Constantine V


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Constantine V

(Constantine Copronymus), 718–75, Byzantine emperor (741–75), son and successor of Leo IIILeo III
(Leo the Isaurian or Leo the Syrian), c.680–741, Byzantine emperor (717–41). He was probably born in N Syria (rather than in Isauria, as once thought). He held diplomatic and military posts before he deposed and succeeded Theodosius III.
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. An able general and administrator, he fought successfully against the Arabs, Slavs, and Bulgars, improved the water supply of Constantinople, forcibly resettled the city after a great plague, and continued his father's financial and religious policies. In 754 he summoned a synod at Constantinople, which sustained iconoclasmiconoclasm
[Gr.,=image breaking], opposition to the religious use of images. Veneration of pictures and statues symbolizing sacred figures, Christian doctrine, and biblical events was an early feature of Christian worship (see iconography; catacombs).
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. He rigidly enforced a decree forbidding the use of images in worship, and he opposed monasticism. A serious result of this policy was the loss of Rome and, ultimately, of Italy to the Byzantines. Pope Zacharias broke with Constantine, and Pope Stephen IIStephen II,
d. 757, pope (752–57), successor of Pope St. Zacharias. When Rome was threatened by the Lombard king Aistulf, Stephen went to Gaul and appealed to Pepin the Short for help. He became the first pope to cross the Alps.
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 placed Rome under the protection of Pepin the ShortPepin the Short
(Pepin III), c.714–768, first Carolingian king of the Franks (751–68), son of Charles Martel and father of Charlemagne. Succeeding his father as mayor of the palace (741), he ruled Neustria, Burgundy, and Provence, while his brother Carloman (d.
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. Constantine was succeeded by his son Leo IVLeo IV
(Leo the Khazar), d. 780, Byzantine emperor (775–80), son and successor of Constantine V. He owed his nickname to his mother, a Khazar princess. Leo tempered the iconoclastic excesses of his father's reign.
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