First Great Iconoclasm.
My personal studies indicate that the titles "First Iconoclasms" and "second Iconoclasm" are designed to minimize just how many iconoclasm time periods there really were, and how long they went on for. and also to hide from view how many religious men did not believe in the idols so loved by modern Orthodox, who even have these idolatrous shrines in their own homes. And that the word "Great" is added as there were many other iconoclasm revolts that were not so great, as the OT history of the devastation idols can bring on a nation is so clear many in Orthodox and Catholic dominated countries in the past have resisted them.
note: another warrior saint - Khan Tervel as Saint Tribellius - For his deeds, the Bulgarian khan was also canonized as a saint from both the eastern Orthodox and also from the western Catholic churches, thus named St. Trivelius (or Tribellius) Theoktist the savior of Europe.
Leo III .
Emperor Leo III, the Battle for Constantinople and the Old Continent
The year is 715. In the beginning of the spring, the 25th of March, the Byzantium emperor Leo III Isaurian, also called The Syrian, starts the Isaurian Dynasty after The (forced) abdicatIon of Theodosius III.
He fights the Arabs (including with Greek Fire).
Britannica "Leo III" :
"Leo’s military achievements earned him great popularity with his soldiers and the people and may have given him the confidence to pursue his religious policies forcefully. He not only held firm religious opinions but he also had a profound belief in his duty as emperor to implement them as he understood them. In 722 he ordered the forcible baptism of Jews and Montanists (a Christian heretical group). He personally investigated but did not prosecute adherents of the Paulician heresy.
The origins and nature of his policy of Iconoclasm, the most singular religious development in his reign, are obscure and controversial. He was deeply religious and seems to have become genuinely convinced of the sacrilegious character of religious pictures and relics as objects of veneration in worship services. It is uncertain whether any boyhood experiences in northern Syria, including contact with Muslims, influenced his Iconoclastic views, as his critics often charged. The Iconoclastic opinions of certain bishops in western Asia Minor did, however, have some effect upon him. Thus, in 726 he began to speak out publicly against the use of sacred pictures. Opposition to his doctrines may have been the cause for an unsuccessful rebellion against him in the Cyclades Islands in 727."
"In 730 he proclaimed Iconoclasm the official policy of the empire and ordered the removal and destruction of sacred pictures in churches. When Patriarch Germanus I of Constantinople refused his demand for approval of these policies, Leo removed him and appointed a patriarch of his own choice, Anastasius. Where necessary, Leo employed harsh penalties, such as beatings and imprisonment, against recalcitrant ecclesiastics. His policies met particularly strong opposition from monastic circles. Popes Gregory II and Gregory III also strongly rejected his efforts to impose Iconoclasm upon Byzantine-controlled areas of Italy. Leo retaliated by halting financial contributions to the papacy from southern Italy, and he may also have removed the churches of Sicily, Calabria, and Illyria from papal jurisdiction and placed them under the patriarch of Constantinople. At any rate, his actions severely strained relations with the papacy, causing the popes to turn increasingly to the Frankish kings as alternative protectors of the Holy See in Rome and weakening the Byzantine position in the Italian peninsula. Other harsh taxation and administrative measures added to his unpopularity in Sicily and southern Italy. Although an able commander, Leo neglected to maintain strong naval forces in the western Mediterranean and thus further weakened Byzantine power there."
" Leo was buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles at Constantinople. There is inadequate information on internal history in the last eight years of his reign, but he certainly failed to silence opposition to his Iconoclastic policies; in fact, Iconoclasm divided the empire for another century. He had instilled his Iconoclastic opinions and his grasp for military tactics in his son Constantine V, who ably followed and even intensified the policies of his father. Although Leo’s memory was reviled by those later Byzantines who deplored his Iconoclasm, he was admired, especially in certain military circles, for his forceful and generally successful efforts to strengthen the state."
727 AD - The Cyclades islands revolted against the iconoclastic Emperor III (or Leo the Isaurian.. Cosmas, placed at the head of the rebellion, was proclaimed emperor, but perished during the siege of Constantinople. Leo brutally re-established his authority over the Cyclades by sending a fleet that used Greek fire. .
In Christianity, the theory that the venerations of, or through, icons is a wrong, or even illegal religious practice.
An icon in the Christian context could show both holy people of Christian history as well as Jesus, his family or the earliest Christians.
Among the most important examples of Christian iconoclasm was with Byzantine Emperor Leo 3, who in 730 ordered the veneration of Christian icons prohibited throughout the empire. The background for his decision is unclear, but it has often been suggested that he had been influenced by Muslim ideas (see Muslim iconoclasm). He was harsh in the execution of this prohibition, and when not receiving support from the Pope in Rome, he cut off the church's financial sources. He would became excommunicated by the church for this.
For about 50 years through the 8th century, icons were prohibited in the Byzantine Empire. The conflict came to an end in 843, 113 years after Leo 3 formulated his prohibition.
History / Timeline : (LookLex Encyclopaedia)
726: Byzantine Emperor Leo 3 speaks out against the veneration of icons among Christians.
730: Leo 3 prohibits Christian icons, and orders the destruction of sacred imagery in churches.
754: February: Byzantine Emperor Constantine 5, son of Leo 3, conveys a synod at Hieria attended only by bishops sympathetic to his Iconoclast line. Constantine uses the decisions here to continue his programme to destroy icon worship.
787: Byzantine Empress Irene summons the Second Council of Nicaea, in which the veneration of icons is reestablished.
815: March: Byzantine Emperor Leo 5 convokes (call together or summon) a synod at Constantinople that reimposes iconoclast decrees.
832: Byzantine Emperor Theophilus issues The Edict of 832 forbidding the veneration of icons, and launches a brutal campaign to stop this practice throughout the empire.
843: Byzantine Emperor Michael 3 allows the veneration of icons. This became the end of this conflict.