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Home>Catalog>ByzantineCoins>MacedonianDynasty>RomanusI

Romanus I Lecapenus, 17 December 920 - 16 December 944 A.D.

Joint rule with Constantine VII (his son-in-law), 17 December 920 - 16 December 944 A.D.
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.


Byzantine Empire, Constantine VII and Romanus I, 17 December 920 - 16 December 944 A.D.
Click for a larger photo Theme of Cherson was a Byzantine military-civilian province located in the southern Crimea, headquartered at Chersonesus Taurica. The theme was officially established in the early 830s and was an important centre of Black Sea commerce. Despite the destruction of the city of Cherson in the 980s, the theme recovered and prospered, enduring until it became a part of the Empire of Trebizond after the dissolution of the Byzantine Empire in 1204.
BZ47162. Bronze AE 21, DOC III, part 2, 32a; Sommer 36.19; SBCV 1764, gF/Fair, weight 3.602 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 270o, cast coinage, Cherson mint, 921 - 16 Dec 944 A.D.; obverse large Romanus monogram; reverse cross floriated on two steps, pellet in field either side; typical very weak reverse; scarce; $32.00 (€24.00)

Byzantine Empire, Romanus I and Christopher, 921 - 931 A.D.
Click for a larger photo The throne depicted on the obverse is also depicted in the Narthex Mosaic, at Hagia Sophia, Constantinople, from the late 9th or early 10th century A.D.
SH31260. Gold solidus, DOC III part 2, 7; Berk 276; SBCV 1745, gVF, weight 4.196 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 921 - 931 A.D.; obverse +IhS XPS REX REGNANTInm, Christ enthroned facing, wearing nimbus cruciger, pallium and colobium and raising right in benediction, holding gospels in left hand, the throne has a lyre back and is ornamented with pearls; reverse ROman Et XRISTOFO AYGGb (or similar), facing busts of Romanus I, with short beard on left, and Christopher (his son-in-law), beardless on right, Romanus wears loros, Christopher wears chlamys, and they hold a long patriarchal cross between them; SOLD

Byzantine Empire, Constantine VII and Romanus I, 17 December 920 - 16 December 944 A.D.
Click for a larger photo The throne depicted on the obverse is also depicted in the Narthex Mosaic, at Hagia Sophia, Constantinople, from the late 9th or early 10th century A.D.
SH17757. Gold solidus, SBCV 1745; DOC III part 2, 7, nice VF, weight 4.321 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 921 - 931 A.D.; obverse IhS REX REGNANTIUM*, Christ enthroned facing, wears nimbus cruciger, pallium, and colobium; raises right, Gospels in left; reverse ROMAN ET XΠISTOΠO AUGG, crowned busts facing of Romanus I (left) in loros and Christopher in chlamys, holding long patriarchal cross between them; a few marks; very scarce; 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).
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 Bibliothèque Nationale. (Paris, 1970).
Sabatier, J. Description générale des monnaies Byzantines. (Paris, 1863).
Sear, D.R. Byzantine Coins and Their Values. (London, 1987).
Sommer, A.U. Die Münzen des Byzantinischen Reiches 491-1453. Mit einem Anhang: Die Münzen des Kaiserreichs von Trapezunt. (Regenstauf, 2010).
Ratto, R. Monnaies Byzantines et d'autre Pays contemporaines à l'époque byzantine. (Lugano, 1930).
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 Saturday, September 20, 2014.
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Romanus I