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Basil II the Byzantine Ruler

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Dalsung Hwarang View Drop Down
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  Quote Dalsung Hwarang Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Basil II the Byzantine Ruler
    Posted: 26-Oct-2005 at 20:25
 Does anybody know specifically who Basil shared the throne with in his early years?
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  Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Oct-2005 at 00:15

After his father Romanus II died, Basil II and his brother Constantine VIII's mother Theophano became regent for the child-emperors.  She was regent in 963 AD until she married the old general Nicephorus Phocas.  He became emperor by acclamation of the tagmata and ruled from 963-969.  After Nicephorus II was assassinated, another prominent general named John Tzimisces became emperor.  He ruled from 969-976.  Both of these soldier-emperors ruled as de facto guardians of Basil and Constantine.  When the two boys came of age they became the legitimate emperors in 976.  Basil II overshadowed his brother in courage and ability and ruled mightily until 1025.  Constantine VIII ascended the throne in 1025 but only ruled for three years because he was already quite elderly.

Source:

George Ostrogorsky. History of the Byzantine State. trans. Joan Hussey. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1969 (revised ed.): pp. 283-321.

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  Quote Dalsung Hwarang Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Oct-2005 at 02:25
TY!!!
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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Oct-2005 at 03:06
Also of note is the boy's guardian, his parakoimenos (at least I remember that being the title, I could be wrong) also named Basil. Basil was a eunuch related to the younger Basil, being the son of Romanus I (Emperor Basil II's great-grandfather). The eunuch Basil was an important supporter of the young Emperor during the civil wars against Phocas and Skleros, though was ultimately deposed by the younger Basil when the young man found the eunuch's power too much for his liking.
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  Quote Athanasios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Sep-2007 at 12:25
The days before Nikephoros Phocas's  assassination , it was spread  a rumor  for a supposed  plan of the emperor  to castrate  Basil II and Konstantinos. It was probably just another part of Theophanos's and Jemiskes's plan, so that the people of Constantinople would accept the new situation without any serious protest. Finally Theophano was exiled to Pringeponessa after Patriarch's will. Basil the eunuch was a really powerful person, maybe the most powerful in the palace(that's the importance of his title"the one who sleeps next to the emperor").For many years Basil II was observing these moves and plots inside the palace and finally , when he got the power he deposed him. It's a matter of fact that Basil II never wanted to have intelligent people in important positions (at least not intelligent enough to claim the throne with acts and plots) but only loyal and good soldiers.
I also believe that the bitter experience he had from his mother (and the brainwashing he got by basil the eunuch) forced him to have a different confrontation to women, especially after the unlucky siege of Sofia which in combination with the civil , had closely cost his throne and his life. Aftrer that ,he devoted his life in military only.

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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Feb-2009 at 20:05
Originally posted by Athanasios

The days before Nikephoros Phocas's  assassination , it was spread  a rumor  for a supposed  plan of the emperor  to castrate  Basil II and Konstantinos. It was probably just another part of Theophanos's and Jemiskes's plan, so that the people of Constantinople would accept the new situation without any serious protest. Finally Theophano was exiled to Pringeponessa after Patriarch's will. Basil the eunuch was a really powerful person, maybe the most powerful in the palace(that's the importance of his title"the one who sleeps next to the emperor").For many years Basil II was observing these moves and plots inside the palace and finally , when he got the power he deposed him. It's a matter of fact that Basil II never wanted to have intelligent people in important positions (at least not intelligent enough to claim the throne with acts and plots) but only loyal and good soldiers.
I also believe that the bitter experience he had from his mother (and the brainwashing he got by basil the eunuch) forced him to have a different confrontation to women, especially after the unlucky siege of Sofia which in combination with the civil , had closely cost his throne and his life. Aftrer that ,he devoted his life in military only.


I think his devotion to state life and his role, which by now was theologically implied as well allowed him to entertain the idea of himself as the servant of the Empire, which made the life he lead more so possible than his experiences. At least from my perspective that is so. Even if his devotion was to military only, I could see him then develop either a bond to a capable student heir or make sure that he produced an heir on his own. There were plenty of militarily minded Emperors who did so. His religiosity made his services primary to the state and the protection of that holy state. That ideology proved effective, but again unfortunately also didn't provide for a proper after action plan that would ensure a successful transition from reshaping the empire to stabilizing it with good internal politics. Not that we can entirely blame him for that either.
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  Quote Vorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Feb-2009 at 20:44
Originally posted by Athanasios

The days before Nikephoros Phocas's  assassination , it was spread  a rumor  for a supposed  plan of the emperor  to castrate  Basil II and Konstantinos. It was probably just another part of Theophanos's and Jemiskes's plan, so that the people of Constantinople would accept the new situation without any serious protest.


Which is quite remarkable and shows how successful the Macedonian Dynasty was since there was no notion of dynasties in Byzantium, if you were strong enough to overthrow the emperor and rich enough to appease the mob and the imperial guard, you were emperor. A remnant of the old Roman past no doubt.

Never before would the people protest for something like that and the Macedonian Dynasty even managed to keep women in power just cause of their birthright, something really rare. Usually empresses would get dethroned by an ambitious general quite quickly. Basil's niece ruled many years and quite badly but the people allowed it cause she was of that dynasty.
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