Theophano Anastasia Phokas

Vrouwelijk ca. 936 - 991  (~ 55 jaar)

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  • Naam Theophano Anastasia Phokas 
    Geboren ca. 936  Istanbul, Marmara, Turkey Zoek alle personen met gebeurtenissen in deze plaats 
    Geslacht Vrouwelijk 
    Overleden 15 jun 991  Istanbul, Marmara, Turkey Zoek alle personen met gebeurtenissen in deze plaats 
    Persoon-ID I7877  Spinder
    Laatst gewijzigd op 1 okt 2014 

    Gezin Romanos Porphyrogenetos, Romanos II, Autokratos tou Bizantiou,   geb. 929, Istanbul, Marmara, Turkey Zoek alle personen met gebeurtenissen in deze plaats,   ovl. 15 mrt 963, Istanbul, Marmara, Turkey Zoek alle personen met gebeurtenissen in deze plaats  (Leeftijd 34 jaar) 
    Getrouwd 957  Istanbul, Marmara, Turkey Zoek alle personen met gebeurtenissen in deze plaats 
    +1. Anna Porphyrogeneta,   geb. 13 mrt 963, Istanbul, Marmara, Turkey Zoek alle personen met gebeurtenissen in deze plaats,   ovl. 1011, Kiev, Ukraine Zoek alle personen met gebeurtenissen in deze plaats  (Leeftijd 47 jaar)
    Laatst gewijzigd op 1 okt 2014 
    Gezins-ID F2584  Gezinsblad  |  Familiekaart

  • Gebeurteniskaart
    Link naar Google MapsGeboren - ca. 936 - Istanbul, Marmara, Turkey Link naar Google Earth
    Link naar Google MapsGetrouwd - 957 - Istanbul, Marmara, Turkey Link naar Google Earth
    Link naar Google MapsOverleden - 15 jun 991 - Istanbul, Marmara, Turkey Link naar Google Earth
     = Link naar Google Earth 

  • Aantekeningen 
    • Theophano was a Byzantine empress. She was the daughter-in-law of Constantine VII; wife of Romanos II; wife of Nikephoros II Phokas; lover of John I Tzimiskes; the mother of Basil II, Constantine VIII and the princess Anna Porphyrogenita, who later married the Russian prince Vladimir.

      [edit] Becoming Empress This beautiful but considerably amoral woman played an important role in 10th century Byzantine history. An innkeeper's daughter by the name of Anastaso, the crown-prince Romanos fell in love with her around the year 956 and married her. After their marriage, she was renamed Theophano, after Theophano, a sainted Empress of the Macedonian dynasty.

      She is rumoured to have poisoned her father-in-law, the emperor Constantine VII (in complicity with her husband Romanos). Constantine died in 959, but he died of a fever which lasted several months, not showing evidence of poisoning. Romanos' dependence upon his wife for advice and support allowed her to dominate the empire during his short reign.

      [edit] Partnership with Nikephoros Phokas On March 15, 963, Emperor Romanos II died unexpectedly at the age of twenty-six. Again, Theophano was rumoured to have poisoned him, although she had nothing to gain and everything to lose from this action. Their sons Basil II and Constantine VIII were heirs and Theophano was named regent. However she realized that to secure power she needed to align her interest with the strongest general at the time, Nikephoros Phokas. As the army had already proclaimed him as an Emperor in Caesarea, Nikephoros entered Constantinople on August 15, broke the resistance of Joseph Bringas (a eunuch palace official who had become Romanos' chief counsellor) in bloody street fights, and on 16 August he was crowned in the Hagia Sophia. After that he married Theophano, thereby legitimizing his reign by marrying into the Macedonian dynasty.

      The marriage proved controversial as Nikephoros had been god-father to one or more of Theophano's children, which placed them within a prohibited spiritual relationship. It should also be noted that the Orthodox Church only begrudgingly recognized second marriages. Thus even before the issue of his having been the god-father of at least one of Theophano's children surfaced the Patriarch, Polyeuctus, banned Nikephoros from kissing the holy altar on the grounds that he must perform the penance for contracting a second marriage first. In the issue of his role as godfather, however, Nikephoros organised a council at which it was declared that since the relevant rules had been pronounced by the iconoclast Constatine V Copronymus, it was of no effect. Polyeuctus did not accept the council as legitimate, and proceeded to excommunicate Nikephoros and insist that he would not relent until Nikephoros put away Theophano. In response, Bardas Phokas and another person testified Nikephoros was not in fact godfather to any of Theophano's children, at which Polyeuctus relented and allowed Nikephoros to return to full-fellowship in the church and keep Theophano as his wife. (Norwich, John Julius. Byzantium: The Apogee. New York: Alfred A. Knopf: 1992, p. 192-194)

      [edit] Betrayal However, not too long after, she became lover to a young and brilliant general, John Tzimiskes. They soon began to conspire against Nikephoros. She prepared the assassination and John and his friends implemented it on the night between 10 and 11 December 969. The emperor was now John I Tzimiskes (969-976).

      [edit] Downfall However, Theophano badly miscalculated in the hope of becoming the wife of the new ruler. Slain Nikephoros found his avenger in the Patriarch Polyeuktos, who was determined to punish the crime. He demanded John to repent, to punish the murderers (his helpers and friends), and to remove Theophano from the court. John was forced to submit to the Patriarch?s requests. Only then was he allowed to enter the church and be crowned emperor.

