Anastasios 6

Prosopography of the Byzantine Empire
FloruitE VIII
Dates713 (taq) / 718 (ob.)
PmbZ No.236
Variant Namesnst'syws;
Anastasius II
LocationsKynegion (Constantinople) (deathplace);
Thessalonike (exileplace);
Hagia Sophia (Constantinople);
Constantinople (officeplace);
Constantinople (residence);
Thessalonike (residence);
Herakleia (Thrace)
TitlesAsekretis (office);
Augustus (office);
Emperor (office)
Textual SourcesAgatho Diaconus, Epilogus, ed. Riedinger, ACO II 2. 898-901 = Mansi XII 189-196. (theology);
Bar Hebraeus, Chronographia, tr. E. A. W. Budge, The Chronography of Abu 'l-Faraj (London, 1932; repr. Amsterdam, 1976) (history);
Chronicon Anonymi ad annum 1234 pertinens, ed. and tr. J.-B. Chabot, I = CSCO 81-82 (Paris, 1916-20), II = CSCO 109 (Louvain, 1937) (chronicle);
Chronicon ad annum Domini 846 pertinens, ed. E. W. Brooks, tr. J.-B. Chabot, CSCO 3-4 (Louvain, 1904); also tr. E. W. Brooks, "A Syriac Chronicle of the Year 846", Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenländ (chronicle);
Chronique de Denys de Tell-Mahré, ed. and tr. J.-B. Chabot (Paris, 1895); tr. A. Palmer, The Seventh Century in West-Syrian Chronicles (Liverpool, 1993), pp. 54-65 (chronicle);
Constantine Porphyrogenitus, De Ceremoniis Aulae Byzantinae Libri II, ed. J. J. Reiske, CSHB (Bonn, 1829); also ed. (in part) A. Vogt (Paris, 1935, repr. 1967) (history);
Liber Pontificalis, ed. L. Duchesne, Le liber pontificalis. Texte, introduction et commentaire, 2 vols. (Paris, 1886-92); re-issued with 3rd vol. by C. Vogel, (Paris, 1955-57) (chronicle);
Nicephorus, Breviarium Historiae, ed. C. Mango, Nikephoros, Patriarch of Constantinople: Short History; prev. ed. C. de Boor Nicephori ArchiepiscopiConstantinopolitani Opuscula Historica Leipzig 1880 (history);
Paulus Diaconus, Historia Gentis Langobardorum, ed. L. Bethmann and G. Waitz, MGH, Scr. Rer. Lang., pp. 12-187; also in MGH, Scr. Rer. Ger. 48, pp. 49-242 (history);
Theophanes Confessor, Chronographia, ed. C. de Boor, 2 vols. (Leipzig, 1883-85, repr. Hildesheim/NewYork, 1980); tr. and comm. C. Mango and R. Scott, The Chronicle of Theophanes Confessor, Oxford 1997 (chronicle);
Zonaras = Ioannis Zonarae Epitome Historiarum, libri XIII-XVIII, ed. Th. Büttner-Wobst, (Bonn, 1897) (history)

Anastasios 6's original name was Flavios Artemios; he served under the emperor Philippikos 1 as asekretis: Nic. Brev. de Boor 49, Mango 48:18-19 (Φιλιππικοῦ γραμματέα τυγχάνοντα, οὓς τῇ Ἰταλῶν φωνῇ καλοῦσιν ἀσηκρῆτις). He became protoasekretis, according to Theophanes; at Pentecost in 713 (Sunday, 4 June) he was proclaimed emperor in Hagia Sophia by the populace and given the new name Anastasios II: Agatho Diac. (Mansi XII 193) (Φιλαρτέμιος (sic) τοὔνομα, ὁ καὶ μετακληθεὶς Ἀναστάσιος, τῆς τῶν ἀσηκρητίων σχολῆς πρότερον γενόμενος ρτη εναμιος), Nic.Brev. de Boor 49, Mango 48, Theoph. AM 6205 (ἐστέφθη Ἀρτέμιος ὁ πρωτοασηκρήτης, μετονομασθεὶς Ἀναστάσιος), AM 6209 (p. 395), Zon. XIV 26. 11 (Αρτέμιον τὸν πρωτοασηκρῆτις προχειρίζονται (sc. senate and people) αὐτοκράτορα, μετονομάσαντες Ἀναστάσιον), Paul. Diac., Hist. Lang. VI 34 (Anastasius, qui et Artemius dictus est), cf. Chron. 1234, §155 (p. 299) (successor of Philippikos 1).

