Almost all of the evidence for the reign of Leo III is derived from textual sources, the majority of which post-date his reign considerably, most notably the Life by Stephen the Younger and the Chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor. The Battle over Iconoclasm. Most surviving sources concerning the Byzantine Iconoclasm were written by the victors, or the iconodules (people who worship religious images), so it is difficult to obtain an accurate account of events. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. This may have been an effort to secure closer and more cordial relations between Constantinople and Rome. To the royal iconoclastic decrees, Saint John replied with vigor, and by the adoption of a simpler style brought the Christian side of the controversy within the grasp of the common people. The high civil and military officials took part in the enthronement of a new mona… This belief was also influenced by a concept of hierarchy of sanctity, with the Trinity at its pinnacle, followed by the Virgin Mary, referred to in Greek as the Theotokos ("birth-giver of God") or Meter Theou ("Mother of God"), the saints, living holy men, women, and spiritual elders, followed by the rest of humanity. The letter's text is incomplete, and its authenticity and authorship uncertain. This was the Iconoclasm (breaking of images) Controversy, which raged for over a century (725–842), and would eventually have repercussions for the Relics, or holy objects (rather than places), which were a part of the claimed remains of, or had supposedly come into contact with, Christ, the Virgin or a saint, were also widely utilized in Christian practices at this time. Asian people who conquered Constantinople in the 1400's and established a large empire. The major theological arguments, however, remain in evidence because of the need in iconophile writings to record the positions being refuted. Around 726 CE, a period of iconoclasm brought the majority of Byzantine artistic production to a halt. Soon after his accession, Leo V began to discuss the possibility of reviving iconoclasm with a variety of people, including priests, monks, and members of the senate. In 765 St Stephen the Younger was killed, and was later considered a martyr to the Iconophile cause. The events of the seventh century, which was a period of major crisis for the Byzantine Empire, formed a catalyst for the expansion of the use of images of the holy and caused a dramatic shift in responses to them. The use of images had probably been increasing in the years leading up to the outbreak of iconoclasm. He confirmed the decrees of the Iconoclast Council of 754.  The Image of Camuliana in Constantinople appears to have been destroyed, as mentions of it cease.. A large mosaic of a church council in the Imperial Palace was replaced by lively secular scenes, and there was no issue with imagery per se. The Second Iconoclasm was between 814 and 842. Later, it was also influenced by Islamic cultures. Byzantine Iconoclasm. The first Iconoclast period that started with Leo III “The Isaurian” in 726 and lasted until 787 damaged Byzantine art greatly. Social and class-based arguments have been put forward, such as that iconoclasm created political and economic divisions in Byzantine society; that it was generally supported by the Eastern, poorer, non-Greek peoples of the Empire who had to constantly deal with Arab raids. The first church council concerned with religious imagery. https://www.boundless.com/world-history/textbooks/boundless-world-history-textbook/, Understand the reasoning and events that led to iconoclasm. He also declared, "But I also venerate the matter through which salvation came to me, as if filled with divine energy and grace."  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