Women of Royalty
Anna Comnena

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.

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