John of Damascus
John of Damascus (676 - 749), was a Greek Orthodox priest who served as an advisor in the court of the Muslim Caliph of Damascus. From the safety of the court, he was able to criticize the Byzantine emperor Leo III and iconoclasm, which he was promoting. In 730, he wrote Apologetic Treatises against those Decrying the Holy Images. This was the very same year that the pope in Rome excommunicated the emperor Leo.