Justinian II

Justinian II
   Emperor (q.v.) from 685-695, and again from 705711. He was a relentless antagonist of the Arabs (q.v.), and more ambitious in his colonization schemes than Constans II (q.v.). He resettled the Mardaites (q.v.) in various places, including the Peloponnesos (q.v.) and naval theme of Kibyrrhaiotai (qq.v.). He took Slavs (q.v.) from a region called "Sklavinia" in the Balkan Peninsula (q.v.) and resettled them in the theme of Opsikion (q.v.). He also repopulated Kyzikos (q.v.) with Cypriots, created the kleisoura of the Strymon (qq.v.) and most likely created the theme of Hellas (q.v.). Fervently Orthodox (q.v.), he persecuted the Paulicians (q.v.), condemned Monotheletism (q.v.), and convened the Council in Trullo (q.v.), after which he attempted to arrest Pope Sergius I for not accepting the council's edicts. He was overthrown in 695 by Leontios, strategos (qq.v.) of the theme of Hellas. Leontios slit Justinian II's nose (earning Justinian the epithet rhinotmetos, meaning "slit-nose") and exiled him to Cherson (q.v.). Nevertheless, with the assistance of Tervel of Bulgaria (qq.v.) Justinian returned to besiege Constantinople (q.v.) in 705, gaining entrance to the city by crawling through an aqueduct pipe. Leontios fled. Unfortunately, once on the throne again he aroused internal unrest by becoming a bloodthirsty tyrant. Taking advantage of the situation, the Arabs (q.v.) invaded Asia Minor (q.v.) with impunity from 709-711, the year Justinian II was dethroned and executed by Philippikos (q.v.).

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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