In 802 Irene was deposed and exiled to Prinkipo (now Büyükada) and then to Lesbos, where she died August 9, 803. 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. According to the contemporary Byzantine historian Theophanes, the scheme was frustrated by one of Irene’s favourites. 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 of Athens was the first woman to be sole ruler (Autokrator) of the Byzantine empire. Vita Irenes, 'La vie de l'impératrice Sainte Irène', ed. 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. She was brought to Constantinopleby Emperor Constantine Von November 1, 769, and was married to his son Leo IVon December 17. 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. Irene of Athens (Greek: Εἰρήνη ἡ Ἀθηναία, Eirénē ē Athēnaía; c. 752 – 9 August 803), surnamed Sarantapechaina (Σαρανταπήχαινα), was Byzantine empress consort by marriage to Emperor Leo IV from 775 to 780, regent during the minority of her son Constantine VI from 780 until 790, co-regent from 792 until 797, and finally sole ruler and first empress regnant of the Byzantine Empire from 797 to 802. Irene was related to the noble Greek Sarantapechos family of Athens. If you find our videos helpful you can support us by buying something from amazon. Irene was born in Athens about the year 752. She was born about 752. 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. Another council, which is recognized by both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches as the Seventh Ecumenical Council, met at Nicaea in 787 and restored the cult of images. Being in poor health, Leo died after only five years as emperor, on September 8, 780. Irene had taken a hands-off attitude with Constantine's handling of his marriage. F. Halkin, Analecta Bollandiana, 106 (1988) 5-27; see also W.T. 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. Nikephoros was then crowned by Patriarch Tarasius in Hagia Sophia Cathedral. Information and translations of irene of athens in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the 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. In 790, discontent swelled to open resistance when soldiers from the Theme of Armeniacs proclaimed Constantine the sole ruler. Meaning of irene of athens. Irene was born to a noble Greek family of Athens, the Sarantapechos family. Irene was also known for her generous financial policies, which were especially friendly to monasteries. For what she thought was for the safety and protection of her family 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. To blunt the threat from the half-brothers, she had them ordained as priests, since clergy could not rule. 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. 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. Irene’s zeal in restoring icons and her patronage of monasteries ensured her a place among the saints of the Greek Orthodox Church. It is believed that she was born of a Greek noble family. Irene of Athens (780-802), Solidus, Constantinople, AD 797-802 AV (g 4,41; mm 19; h 6) Bust of Irene facing, wearing loros and crown with cross, pinnacles and pendilia, holding a globus cruciger and a cross tipped sceptre, Rv. 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. 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