Discussion:
"Eudoxia" of Montpellier - part 1 - name and birthdate
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Peter Stewart
2020-03-07 01:06:54 UTC
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This old subject has not come up for a while, but I think there is more
to be said on it and wonder if there is still enough interest here to
sustain a discussion. At any rate, comments are sought and I will be
happy to give my source/s for any point that is questioned.

It may be worth breaking it down into phases of her life in so far as
this is recorded, starting with when she was born and the name she was
given.

The birth range usually ascribed is ca 1160/64. This seems to me about
right though perhaps needing to be extended at the earlier end.

She was married to Guillem VIII of Montpellier by or in the spring of
1179, having been sent from Constantinople intended to marry Raimond
Berenger III of Provence who was probably born in 1158.

Her relative Emperor Manuel I did not have an endless supply of nubile
females in his family, and there is no particular reason to assume that
this one was born-to-order for marriage with a man born in 1158: she may
have been younger than him by up to six years or so, or possibly older
if there was some cause preventing her prior marriage at home.

Raimond Berenger's elder brother Alfonso II of Aragon had sent an
ambassador to Constantinople in the late months of 1176, and if a
marriage was negotiated then (as seems plausible) then first it cannot
have been at any stage for himself (since he had married in January
1174), and secondly the delay of around two years before the bride-to-be
was sent west suggests that she may have been too young for a wedding
before this was meant to take place in 1178/79. If so she was probably
born closer to 1164 than to 1160, but the indication for this is so hazy
that any date of birth from ca 1155 onward should not be ruled out.

As for her name, we know this only from two archivists' records of a
lost charter of her daughter dated 1207: one of these is in Latin, the
other (from the 17th century) in French, and the form of her name is
respectively "Eudoxia"/"Eudoxie".

Konstantinos Barzos took the German historian Winfried Hecht to task for
using the form Eudoxia, on the basis that the Komnenoi did not use this
name and that on the other hand Eudokia was one of their five most
frequent female names. The conclusion that she was named Eudkoia may
well be correct, but the reasoning given was both sloppy and circular:
Barzon did not first prove that she was born in the Komnenos family, and
even assuming she was neglected to prove that she was not named Eudoxia
in order to establish that this name was never used in the family.

The two names were distinct, Eudoxia derived from the meaning good
repute/honour and Eudokia from the meaning satisfaction/approval. In the
5th century Emperor Valentinian III had a daughter named Eudokia by his
wife named Licinia Eudoxia, but by the 12th century Eudoxia was
practically obsolete as a name in the Byzantine aristocracy. For
instance, *Prosopographie der mittelbyzantinischen Zeit (641-867)* has
19 entries for women named Eudokia with none at all for Eudoxia.

However, this does not prove that it was never used, and it is possible
that it could have been introduced into any family by the custom of
naming after maternal grandparents: a wife whose mother happened to have
been named Eudoxia could have transmitted this name to a daughter,
whether she was a Komnene by birth or not.

It is safe enough to presume that the late-12th century dame of
Montpellier was named Eudokia, but by no means certain.

Peter Stewart
taf
2020-03-07 02:23:44 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
The two names were distinct, Eudoxia derived from the meaning good
repute/honour and Eudokia from the meaning satisfaction/approval. In the
5th century Emperor Valentinian III had a daughter named Eudokia by his
wife named Licinia Eudoxia, but by the 12th century Eudoxia was
practically obsolete as a name in the Byzantine aristocracy.
Not really relevant, but I am reminded of a scenario in colonial New England, where the names Thankful and Thanks (originally the nickname of immigrant Thank-the-Lord Perkins) had distinct origins and were used by different families, yet beginning in the late 18th century they nonetheless began to be used interchangeably, and eventually Thanks was almost entirely replaced by Thankful in the families that had long used the shorter name.

taf
Peter Stewart
2020-03-07 03:17:50 UTC
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Post by taf
Post by Peter Stewart
The two names were distinct, Eudoxia derived from the meaning good
repute/honour and Eudokia from the meaning satisfaction/approval. In the
5th century Emperor Valentinian III had a daughter named Eudokia by his
wife named Licinia Eudoxia, but by the 12th century Eudoxia was
practically obsolete as a name in the Byzantine aristocracy.
Not really relevant, but I am reminded of a scenario in colonial New England, where the names Thankful and Thanks (originally the nickname of immigrant Thank-the-Lord Perkins) had distinct origins and were used by different families, yet beginning in the late 18th century they nonetheless began to be used interchangeably, and eventually Thanks was almost entirely replaced by Thankful in the families that had long used the shorter name.
This is relevant - Eudoxia and Eudokia have been sometimes considered
interchangeable, and their etymological sources are not so different
that this could never become the case even for people with knowledge of
Greek usage.

