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Romanus I Lecapenus, 17 December 920 - 16 December 944 A.D.
Joint rule with Constantine VII (his son-in-law), 17 December 920 - 16 December 944 A.D.
Romanus was a crafty commoner, who must have been an expert at manipulation and court politics. He raised himself to a position of power, and although he was largely responsible for the loss of a campaign to the Bulgars, it was he who profited from the political backlash. Romanus moved three of his sons into positions of power, at one point eclipsing the power of his co-emperor, Constantine VII. His own sons then attempted to overthrow him and in the ensuing chaos, Constantine VII seized his throne once and for all.