II The Emperor was now too old to have expectations of a son and as he dreaded the inevitable stroke of death, he began to consider the question of his successor. At that time there was at court a certain Synadenus of Eastern origin and illustrious descent, fair of face, of profound intellect, courageous in battle, verging on young manhood, and above all akin to the emperor by race. In preference to all others the Emperor thought of leaving him as successor to the Empire, giving him the kingdom as his ancestral portion, so to speak, and in this he was ill-advised. For he would have ensured perfect safety and also regarded justice by bequeathing the imperial power to the Queen’s son, Constantine; as the portion rightly accruing to him, as it were, through his grandfather and father, and this would have increased the Queen’s confidence in him and gained her goodwill.
However, the old man failed to see that he was arranging matters in a way which was not only unju