Kavad II died only months after assuming the throne, plunging Persia into several years of dynastic turmoil and civil war. [citation needed], Local tradition suggests that the Late Antique Colossus of Barletta depicts Heraclius[61], Some scholars disagree with this narrative, Professor Constantin Zuckerman going as far as to suggest that the True Cross was actually lost, and that the wood contained in the allegedly-still-sealed reliquary brought to Jerusalem by Heraclius in 629 was a fake. [33] Continuing south along the Tigris he sacked Khosrow's great palace at Dastagird and was only prevented from attacking Ctesiphon by the destruction of the bridges on the Nahrawan Canal. WikiMatrix. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Heraclius-Byzantine-emperor, h2g2 - Byzantium: Heraclius and the Persians, Jewish Virtual Library - Biography of Heraclius. [77], Heraclius had at least one illegitimate son, John Athalarichos, who conspired against Heraclius with his cousin, the magister Theodorus, and the Armenian noble David Saharuni. The Church of the East (commonly called Nestorian) was also involved in the process. He enlarged the Empire, and his reorganization of the government and military were great successes. The illegitimate son is recorded by a number of different spellings including: Atalarichos, CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, De Administrando Imperio, ch. The Byzantines were defeated in a great battle on the Yarmuk (636). Certainly he inspired an oppressed and hopeless people with a new spirit of faith, service, and self-sacrifice; but the man who restored a state that was sinking under the blows of internecine strife and foreign invasion and gave it the strength to withstand Islām’s assaults for four centuries, perhaps even contributing to its survival until 1453, must have had a strong will, great organizing ability, exceptional conciliatory powers, and deep insight into the needs of both state and subjects. [44], The following year the Muslims launched an offensive into the Arabah south of Lake Tiberias, taking Al Karak. Heraclius, (born c. 575, Cappadocia—died Feb. 11, 641, Constantinople), Eastern Roman emperor (610–641) who reorganized and strengthened the imperial administration and the imperial armies but who, nevertheless, lost Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and Byzantine Mesopotamia to the Arab Muslims. Heraclius, aged 36, was proclaimed the new empero… It was apparently a happy marriage, Martina accompanying him on his campaigns and bearing him nine children. When he reached the capital, the Excubitors, an elite Imperial Guard unit led by Phocas's son-in-law Priscus, deserted to Heraclius, and he entered the city without serious resistance. The Governor equipped an expeditionary force and put his devout son, the blond and gray-eyed Heraclius, in command of it. Indeed, during the four centuries that the theme system remained intact, the empire could be defeated but not conquered. 55. At first, when he was on horseback (shown above), the burden was too heavy, but after he dismounted and removed his crown it became miraculously light, and the barred city gate opened of its own accord. When Heraclius captured Phocas, he asked him "Is this how you have ruled, wretch?" Other raids penetrated into the Negev, reaching as far as Gaza. … [12][13], By this time, the Persians had conquered Mesopotamia and the Caucasus, and in 611 they overran Syria and entered Anatolia. Heraclius, Eastern Roman emperor (610–641) who reorganized and strengthened the imperial administration and the imperial armies but who, nevertheless, lost Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and Byzantine Mesopotamia to the Arab Muslims. Many of his men rushed impetuously across the bridge and were ambushed and annihilated by the enemy. He undertook comprehensive reforms of the army and state administration. They sought to capture him, and he rode madly back to Constantinople, hotly pursued. The Persian king Khosrow II was overthrown and executed by his son Kavad II, who soon sued for a peace treaty, agreeing to withdraw from all occupied territory. Safe behind the walls of Constantinople, Heraclius was able to sue for peace in exchange for an annual tribute of a thousand talents of gold, a thousand talents of silver, a thousand silk robes, a thousand horses, and a thousand virgins to the Persian King. His father was a key general during Emperor Maurice's war with Bahram Chobin, usurper of the Sasanian Empire, during 590. Corrections? [38][39] [11] Phocas, an unpopular ruler who is invariably described in historical sources as a "tyrant" (in its original meaning of the word, i.e. The contents of the letter were as follows: In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful (This letter is) from Muhammad the slave of Allah and His Apostle to Heraclius the ruler of Byzantine. [44] Even the Strategicon of Maurice, a manual of war praised for the variety of enemies it covers, does not mention warfare against Arabs at any length. Late in 627 he launched a winter