Emperor Leo Vi

EMPEROR LEO VI, surnamed THE WISE and THE PHILOSOPHER, Byzantine emperor, 886-911. He was a weak-minded ruler, chiefly occupied with unimportant wars with barbarians and struggles with churchmen. The chief event of his reign was the capture of Thessalonica (904) by Mahommedan pirates (described in The Capture of Thessalonica by John Cameniata) under the renegade Leo of Tripolis. In Sicily and Lower Italy the imperial arms were unsuccessful, and the Bulgarian Symeon, who assumed the title of " Czar of the Bulgarians and autocrat of the Romaei " secured the independence of his church by the establishment of a patriarchate. Leo's somewhat absurd surname may be explained by the facts that he " was less ignorant than the greater part of his contemporaries in church and state, that his education had been directed by the learned Photius, and that several books of profane and ecclesiastical science were composed by the pen, or in the name, of the imperial philosopher " (Gibbon). His works include seventeen Oractda, in iambic verse, on the destinies of future emperors and patriarchs of Constantinople; thirty-three Orations, chiefly on theological subjects (such as church festivals) ; Basilica, the completion of the digest of the laws of Justinian, begun by Basil I., the father of Leo; some epigrams in the Greek Anthology; an iambic lament on the melancholy condition of the empire; and some palindromic verses, curiously called Kapdvoi (crabs). The treatise on military tactics, attributed to him, is probably by Leo III., the Isaurian.

Complete edition in Migne, Patrologia Graeca, cvii. ; for the literature of individual works see C. Krumbacher, Geschichte der byzantinischen Litteratur (1897). (J. H. F.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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