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Heraclius


Coin of Heraclius. Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens (Greece). Photo Marco Prins.
Heraclius (Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens)
Heraclius:  emperor of the East-Roman (Byzantine) empire (610-642).

Dates:

  • c.575: birth
  • 5 October 610: recognized as emperor
  • 11 January 641: natural death
Successor of: Phocas

Relatives:

  • father: Heraclius, exarch of Carthage
  • second wife: Martina
  • son from first marriage: Constantine III, father of Constans II Pogonatus
  • son from second marriage: Heraclonas
Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
Byzantine icon, showing emperor Heraclius defeating Khusrau II. Louvre, Paris (France). Photo Marco Prins.
Byzantine icon of the emperor Heraclius defeating Khusrau II (Louvre)

Main deeds:
  • 608: Revolts against Phocas
  • 609 Captures Thessalonica
  • 610, 3 October: Captures Constantinople, overthrows Phocas (is recognized two days later), inherits wars against the Sasanian Empire and the Avars
  • 612: The Sasanian general Shahr-Baraz (fighting for king Khusrau II) captures Antioch
  • 613: Shahr-Baraz takes Damascas
  • 614: Shahr-Baraz takes Jerusalem and takes away the True Cross
  • 614: Monetary reform
  • Army reforms; the army is reorganized into smaller, self-suppicient units; Anatolia divided into themes
  • 622, 5 April (Easter Monday): Heraclius sets out against the Persians; regroups the army in Cilicia
  • 622, Autumn: defeats Shahr-Baraz
  • 622/623: the army winters in Trebizonde
  • 623: Invasion of Armenia and march to Ctesiphon
  • 624, Winter: Invasion of Albania
  • 624/625: Winter near Lake Van
  • 625: Fighting in Amida, Samosata, Adana; victory over Shahr-Baraz; Khazar allianze
  • 625/626: Winter in Trebizonde
  • 626: Constantinople besieged by the Avars
  • 627: March on Dastagird, near Ctesiphon
  • 627, 12 December: Victory at Nineveh
  • 628, January: Sack of Dastagird; winter in Tauris (Tabriz)
  • 628: Peace with Persia; the Holy Cross is returned 
  • 628, 14 September: Triumphal return to Constantinople
  • 634: First encounters with the Muslim armies
  • 636, 20 August: Battle of the Yarmuk - the Byzantines defeated by the Muslims
  • 641: Natural death
Succeeded by: Constantine III and Heraclonas (joint emperors in 641); and Constans II Pogonatus (641-668)


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