Helena Ouresina Palaiologina

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Helena Ouresina Palaiologina (Doukaina)

Russian: Кантакузин
Also Known As: "Euphrosyne (Palaiologos)", "Jelena", "Euphrosyne Ouresina Palaiologina"
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Ioannes Doukas, ruler of Thessaly and ? Palaiologos
Wife of Theodore Palaiologos Kantakouzenos
Mother of Theodora Kantakouzene, Empress consort of Trebizond; Georgios Palaiologos Kantakouzenos, "Sachatai"; Demetrios Kantakouzenos; Manuel Kantakouzenos; Despotess Eirene Branković and 3 others

Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:

About Helena Ouresina Palaiologina



Theodore's wife was Helena Ouresina Doukaina, a daughter of John Uroš, ruler of Thessaly.[10] He is believed to have had the following issue:

  1. George Palaiologos Kantakouzenos, "Sachatai" (d. circa 1456–59), scholar and military commander, defended Smederevo during a Hungarian attack in 1456
  2. Andronikos Palaiologos Kantakouzenos (d. June 3/4, 1453, executed), the last Grand Domestic of the Byzantine Empire
  3. Thomas Kantakouzenos (d. July 25, 1463 in Adrianople), diplomat for Đurađ Branković, Despot of Serbia
  4. Irene Kantakouzene (d. May 1457), wife of Serbian Despot Đurađ Branković
  5. Helena Kantakouzene or Theodora Kantakouzene, Empress of Trebizond[11][note 2]
  6. A daughter who married George VIII, King of Georgia


  • 1. According to historian Lindsay L Brook, "it is unlikely on chronological grounds that Matthias, probably born shortly after 1325, could have been the grandfather of Eirene and her brothers (all of whom died between 1453 and 1463)."[2]
  • 2. Thierry Ganchou has more recently argued that Helena is a phantom, and had never existed. He states that she was likely confused with her supposed husband's mother, Theodora, who may have been the actual child of Theodore.
  • *The Byzantist Donald Nicol, who initially attributed the offspring to Demetrios Kantakouzenos, later reversed his position and stated that it was more likely that Theodore was the actual father. His reason was that, given that George's eldest son was also named Theodore, the new theory would correlate with a common Byzantine practice of naming the eldest son for their grandfather.[1] Similarly, one of Irene's sons was named Todor, possibly also being named after Theodore.[12]
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irene_Kantakouzene Irene was one of the sisters of George Palaiologos Kantakouzenos, according to Spandounes and other sources.[3] The genealogy Donald Nicol had constructed gives George and Irene at least four siblings: Andronikos Palaiologos Kantakouzenos, Thomas Kantakouzenos, Helena Kantakouzene, and one more sister who married a king of Georgia.[4] Although he speculated their father was Demetrios I Kantakouzenos, Nicols was "certain" that their grandfather was Matthew Kantakouzenos and their great-grandfather the Emperor John VI Kantakouzenos.[5] However, Nicol later backed away from this identification of Irene and George's father, instead stating that it is more likely that he was Demetrios' brother Theodore Kantakouzenos.[6]


  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Uros John Uroš married a daughter of Radoslav Hlapen, a Serbian lord in Macedonia. According to the manuscript Dell'Imperadori Constantinopolitani, preserved in the papers of Angelo Masarelli, the father of John's wife was "lord of Drima" ("l Signor Drimi"). John had five children: ... 4. Helena (Jelena) Ouresina Palaiologina, who married Theodore Kantakouzenos, with whom she had Irene Kantakouzene
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Kantakouzenos
  • 10. Williams, Kelsey Jackson (2006). "A Genealogy of the Grand Komnenoi of Trebizond" (PDF). Foundations. 2 (3): 171–89. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 June 2019. PDF page 12:
    • 16. Nicol (1968, pp.176-192) published an accurate account of Theodoros’ children but mistakenly attributed them to the sebastokrator Demetrios Kantakouzenos (d.c.1384), an error which Hunger noted in his edition of Chortasmenos and which Nicol corrected in his addenda (1973, pp.312-313). Brook (1989, pp.6-8) establishes that Theodoros’ wife, and consequently Theodora’s mother, was Helena Uroš Doukaina, daughter of Ioannes Uroš Doukas, Emperor in Thessaly, c.1371-1372, and grandson of Stefan Uroš III Dečanski, King of Serbia.
  • Nicol, Donald M. (1968). The Byzantine Family of Kantakouzenos (Cantacuzenus), ca. 1100–1460: A Genealogical and Prosopographical Study. Dumbarton Oaks studies 11. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies. OCLC 390843. GoogleBooks
  • Nicol, Donald M. “The Byzantine Family of Kantakouzenos: Some Addenda and Corrigenda.” Dumbarton Oaks Papers, vol. 27, 1973, pp. 309–315. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1291347. Accessed 13 Mar. 2021.
  • http://genealogy.euweb.cz/byzant/byzant5.html seems off by a generation. Shows the children of Theodore Kantakouzenos & Helena Ouresina Doukaina (not listed) as (E1 - E6) of “D2. Demetrios I Kantakouzenos, titled as sebastokrator in XII.1357, Despot of Morea (1383), *ca 1343, +btw 1384-1420; m.NN”. This is not supported by Donald Nicol.
  • http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/BYZANTIUM%2012611453.htm#TheodoraKa... THEODOROS Palaiologos Kantakouzenos, son of [DEMETRIOS] Kantakouzenos & his wife --- (after 1361-1410). His parentage is not known. If it is correct as suggested below that Theodoros's eldest son was named Demetrios, it is probable that Theodoros's father was also named Demetrios, consistent with the Byzantine custom of naming the eldest son after his paternal grandfather[574]. Ambassador 1397. Senator 1409. Patrician of Venice 27 Dec 1398. He died of the plague. m (after 1383) EUPHROSYNE, daughter of --- Sincrula Palaiologos & his wife ---. She is named as wife of Theodoros in the Masarelli Vatican manuscript ... Theodoros Kantakouzenos & his wife had [nine] children: