Romanos III Argyros, Emperor of Constantinople

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Romanos III Argyros, Emperor of Constantinople

Also Known As: "Romanos III Argyros or Romanus III Argyrus", "император Роман III Аргир", "Romanos III Argyros", "Romanus III Argyrus", "Ρωμανός Γ΄ Αργυρός", "Rōmanos III Argyros"
Birthdate: (66)
Birthplace: (Byzantium), (Constantinople), Istanbul, Turkey
Death: April 11, 1034 (62-70)
(Byzantium), (Constantinople), Istanbul, Turkey
Immediate Family:

Son of Romanos Argyros and Agatha Lekapena, Princess of Byzantium
Husband of Zoe Porphyrogenita, Empress of the Byzantine Empire
Ex-husband of Helena N/A
Father of Argyrosa of Byzantium, Princess
Brother of Basil Argyros; Pulcheria Argyropoulina, Princess of Byzantium and Maria Argyrosa

Occupation: император на Византия (1028-1034), emperor 15 november 1028-11 april 1034, Byzantine Emperor
Managed by: Henn Sarv
Last Updated:

About Romanos III Argyros, Emperor of Constantinople

Romanos III Argyros

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Romanos III Argyros or Romanus III Argyrus (Greek: Ρωμανός Γ΄ Αργυρός, Rōmanos III Argyros), (968 – April 11, 1034) was Byzantine emperor (November 15, 1028 - April 11, 1034). His last name is Greek for "Silver".

Life

Romanos Argyros was the son of an unnamed member of the Argyros family and a great-grandson of Emperor Romanos I. His sister Maria had married Giovanni Orseolo. Under Basil II, Romanos served as judge, and under Constantine VIII he became prefect of Constantinople. Romanos attracted the attention of Constantine VIII, who forced him to divorce his wife (sending her into a monastery) and to marry the emperor's daughter Zoe. The marriage took place on November 12, 1028, and three days later Constantine VIII died, leaving Romanos III as emperor.

The new emperor showed great eagerness to make his mark as a ruler, but was mostly unfortunate in his enterprises. He spent large sums upon new buildings and in endowing the monks, and in his endeavour to relieve the pressure of taxation disorganized the finances of the state. Idealizing Marcus Aurelius, Romanos aspired to be a new "philosopher king", and similarly desired to imitate the military prowess of Trajan.

In 1030 he resolved to retaliate upon the incursions of the Muslims on the eastern frontier by leading a large army in person against Aleppo, but by allowing himself to be surprised on the march sustained a serious defeat at Azaz near Antioch. Though this disaster was retrieved by the capture and successful defence of Edessa by George Maniakes in 1032 and by the defeat of a Saracen fleet in the Adriatic, Romanus never recovered his popularity.

As a member of the aristocracy, Romanos III abandoned his predecessors' curtailment of the privileges of the nobility and reduced their taxes, at the same time allowing peasant freeholders to fall into a condition of serfdom. In a vain attempt to reduce expenditure, Romanos limited his wife's expenses, which merely exacerbated the alienation between the spouses.

At home Romanos III faced several conspiracies, mostly centered around his sister-in-law Theodora, as in 1029 and 1030. Although he survived these attempts on the throne, his early death in 1034 was supposed to have been due to poison administered by his wife, though it has also been alleged that he was drowned in a bath on his wife's orders.

Family

By his first wife Helena, Romanos III Argyros had a daughter:

(unnamed) Argyra, who was engaged to Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor.

He had no children by his second wife Zoe

Bibliography

(primary source) Michael Psellus, Chronographia.

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press, 1991.

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.


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


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanus_III
Romanos III Argyros, or Romanus III Argyrus (Greek: Ρωμανός Γ΄ Αργυρός, Rōmanos III Argyros; 968 – 11 April 1034), was Byzantine emperor from 15 November 1028 until his death.

Romanos Argyros was the son of an unnamed member of the Argyros family, who may be identifiable with the Pothos Argyros who defeated a Magyar raid in 958 (identified by some scholars with an older namesake) or with Eustathios Argyros, known only for commissioning a poem in honour of Romanos II in 950. Romanos' father was the son of another Romanos Argyros, who had married Agatha, a daughter of Romanos I Lekapenos (r. 919–944).

Romanos had several siblings: Basil Argyros, who served as general and governor under Basil II (r. 976–1025); Leo, who served under Basil and was killed in Italy in 1017; Pulcheria Argyropoulina, who married the magistros Basil Skleros; an anonymous sister who married Constantine Karantenos, who served as doux of Antioch under Romanos; and Maria Argyropoulina, who married Giovanni Orseolo, son of Doge Pietro II Orseolo.

Romanos was born in 968. Romanos served as krites (judge) in Opsikion, with the rank of protospatharios. In this capacity he persecuted heretics at Akmoneia. He was then promoted to the post of quaestor, and became one of the judges of the Hippodrome. In this role he is mentioned in the Peira, a compendium of legal decisions compiled by the notable jurist Eustathios Rhomaios. He was promoted further to the rank of patrikios and the post of oikonomos (steward) of the Great Church, while continuing to preside over a tribunal. At the time of the death of Basil II's successor, Emperor Constantine VIII, in 1028, he held the post of urban prefect of Constantinople.

Romanos attracted the attention of Constantine VIII, who forced him to divorce his wife (sending her into a monastery) and to marry the emperor's daughter Zoe Porphyrogenita. The marriage took place on 12 November 1028, and three days later Constantine VIII died, leaving Romanos III as emperor.

The new emperor showed great eagerness to make his mark as a ruler, but was mostly unfortunate in his enterprises. He spent large sums upon new buildings and in endowing the monks. His endeavour to relieve the pressure of taxation disorganized the finances of the state. Idealizing Marcus Aurelius, Romanos aspired to be a new "philosopher king", and similarly desired to imitate the military prowess of Trajan.

In 1030 he resolved to lead a large army in person against the Mirdasids of Aleppo. But by encamping his army in a waterless site and allowing his scouting party to be ambushed, he sustained a serious defeat at Azaz, near Antioch. Despite Romanos' tragic defeat, the Emir of Aleppo opened negotiations and signed a treaty which made Aleppo an Imperial tributary and allowed for a Greek governor to preside over the city.

In 1032, the capture and successful defence of Edessa by George Maniakes and the sound defeat of a Saracen fleet in the Adriatic did little to improve Romanos' early popularity.

As a member of the aristocracy, Romanos III abandoned his predecessors' curtailment of the privileges of the nobility and reduced their taxes, at the same time allowing peasant freeholders to fall into a condition of serfdom. In a vain attempt to reduce expenditure, Romanos limited his wife's expenses, which merely exacerbated the alienation between the two.

At home Romanos III faced several conspiracies, mostly centered on his sister-in-law Theodora, as in 1029 and 1030. Although he survived these attempts on the throne, his death on 11 April 1034 was supposed to have been due to poison administered by his wife, though there is also speculation that he was drowned in a bath on his wife's orders. He was buried in the Church of St. Mary Peribleptos, which he built.

By his first wife Helena, Romanos III Argyros had a daughter, who was engaged to Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor. He had no children by his second wife Zoe.

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Romanos III Argyros, Emperor of Constantinople's Timeline

968
968
(Byzantium), (Constantinople), Istanbul, Turkey
1034
April 11, 1034
Age 66
(Byzantium), (Constantinople), Istanbul, Turkey
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