Maria Argyropoulina

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Maria Argyra or Maria Argyropoulina (Greek: Μαρία Αργυρή or Αργυροπουλίνα) was the granddaughter of the Byzantine emperor Romanos II and niece of the emperors Basil II and Constantine VIII.

In the Venetian Chronicle by John the Deacon, it is mentioned that Maria was the daughter of a noble patrician, called Argyropoulos, who was a descendant of the imperial family. This information is confirmed by the chronicle of Andrea Dandolo, who says that she was the niece of the emperor Basil II. As a member of the Argyros family Maria was also relative to the future Byzantine emperor Romanos III Argyros.

In 1004 Maria was married to Giovanni Orseolo, the son of the Doge of Venice Pietro II Orseolo, in the Iconomium palace in Constantinople with full imperial pageantry - the couple was crowned with golden diadems by Basil II. Maria brought to her husband great dowry, including a palace in the imperial capital, where they lived after the wedding. Basil also honored Maria's husband with the title of patrician.

Before they left Constantinople, Maria Argyra begged the emperor for pieces of the holy relics of Saint Barbara, which were brought to Venice by her.

Maria Argyre and Giovanni Orseolo had a son, who was named after emperor Basil II.

In 1007 Maria along her husband and son died when plague swept through the city-state.


  • Tapkova-Zaimova, Vasilka (2009). "Balgari rodom ." : komitopulite v letopisnata i istoriografskata traditsiya (in Bulgarian) (1. izd. ed.). Veliko Tarnovo: Univ. Izdat. "Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodiy". p. 119. ISBN 9789545246845.