770 - 829 (59 years)
Has one ancestor and more than 100 descendants in this family tree.
||Michael de Byzantie |
||II, 'the Amorian' |
|Relationship||with Francis Fox|
||1 Oct 829
||19 Mar 2010 |
- the Amorian ( Mikha II ), also called Traulos or Psellos ( Latin Psellus), meaning "the Stammerer", reigned as Byzantine emperor from 820 to his death on October 2 , 829 .
Born in Amorion in Phrygia , he began his career as a private soldier, but rose by his talents and by his marriage to the theme commander's daughter Thekla to the rank of general. Together with the future Emperor Leo V the Armenian , he served the rebel general Bardanes Tourkos but deserted him in favor of Emperor Nikephoros I in 803. Michael was promoted when Leo V became emperor in 813, but was suspected for conspiracy, jailed and sentenced to death in December 820; his partisans, however, freed Michael, who organized the assassination of Leo V during Christmas mass in Hagia Sophia .
Michael II was now proclaimed emperor and was crowned by Patriarch Theodotos I of Constantinople later the same day. In his internal policy, Michael II supported Iconoclasm , but tacitly encouraged reconciliation with the iconodules , whom he generally stopped persecuting and allowed to return from exile. These included the former Patriarch Nikephoros and Theodore of Stoudios , who failed, however, to influence the emperor to abandon Iconoclasm. One of the few victims of the emperor's policy was the future patriarch Methodios I .
Michael's accession whetted the appetite of his former comrade-in-arms Thomas the Slav , who set himself up as rival emperor in Anatolia and successfully transferred his forces into Thrace , effectively besieging the capital in December 821. Although Thomas did not obtain the support of some of the Anatolian themes, he secured the support of the naval theme and their ships, allowing him to tighten his grip on Constantinople . In his quest for support, Thomas presented himself as the champion of the poor, reduced taxation, and concluded an alliance with Al-Ma'mun of the Abbasid Caliphate , having himself crowned emperor by the Patriarch of Antioch Job .
At this point Omurtag of Bulgaria came to the aid of Michael II and forced Thomas to lift his siege of Constantinople in spring 823. Besieged in Arkadioupolis ( Lüleburgaz ), Thomas was surrendered to the emperor in October and executed. In spite of weathering the storm, Michael found the defenses of the empire seriously weakened, and was unable to prevent the conquest of Crete by the Arabs in 824, or to recover the island with an expedition in 826. In 827 the Arabs also invaded Sicily , taking advantage of local infighting, and besieged Syracuse . By 829 their invasion had failed and they were expelled from the island.
After the death of Thekla, in c. 823 Michael II married Euphrosyne , the daughter of Constantine VI . This marriage was probably intended to strengthen Michael's position as emperor, but it incurred the opposition of the clergy, as Euphrosyne had previously become a nun. Michael II died on October 2 , 829
Emperor of Byzantium 820-829
Byzantine Civil War Breaks Out!: A portion of the the Byzantine Empire in Asia Minor of four themes decided to revolt against Emperor Michael II. Headed by a man named, Thomas The Slav, the revolt was started due to racial, religious, and social reasons. Furthermore, Thomas The Slav was quickly supported by the Arabic Caliphate in terms of resources and supplies (Caliph al-Mamun). Within months of the beginning, Thomas The Slav, with his army of Arabs, Persians, Armenians, Iberians and other Caucasian peoples had made their way to Constantinople and by December of 821 AD was already seiging it. By 822 AD, Emperor Michael II asked Khagan Omurtag for his support and this was granted. Once, Kana Subigi Omurtag and his Bulgar warriors were involved with the struggle, Thomas The Slav's support began to crumble. So much so, that by the Spring of 823 AD, the siege around the Byzantine Capital was lifted, and Thomas' Rebellian was in full retreat. By October of 823 AD, Thomas The Slav, was captured by Emperor Michael II in Arcadiopolis, and summarily executed.