Leo VI

   Emperor (q.v.) from 886-912 whose Prochiron, Basilika, and Novels (qq.v.) together constituted an important revision of Justinianic law. Decidedly unpopular, and illegal in the eyes of the church, was his fourth marriage (tetragamy [q.v.]) to his mistress Zoe Karbonopsina (q.v.) in 906, the year after she had given birth to Leo's sole male heir to the throne, the future Constantine VII (q.v.). When Patriarch Nicholas I Mystikos (qq.v.) disapproved of the marriage Leo VI removed him, causing a schism within the church. Leo's foreign policy was marred by military failure. His generals suffered defeats at the hands of Symeon of Bulgaria and the Arabs in Sicily (qq.v.). Leo of Tripoli pillaged Thessalonike (qq.v.) in 904, Oleg attacked Constantinople (qq.v.) in 907, and admiral Himerios (q.v.) lost a fleet to the Arabs (q.v.) in 911. Nevertheless, Leo was remembered for his revision of the law as well as for his erudition, for he was a prolific writer of homilies, orations, hymns, and poems. Moreover, he initiated the Kletorologion of Philotheos, the Book of the Eparch, and a military manual called the Taktika of Leo VI (qq.v). All of this earned him the epithet "the Wise."

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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