Michael was the son of a caulker and the sister of Emperor Michael IV. About 1035 he was adopted by Zoe, Michael IV's wife, and renamed Caesar. When Michael IV died in 1041 Zoe proclaimed Michael V emperor. Once in power he turned against Zoe and had her banished to a convent, but his popularity with the people collapsed and he was driven from the palace, blinded and himself banished to a monastery in 1042.
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