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Irene

(c. 752—803)


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(c. 752–803)

Byzantine empress (780–802). After her husband Leo IV died (780) she ruled jointly with her son, Constantine VI, until 790 when he banished her. She soon returned, had him blinded and imprisoned and ruled as emperor (not empress) until again exiled (802) to Lesbos. She strongly opposed the iconoclasts (Iconoclastic controversy). For her zeal in this cause she was canonized by the Greek Orthodox Church.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).


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