Front Page Titles (by Subject) 3.: THE NIKA RIOT - The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 7
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3.: THE NIKA RIOT - Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 7 
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ed. J.B. Bury with an Introduction by W.E.H. Lecky (New York: Fred de Fau and Co., 1906), in 12 vols. Vol. 7.
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THE NIKA RIOT
Gibbon does not distinguish the days on which the various events of the Nika riot took place, and he has fallen into some errors. Thus, like most other historians, he places the celebrated dialogue between Justinian and the Greens on the Ides of January, whereas it took place two days before. The extrication of the order of events from our various sources is attended with some difficulty. The following diary is based on a study of the subject contributed by me to the Journal of Hellenic Studies, 1897.
Sunday, Jan. 11 (Ἅκτα διὰ Καλαπόδιον). The Greens complain in the Hippodrome to the Emperor of the conduct of Calapodius. Dialogue of Justinian with the Greens (described by Theophanes). The Greens leave the Hippodrome.
In the evening a number of criminals, both Blues and Greens, are executed by the Prefect of the City. This execution was doubtless a consequence of the scene in the Hippodrome, being designed to display the Emperor’s impartiality to Blues and Greens alike.
A Blue and a Green are rescued and taken to the Asylum of St. Laurentius.
Monday, Jan. 12. The interval of a day gives the two factions time to concert joint action for obtaining the pardon of the two rescued criminals.
Tuesday, Jan. 13. Great celebration of horse-races in the Hippodrome (for which the races of Sunday were a sort of rehearsal). Both Demes appeal to the Emperor for mercy in vain. They then declare their union openly (as the Prasinoveneti or Green-Blues).
In the evening they go in a crowd to the Prefect of the City and make a new demand for a reprieve. Receiving no answer they attack the Prætorium and set it on fire; prisoners in the Prætorium prison are let out.
The rioters then march to the Augusteum to attack the Palace. There are conflagrations during the night and ensuing day, and the following buildings are destroyed: the Chalkê or portico of Palace, the Baths of Zeuxippus, the Senatehouse of the Augusteum, the Church of St. Sophia. This is the first conflagration.
Wednesday, Jan. 14. The riot, which had begun with a demand for a reprieve, now develops into an insurrection against the oppression of the administration. The outcry is directed especially against John the Cappadocian, Tribonian, and Eudaemon (Pref. of the City). Justinian yields to the pressure and deposes these ministers. But it is too late; the insurgents are determined to depose him, and the idea is to set in his place a member of the house of Anastasius. As Hypatius and Pompeius were in the Palace the people rush to the house of their brother Probus. But Probus is not found, and they set fire to his house.
Thursday, Jan. 15. Belisarius, at the head of a band of Heruls and Goths, issues from the Palace and attacks the mob. Fighting in the streets. It was, perhaps, on this day that the clergy intervened.
Friday, Jan. 16. A new attack is made on the Prætorium. Fighting in the streets continues, and a second conflagration breaks out in the quarter north of S. Irene and the Hostel of Eubulus. The fire, blown southward by a north wind, consumes this Hostel, the Baths of Alexander, the Church of St. Irene, and the Hostel of Sampson.
Saturday, Jan. 17. The fighting continues. The rioters occupy a building called the Octagon (near the Basilica). The soldiers set fire to it, and a third conflagration ensues. This fire destroys the Octagon, the Church of St. Theodore Sphoracius, the Palace of Lausus, the Porticoes of the Mesê or Middle Street, the Church of St. Aquilina, the arch across the Mesê close to the Forum of Constantine, &c.
Evening, Hypatius and Pompeius leave the Palace.
Sunday, Jan. 18. Before sunrise Justinian appears in the Hippodrome and takes an oath before the assembled people, but does not produce the desired effect. Hypatius is proclaimed; Justinian contemplates flight; a council is held in the Palace, at which Theodora’s view prevails.
The revolt is then suppressed by the massacre in the Hippodrome.
Monday, Jan. 19, before daylight Hypatius and Pompeius are executed.
The final massacre is commonly placed on the Monday, but I have shown that it must have occurred on Sunday (op. cit.).
[Special monographs: W. A. Schmidt, Der Aufstand in Constantinopel unter Kaiser Justinian, 1854; P. Kalligas, περὶ τη̂ς στάσεως τον̂ Νίκα (in Μελέται καὰ λόγοι, p. 329, sqq.) 1882.]