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MICHAEL.

severe pupishinent. Thus ended a revolt, during Which Michael proved he was worthy of his throne.

In 824 Michael renewed the friendly intercourse which had subsisted between his predecessors and the Western or Frankish emperors : he sent an em­bassy to Louis the Pious, and also wrote a letter to him, which his ambassadors presented to Louis, at Bouen. It is known that the Byzantine emperors would never recognise the imperial title of the Frankish kings, and afterwards those of Germany. In the aboverinentioned letter Michael consequently called Louis only " Ludovicus qui vocatus est Francorimr et Longobardorum Imperator," and this the Byzantine historians consider as a great condescension. The letter is contained in Thegan's Vie de Louis le Debonnaire, and in the works of other historians. In the same year, 824^ a band of Spanish Arabs, commanded by one Abuhafia,; made a descent upon Crete and conquered the island, which was henceforth called Candia, from Candax, its new capital, which was founded by the Arabs: Michael was unable to dislodge them, and the island was lost for ever. A colony of Arabs, the descendants of the followers of Abuhafiz, still in­habits a portion of Candia. Michael lost likewise the province of Dalmatia, which was taken from him by the Servians, but the greatest loss he had to suffer was that of Sicily. Euphemius governed the island for the emperor, and having met with some disappointment at the court, invited Ziadet-Allah, the third khalif of the Aglabites in Africa, to take possession of the country. Ziadet-Allah accordingly went to Sicily in 827, with a powerful fleet, and the island soon became a prey to the Arabs, and remained in their possession for upwards of two hundred years. Michael died a natural death on the first of October, 829? and was suc­ceeded by his son Theophilus. (Cedren. p. 491, &c.; Leo Gram. p. 447, &c.; Zpnar. vol. ii. p. 132, &c.; Genes, p.. 13, &c.; Theophan. Contin. p. 214, &c.; Symepn Metaphrastes, p. 405, &c.; Glyc. p. 287, &c.; Const. Porphyr. De Admin. Imp. c. 22 ; Const. Manass. p. 95 ; Joel, p. 178.) [W. P.]

MICHAEL III. (Mix<«?>0, emperor of Con­stantinople from a. d. 842 to 867» was the son and successor of the emperor Theophilus, and the grandson of Michael II. the Stammerer. He ascended the throne at the age of three, and reigned under the guardianship of his talented mother Theodora. This active princess began by re-establishing the worship of images, an undertaking in which she had to encounter intrigues of a most dangerous nature [photius]. Her armies were less success­ful ; they were beaten in the Caucasus and in Asia Minor, and an expedition fitted out for the recovery of Crete from the Arabs was totally discomfited. She despatched a fleet of 300 ships with a view of conquering Egypt, but the capture and temporary possession of Damietta was the only result of it. On the other hand, she continued to be fortunate in her exertions for the orthodox church and the Christian religion in general: the Khazars were converted in 847, and a few years afterwards the Bulgarians, those hereditary enemies of Byzantium, adopted likewise the religion of Christ [metro-ph anes], But her zeal for images caused a most dangerous revolt of the Paulicians (848), who entered into an alliance with the Arabs, and baffled the efforts of the ^imperial armies to re­duce them to obedience. Meanwhile, Michael grew up and gave proof of his wicked propensities.

1075

MICHAEL.

the boyjsh^age of fifteen he already led .an.-imr moral life with Eudoxia, a noble young lady, the daughter of one Ingerius, who belonged to the great family of the Martinacii; and Kis mother preferring under these circumstances to give him a lawful wife, he accepted with the greatest in­difference Eudoxia, the daughter of Decapolita, continuing all the while his licentious intercourse with the other Eudoxia, his mistress. The prin­cipal person at the court was Theoctistus, a cele­brated, though not always successful general, who incurred the jealousy of Bardas, the brother of the empress, and the displeasure of the young emperor. Michael and Bardas consequently formed a plot to make away with Theoctistus, and carried their de­sign into effect, Michael being the first to raise his hand against his unfortunate minister. Bardas was appointed Magnus Logotheta in his stead, and he soon seized the uncontrolled direction of public affairs. The murder of Theoctistus so afflicted Theodora that she laid down her functions as regent and retired into private life (854). Michael now abandoned himself to a life of almost unparalleled profligacy, for a description of which we must refer to the graphic pe» of Gibbon (vol. ix. p. 45, &c. ed. 1815).

In 856 Bardas was made Caesar j and his power being now unlimited, he caused the empress Theo­dora, with her daughter, to be confined in a con­vent. On the whole, however, Bardas was no despicable man, though his ambition was bound­less. Full pf talents, learning, and an enthusi­astic love of the fine arts, he was zealous in pro­moting the arts, science and literature, which had been greatly neglected during the reign of the father and grandfather of Michael. The philosopher Leo was his principal assistant in attaining these laudable objects. Owing to the irresistible in­fluence of Bardas, the patriarch Ignatius was de­posed in 857, and the famous Photius succeeded him. In 858 the empire was involved in a great war with the Arabs. Leo commanded against, them, and obtained more glory than the unworthy emperor deserved. He defeated the Arabs in several pitched battles, drove them beyond the Euphrates, crossed that river, and made several successful incursions on the eastern side of the Tigris, penetrating to the neighbourhood of Bagh­dad. ' During this time, however, the Arab general, 'Omar, laid Pontus waste. Thinking success on the battle-field an easy thing, Michael resolved to put himself at the head of his army, and marched against 'Omar ; but the Arabs had been reinforced by a strong body of incensed Paulicians, and under the walls of Samosata the emperor received a severe lesson for his folly. Upwards of 6000 Greek* were taken prisoners, and among them the gallant Leo, whom the Arabs would never restore to liberty in spite of the brilliant ransom offered them. In 860 Michael paid as dearly for a second lesson in Cappadocia; and 'Omar now carried destruction over Cappadocia, Pontus, and Cilicia, whence he car­ried 70,000 prisoners into perpetual captivity. (862.) Either good sense or the want of his accustomed revels in the capital, or the advice of Bardas, in­duced Michael to put his younger brother, Petronas, then governor of Lydia and Ionia, at the head of the army ; and Petronas chose for his lieutenant Nazar, governor of Galatia, whose maxim was, that a small, but good army, was better than a large, but bad one. Near Amasia they fell in with the

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