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ISAACUS.

the crown, and I know how to take it from you ingain." Banishment was the reward for this inso­lence, and death prevented the priest from taking revenge by kindling a rebellion. In several cases Isaac acted rather haughtily, and he sometimes found difficulty in reconciling through his wisdom, those whom he had wounded through his pride,

•In 1059 he marched against the Hungarians, who had crossed the Danube, and compelled them to sue for peace. This was the only occasion during his reign where he could show that .he was the best tactician among the Greeks. The empire re­covered visibly under his administration from so many calamities, and great was the grief of the people when, after his return from the Hungarian . campaign, he was suddenly attacked by a violent fever, which brought him to the verge of the tomb. Feeling his death approaching, he called for his brother and offered him the crown, but John having declined it, he appointed Constantine Ducas, a re­nowned general, his future successor. Isaac, how­ever, recovered from his illness, but, to the utmost grief and astonishment of his brother and the people,, resigned the crown into the hands of Con­stantine Ducas, and retired to a convent (December, ] 059). His wife and daughter followed his ex­ample, and took the veil. Isaac survived his ab­dication about two years, living in the strictest performance of the duties of a monk, and devoting his leisure hours to learned occupations. The em­peror Constantine XL often visited him in his cell, and consulted him on important affairs; and among the people he was in the odour of sanctity. His death probably took place in 1061. He left no male issue. Homer was the favourite author of Isaac, who wrote Scholia to the Iliad, which are extant in several libraries, but are still unpublished. There are also extant in manuscript Tlepl rtav Kara-\eufr6evrwv virb rod 'O/nJpou, and XapaKTTjp/V^uaTO, being characteristics of the leaders of the Greeks and Trojans mentioned in the Iliad. His other works are lost. (Cedren. p. 797, &c.; Zonar. vol. ii. p. 265, &c.; Scylitzes, p. 807, &c. ; Glycas, p. 322, &c. ; Joel, p. 184^ &c., in the Paris editions j Fabric. BibL Graec. vol. i. p. 558.) [W. P.]

ISAACUS IL, A'NGELUS (Iffadtcios 6 AyycAos), emperor of Constantinople (a. d. 1185

—1195), was the eldest son of Andronicus An-gelus, and was born in the middle half of the 12th century* Belonging to one of the great Byzantine families and descended, through his grandmother Theodora, from the imperial family of the Comneni, he held several offices of importance in the reign of the emperor Manuel Comnenus ; but his name re­mained obscure, and the emperor Andronicus-Com­nenus, the exterminator of the Greek nobility, despised to kill such a harmless being, although he put his father Andronicus Angelus to death. The weak-minded Isaac became, nevertheless, the cause of the deposition and miserable end of Andronicus Comnenus. In the summer of 1185 the emperor retired for a short time to one of his country seats in Asia, appointing one Hagiochristophorites his lieutenant in Constantinople during his absence. This officer gave orders to put Isaac to death, be­cause his name began ,with an I ; and there was a silly belief among the people that Andronicus would be ruined by somebody whose name began with an I. Isaac was fortunately apprized of the bloody design of the emperor's lieutenant, but had barely time to escape from his palace, and to

avail himself d* the sanctuary of the church of St. Sophia:. A dense crowd soon filled the church: Isaac iniplored their assistance; and the numerous enemies of Andronicus, exerting themselves to kindle a revolt in favour of any one persecuted by that cruel emperor, the fickle people of Constanti­nople suddenly took up arms, killed the officers des* patched by Hagiochristophorites to put Isaac to death, and proclaimed the. latter emperor of Con­stantinople ( a. d. 1185). Andronicus hastened to his capital, but it was too late: he was seized by the mob, and, by order, or at least with the consent of Isaac, perished in "the miserable'manner which is related in his life. [andronicus L]

No sooner was Isaac firmly established on the throne than he began a life which Gibbon thus de-r scribes: —" He slept on the throne, and was awakened only by the sound of pleasure: his vacant hours were amused by comedians and buf­foons ; and even to these buffoons the emperor was an object of contempt: his feasts and buildings exceeded the examples of royal luxury, the number of his eunuchs and domestics amounted to twenty thousand, and the daily sum of four thousand pounds of silver would swell to four millions sterling the annual expense of his household and table. His poverty was relieved by oppression, and the public discontent was inflamed by equal abuses in the collection and the application of the revenue." Shortly after his accession Isaac was involved in a dreadful war with the Bulgarians, which arose under the following circumstances: —After the conquest by Basil II. of the powerful Bulgarian kingdom, which extended over the greater part of the Thracian peninsula, the Bulgarians continued to live under the sway of the Byzantine emperors* till Peter and Asan, two brothers, who were de­scended from the ancient kings of Bulgaria^ took, up arms in order to deliver their country from the insupportable oppression and rapacity of Isaac. They were successful—they penetrated as far as Thessalonica—they defeated and. made prisoner Isaac Sebastocrator, the Greek generalissimo, in a pitched battle ; and at last Asan was acknowledged' as king of Bulgaria Nigra, or that country which? is still called Bulgaria. In this war the Bulgarians were assisted by the Blachi or Moro-Vlachi, the descendants of ancient Roman colonists in the mountainous parts of Thessaly and Macedonia, who were likewise driven to despair by the rapa­cious emperor, and who finally left their homes and emigrated into the countries beyond the Danube (Dacia), where, mixed with Slavonian tribes, they continued to live, and still live, as Wallachians. However, some of them remained in their native mountains in Thessaly and Macedonia: they were the ancestors of the present Kutzo-Wallachians. In a second war with the Bulgarians, the Greek arms obtained a decisive victory (1193) ; but Isaac was, nevertheless, obliged to recognise the successor of Asan, Joannicus or Joannes. Isaac was more successful against William IL, the Good, who was compelled, in 1187, to give up the conquests which he had made- two years previously in Epeirus, Thessaly, and Macedonia^ In 1189 the emperor Frederic I. of Germany appeared on the northern frontier of the Byzantine empire, with an army of 150,000 men, on his way to the Holy Land. In spite of the menaces of Isaac, the em­peror quietly advanced^ took up his winter-quarters at Adrianople, and crossed the Bosporus, declining

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