Philippikos was originally named Bardanes (Βαρδάνης, Bardanēs), and was the son of the patrician Nikephoros, who was of Armenian extraction.
Relying on the support of the Monothelite party, he made some pretensions to the throne on the outbreak of the first great rebellion against Justinian II; these led to his relegation to Cephalonia by Tiberios Apsimaros, and subsequently to his banishment, by order of Justinian, to Cherson. Here Bardanes, taking the name of Philippikos, successfully incited the inhabitants to revolt with the help of the Khazars. The successful rebels seized Constantinople and Justinian fled (to be assassinated soon afterward, unable to rally substantial support in the provinces); Philippikos took the throne.
Among his first acts were the deposition of the Orthodox Patriarch Kyros of Constantinople, in favour of John VI, a member of his own sect, and the summoning of a conciliabulum of Eastern bishops, which abolished the canons of the Sixth Ecumenical Council. In response the Roman Church refused to recognize the new emperor and his patriarch. Meanwhile Tervel of Bulgaria plundered up to the walls of Constantinople in 712. When Philippikos transferred an army from the Opsikian theme to police the Balkans, the Umayyad Caliphate under Al-Walid I made inroads across the weakened defenses of Asia Minor.
In late May 713 the Opsikian troops rebelled in Thrace. Several of their officers penetrated the imperial palace and blinded Philippikos on June 3, 713. He was succeeded for a short while by his principal secretary, Artemios, who was raised to the purple as Emperor Anastasios II.
- The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press, 1991.
- This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.