February 15, 705

On February 15, 706, Byzantine emperor Justinian II of the Golden Nose had his two predecessors publicly executed in the Hippodrome of Constantinople. Why did he do this? Because in 695 CE during his ‘first’ reign as Byzantine emperor, the people of Constantinople became very upset with his religious policies, taxation policies, his conflicts with the aristocracy, his resettlement policies and the fact that he was living it up with like a drunken lord (which to be fair, he was) and decided to put their support behind the strategos of Hellas, Leontios. The people of Byzantine deposed Justinian, declared Leontios the new emperor and cut off the nose of Justinian and exiled him to Cherson.  Why did Leontios cut off Justinian’s schnoz? Because the Byzantines had a tradition that prevented a mutilated person from being an Imperial ruler. Three years later, Leontios was overthrown by Tiberios Apsimarus (soon to be renamed Tiberios III) and imprisoned. Then, in 705, Justinian II with his new golden schnoz appeared in front of the walled city of Constantinople with an army, snuck inside after the people refused to let him in, and had a little coup d’etat and seized control. So, recapping, Leontios and Tiberios III died by natural causes for a Roman/Byzantine emperor. They had they heads cut off by the next person wanting the throne. Justinian also died by Roman natural causes on December 11, 711. He was executed (had his head cut off) by the followers of General Bardanes, the next emperor.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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