Byzantine Emperor, Scholar, Writer. He was the illegitimate son of Leo VI. To legitimise his place in the succession, his birth took place in the Purple Room at the imperial palace, leading to his later nickname "Porphyrogennetos", or "Purple Born". He was raised to the throne at age two but was forced to share power with a number of regents until he finally overthrew the last of them, the brothers Stephen and Constantine, in 945 AD when he was aged thirty-nine. He soon crowned his son, Romanos II, co-emperor and delegated other responsibilities to officials so that he could pursue his scholarly interests. He was the author of several books, including "De Cerimoniis Aulae Byzantinae", "On Ceremonies", "De Administrando Imperio", and "On the Administration of the Empire", as well as a history of the empire from the death of Theophanes the Confessor in 817 AD and a biography of his grandfather Basil I. He made an unsuccessful attempt to retake Crete from the Arabs in 949 AD but conquered Germanica in the east in the same year. He cultivated good relations with foreign rulers, and was visited personally by Olga, princess of the Kievan Rus' in 957 AD, who converted to Christianity during her stay. His death was possibly from poisoning, either by his son and successor Romanos II, or daughter-in-law Theophano. He is remembered as great patron of learning and the arts and as an able administrator with a talent for making wise appointments to military and civil posts.
Bio by: js