I dare say that interchangeability was the case in Montpellier when the
Byzantine lady appeared there. I'm not sure how Eudokia would have been
pronounced by Occitans, though I suppose it may have become "Eudochia"
or "Eudocia" (the usual modern French form being "Eudocie").

Scribes made fast and loose with familiar names and there may have been
no holds barred with this exotic one.

I should have mentioned before that if there is interest in continuing
the topic I will post further about the marriage, accredited title of
"empress", death and possible parentage of "Eudoxia". All of these
aspects have been under-done in the literature in my view.

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2020-03-07 03:30:46 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
Post by taf
Post by Peter Stewart
The two names were distinct, Eudoxia derived from the meaning good
repute/honour and Eudokia from the meaning satisfaction/approval. In the
5th century Emperor Valentinian III had a daughter named Eudokia by his
wife named Licinia Eudoxia, but by the 12th century Eudoxia was
practically obsolete as a name in the Byzantine aristocracy.
Not really relevant, but I am reminded of a scenario in colonial New
England, where the names Thankful and Thanks (originally the nickname
of immigrant Thank-the-Lord Perkins) had distinct origins and were
used by different families, yet beginning in the late 18th century
they nonetheless began to be used interchangeably, and eventually
Thanks was almost entirely replaced by Thankful in the families that
had long used the shorter name.
This is relevant - Eudoxia and Eudokia have been sometimes considered
interchangeable, and their etymological sources are not so different
that this could never become the case even for people with knowledge of
Greek usage.
I dare say that interchangeability was the case in Montpellier when the
Byzantine lady appeared there. I'm not sure how Eudokia would have been
pronounced by Occitans, though I suppose it may have become "Eudochia"
or "Eudocia" (the usual modern French form being "Eudocie").
Scribes made fast and loose with familiar names and there may have been
no holds barred with this exotic one.
On second thoughts, this point should not be confined to pronunciation -
the lady herself was a certainly literate, and in her Greek-tutored
script Eudokia may have looked like Eudoxia to any Montpellierain
readers of her handwriting.

Peter Stewart
taf
2020-03-07 04:13:07 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
I should have mentioned before that if there is interest in continuing
the topic I will post further about the marriage, accredited title of
"empress", death and possible parentage of "Eudoxia". All of these
aspects have been under-done in the literature in my view.
Well I, for one, am interested.

taf
r***@gmail.com
2020-03-07 04:17:20 UTC
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I am certainly interested to hear your thoughts on this lady.
J.L. Fernandez Blanco
2020-03-07 22:25:58 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
Post by taf
Post by Peter Stewart
The two names were distinct, Eudoxia derived from the meaning good
repute/honour and Eudokia from the meaning satisfaction/approval. In the
5th century Emperor Valentinian III had a daughter named Eudokia by his
wife named Licinia Eudoxia, but by the 12th century Eudoxia was
practically obsolete as a name in the Byzantine aristocracy.
Not really relevant, but I am reminded of a scenario in colonial New England, where the names Thankful and Thanks (originally the nickname of immigrant Thank-the-Lord Perkins) had distinct origins and were used by different families, yet beginning in the late 18th century they nonetheless began to be used interchangeably, and eventually Thanks was almost entirely replaced by Thankful in the families that had long used the shorter name.
This is relevant - Eudoxia and Eudokia have been sometimes considered
interchangeable, and their etymological sources are not so different
that this could never become the case even for people with knowledge of
Greek usage.
I dare say that interchangeability was the case in Montpellier when the
Byzantine lady appeared there. I'm not sure how Eudokia would have been
pronounced by Occitans, though I suppose it may have become "Eudochia"
or "Eudocia" (the usual modern French form being "Eudocie").
Scribes made fast and loose with familiar names and there may have been
no holds barred with this exotic one.
I should have mentioned before that if there is interest in continuing
the topic I will post further about the marriage, accredited title of
"empress", death and possible parentage of "Eudoxia". All of these
aspects have been under-done in the literature in my view.
Peter Stewart
I am interested too. Your contributions have always been very helpful.
Peter Stewart
2020-03-07 22:32:40 UTC
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Post by J.L. Fernandez Blanco
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by taf
Post by Peter Stewart
The two names were distinct, Eudoxia derived from the meaning good
repute/honour and Eudokia from the meaning satisfaction/approval. In the
5th century Emperor Valentinian III had a daughter named Eudokia by his
wife named Licinia Eudoxia, but by the 12th century Eudoxia was
practically obsolete as a name in the Byzantine aristocracy.
Not really relevant, but I am reminded of a scenario in colonial New England, where the names Thankful and Thanks (originally the nickname of immigrant Thank-the-Lord Perkins) had distinct origins and were used by different families, yet beginning in the late 18th century they nonetheless began to be used interchangeably, and eventually Thanks was almost entirely replaced by Thankful in the families that had long used the shorter name.
This is relevant - Eudoxia and Eudokia have been sometimes considered
interchangeable, and their etymological sources are not so different
that this could never become the case even for people with knowledge of
Greek usage.
I dare say that interchangeability was the case in Montpellier when the
Byzantine lady appeared there. I'm not sure how Eudokia would have been
pronounced by Occitans, though I suppose it may have become "Eudochia"
or "Eudocia" (the usual modern French form being "Eudocie").
Scribes made fast and loose with familiar names and there may have been
no holds barred with this exotic one.
I should have mentioned before that if there is interest in continuing
the topic I will post further about the marriage, accredited title of
"empress", death and possible parentage of "Eudoxia". All of these
aspects have been under-done in the literature in my view.
Peter Stewart
I am interested too. Your contributions have always been very helpful.
Thanks, but as a warning my posts on this subject will not be helpful in
the sense of offering any firm conclusion about Eudokia's parentage - I
am aiming to broaden the range of conjecture, that is all we have in
this case, with some as yet overlooked details and interpretations. Some
of these may appear implausible or fanciful to others, and if so I hope
to be told why in no uncertain terms.

