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Irene of Athens

Irene of Athens known as Irene Sarantapechaina, was Byzantine empress consort by marriage to Leo IV from 775 to 780, regent during the minority of her son Constantine VI from 780 until 790, co-regent from 792 until 797, sole ruler and first empress regnant of the Byzantine Empire from 797 to 802. A member of the politically prominent Sarantapechos family, she was selected as Leo IV's bride for unknown reasons in 768. Though her husband was an iconoclast, she harbored iconophile sympathies. During her rule as regent, she called the Second Council of Nicaea in 787, which condemned iconoclasm as heretical and brought an end to the first iconoclast period; as Irene's son Constantine reached maturity, he began to move out from under the influence of his mother. In the early 790s, several attempted revolts tried to proclaim him as sole ruler. In 797, Irene gouged out her son's eyes, maiming him so that he died a few days later. With her son dead, Irene proclaimed herself sole ruler. Irene's alleged unprecedented status as a female ruler of the Roman Empire led Pope Leo III to proclaim Charlemagne emperor of the Holy Roman Empire on Christmas Day of 800 under the pretext that a woman could not rule and so the throne of the Roman Empire was vacant.

A revolt in 802 overthrew Irene and exiled her to the island of Lesbos, supplanting her on the throne with Nikephoros I. Irene died in exile less than a year later. Irene was born in Athens sometime between 750 and 755, she was a member of the noble Greek Sarantapechos family, which had significant political influence in central mainland Greece. Although she was an orphan, her uncle or cousin Constantine Sarantapechos was a patrician and also a strategos of the theme of Hellas at the end of the eighth century. Constantine Sarantapechos's son Theophylact was a spatharios and is mentioned as having been involved in suppressing a revolt in 799. Irene was brought to Constantinople by Emperor Constantine V on 1 November 768 and was married to his son Leo IV on 17 December, it is unclear why she was selected as the bride for the young Leo IV. Unusual is that, while Constantine V was a militant iconoclast, known for persecuting venerators of icons, Irene herself displayed iconophile predilections; this fact, combined with the limited information available about her family, has led some scholars to speculate that Irene may have been selected in a bride-show, in which eligible young women were paraded before the bridegroom until one was selected.

If this was the case she would have been the first imperial bride to be selected in this manner. However, there is no solid evidence to support this hypothesis other than the apparent bizarreness of Irene's selection as Leo IV's bride. On 14 January 771, Irene gave birth to a son, the future Constantine VI, named after his grandfather, Irene's father-in-law, Constantine V; when Constantine V died in September 775, Leo IV ascended to the throne at the age of twenty-five years, with Irene as his empress consort. An unnamed female relative of Irene was married to the Bulgar ruler Telerig in 776. Irene had a nephew. Leo IV, though an iconoclast like his father, pursued a policy of moderation towards iconophiles, he removed the penalties on monasteries, imposed by his father and began appointing monks as bishops. When Patriarch Niketas of Constantinople died in 780, Leo IV appointed Paul of Cyprus, who had iconophile sympathies, as his successor, although he did force him to swear oaths that he would uphold the official iconoclasm.

During Lent of 780, Leo IV's policies on iconophiles became much harsher. He ordered for a number of prominent courtiers to be arrested, scourged and tortured after they were caught venerating icons. According to the 11th century historian George Kedrenos, who wrote many centuries after Irene's death, this crackdown on iconophiles began after Leo IV discovered two icons hidden underneath Irene's pillow. Leo IV discovered the courtiers who had brought the icons, he had them tortured and scolded Irene for breaking with her faith. Irene insisted. After the incident, Leo refused to have marital relations with Irene again. Lynda Garland, a historian of the Byzantine Empire, states that this story too resembles a different story told about the empress Theodora, wife of Theophilos, to be true. Nonetheless, she maintains that it is possible that Irene may have been trying to fill the palace with supporters of iconophilism, which may have triggered Leo IV's crackdown. Leo IV died on 8 September 780 and Irene became regent for their nine-year-old son Constantine VI.

Rumors were circulated claiming that Leo IV had died of a fever after putting on the jeweled crown, dedicated by either Maurice or Herakleios. Irene herself may have promoted this rumor in an effort to smear her deceased husband's memory. In October, only six weeks after Leo IV's death, Irene was confronted with a conspiracy led by a group of prominent dignitaries that sought to raise Caesar Nikephoros, a half-brother of Leo IV, to the throne. Irene had Bardas and Konstantinos scourged and banished, she replaced all of them with dignitaries. She had Nikephoros and his four brothers ordained as priests, a status which disqualified them from ruling, forced them to serve communion at the Hagia Sophia on Christmas Day 780. On the same day, Irene returned the crown her husb

E. P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park

E. P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park is a 550-acre Kentucky state park located in the Freys Hill area of Louisville, Kentucky, on former land of Kentucky's Central State Hospital. When opened in 1974, it was named in honor of Republican Jefferson County Judge/Executive Erbon Powers "Tom" Sawyer, killed in a car accident on Louisville's Interstate 64 in 1969 while still in office. Sawyer was the father of journalist Diane Sawyer; the park's amenities include an activities center with a gymnasium that has indoor courts for badminton and volleyball as well as an Olympic-sized swimming pool and weight room. The park has 12 tennis courts, 14 soccer fields, 3 lighted softball fields, a mile-long fitness trail, a 1¼ mile nature trail, a permanent BMX track, a model aircraft airfield, a dog park and picnic facilities; the park is the site of the Louisville Astronomical Society's "Urban Astronomy Center." In 2004, Louisville officials suggested that Otter Creek Park, a 2,600-acre city-operated park lying outside of Louisville's city limits, become a state park in an exchange for E. P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park becoming a city park.

In 2010, the state took over Otter Creek Park in a separate deal and it reopened in 2011 as an outdoor recreation area operated by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. List of attractions and events in the Louisville metropolitan area List of parks in the Louisville metropolitan area Kleber, John E. et al.. The Encyclopedia of Louisville. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-2100-0. CS1 maint: extra text: authors list

Canyon Dam (Sri Lanka)

The Canyon Dam is a large arch-gravity dam built across the Maskeliya Oya, 4.5 km upstream of the iconic Laxapana Falls, in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. The associated power station plays a major role in the national power grid, due to its significant output; the dam is surrounded by steel structures of the substation. The dam creates the small Canyon Reservoir, measuring at 450 m and 350 m in its longest length and width, respectively; the reservoir's primary source of water is the Maskeliya Oya, with additional water discharged from the Canyon HPower Station, located at the same site. Water from the Canyon Reservoir is further transferred through a penstock to the New Laxapana Power Station, located 7 km downstream, at 06°55′05″N 80°29′31″E, 1.5 km northwest of Kiriwan Eliya. The power station consists of two hydroelectric generators of 50 MW each, both of which were commissioned in February 1974. List of dams and reservoirs in Sri Lanka List of power stations in Sri Lanka