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Institution Affiliation

Who was Nicephorus

Nicephorus Phocas was a Roman Emperor, who was based inConstantinople. The excerpt by Halsall(1998) Liudprand of Cremona who had gone to seeNicephorus on behalf of Emperor Otto I. of the Holy Roman Empire.Liudprand arrived in Constantinople on the fourth of June with hisdelegation and were made to wait outside the Carian gate in the rainuntil five o’clock in the afternoon (Luidprand of Cremona Embassyof Constantinople excerpts). They were then ushered in, but made towalk on foot as the Emperor did not see them as worthy to use hishorses. They were escorted by his men to a dilapidated stone housewhere they stayed for the night. On the sixth of June, two days afterthe representatives arrived, Luidprand was taken before Nicephorusbrother Leo who was the marshal of the court and chancellor where hewas put to task over the imperial title of Emperor Otto I. Leoinsultingly referred to Emperor Otto I as Rex clearlyunrecognizing and disrespecting him. He did not even receive therepresentative’s letter with his own hands, but through aninterpreter (Halsall,1998)

The representative was taken before Nicephorus on the following day(seven of June) and he made it clear in his opening remark that theywere given the kind of reception they received because of the impietyof their master. He referred to their master as a hostile invader whowas bent on laying claim on Rome like he did to Berengar and Adalbertwho he robbed of their kingdoms against the law and right. He alsoclaimed that their master had done so in heinous cruelty, hangingsome, blinding others and orchestrating a massacre on cities thatbelong to his (Nicepherus’) empire. The other reason for the kindof treatment they received is that Nicephorus and his people hadperceived the representatives as having visited not to make peace asthey claimed, but to stir up strife (Halsall,1998).


Halsall, P.(1998). Luidprand of Cremona (c.922-c.972): Embassy ofConstantinople, 963 excerpts

Available at:http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/liudprand-embassy-excerpts.asp