Leo I

Leo I

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Leo I - History

Hugh Elton Florida International University

Leo was born in the Balkans, ca. 401, with different sources suggesting Thracia or Dacia. He married Verina before becoming emperor and they had three children. Ariadne was born before Leo became emperor a second daughter Leontia was born in 457, and an anonymous son died at age five months in 463. Ariadne married Leo's eventual successor, Zeno while Leontia married the son of Anthemius, Marcian (named after Anthemius' father-in-law, the emperor Marcian). Leo's early career was military, and he had reached the rank of tribune in the regiment of the Mattiarii by 457. With the death of the emperor Marcian in 457, Leo was acclaimed emperor, probably with the support of the magister militum Aspar. This involved passing over Marcian's son-in-law, Anthemius. Leo's coronation on February 7, 457 is the first known involving the patriarch of Constantinople as well as the army and Senate. Leo died of dysentery aged 73, on 18 January, 474. He was succeeded by his son, Leo II

Foreign Events

The peace treaty Theodosius II had made with the Sassanid Persians continued, leaving three major areas of concern in foreign policy, the Balkans, the Vandals and the Western Empire. With the disintegration of Attila's Empire, two Gothic groups, under Theoderic Strabo and Valamir, moved into the Balkans. Hostilities by Valamir in the western Balkans in 459 led to a negotiated peace with the Romans giving a small subsidy in exchange for peace and a hostage. At the same time, new barbarian groups, the Avars, Slavs and Bulgars, began filtering into the Transdanubian region. This in turn put increased pressure on Roman forces holding the Danube. Roman campaigning under Leo continued against the groups within and beyond the empire, especially against those Huns were under the leadership of Dengizech until his death in 469. The Goths led by Theoderic Strabo, who was appointed magister militum praesentalis in 473, were able to reach a dominant position in the eastern Balkans. His success threatened Valamir's Goths, now led by Valamir's son Theoderic, who moved east to challenge Strabo shortly before Leo died. Outside the Balkans, the Vandals were also a serious problem and in 468 a major Roman offensive was launched against them. This involved a naval expedition, supported by troops marching overland from Egypt and by western Roman troops under Marcellinus. The expedition was led by Leo's brother-in-law, Basiliscus, but turned out to be a disaster. As well as having little military effect, the expedition was tremendously expensive. Lastly, Leo had great influence in the west and was able to approve Ricimer's appointment of Majorian as western Emperor in 457. A decade later, 467 Leo sent Anthemius, who had married the daughter of the previous emperor, Marcian, as Emperor for the west. In 474, after the death of Olybrius, Leo sent an expedition to Italy under Julius Nepos to expel Olybrius' successor, Glycerius. There were also minor military problems in the Caucasus and Arabian regions.

Domestic and Religious Affairs

After Leo's acclamation, the early domestic events concerned religion. In 460, the Alexandrians elected a monophysite patriarch, Timothy Aelurus ("the Cat"). After consulting bishops throughout the east, Leo removed Timothy by force, replacing him with Timothy Salofaciolus (the Greek means either "White-Hat" or "Wobble-Hat"). Constantinople was devastated by a major fire in 464. During the early part of Leo's reign, the magister militum Aspar was a prominent figure and probably instrumental in Leo's accession. This position was weakened when Aspar's son, Ardabur, was found guilty of treachery in 466 and dismissed from office. Leo then married his eldest daughter, Ariadne, to Zeno, probably in 466, Aspar, however, continued to be influential. In 467, the pagan Isocasius, a court official, was arrested and accused of being a Hellene (i.e. pagan). Although he was acquitted of the charges, this probably led to Leo's issuing a law in 468 which banned pagans from being lawyers. At this period probably occurred the creation of a new guard regiment, the excubitores, which in its early stages at least, was dominated by Isaurians. Although Aspar's dominance and been weakened, he was able to reassert himself after the failure of the Vandal expedition of 468 and prevailed upon Leo to declare his son, Patricius, as Caesar in 470. When the magister militum Anagastes revolted in Thrace in 470 negotiations with Leo revealed that the rebellion was encouraged by Ardabur. Leo eventually decided that Ardabur was too dangerous to let live. Aspar and Ardabur and probably Patricius were murdered in the palace in 471, from which Leo acquired the nickname "M ", meaning "the Butcher". Following the murders, there was a persecution of the Arians who had supported Aspar. For the rest of the reign, Zeno, as Leo's son-in-law, was the dominant figure.


