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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Judean & Biblical Coins ▸ Biblical Coins ▸ Saints on CoinsView Options:  |  |  |   

The Saints on Coins

Byzantine Empire, John V Palaeologus, 15 June 1341 - 16 February 1391 A.D.

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John V was made emperor three days short of his ninth birthday. Anna of Savoy was appointed regent for her son. After Anna was defeated in a civil war, John V was made junior emperor to his former advisor John VI Kantakouzenos and he married John VI's daughter. John VI ignored his young colleague and in time even replaced him with his own son Matthew. John V Palaeologus obtained Genoese help, overthrew his rivals, took sole rule and banished John Kantakouzenos to a monastery. John V converted to Catholicism in an attempt to obtain aid from the West against the Turks, but even this failed. Without allies, the Byzantine state was forced to become a vassal of the Ottoman Empire, permitted to exist only by the grace of the mighty Sultan.
BZ84652. Bronze stamenon, Lianta 887; Bendall PCPC 317; B-D LPC p. 238, 8; SBCV 2525 (assarion); DOC V -; Sommer -; Grierson -, aVF, full flan, edge cracks, excellent for the type, weight 0.956 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica mint, 1365 - 1369 A.D.; obverse Saint Demetrius standing facing, nimbate, wearing tunic, breastplate, and sagion, inverted spear vertical in right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield at side, flanked on each side by a long cross with three bars, anepigraphic; reverse emperor standing facing, wearing crown with pendilia, stemma, divitision, collar-piece and loros, staff topped with a cross in circle in right hand, model of city in left hand, Manus Dei (the hand of God) above, star in lower right field; very rare; $300.00 (267.00)


St. Helena, Augusta, 8 November 324 - c. 330 A.D., Mother of Constantine the Great

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On 14 September 326 A.D., Helena, mother of Constantine I, discovered the so-called True Cross and the Holy Sepulcher (Jesus's tomb) in Jerusalem. On her pilgrimage, she paused on the Aegean island of Patros where she is said to found the church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani.
RL79454. Billon reduced centenionalis, Hunter V p. 281, 2 (also 1st officina); RIC VIII Trier 63; LRBC I 112; SRCV V 17493; Cohen VII 4, Choice EF, mint luster, nice portrait, slightly tight flan, areas of slightest porosity, weight 1.442 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL HELENA AVGVSTA, diademed and mantled bust right wearing necklace; reverse PAX PVBLICA, Pax standing left, olive branch pointed down in right hand, long scepter transverse in left hand, TRP in exergue; $100.00 (89.00)


St. Helena, Augusta, 8 November 324 - c. 330 A.D., Mother of Constantine the Great

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In 318, Emperor Constantine the Great renamed Drepana in Asia Minor, Helenopolis, after his mother Helena.
RL79456. Billon reduced centenionalis, RIC VIII Trier 63; LRBC I 112; SRCV V 17493; Voetter 7; Cohen VII 4; Hunter V p. 218, 2 var. (1st officina), EF, mint luster, tight flan, areas of slight porosity, weight 1.604 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 165o, 2nd officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL IVL HE-LENA AVG, diademed and mantled bust right wearing necklace; reverse PAX PVBLICA, Pax standing left, olive branch pointed down in right hand, long scepter transverse in left hand, TRS in exergue; $95.00 (84.55)


St. Helena, Augusta, 8 November 324 - c. 330 A.D., Mother of Constantine the Great

