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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Byzantine Coins ▸ Byzantine RaritiesView Options:  |  |  | 

Rare Byzantine Coins

Byzantine Empire, Nicephorus Basilacius, Usurper, Summer 1078 A.D. (Anonymous Class N Follis)

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Until 1976 this type was regarded as anonymous (Class N) because neither of the two known specimens had a visible legend. In 1976, Grierson published a new specimen with a legend naming the ruler, Nicephorus (Grierson, P. "Nicephorus Bryennius or Nicephorus Basilacius?" in NumCirc LXXXIV.1 (January 1976), type a). There were two candidates, Nicephorus Bryennius and Nicephorus Basilacius, both usurpers, Bryennius in 1077 - 1078, and Basilacius in Thessalonica for a few months during 1078. In 1992, Roger Bland published an example with the legend on the obverse right side reading POCBAC, which has been accepted as proving this type was struck by Basilacius (Bland, R. "A Follis of Nicephorus Basilacius?" NC 1992, p. 175 ff. and pl. 36, B). Our coin has a nearly complete inscription, among the best of all the specimens known to Forum.
SH87639. Bronze follis, DOC III part 2, p. 706, N.1 (anonymous class N follis); Grierson 1976, type a; Bland Basilacius pl. 36, B; SBCV 1903A; Sommer 58.1, VF, near complete inscription with at least part of each letter visible, crude, overstruck with severe undertype effects, bumps, scratches, corrosion, weight 5.607 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, summer 1078 A.D.; obverse +NIKHΦO-POC BACΛE, facing bust of Christ, nimbus cross with plain arms, wearing tunic and himation, right hand raised in blessing, Gospels in left, IC-XC flanking across field; reverse patriarchal cross on base; barred IC - XC / NI-KA (Jesus Christ conquers) in the quarters; among the best examples known to Forum of this extremely rare and always crude overstruck type!; extremely rare; $1500.00 (1275.00)


Byzantine Empire, Philippicus Bardanes, 4 November 711 - June 713 A.D.

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Philippicus Bardanes was from a prominent Armenian family in Pergamum and a general of the Opsikion Theme army under Justinian II. While Justinian II ruled in a bloodthirsty frenzy of revenge, the Bulgars ravaged the empire right up to the city walls. Bardanes arrived at Constantinople with the army. But, instead of fighting the Bulgars he seized the throne. An ineffective ruler, Philippicus engaged in destructive internal religious disputes while the external threats grew and Bulgars and Arabs continued to raid Byzantine territory. In less than two years, he was deposed in a coup, blinded and exiled to a monastery.
BZ82676. Bronze follis, Anastasi 374, SBCV 1460A, Hahn MIB 24, DOC II part 2,, -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, Morrisson BnF -, F, ragged flan, weight 3.824 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 4 Nov 711 - Jun 713 A.D.; obverse Philippicus standing facing, wearing helmet and military attire, eagle-tipped scepter in left hand, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse large M flanked by two stars, monogram above, SCL in exergue; very rare; $850.00 (722.50)


Byzantine Empire, Revolt of the Heraclii, 608 - 5 Oct 610 A.D.

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Heraclius the Elder, possibly of Armenian origin, was a Byzantine general and the father of Byzantine emperor Heraclius. He distinguished himself in the war against the Sassanid Persians in the 580s, was a subordinate general under Philippicus during the Battle of Solachon, and possibly served under Comentiolus during the Battle of Sisarbanon. About 595, Heraclius the Elder is mentioned as a magister militum per Armeniam sent by Emperor Maurice to quell an Armenian rebellion led by Samuel Vahewuni and Atat Khorkhoruni. About 600, he was appointed as the Exarch of Africa and in 608, Heraclius the Elder rebelled with his son against the usurper Phocas. Using North Africa as a base, the younger Heraclius managed to overthrow Phocas, beginning the Heraclian dynasty, which would rule Byzantium for a century. Heraclius the Elder died soon after receiving news of his son's accession to the Byzantine throne.
BZ86356. Bronze follis, DOC II part 2, 16, Morrison BnF 9/Ax/AE/01, Hahn MIBEC 16a, Grierson 164, Tolstoi 279, SBCV 722, Sommer -, Ratto -, VF, rev. a little off center cutting off part of mintmark, scratches, overstruck, weight 11.035 g, maximum diameter 30.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Alexandria or Alexandretta mint, Sep - Oct 610 A.D.; obverse dm N ERACLIO CONSULII, facing busts of Heraclius and his father, both bearded, bareheaded and wearing consular robes, cross above center; reverse large M (40 nummi), cross above, ANNO left, X/IIII (year 14) on right, A (1st officina) below, AΛEZAN∆ in exergue; rare; $610.00 (518.50)


Byzantine Empire, Revolt of the Heraclii, 608 - 5 Oct 610 A.D.

