Constantine X Doukas

Constantine X Doukas
Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans
Costantino X - histamenon - Sear 1847v (reverse).jpg
Gold histamenon of Constantine X.
Emperor of the Byzantine Empire
Reign 24 November 1059 – 22 May 1067
Predecessor Isaac I Komnenos
Successor Romanos IV Diogenes
Born 1006
Died 22 May 1067 (aged 61)
Spouse unknown
Eudokia Makrembolitissa
Issue Michael VII Doukas
Andronikos Doukas
Konstantios Doukas
Anna Doukaina
Theodora Anna Doukaina
Zoe Doukaina
Dynasty Doukid dynasty
Father Andronikos Doukas

Constantine X Doukas or Dukas, Latinised as Ducas (Greek: Κωνσταντῖνος Ι΄ Δούκας, Kōnstantinos X Doukas, 1006 – 22 May 1067) was Byzantine Emperor from 1059 to 1067. He was the founder and first ruling member of the short-lived Doukid dynasty. During his reign, the Normans took over much of the remaining Byzantine territories in Italy while in the Balkans the Hungarians occupied Belgrade. He also suffered defeats against the Seljuk sultan Alp Arslan.


Constantine Doukas was the son of Andronikos Doukas, a Paphlagonian Greek nobleman who may have served as governor of the theme of Moesia. Addicted to endless debates about philosophy and theology, Constantine gained influence after he married, as his second wife, Eudokia Makrembolitissa, a niece of Patriarch Michael Keroularios.[1] In 1057, Constantine supported the usurpation of Isaac I Komnenos, gradually siding with the court bureaucracy against the new emperor's reforms.[1] In spite of this tacit opposition, Constantine was chosen as successor by the ailing Isaac in November 1059, under the influence of Michael Psellos.[2] Isaac abdicated, and on 24 November 1059, Constantine X Doukas was crowned emperor.[3]

The new emperor quickly associated two of his young sons in power, Michael VII Doukas and Konstantios Doukas, appointed his brother John Doukas as kaisar (Caesar), and embarked on a policy favorable to the interests of the court bureaucracy and the church.[1] Severely undercutting the training and financial support for the armed forces, Constantine X fatally weakened Byzantine defences[citation needed] by disbanding the Armenian local militia of 50,000 men at a crucial point of time, coinciding with the westward advance of the Seljuk Turks and their Turcoman allies.[4] Undoing many of the necessary reforms of Isaac I Komnenos, he bloated the military bureaucracy with highly paid court officials and crowded the Senate with his supporters.[5]

His decisions to replace standing soldiers with mercenaries[6] and leaving the frontier fortifications unrepaired led Constantine to become naturally unpopular with the supporters of Isaac within the military aristocracy, who attempted to assassinate him in 1061.[citation needed] He also became unpopular with the general population after he raised taxes to try to pay the army.[1]

At the very start of his reign, the Normans under Robert Guiscard completed the conquest of Byzantine Calabria, but Constantine showed a resurgent interest in retaining Apulia. He appointed at least two catepans of Italy (Marules and Sirianus) and sent reinforcements on two further occasions (under "Miriarcha" and Michael Maurex). He also suffered invasions by Alp Arslan in Asia Minor in 1064, resulting in the loss of the Armenian capital,[7] and by the Oghuz Turks in the Balkans in 1065,[8] while Belgrade was lost to the Hungarians.[9]

Already old and unhealthy when he came to power, Constantine died on 22 May 1067. His final act was to demand that only his sons succeed him, forcing his wife Eudokia Makrembolitissa to take a vow not to remarry.[10]


By his first wife, a daughter of Constantine Dalassenos, Constantine X Doukas had no known children. By his second wife, Eudokia Makrembolitissa, he had the following issue:

See also