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Michael III, Theodora, and Thekla (842–56)

Accession number BZS.1955.1.4283 (formerly DO 55.1.4283)
Diameter 30 mm
Condition Half of seal is missing.
Previous Editions

DO Seals 6, no. 47.1; Zacos–Veglery, no. 54a.


Cross potent on four steps. Circular inscription. Triple border of dots.


En on[o]mat(i) tu pat(ros) (καὶ) [tu y(io)u (καὶ) tu ag(iu) pne(umatos)].


Inscription of five lines. Double border of dots.


[Mi]χa[ηl], [Θ]eodo[ra, (καὶ)] Θecla [ec] Θeu ba[sil]is Rom(aion).


En onomati tu patros καὶ tu yiou καὶ tu agiu pneumatos Miχaηl, Θeodora, καὶ Θecla ec Θeu basilis Romaion.

Michael, Theodora, and Thekla, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, by grace of God, basileis of the Romans.


In Zacos–Veglery, no. 54, the aniconic seals of Michael III, Theodora, and Thekla are dated 842–43. The authors argue that such seals may have been issued before the restoration of the icons on 11 March 843. Such seals, however, may simply imitate the decoration of Michael’s aniconic miliaresion, specifically  class 1, which Grierson has assigned to the 842–56 (DOC 3.1:5.4 [pl. 28]).

Michael III was two years old when his father died and accordingly his mother Theodora ruled as regent until 856. For a discussion on the presence of Thekla, the eldest daughter of Theophilos and Theodora, on coins, see DOC 3.1: p. 454.

Note on this seal that the obverse and reverse (as on the coins) is ornamented with a triple border of dots.