Alexios I Komnenos (1081–1118)
The young general Alexios Komnenos became emperor by overthrowing the elderly Nikephoros III Botaneiates. Alexios Komnenos rebuilt the Byzantine state after the crises of the 1070s and 1080s by repurposing the bureaucratic and fiscal machinery rather than through outright innovation. His seals connect him not only to the line of Byzantine emperors that came directly before him, a very clear retention of the reverse composition of seals of Michael VII and Nikephoros III, but also to the Doukas family specifically. The obverse depicts Christ enthroned, which was first employed by Constantine X, then by Michael VII, and finally by Alexios, who had married into the clan. Despite being a usurper Alexios's seals stress the continuity of the imperial office and the links to his wife's family. Unlike all of the other usurpers discussed in this section, Alexios I was not deposed and every succeeding emperor for over four centuries traced their ancestry back to him.