojen ylipäällikkö ja lännen domestikoksesta (kreik. δομέστικος τῆς δύσεως , domestikos tes dyseos) lännen eli Euroopan vastaava. Tosin idän domestikos oli ilmeisesti lännen virkaveljeään jokseenkin ylemmässä asemassa. [13] Romanos nimitti idän domestikokseksi Nikeforoksen ja lännen domestikokseksi tämän veljen Leo Fokasin. [14]

Kesällä 960 keisari Romanos lähetti Nikeforoksen valtaamaan Kreetaa, jonka arabit olivat valloittaneet 820-luvulla. Kreetalta operoineet arabimerirosvot olivat siitä lähtien olleet piikkinä Bysantin lihassa ryöstellessään ja hävittäessään valtakunnan rannikkoalueita. [15] Bysanttilaiset olivat yrittäneet saaren takaisinvaltausta vuosina 842/843, 911 ja 949, mutta nämä yritykset olivat epäonnistuneet. Aikaisemmista tappioista viisastuneena Romanos keräsi kaikki saatavilla olevat laivat kuljettamaan tarpeeksi suurta armeijaa saarelle. Nikeforoksen laivastoon kuului satojen pienien alusten lisäksi 307 sotalaivaa eli kaksi kertaa enemmän kuin vuosina 911 ja 949 tehdyillä sotaretkillä. Yhteensä soutajia ja sotilaita kerrotaan olleen 77 000, melkein kaksi kertaa enemmän kuin vuonna 911 ja kolme kertaa enemmän kuin vuonna 949. [16]

Nikeforoksen joukot nousivat maihin Kreetalla kesäkuussa 960 ja piirittivät heidän vahvasti linnoitetun pääkaupunkinsa Rabd al-handaqin (kreik. Χάνδαξ , Khandaks, nykyinen Heraklion). [17] Piiritys oli bysanttilaisille vaikea, ja se kesti yhdeksän kuukautta, mutta lopulta Nikeforoksen joukot onnistuivat murtautumaan kaupungin muurien läpi. Kaupunki antautui 7. maaliskuuta 961 ja koko saari oli bysanttilaisten hallussa samassa kuussa. [2] [18] Bysanttilaiset vangitsivat Kreetan emiirin ja saivat suuren sotasaaliin. Saaresta muodostettiin sotilas- ja siviilihallintoalue (thema), ja lähetyssaarnaajia lähetettiin käännyttämään saaren väestöä kristinuskoon. [16]

Kreetan takaisinvaltaus toi Nikeforokselle paljon mainetta ja kunniaa. [2] Pääkaupungissa Konstantinopolissa järjestettiin kiitosjumalanpalvelus voiton kunniaksi, ja keisari Romanos toivotti Nikeforoksen tervetulleeksi tämän palattua kaupunkiin vuoden 961 keväällä tai kesällä. Nikeforos vietti voittonsa kunniaksi triumfin, jota erään kuvauksen mukaan inspiroi 500-luvulla eläneen itäroomalaisen historioitsijan Prokopioksen kuvaus sotapäällikkö Belisariuksen triumfista vuonna 534. Triumfikulkue kulki Nikeforoksen kodilta hippodromille, ja siinä esiteltiin vangiksi saatuja arabeja sekä sotasaalista. Kuten Belisarius, Nikeforoksen ei annettu käyttää hevosta tai muutakaan kulkuneuvoa, vaan hänen oli kuljettava jalan triumfikulkueen mukana. [19] Menestyksellä oli kuitenkin myös varjopuolensa, ja monet yläluokan jäsenet, kuten kamariherra (parakoimomenos) Josef Bringas, tulivat kateellisiksi ja epäluuloisiksi Nikeforosta kohtaan. [2]

Nikeforos palasi Vähään-Aasiaan jo vuoden 961 lopulla. [19] Aleppon emiiri Saif al-Daula oli vuonna 960 kärsinyt vakavan tappion Nikeforoksen veljeä Leoa vastaan ja menettänyt melkein koko armeijansa taistelussa. Nikeforos toivoi nyt murskaavansa sekä Tarsoksen että Aleppon emiraatit ennen kuin al-Daula ehtisi toipua tappiostaan. Pitkien valmistelujen jälkeen Nikeforos johti armeijansa Kilikiaan vuoden 962 alussa ja onnistui yllättämään arabit, jotka eivät odottaneet hyökkäystä tuona aikana. Nikeforos kukisti Tarsoksen emiirin joukot ja valloitti Anazarboksen kaupungin sekä useita rajalinnakkeita. Tämän jälkeen Nikeforos palasi armeijansa kanssa Kappadokiaan viettämään pääsiäistä. [16]

Bysanttilaisten lähdettyä al-Daula marssi Kilikiaan ja otti heikentyneen Tarsoksen emiraatin haltuunsa. Hän joutui kuitenkin lähtemään ennen syksyä, kun Nikeforos ja tämän sisarenpoika Anatolikonin strategos Johannes Tzimiskes hyökkäsivät jälleen Kilikiaan. Nikeforoksen joukot ryöstivät Sisiumin, jonka jälkeen he etenivät Syyriaan. Maraş (Germanikeia, nykyinen Kahramanmaraş Turkissa), Dülük (Teloukh) ja Manbij (antiikin Hierapolis) vallattiin. al-Daula lähetti parhaat joukkonsa Aleppon pohjoispuolelle kohtaamaan Nikeforoksen armeijaa ja valmistautui itse puolustamaan kaupunkia nostoväen avulla. Nikeforos kuitenkin vältti heidät, marssi Aleppoon ja löi al-Daulan joukot kaupungin muurien ulkopuolella joulukuussa 962. [20] al-Daula joutui pakenemaan, ja Nikeforos lähetti Johanneksen ajamaan häntä takaa. Aleppolaisten keskinäistä kinastelua ja rappeutuneita muureja hyväksikäyttäen bysanttilaiset murtautuivat kaupunkiin 23. joulukuuta vain kolmen päivän piirityksen jälkeen. Koko kaupunki, sen sitadellia lukuun ottamatta, ryöstettiin ja poltettiin. [16] [21] [22]

Kerättyään runsaasti ryöstösaalista Nikeforoksen joukot vetäytyivät vuoden 962 lopulla. Sotaretken tarkoituksena ei nähtävästi ollut valloittaa uusia alueita, vaan vain näännyttää ja nöyryyttää arabeja. [16] Arabit kutsuivat Nikeforosta "Saraseenien valkoiseksi kuolemaksi", [21] ja hän sai heidän keskuudessaan niin pelottavan maineen, että arabiarmeijoiden kerrottiin vetäytyneen jo kuullessaan hänen lähestyvän. [23]

Keisari Romanos II kuoli yllättäen 15. maaliskuuta [22] 963 vain noin 23-vuotiaana, jonka jälkeen keisarikunta syöksyi poliittiseen epävarmuuteen. Romanoksen nuoret pojat Basileios ja Konstantinos oli jo kruunattu keisareiksi, mutta he olivat liian nuoria hallitsemaan (Basileios oli noin 5-vuotias ja Konstantinos vasta 2- tai 3-vuotias). [24] Romanoksen lesken Theofanon oli tarkoitus toimia sijaishallitsijana pojille, mutta tosiasiassa valtaa piti kamariherra Josef Bringas, jonka välit Theofanoon ja suosittuun sotapäällikköön Nikeforokseen olivat kylmät. [25] Theofano liittoutui pian Nikeforoksen kanssa tajutessaan, että se olisi paras keino turvata poikiensa pääsyn valtaistuimelle. Hän kirjoittikin salaa Nikeforokselle ja kehotti tätä palaamaan Konstantinopoliin viettämään ansaitsemaansa triumfia. [26] [27]

