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Maria Monamachos (Skleraina)

Immediate Family:

Daughter of .... Skleros
Wife of N.N.
Partner of Constantine IX Monomachos, byzantine emperor
Sister of Romanos Skleros

Occupation: Protospatharissa (wife of a high official)
Managed by: Jason Scott Wills
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Maria Monamachos

"Maria Skleraina, who had spent seven years in exile with him [Constantine] on Lesbos, putting all her assets at his disposal... was to be an important figure for the first years of Constantine's reign. She was the great-granddaughter of Bardas Skleros, who in the reign of Basil the Burgslayer, Zoe's uncle, had three times proclaimed himself Emperor, and she appears to have been the widow of a 'protosphatarios: she has been identified with the 'protospatharissa Maria, daughter of Skleros, who is recorded in the Peira of Eustathios as demanding repayment of 62 lb of gold from an impoverished patrician Panbeiros who was indebted to her, receiving instead the charistikon of the monastry of St. Mamas. (69

Constantin and Skleraina, the cousin of his second wife, (70 were devotedly attached to each other and were unable to endure separation. ...." Garland, Byzantine empresses... p. 147 [added by RH 2021-01-10]

It is believed that “the Russian bride” was either a legal daughter from Elena Sklirena's wife, or illegitimate from Maria Skleraina; however, there is no mention of the birth of children by Constantine IX Monomachos, Byzantine Emperor.


b) [MARIA [Skleraina] (-[1044], bur Monastery of Mangana[1467]). Zonaras records that, after the death of his second wife, Konstantinos was unable to marry a third time but took as his mistress "consobrina uxoris suæ…adulescentula…et nobili Sclerorum familia orta"[1468]. Psellos records that "the niece of his late wife" became mistress of Konstantinos Monomakhos, the future Emperor Konstantinos IX, after the death of his second wife, being unable to marry her because of the Orthodox church's prohibition of third marriages[1469]. As Psellos, in an earlier passage, records that the second wife of Konstantinos was her parents' only child[1470], the word "niece" cannot be interpreted in its strict sense in this text. The editor of the edition of Psellos which has been consulted states that she was the sister of Romanos Skleros and granddaughter of Bardas (children of an otherwise unrecorded brother of Basileios Skleros), but the primary source on which this is based has not so far been identified[1471]. If this is correct, she and her brother must have been born from an otherwise second marriage of Basileios Skleros. Psellos hints that this might be correct when he refers to her in later passages as "Sclerena"[1472]. Another possibility is that one of Maria's parents was the daughter or son of either Pulcheria Argyre or Basileios Skleros (the parents of Konstantinos's first wife) by a second marriage: Psellos does suggest that Pulcheria and Basileios's marriage terminated early when he states that "…Pulcheria…in the past had been married to Basil Sclerus"[1473]. The primary source which confirms her name has not so far been identified. She followed Konstantinos Monomachos into exile on Lesbos in 1034. She was recalled to Constantinople after her husband's accession, but was unpopular, her presence causing a riot 9 Mar 1044. Eventually, she was introduced openly to the Palace as her husband's mistress, acting as a junior consort and granted the title Augusta[1474]. Psellos records the death of "Sclerena" and the emperor's grief[1475].

Mistress: (before 1034-[1044]%29 of KONSTANTINOS Monomachos, son of THEODOSIOS Monomachos & his wife --- (-11 Jan 1055, bur Monastery of Mangana). He succeeded in 1042 as Emperor KONSTANTINOS IX. He was unable to marry Maria as the Orthodox church prohibited third marriages[1476].]


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Maria Monamachos's Timeline