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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Byzantine Coins ▸ Macedonian Dynasty ▸ Constantine VIIView Options:  |  |  |   

Byzantine Empire, Constantine VII, 11 May 912 - 9 November 959

Joint rule under Alexander (his uncle), 11 May 912 - 6 June 913
Under regent Patriarch Nicholas Mysticus, 6 June 913 - February 914
Under regent Zoe (his mother), February 914 - 919
Under regent Romanus I (his father-in-law), 919 - 17 December 920
Joint rule under Romanus I (his father-in-law), 17 December 920 - 20 May 921
Joint rule under Romanus I (his father-in-law), with Christopher (Romanus' son), 20 May 921 - 25 December 924
Joint rule under Romanus I (his father-in-law) and Christopher, with Stephen and Constantine (Romanus' sons), 25 December 924 - August 931
Joint rule under Romanus I (his father-in-law) with Stephen and Constantine (Romanus' sons), August 931 - 16 December 944
Joint rule with Stephen and Constantine (Romanus' sons), 16 December 944 - 27 January 945
Sole rule, 27 January 945 - 6 April 945
Joint rule as senior emperor with Romanus II (his son), 6 April 945 - 9 November 959
Constantine VII was a minor when his uncle, Alexander, died leaving him as sole emperor. Constantine's mother, Zoe, soon took control. However after Zoe failed to halt a growing Bulgarian threat, the regency passed to Romanus I Lecapenus, commander of the fleet, a much more able leader. Constantine was not allowed to take part in government and his regent Romanus I was made co-emperor in 920 A.D. Romanus I was deposed by his own sons who wanted the throne but instead Constantine VII took control. Finally, in 945 when he was 40 years old, he had real power. Later that year he made Romanus II, his son and grandson of Romanus I, his co-emperor. Romanus II outlived his father and ruled alone for only three years.


Byzantine Empire, Constantine VII and Romanus II, 6 April 945 - 9 November 959 A.D.

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A very popular type depicting Christ wearing a pallium, a very rich, rectangular hem length, jeweled court garment and a colobium, a sleeveless outer tunic.
SH33730. Gold solidus, DOC III part 2, 15; Wroth BMC 60, Morrisson BnF 37/Cp/AV/15; Ratto 1905; Berk Gold 278; SBCV 1751; Sommer 36.9, EF, weight 4.393 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse +Ihs XPS REX REGNANTIUM, bust of Christ facing wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right in benediction, Gospels in left, three pellets in each limb of the cross; reverse COnSTAnT' CE ROMAN' AVGG BR, crowned facing busts of Constantine VII, in a loros on left, and his son Romanus II, in a chlamys, they hold a long patriarchal cross; sharp!; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Romanus II (Sole Reign?), 959 - 963 A.D.

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The intentionally obliterated legend on the reverse is thought to indicate the sole reign of Romanus II. Perhaps the Byzantine mint received no instructions from the incompetent new regime and resorted to this stopgap expedient pending further directives.
SH35841. Gold solidus, Feg SNR 76, pl. IV, B4; cf. DOC III Constantine VII 15.22; Sommer 37.1, aEF, weight 4.346 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse +IhS XPS REX REGNANTIVM', bust of Christ facing with nimbus cruciger, tunic and himation, right raised in blessing, gospels in left; reverse CONSTANT CE ROMAN AUGG b R (partially obliterated), crowned facing busts of Constantine VII (left) in loros and Romanus in chlamys, holding long patriarchal cross between them; fabulous style, one of the nicest we have handled of the type; very rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Constantine VII and Romanus II, 6 April 945 - 9 November 959 A.D.

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A very popular type depicting Christ wearing a pallium, a very rich, rectangular hem length, jeweled court garment and a colobium, a sleeveless outer tunic. This coin has no pellets or lines in the limbs of the cross within the nimbus. We did not find a single undecorated cross in our references or online.
SH58611. Gold solidus, apparently an unpublished variety; DOC III part 2, 15 var. (pellets in nimbus arms); SBCV 1751 var. (same), Morrisson BnF 15 ff. var. (same), Choice VF, weight 4.405 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, obverse +Ihs XPS REX REGNANTIUM, bust of Christ facing wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right in benediction, Gospels in left; no pellets or lines in limbs of cross; reverse COnSTAnT' CE ROMAN' AVGG BR, crowned facing busts of Constantine VII, in a loros on left, and his son Romanus II, in a chlamys, they hold a long patriarchal cross; ex Forum (2008), attractive bust of Christ, nicely centered; rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Romanus II (Sole Reign?), 959 - 963 A.D.