Nikeforos oli armeijansa luona Tzamandoksessa Kappadokiassa, kun hän kuuli Romanoksen kuolemasta. Hän palasi Konstantinopoliin keväällä 963 ja vietti triumfinsa Bringasin vastalauseista huolimatta. Peläten Nikeforoksen suosion nousevan entisestään Bringas kehitti salaliiton häntä vastaan, mutta Nikeforos onnistui pakenemaan Hagia Sofian kirkkoon, missä hän patriarkka Polyeuktoksen tuella sai vahvistettua itselleen valtakunnan itäisten joukkojen ylipäällikkyyden. Tämän jälkeen hän palasi Kappadokiaan kesäkuussa 963. [25] Bringas yritti juonitella Nikeforoksen viralta panemiseksi ja tarjosi keisarin titteliä lännen domestikos Marinos Argyrokselle. Hän kirjoitti myös Tzimiskesille ja tarjosi tälle idän domestikoksen virkaa, mikäli tämä kääntyisi enoaan vastaan. Tzimiskes meni kuitenkin Bringasilta saamansa kirjeen kanssa Nikeforoksen luo ja kehotti tätä toimimaan. He kutsuivat Vähän-Aasian joukot Kappadokiaan Caesareaan, missä sotilaat huusivat Nikeforoksen keisariksi 2. heinäkuuta 963. Tämän jälkeen Nikeforos lähti armeijansa kanssa kohti Konstantinopolia. [26] [27]

Lähestyessään Konstantinopolia Nikeforoksen joukkoihin liittyivät hänen veljensä Leo sekä monia korkea-arvoisia upseereita. Bringas organisoi valtakunnan Euroopan puoleiset joukot Nikeforoksen armeijaa vastaan ja yritti estää näitä ylittämästä Bosporinsalmea tuomalla kaikki saatavilla olevat laivat paikalle. Hän otti myös Nikeforoksen ikääntyneen isän Bardaksen panttivangiksi. 9. elokuuta 963 Bringasin vihamies ja entinen kamariherra Basileios Lekapenos organisoi kapinan Bringasta vastaan Konstantinopolissa. Kaupungin väestön ja senaatin tuella hän otti haltuunsa lukuisia satamia ja sotalaivoja, jotka hän lähetti liittymään Nikeforoksen joukkoihin. [25] Hän myös aseisti 3 000 palvelijaansa ja lähetti nämä ryöstelemään Bringasin tukijoiden koteja. Nikeforoksen joukot osoittautuivat liian ylivoimaisiksi Bringasin sotilaille, ja tämä joutui pakenemaan Hagia Sofian kirkkoon. Pian myös Konstantinopolin väestö nousi kapinaan Bringasta vastaan ja kolmen päivän taistelun jälkeen onnistui lyömään Bringasin sotilaat. Nikeforos saapui kaupunkiin 16. elokuuta 963, ja patriarkka kruunasi hänet keisariksi Hagia Sofiassa. [26] [22] [27] Bringas karkotettiin Paflagoniaan ja myöhemmin Asekretiksen luostariin lähelle Nikomedeiaa, jossa hän kuoli vuonna 965. [28]

Nikeforoksesta oli näin tullut keisari noin 51-vuotiaana. Koska hänellä ei ollut omia lapsia, hän tunnusti nuorten keisarien Basileioksen ja Konstantinoksen oikeudet kruunuun ja toimi heidän holhoojanaan ja vanhempana keisarina. [29] Laillistaakseen asemansa Nikeforos meni Theofanon kanssa naimisiin 20. syyskuuta, noin kuukausi valtaannousunsa jälkeen. [26] Eräässä vaiheessa häävalmistelut ajautuivat vaikeuksiin, kun kävi ilmi, että Nikeforos oli Theofanon yhden tai molempien poikien kummisetä, minkä vuoksi patriarkka Polyeuktos vastusti avioliittoa. Ongelma kuitenkin ratkesi, kun patriarkka hyväksyi Nikeforoksen isän Bardaksen selityksen, jonka mukaan poikien kummisetä olikin Bardas eikä Nikeforos. [24]

Nikeforos palkitsi monia tukijoitaan nimittämällä heitä tärkeisiin virkoihin. Hän nimitti veljensä Leo Fokasin valtion kuljetusjärjestelmän (dromos, ks. cursus publicus) johtajaksi (logothetes tou dromou) ja antoi hänelle korkean kouropalates-arvonimen. Johannes Tzimiskesistä tuli valtakunnan itäisten joukkojen komentaja ja Basileios Lekapenos korvasi Bringasin kamariherrana. Nikeforos antoi myös isälleen Bardakselle Kaisar (Caesar)-arvonimen, joka tämän korkean iän takia tuskin vaikuttaisi perimysjärjestykseen. [26]

Syksyllä 963 arabeja riivasi nälänhätä, ja Aleppon emiiri Saif al-Daula sairastui. Arabit jatkoivat kuitenkin ryöstöretkiä Bysantin alueille ja onnistuivat pääsemään Ikonioniin (nykyinen Konya) asti. Saman vuoden talvella idän joukkojen komentajaksi nimetty Johannes Tzimiskes vastasi arabien ryöstöretkiin hyökkäämällä Kilikiaan. Tzimiskes kukisti arabit lähellä Adanaa ja piiritti Mopsuestian kaupungin. Hän joutui kuitenkin perääntymään vuoden 964 alussa joukkojen alkaessa kärsiä nälkää. [26]

Nikeforos vietti talven 963–964 Konstantinopolissa, [26] mutta palasi keväällä Caesareaan kokoamaan joukkojaan uuteen hyökkäykseen al-Daulan arabeja vastaan. Hän lähetti myös sukulaisensa Manuel Fokasin johtaman armeijan Sisiliaan auttamaan saaren kristittyjä taistelussa arabeja vastaan. Manuelin joukot kärsivät kuitenkin tappion, ja hän itse sai surmansa. Toinen Nikeforoksen lähettämä armeija onnistui kuitenkin vuonna 965 valtaamaan Kyproksen arabeilta. [30]

Syksyllä 964 Nikeforos hyökkäsi Kilikiaan suuren armeijan kanssa ja piiritti Mopsuestian, mutta nälänhätä pakotti bysanttilaiset perääntymään 50 päivän piirityksen jälkeen. Arabit yrittivät neuvotella, mutta Nikeforos hylkäsi heidän pyyntönsä ja palasi takaisin Mopsuestiaan kesällä 965. Tällä kertaa kaupunki vallattiin ja Nikeforos siirtyi Tarsokseen, jonka asukkaat antautuivat vastineeksi vapaasta pääsystä arabien hallitsemaan Antiokiaan. Kilikia oli nyt bysanttilaisten hallussa, ja Nikeforos perusti useita uusia teemoja suojelemaan vastavallattua aluetta. Nikeforos salli kristittyjen jäädä alueelle ja kannusti myös Syyrian ja Armenian kristittyjä muuttamaan Kilikiaan. Nikeforos palasi syksyllä 965 Konstantinopoliin viettämään triumfia voittojensa kunniaksi. [30]

Bysantti ja Bulgaria olivat solmineet rauhansopimuksen Bulgarian tsaari Simeonin kuoleman jälkeen vuonna 927. Rauhansopimuksen mukaan Bysantin piti maksaa veroa (tai avustuksia, kuten bysanttilaiset itse sen näkivät) Bulgarialle vastineeksi jatkuvasta rauhasta. Syksyllä 965 tai vuoden 966 [30] alussa Nikeforoksen puheille saapuikin bulgaarien lähettiläitä, jotka olivat tulleet pyytämään maksujen jatkamista. Bysantti oli kuitenkin voimistunut rauhansopimuksen solmimisen jälkeen, ja Nikeforos raivostui lähettiläiden vaatimuksista. Hän lähetti bulgaarit tiehensä ja julisti sodan Bulgarialle. Bysanttilaiset hyökkäsivät ja tuhosivat useita bulgaarien rajalinnakkeita. Nikeforos oli kuitenkin haluton aloittamaan uutta sotaa valtakunnan länsirajalla, joten hän kutsui liittolaisensa Kiovan Venäjän ruhtinaan Svjatoslavin hyökkäämään Bulgariaan. [31] [32]

