652 - 685 (33 years)
Has more than 250 ancestors and 4 descendants in this family tree.
||Constantine de Byzantie |
||10 Nov 2009 |
- sometimes incorrectly called Pogonatos, "the Bearded", by confusion with his father; was Byzantine emperor from 668 to 685. He had been named a co-emperor with his father Constans II in 654, and became senior emperor when Constans was assassinated in 668.
The first task before the new emperor was the suppression of the military revolt in Sicily which had led to his father's death. Within 7 months of his accession, Constantine IV had dealt with the insurgency with the support of Pope Vitalian . But this success was overshadowed by troubles in the east.
As early as 668 the Caliph Muawiyah I sent an army under his son Yazid against the Byzantine Empire. Yazid reached as far as Chalcedon and took the important Byzantine center Amorion. Although the city was quickly recovered, the Arabs next attacked Carthage and Sicily in 669. In 670 the Arabs captured Cyzicus and set up a base from which to launch further attacks into the heart of the Empire. Their fleet captured Smyrna and other coastal cities in 672. Finally, in 672, the Arabs sent a large fleet to attack Constantinople by sea. While Constantine was diverted by this, the Slavs unsuccessfully attacked Thessalonika .
Constantinople survived the Arab siege until 678, when the Byzantines employed Greek fire against the Arab fleet at the Battle of Syllaeum in Pamphylia. This was one of the first times Greek fire was used in combat. The Arabs withdrew, and were almost simultaneously defeated on land in Lycia in Anatolia.
With the temporary passing of the Arab threat, Constantine had to turn his attention to the Church, torn between Monothelitism and Orthodoxy. In November 680 Constantine convened the Sixth Ecumenical Council (also known as the Third Council of Constantinople), reaffirming the Orthodox doctrines of the Council of Chalcedon in 451. This solved the controversy over monothelitism; conveniently for the empire, most monothelites were now under the control of the Umayyad Caliphate. The council closed in September 681.
In 680 the Bulgars under Asparukh crossed the Danube into nominally imperial territory and began to subject the local communities and Slavic tribes. Constantine IV led a combined land and sea operation against the invaders and besieged their fortified camp in Dobruja. Suffering from bad health, the emperor had to leave the army, which allowed itself to panic and be defeated by the Bulgars. In 681, Constantine was forced to acknowledge the Bulgar state in Moesia and to pay protection money to avoid further inroads into Byzantine Thrace .
His brothers Herakleios and Tiberios had been crowned with him as Augusti at the demand of the populace, but in 681 Constantine had them mutilated so they would be ineligible to rule. At the same time he associated on the throne his own young son Justinian II. Constantine died of dysentery in September 685.
He defended Constantinople against the annual naval attacks of the Muslims, who finally withdrew in 678; Greek fire was a conspicuous weapon in the defense. Severely defeated (679) by the Bulgars, Constantine ceded them territory S of the Danube, where they founded a kingdom. In 680 he summoned the Third Council of Constantinople, which briefly reestablished peace between the Eastern and Western churches by condemning Monotheletism.
A peace treaty was drawn up between the Emperor Constantine IV and Caliph Muawija I (661-680 AD) of the Arabs whereby the Arabs had to pay tribute to the Byzantines a sum of 3,000 pieces of gold annually as well as 50 prisoners and 50 horses. In this same year, the Khagan of the Avars paid homage to the Emperor as well as a lot of the tribal leaders of the Slavs in the Balkans. Kana Subigi Asparukh on the other hand was strong in his Empire above the Danube stretching over to the Dniepr River in the east, did not pay homage to the Emperor.
Emperor Constantine IV began preparations for war against the Onogunduri and Utiguri in the North..
Emperor Constantine IV declared war against the Asparouhian Bulgar Empire centered north of the Danube. The Emperor brought with him large amounts of cavalry from Asia Minor with his navy, and his legions of infantry from his southern provinces. At first the Bulgars, pulled away from the large army of Byzantines and left them to the difficulties of the swampy terrain. The Emperor meanwhile became sick and left his forces to his lower commanders. The impatient Byzantines grew tired of chasing the Bulgars and so withdrew across the Danube. When this happened, the Bulgars attacked the Imperial forces while at a ford, and caused the river to grow red with Byzantine blood. The Byzantines then retreated hastily under swarms of Bulgar arrows, and were hit hard by the Bulgars all the way through Dobrudja till the district of Varna. During this engagement, Ogus Kutriguri under Khan Kuber was urged by his brother to start up hostilities against the Byzantines in the province of Salonica (and it's primary city, Thessalonica).
The Formation of A New Bulgar State: As reported by Theophanes, "To the great disgrace of the Roman name", the Byzantine Emperor Constantine IV signed a humiliating peace treaty with Kana Subigi Asparukh which severed formally lands previously assigned to the Byzantines directly into Bulgar hands. The rest of the Slavic tribes of the old Confederation were again united due to these land gains and as such the Slavs now served the Asparouhian Empire. The Asparouhian Empire was thus recognized formally as a legitimate power in foreign countries.