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This type with the obliterated reverse legend has been attributed as an emergency issue struck at the beginning of Romanus' sole reign. David Sear notes, "Perhaps the Byzantine mint had received no clear instructions from the new regime and simply resorted to this stopgap expedient pending further directives from the palace.
SH35837. Gold solidus, Feg SNR 76, pl. IV, B4; cf. DOC III Constantine VII 15.22, aEF, weight 4.370 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, Sole Reign?; obverse + IhS XPS REX REGNANTIVM, bust of Christ facing with nimbus cruciger, tunic and himation, right raised in blessing, gospels in left; reverse CONSTANT CE ROMAN AUGG b R (partially obliterated), crowned facing busts of Constantine VII (left) in loros and Romanus in chlamys, holding long patriarchal cross between them; nice portrait of Christ; very rare; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Constantine VII and Romanus II, 6 April 945 - 9 November 959 A.D.

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A very popular type depicting Christ wearing a pallium, a very rich, rectangular hem length, jeweled court garment and a colobium, a sleeveless outer tunic.
SH83910. Gold solidus, DOC III part 2, 15; Wroth BMC 60, Morrisson BnF 37/Cp/AV/15; Ratto 1905; Berk Gold 278; SBCV 1751; Sommer 36.9, VF, clipped, uncleaned, scratches, weight 4.054 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 6 Apr 945 - 9 Nov 959 A.D.; obverse +Ihs XPS REX REGNANTIUM, bust of Christ facing wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right in benediction, Gospels in left, three pellets in each limb of the cross; reverse COnSTAnT' CE ROMAN' AVGG BR, crowned facing busts of Constantine VII, in a loros on left, and his son Romanus II, in a chlamys, they hold a long patriarchal cross; from the Robert Wachter Collection, ex Clark Smith; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Constantine VII and Romanus II, 6 April 945 - 9 November 959 A.D.

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The X following the obverse legend appears to be unpublished but one other specimen, with the X undescribed, is known from auction records. Another less rare variety with a paisley-shaped (floral?) ornament at the end of the obverse legend is also unpublished in references but known from auctions.
SH89539. Gold solidus, DOC III part 2, 15 var.; Morrisson BnF 37/Cp/AV/22 var.; Wroth BMC 60 var., SBCV 1751 var.; Sommer 36.9 var. (none with X at end of obv. leg.), F, clipped flan, graffiti obverse right field, weight 4.065 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 6 Apr 945 - 9 Nov 959 A.D.; obverse +Ihs XPS REX REGNANTIum X, bust of Christ facing wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium, raising right in benediction, Gospels in left, three pellets in each limb of the cross; reverse COnSTAnT' CE ROmAn' AyGG BR, crowned facing busts of Constantine VII, in a loros on left, and his son Romanus II, in a chlamys, they hold a long patriarchal cross; from the Robert Wachter Collection; extremely rare variant; SOLD


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Constantine VII became sole emperor while he was a minor. He was dominated by his regents and was not allowed to take part in government. His regent Romanus I was made co-emperor in 920. In 945 Romanus I was deposed by his sons who wanted the throne. Instead Constantine VII took control. Finally, when he was 40 years old, he had sole rule and real power.
BZ37090. Bronze follis, DOC III part 2, 25, Sommer 36.16, Morrisson BnF 31, Wroth BMC 14, Ratto 1886, SBCV 1760, choice VF, nice green patina, weight 6.098 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 920 - 16 Dec 944 A.D.; obverse + RWmAn' bASILEVS RWM' (or similar), Romanus I facing, bearded, wearing jeweled chlamys and crown with cross, globus cruciger in left, transverse labarum in right; reverse + RWMA/n' En ΘEW bA/SILEVS RW/mAIWn in four lines; SOLD


