Philippikos Bardanes

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Philippikos or Philippicus (Greek: Φιλιππικός), was Emperor of Byzantium from 711 to 713.

Contents

Biography

Philippicus was originally named Bardanes (Greek: Βαρδάνης, Vardanis; Armenian: Վարդան, Vardan), and was the son of the patrician Nikephorus, who was of Armenian extraction from an Armenian colony in Pergamum.[1]

Relying on the support of the Monothelite party, he made some pretensions to the throne on the outbreak of the first great rebellion against Justinian II; these led to his relegation to Cephalonia by Tiberius Apsimarus, and subsequently to his banishment, by order of Justinian, to Cherson. Here Bardanes, taking the name of Philippicus, successfully incited the inhabitants to revolt with the help of the Khazars. The successful rebels seized Constantinople and Justinian fled (to be assassinated soon afterward, unable to rally substantial support in the provinces); Philippikos took the throne.

Reign

Among his first acts were the deposition of the orthodox patriarch Cyrus of Constantinople, in favour of John VI, a member of his own sect, and the summoning of a conciliabulum of Eastern bishops, which abolished the canons of the Sixth Ecumenical Council. In response the Roman Church refused to recognize the new emperor and his patriarch. Meanwhile Tervel of Bulgaria plundered up to the walls of Constantinople in 712. When Philippicus transferred an army from the Opsikion theme to police the Balkans, the Umayyad Caliphate under Al-Walid I made inroads across the weakened defenses of Asia Minor.

In late May 713 the Opsikion troops rebelled in Thrace. Several of their officers penetrated the city and blinded Philippicus on June 3, 713 while he was at a public bathhouse.[2] He was succeeded for a short while by his principal secretary, Artemius, who was raised to the purple as Emperor Anastasius II.

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