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"Iconoclast" originally referred to a person who destroyed icons, that is, sacred paintings or sculpture. An example is Byzantine emperor Leo III, who ordered the destruction of all icons of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and the Saints in his empire. For more discussion of historical iconoclasts, see iconoclasm.

The name was coined by the iconoclasts' opponents - the Iconodules - as those who opposed the icons called themselves "iconomachs".

See also

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