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Arsaber (Greek: Ἀρσαβήρ, from Armenian Arshavir), was a Byzantine noble who attempted an unsuccessful usurpation of the Byzantine imperial throne in 808.


Arsaber was a noble of Armenian origin, holding the rank of patrikios, and served as quaestor of Emperor Nikephoros I Logothetes (r. 802–811). In February 808, a group of secular and ecclesiastic officials, who were dissatisfied with Nikephoros's rule, formed a conspiracy and acclaimed Arsaber as emperor.[1][2][3] Nikephoros, however, discovered the plot and arrested the participants, who were beaten, had their properties confiscated, and were ultimately exiled. Arsaber himself was tonsured and exiled to a monastery in Bithynia. Arsaber's daughter, Theodosia, had been married to the future Emperor Leo V the Armenian (r. 813–820).[1][2] Leo, then a general and hitherto enjoying Nikephoros's favour, was exiled for a time, likely on account of this connection to Arsaber.[4]



  1. ^ a b Kazhdan 1991, p. 186.
  2. ^ a b Winkelmann et al. 1999, p. 193.
  3. ^ Brubaker & Haldon 2011, p. 361.
  4. ^ Kazhdan 1991, p. 1209.