Why: Leo III is important because of his actions of banning all religious icons within the Byzantine Empire. Irene of Athens or Irene the Athenian (Greek: Εἰρήνη ἡ Ἀθηναία; c. 752 – 9 August 803 AD) is the commonly known name of Irene Sarantapechaina (Greek: Εἰρήνη Σαρανταπήχαινα), Byzantine empress regnant from 797 to 802. Irene ranks with Egyptian queen Hatshepsut and Russian empress Catherine the Great as a breaker of male-dominated dynasties. Irene was also known for her generous financial policies, which were especially friendly to monasteries. An East Roman (Byzantine) empress, Irene of Athens (752-803) convened the Seventh Ecumenical Council and restored the veneration of icons in the Byzantine Empire. 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 … Empress Irene … She was also known to have initiated the Second Council of Nicea. Her usurpation of the imperial throne created a theoretical justification for the coronation of Charlemagne. The wife of Leo IV (r. 775-780 CE), when he died Irene assumed the role of regent for her son Constantine VI from 780 to 790 CE. Empress Irene of Athens was the first female ruler of the Byzantine Empire. She born between 750 and 755 CE and was related in some way to the noble Greek Sarantapechos family of Athens. The … She was an orphan, and there is some mystery around why she was chosen from obscurity to be the bride … Irene of Athens (c. 752 – 9 August 803 AD), also known as Irene Sarantapechaina, was Byzantine empress consort by marriage to Leo IV from 775 to 780, regent during the minority of her son Constantine VI from 780 until 790, co-regent from 792 until 797, and finally sole ruler and first empress regnant of the Byzantine Empire … From 797 until 802, Irene ruled alone, not as empress but as emperor--she used the title basilissa ("empress"), although she also employed the title "Irene the pious emperor." From 797 to 802 CE she ruled as emperor in her own right, the first … 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. When Irene of Athens was crowned sole ruler of the Byzantine Empire in 797, she became the first woman ever to hold the throne of the old Roman Empire. After her death, she became a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church.. Empress Irene (image from “Pala d’Oro”, Venice) Not much is known about Irene’s early life. She once again established ties with Charlemagne, and in 802 there is some evidence that there was a marriage contemplated between the two. Irene was the only female Byzantine ruler to assume the male title of basileus or “emperor” (as opposed to empress). Hence why it is supposed that her family was iconoclast and Irene raised as one herself. Prior to becoming empress regnant, Irene was empress consort from 775 to 780, and empress … 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. The praised beauty of the (around) 15 years old girl must have played a role as well (to the Byzantines, an empress is meant to provide an heir, help with family connections to assert the authority of the emperor and to take part in public events, hence why … From 797 to 802 CE she ruled as emperor in her own right, the first woman to do so in Byzantine history. It was known as the Iconoclasm and it greatly divided the relationship with the empire and the church. 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