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- Source: English Wikipedia, original upload by Panairjdde
- Description: Michael III, 'the Drunkard', with Theodora and Thecla. 842-867 AD. AV Solidus (4.40 gm, 6h). Constantinople mint. Struck 842-843 AD.
- +QEOdO RA dESPVn'A, facing bust of Theodora, wearing crown and loros, holding patriarchal globus and cruciform sceptre
- •MIXAHL S QECLA, half-length figures of Michael, holding globus cruciger in right hand, and Thecla, holding patriarchal cross and akakia.
DOC III 1d.3; SB 1686.
- Michael was a child of two years when his father Theophilus died in 842 AD. His mother Theodora was effective ruler of the empire, and the first coinage of his reign gives her prominence of position. Michael was generally kept in the background, even overshadowed on the coins by his sister Thecla. In a typical example of Byzantine family intrigue, Bardas, brother of Theodora, conspired with the young emperor in 856 AD to remove the regent. Conspiracies continued to brew, and in 865 AD Bardas was murdered by Basil, an ambitious courtier who soon became co-emperor and eliminated Michael shortly thereafter. Although Michael was termed the "Drunkard", this smear on his name was perpetuated by Basil to justify his seizure of power. Michael appears as a conscientious ruler and able military leader, his only (fatal) failing being that he was too easily swayed by unscrupulous associates.
GNU Free Documentation License
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