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Zoe of Byzantium

Zoe (Greek: Ζωή, literal meaning Life).Lived c. 978 - 1050, Empress of the Eastern Roman Empire with co-rulers November 15, 1028 - 1050, Reigning Empress from April 19 till June 11, 1042.

Zoe was one of the few Byzantine empresses born into the purple. She was daughter of Constantine VIII of the Byzantine Empire who became sole emperor in 1025. He reigned for only three years between December 15, 1025 and November 15, 1028. Before dying Constantine had married her to his chosen heir Romanus III Argyrus, the eparch of Constantinople, on November 12, 1028. Constantine hoped that Romanus would help his daughter to help control the government.But Romanus proved to be an unfaithful husband and an ineffective emperor. He was found murdered in his bath in 1034. Zoe immediately remarried, before his body was removed from the bath. Zoe's second husband was Michael IV "the Paphlagonian." He reigned until his death in 1041. Her next co-ruler was her addoptive son Michael V Calaphates, nephew of her second husband, whose short reign lasted only into the next year. For two months in 1042, Zoe shared the government with her sister, Theodora, until she could find yet another husband, her third and the last one she could have (Eastern Orthodox Church's rules allow three marriages at most to each person). Her choice fell upon Constantine IX Monomachus (reigned 1042-1054) who outlived her by four years. Zoe died in 1050.

Preceded by:
Michael V
Byzantine emperors Followed by:
Constantine IX



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