Svjatoslavin joukot hyökkäsivät Bulgariaan vuonna 967 tai 968 ja kukistivat helposti bulgaarit. Hän joutui pian palaamaan Kiovaan puolustamaan valtakuntaansa petsenegeiltä, mutta hyökkäsi uudestaan Bulgariaan vuonna 969. [32] Svjatoslav valtasi suuren osan Bulgariasta, mukaan lukien pääkaupunki Preslavin ja vangitsi tsaari Boris II:n. Yhtäkkiä Bysanttia uhkasi heikon Bulgarian sijasta voimakas Kiovan rusien valtakunta. Nikeforos kuitenkin kuoli vuoden 969 lopussa, ja ongelma siirtyi hänen seuraajansa Johannes Tzimiskesin ratkaistavaksi. [33] [5]

Etelä-Italiassa bysanttilaiset joutuivat vastakkain Saksan keisari Otto I:n kanssa, joka oli saanut hallintaansa Capuan ja Beneventon langobardit. Otto halusi naittaa poikansa bysanttilaiselle prinsessalle, mutta Nikeforoksen lähettiläät torjuivat hänet. Nopeuttaakseen neuvotteluita Otto hyökkäsi bysanttilaisten hallitsemaan Longobardian themaan ja lähetti lähettiläänsä Liutprand Cremonalaisen Konstantinopoliin. Bysanttilaiset kuitenkin kieltäytyivät jälleen Oton vaatimuksista, jolloin tämä hyökkäsi Longobardian ja Calabrian provinsseihin. Nikeforos vastasi nimittämällä Eugeniuksen sotilaskomentajaksi arvonimenään katepano (kreik. κατεπάνω ) ja antamalla Longobardian ja Calabrian provinssit hänen hallintaansa. Tämän lisäksi Nikeforos lähetti vahvistuksia Etelä-Italiaan. Eugeniuksen joukot kukistivat Oton armeijan ja vangitsivat hänen liittolaisensa Capuan langobardiprinssin. [5]

Syksyllä 968 Nikeforos hyökkäsi jälleen arabeja vastaan. Hänen armeijansa ryösteli Martyropoliksen aluetta (nykyinen Silvan, Diyarbakirin maakunnassa, Turkissa), jonka jälkeen se marssi Pohjois-Mesopotamiaan ja luultavasti valloitti Edessan kaupungin (nykyinen Şanlıurfa, Turkissa). Nikeforos jatkoi Antiokian ohi eteläisen Syyriaan ja ryösti Haman ja Homsin kaupungit. Bysanttilaiset valloittivat Tripolin pohjoispuolella olevat linnoitukset, jonka jälkeen he palasivat Antiokiaan, joka piiritettiin. Nikeforos palasi nyt takaisin Konstantinopoliin ja jätti piiritysarmeijan komennon sotapäällikkö Mikael Bourtzesille ja nimitti eunukki Petros Fokasin itäisten joukkojen ylipäälliköksi arvonimenään stratopedarkhes. [5] Johannes Tzimiskes oli vuoteen 965 mennessä erotettu ylipäällikön (domestikos ton skholon) virasta, [34] mutta koska Petros oli eunukki, tätä ei pystytty nimittämään domestikokseksi. Nikeforos oli vuonna 967 luonut stratopedarkhesin viran Petrosta varten. [35]

Bysanttilaiset valtasivat Antiokian lähes vuoden piirityksen jälkeen 28. lokakuuta 969. [36] Bourtzes joutui kuitenkin pian epäsuosioon, koska hän oli rikkonut Nikeforoksen käskyjä olla hyökkäämättä kaupunkiin ilman häntä. Nikeforos erotti Bourtzesin virastaan ja nimitti sukulaisensa Eustathios Maleinoksen Antiokian maaherraksi (douks). Bourtzes liittyi myöhemmin Nikeforosta vastaan suunnattuun salaliittoon. [37] [38]

Nikeforos oli sotilaskeisari, ja sotaretket olivat tärkeä osa hänen hallintoaan. Hän suosikin armeijaa ja sotilasaristokratiaa koko valtakautensa ajan. Nikeforoksen edeltäjät olivat suojelleet pieniä maanomistajia suuremmilta ja rikkailta maanomistajilta säätämällä lain, jonka mukaan pienet maanomistajat saattoivat ostaa maansa takaisin halvalla, jos he olivat joutuneet myymään ne esimerkiksi nälänhädän tai talousvaikeuksien aikana. Nikeforos käski kuitenkin kumota tämän lain perustellen päätöstään sillä, että hänen edeltäjänsä olivat suosineet liikaa pieniä maanomistajia ja aiheuttaneet epätasa-arvoa väestön keskuudessa. [2]

Nikeforos kasvatti myös sotilaiden omistamien maiden vähimmäiskokoa tukeakseen kasvavaa armeijaansa. Sotilaat pystyivät nyt kustantamaan raskaampia varusteita, ja esimerkiksi raskaasti haarniskoidun katafraktiratsuväen ylläpitäminen oli helpompaa. Aiemmin myös talonpojat olivat palvelleet armeijassa, mutta Nikeforoksen aikana sotilaat olivat yhä enemmän sotilasaristokratian jäseniä. Nikeforos ylläpiti hyviä suhteita sotilaisiinsa, mutta häntä syytettiin sotilaiden tekemien rikosten sallimisesta. [2]

Nikeforos oli hyvin uskonnollinen mies ja suosi munkkeja ja luostarielämää. Hän piti esikuvanaan enoaan munkki Mikael Maleinosta, ja ennen keisariksi tuloaan Nikeforos suunnitteli ryhtyvänsä itsekin munkiksi. Toisaalta Nikeforoksen syvän uskonnollisuuden ja askeettisuuden takia hän joutui usein vastakkain rikkaiden luostareiden kanssa. Nikeforos syytti kirkkoa ja rikkaita luostareita ahneudesta. Keisarina hän kielsi sekä maiden lahjoittamisen luostareille että uusien luostareiden perustamisen. Sen sijaan hän kannusti vanhojen luostareiden ja kirkkojen kunnostamista ja pienten luostareiden perustamista hylätyille alueille. Toisaalta Nikeforos auttoi ystäväänsä Athanasios Athoslaista perustamaan Suuren Lavran luostarin Athosvuorelle vuonna 963. Siitä oli tarkoitus tulla Nikeforoksen hyväksymän luostarielämän malli. [2]

Nikeforos myös ehdotti Konstantinopolin patriarkalle Polyeuktokselle, että ei-kristittyjä vastaan taistelleita sotilaita tulisi kohdella marttyyreina, mutta patriarkka, joka oli jo aiemmin ollut eri mieltä keisarin kanssa, kieltäytyi jyrkästi ehdotuksesta, jolloin Nikeforoksen oli luovuttava ajatuksesta. [2]

Çavuşinissa, Turkissa sijaitsee Bysantin aikainen kristitty kirkko, joka on saanut nimen "kyyhkystalo", ja jota kutsutaan myös Nikeforos Fokaksen kirkoksi siellä sijaitsevien keisaria kuvaavien freskojen takia. [2]

Huolimatta menestyksestään arabeja vastaan Nikeforos oli epäsuosittu monien vaikutusvaltaisten henkilöiden keskuudessa. Antiokian valtaaja Mikael Bourtzes oli joutunut epäsuosioon rikottuaan keisarin käskyjä, ja Nikeforoksen sisarenpoika Johannes Tzimiskes kantoi kaunaa hänelle, koska Nikeforos oli siirtänyt itäisten joukkojen komentajuuden eunukki Petrokselle. Hänen talouspolitiikkansa oli epäsuosittua, ja häntä syytettiin nälänhädästä. Myös Nikeforoksen vaimo Theofano oli kyllästynyt askeettiseen ja täysin erilaiseen mieheensä. Theofano alkoi juonitella Tzimiskesin kanssa keisarin murhaamiseksi. He onnistuivat saamaan puolelleen monia muita tyytymättömiä, kuten sotapäällikkö Bourtzesin ja kamariherra Basileios Lekapenoksen, joka oli myös joutunut epäsuosioon. [34] [5]