Peter Stewart
Hans Vogels
2020-03-08 09:01:29 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
This old subject has not come up for a while, but I think there is more
to be said on it and wonder if there is still enough interest here to
sustain a discussion. At any rate, comments are sought and I will be
happy to give my source/s for any point that is questioned.
It may be worth breaking it down into phases of her life in so far as
this is recorded, starting with when she was born and the name she was
given.
The birth range usually ascribed is ca 1160/64. This seems to me about
right though perhaps needing to be extended at the earlier end.
She was married to Guillem VIII of Montpellier by or in the spring of
1179, having been sent from Constantinople intended to marry Raimond
Berenger III of Provence who was probably born in 1158.
Her relative Emperor Manuel I did not have an endless supply of nubile
females in his family, and there is no particular reason to assume that
this one was born-to-order for marriage with a man born in 1158: she may
have been younger than him by up to six years or so, or possibly older
if there was some cause preventing her prior marriage at home.
Raimond Berenger's elder brother Alfonso II of Aragon had sent an
ambassador to Constantinople in the late months of 1176, and if a
marriage was negotiated then (as seems plausible) then first it cannot
have been at any stage for himself (since he had married in January
1174), and secondly the delay of around two years before the bride-to-be
was sent west suggests that she may have been too young for a wedding
before this was meant to take place in 1178/79. If so she was probably
born closer to 1164 than to 1160, but the indication for this is so hazy
that any date of birth from ca 1155 onward should not be ruled out.
As for her name, we know this only from two archivists' records of a
lost charter of her daughter dated 1207: one of these is in Latin, the
other (from the 17th century) in French, and the form of her name is
respectively "Eudoxia"/"Eudoxie".
Konstantinos Barzos took the German historian Winfried Hecht to task for
using the form Eudoxia, on the basis that the Komnenoi did not use this
name and that on the other hand Eudokia was one of their five most
frequent female names. The conclusion that she was named Eudkoia may
Barzon did not first prove that she was born in the Komnenos family, and
even assuming she was neglected to prove that she was not named Eudoxia
in order to establish that this name was never used in the family.
The two names were distinct, Eudoxia derived from the meaning good
repute/honour and Eudokia from the meaning satisfaction/approval. In the
5th century Emperor Valentinian III had a daughter named Eudokia by his
wife named Licinia Eudoxia, but by the 12th century Eudoxia was
practically obsolete as a name in the Byzantine aristocracy. For
instance, *Prosopographie der mittelbyzantinischen Zeit (641-867)* has
19 entries for women named Eudokia with none at all for Eudoxia.
However, this does not prove that it was never used, and it is possible
that it could have been introduced into any family by the custom of
naming after maternal grandparents: a wife whose mother happened to have
been named Eudoxia could have transmitted this name to a daughter,
whether she was a Komnene by birth or not.
It is safe enough to presume that the late-12th century dame of
Montpellier was named Eudokia, but by no means certain.
Peter Stewart
History has sometimes strange twists. Eudokia was intended as a first wife, to marry the "younger" brother of the king of Aragon but was rejected and her daughter Marie married (after two previous marriages) the son of this king, thus becoming queen of Aragon.

https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Maria_of_Montpellier

Hans Vogels
Peter Stewart
2020-03-09 00:47:25 UTC
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Post by Hans Vogels
History has sometimes strange twists. Eudokia was intended as a first wife, to marry the "younger" brother of the king of Aragon but was rejected and her daughter Marie married (after two previous marriages) the son of this king, thus becoming queen of Aragon.
History had another wry twist in this business, Hans - Raimond Berenger
III of Provence, Eudokia's original fiancé who rejected her, was
murdered on 5 April 1181 in Montpellier.

I dare say this stirred whatever Komnenian blood she had in her and
maybe with a glint of satisfaction in her eye she muttered to herself
"Serve him right".

Peter Stewart
Hans Vogels
2020-03-09 06:29:21 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
Post by Hans Vogels
History has sometimes strange twists. Eudokia was intended as a first wife, to marry the "younger" brother of the king of Aragon but was rejected and her daughter Marie married (after two previous marriages) the son of this king, thus becoming queen of Aragon.
History had another wry twist in this business, Hans - Raimond Berenger
III of Provence, Eudokia's original fiancé who rejected her, was
murdered on 5 April 1181 in Montpellier.
I dare say this stirred whatever Komnenian blood she had in her and
maybe with a glint of satisfaction in her eye she muttered to herself
"Serve him right".
Peter Stewart
Marvelous.

Hans Vogels
J.L. Fernandez Blanco
2020-03-09 17:37:40 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
Post by Hans Vogels
History has sometimes strange twists. Eudokia was intended as a first wife, to marry the "younger" brother of the king of Aragon but was rejected and her daughter Marie married (after two previous marriages) the son of this king, thus becoming queen of Aragon.
History had another wry twist in this business, Hans - Raimond Berenger
III of Provence, Eudokia's original fiancé who rejected her, was
murdered on 5 April 1181 in Montpellier.
I dare say this stirred whatever Komnenian blood she had in her and
maybe with a glint of satisfaction in her eye she muttered to herself
"Serve him right".
Peter Stewart
I think she might actually have done so!

José Luis.
Peter Stewart
2020-03-09 23:00:58 UTC
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Post by J.L. Fernandez Blanco
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by Hans Vogels
History has sometimes strange twists. Eudokia was intended as a first wife, to marry the "younger" brother of the king of Aragon but was rejected and her daughter Marie married (after two previous marriages) the son of this king, thus becoming queen of Aragon.
History had another wry twist in this business, Hans - Raimond Berenger
III of Provence, Eudokia's original fiancé who rejected her, was
murdered on 5 April 1181 in Montpellier.
I dare say this stirred whatever Komnenian blood she had in her and
maybe with a glint of satisfaction in her eye she muttered to herself
"Serve him right".
Peter Stewart
I think she might actually have done so!
Eudokia had started life in an extended kindred that could teach the
Manson family a thing or two about dysfunction, but it should be pointed
out that she was not behind the killing of her jilter Raimond Berneger -
this was just a piece of retributive luck that fell her way.

Peter Stewart
J.L. Fernandez Blanco
2020-03-11 00:18:19 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
Post by J.L. Fernandez Blanco
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by Hans Vogels
History has sometimes strange twists. Eudokia was intended as a first wife, to marry the "younger" brother of the king of Aragon but was rejected and her daughter Marie married (after two previous marriages) the son of this king, thus becoming queen of Aragon.
History had another wry twist in this business, Hans - Raimond Berenger
III of Provence, Eudokia's original fiancé who rejected her, was
murdered on 5 April 1181 in Montpellier.
I dare say this stirred whatever Komnenian blood she had in her and
maybe with a glint of satisfaction in her eye she muttered to herself
"Serve him right".
Peter Stewart
I think she might actually have done so!
Eudokia had started life in an extended kindred that could teach the
Manson family a thing or two about dysfunction, but it should be pointed
out that she was not behind the killing of her jilter Raimond Berneger -
this was just a piece of retributive luck that fell her way.
Peter Stewart
Oh, sorry for the misunderstanding my "I think she might actually have done so!" referred to your "I dare say this stirred whatever Komnenian blood she had in her and maybe with a glint of satisfaction in her eye she muttered to herself "Serve him right".

I know she was not behind the killing of Raymond-Berenguer, so...

Cheers,

JL
Peter Stewart
2020-03-11 01:32:39 UTC
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Post by J.L. Fernandez Blanco
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by J.L. Fernandez Blanco
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by Hans Vogels
History has sometimes strange twists. Eudokia was intended as a first wife, to marry the "younger" brother of the king of Aragon but was rejected and her daughter Marie married (after two previous marriages) the son of this king, thus becoming queen of Aragon.
History had another wry twist in this business, Hans - Raimond Berenger
III of Provence, Eudokia's original fiancé who rejected her, was
murdered on 5 April 1181 in Montpellier.
I dare say this stirred whatever Komnenian blood she had in her and
maybe with a glint of satisfaction in her eye she muttered to herself
"Serve him right".
Peter Stewart
I think she might actually have done so!
Eudokia had started life in an extended kindred that could teach the
Manson family a thing or two about dysfunction, but it should be pointed
out that she was not behind the killing of her jilter Raimond Berneger -
this was just a piece of retributive luck that fell her way.
Peter Stewart
Oh, sorry for the misunderstanding my "I think she might actually have done so!" referred to your "I dare say this stirred whatever Komnenian blood she had in her and maybe with a glint of satisfaction in her eye she muttered to herself "Serve him right".
I know she was not behind the killing of Raymond-Berenguer, so...
Thanks, I wasn't thinking that you had this idea - but wasn't sure I
hadn't given the impression she could have put a hit on the man. I can't
say that any Komnene was guilty of murder, though I wonder if some women
in the famill may have thought Why should they leave all the fun to
their male relatives?

