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A.1). 843, sculpture was entirely discarded, and icons came to mean pictures and pictures only. This was a silent surrender, never explicitly avowed by the orthodox Church, to the dainnable teaching of the iconoclasts; so that these heretics can claim to have so far influenced public opinion as to induce their victorious adversaries to abandon the cult of graven images. After all, the victory was a compromisc.
§ 1. The Regency MICHAEL III. reigned for a quarter of a century, but he never governed. During the greater part of his life he was too young; when he reached a riper age he had neither the capacity nor the desire. His reign falls into two portions. In his minority, the Empress Theodora held the reins, guided by the advice of Theoktistos, the Logothete of the Course, who proved as devoted to her as he had been to her husband. During the later years, when Michael nominally exercised the sovranty himself, the real power and the task of conducting the administration devolved upon her brother Bardas. In the first period, the government seems to have been competent, though we have not suflicient information to estimate it with much confidence; in the second period it was eminently efficient. The Empress Theodora' occupied the silme constitutional
1 position which the Empress Irene had occupied in the years following her husband's death. She was not officially the Autocrat, any more than her daughter Thecla, who was
, associated with her brother and inother in the Imperial dignity;" she only acted provisionally as such on behalf of
| At the beginning of the reign cp. above, p. 150, n. 2. coins were issued with the head of ? Acta 42 Mart. Am. 52 (A.D. 845) Theodora (despoina) on one side, on the βασιλεύοντος της Ρωμαίων αρχης Μιχαήλ other the child. Emperor and liis eldest και θεοδώρας και Θέκλης. C. Wrotli, sister Thecla robed as Augusta. A 431 (PI. xlix. 19) Μιχαήλ Θεοδώρα και few years later Michael and Thcodora θέκλα εκ θεού) βασιλείς Ρωμαίων on appear together on the obverse ; on reverse of silver coins. the reverso is the lead of the Saviour,
The administration was conducted in their joint names ; but she possessed no sovran authority in her own right or independently of him. Her actual authority was formally limited (unlike Irene's) by the two guardians or co-regents whom Theophilus had appointed. To find two men who would work in harmony and could be trusted not to seek power for themselves to the detriment of his son was difficult, and Theophilus seems to have made a judicious choice. But it was almost inevitable that one of the two should win the effective control of affairs and the chief place in the Empress's confidence. It may well be that superior talent and greater political experience rendered Theoktistos a more capable adviser than Manuel, her uncle, who had probably more knowlelge of warfare than of administration. Theoktistos presently became the virtual prime minister,' and! Manuel found it convenient to withdraw from his rooms in the Palace and live in his house near the Cistern of Aspar, though he did not formally retire from his duties and regularly attended in the Palace for the transaction of business.?
Her uncle's practical abdication of his right to a voice in the management of the Empire corresponds to the policy which Theodora pursued, under the influence of the Logothete, towards the other members of her own family. Her brother Petronas, who was a competent general and had done useful work for her husband, seems to huvo been entrusted with no important post and allowed no opportunity of winning distinction under her government; he proved his military capacity after her fall from power.
Her more famous and brilliant brother Bardas was forced to be contented with an inactive life in his suburban house. Theodora had also three sisters, of whom one, Sophia, had married Constantine Babutzikos. Another, Calomaria, was the wife of Arsaber,
I Tapaduvagteúww, Simeon (Cont. Georg.), 816.
Con. 86, where it is explained that Thcoktistos schoned to get rid of Manuel by a chargo of treason, but Dlanuel anticipated the trouble by a voluntary semi-retirement. Simeon, ib. 816, montions that Theoktistos, built himself a houso with baths and
garden, within the Palace. Manuel converted his house into a monastery, the church of which is now tho koreló mosquo, a little to the west of the Chukur Bostan or Cistern of Aspar. Soe Paspates, Bus. mel. 304 ; Mil. lingen, Walls, 23; Strzygovski, Die byz. Wasserbehälter von K'pel (1893), 158.
at putrician, who was elevated to the higher rank of magister.' On his death Calomaria lived in the Palace with her sister, and is said to have worn mean raiment and performed the charitable duty of paying monthly visits to the prisons? and distributing blessings and alms to the prisoners.
