The couple were married in November 788. Irene was born to a noble Greek family of Athens, the Sarantapechos family. Learning from the experience in Constantinople, Irene arranged that the council in 787 would be away from the capital, in Nicea, which incidentally was the site of Constantine the Great's council of 325. She was brought to Constantinopleby Emperor Constantine Von November 1, 769, and was married to his son Leo IVon December 17. The first woman ever to hold the throne of the Roman Caesars in her own right, however illegally, the empress Irene was born to an obscure but Although she was an orphan, her uncle, Constantine Sarantapechos, was a patrician and possibly strategos of the theme of Hellas. She showed little interest in finance or diplomacy, but made her mark in the Orthodox Christian world by rejection of iconoclasm. With the election of Tarasius as the Patriarch of Constantinople on December 25, 784, she was able to convene the Seventh Ecumenical Council. Irene Serantapechaina, known as Irene of Athens or Irene the Athenian (Greek: Ειρήνη η Αθηναία, "Eirēnē") (c. 752 – August 9, 803) was a Byzantine empress regnant from 797 to 802, having previously been Empress consort from When it met in Constantinople in 786, it was broken up by Iconoclast soldiers stationed in that city. An attempt to seize power was crushed by the Empress, who demanded that the military oath of fidelity should recognize her as senior ruler. It is believed that she was born of a Greek noble family. It is believed that she was born of a Greek noble family. It is believed that she was born of a Greek noble family. As Constantine approached maturity, he grew resentful of his mother’s controlling influence in the empire. In January 792, however, Irene was allowed to return to court and even to resume her position as co-ruler. Upon the death of Constantine V in 775, Irene's husband Leo ascended to the throne as Leo IV. Leo, however, was a steadfast iconoclastwho, according to tradition, found that Irene possessed icons and thereafter would no longer … 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 … Irene of Athens, Byzantine basilissa, is comparable to Egyptian queen Hatshepsut, and Russian empress Catherine the Great. Irene of Athens is credited as Byzantine empress, Isaurian Dynasty, Pala D'oro, Venice. She was also known to have initiated the Second Council of Nicea. Although she was an orphan, her uncle or cousin Constantine Sarantapechos was a patrician and was possibly strategos of the theme of Hellas at the end of the 8th century. In 790, discontent swelled to open resistance when soldiers from the Theme of Armeniacs proclaimed Constantine the sole ruler. Later in that year she crushed what seems to have been a plot by the Iconoclasts (opposers of the use of icons) to put Leo’s half brother, Nicephorus, on the throne. Irene's place in the Orthodox Christian church is that of a strong defender of the veneration of images. Civilization VI Wiki is a Fandom Gaming Community. Irene of Athens (c.752-30 September 806), also known as Irene Sarantapechos, was the Byzantine Empress regnant from 797 to 806. She died on August 9, 803. 42759397, citing Constantinople, Monastery of St Euphrosyne, Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey ; Maintained by Find A Grave . She is most remembered for her marriage to Charlemagne in 803, unifying the Franks and the Byzantines. Also, to open the posts of this year, certainly later than planned, we begin with the Byzantine Empress Irene of Athens and how important she was to the Orthodox Eastern Church. Her family background is not known. Irene (c. 752 - 9 August 803) was a Byzantine empress (although she called herself basileus, the male form of the word "emperor," rather than basilissa, "empress") from 797 to 802. The council affirmed the principle of veneration of icons and declared iconoclasm a heresy. Find a Grave, database and images ( accessed ), memorial page for Irene of Athens (c.752–803), Find a Grave Memorial no. Britannica Explores. The rival factions continued their intrigues and, in 797, Constantine found it necessary to flee the palace. Please leave this field empty Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and join 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. By 792, the feud between Irene and her son had cooled and Irene's title as empress was confirmed. Portraits [] She was born about 752. Irene favoured the restoration of the use of icons, which had been prohibited in 730. They are considered the most important person in … However, Irene broke off the engagement in 788, over her son's objections. Irene of Athens was the wife of the Byzantine Emperor Leo IV and mother of Constantine VI, both strong iconoclasts. What does irene of athens mean? Their son was born just a little Same She arranged the convening of the Second Council of Nicea in 787 that restored the practice of veneration of icons. Leo, however, was a steadfast iconoclast who, according to tradition, found that Irene possessed icons and thereafter would no longer share their marriage bed. Then, through the use of a bride-show, Irene selected Maria of Amnia as Constantine's bride. When Leo died in 780, she became regent for her nine-year-old son. