Author: Romans

  • Martina (Second Wife of Heraclius)

    Martina is on the right, Heraclius Constantine is on the left. Martina was to have the doubtful honour of being one of the most hated rulers of any period in Byzantium, and of being probably the most detested empress of all time. Her husband, the emperor Heraclius (610-41), had been married before. His marriage to the extremely […]

  • Mary of Antioch

    Introduction At the death of his first wife, Bertha of Sulzbach in 1158, Manuel I Comnenus was left with one surviving daughter, Maria ‘Porphyrogenita‘ who was as yet unmarried. The need for a male heir to the throne was of paramount importance and Manuel decided to use this as an opportunity to cement his alliance with the Frankish kingdom of Jerusalem and […]

  • Artabasdus  (742-743 A.D.) and Anna (wife of Artabasdus)

    Anna, daughter of Leo III, was born prior to her father’s accession and, according to Theophanes, it was in 715 that she was promised in marriage to the Armenian Artabasdus, general of the Armeniac theme, following Theodosius III’s deposition of Anastasius II. The marriage took place some time after Leo became emperor, in March 717, and Artabasdus was given the rank […]


  • Mart’a-Maria ‘of Alania’

    Maria’s origins Maria was born the princess Mart’a, daughter of Bagrat IV, king of Georgia, and his second wife Borena. Bagrat succeeded his father on the Georgian throne in 1027 and ruled down to 1072. Maria’s mother, Borena, was the sister of Dorgholeli, the ruler of Ovset’i (Alania) in northern Caucasia.[[1]] Maria had two siblings: the […]

  • Heraclonas (April/May – September 641 A.D.) Constantine III (February – April/May 641 A.D.)

    Heraclonas Constantine III Accession Heraclonas (Heraclius II) was born in Constantinople in 626 to the emperor Heraclius and his second wife Martina. Upon Heraclius’ death on February 11, 641, his will declared his sons, Heraclius Constantine (Constantine III) and Heraclonas, as co-emperors and stipulated that the half brothers should have equal status and rights in managing the government. […]

  • Maria Porphyrogenita, daughter of Manuel I Comnenus

    Maria Porphyrogenita (also known as Maria Caesarissa, or ‘Maria the Caesar’s wife’) was the only surviving child of Manuel I Comnenus and his first wife Bertha-Irene of Sulzbach. The wedding of her parents had taken place in January 1146,[[1]] and she was probably born in March 1152. According to Cinnamus, she was hailed as ’empress’, i.e. given the title […]

  • Philip the Arab and Rival Claimants of the later 240s

    Philip I Pacatianus Iotapianus Silbannacus Sponsianus Philip II Philip the Arab (244-249 A.D.) Michael L. Meckler Ohio State University Marcus Julius Philippus rose from obscure origins to rule for five and one-half years as Rome’s emperor. Only sketchy details of his life and reign have survived in the historical record. One of those details — […]

  • Faustinus (274 A.D.)

    Faustinus was a usurper against Tetricus I, the last emperor of the so-called “Gallic Empire”. He is known only from a few mentions in literary sources that report a certain Faustinus instigated a mutiny among the troops of Tetricus.[[1]] Neither his complete name nor the year of his birth are known. According to Polemius Silvius,[[2]] he rebelled in Augusta […]

  • Constantine II (337-340 A.D.)

    Constantine II, whose full name was Flavius Claudius Constantinus, was the son of Constantine I and Fausta.[[1]] Primary sources for the life and reign of Constantine II are scarce.[[2]] He was probably born in Arles in the summer of 316 A.D. and, like his brothers, raised as a Christian. He was made a Caesar on 1 March 317 and was […]