Peter Stewart
J.L. Fernandez Blanco
2020-03-12 03:52:20 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
Post by J.L. Fernandez Blanco
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by J.L. Fernandez Blanco
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by Hans Vogels
History has sometimes strange twists. Eudokia was intended as a first wife, to marry the "younger" brother of the king of Aragon but was rejected and her daughter Marie married (after two previous marriages) the son of this king, thus becoming queen of Aragon.
History had another wry twist in this business, Hans - Raimond Berenger
III of Provence, Eudokia's original fiancé who rejected her, was
murdered on 5 April 1181 in Montpellier.
I dare say this stirred whatever Komnenian blood she had in her and
maybe with a glint of satisfaction in her eye she muttered to herself
"Serve him right".
Peter Stewart
I think she might actually have done so!
Eudokia had started life in an extended kindred that could teach the
Manson family a thing or two about dysfunction, but it should be pointed
out that she was not behind the killing of her jilter Raimond Berneger -
this was just a piece of retributive luck that fell her way.
Peter Stewart
Oh, sorry for the misunderstanding my "I think she might actually have done so!" referred to your "I dare say this stirred whatever Komnenian blood she had in her and maybe with a glint of satisfaction in her eye she muttered to herself "Serve him right".
I know she was not behind the killing of Raymond-Berenguer, so...
Thanks, I wasn't thinking that you had this idea - but wasn't sure I
hadn't given the impression she could have put a hit on the man. I can't
say that any Komnene was guilty of murder, though I wonder if some women
in the famill may have thought Why should they leave all the fun to
their male relatives?
Peter Stewart
Haha! Just hilarious!
Peter Stewart
2020-03-13 09:57:44 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
This old subject has not come up for a while, but I think there is more
to be said on it and wonder if there is still enough interest here to
sustain a discussion. At any rate, comments are sought and I will be
happy to give my source/s for any point that is questioned.
I had overlooked this before:

Maria Komneene the wife of Alexios Axouchos was the only child of her
father, Ioannes II's eldest son (and from 1122 co-emperor) Alexios, by
his first wife from Kiev whose original name is unrecorded (she was
called Dobrodeja in the 18th century, but this was very probably an
invention by Tatischev, who was prone to such embellishments of the
unknown). She was renamed Eirene in Constantinople.

According to a note by Barzos, citing a letter from Paul Gautier in
1971, she may have died on 16 November 1131. If so, this may have been
in childbirth or at any event not more than a few years after the birth
of Maria. In any case the female parent she would have known better
would have been her step-mother, Kata of Georgia, who was renamed
Eudokia in Constantinople and evidently lived until 1142 or later.
Conceivably this may have been where Eudokia of Montpellier got her
name, if not from her putative father's sister or mother's paternal aunt
of the same name both mentioned before.

Peter Stewart
r***@gmail.com
2020-03-13 17:11:30 UTC
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Am I remembering correctly that there are multiple theories as to whom Kata was married? Isaakios Komnenos (son of Alexios I), Alexios Bryennius, and the co-emperor Alexios, if I recall correctly, have been proposed.
Peter Stewart
2020-03-13 21:56:14 UTC
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Post by r***@gmail.com
Am I remembering correctly that there are multiple theories as to whom Kata was married? Isaakios Komnenos (son of Alexios I), Alexios Bryennius, and the co-emperor Alexios, if I recall correctly, have been proposed.
You are ahead of me - and my recollection is not yet in catch-up mode.

One of the frustrations of working on a Byzantine subject from the 12th
century is the Byzantine approach of many 20th century historians, some
of whom relish complications and elaborations as much as the Komnenoi
did with titles and conspiracies.

For instance, Barzos suggested at one point that the first wife of the
basileus Alexios may not even have been from Kiev but actually a
Byzantine lady - this despite placing his birth in 1106/07 and not
citing or analysing Russian sources that place the marriage of an
unnamed Kievan princess to him in 1122.

Paul Gautier in one article reversed the order of his marriages, placing
Kata-Eudokia first and N-Eirene second.

I suspect we may be talking about two different princesses from Georgia
named Kata, but I can't remember enough detail to comment sensibly on
this. I will look further and post if I can make a more useful response.

Meanwhile, to save my depleted energy, is your memory based in part on
the article by Rafał Prinke, Kata of Georgia, daughter of King David IV
the Builder, as wife of Sebastokrator Isaakios Komnenos, in
*Foundations* 3 (2011)?

