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peninsula, Thrace, Illyricurn, and Hellas, and three beyond it, Ravenna, Sicily, and Africa. Each theme was governed by a strategos, whose military title shows his military character, and was garrisoned by its own local force of regular troops, the core of which was in each case a division of 4000 heavy cavalry. The full force of the twelve themes w6uld give some 48,000 horsemen for the field, in addition to the less important infantry, the local militia used for holding fortresses, and the irregular hired bands of barbarian auxiliaries of many different races.
Constantinus was the only Eastern emperor who ever paid a large and even preponderant share of attention to his Western dominions. The long stay of six years which he made in Italy and Sicily caused his Eastern subjects to suppose that he had designs of restoring Rome to the position of capital of the empire, or even, perhaps, of raising Syracuse to that distinction. Such a project seems so inconvenient from geographical reasons, that we can hardly credit it; probably Constantinus' personal dislike for Constantinople, while sufficing to keep him away from it, did not make him scheme to transfer the seat of empire elsewhere.
There is no doubt, however, that Constantinus was determined to reassert the supremacy of the empire in Italy against the Lombards, and also to take care that the exarchs and the popes should not grow too strong and independent. Even before he sailed for Italy his jealousy of the power of the
The fate of papacy had been shown by his dealings with Pope Pope Martin. Martin I. That prelate had dared to hold a synod at Rome, in which he condemned the 'Type' or Edict of Comprehension issued by the emperor (649). Constantinus never pardoned this: he bided his time, directed the exarch to seize the person of Martin at a convenient opportunity, and had him shipped off to Constantinople. There he was tried for contumacy, thrown into chains, and banished to Cherson, in the Crimea, where he died in exile (655).
Constantinus left the Bosphorus in 662 with a large army, and sailed for Taranto. There he landed, and at once fell upon the duchy of Benevento, the southernmost of the Lombard States in Italy. The time of his attack happened to be unfortunate, for Grimoald, duke of Benevento, had seized the Lombard crown, and his son Romuald was ruling the duchy under him. For once in a way, therefore, Pavia and Benevento Campaign in were united and ready to act together. The Lom
italy, 663. bard historian, Paulus Diaconus, has preserved the details of the campaign of Constantinus—whom he usually styles Constans, as do so many other writers. The emperor captured, one after another, all the Lombard cities of south Italy, including Luceria, the chief town of Apulia. He drove Romuald into Benevento, and held him closely besieged there, till he gave up his sister Gisa as a hostage, and promised to pay tribute. He would not have granted such easy terms, but for the fact that he had learnt that king Grimoald, with the whole force of Lombardy, was marching against him.
Departing from Benevento, Constantinus moved on Rome, leaving a part of his army under a Persian exile named Sapor to watch the Lombards. This division was cut to pieces at Forino, and after he had received the news, the emperor seems to have given up his idea of re-conquering central Italy. He contented himself with visiting Rome and receiving the homage of pope Vitalian, who met him at the sixth milestone, at the head of the whole Roman people, and escorted him into the city. But Rome took little profit from the advent of an emperor, a sight it had not seen for two hundred years. Constantinus plundered it of many ornaments, and in particular stripped the Pantheon of its tiles of gilded bronze and sent them to Constantinople (663).
After staying only twelve days in the ancient capital, the emperor turned on his heel, and instead of proceeding against the northern Lombards, led his army through Naples into Lucania and Bruttium as far as Reggio. King Grimoald and his son do not seem to have molested him in this long march. Constantinus then crossed the straits of Messina into Sicily, and established himself at Syracuse, which he Constans in made his residence for more than four years Sicily, 664-8. [664-8]. His attention was engrossed by the forward movement of the Saracens in Africa. Muavia, having secured the sole caliphate by the death of his rival Ali, had at last recommenced his attacks on the empire in 663. His troops pushed forward in Africa and seized Carthage, from which, however, Constantinus succeeded in driving them out, and once more pushed them back to Tripoli. It must have been in this African war that he spent the treasures which he is said to have wrung out of the people of Sicily, Sardinia, and south Italy by ' exaction such as had never been heard of before,' even tearing the sacramental plate from the churches, and selling as slaves those who refused to pay. These harsh proceedings did as much to weaken the power of the empire in the West as the military successes of Constantinus did to strengthen it.
