Constantine IX Monomachus

born с 980
died Jan. 11, 1055

Byzantine emperor (1042–55).

He gained the imperial throne by marrying Zoe, empress of the Macedonian dynasty. An opponent of the great military leaders, he neglected imperial defenses, instead spending extravagantly on luxuries and magnificent buildings. Rebellions broke out at home and abroad, and Byzantine lands were threatened by invaders in southern Italy, Thrace, Macedonia, and Armenia. Constantine tried to ally with the papacy to save southern Italy from the Normans, but growing differences between Rome and Constantinople resulted in the Schism of 1054.

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▪ Byzantine emperor
born c. 980
died Jan. 11, 1055

      Byzantine emperor from 1042 to 1055.

      Constantine owed his elevation to Zoe, the empress of the Macedonian dynasty, who took him as her third husband. Constantine belonged to the civil party, the opponents of the military magnates, and he neglected the defenses of the empire and reduced the army. He spent extravagant sums on luxuries and magnificent buildings and seriously debased the coinage. Rebellions broke out at home and abroad; the Normans were overrunning the Byzantine possessions in south Italy; the Pechenegs (Patzinaks) crossed the Danube River and attacked Thrace and Macedonia; and the Seljuq Turks made their appearance on the Armenian frontier, which was directly exposed to attack, as the Armenian kingdom of Ani lapsed to Constantinople during this reign.

      Constantine attempted to ally with the papacy against the Normans, but relations between the churches of Rome and Constantinople deteriorated. In 1054 (1054, Schism of) the visit of the papal legates resulted in schism. Though he was not outstanding for his statesmanship, it was under his auspices that the University of Constantinople was reorganized, with an efflorescence of learning and letters.

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Universalium. 2010.

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