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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.
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(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.
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, 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).
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. 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).
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 to be crowned emperor in 800. Irene was deposed in 802 and died in exile.


See C. Diehl, Byzantine Portraits (1906; tr. 1927).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(fl. 3rd century) ministered to St. Sebastian, who was wounded by arrows. [Christian Hagiog.: Hall, 162]
See: Nursing


goddess of peace and conciliation. [Gk. Myth.: Espy, 21]
See: Peace
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
| Nesting herring gulls have caused chaos for pensioner Irene
Irene said that during the summer "we would pick up apples and pears off the ground." Some farmers would allow us to take several.
"All the men had gone off to work in the war and so the women took up the jobs here that they left behind," Irene said.
Irene herself, however, would have been mystified by the fuss, as she would have argued this was all part of her job as secretary to Pris.
According to him, Port Irene is underutilized because its pier is only about 180 meters in size.
In that time Irene read many books and researched all ways in which she could improve her life by mind-set.
When confronted by Irene, I have no doubt he was golden.
After splitting, George and Irene, both now aged 89, went on to marry and have families, but ended up widowed.
Tragedy first struck Irene's family in 2005 when her youngest son, Daniel McCarthy, died in a car crash at the age of 25.
Irene had been living in Ouston, near Chester-le-Street, with her husband of almost 30 years, John.
In this scenario, Irene would inherit Georges $7 million estate.