LEO III° (called "the Isaurian" = Syrian; c. 680–741), Byzantine emperor from 717 to 741. Leo emerged a strong ruler after compelling the Caliph Suleiman to give up the siege of Constantinople early in his reign. In 721–22 he issued a decree ordering the baptism of the Jews, but, according to a Byzantine source, those that submitted "quickly washed off the baptism." No Jewish source mentions the decree. In 730 Leo forbade the worship of icons, allegedly because of his "saracen mindedness," or, alternatively, persuaded by a Jewish sorcerer. Yet Leo had earlier defended their use to the Caliph Omar II, while direct Jewish influence was, obviously, quite unlikely. However, the fact that Leo's best soldiers came from Phrygia, the home of iconoclasm, partly engendered there by a constant Judeo-Christian syncretism, and his own origins in a monotheistic cultural milieu, might have produced a distaste for images in worship. In this sense there could be a Jewish element in Leo's final choice of iconoclasm rather than another issue for his real purpose – the reassertion of imperial authority over the Church. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Starr, Jews in the Byzantine Empire (1939), 90–93; G. Ostrogorsky, History of the Byzantine State (1956), 142–5; Sharf, in: Byzantinische Zeitschrift (1966), 37–46; Baron, Social2, 3 (1957), 175–8; A.A. Vasiliev, History of the Byzantine Empire, 1 (1965), 255–6. (Andrew Sharf)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Leo III — (or the Greek form Leon III) may refer to: * Leo III the Isaurian (c. 680), Byzantine emperor (717 – June 18, 741). * Pope Leo III, 795 816 * Leo III, also known as Levon II of Armenia (King) * Levon III of Armenia (1287 1307) * Leon III of… …   Wikipedia

  • Leo III. — Leo III. ist der Name folgender Personen: Leo III. (Byzanz) ( 680–741), byzantinischer Kaiser Leo III. (Papst) († 816), Papst Leo III. (Abchasien), der Große, König von Abchasien Leo III. ( 1236–1289), König von Armenien, siehe Leon III.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Leo III — 1. Saint, A.D. c750 816, Italian ecclesiastic: pope 795 816. 2. ( the Isaurian ), A.D. c680 741, Eastern Roman emperor 717 741. * * * known as Leo the Isaurian born с 675, Germanicia, Commagene, Syria died June 18, 742, Constantinople Byzantine… …   Universalium

  • Leo III., S. (15) — 15S. Leo III., (12. Juni), der 99. Papst vom J. 795–816, war von Geburt ein Römer. Sein Vater Azuppius ließ ihn von Kindheit an gut erziehen und in den Wissenschaften unterrichten. Anfänglich war er nach W.W. (VI. 455) regulirter Chorherr von St …   Vollständiges Heiligen-Lexikon

  • Leo III —    1) Emperor (q.v.) from 717 741 who founded the Isaurian dynasty (q.v.). His reign began with the unsuccessful siege (717 718) of Constantinople (q.v.) by the Arab general Maslama (qq.v.), one of several important events of his reign. In 726… …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

  • Leo III —    1) (c. 680–741)    Emperor.    Leo III was elected Byzantine Emperor in 717. He is remembered for defeating the Arabs and for initiating the Iconoclastic Controversy. He believed that the use of icons hindered the conversion of Jews and… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • LEO III — I. LEO III. Rom. Hadr. I. successor, A. C. 795. fil. Asuppi, Car. Mag. iuramentum subiectionis ac fidelitatis dixit, ad quem se receperat, a Romanis orto tumultu vix non interfectus: Hanc iniuriam vindicavit Caesar, Romamque perveniens, a Leone… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Leo III. (Papst) — Leo III. auf einem Mosaik im Triclinium des Lateran Palasts (ca. 799) Das Fresko Stanza dell Incendio di Borgo (Der Schwur von Leo III.) v …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Leo III, King of Armenia — Leo III or Leon III (occasionally numbered Leo IV; hy. Լեիոն Գ, Levon III ; 1287/1289 ndash; 1307) was king of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, ruling from 1303 or 1305 to 1307, along with his uncle Hethum II. He was the son of Thoros III of… …   Wikipedia

  • LEO III. Isaurus — 71. Rom. Imp. A. C. 717. Classem Solimanni, urbem gravi obsidione prementem, incendit ac dissipavit: Omati vero successoris, fame ad reditum compulit. Anastasium II. ope Bulgarorum, Imperium repetentem, summovit: Constantino fil. coronato, A. C.… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

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