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Byzantine Empire /
Constantine 9
Byname: Constantine 9 Monomachos



Emperor Constantine 9 of the Byzantine Empire
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From Hagia Sophia church, Istanbul, Turkey.


(Around 1000-1055) Byzantine emperor 1042-1055.
Constantine's reign was among the most disastrous of Byzantine history. While Emperor Basil 2, only half a century earlier, had brought the empire to its strongest position for 4-500 years, Constantine's reign is often counted as the beginning of the end. Some of his decisions came to have dramatic effects for centuries after.
The clearest example was his decision to trust the Seljuq Turks to the degree that he disbanded the army protecting the border to their territories. Although the Seljuqs leaders themselves wanted peace, other Turkomen groups soon made advances across the unprotected border and into imperial territory. To a great degree, it is from this that both the Crusades cam about and it was possible for the Ottoman Empire to emerge.
Constantine wasted much of his strength in conspiracies, much of course, to defend his position. Strong groups were driven away from the court, while he aimed at winning the sympathy of the nobility and the church by granting tax immunity in many cases. This caused a great decline in tax revenues, jeopardizing the efficiency of the state and the military.
The schism between the western and eastern churches that came in 1054 was not the making of Constantine. It affected his politics, however, as he hoped to get assistance through an alliance with the Pope in Rome, in his fight against the Normans over territory in Southern Italy.
Arts and literature thrived under Constantine 9, and the University in Constantinople was expanded.

Biography
980-1010: Date of birth cannot be set with certainty. He was born as son of a higher bureaucrat.
Late 1030's?: Becoming a favourite of Empress Zoe, Constantine is exiled to the island of Lesbos by her jealous husband, Emperor Michael 4.
1042 June 11: Empress Zoe, now the sole ruler, chooses Constantine to become her husband.
June 12: Constantine is declared emperor, he comes in charge of the Byzantine government.
August: Rebellion by General George Maniakes.
September: George Maniakes declares himself emperor. He has control over large army contingents.
1043: George Maniakes dies, and the conflict comes to an end.
1045: Annexes the Armenian kingdom of Ani.
1046: First conflict with the Seljuq Turks.
1047: Rebellion by Constantine's nephew, Leo Tornikios. Though making advances in the beginning, he was captured after a few months.
1048: Battle with the Seljuq Turks in Armenia.
— Pecheneg attacks on Byzantine territory in the Balkans.
1049: Truce is agreed with the Seljuq Turks.
1053: Trusting the Seljuq Turks, Constantine disbands the Armenian troops.
1050: Zoe dies.
1054: The final seperation of the Christian church, dividing into the western with the Pope in Rome in its centre, and the eastern with the Patriarch in Constantinople in its centre.
1055 January 11: Dies. He is succeeded by Theodora, who officially had been empress since 1042, but not active until now.




By Tore Kjeilen