Constantine Doukas (co-emperor)

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Constantine Doukas
Emperor of the Romans
Cloisonné engraving of Constantine Doukas from the Holy Crown of Hungary
Byzantine emperor
Reignc. 1074–1078
PredecessorMichael VII Doukas
SuccessorNikephoros III Botaneiates
Co-emperorsMichael VII (1071–1078)
Konstantios (1071–1078)
Andronikos (1068–1070s)
2nd reign1081–1087
PredecessorNikephoros III Botaneiates
SuccessorAlexios I Komnenos
Bornc. 1074
Diedc. 1095 (aged about 19)
SpouseAnna Komnene
FatherMichael VII Doukas
MotherMaria of Alania

Constantine Doukas or Ducas (Greek: Κωνσταντίνος Δούκας, Kōnstantinos Doukas, c. 1074 – c. 1095) was Byzantine junior emperor from 1074 to 1078, and again from 1081 to 1087. He was born to Emperor Michael VII Doukas and Empress Maria of Alania in about 1074, and elevated to junior emperor probably in the same year. He was junior emperor until 1078, when Michael VII was replaced by Nikephoros III Botaneiates. Because Constantine was not made junior emperor under Nikephoros III, his betrothal to Olympias, the daughter of Robert Guiscard, was broken, which Robert Guiscard used as a pretext to invade the Byzantine Empire. John Doukas forced Nikephoros to abdicate in favor of Alexios I Komnenos in 1081, and shortly afterwards Alexios elevated Constantine to junior emperor. Constantine married Alexios's daughter Anna Komnene, and remained junior emperor until 1087, when Alexios had a son, John II Komnenos. Constantine died in c. 1095.


Constantine Doukas was born in about 1074 to Byzantine Emperor Michael VII and his wife Maria of Alania, as a porphyrogennetos, meaning he was born during his father's reign.[1][2] Constantine was crowned co-emperor by his father shortly after his birth, and was betrothed to Olympias, the daughter of Robert Guiscard, the Norman duke of Apulia. This arrangement was cancelled after Michael abdicated in 1078, whereupon Maria and Constantine retired to the Monastery of Petrion.[3][4] Maria married Nikephoros III Botaneiates, who seized power after Michael's abdication, at the urging of Michael's uncle John Doukas, but was unable to convince him to elevate Constantine to junior emperor, thereby breaking the betrothal.[5][6][7] Robert Guiscard therefore launched an invasion of the Byzantine Empire, using the broken betrothal as a pretext.[8]

In order to combat this invasion, Alexios I Komnenos was given a large force to repel the Norman army led by Guiscard. John Doukas, who had previously urged Nikephoros to seize power, conspired against Nikephoros, intending to overthrow him and replace him with Alexios.[9] Nikephoros, unable to form an alliance with either the Seljuks or Nikephoros Melissenos, was forced to abdicate to Alexios in 1081.[10] After Alexios ascended the throne in 1081, he elevated Constantine to junior emperor,[11] and betrothed his daughter Anna Komnene to him in 1083, shortly after her birth.[12] However, he was replaced as junior emperor and favored heir by his younger brother, John II Komnenos, in 1087, shortly after his birth to Alexios and Irene Doukaina.[11] Constantine died in c. 1095.[13]

In arts[edit]

Constantine Doukas is thought to be engraved on the Holy Crown of Hungary, which was given to Hungarian King Géza I of Hungary by Constantine's father Michael VII, depicted alongside King Geza I and Michael VII;[14] although the figure may actually be Konstantios Doukas.[15]



  1. ^ Hill 2014, p. 218.
  2. ^ ODB, "Doukas, Constantine" (C. M. Brand), pp. 657–658.
  3. ^ Hill 2014, p. 33.
  4. ^ Buckley 2014, p. 68.
  5. ^ Finlay 1844, p. 57.
  6. ^ Norwich 1996, p. 3.
  7. ^ Neville 2012, p. 53.
  8. ^ Norwich 1996, p. 15.
  9. ^ Finlay 1844, p. 60.
  10. ^ ODB, "Nikephoros III Botaneiates" (C. M. Brand, A. Cutler), p. 1479.
  11. ^ a b Buckley 2014, p. 30.
  12. ^ Hill 2014, p. 219.
  13. ^ Classen 2013, p. 271.
  14. ^ Pevny 2000, p. 100.
  15. ^ Kaldellis 2017, p. 262.


  • Buckley, Penelope (2014). The Alexiad of Anna Komnene: Artistic Strategy In The Making Of A Myth. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107037229.
  • Classen, Albrecht (2013). East Meets West in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Times Transcultural Experiences in the Premodern World. De Gruyter. ISBN 9783110321517.
  • Finlay, George (1844), History of the Byzantine and Greek Empires from 1057–1453, vol. 2, William Blackwood & Sons, OCLC 25020128
  • Hill, Barbara (2014). Imperial Women in Byzantium 1025-1204: Power, Patronage and Ideology. Routledge. ISBN 9781317884668.
  • Jeffreys, C., ed. (2016). Konstantios 62. ISBN 978-1-908951-20-5. Retrieved 6 October 2022. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  • Kaldellis, Anthony (2017). Streams of Gold, Rivers of Blood: The Rise and Fall of Byzantium, 955 A.D. to the First Crusade. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190253233.
  • Kazhdan, Alexander, ed. (1991). The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-504652-8.
  • Neville, Leonora (2012). Heroes and Romans in Twelfth-Century Byzantium: the Material for the History of Nikephoros Bryennios. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107009455.
  • Norwich, John Julius (1996). Byzantium: The Decline and Fall. Penguin. ISBN 0-14-011449-1.
  • Pevny, Olenka Z. (2000). Perceptions of Byzantium and Its Neighbors: 843-1261 : the Metropolitan Museum of Art Symposia. Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 9780870999710.
Constantine Doukas (co-emperor)
Doukid dynasty
Born: 1074 Died: 1095
Regnal titles
Preceded by Byzantine emperor
with Michael VII Doukas 1071–1078
Succeeded by
Preceded by Byzantine emperor
with Alexios I Komnenos 1081–1118
Succeeded by