1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Anastasius II

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
3964071911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 1 — Anastasius II

ANASTASIUS II. (d. 721), Roman emperor in the East, whose original name was Artemius, was raised to the throne of Constantinople by the voice of the senate and people in A.D. 713, on the deposition of Philippicus, whom he had served in the capacity of secretary. The empire was threatened by the Saracens both by land and sea, and Anastasius sent an army under Leo the Isaurian, afterwards emperor, to defend Syria; adopted wise and resolute measures for the defence of his capital; attempted to reorganize the discipline of the army; and equipped and despatched to Rhodes a formidable naval force, with orders not only to resist the approach of the enemy, but to destroy their naval stores. The troops of the Opsikian province, resenting the emperor’s strict measures, mutinied, slew the admiral, and proclaimed Theodosius, a person of low extraction, emperor. After a six months’ siege, Constantinople was taken by Theodosius; and Anastasius, who had fled to Nicaea, was compelled to submit to the new emperor, and, retiring to Thessalonica, became a monk (716). In 721 he headed a revolt against Leo, who had succeeded Theodosius, and receiving a considerable amount of support, laid siege to Constantinople; but the enterprise failed, and Anastasius, falling into Leo’s hands, was put to death by his orders.

Authorities.—Sources: Theophanes, Chronicle; Nicephorus Patriarches, Breviarium. Modern works: Gibbon, Decline and Fall, vol. v. (ed. Bury); Bury, Later Roman Empire, vol. ii.