Konstantios Doukas

Constantius Ducas (Greek Κωνστάντιος Δούκας; * 1060, † October 18, 1081 at Dyrrachium ) was Byzantine co-emperor from 1060 to 1078 and Pretender 1078/79.


Constantius Ducas came from the Byzantine noble family of Ducas, which was one of the oldest in the kingdom. It seems remarkable that the putative progenitor of the House, Andronikos, which is already 904 called domestikos ton scholon ( supreme commander of the imperial forces ) and as Byzantine Dux (ie military governor ) - which the family gave the name - in the year 908 converted to Islam.

Thus, this great noble family, the two emperors of the Byzantine Empire, Constantine X (1059-1067) and Michael VII (1071-1078) directs, come, from a Muslim, which shows that at that time a considerable tolerance towards Islam existed.

His father was Constantine Dukas (1006-1067), who was Constantine X. 1059-1067 Emperor. His mother was Eudocia Makrembolitissa (1021-1096), regent of the empire in 1067 and 1071, which was after the death of his father Romanos Diogenes, his second wife, who as Romanus IV ruled the Byzantine Empire from 1068 to 1071.


Co-emperor with his father

While Constantius was only the youngest son of Constantine X, but the only one who was born after his accession to the throne and therefore the honorary name " Porphyrogenitus " (the " Purple -born " ) was wearing. This is because he. During the " Porphyra ", in the space of imperial " Great Palace, was born in Constantinople Opel, which was scheduled for imperial births The Porphyra owed ​​its name to the lining of the floor and walls with a purple porphyry. Constantius was at his birth - in addition to his oldest brother Michael - will be charged as co-emperor.

Under co-emperor Romanus IV

When his father, Emperor Constantine X., 1067, died Constantius was only seven years old. Since the nominal heir Michael was still a minor, his mother Eudocia took over the regency. In practice, however, ruled the monk, historian and statesman, Michael Psellos ( 1017/18-1078 ) and the uncle of Constantius, the Kaisar ( Caesar ) John Dukas, who was a younger brother of the late Emperor.

Given the massive military threat of the empire from outside the military aristocracy wanted the government did not leave a boy, a woman or a monk, but argued for a strong military rule. The mother of Constantius, the Empress Eudocia was thus forced to get married with the Cappadocian magnates and victorious general, Romanos Diogenes. By this marriage Romanos Diogenes 1068 was crowned stepfather of Constantius and subsequently as Romanus IV Emperor of the Byzantine Empire. He reigned from 1068 to 1071 as Chief Kaiser and closed so that the sons entitled to inherit his predecessor as mere " co-emperor " for the time being of the rule practically, although the second oldest, Andronikos, now nominally aufrückte the ruler College.

The tide should turn three years later. Romanus IV of primarily sought a suppression of the Seljuk Turks, suffered with his army at the Battle of Manzikert on August 26, 1071 against Alp Arslan, sultan of the Great Seljuks ( 1063-1072 ), a crushing defeat and was captured. This opportunity was of his opponents - availed to declare him deposed and to occupy the throne new - under the leadership of Johannes Dukas Kaisars.

Co-emperor with his brother Michael VII

After the deposition of his stepfather, Romanos IV, was Constantius ' oldest brother, Michael VII, who was nominally since 1067 Emperor, proclaimed and crowned on October 24, 1071 sole ruler. Emperor Michael VII - by Georg Ostrogorsky " a live alien bookworm " - but could not long enjoy his reign, there was not only threatening attacks from the outside, but also inside problems with rival pretenders to the crown. Among these there was not only his uncle, the Kaisar John Dukas, but also the Dux of Dyrrachium, Nikephoros Bryennios, and the strategist of the theme ( province ) of Anatoliken, Nikephoros Botaneiates. The latter had himself proclaimed on January 7, 1078 Emperor of the Byzantine Empire and marched to Constantinople Opel. There is now an uprising forced Michael VII to renounce the crown and the entrance to the studio monastery in Constantinople Opel as a monk. The former monastery church is mostly still preserved as Imrahor Camii.

Designated Kaiser 1078

That was the moment, may have hoped to Constantius probably for some time. His brother had in fact not abdicated in favor of Nicephorus Botaneiates, but in his favor. Thus Constantius was designated emperor of the Byzantine Empire. His only rival was Nikephoros Botaneiates. Although it supported the troops in Asia Minor and proclaimed him emperor, it soon became apparent that he was not suited to rule the empire.

Monk and exile

His lack of talent for the difficult task of the ruler of the threatened from all sides Byzantine Empire was so obvious when Constantius, that it finally even his own followers extradited to Nikephoros Botaneiates to avoid a civil war. This forced Constantius to become a monk, and exiled him to the Princes' Islands in the Marmara Sea. Nicephorus, who had secured the support of Suleiman ibn Kutalmış († 1086 at Antioch ), founder ( 1077 ) of the Sultanate of Rum Seljuk, moved on March 24, 1078 Konstantin Opel and settled on the same day of Kosmas I. the Patriarch of Constantinople Opel as Nicephorus III. crowned emperor of the Byzantine Empire.

General I. Alexios

Constantius, however, it was not determined to end his life as a monk on the Princes' Islands. In the year of his exile by the emperor Nicephorus III. married his niece Irene Dukaina (ca. 1066-1123/33 ) ( granddaughter of John Dukas mentioned Kaisar ) a successful and ambitious generals named Alexios Komnenos. This nephew of the Emperor Isaac I. dethroned Emperor Nikephoros III three years later. and settled himself on April 4, 1081 in the Hagia Sophia by the Patriarch of Constantinople Opel Kosmas I. as Alexios I. crowned Emperor.

Emperor Alexios left Constantius get back as close relatives of his wife from exile and gave him a command to the beleaguered western flank of the empire. Beset this was mainly from the swashbuckling Norman Robert Guiscard out of the house Hauteville, who had not only made Duke of Apulia and Calabria, but also even showed ambitions to seize even the weakened Byzantine Empire. So he became engaged in 1074 his daughter Olympia with Constantine Ducas Porphyrogenitus, the nephew of Constantius and only son of Emperor Michael VII - and therefore with the expected heirs of the kingdom. Not enough with that, came Robert Guiscard in 1081 with his army on the Balkan front, where he died on October 18, in a great battle at Dyrrachium (now Durrës in Albania), the army of Emperor Alexios Komnenos defeated, conquered Durazzo and connect up to Thessaloniki pushed forward.

Constantius Ducas did not live this past defeats: it had fallen already on October 18, 1081 at the head of his troops in the battle of Dyrrachium.


About a marriage or children of Constantius is not known.


  • Michael Psellos: Chronographia.