10. ja 11. joulukuun 969 välisenä iltana Theofano päästi Tzismiskesin ja muut salaliittolaiset keisarilliseen palatsiin. He pelästyivät ensin nähdessään keisarin vuoteen olevan tyhjillään, mutta huomasivat sitten Nikeforoksen nukkuvan lattialla ikoniensa edessä, kuten tällä oli tapana, ja murhasivat hänet siihen paikkaan. [34] [5] Tämän jälkeen patriarkka Polyeuktos kruunasi Tzimiskesin keisariksi. Patriarkan vaatimuksesta Tzimiskesin oli kuitenkin karkotettava Theofano ja teloitettava joitakin salaliittolaisia. [39]

Nikeforoksen nimiin on laitettu kaksi sodankäyntiä käsittelevää teosta. De velitatione (kreik. Περὶ Παραδρομῆς , Peri paradromes, "Kahakoinnista") käsittelee sissisodankäyntiä, ja sen on kirjoittanut tuntematon kirjoittaja noin vuonna 975. [40] Toisen teoksen Praecepta militarian (kreik. Στρατηγικὴ ἔκθεσις καὶ σύνταξις Νικηφόρου δεσπότου , Strategike ekthesis kai syndaksis Nikeforou despotou, "Keisari Nikeforoksen selonteko ja tutkielma sodankäynnistä") on varmasti kirjoittanut Nikeforos itse noin 965. [2] Teos on kirjoitettu oppaaksi valtakunnan itärajalla palveleville sotapäälliköille, ja se käsittelee kuudessa luvussa varusteita, joukkojen sijoittamista ja taktiikoita, joita tulisi käyttää arabeja vastaan. Kaksi ensimmäistä lukua käsittelevät jalkaväen käyttöä taistelussa ja seuraavat kaksi puolestaan katafraktiratsuväkeä. [41] [42] Teoksessa kirjoittaja esittää erilaisia taistelutilanteita pienistä kahakoista suuriin taisteluihin ja suosittelee oikeaoppista vastausta jokaiseen. Hän painottaa myös jatkuvasti tiedustelun, kurin ja varovaisuuden tärkeyttä. Teos päättyy lyhyeen käsittelyyn leirin rakentamisesta, vakoojista ja armeijan uskonnollisista seremonioista. [43]

Nikeforos eli hyvin askeettisesti ja oli ennen keisariksi tuloaan toivonut ryhtyvänsä munkiksi. 900-luvulla eläneen bysanttilaisen historioitsijan Leon Diakonoksen mukaan Nikeforos pidättäytyi seksuaalisista suhteista ja lihan syönnistä poikansa Bardas Fokasin kuoleman jälkeen (Bardas oli kuollut tapaturmaisesti serkkunsa heittämästä keihäästä ollessaan leikkimässä). Noustessaan keisariksi munkit taivuttelivat Nikeforoksen menemään naimisiin ja syömään taas lihaa, mutta hän ei luopunut askeettisesta elämäntavastaan. Nikeforos käytti keisarillisten vaatteidensa alla jouhipaitaa, osallistui pitkiin hartauksiin ja nukkui mieluummin lattialla. Hän kunnioitti myös suuresti enoaan munkki Mikael Maleinosta. Saksan keisari Otto I:n lähettiläs Liutprand Cremonalainen, joka oli tosin vihamielinen Nikeforokselle, kuvaili häntä rumaksi mieheksi, jolla oli lihava pää ja pienet silmät kuin myyrällä. [24]

Nikeforoksella oli ensimmäisestä avioliitostaan nimeltä tuntemattoman naisen kanssa poika Bardas Fokas, mutta he molemmat kuolivat ennen Nikeforoksen valtaannousua. [2] [27] Keisarinna Theofanon kanssa Nikeforos ei saanut lapsia.

Huolimatta Nikeforoksen voitoista taistelukentillä, monet bysanttilaiset kronikoitsijat pitivät häntä tyrannina kirkollis- ja talouspolitiikkansa takia. Myös hänen vanhan toverinsa Tzimiskesin tekemää murhaa on yritetty oikeuttaa. Nikeforoksen menestys sodissa ja hänen murhansa teki kuitenkin hänestä marttyyrin ja sankarin myöhemmällä ajalla, [1] ja joissakin paikoissa kuten Athosvuorella häntä kunnioitettiin pyhimyksenä. [2]

Nikeforoksen kuoleman jälkeen Fokasten suku menetti vaikutusvaltaansa, mutta yritti useaan otteeseen nousta takaisin valtaan. Nikeforoksen veli Leo juonitteli Tzimiskesiä vastaan vuonna 970 yhdessä kahden poikansa Nikeforoksen ja Bardas Fokas nuoremman kanssa, mutta epäonnistui ja heidät karkotettiin. Samana vuonna Bardas onnistui pakenemaan arestistaan ja nousi kapinaan Tzimiskesiä vastaan. Hän onnistui saamaan puolelleen monia Fokasten suvun jäseniä ja ystäviä ja julistautui keisariksi. Tzimiskesin kenraali Bardas Skleros kuitenkin kukisti kapinan. Leo ja tämän poika Nikeforos karkotettiin ja osittain sokaistiin. Bardas säästettiin, mutta hänet karkotettiin Khiokselle. Keisari Basileios II kutsui Bardaksen takaisin vuonna 978 kukistamaan kapinaan noussutta Sklerosta. Bardas onnistui työssään ja hänet nimitettiin idän joukkojen ylipäälliköksi. Hän kuitenkin kapinoi jälleen vuonna 987, mutta epäonnistui ja sai surmansa kaksi vuotta myöhemmin. [44] Bardaksen poika Nikeforos kuoli myös kapinoidessaan Basileiosta vastaan vuonna 1022. Fokasten suku toipui vasta 1200-luvulla, kun se nousi Laskaristen hallitsijasuvun suosioon. [7]

Keisari Nikeforoksen mukaan on nimetty Kreikan laivaston fregatti HS Nikiforos Fokas (F 466). [45] Myös Kreetalla sijainneen entisen Rethymnonin prefektuurin kunta Nikifóros Fokás sai nimensä keisarilta.


Nikephoros ii phokas

This volume provides annotated English translations, with facing Greek, of five texts related to the career of Nikephoros II Phokas, first as a military commander and later as emperor (r. 963-969). Phokas is an interesting figure, far from the popular stereotype of a Byzantine emperor: he was intensely militaristic, undiplomatic, and expressed his piety through a personal austerity bordering. Nikephoros II Phokas (Latinized: Nicephorus II Phocas Νικηφόρος Β΄ Φωκᾶς, Nikēphóros II Phōkãs c. 912 - 11 December 969) was Byzantine Emperor from 963 to 969. His brilliant military exploits contributed to the resurgence of the Byzantine Empire during the 10th century. His reign, however, included controversy. In the west, he inflamed conflict with the Bulgarians and. Nikephoros Ii, Phokas 912-969. Nikephoros Phokas 912-969. Nikephoros, Phokas, ca. 912-969. Nikephorus Byzantinisches Reich, Kaiser 912-969. Nikephorus Byzantinisches Reich, Kaiser II. 912-969. Nikêforos Fôkas. Nikēforos Focas empereur d'Orient 0912-0969. Nikēforos Fokas, empereur d'Orient. Nikēphoros Emperor of the East, II Phōkas, 912-969 . Nikēphoros Phōkas 912-969. Nikifor Foka 912.

