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Byzantine Empire /
Leo 4
Byname: Leo The Khazar


(749-780) Byzantine emperor 775-780.
He attempted to split the Bulgarians, when he gave asylum to the Bulgar khan and gave him a woman from the royal family to marry.
Leo chose a milder approach to the conflict over icons. The iconoclast line of his fathers was not continued, he even appointed supports of the use of icons to bishops. He may well have been influenced by his wife, Irene in this matter.
Irene was throughout his reign a very strong force, and when he died, she became regent for their son, Constantine 6, who was only 5 years old at the time.

Biography
749 January 25: Born as son of son of Emperor Constantine 5 and his wife, Irene of Khazaria.
751: Crowned co-emperor by his father.
769: Marries Irene, a girl of simple background, but presented for the court for her exceptional beauty.
775: His father dies, and Leo becomes emperor.
776: Leo's son, Constantine, is crowned co-emperor. By this act, Nicephorus, Leo's stepbrother's claim to the throne was passed over.
— Nicephorus, and his brother, Christopher, revolts against Leo 4. Leo wins over the rebels and have them blinded, hair shaved off and sent into exile.
— Begins a campaign against the Abbasids, sending forces into Syria. War continued with attacks from both the Abbasid and the Byzantine sides.
780: Makes a change in his politics regarding icons, reverting partly to the line of his father, initiating persecution of those in favour of icons.
September 8: Dies. The throne passes to his infant son, Constantine 6, under Empress Irene's regency.




By Tore Kjeilen