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Forum LockedTheophobos, Persian hero of Byzantine empire

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Cyrus Shahmiri View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07-Apr-2009 at 11:45
Like Sindbad (Sunpadh), a Zoroastrian mobad from Khorasan who fought bravely against Arabs in the 8th century AD, Theophobos is also an almost unknown Persian hero (especially for Iranians), he knew that Iranians needed support to fight against Arab invaders who had occupied their country, so he with his Persian army battled them several times supported by Byzantines.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Apr-2009 at 12:20
Why the Greek name?

I can't find any data on him. When did he live, what battles did he fight, etc?

Edit: I was able to find this:

"Theophilos had given asylum to a number of Persian refugees in 834, including Nasr, baptized Theophobos, who married the emperor's aunt Irene, and became one of his generals. With relations with the Abbasids deteriorating, Theophilos prepared for a new war.

In 837 Theophilos led a vast army towards Mesopotamia, and captured Melitene and Samosata. The emperor also took Zapetra (Zibatra, Sozopetra), the birthplace of the Caliph al-Mu'tasim, destroying it. Theophilos returned to Constantinople in triumph. Eager for revenge, al-Mu'tasim assembled a vast army and invaded Anatolia in 838. One division of his army defeated Theophilos, who commanded in person, at Dazimon, and the emperor barely escaped with his life thanks to Theophobos. Another corps of the Abbasid army advanced against Amorion, the cradle of the dynasty. After a brave resistance of fifty-five days, the city fell into al-Mu'tasim's hands through treachery on September 23, 838. Thirty thousand of the inhabitants were slain, the rest sold as slaves, and the city razed to the ground."

http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Medieval/Bio/Theophilus.html


Edited by Reginmund - 07-Apr-2009 at 12:26
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hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.
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Ardashir View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ardashir Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Apr-2009 at 22:29
I found this from Iranica:
 
 
KHORRAMISIN BYZANTIUM.
 
The term Khorrrami refers to a member of the geographically extensive religious and political rebellious group which fought against the Abbasid caliphate (Madelung, pp. 63-64). The term was also used specifically for those Iranians who fought the Abbasid caliph Mo'tasem be’llāh (r. 833-41) and enrolled in the Byzantine army of the iconoclast emperor Theophilos I (r. 829-42). These Khorramis became important fighters on the eastern borders of the Byzantine empire. Various Byzantine sources attest the Khorramis, yet the extant Greek evidence is scarce and often contradictory regarding their number, military functions, and political role. The Khorramis are an example of how a group of alien fighters was integrated into an ethnically diverse Greco-Orthodox society.

Between 816 and 838 Bābak Khorrami (d. 838; q.v.) organized in Azerbaijan an armed resistance that drew on the Mazdakite tradition and sentiments, and spread in Iranian regions. Khorramis participated in the extensive rebellion that an otherwise obscure Nasr led in western Iran (Jebāl) (Michael the Syrian III, p. 88; Mas'udi VII, p. 136; cf. Rekaya, p. 47). But when the Abbasid army of Esḥāq b. Ebrāhim defeated the kHorramis in the Zagros mountains between 20 October and 17 November 833, Nasr along with some 14,000 soldiers (Symeon Magister, pp. 625-26; Georgios Monachos, p. 793; Theophanes Continuatus, p. 125; cf. Rekaya, p. 4) of Iranian (Persian and Kurdish) origin (Rekaya, pp. 46-47) crossed the Armenian highlands, entered the Byzantine thema (military district) of Armeniakon (Treadgold, 1988, p. 282), and obtained protection and shelter from Theophilos.

According to the Greek sources, the family of Nasr had belonged to the Iranian aristocracy (Theophanes Continuatus, pp. 111-12; Genesios, p. 58). Nasr was baptized, and took the name Theophobos (God-fearing; Grabar and Manoussakas, fol. 53 fig. 55, p. 45). The emperor became his protector, appointing him patrician and marrying him to a sister of the empress Theodora. The Byzantine sources vaguely claim that Nasr’s fighters also converted to Christianity, and an imperial decree allowed the Khorramis to marry local women (Theophanes Continuatus, p. 112; cf. Carras, p. 212). Presumably, their conversion was nominal, though their descendants embraced Christianity.

