The Byzantine Empire
List of Rulers


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BYZANTINE EMPERORS

ANASTASIUS I 11th April 491 - 1st July 518

JUSTIN I sole ruler 10th July 518 -1st Aug 527

JUSTINIAN I with Justin I 4th April - 1st Aug 527; sole rule 1st Aug 527 - 14th Nov 565. He was the nephew of Justin I,
     born 483. He enlarged the empire by re-taking north Africa and part of Italy. He had constructed many great buildings,
     including the Hagia Sophia. He re-codified the law, laying the foundations of modern civil laws. Although he improved
     the lot of slaves he was a harsh ruler who massacred thousands of rebel prisoners.

JUSTIN II 15th Nov 565 - 5th Oct 578, nephew of Justinian I.

      TIBERIUS II CONSTANTINE co-ruler with Justinian I 26th Sep - 5th Oct 578; sole ruler 5th Oct 578 - 14th Aug 582,
      adopted son of Justin II.

MAURICE TIBERIUS 13th Aug 582 - 22nd Nov 602 murdered by Phocas; son-in-law of Tiberius II, born c. 539.

      THEODOSIUS joint rule with Maurice Tiberius 26th Mar 590 - 22nd Nov 602. Son of Maurice Tiberius.

PHOCAS 23rd November 602 - 5th October 610; executed.

HERACLIUS 5th Oct 610 - 11th Jan 641, born c. 575. He was an important military and administrative reformer
     who laid the foundations of Byzantium's medieval greatness.

HERACLIUS CONSTANTINE under Heraclius 22nd Jan 613 - 20th April 641, son of Heraclius, born c. 610.

      HERACLEONAS under Heraclius and short sole rule 4th July 638 - Oct 641 banished, half-brother of Heraclius Constantine;
     fate uncertain.

CONSTANS II Sep 641 - July 668 murdered, son of Heraclius Constantine, born 630.

      MEZEZIUS usurper in Sicily 668-669.

      CONSTANTINE IV Pogonatus co-ruler with Constans II from 13th Apr 654 - 15th July 668; ruler with Heraclius II
     and Tiberius II 15th July 668 - 681; sole ruler 681 - 10th July 685; son of Constans II, born 648.

      HERACLIUS II and TIBERIUS II junior rulers under Constans II and Constantine IV 2nd June 659 - autumn 681;
     sons of Constans II

      JUSTINIAN II First reign 10th July 685 - late 695; second reign summer 705 - 4th Nov 711; deposed, son of Constantinus IV,
     born c. 669. He was an effective but cruel ruler. He was deposed, mutilated (his nickname Rhinometus means "nose cut off")
     and banished. He was restored by the Bulgars but was assassinated

      LEONTIUS late 695 - late 698; murdered.

      TIBERIUS III Aspimar late 698 - summer 705; executed.

      PHILIPPICUS Bardanes 4th Nov 711 - 3rd June 713 deposed; date of death unknown.

      ANASTASIUS II Artemius 3rd June 713 - summer 716 deposed; became a monk but was executed in 721
     after attempting to regain the throne.

      THEODOSIUS III of Adramytium summer 715 - July 717 deposed; died after 717.

      LEO III the Isaurian 25th Mar 717 - 18 Jun 741, born late 670s.

      ARTAVASDUS July 742 - 2nd Nov 743, Brother-in-law of Leo III.

      CONSTANTINUS V Copronymus co-ruler 25th Mar 720 - 18th June 741; ruler 18th June 741-14th Sep 775, son of Leo III,
     born 718. He won great victories over the Arabs and Bulgars and after his death, during times of trouble,
     people would flock to his tomb to ask for his intercession.

      LEO IV the Khazar with Constantine V from 6th June 751; then 14th Sep 775 - 8th Sept 780,
     son of Constantine V, born 25th Jan 749.

