|Augustus of the Eastern Roman Empire|
An illustration of Leo II (right) with his grandfather Leo I (left), based on coins bearing their image.
|Emperor of the Roman Empire|
|Reign||18 November 473 – 18 January 474 (Caesar under Leo I)|
18 January 474 – 10 November 474 (Augustus)
|Co-emperors|| Zeno (9 February 474 – 10 November 474)|
Glycerius (Western Emperor, 473-474)
Julius Nepos (Western Emperor, 474)
|Consul of the Roman Empire|
|Reign||1 January 474 – 10 November 474|
|Died||10 November 474 (aged 7)|
Leo II (Latin : Flavius Leo Augustus; Greek : Λέων Β', Leōn II; c. 467 – 10 November 474) was briefly the Byzantine (East Roman) emperor in 474 AD when he was a child aged 7. He was the son of Zeno, the Isaurian general and future emperor, and Ariadne, the daughter of Emperor Leo I. Leo II was made co-emperor with his grandfather Leo I on 18 November 473, and became sole emperor on 18 January 474 after Leo I died of dysentery. His father Zeno was made co-emperor by the Byzantine Senate on 9 February and they co-ruled for a short time before Leo II died on 10 November 474.
Leo II was born in 467, the son of Zeno, an Isaurian general under Leo I, and Ariadne, the daughter of then emperor Leo I.He was the maternal grandson of Emperor Leo I and Empress Verina. Leo II was made caesar on 18 November 473, making him co-emperor alongside his grandfather Leo I. He was crowned at the Hippodrome, and the ceremony was presided over by the Ecumenical Patriarch. He was also appointed as the sole consul for 474 around this time. When Leo I died of dysentery on 18 January 474, Leo II ascended the throne. On 9 February 474, the Byzantine Senate made his father Zeno co-emperor under Leo II, as Leo II was too young to sign official documents. Leo II died soon after, on 10 November 474, at the age of 7, leaving Zeno as the sole emperor.
His death having occurred so soon after he became emperor has led to speculation among some modern scholars that he was poisoned by his mother Ariadne so that Zeno could ascend to the throne. However no contemporary sources raised this suggestion, even though Zeno was unpopular, thus it is considered likely that Leo II's death was natural, especially when the high child mortality rate of the time is considered.Victor of Tonona, a 6th-century chronicler, says that Leo II did not actually die, but was rather taken by Ariadne and hidden at a monastery. This is very likely a confusion with Basiliscus, the son of the Byzantine commander Armatus. Basiliscus was crowned caesar in 476 and was almost executed in 477 after his father was murdered by Zeno, but was saved by Ariadne. The confusion likely stems from the fact that Basiliscus was renamed Leo in order to avoid association with the usurper who rose against Zeno.
Zeno was vastly unpopular, due to a lack of dynastic prestige, with his only familial ties to the imperial throne being his marriage to Ariadne, the daughter of Leo I, and through his now-dead son Leo II. Additionally, because he was an Isaurian, he was seen as a foreigner by the Byzantine elite, and the treasury was empty on his ascension.Zeno's sole rule was opposed by the House of Leo, with Verina, the widow of Leo I, proclaiming her brother Basiliscus as emperor in January 475. Zeno fled, and for 20 months Basiliscus ruled before Zeno returned and retook the throne. Zeno's rule was marked by constant unrest, and it was only through cunning and bribery that he managed to rule for 17 years, until his death on 9 April 491.
Anastasius I was Byzantine Emperor from 491 to 518. He made his career as a government administrator. He came to the throne at the age of 61 after being chosen by the wife of his predecessor, Zeno. His religious tendencies caused tensions throughout his reign. Because his name is distinctly and unmistakably Christian, it indicates that he was born and raised a Christian, in contrast to previous Christian Emperors, most notably Constantine I, who were converts.
The 470s decade ran from January 1, 470, to December 31, 479.
Leo I was Eastern Roman Emperor from 457 to 474. A native of Dacia Aureliana near historic Thrace, he was known as Leo the Thracian.
