Mezezius

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For the Armenian ruler of the same name, see Mjej Gnuni.
Mezezius
Usurper of the Byzantine Empire
Mezezius.jpg
A solidus of Mezezius struck in Syracuse.
Reign 668–669
Predecessor Constans II
Successor Constantine IV
Born 622
Died 669

Mezezius (/mɨˈzʒəs/; Greek: Μιζίζιος; Armenian: Մժէժ, Mžēž or Mzhezh) was an Armenian noble who served as a general of Byzantium, later usurping the Byzantine throne in Sicily from 668 to 669.

According to a letter from Pope Gregory II to Emperor Leo III, he was Count of the Opsikion, the Imperial retinue (Latin: obsequium), and a later Syriac chronicle describes him as a patrikios. After the murder of Constans II at the baths of Daphne in 668, he was proclaimed emperor by the army thereafter and reigned in Sicily for a few months; however, when the news of the assassination of Constans reached his son Constantine IV in Constantinople, an expedition was sent to depose and kill him. His court was deported to Constantinople.[1]

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