chapter  10
12 Pages

Eudokia Makrembolitissa (1059-78+)

With Eudokia Makrembolitissa, niece of the patriarch Michael Keroularios,l and second wife of Constantine X Doukas (1059-67), there emerges the first of a number of women of Byzantine birth, who, despite unexpectedly reaching the throne, wield power once there with confidence and finesse. In this Eudokia was to be followed by Alexios Komnenos's mother Anna Dalassene, and Euphrosyne Doukaina. Indeed, Eudokia was one of the more masterful of Byzantine empresses, and Psellos, who knew her well and liked to think of himself as one of her most intimate advisers, points out that her conduct resembled that of an emperor: her pronouncements had the imperial note of authority.2 Eudokia, the daughter of John Makrembolites and Michael Keroularios's sister, was also a literary lady,3 as well as the mother of seven children by Constantine Doukas, one of whom died in infancy.4 Two of these, Constantios and Zoe, were porphyrogennetoi born after Constantine's accession, and she was to have two further sons by her second husband Romanos IV Diogenes.