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Michael III, The Drunkard (842-867AD)

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Monetary History of



Michael III AV Solidus Byzantium

The Drunkard 842-867


Michael III (b: January 19, 840; 842 – 867AD) was the third and last member of the Amorian (or Phrygian) dynasty. His successors called him the Drunkard but that seems to have been an exaggeration. His reign did play a role in the resurgence of Byzantine power during the 9th century, but he was also dominated by his mother Theodora. He was the youngest child of Theophilos and Theodora. He was crowned co-ruler by his father while still an infant in 840. His father died when he was just two-years-old and thus he succeeded his father in name only whereas his mother ruled as regent along with her uncle Sergios, and the minister Theoktistos. Theodora deposed Patriarch John VII of Constantinople ending the second period of Iconoclasm replacing him with Patriarch Methodius I of Constantinople in 843. Michael III eventually overthrew the regency on March 15th, 856AD and relegated his mother and sisters to a monastery in 857AD with the .help of Bardas who he made Caesar – second to the emperor.

Michael III befriended a peasant of Macedonia origin, Basil who was very ambitious and started becoming a groom. Basil conspired to assassinated Bardus and then convinced Michael III to crown him as co-emperor. Once Michael III crowned Basil, his was murdered on September 23rd, 867AD making Basil sole ruler of Byzantium.



Monetary System



AU Solidus (Facing Michael III/Theodora)
AU Solidus (Facing Christ/ Michael III+Theodora)
AU Solidus (Facing Christ/ Michael III)
AU Semissis (Facing Christ/ Michael III)
AU Semissis (Michael III/Michael III) – Syracsue
AU Semissis (Michael III/Basil I) – Syracuse
AU Tremissis (Syracuse)
AR Miliaresion
AE Follis (Michael III/Basil I)



Monetary History of the World

© Martin Armstrong

Last Update 11/01/97