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well-earned peace, disturbed only by some slight bickering with a new enemy, the Bulgarians. This Ugrian tribe, who The had dwelt for the last two centuries beyond the Bulgarians. Danube, crossed the river in the end of Constan. tine's reign, and threw themselves upon the Slavonic tribes who held Moesia. They subdued the Slavs without much difficulty, and defeated a Roman army which Constantine led by sea to the mouth of the Danube. Recognising that it was impossible to reconquer the long-lost Moesia, the emperor made peace with Isperich, the Bulgarian king, and allowed him to settle without further opposition in the land between the Danube and the Balkans, where the Slavs had hitherto held possession (679). A new Bulgarian nation was gradually formed by the intermixture of the conquering tribe and their subjects: when formed, it displayed a Slavonic rather than a Ugrian type, and spoke a Slavonic not a Ugrian tongue. The later years of Constantine v. were better known to contemporaries as the time of the holding of the council of Constantinople, than as the time of the foundation of the new Bulgarian kingdom. To settle the dispute on the divine and human wills of Christ, the emperor summoned an oecumenical synod, at which the Western churches were well represented. It finally condemned the Monothelite heresy, which for the future ceased to be the great question debated between the churches (680-1). But a new controversy, that on Iconoclasm, was ere long to break out. To the misfortune of the empire the able and hard-working Constantine died in 685, at the comparatively early age of thirty-six. We hear little that is unfavourable to him from any chronicler: his sole crime seems to have been the cruel act of slitting the noses of his two brothers Heraclius and Tiberius in 680, to disqualify them from holding imperial power. They had hitherto been nominally the colleagues of character of Constantine, and were honoured with the title of Constantine V. Caesars, but in the interests of his own son Justinian, now a growing boy, the emperor determined to make it impossible for them to aspire to the supreme power. It appears to have been a cruel and unjustifiable act, and unless the Caesars had given provocation, a fact of which we have no hint in any chronicler, it was a grievous blot on the otherwise excellent character of Constantine v. The young Justinian, second of that name, mounted his father's throne in 685, when only in his seventeenth year. The accession of this prince was a fearful misfortune for the empire. He possessed the qualities of his grandfather Constantinus in an exaggerated form, being arbitrary, cruel, reckless, and high-handed, yet so brave and capable that his throne was not easy to shake. He started on his career too young, and might have come to better things if his father had lived for another ten years; but, abandoned Justinian II., to his own devices ere he was well out of his 685-95. boyhood, he developed into a bloodthirsty tyrant. The first few years of his reign, ere he had felt his feet and fully realised his own desires, were comparatively uneventful. The Saracens were occupied in civil wars since the death of Muavia, and gave no trouble: the caliph Abd-el-Melik was only too glad to renew with Justinian the treaty that his predecessor had made with Constantine v. Unmolested by the Saracens, Justinian sent armies into Iberia and Albania, the Christian kingdoms under the Caucasus, and compelled them to pay him tribute. Soon after he undertook in person a great expedition against the Bulgarians, designing to push the Roman boundary once more to the Danube. He was very successful, beating the enemy in the field, and bringing back more than 30,000 captives, from whom he organised an auxiliary force for service in Asia. Justinian's triumph over the Bulgarians emboldened him to undertake the greater scheme of winning back Syria from the Saracens. In 693 he picked a quarrel with the Caliph on the most frivolous grounds: when the annual payment due under the treaty of 686 was tendered to him, he refused to receive the money, because the coins were not the old Roman solidi, which had hitherto circulated in Syria and Egypt, and still formed the bulk of the Saracen currency, but new Arab ‘dirhems’ with Abd-el-Melik's name upon them, which the caliph had lately begun to strike. But any pretext was good enough for Justinian: he declared war with a light Justinian, heart, and led his armies in person across the Saracen Taurus into Cilicia. At Sebastopolis near Tarsus ** he suffered a fearful defeat, mainly caused by the desertion to the Saracens of the unwilling recruits whom he had enlisted from among the captives of the Bulgarian War. When he had rallied his army Justinian was cruel and illogical enough to order those of the corps who had not deserted to be put to death—lest they might follow their comrades' example in the next battle (693). In the next year the emperor lost Roman Armenia by the revolt of its Governor, a native Armenian named Sumpad, who deserted to the Saracens. Other disasters followed, and the Arabs harried the “Anatolic' and ‘Armeniac’ themes. Meanwhile