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Headword: Ἡράκλειος
Adler number: eta,465
Translated headword: Herakleios, Heraclius
Vetting Status: high
Emperor of [the] Romans.[1] This man fell headlong into the heresy of the Monothelites under the influence of Athanasius, patriarch of the Jacobites, and Sergius the Syrian, [patriarch] of Constantinople.[2]
[It is said] that[3] two of Emperor Heraclius' sons and two of his daughters died[4] while he was in Persia. He, after taking back the Life-giving Wood, which remained sealed just as it had been when it was captured, came into Jerusalem and presented this to the archpriest Modestus and his clergy.[5] And they observed that the seal was safe and untouched, and he [Modestus] brought the key which he had with him, and they bowed down before it and exalted it. And the emperor sent it out to Byzantium. Then Sergius received it at Blachernae.[6] And not long after that Heraclius was received with much praise, as he entered Byzantium. [It is said] that[7] the same Heraclius led four elephants from the Persians into Byzantium, and these he paraded at the equestrian games to the delight of the citizens, and he lavished gifts on everyone. And, since he had taken from the church's wealth, [he ordered][8] to provide annual funds for it and for its clergy from the imperial treasury. He also arranged for his son Constantine[9] to be consul, and he appointed Heraclius [10] his son by Martina as Caesar.[11] And, after he discovered that he would die,[12] he took up residence at the palace at Hieria.[13] And the prefect gathered boats together and joined them across the straight of the so-called Stenos ["Strait", the Bosporus] and[14] crossed over to the shore of the so-called bay of Phidalia[15] and went into the city by the bridge of the Barubusses river. And he died from dropsy.[16]
[It is said] that[17] under Emperor Heraclius 200,000 men died in the war with the Isaurians. And emperor Heraclius sent a lot of money, gold, silver, and precious stones which were "bruchia"[18] under patriarch Sergius--"bruchia", that is, sunken in water.
Greek Original:
Ἡράκλειος, βασιλεὺς Ῥωμαίων. οὗτος ὑπὸ Ἀθανασίου, πατριάρχου Ἰακωβιτῶν, καὶ Σεργίου τοῦ Σύρου, Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, εἰς τὴν αἵρεσιν τῶν Μονοθελητῶν ἐξεκυλίσθη. ὅτι Ἡρακλείῳ τῷ βασιλεῖ ὄντι ἐν Περσίδι ἐτελεύτησαν δύο υἱοὶ καὶ δύο θυγατέρες. αὐτὸς δὲ λαβὼν τὰ ζωοποιὰ ξύλα ἐσφραγισμένα, καθάπερ ἐλήφθησαν διαμείναντα, εἰς τὰ Ἱεροσόλυμα ἀφίκετο καὶ Μοδέστῳ τῷ ἀρχιερεῖ καὶ τῷ αὐτοῦ κλήρῳ ταῦτα ὑπέδειξεν. οἱ δὲ τήν τε σφραγῖδα σώαν ἐπεγίνωσκον καὶ ἀνέπαφον, τήν τε κλεῖδα τὴν παρ' αὐτῷ ἤγαγε, καὶ προσεκύνησαν καὶ ὕψωσαν. καὶ ἐς τὸ Βυζάντιον ἐξέπεμψεν ὁ βασιλεύς: ἃ δὴ Σέργιος ἀρχιερεὺς εἰς Βλάχερνας ὑπεδέξατο. καὶ μετ' οὐ πολὺ Ἡράκλειος ἐς Βυζάντιον ἐχώρει δεχθεὶς μετὰ πολλῆς εὐφημίας. ὅτι ὁ αὐτὸς Ἡράκλειος ἐκ Περσῶν εἰς τὸ Βυζάντιον τέσσαρας ἦγεν ἐλέφαντας, οὓς δὴ καὶ εἰς τοὺς ἱππικοὺς ἀγῶνας ἐθριάμβευσεν ἐπὶ τῇ τῆς πόλεως τέρψει πάσαις δωρεαῖς φιλοτιμησάμενος. ἐπεὶ δὲ ἦν ἑλὼν ἐκ τῆς οὐσίας τῆς μεγάλης ἐκκλησίας, ἐκ τοῦ βασιλικοῦ ταμιείου αὐτῇ τε καὶ τῷ κατ' αὐτὴν κλήρῳ ἐτήσια χρήματα παρέχεσθαι. καὶ Κωνσταντῖνον υἱὸν αὑτοῦ παρασκευάζει ὑπατεῦσαι Ἡράκλειόν τε τὸν ἀπὸ Μαρτίνης Καίσαρα προχειρίζεται. πυθόμενος δὲ ἀποθανεῖν ἐν τοῖς εἰς τὰ Ἠρία παλατίοις διέτριβε. καὶ συναγαγὼν ὁ ὕπαρχος καὶ συζεύξας πλοῖα εἰς τὸν πορθμὸν τοῦ καλουμένου Στενοῦ διέβη κατὰ τὰς ἀκτὰς τοῦ καλουμένου κόλπου Φειδαλίας καὶ διὰ τῆς γεφύρας τοῦ Βαρυβύσσου ποταμοῦ εἰς τὴν πόλιν εἰσῄει. ὑδέρῳ δὲ τὸν βίον καταστρέφει. ὅτι ἐπὶ Ἡρακλείου βασιλέως σ1# χιλιάδες ἀνδρῶν διεφθάρησαν ἐν τῷ πρὸς Ἰσαύρους πολέμῳ. ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς Ἡράκλειος χρήματα πλεῖστα καὶ χρυσὸν καὶ ἄργυρον καὶ λίθους πολυτελεῖς πέμπει, ἅπερ βρύχια γέγονεν ἐπὶ Σεργίου πατριάρχου. βρύχια ἤγουν βυθιζόμενα ὕδατι.