      Theophano was first sent into exile to the island of Prinkipo (sometimes known as Prote). However, shortly afterwards, she made a reappearance in the capital, seeking asylum in the Hagia Sophia, where, however, she was forcibly removed on the orders of the Chamberlain Basil, who condemned her to exile in distant Armenia. Before this, he granted her request of an audience with the Emperor John, who surprisingly agreed to attend. Once there however, he was subjected to a torrent of abuse from the former empress, who then physically attacked the chamberlain, landing several telling blows. And according to Gibbon, she avowed the illegitimacy of her son, Basil II and hurled abuse at him as he stood silent, accepting the rule of his (soon to be) uncle, John Tzimiskes.

      It is possible that after the succession of her sons to the throne that she was able to return to Constantinople.

      [edit] Children Theophano and Romanos II had at least three children:

      Basil II Constantine VIII Anna, who married Vladimir I of Kiev. Theophanu, consort Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor has been suggested as the fourth daughter of the couple. Current research holds that her actual father was Konstantinos Skleros (???????????? ???????), brother of the pretender Bardas Skleros (?????? ???????) and her mother was Sophia Phokaina (????? ???????), niece of Nikephoros II.

      -------------------- Theophano Dates: 943?-after 969

      Occupation: Byzantine empress, consort of Romanus II and Nicephorus II, regent for Basil II and Constantine VIII

      Also known as: Theophanu, Theophana

      Theophano's first marriage was to the Byzantine Emperor Romanus II, whom she was able to dominate. Theophano, along with a eunuch, Joseph Bringus, essentially ruled in her husband's place.

      She was alleged to have poisoned Romanus II in 963, after which she served as regent for her sons Basil II and Constantine VIII. She married Nicephorus II on September 20, 963, barely a month after he became emperor, displacing her sons. He ruled until 969 when he was assassinated by a conspiracy that included John I Tzimisces, whose mistress she had become. Polyeuctus, the patriarch of Constantinople, forced him to banish Theophano to a convent and punish the other murderers.

      Her daughter Theophano married Otto II, the Western emperor, and her daughter Anna married Vladimir I of Kiev. (Not all sources agree that these were their daughters.)

      An example of a highly-charged opinion of Theophano -- a few paragraphs from the lengthy The World of the Middle Ages: A Reorientation of Medieval History by John L. Lamonte, 1949 (pp. 138-140):

      The death of Constantine VII was caused in all probability by poison administered to him by his son, Romanus II, at the instigation of his wife Theophano. This Theophano was a notorious courtesan, the daughter of a tavern keeper, who had won the affection of the young Romanus, a dissipated and generally worthless youth, so that he married her and associated her on the throne. With her father-in-law removed and her debauched husband on the throne, Theophano took into her own hands the reins of power, ruling with the advice of the eunuch Joseph Bringas, an old functionary of Constantine's....

      Just as Nicephorus reached his great triumph after the capture of Crete, Romanus II died. Whether it was the result of the excesses of dissipation in which he had always indulged, or whether, as was claimed by many, due to poison administered by his wife, Romanus departed this world in 963 leaving Theophano a widow at the age of twenty with two small sons, Basil and Constantine. What could be more natural than that the widowed empress should seek a supporter and helpmate in the gallant soldier? Bringas attempted to assume the custody for the two young princes at the death of their father, but Theophano and the patriarch engaged in an unholy alliance to confer the government on the hero Nicephorus. As a result, Nicephorus was declared protector and regent for the young princes; soon thereafter he was proclaimed emperor by his troops; then six months after the death of Romanus, Nicephorus married Theophano. The marriage, however, antagonized the patriarch; Nicephorus' monastic friends despaired of him; the Church showed her displeasure at this offensive union. Nicephorus, "the fool of love," retaliated by an imperial law which drove all monks from the cities of the empire and confiscated their goods....

      In the campaigns of Nicephorus a leading role had been played by a younger cousin of the emperor, John Tzmisces. The two cousins were alike in military ability but unlike in personality and appearance. While Nicephorus was hairy, unkempt, heavy and mystical, John was handsome, urbane and sophisticated. The new general was thrown into intimate contact with the empress; Nicephorus spent much of his time away at the wars. Further, his conscience troubled him and he took to wearing a hair shirt. It must be admitted that Nicephorus showed greater prowess in battle than in the boudoir, and he undoubtedly insulted the empress by his habit of sleeping on a panther-skin on the floor. Before long Theophano began to find solace for her loneliness during her husband's absences in the company of Tzmisces. Nicephorus deprived Tzmisces of his military rank and banished him to the provinces, but Theophano had other plans and, thinking to replace Nicephorus with John in every capacity, plotted the murder of her husband. The empress arranged for John and his men to be admitted into the palace; they found Nicephorus asleep on his panther-skin and fell upon him, stabbing and hacking his face and body ( December 11, 969). Tzmisces had himself immediately proclaimed emperor.

      Theophano saw herself now the wife of a new and handsome emperor. But she had been duped; when the patriarch refused to recognize Tzmisces as emperor until he had "driven from the Sacred Palace the adulteress . . . who had been the chief mover in the crime" he cheerfully repudiated Theophano, who was banished to a nunnery (she was then 27 years old). John married Theodora, the daughter of Constantine VII. To further propitiate the clergy, Tzmisces rescinded all the anticlerical legislation of Nicephorus and made great gifts to churches and monasteries.