Eudokia Dekapolitissa

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Eudokia Dekapolitissa (Greek: Εὐδοκία ἡ Δεκαπολίτισσα) was the empress consort of Michael III (r. 842–867), the last member of the Phrygian Dynasty to rule the Byzantine Empire.

Marriage[edit]

Michael III had succeeded to the throne in 842, when he was only two years old. His mother Theodora and Theoktistos jointly served as his regents. In 855, Michael III was fifteen years old and had already gained his first mistress in the person of Eudokia Ingerina.

Theodora did not approve of the relationship and organized a bride-show for her son. Dekapolitissa enters history as one of the contenders for marrying the young emperor. Her background is unknown though entry arguably required noble origin and courtly connections.

Theodora herself had been picked in a bride-show by her mother-in-law Euphrosyne. She chose her own daughter-in-law while Michael was not allowed to choose. Dekapolitissa was thus chosen to become empress.

Empress[edit]

Michael seems to have mostly ignored his new wife and continued his affair with Ingerina. However the conflict between Michael and his regents came to a head in November, 855. Michael organized the assassination of Theoktistos and the displacement of Theodora from the regency. His maternal uncle Bardas had assisted with the coup and replaced them as regent.

In early 856, Michael III relegated his surviving sisters to monasteries. On 15 March 856, Theodora was stripped of her title of Augusta. She was allowed to remain in the palace until accused of conspiring against her son the following year, when she was forced to join her daughters as a nun (August or September 857).

What was the status of Eudokia during these events is unknown. She remained Michael's legal wife but was again mostly ignored. She continued to be the empress until the assassination of Michael III by Basil the Macedonian on 23–24 September 867. Eudokia was not harmed by Basil, and returned as a widow to her family. She does not resurface in historical records.

Royal titles
Preceded by
Theodora
Byzantine Empress consort
855–867
with Eudokia Ingerina (866–867)
Succeeded by
Eudokia Ingerina

Sources[edit]