The Comnenan Dynasty
In 1056, the last Byzantine emperor of the Macedonian dynasty, Michael VI Stratioticus, ascended
the throne of the Byzantine Empire. A weak man, the famous Empress Theodora had chosen him as her heir even though he was
old and unable to rule the vast kingdom. Because of his great weaknesses and unability to balance the empire, the aristocracy
voted to depose of him. Headed by the officer Isaac Comnenus, the rebels declared war on Emperor Michael VI and after a successful
battle in 1057 at Phrygia he was dethroned. Banished to a life in a monastery, Michael was succeeded by Isaac Comnenus, who
began the Comnenan Dynasty of Byzantium.
Emperor Isaac I abdicated in 1059. His brother John Comnenus rejected the offer
to become the emperor and the throne passed onto three emperors between the next 20 years: Constantine X and Michael VII (both
of the powerful Ducas family), Romanus IV of the Diogenes family, and Nicephorus of the Botaniates family.