Nomisma histamenon of Nikephoros II Phokas (963-969) Komnenoi and Angeloi (1081-1204) Laskaris, Doukas, and Palaiologos dynasties (1204-1453 In The Rise and Fall of Nikephoros II Phokas, Denis Sullivan presents five Byzantine Greek texts that document the remarkable career of Nikephoros II Phokas, emperor from 963 until his death in 969. The first three texts are historical chronicles covering the period 944-963, which sees Nikephoras? rise from military general Nikephoros Phokas the Elder (Greek: Νικηφόρος Φωκᾶς, Nikēphoros Phōkas) (c. 830 - c. 896/900) was one of the most prominent Byzantine generals of the late 9th century, and the first important member of the Phokas family. He had a distinguished military career in southern Italy, where his victories laid the foundation for the Byzantine resurgence, and led successful campaigns.

Nikephoros II Phokas (Latinized: Nicephorus II Phocas Νικηφόρος Β΄ Φωκᾶς, Nikēphóros II Phōkãs c. 912 - 11 December 969) was Byzantine Emperor from 963 to 969. His brilliant military exploits contributed to the resurgence of the Byzantine Empire during the 10th century. Early exploits. Nikephoros Phokas was born in about 912 and belonged to a Cappadocian family which. Nikephoros Phokas the Elder, an eminent Byzantine general, grand-father of emperor Nikephoros II Phokas Nikephoros II Phokas, Byzantine Emperor from 963 to 969 Nikiforos Fokas, a municipality in Greece This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an internal link led you here, you may wish to change the link to point directly to the intended article. Toutes les. Noté /5. Retrouvez Leo Phokas the Younger: Nikephoros II Phokas, John Tzimiskes, Bardas Phokas the Elder, Constantine VII, Maleinos, Strategos, Cappadocia, Anatolic Theme, Romanos II et des millions de livres en stock sur Amazon.fr. Achetez neuf ou d'occasio English: Conjectural flag supposedly used by the Eastern Roman Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas, featuring the cross and the Chi-Rho. Note: this flag is a conjectural reconstruction, and not historically attested English: Tetarteron Nikephoros II. Phokas 963 - 969 4,10g gepraegt 965 - 969. Date: 13 novembre 2015: Source: Travail personnel: Auteur: Otto Nickl: Conditions d'utilisation. En tant que détenteur du droit d'auteur, je publie cette œuvre sous la licence suivante : Ce fichier est sous la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Partage dans les Mêmes Conditions 4.0 International. Vous.

Nikephoros II Phokas (912 - 969) - Genealog

Nikephoros II Phokas (963-969) Type: Standard circulation coin: Years: 963-969: Value: Miliaresion = 1/12 Solidus (1/12) Currency: Second Solidus Nomisma (720-1092) Composition: Silver: Diameter: 24 mm: Shape: Round: Demonetized: Yes: Obverse. In the centre is the bust of Nikephoros II in a cross shaped frame. Nikephoros is crowned and wearing loros. He is flanked by inscriptions on both sides. 7 - Nikephoros II Phokas (969) Given the fact that he had the names of two former Byzantine Emperors who met terrible fates, perhaps it is not surprising to learn that Nikephoros II followed suit. He was the best Byzantine general of the era, and his military brilliance helped the Empire flourish during the 10 th century Obverse: Inscription: IHSXΓSREXREGNΛNTIhM. Bust of Christ. Reverse: Inscription: +ΘΕΟΤΟC'b' HΘ' hICHFdESP. Virgin and the emperor Nikephoros II Phokas hold.. Nikephoros II. Phokas ., Nikephoros II. Phokas. monnaies. Le centre commercial virtuel pour monnaies, billets et médaille

In The Rise and Fall of Nikephoros II Phokas, Denis Sullivan presents five Byzantine Greek texts that document the remarkable career of Nikephoros II Phokas, emperor from 963 until his death in 969. The first three texts are historical chronic See Mor nikephoros ii phokas < > Most recent. Most popular Most recent. Filter by post type. All posts. Text. Photo. Quote. Link. Chat. Audio. Video. Ask. Grid View List View. SVIATOSLAV THE BRAVE OF KIEV. This is an excerpt from my post: KIEVAN RUS: PART 1 - NORTHERN ENIGMA OF THE MIDDLE AGES. In the early medieval period of Russia's history, there was a small dominion known as 'Kievan Rus. . 912 - 10-11 December 969) wis Byzantine Emperor frae 963 tae 969 Detailed information about the coin Follis, Nikephoros II Phokas (Constantinopolis), Byzantine Empire, with pictures and collection and swap management : mintage, descriptions, metal, weight, size, value and other numismatic dat Nikephoros II Phokas (Latinized: Nicephorus II Phocas) (Νικηφόρος Β΄ Φωκᾶς, Nikēphoros II Phōkas) (c. 912 - 10-11 December 969) was Byzantine Emperor from 963 to 969. His brilliant military exploits contributed to the resurgence of the Byzantine Empire during the 10th century

Nikephoros ii : définition de nikephoros ii et synonymes

Medieval illumination representing Nikephoros II Phokas, Byzantine emperor (963-969 CE) Nikephoros II Phokas, 912 - 969, was a great military commander, and a Byzantine emperor 963-969. He won the war in the East against the Arabs and because of that, he wore the title of Commander of the Eastern troops. Nikephoros enjoyed tremendous influence in the army and was very popular in Byzantium. In 960, he was appointed commander of the troops sent to Crete to retake it from the. Nikephoros II Phokas (Latinized: Nicephorus II Phocas Νικηφόρος Β΄ Φωκᾶς, Nikēphóros II Phōkãs c. 912 - 11 December 969) was Byzantine Emperor from 963 to 969. His brilliant military exploits contributed to the resurgence of the Byzantine Empire during the 10th century.

Flags of the Byzantine Empire - Balkan Flag Histor

  • Nikephoros II Phokas (Latinized: Nicephorus II Phocas Νικηφόρος Β΄ Φωκᾶς, Nikēphóros II Phōkãs c. 912 - 11 December 969) was Byzantine Emperor from 963 to 969. His brilliant military exploits contributed to the resurgence of the Byzantine Empire during the 10th century
  • Nikephoros II Phokas est né(e) environ 912 dans (Byzantium) (Constantinople), Istanbul, Turkey, fils de Bardas 'the Elder' Phokas et NN. Maleina., ils ont eu 1 enfant. Il est décédé le 10 décembre 969 dans Constantinople-overthrown by conspiracy. Cette information fait partie de de sur Généalogie Online
  • Nicephorus II Phocas, (Greek: Νικηφόρος Β΄ Φωκᾶς, Nikēphoros II Phōkas), was the emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire from 963 to 969.A brilliant military leader, his exploits in the tenth century contributed to the resurgence of the Empire, restoration of Christian life on Crete and Cyprus, and defeat of the Muslim forces that had subdued much of the Christian land in the.
  • Nikephoros II Phokas. By selva-s Watch. 27 Favourites. 7 Comments. 440 Views. beard brutal byzantine byzantium emperor historical history portrait portraitdrawing byzantineempire. I've drawn him without any references, using only historical descriptions (both negative and positive). Ohhh I love his beard so much . IMAGE DETAILS . Image size. 1295x2160px 974.72 KB. Show More. Published: Apr 12.
  • Nikephoros II Phokas was Byzantine emperor from 963 to 969 CE. Known as White Death of the Saracens, Nikephoros was a fearsome commander who conquered Crete, Cilicia, and much of Syria. While he is known as a great military commander, he was a poor politician, and his reign was cut short by his murder. Military Career. Nikephoros came from a leading military family, the Phokas. His.

