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Ducas(dyo͞o`kəs), Greek family and dynasty of Constantinople. Some of its members were Byzantine emperors—Constantine X, Michael VII, Alexius VAlexius V
(Alexius Ducas Mourtzouphlos) , d. 1204, Byzantine emperor (1204), son-in-law of Alexius III. The head of the Byzantine national party, he overthrew emperors Isaac II and Alexius IV (who had been installed by the Crusaders), thus precipitating the conquest and sack of
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(John Ducas Vatatzes) , d. 1254, Byzantine emperor of Nicaea (1222–54), successor and son-in-law of Theodore I. He extended his territory in Asia Minor and the Aegean islands but failed (1235) to take Constantinople from the Latins, although he was aided by Ivan
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(Dukas). Born about 1400; died about 1470. Greek historian, diplomat in the service of the Genoese rulers of the island of Lesbos.
Ducas’ History, which has been preserved in Greek records and in an old Italian translation, goes up to 1462 and is detailed beginning with 1391. Ducas describes the events after 1421 on the basis of his personal impressions, accounts of eyewitnesses, and Greek, Italian, and Turkish documents. Ducas was an informed and cautious historian, aristocratic in his convictions and with a pro-Byzantine orientation.
WORKSIstoria turco-byzantina (1341-1462). [Bucharest] 1958.
“Vizantiiskie istoriki Duka i Frandzi o padenii Konstantinopolia.” In the collection Vizantiiskii vremennik, vol. 7. Moscow, 1953.
REFERENCEKrasavina, S. K. “Politicheskaia orientatsiia i istoricheskie vzgliady vizantiiskogo istorika Duki.” In the collection Problemy vseobshchei istorii. Kazan, 1967.
(Dukai), a dynasty of Byzantine emperors that reigned from 1059 to 1067 and from 1071 to 1078.
The emperors of the Ducas dynasty included Constantine X (ruled from 1059 to 1067), the founder of the dynasty, a descendent along the maternal line from a feudal family that had been known since the ninth century and that had claimed the imperial throne since the early tenth century; Eudocia Macrembolitissa, the widow of Constantine X (ruled from May to December 1067); and Michael VII, the son of Constantine X (ruled from 1071 to 1078).
Although the Ducas family itself belonged to the provincial aristocracy, the dynasty reflected the interests of the elite of the capital. Its reign was a time of decline for Byzantium, marked by rising taxes, popular uprisings, feudal rebellion, and an invasion of the Seljuk Turks. Removed from power by Nicephorus Botaniates, the Ducas group supported the coup d’etat of Alexius I Comnenus in 1081. Constantine Ducas, the son of Michael VII, was coruler with Alexius I from 1081 to 1094. In the 13th century the Angeli-Ducas family played an important role and occupied the throne of the state of Epirus.