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MAURICE LAST ROMAN EMPEROR (forget about Justinian) Reign 13 August , 582 27 November , 602 (20 years, 106

days) Full name Born 539 Arabissus, Cappadocia Flavius Mauricius Tiberius Augustus

Birthplace Died

27 November, 602 (aged 63)

Place of death Constantinople Predecessor Successor Consort Dynasty Father Paul Tiberius II Constantine Phocas Constantina Justinian Dynasty

Maurice (Latin: Flavius Mauricius Tiberius Augustus; Greek: ) (539 27 November 602) was Byzantine Emperor from 582 to 602.

A prominent general in his youth, Maurice fought with success against the Sassanid Persians. Once he became Emperor, he brought the war with Persia to a victorious conclusion: expanding the eastern frontier dramatically and marrying his daughter to Khosrau II, the Persian king.

Maurice also campaigned extensively in the Balkans against the Avars - pushing them back across the Danube by 599. He also conducted campaigns across the Danube, the first Emperor to do so in over two hundred years. In the West, Maurice established two large semi-autonomous provinces called exarchates, ruled by exarchs, viceroys, of the emperor.

In Italy, Maurice established the Exarchate of Ravenna in 584, the first real effort by the Empire to halt the advance of the Lombards. With the creation of the Exarchate of Africa in 590, Maurice further solidified the empire's hold on the western Mediterranean.

His reign was troubled by financial difficulties and almost constant warfare. In 602, a dissatisfied general named Phocas usurped the throne, having Maurice and his six sons executed. This event would prove cataclysmic for the Empire, sparking a devastating war with Persia that would leave both empires helpless in the wake of the Muslim invasions.

His reign is a relatively accurately documented era of Late Antiquity; in particular by the historian Theophylact Simocatta. Maurice also authored the Strategikon, a manual of war which influenced European militaries for nearly a millennium. Maurice stands out as one of the last Emperors whos Empire still bore a strong resemblance to the Roman Empire of previous centuries. Contents

1 Biography 1.1 Origins and early life 1.2 Persian War and accession to the throne 1.3 Balkan warfare 1.4 Measures of domestic policy 1.5 Death 1.6 Legacy 1.7 Family relations

Origins and early life

Maurice was born in Arabissus in Cappadocia in 539, the son of a certain Paul. He had one brother, Peter, and two sisters, Theoctista and Gordia, later the wife of the general Philippicus.[1] According to a legend, he was of Armenian origin, but the issue cannot be determined in any way.[2] The historian Evagrius Scholasticus records a (likely invented) descent from old Rome.[1]

Maurice first came to Constantinople as a notarius, and came to serve as a secretary to the comes excubitorum (commander of the Excubitors, the imperial bodyguard) Tiberius, the future Tiberius II

(r. 578582). When Tiberius was named Caesar in 574, Maurice, was appointed to succeed him as comes excubitorum.[1][3] Persian War and accession to the throne

In late 577, despite his complete lack of military experience, he was named as magister militum per Orientem, effectively commander-in-chief of the Byzantine army in the East, in the ongoing war against Sassanid Persia, succeeding the general Justinian. At about the same time, he was raised to the rank of patricius.[4] He scored a decisive victory against the Persians in 581. A year later, he married Constantina, the Emperor's daughter. On August 13, he succeeded his father-in-law as Emperor. Upon his ascension he ruled a bankrupt Empire. At war with Persia, paying extremely high tribute to the Avars, and the Balkan provinces thoroughly devastated by the Slavs, Maurice's situation was tumultuous at best.

Maurice had to continue the war against Persia. In 586, his troops defeated the Persians at Dara. Despite a serious mutiny in 588, the army managed to continue the war. In 590, Prince Khosrau II and Persian commander-in-chief Bahram Chobin overthrew king Hormizd IV. Bahram Chobin claimed the throne for himself and defeated Khosrau, who subsequently fled to the Roman court. Although the Senate advised against it with one voice, Maurice assisted Khosrau to regain his throne with an army of 35,000 men. In 591 the combined Roman-Persian army under generals John Mystacon and Narses defeated Bahram Chobin's forces near Ganzak at the Battle of Blarathon. The victory was decisive; Maurice finally brought the war to a successful conclusion by means of a new accession of Khosrau.

