previous next


Φωκᾶς). Emperor of the East from A.D. 602 to 610. He was a Cappadocian of low origin, and began his career as a groom for the general Priscus (q.v.). He won his imperial rank by his reputation for brutal courage and his popularity with the soldiers. He was crowned in succession to Mauricius, against whose authority he had revolted, and whom he caused to be put to death. His short reign was distinguished by a bloody war with the Persians under their king Chosroïs, a war marked by many reverses for the Roman arms. Phocas, instead of taking the field in person, remained at Constantinople, giving himself up to sensual pleasures. A number of insurrections against him followed, and were put down with great severity by Phocas, until Heraclius, son of the exarch of Africa, led a force against Constantinople, which he took by storm, and caused Phocas to be beheaded.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: