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the name of three Byzantine emperors.

Nicephorus I. Died July 26, 811. Emperor from 802.

Under the empress Irene, Nicephorus was logothete of the genikon (manager of the main treasury). After a palace revolution, he was proclaimed emperor by the influential aristocracy of the capital. To improve the financial position of Byzantium, Nicephorus I imposed new taxes and revived collective responsibility in rural communities for the payment of state taxes. He strengthened the navy and attempted to expand trade by offering state credits to merchants. A supporter of iconolatry, he showed tolerance toward heresies, which aroused the dissatisfaction of the monks. He conducted a war against the Arabs, which ended on unfavorable terms for Byzantium with the peace of 806. He sought to subjugate the Slavs of the Balkan Peninsula and resettled Greeks from Asia Minor to the Balkans. During the war of 809–811 with Bulgaria he suffered defeat and was killed in the battle at Vyrbish Gorge.


Nicephorus II Phocas. Born circa 912; died Dec. 11, 969, in Constantinople. Emperor from 963.

The descendant of an aristocratic family of Asia Minor, Nicephorus became commander in chief in 954. He recaptured the island of Crete from the Arabs in 961. Elevated to the throne by the mutineering military aristocracy of Asia Minor, Nicephorus II Phocas pursued policies that were hostile to the high-ranking aristocracy of the capital. He promoted the growth of large-scale secular landownership by abolishing in 967 the preferential right of peasants to purchase land sold by the dinati (large feudal landowners). By a decree of 964 he prohibited the establishment of new monasteries and curtailed the growth of monastic land-ownership.

Nicephorus attempted to create an economic base for a new type of army, whose key element would be a heavily armed cavalry. To achieve this, he trebled the miniumum size of the land allotment that a peasant was required to own before he could become one of the stratiotai (free peasants who made up the army); in this way the stratiotai were conclusively separated from the peasantry.

In 965, Nicephorus gained Cilicia and Cyprus from the Arabs and in 969 recovered northern Syria, with Antioch. In 966 he initiated hostilities with Bulgaria, appealing to the Russian prince Sviatoslav for assistance in 968. He was slain as a result of a plot by John Tzimisces.

Nicephorus III Botaniates. Born circa 1010; died after 1081 in Constantinople (?). Emperor from 1078 to 1081.

A descendant of the landed aristocracry of Asia Minor, Nicephorus served from the mid-11th century as commander and governor of a number of themes (military provinces), including Antioch and Anatolikoi. He led a rebellion of the aristocracy of Asia Minor against the emperor Michael VII Ducas (Parapinaces). Proclaimed emperor in January 1078, Nicephorus III entered Constantinople in March. He was unable to stop an invasion by the Seljuk Turks, who founded the Sultanate of Konya in 1080. Feudal rebellions frequently flared up against Nicephorus III Botaniates, including those of Constantine Ducas and Nicephorus Melissenus. He was overthrown by supporters of the Comneni and entered a monastery.


References in periodicals archive ?
Torrance's reinterpretation of divine monarchy and his suggestion that the Spirit proceeds from the Trinity as a whole (35); Theodorus Alexopoulos's excursus into the late Byzantine theology of Nikephoros Blemmydes and Gregory of Cyprus retrieves their notion of the Spirit's eternal manifestation through the Son (82-83); and finally, Thomas Weinandy argues that the Spirit plays a part in the generation of the Son (196-97).
The topics include theurgy and aesthetics in Dionysios the Areopagite, Proklos and Plethon on beauty, Agathias and the icon of the Archangel Michael, transcendent exemplarism and immanent realism in the philosophical work of John of Damaskos, and the historical memory of Byzantine iconoclasm in the 14th century as illustrated by Nikephoros Gregoras and Philotheos Kokkinos.
Page's main sources for the first part of the work are the histories of Niketas Choniates, George Akropolites, George Pachymeres, Nikephoros Gregoras, and John VI Kantakouzenos.
The instigators and most notable representatives of the latter movement were often Orthodox priests or monks, who were, indeed, remarkably open to some "new" ideas, as well as to the scientific progress associated with modernity (Eugene Bulgaris, Nikephoros Theotikis, Joseph Moisiodax and others, for instance).
Again from the sixth century, the famous Murano book cover, an Alexandrian masterpiece now in Ravenna, presents the device in another medium, ivory, featuring the enthroned Christ beneath a curved awning in a manner not dissimilar to the way that the Byzantine Emperor Nikephoros Botaniates sits before the monk Sabas in an illumination from a homiletic manuscript in Paris of five and a half centuries later.
Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas acted to enhance the Byzantine presence by forbidding the use of the Latin rite in the two provinces of Apulia and Calabria.
The excommunication fell by name on three people--Keroularios, Archbishop Leo of Ochrid, and Constantine (or Nikephoros, in the Greek translation)--the sakellarios of the patriarchate and "those who were in agreement with them.
12) The manuscript (Homilies of St John Chrysostom) is Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, Coislin 79; the emperor depicted is Nikephoros III Botaniates (1078-81).
In addition to this liturgical evidence, there is the startling canonical opinion of the early-ninth-century Constantinopolitan patriarch Nikephoros, who advised that an infant who received emergency baptism before the forty-day rite could not be cared for, or even approached, by its mother until the mother had been "purified.
Pierre Grimal (Paris: Nouvelle librairie de France, 1967), 36, appears to be aware of this canon of Nikephoros when he comments on the differing effects of the mother's ritual uncleanness on the newborn, depending on the infant's baptismal status.
Gregory II of Cyprus was elected as the new patriarch, in part thanks to the Bishop of Kozyle in Epiros, who was serving as ambassador to Constantinople for the Despot of Arta, Nikephoros.