HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CONSTANTINOPLE.
crowned in 960; and died in 1025. He obtained the name " Bulgarian-killer," from
the cruelty he exercised over them. He took
15,000 prisoners, and ordered the eyes to be
scooped out from the heads of every ninety-
nine out of one hundred.
Nicephorus II. (Phocas,) was born at Constantinople, and crowned, 963, on the death of
Romanus. He was assassinated by Zemisces,
and other conspirators, in 969.
Flavius ConstantinusVIII. son of Lecapenus,
was associated with his brother, and in 1026,
became sole emperor at the age of sixty-
nine, and died in 1028. It was in his reign
the practice of duelling was introduced :
one, fought in 1026, is the first on record in
the annals of the empire.
Johannes Zemisces was a domestic in the
palace while Nicephorus Phocas enjoyed the
crown. After his assassination, he assumed
himself the purple, but was poisoned in 975,
after a reign of six years.
Constantinus IX., brother of Basilius II.,
was born in 961, and reigned singly, after
the death of Basilius, three years. He died
in 1028, having enjoyed the title of Augustus
sixty-six years. The reign of the two brothers, with the intervening usurpations, is
the longest and most obscure in Byzantine
Romanus III.,(Argyrus,) succeeded to the empire in 1028, and was put to death by his
wife Zoe in 1034. She had administered
slow poison, but, impatient of its operation,
caused him to be suffocated in a bath by an
eunuch, who held his head under water.
Michael IV., (Paphlagonicus,) was born in
Paphlagonia, crowned in 1034, and afterwards retired to a monastery in 1041. He
married Zoe after the assassination of her
former husband, and his death was hastened
by never-ceasing remorse. The first schism
commenced in this reign between the Greek
and Latin churches.
Michael V., (Calaphates,) was crowned in
1041, and was put to death the same year,
after a reign of four months. He was called
Calaphates because his trade had been careening boats.
Zoe & Theodora, (the Matrons,) were crowned
in 1042. They were taken at an advanced
age, one from a prison, and the other from
a monastery. Zoe, at the age of sixty, took
a third husband, and died in 1050.
Flavius Constantinus X., (Monomachus,)
was crowned in 1042. He was called
Monomachus from his bravery in single
combat. He died in 1055, having survived
his atrocious wife Zoe two years. In his
reign the Turks first entered the territories
of the Greek empire in Asia.
Theodora was crowned sole empress in 1055,
at the age of seventy-six, and reigned one
year and ten months. She took an associate, and thus for twenty years two feeble
sisters, and one an abandoned profligate,
nominated whom they pleased to the empire.
Michael VI., (Stratioticus,) was crowned in
1056, and resigned the year after. He obtained the name of Stratioticus from his
supposed skill in war. His aged and feeble
associate died just before, the last of the
Family of the Comneni.
Isaak I., (Comnenus,) was crowned in 1057,
and resigned in 1059. The name of Comnenus is one of the most distinguished of
the Lower Empire.
Family of Ducas.
Flavius Constantinus XL, (by some IX.)
(Ducas,) was crowned in 1060, and died a
natural death in 1066. During his reign
Jerusalem was taken by the Turks and Saracens, William the Conqueror entered England,
and the Norman dynasty began.
Eudocia was crowned in 1067, on the death
of her husband, and reigned alone but one
year. She was expelled from the palace, and
lingered in obscurity till the time of Anna
Comnena, who saw her alive in 1096.
Romanus IV., (Diogenes,) was crowned in
1068, and was killed in 1071. He had
married Eudocia, and was nominated to the
crown in prejudice of her sons. He was