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Irene Doukaina or Ducaena (Greek: Εἰρήνη Δούκαινα, Eirēnē Doukaina; c. 1066 – 19 February 1138) was a Byzantine Empress by marriage to the Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos, and the mother of the emperor John II Komnenos and of the historian Anna Komnene. Image of christianity, jesus, pantocrator - 131388754 Photo about Emperor John II Comnenus, Virgin Mary with Jesus and Empress Irene on Byzantine mosaic in Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey,March,11 2017. Irene of Athens or Irene Sarantapechaina (Εἰρήνη Σαρανταπήχαινα) was Empress consort by marriage to Leo IV from 775 to 780, regent during the minority of her son Constantine VI from 780 until 790, and finally ruling Byzantine Empire from 797 to 802.Irene was born between 750 and 755 in Athens. Irene of Athens or Irene Sarantapechaina, c. 752 – 803, a Byzantine empress from 797 to 802, exiled to Lesbos The Empress Theodora and her attendants, from a mosaic in St. Vitale at Ravenna, Italy. Constantine died shortly afterwards, almost certainly as a result of his injuries, which were intended to kill not maim. It was a rare moment of decision, but it was too little, too late. 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. Empress Irene. 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. 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 is sometimes recognized as a saint in the Greek or Eastern Orthodox Church, with a feast day of August 9. Her daughter, the erudite Anna Comnena, wrote glowingly of her mother in her history, The Alexiad – extolling her beauty, wisdom, and care for her family. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Genealogy profile for Irene of Athens, Byzantine Empress Irene Sarantapechaina (c.752 - 803) - Genealogy Genealogy for Irene Sarantapechaina (c.752 - 803) family tree on Geni, with over 200 million profiles of ancestors and living relatives. Irene recognized its importance, and like China before them the Byzantine Empire tried to corner the market. From overcoming oppression, to breaking rules, to reimagining the world or waging a rebellion, these women of history have a story to tell. Significantly, Constantine could no longer call on the support of Michael Lachanodrakon, the general having been killed that year while campaigning against the Bulgars. Ancient History Encyclopedia. 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. An attempt to seize power was crushed by the Empress, who demanded that the military oath of fidelity should recognize her as senior ruler. In 797 Irene had … Irene’s zeal in restoring icons and her patronage of monasteries ensured her a place among the saints of the Greek Orthodox Church. Irene died on August 13, 1134 and was later venerated as Saint Irene. Irene was removed, exiled to a monastery on Lesbos and succeeded by Nikephoros I, one of the Empress’ former finance ministers. Last modified November 15, 2017. The same was true in ancient Rome, which began producing its first coinage in the late 4th century BC. With his heir having already died earlier the same year, Irene now had dealt with all her challengers. When Irene made it be known that she intended to rule above her son Constantine no matter how old he was, many of those who opposed the restoration of icons, saw the dangers to the empire’s army strength Irene’s purges had threatened, and who believed Constantine had the rightful claim to the throne alone, rallied around the young emperor. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Irene-Byzantine-empress-752-803, Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors - Biography of Constantine VI and Irene. Cartwright, Mark. Her usurpation of the imperial throne created a theoretical justification for the coronation of Charlemagne. Byzantine Coinage of the Empress Irene – CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series. 0. At that time, all religious pictures and statues were removed from the Hagia Sophia. She was also known to have initiated the Second Council of Nicea. Tweet on Twitter. A similar plan had already been attempted when Irene had arranged for her late son to marry Rotrud, the daughter of Charlemagne, but Irene had broken off the engagement in 787 CE. Irene & 350 bishops finally ruled to restore the orthodoxy of the veneration of icons in the Christian Church. In 800, Charlemagne was crowned emperor by Pope Leo III, on Christmas Day. Irene īrē´nē , c.750–803, Byzantine empress (797–802). Constantine VI (771-804) was the only child of Emperor Leo IV and Empress Irene. For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. Irene Ducas, (born c. 1066, Constantinople, Byzantine Empire [now Istanbul, Turkey]—died Feb. 19, 1123 [or 1133], Constantinople), wife of the Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus, known from the description of her in the Alexiad of their daughter, Anna Comnena. She was also known to have initiated the Second Council of Nicea. 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