Ancient history competition 47

This byzantine emperor first had the Patriarch of Constantinople whipped, blinded and paraded on a donkey in the streets of the city. Then he just… restored him to his position! Who was this emperor?

Economic historian and numismatic consultant


  1. Leo III (reigned 717-41), during the controversy over icons (on which Patriarch Anastasios changed his view, to the displeasure of the iconoclast emperor who had appointed him).

  2. Constantine V (741-775).
    When early in Constantine’s reign his brother-in-law, Artabasdos, usurped the throne, Anastasios, who had been patriarch since 730, supported the pretender. The patriarch, formerly an iconoclast, even became an iconophile. But by November 743 Constantine entered Constantinople and his wrath was brought upon Artabasdos and Anastasios.
    The latter was publicly humiliated; after he changed again his stance towards the icons, Anastasios became again patriarch (until 754 when he died).

  3. Yannis Stoyas is of course quite right: I had the *right* patriarch, but the wrong emperor. Leo III was the one who appointed Anastasios; Leo’s son Constantine V (“Kopronymos”) the one who removed, humiliated, and then reinstated him. mea culpa.

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