Friday, May 25, 2007


Empress of Byzantium

Zoe was the younger daughter of Emperor Constantine VIII, the younger sister of Theodora. When her 68yo father (1028) died, 42yo Zoe succeeded the the Byzantine throne. Zoe married 60yo Romanus III Argyropolus and made him co-emperor. The marriage lasted barely six years before Zoe poisoned her husband (1034) and married the epileptic weakling Michael IV Paphiagonian. Constantinolpe was jointly ruled by Zoe and Michael until Michael asserted himeself (1041) and had Zoe cloistered (1042).

This enforced retirement/confinement was shortlived as the Byzantine nobles rebelled against Michael. Zoe was released from her confinement, and Michael was himself cloistered in a monastery by the nobles. Zoe now ruled jointly with her older sister Theodora (1042).

Zoe married again, this time to Constantine IX Monomachus aged 42, and both reign till her death aged 50 (1050). Zoe was succeeded in Byzantium by Constantine IX Monomachus, who then ruled jointly with her sister Theodora.

~~~ Melisende (first pub:1998 - Women of History)

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