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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |The Restored Empire| ▸ |Andronicus II||View Options:  |  |  | 

Andronicus II Palaeologus, 1272 - 24 May 1328 A.D.

Joint rule as junior emperor with Michael (his father), 1272 - 11 December 1282 A.D.
Joint rule as senior emperor with Michael IX (his son), 21 May 1295 - 12 October 1320 A.D.
Joint rule with Andronicus III (his grandson), 2 February 1325 - 24 May 1328 A.D.
Under Andronicus II the empire permanently declined. Tax revenues dropped, the treasury was depleted, the army was drastically cut, and Turkish tribes overran most of Asia Minor. His son was co-emperor but died in 1320. After Andronicus II did not select his popular grandson, Andronicus III as heir, he rose in revolt. Even after they agreed to reign jointly, they were again at war. In 1328, the grandson took the city by surprise. At first Andronicus II retained his titles and his home in the palace. In 1330, however, forced into a monastery, he retired as the monk Anthony. Old and blind, he died 13 February 1332 A.D. Coinage may have been issued in his name until his death.
Byzantine Empire 1300


Byzantine Empire, Andronicus II Palaeologus, 1282 - 24 May 1328 A.D.

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An extremely rare Andronicus II trachy of this type was found by Dochev at Turnovo (Dochev 1992, Pl. 17, 2; ). It is the Turnovo coin that is described in the Dumbarton Oaks Catalog (DOC V) and in Sear's Byzantine Coin Values (SBCV). We know of only five other specimens of the type.
BZ91214. Bronze trachy, Dochev 1992, pl. 17, 2; DOC V, table 18A, 30 (none in the collection); SBCV 2357A; B-D LPC -; Bendall PCPC; Lianta -; Grierson -; Sommer -, F/VF, obverse "finder" cleaned by scraping, edge crack, small spots of corrosion, weight 1.680 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 1282 - 1328 A.D.; obverse The Virgin Mary standing facing orans, nimbate, wears tunic and maphorion, MP - ΘV (Greek abbr.: Mητηρ Θεου - Mother of God) flanking nimbus; reverse Andronicus, on left, standing facing, scepter cruciger in right hand and anexikakia(?) in left hand, blessed by military saint, on right standing facing with sword(?) in left hand; extremely rare; $300.00 (264.00)


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Sear and other older references describe the figure on the reverse right as Christ. Other references note the identity as uncertain. A few more recent finds with clear inscriptions have provided the answer; the figure on the right is named as the "Mother of God."
BZ92210. Bronze trachy, DOC V 825 ff.; Bendall PCPC 250; B-D LPC p. 204, 2; SBCV 2360; Grierson 1429; Sommer 79.14, aF, green patina, earthen deposits, irregular undersized flan (typical for the type), edge crack, weight 0.811 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 1282 - 1328 A.D.; obverse O/AΓ/IO/Σ − ∆/MH/TP (partly ligate, obscured), nimbate bust of Saint Demetrius facing, holding small cross to his breast in right hand; reverse Andronicus (on left) standing facing, holding cross-scepter, the Virgin (on right) standing left, nimbate, raising right hand blessing emperor, star above center, large reversed B low center, M / ΘV (Greek abbr.: Mητηρ Θεου - Mother of God) on right (obscured); ex Harlan J. Berk; very rare; $60.00 (52.80)


Byzantine Empire, Andronicus II Palaeologus, 1282 - 24 May 1328 A.D.

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Sear and other older references describe the figure on the reverse right as Christ. Other references note the identity as uncertain. A few more recent finds with clear inscriptions have provided the answer; the figure on the right is named as the "Mother of God."
BZ89561. Bronze trachy, DOC V 825 ff.; Bendall PCPC 250; B-D LPC p. 204, 2; SBCV 2360; Grierson 1429; Sommer 79.14, Fair/aF, porous, ragged flan, weight 1.765 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 1282 - 1328 A.D.; obverse O/AΓ/IO/Σ − ∆/MH/TP (partly ligate, obscured), nimbate bust of Saint Demetrius facing, holding small cross to his breast in right hand; reverse Andronicus (on left) standing facing, holding cross-scepter, the Virgin (on right) standing left, nimbate, raising right hand blessing emperor, star above center, large reversed B low center, M / ΘV (Greek abbr.: Mητηρ Θεου - Mother of God) on right (obscured); very rare; $40.00 (35.20)


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St. Demetrius, the son of a Roman proconsul in Thessalonica, was captured preaching and imprisoned. His fellow Christian prisoner, Nestoras, a small man condemned to die in the arena, killed the emperor's favored gladiator. Nestoras was beheaded on the spot. Learning that Nestoras had been inspired by Demetrius' blessing, Maximian had Demetrius executed by spears on 26 Oct 306 A.D. After the growth of his veneration as saint, Thessalonica suffered repeated attacks and sieges from the Slavic peoples who moved into the Balkans. Demetrius was credited with many miraculous interventions to defend the city. Hence later traditions Demetrius regard him as a soldier in the Roman army, and he came to be regarded as an important military martyr. Unsurprisingly, he was extremely popular in the Middle Ages, and along with Saint George, was the patron of the Crusades.
BZ92193. Bronze trachy, DOC V 811 ff.; B-D LPC p. 212, 14; Bendall PCPC 246; Sommer 79.21; SBCV 2373, Fair/VF, irregular flan, edge splits and crack, porosity, weight 1.006 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 1272 - 24 May 1328 A.D.; obverse O / AΓIOC - ∆/HM/TP/IO/C (or similar, in flanking columnar groups), St. Demetrius standing facing, spear vertical in right hand, shield on left arm; reverse Andronicus standing facing, cross-scepter in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand, hand of God upper right, two stars left; scarce; $40.00 (35.20)







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REFERENCES|

Bellinger, A. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection, Vol. V: Michael VII to Constantine XI, 1258-1453. (Washington D.C., 1999).
Bendall, S. A Private Collection of Palaeologan Coins. (Wolverhampton, 1988).
Bendall, S. & P. Donald. Later Palaeologan Coinage, 1282-1453. (London, 1979).
Dochev, K. Монети и парично обръщение в Търново XII-XIV в. (Tirnovo, 1992).
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins. (London, 1982).
Lianta, E. Late Byzantine Coins, 1204 - 1453, in the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. (London, 2009).
Sabatier, J. Description gnrale des monnaies Byzantines. (Paris, 1863).
Sear, D. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Sommer, A. Die Mnzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Mnzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).

Catalog current as of Monday, September 16, 2019.
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Andronicus II