Talk:Irene of Athens

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My textbook says that Leo III is NOT apope, but a emperor, and the pope(who was called pope George), crowned Charlemgne emperor because he was unhappy witt the emperor for the iconoclasm, not because he disliked Irene.

Your "text book" is horribly wrong. (talk) 07:27, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

The last sentence under "Early life and rise to power" is poorly written. It comprises three different facts that are not connected together very well:

  1. The success of the Byzantine general against the Arabs
  2. The defection of Tatzates
  3. The failed negotiations of Irene with the Arabs, leading to the humiliating truce terms

The problems are

  1. The sentence is too long and cumbersome
  2. The use of "but" before the last part doesn't really reflect its connection to the second part (if such a connection exists) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Elahav (talkcontribs) 18:11, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Constantine VI and Irene[edit]

Constantine VI and Irene, Constantinople, 780-790, gold 4.41g.

Here is a coin of Constantine VI and Irene. Feel free to insert it in the article. Cheers PHG (talk) 15:19, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Missing piece about wickedness and greed of power[edit]

In Constantinople the Empress Irene had seized, deposed, and blinded the Emperor Constantine, her own son; and this deed of wickedness, shocked even the callous inured Constantinopolitans and roused the indignation of Western Christendom. Alcuin and the learned men of the West and North were full of what had been retained of the literature of Rome and the traditions of the great past; they bemoaned that the Eastern fragment of the Empire had fallen into the hands of a wily, ambitious, and criminal woman. Milan, Trier, Ravenna, once capitals of the Empire, were now ruled by Charles, and was he not the protector of its heart— Rome itself ? Alcuin wrote to Charles, pointing out that hitherto three people in the world had had station higher than all others— the Apostolic Sublimity, the Imperial Dignity and power of the second Rome, now deposed, and the Royal Dignity of Charles himself, more powerful, wise and sublime than the other twain; on him now reposed the whole salvation of the Churches of Christ (Alcuin, Ep. 120).

Source: Jean Charles Leonard de Sismondi. A History of the Italian Republics in the Middle Ages (Kindle Locations 321-328). Perennial Press. Kindle Edition. Pertains to the a.d. 799 events.

Empress vs. Emperor[edit]

The article describes her as Empress of the Byzantine Empire, but notes that the title she used was Emperor. Should the article reflect her actual title? -- (talk) 15:22, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

This is in fact a myth. She usually is referred to as Basilissa. Only on three ocassions does the title Basileus appear in relation to her name, and on one of those ocassions it's not 100% certain that it is in fact her. I'm changing the text with a citation. DeCausa (talk) 13:42, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Charlemagne v. Irene[edit]

I've been reading a lot about the history of Byzantium under the Isaurians lately and I feel like the following is incorrect in how it characterizes Irene's view of herself and her empire.

"The clergy and nobles attending the ceremony proclaimed Charlemagne to have the title "Augustus," the title of the first Roman emperor. This was the most severe threat to Irene's legitimacy, as the pope had crowned another European monarch, Charlemagne, to be the heir of the Roman Emperor; this was a direct assault of Irene's role as the leader of the Byzantine Empire, which was supposedly the successor state to the Roman Empire."

  1. Augustus was effectively the most important title of many Roman Emperors and in the Latin language was the most important and consistently associated titles for Roman Emperors whether unified, in the West or in the East.
  2. The Pope crowned Charlemagne Augustus and Imperator Romanorum. He was not to be designated the heir of the Roman Emperor, he was designated as THE Roman Emperor in light of where the Pope saw a vacancy as Irene was 'merely' a woman.
  3. The Byzantine Empire and its inhabitants never saw their state as a successor to the Roman Empire. They were THE Roman Empire as had continued to have existed unbroken and 'reunified' since Odoacer presented the imperial regalia of Romulus Augustus to Zeno.
  4. The above is also consistent in the Charlemagne entry of Wikipedia under "Coronation".

For these reasons I suggest these sentences be changed to the following:

"The clergy and nobles attending the ceremony proclaimed Charlemagne as Roman Emperor and successor to Constantine VI. This was essentially a direct assault on Irene's legitimacy and as Empress Regent in Constantinople. Though the Byzantine Empire had little de facto power in Italy and the West at this time, the title of Roman Emperor was still seen as the most prestigious and symbolically important title in Europe as the highest secular office in Christendom. For the rest of the Byzantine Empire's history there would be varying degrees of conflict with Western emperors over imperial authority and sovereignty as the heirs to Augustus and Constantine I."

I invite better writers to present that info in an even clearer way. I just think it's important that I raise these issues. Charlemagne's coronation is a hugely important event and though later Western writers would eventually to dismiss the "Byzantine" Empire as nothing but an imposter Greek Empire pretending to be Roman I think it is important we emphasize the political understanding of Charlemagne's coronation at and around 800 AD. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bleepbloopblop (talkcontribs) 20:52, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

Bleepbloopblop (talk) 20:54, 23 March 2016 (UTC)