Theophano Phokas (Skerlaina), Byzantine Empress (c.936 - 991) MP

‹ Back to Phokas surname

Is your surname Phokas?

Research the Phokas family

Theophano Phokas, Byzantine Empress's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Share

Nicknames: "Theophano Anastasia Byzantine", "Anastasia //"
Birthplace: Of, Constantinople, Constantinople, Turkey
Death: Died in (Byzantium), (Constantinople), Istanbul, Turkey
Occupation: Emperess of the Byzantine Empire, Keiserinne, Kejsarinna, Keisarinna
Managed by: Robert Lawrence Sheedy
Last Updated:

About Theophano Phokas (Skerlaina), Byzantine Empress

Theophano was a Byzantine empress. She was the daughter-in-law of Constantine VII; wife of Romanos II; wife of Nikephoros II Phokas; lover of John I Tzimiskes; the mother of Basil II, Constantine VIII and the princess Anna Porphyrogenita, who later married the Russian prince Vladimir.

[edit] Becoming Empress This beautiful but considerably amoral woman played an important role in 10th century Byzantine history. An innkeeper's daughter by the name of Anastaso, the crown-prince Romanos fell in love with her around the year 956 and married her. After their marriage, she was renamed Theophano, after Theophano, a sainted Empress of the Macedonian dynasty.

She is rumoured to have poisoned her father-in-law, the emperor Constantine VII (in complicity with her husband Romanos). Constantine died in 959, but he died of a fever which lasted several months, not showing evidence of poisoning. Romanos' dependence upon his wife for advice and support allowed her to dominate the empire during his short reign.

[edit] Partnership with Nikephoros Phokas On March 15, 963, Emperor Romanos II died unexpectedly at the age of twenty-six. Again, Theophano was rumoured to have poisoned him, although she had nothing to gain and everything to lose from this action. Their sons Basil II and Constantine VIII were heirs and Theophano was named regent. However she realized that to secure power she needed to align her interest with the strongest general at the time, Nikephoros Phokas. As the army had already proclaimed him as an Emperor in Caesarea, Nikephoros entered Constantinople on August 15, broke the resistance of Joseph Bringas (a eunuch palace official who had become Romanos' chief counsellor) in bloody street fights, and on 16 August he was crowned in the Hagia Sophia. After that he married Theophano, thereby legitimizing his reign by marrying into the Macedonian dynasty.

The marriage proved controversial as Nikephoros had been god-father to one or more of Theophano's children, which placed them within a prohibited spiritual relationship. It should also be noted that the Orthodox Church only begrudgingly recognized second marriages. Thus even before the issue of his having been the god-father of at least one of Theophano's children surfaced the Patriarch, Polyeuctus, banned Nikephoros from kissing the holy altar on the grounds that he must perform the penance for contracting a second marriage first. In the issue of his role as godfather, however, Nikephoros organised a council at which it was declared that since the relevant rules had been pronounced by the iconoclast Constatine V Copronymus, it was of no effect. Polyeuctus did not accept the council as legitimate, and proceeded to excommunicate Nikephoros and insist that he would not relent until Nikephoros put away Theophano. In response, Bardas Phokas and another person testified Nikephoros was not in fact godfather to any of Theophano's children, at which Polyeuctus relented and allowed Nikephoros to return to full-fellowship in the church and keep Theophano as his wife. (Norwich, John Julius. Byzantium: The Apogee. New York: Alfred A. Knopf: 1992, p. 192-194)

[edit] Betrayal However, not too long after, she became lover to a young and brilliant general, John Tzimiskes. They soon began to conspire against Nikephoros. She prepared the assassination and John and his friends implemented it on the night between 10 and 11 December 969. The emperor was now John I Tzimiskes (969-976).

[edit] Downfall However, Theophano badly miscalculated in the hope of becoming the wife of the new ruler. Slain Nikephoros found his avenger in the Patriarch Polyeuktos, who was determined to punish the crime. He demanded John to repent, to punish the murderers (his helpers and friends), and to remove Theophano from the court. John was forced to submit to the Patriarch’s requests. Only then was he allowed to enter the church and be crowned emperor.

Theophano was first sent into exile to the island of Prinkipo (sometimes known as Prote). However, shortly afterwards, she made a reappearance in the capital, seeking asylum in the Hagia Sophia, where, however, she was forcibly removed on the orders of the Chamberlain Basil, who condemned her to exile in distant Armenia. Before this, he granted her request of an audience with the Emperor John, who surprisingly agreed to attend. Once there however, he was subjected to a torrent of abuse from the former empress, who then physically attacked the chamberlain, landing several telling blows. And according to Gibbon, she avowed the illegitimacy of her son, Basil II and hurled abuse at him as he stood silent, accepting the rule of his (soon to be) uncle, John Tzimiskes.

It is possible that after the succession of her sons to the throne that she was able to return to Constantinople.

[edit] Children Theophano and Romanos II had at least three children:

Basil II Constantine VIII Anna, who married Vladimir I of Kiev. Theophanu, consort Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor has been suggested as the fourth daughter of the couple. Current research holds that her actual father was Konstantinos Skleros (Κωνσταντίνος Σκληρός), brother of the pretender Bardas Skleros (Βάρδας Σκληρός) and her mother was Sophia Phokaina (Σοφία Φώκαινα), niece of Nikephoros II.

-------------------- Theophano Dates: 943?-after 969

Occupation: Byzantine empress, consort of Romanus II and Nicephorus II, regent for Basil II and Constantine VIII

Also known as: Theophanu, Theophana

Theophano's first marriage was to the Byzantine Emperor Romanus II, whom she was able to dominate. Theophano, along with a eunuch, Joseph Bringus, essentially ruled in her husband's place.

She was alleged to have poisoned Romanus II in 963, after which she served as regent for her sons Basil II and Constantine VIII. She married Nicephorus II on September 20, 963, barely a month after he became emperor, displacing her sons. He ruled until 969 when he was assassinated by a conspiracy that included John I Tzimisces, whose mistress she had become. Polyeuctus, the patriarch of Constantinople, forced him to banish Theophano to a convent and punish the other murderers.

Her daughter Theophano married Otto II, the Western emperor, and her daughter Anna married Vladimir I of Kiev. (Not all sources agree that these were their daughters.)