      IRENE (Empress) sole reign 19th Aug 797 - 31st Oct 802, banished, wife of Leo IV, born c. 752; died 9th Aug 803.
     She was co-monarch with her son Constantine VI, but she was banished by him but returned to blind and depose him.
     She was canonised by the Orthodox Church for re-introducing icons.

      CONSTANTINE VI co-ruler under Leo IV 14th Sep 775 -8th Sept 780; ruler (with Irene) 8th Sept 780 - 19th Aug 797;
     probably murdered, son of Irene, born 770.

      NICEPHORUS I 1st Nov 802 - 25th Jul 811 died in battle against the Bulgars.

      STAURACIUS ruled under his father, Nicephorus I from Dec 803; sole reign 25th Jul - 2nd Oct 811 - reigned a few days,
     mortally wounded in the battle in which his father died.

      MICHAEL 1 Rhangabe 2nd Oct 811 - 11th Jul 813 deposed, son-in-law of Nicephorus I; date of death uncertain.

      THEOPHYLACTUS ruled under Michael I from 25th Dec 911.

      LEO V the Armenian 11th Jul 813 - 25th Dec 820 murdered.

      CONSTANTINE co-ruler under Leo V from 25th Dec 813

      MICHAEL II the Amorian 25th Dec 820 - 2nd Oct 829.

      THEOPHILUS co-ruler with Michael II 12th May 821; ruler 2nd Oct 829 - 20th Jan 842, son of Michael II.

      MICHAEL III the Drunkard co-ruler under Theophilus from 1st Sept 840; ruler 20th Jan 842 - 23rd Sept 867 assassinated,
     son of Theophilus.

BASIL I the Macedonian 23rd May 867 - 28th Aug 886.

LEO VI the Wise co-ruler, from 6th Jan 870; ruler 28th Aug 886 - 11th May 912, son of Basil I.

ALEXANDER co-ruler under Basil I and Leo VI from 879; ruler 11th May 912 - 6th June 913, son of Basil I.

      CONSTANTINE VII Porphyrogenitus co-ruler with Alexander; ruler with Romanus I 6th June 913 - 9th Nov 959,
     son of Leo VI, born 905.

      ROMANUS I Lecapenus co-ruler with Constantine VII 17th Dec 920 - 16th Dec 944, father-in-law of Constantine VII.

      ROMANUS II ruler under Romanus I from 6th Apr 945; ruler 9th Nov 959 - 15th Mar 963, son of Constantine VII, born 939.

      NICEPHORUS II Phocas 16th Aug 963 - 10th Dec 969 murdered, married the widow of Romanus II, born 912.

JOHN I Tzimisces 11th Dec 969 - 10th Jan 976, married a sister of Constantine VII.

BASIL II Bulgaroktonos co-ruler from Apr 960;10th Jan 976 - 15th Dec 1025, son of Romanus II, born c. 958.
     Nicknamed Bulgaroktonus ("Slayer of the Bulgars") he added the Balkans, Mesopotamia,
     and parts of Georgia and Armenia to the empire.

CONSTANTINE VIII co-ruler from Apr 961; sole ruler 15th Dec 1025 - 11th Nov 1028, son of Romanus II, born late 950s.

      ROMANUS III Argyrus 12th Nov 1028 - 11th Apr 1034, first husband of Zoe.

MICHAEL IV 12th Apr 1034 - 10th Dec 1041, second husband of Zoe.

      ZOE (Empress) ruler 10th - 13th Dec 1041; with Theodora 21st Apr - 12th June 1042, daughter of Constantine VIII

      MICHAEL V Kalaphates 13th Dec 1041 - 21st Apr 1042 deposed and blinded, nephew of Michael IV; date of death unknown.

CONSTANTINE IX Monomachus ruler 12th June 1042 - 11th Jan 1055, third husband of Zoe, born c. 1000.

      THEODORA (Empress) co-ruler with Zoe 21st Apr - 12th June 1042; ruler 11th Jan - 21st Aug 1056, sister of Zoe.

      MICHAEL VI Stratioticus 21st Aug 1056 - 31st Aug 1057 deposed: fate uncertain.

