Women of all classes and, of course, monks came to the defense of icons and all other church rites. Irina was the same lady who made her way to the state helm, who gradually began to return icons to their place of honor on church iconostases, and, at the same time, to provide churchmen with exclusive privileges, well, and access to the state treasury, as usual.Ambitious and wayward, Irina went to power without paying attention to either moral principles or family ties. Seeing an obstacle in her son, Constantine VI, in 797, the mother, without hesitation, orders him to put out his eyes and, organizing a coup d'etat, proclaims herself Augusta.
During the five-year period of her reign, many gold coins were minted, on which both on the obverse and on the reverse was a portrait of Irene of Athens. As part of the inscription, you can consider the word basilissa ‒ the female form of the male title basileus ('emperor'). And only a single coin found in Sicily bears the male form basileus. Well, no wonder, because to gain status among the male world of politics, in those days, this method was also suitable.