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Encyclopedia > Theophilos (emperor)
Theophilus, in the Chronicle of John Skylitzes

Theophilos or Theophilus (Greek: Θεόφιλος), (81320 January 842) was Byzantine emperor from 829 to 842. He was the second emperor of the Amorian dynasty. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... John/Ioannes Skylitzes/Scylitzes (Ιωάννης Σκυλίτζης, 1081) was a Byzantine historian of the late 11th century. ... Events June 22 - Byzantine Emperor Michael I is defeated in a war against the Bulgarians. ... January 20 is the 20th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events Oaths of Strasbourg — alliance of Louis the German and Charles the Bald against emperor Lothar — sworn and recorded in vernacular languages. ... This is a list of Byzantine Emperors. ...



Theophilos was the son of the later Emperor Michael II and his wife of Armenian descent Thekla, and the godson of Emperor Leo V the Armenian. Michael II crowned Theophilos co-emperor in 822, shortly after his own accession. Unlike his father, Theophilos received an extensive education, and showed interest in the arts. On October 2, 829, Theophilos succeeded his father as sole emperor. Michael II, called Psellus, the stammerer, or the Amorian (770-829) reigned as Byzantine emperor 820 - 829. ... Contemporary coin of Leo V. Leo V, surnamed The Armenian (775 – December 24, 820), was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 813 to 820, after first distinguishing himself as a general in the reigns of Nicephorus I and Michael I Rhangabes. ... October 2 is the 275th day of the year (276th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events Egbert of Wessex conquers Mercia and is recognized as Bretwalda. ...

Unlike his father Michael II, Theophilos showed himself a fervent iconoclast. In 832 he issued an edict strictly forbidding the veneration of icons; but the stories of his cruel treatment of recalcitrants are so extreme that some think they are exaggerated. Theophilos also saw himself as the champion of justice, which he served most ostentatiously by executing his father's co-conspirators against Leo V immediately after his accession. His reputation as a judge endured, and in the literary composition Timarion Theophilos features as one of the judges in the Netherworld. Statues in the Cathedral of Saint Martin, Utrecht, attacked in Reformation iconoclasm in the 16th century. ... Look up icon in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other meanings of the word underworld see Underworld (disambiguation) In the study of mythology and religion, the underworld is a generic term approximately equivalent to the lay term afterlife, referring to any place to which newly-dead souls go. ...

Theophilos on a coin of his father, Michael II, founder of the Amorian dynasty.

At the time of his accession, Theophilos was obliged to wage wars against the Arabs on two fronts. Sicily was once again invaded by the Arabs, who took Palermo after a year-long siege in 831, established the Emirate of Sicily and gradually continued to expand across the island. The invasion of Anatolia by the Abbasid Caliph Al-Ma'mun in 830 was faced by the emperor himself, but the Byzantines were defeated and lost several fortresses. In 831 Theophilos retaliated by leading a large army into Cilicia and capturing Tarsus. The emperor returned to Constantinople in triumph, but in the Autumn was defeated by the enemy in Cappadocia. Another defeat in the same province in 833 forced Theophilos to sue for peace, which he obtained the next year, after the death of Al-Ma'mun. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Michael II, called Psellus, the stammerer, or the Amorian (770-829) reigned as Byzantine emperor 820 - 829. ... Languages Arabic other minority languages Religions Predomiantly Sunni Islam, as well as Shia Islam, Greek Orthodoxy, Greek Catholicism, Maronite, Alawite Islam, Druze, Ibadi Islam, and Judaism An Arab (Arabic: ) is any member of the Semitic group of people whose cultural, linguistic, and in certain cases, ancestral origins trace back to... Sicily (Sicilia in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ... For other uses, see Palermo (disambiguation). ... Italy in 1000. ... Anatolia and Europe Anatolia (Turkish: from Greek: Ανατολία - Anatolia) is a peninsula of Western Asia which forms the greater part of the Asian portion of Turkey, as opposed to the European portion (Thrace, or traditionally Rumelia). ... Abbasid Caliphate (Abbasid Khalifat) and contemporary states and empires in 820. ... For main article see: Caliphate Khalif is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the leader of the Islamic Ummah, or global Islamic nation. ... Abu Jafar al-Mamun ibn Harun (also spelled Almanon and el-Mâmoûn) (786 – October 10, 833) (المأمون) was an Abbasid caliph who reigned from 813 until his death in 833. ... Cilicia as Roman province, 120 AD In Antiquity, Cilicia (Κιλικία) was the name of a region, now known as Çukurova, and often a political unit, on the southeastern coast of Asia Minor (modern Turkey), north of Cyprus. ... In tetrapods, the tarsi are the cluster of bones in the foot between the tibia and fibula and the metatarsus. ... Map of Constantinople. ... Look up Cappadocia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

