This page was set up by Robert Sewell in March 2006 to show our descent from the Emperors of the Byzantine Empire. Robert Sewell graduated from McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) in 1967 with a B.Sc. degree in chemistry. After a year of studies at the University of Toronto's College of Education, he taught high school science in Collingwood, Ontario for a year and then taught chemistry, physics and general science in Hamilton, Ontario for twenty-nine years. Robert Sewell retired from teaching in June 1998.
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Byzantium was the name of the ancient Greek port at the Hellespont leading into the Black Sea. In 330 A.D., the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great began transforming it into Constantinople; and it became the capital of the eastern, Greek speaking part of the Roman Empire. Constantine is thought to have chosen Byzantium as the new eastern capital partly because he felt it was best to have a capital closer to the crucial frontiers with Mespotamia and the Balkans, partly because it was on a peninsula and hence relatively easy to defend, and partly because he had converted to Christianity. Many of the old families of Rome continued to worship classical pagan gods.
During the fifth century A.D., the
western or Latin speaking part of the Roman Empire was gradually overrun
by Germanic peoples; but Constantinople remained the capital of the Eastern
Roman Empire until it finally fell to the Muslims in 1453. The name "Byzantium"
stuck, and the eastern empire was known as the Byzantine Empire.
|"And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium."
William Butler Yeats: Sailing to Byzantium
As was the case with ancient Rome, the Byzantine Empire was ruled by an authoritarian politcal system headed up by an emperor. A dynasty gained control of the throne and ruled by hereditary succession until it was overthrown. Of course, the emperor claimed to be appointed by God.
By the year 900 A.D. the Byzantine Empire consisted of most of modern Turkey and Greece as well as parts of what is now the Crimea, Albania and Italy:
Eudocia was a mistress (a sort of secondary wife) of Michael III, Emperor of Byzantium 842 - 867. She married Michael's successor, Basil I, Emperor of Byzantium 867 - 886.
Michael III, son of the Emperor Theophilus, was only thirteen years of age when he acceded to the throne in 842. A regency was undertaken by his mother Theodora, his uncle Burdas who was said to be a strong and unscrupulous character, and the Magister Manuel. However, symptoms of madness appeared in the young emperor as he displayed a passion for low company, extravagance, drunkeness and unrestrained lust. Eventually, Michael's ex-groom and friend Basil gained control and became a joint emperor. Basil then put Michael III to death and sole emperor as Basil I.
Basil was descended from an Armenian family of military colonists. His mother was called Pankalo and was said to be of Slavic ancestry. Basil founded the "Macedonian Dynasty" which lasted for two hundred years.
Eudocia, mistress of Michael III and wife of Basil I, had a son. It is uncertain whether Michael or Basil was the father of:
|References Weis, Ancestral: 141A-15 The Book of History, Vol. VII, pg. 2942 - 2948|
Leo VI "the Wise", Emperor of Byzantium
Born on September 1, 866
Died on May 12, 912
Emperor of Byzantium 886 - 912
Leo "the Wise" renewed and revived the learning and laws from the past including the Code of Justinian - a codification of Roman Law - dating from the time of Justinian the Great who had ruled the Byzantine Empire over three hundred years earlier, from 527 to 565. Leo also displayed a keen interest in Theology.
Leo had the following children:
|References Weis, Ancestral: 141A-16 The Book of History, Vol. VII, pg. 2948 - 2951|
Anna of Byzantium
Born circa 886 - 888
Died circa 914
Anna married circa 900 to Louis "the Blind" (circa 883 - 928), King of Provence and Italy. Louis "the Blind" was a great grandson of Lothaire I, King of Italy and Emperor of the West who was in turn a grandson of Charlemagne. Click HERE for this descent.
Anna and Louis had a son:
|References Weis, Ancestral: 141A-17, 141B, and 140-13, 14, 15.|
Charles Constantine, Count of Vienne
Born circa 900/1
Died circa January 962
Charles married Teutberg (died circa 960) and they had a daughter:
|References Weis, Ancestral: 141A-18|
Constance of Provence
Died circa 961 - 965
Constance married circa 930 to Boso, Count of Provence at Arles 949, and at Avignon 935, died 965/67, son of Rotbaud I, a Burgundian, Seigneur d'Angel. Constance and Boso had a son:
|References Weis, Ancestral: 141A-19 Moriarty, pg. 27|
William I, Count of Provence
Born in 950
Died circa 993-994
William married first to Arsenda de Comminges and secondly to Adelaide (or Blanche), a daughter of Fulk II, Count of Anjou. William and Adelaide had the following children:
|References Weis, Ancestral: 141A-20 Moriarty, pg. 28|
Rotbaud, Count of Provence
Died April 22, 1015
Rotbaud married Ermengarde and they had a daughter:
|References Moriarty, pg. 28|
Constance of Provence
Born circa 986
Died on July 25, 1032
Constance married Robert (II) Capet
"the Pious", King of France. Please see Robert
(II) Capet "the Pious" for the continuation of this line.
|References Weis, Ancestral, 141A-21, 141-21, 101-21 Moriarty, pg. 28|
Emma of Provence
Emma married circa 990 William III "Taillefer", Count of Toulouse (born circa 947; died in October 1037). Emma and William had a son:
|References Weis, Ancestral: 185-2 Moriarty, pg. 41, 42|
|Note: Weis states in Line 185-2 that Emma of Provence was a "gt. gr. dau. of Boso II, . . . and his wife, Constance of Provence" and gives as his reference "Moriarty 42, 46". However, on pages 27 and 28 Professor Moriarty shows Emma as a granddaughter of Boso II as shown here.|
Pons III, Count of Toulouse
Born circa 990
Died in 1060
Pons III married Almode, a daughter of Bernard, Count of La Haute Marche and Périgord. Almode was murdered by her stepson Raimond of Barcelona in 1071.