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). At this time, October 31, 802, the nobles of the empire, having been concerned with her financial incompetency, took action and chose Nikephoros, Irene's finance minister, as emperor. Theodore the Studite wrote a praising letter [1] to Irene because of her work in supporting icons. In the meantime, having taken Theodote, Irene's lady-in-waiting, as mistress, Constantine arranged that Theodote be crowned augusta, a title which Maria was not granted, and then married her. Their Zodiac sign is Capricorn. Irene was also known for her generous financial policies, which were especially friendly to monasteries. Empress Irene of Athens was the first female ruler of the Byzantine Empire. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership,, Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors - Biography of Constantine VI and Irene. If you find our videos helpful you can support us by buying something from amazon. By this marriage they had two daughters, Euphrosyne and Irene. For what she thought was for the safety and protection of her family Each of these women's stories is a great … By skillful intrigues with the bishops and courtiers she organized a conspiracy against Constantine, who was arrested and blinded at his mother’s orders (797). Irene acceded to the change of events and only asked to continue to live as a private citizen in her palace. Then, she had them administer communion at the Divine Liturgy on the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord to demonstrate that they had rejected politics. Irene of Athens Tuesday, January 1, 752 Irene of Athens is the most famous person named Irene. She was also known to have initiated the Second Council of Nicea. Irene’s zeal in restoring icons and her patronage of monasteries ensured her a place among the saints of the Greek Orthodox Church. She was married by Constantine V, ruler of the Eastern Empire, to his son, the future Leo IV, in 769. Captured by forces friendly to Irene, Constantine was brought back to Constantinople to the Purple Palace, Porphyra, where he was born, and there blinded in mid-August 797, apparently with the foreknowledge of his mother, Irene. With Leo's death, his son became emperor as Constantine VI, but since he was only ten years old his mother Irene was installed with him as co-emperor, and she immediately reversed the iconoclastic policies of her husband. Irene was born in Athens about the year 752. She was exiled, first to the island of Prinkipo (now Büyükada) and then to Lesbos. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. She ruled jointly with her son, Constantine, after the death of her husband Leo. Irene of Athens Biography: Irene came from a noble family in Athens. The marriage, however, was very unpopular with the Church, because its legality was seriously questioned. An unnamed female relative was married to the Bulgar ruler Telerig in 776. This council, in contrast with the robber council of 754 in Hieria, was attended by the patriarchs or their representatives. She gave birth to a son, Constantine, on January 14, 771. In January 771 Irene gave birth to a son, the goal of all queens and empresses of the time. Not having a dynastic background, Irene was continually confronted by opposition forces, some of whom used Leo's half-brothers as figureheads. To blunt the threat from the half-brothers, she had them ordained as priests, since clergy could not rule. Vita Irenes, 'La vie de l'impératrice Sainte Irène', ed. To forestall threats of disloyalty and to strengthen her position in these feuds, Irene demanded that oaths of fidelity be taken only in her name. This page was last edited on January 6, 2015, at 06:52. See Article History. Irene was a strong iconodule. From overcoming oppression, to breaking rules, to reimagining the world or waging a rebellion, these women of history have a story to tell. Information and translations of irene of athens in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the She gave birth to a son, Constantine, on January 14, 771. FAQs. Her common name was Irene Sarantapechaina, she was born to a noble family in Athens; but she became an orphan at a young age, her uncle took her under his wing and using