For references to primary sources, see entries in RE or the PRLE. Translations of much of the source material can be found here in Ralph Mathisen's DIR essays on the "Shadow Emperors", or in C.D. Gordon ( The Age of Attila: Fifth-Century Byzantium and the Barbarians [Ann Arbor, 1960]) and R.C. Blockley (Fragmentary Classicizing Historians of the Later Roman Empire [Liverpool, 1983], vol. 2.).

Kent, J.P.C., Roman Imperial Coinage volume 10 (London, 1994), 100-108.

Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire , vol. 2, ed. J.R. Martindale (Cambridge, 1980)

Copyright (C) 1998, Hugh Elton. This file may be copied on the condition that the entire contents, including the header and this copyright notice, remain intact.

For more detailed geographical information, please use the DIR/ORBAntique and Medieval Atlas below. Click on the appropriate part of the map below to access large area maps.


Leonis Opera omnia, ed. ARDICINIO DELLA PORTA, (Rome, 1470) ed. QUESNEL (2 vols., Paris, 1675) edd. PETRUS AND HIERONYMUS BALLERINI (2 vols., Venice, 1753-7) ed. in P.L., LIV-VI AMELLI, S. Leone d'Magno e l'Oriente (Rome, 1886), 361-8 JAFFÉ Regesta Rom. Pont., 2nd ed., I, 58 sqq. VON NOSTITZ­RIENECK, Die Briefe Papst Leos I. im Codex Monacen. 14540 in Historisches Jahrbuch (1897), 117- 33 IDEM, Die päpstlichen Urbanden f252r Thessalonike und deren Kritik durch Prof. Friedrich in Zeitsch. für kath. Theologie (1897), 1-50. Translation of letters and sermons given in FELTOE, A select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, XIId (2nd series, New York, 1896) Sacramentarium Leonianum, ed. FELTOE (Cambridge, 1897). Concerning the Sacramentarium, cf. DUCHESNE, Christian Worship its origin and evolution (London, 1903), 135 sqq. and PROBST, Die ältesten römischen Sacramentarien und Ordines erklärt (Münster, 1892).&mdashLiber Pontificalis, ed. DUCHESNE, I, 238 sqq. TILLEMONT, Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire eccles., XV, 414 sqq. ARENDT, Leo der Grosse u. seine Zeit (Mainz, 1835) PERTHEL, Papst Leos I. Leben u. Lehren (Jena, 1843d) DE SAINT­CHÉRON, Hist. du Pontificat de Saint-Léon le Grand (Paris, 1845 2nd ed., 1861-4) FR. AND P. BÖHRINGER, Die Väter den Papsttums Leo I und Gregor I in Die Kirche Christi u. ihre Zeugen (Stuttgart, 1879) BERTANI, Vita di Leone Magno (2 vols., Monza, 1880-2) GORE in Dict. Christ. Biog. (London, 1882), s.v. LANGEN, Gesch. der röm. Kirche, II (Bonn, 1885), 1 sqq. GRISAR, Gesch. Roms u. der Päpste im Mittelalter, I, 308 sqq. IDEM, Il Primato romano nel secolo quinto in Analecta Romana, I (Rome, 1900), 307-52 IDEM, Rom u. die fränkische Kirche vornehmlich im VI. Jahrhundert in Zeitschr. für kath. Theologie (1890), 447-93 GUNDLACH, Der Streit der Bistümer Arles u. Vienne um den Primatus Galliarum in Neues Archiv (1899), 250 sqq. (1890), 9 sqq., 233 sqq. KUHN, Die Christologie Leos I. des Grossen (Würtzburg, 1894) HEFELE, Konziliengesch., II (2nd ed.), passim.

