Byzantine Empire, Mauricius Tiberius, 582-602, AV Solidus
Obv.Helm. bust facing, in hands globus cruciger and shield
Rev.Standing angel facing, in hands staurogram-staff and globus cruciger
Mauricius (* 539 in Arabissos; † 27 November 602 in Chalcedon) was emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire from 13 August 582 to 27 November 602 and one of the most important Late Antique or Early Byzantine rulers. His reign was marked above all by defensive battles on the borders.
Mauricius Tiberius is one of the most important, but also one of the most tragic Byzantine rulers.
Before coming to power in 581, Mauricius achieved an important victory over the Persians and was confronted with an empty treasury and very uncertain conditions at the empire's borders. Consequently, his policy was aimed at reorganising the state finances and consolidating power in foreign policy.
In 591, a peace was agreed with the Persians after he had skilfully exploited the Sassanid throne turmoil.
In the Balkans, too, concessions and wars against Avars and Slavs seemed to promise a stabilisation of Byzantine supremacy.
The establishment of the exarchates of Ravenna (584) and Carthage (590) brought a temporary peaceful situation in Italy and North Africa.
Domestically, Mauricius not only pursued plans for a renewed division of the empire, reminiscent of the partition of 395 and Diocletian's tetrarchy (293), but also a rigid austerity policy, which was very detrimental to his popularity.
The cuts in the pay of the soldiers, who were subjected to great and constant hardship during the countless warlike conflicts, brought discontent and annoyance. In 602, there was finally a rebellion and ultimately the proclamation of the officer Phocas as the new emperor.
With the help of the circus parties of the Greens (so-called racing stables that were politically organised), Phocas succeeded in capturing Constantinople.
Mauricius and his family were cruelly killed at the behest of the new ruler.