Byzantine Empire Heraclian Dynasty

End of Heraclian Dynasty
The Mutilation of the Byzantine Emperors Justinian II and Phillipicus ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
711 Nov 4

End of Heraclian Dynasty

Rome, Metropolitan City of Rom

Justinian II's rule provoked another uprising against him. Cherson revolted, and under the leadership of the exiled general Bardanes the city held out against a counter-attack. Soon, the forces sent to suppress the rebellion joined it. The rebels then seized the capital and proclaimed Bardanes as Emperor Philippicus; Justinian had been on his way to Armenia, and was unable to return to Constantinople in time to defend it. He was arrested and executed in November 711, his head being exhibited in Rome and Ravenna.


Justinian's reign saw the continued slow and ongoing process of transformation of the Byzantine Empire, as the traditions inherited from the ancient Latin Roman state were gradually being eroded. A pious ruler, Justinian was the first emperor to include the image of Christ on coinage issued in his name and attempted to outlaw various pagan festivals and practices that persisted in the Empire. He may have self-consciously modelled himself on his namesake, Justinian I, as seen in his enthusiasm for large-scale construction projects and the renaming of his Khazar wife with the name of Theodora.

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Last Updated: Thu Jan 18 2024