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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Byzantine Coins ▸ Dynasty of the Angeli ▸ Alexius IIIView Options:  |  |  | 

Alexius III, Angelus-Comnenus, 8 April 1195 - 17 July 1203

Alexius III was a corrupt and ineffective leader. He seemed more interested in plundering his empire for taxes and advancing his (and his wife's) social standing than protecting and defending the disintegrating Byzantine Empire. The armies of the fourth Crusade laid siege to Constantinople for several weeks in 1203, after which Constantinople surrendered. Alexius, true to his nature, fled the city with considerable gold. He ended up a hostage of the Seljuqs of Rum. When Theodore I Lascaris defeated Kaykhusraw I in the spring of 1211, Alexius was sent to a monastery where he died.


Bulgarian, Imitative of Alexis III, Billon Aspron Trachy, c. 1200 - 1210 A.D.

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Greek magnates in Thrace probably issued the earliest "Bulgarian" imitative types in the years immediately following the fall of Constantinople to finance their military operations against the crusaders in northern Greece. When the Bulgarians gained control of Thrace they continued production until sometime between 1215 and 1220, with issues becoming increasingly crude and smaller.
BZ79669. Billon trachy, CLBC I 8.3.1.B; Hendy p. 151 & pl. 22, 9 - 12; DOC IV, part 1, 3; Grierson 1136; SBCV 2012, VF, uneven strike, weight 2.848 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 180o, unknown Bulgarian mint, c. 1200 - 1210 A.D.; obverse + KERO HΘEI, beardless nimbate bust of Christ facing, wearing pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, scroll in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation for Jesus Christ) flanking across field above shoulders; reverse AΛEΣI Θ KWNTAN (or similar), Alexius on left, St. Constantine bearded and nimbate on right, standing facing, each wears crown, divitision and loros; each holding labarum in outer hand, together holding globus cruciger between them; Saint Constantine the Great on the reverse!; $28.00 (€23.80)
 


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Alexius III, corrupt and ineffective, was more interested in plundering than defending his empire. The 4th Crusade laid siege to Constantinople for several weeks before it surrendered. Alexius, true to his nature, fled with considerable gold. He was a hostage of the Seljuqs of Rum when Theodore I Lascaris defeated Kaykhusraw I in 1211. Alexius was sent to a monastery where he died.
SH81912. Gold hyperpyron, DOC IV 1b; SBCV 2008; Hendy pl. 22, 3; Wroth BMC 3-6, Ratto 2199; Morrisson BnF 2, gVF, but areas of flatness in the strike, weight 4.439 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 8 Apr 1195 - 17 Jul 1203; obverse KE RO HΘEI (the lord God), Christ Pantokrator standing facing on dais, with crossed nimbus, wearing pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, Gospels in left, IC - XC (Jesus Christ) flanking head; reverse AΛEZIW ∆ECΠO−TW KOMNHNW, Alexius, on left, and St. Constantine, on right, both stand facing, holding patriarchal cross between them, Constantine nimbate and wearing loros, Alexius wearing crown with pendilia, divitision and chlamys, akakia in right; ex Glenn Woods; SOLD


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Saint Constantine was Roman emperor from 306 until his death in 337. Best known for being the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine reversed the persecutions of his predecessor, Diocletian, and issued (with his co-emperor Licinius) the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious toleration throughout the empire. The Byzantine liturgical calendar, observed by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches of Byzantine rite, lists both Constantine and his mother Helena as saints. Although he is not included in the Latin Church's list of saints, which does recognize several other Constantines as saints, he is revered under the title "The Great" for his contributions to Christianity.
BZ36598. Billon aspron trachy nomisma, CLBC I 8.3.1.B; Hendy p. 151 & pl. 22, 9 - 12; DOC IV, part 1, 3; Grierson 1136; SBCV 2012, choice gVF, weight 2.833 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 180o, Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, 8 Apr 1195 - 17 Jul 1203; obverse + KERO HΘEI, beardless nimbate bust of Christ facing, wearing pallium and colobium, raising right hand in benediction, scroll in left hand, IC - XC (Greek abbreviation for Jesus Christ) flanking across field above shoulders; reverse AΛEΣIW ∆EC Θ KWNCTANTI (or similar), Alexius on left, St. Constantine bearded and nimbate on right, standing facing, each wears crown, divitision and loros; each holding labarum in outer hand, together holding globus cruciger between them; Saint Constantine the Great on the reverse!; SOLD







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REFERENCES

Bellinger, A.R. Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection, Vol. IV, Part 1: Alexius I to Alexius V (1081-1204). (Washington D.C., 1966).
Berk, H.J. Roman Gold Coins of the Medieval World, 383 - 1453 A.D. (Joliet, IL, 1986).
Grierson, P. Byzantine Coins. (London, 1982).
Hendy, M. Coinage and Money in the Byzantine Empire 1081-1261. (Washington D.C., 1969).
Marchev, V. and R. Wachter. Catalogue of the Late Byzantine coins, Vol. I, 1082 - 1261 AD. (Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, 2011).
Morrisson, C. Catalogue des Monnaies Byzantines de la Bibliothèque Nationale, 711 - 1204. (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 Tuesday, November 21, 2017.
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Byzantine Coins of Alexius III