The Last Great War of Antiquity I
After the fall of Maurice a rumor spread that Theodosius had managed to escape, as his father had hoped, and reached Colchis, from where he made his way to Khusro’s court (Theophylact 8.13.1-6). When, five months later, Lilius presented Phocas’ credentials to Khusro as the new Roman emperor, he was repudiated. Khusro II dismissed Phocas as a usurping tyrant, and declared war with the aim of restoring Theodosius to his father’s kingdom. Eastern sources helped to spread the word that the son had escaped (Theophylact 8.13.5; Armenian Chronicle Attributed to Sebeos 106, 110).
And so Chosroes exploited the tyranny as a pretext for war, and mobilized that world-destroying trumpet: for this became the undoing of the prosperity of Romans and Persians. For Chosroes feigned a pretence of upholding the pious memory of the emperor Maurice. And so in this way the Persian war was allotted its birth, and Lilius remained…
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