      ISSAC I Comnenus 1st Sept 1057 - 25th Dec 1059 abdicated, born c. l005; died 1061.

CONSTANTINE X Ducas 28th Dec 1059 - 21st May 1067.

      EUDOCIA ruled 21st May - 31st Dec 1067, wife of Constantine X

ROMANUS IV Diogenes ruler 1st Jan 1068 - 19th Aug 1071; deposed and blinded, married the widow of Constantine X;
     murdered 1072.

      MICHAEL VII Ducas co-ruler with Romanus IV, ruler 24th Oct 1071 - 24th Mar 1078 abdicated, son of Constantine X;
     died c. 1079.

      NICEPHORUS III Botaniates ruler 24th Mar 1078 - 4th Apr 1081; General of Michael VII who rebelled against him.
     Abdicated; married, probably bigamously, the wife of Michael VII; died later in 1081.

      NICEPHORUS Basilacius ruler 1078; Another general of Michael VII who rebelled against him.

      NICEPHORUS Melissenus ruled 1080 - Apr 1081. Brother-in-law of Alexius Comnenus who rebelled against Nicephorus III

      ALEXIUS I Comnenus 4th Apr 1081 - 5th Aug 1118, nephew of Isaac I, born 1048.

      JOHN II Comnenus 15th Aug 1118 - 8th Apr 1143, son of Alexius I, born 1088.

MANUEL I Comnenus 8th Apr 1143 - 24th Sep 1180, son of John II, born c. 1122.

      ALEXIUS II Comnenus 24th Sep 1180 - Sept 1183 strangled by order of Andronicus I; son of Manuel I, born 1169.

      ANDRONICUS I Comnenus Sept 1183 - 12th Sept 1185 murdered by the mob, grandson of Alexius I, born 1118.

      ISAAC Comnenus Usurper in Cyprus 1184 - 1191

ISAAC II Angelus 12th Sep 1185 - 8th Apr 1195; restored 18th July 1203 - 28th Jan 1204 deposed and blinded, born c. 1135;
     executed Feb 1204.

ALEXIUS III Angelus-Comnenus 8th Apr 1195 - 17th July 1203 deposed, brother of Isaac II; died 1211.
     He usurped the throne of his brother who later deposed him. In 1203 he fled when the Crusaders threatened Constantinople
      taking with him much of the Treasury.

      ALEXIUS IV Angelus co-ruler with Isaac II, 18th July 1203 - 28th Jan 1204, son of Isaac II;
     strangled by Alexius V on 8 Feb 1204.

      ALEXIUS V 5th Feb - 28th Jan 1204 executed as a regicide.

THE LATIN EMPIRE 1204-1261

In 1204, Alexius IV requested the aid of the Crusaders, but the French and Flemish leaders of the 4th Crusade took over Constantinople and Byzantium themselves, creating the Latin Empire.

THE LATIN Emperors in Constantinople

      BAUDOUIN I 16 May 1204-1205, son of Boudewijn V, Count of Hainaut, born 1172. He was elected Emperor by the Crusaders,
     but was captured and killed by the Bulgars.

      HENRI 1205-1216, brother of Baudouin I.

      PIERRE de Courtenay 1216-1217, brother-in-law of Henri.

      YOLANDE (Empress) 1217-Sep 1219, widow of Pierre and sister of Henri.

      ROBERT de Courtenay 1221-1228, son of Yolande and Pierre.
     An inept ruler who lost all the Empire except the city of Constantinople.

      BAUDOUIN II de Courtenay 1228-25 Jul 1261, at which time Byzantine forces retook Constantinople.
     He was the brother of Robert, born 1217; died 1273 in exile.

THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE IN NICAEA

      THEODORE I Comnenus-Lascaris 1208-1222, son-in-law of Alexius III, born c. 1175.
     The founder of the Byzantine Empire in exile at Nicaea.

JOHN III Ducas Vatatzes 1222 - 3rd Nov 1254, son-in-law of Theodore I, born 1193.

