The Reign of Leo VI (886-912)

Politics and People


Author: Tougher
The focus of this book is the Byzantine emperor Leo VI (886-912) and his reign. He has been characterised as a careless and ineffectual emperor, but this work presents a more considered account of Leo and the politics of his age.
Initial chapters on sources and the broader historical context are provided before particular aspects of Leo's life and reign are presented in eight chapters, arranged so as to give a rough chronological framework. Subjects discussed include relations with family and officials, imperial ideology, and ecclesiastical and military affairs.
By drawing on a broad spectrum of primary evidence the book illustrates that Leo forged a distinctive imperial style as a literate city-based non-campaigning emperor, and argues that he was actively concerned about the problems that faced his empire.

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Shaun Tougher, Ph.D. (1994) in Mediaeval History, University of St. Andrews, is Lecturer in Byzantine Studies at the Queen's University of Belfast. He has published articles on Leo VI, including The Wisdom of Leo VI' in New Constantines ( Aldershot, 1994).
' ...eine fundierte und unspectakuläre Bestandsaufnahme unseres Wissens über Leon VI...'
Johannes Koder, Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik, 2001.
Map: The Empire of Leo VI, c. 899
Introduction: Aims and Sources 1
1. The Establishment of the Macedonian Dynasty: The Reigns of Basil I and Leo VI (867-912) 23
2. Macedonian or Amorian? 42
3. The End of Photios 68
4. The Dominate of Stylianos Zaoutzes 89
5. The Reality of Leo the Wise 110
6. The Four Wives of Leo VI 133
7. Military Matters: The Bulgarian War, the Arab Naval Threat and the Taktika 164
8. The Emperor's Men: Eunuchs and Strategoi 194
9. Alexander 219
Conclusion 233
Bibliography 237
Index 253

All those interested in the history of Byzantium in particular and medieval history in general, the history of kingship and imperial ideology, and the dynamics of political and personal relationship.