An example of a highly-charged opinion of Theophano -- a few paragraphs from the lengthy The World of the Middle Ages: A Reorientation of Medieval History by John L. Lamonte, 1949 (pp. 138-140):

   The death of Constantine VII was caused in all probability by poison administered to him by his son, Romanus II, at the instigation of his wife Theophano. This Theophano was a notorious courtesan, the daughter of a tavern keeper, who had won the affection of the young Romanus, a dissipated and generally worthless youth, so that he married her and associated her on the throne. With her father-in-law removed and her debauched husband on the throne, Theophano took into her own hands the reins of power, ruling with the advice of the eunuch Joseph Bringas, an old functionary of Constantine's....
   Just as Nicephorus reached his great triumph after the capture of Crete, Romanus II died. Whether it was the result of the excesses of dissipation in which he had always indulged, or whether, as was claimed by many, due to poison administered by his wife, Romanus departed this world in 963 leaving Theophano a widow at the age of twenty with two small sons, Basil and Constantine. What could be more natural than that the widowed empress should seek a supporter and helpmate in the gallant soldier? Bringas attempted to assume the custody for the two young princes at the death of their father, but Theophano and the patriarch engaged in an unholy alliance to confer the government on the hero Nicephorus. As a result, Nicephorus was declared protector and regent for the young princes; soon thereafter he was proclaimed emperor by his troops; then six months after the death of Romanus, Nicephorus married Theophano. The marriage, however, antagonized the patriarch; Nicephorus' monastic friends despaired of him; the Church showed her displeasure at this offensive union. Nicephorus, "the fool of love," retaliated by an imperial law which drove all monks from the cities of the empire and confiscated their goods....
   In the campaigns of Nicephorus a leading role had been played by a younger cousin of the emperor, John Tzmisces. The two cousins were alike in military ability but unlike in personality and appearance. While Nicephorus was hairy, unkempt, heavy and mystical, John was handsome, urbane and sophisticated. The new general was thrown into intimate contact with the empress; Nicephorus spent much of his time away at the wars. Further, his conscience troubled him and he took to wearing a hair shirt. It must be admitted that Nicephorus showed greater prowess in battle than in the boudoir, and he undoubtedly insulted the empress by his habit of sleeping on a panther-skin on the floor. Before long Theophano began to find solace for her loneliness during her husband's absences in the company of Tzmisces. Nicephorus deprived Tzmisces of his military rank and banished him to the provinces, but Theophano had other plans and, thinking to replace Nicephorus with John in every capacity, plotted the murder of her husband. The empress arranged for John and his men to be admitted into the palace; they found Nicephorus asleep on his panther-skin and fell upon him, stabbing and hacking his face and body ( December 11, 969). Tzmisces had himself immediately proclaimed emperor.
   Theophano saw herself now the wife of a new and handsome emperor. But she had been duped; when the patriarch refused to recognize Tzmisces as emperor until he had "driven from the Sacred Palace the adulteress . . . who had been the chief mover in the crime" he cheerfully repudiated Theophano, who was banished to a nunnery (she was then 27 years old). John married Theodora, the daughter of Constantine VII. To further propitiate the clergy, Tzmisces rescinded all the anticlerical legislation of Nicephorus and made great gifts to churches and monasteries.

http://womenshistory.about.com/library/bio/blbio_theophano1.htm

more here:

http://www.roman-emperors.org/theophano.htm -------------------- Barn

Anna Prinsessa i Bysantinska riket (I2169) Född 13 mars 963 23 27 Konstantinopel, Konstantinopel, Turkiet Död 1011

Konstantinos VIII, kejsare av Bysantinska riket (I2172) Birth ca 960 20 24 Död 11 November 1028   Theodora, Prinsessa i Bysantinska riket (I2173) Birth ca 955   Theophana (skleros), Prinsessa i Bysantinska riket (I2174) Birth ca 957 Död 15 juni 991   Basileos II, kejsare av Bysantinska riket (I2175) Birth 958 Död 15 December 1025

Agatha Prinsessa i Bysantinska riket (I2176) Birth ca 958   Theophano, Prinsessa i Bysantinska riket (I2177) Birth ca 956


-------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theophano_%2810th_century%29 Theophano (10th century) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search

Theophano was a Byzantine empress. She was the daughter-in-law of Constantine VII; wife of Romanos II; wife of Nikephoros II Phokas; lover of John I Tzimiskes; the mother of Basil II, Constantine VIII and the princess Anna Porphyrogenita, who later married Kievan prince Vladimir. This beautiful but considerably amoral woman played an important role in 10th century Byzantine history. Contents [show]

   * 1 Becoming Empress
   * 2 Partnership with Nikephoros Phokas
   * 3 Betrayal
   * 4 Downfall
   * 5 Children
   * 6 In literature
   * 7 References
   * 8 Sources

[edit] Becoming Empress

Theophano was born of Laconian Greek origin[1][2][3][4][5] in the Peloponnesian region of Lakonia[6], possibly in the city of Sparta[7]. Theophano was originally named Anastasia, or more familiarly Anastaso[8] and was the daughter of a poor tavern-keeper called Craterus[9][10]. The crown-prince Romanos fell in love with her around the year 956 and married her. After their marriage, she was renamed Theophano, after Theophano, a sainted Empress of the Macedonian dynasty.

She is rumoured to have poisoned her father-in-law, the emperor Constantine VII (in complicity with her husband Romanos). Constantine died in 959, but he died of a fever which lasted several months, not showing evidence of poisoning. Romanos' dependence upon his wife for advice and support allowed her to dominate the empire during his short reign. [edit] Partnership with Nikephoros Phokas

On March 15, 963, Emperor Romanos II died unexpectedly at the age of twenty-six. Again, Theophano was rumoured to have poisoned him, although she had nothing to gain and everything to lose from this action. Their sons Basil II and Constantine VIII were heirs and Theophano was named regent. However she realized that to secure power she needed to align her interest with the strongest general at the time, Nikephoros Phokas. As the army had already proclaimed him as an Emperor in Caesarea, Nikephoros entered Constantinople on August 15, broke the resistance of Joseph Bringas (a eunuch palace official who had become Romanos' chief counsellor) in bloody street fights, and on 16 August he was crowned in the Hagia Sophia. After that he married Theophano, thereby legitimizing his reign by marrying into the Macedonian dynasty.

The marriage proved controversial as Nikephoros had been god-father to one or more of Theophano's children, which placed them within a prohibited spiritual relationship. It should also be noted that the Orthodox Church only begrudgingly recognized second marriages. Thus even before the issue of his having been the god-father of at least one of Theophano's children surfaced the Patriarch, Polyeuctus, banned Nikephoros from kissing the holy altar on the grounds that he must perform the penance for contracting a second marriage first. In the issue of his role as godfather, however, Nikephoros organised a council at which it was declared that since the relevant rules had been pronounced by the iconoclast Constatine V Copronymus, it was of no effect. Polyeuctus did not accept the council as legitimate, and proceeded to excommunicate Nikephoros and insist that he would not relent until Nikephoros put away Theophano. In response, Bardas Phokas and another person testified Nikephoros was not in fact godfather to any of Theophano's children, at which Polyeuctus relented and allowed Nikephoros to return to full-fellowship in the church and keep Theophano as his wife.[11] [edit] Betrayal

However, not too long after, she became lover to a young and brilliant general, John Tzimiskes. They soon began to conspire against Nikephoros. She prepared the assassination and John and his friends implemented it on the night between 10 and 11 December 969. The emperor was now John I Tzimiskes (969-976). [edit] Downfall

However, Theophano badly miscalculated in the hope of becoming the wife of the new ruler. Slain Nikephoros found his avenger in the Patriarch Polyeuktos, who was determined to punish the crime. He demanded John to repent, to punish the murderers (his helpers and friends), and to remove Theophano from the court. John was forced to submit to the Patriarch’s requests. Only then was he allowed to enter the church and be crowned emperor.