the young emperorhad been making himself most unpopular at home by the exactions necessary for the support of his unlucky war, and still more by persisting in building expensive and unnecessary palaces in the capital, while the war still raged. His two finance ministers, Theodotus, a relapsed abbot who had quitted his monastery, and the eunuch Stephanus, are reported to have gone to the extremes of cruelty in dealing with the citizens. It is said that Theodotus was wont to torture defaulting tax-payers by hanging them over smoky fires and half stifling them. Stephanus preferred the rod; it is said that he even presumed on one occasion— during Justinian's, absence—to seize and beat the empressdowager Anastasia. The emperor only punished him by ordering him to complete, at his own expense, a building on which he was then engaged. It was not only by heaping taxes on his subjects that Justinian made himself unpopular. He had a mania for seizing and imprisoning on suspicion senators and other important personages, and he was so merciless in dealing with military officers who met with any defeat, that to accept a command under him was considered the shortest way to the dungeon or the block. Meanwhile his ill-luck in the Saracen war made him as much detested by the soldiery as he was dreaded by their officers. In 695 a distinguished general named Leontius, the conqueror of Iberia and Albania," was ordered by Justinian to take command of the theme of Hellas. Regarding this charge as a mere preliminary to disgrace and execution, Leontius in sheer desperation planned a coup d'état. At the head of a few dozen followers he burst open the prisons, and made a dash at the palace. Justinian was taken Fall of Justicompletely by surprise; he fell into the hands of ***5. Leontius, who slit his nose, and banished him to the distant fortress of Cherson, in the Crimea. His two detested ministers, Theodotus and Stephanus, were torn to pieces and burnt by the populace. With the fall of Justinian II. began twenty-two years of anarchy and disaster for the empire. Hitherto Constantinople had been singularly fortunate in escaping the consequences of military revolts and changes of dynasty. With the single exception of the usurpation of the tyrant Phocas, and his deposition by Heraclius, there had been no cases of the transfer of the imperial crown by violence for more than three hundred years. All the earlier emperors of the East had been either designated by their predecessors or peaceably elected by the Senate and army. It was now to be seen how fatal was the breaking-up of the rule of orderly succession: in the next twenty-two years there were no less than five revolutions at home, and abroad many grave disasters cut the empire short. The three-years' rule of Leontius was mainly distinguished by the final loss of Carthage and Africa. Already in Justinian's time the province had been invaded and partially overrun by the generals of the Caliph. In 697 Carthage fell: it was recovered for a moment by an expedition sent out by Leontius, but in 698 it fell permanently into the hands of the Saracens. The Roman generals, however, escaped by sea with the main body of their army. Fearing to face the wrath of carthage Leontius with such a tale of disaster, the returning lost, 698. officers conspired against him. They sailed to the Bosphorus, where their arrival was quite unexpected, caught the emperor, slit his nose, and threw him into a monastery. In his stead they proclaimed the admiral Tiberius Apsimarus as sovereign (698). Tiberius II., a very capable man, clung to the throne for seven years. He was fortunate in his war with the Saracens: his armies defeated those of the Caliph, recovered Cilicia, and even occupied Antioch. But this success abroad did not save Tiberius from the wonted end of usurpers. He was overthrown by the banished and mutilated Justinian II., who now reappears upon the stage in a most startling fashion. Justinian had been consigned by Leontius to the remote fortress of Cherson—the modern Sebastopol—on the north shore of the Black Sea. But being carelessly guarded, he succeeded in escaping, and reaching the court of the Chagan of the Khazars, the Tartar tribe who dwelt on the lower Volga and the shores of the sea of Azoff. In spite of his Adventures mutilated nose he succeeded in gaining the good of Justinian, graces of the Chagan, and received the hand of his sister in marriage. Hearing of this Tiberius II. sent a huge bribe to the Tartar, to persuade him to surrender his guest. The treacherous barbarian consented, and despatched an officer to arrest Justinian. But the exile got wind of the plot through a message from his wife, and instead of allowing himself to be seized, slew the Chagan's emissary, and escaped to sea in an open boat, with half-a-dozen attendants. A storm arose, and the little vessel seemed likely to founder, ‘Make a vow to God that if you escape you will forgive your enemies,' said one of Justinian's companions to him, as the boat began to fill. ‘No,' replied the reckless and inflexible exile, “if I spare a single one of them when my time comes, may God

* See p. 249.

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