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Your Worst and Best Byzantine Emperor?

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: Regional History or Period History
Forum Name: Medieval Europe
Forum Discription: The Middle Ages: AD 500-1500
URL: http://www.allempires.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=20242
Printed Date: 15-Aug-2022 at 08:23
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.56a - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Your Worst and Best Byzantine Emperor?
Posted By: Balain d Ibelin
Subject: Your Worst and Best Byzantine Emperor?
Date Posted: 13-Jun-2007 at 04:41

BY your Opinion, what is your Worst and Best Byzantine Emperors?

My list would be:
        Best:
               1. Justinian I
               2. Alexius I Komnenos
               3. Constantine XI
        Worst:
               1. Romanos IV Diogenes
               2. Justinian II
 
Please, only include Emperor who reigns after the West Roman Empire falls.


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"Good quality will be known among your enemies, before you ever met them my friend"Trobadourre de Crusadier Crux



Replies:
Posted By: Knights
Date Posted: 13-Jun-2007 at 04:53
Best:
- Alexios I Komnenos
- Herakleios
- Basil II
- Justinian I
- Nikephoros I
- John Tzimiskes

Worst:
- Flavius Phocas
- Nikephoros III
- Romanos IV



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Posted By: Athanasios
Date Posted: 19-Jun-2007 at 14:24
Romanos IV Diogenes as worst?! Why? because he tried to restore a dream while he was betrayed from all the sides and finally lost a regional battle which cost him his life ? No, he was an original Byzantine emperor who made the best for his empire, such a wronged personality and judged by history whith cruelty... For me , he was the most "human" emperor and whenever i think about his reign , i get emotional...
 
as for the best...
                       1.Basil II
                       2.Heraclius
                       3.Ioannes II Komnenos
                       4.Justinianus
                       5.Constantinus I
                       6.Julianus
 
         worst:    1.Phocas
                        2.Irene the Athenean(which was half a Chazar if i'm not mistaken...)
                        3.Aggelidian dynasty(all this handycapped ganc which <<<<ruled>>>> the Byzantine empire until 1204)
                         4. Theodora(whith or whithout partner)
                         5. John V palaeologos (i could peek a lot from the Palaeologian dynasty but i choose him, as the last step to downfall)
                         
 


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Posted By: eaglecap
Date Posted: 19-Jun-2007 at 15:59
Constantine XI was great but the circumstances of his time were not. If he had been Emperor any other time he would have benefited the empire greatly. The odds were against him in 1453 with the sad loss of Contantinople to the invading Ottoman Turkish armies.

Basil the Bulgar slayer was also a great leader but blinding the enemy troops was way too extreme. Gen. Sherman once said, during the American Civil war, 'War is Hell!!"

John the good son of Alexos is one of my favorites as well.

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Λοιπόν, αδελφοί και οι συμπολίτες και οι στρατιώτες, να θυμάστε αυτό ώστε μνημόσυνο σας, φήμη και ελευθερία σας θα ε


Posted By: xristar
Date Posted: 19-Jun-2007 at 16:07
but blinding the enemy troops was way too extreme.
Not really. At that age, he could have very easily executed al of them. -but he didn't.


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Defeat allows no explanation
Victory needs none.
It insults the dead when you treat life carelessly.


Posted By: Athanasios
Date Posted: 19-Jun-2007 at 16:17
It was a symbolic action. It was the penalty for those who claimed the throne from the legal emperor. I bet that if tzar samuil have fought in the battlefield-as the Byzantine emperor did- then he would be the only one who would get blinded(or maybe not, who knows?). In the today's standarts, it is a sadistic action(blinding 14000 christians one by one-of course not the Emperor himselfLOL-) but these actions were common in the middle ages . I think that it was given too much gravity to this certain action because it is connected with the collapse of the first bulgarian empire.

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Posted By: eaglecap
Date Posted: 20-Jun-2007 at 00:16
I understand the reason why in that period but by my modern standards it seems barbaric and cruel but it did send a clear message to the Turkic/Salvic Bulgars

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Λοιπόν, αδελφοί και οι συμπολίτες και οι στρατιώτες, να θυμάστε αυτό ώστε μνημόσυνο σας, φήμη και ελευθερία σας θα ε


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 03-Jul-2007 at 17:02
Best : 1 .Alexios Komnenos
         
 
Worst : Michael VIII - He simply give up the eastern part of the empire


Posted By: Constantine XI
Date Posted: 03-Jul-2007 at 20:12
Best: Basil II, Leo III, Constantine XI

Worst: Flavius Phocas, Alexius III, John V


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Posted By: Herschel
Date Posted: 03-Jul-2007 at 21:09

Best:

- John II
- Zeno
- Manuel II
- Theodore I of Nicaea
 
Worst:
 
- Flavius Phocas
- Michael VII


Posted By: rider
Date Posted: 04-Jul-2007 at 03:03
Theophilus, Nikephoros Phokas, Leon IV are my favourite good ones, although I can't deny Heraclius (or someone very close to that name, since not using it, I've forgotten it) did a good job too. I can't agree with Justinian being an especially good one since he essentially brought up the downfall of  the empire.

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Posted By: Spartakus
Date Posted: 04-Jul-2007 at 12:32
Heraclius fought back two powerfull enemies, in two different fronts, at the eve of destruction and at the same time managed to wisely retreat behind the Taurus mountains, securing the survival of the Empire against the Arab threat. He is by far the best Byzantine Emperor. Without him there would be no Byzantine Empire, even before the Arab Conquest.