      THEODORE II Ducas-Lascaris 3rd Nov 1254 - Aug 1258, son of John III. born 1222.

      JOHN IV Lascaris Aug 1258-1261 deposed, blinded and imprisoned, son of Theodore II, born 1250; fate uncertain.

THE EMPIRE OF THESSALONICA

      THEODORE Comnenus- Ducas 1224 - 1230

      MANUEL Comnenus- Ducas 1230 - 1237

      JOHN Comnenus- Ducas 1237 - 1242; Despot 1242 - 1244

THE DESPOTATE OF EPIRUS

      MICHAEL I Angelus 1204 - 1215

      THEODORE Comnenus- Ducas 1215 - 1230

      MANUEL Comnenus- Ducas 1230 - 1237

      MICHAEL II Angelus 1237 - 1271

THE RESTORED BYZANTINE EMPIRE

      MICHAEL VIII Palaeologus ruler 15th Aug 1261 - 11th Dec 1282, (Emperor of Nicaea 1258 - 1261); born c 1224.
     He was crowned upon the recapture of Constantinople (Aug 1261).

ANDRONICUS II Palaeologus with Michael VII from 1272; ruler 11th Dec 1282 - 24th May 1328; and 1320 - 1325;
     and then with Andronicus III to 1334; deposed, son of Michael VIII, born 1260; died 1332.
     He ignored the danger from the Turks in the East, believing the Crusaders a bigger threat.

      ANDRONICUS III Palaeologus co-ruler 1325 - 1334; sole ruler 1334 - 15th Jun 1341,
     grandson of Andronicus II whom he deposed.

      JOHN V Palaeologus 15th Jun 1341 - 16th Feb 1391 deposed, son of Andronicus III, born 1332.

      JOHN VI Cantacuzenus co-ruler with John V from 13th May 1347; ruler Apr 1353 - 22nd Nov 1354 when forced to abdicate,
     born 1292; died 15 Jun 1383. A usurper.

      MANUEL II Palaeologus co-ruler Sep 1373-1376 deposed, son of John V, born 1350.

      ANDRONICUS IV Palaeologus 12th Aug 1376 - 1st July 1379, son of John V.

      MANUEL II Palaeologus co-ruler from 25th Sept 1373; ruled 16th Feb 1391 - 1423 deposed.

      JOHN VII Palaeologus regent for Manuel II 1399 - 1402; ruled 14th Apr - 17th Sept 1390; - Reigned for a few months,
     son of Andronicus IV, born 1360; died c. 1410.

      JOHN VIII Palaeologus co-ruler from 19th Jan 1421; sole ruler 1423 - 31st Oct 1448, son of Manuel II, born 1390.

      CONSTANTINE XI Palaeologus ruler 31st Oct 1448 - 29th May 1453 when Constantinople fell to the Turks,
     brother of John VIII, born 1403; He was the last Byzantine Emperor and was last seen fighting
     in one of the gates of Constantinople as the city fell to the beseiging Turks.

EMPIRE OF TREBIZOND

      ALEXIUS I Comnenus 1204 - 1222

      ANDRONICUS I Gidon 12522 - 1235

      JOHN I Axuchos 1235 - 1238

      MANUEL I Comnenus 1238 - 1263

      ANDRONICUS II 1263 - 1266

      GEORGE 1266 - 1280

      JOHN II 1280 - 1297

      JOHN II and ALEXIUS c. 1297

      THEADORA c. 1285

      ALEXIUS II 1297 - 1330

      ANDRONICUS III 1330 - 1332

      MANUEL II Jan - Sept 1332

      BASIL 1332 - 1340

      IRENE 1340 - 1331

      ANNA 1341 - 1342

      JOHN III 1342 - 1344

      MICHAEL 1344 - 1349

      ALEXIUS III 1349 - 1390

      MANUEL III 1390 - 1417

      ALEXIUS IV 1417 - 1446

JOHN IV 1446 - 1458

      DAVID 1458 - 1461

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