The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Michael V – Michael Vii

MICHAEL.

still more numerous than the preceding ; but in a pitched battle with the Greeks and Normans, they were utterly defeated, leaving 50,000 either dead on the field, or prisoners in the hands of the victor. Sicily once more obeyed the Greek sceptre, when a base intrigue caused the loss of what had been so fairly won. Owing to the negligence of Stephanus, the Arab commander-in-chief found means to escape, with a few followers, to Africa; and Ma-niaces was so vexed at his flight, that in reproach­ing Stephanus for it, he probably forgot the degree of deference which he owed to the brother-in-law of the powerful eunuch. In order to avenge him­self for the insult, Stephanus calumniated his chief at the court, and caused a warrant to be sent to Sicily for his arrest. After Maniaces had left the island, the negligence of his successors in the com­mand, Stephanus, Doceanus, and Basilius Pedia-tites, caused one loss after another; and in dividing the booty of their former victories with the Nor­mans, they behaved so unfairly, that their gallant allies not only withdrew, vbut attacked the Greek dominions on the continent of Italy. The Arabs suffered one more defeat at Messina; but after that met with continual success, and before the end of 1040 Sicily had again ceased to be a Byzan­tine province, and in Italy the Greek power was expiring under the sword of the Normans. About tfye same time the Bulgarians endeavoured to throw off the Greek yoke, and overran Thrace and Mace­donia. Michael, forced to fly suddenly from Thes-salonica, where he then held his court, left his treasury under the care of one Ibazas, a Bulgarian in the Greek service, who availed himself of the opportunity, and with his trust joined his country­men.

Constantinople was in the greatest danger of falling into the hands of the barbarians, when, to the surprise and wonder of the whole empire, the apathetic emperor, who was besides suffering from an incurable dropsy, declared his intention of putting himself at the head of his army. In vain his friends and the empress endeavoured to per­suade him to abandon his purpose: " If I have made no conquests," said he, " I will at least do my utmost to prevent losses." He was so weak that he was obliged to be raised on his horse, and every morning the troops expected that he would not see the evening; but he held bravely out, and the moral effect of his appearance upon his soldiers as well as his enemies was so great, that the former fought with the utmost bravery, while the Bul­garians were confounded before they had been defeated. After driving out the barbarians from Thrace and Macedonia, Michael penetrated into Bulgaria; and in the course of one campaign brought back that extensive country to its allegi­ance to the Greek emperors. The war being thus finished with glory, Michael celebrated a triumphal entry into Constantinople, and soon afterwards died, on the 10th of December, 1041. This enter­prise does great credit to Michael, whose conduct gives proof of a great moral truth, that there is no man so bad but there is still something good left in him, which, under proper circumstances, will shine forth, and cause the man to do actions which, though they cannot obliterate his former conduct, will yet entitle him to our forbearance and compas­sion. Shortly before his end Michael chose his nephew, Michael, his future successor, who con­sequently succeeded him on the throne. (Cedren.

1077

MICHAEL,

p. 734, &c.; Zonar. vol. ii. p. 235, &c.; Manasg, p. 124 ; Joel, p. J 83; Glyc. p. 314, &c.) [W. P.J

MICHAEL V. CALAPHA'TES (Mr^A 6 KaAcKpoTTjs), or the " calker," emperor of Con­ stantinople from December, a. i>. 1041, to April, 1042, was the son of Stephanus, the brother-in- law of Michael IV., who had once followed the trade of a ship's calker, whence the surname of his son. He was adopted by Michael IV. and the empress Zoe ; but as he was a profligate fellow, the emperor would soon have excluded him from the throne had death left him time. The people de­ tested Michael V., and persuaded Zoe to reign in his stead ; but a few days were sufficient to make Zoe repent her ambition, and she quietly resigned in favour of her adopted son. Michael began by banishing Zoe and the eunuch John, his uncle, and committed several other imprudent acts, the con­ sequence of which was, that the people of Constan­ tinople rose in rebellion. A fierce battle was fought between them and the adherents of Michael, which ended in the storm of the imperial palace, and in the flight of the young emperor and his brother Constantine to the convent of Studa, where they both took the monastic habit, and continued to live many years in a quiet obscurity. Zoe and her sister Theodora were proclaimed co-empresses by the people, 21st of April, 1042. (Cedren. p. 749 ; Zonar. vol. ii. p. 242; Manass. p. 125; Glyc. p. 316 ; Joel, p. 183.) [W. P.] - MICHAEL VI. STRATIO'TICUS (MtX«fa o 2rpct.Ti(DTiK6s\ emperor of Constantinople from A. d. 1056 to 1057, was chosen by the empress Theodora for her successor shortly before she died ; and he succeeded accordingly on the 22d of August, 1056. His surname, "the warrior," indicates his military merits ; but at the time of his elevation he was broken down by age, and his character had lost all its former energy. Theodora, a woman^ had a manly spirit, but Michael the warlike had the spirit of a woman. Michael was scarcely seated on the throne when Theodosius, a cousin of the late emperor Constantine X. Monomachus, rose in revolt; but after a fierce struggle, which filled the streets of Constantinople with blood, the rebel was compelled to lay down his arms, and was fortunate to escape with mere banishment. The famous general, Catacalon, was recalled from his post as governor of Antioch, and Michael, a cousin of the emperor, was placed in his stead. Catacalon re­ turned to the capital with disaffection in his heart, and there met a great number of his colleagues, whom the emperor had rewarded with fine speeches instead of giving more solid proofs of his gratitude for their former achievements, and all of whom shared the disaffection of Catacalon. A military conspiracy was the consequence, and a deputation was sent by the malcontents to Isaac Comnenus, who resided at Castamone, in Asia Minor, request­ ing him to accept the crown, which he did, after some hesitation. Michael tried to check the pro­ gress of his rival at once by intrigues and weapons, but his duplicity availed him nothing, and his arms were defeated in the battle of Hades by Isaac and Catacalon, whereupon he resigned (31st of August), and retired into a convent. (Cedren. p. 792, &c. ; Zonar. vol. ii. p. 262, &c. j Manass. p. 128, 129 ; Glyc. p. 132.) [W.P.]

MICHAEL VII. DUCAS PARAPINA'CES (Mf%c»}\ 6 AouAcay, 6 Tlapairivdi,Kr]s\ emperor of Constantinople from a. d. 1071 to 1078, was the

3z 3

Pages
About | First

1076

1077

1078
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.