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Byzantine Empire /
Leo 6
Bynames: Leo the Wise; Leo the Philosopher

(866-912) Byzantine emperor 886-912.
His 26 year long reign represents one of the one of the most brilliant periods of the empire's history.
The main international challenge of his reign was, as before, the Abbasids along the southeastern border and the Bulgars along the northwestern border. Increasingly also, Arab pirates in the Aegan Sea became a challenge.
His ancestry was a question of much uncertainty, but in reality there is little reason to doubt that he was Emperor Michael 3's oldest son. He was apparently born shortly after a mock-wedding between Michael's mistress, Eudocia Ingerina, and Basil. As emperor, Basil attempted to circumvent him by appointing the younger son, Constantine, first heir. After Constantine died, the relation between Basil and Leo became very hostile. Among Leo's first acts as an emperor was to honour Michael by reburying him.
Leo caused much scandal with his numerous marriages, yet he was unable to produce a legitimate heir to the throne. After his first 3 wives died, he took a mistress, whom he married first after she finally gave him an heir, Constantine.
He oversaw the completion of the great juridical endeavour began by Basil 1, the 60 volume law code Basilica. He was an active writer, dealing with a wide range of ecclesiastical and secular problems, in addition to a funeral panegyric on his father, liturgical poems, sermons and orations, secular poetry and military treatises.
Her continued Basil's successful policy in Christian matters, and his reign saw no major conflicts over religious issues.
Leo was another emperor following the example of the Abbasid Caliph Harun ar-Rashid, walking around the capital, talking to people to get to know their thoughts and needs. It is reported that on one occasion he was arrested by the city guards.

866 September 19: Born as son of Eudocia Ingerina, and most likely, Emperor Michael 3. As Eudokia Ingerina is the wife of Basil, Basil is his official father.
870: Leo is appointed second co-emperor to Emperor Basil; Basil's real son, Constantine, had been appointed the preceding year.
879: Constantine dies, leaving Leo only heir to the throne. Basil's other son, Alexander, is crowned second co-emperor.
886 August 29: Leo becomes new emperor after Basil 1 dies from an hunting accident. His half-brother, Alexander, continues to act as co-emperor.
— Has Emperor Micheal 3 reburied, which may be an indication of his real ancestry.
December: Replaces Patriarch Photios with his own 19-year old brother, Stephen.
894: Provokes a war with Bulgaria, but is defeated.
896: Loses another battle with the Bulgarians.
902: The last Byzantine territory on Sicily is lost to the Muslim Emirate of Sicily.
905: Has a son, Constantine, with his mistress Zoe, whom he then marries. She became his 4th wife, but the marriage is not recognized by the patriarch. Leo appoints Euthymios patriarch instead.
907: Constantinople is attacked by the Russians. The Russians leave after having been given trade privileges.
908 May 15: Has Constantine crowned co-emperor.
911: New Russian attack on Constantinople, and a trade treaty is signed.
912 May 11: Dies, and is succeeded by his half-brother, Alexander.

By Tore Kjeilen