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Michael I

Michael I on a contemporary coin
Michael I Rhangabes, an obscure nobleman who had married Procopia, the daughter of Nicephorus I, and been made master of the palace. He was made Byzantine emperor in a revolution against his brother-in-law, Stauracius 811.

Elected with the support of the Orthodox party in the Church, Michael diligently persecuted the iconoclasts on the northern and eastern frontiers of the empire, but meanwhile allowed the Bulgars to ravage a great part of Macedonia and Thrace; having at last taken the field in the spring of 813, he was defeated near Bersinikia, and Leo the Armenian was saluted emperor in his stead in the following summer. Michael was relegated as a monk to the island of Prote, where he lived unmolested until his death in 845.

Preceded by:
Byzantine emperors Followed by:
Leo V

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.