Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos or Porphyrogenitus, "the Purple-born" (Greek: Κωνσταντῖνος Ζ΄ Πορφυρογέννητος, Kōnstantinos VII Porphyrogennētos; September 2, 905 – November 9, 959) was the fourth Emperor of the Macedonian dynasty of the Byzantine Empire, reigning from 913 to 959. He was the son of the emperor Leo VI and his fourth wife Zoe Karbonopsina, and the nephew of his predecessor, the emperor Alexander.
Most of his reign was dominated by other co-regents: from 913 until 919, he was under the regency of his mother, while from 920 until 945, he shared his throne with Romanos Lekapenos, whose daughter Helena he married, and his sons. Constantine VII is best known for his four books, De Administrando Imperio, De Ceremoniis, De Thematibus and Vita Basilii.
His nickname alludes to the Purple Room of the Imperial palace, decorated with porphyry, where legitimate children of reigning emperors were normally born. Constantine was also born in this room, although his mother Zoe had not been married to Leo at that time. Nevertheless, the epithet allowed him to underline his position as the legitimized son, as opposed to all others who claimed the throne during his lifetime. Sons born to a reigning Emperor held precedence in the Eastern Roman line of succession over elder sons not born "in the purple".
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“I have loved justice and hated iniquity: therefore I die in exile.”
—Pope Gregory VII (c. 10201085)