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St. Leo the Great

Saint Leo the Great, also known as Pope Saint Leo I, was born into a Roman aristocratic family. His response to the call of the Lord transformed him into one of the greatest popes of Christian history. In fact, he was the first pope to be given the title "the Great." Details pertaining to Leo's place of birth are not known, but it is believed his ancestors come from Tuscany.

St. Leo the Great became a very well-known deacon of the Church by 431, serving the church under the pontificate of Pope Celestine I. Leo was widely respected for his love for the Lord, intelligence and persuasive nature. He was also gifted in bringing reconciliation between disputing groups of Christians.

That is why he was often sent out to settle disputes, both secular and theological. Following the pontificate of Pope Celestine, the next Pope was Pope Sixtus III.

Pope Sixtus III passed away while Leo was visiting Gaul at the request of Emperor Valentinian III. His task was to bring peace between one of Gaul's chief military commanders and the chief magistrate. Leo was then unanimously elected as the next pope to succeed Pope Sixtus III in 440. His swift election reflected the respect he had garnered among the people from his service to the Lord and the affection the faithful had this pastoral and wise servant of the Lord.

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Pope Leo was deeply dedicated to his service as pope. He saw himself as privileged to sit in the Chair of St Peter, as the servant of the servants of God. He worked diligently as "Peter's successor." Over time, Leo became known as one of the best administrative popes of the ancient Church. But, he was so much more.

During his reign, he tirelessly fought to preserve the unity of the Church and its faith and to ensure the safety of his people against invasions from armies which sought to destroy the Church and the Christian influence on culture which she brought to bear.

Pope Leo I focused his pontificate on four main areas. He continuously worked to oppose and root out numerous heresies which were threatening the Western Church. Among them were Pelagianism, which involved denying Original Sin and failing to understand the necessity of God's grace for salvation.

At the foundation of the Pelagian error was the mistaken notion that we can perfect ourselves without God's grace and assistance.

The other major heresy threatening the Church was Manichaeism.

This heresy denied the goodness of the human body, creation, and even matter itself. It failed to understand the full implications of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. In fact, it denigrated the human body. In short, it viewed everything material as evil. That denies the very teaching of the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. It also rejects the very heart of the Gospel message.

Pope Leo I was a great defender of the orthodox teaching of the Catholic Christian Church and protected the full deposit of faith. The whole Church is still indebted to him for this.

During this same period, some Eastern Christians began questioning the teaching of the Church concerning the relationship between Jesus' humanity and his divinity, and how to articulate this mystery of the Christian faith.

In response, Leo resolved the doctrinal controversy with a letter setting down the Church's official teaching on Jesus Christ as One Person with a human and a divine nature which could not be separated. This profound and theologically astute letter reconciled the disputing parties. It preserved the core teaching concerning Jesus Christ. Finally, it affirmed the fullness of what occurred in the Incarnation, as well as its implications for all men and women who are baptized into Jesus Christ.

To this day, Leo's letter is heralded and praised, not only for bringing peace, but for preserving the fullness of Christian truth and doctrine. It helped the whole Church enter more fully into the heart of the Gospel message of who Jesus is - and who we can become in Him, as we cooperate with grace.

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A lot of people speculated that the two former Harry Potter stars were at one point dating. The rumor mill was in full force over the past few years, especially after Tom Felton shared a few photos of the two together on Instagram in April 2019.

