Michael VII Ducas


Michael VII Ducas

▪ Byzantine emperor
also called  Michael VII Parapinaces  
born c. 1050, Constantinople, Byzantine Empire [now Istanbul, Turkey]
died c. 1090, Constantinople
 Byzantine emperor (1071–78) whose policies hastened the conquest of Asia Minor by the Turks.

      The eldest son of Constantine X Ducas, Michael was a minor on his father's death (May 21, 1067), and his mother assumed the regency. Because of the dangerous military and political situation, she soon married the military commander Romanus Diogenes (Romanus IV Diogenes), who was crowned coemperor as Romanus IV in January 1068. On the defeat of Romanus by the Seljuq Turks at Manzikert (Manzikert, Battle of) in 1071, Michael was proclaimed sole emperor (October 24).

      When a Norman mercenary, Roussel de Bailleul, rebelled and attempted to set up a separate kingdom in Asia Minor, the Byzantines called on the Turks for assistance in subduing him, facilitating the Turkish conquest of Asia Minor and the establishment of the sultanate of Rūm.

      Michael increasingly fell under the influence of Nicephoritzes, an official who attempted to create a state monopoly in grain. His policy not only angered the great landowners but also led to higher prices and discontent among the people. When rioting broke out in Constantinople, two rival commanders, Nicephorus Bryennius (Bryennius, Nicephorus) and Nicephorus Botaneiates, marched on the capital to claim the throne. Michael abdicated (March 31, 1078) and became a monk.

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Universalium. 2010.

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