Theophano was first sent into exile to the island of Prinkipo (sometimes known as Prote). However, shortly afterwards, she made a reappearance in the capital, seeking asylum in the Hagia Sophia, where, however, she was forcibly removed on the orders of the Chamberlain Basil, who condemned her to exile in distant Armenia. Before this, he granted her request of an audience with the Emperor John, who surprisingly agreed to attend. Once there however, he was subjected to a torrent of abuse from the former empress, who then physically attacked the chamberlain, landing several telling blows. And according to Gibbon, she avowed the illegitimacy of her son, Basil II and hurled abuse at him as he stood silent, accepting the rule of his (soon to be) uncle, John Tzimiskes.

It is possible that after the succession of her sons to the throne that she was able to return to Constantinople. [edit] Children

Theophano and Romanos II had at least three children:

  1. Basil II
  2. Constantine VIII
  3. Anna, who married Vladimir I of Kiev[citation needed]

Theophanu, consort Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor has been suggested as the fourth daughter of the couple. Current research holds that her actual father was Konstantinos Skleros (Κωνσταντίνος Σκληρός), brother of the pretender Bardas Skleros (Βάρδας Σκληρός) and her mother was Sophia Phokaina (Σοφία Φώκαινα), niece of Nikephoros II. [edit] In literature

The Greek historical fiction writer Kostas Kyriazis (b. 1920) wrote a biography called Theophano (1963), followed by the 1964 Basil Bulgaroktonus on her son. As depicted in these books, Theophano was indeed guilty of all the killings attributed to her in her lifetime, and the heritage of a mother who killed both his father and his stepfather caused her son Basil to distrust women and avoid marriage himself. [edit] References

  1. ^ McCabe, Joseph (1913). The empresses of Constantinople. R.G. Badger. p. 140. OCLC 188408. "(Theophano) came from Laconia, and we may regard her as a common type of Greek." 
  2. ^ Diacre, Léon le – Talbot, Alice-Mary – Sullivan, Denis F. (2005). The History of Leo the Deacon: Byzantine Military Expansion in the Tenth Century. Dumbarton Oaks. pp. 99–100. ISBN 0884023249. "Nikephoros himself claimed that he wished to maintain his customary moderate lifestyle unaltered, avoiding cohabitation with a wife..And he took in marriage the wife of Romanos, who was distinguished in beauty, and was indeed a Laconian woman." 
  3. ^ Bury, John Bagnell – Gwatkin, Henry Melvill – Whitney, James Pounder – Tanner, Joseph Robson - Previté-Orton, Charles William - Brooke, Zachary Nugent (1923). The Cambridge medieval history. Camb. Univ. Press. pp. 67–68. OCLC 271025434. "The new ruler, Romanus II… took possession of the government, or rather handed it over to his wife Theophano. We have already seen who this wife was. The daughter of Craterus, a poor tavern-keeper of Laconian origin, she owed the unhoped-for honour of ascending the throne solely to her beauty and her vices." 
  4. ^ Durant, Will – Durant, Ariel (1950). The Story of Civilization: The age of Faith; a history of medieval civilization - Christian, Islamic, and Judaic - from Constantine to Dante: A.D. 325-1300.. Simon and Schuster. p. 429. OCLC 245829181. "Perhaps Romanus II (958-63) was like other children, and did not read his father's books. He married a Greek girl, Theophano; she was suspected of poisoning her father-in-law and hastening Romanus' death" 
  5. ^ Hyslop, R. (2008). Varangian. Cuthan Books. p. 545. ISBN 0955871824. "Theophana, a Greek inn-keeper's daughter, married the emperor Romanus II in 958. She was alleged to have murdered this husband to marry the general Nicephorus" 
  6. ^ Goodacre, Hugh George (1957). A handbook of the coinage of the Byzantine Empire. Spink. p. 203. OCLC 2705898. "Theophano, in spite of her accomplishments, was but of the humblest birth…she came from Laconia, no doubt bringing with her thence the peerless beauty of the Greek type. Romanus II and Theophano were married about the year 956" 
  7. ^ Miller, William (1964). Essays on the Latin Orient. A. M. Hakkert. p. 47. OCLC 174255384. "The Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus, who wrote about the middle of the tenth century, has left us a favourable sketch of the Peloponnese as it was in his day.. His biography represents that city (Sparta) – of which the contemporary Empress Theophano, wife of Romanos II and Nikephoros Phokas, was perhaps a native." 
  8. ^ Davids, Adelbert (2002). The Empress Theophano: Byzantium and the West at the Turn of the First Millennium. Cambridge University Press. p. 325. ISBN 0521524679. "The emperor Romanos II was married to the daughter of a merchant, called Anastaso, who took the name of Theophano at marriage" 
  9. ^ Bréhier, Louis (1977). The life and death of Byzantium. North-Holland Pub. Co. p. 127. ISBN 0720490081. "Anastasia, daughter of Craterus, of illustrious parentage according to the panegyrist, but a former barmaid nicknamed Anastaso according to the other chronicles. Not only did Constantine approve this marriage, but he had it celebrated with great splendour in the church of Hagia Sophia and gave his daughter- in-law" 
 10. ^ Diehl, Charles (1927). Byzantine portraits. A.A. Knopf. OCLC 1377097. "Her father, Craterus, of Laconian origin, was an obscure plebeian who kept a public-house in one of the slums of the capital. She herself, before her marriage, was called Anastasia, or more familiarly, Anastaso" 
 11. ^ Norwich, John Julius. Byzantium: The Apogee. New York: Alfred A. Knopf: 1992, p. 192-194

Royal titles Preceded by Helena Lekapene Byzantine Empress consort 959–969 Succeeded by Theodora Empress-Mother of the Byzantine Empire March 15, 963- June 15, 991 Succeeded by Eudokia Makrembolitissa [edit] Sources

   * History of the Byzantine State by Georgije Ostrogorski
   * Byzantium: The Apogee by John Julius Norwich

This page was last modified on 3 July 2010 at 06:17. -------------------- From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Theophano (Byzantine Empress))•

Theophano was a Byzantine empress. She was the daughter-in-law of Constantine VII; wife of Romanos II; wife of Nikephoros II Phokas; lover of John I Tzimiskes; the mother of Basil II, Constantine VIII and the princess Anna Porphyrogenita, who later married the Russian prince Vladimir.

Contents 1 Becoming Empress 2 Partnership with Nikephoros Phokas 3 Betrayal 4 Downfall 5 Sources


Becoming Empress This beautiful but considerably amoral woman played an important role in 10th century Byzantine history. An innkeeper's daughter by the name of Anastaso, the crown-prince Romanos fell in love with her around the year 956 and married her. After their marriage, she was given the name of Romanos' grandfather's first saintly wife Theophano.

