Theodora (1055–1056)

Theodora (1055–1056)

When Constantine IX died in 1055 the throne reverted to the youngest daughter of Constantine VIII who was now seventy-five years old. Despite her age, Theodora was a vigorous ruler. She secured her grip on power by replacing many of the army commanders with loyal men and favored her eunuch supporters with high posts in Constantinople. She took a strong line with the aristocracy, and herself chaired sessions of the Senate. Theodora refused to marry, but when she became ill in 1056 she nominated Michael Bringas, her logothetes tou stratiotikou, as her successor and died shortly thereafter. Theodora was the last member of the Macedonian dynasty, which had ruled Byzantium since 867 and had overseen Byzantium’s greatest period of prestige and influence since the sixth century.

On this golden seal Theodora uses the Christ Emmanuel obverse found on the seals of her eleventh-century predecessors. The reverse shows Theodora wearing an elaborate crown with pendilia and a loros with a jeweled collar. She holds a labarum and a globus surmounted by a trefoil.

 
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