[1] 'Emperor' translates basileus, the usual equivalent (in the Suda and elsewhere) of the Latin imperator; but in any case Heraclius was the first Byzantine ruler to use basileus as his official title rather than Caesar, Augustus, or Imperator. In fact, under Heraclius Greek, replacing Latin, became the new official language of the empire. See R. Scott Moore's DIR entry on Heraclius in the section on internal affairs (web address 1) and Ostrogorsky (1969: 106).
[2] This opening sentence may be derived from Constantine VII, On Virtues and Vices (1.154), or directly from George the Monk, Chronicon 673.
[3] This sentence begins a long section adapted from Nicephorus, Breviarium 18-19 (Mango) = 22-3 (De Boor); see Mango (1990: 66-7).
[4] These four were some of the nine children that Heraclius had with Martina, his niece. (Two other sons by her were physically disabled.) Their incestuous marriage was illegal and offensive to the church. See Ostrogorsky (1969: 106).
[5] This convoluted sentence refers to Heraclius' recovery of the Holy Cross from the Persians and his subsequent entry into Jerusalem to restore it. Compare Mango’s (1990: 67) translation of the original passage in Nicephorus.
[6] The site of the Church of the Virgin at Constantinople.
[7] The following sentence continues to follow Nicephorus Breviarium 19 (Mango) = 22 (De Boor) without a break, although a new 'ὅτι ' introduces the sentence.
[8] The main verb must be supplied from the fragment of Nicephorus, since it is missing from the Suda's text.
[9] This was his only son by his first wife Eudocia. See Ostrogorsky (1969: 112).
[10] Also known as Heraclonas.
[11] This ends the section derived from Nicephorus, Breviarium 18-19 (Mango) = 22-23 (De Boor). The following sentence begins a passage heavily condensed (and confused) from 24-5 (Mango) = 25-6 (De Boor).
[12] The odd and confusing πυθόμενος δὲ ἀποθανεῖν , "after he discovered that he would die," conceals the story, found in Nicephorus, Breviarium 24 (Mango) = 25 (De Boor), of a conspiracy against Heraclius, which was the reason that he did not immediately enter the city.
[13] An imperial palace built by Justinian on the Asiatic shore south of Chalcedon (now Fenerbahce). See Janin, Constantinople byzantine, pp.148-150, 498-499, map: XII.
[14] The Suda's text makes it appear as if the prefect were the one passing over the strait, but from Nicephorus, Breviarium 25 (Mango) = 26 (De Boor) it is clear that his actions were taken to enable Heraclius to cross. See Mango (1990: 74-75).
[15] Now Baltalimani, on the European coast of the Thracian Bosporus. The bay was named after the wife of the mythical Byzas.
[16] Compare Nicephorus, Breviarium 27 (Mango) = 27 (De Boor).
[17] This tailpiece is quoted from beta 579 (on the word βρύχιος ). For the story of the rich shipwreck, see Nicephorus, Breviarium 8 (Mango) = 12 (De Boor)--translated in Mango (1990: 49).
[18] The definition of βρύχια is, no doubt, a sign of its rarity. The sentence explaining it was a marginal gloss in manuscript A.
Caroli De Boor. 1880, repr. 1975. Nicephori archiepiscopi Constantinopolitani opuscula historica. Leipzig: Teubner
R. Janin. Constantinople byzantine: développement urbain et répertoire topographique. Paris: Institut Français d'Etudes Byzantines, 1964
Cyril Mango. 1990. Nikephoros Patriarch of Constantinople: Short History. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks
George Ostrogorsky.(tr. Joan Hussey) 1969. History of the Byzantine State. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; children; Christianity; economics; ethics; geography; historiography; history; medicine; military affairs; politics; religion; zoology
Translated by: Abram Ring on 21 February 2006@09:19:15.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (betacode cosmetics) on 21 February 2006@10:48:54.
David Whitehead (another keyword; tweaks and cosmetics) on 22 February 2006@03:57:19.
Mehmet Fatih Yavuz (augmented notes, added bibliography.) on 18 April 2010@03:19:33.
Mehmet Fatih Yavuz (augmented notes) on 6 June 2010@08:12:54.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 19 December 2012@04:10:24.
Catharine Roth (expanded note) on 28 November 2014@21:58:43.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 28 November 2014@23:38:18.
Catharine Roth (typo) on 13 September 2018@01:35:26.


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