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LEO.

dust, once had the impudence to reproach the em­peror with faithless conduct towards his benefactor; upon which Leo calmly replied, that no prince should be compelled to resign his own judgment and the interest of his subjects to the will of his servants.

In 466 the Huns threatened at once the northern provinces of Persia and the Eastern empire. Hor-midac, one of their chiefs, crossed the Danube on the ice, but Leo had assembled a sufficient force to check them. His general, Anthemius, afterwards emperor of Rome, defeated them at Sardica, and some time afterwards Anagastus routed them in another pitched battle. Their principal chief, Den-gizec, who was a son of Attila, was killed, and his head was sent to Constantinople, where it was ex­posed to the public. The Huns now sought for peace, and desisted from further hostilities. About this time also Leo made serious preparations for restoring peace to the western empire, where the ambition of Ricimer and Genseric, the king of the Vandals in Africa, had caused interminable troubles and bloodshed. Ricimer entered with him into negotiations, which were not without beneficial effects for Italy, since they led to the election of Anthemius, mentioned above, as emperor of Rome; but Genseric was rather obstinate, though he tried to avoid war by sending back to Constantinople Eudoxia, the widow of the Western emperor, Va-lentinian III., and her daughter, Placidia, whom he had kept as captives during seven years. No sooner, however, was Anthemius proclaimed in Rome, than the two emperors concerted a joint attack upon Carthage, the deplorable issue of which is told in the life of Basiliscus, who had the chief command in this unfortunate expedition. The de­feat of Basiliscus gave Leo an opportunity of getting rid of Aspar and his three haughty sons, Ardaburius, Patricius, and Ermenaric, for public opinion pointed out Aspar as the secret contriver of the failure of the expedition; and the people, especially the orthodox, declared themselves against him in most violent language. In order to ex­asperate the people still more against the minister, Leo treacherously proposed to him to give his daughter, Ariadne^ in marriage to Aspar's son, Patricius, or Patriciolus. When the news of the intended ^marriage spread abroad, the inhabitants of Constiantitiople rose in arms, and stormed the palace of1 Afjiar, who escaped assassination by fly­ing, with "his sons, into the church of St. Euphe-mia. They left it on the promise of Leo that no harm should be done to them ; but they had scarcely arrived within the precincts of the imperial palace, when Trascalisseus rushed upon them with a band of the emperor's body guard, and assassinated Aspar and Ardaburius. This foul deed was per­petrated at the command of Leo, on whose me­mory it is an indelible stain. Trascalisseus, the stanch adherent of Leo, was rewarded with the hand of his daughter, Ariadne, adopted the Greek name of Zeno, and thus finally filled the imperial throne. Aspar had left many friends among his fellow-believers, the Arians, who, in revenge of his death, excited Ricimer to fresh intrigues in the West, and persuaded the Goths to invade Thrace. They came accordingly, and during two years the very environs of Constantinople were rendered un­safe till they yielded to the superior skill of the Roman generals, and sued for peace. The end of Leo's reign was thus disturbed by a calamity which

735

LEO.

was the immediate consequence and the deserved punishment of the murder of Aspar, although the emperor suffered less from it than his innocent subjects. Feeling his strength decline, and having no son, Leo chose in 473 his grandson Leo, the infant son of Zeno and Ariadne, his future suc­cessor, and proclaimed him Augustus. He died in less than a year afterwards, after a long and painful illness, in the month of January, 474, and was buried in the mausoleum of Constantine.

Although Leo does not deserve the name of the Great, he was distinguished by remarkable talents and moral qualities ; his mind was enlightened; he was active, wise, and always knew how to attain his ends. His piety was sincere; he showed great respect to the clergy, and sincerely admired the famous Daniel Stylites, who passed his life on the top of a column in Constantinople. He is reproached with want of firmness in his con­duct towards Aspar and Basiliscus. Leo was illite­rate, but appreciated literature and science. On one occasion one of his courtiers reproached him with having given a pension to the philosopher Eulogius: — " Would God,5' answered the emperor, " that I had to pay no other people than scholars." Theo-doric the Great was educated at the court of Leo. The reign of this emperor is signalised by some ex­traordinary events. In 458 Antioch was destroyed by an earthquake ; in 465 a fire broke out in Con­stantinople, and destroyed the public and private buildings on a space 1750 paces long, from east to west, and 500 wide from north to south. In 469 inundations caused an immense loss of life and property in various parts of the empire ; and in 572 there was an eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which was not only felt in Constantinople, but all the historians agree that there were such showers of ashes that the roofs of the houses were covered with a coat three inches thick. Whether this is true or not is another question.

The wife of Leo, Verina, was renowned for her virtues. He had a son by her who died young, and two daughters, Ariadne, married to Zeno, and Leontia, who married Marcian, the son of Anthe­ mius. (Cedren. p. 346, &c.; Zonar. vol. ii. p. 49, &c.; Theophan. p. 95, &c. j Suidas, s. v. Aew*/ and "L-fivwv.} [W.P.]

LEO II., emperor, succeeded his grandfather, Leo I., in a. d. 474, at four years of age, and died in the same year, after having reigned under the guardianship of his mother, Verina, and his father, Zeno, by whom he was succeeded. [verina; zeno.] [W. P.]

LEO III., FLA'VIUS, surnamed ISAURUS, or the Isaurian, emperor of Constantinople (a. d. 718—741), and one of the most remarkable of the emperors of the East, was a native of Isauria, and the son of a respectable farmer, who settled in Thrace, taking his son with him. Young Conon, which was Leo's original name, obtained the place of a spatharius in the army of the emperor Justi­nian II. Rhinotmetus, and soon rose to eminence through his military talents. Anastasius II., who reigned from A. b. 713—716, gave him the supreme command in Asia, which he was still holding when Theodosius III. deposed that emperor, and seized the crown in January, 716. Summoned to ac­knowledge Theodosius, the gallant general called him an usurper, and immediately took up arms against him, alleging that he would restore the de­posed Anastasius to the throne, but really intending

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