Subsequently, Khosrau married Maurice's eldest daughter Miriam and was probably adopted by the emperor. Khosrau further rewarded Maurice by ceding to the Empire western Armenia up to the lakes Van and Sevan, including the large cities of Martyropolis, Tigranokert, Manzikert, Ani, and Yerevan. Maurice's treaty with his new son-in-law brought a new status-quo to the east territorially, enlarged to an extent never before achieved by the Empire, and much cheaper to defend during this new perpetual peace millions of solidi were saved by the remission of tribute to the Persians alone. Afterwards, Maurice imposed a union between the Armenian Church and the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Balkan warfare

After his victory on the eastern frontier, Maurice was free to focus on the Balkans. The Slavs, having pillaged the Byzantine Balkan provinces for decades, probably began settling the land from the 580s on. The Avars took the strategically important fort of Sirmium in 582, using it as a base of operations against several poorly defended forts alongside the Danube. In 584 the Slavs threatened the capital

and in 586 Avars besieged Thessalonica, while Slavs went as far as the Peloponnese. In 591 Maurice launched several campaigns against Slavs and Avars with good prospect of turning the tide.

In 592 his troops retook Singidunum from the Avars. His commander-in-chief Priscus defeated Slavs, Avars and Gepids south of the Danube in 593. The same year he crossed the Danube into modernday Wallachia to continue his series of victories. In 594 Maurice replaced Priscus with his rather inexperienced brother Peter, who despite initial failures, nonetheless scored another victory in Wallachia. Priscus, now in command of another army further upstream, defeated the Avars again in 595. The latter only dared to attack again peripherally in Dalmatia two years later. In 598 a treaty was signed with the Avar leader Bayan I, only to be broken for retaliation campaigns inside Avar homeland. In 599 and 601, the Byzantine forces wreaked havoc amongst the Avars and Gepids. In 602 the Slavs suffered a crushing defeat in Wallachia. The Byzantine troops were now able to hold the Danube line again. Meanwhile, Maurice was making plans for resettling devastated areas in the Balkans by using Armenian settlers.[5] Domestic Policy In the west, he organized the threatened Byzantine dominions in Italy and Africa into exarchates, ruled by military governors or exarchs, being mentioned in 584 and 591 respectively. The exarchs had more or less complete military and civilian competences. This was remarkable due to the usual separation of civilian and military competences in that era. By founding the Exarchate of Ravenna, Maurice managed to slow down the Lombard advance in Italy, if not to halt it.

In 597, an ailing Maurice wrote his last will, in which he described his ideas of governing the Empire. His eldest son, Theodosius, would be a ruler of the East from Constantinople, the second one, Tiberius, of the West with the capital in Rome. Some historians believe his younger sons were to rule from Alexandria, Carthage, and Antioch. His intent was to maintain unity of the Empire, making this idea bear a strong resemblance with the Tetrarchy of Diocletian. However, Maurice's violent death prevented any of these plans from coming to fruition.

In religious matters, he was very tolerant towards Monophysitism, although he was a supporter of the Council of Chalcedon. He clashed with Pope Gregory I over the latter's defense of Rome against the Lombards.[6]

Maurice's attempts to consolidate the Empire slowly but steadily met with success, last but not least thanks to the peace with Persia. His initial popularity apparently decreased during his reign, mostly because of his fiscal politics. In 588, his announcement to cut military wages by 25% led to serious mutiny of troops on the Persian front. He is said to have refused to pay a very little ransom in 599 or 600 to deliver 12,000 Byzantine soldiers taken prisoners by the Avars. It is said that the prisoners

were killed and a military delegation, headed by an officer named Phocas was humiliated and rejected in Constantinople. Death

In 602, Maurice, always dealing with the lack of money, decreed that the army should stay for winter beyond the Danube, which would prove to be a serious mistake. The exhausted troops mutinied against the Emperor. Probably misjudging the situation, Maurice repeatedly ordered his troops to start a new offensive rather than returning to winter quarters. After a while, his troops gained the impression that Maurice no longer mastered the situation, they proclaimed Phocas their leader and demanded Maurice to abdicate and proclaim the successor either his son Theodosius or General Germanus. Both men were accused of treason, but the riots broke out in Constantinople and the emperor with his family left the city for Nicomedia. Theodosius headed east to Persia, but historians are not sure whether he had been sent there by his father or if he had fled there. Phocas entered Constantinople in November, where he was crowned Emperor, while his troops captured Maurice and his family.

