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Ruler: Constantine X, Ducas
Reigned: 25th Dec 1059 - 21st May 1067
Denomination: AE Follis
Mint: Constantinople
Obverse: Christ standing facing on footstool, wearing nimbus, crown & colobium and holding book of gospels in both hands. to right, to left.
Reverse: Eudocia on left and Constantine, bearded on right, standing facing, holding between them a labarum, with cross on shaft, resting on three steps. Each wears a crown and loros.
Reference: BCV 1853
Weight: 10 gms
Diameter: 26.9 mm

CONSTANTINE X

The Emperor Isaac Comnenus, while on a hunting trip towards the end of 1059, contracted a fever and died. Before dying, the Emperor nominated as his successor - almost certainly at the instigation of Psellus the famous philosopher- Constantine Ducas, an aristocratic who had been responsible for reviving the university a few years before. His wife was Eudocia Makrembolitissa, a niece of the late patriarch.

It was the misfortune of Byzantium that just at the time when dangerous new enemies were appearing on her frontiers her ruler was a weak-willed civilian, quite unfitted for the daunting task which lay ahead. Perhaps even a Basil II would have been hard-pressed to withstand the onslaught which was about to be unleashed on the Christian Empire. The attacks came almost simultaneously on three different fronts -in the West the Normans under Robert Guiscard attacked Byzantine possessions in South Italy; the Balkans were overrun by the Uzes, a savage Turkish tribe; and in the East, Asia Minor felt the first impact of the dynamic expansion of Seljuq power. By the time of Constantine's death in 1067 the situation was already serious, and with Byzantine opposition to the invaders so weak the Empire came close to foundering in the years that followed.

On 21st May 1067, Constantine died. On his death-bed he made the Empress Eudocia swear never to re-marry. The Empress herself was perfectly ready to remarry if she could be absolved from her oath. Unfortunately, the Patriarch was John Xiphilinus, one of Constantine’s closest friends. She suggested that she was considering marriage to the Patriarch’s brother; Xiphilinus believed her, and persuaded the Senators to give their consent. Only then did she announce that she would marry, not the Patriarch’s brother, but a member of the military aristocracy, named Romanus Diogenes. On 1st January 1068 Romanus was crowned Emperor.

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