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Irene, being an Athenian, was not only a woman but a "westerner" by birth and a devotee of the veneration of the icons who chose to espouse the iconophile cause. [2] When Patriarch Niketas of Constantinople died in 780, Leo IV appointed Paul of Cyprus, who had iconophile sympathies, as his successor, although he did force him to swear oaths that he would uphold the official iconoclasm. Grants 1 Governor Title or recruits a new Governor. ja:エイレーネー 1 fi:Irene To that end, a council was convened in 786, which ended up disbanded when it was disrupted by forces backed by Irene’s son Constantine. Rutgers University Press, 1957. She used the title "basilissa" in all other documents, coins, and seals. From Civilization VI Wiki. A relative of Irene’s, Theophano of Athens, was married in 807 by Nikephoros to his son Staurakios. Whether he actually desired a coronation at all, remains controversial – his biographer Einhard related that Charlemagne had been surprised by the Pope – but the Eastern Empire felt its role as the sole Roman Empire threatened and began to emphasize its superiority and its Roman identity. Encyclopedia of World Biography on Irene of Athens. An attempt to seize power was crushed by the Empress, who demanded that the military oath of fidelity should recognize her as senior ruler. She gave birth to a son, Constantine, on January 14, 771. sv:Irene (bysantinsk kejsarinna) The veneration of sacred images (icons) having grown in intensity and popularity ever since the legalization of Christianity in the fourth century, had developed remarkably in the sixth and seventh centuries, especially encouraged by the emperors of the Heraclid dynasty. Early life and rise to power. Irene of Athens (c.752-30 September 806), also known as Irene Sarantapechos, was the Byzantine Empress regnant from 797 to 806. Irene of Athens was one of the most ruthless, ambitious, and forceful women ever to hold a throne and, in her determination to prevent her son from reigning and her boldness in daring to become the first woman ever to hold the Roman throne, she ranks with Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt and Catherine the Great as a profound breaker with dynastic tradition. [5] On the same day, Irene returned the crown her husband had removed as part of a full imperial procession. Though strengthened by a military victory against the Bulgars and on his way to meet the Arabs in battle, Constantine's perennial ineptitude allowed his mother to concoct a clever plot oiled with bribery, involving both civilian and army personnel. [5] Irene had Bardas (the former strategos of the Armeniac Theme), Gregory (the logothete of the dromos), and Konstantinos (the count of the excubitors) scourged, tonsured, and banished. That same year, over Constantine’s objections, Irene ended the betrothal of her son to the daughter of Charlemagne. Vasiliev, A. ko:이레네 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014), 80, 98-99. pp. On the side of the iconoclasts were also found certain of the Isaurian (actually Syrian) emperors, and, it would appear, the urban mob. You can help Civilization VI Wiki by expanding it. In the Iberian Peninsula, Charlemagne's expedition against al-Andalus led to the creation of a buffer zone between Francia and the Islamic world called the Spanish Marches. Even as it grew rich off the silk trade from China, Byzantium sought to establish its own domestic production and thus cut out greedy middlemen. Both Irene and her son signed the document adopted by the Council which ended on October 23, 787. The History of the Byzantine State. [5] He had them tortured and scolded Irene for violating the law and breaking with her faith. That she was a woman, and an iconophile offended many, and her late husband’s half-brothers again tried to take over the throne. This article is a stub. Their son was born just a little over a year after the marriage. Leo exiled his half-brothers. When the patriarch of Constantinople, Germanus, showed a lack of sympathy for the emperor's policy, he was deposed the same year, and iconoclasm was firmly pursued despite fierce opposition from the monks. Activate on an appropriate tile to receive their effects. The clergy and nobles attending the ceremony proclaimed Charlemagne as "Augustus". [5] After the incident, Leo refused to have marital relations with Irene ever again. She also had a new gold solidus (coin) minted with her likeness to stabilize the empire’s economy, and established trade alliances with the Carolingian and the Roman papal state. The discontent which this occasioned swelled in 790 into open resistance, and the soldiers, headed by the army of the Armeniacs, formally proclaimed Constantine VI as the sole ruler. In dynastic matters, Irene moved as shrewdly as she had done in ecclesiastical affairs. This page was last edited on 26 October 2020, at 23:30. All subsequent arguments of a theological nature in favor of icons were based on his view, namely that the transitory image of the divine—i.e., the icon accessible to the senses—was a necessary link between man's perception of reality and the absolute reality of things divine accessible only to the soul. In any case, Charlemagne, greatest of the Frankish kings and master of a realm that stretched from northern Spain to Poland encompassing France, Germany, Northern Italy, and all Central Europe, was a force to be reckoned with. Irene also had a nephew. A well-born and highly educated court prelate, skilled in diplomacy, Tarasius was head of the imperial chancellery and de facto prime minister of the Empire. "The Empress Irene. During her rule as regent, she called the Second Council of Nicaea in 787, which condemned iconoclasm as heretical and brought an end to the first iconoclast period (730–787). Thus, it was on Christmas Day, in the year 800, during a visit of Charlemagne to Rome that the pope—undoubtedly with the king's prior knowledge and acquiescence—placed on his head an imperial crown, bestowing upon Charlemagne the title "Holy Roman Emperor" and thereby recognizing his vast realm as the restoration of the Roman Empire in the West. The council was immediately The Caliph Al-Mahdi invaded Leo’s lands several times, always defeated. [12], In 802 the patricians conspired against her, deposing her on 31 October, and placing Nikephoros, the minister of finance (logothetēs tou genikou), on the throne. Irene, (born c. 752, Athens—died Aug. 9, 803, Lesbos), Byzantine ruler and saint of the Greek Orthodox Church who was instrumental in restoring the use of icons in the Eastern Roman Empire. Nevertheless, Irene was constantly harried by the Abbasids, and in 782 and 798 had to accept the terms of the respective Caliphs Al-Mahdi and Harun al-Rashid. Copyright © 2020 LoveToKnow. Irene is sometimes recognized as a saint in the Greek or Eastern Orthodox Church, with a feast day of August 9. ", De Imperatoribus Romanis – Constantine VI (780–797 A.D.) and Irene (797–802 A.D.), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Irene_of_Athens&oldid=985619468, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles needing additional references from October 2019, All articles needing additional references, Pages using infobox royalty with unknown parameters, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2019, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference, Wikipedia articles incorporating text from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. [citation needed], Although it is often asserted that, as monarch, Irene called herself "basileus" (βασιλεύς), 'emperor', rather than "basilissa" (βασίλισσα), 'empress', in fact there are only three instances where it is known that she used the title "basileus": two legal documents in which she signed herself as "Emperor of the Romans" and a gold coin of hers found in Sicily bearing the title of "basileus". A solar eclipse and darkness lasting 17 days were attributed to the horror of Heaven. The first assault upon the icons was launched in the Arab Empire, the caliphate, whose ruler Yazid II, supposedly under Jewish influence (the details are very unclear), ordered the icons in Syria to be destroyed. Perhaps most important of all, Irene's usurpation of the throne provided the ideological justification for the coronation of Charlemagne the Great as emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, an institution that was to survive and to trouble Europe until laid to rest by Napoleon.

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