Maurice was murdered on November 27 (some say November 23), 602. It is said that the deposed emperor was forced to watch his six sons executed before his eyes, before he was beheaded himself. Empress Constantina and her three daughters were spared and sent to a monastery. The Persian King Chosroes II used this coup and the murder of his Patron as an excuse for a renewed war against the Empire. Legacy Maurice, whose court still used Latin in the same way as the army and administration did, was in total an able emperor and commander-in-chief, even though Theophylact's description may be a bit too glorifying. He possessed insight, public spirit and courage. He proved his expertise on military and foreign affairs during his campaigns against Persians and Avars/Slavs in the same way as during peace negotiations with Khosrau II. His administrative reforms portray him as a statesman with farsightedness, the more so since they outlasted his death by far and were the basis for the introduction of the themes as military districts.

He also promoted science and arts; Maurice is also the traditional author of the military treatise Strategikon which is praised in military circles as the only sophisticated combined arms theory until World War II. However, some historians now believe the Strategikon is the work of his brother or another general in his court.

His greatest weakness was his inability to judge how unpopular his decisions were. Or to cite the historian Previte-Orton, listing a number of character flaws in the emperor's personality:

His fault was too much faith in his own excellent judgment without regard to the disagreement and unpopularity which he provoked by decisions in themselves right and wise. He was a better judge of policy than of men.[7]

It was this flaw that cost him throne and life and thwarted most of his efforts to prevent the disintegration of the great empire of Justinian I. It seems, as if Maurice attempted to have his way on behalf of Imperial pretension with respect to the old Imperium Romanum, but as his end shows, he met strong resistance.

His demise is a turning point in history, given the fact that the new war against Persia weakened both empires in a way enabling the Slavs to permanently settle the Balkans and paving the way for Arab/Muslim expansion. The English historian A.H.M. Jones concludes the final era of classical antiquity with Maurice's death, as the turmoil which shattered the Empire in the next four decades permanently and thoroughly changed society and politics. Family relations

Maurice's marriage was fertile and produced nine known children:

Theodosius (4 August 583/585 after 27 November 602). According to John of Ephesus, he was the first heir born to a reigning emperor since the reign of Theodosius II (408450).[8] He was appointed Caesar in 587 and co-emperor on 26 March 590. Tiberius (d. 27 November 602). Petrus (d. 27 November 602). Paulus (d. 27 November 602). Justin (d. 27 November 602). Justinian (d. 27 November 602). Anastasia (d. circa 605). Theoctista (d. circa 605). Cleopatra (d. circa 605).

A daughter Miriam/Maria is recorded by the 12th-century chronicler Michael the Syrian as married to Khosrau II.

His brother Petrus (c. 550 602) became the curopalates and was killed at the same time of his brother. He married Anastasia Aerobinda (b. ca 570), daughter of Areobindus (b. c. 550) and wife, and had female issue.

His sister Theoctista (c. 540 aft. 582) married a husband who died before 582 and had a daughter Gordia (c. 560 aft. 597), who married Marinus (c. 555 aft. 597), son of Nerses (c. 530 aft. 595) and wife Hesychia (b. c. 535), by whom she had a daughter Theoctista (c. 575/c. 580 aft. 597), married to Christodorus or Christodoros (b. c. 570) and had issue.

