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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Byzantine Coins ▸ Byzantine Mints ▸ ThessalonicaView Options:  |  |  |   

Byzantine Thessalonica, Greece

When Anastasius became emperor the once vast number of Roman mints had been reduced to only two: Constantinople and Thessalonica. Thessalonica did not strike Byzantine copper coinage until the reign of Justin I. The mint closed about 630 but opened again under Alexius I (1081 - 1118) and operated until the 14th century for various despotates, kingdoms and empires that took the city as their capital. In 1423, Despot Andronicus, ceded Thessalonic to the Republic of Venice to protect it from the Ottomans who were besieging the city. The Venetians held Thessaloniki until it was captured by the Ottoman Sultan Murad II on 29 March 1430.


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

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In the Dumbarton Oaks catalog, Michael Hendy identifies this as a transitional coinage. David Sear lists it as extremely rare.
SH76239. Electrum histamenon nomisma, DOC IIII 4; Wroth BMC 14 (Alexius III); Hendy pl. 1, 9; SBCV 1904; Sommer 59.7; Morrisson BnF -; Ratto -, aEF, well centered, nice portrait of Christ, hairline crack, some strike slip, weight 4.313 g, maximum diameter 29.0 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica mint, 1081 - 1082 A.D.; obverse + KE RΘ AΛEZ (or similar), bust of Christ Pantokrator facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, holding books of Gospel, Greeks IC - XC across field; reverse St. Demetrius, on left, standing right, nimbate, holding parazonium and presenting labarum to Alexius, standing facing, wearing loros and crown with cross and pendilia, ∆I/MI/TI in three lines on left, ∆/EC/Π/T/H in five lines on left; ex Rudnik Numismatics; very rare; SOLD


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 (Andronicus III); 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, Manus Dei (the hand of God) above left, model of city (wall with gate and towers) in left hand, star with eight rays lower right; very rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Andronicus II Palaeologus, 1282 - 24 May 1328 A.D.

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BZ80376. Billon tornese, DOC V 551 - 557; SBCV 2327; Grierson 1313; B-D LPC p. 36, 4, gF, weight 0.647 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, sole reign, 1282 - 1295; obverse Andronicus standing facing, cruciform scepter in right, akakia in left; reverse KOHMHNOC O ΠAΛEΛOΓOC, cross within circle of dots; rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Andronicus II Palaeologus, 1282 - 24 May 1328 A.D.

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Under Andronicus II the empire permanently declined. His grandson, Andronicus III, rebelled and defeated him. He was forced to abdicate, retired as a monk and died 13 Feb 1332.
BZ14455. Bronze trachy, DOC V 789 - 792; SBCV 2393, nice VF, weight 1.446 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 1282 - 1328 A.D.; obverse large six-petal flower; reverse Andronicus standing facing, holding a large B in each hand, one reversed; scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, John II Comnenus, 15 August 1118 - 8 April 1143 A.D.

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In 1122, John II Komnenos defeated the Pechenegs in the Battle of Beroia (in modern Bulgaria). The Pechenegs later fought as mercenaries for the Manuel I Komnenos in southern Italy against the Norman king of Sicily, William the Bad. A group was also present at the battle of Andria in 1155. For some time, significant communities of Pechenegs still remained in the Kingdom of Hungary. With time the Balkan Pechenegs lost their national identity and were fully assimilated, mostly with Magyars and Bulgarians.
BZ83484. Bronze half tetarteron, DOC IV-1 16b; Hendin pl 11, 13; Morrisson BnF 60/Th/AE/08; Wroth BMC 67; Ratto 2108; SBCV 1954, VF, green patina, obverse slightly off center, weight 1.986 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, c. 1137 - 1143 A.D.; obverse Christ standing facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, holding Gospels in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation: Iisoķs Xristůs - Jesus Christ) across field; reverse + Iω ∆ECΠOT, bust of John facing, wearing crown and jeweled chlamys, labarum in right, globus cruciger in left; SOLD


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

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This type was the last Byzantine follis.
BZ37080. Bronze follis, SBCV 1911, VF, weight 4.747 g, maximum diameter 29.1 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, obverse Patriarchal cross on two steps, IC - XC / NI-KA across fields; reverse CEP CVN/EPΓEI BA/CIΛEI AΛ/EΞIW in four lines, cross above; scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Justinian I, 4 April 527 - 14 November 565 A.D.

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BZ36363. Bronze 16 nummi, DOC I 98a, Sommer 4.38 (542 - 547 A.D.), Morrisson BnF I 4/Th/AE/4 (527 - 538 A.D.), Hahn MIB I 169a, SBCV 175, Wroth BMC -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, VF, weight 7.839 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 527 - 562 A.D.; obverse D N IVSTINIANVS P P AVG, diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse large I and smaller S (16 nummi), cross above, flanked by smaller A left and P right, TES in exergue; scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Justinian I, 4 April 527 - 14 November 565 A.D.

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Above the denomination (H) this type usually has nothing, or a cross, or a Christogram, and sometimes the symbol above is flanked by pellets or stars. CNG 60 (2002), lot 1985, is unique with ΘEIW above. This coin appears to have A∆K above with the ∆ a little larger, which is unpublished. It may be ancient counterfeit, or the "apparent" letters are the odd result of die damage or corrosion.
BZ62085. Bronze 8 nummi, unpublished with A∆K above); cf. SBCV 192, DOC I 100, Wroth BMC 177, Tolstoi 494, Hahn MIB I 174d, aF, weight 2.785 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica(?) mint, obverse D N IVSTINI-ANVS P P AVG, diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse large H between smaller A and P, A∆K(?) above; unique(?); SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Constans II with Constantine IV, Heraclius and Tiberius (his sons), 2 June 659 - 15 July 668 A.D.

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The letter in the exergue appears to be an I, but the style is that of Thessalonica, where the Θ mint mark should be in the exergue. Although not described in the references, on our example and some of the plate coins, it appears all four busts hold shields in their right hands.
BZ36676. Bronze follis, DOC II part 2, 103; SBCV 1025, VF, overstruck, weight 5.041 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, obverse bust of Constans, bearded, wearing helmet without cross, globus cruciger in right, shield in left, K right; reverse large M (40 nummi), facing busts of Constantine IV (above M), Heraclius (on left) and Tiberius (right), each wearing crown and chlamys and holding globus cruciger (and shield?), Θ (or I?) in exergue; rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, John II Comnenus, 15 August 1118 - 8 April 1143 A.D.

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This coin has a scarcer reverse legend variation ending in ΠOPΦYPOΓENIT, vice the normal ΠOPΦYPOΓNT. It also appears to be restruck on a reverse brockage of the same type. An incuse of part of the reverse legend is visible on the left side of the obverse.
BZ67761. Bronze tetarteron, Wroth BMC 64 (this reverse legend var); Morrisson BnF 10 (same var); DOC IV-1 12 var. (rev legend var. not listed); SBCV 1945, VF, restruck on a reverse brokage, full reverse legend, weight 2.792 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 1122 - c. 1137 A.D.; obverse Christ standing facing on footstool, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, Gospels in left, to left IC, to right XC; reverse IΩ ∆ECΠOT TΩ ΠOPΦYPOΓENIT (sic), John standing facing, wearing crown and jeweled chlamys, cruciform scepter in right, globus cruciger in left; rare; SOLD




  




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MINTMARKS

QEC
QES
TES
TESOB
THESSOB
THSOB



Catalog current as of Saturday, May 25, 2019.
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Byzantine Thessalonica