Constantinople, 685 AD
Emperor Constantine passed away this morning after a short illness. He is to be succeeded by his son Justinian, age seventeen. We shall miss the old Emperor but our hearts are strengthened to know he has left our fate in such capable hands.
Constantinople, 690 AD
Today Justinian implemented a new progressive taxation policy, declaring that the rich were to be taxed more heavily than the poor. This novel idea is a matter of great discussion in the Senate, some members of which will be taxed for the first time. The Senate (of which this editor is a member) is expected to support this wise new taxation plan, support due in no small part to the presence of Imperial Guards surrounding the Senate House.
Constantinople, 695 AD
Citizens rejoice, the monster has been deposed! Justinian has been replaced by his general, the most noble Leontius. In an act of noble clemency, Leontius has spared the life of the rapacious Justinian and has simply slit his tongue, cut off his nose and exiled the beast to Cherson. Disfigured so, Justinian is disqualified for the throne and will trouble we Romans no more.
Constantinople, 698 AD
Citizens rejoice, at last a real man sits on our throne. Apsimar has returned from a failed attempt to retake Carthage and has seized Constantinople after a four month siege. Leontius now bears a striking resemblance to Justinian in the nose department and has been banished to a monastery. Apsimar will rule under the name Tiberius, and will no doubt rule long and well.
Constantinople, 703 AD
The beast is loose! Justinian has left Cherson for the Khazar barbarians. The swine has reportedly been welcomed by the Khazar Khan and has even been given the Khan's daughter for his bride. This noseless troublemaker will soon face Emperor Tiberius' wrath; the emperor has threatened the Khazars with war if they don't hand Justinian's head over immediately - attached or not.
Constantinople, 704 AD
Justinian, the spineless slug, has shifted again. The Khazars made the only intelligent choice and attempted to return Justinian home to face justice. But Justinian, with the Devil's own luck, eluded capture and ran for cover among the Bulgars, a people he had made war on sixteen years before. No doubt the Bulgars, fearing our wrath, will soon be returning Justinian to us a piece at a time.
Constantinople, March, 705 AD
The treasonous dog, the vile worm, our noseless nemesis Justinian has begun to march on the Imperial City. Issuing from the Haimos Mountains with his barbaric followers, this slit-nosed monstrosity thinks he can gather enough support to regain the throne he previously disgraced. Armies are being led north to put an end to his delusions.
Constantinople, May, 705 AD
Former emperor Justinian and his Bulgur allies have reached the Black Sea coast at Messimbra, captured the city and are now marching south toward the Imperial City. While some of the troops sent to stop this attempted usurpation have defected enough remain to keep Emperor Tiberius safely on the throne.
Constantinople, July, 705 AD
The forces of Emperor Justinian have reached the walls of Constantinople and are calling for the remainder of the army to open the gates and allow him into the city. Emperor Tiberius has been mocking Emperor Justinian from the city ramparts and daring Emperor Justinian to try to storm the walls of God's City. Reinforcements are expected from the East momentarily.
Constantinople, August, 705 AD
Rejoice Citizens! The proper Emperor, the heir of Heroclius, Emperor Justinian sits on the throne again! The traitor Leontius and the tyrant Apsimar have been captured and forced to kneel before the properly anointed Emperor of the Romans. Emperor Justinian sent these snakes to the fate they deserved - their heads sit on pikes above the city gate. It's nice to see how these things work out for the best.
Please turn to page 26 to read a review of Constantinople's latest fashion; artificial golden noses. A bit of gold, two bits of string, and you too can look royal...