His sister Gordia (c. 550 aft. 602) married Philippicus (c. 550 Chrysopolis, 614), General, comes excubitorum and magister militum in 582, by whom she had a daughter, who married Artabastus (Artavazd) Mamikonian (b. AD 565), and had issue PRISCUS (The general who betrayed him) Priscus (or Priskos) (Greek: ) (died 613) was a leading East Roman (Byzantine) general during the reigns of the Byzantine emperors Maurice (r. 582602), Phocas (r. 602610) and Heraclius (r. 610641). Although the contemporary sources are markedly biased in his favour, Priscus comes across as an effective and capable military leader. Under Maurice, he distinguished himself in the campaigns against the Avars and their Slavic allies in the Balkans. Absent from the capital at the time of Maurice's overthrow and murder by Phocas, he was one of the few of Maurice's senior aides who were able to survive unharmed into the new regime, remaining in high office and even marrying the emperor's daughter. Priscus however also negotiated with and assisted Heraclius in the overthrow of Phocas, and was entrusted with command against the Persians in 611612. After the failure of this campaign, he was deposed and tonsured, dying shortly after. Contents

1 Under Maurice 2 Under Phocas 3 Under Heraclius 4 Assessment

5 References 6 Sources

Under Maurice Priscus first appears in the sources when he was appointed, in late 587 or early 588, to command in the east as magister militum per Orientem replacing Philippicus. He only reached the east in spring, and assumed his new command at Monocarton in April.[1][2] Priscus immediately ran into trouble with the soldiers: his haughty manner in refusing to mingle with them made him unpopular, and when a decree by Maurice which reduced army pay by a quarter was announced, the soldiers mutinied on Easter day, 18 April 588. Priscus not only failed to restore order, but was himself attacked and forced to flee to Constantina, while the soldiers elected the dux of Phoenice, Germanus, as their leader. Priscus' attempts from Constantina to calm the soldiers by employing the local bishops as mediators and rescinding the decree also failed. Philippicus was restored to command by Maurice, while Priscus returned to Constantinople.[2][3][4]

Despite this debacle, in the same summer he was entrusted with the post of magister militum for Thrace, and tasked with campaigning against the Avars at the head of an improvised force. Outnumbered by the Avars, he was forced to retreat, allowing them to sack the city of Anchialos. Outflanked, Priscus retreated to Tzurullum, where he was besieged by them until they were persuaded to leave with threats from Maurice of an attack against their homeland, and by payment of a ransom in gold.[3][5] Priscus disappears for the next few years, as he fell into disfavour with Maurice. By 593 he had recovered his position, as a letter by Pope Gregory the Great which congratulates him on returning to the emperor's favour testifies. He had also been given the honorary rank of patrikios.[6][7] In spring 593 he was re-appointed in command as commander of the cavalry, with Gentzon leading the infantry. Both generals campaigned with success against the Slavic tribes preparing to cross the Danube under their leaders Ardagastus and Musocius. Crossing the river, both Slavic hosts were annihilated in surprise night attacks. At the same time however, Priscus reportedly quarreled with his men over the distribution of the considerable amount of booty captured.[8][9][10] Maurice also sent orders for the army to winter north of the river, but this caused great resentment and unrest amongst the soldiers. Priscus chose to disobey the emperor's order and crossed again with his army to winter in the southern bank.[11][12] In the autumn of 593, he was replaced by Maurice with Peter. Before the latter could assume command however, Priscus arranged for a truce with the Avar khagan, to whom he returned all captives, a fact for which he was criticized by Maurice.[8]

In late 594 however, after Peter was heavily defeated by the Slavs,[13] he was again appointed to command as magister militum of Thrace, a post he held for several years. In 595 he marched up the Danube, crossing the river and marching along its northern bank to Novae, despite the khagan's protests, before sending his fleet to relieve the city of Singidunum from an Avar siege.[8][14] After

these events, the Avars turned west, raiding Dalmatia and then campaigning against the Franks, leaving the Danube border relatively quiet for a period of a year and a half.[15] Consequently, when they resumed their operations with a large invasion in autumn 597, they caught Priscus, who was probably operating with his army at the eastern Stara Planina, off guard. They advanced quickly, and even managed to bottle up and besiege Priscus and his men at the port of Tomi, until the approach of a freshly raised army under Comentiolus forced them to abandon the siege on Easter, 30 March 588.[16][17]