During the respite from the war against the Abbasids, Theophilos arranged for the abduction of the Byzantine captives settled north of the Danube by Krum of Bulgaria. The rescue operation was carried out with success in c. 836, and the peace between Bulgaria and the Byzantine Empire was quickly restored. However, it proved impossible to maintain peace in the East. Theophilos had given asylum to a number of refugees from the east in 834, including Nasr (who was Kurdish [1]), baptized Theophobos, who married the emperor's aunt Irene, and became one of his generals. With relations with the Abbasids deteriorating, Theophilos prepared for a new war. The Danube (ancient Danuvius, Iranian *dānu, meaning river or stream, ancient Greek Istros) is the longest river in the European Union and Europes second longest river. ... Krum (Bulgarian: ) (died April 13, 814) was ruler of Bulgaria, from after 796/ before 803 to 814. ... Byzantine Empire at its greatest extent c. ... Languages Kurdish Religions Predominantly Sunni Muslim also some Shia, Yazidism, Yarsan, Judaism, Christianity Related ethnic groups other Iranian peoples (Talysh Baluch Gilak Bakhtiari Persians) The Kurds are an ethnic group who consider themselves to be indigenous to a region often referred to as Kurdistan, an area which includes adjacent parts...

In 837 Theophilos led a vast army towards Mesopotamia, and captured Melitene and Samosata. The emperor also took Zapetra (Zibatra, Sozopetra), the birthplace of the Caliph al-Mu'tasim, destroying it. Theophilos returned to Constantinople in triumph. Eager for revenge, al-Mu'tasim assembled a vast army and launched a two prong invasion of Anatolia in 838. Theophilos decided to strike one division of the caliph's army before they could combine. On July 21, 838 at Dazimon Theophilos personally led the Byzantine army against the troops commanded by al-Afshin. That outstanding general bore the full force of the Byzantine attack. He then counter attacked, and soundly defeated Theophilos. The emperor barely escaped with his life thanks to Theophobos. The Byzantine survivors fell back in disorder and did not interfere in the caliph's continuing campaign. Mesopotamia refers to the region now occupied by modern Iraq, eastern Syria, southeastern Turkey, and Southwest Iran. ... Malatia can also be a misspelling of the medical term Malacia. ... Samosata, meaning sun, was an ancient city whose ruins still exist at the modern Turkish city of Samsat. ... Abu Ishaq al-Mutasim ibn Harun (أبو إسحاق المعتصم بن هارون , 794 – January 5, 842) was an Abbasid caliph (833 - 842). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Afshin (Persian General). ...

Al-Mu'tasim took Ankyra. Al-Afshin joined him there. The full Abbasid army advanced against Amorion, the cradle of the dynasty. Initially there was determined resistance. Then a Muslim captive escaped and informed the caliph where there was a section of the wall that had only a front facade. Al-Mu'tasim concentrated his bombardment on this section. The wall was breached. Having heroically held for fifty-five days, the city now fell to al-Mu'tasim on September 23, 838. Thirty thousand of the inhabitants were slain, the rest sold as slaves. The city was razed to the ground. Amorium Höyük (mound) as seen from the minaret of the village of Hisarköy The site John Kallos, Bishop of Amorion Amorium, is an ancient city in Turkey that dates back at least to the Hellenistic Period in Anatolia and that had acquired particular historical significance, in several... September 23 is the 266th day of the year (267th in leap years). ... Events At Hingston Down, Egbert of Wessex beats the Danish and the West Welsh. ... Slave redirects here. ...