She is rumoured to have poisoned her father-in-law, the emperor Constantine VII (in complicity with her husband Romanos). Constantine died in 959, but he died of a fever which lasted several months, not showing evidence of poisoning. Theophano practically ruled the empire for the next years, as Romanos II was practically her puppet.

Partnership with Nikephoros Phokas On March 15, 963, Emperor Romanos II died unexpectedly at the age of twenty-six. Again, Theophano was rumoured to have poisoned him, although she had nothing to gain and everything to lose from this action. His sons Basil II and Constantine VIII were heirs and Theophano was named regent. However she realized that to secure power she needed to align her interest with the strongest general at the time, Nikephoros Phokas. As the army had already proclaimed him as an Emperor in Caesarea, Nikephoros entered Constantinople on August 15, broke the resistance of Joseph Bringas (a eunuch palace official who had become Romanos' chief counsellor) in bloody street fights, and on 16 August he was crowned in the Hagia Sophia. After that he married Theophano, thereby legitimizing his reign by marrying into the Macedonian dynasty.

The marriage proved controversial as Nikephoros had been god-father to one or more of Theophano's children, which placed them within a prohibited spiritual relationship. I should also be noted that the Orthodox Church only begrudgingly recognized second marriages. Thus even before the issue of his having been the god-father of at least one of Theophano's children surfaced the Patriarch, Polyeuctus, banned Nikephoros from kissing the holy altar on the grounds that he must perform the penance for contracting a second marriage first. Back to the issue of the god-fatherhood, Nikephoros (who no doubt sincerely loved his beautiful wife) organised a council at which it was declared that since the ban on marriage to the parent of someone who you were godfather to had been pronounced by the iconoclast Constatine Copronymus, it was of none effect. Polyeuctus did not accept the council as legitimate, and proceeded to excommunicate Nikephoras and insist that he would not relent until Nikephoras put away Theophano. Following this Bardas Phokas and another person who knew of the situation of the god-fatherhood of Nikephoras over Theophano's children came out and testified that it was not so, so then Polyeuctus relented and allowed Nikephoras to return to full-fellowship in the church and keep Theophano as his wife. (Norwich, John Julius. Byzantium: The Apogee. New York: Alfred A. Knopf: 1992, p. 192-194)

There's no evidence, on the other hand, that Theophano had any feelings towards Nicephorus, having only married him to get her out of the dire trouble caused by the death of her husband Romanus.

Betrayal However, not too long after, she became lover to a young and brilliant general, John Tzimiskes. They soon began to conspire against Nikephoros. She prepared the assassination and John and his friends implemented it on the night between 10 and 11 December 969. The emperor was now John I Tzimiskes (969-976).

Downfall However, Theophano badly miscalculated in the hope of becoming the wife of the new ruler. Slain Nikephoros found his avenger in the Patriarch Polyeuktos, who was determined to punish the crime. He demanded John to repent, to punish the murderers (his helpers and friends), and to remove Theophano from the court. John was forced to submit to the Patriarch’s requests. Only then was he allowed to enter the church and be crowned emperor.

Theophano was first sent into exile to the island of Prinkipo (sometimes known as Prote). However, shortly afterwards, she made a reappearance in the capital, seeking asylum in the Hagia Sophia, where, however, she was forcibly removed on the orders of the Chamberlain Basil, who condemned her to exile in distant Armenia. Before this, he granted her request of an audience with the Emperor John, who surprisingly agreed to attend. Once there however, he was subjected to a torrent of abuse from the former empress, who then physically attacked the chamberlain, landing several telling blows. And according to Gibbon, she avowed the illegitimacy of her son, Basil II and hurled abuse at him as he stood silent, accepting the rule of his (soon to be) uncle, John Tzimiskes.

It is possible that after the succession of her sons to the throne that she was able to return to Consta

Sources History of the Byzantine State by Georgije Ostrogorski Byzantium: The Apogee by John Julius Norwich -------------------- Theophano (10th century) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Theophano was a Byzantine empress. She was the daughter-in-law of Constantine VII; wife of Romanos II; wife of Nikephoros II Phokas; lover of John I Tzimiskes; the mother of Basil II, Constantine VIII and the princess Anna Porphyrogenita, who later married the Russian prince Vladimir.

Becoming Empress

This beautiful but considerably amoral woman played an important role in 10th century Byzantine history. An innkeeper's daughter by the name of Anastaso, the crown-prince Romanos fell in love with her around the year 956 and married her. After their marriage, she was renamed Theophano, after Theophano, a sainted Empress of the Macedonian dynasty. She is rumoured to have poisoned her father-in-law, the emperor Constantine VII (in complicity with her husband Romanos). Constantine died in 959, but he died of a fever which lasted several months, not showing evidence of poisoning. Romanos' dependence upon his wife for advice and support allowed her to dominate the empire during his short reign.

Partnership with Nikephoros Phokas

On March 15, 963, Emperor Romanos II died unexpectedly at the age of twenty-six. Again, Theophano was rumoured to have poisoned him, although she had nothing to gain and everything to lose from this action. Their sons Basil II and Constantine VIII were heirs and Theophano was named regent. However she realized that to secure power she needed to align her interest with the strongest general at the time, Nikephoros Phokas. As the army had already proclaimed him as an Emperor in Caesarea, Nikephoros entered Constantinople on August 15, broke the resistance of Joseph Bringas (a eunuch palace official who had become Romanos' chief counsellor) in bloody street fights, and on 16 August he was crowned in the Hagia Sophia. After that he married Theophano, thereby legitimizing his reign by marrying into the Macedonian dynasty. The marriage proved controversial as Nikephoros had been god-father to one or more of Theophano's children, which placed them within a prohibited spiritual relationship. It should also be noted that the Orthodox Church only begrudgingly recognized second marriages. Thus even before the issue of his having been the god-father of at least one of Theophano's children surfaced the Patriarch, Polyeuctus, banned Nikephoros from kissing the holy altar on the grounds that he must perform the penance for contracting a second marriage first. In the issue of his role as godfather, however, Nikephoros organised a council at which it was declared that since the relevant rules had been pronounced by the iconoclast Constatine V Copronymus, it was of no effect. Polyeuctus did not accept the council as legitimate, and proceeded to excommunicate Nikephoros and insist that he would not relent until Nikephoros put away Theophano. In response, Bardas Phokas and another person testified Nikephoros was not in fact godfather to any of Theophano's children, at which Polyeuctus relented and allowed Nikephoros to return to full-fellowship in the church and keep Theophano as his wife. (Norwich, John Julius. Byzantium: The Apogee. New York: Alfred A. Knopf: 1992, p. 192-194)

Betrayal

However, not too long after, she became lover to a young and brilliant general, John Tzimiskes. They soon began to conspire against Nikephoros. She prepared the assassination and John and his friends implemented it on the night between 10 and 11 December 969. The emperor was now John I Tzimiskes (969-976).

