« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
two. He left the throne to his son Constantine vi.,1 for whom
* Or seventh, if Constantinus-Constans is counted.
al-Raschid, the son of the caliph Mehdy, ravaged the whole Anatolic and Obsequian themes as far as the Bosphorus. Irene felt herself unable to cope with the situation, and bought a peace by an annual payment of 70,000 solidi (784). Soon after the Bulgarian king declared war, and ravaged Thrace after slaying the general of the Thracian theme in battle. Among these disasters Constantine VI, grew up to manhood, but his mother, who had acquired a great taste for power, and feared to see her son reverse her religious policy, long refused to give him any share in the government. She constantine even made the army swear never to receive her seizes power. son as sole emperor as long as she should live. The young emperor, after chafing for some time in his state of tutelage, took matters into his own hands. In his twenty-first year he repaired to the camp of the Anatolic troops, and there proclaimed himself of age, and sole ruler of the State. He banished his mother's favourites, and confined her for some months to her own apartments in the palace. When he had firmly seized the helm of power, Constantine was weak enough to take his mother again as his colleague on the throne, and to associate her name with his in all imperial decrees. The ambitious and unnatural Irene repaid his confidence by scheming against him. She had grown so fond of power that she had resolved to win it back at all costs. Constantine was, like his ancestors, a warlike and energetic prince. He won several successes over the Saracens, and then engaged in a Bulgarian war. His popularity was first shaken by a fearful defeat at the hands of the Bulgarian king reneas. Cardam, by which he lost much of his influence thrones her with the army. Shortly afterwards he entered * 797. into a fierce struggle with the Patriarch and the clergy, having divorced, in spite of their anathemas, a wife whom his mother had forced upon him in early youth, and espoused Theodota, on whom his own affections were set. Knowing that the Church was wroth with Constantine for this outbreak of selfwill, and that the army no longer loved him as before, the
-------- - --~~
wicked Irene determined to strike a blow against her son.
- --- m |
were safer, the population greater, the wealth largely increased, the armies more efficient than at the commencement of the century. Even the Iconoclastic persecutions, though they had failed to crush superstition, had done some good in rooting out the grosser vagaries of image-worship. The Iconoclastic party still subsisted, and was strong in the army and civil service; we shall see it once more in power during the ninth century.
PERIOD I. X
Mayoralty of Pippin and Carloman—Their successful wars—Boniface reforms the Frankish church—Abdication of Carloman—Pippin dethrones Childebert III. and assumes the royal title—Quarrel of Aistulf and Pope Stephen—The Pope calls the Franks into Italy—Pippin twice subdues Aistulf—The Exarchate given to the Papacy—Martyrdom of St. Boniface—Conquest of Narbonne–Long struggle with the dukes of Aquitaine—Death of Pippin.
THE events which immediately followed the death of Charles Martel showed clearly enough that the house of St. Arnulf must still depend on the power of the sword to guard its ascendency, and that it could only continue to rule by continuing to produce a series of able chiefs. It was fortunate for the Frankish realm that Pippin and Carloman were both men of sense and vigour, though perhaps they did not attain to the full stature of their father's greatness. Not less fortunate was it that, unlike the kings of the Merovingian house, they dwelt together in amity and brotherly love, and undertook every scheme in common. " The moment that Charles was dead troubles broke out on every hand. Grifo, the younger brother of the two mayors, declared himself wronged in the partition of the kingdoms, seized Laon, and began to gather an army of Neustrian mal
contents. Theudebald, the brother of the duke of Suabia,