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Theodora Doukaina Palaiologina born 1240 – 4 March 1303, c 1259-1282
Lead seal & wife of Michael VIII
Theodora Doukaina Komnene Palaiologina (Θεοδώρα Δούκαινα Κομνηνή Παλαιολογίνα) c. 1240 – 4 March 1303), also known as Theodora Palaiologina, was the wife of the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos. Orphaned at an early age Theodora was raised by her great-uncle John III who was said to have "loved her like a daughter". John III arranged the marriage of Theodora to Michael Palaiologos, in 1253. John III died on 3 November 1254 and was succeeded by his only son Theodore II Laskaris, who died four years later. Succession was left to the John IIIs second son John IV Laskaris who was seven. Michael maneuvered his way into first becoming regent of John IV, and in 1259 Michael and John were crowned as co-emperors. Theodora did not have a prominent political role in the reign of her husband. Instead devoted her time to support church and monasteries, assist courtiers who fell into disfavor, supporting scholarship and facilitate the marriages of her two daughters Anna and Irene. Theodora died after a short illness on 4 March 1304 and her son, Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos laid her to rest in the church of John the Baptist at Lips convent, where she had prepared her tomb some years earlier. Obverse seated Theotokos seated wearing chiton and maphorion, holding child Christ MP ΘY in upper field. Reverse Theodora standing facing, wearing crown with pendillia, divitision, and loros, right hand placed before breast in supplication, holding double lotus scepter in right hand ΘЄΟΔωPA ЄVCЄBЄCTA TH AVΓɄCTA / ΔɄKINA H ΠΑΛΑΙΟΛΟΓINA
Mint: Constantinople
Provenance: Ex Numismatic Naumann Auction 61, 7 January 2018 Lot 838

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