Nikephoros II Phokas x clear all. Find a library Select a Library. (area code) design 415 Productions A & E Television Networks Academy of Art University Academy of Television Arts & Sciences See more or search. Search within results . Refine by subject. Nikephoros II Phokas Emperor (q.v.) from 963-969. His greatest triumph as general (domestikos [q.v.] ton scholon. The Rise and Fall of Nikephoros II Phokas Five Contemporary Texts in Annotated Translations Series: Byzantina Australiensia, Volume: 23 E-Book ISBN: 9789004382169 Publisher: Brill Online Publication Date:. . 912 - 969), Byzantine Emperor from 963 to 969. During the 6 years of his rule, Phokas alienated the sympathies of his followers and was assassinated at the behest of his wife and her lover

The first attested member of the family was a soldier, probably of humble origin, who was appointed tourmarchesin 872. His son, Nikephoros Phokas the Elder, became a distinguished general, scoring several victories against the Arabs, especially in southern Italy, and reaching the position of Domestic of the Schools Nikephoros Phokas (Nicephorus Phocas) Dynastie: dynastie macédonienne: Père: Bardas Phocas: Nicéphore II Phocas ( latinisé: Nicéphore II Phocas, Νικηφόρος Β Φωκᾶς, Nicéphore II Phocas . C 912 - 11 Décembre 969) était empereur byzantin de 963 à 969. Ses brillants exploits militaires ont contribué à la résurgence de l'Empire byzantin au cours du 10 siècle. Son.

Nikephoros II Phokas. Interpretation  Nikephoros II Phokas Emperor (q.v.) from 963-969. His greatest triumph as general (domestikos [q.v.] ton scholon. Nikephoros Phokas the Elder - Phokas (Byzantine family) - Leo Phokas the Younger - Cyprus - Bardas Phokas the Elder - Siege of Chandax - Domestic of the Schools - Theme (Byzantine district) - Cappadocian Greeks - Emirate of Crete - Joseph Bringas - Sayf al-Dawla - Romanos II - Heraklion - Basil II - John I Tzimiskes - Theophano (10th century) - Cilicia - Maleinos - Constantine VIII - Basil. Phokas, Nicéphore (empereur d'Orient) [Nom de personne] Nikephoros II Phokas [Nom de personne] Information (par souci de protection des données à caractère personnel, le jour et le mois de naissance peuvent ne pas être affichés) Langue d'expression : Grec ancien. Pays : pays inconnu. Date de naissance : 0912. Date de mort : 11 / 12 / 0969. Notices d'autorité liées . Autre Empire. In spring 970, following the murder of his great-uncle Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas by John I Tzimiskes, Bardas Phokas tried to raise a rebellion against the new regime in the family's base at Cappadocia, but Tzimiskes dispatched Bardas Skleros against him Nikephoros II Phokas - Pale Death of the Saracens (950-969) (Byzantine Documentary) Reportar. Procurar mais vídeos. Próxima reprodução. 51:38. Saracens v Bristol - 21.12.19. Super Rugby HQ. 6:16. R4 - Saracens v Munster.ts. Heineken Champions Cup. 2:24. SARACENS/LOU : la composition lyonnaise. LOU TV. 2:25. Jimmy Gopperth pre Saracens SF . Wasps. 15:31. Falcons vs Saracens - Highlights.

Nikephoros II Phokas : AskHistorians - reddi

  • ent Byzantine generals of the late 9th century, and the first important member of the Phokas family
  • Noté /5. Retrouvez Byzantine Greece: Byzantine Crete, Despotate of the Morea, Late Roman Greece, Saints of Byzantine Greece, Alaric I, Nikephoros II Phokas et des millions de livres en stock sur Amazon.fr. Achetez neuf ou d'occasio
  • ent Byzantine generals of the late 9th century, and the first important member of the Phokas family. He had a distinguished military career in southern Italy, where his victories laid the foundation for the Byzantine resurgence, and led successful campaigns.
  • 87 Guilland, R., ' Le Palais du Boukoléon: l'assassinat de Nicéphore II Phokas ', BS 13 (1953) 101 - 36, espec. 128-33. In a formidable piece of detective work, Guilland established that the scene of the crime was not, as Schlumberger and others had maintained, a kastron newly built by Nikephoros near the Boukoleon (there was no such place), but actually within the Great.

The Byzantine emperor Nikephoros II Phokas (r. 963-69), revered by the Orthodox Church as a saint, is reviled in John Skylitzes's eleventh-century chronicle.. The rise and fall of Nikephoros II Phokas (2019) L'empereur Nicéphore Phocas (2013) Nikīfóros V ́ Fōkâs, 963-969 (1993) Mission to Constantinople (1972) Autour de Nicéphore II (empereur d'Orient, 0912-0969) (4 ressources dans data.bnf.fr) Thèmes liés (4). Jan 23, 2016 - Byzantines under Nikephoros Phokas besiege Chandax - Nikephoros II Phokas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedi Nicephorus II Phocas (Graece: Tobias Hoffmann, Diplomatie in der Krise: Liutprand von Cremona am Hofe Nikephoros II. Phokas in Frühmittelalterliche Studien vol. 43 (2009) pp. 113-178 Haec stipula ad biographiam spectat. , si potes! Imperatores Constantinopolitani. 379-395 Theodosius I • 395-408 Arcadius • 408-450 Theodosius II • 450-457 Marcianus • 457-474 Leo I.

Nikephoros II Phokas was born circa 915, at birth place, to Bardas (the Elder) Phokas. Bardas was born circa 878, in Byzantine Empire. Nikephoros had one brother: Leo (the Younger) Phokas. Nikephoros married Theophano (Anastasia) Phokas (born filia Craterus). Theophano was born circa 941, in Sparta, Peloponnesian region of Lakonia (Greece). Nikephoros passed away of cause of death on month day. Nikephoros II Phokas Military officer. Desc: Nikephoros II Phokas, Latinized Nicephorus II Phocas, was Byzantine Emperor from 963 to 969.His brilliant military exploits contributed to the resurgence of the Byzantine Empire during the 10th century

Bardas Phocas (vers 878 vers 968) est un notable et général byzantin da la première moitié du Xe siècle, père de l¥empereur Nicéphore II Phokas et du curopalate Léon Phocas le Jeune. Bardas était issu du clan Phocas, l¥une des plus grandes familles de l¥aristocratie militaire anatolienne This blog is dedicated to Armenian culture, history and everything else Armenia related. PeopleOfAr is set on a journey of self education, sharing of knowledge and pursuit of hidden Armenian cultural treasures, all in the spirit of academic integrity Nikephoros Phokas (Greek: Νικηφόρος Φωκᾶς, Nikēphoros Phōkas died 895/6 or ca. 900), usually surnamed the Elder to distinguish him from his grandson, Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas, was one of the most prominent Byzantine generals of the late 9th century, and the first important member of the Phokas family.As a youth he was taken into the personal retinue of Emperor Basil I the. The close collaboration of church and state, which drove the great expansion of the Byzantine Empire in the late ninth and tenth centuries, was a cooperation of institutions as well as a confluence of religious and political ideals.1 The confluence was also, to some extent, one of persons and families, especially aristocratic families. In this context, the figure of Nikephoros II Phokas stands. Nikephoros II. Phokas . (1) Persien (60) Phocas (51) Romain I (1) Romanus II. (1) Romanus III. (36) Romanus IV. (17) Romanus IV., Michael VII, Constantius und Andronicus (1) Silver (2) The Antonines (2) The Byzantine Empires (52) The Comnenus Dynasty (39) The Empire From Anastasius To Maurice Tiberius (88) The End Of Empire(363 Ad To 476 Ad) (1) The Heraclius Dynasty (72) The Isaurian Dynasty.

