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Leo the Deacon


Leo the Deacon

Leo the Deacon (born ca. 950) was a Byzantine historian and chronicler.

He was born around 950 at Kaloe in Asia Minor, and was educated in Constantinople, where he became a deacon in the imperial palace. While in Constantinople he wrote a history covering the reigns of Romanus II, Nicepheros II, John Tzimiskes, and the early part of the reign of Basil II. Often his observations were based on his experiences as an eyewitness to events. His writing style has been described as "Classical", as he employed language reminiscent of the poet Homer and other ancient Greek historians such as Agathias. Leo is particularly well known for his eyewitness description of Sviatoslav I of Kiev, who invaded Bulgaria in 969 and fought against Roman Imperial forces over its territory.


  • The History of Leo the Deacon: Byzantine military expansion in the tenth century. Introd., transl., and annotations by Alice-Mary Talbot and Denis F. Sullivan (Washington/DC 2005).

External links

  • Leo's Greek text (ed. Migne) in Adobe format
  • Scan of text (ed. Niebuhr, CSHB) in Adobe
  • Text in Russian translation

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