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Eudokia Dekapolitissa was the Empress consort of Michael III. Her husband was the last member of the Phrygian Dynasty to rule the Byzantine Empire.



Michael III had succeeded to the throne in 842,when he was only two years old. His mother Theodora and Theoktistos jointly served as his regents. In 855, Michael III was fifteen years old and had already gained his first mistress in the person of Eudokia Ingerina.

Theodora did not approve of the relationship and organized a bride-show for her son. Dekapolitissa enters history as one of the contenders for marrying the young Emperor. Her background is unknown though entry arguably required noble origin and courtly connections.

Theodora herself had been picked in a bride-show by her mother-in-law Euphrosyne. She chose her own daughter-in-law while Michael was not allowed to choose. Dekapolitissa was thus chosen to become Empress.


Michael seems to have mostly ignored his new wife and continued his affair with Ingerina. However the conflict between Michael and his regents came to a head in November, 855. Michael organized the assassination of Theoktistos and the displacement of Theodora from the regency. His maternal uncle Bardas had assisted with the coup and replaced them as regent.

In early 856, Michael III relegated his surviving sisters to monasteries. On 15 March 856, Theodora was stripped of her title of Augusta. She was allowed to remain in the palace until accused of conspiring against her son the following year. Theodora joined her daughters as a nun in August or September, 857.

What was the status of Dekapolitissa during these events is unknown. She remained his legal wife but was again mostly ignored. She continue to be the Empress until the assassination of Michae III on 23 September 867 – 24 September 867. She was still alive and returned as a widow to her family. She does not resurface in historical records.

Royal titles
Preceded by
Byzantine Empress consort
Succeeded by
Eudokia Ingerina


  • Lynda Garland, Byzantine Empresses: Women and Power in Byzantium, AD (1999).

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