The Info List - Constantine IV

Constantine IV
Constantine IV
(Greek: Κωνσταντῖνος Δ', translit. Kōnstantinos IV; Latin: Flavius Constantinus Augustus; c. 652 – 14 September 685), sometimes incorrectly called Pogonatos (Πωγωνάτος), "the Bearded", out of confusion with his father,[1] was Byzantine Emperor
Byzantine Emperor
from 668 to 685. His reign saw the first serious check to nearly 50 years of uninterrupted Islamic expansion, while his calling of the Sixth Ecumenical Council
Sixth Ecumenical Council
saw the end of the monothelitism controversy in the Byzantine Empire.


1 Early career 2 The Siege of Constantinople
(674-678) 3 Later reign 4 Family 5 In art and popular culture 6 Sources

6.1 Primary sources 6.2 Secondary sources

7 See also 8 References 9 External links

Early career[edit] The eldest son of Constans
II, Constantine IV
Constantine IV
had been named a co-emperor with his father in 654.[2] He had been given the responsibility of managing the affairs at Constantinople
during his father’s extended absence in Italy[3] and became senior Emperor when Constans
was assassinated in 668.[4] His mother was Fausta, daughter of patrician Valentinus.[5] The first task before the new Emperor was the suppression of the military revolt in Sicily
under Mezezius
which had led to his father's death.[6] Within seven months of his accession, Constantine IV
Constantine IV
had dealt with the insurgency with the support of Pope Vitalian.[7] But this success was overshadowed by troubles in the east. As early as 668 the Caliph
Muawiyah I received an invitation from Saborios, the commander of the troops in Armenia, to help overthrow the Emperor at Constantinople.[8] He sent an army under his son Yazid against the Byzantine Empire. Yazid reached Chalcedon
and took the important Byzantine center Amorion.[9] While the city was quickly recovered, the Arabs next attacked Carthage
and Sicily
in 669.[10] In 670 the Arabs captured Cyzicus
and set up a base from which to launch further attacks into the heart of the Empire.[4] Their fleet captured Smyrna
and other coastal cities in 672.[11] Finally, in 672, the Arabs sent a large fleet to attack Constantinople
by sea.[11] While Constantine was distracted by this, the Slavs
unsuccessfully attacked Thessalonika.[4] The Siege of Constantinople
(674-678)[edit] Main article: Siege of Constantinople

Coin issued by Constantine.

Commencing in 674, the Arabs launched the long-awaited siege of Constantinople. The great fleet that had been assembled set sail under the command of Abdu'l-Rahman ibn Abu Bakr[10] before the end of the year; during the winter months some of the ships anchored at Smyrna, the rest off the coast of Cilicia.[10] Additional squadrons reinforced the forces of Abd ar-Rahman before they proceeded to the Hellespont, into which they sailed in about April 674.[10] From April to September 674 the fleet lay moored from the promontory of Hebdomon, on the Propontis, as far as the promontory of Kyklobion, near the Golden Gate, and throughout those months continued to engage with the Byzantine fleet which defended the harbour from morning to evening.[10] Knowing that it was only a matter of time before Constantinople
was under siege, Constantine had ensured that the city was well provisioned.[10] He also constructed a large number of fireships and fast-sailing boats provided with tubes or siphons for squirting fire. This is the first known use of Greek fire
Greek fire
in combat,[11] which was one of the key advantages that the Byzantines possessed. In September the Arabs, having failed in their attempts to take the city, sailed to Cyzicus, which they made their winter quarters.[12] Over the following five years, the Arabs would return each spring to continue the siege of Constantinople, but with the same results.[10] The city survived, and finally in 678 the Arabs were forced to raise the siege. The Arabs withdrew and were almost simultaneously defeated on land in Lycia
in Anatolia.[4] This unexpected reverse forced Muawiyah I to seek a truce with Constantine. The terms of the concluded truce required the Arabs to evacuate the islands they had seized in the Aegean, and to pay an annual tribute to the Emperor consisting of fifty slaves, fifty horses, and 3,000 pounds of gold.[12] The raising of the siege allowed Constantine to go to the relief of Thessalonika, still under siege from the Slavs.[4] Later reign[edit]

A solidus showing Constantine and his brothers, minted before 681 when the latter were mutilated.

