Michael VII histamenon nomisma obvMichael VII histamenon nomisma rev

Byzantine Empire, Michael VII Doukas, 1071-1078, AV Histamenon Nomisma, Class II.
Michael was born c.1050, the eldest son of Constantine X and his wife Eudokia. He should have gained the throne on his father's death in 1067, but showed little interest in politics and his mother and her new husband Romanos IV took control of the state. When Romanos was captured by the Seljuks in 1071, Michael was raised to the throne by his uncle John Doukas assisted by his tutor, whist his mother was packed off to a monastery. As an emperor Michael proved disastrous. Militarily incapable, he allowed the empire to lose Bari, its last stronghold in Italy, to the Normans, areas of Anatolia to the Seljuk Turks, and was faced with an attempt by the Bulgarians to resurrect their former state in the Balkans. Financially he was equally incompetent, and his devaluation of the currency led him to be awarded the nickname Parapinakes (minus a quarter). He was finally removed by revolts of his army commanders in both the Balkans and Anatolia, and allowed to retire to a monastery. He later became Metropolitan of Ephesus, and died c.1090.
Photos © Angela Grant 2013-2017.


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Hilary Term 2019


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