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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Byzantine Coins ▸ Isaurian Dynasty ▸ Michael IIView Options:  |  |  | 

Michael II the Amorian, 25 December 820 - 2 October 829 A.D.

Joint rule with Theophilus (his son), from 12 May 821 (or 1 June 822).
Michael II started his career as a humble soldier. Leo V's assassination while trying to impose iconoclasm probably taught Michael a lesson, as he chose to remain religiously neutral. With Bulgarian help, he defeated the usurper Thomas, who with his Arab allies even besieged Constantinople for one year. Even after the rebellion was crushed, the Arabs still occupied Crete and initiated an invasion of Sicily.


Byzantine Empire, Michael II and Theophilus, 12 May 821 - 2 October 829 A.D.

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Michael II started his career as a humble soldier. Leo V's assassination while trying to impose iconoclasm probably taught Michael a lesson, as he chose to remain religiously neutral. With Bulgarian help, he defeated the usurper Thomas, who with his Arab allies even besieged Constantinople for one year. Even after the rebellion was crushed, the Arabs still occupied Crete and initiated an invasion of Sicily.
SH83906. Gold tremissis, Morrisson BnF 31/Cp/AV/2 corr. (solidi); Anastasi 511; DOC III 18 (not in collection, refs BnF); SBCV 1650; BMC -; Sommer -; Tolstoi -; Ratto -, EF, tight flan, weight 1.275 g, maximum diameter 12.8 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 821 - 829 A.D.; obverse MI-XAHL bA, bearded facing bust of Michael, wearing chlamys and crown with cross, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse ΘE-OFILO b, bearded facing bust of Theophilus, wearing chlamys and crown with cross, cross potent in right hand, cross in right field; from the Robert Watcher Collection, ex Savoca Numismatik; very rare; $640.00 SALE PRICE $576.00
 


Byzantine Empire, Theophilus, 12 May 821 - 20 January 842 A.D.

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Theophilus was an accomplished scholar and highly cultured. Although he admired Arab art and civilization, he was obliged to expend much effort defending his eastern frontier against Mutasim, the Caliph of Baghdad. He died of dysentery.
BZ76335. Bronze follis, Anastasi 554b; Spahr 413; SBCV 1680; DOC III, part 1, 29; Sommer 31.13, Nice VF, broad heavy flan for the type, nice green patina, weight 5.418 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, Sicily, Syracuse mint, 831 - 835 A.D.; obverse ΘEOFIL bAS, crowned bust facing, wearing loros, cross potent in right; reverse MIXHAL S CONST, facing busts of Michael II (left) and Constantine, each wears crown and chlamys, star above center; rare this size; $270.00 SALE PRICE $243.00
 


Byzantine Empire, Theophilus, 12 May 821 - 20 January 842 A.D.

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Some regard Theophilus as one of the best Byzantine emperors, others as an ordinary and insignificant ruler. He certainly did his best to check corruption and oppression. His personal leadership in battle indicates he was not afraid to command and put his life alongside that of his soldiers. Despite the drain of war and the large sums spent on building, commerce, and industry, the finances of the Empire flourished, largely due to highly efficient administration. He strengthened the Walls of Constantinople and built a hospital, which continued in existence until the twilight of the Empire.
BZ71131. Bronze half follis, Anastasi 562; Ratto 1837; DOC III, part 1, 29c (follis); SBCV 1680 (follis); Spahr 414 (follis); Sommer 31.14 (follis); Trivero -; Calciati MBBS -, VF, typical tight flan and uneven strike, "emaciated face" style variant, weight 1.821 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 835 - 20 Jan 842; obverse ΘEOFIL bAS, bust facing, wearing domed crown, loros, cross potent in right; reverse + MIXHAL S CONST, facing busts of Michael II (left) and Constantine, each wears domed crown and chlamys, star above center; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00
 


Byzantine Empire, Theophilus, 12 May 821 - 20 January 842 A.D.

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Theophilus was an accomplished scholar and highly cultured. Although he admired Arab art and civilization, he was obliged to expend much effort defending his eastern frontier against Mutasim, the Caliph of Baghdad. He died of dysentery.
BZ71126. Bronze half follis, Anastasi 555; SBCV 1680 (follis); DOC III, part 1, 29 (follis); Trivero 124 (follis); Sommer 31.13 (follis); Spahr -; Calciati MBBS -, F, weight 1.975 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 831 - 835 A.D.; obverse ΘEOFILOS bAS, crowned bust facing, wearing loros, cross potent in right; reverse + MIXHAL S COhST, facing busts of Michael II (left) and Constantine, each wears crown and chlamys, star above; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00
 


Byzantine Empire, Michael II and Theophilus, 12 May 821 - 2 October 829 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Michael II started his career as a humble soldier. Leo V's assassination while trying to impose iconoclasm probably taught Michael a lesson, as he chose to remain religiously neutral. With Bulgarian help, he defeated the usurper Thomas, who with his Arab allies even besieged Constantinople for one year. Even after the rebellion was crushed, the Arabs still occupied Crete and initiated an invasion of Sicily.
BZ67289. Bronze follis, Anastasi 513, SBCV 1652, Wroth BMC 20, Morrisson BnF 1, Tolstoi 27, Ratto 1814, VF, rough patina, some earthen encrustations, weight 4.173 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 12 May 821 - 2 Oct 829; obverse MIXA-HL - S ΘEOF (F upside down), facing crowned busts of Michael, on left with short beard and chlamys, and Theophilus, beardless with loros; reverse large M (40 nummi), cross above, Θ below; scarce; $60.00 SALE PRICE $54.00
 







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REFERENCES

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Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines à l'époque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
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Sear, D. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Sommer, A. Die Münzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Münzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
Spahr, R. Le monete siciliane, dai Bizantini a Carlo I d' Angio (582 - 1282). (Graz, 1976).
Tolstoi, I. Monnaies byzantines. (St. Petersburg, 1913 - 14).
Trivero, A. La monetazione di rame dela Sicilia bizantina (testo e archivio fotografico allegato). (Achao, 2006).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, October 17, 2017.
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Byzantine Coins of Michael II