Anastasios II

Anastasius II or Anastasios II (Latin: Artemius Anastasius; Greek: Ἀρτέμιος Ἀναστάσιος, romanizedArtemios Anastasios, died 719) was the Byzantine emperor from 713 to 715.[1] During his reign he reversed his predecessor's decision to appoint a Monothelete Patriarch of Constantinople. He instead re-elevated Orthodoxy in Constantinople by appointing Germanus I to the position in order to gain Pope Constantine's favor.[2] He was deposed by Theodosius during the Byzantine campaign against the Umayyad Caliphate.

Anastasius II
Emperor of the Romans
Solidus of Anastasios II.png
Solidus of Anastasius II. The inscription reads d n artemius anastasius mul a.
Byzantine emperor
Reign4 June 713 – late 715
SuccessorTheodosius III
Died1 June 719
Church of the Holy Apostles, Constantinople
(now Istanbul, Turkey)
Artemius Anastasius
DynastyTwenty Years' Anarchy


Anastasius was a Greek, originally had the baptismal name of Artemios[3] (Greek: Ἀρτέμιος; male form of Artemis), and had served as a bureaucrat and Imperial secretary (asekretis) for his predecessors as Emperor. Troops of the Opsikion Theme stationed in Thrace overthrew Emperor Philippicus Bardanes (Philippikos) in 713; they then acclaimed Artemios as Emperor. He chose Anastasius as his regnal name. Soon after his accession, Anastasius II imposed discipline on the army and executed those officers who had been directly involved in the conspiracy against Philippicus.

Anastasius upheld the decisions of the Sixth Ecumenical Council and deposed the Monothelete Patriarch John VI of Constantinople, replacing him with the orthodox Patriarch Germanus in 715. This also put an end to the short-lived local schism with the Catholic Church.

The advancing Umayyad Caliphate surrounded the Empire by land and sea (they penetrated as far as Galatia in 714), and Anastasius attempted to restore peace by diplomatic means. His emissaries having failed in Damascus, he undertook the restoration of Constantinople's walls and the rebuilding of the Roman fleet. However, the death of the Caliph al-Walid I in 715 gave Anastasius an opportunity to turn the tables on his rival. He dispatched an army under Leo the Isaurian, afterwards emperor, to invade Syria, and he had his fleet concentrate on Rhodes with orders not only to resist the approach of the enemy but to destroy their naval stores.[4]

At Rhodes, Opsician troops, still resenting the Emperor's strict measures, mutinied, slew the admiral John, and proclaimed as emperor Theodosius III (Theodosios), a tax-collector of low extraction. After a six-month siege, Constantinople was taken by Theodosius; Anastasius, who had fled to Nicaea, was eventually compelled to submit to the new emperor and retired to a monastery in Thessalonica.[2] Theophanes the Confessor states that Anastasius reigned for 1 year and 3 months, which would place his deposition in September 715. However, another possible date is November 715.[5]

In 719, Anastasius headed a revolt against Leo III, who had succeeded Theodosius, receiving considerable support, including auxiliaries reportedly provided by Tervel of Bulgaria. However the chronicler Theophanes the Confessor, who offers this information elsewhere, confuses Tervel with his eventual successor Kormesiy, so perhaps Anastasios was allied with the younger ruler. Another explanation holds that Kormesiy represented Tervel during the Bulgarians' negotiation with Anastasius.[6] In any case, the rebel forces advanced on Constantinople. The Bulgarians betrayed Anastasius, leading to his defeat.[3] The enterprise failed, and Anastasius fell into Leo's hands and was put to death by his orders on 1 June. He was killed along with other conspirators including Niketas Xylinitas and the archbishop of Thessaloniki.[3] Anastasius' wife Irene had him buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles.[4][7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Gregory, Timothy E. (2010). A History of Byzantium. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. p. 190. ISBN 978-1-4051-8471-7.
  2. ^ a b   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Anastasius II". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 919.
  3. ^ a b c Burke, John; Scott, Roger (2017). Byzantine Macedonia: Identity Image and History. Leiden: BRILL. pp. 58–59. ISBN 978-18-76-50306-2.
  4. ^ a b Chisholm 1911.
  5. ^ Sumner, Grant (1976). "Philippicus, Anastasius II and Theodosius III". GRBS. XVII: 287–294. ISSN 0017-3916. Archived from the original on 16 January 2020.
  6. ^ Sheppard, Si (2020-03-19). Constantinople AD 717–18: The Crucible of History. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4728-3693-9.
  7. ^ "Anastasius II". De Imperatoribus Romanis. Australian Catholic University. 25 November 2000. Retrieved 17 October 2020. (Archive)


External linksEdit

  Media related to Anastasius II at Wikimedia Commons

Regnal titles
Preceded by Byzantine emperor
4 June 713 – 715
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Philippikos in 711,
then lapsed
Consul of the Roman Empire
Succeeded by
Leo III in 718