Zeno the Isaurian, originally named Tarasis Kodisa Rousombladadiotes, was Eastern Roman Emperor from 474 to 475 and again from 476 to 491. Domestic revolts and religious dissension plagued his reign, which nevertheless succeeded to some extent in foreign issues. His reign saw the end of the Western Roman Empire following the deposition of Romulus Augustus and the death of Julius Nepos, but he contributed much to stabilising the Eastern Empire.
Basiliscus was Eastern Roman Emperor from 475 to 476. A member of the House of Leo, he came to power when Emperor Zeno was forced out of Constantinople by a revolt.
Aelia Verina was the Empress consort of Leo I of the Byzantine Empire. She was a sister of Basiliscus. Her daughter Ariadne was Empress consort of first Zeno and then Anastasius I. Verina was the maternal grandmother of Leo II.
The Thracian Goths, also known as Moesogoths or Moesian Goths, refers to the branches of Goths who settled in Thrace and Moesia, Roman provinces in the Balkans. These Goths were mentioned in the 4th, 5th and 6th centuries.
The office of Roman Emperor underwent significant turbulence in the fourth and fifth centuries, particularly under the period of the Dominate. In the West, where the fall of the Western Roman Empire was underway, its holders became puppets of a succession of barbarian kings. In the East, it began to assume autocratic trappings.
The House of Leo or the Leonid Dynasty ruled the Eastern Roman Empire from 457 to 518.
Flavius Appallius Illus Trocundus was a general of the Eastern Roman Empire, involved in the rise and fall of Emperor Basiliscus and the rebellion against Emperor Zeno.
Flavius Illus was a Byzantine general, who played an important role in the reigns of the Byzantine Emperors Zeno and Basiliscus.
Flavius Armatus, also known as Harmatius, was a Byzantine military commander, magister militum under Emperors Leo I, Basiliscus and Zeno, and consul. He was instrumental in the rebellion of Basiliscus against Zeno, and in his subsequent fall.
Marcian was a member of the House of Leo and a usurper against Emperor Zeno in 479.
Aelia Ariadne was Eastern Roman Empress as the wife of Zeno and Anastasius I.
Aelia Zenonis was the Empress consort of Basiliscus of the Byzantine Empire, brother of Verina. Her sister-in-law was Empress consort to Leo I and mother to Ariadne. Her niece Ariadne was Empress consort to Zeno and mother of Leo II. Her ancestry is unknown.
The Isaurian War was a conflict that lasted from 492 to 497 and that was fought between the army of the Eastern Roman Empire and the rebels of Isauria. At the end of the war, Eastern Emperor Anastasius I regained control of the Isauria region and the leaders of the revolt were killed.
Leontia was the daughter of the Eastern Roman Emperor Leo I.
The wife of Julius Nepos was the last empress of the Roman Empire in the West, whose husband reigned from 474 through 480, although he was in exile from his capital after 475. His surname, Nepos, he obtained through his marriage. His wife's given name is not in any primary source, all of which report her as the neptis of Leo I the Thracian of the Roman Empire in the East (457–74), and his spouse Verina. The word neptis could translate as granddaughter, niece or (close) relative, but it is usually assumed that Julius' wife was Leo's niece, and more likely related by blood to Verina rather than Leo. The historian Malchus reports, "Verina also joined in urging this, giving a helping hand to the wife of Nepos, her relative".
Basiliscus was the only son of the East Roman (Byzantine) military commander Armatus and briefly caesar of the East Roman Empire in 476–477/8. In later life, he became a priest and finally bishop of Cyzicus.
The Eastern Roman Empire was ruled by the House of Leo from 457, the accession of Leo I, to 518 AD, the death of Anastasius I. The rule of the Leonid dynasty coincided with the rapid decline, collapse and eventual fall of the Western Roman Empire. Following the end of the Western Empire, Emperor Zeno abolished the position of Western Roman Emperor and declared himself the sole Roman Emperor. The Eastern Roman Empire would come to last for several more centuries, and subsequent dynasties would invest large amounts of resources in attempts to retake the western provinces.
Leo II (emperor)Born: 468 Died: 10 November 474
| Eastern Roman Emperor |
Leo I (alone)
| Consul of the Roman Empire |
Zeno (east only)