Downfall

However, Theophano badly miscalculated in the hope of becoming the wife of the new ruler. Slain Nikephoros found his avenger in the Patriarch Polyeuktos, who was determined to punish the crime. He demanded John to repent, to punish the murderers (his helpers and friends), and to remove Theophano from the court. John was forced to submit to the Patriarch’s requests. Only then was he allowed to enter the church and be crowned emperor. Theophano was first sent into exile to the island of Prinkipo (sometimes known as Prote). However, shortly afterwards, she made a reappearance in the capital, seeking asylum in the Hagia Sophia, where, however, she was forcibly removed on the orders of the Chamberlain Basil, who condemned her to exile in distant Armenia. Before this, he granted her request of an audience with the Emperor John, who surprisingly agreed to attend. Once there however, he was subjected to a torrent of abuse from the former empress, who then physically attacked the chamberlain, landing several telling blows. And according to Gibbon, she avowed the illegitimacy of her son, Basil II and hurled abuse at him as he stood silent, accepting the rule of his (soon to be) uncle, John Tzimiskes. It is possible that after the succession of her sons to the throne that she was able to return to Constantinople. Children

Theophano and Romanos II had at least three children: Basil II Constantine VIII Anna, who married Vladimir I of Kiev. Theophanu, consort Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor has been suggested as the fourth daughter of the couple. Current research holds that her actual father was Konstantinos Skleros (Κωνσταντίνος Σκληρός), brother of the pretender Bardas Skleros (Βάρδας Σκληρός) and her mother was Sophia Phokaina (Σοφία Φώκαινα), niece of Nikephoros II.

--------------------

Sources

Davids, Adelbert. The Empress Theophano: Byzantium and the West at the turn of the first millennium, 2002. ISBN 0-521-52467-9

Hans K. Schulze, Die Heiratsurkunde der Kaiserin Theophanu, Hannover 2007 ISBN 978-3-7752-6124-1

--------------------

Born: 956, Constantinople [now Istanbul, Turkey]

Marriage: Otto II der Rote of Germany on 14 Apr 972

Died: 15 Jun 991, Nymwegen, Netherlands aged 35

Another name for Theophano was Theophanu Skleros.

General Notes:

"Empress Theophano and the Abduction of Otto III

In Germany, in the year 983, the kingdom of Otto II was in great turmoil. After losing a decisive battle in Italy, Otto II was returning home to his wife Theophano and son Otto III when he was suddenly struck ill. Exausted from the war, historians believed that Otto II probably contracted Malaria . Otto tried to seek a remedy through the use of Aloes, but "his dose was too great and led to fatal complications" (Duckett 105). On december 7, 983 at the young age of 28, King Otto II died.

With his fathers death, Otto III was soon crowned the King of Germany on Christmas day in 983 at the young age of three and a half. The death of Otto II could not have come at a worse time for Germany because the Slavic forces were starting to revolt and a war seemed inevitable.

With King Otto II dead and his son still too young to take leadership, the German council went into deliberation and decided that Theophano, the mother to Otto III, should take charge of all political affairs while her son was not yet of age to rule over germany.

Theophano was Greek, with Byzantine lineage. She was born in 956, and at the young age of sixteen, she was married off by her father to the son of Otto the Great in 972. Along with her Byzantine lineage which was said to "give her influnce with Constantinople", Theophano was also known for her "shrewd skill and intimate knowledge" which helped her rule effectively. (Duckett 106)

With the help of Archbishop Wiligis and Hildibald, bishop of Worms as major support and council, Theophano was forced into the job of governing Gemany for the next eleven years until her son would reach majority and assume the throne.

Empress Theophano had many problems with her reign. One of the first problems that she encountered was the fact that most men inthe German army were skeptical about having a woman hold such a high polical office in the German government. since Germany was under attack on its borders, most men felt that it would be best for "a warrior and a statesman" to be in command"(Duckett 106).

A second problem that Theophano faced was the fact that she was Greek, and many Germans of that time period were highly distrustful of the Greek. This major point one one of the main reasons why her leadership during this time period was in turmoil, because most men were distrustful of her actions.

After less than a year in political office one of the worst tragedies struck the kingdom since the death of King Otto II. It seemed that Henry the Quarreler, a prisoner of the bishop of Utrecht since 978 was released. Then with the help of Otto's guardian, Archbishop of Cologne, Henry was able to kidnap the four year old king and demanded that the kingdom and the throne should be given to him.

On June 29, 984, with the threat of a possible war by Willigis and Conrad, Duke of Swabia, Henry decided that it would be best to restore the little king to his mother Theophano. Since Henry was a nephew of Otto the Great, he was allowed to "aknowledge his offences and was forgiven"(Duckett 108).

After presiding over German policy for seven years, the empress died in June of 991 at Nymwegen in the Netherlands. She was buried in Cologne in the Monastery of St. Pantaleon.

Otto III went on to lead Germany for the next eleven years until his empire crumbled and his health quickly slipped away. In January of 1002, fever struck Otto III, and he died a few days later on January 23, at the young age of 21.

With no righful heir to take the throne of the once famous Otto the Great, the Empire collapsed as Otto III was buried in the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin at Aachen in 1002."

(Duckett 105-139) 3

Noted events in her life were:

• She was a Princess of Byzantine Empire.

--------------------

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theophanu

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theophano_(10th_century)

--------------------

Bild: Otto II och Theophano

Theophanu (960 – June 15, 991) (Greek: Θεοφανώ Theophano), also spelled Theophania or Theophano, was born in Constantinople, and was the wife of Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor.

Contents [hide]

1 Family

2 Marriage and children

3 Life as Empress

4 Sources

5 External links


[edit] Family

Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor had requested a Greek princess for his son, Otto, to seal a treaty between the Holy Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire. The unwise reference by the pope to the ruler in Constantinople as "Greek" in a letter while Otto's ambassador, Liudprand of Cremona had been in Byzantine had destroyed the first round of negotiations. With the ascension of a new emperor who had not been personally been referred to other as Emperor of Rome, the treaty negotiations were able to resume. Theophanu duly arrived in 972, arriving in grand style with a magnificent escort and bearing great treasure. However, according to the chronicler Thietmar, she was not the virgo desiderata, the Imperial princess, that was expected. Theophanu is identified in the marriage contract as the neptis (niece or granddaughter) of Emperor John I Tzimisces (Ιωάννης Ι Τσιμισκής). However since John Tzimisces had married Theodora, the sister of Romanus II, she still may actually have been a daughter of Romanus and that much more evil and conniving Theophano who was Romanus' wife.

At one time it was believed Theophanu was the daughter of the Emperor Romanos II and his consort Theophano, but no mention is made of her being porphyrogenita (πορφυρογέννητη), purple-born, nor are her parents identified. It is unlikely that Theophanu was the daughter of any emperor -- the current theory is that her father was Konstantinos Skleros (Κωνσταντίνος Σκληρός), brother of the pretender Bardas Skleros (Βάρδας Σκληρός) and her mother was Sophia Phokaina (Σοφία Φώκαινα), niece of Emperor Nikephoros II (Νικηφόρος ΙΙ) and sister of Maria Skleraina (Μαρία Σκλήραινα), first wife of Tzimisces'. Accordingly she was of Armenian descent.