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2020-03-13 22:11:36 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
Post by r***@gmail.com
Am I remembering correctly that there are multiple theories as to whom
Kata was married? Isaakios Komnenos (son of Alexios I), Alexios
Bryennius, and the co-emperor Alexios, if I recall correctly, have
been proposed.
You are ahead of me - and my recollection is not yet in catch-up mode.
One of the frustrations of working on a Byzantine subject from the 12th
century is the Byzantine approach of many 20th century historians, some
of whom relish complications and elaborations as much as the Komnenoi
did with titles and conspiracies.
For instance, Barzos suggested at one point that the first wife of the
basileus Alexios may not even have been from Kiev but actually a
Byzantine lady - this despite placing his birth in 1106/07 and not
citing or analysing Russian sources that place the marriage of an
unnamed Kievan princess to him in 1122.
Paul Gautier in one article reversed the order of his marriages, placing
Kata-Eudokia first and N-Eirene second.
I suspect we may be talking about two different princesses from Georgia
named Kata, but I can't remember enough detail to comment sensibly on
this. I will look further and post if I can make a more useful response.
Meanwhile, to save my depleted energy, is your memory based in part on
the article by Rafał Prinke, Kata of Georgia, daughter of King David IV
the Builder, as wife of Sebastokrator Isaakios Komnenos, in
*Foundations* 3 (2011)?
I should have added that Rafał Prinke's article is about a daughter of
David IV but Barzos identified the second wife of the basileus Alexios
Komnenos as a granddaughter of David IV, daughter of his son Demetrios.

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2020-03-14 00:44:24 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by r***@gmail.com
Am I remembering correctly that there are multiple theories as to
whom Kata was married? Isaakios Komnenos (son of Alexios I), Alexios
Bryennius, and the co-emperor Alexios, if I recall correctly, have
been proposed.
You are ahead of me - and my recollection is not yet in catch-up mode.
One of the frustrations of working on a Byzantine subject from the
12th century is the Byzantine approach of many 20th century
historians, some of whom relish complications and elaborations as much
as the Komnenoi did with titles and conspiracies.
For instance, Barzos suggested at one point that the first wife of the
basileus Alexios may not even have been from Kiev but actually a
Byzantine lady - this despite placing his birth in 1106/07 and not
citing or analysing Russian sources that place the marriage of an
unnamed Kievan princess to him in 1122.
Paul Gautier in one article reversed the order of his marriages,
placing Kata-Eudokia first and N-Eirene second.
I suspect we may be talking about two different princesses from
Georgia named Kata, but I can't remember enough detail to comment
sensibly on this. I will look further and post if I can make a more
useful response.
Meanwhile, to save my depleted energy, is your memory based in part on
the article by Rafał Prinke, Kata of Georgia, daughter of King David
IV the Builder, as wife of Sebastokrator Isaakios Komnenos, in
*Foundations* 3 (2011)?
I should have added that Rafał Prinke's article is about a daughter of
David IV but Barzos identified the second wife of the basileus Alexios
Komnenos as a granddaughter of David IV, daughter of his son Demetrios.
I have re-read the full entry for Alexios in the genealogy by Barzos,
and I'm not much the wiser for it.

He did cite the Russian sources for the marriage in 1122, but then
disregarded the implication of this when discussing the puzzle of
Gautier's source for placing the first wife's death on 16 November 1131.

Unfortunately this source is less than satisfactory - it is found in two
contradictory marginal notes in a copy (or perhaps in two different
copies) of the rule of St Pachomios. Barzos cited a compilation made in
1928 but unpublished. The first note implies that the wife of Alexios
died on 16 November 1131, calling her Eudokia, and the second calls her
Eirene. Barzos assumed that the name Eudokia in the first indicates that
she was the Kievan princess whose original name he accepted as Dobrodeja
(equivalent to Eupraxia, though as I wrote before this is probably an
invention from the 18th century).

Barzos tried to determine more exact information about the source, which
had come his way with no substantiating details, but received no reply
to his enquiry.

He was confident that the Kievan princess had not yet married Alexios at
the time of his coronation as emperor in 1122, and that she was sent to
Constantinople to be married, and crowned herself, shortly afterwards.
This fits with a Russian source placing her departure in 1123, and
another saying that she was sent to the emperor "in Greece" - which by
this chronology could have meant to Alexios rather than necessarily to
his father Ioannes II as it has been interpreted.

A better and fuller discussion of this marriage can be found now in
Dariusz Dąbrowski's *Genealogia Mścisławowiczów: pierwsze pokolenia (do
początku XIV wieku)* (Cracow, 2008).

