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Irene(īrē`nē), c.750–803, Byzantine empress (797–802). She served (780–90) as regent for her son, Constantine VIConstantine VI,
b. c.770, Byzantine emperor (780–97), son and successor of Leo IV. His mother, Irene, was regent until 790, when she was deposed by a military revolt. Constantine recalled her in 792 and made her joint ruler.
..... Click the link for more information. , and later was made (792) joint ruler. Devoted to the Orthodox Church, she bent most of her efforts to suppressing 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).
..... Click the link for more information. . In 797 Irene had her son deposed and blinded, and she ascended the throne. Her accession served as pretext for CharlemagneCharlemagne
(Charles the Great or Charles I) [O.Fr.,=Charles the great], 742?–814, emperor of the West (800–814), Carolingian king of the Franks (768–814).
..... Click the link for more information. to be crowned emperor in 800. Irene was deposed in 802 and died in exile.
See C. Diehl, Byzantine Portraits (1906; tr. 1927).
Irene,in Greek religion and mythology: see HoraeHorae
, in Greek religion and mythology, goddesses of the seasons; daughters of Zeus and Themis. Although they controlled the recurrence of the seasons, they also attended other gods and had no cults of their own. The number and names of the Horae differed from region to region.
..... Click the link for more information. .
Born circa 752, in Athens; died Aug. 9, 803, on the island of Lesbos. Byzantine empress from 797 to 802. Wife of Emperor Leo IV (ruled 775–780).
After the death of Leo, Irene became regent for her son, Constantine VI, and later ruled with him. A supporter of the icon worshippers, Irene convened an ecumenical council in Nicaea in 787, which temporarily restored icon veneration. In the struggle for power, she blinded her son (797) and succeeded in being proclaimed sole ruler.
In 802, Charlemagne sent an embassy to Byzantium with a marriage proposal for Irene in order to unite both empires; the Byzantine nobles, however, prevented that course of action. Irene was deposed by a court revolt.