It was at Syracuse that Constantinus met his end. While he was bathing in the baths that were called Daphne, his attendant Andreas smote him on the head with his marble soap-box, so that the skull was broken, and then fled away.
Murder of The blow was fatal, and with this strange death Constans, 668. perished that plan of restoring the empire in the West which had been the favourite scheme of Constantinus. His murder was probably the result of a conspiracy, for when it was known, an Armenian officer named Mezecius proclaimed himself emperor in Sicily, and reigned there for a few months.
For the last five years of Constantinus' long absence in the West there had been grievous trouble with the Saracens in Asia Minor, against which the caliph Muavia had launched his hosts for five successive summers. The raids of his generals reached as far as Amorium in Phrygia, which was stormed by the Arabs, and promptly retaken by the Romans in 668. The nominal control of affairs in Asia had been left to the emperor's eldest son Constantine, when his father sailed to the Constantine West. On the news of the murder at Syracuse and Pogonatus, the usurpation of Mezecius, Constantine, now 5' aged eighteen, sailed in person to Sicily, put down
and executed the usurper, and then promptly returned to Constantinople. He had been beardless when he set out, but returned next year with his face covered with hair, wherefore the people of the capital gave him the nickname of 'Pogonatus,' the bearded, by which he is generally known. Curiously enough the name would have been far better applied to his father whose beard was enormous, while that of Constantine v. did not exceed a very moderate limit.
Constantine Pogonatus was his father's true son, a hardworking, hard-fighting, and somewhat high-handed Caesar, who kept the empire well together, and spent all his energy in holding the Saracens in check, a task in which he won great success. He reigned for seventeen years (668-85), of which the first ten were a time of unbroken war with the Caliphate. The first beginning of this struggle was not very favourable for the empire; in 669-70 the generals of Muavia pushed their way as far as the sea of Marmora, and in 672 the Caliph thought success so nearly in his grasp that he prepared for a formal siege of Constantinople, the second that it had undergone in the century. Using the harbour of Cyzicus as their base, the Saracens, under a general named Abderrhaman, and the Caliph's son Yezid, beleaguered the city for six months (April-September, 673). They were finally forced to retire after a naval engagement in which the Imperial galleys had the better, largely owing, it is said, to the newly invented 'Greek fire,' by which they burnt many of the Moslem ships. When forced away from the Bosphorus, the Saracens fell back on Cyzicus, which they succeeded in holding for no less than four years, making occasional sallies from it towards Constantinople, of which every single one was repelled with loss by the emperor. At last the Arabs, after losing Constantine v. their general, and seeing Abu Eyub, one of the saves Conlast surviving companions of Mohammed, perish stantmoplebefore the walls, raised the siege. Their fleet was destroyed by a storm off the Lycian Coast: their land-army was attacked on its retreat by the East Romans, and defeated with a loss of 30,000 men.
So great was the blow inflicted on the Caliph by the entire failure of his army before Constantinople, that he was glad to conclude an ignominious peace with the emperor, by which he engaged to pay 3000 pounds of gold to Constantine, and to send him fifty Arab horses for every year that the treaty lasted (678).
The fidelity of the East Romans to the house of Heraclius was thus justified by the victory of Constantine; it is a pity that only a very meagre account of his campaign has come down to us, owing to the dearth of chroniclers in the seventh century. We know, however, that the fame of his triumph went all over Europe, and that ambassadors came from the Avars, the Lombards, and even the distant Franks to congratulate him on beating off an attack which had threatened serious consequences to the whole of Christendom.
For the remainder of his reign Constantine enjoyed a