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

Byzantine Alexandria (c. 525 - 646)

The long closed mint at Alexandria reopened during the reign of Justin I. The great metropolis was lost to the Arabs in 646 and was never recovered by the Byzantine Empire.


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

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In 535 - 536 A.D., the world experienced the most severe and protracted short-term cooling episode in the last 2,000 years. The cooling is thought to have been caused by an extensive atmospheric dust veil, possibly resulting from a large volcanic eruption in the tropics, or debris from space impacting the Earth. Its effects were widespread, causing unseasonable weather, crop failures, and famines worldwide. The Byzantine historian Procopius recorded of 536, in his report on the wars with the Vandals, "during this year a most dread portent took place. For the sun gave forth its light without brightness...and it seemed exceedingly like the sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear." Crop failures were recorded in some areas until 539.
BZ72158. Bronze six nummi, DOC I 275, Wroth BMC 347 - 348, Morrisson BnF I 20 - 22, Tolstoi 504 - 506, Sommer 4.116, Hahn MIB I 166, Berk 260, SBCV 248, Ratto 694, VF, nice for the type, weight 3.030 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria mint, obverse D N IVSTINI-ANVS P P AVG, diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse large S; first example of this type handled by Forum!; rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Justin I, 10 July 518 - 1 August 527 A.D.

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Alexandria was founded c. 331 BC by Alexander the Great. It remained the capital of Hellenistic, Roman and then Byzantine Egypt for almost one thousand years until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in A.D. 641, when a new capital was founded at Fustat (later absorbed into Cairo).
BZ39439. Bronze 12 nummi, DOC I 58, SBCV 112, VF, weight 4.503 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 180o, Egypt, Alexandria mint, 518 - 527; obverse D N IVSTINVS P P AV, diademed and draped bust right; reverse large I B (12 nummi) with cross between, AΛEZ (Alexandria) in exergue; rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Heraclius, 5 October 610 - 11 January 641 A.D.

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BZ39442. Bronze six nummi, DOC II 198, SBCV 862, Sommer 11.98, Wroth BMC 309, Hahn MIB 210, Morrisson BnF 69, Ratto 1326, Tolstoi 118, gVF, weight 2.373 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, Alexandria mint, 613 - 618 A.D.; obverse dd m hERACLS (or similar, blundered), cross potent on two steps; reverse large S; SOLD


Sasanian Empire, Khusro II, Occupation of Egypt, 618 - 628 A.D.

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During his temporary domination of Egypt, 618 - 628 A.D., Khusru allowed the Alexandria mint to continue issuing the normal Byzantine coinage, but substituted his portrait for the Byzantine emperor's. The sun and moon replaced the obverse legend, just as on contemporary Sasanian coinage. It may seem strange that a Persian king would wear a crown surmounted by a cross; however, his wife Sira was a Christian, he was a benefactor of the church of St. Sergius in Edessa, he honored the Virgin, and he sometimes wore a robe embroidered with a cross which he had received as a gift from the Emperor Maurice Tiberius. The Byzantine emperors resumed the imperial coinage of Alexandria after their recapture of Egypt in 628 A.D.
WA77071. Bronze 12 nummi, DOC II part 1, 191; Hahn MIB 202b; Wroth BMC 277; Tolstoi 109; Ratto 1316; Morrisson BnF 10/Al/AE/32; SBCV 855; Sommer 11.92, aVF, as-found slightly rough near black patina, well centered, weight 10.428 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Alexandria mint, 618 - 628 A.D.; obverse bust of the Sassanid King Khusru II wearing a crown with pendilia and surmounted by a cross, star left, crescent moon right; reverse large I B with cross potent on globe between, AΛEZ in exergue; from the J. Berlin Caesarea Collection, Caesarea Maritima surface find; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Heraclius & Heraclius Constantine, 23 January 613 - 11 January 641 A.D.

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The Byzantine-Sassanid War ended with a Byzantine victory in 628, but the war, after a century of nearly continuous conflict, left both empires crippled. The Persians suffering economic decline, heavy taxation, religious unrest, dynastic turmoil and other social problems, plunged into civil war. The Byzantines had exhausted their treasure, the Balkans had been largely lost to the Slavs, and Anatolia was devastated. Neither empire was given any chance to recover, as within a few years they were struck by the onslaught of the Arabs, newly united by Islam. The Sassanid Empire would soon be completely destroyed. The Muslim conquest of Syria, Egypt and North Africa, would reduce the Byzantine Empire to a territorial rump consisting of Anatolia and a scatter of islands and footholds in the Balkans and Italy.
BZ39472. Bronze 12 nummi, DOC II part 1, 189; Wroth BMC 289, Tolstoi 308; Ratto 1445; Morrisson BnF 10/A1/AE/01; Hahn MIB 200a; SBCV 853; Sommer 11.91, gVF, weight 5.187 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 45o, Egypt, Alexandria mint, c. 613 - 618 A.D.; obverse dd NN h hERAC (blundered), facing busts of Heraclius and his son Heraclius Constantine; reverse large IB (12 nummi) divided by cross potent on two steps, AΛEZ (Alexandria) in exergue; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Heraclius, 5 October 610 - 11 January 641 A.D.

