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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).


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


  • father: Heraclius, exarch of Carthage
  • second wife: Martina
  • son from first marriage: Constantine III, father of Constans II Pogonatus
  • son from second marriage: Heraclonas
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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)

This brief article has been written to offer background information
to the real articles on Livius.Org. One day, this webpage will be
improved. A list of completed articles can be found here.

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