Constantine VI, emperor of the East, born in 771, died about 797. He was the son of Leo IV. In 780 he was crowned emperor, his mother Irene acting as regent. The five sons of his grandfather Constantine Copronymus by his second marriage repeatedly conspired against him. For the first offence they were pardoned; for the second they were condemned to the ecclesiastical state; for the third the eldest was deprived of his eyes, and the tongues of the others were cut off by order of Irene. Constantine was affianced by his mother to Rotrudis, a daughter of Charlemagne, but was afterward forced by her to marry Maria, a Paphlagonian princess, whom he disliked. In 790, by the aid of his Armenian guards, he removed Irene from the regency, put her minister Stauracius to death, divorced Maria, and married Theodota, one of her attendants. His divorce and second marriage were denounced by the clergy, while by his rigor he alienated his Armenian guards, and a conspiracy was formed in favor of Irene. The emperor fled from Constantinople, but was captured and brought back to the imperial palace, where his eyes were put out by order of his mother in 797. According to one statement, he died on the same day; according to others, he survived some years in obscurity.
He was the last of the Isaurian line, which had held the empire for 80 years. (See Irene).