- Bardas Phocas the Elder
Bardas Phokas (c. 878-c. 968) was the father of
Nikephoros II, emperor of the Byzantine Empire. He was from the Phokas family, one of the large land-holding families of Anatolia. Bardas was the son of Nikephoros Phokas the Elder, an eminent Byzantine general.
He was governor of the
themeof Armeniakon, in the area previously known as Bithyniain 941. In this year the Rus navy under the leadership of Igor I of Kievattacked the villages. Bardas kept the attacking Rus from doing too much damage with his local militia levies until the larger Byzantine army under John Curcuascame and drove the Russians out.
In 945 he was appointed supreme commander of the Byzantine armies of the east by Emperor
Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus. In this command he did not make much progress against the Arab forces, but he was severely wounded in 953 and replaced by his son Nikephoros.
When Nikephoros came to the throne he made his father Caesar, only a step below the imperial title. He died about 968 at the age of 90.
*Norwich, John Julius. Byzantium: The Apogee. (New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1992)
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