In 1045 the Macedonian Dynasty was involved in the culmination of a lengthy period of political turmoil that revolved around Zoë Porphyrogenita, daughter of Constantine VIII who died in 1028. Constantine VIII married her to his selected heir Romanos III shortly before his death, however their marriage turned sour and Romanos died under mysterious circumstances in 1034. Zoë then remarried but was eventually rejected by her next husband, Michael IV, and exiled by his son Michael V. This caused outrage amongst the general population and Zoë was reinstated as co-empress with her sister Theodora in 1042. The two sisters had always maintained an uneasy relationship and Zoë tried to push out Theodora by marrying for a final time in 1042. The new Emperor, Constantine IX, had a mistress to whom he gave significant power in his court. This again caused a popular uprising in 1044 as the power of the Macedonian Dynasty was weakened.
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