She came from a noble family in Athens. The patriarchates of Antioch and Alexandria were also informed of the holding of the meeting and asked to send representatives as well. Irene went as far as to send an official to instruct the Frankish princess in Greek; however, Irene herself broke off the engagement in 787, against her son's wishes. Early life and rise to power. Irene was related to the noble Greek Sarantapechos family of Athens.Although she was an orphan, her uncle or cousin Constantine Sarantapechos was a patrician and was possibly strategos of the theme of Hellas at the end of the 8th century. In 1792 she was declared legally insane after losing both her son and confessor. When Leo died in 780, Irene became regent for their nine-year-old son, Constantine, who was too young to rule as emperor, thereby giving her administrative control over the empire. Unpopular for his military defeats, Constantine VI would soon be betrayed by his mother. Early life and rise to power. Irene of Athens clawed her way to power. Empress Irene of Athens ordered her son’s eyes to be gouged out. Irene became regent in her son’s place when he was given control of the land. Empress Irene of Athens was the first female ruler of the Byzantine Empire. Irene was born to a noble Greek family of Athens, the Sarantapechos family.Although she was an orphan, her uncle, Constantine Sarantapechos, was a patrician and possibly strategos of the theme of Hellas. In the books, Cersei tells Ned she got pregnant by Robert once, and Jaime found a woman to “cleanse” her. She was brought to Constantinople by Emperor Constantine V on 1 November 769, and was married to his son Leo IV on 17 December. The deranged Queen, Maria I. Trusting her patriarch and not wanting to interfere, Irene and her son did not preside the sessions. Leo died while their son, Constantine VI, was still too young to rule, which left Irene in charge. Irene was also known for her generous financial policies, which were especially friendly to monasteries. During her lacklustre reign, Irene ruthlessly schemed and plotted to keep the throne she would lose and regain three times, but … Irene was born to a noble Greek family of Athens, the Sarantapechos family.Although she was an orphan, her uncle, Constantine Sarantapechos, was a patrician and possibly strategos of the theme of Hellas. Key Points. The Royal Wedding. Early life and rise to power. After her death, she became a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church.. Irene of Athens was an orphan from a noble family, and was married to the son of the current emperor, Leo IV, in 768. Finally, the council was organized in 786 in the church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople. Besides, that’s exactly what Maggie the Frog predicted. 5. Byzantine empress, Irene of Athens… She never had any child except for the three we know: Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen. She was also known to have initiated the Second Council of Nicea. From 797 to 802 CE she ruled as emperor in her own right, the first woman to do so in Byzantine history. An orphan, she was literally picked from a lineup to be the wife of Leo VI, emperor of the Eastern Roman empire. On January 14, 771, Irene gave birth to a son named Constantine VI before she became the first female ruler of the Byzantine Empire. Soon, her younger son John took over the throne. She was brought to Constantinople by Emperor Constantine V on November 1, 769, and was married to his son Leo IV on December 17. Empress Irene was born between 750 and 755 into a noble family of Athens. Irene was born in Cappadocia to an aristocratic family. [3] Empress Irene was the wife of Leo IV and, on her husband’s death, she reigned as regent for her son Constantine VI from 780 to 790 CE. 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