Nikephoros II Phokas - newikis

  • emperor Nikephoros II Phokas, focusing on their correlation with the gradual recovery of the Byzantine economy that took place from the ninth to the eleventh century. The emperors conquering campaigns in ilicia are seen as a response to the social and fiscal effects of said recovery, which caused the Byzantine state to assume a more aggressive stance.The thesis is structured in three parts.
  • Jan 23, 2016 - Entrance of the emperor Nikephoros Phocas (963-969) into Constantinople in 963 from the Chronicle of John Skylitzes - Nikephoros II Phokas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedi
  • Nikephoros II Phokas ( Latinigite: Nicephorus II Phocas νικηφόρος Β΄-φωκᾶς, Nikēphóros II Phōkãs ĉ. 912-10-11 decembro 969) estis Byzantine Emperor de 963 ĝis 969. kiujn lia genia militistaro ekspluatas kontribuis al la revigliĝo de la Orientromia imperio dum la 10-a jarcento
  • Nikephoros II Phokas was Byzantijns keizer van 963 tot 969. Hij stamde uit een militaire familie: zowel zijn grootvader, zijn vader als zijn broer waren succesvolle generaals geweest en opperbevelhebbers van het leger. Tijdens de regering van Romanos II wist hij na anderhalve eeuw het eiland Kreta te heroveren en ook in Syrië behaalde hij eclatante overwinningen

Category:Nikephoros II Phokas - Wikimedia Common

in 963, according to the will of his friend and Byzantine Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas who funded the project. Nikephoros had promised Athanasius that he Battle of Silistra (313 words) [view diff] exact match in snippet view article find links to article Bulgaria to attack Byzantine Thrace Nikephoros II Phokas Friday, January 1, 912. Nikephoros II Phokas is the most famous person named Nikephoros. Their Zodiac sign is ♑Capricorn. They are considered the most important person in history born with the first name of Nikephoros. Their birthplace was Cappadocia. Next most famous people named Nikephoros #2 Nikephoros III Botaneiates. Thursday, January 1, 1001 Fame Meter (4/100) #3. Nikephoros II Phokas died on 969-12-11 Interestingly, Romanos II's promotion of Leo Phokas to Domestic of the West and the change of Nikephoros from Domestic to Domestic of the East could maybe be seen as a counterbalancing of power, but that doesn't really make sense, as the Phokas family loyalty would win out

Liutprand of Cremona meets Nikephoros II Phokas // 968

Nikephoros II Phokas in the 10th century was murdered as was Absalom by Joab, David's nephew the captain in the 10th book of the Bible 2Samuel 18. There were a few political assassinations in 2Samuel by David's men but against David's will. Amnon was also killed by Absalom his half brother in 2Samuel 13 The Praecepta militaria of the Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas (963-969) In one tapestry we see Nikephoros Phokas himself on the hunt, smashing open a stag's skull with a well aimed throw. Further evidence of this particular evolution in heavy cavalry armament can be seen in the text itself. Nikephoros instructs that these macemen must carry reserve swords by their sides, an odd thing to do. Nikephoros Phokas was born around 912 and belonged to a Cappadocian Greek family which had produced several distinguished generals, including Nikephoros' father Bardas Phokas, brother Leo Phokas, and grandfather Nikephoros Phokas the Elder, who had all served as commanders of the field army (domestikos tōn scholōn)

Nikephoros II Phokas Age of Empires Castle Siege Wiki

Bardas Phokas The Elder. Byzantine general in the first half of the 10th century, and father of Byzantine emperor Nikephoros II Phokas and the kouropalates Leo Phokas the Younger military aristocracy, his father was Nikephoros Phokas the Elder, an eminent Byzantine general with a distinguished record of service in Italy further defeats, he was replaced by his son Nikephoros in 955. Byzantine Nikephoros II Phokas English: Byzantine Nikephoros II Phokas Creator: LionHeartKIng Card Attribute: EARTH Card Type(s): Warrior/Effect Level: Level 1 ATK/DEF: 700/0 Card Lore: This card can attack your opponent directly. If this card inflicts battle damage from a direct attack: You can add 1 Byzantine monster from your Deck to your hand, except Byzantine Nikephoros II Phokas.

. Read reviews from world's largest community for readers. Le grand traité de tactique sur la guérilla orientale au Xe siècle. Leo Phokas the Younger: Nikephoros II Phokas, John Tzimiskes, Bardas Phokas the Elder, Constantine VII, Maleinos, Strategos, Cappadocia, Anatolic Theme, Romanos II. Nikephoros II Phokas soldaat uit Byzantijnse Rijk (912-969) Nikēphoros Phōkas 912-969. Nikephoros, Phokas, ca. 912-969. Nikēphoros Phōkas Kaiser des Byzantinischen Reiches 912-969. Nikephorus 912-969 Byzantinisches Reich, Kaiser. Nikephorus II. Byzantinisches Reich, Kaiser 912-969. Nikephorus II Phokas . Nikifor 912-969 Foka. Nikifor 912-969 Vizantijskaja Imperija, imperator. Nikifor Foka.

See what Nikephoros Phokas (hoptioncannfami) has discovered on Pinterest, the world's biggest collection of ideas Get this from a library! The Rise and Fall of Nikephoros II Phokas : five contemporary texts in annotated translations. [Denis Sullivan] -- In The Rise and Fall of Nikephoros II Phokas, Denis Sullivan presents five Byzantine Greek texts that document the remarkable career of Nikephoros II Phokas, emperor from 963 until his death in 969..

Romanos II - Life. the adept hands of his generals, in particular the brothers Leo and Nikephoros Phokas. In 960 Nikephoros Phokas was sent with a fleet of 1,000 dromons, 2,000 chelandia, and 308 transports (entire fleet was manned by 27,000 oarsmen and marines) carrying 50,000 men to recover Crete from the Muslims Following a triumph celebrated at Constantinople, Nikephoros was sent to. Great question. I have looked through every single relevant primary and secondary source that I have in my library (that's a lot!) and while many mention the name White/Pale Death of the Saracens being attached to Nikephoros II Phokas from his successful campaigns against the Muslims, I was unable to find any explanations of the name Nikephoros II Phokas was one of the most important Byzantine Emperors. A soldier and renowned general, who recovered Crete from the Arabs, he was also a member of one of the most prominent noble lineages of Asia Minor (Cappadocia). His reign marked the history of the Byzantine state due to his activity but also due to his murder from his associate and future emperor, John Tzimiskes. Nikephoros. Nikephoros Phokas the Elder. 2 likes. Nikephoros Phokas, usually surnamed the Elder to distinguish him from his grandson, Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas.

Nikephoros II Phokas — Google Arts & Cultur

Explore genealogy for Nikephoros II Phokas born 0912 Cappadocia, Imperium Romanum died 0969 Constantinople, Imperium Romanum including ancestors + more in the free family tree community. Nikephoros Phokas (0912 - 0969 The military achievements of the emperors Nikephoros Phokas, John Tzimiskes, and Basil II brought the Byzantine Empire to the height of its power by the early eleventh century. This volume presents new editions and translations of two military treatises—the Praecepta militaria of Nikephoros Phokas and the revised version included in the Taktika of Nikephoros Ouranos—outlining the tactical. Life. Nikephoros was the son of the founder of the Phokas family, a middle-ranking military officer (tourmarches) from Cappadocia named Phokas, attested ca. 872.Nikephoros began his military career under Emperor Basil I the Macedonian (reigned 867-886), probably at the same time as his father was appointed to the post of tourmarches (ca. 872). ). Nikephoros was originally appointed to the. Nikephoros II Phokas b. about 912 d. December 969. From Rodovid EN. Person:421374. Jump to: navigation, search. Full Tree Descendants (Inventory) Lineage : Phokas: Sex : Male Full name (at birth) Nikephoros II Phokas Parents ♂ w Bardas Phokas b. about 878 d. about 968 ♀? (Sister of Michael Maleinos) b. estimated 895. Wiki-page : wikipedia:Nikephoros II Phokas: Events. about 912 birth. Après la mort de Bardas Phokas en 989, Eustathe ne fut pas trop sévèrement puni mais fut confiné dans ses domaines. Après quelques années, Basile II le fit venir à Constantinople et confisqua sa fortune après sa mort4. Après ce coup, la famille ne put jamais recouvrer sa puissance antérieure

Nikephoros II Phokas - YouTub

Nikephoros II Phokas (c. 912 10 December 969) was a Byzantine Emperor (963969) whose brilliant military exploits contributed to the resurgence of Byzantine Empire in the tenth century Nikephoros Phokas est né(e) environ 830, fils de Phokas NN. Il est décédé entre le 896 et le 900. Cette information fait partie de de sur Généalogie Online

The Rise and Fall of Nikephoros II Phokas: Five

Le nom de famille PHOKAS est présent sur Geneanet. Découvrez ainsi sa popularité et retrouvez vos ancêtres. Nikephoros Ii (87) Nicéphore Ii (78) Bertrade (77) Léo (74) Sophie (56) Anna (37. Nikephoros Phokas the Elder: | | | |Nikephoros Phokas| | | | | D. World Heritage Encyclopedia, the aggregation of the largest online encyclopedias available, and. Nikephoros Phokas (Greek: Νικηφόρος Φωκᾶς, Nikēphoros Phōkas died 895/6 or ca. 900), usually surnamed the Elder to distinguish him from his grandson, Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas, was one of the most prominent Byzantine generals of the late 9th century, and the first important member of the Phokas family. As a youth he was taken into the personal retinue of Emperor Basil I. This culminated in the late tenth century with the great soldier emperors Nikephoros Phokas (963-969) and John Tzimiskes (969-976), who both achieved spectacular victories in the east at the expense of the empire's Arab enemies. Modern scholarship always links these emperors together as following a consistent strategy. This article argues that, despite similarities, Nikephoros and John.

