Gennadius (7th century)

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For other people of the same name, see Gennadius.

Gennadius (Greek: Γεννάδιος, died c. 665), sometimes referred to as Gennadius II (his 6th-century predecessor being Gennadius I), was a Byzantine general who exercised the role of Exarch of Africa from 648 to 665, when he was finally expelled.

Biography[edit]

Gennadius was a Byzantine general who served under the Emperor Constans II (r. 641–668). He assumed the position of Exarch of Africa after the death of Gregory the Patrician at the hands of the Arabs in 647. Although the emperor had not appointed him to the position, he managed to ensure the Arab withdrawal from Byzantine North Africa by promising them an annual tribute of 330,000 nomismata.[1] Like his predecessors, he acknowledged the authority of Constans, and transported to Constantinople the annual excess revenue raised from the province. He nevertheless administered Africa without interference from the imperial court, supported by the African bishops who were resolutely Chalcedonian.[1]

This situation persisted until 663 when Constans moved the imperial court to Syracuse in Sicily, and demanded an increase in tribute from Africa. In 664, Gennadius refused to send to Constans the additional revenue the emperor demanded, and expelled the emperor’s representative.[2] This saw an uprising in Africa, where the garrison of troops joined with the local citizens, led by Eleutherios the Younger, to expel Gennadius in 665.[3] Gennadius fled to the court of Muawiyah I (r. 661–680) at Damascus, where he asked the Caliph for aid in recapturing Carthage. The Caliph agreed and sent a large force with Gennadius to invade Byzantine Africa in 665. However, Gennadius died when he reached Alexandria in late 665.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Treadgold 1997, p. 312.
  2. ^ Treadgold 1997, p. 935.
  3. ^ Pringle 1981, p. 47.
  4. ^ Treadgold 1997, p. 320.

Sources[edit]

Preceded by
Gregory
Exarch of Africa
ca. 647 – 665
Succeeded by
Eleutherios