Constantine VI (770-797) was Roman emperor from 780 to 797. He was born in Constantinople on January 14, 770, the son of Leo IV and his empress Irene. He came to the throne at the age of 10, but for the next 10 years his ambitious mother ruled in his name. With the assistance of the patriarch Tarasius, she was able to summon the Seventh Ecumenical Council, held at Nicaea in 787, and to restore the use of religious icons, which had been banned since 726.
A military revolt in her son’s favor in 790 caused Irene’s removal from the administration, but two years later Constantine weakly allowed her to return. She encouraged him to repudiate his wife and take another (795), in order to embroil him with the Church, and her restless intrigues finally succeeded in making him generally odious, even to many of his own followers.
He tried to escape to the provinces but was seized and, on the order of his mother, blinded (August 15, 797).
He died in Constantinople shortly afterward.