Pons and Almode had the following children:
|References Weis, Ancestral: 185-2 Moriarty, pg. 42|
William IV, Count of Toulouse and Duke of Norbonne
Born circa 1040
Died in 1093
William married Emma of Mortain, a daughter of Robert, Count of Mortain and Earl of Cornwall. Robert of Mortain was a son of Herleva and Herluin, Vicomte of Contreville. Prior to marrying Herluin and while still in her teens, Herleva had been a girlfriend of Robert I, 6th Duke of Normandy; their son was William the Conqueror. Thus, Robert of Mortain was a half brother of William the Conqueror. Robert and his brother Odo, Bishop of Bayeux and Earl of Kent appear to have been very close to their half brother William. Both Odo and Robert were most certainly present at the Battle of Hastings.
William and Emma had a daughter:
|References Weis, Ancestral: 185-1, 185- 2 Moriarty, pg. 42 Douglas, Table 6|
Philippa (Matilda or Maud) of Toulouse
Born circa 1073
Died on November 28, 1117
Philippa married William VII "the Troubadour"
of Poitou (IX of Aquitaine). William was the first known troubadour, or
lyric poet, employing the Romance vernacular called Provencal.
|William (I) "Tête d' Etoupes", Count of Poitou
(born circa 915, died April 3, 963) who married Gerloc or Adela of Normandy
(born circa 917, died after January 14, 962), a daughter of Rolf
the Ganger, 1st Duke of Normandy. William and Adela had a son:
Philippa and William had the following children:
|References Weis, Ancestral: 185-3, 110-24 Moriarty, pg. 36, 42|
William VIII "the Pious" of Poitou (X of Aquitaine)
Died of food poisoning on April 9, 1137 in Galicia, Spain while on a pilgrimmage to Santiago De Compostela.
William married in 1121 Eleanor de
Châtellárault, daughter of Almeric (Aimery) I, Viscount of
Châtellárault. Eleanor was a great granddaughter of Aimery
IV, Viscount of Thouars who was most certainly present at the Battle
|Aimery IV, Viscount of Thouars, died in 1093, who was
present at the Battle
of Hastings, married Aurengarde de Mauleon and they had a daughter:
William VIII "the Pious" of Poitou (X of Aquitaine) and his wife Eleanor de Châtellárault had a daughter:
|References Weis, Ancestral: 110-25 Moriarty, pg. 36|
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Born circa 1123
Died on either March 31 or April 1, 1204
Eleanor was perhaps the most powerful and influential persons of her time. As heiress to her father's vast estates of Aquitaine and Poitou, she ruled a domain larger than that of the King of France. Just after her father's death in April 1137, she married (on July 25, 1137) the son of Louis VI "the Fat" Capet who promptly died on August 1, 1137 leaving the teenaged Louis VII "the Young" Capet (age 17) and Eleanor of Aquitaine (age 15) as King and Queen of France.
Louis "the Young" and Eleanor went together on the Second Crusade in the late 1140's. It was very unusual for a lady to go on a crusade, but that didn't stop Eleanor. She is rumoured to have engaged in assorted "affairs" with other men including her Uncle Raymond while on the Crusade. The Second Crusade is remembered historically as being a flop, but apparently Eleanor had a jolly time anyway.
Around this time, Eleanor and Louis had two daughters:
circa 1200 A.D.
Aquitaine is approximately that portion of France shown on this map as "Thouars - Poitou".
Eleanor of Aquitaine was officially a vassel of the King of France, but this didn't mean much. The part of the "Kingdom of the Franks" controlled by England was larger than the part controlled by the King of France. The combined possessions of Eleanor of Aquitaine and her husband King Henry II Curtmantle (shown here in yellow) were over twice the area controlled by the French.
Eleanor didn't waste any time in lining up a new husband. On May 18, 1152, she married Henry Curtmantle who had just turned 20 and was to become King Henry II of England two years later. Eleanor was 30 and had a "bad reputation"; so Henry's father advised against the marriage. Henry thought he was onto a good thing, so he married Eleanor anyway. The relationship was a bit rough at times. This was due largely to Henry's assorted affairs with other women; the details of which may be perused by clicking HERE. However, they had eight children including King Richard "the Lionhearted" and King John.
For the continuation of this line, see The Angevin Kings of England.
During the reign of her son Richard
"the Lionhearted", Eleanor played a significant role in holding England
together while Richard was crusading. When Richard was captured, Eleanor
helped raise the ransom to secure his release. Later, when John was king,
Eleanor helped defend his interests as well.
|References Weis, Ancestral: 110-26, 101-24 & 25 Moriarty, pg. 36|
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