See Article History Heraclius, born c. Heraclius was born in eastern Anatolia. His father, probably of Armenian descent, was governor of the Roman province of Africa when an appeal came from Constantinople to save the Eastern Roman Empire from the terror and incompetence of the emperor Phocas. The Governor equipped an expeditionary force and put his devout son, the blond and gray-eyed Heraclius, in command of it.
Emperor of Byzantium Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. ISBN 0 6. This attempts to fill a major gap, as Heraclius was a major figure in the history of the Byzantine Empire, reigning for 31 years from to Coming to power in a coup at a time of crisis, Heraclius largely restored the fortunes of the empire in the East and finally defeating the Persians.
The empire, weakened by many years of war, then fell victim to the rise of Islam, and lost most of the Middle East, although it stabilized and held on to the Anatolian heartland. Territories in the west, particularly Spain were lost as the defence of the heart of the empire took priority.
Reading the biography it becomes clear as to why there has been no biography in English. There is a major lack of detailed sources on Heraclius, and Kaegi has had to struggle with this throughout the book.
Kaegi has, however, accessed a huge range of sources, including Arabic and Persian sources in order to remedy this deficiency as much as possible. Many of the sources that do exist have their own agendas and cutting through these to the truth is a difficult task.
Political spin is not a twenty-first century phenomenon. Born into the aristocracy, of Armenian extraction, his father was a high ranking general who became Exarch governor of Africa. Much of his early adult life was spent in Africa. Even the details of the build up to the coup against Phokas are fairly slight.
Once Heraclius is on the throne then the pace picks up and the information more plentiful. The next chapter concentrates on the crises of the first ten years of his reign. Power was consolidated, but war with the Persians continued, with the Persians capturing much of the Middle East.
The Persian alliance with the Avars resulted in Constantinople being besieged, although the failure of this siege was a major blow to Avar prestige. His military expertise increased over the years, becoming an extremely competent general. At the crucial battle if Ninevehdespite being in the heart of Mesopotamia, he lured the Persians onto ground of his own choosing and defeated them.
The account of this campaign is very fine. Kaegi has actually visited much of the area and he locates the battle site from the descriptions in the sources.
He then discusses the window of opportunity that existed after the Persian wars to rebuild the exhausted empire. Heraclius addressed religious issues and reduced military expenditure, whilst increasing civil expenditure, to undo some of the damage of the wars. Some of the subsidy reductions to friendly Arab tribes may have proved to be unwise in the light of subsequent events.
The Moslem expansion then struck, presenting Heraclius with further challenges. The defeat at Yarmuk destroyed the main Byzantine army in the Middle East and the challenge became one of preserving as much of the empire as possible, despite fractured and sometimes rebellious commanders.
Heraclius did not lead his armies in the field.
Kaegi maintains that the lack of disunity among the Islamic forces gave Heraclius no openings to use his talents for dividing the enemy, who gradually drove the Byzantines back from many of the richest areas of the empire.
The last years of his life featured battling ill health while fighting a losing battle to save the empire whilst consolidating the succession for his family. Generally the book is very interesting and tells us a lot about Heraclius and his life and times. However a few areas of the book were disappointing.
There are number of times where significant sections of text are repeated in different contexts. This made me think I had lost my place and should have been picked up in the editing process.
As the book is a biography of Heraclius it concentrates almost exclusively on him and his actions. Events in Italy, Africa, Spain and the Balkans are touched on only lightly while the focusing on the events in Anatolia, the Middle East and Mesopotamia.
Heraclius was fascinated by religion and was heavily involved in the disputes of the day, attempting to impose religious uniformity throughout the empire.
The relationship between church and state is touched on in a number of places, but is never really satisfactorily described. It is true that we have no diaries of Heraclius or his intimates, so we can know little from first hand about him; however we do know a lot about his actions and these reveal a lot about his character.
Scriptwriters are taught to reveal character through actions rather than through words.This way peaceful relations were restored to the two deeply strained empires.
Heraclius soon experienced a new event, the Muslim conquests. Emerging from the Arabian Peninsula, the Muslims quickly conquered the Sasanian Empire. (by mid the whole province was in their hands) and to devastate Anatolia, while the Avars and Slavs took. Heraclius' campaign of The Heraclius' campaign of , erroneously also known as the Battle of Issus, was a major campaign in the Byzantine–Sassanid War of – by emperor Heraclius that culminated in a crushing Byzantine victory in arteensevilla.comon: Cappadocia (present day Turkey).
As the book is a biography of Heraclius it concentrates almost exclusively on him and his actions. Events in Italy, Africa, Spain and the Balkans are touched on only lightly while the focusing on the events in Anatolia, the Middle East and Mesopotamia. Heraclius Augustus Introduction: Heraclius or Flavius Heraclius Augustus was a Byzantine arteensevilla.com ruled the Eastern Roman Empire during the first half of the seventh century.
He along with his father Heraclius the Elder, Exarch (governor) of Africa led a campaign against the unpopular and despotic Byzantine Emperor, Phocas. Was the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius (AD) a 'Great' Emperor? When Heraclius ascended, the Persians had conquered the Levant, Egypt, and Anatolia, in other words, the Byzantine Empire's tax base.
This situation, under normal circumstances, would have been irrecoverable. Heraclius got all his lost territory back, huge indemnities. Heraclius (son of Constans II) has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria.
If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it. Review: March 28,