Today in the Middle Ages: October 5, 610

In the process of deposing and replacing the Byzantine emperor Phocas, Heraclius attacked Constantinople with a fleet on October 5, 610 C.E.

Heraclius the younger followed his father in renouncing allegiance to Phocas, who had himself seized the throne from the Emperor Maurice. As Emperor, he had a reputation for military brilliance and administrative shrewdness as well as devotion to Christianity.

In Muslim culture, there is a legend that the prophet Muhammad sent Hercalius a message inviting him to embrace Islam, and that the emperor initially agreed to do so but changed him mind under pressure from his subjects.