[edit] Marriage and children

Theophanu and Otto were married by Pope John XIII on April 14, 972 at Saint Peter's and she was crowned the same day in Rome. Their children were:

Adelaide, Abbess of Quedlinburg, born November or December 977, died 1040.

Sophia, Abbess of Gandersheim and Essen, born 978, died 1039.

Matilda, born 979, died 1025; who married Ezzo, count palatine of Lotharingia

Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor, born June or July 980

A daughter, a twin to Otto, who died before October 8, 980

[edit] Life as Empress

Theophanu accompanied her husband on all his journeys, and issued diplomas in her own name as Empress. It is known she was frequently at odds with her mother-in-law, Adelaide of Italy, and this caused an estrangement between Otto II and Adelaide. According to Odilo, Abbot of Cluny, Adelaide was very happy when "that Greek woman" died.

Albert of Metz describes Theophanu as being an unpleasant and talkative woman. Theophanu was also criticized for her decadence, which manifested in her bathing once a day and introducing luxurious garments and jewelry into Germany. She is credited with introducing the fork to Western Europe - chronographers mention the astonishment she caused when she "used a golden double prong to bring food to her mouth" instead of using her hands as was the norm. "The theologian Peter Damian even asserts that Theophanu had a love affair with John Philagathos, a Greek monk who briefly reigned as Antipope John XVI.


Sarcophagus of Empress TheophanuOtto II died suddenly on December 7, 983 and was buried in Rome. That Christmas Theophanu had their three-year-old son crowned as Otto III, with herself ruling as Empress Regent on his behalf. Henry II, Duke of Bavaria seized Otto in spring 984, but was forced to surrender the child to his mother. With the cooperation of Willigis, Archbishop of Mainz, and Hildebald, Bishop of Worms, Theophanu reigned until her death in 991.

She was buried in the church of Saint Pantaleon at Cologne. The chronicler Thietmar eulogized her as follows: "Though [Theophanu] was of the weak sex she possessed moderation, trustworthiness, and good manners. In this way she protected with male vigilance the royal power for her son, friendly with all those who were honest, but with terrifying superiority against rebels."

Because Otto III was still a child, his grandmother Adelaide of Italy took over the regency until Otto III became old enough to rule on his own.

[edit] Sources

Davids, Adelbert. The Empress Theophano: Byzantium and the West at the turn of the first millennium, 2002. ISBN 0-521-52467-9

--------------------

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theophanu

Theophanu

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

For the Byzantine Empresses, see Theophano (disambiguation).

Theophanu

Otto II and Theophano

Theophanu (960 – June 15, 991) (Greek: Θεοφανώ Theophano), also spelled Theophania, Theophana or Theophano, was born in Constantinople, and was the wife of Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor.

Contents

[hide]

   * 1 Family
   * 2 Marriage and children
   * 3 Life as Empress
   * 4 Sources
   * 5 External links

[edit] Family

Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor had requested a Byzantine princess for his son, Otto, to seal a treaty between the Holy Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire. The unwise reference by the pope to the ruler in Constantinople as "Greek"[citation needed] in a letter[citation needed] while Otto's ambassador, Liudprand of Cremona, was in the Byzantine court, had destroyed the first round of negotiations[citation needed]. With the ascension of a new emperor who had not been personally been referred to other than as Roman Emperor, the treaty negotiations were able to resume. Theophanu duly arrived in 972, arriving in grand style with a magnificent escort and bearing great treasure. However, according to the chronicler Thietmar, she was not the virgo desiderata, the Imperial princess, that was expected. Theophanu is identified in the marriage contract as the neptis (niece or granddaughter) of Emperor John I Tzimisces (Ιωάννης Ι Τσιμισκής). John Tzimisces married secondly Theodora, the sister of Romanus II.

It is believed[who?] Theophanu was the daughter of the Emperor Romanos II and his consort Theophano, but no mention is made of her being porphyrogenita (πορφυρογέννητη), born-in-the-purple. descent[1].

[edit] Marriage and children

Theophanu and Otto were married by Pope John XIII on April 14, 972 at Saint Peter's and she was crowned empress the same day in Rome. Their children were:

   * Sophie I, Abbess of Gandersheim and Essen, born 975, died 1039.
   * Adelheid I, Abbess of Quedlinburg and Gandersheim, born November or December 977, died 1040.
   * Matilda, born 979, died 1025; who married Ezzo, count palatine of Lotharingia
   * Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor, born June or July 980
   * A daughter, a twin to Otto, who died before October 8, 980

[edit] Life as Empress

Theophanu accompanied her husband on all his journeys, and issued diplomas in her own name as Empress. It is known she was frequently at odds with her mother-in-law, Adelaide of Italy, and this caused an estrangement between Otto II and Adelaide. According to Odilo, Abbot of Cluny, Adelaide was very happy when "that Greek woman" died.

Albert of Metz describes Theophanu as being an unpleasant and talkative woman. Theophanu was also criticized for her decadence, which manifested in her bathing once a day and introducing luxurious garments and jewelry into Germany. She is credited with introducing the fork to Western Europe - chronographers mention the astonishment she caused when she "used a golden double prong to bring food to her mouth" instead of using her hands as was the norm. "The theologian Peter Damian even asserts that Theophanu had a love affair with John Philagathos, a Greek monk who briefly reigned as Antipope John XVI.

Sarcophagus of Empress Theophanu

Otto II died suddenly on December 7, 983 and was buried in Rome. That Christmas Theophanu had their three-year-old son crowned as Otto III, with herself ruling as Empress Regent on his behalf. Henry II, Duke of Bavaria seized Otto in spring 984, but was forced to surrender the child to his mother. With the cooperation of Willigis, Archbishop of Mainz, and Hildebald, Bishop of Worms, Theophanu reigned until her death in 991.

She was buried in the Church of St. Pantaleon at Cologne. The chronicler Thietmar eulogized her as follows: "Though [Theophanu] was of the weak sex she possessed moderation, trustworthiness, and good manners. In this way she protected with male vigilance the royal power for her son, friendly with all those who were honest, but with terrifying superiority against rebels."

Because Otto III was still a child, his grandmother Adelaide of Italy took over the regency until Otto III became old enough to rule on his own.

[edit] Sources

   * Davids, Adelbert. The Empress Theophano: Byzantium and the West at the turn of the first millennium, 2002. ISBN 0-521-52467-9
   * Hans K. Schulze, Die Heiratsurkunde der Kaiserin Theophanu, Hannover 2007 ISBN 978-3-7752-6124-1

[edit] External links

   * Find-A-Grave biography

This page was last modified on 29 July 2010 at 17:38.

--------------------

Theophanu (960 – June 15, 991) (Greek: Θεοφανώ Theophano), also spelled Theophania, Theophana or Theophano, was born in Constantinople, and was the wife of Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor.

Theophanu and Otto were married by Pope John XIII on April 14, 972 at Saint Peter's and she was crowned the same day in Rome. Their children were:

Adelaide, Abbess of Quedlinburg, born November or December 977, died 1040.

Sophia, Abbess of Gandersheim and Essen, born 978, died 1039.

