Germanus (general under Phocas)

Germanus (general under Phocas)

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Germanus (died 604) was a Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 general who served under Emperor Phocas
Phocas
Phocas was Byzantine Emperor from 602 to 610. He usurped the throne from the Emperor Maurice, and was himself overthrown by Heraclius after losing a civil war.-Origins:...

 (r. 602–610) in the early stages of the Byzantine-Sassanid War of 602–628
Byzantine-Sassanid War of 602–628
The Byzantine–Sassanid War of 602–628 was the final and most devastating of the series of wars fought between the Roman Empire and the Sassanid Empire. The previous war had ended in 591 after Emperor Maurice had helped the Sassanian king Khosrau II regain his throne. In 602, Maurice was murdered...

.

Germanus is possibly the same as the dux
Dux
Dux is Latin for leader and later for Duke and its variant forms ....

of Phoenice, who was chosen by the army as its leader during the mutiny at Monocarton in Easter
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

 588, in place of Priscus
Priscus (general)
Priscus was a leading East Roman general during the reigns of the Byzantine emperors Maurice , Phocas and Heraclius . Although the contemporary sources are markedly biased in his favour, Priscus comes across as an effective and capable military leader...

. Although Germanus restored discipline and led the army to a victory against the Persians, he was tried and found guilty by a subsequent tribunal. Sentenced to death, he was quickly pardoned and received rewards from Emperor Maurice
Maurice (emperor)
Maurice was Byzantine Emperor from 582 to 602.A prominent general in his youth, Maurice fought with success against the Sassanid Persians...

 (r. 582–602).

In 602, shortly before the outbreak of the revolt against Maurice that brought Phocas to power, Germanus was placed in command of the strategically important fortress of Dara
Dara (Mesopotamia)
Dara or Daras was an important East Roman fortress city in northern Mesopotamia on the border with the Sassanid Empire. Because of its great strategic importance, it featured prominently in the Roman-Persian conflicts of the 6th century, with the famous Battle of Dara taking place before its walls...

 in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia (Roman province)
Mesopotamia was the name of two distinct Roman provinces, the one a short-lived creation of the Roman Emperor Trajan in 116–117 and the other established by Emperor Septimius Severus in ca. 198, which lasted until the Muslim conquests of the 7th century....

. In early 603, he received Lilius, the envoy Phocas had sent to announce his accession to the Persian shah Khosrau II
Khosrau II
250px|thumb|Khosrau II 250px|thumb|Khosrau II 250px|thumb|Khosrau II (Khosrow II, Chosroes II, or Xosrov II in classical sources, sometimes called Parvez, "the Ever Victorious" – (in Persian: خسرو پرویز), was the twenty-second Sassanid King of Persia, reigning from 590 to 628...

. At this time, Germanus was reportedly attacked and wounded by one of his soldiers, but recovered soon.

In late 603, Narses
Narses (general under Maurice)
Narses was a Byzantine general of Armenian ancestry active during the reigns of the emperors Maurice and Phocas in the late sixth and early seventh centuries. He commanded the army in Mesopotamia under Maurice; when Phocas overthrew Maurice and seized the throne, Narses refused to recognize the...

, the Byzantine commander-in-chief of the eastern armies, rebelled against Phocas. He failed to secure the support of most of the army, and Germanus was ordered to besiege him at his base at Edessa
Edessa, Mesopotamia
Edessa is the Greek name of an Aramaic town in northern Mesopotamia, as refounded by Seleucus I Nicator. For the modern history of the city, see Şanlıurfa.-Names:...

. Narses however had sought and obtained the support of Khosrau II, who was eager to regain lost territory and avenge the murder of Maurice, who had helped him regain his throne in 591. Khosrau therefore sent a Persian army into Mesopotamia. Germanus met the Persians in battle near the city of Constantina, but was defeated and heavily wounded, dying a few days after in Constantina.

Sources