Macedonian Dynasty

Pictured clockwise from left are Constantine VII Purple-born(909-959), Leo VI the Wise (866-912), Zoe (1028-1050) and her fourth husband, Constantine IX (1000-1058), and Basil II (958-1025). Basil II was a great general in addition to being emperor. Notice that he chooses to be portrayed with short hair and gown as a soldier.

Highlights of Eastern Roman events and the Macedonian Dynasty

Some incidental Macedonian rulers are not included in the list. Rulers are listed by their dates of rule on the time line and by their life span following their name.

312 Constantine I defeats challenger at Milvian Bridge to become Roman Emperor. He claims to have seen Chi Rho cross in sky and favors Christianity.
324 Constantine establishes new capital city for Eastern Roman Empire at Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey)
325 Ecumenical Council held at Nicaea
329 Construction begins on St. Peter’s, Rome
333 Constantine’s mother travels to Holy Lands to gather relics and identify holy sites in Jerusalem.

Basil I

395 Theodosius makes Christianity the empire’s official religion, splits the empire between his sons upon his death. He is the last unified emperor for Roman Empire
447 Greek and Latin churches split over wording of Nicene Creed (filoque controversy)
537 Justinian dedicates new Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) church in Constantinople
541-543 Justinian’s plague (pandemic of bubonic plague) kills between 25 and 50 million people around the Mediterranean
726 Earthquake in Constantinople, start of quest to eliminate images and icons in the Eastern Church.
800 Charlemagne crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III in the west (this is the same title claimed by the Holy Roman Emperor in the Greek-speaking part of the empire based in Constantinople)

Basil I

843 Veneration of icons restored


Leo the Wise and his son Constantine Purple-born

867-886 Basil I the Macedonian (811-886)
886-912 Leo VI the Wise (866-912) son of Basil I or Michael
913-959 Constantine VII the Purple-born (905-959) son of Leo VI
919-944 – Romanos I Lekapenos (870-948) father-in-law of Cons. VII
950 Constantine VII writes Psalter for his son
959-963 Romanos II (938–963) son of Constantine VII

Nikiphoros Phokas

963-969 Nikephoros II Phocas (912-969) married to Romanos II’s wife
969-976 John I Tzimiskes (925-976) married to Constantine VII’s daughter
976-1025 Basil II the Bulgar-slayer (958-1025) son of Romanos II
990 Construction of first church at Hosios Loukas
1000-1100 New church and mosaics built at Daphni monastery

Zoe and Theodora

1028-1050 Zoe (978-1050) niece of Basil II
1028–1034 Romanos III Argyros first husband of Zoe
1034-1041 Michael IV (1015-1042) second husband of Zoe
1041-1042 Michael V (1016-1042 third husband of Zoe
1042 Theodora (980-1056) niece of Basil II and sister of Zoe
1042-1055 Constantine IX (1000-1058) fourth husband of Zoe
1040 Construction of second church at Hosios Loukas
1054 Great Schism
1055-1056 Theodora (restored)

The so-called Paris Psalter created under Constantine VII and taken by Crusaders in 1204



1071 Byzantines lose Southern Italy, lose Battle of Manzikert in Asia Minor to Turks
1096 First Crusade
1204 Crusaders sack Constantinople in Fourth Crusade, set up Latin Empire in East
1204 Byzantine treasures taken to Venice, Rome and Western Europe
1261 Michael VIII recaptures Constantinople
1453 Constantinople falls to Turks, Hagia Sophia becomes a mosque