The second marriage, to the Georgian princess named Kata, was accepted
by Barzos, placing her as a daughter of King Demetrios I. This was
mentioned in Rafał Prinke's article (p 496 note 35: "Confusion between
the two Katae arose because a scholium to the Chiliades of Ioannes
Tzetzès identified the Kata mentioned in the Chiliades (line 596) as the
wife of "porphyrogennetos Alexios" (i.e. son of Ioannes II). Some
historians, thinking that "our" Kata was meant, assumed it was a mistake
because Alexios had another wife at the time (Dobrodieia-Eupraxia of
Kiev). See: Paul Gautier, "La curieuse ascendance de Jean Tzetzès."
Revue des études byzantines 28 (1970): 208-209, footnote 5. Gautier was
himself confused but suggested Kata may have been the second wife of
Alexios, which Vannier later confirmed and, following Barzos, identified
her as a daughter of Demetrios I.")

Peter Stewart
r***@gmail.com
2020-03-14 01:57:32 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
Post by r***@gmail.com
Am I remembering correctly that there are multiple theories as to whom Kata was married? Isaakios Komnenos (son of Alexios I), Alexios Bryennius, and the co-emperor Alexios, if I recall correctly, have been proposed.
You are ahead of me - and my recollection is not yet in catch-up mode.
One of the frustrations of working on a Byzantine subject from the 12th
century is the Byzantine approach of many 20th century historians, some
of whom relish complications and elaborations as much as the Komnenoi
did with titles and conspiracies.
For instance, Barzos suggested at one point that the first wife of the
basileus Alexios may not even have been from Kiev but actually a
Byzantine lady - this despite placing his birth in 1106/07 and not
citing or analysing Russian sources that place the marriage of an
unnamed Kievan princess to him in 1122.
Paul Gautier in one article reversed the order of his marriages, placing
Kata-Eudokia first and N-Eirene second.
I suspect we may be talking about two different princesses from Georgia
named Kata, but I can't remember enough detail to comment sensibly on
this. I will look further and post if I can make a more useful response.
Meanwhile, to save my depleted energy, is your memory based in part on
the article by Rafał Prinke, Kata of Georgia, daughter of King David IV
the Builder, as wife of Sebastokrator Isaakios Komnenos, in
*Foundations* 3 (2011)?
Peter Stewart
Your question sent me back to Prinke's article, which is certainly most interesting. Do you agree there are two Katas, aunt and niece, as he suggests?
Peter Stewart
2020-03-14 04:52:00 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by r***@gmail.com
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by r***@gmail.com
Am I remembering correctly that there are multiple theories as to whom Kata was married? Isaakios Komnenos (son of Alexios I), Alexios Bryennius, and the co-emperor Alexios, if I recall correctly, have been proposed.
You are ahead of me - and my recollection is not yet in catch-up mode.
One of the frustrations of working on a Byzantine subject from the 12th
century is the Byzantine approach of many 20th century historians, some
of whom relish complications and elaborations as much as the Komnenoi
did with titles and conspiracies.
For instance, Barzos suggested at one point that the first wife of the
basileus Alexios may not even have been from Kiev but actually a
Byzantine lady - this despite placing his birth in 1106/07 and not
citing or analysing Russian sources that place the marriage of an
unnamed Kievan princess to him in 1122.
Paul Gautier in one article reversed the order of his marriages, placing
Kata-Eudokia first and N-Eirene second.
I suspect we may be talking about two different princesses from Georgia
named Kata, but I can't remember enough detail to comment sensibly on
this. I will look further and post if I can make a more useful response.
Meanwhile, to save my depleted energy, is your memory based in part on
the article by Rafał Prinke, Kata of Georgia, daughter of King David IV
the Builder, as wife of Sebastokrator Isaakios Komnenos, in
*Foundations* 3 (2011)?
Peter Stewart
Your question sent me back to Prinke's article, which is certainly most interesting. Do you agree there are two Katas, aunt and niece, as he suggests?
Yes, I think this must be the case - the younger one, said to have been
a daughter of Demetrios I, married a porphyrogenete, and Barzos noted
that at the time the source for this was written Alexios was the only
Komnenos prince fitting this description.

By the way, he also mentioned a dream of Manuel I in the lifetime of his
eldest brother, who was co-emperor and heir apparent to their father's
throne - Manuel was then a sebostokrator, and this rank entitled him to
wear blue shoes: in his dream a woman came to him offering to change
these for scarlet ones, that were reserved for emperors (as with popes
into modern times). Even as a child Eudokia might be expected to have
noticed and remembered this glaring distinction well enough that she
most likely wouldn't have given the impression in Montpellier that
sebastokrators were virtually equal to emperors, as Vajay seemed to believe.

Colour at the feet can matter a lot to some - when Pope Paul VI stopped
cardinals from swanning around Rome in scarlet robes, and made them ear
black clerical garb instead, some of them took to wearing bright red
socks to show off their princely rank.

