The Emperor Theophilos and the East, 829–842: Court and Frontier in Byzantium during the Last Phase of Iconoclasm

Routledge, 23 mrt. 2016 - 532 pagina's
Modern historiography has become accustomed to portraying the emperor Theophilos of Byzantium (829-842) in a favourable light, taking at face value the legendary account that makes of him a righteous and learned ruler, and excusing as ill fortune his apparent military failures against the Muslims. The present book considers events of the period that are crucial to our understanding of the reign and argues for a more balanced assessment of it. The focus lies on the impact of Oriental politics on the reign of Theophilos, the last iconoclast emperor. After introductory chapters, setting out the context in which he came to power, separate sections are devoted to the influence of Armenians at the court, the enrolment of Persian rebels against the caliphate in the Byzantine army, the continuous warfare with the Arabs and the cultural exchange with Baghdad, the Khazar problem, and the attitude of the Christian Melkites towards the iconoclast emperor. The final chapter reassesses the image of the emperor as a good ruler, building on the conclusions of the previous sections. The book reinterprets major events of the period and their chronology, and sets in a new light the role played by figures like Thomas the Slav, Manuel the Armenian or the Persian Theophobos, whose identity is established from a better understanding of the sources.

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Prolegomena to a Reign Internal Conflict in the Empire under Leo V and Michael II
The Armenian Court
Supporting the Persian Uprising against the Abbasids
Warfare Against the Arabs
The Khazar Flank
The Melkites
Cultural Exchange with the Arabs
Epilogue The Image of Theophilos as a Ruler
A Chronology of Theophilos Reign
Index of Names and Places

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Over de auteur (2016)

Juan Signes Codoņer is Professor of Greek Philology at the University of Valladolid, Spain. He has a particular interest in Byzantine history of the 9th century and in the historical literature of Byzantium. With Michael Featherstone he is publishing a new edition of Theophanes Continuatus (in the Corpus fontium historiae Byzantinae, series Berolinensis), and amongst his many articles is one related to the present volume, ’Melkites and Icon worship during the iconoclastic period’, appearing in Dumbarton Oaks Papers.

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