Euphrosyne, Doukaina Kamatera

   Empress (q.v.) of Alexios III Angelos (q.v.) from 1195-1203. Her intelligence and instinctive ability in handling affairs of state enabled her to dominate her husband, whose weak mind and character made him totally un-suited to rule. She engineered the return of Constantine Mesopotamites, who became the most powerful minister of state in league with the empress seeing their influence decline, jealous members of the imperial family, including Euphrosyne's own brother Basil Kamateros (q.v.), conspired to overthrow Mesopotamites by weakening his chief supporter, the empress. They accused her of adultery, for which Alexios III sent her to a monastery for six months (1197). Soon after her release, Mesopotamites was exiled, and her power waned. In 1203, when the Fourth Crusade seized Constantinople (qq.v.), Alexios III fled the capital, leaving Euphrosyne behind. She was arrested but subsequently fled with Alexios V (q.v.) in 1204, only to be ransomed by Michael I Komnenos (q.v.) and spend the rest of her days in Epiros at Arta (qq.v.).

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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