Peter Stewart
Peter Stewart
2020-03-14 05:04:36 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
Post by r***@gmail.com
Post by Peter Stewart
Post by r***@gmail.com
Am I remembering correctly that there are multiple theories as to
whom Kata was married? Isaakios Komnenos (son of Alexios I), Alexios
Bryennius, and the co-emperor Alexios, if I recall correctly, have
been proposed.
You are ahead of me - and my recollection is not yet in catch-up mode.
One of the frustrations of working on a Byzantine subject from the 12th
century is the Byzantine approach of many 20th century historians, some
of whom relish complications and elaborations as much as the Komnenoi
did with titles and conspiracies.
For instance, Barzos suggested at one point that the first wife of the
basileus Alexios may not even have been from Kiev but actually a
Byzantine lady - this despite placing his birth in 1106/07 and not
citing or analysing Russian sources that place the marriage of an
unnamed Kievan princess to him in 1122.
Paul Gautier in one article reversed the order of his marriages, placing
Kata-Eudokia first and N-Eirene second.
I suspect we may be talking about two different princesses from Georgia
named Kata, but I can't remember enough detail to comment sensibly on
this. I will look further and post if I can make a more useful response.
Meanwhile, to save my depleted energy, is your memory based in part on
the article by Rafał Prinke, Kata of Georgia, daughter of King David IV
the Builder, as wife of Sebastokrator Isaakios Komnenos, in
*Foundations* 3 (2011)?
Peter Stewart
Your question sent me back to Prinke's article, which is certainly
most interesting. Do you agree there are two Katas, aunt and niece, as
he suggests?
Yes, I think this must be the case - the younger one, said to have been
a daughter of Demetrios I, married a porphyrogenete, and Barzos noted
that at the time the source for this was written Alexios was the only
Komnenos prince fitting this description.
Apologies, I should have said Alexios was the only marriageable
porphyrogenete Komnenos at the time, following the death of his first
wife that must have happened by October 1136 if not in November 1131 -
of the three others, his younger brother Andronikos was married by then
to Eirene while Isaakios was soon if not already married to Theodora and
Manuel was not yet old enough (later becoming betrothed to Konrad III's
sister-in-law Bertha of Sulzbach).

Peter Stewart

P J Evans
2020-03-14 01:59:22 UTC
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Post by Peter Stewart
This old subject has not come up for a while, but I think there is more
to be said on it and wonder if there is still enough interest here to
sustain a discussion. At any rate, comments are sought and I will be
happy to give my source/s for any point that is questioned.
It may be worth breaking it down into phases of her life in so far as
this is recorded, starting with when she was born and the name she was
given.
The birth range usually ascribed is ca 1160/64. This seems to me about
right though perhaps needing to be extended at the earlier end.
She was married to Guillem VIII of Montpellier by or in the spring of
1179, having been sent from Constantinople intended to marry Raimond
Berenger III of Provence who was probably born in 1158.
Her relative Emperor Manuel I did not have an endless supply of nubile
females in his family, and there is no particular reason to assume that
this one was born-to-order for marriage with a man born in 1158: she may
have been younger than him by up to six years or so, or possibly older
if there was some cause preventing her prior marriage at home.
Raimond Berenger's elder brother Alfonso II of Aragon had sent an
ambassador to Constantinople in the late months of 1176, and if a
marriage was negotiated then (as seems plausible) then first it cannot
have been at any stage for himself (since he had married in January
1174), and secondly the delay of around two years before the bride-to-be
was sent west suggests that she may have been too young for a wedding
before this was meant to take place in 1178/79. If so she was probably
born closer to 1164 than to 1160, but the indication for this is so hazy
that any date of birth from ca 1155 onward should not be ruled out.
As for her name, we know this only from two archivists' records of a
lost charter of her daughter dated 1207: one of these is in Latin, the
other (from the 17th century) in French, and the form of her name is
respectively "Eudoxia"/"Eudoxie".
Konstantinos Barzos took the German historian Winfried Hecht to task for
using the form Eudoxia, on the basis that the Komnenoi did not use this
name and that on the other hand Eudokia was one of their five most
frequent female names. The conclusion that she was named Eudkoia may
Barzon did not first prove that she was born in the Komnenos family, and
even assuming she was neglected to prove that she was not named Eudoxia
in order to establish that this name was never used in the family.
The two names were distinct, Eudoxia derived from the meaning good
repute/honour and Eudokia from the meaning satisfaction/approval. In the
5th century Emperor Valentinian III had a daughter named Eudokia by his
wife named Licinia Eudoxia, but by the 12th century Eudoxia was
practically obsolete as a name in the Byzantine aristocracy. For
instance, *Prosopographie der mittelbyzantinischen Zeit (641-867)* has
19 entries for women named Eudokia with none at all for Eudoxia.
However, this does not prove that it was never used, and it is possible
that it could have been introduced into any family by the custom of
naming after maternal grandparents: a wife whose mother happened to have
been named Eudoxia could have transmitted this name to a daughter,
whether she was a Komnene by birth or not.
It is safe enough to presume that the late-12th century dame of
Montpellier was named Eudokia, but by no means certain.
Peter Stewart
Thank you for this series!
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