Matilda, born 979, died 1025; who married Ezzo, count palatine of Lotharingia

Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor, born June or July 980

A daughter, a twin to Otto, who died before October 8, 980

--------------------

Theophanu (960 – June 15, 991) (Greek: Θεοφανώ Theophano), also spelled Theophania, Theophana or Theophano, was born in Constantinople, and was the wife of Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor.

Theophanu and Otto were married by Pope John XIII on April 14, 972 at Saint Peter's and she was crowned the same day in Rome. Their children were:

Adelaide, Abbess of Quedlinburg, born November or December 977, died 1040.

Sophia, Abbess of Gandersheim and Essen, born 978, died 1039.

Matilda, born 979, died 1025; who married Ezzo, count palatine of Lotharingia

Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor, born June or July 980

A daughter, a twin to Otto, who died before October 8, 980

--------------------

Theophanu (960 – June 15, 991) (Greek: Θεοφανώ Theophano), also spelled Theophania, Theophana or Theophano, was born in Constantinople, and was the wife of Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor.

Family

Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor had requested a Byzantine princess for his son, Otto, to seal a treaty between the Holy Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire. The unwise reference by the pope to the ruler in Constantinople as "Greek"[citation needed] in a letter[citation needed] while Otto's ambassador, Liudprand of Cremona, was in the Byzantine court, had destroyed the first round of negotiations[citation needed]. With the ascension of a new emperor who had not been personally been referred to other than as Roman Emperor, the treaty negotiations were able to resume. Theophanu duly arrived in 972, arriving in grand style with a magnificent escort and bearing great treasure. However, according to the chronicler Thietmar, she was not the virgo desiderata, the Imperial princess, that was expected. Theophanu is identified in the marriage contract as the neptis (niece or granddaughter) of Emperor John I Tzimisces (Ιωάννης Ι Τσιμισκής). John Tzimisces married secondly Theodora, the sister of Romanus II.

At one time it was believed[who?] Theophanu was the daughter of the Emperor Romanos II and his consort Theophano, but no mention is made of her being porphyrogenita (πορφυρογέννητη), born-in-the-purple, nor are her parents identified. It is unlikely that Theophanu was the daughter of any emperor. Current research holds that her father was Konstantinos Skleros (Κωνσταντίνος Σκληρός), brother of the pretender Bardas Skleros (Βάρδας Σκληρός) and her mother was Sophia Phokaina (Σοφία Φώκαινα), niece of Emperor Nikephoros II (Νικηφόρος ΙΙ). Her father's sister, Maria Skleraina (Μαρία Σκλήραινα), was the first wife of Tzimisces'. Accordingly[who?] she was of Armenian descent and a relative of the imperial families only by marriage, not blood[citation needed].

Marriage and children

Theophanu and Otto were married by Pope John XIII on April 14, 972 at Saint Peter's and she was crowned empress the same day in Rome. Their children were:

Sophie I, Abbess of Gandersheim and Essen, born 975, died 1039.

Adelheid I, Abbess of Quedlinburg and Gandersheim, born November or December 977, died 1040.

Matilda, born 979, died 1025; who married Ezzo, count palatine of Lotharingia

Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor, born June or July 980

A daughter, a twin to Otto, who died before October 8, 980

[edit] Life as Empress

Theophanu accompanied her husband on all his journeys, and issued diplomas in her own name as Empress. It is known she was frequently at odds with her mother-in-law, Adelaide of Italy, and this caused an estrangement between Otto II and Adelaide. According to Odilo, Abbot of Cluny, Adelaide was very happy when "that Greek woman" died.

Albert of Metz describes Theophanu as being an unpleasant and talkative woman. Theophanu was also criticized for her decadence, which manifested in her bathing once a day and introducing luxurious garments and jewelry into Germany. She is credited with introducing the fork to Western Europe - chronographers mention the astonishment she caused when she "used a golden double prong to bring food to her mouth" instead of using her hands as was the norm. "The theologian Peter Damian even asserts that Theophanu had a love affair with John Philagathos, a Greek monk who briefly reigned as Antipope John XVI.


Sarcophagus of Empress TheophanuOtto II died suddenly on December 7, 983 and was buried in Rome. That Christmas Theophanu had their three-year-old son crowned as Otto III, with herself ruling as Empress Regent on his behalf. Henry II, Duke of Bavaria seized Otto in spring 984, but was forced to surrender the child to his mother. With the cooperation of Willigis, Archbishop of Mainz, and Hildebald, Bishop of Worms, Theophanu reigned until her death in 991.

She was buried in the Church of St. Pantaleon at Cologne. The chronicler Thietmar eulogized her as follows: "Though [Theophanu] was of the weak sex she possessed moderation, trustworthiness, and good manners. In this way she protected with male vigilance the royal power for her son, friendly with all those who were honest, but with terrifying superiority against rebels."

Because Otto III was still a child, his grandmother Adelaide of Italy took over the regency until Otto III became old enough to rule on his own.

Sources

Davids, Adelbert. The Empress Theophano: Byzantium and the West at the turn of the first millennium, 2002. ISBN 0-521-52467-9

Hans K. Schulze, Die Heiratsurkunde der Kaiserin Theophanu, Hannover 2007 ISBN 978-3-7752-6124-1

--------------------

Theophanu

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Theophanu (960 – June 15, 991) (Greek: Θεοφανώ Theophano), also spelled Theophania, Theophana or Theophano, was born in Constantinople, and was the wife of Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor.

Family

Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor had requested a Greek princess for his son, Otto, to seal a treaty between the Holy Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire. The unwise reference by the pope to the ruler in Constantinople as "Greek" in a letter while Otto's ambassador, Liudprand of Cremona had been in Byzantine had destroyed the first round of negotiations. With the ascension of a new emperor who had not been personally been referred to other as Emperor of Rome, the treaty negotiations were able to resume. Theophanu duly arrived in 972, arriving in grand style with a magnificent escort and bearing great treasure. However, according to the chronicler Thietmar, she was not the virgo desiderata, the Imperial princess, that was expected. Theophanu is identified in the marriage contract as the neptis (niece or granddaughter) of Emperor John I Tzimisces (Ιωάννης Ι Τσιμισκής). John Tzimisces married Theodora, the sister of Romanus II, who was a daughter of Romanus and Theophano, who was Romanus' wife.

At one time it was believed Theophanu was the daughter of the Emperor Romanos II and his consort Theophano, but no mention is made of her being porphyrogenita (πορφυρογέννητη), purple-born, nor are her parents identified. It is unlikely that Theophanu was the daughter of any emperor.

Current research holds that her father was Konstantinos Skleros (Κωνσταντίνος Σκληρός), brother of the pretender Bardas Skleros (Βάρδας Σκληρός) and her mother was Sophia Phokaina (Σοφία Φώκαινα), niece of Emperor Nikephoros II (Νικηφόρος ΙΙ). Her father's sister of Maria Skleraina (Μαρία Σκλήραινα) was the first wife of Tzimisces'. Accordingly she was of Armenian descent.

