Irene of Khazaria

Irene of Khazaria

Female - Abt 750    Has more than 100 ancestors and 7 descendants in this family tree.

Personal Information    |    Notes    |    All

  • Name Irene of Khazaria 
    Relationshipwith Francis Fox
    Gender Female 
    Died Abt 750 
    Person ID I490640  Geneagraphie
    Last Modified 10 Nov 2009 

    Father Bihar von Khazan,   b. Abt 690,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Siblings 1 sibling 
    Family ID F101640  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Constantine de Byzantie, V,   b. 718,   d. 14 Sep 775  (Age 57 years) 
    Children 
     1. Leo de Byzantie, IV, the Khazar',   d. 780
    Last Modified 27 Oct 2004 
    Family ID F197180  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • a Khazar princess

      732, the Byzantine Empire was under threat of invasion from the Umayyad Caliphate . Seeking allies, Leo III the Isaurian sent an embassy to Bihar , Khagan of the Khazars . The alliance was sealed with the marriage of Tzitzak to Constantine V , son and junior co-ruler of Leo.
      Tzitzak was escorted to Constantinople for her marriage. Constantine was about fourteen years old. She may have been even younger as she would not give birth for eighteen years. Tzitzak became a Christian under the baptismal name Irene . Tzitzak's wedding gown became famous for having started a new fashion craze in Constantinople for male robes called tzitzakion .
      The chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor records Tzitzak learning to read religious text . He comments her as pious and contrasts her with the "impiety" of her father-in-law and husband. Leo III and Constantine V were Iconoclast Emperors while Theophanes was an Iconodule monk. His praise was probably reflective of Irene herself sharing his views.
      Whether her mother-in-law Maria was still senior Empress at the time of her marriage is uncertain. Leo III died on 18 June 741 . Constantine V succeeded him with Irene as his Empress consort. However almost immediately civil war started as Artabasdos , brother-in-law of Constantine, claimed the throne for himself. The civil war lasted to 2 November 743 . The role of Irene in the war has not been commented by Theophanes.
      On 25 January 750 ,Constantine and Tzitzak had a son, Leo, who succeeded his father as Emperor Leo IV . He was better known as "Leo the Khazar". His birth happens to be the last mention of Irene in the historical record. By the following year, Constantine was already married to his second wife Maria . Lynda Garland has suggested Tzitzak died in childbirth.
      The word "Tzitzak" is most likely the hellenized version of the Turkic word "çiçek", meaning "flower."


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