Originally Posted by Kirialax
Is it? Virtually everything that we have written about how horrible Phokas was stems from Herakleios's regime.
There are historians that have compiled some broader information and pretty much agreed on the verdict of terrible incompetence.
Originally Posted by Maki
I don't get it. Heraclius was actively fighting for control against Phocas so he considered himself a ruler. And his acts during that fight further destabilized the Empire and enabled the Sassanids to conquer the Levant and Egypt.
It's not like the persians wouldn't have come anyways or even that the Byzantines would have held on. He made a move, let the chips fall, then picked them up by attacking the Sassanids and taking their lunch in a brilliant campaign.
If your argument is "why didn't he forsee all powerful desert warriors rising from the sands on horses and camels, defeating massively larger forces, following an austere and mysterious religion before turning on the Romans and smashing us in a series of decisive and impossible victories before he started a civil war?" well... who could have?