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Emperor of the Byzantine Empire
A coin of Philippikos
Reign 711– 713
Died 713
Predecessor Justinian II
Successor Anastasius II
Father Nikephorus

Philippikos or Philippicus (Greek: Φιλιππικός), was Byzantine emperor of Armenian origin from 711 to 713.

Philippicus was originally named Bardanes (Greek: Βαρδάνης, Vardanis; Armenian: Վրթանես, Vrtanes), and was the son of the patrician Nikephorus, who was of Armenian extraction from an Armenian colony in Pergamum.[1]

Relying on the support of the Monothelite party, he made some pretensions to the throne on the outbreak of the first great rebellion against Justinian II; these led to his relegation to Cephalonia by Tiberius Apsimarus, and subsequently to his banishment, by order of Justinian, to Cherson. Here Bardanes, taking the name of Philippicus, successfully incited the inhabitants to revolt with the help of the Khazars. The successful rebels seized Constantinople and Justinian fled (to be assassinated soon afterward, unable to rally substantial support in the provinces); Philippikos took the throne.

Among his first acts were the deposition of the orthodox patriarch Cyrus of Constantinople, in favour of John VI, a member of his own sect, and the summoning of a conciliabulum of Eastern bishops, which abolished the canons of the Sixth Ecumenical Council. In response the Roman Church refused to recognize the new emperor and his patriarch. Meanwhile Tervel of Bulgaria plundered up to the walls of Constantinople in 712. When Philippicus transferred an army from the Opsikian theme to police the Balkans, the Umayyad Caliphate under Al-Walid I made inroads across the weakened defenses of Asia Minor.

In late May 713 the Opsikian troops rebelled in Thrace. Several of their officers penetrated the city and blinded Philippicus on June 3, 713 while he was at a public bathhouse.[2] He was succeeded for a short while by his principal secretary, Artemius, who was raised to the purple as Emperor Anastasius II.


  1. ^ Charanis, Peter (1959). "Ethnic Changes in the Byzantine Empire in the Seventh Century". Dumbarton Oaks Papers (Dumbarton Oaks) 13: 29. doi:10.2307/1291127. Retrieved 2008-08-20.  
  2. ^ Theophanes 1982, p. 79.

Further reading

External links

Preceded by
Justinian II
Byzantine Emperor
Succeeded by
Anastasius II


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