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Helena gave birth to the future emperor Constantine I on 27 February of an uncertain year soon after 270 (probably around 272). At the time, she was in Naissus (Nis, Serbia). In order to obtain a wife more consonant with his rising status, Constantius divorced Helena some time before 289, when he married Theodora, Maximian's daughter under his command. (The narrative sources date the marriage to 293, but the Latin panegyric of 289 refers to the couple as already married). Helena and her son were dispatched to the court of Diocletian at Nicomedia, where Constantine grew to be a member of the inner circle. Helena never remarried and lived for a time in obscurity, though close to her only son, who had a deep regard and affection for her.
RL79451. Billon reduced centenionalis, Hunter V p. 281, 2 (also 1st officina); RIC VIII Trier 63; LRBC I 112; SRCV V 17493; Cohen VII 4, Choice EF, well centered on a slightly tight flan, sharp detail, some luster, slightly rough in areas (die rust?), weight 1.647 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL HELENA AVGVSTA, diademed and mantled bust right wearing necklace; reverse PAX PVBLICA, Pax standing left, olive branch pointed down in right hand, long scepter transverse in left hand, TRP in exergue; $90.00 (80.10)


St. Helena, Augusta, 8 November 324 - c. 330 A.D., Mother of Constantine the Great

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In the 12th century, Henry of Huntingdon included a passage in his Historia Anglorum that Constantine's mother Helena was a Briton, the daughter of King Cole of Colchester. Geoffrey of Monmouth expanded this story in his highly fictionalized Historia Regum Britanniae, an account of the supposed Kings of Britain from their Trojan origins to the Anglo-Saxon invasion. According to Geoffrey, Cole was King of the Britons when Constantius, here a senator, came to Britain. Afraid of the Romans, Cole submitted to Roman law so long as he retained his kingship. However, he died only a month later, and Constantius took the throne himself, marrying Cole's daughter Helena. They had their son Constantine, who succeeded his father as King of Britain before becoming Roman Emperor. Historically, this series of events is extremely improbable. Constantius had already left Helena by the time he left for Britain. Additionally, no earlier source mentions that Helena was born in Britain, let alone that she was a princess.
RL79452. Billon reduced centenionalis, SRCV V 17500 ff. (various mintmarks), EF, nice sharp portrait, attractive glossy green patina, tight flan, edge cracks, areas of slight porosity, weight 1.271 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 180o, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL HELENA AVGVSTA, diademed and mantled bust right wearing necklace; reverse PAX PVBLICA, Pax standing left, olive branch pointed down in right hand, long scepter transverse in left hand, [...]TR[...] in exergue; $90.00 (80.10)


St. Helena, Augusta, 8 November 324 - c. 330 A.D., Mother of Constantine the Great

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Helena died around 330, with her son at her side. She was buried in the Mausoleum of Helena, outside Rome on the Via Labicana. Her sarcophagus is on display in the Pio-Clementine Vatican Museum, although the connection is often questioned. Next to her is the sarcophagus of her granddaughter Saint Constantina (Saint Constance). Her skull is displayed in the Cathedral of Trier, in Germany.
RL79455. Billon reduced centenionalis, Hunter V p. 281, 2 (also 1st officina); RIC VIII Trier 63; LRBC I 112; SRCV V 17493; Cohen VII 4, EF, well struck and centered on a ragged flan, end of reverse legend not fully struck, some light corrosion, weight 1.921 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 30o, 1st officina, Treveri (Trier, Germany) mint, 337 - 340 A.D.; obverse FL HELENA AVGVSTA, diademed and mantled bust right wearing necklace; reverse PAX PVBLICA, Pax standing left, olive branch pointed down in right hand, long scepter transverse in left hand, TRP in exergue; $90.00 (80.10)


Norman Italy, Duchy of Apulia, William II, 1111 - 1127 A.D.

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The Norman County of Apulia was founded by William of Hauteville in 1043. Robert Guiscard established the Duchy of Apulia in 1059. William II was respected by his contemporaries, popular with his barons and subjects, and praised for his martial prowess, but is considered insignificant by modern historians. After the Norman conquest of Sicily in the late 11th century, Apulia became a mere province, first of the Kingdom of Sicily, then of the Kingdom of Naples. From the late 12th to early 13th centuries, Apulia was a favorite residence of the Hohenstaufen emperors, notably Frederick II.
ME66303. Bronze reduced follaro, MEC Italy III 139 ff.; MIR 10, 591; Biaggi 2277; CNI XVIII p. 322, 15, Fair, weight 1.971 g, maximum diameter 14.0 mm, Salerno mint, 1119 - 1127; obverse nimbate bust of Saint Matthew facing, S - M across field; reverse cross, V-V / DV-X in quarters; $75.00 (66.75)


Empire of Nicaea, Theodore I Komnenos Laskaris, c. 1204 - November 1221 A.D.

