Alexios V Doukas


Alexios V Doukas
Alexios V Doukas
Αλέξιος Ε’ Δούκας
Emperor of the Byzantine Empire

Alexios V, from an illuminated manuscript
Reign 1204
Born uncertain, 12th century
Died December, 1205 (2011-12-20T12:06)
Predecessor Isaac II Angelos and Alexios IV Angelos
Nikolaos Kanabos
Successor Constantine Laskaris (Nicaea)
Michael I Komnenos Doukas (Epirus)
Alexios I of Trebizond
Baldwin I of Constantinople
Consort to Eudokia Angelina
Dynasty Angelos dynasty

Alexios V Doukas, surnamed Mourtzouphlos (Greek: Ἀλέξιος Δούκας Μούρτζουφλος, d. December 1205, Constantinople) was Byzantine emperor (5 February – 12 April 1204) during the second and final siege of Constantinople by the participants of the Fourth Crusade. He was related to the imperial Doukas family.

His nickname "Mourtzouphlos" referred to either his bushy, overhanging eyebrows or his sullen character. The term has the meaning of one being crestfallen, depressed, despondent, downcast, gloomy, sullen and evidently frowning, scowling.

A Byzantine nobleman, he had risen to the court position of protovestiarios by the time of the Fourth Crusade. He had been married twice but was now allegedly the lover of Eudokia Angelina, a daughter of Emperor Alexios III Angelos. His participation in the attempted usurpation of John Komnenos the Fat in 1200 had caused him to be imprisoned until the accession of Isaac II Angelos, who was restored to the throne after having been deposed and imprisoned by his brother Alexios III, and his son Alexios IV Angelos, who were placed on the throne by the intervention of the Fourth Crusade in July 1203.

By the beginning of 1204, Isaac II and Alexios IV had inspired little confidence among the people of Constantinople in their efforts to defend the city from the Latins and Venetians, who were restless and rioted when the money and aid promised by Alexios IV was not forthcoming. Alexios Doukas emerged as a leader of the anti-Latin movement and personally led some skirmishes against the crusaders. When the populace rebelled in late January 1204, the emperors barricaded themselves in the palace and entrusted Alexios Doukas with a mission to seek help from the crusaders. Instead, Alexios Doukas used his access to the palace to arrest the emperors. The young Alexios IV was strangled in prison, while his father Isaac died shortly afterwards, his death variously attributed to fright, sorrow, or foul play. Alexios V Doukas was crowned in early February 1204.

After his coronation, Alexios V began to strengthen the defenses of Constantinople and ended negotiations with the Latins. It was too late, however, for the new Emperor to make much of a difference. An attempted surprise attack against the crusader camp failed despite the Emperor's personal leadership. During the ensuing fight, he defended the city with courage and tenacity, beating back the crusader assault of 9 April. The crusaders' second attack proved too strong to repel, and Alexios V fled into Thrace on the night of 12 April 1204, accompanied by Eudokia Angelina and her mother Euphrosyne Doukaina Kamatera. Constantinople was under Latin control by the next day.

The refugees reached Mosynopolis, the base of the deposed emperor Alexios III Angelos, where they were initially well received, and Alexios V married Eudokia Angelina. Later, however, Alexios III arranged for his new son-in-law to be ambushed and blinded, making him ineligible for the imperial throne. Abandoned by his supporters and enemies alike, Alexios V was captured near Mosynopolis by the advancing Latins under Thierry de Loos in November 1204. Brought back to Constantinople, Alexios V was condemned to death for treason against Alexios IV, and was thrown from the top of the Column of Theodosius. He was the last Byzantine Emperor to reign in Constantinople before the establishment of the Latin Empire, which controlled the city for the next 57 years, until it was recovered by the Nicaean Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos.

References

Alexios V Doukas
Angelid dynasty
Born: unknown Died: December 1205
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Isaac II Angelos
and
Alexios IV Angelos
Byzantine Emperor
1204
Succeeded by
Constantine Laskaris
as Emperor of Nicaea
Succeeded by
Michael I Komnenos Doukas
as Despot of Epirus
Succeeded by
Alexios I Megas Komnenos
as Emperor of Trebizond
Succeeded by
Baldwin I
as Latin Emperor of Constantinople

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Alexios V Doukas (Mourtzouphlos) —    Emperor (q.v.) who briefly in 1204 opposed the Fourth Crusade s siege of Constantinople (qq.v.). He had been aprotovestarios under Alexios IV (qq.v.); his nickname Mourtzouphlos (Bushy Browed) referred to his prominent shaggy eyebrows. He… …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

  • Alexios IV Angelos —    Emperor (q.v.) from 1203 1204, who conspired with the Fourth Crusade (q.v.). He was the son of deposed emperor Isaac Angelos II (q.v.). Alexios escaped to the West, where the leadership of the Fourth Crusade took him to Constantinople (q.v.)… …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

  • Alexios Strategopoulos — ( el. polytonic|Ἀλέξιος Στρατηγόπουλος) was a Byzantine general during the reign of Michael VIII Palaiologos, rising to the rank of megas domestikos and Caesar . He is most notable for leading the reconquest of Constantinople from the Latins in… …   Wikipedia

  • Alexios Philanthropenos — ( el. Αλέξιος Φιλανθρωπηνός) was a Byzantine nobleman and notable general of the early Byzantine Ottoman wars, scoring some of the last Byzantine successes against the Turkic emirates in Asia Minor. [Bartousis (1997), p.349] Early life and family …   Wikipedia

  • Alexios Doukas Philanthropenos — ( el. Αλέξιος Δούκας Φιλανθρωπηνός, died ca. 1276) was a Byzantine nobleman, with the rank of protostrator , and Grand Admiral ( Megas Doux ) of the 13th century. In 1262, the year after the recapture of Constantinople from the Latins, Emperor… …   Wikipedia

  • Alexios Branas — or Alexius Branas (died 1187) was a Byzantine nobleman and military leader of the late 12th century.Alexios Branas was doubly linked to the imperial Komnenos family. He was the son of Michael Branas and of Maria Komnene, who was the great niece… …   Wikipedia

  • Doukas — For the 15th century historian, see Doukas (historian). For the Composer, see Dukas. Doukas, latinized as Ducas (Greek: Δούκας; fem. Doukaina/Ducaena, Δούκαινα; pl. Doukai/Ducae, Δούκαι), from the Latin tile dux ( leader, general , hellenized as… …   Wikipedia

  • Alexios IV Angelos — Infobox Monarch name =Alexius IV Angelus title =Emperor of the Byzantine Empire caption = reign =1203 – 1204 coronation = othertitles = full name =Alexius IV Angelus predecessor =Alexius III Angelus successor =Nicolas Canabus suc type = heir =… …   Wikipedia

  • Doukas — La famille Doukas est une famille byzantine qui régna sur l empire de 1059 à 1081 et dont le nom devient avec le temps synonyme de noblesse. Il s agit en fait de deux familles qui se sont succédé. Sommaire 1 Première lignée (792 913) 2 Seconde… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Doukas, John —    Brother of Emperor Constantine X Doukas (qq.v.) who held the title of caesar (q.v.). He was involved in many important events from 1057 1081. He was a trusted advisor and strategos (q.v.) who helped to put down a conspiracy in 1061. When… …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.