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"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
--- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991, Russian-American poet, b. St. Petersburg and exiled 1972 (1940-1996)


Posted By: rider
Date Posted: 04-Jul-2007 at 15:48
Well, since Justinian wasted so much resources, perhaps Heraclius wouldn't have had to fight the Sassanids so hard if there hadn't been a Justinian?

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Posted By: Spartakus
Date Posted: 04-Jul-2007 at 16:06
That's true yes. Justinian overexpanded, without having the proper forces or resources to actually hold the newly conquered lands.But let's not be so hard at him. I mean, he created an impressive network of fortresses in the Balkans, he re-organized the military as well as the judicial and other secteurs. In the meantime, Justinian fell victim of his calculations. He and his stuff believed that the money drawn from Italy in the form of taxes would , in a few years, cover the cost of the campaign and be enough for sustaining a strong military presence.Also, if we take a look at the forces he sent, we will see that they were quite few. In the end, he lacked the ability of longterm planning. That was his biggest disadvantage.

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"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
--- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991, Russian-American poet, b. St. Petersburg and exiled 1972 (1940-1996)


Posted By: Justinian
Date Posted: 06-Jul-2007 at 00:49
Well naturally I hold Justinian to be one of the better emperors, as much for his vision as for his accomplishments.  Did he make it harder for future emperors? It's very likely, but I don't think the empire would have been better off if he hadn't ruled.  Spartakus does a good job of exposing Justinians' weaknesses.  Heraclius or perhaps Alexios Komnenos might get my vote.
Worst emperors?
Flavius Phocas lingers on the mind,  some of the emperors who ruled between Basil II and Alexios Komnenos weren't exactly held up on a pedestal for future rulers to look to as an example.  Alexios III is another one (the whole Angelos dynasty seemed like one disaster after another).


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"War is a cowardly escape from the problems of peace."--Thomas Mann



Posted By: rider
Date Posted: 06-Jul-2007 at 03:37
It wasn't only Justinian. A lot was done by his generals who would have lived also without him. And I am not saying his legal doings weren't amazing, they were. I am just saying the Eastern conquests should have been left for some other state. 

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Posted By: Anton
Date Posted: 06-Jul-2007 at 08:49
Originally posted by xristar

Not really. At that age, he could have very easily executed al of them. -but he didn't.
 
Merciful Basil LOL


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Posted By: Anton
Date Posted: 06-Jul-2007 at 08:51
Originally posted by Athanasios

but these actions were common in the middle ages . I think that it was given too much gravity to this certain action because it is connected with the collapse of the first bulgarian empire.
 
These things were common but the number of blinded people is quite unusuall.


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Posted By: Anton
Date Posted: 06-Jul-2007 at 08:53
Originally posted by Athanasios

It was a symbolic action. It was the penalty for those who claimed the throne from the legal emperor. I bet that if tzar samuil have fought in the battlefield-as the Byzantine emperor did- then he would be the only one who would get blinded(or maybe not, who knows?)
 
Hm.. I bet if Samuil have faught at that battle the only one who would be blinded is Basil II Wink


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Posted By: Liudovik_Nemski
Date Posted: 06-Jul-2007 at 09:53
Originally posted by xristar

but blinding the enemy troops was way too extreme.
Not really. At that age, he could have very easily executed al of them. -but he didn't.


What do you chose:
being killed instantly or living blind until the end of your "life"?And multiply the second by x12 000Angry


Posted By: Constantine XI
Date Posted: 06-Jul-2007 at 10:30
I know on AE we typically let threads develop in whatever direction members take them - but I would like this thread to remain about the best and worst Emperors of Byzantium. If someone wishes to debate the morality of Basil II after Kleidion/Cimbalongus then feel free to start a new thread on that and we can take up the topic there. Thankyou.

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Posted By: Constantin V Isauros
Date Posted: 04-Apr-2018 at 13:10
Constantine V desrves to be the in top 5, if not no1. He secured byzantine frontiers agains the arabs and bulgars decisively beating them in numerous battles. Put the empire on the offensive, giving it breathing room. He also repaired Constantinople after a huge earthquake. Constantine formed the tagmata, the emperors personal retinue that was always on the ready, consisting of the empires best soldiers. These troops alloud quick mobilisation and counter attacks against the empires enemies. The only flaw of his reign is his harsh iconoclast policies, that forbid the venitration of icons. 
Overall he was a great emperor fixing the empires problems and setting the stage for the macedonian golden age.





Posted By: Constantin V Isauros
Date Posted: 04-Apr-2018 at 13:22
As for the best:
1) Constantine V
2) Leo III
3) Heraklios
4) Alexios Komnenos
5) Basil II
Worst:
1) Alexios Angelos
2) Romanos IV
3) Justinian II
4) Justinian I
5) Manuel Komnenos
I know the last 2 are contriversial but listen. Justinian made the empire bankrupt and weak, which lead to the rise of the sassanids. Manuel was too ambitions and achirving nothing in the end. In his useless campaignes he wasted manpower and ruined foreign relations with the papacy and hungary. Both are overrated and Phokas, well he is hated too much on. Because of Herakleoses revolt the empite destabelised and weakend and lead to the capture of syria, asia minor and egypt. This all happened during Heraleos' reign not Phokas'.




Posted By: Constantin V Isauros
Date Posted: 04-Apr-2018 at 13:24
Lol, i put Herakleos at number 3. I replace him with Nikephoros Phokas



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