Leo VI and the Transformation of Byzantine Christian Identity Writings of an Unexpected Emperor


Book (Monograph)

The Byzantine emperor Leo VI (886–912), was not a general or even a soldier, like his predecessors, but a scholar, and it was the religious education he gained under the tutelage of the patriarch Photios that was to distinguish him as an unusual ruler. This book analyses Leo's literary output, focusing on his deployment of ideological principles and religious obligations to distinguish the characteristics of the Christian oikoumene from the Islamic caliphate, primarily in his military manual known as the Taktika. It also examines in depth his 113 legislative Novels, with particular attention to their theological prolegomena, showing how the emperor's religious sensibilities find expression in his reshaping of the legal code to bring it into closer accord with Byzantine canon law. Meredith L. D. Riedel argues that the impact of his religious faith transformed Byzantine cultural identity and influenced his successors, establishing the Macedonian dynasty as a 'golden age' in Byzantium.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Riedel, MLD

Published Date

  • August 23, 2018

Published By


  • 240

International Standard Book Number 10 (ISBN-10)

  • 1107053072

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9781107053076

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/9781107281967