Eudokia (Eudocia) Ingerina (Greek: Ευδοκία Ιγγερίνα) (c. 840 – c. 882) was a Byzantine Empress as the wife of the Byzantine emperor Basil I, the mistress of his predecessor Michael III, and the mother of Leo VI the Wise, Alexander and Stephen I of Constantinople.
|Byzantine Empress consort|
|Tenure||26 May 866 – 882|
|Died||c. 882 (aged 41–42)|
|Spouse||Michael III (as mistress)|
|Leo VI the Wise|
Stephen I of Constantinople
Alexander (Byzantine emperor)
Eudokia was the daughter of Inger. Her mother was a member of a prominent Greek family, the Martinakoi, and a distant relative of the imperial family, as a close niece of Michael II and a distant niece of emperor Heraclius and his second wife and niece Martina. According to a later alternative reconstruction by Christian Settipani, she would be the daughter of Inger Martinakios, logothete, son of Anastasios Martinakios, a Byzantine noble fl. 817 and officer in 819, deceased after 821, and wife, a sister of emperor Michael II, and grandson of Theophylactos Martinakios, son of Martinakes, grandson of Martinos and great-grandson of Andreas, nephew of empress Martina, niece and second wife of emperor Heraclius.
Because her family was iconoclastic, the Empress Mother Theodora strongly disapproved of them. About 855 Eudokia became the mistress of Theodora's son, Michael III, who thus incurred the anger of his mother and the powerful minister Theoktistos. Unable to risk a major scandal by leaving his wife, Michael married Eudokia to his friend Basil but continued his relationship with her. Basil was compensated with the emperor's sister Thekla as his own mistress.
Eudokia gave birth to a son, Leo, in September 866 and another, Stephen, in November 867. They were officially Basil's children, but this paternity was questioned, apparently even by Basil himself. The strange promotion of Basil to co-emperor in May 867 lends support to the great probability that at least Leo was actually Michael III's illegitimate son. The parentage of Eudokia's younger children is not a subject of dispute, as Michael III was murdered in September 867.
A decade into Basil's reign, Eudokia became involved with another man, whom the emperor ordered to be tonsured as monk. In 882, she selected Theophano as wife for her son Leo, and died shortly afterwards.
Eudokia and Basil officially had six children:
- Leo VI (19 September 866 – 11 May 912), who succeeded as emperor and according to the majority view of scholars was a son of Michael III.
- Stephen I of Constantinople (November 867 – 18 May 893), patriarch of Constantinople, who according to the majority view of scholars was a son of Michael III.
- Alexander (c. 870 – 6 June 913), who succeeded as emperor in 912.
- Anna (d. 905/12 or after). A nun the convent of St Euphemia, Petron.
- Helen (d. 905/12 or after). A nun the convent of St Euphemia, Petron.
- Maria (d. 905/12 or after). A nun the convent of St Euphemia, Petron.
- Cyril Mango, "Eudocia Ingerina, the Normans, and the Macedonian Dynasty," Zbornik Radova Vizantološkog Instituta, XIV-XV, 1973, 17-27.