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Maurice I

Maurice I was the emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 582 to 602. He is also the traditional author of the military treatise Strategikon which is praised in military circles as the first and only sophisticated combined arms theory until World War II. However, some historians now believe Strategikon is the work of his brother or another general in his court.

The reign of Maurice was troubled by almost unending wars on all frontiers, and despite his excellent ruling qualities he could only temporarily prevent the disintegration of the great empire of Justinian.

Shortly after his accession, he luckily interfered in a Persian war of succession and gained Armenia. But the Balkan provinces were thoroughly devastated by the Slavs in his days, never to recover. The Slavs penetrated all the way into Peloponnesus, and several successful but exhausting campaigns had to be directed against them. In the west, he organized the threatened Byzantine dominions in Italy and Africa into exarchates, ruled by military governors or exarchs.

He was murdered in 602, following a mutiny by the Byzantine army, whose mercenaries refused to campaign further in the wastelands of the Danube frontier. He was succeeded by Phocas.

Preceded by:
Tiberius II Constantine
Byzantine emperors Followed by: