Michael IV Emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 1034 to 1041.
Michael IV was Byzantine Emperor from 11 April 1034 to his death on 10 December 1041. He owed his elevation to his lover Empress Zoe, daughter of Emperor Constantine VIII and wife of Romanos III Argyros.

Michael IV was handsome, clever, and generous, but he was uneducated and suffered from epileptic fits. This meant he was initially very reliant upon someone to direct the government in his name, and although Zoe believed Michael would prove to be a more devoted husband than Romanos, she was sadly mistaken. Michael IV was concerned about Zoe turning on him the way she had turned on Romanos, and so he excluded Zoe from politics altogether. Given this background and his health status, he proceeded to leave the government in the hands of his brother John, who had already become an influential minister under Constantine VIII and Romanos III.

As early as 1038, Michael's epilepsy had been growing steadily worse, and he developed a severe case of dropsy. John the Eunuch, eager to ensure that power remained in his hands, forced Zoe to adopt Michael V, the son of Michael IV's sister. After taking Holy Orders, on 10 December 1041 Michael IV died, refusing to the last to see his wife, who begged that she be allowed to see him one more time before he died.
Michael IV
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