TL: House of War
Chronicle of the Roman Emperors
Theophanes the Studite
Constantinople, AD 967
In AD 602, peace reigned between the two great empires of Rome and Persia. Though never friends, the emperor Chosroes  was indebted to the emperor Maurikios  since AD 590 when Maurikios had defeated Bahram Chobin and secured the throne for Chosroes. The emperor now sought payment on this debt. After celebrating the Liturgy, the emperor Maurikios embraced his son and set him on the road east. Theodosius was to travel to Edessa to seek the protection and assistance of the general Narses. Narses was known to Maurikios as a loyal servant of the Empire and opposed to the usurper Phokus. The emperor dispatched also two ministers to Ctesiphon in Persia where the emperor Chosroes held his court. At their arrival they were to entreat Chosroes to support Maurikiosís and his sonsí claims to the Roman Empire.
On the following morning, the ungodly Phokus defiled the monastery in which the emperor and his remaining sons resided. All five were put to the sword, their heads severed from their bodies. The bodies were cast into the Propontis. Their heads were displayed throughout the City. But Theodosius arrived safely at the ancient city of Edessa. Narses greeted him warmly and renewed his oath to Maurikios as word of the emperorís death had not yet reached Edessa. Word of the assassination arrived in the coming days followed shortly by an army loyal to Phokus. The city was invested but not before Narsesís courier left for Ctesiphon.
History of Christianity in Persia
Sofia, Kingdom of Bulgaria, 1936
The reign of Khosrau II was in many ways a turning point for Christianity in Persia, but to understand its effects, we must first examine Khosrauís connections with Christian Rome. A military rebellion led by Chobin had prevented Khosrau from taking the throne. It was only through the support of the Christian Roman Emperor Maurikios. This assistance had cost Khosrau Roman tribute as well portions of Mesopotamia, Armenia, and Iberia. We may assume that it further cost him considerable prestige and pride. In light of this, it should not be a surprise that Khosrau sought an opportunity to reverse these fortunes. That opportunity arrived with the requests of support from Maurikios and Theodosius. Khosrau quickly dispatched his favored general Shahrbaraz to relieve the city of Edessa and bring Theodosius to Ctesiphon.
The exact date of Theodosiusís arrival is unknown, but seems to have been in early 604. Theodosius appears to have quickly secured Persian help by sacrificing the gains made by his father. The only stipulation upon which Theodosius insisted was the protection of Christians in the lands to be handed over. Now, since Nestorian Christianity had been generally tolerated in Persia since the end of Yazdegerd IIIís reign, we may speculate that Theodosius either did not understand the state of religion in Persia or was concerned that Chalcedonian Christians would be forced to convert. In either case, his fears were unfounded.
In April, 604, Khosrau sent his generals Shahrbaraz and Shahin to Edessa with Theodosius. There they joined Narses to begin the liberation of Constantinople.
Response Given on the Semester Exam in Western Civilization I
Charles Geer, Freshman
Utrecht, Francia, 1966
Briefly describe the difficulties leading to the Greco-Roman  Civil War
The Sixth Century ended well enough for the Greco-Roman Empire. The eastern frontier had been quiet for a decade. Emperor Maurice with his generals Priscos and Peter had lead successful campaigns in the Balkans, restoring control as far as the Danube. The Greco-Roman possessions in Italia and Iberia were threatened but holding.
The situation rapidly degraded in the first few years of the Seventh Century. The downturn began with Mauriceís fatal error of wintering his army north of the Danube in 602. The army, tired by the long campaign, mutinied at the prospect of not returning to the safer environs south of the Danube. Desertion and mutiny spread throughout mush of army whose moral was already lowered by Mauriceís decrease in soldiersí pay. This mutiny led directly to the deposition and execution of Maurice.
This was the first violent coup in Constantinople since it became New Rome. There was great dissent within and around the capital. Extensive urban unrest spread throughout Syria, Palestine, and Egypt. Higher taxes only aggravated the longstanding dispute between the Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian Christians. Chaos in the army meant that the Imperial and provincial governors were unable to regain control. Unrest disrupted commerce, especially food production and distribution. The resulting shortages inflamed more unrest, and the situation spiraled downward.
The disarray of the army meant that the Western borders were no longer guarded. The Slavs and Avars were once again able to raid GRE land. Over the next few years, the raids increased in intensity, eventually to the level of an invasion.
Sassanid interference and intrigue were the final challenge that overwhelmed the Greco-Roman Empire and drove it into civil war. In addition to the problems caused by Persian troops marching through GRE land, their support for Theodosius created more factions within the already fractured population. Sassanid support for Theodosius was by itself enough to bring about civil war, but combined with the other problems guaranteed that the war would devastate the GRE.
 AKA Khosrau II
 AKA Maurice
 ITTL the term Greco-Roman refers to the Eastern Roman Empire. It roughly corresponds to the OTL term Byzantine.
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