Constantine Vii., Porphyrogeneta

, son of Leo the Wise, was born at Constantinople in 905, and ascended the throne at the age of seven years, under the tutelage of his mother Zoe, the 11th of June 911. No sooner had he taken the reins of government in his hand, than he chastised the tyrants of Italy, took Benevento from the Lombards, and drove off, by means of money, the Turks who were pillaging the frontiers of* Epire; but he afterwards allowed himself to be entirely governed by Helena his wife, daughter of Romanus Lecapenes, grand-admiral of the empire. She sold the dignities of the church and the state, burdened the people with taxes, and exercised towards them every species of oppression, while her husband was employing his time in reading, and became as able an architect and as great a painter as he was a bad emperor. Romanus, the son of this indolent prince by his wife Helena, impatient to govern, caused poison to be mingled with some medicine prescribed to him; but Constantine, | having rejected the greater part of it, survived till a year afterwards, and died Nov. 9, 959, at the age of 54, after a reign of 48 years. This prince, the patron of learning, and the friend of the learned, left behind him several works which would have done honour to a private person. The principal of them are 1 The Life of the emperor Basil ins the Macedonian, his grandfather, inserted in the collection of Allatius. It is sometimes deficient in point of truth, and savours too much of the panegyrical. 2. Two books of “Themata,” or positions of the provinces and the towns of the empire, published by father Banduri in the “Imperium Orientale,” Leipsic, 1754, folio. We have few works preferable to this for the geography of the middle ages, particularly as to the state and condition of places as they were in his time. 3. A Treatise on the Affairs of the Empire; in the above-mentioned work of Banduri, containing the origin of divers nations, their forces, their progress, their alliances, their revolutions, and the succession of their sovereigns, with other interesting particulars. 4. “De re llustica,Cambridge, 1704, 8vo. 5. “Excerpta ex Polybio, Diodoro Siculo,” &c. Paris, 1634, 4to. 6. “Excerpta de legatis, Graec. & Lat.1648, fol. making a part of the Byzantine historians. 7. “De caeremoniis aulae Byzantines,” Leipsic, 1751, folio. 8. “A Body of Tactics”, 8vo. 1

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Univ. Hist. —Moreri. Dupin. —Saxii Onomasticon.