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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Byzantine Coins ▸ Empire of Thessalonica ▸ Theodore Comnenus-DucasView Options:  |  |  | 

Empire of Thessalonica, Thedore Comnenus-Ducas, 1224 - 1230

In 1217, Theodore, then Despot of Epirus, captured the Latin Emperor of Costantinople, Pierre II of Courtenay, while he attempted to pass through Epirus on his return from his coronation by the Pope in Rome. In 1220 Theodore took Beroia, and in 1221 Serres and Drama. In 1224 Theodore completed his conquest of the Kingdom of Thessalonica by taking its capital. Elated by his success, Theodore had himself crowned as the Byzantine emperor and set his sights on Constantinople. Theodore's forces advanced through the Aegean coast of Thrace and in 1225 seized Adrianople and the surrounding portions of Thrace from the Nicaeans. Worried by the alliance of Ivan Asen II of Bulgaria with the Latin Empire of Constantinople, Theodore broke his own treaty with Ivan Asen and invaded Bulgaria with a large army reinforced by Western mercenaries in 1230. Allegedly affixing the text of the broken treaty to one of his spears as a flag, Ivan Asen II rallied his troops and defeated Theodore in the Battle of Klokotnitsa on March 9, 1230. Theodore was captured and remained a prisoner in the Bulgarian capital Tarnovo for seven years. At some point during his captivity he became involved in a conspiracy and was blinded. Theodore's lands were divided between Ivan Asen II (who took over Thrace, Macedonia, and Albania), Theodore's brothers Manuel (who took Thessalonica) and Constantine (who took Acarnania), and Theodore's nephew Michael II (who took Epirus).The Despotate of Epirus


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None of the referenced examples have a similar blundered obverse inscription. It should read IC XC O EMMANVOHΛ (or similar) in two columnar groups flanking Christ.
BZ63958. Billon aspron trachy nomisma, Large module, type A; DOC IV 4; Hendy p. 269 and pl. 37, 7 -9; SBCV 2161; Lianta -, aEF, typical unaligned second strike, weight 4.973 g, maximum diameter 31.5 mm, die axis 150o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, c. 1224 - 1225; obverse IC - [XC] / VN/IN/Λ - [...] (retrograde, blundered), nimbate facing bust of Christ Emmanuel, holding scroll; reverse ΘEO∆OPC - [...] (or similar), Theodore on left stands facing holding scroll, St. Demetrius on right stands facing holding sword over shoulder, both hold between them long staff surmounted by cross within circle above triangle; rare; SOLD


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In Hebrew, Michael means "who is like God." Michael is mentioned three times in the Book of Daniel, once as a "great prince who stands up for the children of your people." The idea that Michael was the advocate of the Jews became so prevalent that in spite of the rabbinical prohibition against appealing to angels as intermediaries between God and his people, Michael came to occupy a certain place in the Jewish liturgy. In the Book of Revelation, Michael leads God's armies and defeats Satan's forces. Christian sanctuaries to Michael appeared in the 4th century, when he was first seen as a healing angel, and then over time as a protector and the leader of the army of God against the forces of evil. By the 6th century, devotions to Archangel Michael were widespread both in the Eastern and Western Churches.
SH11451. Bronze trachy, SBCV 2165, DOC IV 7, gVF+, weight 3.036 g, maximum diameter 30.5 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 1224 - 1230; obverse IC - XC, Christ enthroned facing, raising right; reverse Emperor and Archangel Michael, standing facing and holding castle with three towers, Manus Dei above; uncleaned, mint-fresh red copper in recessed areas on reverse; rare; SOLD







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REFERENCES

Bellinger, A.R. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection, Vol. IV, Part 2: The Emperors of Nicaea and Their Contemporaries (1204 - 1261). (Washington D.C., 1966).
Berk, H.J. Roman Gold Coins of the Medieval World, 383 - 1453 A.D. (Joliet, IL, 1986).
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins. (London, 1982).
Hendy, M. Coinage and Money in the Byzantine Empire 1081-1261. (Washington D.C., 1969).
Lianta, E. Late Byzantine Coins, 1204 - 1453, in the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. (London, 2009).
Marchev, V. and R. Wachter. Catalogue of the Late Byzantine coins, Vol. I, 1082 - 1261 AD. (Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, 2011).
Morrisson, C. Catalogue des Monnaies Byzantines de la Bibliothèque Nationale. (Paris, 1970).
Sabatier, J. Description générale des monnaies Byzantines. (Paris, 1863).
Sear, D.R. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Sommer, A.U. Die Münzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Münzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines à l'époque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
Tolstoi, I. Monnaies byzantines. (St. Petersburg, 1913 - 14).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, May 24, 2017.
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Coins of Theodore Comnenus-Ducas