Romanos I Lekapenos


Romanos I Lekapenos
   Emperor (q.v.) from 920-944. He was the first of a series of emperors, the last being Basil II (q.v.), who legislated against powerful landed magnates, the dynatoi (q.v.), by making it difficult for them to purchase peasant landholdings. His first edict, the novel (q.v.) of 922, made it difficult for the dynatoi to purchase peasant land except when they already owned property in the village. A subsequent edict in 934 expresses frustration that the dynatoi were circumventing the law and decreed the restoration of peasants' properties. At the beginning of his reign, the Tome of Union (q.v.) ended the long controversy over the tetragamy (q.v.). Externally, the war with Symeon of Bulgaria (q.v.) ended in 927, after which general John Kourkouas (q.v.) began offensive operations in Armenia and northern Mesopotamia (qq.v.), having mixed results against Sayf al-Dawla (q.v.) until he captured Melitene (q.v.) in 934. Nisibis, Dara, Amida, and Martyropolis (qq.v.) were captured in 943. In 944 he besieged Edessa (q.v.), which was forced to relinquish its famous mandylion (q.v.). Also worthy of mention is the failed attack on Constantinople by the Rus (qq.v.) in 941.

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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