Constantine X Doukas

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Constantine X Doukas
Κωνσταντῖνος Ι΄ Δούκας
Emperor of the Byzantine Empire
Costantino X - histamenon - Sear 1847v.jpg
Gold histamenon of Constantine X.
Reign 1059–1067
Predecessor Isaac I Komnenos
Successor Romanos IV Diogenes
Born 1006
Died 1067
Spouse unknown
Eudokia Makrembolitissa
Issue Michael VII Doukas
Andronikos Doukas
Konstantios Doukas
Anna Doukaina
Theodora Anna Doukaina
Zoe Doukaina
Dynasty Doukid dynasty
Father Andronikos Doukas

Constantine X Doukas or Dukas, Latinized as Ducas (Greek: Κωνσταντῖνος Ι΄ Δούκας, Kōnstantinos X Doukas) (1006 – May 1067) was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 1059 to 1067.


Constantine Doukas was the son of Andronikos Doukas, a Paphlagonian nobleman who may have served as governor of the theme of Moesia. Addicted to endless debates about philosophy and theology,[1] Constantine gained influence after he married, as his second wife, Eudokia Makrembolitissa, a niece of Patriarch Michael Keroularios.[2] In 1057, Constantine supported the usurpation of Isaac I Komnenos, gradually siding with the court bureaucracy against the new emperor's reforms.[2] In spite of this tacit opposition, Constantine was chosen as successor by the ailing Isaac in November 1059, under the influence of Michael Psellos.[3] Isaac abdicated, and on November 24, 1059, Constantine X Doukas was crowned emperor.[4]

The new emperor quickly associated two of his young sons in power, Michael VII Doukas and Konstantios Doukas,[1] appointed his brother John Doukas as kaisar (Caesar), and embarked on a policy favorable to the interests of the court bureaucracy and the church.[2] Severely undercutting the training and financial support for the armed forces, Constantine X fatally weakened Byzantine defences[1] by disbanding the Armenian local militia of 50,000 men at a crucial point of time, coinciding with the westward advance of the Seljuk Turks and their Turcoman allies.[5] Undoing many of the necessary reforms of Isaac I, he bloated the military bureaucracy with highly paid court officials and crowded the Senate with his supporters.[6]

His decisions to replace standing soldiers with mercenaries[7] and leaving the frontier fortifications unrepaired led Constantine to become naturally unpopular with the supporters of Isaac within the military aristocracy, who attempted to assassinate him in 1061.[1] He also became unpopular with the general population after he raised taxes to try to pay the army.[2]

Constantine lost most of Byzantine Italy to the Normans under Robert Guiscard,[1] except for the territory around Bari, though a resurgence of interest in retaining Apulia occurred under his reign, and he appointed at least four catepans of Italy: Miriarch, Maruli, Sirianus, and Mabrica. He also suffered invasions by Alp Arslan in Asia Minor in 1064, resulting in the loss of the Armenian capital,[8] and by the Oghuz Turks in the Balkans in 1065,[9] while Belgrade was lost to the Hungarians.[10]

Already old and unhealthy when he came to power, Constantine died on May 22, 1067. His final act was to demand that only his sons succeed him, forcing his wife Eudokia Makrembolitissa to take a vow not to remarry.[11]


By his first wife, a daughter of Constantine Dalassenos, Constantine X Doukas had no known children. By his second wife, Eudokia Makrembolitissa, he had the following issue:


Primary Sources

Michael Psellus, Chronographia.

Secondary Sources

  • Norwich, John Julius (1993), Byzantium: The Apogee, Penguin, ISBN 0-14-011448-3<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Canduci, Alexander (2010), Triumph & Tragedy: The Rise and Fall of Rome's Immortal Emperors, Pier 9, ISBN 978-1-74196-598-8<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Kazhdan, Alexander, ed. (1991), Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Vol. I, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Polemis, Demetrios I. (1968), The Doukai: A Contribution to Byzantine Prosopography, London: Athlone Press<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • George Finlay, History of the Byzantine and Greek Empires from 1057–1453, Volume 2, William Blackwood & Sons, 1854


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Canduci, pg. 271
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Kazhdan, pg. 504
  3. Norwich, pg. 337
  4. Finlay, pg. 15
  5. Norwich, pg. 341
  6. Finlay, pg. 17
  7. Norwich, pg. 339
  8. Norwich, pg. 342
  9. Finlay, pg. 27
  10. Finlay, pg. 24
  11. Norwich, pg. 343

External links

Constantine X Doukas
Born: 1006 Died: May 1067
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Isaac I
Byzantine Emperor
Succeeded by
Romanos IV