Mezezius

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

Mezezius (/mˈzʒəs/; 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 the Isaurian, he was Count of the Opsikion, the Imperial retinue (Latin: obsequium), and a later Syriac chronicle describes him as a patrikios ("patrician"). After the murder of Constans II at the baths of Daphne on 15 September 668, he was proclaimed emperor by the army 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 Mezezius. His court was deported to Constantinople.[1]

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