Priscus however remained strangely inactive, and Comentiolus' inexperienced army was routed. The Avars advanced south into Thrace, but their army was decimated by a plague and a treaty was quickly concluded, which the Byzantines used to regroup and prepare a new campaign.[18] Thus, in the summer of 599, the two armies of Priscus and Comentiolus headed west along the Danube. While Comentiolus guarded the rear and the operational base of Singidunum, Priscus invaded the Avar homeland in Pannonia, devastating their lands and inflicting four major defeats upon the Avars and their allies. Tens of thousands of Avars and their subjects were killed, and 8,000 Slavs, 3,000 Avars and 6,200 other barbarians taken prisoners according to Theophylact Simocatta.[17][19][20] It was a remarkable act of aggressive defence, in the words of Michael Whitby, "without parallel in the sixth century" for the Danube frontier, and which essentially decided the war for Byzantium.[17][19]

After this success, which secured the Balkans, Maurice intended to consolidate Roman control by bringing in Armenian settlers who would be given land in exchange for military service. To this end, Priscus was sent to Armenia to recruit men and their families.[21] In 602, Maurice again ordered his troops on the Danube frontier to winter north of the river. Again this provoked widespread discontent, and when Peter, who had replaced Priscus, refused to bow down and rescind the order, an outright mutiny broke out. The army chose the officer Phocas as its new leader and marched down to Constantinople. Without any credible military forces of his own, Maurice had to flee, but was captured with his family and executed by Phocas, who now became emperor.[22][23] Under Phocas Being absent from Constantinople, and retaining still a large measure of support within the soldiery, Priscus was the only one of Maurice's senior generals who managed to survive into the new regime,[24] while Comentiolus and Peter were executed and Philippicus was banished to a monastery.[25] In the winter of 602/603 he was made comes excubitorum, commander of the imperial bodyguard. In 606 he also married Phocas' daughter Domentzia, becoming the effective heir-apparent to the childless ruler, but soon fell into disfavour when the citizenry of the capital began erecting statues in his honour.[24][26][27]

Phocas' rule lacked in legitimacy and was resented by the populace and the elites of the Empire. His prestige further eroded when the Persian shah Khosrau II (r. 590628) declared war, and when the Byzantine forces suffered their first defeats.[28][29] According to a later tradition, Priscus sent a letter to the Exarch of Africa, Heraclius the Elder, urging him to revolt. This is probably later

invention, but if true, it would indicate the level of dissent even within Constantinople.[30] Whatever the truth of the matter, in 608 Africa rose in revolt, and the Exarch's son, Heraclius the Younger, was dispatched against Constantinople at the head of a fleet. Unopposed by Phocas' forces, he landed at Hebdomon outside the capital on 3 October, and marched to the capital, where pro-Heraclian riots had broken out.[31] At this juncture, Priscus pretended to be ill, and withdrew to his mansion, where he called the excubitores and his own retainers (bucellarii), thus depriving Phocas of his major armed support. He is also recorded by John of Nikiu to have safeguarded the women of Heraclius' family from retribution by Phocas.[32][33] Under Heraclius Heraclius now became emperor, although one chronicler claims that the crown was first offered to Priscus, who declined.[34][35] As commander of the excubitores, protopatrikios (first among the patrician order) and one of the few senior and influential officials with ties to past regimes, Priscus represented a potential threat to Heraclius.[36] Nevertheless, facing a critical situation in the East, where the Persians had overrun much territory and were raiding Anatolia, Heraclius appointed Priscus in command of the Anatolian army in the autumn of 611. The Persian general Shahin captured Caesarea in Cappadocia, only to be blockaded and besieged there by Priscus. Heraclius himself decided to visit the army camp at Caesarea during winter, but Priscus refused to meet him, on the pretext of an illness. This snub alienated Heraclius from his general, and when Shahin and his army managed to break out and escape in summer, Priscus was recalled to Constantinople, ostensibly to become godfather to the emperor's son, Heraclius Constantine.[35][37][38][39] At the capital, he was removed from his post as comes excubitorum, which went to Heraclius' cousin Nicetas, while command in Anatolia went to the other surviving general of Maurice, Philippicus, brought out of retirement. Priscus was brought before the Senate and accused by Heraclius of treason. In the end, he was tonsured as a monk and confined in the Monastery of the Chora, where he died in 613.[24][35][40][41] Assessment

