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Byzantine Empire /
Constantine 6

(770-797) Byzantine emperor 780-797.
Constantine was considered a weak ruler, brought up by his mother, Irene, very much as an instrument for her own political ambitions. He showed little bravery in battles, stood his supporters up and enraged the popular opinion when he divorced his wife and married his mistress.
It was during his reign that icon veneration was reestablished, mainly from the pressure of his mother. Judging from his actions, it appears that he himself had iconoclast sympathies.

770: Born as the only child of future emperor Leo 4 and Irene.
776: Crowned co-emperor of Leo.
780 September 8: Leo 4 dies, and Constantine becomes new emperor, though with his mother as regent.
782: Is engaged to Rotrude, daughter of the Frankish king.
787 The Second Council of Nicaea is held, reestablishing the veneration of icons.
788: Constantine's engagement to Rotrude is broken off by Irene.
790: Unrest between the parties of Irene and Constantine, leads to a rebellion among the Armenians, and the army proclaims Constantine sole ruler. Irene is arrested.
791 and 792: Constantine is twice defeated by Bulgaria. He shows unheroic behaviour, which damages his reputation.
792: Constantine pardons his mother, making her co-ruler.
793: Has the Armenian general blinded, causing a revolt among his former Armenian supporters. He crushed the revolt with extreme cruelty.
796: Constantine divorces his wife, and marries his mistress, Theodote. The public reacts with rage.
797 August 15: Irene uses the discontent to have her son arrested, then blinded and deposed.
Between 796 and 805: Dies. Exact year and date is not known.
820's: During the reign of Emperor Michael 2, several pretenders to the throne claimed to be Constantine 6.

By Tore Kjeilen