Dotter till Stylianos (Basilopater) Tzautzes av Makedonien.
Zoe Karvounopsina, or Carbonopsina (Coal-Eyes), was fourth wife of the Byzantine Emperor Leo VI and mother of Constantine VII.
Leo had caused a controversy in the Orthodox church by marrying for a third time. His third wife Eudocia died in childbirth in 901, and the Patriarch, Nicholas Mysticus, forbade him from marrying a fourth time. Zoe therefore became Leo's mistress. In 905, Zoe gave birth to a son, the future Constantine VII, whom Leo wanted to legitimize by marrying Zoe. Nicholas still opposed this and conspired to overthrow Leo; he was removed from office in 907 and replaced by Euthymius Syncellus, who allowed the marriage but refused to allow Zoe to use the title "empress."
Leo died in 912. Nicholas was reinstated as patriarch by his successor Alexander III and Zoe was banished from the imperial palace. She returned when Alexander died in 913, but Nicholas forced her to enter a convent. In 914 she conpsired against Nicholas, overthrew him, and took control of the regency for her son Constantine; he was reinstated again when he finally agreed to recognize her as empress.