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In 945 Romanus I was deposed by his sons who wanted the throne. Instead Constantine VII took control. Finally, when he was 40 years old, he finally had sole rule and real power. Later that year he made Romanus II, his son and grandson of Romanus I, his co-emperor.
BZ71845. Bronze follis, DOC III part 2, 26; Morrisson BnF 37/Cp/AE/55; Wroth BMC 45; Ratto 1900; SBCV 1761; Sommer 36.17, VF, nice green patina, tight flan, scratches, weight 6.815 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 0o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, sole reign, 27 Jan - 6 Apr 945; obverse + COnST bASIL ROM' (Constantine King of the Romans), Constantine VII facing, bearded, wearing modified loros and crown with cross, akakia in right, globus cruciger in left; reverse + COnSt/ En ΘEO bA/SILEVS R/OmEOn (Constantine, by God, King of the Romans); SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Constantine VII and Romanus II, 6 April 945 - 9 November 959 A.D.

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On April 6, 945, Constantine crowned his son Romanus II co-emperor. Romanus secured a promise from his father that he would be allowed to select his own bride. He chose an innkeeper's daughter named Anastaso, whom he married in 956 and renamed Theophano. On 9 November 959, Romanus II succeeded his father amidst rumors that he or his wife had poisoned him.
BZ65608. Bronze follis, DOC III part 2, 27; Wroth BMC 70; Morrisson BnF 37/Cp/AE/65; Ratto 1907; SBCV 1762, aF, overstruck, weight 6.593 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 135o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 6 Apr 945 - 9 Nov 959 A.D.; obverse CONST CE ROMAN b ROM (Constantine and Romanus, Kings of the Romans), crowned busts of Constantine, with short beard and wearing vertical loros, on left, and Romanus II, wearing loros, unbearded, on right, holding patriarchal cross on globe between them; reverse + COnST / CE ROMAn / En XRIST / b ROMEO (Constantine and Romanus, by Christ, Kings of the Romans) in four lines; scarce; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Constantine VII and Romanus I Lecapenus, 17 December 920 - 16 December 944 A.D.

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Romanus was a crafty commoner, who must have been an expert at manipulation and court politics. He raised himself to a position of power, and although he was largely responsible for the loss of a campaign to the Bulgars, it was he who profited from the political backlash. Romanus moved three of his sons into positions of power, at one point eclipsing the power of his co-emperor, Constantine VII. His own sons then attempted to overthrow him and in the ensuing chaos, Constantine VII seized his throne once and for all.
BZ77228. Bronze follis, DOC III part 2, 25, Sommer 36.16, Morrisson BnF 31, Wroth BMC 14, Ratto 1886, SBCV 1760, aVF, well centered, nice dark patina, weight 5.605 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 17 Dec 920 - 16 Dec 944 A.D.; obverse RWmAn' bASILEVS RWM' (or similar), Romanus I facing, bearded, wearing jeweled chlamys and crown with cross, globus cruciger in left, transverse labarum in right; reverse RWMA/n' En ΘEW bA/SILEVS RW/mAIWn in four lines; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES

Berk, H.J. Eastern Roman Successors of the Sestertius. (Chicago, 1987).
Berk, H.J. Roman Gold Coins of the Medieval World, 383 - 1453 A.D. (Joliet, IL, 1986).
Feg, F. Corpus of the Nomismata from Anastasius II to John I in Constantinople, 713 - 976. (Lancaster, PA, 2007).
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins. (London, 1982).
Grierson, P. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection, Vol III, Part 2: Basil I to Nicephorus III, 867-1081. (Washington D.C., 1973).
Morrisson, C. Catalogue des Monnaies Byzantines de la Bibliothque Nationale II, 711 - 1204. (Paris, 1970).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines l'poque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
Sabatier, J. Description gnrale des monnaies Byzantines. (Paris, 1863).
Sear, D.R. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Sommer, A.U. Die Mnzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Mnzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
Tolstoi, I. Monnaies byzantines. (St. Petersburg, 1913 - 14).
Wroth, W. Catalogue of the Imperial Byzantine Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1908).

Catalog current as of Sunday, June 16, 2019.
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Constantine VII