The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Anastasius Ii


war, which is known in history under the name of the Isaurian war, lasted till 497, and partly till 498, when it was finished to the advantage of the emperor by the captivity and death of the ring­leaders of the rebellion. John the Scythian, John the Hunchbacked, and under them Justinus, who became afterwards emperor, distinguished them­selves greatly as commanders of the armies of Anastasius. The following years were signalized by a sedition in Constantinople occasioned by dis­turbances between the factions of the Blue and the Green, by religious troubles which the emperor was able to quell only by his own humiliation, by wars with the Arabs and the Bulgarians, and by earthquakes, famine, and plague. (a. d. 500.) Anastasius tried to relieve his people by abolishing the xpwupyvpoS) a heavy poll-tax which was paid indifferently for men and for domestic animals. Immediately after these calamities, Anastasius was involved in a war with Cabadis, the king of Persia, who destroyed the Byzantine army commanded by Ifypacius and Patricius Phrvgius, and ravaged Mesopotamia in a dreadful manner. Anastasius purchased peace in 505 by paying 11,000 pounds of gold to the Persians, who, being threatened with an invasion of the Huns, restored to the em­peror the provinces which they had overrun. From Asia Anastasius sent his generals to the banks of the Danube, where they fought an unsuccessful but not inglorious campaign against the East-Goths of Italy, and tried, but in vain, to defend the passage of the Danube against the Bulgarians. These in­defatigable warriors crossed that river in great numbers, and ravaging the greater part of Thrace, appeared in sight of Constantinople; and no other means were left to the emperor to secure the im­mediate neighbourhood of his capital but by con­structing a fortified wall across the isthmus of Con­stantinople from the coast of the Propontis to that }f the Pontus Euxinus. (a. d. 507.) Some parts rf this wall, which in a later period proved useful igainst the Turks, are still existing. Clovis, king >f the Franks, was created consul by Anastasius.

The end of the reign of Anastasiua cannot well )e understood without a short notice of the state >f religion during this time, a more circumstantial iccount of which the reader will find in Evagrius ind Theophanes cited below.

As early as 488, Anastasius, then only a Silen-

iarius, had been active in promoting the Euty-

hian Palladius to the see of Antioch. This act

vas made a subject of reproach against him by the

rthodox patriarch of Constantinople, Euphemius,

yho, upon Anastasius succeeding Zeno on the

hrone, persuaded or compelled him to sign a con-

3ssion of faith according to the orthodox principles

lid down in the council of Chalcedon. Notwith-

tanding this confession, Anastasius continued an

dherent to the doctrines of Eutychius, and in

96 he had his enemy, Euphemius, deposed and

anished. It is said, that at this time Anastasius

icwed great propensities to the sect of the Ace-

hali. The successor of Euphemius was Macedo-

ius, who often thwarted the measures of the em-

sror, and who but a few years afterwards was

riven from his see, which Anastasius gave to the

utychian Timotheus, who opposed the orthodox

l many matters. Upon this, Anastasius was

lathematized by pope Symmachus, whose succes-

>r, Hormisdas, sent deputies to Constantinople

r the purpose of restoring peace to the Church of



the East. However, the religious motives of these disturbances were either so intimately connected with political motives, or the .hatred between the parties was so great, that the deputies did not suc­ceed. In 514, Vitalianus, a Gothic prince in the service of the emperor, put himself at the head of a powerful army, and laid siege to Constantinople, under the pretext of compelling Anastasius to put an end to the vexations of the orthodox church. In order to get rid of such an enemy, Anastasius promised to assemble a general council, which was to be presided over by the pope, and he appointed Vitalianus his commander-in-chief in Thrace. But no sooner was the army of Vitalianus disbanded, than Anastasius once more eluded his promises, and the predomination of the Eutychians over the orthodox lasted till the death of the emperor. Anastasius died in 518, at the age of between eighty-eight and ninety-one years. Evagrius states, that after his death his name was erased from the sacred "Diptychs" or tables.

Religious hatred having more or less guided modern writers as well as those whom we must consider as the sources with regard to Anastasius, the character of this emperor has been described in a very different manner. The reader will find these opinions carefully collected and weighed with prudence and criticism in Tillemont's " Histoire des Empereurs." Whatever were his vices, and however avaricious and faithless he was, Anastasius was far from being a common man. Tillemont, though he is often misled by bigotry, does not blame him for many actions, and praises him for many others for which he has been frequently re­ proached. Le Beau, the author of the "Histoire du Bas Empire," does not condemn him; and Gibbon commends him, although principally for his economy. (Evagrius, iii. 29, seq.; Cedrenus, pp. 354-365, ed. Paris; Theophanes, pp. 115-141, eel. Paris; Gregor. Turon. ii. 38.) [W. P.]

ANASTASIUS II., emperor of constan­tinople. The original name of this emperor was Artemius, and he was one of the ministers (Protoasecretis) of the emperor Philippicus, who had his eyes put out by the traitor Rufus, in the month of June A. d. 713. Artemius, uni­versally esteemed for his character and his qualities, was chosen in his stead, and, although his reign was short and disturbed by troubles, he gave sufficient proofs of being worthy to reign. After having punished Rufus and his accomplices, lie aDDointed the Isaurian Leo, who became after-

1 A .

wards emperor, his general in chief against the Lazes and other Caucasian nations, and himself made vigorous preparations against the Arabs, by whom the southern provinces of the empire were then continually harassed. He formed the bold plan of burning the naval stores of the enemy on the coast of Syria, stores necessary for the con­struction of a large fleet, with which the Arabs intended to lay siege to Constantinople. The commander of the Byzantine fleet was John, who combined the three dignities of grand treasurer of the empire, admiral, and dean of St. Sophia, and who left Constantinople in 715. But the expe­dition failed, and a mutiny broke out on board the ships, in consequence of which John was mas­sacred, and Theodosius, once a receiver of the taxes, proclaimed emperor. It is probable that the rebel had many adherents in the Asiatic provinces; for while he -sailed with his fleet to Constantinople,

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of