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Byzantine Empire /
Artabasdus
Greek: Artauasdos
Armenian: Artavazd


(?-?) Byzantine emperor 741-743. Some accounts set his reign to begin in 742.
Artabasdus was the closest ally of Emperor Leo 3, aiding him to become emperor in 717. Artabasdus married Leo's daugheter, Anna, making him brother-in-law with Constantine 5, his opponent in the battle over the imperial throne after the death of Leo in 741.
Through his short reign he was mainly involved in the civil war with Constantine, and there is no information on important national or international political decisions from his side.
Contrary to both Leo 3 and Constantine 5, Artabasdos was not an iconoclast. For a brief period he brought the empire back in line with mainstream Christianity of the time, mending the ties with the Pope in Rome.

Biography
680-690: Date of birth cannot be set, but it appears likely that he was as old as, or younger than Leo 3, who was born around 680. He was of Armenian descent.
713: Artabasdus is appointed governor of the Armeniac theme.
715: Thedosius 3 makes himself new emperor. Leo and Artabasdus refuse to recognize the new emperor.
717: Supporting Leo, he leads a rebellion against Theodosius.
March 25: Leo becomes new emperor, Artabasdus becomes his closest ally.
— Artabasdus marries Leo's daughter, Anna.
741 April 19: Leo 3 dies, and Constantine becomes new emperor.
— While Constantine is on his way to fight the Umayyads, Artabasdus attacks and defeats him.
— Constantine seeks refuge in Amorion; Artabasdus goes to Constantinople and has himself crowned new emperor.
742: Has his eldest son, Nicephorus, crowned co-emperor.
743 May: Battle between Artabasdus and Constantine, in which Constantine wins.
August: Battle between Constantine and Artabasdus' son, Niketas.
November 2: Constantine comes to Constantinople, and has himself restored as ruler of an undivided empire.
— Artabasdus and his sons are blinded in front of a large audience, then exiled to a monastery outside Constantinople.
— Year of death for Artabasdus is not known, but legendary accounts indicate that he lived for somewhere between a few years more and 20 years more.




By Tore Kjeilen