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In 618, a Persian expeditionary force under Shahrbaraz invaded Egypt and after defeating the Byzantine garrisons in the Nile Valley, occupied the province, marched across the Libyan Desert as far as Cyrene and besieged Alexandria. The defence of the city was led by Nicetas, a cousin of emperor Heraclius. Alexandria fell to the Persians in 619. Nicetas and the Chalcedonian patriarch, John V, fled to Cyprus.
BZ90140. Bronze six nummi, DOC II 198, SBCV 862, Sommer 11.98, Wroth BMC 309, Hahn MIB 210, Morrisson BnF 69, Ratto 1326, Tolstoi 118, VF, a little rough, weight 1.850 g, maximum diameter 10.9 mm, die axis 225o, Alexandria mint, 613 - 618 A.D.; obverse dd m hERACUCI (or similar, blundered), cross potent on two steps; reverse large S; ex CNG Auctions,auction 233 lot 552, ex Peter Lee Collection; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Heraclius, 5 October 610 - 11 January 641 A.D.

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Heraclius' cousin and local governor, Nicetas, was unable to effectively resist when the Sassanid Persian shah, Khusro II, invaded Egypt in 617 or 618. He and the Chalcedonian patriarch, John V, fled from Alexandria to Cyprus. After the fall of Alexandria, the Persians extended their rule southwards along the Nile and by 621 the province was securely in Persian hands. After Heraclius decisively defeated Khusro in 627 at the Battle of Nineveh, Shahrbaraz was ordered to evacuate the Egypt, but he refused. Heraclius, trying both to recover Egypt and to sow disunion amongst the Persians, offered to help Shahrbaraz seize the Persian throne for himself. An agreement was reached, and in the summer of 629, the Persian troops began leaving Egypt.
BZ65907. Bronze six nummi, DOC II 198, SBCV 862, Sommer 11.98, Wroth BMC 309, Hahn MIB 210, Morrisson BnF 69, Ratto 1326, Tolstoi 118, VF, weight 2.386 g, maximum diameter 12.4 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 613 - 618 A.D.; obverse dd m hERACLS (or similar, blundered), cross potent on two steps; reverse large S; scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Heraclius & Heraclius Constantine, 23 January 613 - 11 January 641 A.D.

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The Byzantine-Sassanid War ended with a Byzantine victory in 628, but the war, after a century of nearly continuous conflict, left both empires crippled. The Persians suffering economic decline, heavy taxation, religious unrest, dynastic turmoil and other social problems, plunged into civil war. The Byzantines had exhausted their treasure, the Balkans had been largely lost to the Slavs, and Anatolia was devastated. Neither empire was given any chance to recover, as within a few years they were struck by the onslaught of the Arabs, newly united by Islam. The Sassanid Empire would soon be completely destroyed. The Muslim conquest of Syria, Egypt and North Africa, would reduce the Byzantine Empire to a territorial rump consisting of Anatolia and a scatter of islands and footholds in the Balkans and Italy.
BZ37092. Bronze 12 nummi, DOC II, part I, 193; Wroth BMC 287; Morrisson BnF 52; Tolstoi 306; Ratto 1443; Hahn MIB 203; Sommer 11.94; SBCV 857, VF, flat strike, weight 7.609 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 225o, Egypt, Alexandria mint, 625 - 629 A.D.; obverse facing busts of Heraclius, with a short beard, and his son Heraclius Constantine, each wears a chlamys and a crown with a cross and pendilia, cross potent on steps between them; reverse large IB (12 nummi) divided by cross potent on globe on triangular base, AΛEΞ (Alexandria) in exergue; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Heraclius & Heraclius Constantine, 23 January 613 - 11 January 641 A.D.

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The weight, diameter, thickness, and fabric of these Alexandrian 12 nummi coins is remarkably similar to that of the Alexandrian billon tetradrachms struck under Rome in the late third and early fourth centuries.
BZ39440. Bronze 12 nummi, DOC II part 1, 189; Wroth BMC 289, Tolstoi 308; Ratto 1445; Morrisson BnF 10/A1/AE/01; Hahn MIB 200a; SBCV 853; Sommer 11.91, VF, weight 5.388 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 225o, Egypt, Alexandria mint, c. 613 - 618 A.D.; obverse dd NN h hERAC (blundered), facing busts of Heraclius and his son Heraclius Constantine; reverse large IB (12 nummi) divided by cross potent on two steps, AΛEZ (Alexandria) in exergue; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Constans II, September 641 - 15 July 668 A.D.

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On 8 November 641, after a fourteen month siege, Alexandria capitulated to the Arab Muslims. In 645 the Byzantines recaptured Alexandria but lost it again in 646. The last Byzantine attempt to recover Alexandria failed in 654.
BZ69579. Bronze 12 nummi, SBCV 1026; DOC II part 2, 7 (Heraclonas); Morrisson BnF 1 (Heraclonas); Ratto 1318 (Heraclius); Hahn MIB 188; Sommer 12.62; Wroth BMC -; Tolstoi -, aVF, weight 8.439 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 45o, Alexandria mint, Sep - 8 Nov 641; obverse no legend, bust facing, beardless, wearing crown and chlamys, globus cruciger in right; reverse large I-B (12 nummi), divided by cross potent above M, AΛEZ (Alexandria) in exergue; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; rare; SOLD




  




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Catalog current as of Monday, May 27, 2019.
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Byzantine Alexandria