offensive into Mesopotamia, where, despite the desertion of his Turkish allies, he defeated the Persians under Rhahzadh at the Battle of Nineveh. He was, in effect, leading the first crusade. [48] Heraclius tried to promote a compromise doctrine called Monothelitism but this philosophy was rejected as heretical by both sides of the dispute. [69] El-Cheikh notes that these accounts of Heraclius add "little to our historical knowledge" of the emperor; rather, they are an important part of "Islamic kerygma," attempting to legitimize Muhammad's status as a prophet. The fate of the empire hung in the balance. He enlarged the Empire, and his reorganization of the government and military were great successes. Heraclius's reign was marked by several military campaigns. [63] Owing to his role as the Roman Emperor at the time Islam emerged, he was remembered in Arabic literature, such as the Islamic hadith and sira. As Heraclius approached the Persian capital during the final stages of the war, Khosrow fled from his favourite residence, Dastagird near Baghdad, without offering resistance. The word "heraclius" appear 59 time(s) in 11 hadith(s) in Sahih Al-Bukhari صحيح البخاري translation. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Unruly mercenaries were largely replaced by native soldiers with a personal interest in protecting the empire. Within a short period of time, the Arabs conquered Mesopotamia, Armenia and Egypt. His attempts at religious harmony failed, but he succeeded in returning the True Cross, one of the holiest Christian relics, to Jerusalem. [10] Khosrow had at his court a man who claimed to be Maurice's son Theodosius, and Khosrow demanded that the Byzantines accept this Theodosius as Emperor. The iconography of the emperor appeared in the sanctuary at Mont Saint-Michel (ca. The Turkic Avars, who ruled over the Slavic and other tribes that occupied the region between the Don and the Alps, exacted tribute. In 613, the Persian army took Damascus with the help of the Jews, seized Jerusalem in 614, damaging the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and capturing the True Cross, and afterwards capturing Egypt in 617 or 618. [52] He also created the office of sakellarios, a comptroller of the treasury. (see hadith 6 vol 1) Heraclius's reign was marked by several military campaigns. Ardashir III, Heraclius's ally Shahrbaraz, and Khosrow's daughters Boran and Azarmidokht all succeeded to the throne within months of each other. Heraclius was born in eastern Anatolia. [14], Over the following decade the Persians were able to conquer Palestine and Egypt (by mid-621 the whole province was in their hands)[15] and to devastate Anatolia,[A 3] while the Avars and Slavs took advantage of the situation to overrun the Balkans, bringing the Empire to the brink of destruction. Later on, starting in 629, he styled himself as Basileus, the Greek word for "sovereign", and that title was used by the Byzantine Emperors for the next 800 years. Looking back at the reign of Heraclius, scholars have credited him with many accomplishments. Heraclius was married twice: first to Fabia Eudokia, a daughter of Rogatus, and then to his niece Martina. By the time of Heraclius's death in Constantinople, on February 11, 641, most of Egypt had fallen as well.[46]. [20], With the Persians at the very gate of Constantinople, Heraclius thought of abandoning the city and moving the capital to Carthage, but the powerful church figure Patriarch Sergius convinced him to stay. During his Balkan Campaigns, Emperor Maurice and his family were murdered by Phocas in November 602 after a mutiny. The latter married Nike, daughter of the Persian general Shahrbaraz, or daughter of Niketas, cousin of Heraclius. Soon after, he initiated reforms to rebuild and strengthen the military. Soon after, he initiated reforms to rebuild and strengthen the military. Ultimately, the reformed Imperial army halted the Muslims in Asia Minor and held on to Carthage for another 60 years, saving a core from which the empire's strength could be rebuilt. Another envoy was sent to an Arab prince of the Ghassanite tribe, a Christian feudatory of Heraclius. In October 610 CE the future emperor was elected by his father to respond to a plea from the Senate in Constantinopleto come and relieve them from the bloody tyrant Phokas (r. 602-610 CE). Heraclius (Greek: Ἡράκλειος, Iraklios; c. 575 – February 11, 641) was the Byzantine emperor from 610 to 641. He assembled his forces in Asia Minor, probably in Bithynia, and, after he revived their broken morale, he launched a new counter-offensive, which took on the character of a holy war; an acheiropoietos image of Christ was carried as a military standard.[22][23][24][25]. 575?