GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 1999-08 > 0934061692
From: "John Yohalem" <>
Subject: Re: LEO VI- Emperor of Byzantium
Date: Sat, 7 Aug 1999 17:34:52 -0400
l. akershoek wrote in message
>Leo van de Pas <> wrote in message
>> Have a look and let me know what you think. It is not fully finished as
>>> Michael III, Emperor (8423-867)
>>> Leo VI "The Wise" (886-912)
>According to the Dutch encyclopaedia "Winkler Prins" (which, of course, can
>be wrong), the father of Leo was Basilius I.
>As Basilius was the latest ancestor I had in my Byzantine listing, the
>descendants(?) from Xerxes (521-465) to LEO VI (866-May 11, 912 at
>Constantinople) e-mailed by Leo van de Pas are for me very interesting.
>However, I would like to know if other persons have read also elsewhere of
>Basilius being Leo's father, and if so who the ancestors of Basilius were.
>According to Winkler OPrins, Leo VI was the father of Constantine VII.
Basil I was the favorite of Michael III. In 867, he secured Michael's murder
and ascended the throne himself, reigning till 888 and founding one of
Byzantium's greatest dynasties. Like any other usurper, he spent much of his
time blackening the reputation of his predecessor, in order to make his
usurpation (and ingratitude) seem patriotic and just.
However, it appears that Basil's wife had indeed been Michael's mistress at
some point, and that for this reason Basil regarded his second son, Leo, as
not necessarily his. What this might have led to we do not know, but Basil's
eldest son, Constantine, died young, to his father's great grief, and the
youngest, Alexander, was far too young to be chosen successor. So Basil was
obliged to recognize Leo as his son and heir. So far as we know, this was
accurate, but there were stories that Leo was Michael's son, and for
purposes of genealogical speculation this theory is much beloved. Whether
Leo has any living descendants is also problematic -- his only son was
Constantine VII, whose descendants became extinct in 1056 with the death of
Empress Theodora, last of the dynasty.
Many doubt that Leo's daughter lived to reach adulthood, much less marry an
obscure prince in Western Europe (the only marriage link between an imperial
princess and a Westerner in all the many centuries before the 12th, when it
suddenly becomes politically necessary and, hence, common). Just as many
(especially genealogists) like to believe Leo's daughter DID marry Louis the
Blind and bear his son, Charles Constantine, which gives us the only
genealogical descent between the pre-Crusade Byzantine emperors and modern
Western Europe. This matter has been thrashed out again and again on this
(and other) ngs, and the only conclusion is that: those who think it's true,
think it's true, and those who do not, do not. The evidence is not
conclusive either way.
I'm very suspicious of the descent from Xerxes to Michael III, but I'd love
to have a peek at it.
Jean Coeur de Lapin
"Opera depends on the happy fiction that feeling can be sustained over
impossibly long stretches of time." -- Joseph Kerman
|Re: LEO VI- Emperor of Byzantium by "John Yohalem" <>|