Theophilos enjoyed the loyalty of the Khorramis whom he put on regular military pay, probably including access to land tenure. Aside from their alleged hatred for the Arabs, these fighters strengthened numerically the Byzantine army by a sixth. The emperor organized them into a flexible military formation, the Persian turma (Theophanes Continuatus, p. 112), and placed them under the command of Nasr-Theophobos. In the summer of 837, Theophilos campaigned in northwest Mesopotamia with about 70,000 soldiers, among whom the Persian turma (Rekaya, p. 64; Rosser, p. 268) played a prominent role (Gignoux, 1986a, p. 340; Cereti, p. 160; Daryaee, pp. 71-72). After the sack of Sozopetra (Zabetra), the Byzantine army raided the region of Melitene, taking many prisoners and conquering the city Arsamosata. Theophilos then plundered southern Armenia so that Theodosiopolis and other cities paid tribute to avert further destruction. Having obtained the nominal submission of Melitene, the emperor and his army returned to Byzantium (Treadgold, 1988, p. 440, note 401).

In September 837, a second wave of about 16,000 Khorramis from Bābak’s defeated army crossed into Byzantine territory. These fighters also converted to Christianity (Theophanes Continuatus, p. 124) and were incorporated into the Persian turma so that it now comprised around 30,000 experienced soldiers (Genesios, p. 57; Theophanes Continuatus, p. 112). But despite this considerable reinforcement, on 21 July 838, Theophilos’s army was defeated in the battle of Danzimon (Anzen) by a smaller Abbasid army of ca. 30,000 fighters under the command of the Iranian general Afšin Ḵayḏar b. Qāwus (d. 841; q.v.). The Greek sources report that many Khorramis deserted the emperor, fleeing first to Amastris at the Black Sea and then to Sinope in the thema of Armeniakon (Theophanes Continuatus, p. 136; Genesios, pp. 60-61; cf. Rosser, pp. 268-69). Yet these sources are ambiguous as to whether Nasr-Theophobos or the Greek officer and alleged double agent Manuel saved Theophilos’s life on the battlefield (Theophanes Continuatus, p. 128; Genesios, p. 68). The Byzantine defeat facilitated Mo'tasem’s conquest of Amorium in August 838 (Masʿudi IV, 358-59) and caused chaos in Byzantine Asia Minor.

The Greek sources argue that the Khorramis feared the emperor’s retribution and thus proclaimed Nasr-Theophobos the new Byzantine emperor, though probably crowning him in Sinope according to a pre-Islamic Sasanian tradition (Theophanes Continuatus, p. 124; Genesios, p. 58). Nasr-Theophobos’s role in the rebellion and his rationale are obscure (Rosser, p. 269; Treadgold, 1988, p. 301). For a year he stayed at Sinope, while the Ḵorramis controlled the thema of Armeniakon. According to the Greek sources, in the summer of 839, Naṣsr-Theophobos negotiated in secret with Theophilos and secured full amnesty for the Khorramis (Theophanes Continuatus, pp. 124-125; Genesios, pp. 40-41). Although the emperor reorganized the Persian turma dispersing units of 2,000 fighters to several districts (Rosser, p. 271; Treadgold, 1995, pp. 32, 69), he assigned the command of some units again to Nasr-Theophobos who in turn continued being a leading general of the emperor’s army. While the breakup of the Persian turma brought more flexibility to the Byzantine military, it weakened the Khorramis’ unity, and yet employed them successfully in the defense of the eastern Byzantine frontiers against Abbasid incursions. For decades the Khorramis were valued for this strategic importance, which in Greek sources was linked to their hatred for the Abbasids.

The Greek and Arabic sources provide conflicting information about the end of N asr-Theophobos, though the richer Byzantine tradition seems more convincing. According to Islamic historiography, the Iranian convert died on the battlefield between 839 and 840 (Tabari, tr., XXXIII, p.120, note 334). The Greek sources report that the general aligned himself with the Iconophile opposition (Treadgold, 1988, p. 326) so that in 842 the dying emperor mustered nonetheless the energy to execute his general for treason (Symeon Magister, pp. 637, 646-47; Genesios, pp. 42, 43; Georgios Monachos, pp. 803, 810). In an illumination of the Skylitzes manuscript, Theophilos is lying on his deathbed, while receiving the head of Nasr-Theophobos (Joannes Scylitzes, fol. 62a, p. 276).

http://www.iranica.com/newsite/index.isc?Article=http://iranica.com/newsite/articles/unicode/ot_grp8/ot_korramis_20050628.html



Edited by Ardashir - 07-Apr-2009 at 22:39
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Nickmard View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nickmard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Apr-2009 at 14:55
Thanks for this great info.
 
I was told about Bobak as a child but did not know the particulars (thanks), this is a very popular name in Iran with patriotic Iranian families.
 
 
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