Byzantine Empire /
Romanus 3 Argyrus
(Around 968-1034) Byzantine emperor 1028-1034, 5 and a half years.
Romanus quickly in his reign tried to stand out as an active ruler, but his main reforms was mostly an attempt of compensating for his weak legitimacy. He had been selected to become emperor largely as an instrument to secure that Emperor Constantine 8's daughter, Zoe, could keep the throne within the family.
Aiming at achieving popularity, he reduced the tax level to a level that caused financial problems for the state. He built grand buildings and aided monasteries. Perhaps his most unfortunate reform was to strengthen the privileges of the nobility, which came to force many peasant freeholders into serfdom.
His byname is Greek for "silver."
Around 968: Born, possibly as a great-grandson of Emperor Romanus 1.
Serves as a judge under the reign of Emperor Basil 2.
After 1025: With Constantine 8 becoming emperor, Romanus is appointed Prefect of Constantinople.
1028 November 12: A mortally ill Emperor Constantine persuades Romanus to marry his daughter, Zoe. In order to do this he has to divorce his wife, Helena, who is sent to a monastery.
November 15: Constantine dies, and Romanus becomes emperor.
1029: Subdues a conspiracy led by his sister-in-law, Theodora.
1030: Leads a great army against Aleppo, aiming at bringing an end to Muslim incursions into Byzantine territory.
Is defeated at Azaz near Antioch.
Subdues a second conspiracy by Theodora.
1032: Wins important victories against the Muslims, at Edessa and in the Adriatic Sea.
1034 April 11: Dies, allegedly poisoned by his wife. He is succeeded by Michael 4.