- 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 Romanos IV (q.v.) was captured by the Seljuks at the battle of Mantizkert (qq.v.), he forced the empress Eudokia Makrembolitissa (q.v.) into a monastery. With the help of Michael Psellos (q.v.) he engineered the enthronement of Michael VII (q.v.), and the blinding of Romanos IV. However, a palace eunuch (q.v.) named Nikephoritzes (q.v.) plotted the fall of John Doukas. This was accomplished by sending him with an army against the forces of Roussel de Bailleul (q.v.), who had rebelled in Asia Minor (q.v.). Roussel captured John and proclaimed him emperor (and alleged supporter), but soon John was captured by the Turks (q.v.) and ransomed by Constantine X. John wisely decided to become a monk to avoid punishment. John's final historical role was to arrange the marriage of his granddaughter Irene Doukaina to the future Alexios I Komnenos (qq.v.), and to help engineer Alexios's accession to the throne. In the Alexiad, Anna Komnene (q.v.) relates how John, dressed as a monk, and standing with Alexios and his army below the walls of Constantinople (q.v.) in 108l, was mockingly referred to as "the abbot" by the Varangian Guard (q.v.) on the walls above, and how John advised Alexios not to attack these troops but to befriend them. It was advice that gave Alexios entrance to the capital, and hence the throne. He remained an esteemed advisor to the new emperor until his death in about 1088.
Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . John H. Rosser .
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