Michael III Emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 842 to 867.
Michael III was Byzantine Emperor from 842 to 867. HeI was the third and traditionally last member of the Amorian (or Phrygian) dynasty.

Michael was the youngest child of the emperor Theophilos and his empress Theodora. Already crowned co-ruler by his father in his infancy in 840, Michael had just turned two years old when his father died and Michael succeeded him as sole emperor on January 20, 842.

The reign and personality of Michael III are difficult to evaluate because of the hostile accounts written by Byzantine authors operating under Basil I and his successors. Byzantine accounts describe Michael's habitual drunkenness, his obsession with chariot racing and his orchestration of public displays mocking the processions and rituals of the church. The impression gained from Arab sources, however, is one of Michael as an active and often successful military commander.

Though Michael III was allegedly prone to squander money, his reign stabilized the economy, and by the year 850 the empire's annual revenues had increased to 3,300,000 nomismata. The definitive end to iconoclasm early in his reign led, unsurprisingly, to a renaissance in visual arts.

Michael was assassinated as he lay insensible in his bedchamber following a drinking bout in September 867.
Michael III
Epithet: ὁ Μέθυσος ("the Drunkard")
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