Nikephoros I (802–811)

Nikephoros I (802–811)

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Nikephoros I and Staurakios, issued 803-11 (BZS.1951.31.5.1642)

In 802 Nikephoros, the logothetes tou genikou, overthrew the empress Eirene ending over eighty years of rule by the Isaurian dynasty and the reign of the first empress to rule Byzantium in her own right. Nikephoros I's seals demonstrate a mixture of old and new that owes a great debt to his predecessors. While making a clean break with the Iconoclast policies of the Isaurians by returning the Mother of God holding Christ to the obverse of his seals, the image was modified by the addition of cruciform invocative monograms.These had become particularly popular on seals during the Iconoclast period. Nikephoros's continued to use the stylized imperial portraits favoured by the Isaurians.

Nikephoros attempted to found a dynasty of his own and to that end crowned his son Staurakios in 803. To publicize the new imperial family Nikephoros issued seals with his son, reviving the side-by-side portrait of co-emperors last seen on the seals of Justinian II’s second reign.

 
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