Maria of Amnia (fl. 782)

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Maria of Amnia (fl. 782)

Byzantine empress. Name variations: Maria of Armenia. Fl. around 782; 1st wife of Constantine VI Porphyrogenitus (b. 771), emperor of Byzantium (r. 780–797); children: Euphrosyne (c. 790–c. 840, who m. Byzantine emperor Michael II of Amorion).

Was chosen to be the wife of Constantine VI by winning a beauty contest held by Irene of Athens; because she had been forced on him, was hated by Constantine and later compelled to withdraw to a nunnery.