his political influences, he helped her to secure a an advantageous marriage. After Irene's deposition, the forces for iconoclasm returned to power, finally to be defeated under another strong iconodule leader, the Empress Theodora. Though this claim is not supported by the Menaion, the "Lives of Saints" by Nikodemos the Hagiorite, or any other related book of the Orthodox Church, some Western sources [2] still cite Irene as a saint of the Orthodox Church, based on the writings of the Bollandists. Empress Irene of Athens was the first female ruler of the Byzantine Empire. Ruling alone, Irene reigned from 797 to 802, calling herself basileus (βασιλεύς), "emperor," rather than basilissa (βασίλισσα), "empress." Constantine, however, did not like Maria and forced her to become a nun. She was brought to Constantinople by Emperor Constantine V on 1 November 769, and was married to his son Leo IV on 17 December. Initially convened in Constantinople on August 1, 786, the council was moved to Nicea in May 787 because of the instigated opposition in Constantinople of soldiers loyal to the iconoclasts who forced the dissolution of the 786 sessions. Irene of Byzantium (752-9 August 803) was the Empress of the Byzantine Empire from 797 to 802, succeeding Constantine VI of Byzantium and preceding Nicephorus I of Byzantium. As Constantine matured he became involved in plots to wrestle control from Irene. Irene then reigned alone as emperor (not empress) for five years. He was 26 years old. Irene of Athensの意味や使い方 エイレーネー (東ローマ女帝)エイレーネー“アテナイア”(ギリシア語:Ἐιρήνη ἡ Ἀθηναία, Eirēnē hē Athēnaiā、752年 - 803年8月9日)は、東ローマ帝国イサウリ... - 約1171万語ある英和辞典・和英辞典。 Born in Athens of a Greek noble family, between the years of 750 and 755, little is known regarding Irene Sarantapechaina's life before ascending to the Byzantine throne. Her zeal for the restoration of icons put an end to the most virulent phase of iconoclasm in the Byzantine empire and paved the way for the permanent acceptance of icons in the Orthodox Church. In 798 she opened diplomatic relations with the Western emperor Charlemagne, and in 802 a marriage between her and Charlemagne was reportedly contemplated. F. Halkin, Analecta Bollandiana, 106 (1988) 5-27; see also W.T. Updates? Since Irene didn’t have any siblings, she must have had quite a lonely childhood being shuttled from one house to another. Treadgold, 'The Unpublished Saint's Life of the Empress Irene', Byzantinische Forschungen, 7 (1982) 237-51. In 802 a conspiracy of officials and generals deposed her and placed on the throne Nicephorus, the minister of finance. Irene had taken a hands-off attitude with Constantine's handling of his marriage. Seeking closer relations with the Carolingians, Irene negotiated a marriage between her son and Rotrude, who was a daughter of Charlemagne by his third wife Hildegard. Irene of Athens (Greek: Εἰρήνη ἡ Ἀθηναία; c. 752 – 9 August 803 AD), also known as Irene Sarantapechaina (Greek: Εἰρήνη Σαρανταπήχαινα), was Byzantine empress from 797 to 802. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. According to the contemporary Byzantine historian Theophanes, the scheme was frustrated by one of Irene’s favourites. However, after she had disclosed the location of the imperial treasures she held Nikephoros banished her to the island of Lesbos, where she supported herself by spinning. 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. Before becoming empress, she was consort to Leo IV from 775 to 780 and empress dowager from 780 to 797. Irene was born in Athens about the year 752. Her family background is not known. Although she was an orphan, her uncle, Constantine Sarantapechos, was a patricianand possibly strategosof the themeof Hellas. Irene of Athens is similar to these monarches: Tzitzak, Theophylact (son of Michael I), Aelia Eudocia and more. This came at a critical point in history, when the eastern empire was controlled by iconoclasts. Biography Irene was born in 752 to the House of Sarantapechos, the daughter of Theophylaktos Sarantapechos, and she married Emperor Leo IV of Byzantium. Constantine VI was proclaimed sole ruler and his mother banished from court. This letter became the beginning of the misconception that Irene is considered a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Meaning of irene of athens. Her family background is not known. She apparently was a beautiful but orphaned girl who at the age of seventeen was brought to Constantinople by the Emperor Constantine V to be married to his son Leo in November 769. She sponsored many philanthropic endeavors, remitting taxes and canceling payments from soldiers' widows, which were required in lieu of the deceased soldiers' military service.
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