Admin moved page How did the fall of the Byzantine Emperor Maurice change history? to How did the fall of the Byzantine Emperor Maurice change history
200px| thumb|left| coins with the portrait of Emperor Maurice]]
The importance of the Byzantine Empire, the successor of Rome, is increasingly being recognized by historians. One of the most important turning points in the Byzantine Empire's history was Emperor Maurice's fall (539-602 AD). He is not a well—known emperor or one that has entered into the popular consciousness. His reign, which was at first very successful, ended in a catastrophe for the emperor and his realm.
==Who was Emperor Maurice?==
200px| thumb|left| Reconstruction of a Slavic Fort]]
Maurice was born in Cappadocia (modern Turkey) and came from a Greek-speaking family. He was connected to Tiberius II and went to Constantinople to serve in the army <ref>Chisholm, Hugh, ed. ("Maurice, East Roman emperor." Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.) (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. 1911), p. 1</ref>. When Tiberius ascended the throne, he was appointed as head of the Imperial Bodyguard. The new Emperor recognized the potential of the young man. In the east, the situation was disastrous, and the Persians were seizing land and cities.
==How did Maurice's death lead to the Persian-Byzantine War? ==
200px| thumb|left|Modern portrait of Emperor Phocas based on his portrait on coins]]
Maurice's death was to change the dynamic of Persian-Byzantine relations, Maurice had adopted Khosrau II, and his deposition meant that he could legitimately wage a war of revenge against Phocas. The new Byzantine Emperor was incompetent and brutal, and the elite despised him. The Persians invaded the eastern provinces of the Empire, relatively unopposed.
This signaled the start of a 26-year war between the Empires. The Byzantine army was demoralized and leaderless, and they were soon defeated.
Phocas rule was tyrannical, and law and order collapsed in many areas. The troops of Khosrau II occupied Syria, Palestine, Armenia and entered Egypt by 608 AD. Phocas was eventually deposed by Heraculus, who was to save the Empire ultimately. He defeated a siege of Byzantium and later launched a counter-attack that led to Khosrau II's defeat and the recapture of all the lost Byzantine provinces. However, the Orthodox Christian Empire was severely weakened and was only a shadow of what it had been in 600 AD, and this was important repercussions for the future of Europe and the Middle East. If Maurice had lived and passed the throne to one of his sons, the mutually ruinous conflict between Byzantine and Sassanian could have been avoided.
== How did the Prophet Muhammad conquer Byzantine territories in the Middle East?==
This may not have occurred if Maurice had not been deposed. He was on the verge of defeating the Slavs and their allies and close to subjugating them in 602 AD. If the army had not mutinied and acclaimed Phocas as Emperor, the Slavs could have been kept out of the Balkans. Instead, by 680 AD, they occupied nearly all of the region and permanently changed its ethnic character.<ref> Curta, 202</ref>