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Title: Zoe Porphyrogenita: (wife of Romanus III, Constantine IX, and Michael IV)
Contributor(s): Garland, Lynda (author)
Publication Date: 2006
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Abstract: The sisters Zoe and Theodora, as nieces of the childless Basil II and daughters of his younger brother Constantine VIII and Helena Alypia, were the only heirs to the Macedonian dynasty in the new generation. They were also its last representatives. While Theodora was later to reign briefly in her own right, it was Zoe who was initially given the chance to secure the future of the imperial family, a chance which she embraced with enthusiasm. Like many a twenty-first century starlet, she married three husbands, adopted a likely young lad as her son and heir, and indulged in numerous affairs. As the embodiment of the dynasty, Zoe legitimised the reign of each of her three husbands, who received the throne by right of marriage to her, and like her grandmother Theophano was implicated in the decease of one of these husbands, whose presence she considered to have become superfluous to requirements. Immensely popular with the inhabitants of the capital, she was protected by them when her position was threatened, despite the fact that she was not only childless but frivolous and extravagant as well, with no concern for the realities of government. But her status was assured by the fact that she (and not her connections by marriage) was the 'Macedonian' and heir of Basil II.
Publication Type: Entry In Reference Work
Source of Publication: De Imperatoribus Romanis ("On the Rulers of Rome"): An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families
Publisher: Academic Computer Services of Salve Regina University
Field of Research (FOR): 210306 Classical Greek and Roman History
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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