Bookmark and Share

Open the online Arabic language course

Byzantine Empire /
Romanus 1

(Around 872-948) Byzantine emperor 920-944, 24 years.
Although only co-emperor with Constantine 7, it was Romanus 1 who exercised all real power from 920 to 944. Throughout this period, Constantine's formal position was untouched by Romanus, although he had 3 of his sons crowned co-emperors.
Among his most important allies was General John Kourkouas, who won many important victories against the Abbasids.
His reign also saw a number of revolts inside the empire. Especially in Chaldia, the Peloponnesos and in southern Italy were the conflicts hard, but all were eventually subdued.
He managed to mend the poor relationship with the Pope in Rome as it had become during the reign of Leo 6. He reinstated Nicholas Mysticus as Patriarch in Constantinople.
Romanus involved himself much in juridical matters. He introduced laws that aimed at protecting small landowners against the ambitions fo the large estates. Instead, taxes were increased for large landowners.

Around 872: Born in Lakape as the son of an imperial guardsman of Armenian origin.
911: Becomes general of the naval theme of Samos.
917: Serves as admiral on the Danube when sailing to Constantinople. Here he soon makes alliances high in the royal court.
919: Romanus becomes new regent for Constantine 7, replacing the emperor's mother, Zoe.
May: Romanus' daughter, Helena, is married to Constantine.
920 September: Is appointed deputy emperor.
December: Romanus has himself appointed co-emperor. Romanus quickly takes control of the administration to a degree that would allow Constantine practically no influence for the next quarter of a century.
921: War breaks out with Bulgaria.
— Crowns his son, Christopher, co-emperor.
924: Peace is reached with Bulgaria.
— Crowns his other son, Stephen, co-emperor.
927 May: Bulgaria's new emperor, Peter 1, invades the Byzantine Empire, in reality with the aim of forcing through permanent arrangements between the two states.
September: Peter of Bulgaria marries Maria, daughter of Cristopher. From this, a 40 year long peace came.
931: Christopher dies.
934: Melitene (modern Malatya, Turkey) is conquered from the Abbasids.
941: Constantinople is attracked by the Kievans.
943: Northern Mesopotamia is invaded. Edessa is besieged.
944 December 16: Romanus is deposed by his sons Stephen and Constantine, and exiled to a monastery.
945 January 27: A revolt in Constantinople in favour of Constantine 7 forces Stephen and Constantine into exile with their father.
948 June 15: Romanus dies.

By Tore Kjeilen