Doukas, Constantine

Doukas, Constantine
   1) Son of Andronikos Doukas (q.v.), and, like his father, a famous military commander under Leo VI (q.v.). Also like his father, his career ended tragically. He was a strategos (q.v.) of Charsianon, and subsequently domestikos ton scholon (q.v.). Ironically, it was he who arrested Samonas (q.v.), the man whose intrigues had forced his father to flee to the Arabs (q.v.). However, when Alexander (q.v.) died in 913, Constantine marched his troops into Constantinople (q.v.) and claimed the throne with broad popular support. Patriarch Nicholas I Mystikos (qq.v.), who at first seemed to support him, suddenly withdrew his support, and Constantine was killed by the imperial guard at the very gates of the Great Palace (q.v.). His dying words were a curse on the patriarch. Leo Choirosphaktes (q.v.) and other supporters among the aristocracy (q.v.), including relatives of Constantine, were punished. Constantine's fame lived on in the revolt of Basil the Copper Hand (q.v.) and in praise offered to him in the Digenes Akrites (q.v.).
   2) Son of Michael VII Doukas and Maria of Alania (qq.v.), born around 1074. He was betrothed to the daughter of Robert Guiscard (q.v.), Helena, but these marriage plans were overturned when Nikephoros III (q.v.) came to power. When Alexios I Komnenos (q.v.) became emperor he favored Constantine, betrothing him to Anna Komnene (q.v.). Constantine had every right to expect that one day he would inherit the throne. But this arrangement was nullified when Alexios produced a male heir in John II (q.v.). It has also been suggested that Constantine may have developed a disease that made his prospects untenable. In any case, Constantine retired to his estates and died sometime not long after 1094, having been a pawn all his life in the politics of marriage alliances.

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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