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Thomas the Slav negotiates with the Arabs.

Thomas the Slav (c. 760 – 823 AD) was a 9th-century Byzantine military commander, most notable for leading a wide-scale revolt against Emperor Michael II the Amorian in 820–823. An army officer of Slavic origin from the Pontus region, Thomas rose to prominence under the protection of general Bardanes Tourkos. After Bardanes's failed rebellion in 803, Thomas fell into obscurity until Leo V's rise to the throne, when Thomas was raised to a senior military command. After the murder of Leo and usurpation of the throne by Michael the Amorian, Thomas revolted, claiming the throne for himself. Thomas quickly secured support from most of the themes (provinces) and troops in Asia Minor, and concluded an alliance with the Abbasid Caliphate. He sailed with his army to besiege Constantinople. Michael II called for help from the Bulgar ruler Omurtag, whose troops attacked Thomas's army. Although repelled, the Bulgars inflicted heavy casualties on Thomas's men, who broke and fled when Michael took to the field a few months later. Thomas sought refuge in Arcadiopolis, where he was soon seized by Michael's troops and executed. (more...)

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Sulphur tuft mushroom

The sulphur tuft (Hypholoma fasciculare) is a common woodland mushroom. This saprophagic small-gill fungus grows prolifically in large clumps on stumps, dead roots or rotting trunks of broadleaved trees. It has a bitter taste and is poisonous; consuming it can cause vomiting, diarrhea and convulsions.

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