Phocas' rule was a disaster. Several senators, provincial governors, and generals did not recognize him; "his eight-year reign brought the Empire to the nadir of its fortunes." It began with Chosroes II invading Byzantine lands as Maurice's avenger. By 607 they had taken western Mesopotamia, Syria, Armenia as well as central Asia Minor. By 608 they had streamed as far west as Chalcedon, within sight of Constantinople. During the same years, Avar-Slav incursions increased, with few troops available to stop them. Phocas' response was a campaign to forcibly convert the Empire's Jews. Many of them lived in areas threatened by Persians; their natural response was to welcome Persian conquest. In Antioch persecuted Jews went to so far as to turn on the Christians, massacring them, triggering a total flight from the city. Soon, Blues and Greens rampaged in the capital. Byzantium was saved from Phocas by the military governor system Maurice had established. The
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