Eudokia Ingerina

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Eudokia Ingerina
Empress consort of the Byzantine Empire
Solidus-Basil I with Constantine and Eudoxia-sb1703.jpg
Gold solidus of Basil, with Eudokia and his firstborn son Constantine by his first wife, Maria, on the reverse
Byzantine Empress consort
Reign 26 May 866 – 882
Born c. 840
Died c. 882 (aged 41–42)
Burial Church of the Holy Apostles, Constantinople
Spouse Michael III (as mistress)
Basil I
Issue Leo VI
Patriarch Stephen I
Anna Porphyrogenita
Helena Porphyrogenita
Maria Porphyrogenita
Dynasty Macedonian
Father Inger, a Varangian guard
Mother a woman of the Martiniakoi family

Eudokia (or Eudocia) Ingerina (Greek: Ευδοκία Ιγγερίνα) (c. 840 – c. 882) was the wife of the Byzantine emperor Basil I, the mistress of his predecessor Michael III, and the mother to both the Emperors Leo VI and Alexander and Patriarch Stephen I of Constantinople.


Eudokia was the daughter of Ingr, a Varangian guard in the emperor's service. Her mother was a Martiniake and a distant relative to the imperial family, as a close niece of Michael II and a distant niece of emperor Heraclius and his second wife and niece Martina.[1] According to a posterior version by Christian Settipani, she would be the daughter of Inger Martinakios, Logothete, son of Anastasios Martinakios, byzantin noble fl. 817 and officer in 819, deceased after 821, and wife, a sister of emperor Michael II, and grandson of Theophylactos Martinakios, son of Martinakes, grandson of Martinos and great-grandson of Andreas, nephew of empress Martina, niece and second wife of emperor Heraclius.


Because her family was iconoclastic, the Empress Mother Theodora strongly disapproved of them. About 855 Eudokia became the mistress of Theodora's son, Michael III, who thus incurred the anger of his mother and the powerful minister Theoktistos. Unable to risk a major scandal by leaving his wife, Michael married Eudokia to his friend Basil but continued his relationship with her. Basil was compensated with the emperor's sister Thekla as his own mistress.

Eudokia gave birth to a son, Leo, in September 866 and another, Stephen, in November 867. They were officially Basil's children, but this paternity was questioned, apparently even by Basil himself. The strange promotion of Basil to co-emperor in May 867 lends some support to the possibility that at least Leo was actually Michael III's illegitimate son. The parentage of Eudokia's younger children is not a subject of dispute, as Michael III was murdered in September 867.

A decade into Basil's reign, Eudokia became involved with another man, whom the emperor ordered to be tonsured as monk. In 882, she selected Theophano as wife for her son Leo, and died shortly afterwards.


Eudokia and Basil officially had six children:

  • Leo VI (19 September 866 – 11 May 912), who succeeded as emperor and may actually have been the son of Michael III.
  • Stephen I (November 867 – 18 May 893), patriarch of Constantinople, who may also have been a son of Michael III.
  • Alexander (c. 870 – 6 June 913), who succeeded as emperor in 912.
  • Anna (d. 905/12 or after). A nun the convent of St Euphemia, Petron.
  • Helen (d. 905/12 or after). A nun the convent of St Euphemia, Petron.
  • Maria (d. 905/12 or after). A nun the convent of St Euphemia, Petron.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cyril Mango, "Eudocia Ingerina, the Normans, and the Macedonian Dynasty," Zbornik Radova Vizantološkog Instituta, XIV-XV, 1973, 17-27.

External links[edit]

Royal titles
Preceded by
Eudokia Dekapolitissa
Byzantine Empress consort
with Eudokia Dekapolitissa (866–867)
Succeeded by