Priscus comes across as an able and versatile military leader. In many instances his operations against the Slavs resemble the prescriptions of the most influential Byzantine military manual, the Strategikon ascribed to Maurice.[42] Despite his reputation as a strict disciplinarian and his aloof stance which led to the mutiny of 588,[35] in later campaigns he showed ability in dealing with the soldiers and calming their discontent.[24]

Our major Byzantine source for the period, Theophylact Simocatta, displays a marked bias in favour of Priscus, especially in its account of the Balkan campaigns, where the other generals are denigrated and made to appear incompetent, with their achievements regularly belittled while Priscus' successes are extolled and his defeats glossed over. This may be due to the fact that Simocatta relied for this period on a semi-official "campaign log" compiled during the years of Phocas, when Priscus was pre-eminent while most of his rivals were either executed or in exile.

PETER (The brother who was loyal to him) Petrus (Greek: , Petros, also known as Peter in English (c. 545 in Arabissus, Cappadocia 27 November 602 in Constantinople or Chalcedon) was a brother of the Byzantine Emperor Maurice, who reigned from 582 to 602. Contents

1 Background 2 Military career 3 Family 4 References 5 Literature


Petrus was a son of Paul, head of the Byzantine Senate and a sibling to Maurice, Byzantine Emperor, Gordia, the wife of Philippicus and Theoctista. [1] Military career

Raised to the rank of curopalates, he was an important general in the Byzantine army. Together with Priscus and Comentiolus, he was one of the three commander-in-chiefs during Maurice's Balkan campaigns.

Though less able than Priscus, he succeeded the latter as leader of the Roman forces in Moesia in 594, being more loyal to the emperor, his own brother. The reason for this replacement was Priscus' refusal to obey the emperor's orders to spend the winter on the northern Danube bank in 593 and to carry on fighting the Slavs.

Petrus defeated the Slavs in 594 near Marcianopolis and maintained the Danube between Novae and the Danube Delta. Later on, he crossed the Danube and fought his way to the Helibacia river,

defeating numerous Slavic tribes in the course. 601, he crossed the Danube into Avar homeland and defeated them in several battles.

When in 602, his brother ordered his troops to spend the winter on the northern bank of the Danube, Petrus made no attempt to disobey this order, as opposed to Priscus in 593. Mutiny was the result. Although Petrus attempted to calm down his troops, they marched to Constantinople and overthrew Maurice. Petrus was subsequently murdered.

Although Theophylact Simocatta portrayed Petrus as unable, relying on Priscus as only surviving witness, Petrus' expertise was sophisticated enough to put him forward as a candidate for the authorship of the Strategikon of Maurice. Family

Peter married Anastasia Areobinda (b. c. 570), apparently daughter of Areobindus (b. c. 550) and wife, paternal granddaughter of Anastasius (c. 530 - aft. 571) and wife Juliana (b. c. 533), greatgranddaughter of Flavius Anastasius Paulus Probus Sabinianus Pompeius (c. 500 - aft. 517), Roman Consul in 517, and wife Theodora (b. c. 515), who was the natural daughter of Empress Theodora.[2]

They had a daughter Flavia Juliana (b. c. 590), married to Athanagild (b. c. 585), the son of Saint Hermenegild and wife Ingund, Princess of the Franks, and paternal grandson of Liuvigild, the Visigoth King of Hispania.

Their son (Peter's grandson) Ardabast or Artabastos[3] (b. c. 611), travelled from Constantinople to Hispania during the time of Chindasuinth, and married Chindasuinth's niece or daughter Goda, Glasvinda or Galesvinda (b. c. 610),[4] [5].

