Empress of Byzantium
Widow of the Emperor Leo IV, she pursued a sectarian religious policy at
the expense of political matters. After decades of truly
"Byzantine" intrigue, she ordered her own son blinded so that she
could ascend the throne herself (the succession being barred to the
disabled). This act provided the pretext for the crowning of Charlemagne as
Holy Roman Emperor. Ambitious and devious, but tenacious, Irene was
deposed in 803 and died in exile.
anti-colonial ruler rode into battle with her horse's reins in her teeth, a
pistol in one hand, a cutlass in the other, and covered with diamonds?
Church of Saint Irene
click Sophia's torch