Catherine of Bulgaria

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Byzantine Empress consort
SpouseIsaac I Komnenos
FatherIvan Vladislav of Bulgaria

Catherine of Bulgaria (Church Slavonic: Єкатерїна Greek: Αἰκατερίνη Bulgarian: Екатерина, romanizedEkaterina; died after 1059) was empress consort to Byzantine emperor Isaac I Komnenos and co-regent of Constantine X for a period after the abdication of her spouse in 1059. She was a daughter of Ivan Vladislav of Bulgaria and his wife Maria, and thus a sister of Presian and Alusian. Catherine was also a paternal aunt of Maria of Bulgaria.


Catherine was a daughter of Ivan Vladislav (reigned 1015–18), the last Tsar of Bulgaria.[1] She married the general Isaac Komnenos.[2] After he became emperor in 1057, Isaac raised her to Augusta.[3]

Isaac abdicated the throne on November 22, 1059. He retired to the Stoudios Monastery and spent the remainder of his life, until his death in late 1060 or 1061, as a monk.[2][4] Following her husband's abdication, she appears to have co-reigned for a while with Constantine X, but eventually she too retired to the Myrelaion monastery under the monastic name of Xene.[5]


Catherine had at least two children with Isaac:[6]

  • Manuel Komnenos (ca. 1030 – 1042/57), probably the "son of Komnenos" recorded as having been engaged to the daughter of the protospatharios Helios. He died sometime between 1042 and 1057.[7]
  • Maria Komnene (born ca. 1034), her beauty is remarked upon by Psellos, but she remained unmarried, and retired with her mother to the Myrelaion.[8]


  1. ^ ODB, "Aaronios" (A. Kazhdan), pp. 1–2; "Isaac I Komnenos" (C. M. Brand, A. Cutler), pp. 1011–1012.
  2. ^ a b ODB, "Isaac I Komnenos" (C. M. Brand, A. Cutler), pp. 1011–1012.
  3. ^ Varzos 1984, p. 44.
  4. ^ Varzos 1984, pp. 42–43.
  5. ^ Varzos 1984, pp. 46–47.
  6. ^ Varzos 1984, p. 47.
  7. ^ Varzos 1984, p. 58.
  8. ^ Varzos 1984, pp. 58–59.


  • Kazhdan, Alexander, ed. (1991). The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-504652-8.
  • Sewter, Edgar Robert Ashton, ed. (1953). The Chronographia of Michael Psellus. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press.
  • Varzos, Konstantinos (1984). Η Γενεαλογία των Κομνηνών [The Genealogy of the Komnenoi] (PDF) (in Greek). Vol. A. Thessaloniki: Centre for Byzantine Studies, University of Thessaloniki. OCLC 834784634. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2019-04-01. Retrieved 2019-06-12.

External links[edit]

Catherine of Bulgaria
Born: 11th century Died: after 1059
Royal titles
Preceded by Byzantine Empress consort
Succeeded by