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Heraclius the Elder, possibly of Armenian origin, was a Byzantine general and the father of Byzantine emperor Heraclius. He distinguished himself in the war against the Sassanid Persians in the 580s, was a subordinate general under Philippicus during the Battle of Solachon, and possibly served under Comentiolus during the Battle of Sisarbanon. About 595, Heraclius the Elder is mentioned as a magister militum per Armeniam sent by Emperor Maurice to quell an Armenian rebellion led by Samuel Vahewuni and Atat Khorkhoruni. About 600, he was appointed as the Exarch of Africa and in 608, Heraclius the Elder rebelled with his son against the usurper Phocas. Using North Africa as a base, the younger Heraclius managed to overthrow Phocas, beginning the Heraclian dynasty, which would rule Byzantium for a century. Heraclius the Elder died soon after receiving news of his son's accession to the Byzantine throne.
BZ86357. Bronze follis, DOC II 16, Morrison BnF 9/Ax/AE/02, Hahn MIBEC 16a, Grierson 164, Tolstoi 279, SBCV 722, Sommer -, Ratto -, aF, uneven strike, a little off center, scratches, overstruck, edge cracks, weight 5.587 g, maximum diameter 29.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Alexandria or Alexandretta mint, Sep - Oct 610 A.D.; obverse dm N ERACLIO CONSULII, facing busts of Heraclius and his father, both bearded, bareheaded and wearing consular robes, cross above center; reverse Large M (40 nummi), cross above, ANNO left, X/IIII (year 14) on right, A (1st officina) below, AΛEZAN∆ in exergue; rare; $400.00 (340.00)


Byzantine Anonymous Follis of Christ, Class A3, Basil II & Constantine VIII, c. 1023 - 11 November 1028 A.D.

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This is a new ornaments variety, unlisted by Bellinger and Grierson, with one pellet in each limb of the nimbus cross, two pellets vertically arranged within a jeweled border on the Gospels and the ornamentation shown below both above and under the reverse inscription. We have designated this new variety Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments F1d.

SH82730. Bronze anonymous follis, Anonymous follis of Christ, class A3; SBCV 1818; Grierson-NumisWiki ornaments F1d, aEF, well centered on a tight flan, porosity, edge crack, weight 9.903 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 150o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 1023 - 11 Nov 1028 A.D.; obverse + EMMANOVHΛ (Latinized Hebrew: Emmanuel - "God with us"), facing nimbate bust of Christ, two pellets in each arm of the cross, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in both hands, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iisos Xrists - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse + IhSuS / XRISTuS / bASILEu / bASILE (Greek: Jesus Christ King of Kings), ornaments above and below inscription; unpublished variety; $400.00 (340.00)


Constantine IV Pogonatus, 15 July 668 - 10 July 685 A.D.

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Constantine IV Pogonatus should be credited with saving Europe from Muslim conquest. Beginning in 674, the great siege of Constantinople, by the caliph Muawiyah I, lasted four years. The newly invented famous "Greek Fire" made the city impregnable and the Arabs were forced to retreat. In 681 he deposed his two brothers. He was succeeded by his 16-year-old son Justinian II.
BZ84239. Bronze half follis, Anastasi 245, DOC II 67, Spahr 186, Hahn MIB III 112, SBCV 1214, Berk -, VF, green patina, rough, weight 2.566 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 679 - 681 A.D.; obverse helmeted and cuirassed bust facing slightly right, holding spear over shoulder; reverse large K, cross above, +AN-NO ∆ (year 4) flanking left and right; very rare; $320.00 (272.00)


Byzantine Empire, Tiberius III Apsimar, Late 698 - Summer 705 A.D.

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All coins of Tiberius III are scarce or rare.

After the Arabs took Carthage, the disgruntled army declared Tiberius emperor. He mutilated Leontius (the previous emperor), cutting off his nose, just as Leontius had done to Justinian II. After Justinian II attacked and regained his throne, both Leontius and Tiberius were beheaded.
BZ82678. Bronze follis, Anastasi 341; DOC II part 1, 33; Wroth BMC 18; MIB 80; SBCV 1396, aVF, red and green patina, well centered on a ragged flan, weight 2.651 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, late 698 - summer 705 A.D.; obverse Tiberius III standing facing, wearing crown with pendilia, and long tunic, long cross in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand; reverse large M (40 nummi) between two crosses, Tiberius' monogram above, star below, SCL in exergue; rare; $270.00 (229.50)


Byzantine Empire, Alexius I, 4 April 1081 - 15 August 1118 A.D.

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On 8 April 1093, construction of Winchester Cathedral in England was completed by Bishop Walkelin.
BZ82688. Bronze tetarteron, DOC IV-1 34; Morrison BnF 59/Cp/AE/04; SBCV 1921; Sommer 59.20; Wroth BMC 33; Ratto 2079; Hendy pl. 8, 1-2, VF, very nice for the type, green patina with buff earthen highlighting, typical tight irregular flan, weight 3.958 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople mint, 1092 - 1093 A.D.; obverse bust of Christ facing, cross behind head, wearing pallium and kolobion, holding book of Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iisos Xrists - Jesus Christ) flanking across field; reverse + AΛZI ∆ECΠ (or similar), Alexius bust facing, wearing crown and loros, jeweled (5 globules) scepter in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand; the first example of this type handled by Forum, only two on Coin Archives; very rare; $160.00 (136.00)


Byzantine Empire, Tiberius III Apsimar, Late 698 - Summer 705 A.D.

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All coins of Tiberius III are scarce or rare.
BZ88336. Bronze follis, Anastasi 337, DOC II part 2, 32, Spahr 271, Tolstoi 60, Hahn MIB 79b, SBCV 1395, Sommer -, Wroth BMC -, Ratto -, gVF, well centered, green patina, encrustations, spots of light corrosion, edge splits, weight 4.097 g, maximum diameter 29.1 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, late 698 - summer 705 A.D.; obverse no legend, bust of Tiberius III facing, wearing loros and crown with cross, spear diagonally before body in right, shield ornamented with horseman on left shoulder, star left; reverse large M (40 nummi) between two palm fronds, Tiberius' monogram above, SCL in exergue; ex CNG e-auction 233 (2 Dec 2009), lot 566; ex Peter Lee Collection; rare; $160.00 (136.00)







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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Saturday, April 20, 2019.
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Byzantine Rarities