EUPHROSYNE, the name of two Byzantine empresses.
1. Euphrosyne, a daughter of Constantine VI. Although she had taken a monastic vow she became the second wife of Michael II. (q.v.), a marriage which was practically forced upon her by Michael, who was anxious to strengthen his claims to the throne by an alliance with the last representative of the Isaurian dynasty, and secured the compliance of senate and patriarch with his desire. No issue was born of this union, and after the death of her husband and accession of her stepson Theophilus Euphrosyne again retired into a convent.
2. Euphrosyne, the wife of Alexius III. (q.v.). After securing the election of her husband to the throne by wholesale bribery she virtually took the government into her hands and restored the waning influence of the monarchy over the nobles. In spite of her talent for government she went far to hasten the empire's downfall by her unbounded extravagance, and made the dynasty unpopular by her open profligacy, which went unpunished but for one short term of banishment. She followed her husband into exile in 1203 and died seven years later in Epirus.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)