Constantine X Doukas
Constantine X Doukas
Κωνσταντίνος Ι΄ Δούκας
Emperor of the Byzantine Empire
Gold histamenon of Constantine X.
Reign 1059–1067 Born 1006 Died 1067 Predecessor Isaac I Successor Romanos IV Consort to unknown
Offspring Michael VII Doukas
Theodora Anna Doukaina
Dynasty Doukid dynasty Father Andronikos Doukas
Constantine Doukas was the son of Andronikos Doukas, a Paphlagonian nobleman who may have served as governor of the theme of Moesia. Addicted to endless debates about philosophy and theology, Constantine gained influence after he married, as his second wife, Eudokia Makrembolitissa, the niece of Patriarch Michael Keroularios. In 1057, Constantine supported the usurpation of Isaac I Komnenos, but gradually sided with the court bureaucracy against the new emperor's reforms. In spite of this tacit opposition, Constantine was chosen as successor by the ailing Isaac in November, 1059, under the influence of Michael Psellos. Isaac abdicated and on November 24, 1059, Constantine X Doukas was crowned emperor.
The new emperor quickly associated two of his young sons in power, Michael VII Doukas and Konstantios Doukas, appointed his brother John Doukas as kaisar (Caesar) and embarked on a policy favorable to the interests of the court bureaucracy and the church. Severely undercutting the training and financial support for the armed forces, Constantine X fatally weakened Byzantine defences (by disbanding the Armenian local militia of 50,000 men) at a crucial point of time, coinciding with the westward advance of the Seljuk Turks and their Turcoman allies. Undoing many of the necessary reforms of Isaac I, he bloated the military bureaucracy with highly paid court officials and crowded the Senate with his supporters.
His decisions to replace standing soldiers with mercenaries and leaving the frontier fortifications unrepaired saw Constantine become naturally unpopular with the supporters of Isaac within the military aristocracy, who attempted to assassinate him in 1061; he was also unpopular with the general population, after he finally raised taxes to try to pay the army.
Constantine lost most of Byzantine Italy to the Normans under Robert Guiscard, except for the territory around Bari, though a resurgence of interest in retaining Apulia occurred under his watch and he appointed at least four catepans of Italy: Miriarch, Maruli, Sirianus, and Mabrica. He also suffered invasions from Alp Arslan in Asia Minor in 1064, resulting in the loss of the Armenian capital and the Uzes in the Balkans in 1065, while Belgrade was lost to the Hungarians. His desire to unify the Byzantine and Armenian churches only added to the chaos that allowed much of Armenia to fall to the Seljuk Turks.
Already old and unhealthy when he came to power, he died on May 22, 1067 and his final act was to demand that only his sons succeed him, forcing his wife Eudokia Makrembolitissa to take a vow not to remarry.
- Michael VII Doukas, who succeeded as emperor.
- Andronikos Doukas, co-emperor from 1068 to 1078.
- Konstantios Doukas, co-emperor from c. 1060 to 1078, died 1081.
- Anna Doukaina, a nun
- Theodora Anna Doukaina, who married Domenico Selvo, Doge of Venice.
- Zoe Doukaina, who married Adrianos Komnenos, a brother of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos.
Michael Psellus, Chronographia.
- Norwich, John Julius (1993), Byzantium: The Apogee, Penguin, ISBN 0-14-011448-3
- Canduci, Alexander (2010), Triumph & Tragedy: The Rise and Fall of Rome's Immortal Emperors, Pier 9, ISBN 978-1741965988
- Kazhdan, Alexander, ed. (1991), Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Vol. I, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6
- Polemis, Demetrios I. (1968), The Doukai: A Contribution to Byzantine Prosopography, London: Athlone Press
- George Finlay, History of the Byzantine and Greek Empires from 1057–1453, Volume 2, William Blackwood & Sons, 1854
ReferencesConstantine X DoukasBorn: 1006 Died: May 1067
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