Theophano (963)

Theophano (963)

Wife of two emperors, Romanos II and Nikephoros II Phokas, Theophano briefly ruled as regent for the infant porphyrogennitoi Basil II and Constantine VIII from March to August 963. Portrayed by the historian Skyltizes as an ambitious and manipulative upstart, she supported Nikephoros Phokas against the parakoimomenos Joseph Bringas in the power struggle following Romanos II’s premature death. Nikephoros, however, was austere and celibate after the death of his first wife, and Theophano eventually plotted with his nephew John Tzimiskes to overthrow her second husband. In return for a coronation by the Patriarch Polyeuktos, John banished Theophano to Prinkipio in 976.

The obverse of Theophano’s seals show the Mother of God orans with the inscription Theotokos (Mother of God). The reverse depicts Theophano in her imperial regalia of crown and loros, holding a globus surmounted by a trefoil ornament, and a scepter.

 
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