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date: 09 December 2019

Theophilos, Emperor of Byzantiumlocked

(b 812–13; reg 829–42; d Constantinople, Jan 20, 842).
  • Barbara Zeitler


(b 812–13; reg 829–42; d Constantinople, Jan 20, 842).

Byzantine emperor and patron. He was the son of Emperor Michael II the Armorian (reg 820–29), who entrusted Theophilos’ education to the iconoclast patriarch John the Grammarian (reg 837–43). The last wave of iconoclasm and the apogee of Islamic cultural influence on the Byzantine world occurred during Theophilos’ reign. The economic revival of the early 9th century enabled him to carry out several ambitious building projects mentioned in the Theophanes Continuatus, commissioned by Constantine VII Porphyrogenitos (reg 912–59). Among these were the restoration of Constantinople’s walls along the Sea of Marmara and the building of a xenon (hospital) on the Golden Horn (III.8). He also built a palace at Bryas (III.9), which has provisionally been identified with the ruins near Maltepe, an Asiatic suburb of Istanbul: the surviving substructure’s layout suggests that it was built in imitation of contemporary Umayyad architecture. Historical sources are the only evidence for Theophilos’ other architectural and decorative projects, which included the construction of several buildings in the Great Palace (III.41–4; ...

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