Their son (Peter's great grandson) Erwig was King of the Visigoths in Hispania (680687). THEODOSIUS (The Emperor who never was ) Theodosius (Greek: ; 4 August, 583/585 after27 November, 602) was the eldest son of Byzantine Emperor Maurice (r. 582602) and was co-emperor from 590 until his deposition and execution during a military revolt in November 602.[1][2] Along with his father-in-law Germanus, he was briefly proposed as successor to Maurice by the troops, but the army eventually favoured Phocas instead. Sent in an abortive mission to secure aid from Sassanid Persia by his father,

Theodosius was captured and executed by Phocas's supporters a few days after his father. Several rumours spread that he had survived the execution, and became popular to the extent that a man purported to be Theodosius was entertained by the Persians as a pretext for launching a war against Byzantium. Contents 1 Life 2 Rumours of survival and pseudo-Theodosius 3 Coinage 4 Footnotes 5 References 6 Sources Life

Theodosius was the first child of Maurice and his wife, the Augusta Constantina. He was born on 4 August, 583 (according to the contemporary John of Ephesus and other chroniclers) or 585 (according to the later histories of Theophanes the Confessor and Kedrenos).[2][3] He was the first son to be born to a reigning emperor since Theodosius II in 401, and was accordingly named after the previous ruler. The papal envoy, or apocrisiarius, to Constantinople, the future Pope Gregory the Great, acted as his godfather.[2][3] The scholar Evagrius Scholasticus composed a work celebrating Theodosius' birth, for which he was rewarded by Maurice with the rank of consul.[4]

A few years after his birth, possibly in 587, Theodosius was raised to the rank of Caesar and thus became his father's heir-apparent, while on March 26, 590, he was publicly proclaimed as coemperor.[2]

In November 601 or early February 602, Maurice married Theodosius to a daughter of the patrician Germanus, a leading member of the Byzantine Senate.a*+*5+ The historian Theophylact Simocatta, the major chronicler of Maurice's reign, also records that on February 2, 602, Germanus saved Theodosius from harm during food riots in Constantinople.[6]

Later in the same year, during the revolt of the Danubian armies in autumn, Theodosius and his father-in-law were hunting in the outskirts of Constantinople. There they received a letter from the mutinous troops, in which they demanded Maurice's resignation, a redress of their grievances, and offered the crown to either of the two.[1][7] They presented the letter to Maurice, who rejected the

army's demands. The emperor however began suspecting Germanus of playing a part in the revolt. Theodosius promptly informed his father-in-law of this and advised him to hide, and on 21 November Germanus fled first to a local church and then to the Hagia Sophia, seeking sanctuary from the Byzantine emperor's emissaries.[8][9]

On the very next day however, Maurice and his family and closest associates fled the capital before the advancing rebel army under Phocas, and crossed over to Chalcedon. From there, Theodosius was dispatched along with the praetorian prefect Constantine Lardys to seek the aid of Khosrau II, the ruler of Sassanid Persia. Maurice however soon recalled him, and on his return Theodosius fell into the hands of Phocas' men and was executed at Chalcedon. His father and younger brothers had been executed a few days earlier on November 27.[9][10] Rumours of survival and pseudo-Theodosius

Subsequently, rumours emerged of Theodosius's survival and spread far and wide. It was alleged that his father-in-law Germanus had bribed his executioner, a leading Phocas supporter named Alexander, to spare his life. In this story, Theodosius then fled, eventually reaching Lazica, where he died. Theophylact Simocatta reports that he thoroughly investigated these rumours and found them false.[1][11]

However, the general Narses, who rose against Phocas in Mesopotamia, exploited these rumours: he produced a false Theodosius, and claimed to be fighting in his name. The imposter was then presented to Khosrau II by Narses. The Persian ruler in turn used him as a pretext for his own invasion of Byzantium, claiming that it was done in order to avenge the murder of Maurice and his family and place the "rightful" heir Theodosius on the throne.[1][12] Coinage

Theodosius does not appear on most of the regular coinage of Maurice's reign, with two exceptions: the copper nummi of the Cherson mint, which show him along with his father and mother, and a special silver siliqua issue (apparently cut in 591/592 to celebrate his proclamation as coemperor[12]) from the Carthage mint.[13]] Footnotes

^ a: Germanus's identity is unclear. He has been sometimes identified with the son of the magister militum Germanus and Matasuntha,[14] but also with Germanus, a son-in-law of Tiberius II Constantine who became Caesar alongside Maurice but refused the throne.[15]