Maurice (539 - 27 November 602) was Byzantine emperor from 582 until his overthrow and murder in 602. He was the last of the Justinian dynasty. Maurice's reign was marked by almost constant warfare and financial instability as a result. While he met with success against the Persian Empire in the first decade of his reign, including an expansion of his own empire, his campaign in the Balkans proved his eventual undoing. In 602, he ordered the army to remain in winter quarters beyond the Danube River, resulting a mutiny. When Maurice repeatedly ordered the men to begin campaigning again, they declared an officer named Phokas as their leader and marched on Constantinople, capturing Maurice and his family. Maurice was forced to watch his sons' executions before he was decapitated. Phokas was proclaimed emperor.
In his memoir, Justinian II had occasion to remember Maurice during his own campaign in the Haimos region against the Bulgars. At this point, Justinian's men had also been campaigning all summer and had exhausted all of their supplies. When winter came, Justinian wanted to press on, but the memory of the mutiny against Maurice along with warnings from Myakes, Justinian's loyal companion, convinced Justinian to return to Constantinople, much to the joy of his men.