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The Second Bulgarian Empire, 1185 - 1396, reached its peak under Tsars Kaloyan and Ivan Asen II and was the dominant power in the Balkans until 1256. Bulgaria defeated the Byzantine Empire in several major battles. In 1205, Kaloyan defeated the newly established Latin Empire in the Battle of Adrianople. Ivan Asen II defeated the Despotate of Epiros and made Bulgaria a regional power. Bulgaria spread from the Adriatic to the Black Sea and the economy flourished. Tarnovo, the capitol, was considered a "New Constantinople" and became the cultural hub and the center of the Eastern Orthodox world. In the late 13th century, however, the Empire declined under constant invasions by Mongols, Byzantines, Hungarians, and Serbs, as well as internal unrest and revolts. The 14th century saw a temporary recovery and stability, the "Second Golden Age of Bulgarian culture," when literature and art flourished. This was also, however, a period of Balkan feudalism as central authorities gradually lost power in many regions. Bulgaria was divided into three parts before gradually being conquered by the Ottomans in the late 14th and early 15th centuries.ME85965. Silver gros, Imitative of a Venetian grosso of Giovanni Dandolo (1280-1289); Radushev-ZhekovType 1.17.1, Youroukova-Penchev 160, Dochev –, gVF, well centered, weight 1.232 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain mint, early 14th century A.D.; obversenimbate Christ Pantokrator enthroned facing, holding gospels in lap, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iισους Xριστος - Jesus Christ) flanking Christ's head; reverse Doge, standing on left, receiving tall flag from St. Mark, standing on right, DVX down flag staff; very rare; $280.00 (€238.00)
Crusaders, Principality of Antioch, Tancred, Regent, March 1101 - May 1103 and Late 1104 - December 1112
This type was struck while Bohemond I was in captivity. It was the first type struck by Tancred. The order in which his types were struck has been firmly established by frequent overstrikes of later issues on earlier coins.
St. Peter is the patron saint of Antioch.ME86624. Bronze follis, Metcalf Crusades 52, Malloy Crusaders 3a, Schlumberger II 6, VF, desert patina, cut six-sided flan, porous, bumps and scratches, weight 5.472 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch mint, obversebust of St. Peter facing, short curly hair and curly beard, scroll in right hand, cross in left hand, O / PE-TP/O/C (TP ligate) divided across field; reverse + / KE BOI/ΘH TO ∆V / ΛO COV TANKPI+ (O Lord, help your servant Tancred) in five lines; $160.00 (€136.00)
St. Helena, Augusta, 8 November 324 - c. 330 A.D., Mother of Constantine the Great
Helena, first wife of Constantius I and mother of Constantine I, was abandoned by her husband but brought to the court by her son and given many titles. She had immense political influence and was instrumental in the growth of Christianity. Famed for her piety, Helena is a saint of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. Eusebius records the details of her pilgrimage to Palestine and other eastern provinces (though not her discovery of the True Cross). She is the patron saint of new discoveries. RL87280. Billoncentenionalis, RIC VII Trier 458, LRBC I 25, Cohen VII 12, Hunter V 3, SRCV IV 16591, aEF, attractive portrait, sharp detail, some silvering, light marks, areas of slight porosity, tiny encrustations, weight 3.355 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 324 A.D.; obverse FL HELENAAVGVSTA, draped bust right; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVBLICE (security of the Republic), Securitas standing half left, branch pointed down in right, raising pallium with left, STR in exergue; $100.00 (€85.00)