During this campaign some of Al-Mu'tasim's top generals were plotting against the caliph. He uncovered this. Many of these leading commanders were arrested, some executed, before he arrived home. Al-Afshin seems not to have been involved in this, but he was detected in other intrigues and died in prison in the spring of 841. Caliph al-Mu'tasim fell sick in October, 841 and died on January 5, 842.


Theophilos never recovered from the blow; his health gradually failed, and he died on January 20, 842. His character has been the subject of considerable discussion, some regarding him as one of the ablest of the Byzantine emperors, others as an ordinary oriental despot, an overrated and insignificant ruler. There is no doubt that he did his best to check corruption and oppression on the part of his officials, and administered justice with strict impartiality, although his punishments did not always fit the crime. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... January 20 is the 20th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events Oaths of Strasbourg — alliance of Louis the German and Charles the Bald against emperor Lothar — sworn and recorded in vernacular languages. ...

In spite of the drain of the war in Asia and the large sums spent by Theophilos on building, commerce, industry, and the finances of the empire were in a most flourishing condition, the credit of which was in great measure due to the highly efficient administration of the department. Theophilos, who had received an excellent education from John Hylilas, the grammarian, was a great admirer of music and a lover of art, although his taste was not of the highest. He strengthened the Walls of Constantinople, and built a hospital, which continued in existence till the latest times of the Byzantine Empire. World map showing the location of Asia. ... This page of the Iconodule Chludov Psalter, illustrates the line They gave me gall to eat; and when I was thirsty they gave me vinegar to drink with a picture of a soldier offering Christ vinegar on a sponge attached to a pole. ... The Walls of Constantinople surrounded the Roman and Byzantine city of Constantinople (today Istanbul in Turkey). ... Byzantine Empire at its greatest extent c. ...


By his marriage with Theodora, Theophilos had seven children: Theodora depicted as ruler on this coin, with her son Michael, nominally emperor, and her daughter Thecla on the reverse. ...

  • Constantine, co-emperor from c. 833 to c. 835.
  • Michael III, who succeeded as emperor.
  • Maria, who married the Caesar Alexios Mouseles.
  • Thekla, who was a mistress of Emperor Basil I the Macedonian.
  • Anna
  • Anastasia
  • Pulcheria

This coin struck during the regency of Theodora shows how Michael was less prominent than his mother, who is represented as ruler alone on the obverse, and even than his sister Thecla, who is depicted together with the young Michael on the reverse of this coin. ... Basil, his son Constantine, and his second wife, emperess Eudoxia Ingerina. ...


  • Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari History v. 33 "Storm and Stress along the Northern frontiers of the Abbasid Caliphate, transl. C. E. Bosworth, SUNY, Albany, 1991
  • John Bagot Glubb The Empire of the Arabs, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1963
  • The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press, 1991.
  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
  1. ^ I. Sevcenko, Review of New Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire, Slavic Review, p. 111, 1968.

Balamis 14th century Persian version of Universal History by al-Tabari Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Jarir at-Tabari 838–923 (father of Jafar, named Muhammad, son of Jarir from the province of Tabaristan, Arabic الطبري), was an author from Persia, one of the earliest, most prominent and famous Persian... Sir John Bagot Glubb, better known as Glubb Pasha (16 April 1897 – 17 March 1986), was a British soldier best known for commanding Transjordans Arab Legion 1939-1956. ... Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium (often abbreviated to ODB) is a three volume book by the Oxford University Press. ... Encyclopædia Britannica, the 11th edition The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

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Preceded by
Michael II
Byzantine Emperor
Succeeded by
Michael III



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