With the temporary passing of the Arab
threat, Constantine turned his attention to the Church, which was torn between Monothelitism
and Orthodoxy.[13] In November 680 Constantine convened the Sixth Ecumenical Council (also known as the Third Council of Constantinople).[4] Constantine presided in person during the formal aspects of the proceedings (the first eleven sittings and then the eighteenth), surrounded by his court officials, but he took no active role in the theological discussions.[14] The Council reaffirmed the Orthodox doctrines of the Council of Chalcedon
in 451.[15] This solved the controversy over monothelitism; conveniently for the Empire, most monothelites were now under the control of the Umayyad
Caliphate.[4] The council closed in September 681.[16] Due to the ongoing conflicts with the Arabs during the 670s, Constantine had been forced to conclude treaties in the west with the Lombards, who had captured Brindisi
and Taranto.[17] Also in 680, the Bulgars under Khan Asparukh crossed the Danube
into nominally Imperial territory and began to subjugate the local communities and Slavyanic tribes.[4] In 680, Constantine IV
Constantine IV
led a combined land and sea operation against the invaders and besieged their fortified camp in Dobruja.[18] Suffering from bad health, the Emperor had to leave the army, which panicked and was defeated by the Bulgars.[19] In 681, Constantine was forced to acknowledge the Bulgar state in Moesia
and to pay tribute/protection money to avoid further inroads into Byzantine Thrace.[13] Consequently, Constantine created the Theme of Thrace.[17] His brothers Heraclius
and Tiberius
had been crowned with him as Augusti during the reign of their father,[20] and this was confirmed by the demand of the populace,[21] but in 681 Constantine had them mutilated so they would be ineligible to rule.[4] At the same time he associated on the throne his own young son Justinian II. Constantine died of dysentery in September 685.[22] Family[edit] By his wife Anastasia, Constantine IV
Constantine IV
had at least two sons:

Justinian II, who succeeded him as emperor Heraclius

In art and popular culture[edit]

Constantine IV
Constantine IV
was portrayed by Iossif Surchadzhiev in the 1981 Bulgarian movie Aszparuh, directed by Ludmil Staikov. Constantine IV
Constantine IV
is the subject of the song "Imperator" ("Emperor"), released by the Bulgarian heavy metal band Epizod in their 2012 album Moyata molitva ("My prayer").

Sources[edit] Primary sources[edit]

Theophanes the Confessor, Chronographia.

Secondary sources[edit]

Ostrogorsky, George (1956). History of the Byzantine State. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.  Meyendorff, John (1989). Imperial unity and Christian divisions: The Church 450-680 A.D. The Church in history. 2. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press. ISBN 978-0-88-141056-3.  Kazhdan, Alexander, ed. (1991), Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6  Norwich, John Julius (1990), Byzantium: The Early Centuries, Penguin, ISBN 0-14-011447-5  Canduci, Alexander (2010), Triumph & Tragedy: The Rise and Fall of Rome's Immortal Emperors, Pier 9 Books, ISBN 978-1-74196-598-8  Moore, R. Scott, " Constantine IV
Constantine IV
(668 -685 A.D.)", De Imperatoribus Romanis (1997) Warren Treadgold, A History of the Byzantine State and Society (Stanford University Press, 1997) ISBN 0-8047-2630-2 Bury, J.B., A History of the Later Roman Empire from Arcadius
to Irene, Vol. II, MacMillan & Co., 1889

See also[edit]

Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire

List of Byzantine emperors


^ Norwich, pg. 316 ^ Kazhdan, pg. 500 ^ Canduci, pg. 197 ^ a b c d e f g h i Moore, Constantine IV ^ Kazhdan, pg. 496 ^ Bury, pg. 303 ^ Bury, pg. 315 ^ Bury, pg. 306 ^ Bury, pg. 307 ^ a b c d e f g Bury, pg. 310 ^ a b c Norwich, pg. 323 ^ a b Norwich, pg. 324 ^ a b Norwich, pg. 326 ^ Bury, pg. 317 ^ Canduci, pg. 198 ^ Bury, pg. 316 ^ a b Kazhdan, pg. 501 ^ Bury, pp.333-334 ^ Norwich, pg. 325 ^ Dumbarton Oaks, Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection, Vol. II, Part 2 (1968), pg. 513 ^ Bury, pg. 308 ^ Norwich, pg. 327

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Constantine IV.

Constantine IV Heraclian Dynasty Born: 652 Died: 14 September 685

Regnal titles

Preceded by Constans
II Byzantine Emperor 15 September 668 – 14 September 685 with Constans
II, 654–668 Heraclius
and Tiberius, 659–681 Succeeded by Justinian II

v t e

Roman and Byzantine emperors

Principate 27 BC – 235 AD

Augustus Tiberius Caligula Claudius Nero Galba Otho Vitellius Vespasian Titus Domitian Nerva Trajan Hadrian Antoninus Pius Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
and Lucius Verus Commodus Pertinax Didius Julianus (Pescennius Niger) (Clodius Albinus) Septimius Severus Caracalla
with Geta Macrinus
with Diadumenian Elagabalus Severus Alexander