Michael was in his seventeenth year when his mother decided to marry him. The customary bride-show was announced throughout the provinces by a proclamation inviting beautiful candidates for the throne to assemble on a certain day in the Imperial l’alace. The choice of the Empress fell on Eudocin, the daughter of Dekapolites (A.1). 855). We know nothing of this lady or her family; she seems to have been a cipher, and her nullity may have recommended her to Theodora. But in any case the haste of the Empress and Theoktistos to provide Michael with a consort at such an early age was prompted by their desire to prevent his union with another ludy. For Michael already had a love affair with Eudocia Ingerina, whom Thcodora and her ininister regarded as an unsuitable spouse. A chronicler tells us that
I Tho tost of the passage in Conil, Th. 175 seems perfectly right as it stands, but has been misunderstood both by the later historian Skylitzes (sce Ceilrenus, ii. 161) and loy noderni critics. Tho 10xt is ή δέ Καλομαρία "Αρσαβήρ τω.. μαγίστρω, το Ειρήνης της μητρός του μετά ταύτα τον πατρι. αρχικόν θρόνον αντιλαβομένου Φωτίου djelpu. The translation is : “ Calu. marin married Arsabor, the brother of Ireno, who was the mother of l'hotius, interwards l'atriarch." There is no
dilliculty about this. But because Theodora had throu sisters, it was assumed that all three were married, and that the husbands of all threc aro mentioned. Irono way tho narno of the third winter, and Skylitze sny thing who (Elprinn 8d) married Sergius, the brother of l'hotius. Ilirsch criticizes the punyago on the sumo assumption (215). The relationship of Photius to Thcodoru and the text of Cont. Th. will bo mudu clear by a diagram.
Marinos = Thcok tisto,
Sergius = Irene.
Arsaber = Calomaria. Theodora. Irene.
1 Photins. Tarasinis. Sergius. Stephen. Bardas. 2 The Chalke and the Numera in 3 Tho ovidence for this bride-show the Palace, and the Practorium in thu is in the Vit. Irence, 603-604. Irene, town. She was accompanied by the a Cappalocian laly, was one of the Count of the Walls, the Domestic of competitors. Hur winter--Apparently the Numeri, or the Prefect of the also a candidatu-afterwards murricd City. Cont. Th. ib.
they disliked her intensely “on account of her impudence ";' which means that she was a woman of some spirit, and they feared her as a rival influence. The young sovran was obliged to yield and marry the wife who was not of his own choice, but if he was separated from the woman he loved, it was only for a short time. Eudocia Ingerina did not disdain to be his mistress, and his attachment to her seems to have lasted till his death.
But the power of Theodora and her favourite minister was doomed, and the blow was struck by a member of her own fumily (A.D. 850, January to March). Michael had reached an age when he began to chafe under the authority of his mother, whose discipline had probably been strict; and his uncle Bardas, who was ambitious and conscious of his own talents for government, divined that it would now be possible to undermino her position and win his nephew's confidence. The most difficult part of his enterprise was to remove Theoktistos, but he haud friends among the ministers who were in close attendance on the Emperor. The Parakocinômenos or chief chamberlain, Damianos (a man of Slavonic race), persuaded Michael to summon his uncle to the Palace, and their wily tongues convinced the boy that his mother intended to depose him, with the assistance of Theoktistos, or at all events—ind this was no more than the truth that he would have 110 power so long is Theodora and Theoktistos co-operated.' Michel was brought to acquiesce in the view thut it wils necessary to suppress the too powerful minister, and violence was the only method. Theophanes, the chief of the private wardrobe, joined the conspiracy, and Bardas also won over his sister Colomarin." Some generals, who had
Simeon (Cont. Geory.), 810, tho from the official description in Con. source for Michael's marringo. Thu stuntino, Cor. 213. probablo duto, A.1). 865, is inforred ? For date sce Appendix VII. from the fact that the marringe pro- 3 So Simoon (Cont. (icory.), 821. Ac. could the death of Theoktistos, com- cording to Gen. 87, Bardas suggested bined with Michaol's age. The bridal to Michael that Theodora intended ceremony of an Emperor was performed to marry horself, or to find a husband in the church of St. Stephen in the for one of her daughters, and dopose Talaco of' Daphine. The chronicler (ib.) Michael, with the aid of Theoktistos. notes that the bridal chamber (To · The part played by Caloniaria is Taotów) was in the pulaco of Magnatra, recorded by Genesios, whose informa. and the murringe least, at which the tion was doubtloss derived from his senators were present, was held in the aneustor Constantino the Armenian, land of the Ninetron. Conches. This who was an cyc-witness of the murder. Wils the regular lubit, ils
For Theophanes of Furyluan see p. 238.