When Theophilus died his son Michael was still just a toddler so Theodora, his mom and the widow of Theophilus, assumed the role of regent until Michael would be old enough to rule.
Theodora was quite the feisty lady who made little effort to conceal who the real boss was. Together with an influential ally they succeeded in finally overturning iconoclasm for good. They were also successful in continuing to restore the economy and keep the muslims at bay while simultaneously managing to keep strife with the various western nations at a minimum.
But Michael eventually grew up and came to resent being under their thumb. With the help of an opportunist with military ties he manage to depose them and, at least nominally, take the reins for himself. But the opportunist, a man named Bardas, was using Michael's situation to better his own position and within a short period of time Michael would again be relegated to the political background while Bardas ran the show. In doing so Michael withdrew completely from public life and began drinking heavily while Bardas managed the everyday affairs of state.
As the years passed one of Michael's drinking buddies named Basil became a close enough friend that on a whim he decided to make him co-emperor despite the fact he was unsuited for the position in every sense of the word. Basil first maneuvered to rid himself of Bardas through treachery and then Michael, too, would be put to the sword as he slept since he was becoming too much of a nuisance.
SB 1618, DOC III 8 AU Solidus Obv: Crowned bust of Theodora, wearing loros, holding globus cruciger and scepter.
Rev: Three-quarter length figures of Michael, holding globus cruciger, and his sister Thecla, holding patriarchal cross and akakia. 842-843. $3,500 9/19/01.
SB 1694v AU Semissis Obv: MIXAHL - Crowned facing bust, wearing chlamys and holding patriarchal cross on globe.
Rev: MIXAH - Crowned facing bust, wearing loros and holding patriarchal cross on globe.866 (Syracuse).
SB 1694, DOC III 9 AU Tremissis Obv: MIXAHLθ - Crowned bust, wearing chlamys and holding patriarchal cross on globe.
Rev: MIXAHΛ - Similar bust, wearing loros. 842-866 (Syracuse). $360 9/19/01.
SB 1690, DOC III 5 AR Miliaresion Obv: IhSSXRISShIC - Cross Potent on three steps within triple dotted border.
Rev: +MIX/HLθOOR/SθCLCθ/bSILISRO/MIOn - Legend in five lines within triple dotted border.
SB 1693, DOC III 8 Follis Obv: MIhALIMPRAT' - Crowned bust facing, wearing chlamys and holding cross on globe and akakia.
Rev: bASILISRΛ - Crowned bust facing, wearing chlamys and holding cross on globe and akakia. 866-867 (Constantinople).