Maria of Alania (fl. 1070–1081)

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Maria of Alania (fl. 1070–1081)

Byzantine empress. Name variations: Mary of Alania, Maria Ducas. Born into the tribe of Alan, located in what is now southern Russia; dau. of the king of Georgia; m. Michael VII Ducas, emperor of Byzantium (r. 1071–1078); m. Nicephorus III Botaneiates (Botoniates), emperor of Byzantium (r. 1078–1081), in 1708; children: (1st marriage) Constantine Ducas (who was at one time betrothed to Anna Comnena).

When 1st husband abandoned the throne to take up monastic vows, was abandoned also; agreed to marry Nicephorus III Botaneiates to safeguard the possible succession of her son Constantine, then age 4; when Nicephorus named Synadenus successor instead of Constantine, threw her energy to the Comneni and aided Alexius I's royal ambitions.

See also Women in World History.