Online Encyclopedia

ROMANUS IV

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V23, Page 584 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ROMANUS IV. (Diogenes), emperor 1068-1071, was a member of a distinguished Cappadocian family, and had risen to distinction in the army, when he was convicted of treason against the sons of Constantine X. While waiting execution he was summoned into the presence of the empress regent, Eudocia Macrembolitissa, whom he so fascinated that she granted him a free pardon and shortly afterwards married him. After his coronation he carried on three successful campaigns against the Saracens and Seljuk Turks, whom he drove beyond the Euphrates; in a fourth he was disastrously defeated by Alp Arslan on the banks of the Araxes and taken prisoner. After releasing himself by the promise of a large ransom and the conclusion of a peace, he turned his arms against the pretender Michael VII., but was compelled after a defeat to resign the empire and retire to the island of Prote, where he soon died in great misery. It was during this reign that, by the surrender of Bari (1071), the Byzantine empire lost its last hold upon Italy. See J. G. C. Anderson in the Journal of Hellenic Studies (1897), pp. 36-39. On all the above see also J. B. Bury's edition of Gibbon's Decline and Fall. (M. O. B. C.)
End of Article: ROMANUS IV
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