Beheaded: Maybe Phocas Got What He Deserved


A Brief History
On October 4, 610 A.D., Heraclius arrived by ship from Africa at Constantinople, overthrew Byzantine Emperor Phocas on one of the most badass coups in history, and became Emperor.

Digging Deeper
Future emperor Phocas, seen on the coin above, did not have an easy life. When he and others in the Byzantine army attempted to express their grievances to then Emperor Maurice's government, not only were their requests rejected, but Phocas was himself humiliated by court officials by being slapped. Subsequently, Phocas led a rebellion of Byzantium's Balkan army that forced Maurice to abdicate, but that was not good enough for Phocas. In 602 A.D., the newly crowned emperor dealt with his predecessor viciously. Phocas first had Maurice's six sons executed before their father's eyes after having dragged Maurice from a monastic sanctuary. After Maurice was also executed, he and his sons' bodies were thrown in the sea, while their heads were exhibited in Constantinople. Meet the new boss, WORSE than the old boss!

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