Zoë (Greek: Ζωή "life"), the daughter of Constantine VIII, succeeded her father on his death as the only surviving member of the Macedonian dynasty, along with her sister Theodora. Her three husbands, Romanos III (1028–1034), Michael IV (1034–1041) and Constantine IX (1042–1050) later ruled alongside her. From April 19 to June 11, 1042 she reigned as Byzantine Empress alongside her sister Theodora.
Born in 1010, Michael IV "the Paphlagonian" (Μιχαὴλ Δ΄ ὁ Παφλαγὼν) became a lover of Zoe even while Romanos III was alive, and succeeded him upon his death as her husband and emperor. Aided by his older brother, the eunuch John the Orphanotrophos, his reign was moderately successful against internal rebellions, but his attempt to recover Sicily failed. He died after a long illness.