Nikephoros II Phokas — Wikipedia Republished // WIKI

Nikephoros II Phokas and the imperial family, 963-969, northeast apse, Cavusin, Cappadocia, Turkey. Author photograph. My time as a visiting senior fellow at CASVA allowed me to complete one chapter of my book, Visions of Death and Resurrection in the Rock-Cut Churches of Cappadocia. This chapter focuses on the documentation of a cult dedicated to Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas (r. 963. Nikephoros Phokas the Elder. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Nikephoros Phokas. Died: 895/6 or ca. 900: Allegiance: Byzantine Empire: Years of service: ca. 872-895/6: Rank: Domestic of the Schools: Wars: Arab-Byzantine wars in Asia Minor and southern Italy, Byzantine-Bulgarian wars: Relations. Nikephoros II Phokas — Nicephorus Phocas redirects here. For the emperor s grandfather, see Nikephoros Phokas the Elder. For the Cretan municipality, see Nikiforos Fokas. Nikephoros II Phokas Emperor of the Byzantine Empire Wikipedia. Constantine VII — Constantine VII Emperor of the Byzantine Empire Constantine and his mother Zoë. Reign Junior co emperor 908-913 and 920-945, sole. 967 verschärften sich die Konflikte zwischen Otto I. und dem byzantinischen Kaiser Nikephoros II. Phokas um die Vorherrschaft in Italien. En 967, les conflits entre Otton Ier et l'empereur byzantin Nicéphore II Phocas pour la prééminence en Italie, se ravivent. WikiMatrix WikiMatrix . Das Emirat von Aleppo war seit den Tagen Nikephoros ' II. (r. 963-969) ein Vasall der Byzantiner, doch. See Basil II Vladimir I. Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . John H. Rosser. Phokas Phokas, Pete


A big day in history: the all-conquering Byzantine emperor Nikephoros II loses his head

Dominic Sandbrook nominates 10 December 969 – the date that the all-conquering Byzantine emperor Nikephoros II lost his head – as a big day in history.

This competition is now closed

Published: December 26, 2011 at 9:52 am

It was dark in Constantinople when Nikephoros Phokas, emperor of the Romans, retired to bed. For months the squat, heavy-featured emperor had been preoccupied by portents of death to his advisors, he seemed gloomy, morbid and increasingly obsessed by religious literature.

Only a few months earlier, an unknown monk had handed Nikephoros a mysterious message: “O emperor, although I am but a worm upon the earth, it has been revealed to me that in the third month after this coming September you shall die.” Not surprisingly, the warning played on Nikephoros’s mind. Perhaps, even as he lay down to sleep on his panther-skin in a corner of his imperial bedchamber, wrapped in his hair shirt, a selection of icons only a few feet away, he remembered its threatening words.

Nikephoros’s stewardship of the Roman empire – the state we call Byzantium – had been a triumph. For six years this ascetic man had waged war against the Arabs and the Bulgars, earning the nickname ‘the White Death of the Saracens’. The empire had recovered from its early-medieval decline, and as a soldier since his teenage years, Nikephoros ensured that his armies wanted for nothing.

Yet not even his friends would have claimed that Nikephoros was a charming man. The emperor was “a monstrosity of a man, a pygmy, fat-headed and like a mole as to the smallness of his eyes disgusting with his short, broad, thick and half hoary beard disgraced by a neck an inch long very bristly through the length and thickness of his hair,” wrote a visiting bishop, Liudprand of Cremona. All in all, Nikephoros was “one whom it would not be pleasant to meet in the middle of the night”.

Sometimes, looks do matter. Six years earlier, this grim military veteran had taken power by marrying the previous emperor’s widow, Theophano, a young woman of humble origins but great beauty. Theirs was no love match: Theophano had little time for her bristly husband, while, perhaps fortunately for her, he had sworn a vow of chastity. At 28, she was not yet ready to give up on her sex life, and her eye fell on Nikephoros’s nephew, the handsome John Tzimiskes. As luck would have it, John had recently fallen out with his uncle. And when Theophano suggested that he might make a rather better emperor himself, he jumped at the chance.

On the afternoon of 10 December, as snow fell across Constantinople, John’s men slipped into the imperial palace, disguised as women, swords hidden beneath their robes. One of Nikephoros’s agents warned him that there were rumours of a conspiracy, but when he sent his chamberlain to investigate, the latter had nothing to report. As it turned out, he was in on the plot, too. Even as Nikephoros was falling asleep, his nephew was crossing the Bosphorus in a rickety boat, braving the high winds and foaming waves. And at about 11 that night, John gave a low whistle outside the empress’s apartments, and his friends lowered the rope they had brought.

Even as the conspirators crept into his bedroom, Nikephoros slept on. He only woke at the first blow, which caught him across the head. Blood pouring down his face, he screamed to the Virgin Mary for help, but the plotters dragged him towards the bed, where John Tzimiskes was casually reclining. “Tell me, most senseless and malicious tyrant, was it not through my actions that you attained the heights of Roman power?” one chronicler records John saying. “How therefore did you pay no regard to such a good service? How, blinded by malice and madness, did you thus not hesitate to remove me, your helper, from command of the army?”

That John actually said anything quite so elaborate seems a bit unlikely. But there is no doubt what happened next. The conspirators took turns hitting and kicking the prostate emperor, ripping out his hair and beard, breaking his jaw, smashing in his teeth with their scabbards. Finally, one of them administered the coup de grace.

Poor Nikephoros’s head was hacked from his body and paraded in the streets on a spike. Thrown from the window, his torso was eventually buried at the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople, alongside those of other great Byzantine rulers, from Constantine and Theodosius to Justinian and Theodora. On the side was an inscription. “You conquered all,” it read, “except a woman.”

Dominic Sandbrook’s latest book is State of Emergency: The Way We Were: Britain, 1970–1974 (Allen Lane). He is a frequent guest on Radio 4’s Saturday Review.


Miliaresion - Nikephoros II Phokas Constantinopolis

David R. Sear, Simon Bendall, Michael Dennis O'Hara 2006. Byzantine coins and their values (2 nd edition). Seaby, London, United Kingdom.

Obverse

In the centre is the bust of Nikephoros II in a cross shaped frame. Nikephoros is crowned and wearing loros. He is flanked by inscriptions on both sides. Cross shaped frame has little crosses on each side, which creates one bigger cross.

Lettering:
☩ IҺSЧS XRISTЧS NICA
NICF

Translation:
Jesus Christ conquers
Nikephoros

Reverse

Text on five lines bordered with crosses on up and down.

Lettering:
- ·:· -
☩Nichp
ЄҺ X·ω AVTO
CRAT ЄVSЄЬ
ЬASILЄVS
RωMAIω
- ·:· -

Translation: Nikephoros, by the Grace of God, Autocrator and Pious King of the Romans.


Watch the video: Η φρεγάτα Νικηφόρος Φωκάς στη Χίο (August 2022).