Crisis 235–284

Maximinus Thrax Gordian I
Gordian I
and Gordian II Pupienus
and Balbinus Gordian III Philip the Arab
with Philip II Decius
with Herennius Etruscus Hostilian Trebonianus Gallus
Trebonianus Gallus
with Volusianus Aemilianus Valerian Gallienus
with Saloninus and Valerian II Claudius
Gothicus Quintillus Aurelian Tacitus Florian Probus Carus Carinus
and Numerian

Gallic Emperors: Postumus (Laelianus) Marius Victorinus (Domitianus II) Tetricus I
Tetricus I
with Tetricus II
Tetricus II
as Caesar

Dominate 284–395

(whole empire) Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
(West) Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
(West) with Galerius
(East) and Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(West) as Caesares Galerius
(East) and Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(West) with Severus (West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
(East) and Severus (West) with Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
(East) and Maxentius
(West) with Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
(East) and Licinius
I (West) with Constantine the Great (West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Maxentius
(alone) Licinius
I (West) and Maximinus II (East) with Constantine the Great (Self-proclaimed Augustus) and Valerius Valens Licinius
I (East) and Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) with Licinius
II, Constantine II, and Crispus
as Caesares (Martinian) Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(whole empire) with son Crispus
as Caesar Constantine II Constans
I Magnentius
with Decentius as Caesar Constantius II
Constantius II
with Vetranio Julian Jovian Valentinian the Great Valens Gratian Valentinian II Magnus Maximus
Magnus Maximus
with Victor Theodosius the Great (Eugenius)

Western Empire 395–480

Honorius Constantine III with son Constans
II) Constantius III Joannes Valentinian III Petronius Maximus
Petronius Maximus
with Palladius Avitus Majorian Libius Severus Anthemius Olybrius Glycerius Julius Nepos Romulus Augustulus

Eastern/ Byzantine Empire 395–1204

Arcadius Theodosius II Pulcheria Marcian Leo I the Thracian Leo II Zeno (first reign) Basiliscus
with son Marcus as co-emperor Zeno (second reign) Anastasius I Dicorus Justin I Justinian the Great Justin II Tiberius
II Constantine Maurice with son Theodosius as co-emperor Phocas Heraclius Constantine III Heraklonas Constans
II Constantine IV
Constantine IV
with brothers Heraclius
and Tiberius
and then Justinian II as co-emperors Justinian II
Justinian II
(first reign) Leontios Tiberios III Justinian II
Justinian II
(second reign) with son Tiberius
as co-emperor Philippikos Anastasios II Theodosius III Leo III the Isaurian Constantine V Artabasdos Leo IV the Khazar Constantine VI Irene Nikephoros I Staurakios Michael I Rangabe
Michael I Rangabe
with son Theophylact as co-emperor Leo V the Armenian
Leo V the Armenian
with Symbatios-Constantine as junior emperor Michael II
Michael II
the Amorian Theophilos Michael III Basil I
Basil I
the Macedonian Leo VI the Wise Alexander Constantine VII
Constantine VII
Porphyrogennetos Romanos I Lekapenos
Romanos I Lekapenos
with sons Christopher, Stephen and Constantine as junior co-emperors Romanos II Nikephoros II Phokas John I Tzimiskes Basil II Constantine VIII Zoë (first reign) and Romanos III Argyros Zoë (first reign) and Michael IV the Paphlagonian Michael V Kalaphates Zoë (second reign) with Theodora Zoë (second reign) and Constantine IX Monomachos Constantine IX Monomachos
Constantine IX Monomachos
(sole emperor) Theodora Michael VI Bringas Isaac I Komnenos Constantine X Doukas Romanos IV Diogenes Michael VII Doukas
Michael VII Doukas
with brothers Andronikos and Konstantios and son Constantine Nikephoros III Botaneiates Alexios I Komnenos John II Komnenos
John II Komnenos
with Alexios Komnenos as co-emperor Manuel I Komnenos Alexios II Komnenos Andronikos I Komnenos Isaac II Angelos Alexios III Angelos Alexios IV Angelos Nicholas Kanabos (chosen by the Senate) Alexios V Doukas

Empire of Nicaea 1204–1261

Constantine Laskaris Theodore I Laskaris John III Doukas Vatatzes Theodore II Laskaris John IV Laskaris

Eastern/ Byzantine Empire 1261–1453

Michael VIII Palaiologos Andronikos II Palaiologos
Andronikos II Palaiologos
with Michael IX Palaiologos
Michael IX Palaiologos
as co-emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos John V Palaiologos John VI Kantakouzenos
John VI Kantakouzenos
with John V Palaiologos
John V Palaiologos
and Matthew Kantakouzenos as co-emperors John V Palaiologos Andronikos IV Palaiologos John VII Palaiologos Andronikos V Palaiologos Manuel II Palaiologos John VIII Palaiologos Constantine XI Palaiologos

Italics indicates a co-emperor, while underlining indicates an usurper.

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 268207923 GND: 102043302 SELIBR: 293021 SUDO