Theodora, wife of Romanos I

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Theodora (died 20 February 922) was the wife of Romanos I.

Empress[edit]

Her origins and background are not known. She became the mother-in-law to Constantine VII in May or June, 919 with the marriage of the young Emperor to her daughter Helena Lekapene. Her husband Romanos was Drungarios (admiral) of the Byzantine navy and served as a Regent of their son-in-law.

Romanos was proclaimed basileopatōr ("father of the emperor") on the occasion of the marriage. In September, 920, Romanos was invested as kaisar (Caesar). On 17 December 920, Romanos was crowned co-emperor and in effect became the senior of the two associate emperors. Theodora was crowned as Augusta in January 921. She remained in the position until her death a year later.

Status as wife[edit]

She is the only wife of Romanos I mentioned in primary sources and is traditionally considered the mother of all his legitimate children. However there has been some question if she was only his second wife.

Symeon Metaphrastes identifies a certain magister Niketas as father-in-law of Romanos I. This would presumably make him father to Theodora. However Niketas is known from other chronicles to be the father of Sophia, wife of Christopher Lekapenos. Christopher was the eldest son of Romanos.

The reference is typically ignored as a probable mistake by Symeon. However "Familles Byzantines" (1975) by Jean-François Vannier interprets the comment to be correct and that both father and son had married daughters of Niketas. Which would mean Theodora could not be the mother of Christopher. Her son could not marry her sister.

The argument concludes that Christopher is the product of an earlier marriage and Theodora a second wife of Romanos.

Children[edit]

Her children with Romanos are considered to include:

External links[edit]

Royal titles
Preceded by
Helena Lekapene
Byzantine Empress consort
920–922
with Helena Lekapene (920–922)
Succeeded by
Helena Lekapene
Preceded by
Zoe Karbonopsina
Empress-Mother of the Byzantine Empire
January 921 – February 20, 922
Titled as the Empress'Mother, as she was mother to Helena Lekapene,and an Empress in her own right.