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676

JUSTINIANUS.

favourite occupation. He was ably assisted by two monsters whose names are branded in the his­tory of civilisation. Stephanus, the minister of finances, so pleased his master by his skill in plun­dering, that he continued to enjoy his favours, a! though he threatened the emperor's mother,; Anas-tasia, with the punishment inflicted upon naughty children ; and the monk Theodatus, who rose to the dignity of Logotheta, was linsurpassed in the art of realising the rapacious measures of his col­league. Those who could not pay the taxes were driven out of their homes, tortured, or hanged by hundreds ; and those who refused paying them were stifled with the smoke of damp burning straw, till they gave up either their property or their lives. The people of Constantinople, exasperated by ra­pacity and cruelty, showed symptoms of rebellion, and, in a moment of fury, Justinian ordered his guards to rush into the streets and to massacre all whom they might find abroad. The order became known before it was executed, and a general re­bellion ensued, to which chance gave an able and successful leader. Leontius, the commander against the Maronites, having become suspected by Justi­nian, soon after his return from that campaign was arrested and confined in a prison, where he remained about three years, till the emperor, who neither dared to put him to death, nor liked to have him alive in his capital, suddenly restored him to liberty, and gave him the government of Greece, with an order to set out immediately. As he was in the act of stepping on board a galley in the Golden Horn, he was stopped by an exasperated and trembling crowd, who implored him to save them from the fury of Justinian. Without hesitation he put himself at the head of the people. To St. Sophia ! they shouted. Thousands of well-armed men soon sur­rounded the cathedral, and in a few hours the revolution was achieved, and Leontius was seated on the imperial throne. Justinian, a prisoner loaded with chains, was dragged before him; the mob demanded his head ; but Leontius remem­bering the kindness of the father of Justinian, saved the life of his rival, and banished him to Cherson in the present Crimea. Previous to his departure, however, Justinian had his nose cut off: hence his name 'Pi^Tju^roy. (a. d. 695.)

After a reign of three years Leontius was de­throned and confined in a prison, in 6.98, by Tibe­rius Absimarus, who reigned till 704, when the exiled Justinian regained possession of his throne under the following circumstances :

In his exile Justinian thought of nothing but revenge, and his misfortunes, far from smoothing his violent temper, increased the fury of his passions. He ill treated the inhabitants of Cherson, where he seems to have exercised some power, or enjoyed at least too much liberty, so unmercifully that they formed a plan to put him to death. He escaped their just resentment by a sudden flight to Busirus, the khan of the Khazars, who received him well, gave him his sister Theodora in marriage, and assigned him the town of Phanagoria, in the present island of Tainan- on the Cimmerian Bosporus, as a residence. When Tiberius became informed of this, he bribed Busirus, who sent out messengers with an order to kill the imperial refugee. But Theodora discovered their designs, and having communicated them to her husband, he killed two of the messengers, sent his faithful wife back to her brother, and escaped to Terbelis, the king of

JUSTINIANUS.

the Bulgarians. Terbelis was soon persuaded to undertake one of those sudden inroads for which the Bulgarians were so much dreaded in those times, and before Tiberius knew that his rival hnd fled from Phanagoria, he saw him with fifteen thousand Bulgarian horse under the walls of Con­stantinople. Some adherents of Justinian led the barbarians secretly into the city, and flight was now the only safety for Tiberius. Overtaken at Apol-lonia, he was carried back to Constantinople, and together with his brother Heraclius, and the deposed and still captive emperor Leontius^ dragged before Justinian, who was just amusing himself in the Hippodrome. While they lay prostrate before him the tyrant placed his feet on the necks of his two rivals, and continued to look at the performances and to listen to the savage demonstration of joy of the people, who were shouting the verses of the psalmist: " Thou shall tread upon the lion and adder ; the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under thy feet." Having at last satisfied his revenge he ordered them to be put to death. A system of persecution was now carried on against the adherents of Leontius and Tiberius, of which few examples are found in Byzantine history: the capital and the provinces swarmed with informers and executioners, who committed unheard of cruelties, while the confiscated property 'of the unhappy victims was employed in satisfying the demands of Terbelis. As early as 708 the friendship between the khan and the emperor was at an end. Terbelis treated and was justified in treating Justinian as a madman. War was declared, and Justinian having suffered a total defeat at Anchialus, re­turned to Constantinople to commit fresh cruelties. About this time the Arabs took Tyana and made great progress in Asia Minor, and the inhabitants of Ravenna having shown their discontent with the rapacity of the exarch, an expedition was sent against them, and after the town had been taken, it was treated worse than if it had belonged to the Persians or Bulgarians: the rich spoil of that ruined city was carried to Constantinople. In 710 Pope Constantine was summoned to appear at Nico-medeia before the emperor, who had some ecclesi­astical reform in view, and he went thither trembling, but against his expectation was treated with great honours, and returned in the following year. From Nicomedeia, where he had resided for some time, Justinian was compelled to fly suddenly to his capital, as a body of Arabs had penetrated as far as Chalcedon. Unable to obtain any advantage over them, Justinian resolved to cool his fury in the blood of the Chersonites, and the savage Stephanus was sent against them with a fleet and the order to destroy the whole population. They found, how­ever, time to fly into the country, and Stephanus returned in anger, after having hanged, drowned, -or roasted alive, only a few hundreds where he hoped to massacre thousands. Neither he nor his fleet reached the capital: a storm destroyed the ships, and the Euxine swallowed up .the crew. He had no sooner left Cherson than the inhabitants returned to their city, a general insurrection arose, and Bardanes was proclaimed emperor, and assumed the purple under the name of Philippicus (Phi-lepicus). Infuriated at the loss of his fleet, and the escape of the Chersonites, Justinian fitted out a second expedition, under the command of Maurus, who, however, found Cherson well fortified and still better defended. Trembling to appear before

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