Successor of Philippikos 1, the new emperor Anastasios II (Anastasios 6) sent to Rome his declaration of faith, which the pope Constantine (Konstantinos 136) accepted as orthodox: Lib. Pont. 90. 11, Paul. Diac., Hist. Lang. VI 34. Anastasios 6 reversed the policy of his predecessor and supported the decisions of the Sixth Ecumenical Council in rejecting Monotheletism: Agatho Diac. (Mansi XII 193).

When the troops of the Opsikion revolted in 715 and proclaimed Theodosios 2 as emperor, Anastasios 6 left his own men in charge of Constantinople and withdrew to the safety of Nikaia; however Constantinople eventually fell and when he heard the news he immediately abdicated and became a monk; he was exiled to Thessalonike: Nic. Brev. de Boor 51-52, Mango 51, Theoph. AM 6207, cf. AM 6209 (p. 395) (overthrown by Theodosios), Zon. XIV 27. 13-14, Chron. 1234, §156 (p.300) (he fled to Nikaia where Theodosios 2's men captured him, tonsured him and sent him to the new emperor, who sent him into exile), Lib. Pont. 91. 5 (when his army was defeated he secured an oath guaranteeing his safety and entered the priesthood - "datoque sibi sacramento clericus factus atque presbyter est consecratus"), Paul. Diac., Hist. Lang. VI 36 (overthrown by Theodosios 2, he received an oath of safety and became a priest).

In 718, from his exile, Anastasios 6 tried to regain the throne, seeking the help of Sisinnios 2 and the Bulgars and writing to Niketas 2, Isoes 1, Theoktistos 1 and Niketas 3 at Constantinople for their support, but at Herakleia the Bulgars turned against him and surrendered him to the emperor Leo III (Leo 3); he was beheaded in the Kynegion and his head paraded in the hippodrome with that of a supporter, the bishop of Thessalonike (Anonymus 179): Nic. Brev. 55-56, Mango 57, Theoph. AM 6211, Zon. XV 2. 15-18 (cf. also Niketas 2). See Rochow, Theophanes, pp. 100-101, 103.

In their accounts of his reign, Nicephorus uses the name Anastasios, Theophanes and Zonaras the name Artemios. He was emperor for one year three months: Theoph. AM 6207, Zon. XIV 27. 14, Chron. 1234, §156 (p. 300) (the figures are wrong; his reign was about two years three months). He was buried in the Mausoleum of Justinian in the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople, with his wife: Const. Porph., De Cer. II 42 (Reiske 644-645). The name of his wife was Eirene; see Eirene 11.

According to oriental sources, the Romans rebelled against Philippikos 1 and overthrew him and made Anastasios 6 their ruler; after three years Anastasios 6 was deposed and replaced by Theodosios 2: Chron. 846, p. 231, 10-12 = p. 175 (Chabot) = p. 580 (Brooks). He reigned for two years between Philippikos 1 and Theodosios 2: Pseudo-Dion., Chron., p. 156, 10-15 = p. 117. He succeeded Philippikos 1 as emperor and reigned for two years and five months: Bar Hebr., p. 106. Then the army which he sent to the West rebelled, killed its commander and proclaimed Theodosios 2 as emperor; Anastasios 6 fled to Nikaia: Bar Hebr., p. 107.

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