Accession of Michael VI

Summary:
Appointed to the throne by Theodora’s eunuchs and the empress herself five days before her death, Michael VI reigned for one year and 11 days. Keroularios the patriarch discovered that Michael’s succession was a fait accompli, and it was her household who invited him to her deathbed. He asked the dying empress whether this was her choice and she nodded, allowing him to crown Michael. This change of ruler was the only change, for all other officials and unofficial powerbrokers remained the same. Keroularios still had no real power 
Dates:
1056 August 22 
retinue and household of Theodora who guided her rule (Anonymi 7011)
  • They decided, as Theodora 1 was dying, that her successor would be Michael 6, and brought him to the palace; they left to her only the ratification of the choice to Michael 11 with her last breath, so that he could crown the new emperor (:) Psellos Keroularios 358-359
  • They usurped power, feeling contempt for Michael 6 as a moistureless, leafless, ancient cabbage; he was bound by an awful oath to stand out of their way in every word and action (:) Manasses, Chronicle 6243-6248
  • They were left to Michael 6 from the reign of Theodora 1 as guardians of his (second) childhood, administering everything, so that he was ruler only in theory (:) ἦν οὖν αὐτὸς ὡσεὶ σκιὰ καὶ λόγοις μόνοις κράτωρ Manasses, Chronicle 6249-6253
  • Persuaded Theodora 1 to make Michael 6 her replacement in imperial power (:) Zonaras 17.29.8
  • Theodora 1 immediately crowned Michael 6 with the imperial diadem, after he had first been bound by terrible oaths that he would manage nothing in the administration of the empire without their consent (:) Zonaras 17.29.9
Emperor Michael VI Stratiotikos (Michael 6)
  • Was proclaimed sole emperor (on August 31 of the 9th indiction (1056):κατὰ τὴν λα ´ ἡμέραν τοῦ Αὐγούστου μηνός, τῆς θ ´ ἰνδικτιῶνος) Ἀναρρηθέντος δὲ τοῦ Μιχαὴλ αὐτοκράτορος Skylitzes 481.42-43
  • Appointed by Theodora 1 to the throne, he reigned for one year and 11 days (on August 22 of the 9th indiction in the year 6564:τὴν κβ ´ τοῦ αὐγούστου μηνός, τῆς θ ´ ἰνδικτιῶνος, τοῦ ,ςφξδ ´ ἔτους) Kleinchroniken 143.69-70, 160.13-14, 167.16
  • He became master of the empire, soon to be deprived of it (:) τῶν ὅλων ἐγκρατὴς ἐγεγόνει, αὐτίκα στερήσεσθαι μέλλων Psellos: Chronographia VIa 21.5-6
  • When he was crowned emperor after Theodora 1, this was a change, but the only change, for all other officials and unofficial powerbrokers remained the same; in particular, Michael 11 still had no real power, so that decline continued (:) Psellos Keroularios 359
  • His succession to Theodora 1 was decided by Anonymi 7011, and he was brought to the palace as she lay dying; all that was left for Theodora was to confirm the choice to Michael 11 with a movement of her eyebrow with her last breath (:) Psellos Keroularios 358-359
  • After the death of Theodora 1, he succeeded to the imperial throne (1057:) Lupus protospatharius 59.27
  • He became emperor (: ) Anonymus Barensis 152
  • He was appointed to the throne by Theodora 1, as soon as she knew she was going to die (:) καὶ τὴν ἀνάλυσιν αὐτῆς γνοῦσα τὴν ἐκ τοῦ σκήνους ... Manasses, Chronicle 6232-6236
  • He was ruler only in theory; everything was administered by Anonymi 7011, a clique left him from the reign of Theodora 1 (:) ἦν οὖν αὐτὸς ὡσεὶ σκιὰ καὶ λόγοις μόνοις κράτωρ Manasses, Chronicle 6249-6253
Michael I Keroularios, patriarch of Constantinople (Michael 11)
  • He remained without influence after the accession of Michael 6, when nothing changed but the emperor - and without him everything was bound to decline (:) ἔρρει πάντα καὶ κατεστρέφετο Psellos Keroularios 359
  • When he arrived at the deathbed of Theodora 1, Anonymi 7011 had already made Michael 6 her successor and invited him to the palace; he asked the empress whether this was her choice and she nodded, allowing him to crown Michael (:) Psellos Keroularios 358-359
Empress Theodora (Theodora 1)
  • Appointed Michael 6 emperor and reigned with him for 5 days (on August 22 of the 9th indiction:τῇ κβ ´ τοῦ αὐγούστου, ἰνδικτιῶνος θ ´) Kleinchroniken 143.69, 160.13, 167.15
  • Before she had even died the palace officials were concerned with her succession and after her death they chose Michael 6 καὶ ὡς τὸ ἀποτέλεσμα παρεστήσατο Attaleiates: History 52.14-15 / 39.14-16
  • As she lay dying, Anonymi 7011 decided that her successor would be Michael 6, and he was brought to the palace; her role was merely to ratify with a movement of her eyebrow a decision made by others (:) Psellos Keroularios 358