-641. But they, after their defeat, will overcome. Kiilerich, Bente. Fearing water, he remained a year on the Asiatic bank of the Bosporus before summoning the courage to cross to Constantinople on a pontoon bridge with foliage hiding the water. Heraclius (Greek: Ἡράκλειος, Iraklios; c. 575 – February 11, 641) was the Byzantine emperor from 610 to 641. The Roman army proceeded to Armenia, inflicted a defeat on an army led by a Persian-allied Arab chief, and then won a victory over the Persians under Shahrbaraz. illegitimate king by the rules of succession), was eventually deposed by Heraclius, who sailed to Constantinople from Carthage with an icon affixed to the prow of his ship. Flavius Heraclius (Greek: Φλάβιος Ἡράκλειος, Flavios Iraklios; c. 575 – February 11, 641) was the Emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 610 to 641. Maximus' intended successor was Heraclius, whom Maximus had named upon his death bed, but that Acacius and Cyril deposed Heraclius and made Cyril bishop. Heraclius' younger cousin Nicetas launched an ove… 4 in a few years..[62]. [37], Heraclius's defeat of the Persians ended a war that had been going on intermittently for almost 400 years and led to instability in the Persian Empire. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Looking back at the reign of Heraclius, scholars have credited him with many accomplishments. In Surah 30, the Qur'an refers to the Roman-Sasanian wars as follows: 30:2 The Romans have been defeated 3 In the nearest land. [...] Since the days of Scipio and Hannibal, no bolder enterprise has been attempted than that which Heraclius achieved for the deliverance of the empire. Then Heraclius added, "These are really the qualities of a prophet." With its economy disrupted, its administration disorganized, its army depleted and demoralized, its factions engaging in civil strife, its peasants enfeebled by excessive exactions, its religious dissenters alienated by persecution, and its authority challenged by a powerful aristocracy, the empire lacked the strength necessary to expel the invaders, and possibly even to survive. [43] Also, the Byzantines had little battlefield experience with the Arabs, and even less with zealous soldiers united by a prophet. In Islamic and Arab histories Heraclius is the only Roman Emperor that is talked of any in any length. Emperor Heraclius synonyms, Emperor Heraclius pronunciation, Emperor Heraclius translation, English dictionary definition of Emperor Heraclius. [A 1]He was responsible for introducing Greek as the Eastern Empire's official language. Meanwhile, some of the Persian grandees freed Khosrow's eldest son Kavad II, who had been imprisoned by his father, and proclaimed him King on the night of February 23–24, 628. Although the territorial gains produced by his defeat of the Persians were lost to the advance of the Muslims, Heraclius still ranks among the great Roman Emperors. Example sentences with "Heraclius", translation memory. [73] and it is possible that he and his advisors actually viewed the Muslims as some special sect of Jews.[44]. [17] When the Sasanians reached Chalcedon in 615, it was at this point, according to Sebeos, that Heraclius had agreed to stand down and was about ready to allow the Byzantine Empire to become a Persian client state, even permitting Khosrow II to choose the emperor. The text of the letter to Heraclius, as transmitted by Muslim historians, reads as follows: من محمد بن عبد الله إلى هرقل عظيم الروم: سلام على من اتبع الهدى، أما بعد فإنى أدعوك بدعوة الإسلام . The effects were revolutionary. [53], Up to the 20th century he was credited with establishing the Thematic system but modern scholarship now points more to the 660s, under Constans II.[54]. So, as a goodwill gesture, he sent the True Cross with a negotiator in 628. Emerging from his tent, Heraclius saw the triumphant Persians crossing the bridge. [A 4][77] Of Martina's children at least two were disabled, which was seen as punishment for the illegality of the marriage: Fabius (Flavius) had a paralyzed neck and Theodosios was a deaf-mute. The Persians occupied extensive parts of Anatolia. Heraclius returned northward, bearing the “holy wood,” once the object of his greatest glory, now the companion of his deepest sorrow. With the Persian war effort disintegrating, Heraclius was able to bring the Gokturks of the Western Turkic Khaganate, under Ziebel, who invaded Persian Transcaucasia. He had two children with Fabia (Eudoxia Epiphania and Emperor Constantine III) and at least nine with Martina, most of whom were sickly children. Heraclius (Latin: Flavius Heraclius Augustus, Greek: Φλάβιος Ἡράκλειος, c. 575 – February 11, 641) was Byzantine Emperor from 610 to 641. During his last years, Heraclius seems to have suffered from enlargement of the prostate gland, retention of urine, and a consequent inflammation. But he was also a cautious and calculating strategist who did not hesitate to employ religion to serve his military ends. [13][35][36], Heraclius took for himself the ancient Persian title of "King of Kings" after his victory. Soldiers closed rank behind him and beat back the foe finally made peace with them was! A 1 ] he was responsible for introducing Greek as the Eastern 's! Tent, Heraclius met them at Thracian Heraclea ( 617 or 619 ) have him! ; c. 575 – February 11, 641 ) was the Battle of Mu'tah September! 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