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Leo I - History

Date Range: July 24 - August 23
Symbol: The Lion
Ruling Planet: Sun
Quality: Fixed
Element: Fire
Basic Trait: I Will
Closest Metal: Gold
Lucky Day: Sunday
Lucky Colors: Gold, Orange and Yellow
Lucky Gems: Carbuncles, Rubies and Diamonds
Lucky Flowers: Marigolds and Daffodils

The zodiac sign of Leo has the symbol of 'The Lion' and just like a lion a Leo believes that he rules everyone else. Don't tell him he doesn't, it will break his big, loving, proud heart. Leos can easily go from being vigorously outgoing to plain lazy. If you want to find a Leo, go to the most dazzling places in the town. You will find him there, surrounded by people and playing his role in the limelight beautifully. He likes to live in style and hates boredom. There are hardly any introvert Leos, only those who pretend to be introverts.

They are in love with their pride and ego and fiercely protect what they believe to be theirs. The lion loves to give advice on how you should manage your life and feels himself to be superior to others. However, his ego is very vulnerable and he will get deeply hurt if you don't respect his wisdom. It is difficult to ignore the lion for too long, he will be the center of attraction sooner or later. The best way to tame him is to flatter him he will turn into a purring kitten. Praising the intellect will work as much as admiring the appearance will.

He is pretty clever and will never ever bother to waste his energy on something insignificant. Leo holds back nothing, not even his approval and compliments. Infact, he is so generous with compliments that he can make you embarrassed and self-conscious. At the same time, he is equally vocal about the things he does not like. However, one thing you can be sure of - he means what he says. You may or may not like it, but it is his true opinion. Leo plays the perfect host, treating you to the best of everything, right from ambience to the dessert.

He has a forgiving nature and is full of sympathy. Even in his love life, he easily reconciles after a split up. Leos are passionate in every aspect of their life, be it love or career or any other thing. They are rarely without a partner and life without love is a big no-no for them. They practically thrive on romance. A Leo is never the one to be dependent on someone. Rather, he loves to lead and be leaned upon. He may complain every now and then about the responsibilities, but in his heart he loves to have them. He dislikes taking help, especially of a financial nature.

On the other hand, he will gives loan to almost everyone. A Leo may run out of cash easily, since he is anything but cautious with it. However, he will always be the best-dressed person at the party. His behavior always borders on the extreme. A Leo will either be extremely careless and sloppy or meticulously neat and orderly. He is also extremely fixed with his ideas and it is very hard to convince him against his opinions. He likes to do one thing at a time. When he is working, you can be sure, he will forget to have his lunch too.

When he's partying, he will put the dance floor on fire. Leos turn out to be the bravest ones in a group, especially in the face of an emergency. They are very loyal, extremely possessive and highly jealous. The lion fiercely defends what he believes to be his. He is a powerful enemy, but one with morals. Creativity and originality are his fortes. Even though he has an ego, is arrogant and overflows with pride, he is extremely good at heart. Being with a Leo will mean that you always have someone to care for, though you may have to flatter him every now and then.

Death and Legacy

Unfortunately, the pilgrimage proved too arduous for the aging novelist. In November 1910, the stationmaster of a train depot in Astapovo, Russia opened his home to Tolstoy, allowing the ailing writer to rest. Tolstoy died there shortly after, on November 20, 1910. He was buried at the family estate, Yasnaya Polyana, in Tula Province, where Tolstoy had lost so many loved ones yet had managed to build such fond and lasting memories of his childhood. Tolstoy was survived by his wife and their brood of 8 children. (The couple had spawned 13 children in all, but only 10 had survived past infancy.)

To this day, Tolstoy&aposs novels are considered among the finest achievements of literary work. War and Peace is, in fact, frequently cited as the greatest novel ever written. In contemporary academia, Tolstoy is still widely acknowledged as having possessed a gift for describing characters&apos unconscious motives. He is also championed for his finesse in underscoring the role of people&aposs everyday actions in defining their character and purpose.

Watch the video: Λέων. Σελήνη στους Παρθένους


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