[edit]Marriage and children

Theophanu and Otto were married by Pope John XIII on April 14, 972 at Saint Peter's and she was crowned the same day in Rome. Their children were:

Adelaide, Abbess of Quedlinburg, born November or December 977, died 1040.

Sophia, Abbess of Gandersheim and Essen, born 978, died 1039.

Matilda, born 979, died 1025; who married Ezzo, count palatine of Lotharingia

Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor, born June or July 980

A daughter, a twin to Otto, who died before October 8, 980

[edit]Life as Empress

Theophanu accompanied her husband on all his journeys, and issued diplomas in her own name as Empress. It is known she was frequently at odds with her mother-in-law, Adelaide of Italy, and this caused an estrangement between Otto II and Adelaide. According to Odilo, Abbot of Cluny, Adelaide was very happy when "that Greek woman" died.

Albert of Metz describes Theophanu as being an unpleasant and talkative woman. Theophanu was also criticized for her decadence, which manifested in her bathing once a day and introducing luxurious garments and jewelry into Germany. She is credited with introducing the fork to Western Europe - chronographers mention the astonishment she caused when she "used a golden double prong to bring food to her mouth" instead of using her hands as was the norm. "The theologian Peter Damian even asserts that Theophanu had a love affair with John Philagathos, a Greek monk who briefly reigned as Antipope John XVI.

Otto II died suddenly on December 7, 983 and was buried in Rome. That Christmas Theophanu had their three-year-old son crowned as Otto III, with herself ruling as Empress Regent on his behalf. Henry II, Duke of Bavaria seized Otto in spring 984, but was forced to surrender the child to his mother. With the cooperation of Willigis, Archbishop of Mainz, and Hildebald, Bishop of Worms, Theophanu reigned until her death in 991.

She was buried in the church of Saint Pantaleon at Cologne. The chronicler Thietmar eulogized her as follows: "Though [Theophanu] was of the weak sex she possessed moderation, trustworthiness, and good manners. In this way she protected with male vigilance the royal power for her son, friendly with all those who were honest, but with terrifying superiority against rebels."

Because Otto III was still a child, his grandmother Adelaide of Italy took over the regency until Otto III became old enough to rule on his own.

[edit]Sources

Davids, Adelbert. The Empress Theophano: Byzantium and the West at the turn of the first millennium, 2002. ISBN 0-521-52467-9

Hans K. Schulze, Die Heiratsurkunde der Kaiserin Theophanu, Hannover 2007 ISBN 978-3-7752-6124-1

-------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theophanu -------------------- http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cousin/html/p70.htm#i9253

Theophano of Constantinople

  • b. circa 943

Theophano of Constantinople was the mother of Constantine VIII Porphyrogenitos, basileus Rhomaiôn; the brother of Basil II, and son of Romanus II and Theophano. Theophano of Constantinople was the mother of Basil II Bulgaroctonos, basileus Rhomaiôn; the son of Romanus II and Theophano.1 Theophano of Constantinople was the daughter of a tavern-keeper. She was a woman of base origin, masculine spirit, and flagitious manners.2 She was born circa 943. (Age 20 at the death of her husband, Romanus II in 963.).3 She married Romanus II, basileus Rhomaiôn, son of basileus Rhomaiôn Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus of Byzantium and Helena Lekapena, before 950; His 2nd. Her 1st. Romanus' marriage to Theophano scandalized Byzantium.4 Theophano of Constantinople witnessed the death of basileus Rhomaiôn Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus of Byzantium on 9 November 959; Poisoned by his son, Romanus, and his wife, Theophano.5,6 Theophano of Constantinople was a beautiful courtesan. She witnessed the death of Romanus II, basileus Rhomaiôn on 15 March 963; Poisoned by his wife Theophano.6,7,8,2 Theophano of Constantinople married Nikephoros II Phokas, basileus Rhomaiôn, son of Bardas Phokas, caesar, on 20 September 963; Her 2nd (widow).3,4,9 Theophano of Constantinople associated with John I Tzimisces Kourkouas, basileus Rhomaiôn, son of Theodoras Kourkouas and N. N. Phocaina, before 969; Theophano was the mistress of John. Theophano of Constantinople witnessed the death of Nikephoros II Phokas, basileus Rhomaiôn on 10 December 969 at the fortified palace of Boukoleion, Constantinople, Byzantine Empire; During a night in December 969, he was killed there by former friends, guided by John Tzimisces and advised by Theophano. He was stabbed and decapitated, and his head was put on public display. His life was summed up in the phrase inscribed on his sarcophagus: "You conquered all but a woman."3,6,10 Theophano of Constantinople was co-ruler with John I Tzimisces Kourkouas, basileus Rhomaiôn; Emperor.11,12 Family 1 Romanus II, basileus Rhomaiôn b. 939, d. 15 March 963 Children ◦Basil II Bulgaroctonos, basileus Rhomaiôn b. b 15 Mar 957, d. 15 Dec 10254 ◦Constantine VIII Porphyrogenitos, basileus Rhomaiôn+ b. c 960, d. 11 Nov 10284 ◦Anna Porphyrogenita of Byzantium b. b 9634,13


Family 2 John I Tzimisces Kourkouas, basileus Rhomaiôn b. 925, d. 10 January 976

Citations 1.[S862] Various EB CD 2001, Basil II (Byz. emp.) . 2.[S44] Edward Gibbon Gibbon, Chapter XLVIII: Succession And Characters Of The Greek Emperors.. 3.[S172] Various Encyclopaedea Britannica. 4.[S269] C. W. Previté-Orton sCMH I, pg. 256, genealogy table 8, the Macedonian Dynasty and Related Families.. 5.[S269] C. W. Previté-Orton sCMH I, pg. 258. 6.[S295] Philip Sherrard, GAM: Byzantium, pg. 76. 7.[S862] Various EB CD 2001, Romanus II (Byz. emp.) - 939. 8.[S970] MGDR, online http://www.genealogie-mittelalter.de/, Familie der Hugoniden. 9.[S940] History and Numismatics, online http://www.wegm.com/coins/index.htm, NICEPHORUS II PHOCAS. 10.[S862] Various EB CD 2001, Nicephorus II Phocas. 11.[S261] Regnal Chronologies, online http://www.hostkingdom.net/regindex.html 12.[S862] Various EB CD 2001, John I Tzimisces (Byz. emp.). 13.[S25] J. M. Hussey, Cambridge Medieval History, Vol 4, Part 1, pg. 792.

view all 17

Theophano Phokas, Byzantine Empress's Timeline

936
936
Of, Constantinople, Constantinople, Turkey
956
956
Age 20
957
957
Age 21
Constantinople, Turkey - 2nd wife
958
958
Age 22
Constantinople,Byzantium
960
960
Age 24
Of, Constantinople, Cnstantinople, Turkey
963
March 13, 963
Age 27
Constinople, Turkey
963
Age 27
Constantinople?
972
972
Age 36
Rzym
991
June 15, 991
Age 55
(Byzantium), (Constantinople), Istanbul, Turkey
????