John I “Tzimiskes” Eastern Roman Emperor

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Iōannēs I Tzimiskēs Kourkouas, basileus Rhomaiôn

Greek: Ιωάννης Α΄ Τζιμισκής Kourkouas, basileus Rhomaiôn
Birthdate: (51)
Birthplace: Armenia
Death: January 10, 976 (47-55)
Immediate Family:

Son of Theodoros Kourkouas and Prokaina Kourkouas
Husband of Theophano
Ex-husband of Maria Skleraina
Brother of NN. Kourkouaina; NN. (b) Kourkouaina and Gregoria

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About John I “Tzimiskes” Eastern Roman Emperor

John I Tzimisces Kourkouas, basileus Rhomaiôn

  • b. 925, d. 10 January 976

John I Tzimisces Kourkouas, basileus Rhomaiôn was a descendant of an aristocratic Armenian family, related through his mother to the general, and later emperor, Nicephorus II Phocas.2 "I acknowledge two powers in this life: the priesthood and the Empire; the Creator of the world has entrusted to the former the cure of souls, to the latter the care of bodies. If neither part is damaged, the well-being of the world is secure." - John I Tzimisces, as recorded by Leo the Deacon.3 He was so described: handsome, with dark-blond hair, a red beard and piercing blue eyes, though his surname refers to his short stature.3 He was born in 925.4,2 He was the son of Theodoras Kourkouas and N. N. Phocaina.1 John I Tzimisces Kourkouas, basileus Rhomaiôn married Maria Skleraina, daughter of Niketas Skleros and Gregoria Mamikonean, circa 945; His 1st.5 John I Tzimisces Kourkouas, basileus Rhomaiôn entered the imperial army and fought with his uncle Nicephorus against the Arabs in Cilicia and Syria, and then having helped Nicephorus gain the throne, rewarded with the supreme command of Byzantine forces in the East in 963.2 He was made Domestic of the Schools and Commander in Chief of the Armies in Anatolia by the emperor Nikophoros in 963.6 He associated with Theophano of Constantinople before 969; Theophano was the mistress of John. John I Tzimisces Kourkouas, basileus Rhomaiôn mustered a mighty host of his people on the death of Peter, Emperor of the Bulgars, and conquered the whole of Bulgaria which he subjected to his imperial rule in 969.7 He succeeded his uncle to the imperial title in 969. He was crowned Emperor of the East in January 969. He was led into a conspiracy by Theophano, his mistress, that led to the assassination of her husband, his uncle, the Emperor Nicephorus, in December 969.4,2 He 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."4,8,9 Emperor at Byzantine Empire between 11 December 969 and 10 January 976.10,2 John I Tzimisces Kourkouas, basileus Rhomaiôn married Theodora of Byzantium, daughter of basileus Rhomaiôn Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus of Byzantium and Helena Lekapena, in 970; His 2nd.4,5,11 John I Tzimisces Kourkouas, basileus Rhomaiôn was forced to do penance, for his part in the killing of Nicephorus II, by Polyeuctus, patriarch of Constantinople, in order to receive the imperial crown, and he therefore banished Theophano to a convent and punished the actual murderers in January 970.4 He led a counterattack against the Bulgars, leading his forces against their capital, capturing their tsar, and forcing them to recognize Byzantine suzerainty in 971.2 He defeated the Russian prince Svyatoslav and ending threats to Byzantine rule in the north in July 971.2 He witnessed the marriage of Otto II "der Rote", imperator augustus and Theophano Skleraina, Römische Kaiserin on 14 April 972 at Rome, Italy; His 2nd. Blessed by Pope John XIII.4,12,13,5,14 John I Tzimisces Kourkouas, basileus Rhomaiôn reduced the Fatimid strength around Antioch by taking Antioch, Damascus, and other cities between 974 and 975 at Syria.2 He died on 10 January 976 at Constantinople, Byzantine Empire, at age 51 years. Before he could retake Jerusalem he died, probably of typhoid. Some say he was poisoned.4,8,15,3,2 He was the predecessor of Constantine VIII Porphyrogenitos, basileus Rhomaiôn; Co-Emperor.10 John I Tzimisces Kourkouas, basileus Rhomaiôn was the predecessor of Basil II Bulgaroctonos, basileus Rhomaiôn; Co-Emperor.16

  • Family 1 Maria Skleraina b. circa 917
  • Family 2 Theophano of Constantinople b. circa 943
  • Family 3 Theodora of Byzantium b. circa 931
  • Child ◦
  1. Theophano Kourkouas b. c 97111

Citations 1.[S204] Roderick W. Stuart, RfC, 370-35. 2.[S862] Various EB CD 2001, John I Tzimisces (Byz. emp.). 3.[S940] History and Numismatics, online, JOHN I TZIMISCES. 4.[S172] Various Encyclopaedea Britannica. 5.[S269] C. W. Previté-Orton sCMH I, pg. 256, genealogy table 8, the Macedonian Dynasty and Related Families.. 6.[S1170] John Julius Norwich, Norwich - Byzantium, pg. 190. 7.[S1174] Popa Dukljanina, Ljetopis', (Paul Stephenson, translator): XXX.. 8.[S295] Philip Sherrard, GAM: Byzantium, pg. 76. 9.[S862] Various EB CD 2001, Nicephorus II Phocas. 10.[S261] Regnal Chronologies, online 11.[S25] J. M. Hussey, Cambridge Medieval History, Vol 4, Part 1, pg. 792. 12.[S204] Roderick W. Stuart, RfC, 322-36. 13.[S269] C. W. Previté-Orton sCMH I, pg. 432-433, genealogy table 12, the Saxon and Franconian Dynasties. 14.[S1039] Manfred Höfer, Kaiser und Könige, pg. 38. 15.[S296] Chronographia, online The Chronographia composed by the most learned and right honourable monk Michael, in which are recounted the deeds of the following Emperors: Basil and Constantine, the Porphyrogeniti; their successor, Romanus Argyropulus; Michael the Paphlagonian; Michael, nephew of the last-named, who originally had the title of Caesar; the two sisters Zoe and Theodora, also Porphyrogenitiae and both princesses; Constantine Monomachus, who shared the throne with them; the princess Theodora, one of the aforementioned sisters, who ruled as Empress alone; Michael the Aged; Isaac Comnenus. The History ends with the proclamation of Constantine Ducas., Notes to Book 1. 16.[S76] Skoutariotes, online

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John I “Tzimiskes” Eastern Roman Emperor's Timeline

January 10, 976
Age 51