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Magnesia ad Sipylum (modern Manisa, Turkey) was located in Lydia about 65 km northeast of Smyrna (now Izmir) on the river Hermus (now Gediz) at the foot of Mount Sipylus. The city should not be confused with Magnesia on the Maeander, both founded by colonists from the Greek region of Magnesia. The first famous mention of the city is in 190 B.C., when Antiochus the Great was defeated in the battle of Magnesia by the Roman consul Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus. It became a city of importance under Roman rule and, though nearly destroyed by an earthquake in the reign of Tiberius, was restored by that emperor and flourished. It was an important regional center through the Byzantine Empire. During the 13th century interregnum of the Empire of Nicaea, Magnesia housed the Imperial mint, the Imperial treasury, and served as the functional capital of the Empire until the recovery of Constantinople in 1261. Magnesia was one of the few towns in this part of Anatolia which remained prosperous under the Turkish rule.
BZ76758. Billon aspron trachy nomisma, DOC IV, part 2, 8; Lianta 189; SBCV 2068; Hendy pl. 31, 8; Sommer 69.4; Wroth BMC -; Ratto -, aF, weight 2.910 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 180o, Magnesia ad Sipylum (Manisa, Turkey) mint, c. 1204 - Nov 1221 A.D.; obverse EMMA-NYHΛ, nimbate bust of Christ facing, beardless, scroll in left hand, five pellets in each limb of nimbus cross, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation for Jesus Christ) flanking across field; reverse ΘEO∆WPOC - O - ΘEO∆WPOC, Theodore and St. Theodore standing facing, each with outer hand on sheathed sword and inner hand holding patriarchal cross set on three steps between them; Emperor wears stemma, divitsion, and chlamys; Saint wears short military tunic, breastplate and sagion; this is the first example of this type handled by Forum; scarce; $65.00 (57.85)


Normans, Duchy of Apulia, Italy, William II, 1111 - 1127 A.D.

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The Norman County of Apulia was founded by William of Hauteville in 1043. Robert Guiscard established the Duchy of Apulia in 1059. William II was respected by his contemporaries, popular with his barons and subjects, and praised for his martial prowess, but is considered insignificant by modern historians. After the Norman conquest of Sicily in the late 11th century, Apulia became a mere province, first of the Kingdom of Sicily, then of the Kingdom of Naples. From the late 12th to early 13th centuries, Apulia was a favorite residence of the Hohenstaufen emperors, notably Frederick II.
ME68459. Bronze reduced follaro, MEC Italy III 139 ff.; MIR 10, 591; Biaggi 2277; CNI XVIII p. 322, 15, F, obverse off-center, weight 1.506 g, maximum diameter 13.6 mm, die axis 315o, Salerno mint, 1119 - 1127; obverse nimbate bust of Saint Matthew facing, S - M across field; reverse cross, V-V / DV-X in quarters; $60.00 (53.40)


Byzantine Empire, Manuel I Comnenus, 8 April 1143 - 24 September 1180 A.D., Brockage

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A brockage occurs when a blank is struck with a previously struck coin which adhered to the opposite die. Click here to read a detailed explanation.
BZ69198. Bronze half tetarteron, DOC IV, part 1, 23; Hendy pl. 18, 3; Morrisson BnF 61/X/AE/05; Wroth BMC 78; Ratto 2158; SBCV 1980; Sommer 61.25, VF, weight 1.176 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Greek mint, 1152 - c. 1160 A.D.; obverse Θ / Γ/ε−ωP/ΓI/OC, bust of St. George facing, beardless, wearing nimbus, tunic, cuirass, and sagion, spear in right, shield in left; reverse incuse of obverse; $50.00 (44.50)




  



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