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Byzantine Empire /
Michael 2


(?-829) Byzantine emperor 820-829.
Michael proved to be an able leader, bringing stability to the empire after decades of unrest and power struggles. He did much to restore the administration of the military. So successful were his efforts, that his descendants ruled for more than 200 years. Still, because of a rebellion by Thomas the Slavonian, the Byzantines suffered a number of hard defeats, in which Crete was conquered by the Abbasids.
But his background represented a problem for his legitimacy as an emperor, coming from a family belonging to a Judeo-Christian sect labelled heretical by the central church.
Although he opposed the veneration of icons, Micheal proved to be mild in his treatment of supporters of Icon worship. Many prisoners of faith were freed, and exiled leaders were invited back to Constantinople, of whom the former Patriarch Nicephorus and Theodore of Stoudios were the foremost (see Christian iconoclasm).

Biography
?: Born in Amorium, Phrygia.
?: Becomes a military commander.
803: As Bardanes Turcus and Nicephorus 1's fight over the imperial throne, Michael and future emperor, Leo, join the side of Bardanes, but would soon change allegiance to Nicephorus.
813: Central in the coup deposing Michael 1 as emperor, making Leo 5 new emperor.
— Leo makes Michael second in command of the army.
December 24: Michael turns against Leo, and is sentenced to death for treason.
December 25: Michael has Leo assassinated, while praying in the Hagia Sophia. Immediately, Michael has himself proclaimed new emperor.
821: Rebellion raised by the soldier Thomas the Slavonian; he proclaimed himself emperor in Asia Minor. He manages both to rally much support and to take control over large army contingents. Thomas promoted his cause, by declaring him a champion of the poor. He took over large lands, large enough to allow him the position of forging an alliance with Abbasid Caliph al-Ma'mun.
December: Thomas begins a siege of Constantinople.
823: With Bulgarian aid, Michael is able to end the siege of Constantinople.
October: Thomas is defeated by Michael in Arkadioupolis (Lüleburgaz).
824: Crete is lost to the Abbasids.
826: Unsuccessful attempt to recapture Crete.
827: Abbasid invasion of Sicily.
829: The Abbasids are expelled from Sicily.
829 October 2: Dies. He is succeeded by his son, Theophilus.




By Tore Kjeilen