Historical Figure
Nationality: Byzantine Empire
Date of Birth: 539 CE
Date of Death: 602 CE
Cause of Death: Execution by decapitation
Religion: Eastern Orthodox
Occupation: Soldier, Monarch
Parents: Paul
Spouse: Constantina
Children: Several, including five sons who were likely executed before him
House: Justinian
Political Office(s): Byzantine Emperor
Consul of Rome
Fictional Appearances:
Set in OTL
Type of Appearance: Posthumous reference
Fantasy set in OTL(?)
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references
Agent of Byzantium
POD: c. 597 CE
Appearance(s): "Departures"
Type of Appearance: Posthumous reference

Maurice (539 - 27 November 602) was Byzantine emperor from 582 until his overthrow and murder in 602. He was the last of the Justinian dynasty. Maurice's reign was marked by almost constant warfare and financial instability as a result. While he met with success against the Persian Empire in the first decade of his reign, including an expansion of his own empire, his campaign in the Balkans proved his eventual undoing. In 602, he ordered the army to remain in winter quarters beyond the Danube River, resulting a mutiny. When Maurice repeatedly ordered the men to begin campaigning again, they declared an officer named Phokas as their leader and marched on Constantinople, capturing Maurice and his family. Maurice was forced to watch his sons' executions before he was decapitated. Phokas was proclaimed emperor.

Maurice in Justinian[]

In his memoir, Justinian II had occasion to remember Maurice during his own campaign in the Haimos region against the Bulgars.[1] At this point, Justinian's men had also been campaigning all summer and had exhausted all of their supplies.[2] When winter came, Justinian wanted to press on, but the memory of the mutiny against Maurice along with warnings from Myakes, Justinian's loyal companion, convinced Justinian to return to Constantinople, much to the joy of his men.[3]

Maurice in Thessalonica[]

During the reign of Emperor Maurice, the city of Thessalonica weathered a siege by Avars and Slavs, by relying on help from pagan magics.[4]

John the comedian told an apocryphal anecdote about Maurice's meeting with a clever office-seeker, as part of his stage act.[5]

Maurice in Agent of Byzantium[]

Maurice's bloody overthrow at the hands of Phokas created substantial chaos throughout the Eastern Roman Empire. It was during this time that the monks at Ir-Ruhaiyeh fled a possible Persian invasion and headed to Constantinople. Among them was Mouamet, who later became a Christian saint.[6]

See also[]


  1. Justinian, pg. 201.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid., pg. 202.
  4. Thessalonica, generally.
  5. Ibid., p. 240.
  6. See, e.g., Departures, pgs. 52-53.
Royal offices
Preceded by
Tiberios II Constantine
Byzantine Emperor
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Imp. Caesar Flavius Tiberius Constantinus Augustus in 579,
then lapsed
Consul of the Roman Empire
Succeeded by
Imp. Caesar Flavius Phocas Augustus in 603