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Leo III Isaurian

( Byzantine Emperor)

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Biography Leo III Isaurian
Leo III Isaurian - Byzantine emperor in 717 - 741 years. The founder of the dynasty Isaurian. + 18 Feb.. 741 g. Leo was a native of Isaurian. Emperor Justinian II, the first of his reign, he was resettled with his parents in Messemvria in Thrace. A few years later, when Justinian was advancing with the Bulgarians in Constantinople, Leo went to meet him and presented a gift to 500 sheep. Justinian I immediately appointed his squire, and kept to himself as a close friend. But some envious slandered Leo, saying that he covets the throne. After investigating the case informers were put to shame, but the rumor about it never stopped. Justinian, if not clearly wanted something to harm Leo, still nursed a grudge against him and sent money to the Caucasus, the task to raise against the tribe of Alans abasgov (Abkhazians). Leo arrived in Lasik, the money left in storage in Fasise and, taking with him a few local residents went through the Caucasus mountains in Alanya (Alans were living in the valleys of Kuban and Terek). Soon discovered that the money from the Lion No. But even then, Alani not done anything to him and continued to honor Leo. After some time the Romans made a raid on Lasik. After their retreat in the mountains of delayed detachment of 200 men. Leo heard about this, in the month of May crossed the Caucasus in the round snow skiing and found the Romans. They greeted him with great joy, because desperate to break into the home: the path to the sea, they closed fortress Sideron, was ruled by Arabs. But when the head unit is the Lion, he was with his friends, the Armenians managed to capture the cunning, this fortress and destroy it to the ground. After that he went down to the sea in the land apsiliytsev, who took him with honors and helped to cross the sea. Leo returned to his homeland after spending several years in the Caucasus, apparently after the death of Justinian. Anastasius II made him stratц¬ges Anatolian troops. After deposition Anastasia Leo refused to recognize his successor, Theodosius, and was at enmity with him, simultaneously at war with the Arabs (Theophanes: 709).

Reigned one year, Theodosius abdicated. Then the military and state governors were to choose a candidate for the throne, and was nominated Leo. He triumphantly entered Constantinople through the Golden Gate and in Sofia crowned himself emperor's crown (Nikephoros: 716). His ally and comrade Artavazd, Armenian military commander, he has done in-law, gave him his daughter, Anna, and made in the first dignitaries of the court (Theophanes: 709).

Hardly taking power, the lion had to struggle against the Arab invasion. In 717 g. Arabs took Pergamum came to Abidosskaya Strait and crossed into Thrace. After winning there are many cities, they came to Constantinople, besieged by a moat, rampart and within 13 months besieged capital of the empire with the help of different machines. September 1 to the city went up a huge fleet of Arabic. Much of it safely passed the strait, but 20 stragglers tyazhelogruzhenyh courts Leo burned through their fire-ships nosnyh. The Arabs stood by Sosfeniyskoy pier in the Thracian Bosporus. Since the Romans obstinately defended, they had to spend the winter in the enemy land. Meanwhile, the winter were frost, and within one hundred days the ground was not visible due to the mass of snow has fallen on her. From hunger and deprivation in besieging many people died, horses and camels. In the spring of 718 g. from Egypt came second fleet with weapons, and bread, and then from Africa third with numerous supplies (Nikephoros: 717). However, fear-Powerful ships of the Romans, the Arabs did not dare to enter the Bosporus. Leo, on learning that they are hiding in the Gulf, had placed on the Roman ships ognebrosatelnye traps and dispatched them against the invaders. During the Battle of the played a big part of the Arab fleet was sunk and the Romans captured the vast booty. Then hunger among the besiegers reached such force that they cut the meat of all their horses, donkeys, camels and eat any carrion. From this began among them infectious diseases and a strong sea. In the summer of 718 g. Khalifa huge loss withdraw its forces from Constantinople. Shortly before his death in 740 g. Leo had with the Arabs is one big battle at the village Akroinon in Asia Minor, also ended a glorious victory. Thus, promotion of Arabs in the West came to an end (Theophanes: 709,710,731).

Thus, in the beginning of VIII in. Arab power was dealt a crushing blow. Beginning with the reign of Leo Isaurian empire once again began to grow. To a large extent this contributed to his ongoing reform. Instead of mercenary troops gradually comes peasant militia, formed on a territorial principle. This so-called femnoe army, which arose even during the reign of Justinian II, Leo was at the further development: on his order was founded Frakisiyskaya FEMA in Asia, as well as two of the theme in Europe - Macedonia and Thrace. But the most important event of the reign of Leo was the emergence of iconoclastic movement (Dashkov: 'Leo Isaurian'). Conductor and the main champion of this heresy was the Emperor himself.. In the summer of 726 g. depths of the sea between the islands of Fira and Firas in the Cretan Sea began to throw fire, along with fire and a huge number of giant stones. At the end of these stones formed an island, joined to the island Iery. It is said that when he heard about it, the emperor took the events as a sign of God's wrath and found that it caused a deviation of the Christian church in idolatry (Nikephoros: 726). In interpreting the way the events in their favor. Lion, according to Theophanes, 'erected the most shameless war against the saints and worthy of icons'. Byzantines, insulted the new doctrine, killed some people, the emperor, who filmed the icon of the Lord with brass gates Sofia. Many of his jealousy of the icons were punished truncation members, whips, expulsions and deprivation of estates. Religious schools were closed. Living in Greece and the Cyclades islands, not having iconoclasm, rebelled against Leo and proclaimed emperor of a Kozma. In April, 727 g. Navy rebels went to Constantinople, but was defeated. Their ships were burned or sunk. A captured Kozma emperor ordered the beheading. Soon after, Leo also rebelled against the veneration of holy relics, and all were before him emperors and bishops announced idolaters (Theophanes: 718). Clergy, and especially the monks, treated iconoclasm very hostile. In 730 g. Emperor assembled inhabitants of the capital, called on the patriarch Herman and began to force him to sign a message on the destruction of icons. But the Patriarch refused and took off his priesthood, saying: 'No ecumenical council, I can not give an order of faith'. From the capital he had left his parents' house and lived there until his death. In his place Leo elevated cleric Sophia Anastasia. Over the years, the resistance of admirers icons became more obstinate, and the struggle against them has been increasingly fierce. Leo never saw her end: suffering severe dropsy, he died in June 741 g. (Nikiforov: 730.741).

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