A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

emperor of CONSTANTINOPLE. The original name of this emperor was Artemius, and he was one of the ministers (Protoasecretis) of the emperor Philippicus, who had his eyes put out by the traitor Rufus, in the month of June A. D. 713. Artemius, universally esteemed for his character and his qualities, was chosen in his stead, and, although his reign was short and disturbed by troubles, he gave sufficient proofs of being worthy to reign. After having punished Rufus and his accomplices, he appointed the Isaurian Leo, who became afterwards emperor, his general in chief against the Lazes and other Caucasian nations, and himself made vigorous preparations against the Arabs, by whom the southern provinces of the empire were then continually harassed. He formed the bold plan of burning the naval stores of the enemy on the coast of Syria, stores necessary for the construction of a large fleet, with which the Arabs intended to lay siege to Constantinople. The commander of the Byzantine fleet was John, who combined the three dignities of grand treasurer of the empire, admiral, and dean of St. Sophia, and who left Constantinople in 715. But the expedition failed, and a mutiny broke out on board the ships, in consequence of which John was massacred, and Theodosius, once a receiver of the taxes, proclaimed emperor. It is probable that the rebel had many adherents in the Asiatic provinces; for while he sailed with his fleet to Constantinople,

Anastasius, after having left a strong garrison for the defence of his capital, went to Nicaea for the purpose of preventing all danger from that side. After an obstinate resistance during six months, Constantinople was taken by surprise in the month of January 716, and Anastasius, besieged in Nicaea, surrendered on condition of having his life preserved. This was granted to him by the victorious rebel, who ascended the throne under the name of Theodosius III. Anastasius retired to a convent at Thessalonica. In the third year of the reign of Leo III. Isaurus (721), Anastasius conspired against this emperor at the instigation of Nicetas Xylonites. They hoped to be supported by Terbelis or Terbelius, king of Bulgaria; but their enterprise proved abortive, and the two conspirators were put to death by order of Leo. (Theophanes, pp. 321, &c., 335, ed. Paris; Zonaras, 14.26, &c. ; Cedrenus, p. 449, ed. Paris.)