The Byzantine emperor Leo VI (886-912), was not a general or even a
soldier, like his predecessors, but a scholar, and it was the
religious education he gained under the tutelage of the patriarch
Photios that was to distinguish him as an unusual ruler. This book
analyses Leo's literary output, focusing on his deployment of
ideological principles and religious obligations to distinguish the
characteristics of the Christian oikoumene from the Islamic
caliphate, primarily in his military manual known as the Taktika.
It also examines in depth his 113 legislative Novels, with
particular attention to their theological prolegomena, showing how
the emperor's religious sensibilities find expression in his
reshaping of the legal code to bring it into closer accord with
Byzantine canon law. Meredith L. D. Riedel argues that the impact
of his religious faith transformed Byzantine cultural identity and
influenced his successors, establishing the Macedonian dynasty as a
'golden age' in Byzantium.
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